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1 CN ON: Column: Pot Possession Charges Are A Sign Of HypocrisyWed, 07 Jun 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Harper, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:06/07/2017

It's long been apparent that the Liberal legalization of marijuana in this country is not going to provide the mellow buzz the government had sought.

We're more than a year out from promised legislation, but there's smoke on the horizon.

The Canadian Medical Association has condemned the legal age of 18 being set by the federal Liberals, citing data that shows early marijuana use leads to everything from depression and anxiety to a lifetime dependency rate of 17 per cent for those who start smoking as teenagers. That's almost double the rate of those who begin use after their brains mature at age 25.

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2 US: OPED: Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your IreFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:MacDonald, Heather Area:United States Lines:110 Added:05/26/2017

Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire Jeff Sessions's policy won't lock up harmless stoners, but it will help dismantle drug-trafficking networks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being tarred as a racist-again-for bringing the law fully to bear on illegal drug traffickers. Mr. Sessions has instructed federal prosecutors to disclose in court the actual amount of drugs that trafficking defendants possessed at the time of arrest. That disclosure will trigger the mandatory penalties set by Congress for large-scale dealers.

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3Canada: Minister Backs Random Breath Tests For DriversFri, 12 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Smith, Joanna Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/15/2017

OTTAWA * Demanding a breath sample from a motorist is no different than asking for their licence and registration, Canada's justice minister argued Thursday as the federal government defended its proposed crackdown on impaired driving.

Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled a "charter statement" in the House of Commons comprising the arguments why the government believes the new measures are permissible under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized as reasonable the authority, under provincial law and common law, of police officers to stop vehicles at random to ensure that drivers are licensed and insured, that the vehicle is mechanically fit, and to check for sobriety," Wilson-Raybould's statement says. "The information revealed from a breath sample is, like the production of a driver's licence, simply information about whether a driver is complying with one of the conditions imposed in the highly regulated contexts of driving."

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4 CN MB: OPED: Take Public-Health Approach To PotThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Reimer, Joss Area:Manitoba Lines:84 Added:04/22/2017

This time next year will be the last 4/20 - the unofficial cannabis holiday known by its numeric calendar date - when possessing weed for personal use will be a crime. Legalization is coming to Canada in the summer of 2018.

So far, reactions to legalized cannabis have ranged from healthy concern to outright fearmongering. Some people have claimed it will lead the youth astray, make our roads less safe and harm our overall health.

Legalizing cannabis is not without risk. But legalization can also address how risky our current approach, the so-called War On Drugs, has been.

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5 CN MB: Column: New Pot Laws Must Include Pardons For Old ConvictionsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Winnipeg, CN MB) Author:Mochama, Vicky Area:Manitoba Lines:73 Added:04/22/2017

We cannot have a future pot policy that doesn't deal with criminalized pasts.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said that the new pot legislation will not include any special amnesty for past convictions.

This is a mistake.

The government's proposed legislation follows a public health approach of reducing harm and preventing problematic drug use. But the legislation, which is slated to come into effect by July 1, 2018, cannot just serve future drug users - and businesses, for that matter. It should also serve the health and wellbeing of the young, racialized men and women who are currently in court and in prison on drug charges.

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6US GA: City Puts Off Vote To Ease Pot PenaltyTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/21/2017

After more than 90 minutes of debate and no consensus, the Atlanta City Council on Monday put off a vote on a measure that would have eliminated jail time for those caught with small quantities of marijuana.

Advocates of the Atlanta legislation said the move is necessary to address the disproportionate number of black Americans incarcerated because of pot possession.

The proposal, which also would reduce the fine for possession of an ounce or less to a maximum of $75, mirrors actions taken in cities across the nation, including Dallas, Kansas City and St. Louis. In DeKalb County, Clarkson also has reduced penalties.

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7 CN QU: Editorial: Legal Pot? Are We Tripping, Or What?Tue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:Black, Peter Area:Quebec Lines:91 Added:04/19/2017

"Far out, man!" That's likely what teenaged me would have said if a visitor from the future had said Prime Minister Trudeau had legalized marijuana in 2018. Then I might have said "What? Trudeau is still prime minister?" Then, "Wow, this is some boss weed if I'm talking to some dude from the future." I might have added "Hey, visitor, when did the Leafs win their next Cup?"

