Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will
achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from
cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher
than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem
more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term,
Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary
objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24
represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a
balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from
[continues 629 words]
Doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the legalization
With universities and schools providing few details around strategies
for marijuana legalization, doctors who treat youth have serious
concerns about the inevitable increase in use and the impending
impacts of what can be a dangerous drug.
Dr. Chris Wilkes, Alberta Health Services head of child and adolescent
psychiatry, said educators "need to ramp it up" in terms of creating
environments to ensure safety and informing youths about the health
effects of marijuana.
[continues 805 words]
The decision isn't without controversy, but city council was wise to
ban the use of marijuana in public places.
When the federal government legalizes cannabis later this summer,
Calgarians won't be able to smoke, vape or eat products made with the
substance in public spaces, unless they're a medical marijuana user.
That's led critics of the decision to complain that people who live in
multi-family dwellings may not be able to use the drug.
"It's not an insignificant group of people - 36 per cent of Calgarians
are renters," Coun. Evan Woolley said when the restriction was being
discussed by council. "And effectively, we are saying there is no
space for you to consume cannabis, and that's a problem for me."
[continues 311 words]
MONTREAL-In the rush to marijuana legalization, cities across the
country are harnessing their limited powers to delay the opening of
retail pot stores, dictate where they can operate or ban them
outright-at least temporarily.
There was uproar from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto
District School Board after finding out the city's first retail
cannabis store would open just 450 metres from a school, in a strip
mall where students often eat lunch.
But it's the scenario many local politicians are fighting to
[continues 982 words]
Canada is moving closer to the legalization of recreational Cannabis
this summer. Federal legislation is awaiting Senate approval and all
the provinces have developed their implementation approach.
Governments across the country rarely agree on anything. But as we
embark on this change, they have been unanimous in agreeing that their
top policy objective is the protection of youth.
We know what the approaches and commitments have been from various
governments, so we are in a good position to know whether their
actions reflect their words. So far, the simple answer is no.
[continues 629 words]
Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street
As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent
studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable
options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing
long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.
An analysis of opioid prescriptions in the U.S.published on Monday by
the American Medical Association showed a significant decrease in
opioid prescriptions in states that have adopted some sort of cannabis
legislation. Using data from 2010 to 2015, the analysis counted 3.7
million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed in states that allow
weed dispensaries, while states that allow only home cultivation saw a
decrease of 1.8 million daily prescribed doses.
[continues 715 words]
More than half the charges laid against London marijuana dispensary
staffers and operators swept up in a series of raids on the illegal
businesses in the past two years have been withdrawn, court records
examined by The Free Press show.
London police have launched seven raids in three separate crackdowns
on city pot shops since August 2016, resulting in 49 charges against
But court records show 25 of those charges - mostly for possession for
the purposes of trafficking - were later withdrawn and resolved
through peace bonds, a non-plea order requiring the person to be on
good behaviour for a set period of time.
[continues 773 words]
Veterinarian Katherine Kramer remembers an 18-year-old cat she
recommended be put on hemp-based cannabidoil (CBD).
"It had heart disease and pancreatitis so painful the traditional
amount of pain medication knocked him out and he had no quality of
life," says Kramer, a veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Wellness
Clinic. "So, I contacted the [medicinal marijuana] Compassion Club."
Kramer says with not much to lose, the owner agreed to work together
and very soon the cat was eating and playing again.
[continues 421 words]
When Justin Trudeau promised to legalize the use of recreational
marijuana, he no doubt felt it would be one of his easiest and most
rewarding tasks as Canada's new and uber-cool prime minister. He vowed
to make it a priority and change the laws within two years.
Fast-forward to last month, almost 2 1/2 years later, and Bill C-45,
to legalize cannabis, faced an unexpected pushback from a Senate that
threatened to send it packing. Trudeau took this chance to warn his
supposedly independent senators that their job description didn't call
for them to defeat bills proposed by the very government that had
bestowed upon them their most honourable appointments.
[continues 574 words]
OTTAWA - Last month, at a city council meeting in Kelowna, B.C., the
ranking RCMP officer was giving his quarterly update on policing when
a councillor posed a question about marijuana.
"I know that when I go out for the evening, I can have a beer, and I
know the alcohol content in that beer," said Coun. Ryan Donn. "I know
that one would be a good limit for myself to have before getting in a
car and driving.
"When I think about cannabis, I really, truly have no idea," he went
[continues 1462 words]
Nelson Police executed a search warrant on a downtown medical
marijuana dispensary and arrested five employees.
Five employees at MMJ marijuana dispensary, 752 Vernon Street, were
taken into custody Tuesday morning, March 20, without incident.
Charges against the employees are pending, said a release from NPD
Chief Constable Paul Burkart, adding that all five were released from
custody Tuesday afternoon.
