OTTAWA - The federal government's crackdown on drug-impaired driving
has taken a big step forward, as the Justice Department is set to give
its blessing to Canada's first roadside saliva test.
Once in use, police officers will be able to swab a driver's mouth to
test for the presence of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
Roadside saliva-testing devices were authorized by Bill C-46, a
massive overhaul of Canadaas impaired driving laws that passed in
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The legalization of marijuana for general consumption is a
devastating, immoral attack by the Trudeau government against the best
interests of all of Canada's vulnerable and marginalized citizens,
especially our young people, who are ill-equipped to handle it (What A
Long Strange Trip It Will Been, editorial, June 21).
Surviving in modern society demands vigilance, sobriety, discipline
and competence on all fronts. Marijuana use discourages these
necessary virtues. There should have been a national referendum before
this profound decision was made. There are no adults in charge any
Peter Best, Sudbury, Ont.
VICTORIA - On the day Canadians can legally buy and use recreational
marijuana, the clock will start ticking for cannabis dispensaries
already open across the country, say politicians and pot industry insiders.
On Oct. 17, provincial licensing, monitoring and approval regulations
on legal marijuana retail standards will become law and the cannabis
business will get real for marijuana shops currently operating outside
"These are the same people who cried for legalization," said Vancouver
Coun. Kerry Jang. "Now they've got it, and they have to play by the
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Seldom a day goes by when financial pages don't highlight new
developments in the marijuana industry.
So, this is who we are today. Former B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake
is now on the corporate board of a major marijuana company. Former
Toronto police chief and current MP Bill Blair is a point man on
marijuana legalization. Former B.C. Solicitor General and West
Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed is a consultant for marijuana
companies. The list of government and policing honchos who have jumped
on the bandwagon is substantial.
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They might be reluctantly legalizing cannabis. But they'll never stop
thinking they know better than us how we should live
The Canadian government announced this week that marijuana would be
legal for recreational in just under four months, by Oct. 17, 2018.
The intervening time will be used to get legal distribution networks
established and give provinces and police forces time to prepare for
And, the government probably hopes, for Canadians to decide they're
not so into this marijuana stuff, after all.
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OTTAWA - Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the government will
look at ways to make things fair for those who have criminal records
for marijuana possession after legalization comes into force.
Goodale says the question of pardoning individuals with criminal
records for possessing marijuana is legitimate and one the government
will pursue once the law takes effect. article continues below
Trending Stories Death of Comox Valley teen traced to toxic shock
syndrome Metal table smashed on head of officer confronting intruder
More people in capital travelling by bus, bike and on foot School
board backs $73M option to save Vic High exterior
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CALGARY - A report presented to city council on Monday recommends
allowing marijuana consumption in designated spaces at festivals and
The report, which council had yet to address as of press time, says
making an exception will help to move second-hand smoke away from
people who don't want to partake, while responding to "the current
realities of cannabis consumption at festivals and events.
Earlier in June, when council floated the possibility of modifying
bylaws to allow space for event attendees to smoke marijuana, Calgary
Folk Music Festival executive director Sara Leishman raised concerns
about the additional expense that events would have to take on "with
no opportunity to recoup costs through sales of sponsorship."
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VICTORIA - The economic cost of substance use in Canada in 2014 was
$38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian, says a report
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction partnered with the
Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to examine the data and
estimate the harms of substance use based on health, justice, lost
productivity and other costs. article continues below Trending Stories
Death of Comox Valley teen traced to toxic shock syndrome Metal table
smashed on head of officer confronting intruder More people in capital
travelling by bus, bike and on foot School board backs $73M option to
save Vic High exterior
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With the legalization of cannabis only a few months away, one of
Canadaas top medical organizations is warning women about the risks
the drug poses if used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of
Canada, marijuana use can lead to preterm birth and low birth weight,
as well as lower IQ and hyperactivity after a child is born.
aWe want to make sure women understand just because itas legal
doesnat mean itas safe,a said Jocelynn Cook, chief scientific
officer with the SOGC. aThe science does suggest there are effects
on pregnancy and on fetal development.a
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CALGARY - City council approved changes on Monday to allow areas in
Calgary where people can smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in public.
The city's Cannabis Consumption Bylaw prohibits public consumption in
all forms, even after marijuana becomes legal in October. Changes to
the bylaw will allow designated consumption areas both around the city
and at festivals and events.
The city says there are currently no proposed designated cannabis
consumption areas for Calgary's public spaces, but councillors can now
begin identifying potential sites.
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TORONTO - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday
marijuana will be legal nationwide on October 17.