Truth be told, your scribe was not much of stoner in his youth, though he effected some of the look and lifestyle. Long hair. Check. Tie-dyed shirts. Check. Bare-foot summers. Check. But a regular consumer of marijuana products? Pas a mon gout. Didn't really have the mental constitution for it. In fact, it's always been a mystery, and the subject of mountains of research, how people react differently when tetrahydrocannabinol hits their bloodstream.

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8 CN ON: Editorial: Three Questions So Far On The Marijuana BillSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Observer, The (Pembroke, CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:71 Added:04/19/2017

The Liberal government's pot legislation looks like a handdrawn roadmap of how marijuana will be legalized, instead of the efficient GPS system it should be.

It offers tougher criminal penalties in some cases. It expands some police powers. It downloads a lot of responsibility on to provinces and municipalities. Yet it doesn't address important aspects of legalization.

In short, legislators know what they want to do: protect children and reduce illegal sales of pot. How they're going to do it, well, details are either hazy, missing or highly debatable. Here are three outstanding issues:

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9CN ON: Editorial: Cannabis QuestionsFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Dawson, Tyler Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

The Liberal government's pot legislation looks like a hand-drawn roadmap of how marijuana will be legalized, instead of the efficient GPS system it should be. It offers tougher criminal penalties in some cases. It expands some police powers. It downloads a lot of responsibility to provinces and municipalities. Yet it doesn't address important aspects of legalization.

In short, legislators know what they want to do: protect children and reduce illegal sales of pot. How they're going to do it, well, details are either hazy, missing or highly debatable.

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10 CN QU: Editorial: Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'EmWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:McDevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:130 Added:04/14/2017

Tomorrow, the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau is expected to fulfill one of its most well-publicised campaign promises and present its much anticipated legislation to legalize the possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Why they couldn't wait another week until April 20 (420) is a question worth pondering, but then again, that might have required a sense of humour.

The history of drug prohibition in Canada goes back to the early 20th Century when authorities became concerned about the use of certain substances among Asian immigrant communities. Marijuana was added to the ever-increasing list of banned substances in the 1920s and once again, race was an integral component. Drug use became associated with decadence, jazz, racial mixing, and sexual license - all things designed to send shivers through middle-class society and its concept of propriety.

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11 Canada: Column: Why Stop With Pot? Let's Decriminalize All DrugsTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/13/2017

Canada is preparing to legalize and regulate possession of marijuana - with a target date of July 1, 2018.

It's a long overdue public policy with sound economic and health arguments to back it up, notably: More harm is caused by criminal prohibition and prosecution than the use of marijuana itself; Criminal laws prohibiting possession do not deter use; Decriminalization of possession does not lead to greater use; Decriminalization frees up resources for police and the courts to deal with more serious crimes;

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12 CN BC: PUB LTE: Don't Shut Out Compassion Clubs On The March To LegalizationSun, 09 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Fiddler, Darrin LR Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:04/13/2017

Editor: One must ask the lawmakers and backers, "Whose side are you on?"

Each time a cop busts a compassion club, they hand power back to the underground economy. I don't believe this is the effect they were aiming for. What does kicking in the door of compassion say about our laws and their views on medical care?

Under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPRR), a patient can acquire any source of cannabis material, but recently only from licensed producers (LPs). There are currently almost 130,000 Canadians registered in the program. When these doors are shut, patients are left out on the street at risk of purchasing contaminated or spiked cannabis to treat their condition.

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13 CN ON: The Politics Of Being Canada's Joint ChiefSun, 02 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:MacCharles, Tonda Area:Ontario Lines:356 Added:04/02/2017

He doesn't seek the limelight and he doesn't look any too comfortable in it, but former Toronto top cop Bill Blair is adapting to life in Ottawa. As the Liberals' point man for decriminalization of marijuana, he's steering radical changes . . . cautiously

OTTAWA- Bill Blair, the former undercover drug cop who rose to become Toronto police chief and now leads Justin Trudeau's charge to legalize marijuana, long ago gave up his gun and uniform. But his guard is still up. He defensively shifts position in a room when he's with a minister, switching to what he calls "protective mode." He tries to be casual: "I didn't have a first name for a decade," he tells a reporter. "Now that I've got it back" - just call him "Bill." And yet he's still all "Yes, ma'am. No, ma'am."