Until charges are formally laid, Burkart said the NPD will be making
no further comment as the investigation is ongoing. A further update
can be expected in the next week.
[continues 267 words]
The Town of Oliver is setting aside a hearing to "hash out" some
details in local bylaws prior to the legalization of the sale of
Council on Monday "decimated," as Coun. Larry Schwartzenberger put it,
a staff recommendation to restrict cannabis sales via zoning bylaws in
Oliver, as well as a $15,000 ask to hire a consultant to determine the
wishes of the community.
"We will be able to approve or disapprove an application. If something
is in the commercial zone that's too close to a park or school, we
will just not approve it," Schwartzenberger said.
[continues 259 words]
Sex-ed, pot and Brown
There's no dust on Doug Ford.
Just a day after being elected head of Ontario's PC party, Ford has
announced he'll repeal the Liberal's sexed curriculum, hand marijuana
sales back to the people and make a decision on permitting Patrick
Brown to run as the PC candidate in the riding of Simcoe North.
While political pundits are licking their pencils in anticipation of
analyzing Ford's every move, the newly elected leader is already out
there working the crowd and winning over voters.
[continues 416 words]
Guns, gangs unit member has pleaded not guilty
A suspended Hamilton police officer fed drug traffickers sensitive
information and favours in return for cash payments, a Crown attorney
said Monday during his opening address to a Toronto jury.
Craig Ruthowsky, a former member of the Hamilton Police Service's guns
and gangs unit, has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice,
bribery, breach of trust, trafficking and conspiracy to commit an
He became ensnared in a Toronto Police Service wiretap investigation
called Project Pharaoh aimed at gathering evidence of drug and firearm
trafficking in Toronto's west end, Crown attorney John Pollard said in
[continues 326 words]
The legalization of pot may be looming but that doesn't mean police
are backing off their crackdown on the "grey" marijuana market.
Most recently, RCMP in Colchester County raided the Community
Compassion Centre in Bible Hill. They seized cash, marijuana,
marijuana derivatives and drug paraphernalia, and charged Ricky Joseph
Leclerc, 51, of Upper Kennetcook.
He's scheduled to appear in Nova Scotia provincial court
"The RCMP will continue to work within the existing legislation under
the Controlled Drug and Substances Act," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal
Hutchinson said Monday in an email. "If we determine that there is a
violation of the legislation, we will take appropriate action."
[continues 322 words]
A provincial government commitment to provide $ 40 million to help
municipalities cover the costs of pot legalization is a starting
point, says Mayor Chris Friel.
But Friel remains critical of the Ontario government's approach to the
legalization of marijuana saying the increased law enforcement and
safety costs are just one part of the overall picture.
"I'd say that it's a starting point because right now no one really
knows what the extra costs will be," Friel said. "But again I ask:
where is the public consultation?
[continues 472 words]
You can still have your say about cannabis restrictions in the
community until Wednesday afternoon but concerns have been raised
about people being able to submit more than one survey.
"Yes, there are no restrictions based on IP addresses as this is city
policy," said Jim Genge senior planner, planning and development services.
Restrictions would make it difficult to complete the survey, including
for the more than 500 who completed it at the Home and Garden Trade
Show, he said. It would also restrict more than one person in a
household from having a say.
[continues 361 words]
Suspended Hamilton cop Craig Ruthowsky revealed that he aided a drug
dealer to cultivate his trust so he could snare a larger trafficker,
his former best friend testified Tuesday.
Sgt. James Paterson, who once considered himself Ruthowsky's "best
friend," confronted Ruthowsky after he was suspended in 2012 while
both were working for Hamilton's guns and gangs unit.
"Craig Ruthowsky advised me that the dealer was dangling a bigger fish
in front of him that he wanted to get, this major importer Officer
Ruthowsky had said 'I was trying to make myself look like a dirty cop
so that will trust me more, and he'd give up the bigger fish,'" said
[continues 118 words]
News release that called for study to make personal use legal called
Things started off on a pretty collegial tone Tuesday morning in
Vancouver city council.
Much of the morning session was concerned with development plans for
an 8.4-hectare site in south Vancouver. Councillors echoed their
support for the project, and one commented on proceedings going "so
smoothly." The mayor agreed, saying it was nice to conduct the meeting
"without the kind of friction that can sometimes occur."
[continues 768 words]
The owner of a Bible Hill marijuana dispensary has been charged for
the second time in six months with possession for the purpose of
Ricky Joseph Leclerc, 51, of Upper Kennetcook, was arrested after
police executed a search warrant at the Community Compassion Centre, a
marijuana storefront on Pictou Road.
Leclerc is to appear in court in Truro on March 21 to enter a plea to
The RCMP said in a news release that members of the Colchester County
Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit had seized a quantity of
cash, marijuana, marijuana derivatives and drug paraphernalia during
their search last Friday.
[continues 99 words]