Pot industry players react to marijuana legalization report
Pot smokers, dispensary owners and cannabis industry executives
reacted Tuesday to the federal government task force recommendations
on how Canada should go about legalizing recreational marijuana.
The dispensary manager: Stores should be here to stay
Kristina Simpson's hands fly up to her face in shock when she's
informed the task force has come out in favour of marijuana
storefronts. "Oh my gosh!" says the manager of Weeds Glass & Gifts
dispensary on Bank Street. "I'm so happy!" She had braced herself for
a more restrictive approach. The task force said storefronts with
"well-trained, knowledgeable staff" should have a place, although the
provinces would be left to decide how and where marijuana is sold.
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On a summer morning in 2013, Octavian Mihai entered a softly lit room
furnished with a small statue of Buddha, a box of tissues and a single
red rose. From an earthenware chalice, he swallowed a capsule of
psilocybin, an ingredient found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Then he put on an eye mask and headphones and lay down on a couch.
Soon, images flew by like shooting stars: a spinning world that looked
like a blue-green chessboard; himself on a stretcher in front of a
hospital; his parents, gazing at him with aching sadness as he reached
out to them, suffused with childlike love.
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The town hall meeting, in a cavernous garage on an industrial side
street in Gardena, was billed as an opportunity to learn about
cannabis from some of the industry's experts.
I assumed there would be strong arguments made in favor of
Proposition 64, the November ballot initiative to legalize marijuana
for adult recreational use.
But it hardly seemed necessary. From what I could tell, most of those
in the room were already on board. Some had recently started
businesses or were contemplating how to get a piece of what assuredly
is going to be a huge economic pie if Proposition 64 passes.
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The smoky sunsets of late make for an eerie reminder of the fires
burning all around the Springs - to the west, up north and in our
past. It's unwelcome deja vu, but it seems all but inevitable each summer.
Colorado is hot, dry and windy during the summer, making it fertile
ground for ravaging fires. But research suggests this recent uptick
may be attributable to insect outbreaks, drought and rising
temperatures - all symptoms of manmade climate change. Innovators not
resigned to that fate have found an unlikely tool for both surviving
wildfires and preventing them at the same time: cannabis. (But not
the kind that gets you high.)
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For almost a year, American visitors to Las Vegas have been able to
go to a show, dine at a celebrity chef's restaurant, drink, gamble -
and legally buy cannabis.
Nevada was the first state in the nation to offer "reciprocity" to
medical marijuana users, meaning a physician's recommendation from,
say, California - useless in trying to access medical cannabis in,
say, Colorado - is enough to gain entry to the cannabis dispensary
nearest your favorite casino.
The first dispensary in Las Vegas "proper" opened last summer, and
the first dispensary on Las Vegas Boulevard opened in March. With an
adult legalization measure on the fall ballot in Nevada, it looks as
if cannabis could soon be added to the list of must-do activities for
a weekend in America's Sin City. And with an estimated 27 percent of
Las Vegas' 41 million annual visitors coming from cannabis-friendly
Southern California, there are millions of potential customers to
make cannabis a complement to Vegas's gaming and dining industries.
(In fact, with less than 2.8 million people statewide, there really
is no cannabis industry in Nevada without toking tourists.)
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MILegalize is still kicking. The effort to legalize recreational
marijuana in Michigan turned in more than 350,000 signatures in its
attempt to put the question on the fall ballot. It was the only group
out of a number of petition efforts to actually turn in their
petitions with the qualifying 252,523 signatures.
To the organizers, activists, petition circulators, and petition
signers, I say: "Well done." But the main question being asked now
is: Was it done quickly enough?
MILegalize spent a year collecting signatures, and overcame numerous
obstacles, from challenges to the petition print size, to a lack of
money and no support from national organizations. That's something
the Michigan Cannabis Coalition's competing ballot initiative
couldn't do. Neither could the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan
and a handful of others.
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DAVAO CITY-There were no fireworks at President-elect Rodrigo
Duterte's victory party on Saturday, as pyrotechnics are banned in
Davao City. But who needed them when Duterte himself was there?
"You sons of bitches, I will really kill you," Duterte warned drug
dealers in a speech to 200,000 supporters celebrating his electoral
victory at Crocodile Park.
The crowd cheered as the first expletive of the evening exploded from
the mouth of the trash-talking city mayor, who will be inaugurated as
the Philippines' 16th President on June 30.
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Moved by Silas Hurd's plight, a marijuana grower who specializes in
plant genetics combed his seed groups for strains that might calm the
boy's devastating epilepsy. The family had bouts of relief, but
inevitably the seizures returned. And a growing political backlash
cast shadow on their efforts.
Grass Valley - Aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma had taken his wife in
2000. Colon cancer claimed his father four years later.
Brad Peceimer, a former aerospace manufacturing engineer, grew
marijuana and produced medicinal remedies for both of them, to help
relieve the nausea and discomfort caused by their treatments. After
their deaths, he kept cultivating, fascinated with plant science.
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The THC Potency Of Street Marijuana Has Increased, Writes Diane
In my psychiatric practice, I treat patients with psychotic illnesses
including schizophrenia. Most were born with a genetic vulnerability
to develop the disorder, but many share another important life
experience: they smoked pot from an early age.