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14 US TX: Officers Killed In Murder Or Self-Defense?Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sack, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:762 Added:03/24/2017

With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85 miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.

SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.

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15 CN BC: OPED: Perspectives On The Drug Overdose Crisis In BCWed, 01 Mar 2017
Source:BC Medical Journal (CN BC) Author:Tyndal, Mark Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:03/06/2017

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 2, March 2017, page(s) 89 BC Centre for Disease Control Mark W. Tyndall, MD, ScD, FRCPC

British Columbia is in the midst of a public health crisis, with 914 documented overdose deaths in 2016. While there has been a steady increase in overdose deaths over the past 2 years, December 2016 had the highest monthly total of deaths ever recorded (128 deaths).[1] This is particularly alarming as it is happening despite a public health emergency announcement in April 2016 and a massive scale-up of the take-home naloxone program that has been used in over 3000 overdose reversals.

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16 CN BC: Expert Calls For 'Scaled Up' Approach To Opioid CrisisFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Ball, David P. Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:03/06/2017

Disease control director says more should be prescribed

One of British Columbia's top experts on diseases has slammed longstanding "drug policies that criminalize drug users," in an op-ed in the B.C. Medical Journal's new issue, and pushed for the expansion of government-prescribed opioids.

Dr. Mark Tyndall, provincial medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, wrote about the province's opioid overdose epidemic, which has killed almost 1,000 people in the last year "despite a public-health emergency announcement in April 2016."

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17CN BC: Paper Castigated City's Dope MenaceSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mackie, John Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Vancouver World kept up steady stream of stories on evil of drugs

The evil of drugs has been a recurring theme for Vancouver newspapers since the city was founded in 1886. But few papers went as far as the Vancouver World's anti-dope campaign in January and February of 1922.

The tone of the campaign is summed up in an illustration by cartoonist Ernest LeMessurier on Feb. 18. A sharply dressed "dope trafficker" cowers before a cat o' nine tails whip being wielded by an arm labelled "public indignation." The title of the illustration is "The Cure."

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18 CN AB: PUB LTE: Poverty Drives Drug EpidemicMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Blakley, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:25 Added:01/10/2017

Leave it to a University of Calgary political science professor to connect legal pot to the fentanyl crisis. These people are afraid to take cold medicine.

Marijuana is only illegal because of turn-of-the-century racism, and the overdose epidemic has been allowed to escalate because the victims are poor. It's the so-called Calgary School's world view manifest.

Reid Blakley, Vancouver, B.C.

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19US WI: Scott Walker Signs Bills Targeting Heroin, Other DrugsThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison- Doctors will have to check a statewide database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs, under a broad series of bills that Gov. Scott Walker signed Thursday to curb the abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.

"Wisconsin, like many other states across the country, is noticing a dangerous trend - an escalating number of cases involving heroin and opioid use, addiction, and overdose. The legislation we're signing into law today as a part of our HOPE tour works to combat this trend," Walker said in a statement.

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20 Canada: The First Lady Of Reefer MadnessSun, 01 Jan 2017
Source:Walrus, The (Canada) Author:Green, Melvyn Area:Canada Lines:451 Added:01/02/2017

How a renowned Canadian feminist popularized our racist war on drugs

Detective Joe Ricci and his partner, Alex Sinclair, were out on a routine bust in Vancouver's Chinatown. It was 1916, and Ricci and Sinclair were front-line officers in the war on opium. The drug had been criminalized in Canada eight years earlier through the introduction of the Western world's earliest drug prohibition law, and the Vancouver police department had been chasing down traffickers ever since. Ricci was a familiar sight in the neighbourhood. He had made such a big arrest in 1913 that for days after, the Vancouver Daily World reported, "not a light [was] to be seen and the ringing noise of the chuck-a-luck dice [had] stopped." But the gamblers and the opium smokers were soon back, and Ricci was out patrolling the streets again.

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