Trudeau said in Parliament that the government is committed to better
protecting Canada's youth and hopes to take money away from organized
The Senate gave final passage to Trudeau's bill to legalize cannabis
on Tuesday. The country will become the second in the world to make
pot legal nationwide.
"The legislation is transformative," said Justice Minister Jody
Wilson-Raybould, adding it "marks a wholesale shift in how our country
approaches cannabis, leaving behind a failed model of
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The costs and benefits of cannabis and cannabis policies are difficult
to calculate, but cannabis legalization will remove many impediments
A recent study finding an association between chronic cannabis use by
young people and diminished life outcomes acknowledged "while we
controlled for multiple potential confounds, it is possible that there
are other explanatory mechanisms that have not been accounted for ...
in the current study."
Oddly, one of the confounds the study neglected to control for is the
self-medication of emotional and psychological problems such as ADHD
and PTSD, which typically stem from childhood trauma: abuse, neglect,
abandonment or, in some cases perhaps, an emotionally unavailable father.
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In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the
world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing
cannabis was operating.
As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can
we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the
western United States?
The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on
children and teens is largely unwarranted.
Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington
State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of
legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have
smoked pot in the previous month.
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Manitoba's Justice Minister is calling for federal legislation to
confirm that provinces can ban the home growth of marijuana plants.
"I think that is clear that is provincial jurisdiction to make that
decision. (But) I believe the federal (Justice) Minister made some
comments that were a little concerning, so we wanted clarification on
that," said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, following a speech to
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce members on cannabis legislation
Thursday. "We've called (for) some clarification from the federal
government. If they could put it specifically in legislation, that
would be best."
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People who have post-traumatic stress disorder but do not medicate
with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and
have suicidal thoughts than those who use marijuana, new national
Based on cross-country data from Statistics Canada, the observational
study by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Substance Use
shows that Canadians with PTSD who use medicinal cannabis are 60 per
cent to 65 per cent less likely to have major depressive episodes or
thoughts of suicide compared with those who do not treat their
symptoms with medical marijuana. The study is the first national-scale
indication of the effectiveness of cannabis at mitigating the hallmark
symptoms of PTSD. It was presented on Thursday at the annual
conference of the Canadian Public Health Association in Montreal.
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The government's leader in the Senate, Peter Harder, slammed the
committee's removal of the provision
OTTAWA - In a controversial move that may set up another showdown with
the House of Commons, a Senate committee voted on Wednesday night to
remove random alcohol testing from the government's impaired driving
The provision would allow police to demand a breathalyzer test from
any driver regardless of whether police had reasonable grounds to
believe the driver had consumed alcohol. Currently police need that
reasonable suspicion to make the breathalyzer demand, which drivers
are punished for refusing.
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Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and
her B.C. counterpart David Eby
Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves
and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all
grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.
Villano doesn't want that to change when marijuana is legalized later
this year, and she's among the proponents of local craft cannabis who
are pushing the federal and provincial governments to ensure its survival.
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Edmonton police will need about $1.4 million in ongoing and one-time
funding to prepare for marijuana legalization this summer, a report to
the police commission states.
Cannabis is set to become legal in Canada this summer and with it
comes higher policing costs, the Edmonton Police Commission heard Thursday.
Police officials outlined a laundry list of new technology and
training needed to enforce legal weed laws. Last month, the city
approved $1.4 million in one-time and ongoing funding to help the
police service deal with the impact of legal weed.
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Researchers have long been intrigued by the intoxicating effects of
the world's most popular illicit drug. Here's how pot affects your
body and mind
When neurologist Frances Ames began testing the effects of a single
dose of cannabis sativa on a group of her medical colleagues who were,
on the whole, "articulate and fairly stable people," the onset of
abnormal sensations "was always abrupt and immediate." One was
sustained hilarity. "The whole idea of the experiment," Ames reported
in 1958 in the Journal of Mental Science, "would suddenly seem
enormously amusing." Researchers have long been intrigued by the
intoxicating effects of the world's most popular illicit drug. Here's
everything you need to know about how pot affects your body and mind.
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Some time this summer, marijuana will be legal in Canada. It's
already legal in Washington state and has been for four years.
But Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth warned this week that
there's a significant problem looming at the border crossing,
because it's still going to be illegal there.
It makes no sense whatsoever, but the U.S. federal government controls
the border crossing, and marijuana is still nominally illegal in the
"People [meaning, cannabis users] are going to naturally assume, on
either side of the border, that they cross back and forth because
it's legal in each jurisdiction,a" told the house. "But the
reality is it will not be legal at that federal border crossing."
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