Debate has raged across Canada about the impending
legalization/decriminalization of marijuana. Canadian physicians, in
their role as advocates for physical and mental health, have been
conspicuously absent from the debate. This troubling void in
leadership is apparent from the lack of informed discourse exhibited
across all forms of media. Our failure to educate Canadians regarding
the potential risks of street pot, particularly for a developing
brain, has important social, physical and psychological
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Young People Need A Voice As Legislation To Legalize Rolls Out, Writes
The April 20 announcement by federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott
regarding the imminent legalization of cannabis use in Canada has
provided us with the opportunity to protect our sensibilities or our
children. We won't be able to do both and so we must choose.
When Philpott announced that the government plans to have legislation
to legalize cannabis ready by spring 2017, the priority of "protecting
children" was front and centre.
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The Massachusetts heroin epidemic is unlike any other in the United
States. The overdose rate in the state is more than twice the
national average. And deaths from prescription opioids like OxyContin
are only slightly less harrowing.
Unusual, too, is the degree to which these two scourges are feeding
off each other. A substantial and spiking number of overdoses in
Massachusetts involves both heroin and prescription drugs, something
you rarely find elsewhere in the United States.
Until now, it's been hard to see how, exactly, heroin and
prescription opioids were interacting, since almost all available
data lump them together under the heading of "opioids." But a Globe
examination of the information in death certificates from 1999 to
2014 reveals the increasingly toxic interplay between the drugs, both
at the state level and in individual counties.
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Thousands of Studies Have Proven That Marijuana Should Remain a Narcotic
California Medical Association Is Dead Wrong in Giving Its Blessing
to Weed Legalization
Be Prepared for More Psychosis, Depression, Violence and Suicides
There is money in drugs; the cartels proved that. But drug dealers
aren't encumbered with the societal costs, which are nine to 10 times
greater than any public revenues they generate.
That's been our experience with alcohol and tobacco, and that doesn't
count human misery.
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It seems like only yesterday Ontarians were faced with the news that,
after many years, the sex education curriculum in public schools was
getting a much needed revamp.
Imagine if you will, in an alternate reality, that this new curriculum
contained a directive to teach students that masturbation led to
blindness. In 2016, we would collectively consider this absurd. We
would identify this as blatant attempt to frighten students from
seeking out any sexual encounters in the vain hope that they will put
any ideas of sex from their minds indefinitely.
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It was a full-house at the Timmins Public Library on Saturday
afternoon as 40 youngsters celebrated Daren the DARE Lion's 20th birthday.
The lion is the mascot for the Timmins Drug Abuse Resistance Education
(DARE) program, which also marked 20 years of serving the community at
the event on Jan. 30.
"Twenty years in anything is quite the achievement, so we're proud of
that," said Const. Rick Lemieux, the Timmins Police DARE officer. "We
had 40 spaces available, and 40 kids showed up, so it's a huge
success; they're having a blast."
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An updated program of drug, mental health and social media awareness
is being presented to children and youth in Brantford schools.
Part of a changeover that began in 2014 as a pilot project across city
schools in both the public and separate boards resulted in an agency
name change to TICK (Teaching Intelligent Choices to Kids) from the
former DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).
"The DARE program met the needs of our community for a long time,"
said TICK Inc. president Susan Reid.
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It is time to re-examine the war on drugs because it has failed
The idea of legalizing drugs as a method to combat drug abuse and
drug-related crimes seems, at first blush, counterintuitive.
How could legalizing something as destructive as drugs serve to
improve a persistent and growing problem? After decades of instilling
in children the message that drug use is dangerous, how can we now
change course with legalization?
Last week, attorney Brian Leininger, a former Wyandotte County
prosecutor and former attorney for the Kansas Highway Patrol,
explained the position of his group -- Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition -- to the Hutchinson Drug Impact Task Force.
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An Examination of Traffic Stops and Arrests in Greensboro, N.C.,
Uncovered Wide Racial Differences in Measure After Measure of Police Conduct.
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Rufus Scales, 26 and black, was driving his
younger brother Devin to his hair-cutting class in this genteel,
leafy city when they heard the siren's whoop and saw the blue light
in the rearview mirror of their black pickup. Two police officers
pulled them over for minor infractions that included expired plates
and failing to hang a flag from a load of scrap metal in the pickup's
bed. But what happened next was nothing like a routine traffic stop.
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Although school districts have a primary mission of educating
students, district leaders also need to monitor social trends and
issues that can affect the atmosphere and learning environment in schools.
That's why we found it interesting to read the first story in a
three-part series by The News-Herald looking at how area school
districts go about drawing up policies that regulate personal and
Part one of the series dealt with prevention, intervention and
testing for drugs and alcohol in schools.
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America is in the midst of a heroin crisis, and the growing epidemic
may soon surpass the crack and cocaine overdose deaths of the 1980s
and 1990s. Shockingly, we seem powerless to do what we did back then
- - attack the supply.
Fecklessness regarding heroin has fatal consequences. The death rate
from heroin overdoses doubled from 2010 to 2013; according to the
Centers for Disease Control, 8,200 died in 2013. In the Northeast,
the problem has been acute. Heroin and other drugs in New Hampshire
now kill more people than traffic accidents.
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CHEYENNE - A Wyoming law enforcement group is planning a campaign to
fight back at efforts to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
The Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police is gauging
interest in starting a statewide outreach effort to inform residents
on the "harmful personal and societal effects of marijuana."
But Byron Oedekoven, executive director of the group, said he expects
there will be support for the project and that it will be launched this month.
"We are looking for statements of support for this education
campaign," he said. "We anticipate that there will be support, and
armed with that grassroots support, we will undertake an educational campaign."
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