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1CN AB: Pot Fans At 4/20 Rally Divided On Merits Of Legalization BillFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Marijuana could be legal in Canada next year, but whether what comes next will be better has users of the drug divided.

Throngs of pot smokers gathered on the Alberta legislature grounds Thursday for one of the last 4/20 rallies before marijuana is legalized next year.

On April 13, the Trudeau government introduced a bill to legalize and regulate the sale and possession of marijuana by July 2018.

While some 4/20 attendees were happy to see the drug become legal, others said the law won't make life better for cannabis users. While U.S. states including Colorado and Washington now have legal pot, Canada would be just the second country to legalize the drug.

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2CN AB: Calgary Catches Up On Cannabis CultureFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Upcoming weed expo at Stampede Park expected to match Edmonton trade show

Taboos over marijuana are going up in smoke, supercharging cannabis expos in Alberta, including one taking seed in Calgary next month, say organizers.

Fuelled by a buzz over impending national legalization and eight U.S. states that have dropped pot prohibition, an Edmonton trade show held in early April exceeded attendance expectations, said Kevin Blackburn of organizer Canwest Productions.

"We were hoping for 3,000 to 5,000 people and we doubled that," he said.

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3CN ON: Rain Puts A Damper On Marijuana FestivalFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Samba, Mugoli Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

A handful of marijuana users gathered under clouds of rain and smoke Thursday to hear cannabis advocates speak at Charles Clark Square in Windsor's first 4/20 Festival.

But despite the Facebook event's call that "thousands of patients" would be in attendance, the event attracted less than 40 people at any one time in the opening hours.

"They're coming, they're going, they're coming back," said event organizer Leo Lucier.

By 4:30 p.m., around 80 people were in attendance, and Lucier said he hoped more might come after work. He said that about 500 people have been "in and out of the event" throughout the day.

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4 CN ON: Veterans With PTSD Hail Medical PotMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Coyle, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:114 Added:04/25/2017

Ex-soldiers tell trade show how natural drug has helped them battle war's after-effects

Trev Bungay says the horror began in 1998 when he was among Canadian soldiers scouring the beaches of Nova Scotia in cleanup operations after the crash of a Swissair jet just off the Atlantic coast.

"That was really my look at trauma for the very first time," Bungay told a panel discussion on Sunday at the inaugural O'Cannabiz Conference and Expo.

Then came international missions in Africa, Bosnia, Haiti and four combat tours in Afghanistan.

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5 CN BC: Oped: Marijuana Bill Leaves Unanswered QuestionsMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Albas, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:04/25/2017

Last week, the Liberal government introduced the much anticipated marijuana legalization bill, technically known as Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act.

First let me state that the Liberals clearly campaigned on legalizing marijuana and I have heard from several citizens who indicated this was one of the primary reasons they voted Liberal in the last election. I mention this point as I believe the Liberal government does have a democratic mandate to move forward with this legislation.

From a quick overview, this bill takes a similar approach I used with my wine bill that removes federal barriers, but still allows provinces to enact and adopt their own rules and regulations with respect to marijuana legislation.

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6 CN MB: Lighting Up At The LegislatureFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Olson, Matthew Area:Manitoba Lines:108 Added:04/25/2017

Marijuana enthusiasts gather to celebrate annual holiday in haze of smoke

THE rain may have thinned the crowds - and clouds of smoke - at the Winnipeg 4/20 celebration Thursday, but cannabis supporters still kept their spirits high and their joints lit.

People gathered together on the lawn and sidewalks outside of the Manitoba legislature for the event held every April 20. More planning went into this year's festivities than ever before, with vendors and food trucks lining the street.

This year was a bit different than it has been in the past. Now that the federal Liberal government has tabled a bill to make marijuana legal by Canada Day in 2018, there is cause for celebration - and some frustration.

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7CN ON: Parliament Hill's 4-20 Party Had An Extra Buzz This YearFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

The annual celebration of cannabis on Parliament Hill had extra resonance this year, coming just a week after the federal government introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

But for many in the sea of young people at the 4-20 rally, it was also the year's best pot party. They sat in groups, fiddling with water pipes and bongs, puffing on joints, and pulling snacks from backpacks.

Organizers estimated the crowd as upward of 10,000; Hill security officers pegged it closer to 6,000.

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8 CN ON: Column: Pot Laws Looked Like They'd Never Change. Then, WhamFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Salutin, Rick Area:Ontario Lines:104 Added:04/25/2017

People celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, though they're inevitable. Since you never know the precise moment of a WHAM, it should be worth a cheer

Deep social change happens so slowly it looks like nothing is happening. Not just over years, but decades, maybe longer. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Then, WHAM. The imminent legalization of (non-medical) marijuana is a perfect example. Its perfectness even has a generational, father to son, symmetry.

Back in 1969, the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau appointed a royal commission to recommend policy on marijuana. Its head was a future Supreme Court justice. They heard hundreds of witnesses, including John Lennon, and in 1973, reported. Two of the three members recommended decriminalization for possession and cultivation; the third supported legalization. No one suggested keeping it criminal. It must have been what Trudeau wanted. You always select people knowing what they'll give you. Then, nothing, nothing, nothing - till the son. Why finally now? Who knows? But that's how it goes: there is social ferment, yet no official policy or law reflects it. You feel it's hopeless. Then it bursts forth whole. Too bad for devotees of the cause who died in the interim.

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9CN ON: Column: There's No Room For Doubters On Pot BandwagonSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Henderson, Gord Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

Fifty years on, I still wince in recalling those two frightened high school kids I saw hauled into an Oshawa courtroom and handed stiff jail terms, two years less a day, for possessing minuscule amounts of marijuana.

They weren't dealers. They were just teens dabbling in the latest thing, but they had the misfortune of being the first "drug arrests" in a tough, beer-swilling automotive city that was close to hysteria over the arrival of dirty, long-haired hippies and their damn weed.

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10 CN ON: LTE: There Are Problems With Legalized PotSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Khan, Muneer Ahmad Area:Ontario Lines:35 Added:04/25/2017

Drugs should be used as a last option. By making cannabis more available, we are promoting it as a first option.

Dr. John Goodhew, who supports cannabis use for therapeutic applications, such as pain, says it can be difficult for physicians to filter out those who want the drug just to get high.

It's no surprise that more and more Canadians are asking their doctors for medical marijuana. And we cannot deny the harmful effects of the drug. We should focus our energy on why Canadians turn to marijuana and help them leave it, as much as possible.

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11Canada: Medicine Distributors Say They Offer 'Proven Solution' ToSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

The federal government's plans for legalizing recreational marijuana has many would-be players looking to carve out a role for themselves in the emerging market, including pharmaceutical distributors who already ship drugs across the country.

The Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management - a supplier of medicine for pharmacies and hospitals - says it has a ready-made system for marijuana distribution that they say is far superior to mail-order pot.

Pharmaceutical distributors offer a more appropriate vehicle for the recreational marijuana market, CEO David Johnston, noting they already have the infrastructure in place to handle potential recalls, be it in downtown Toronto or remote northern Ontario.

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12Canada: Column: Important Questions On LegalizationFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Souza, Fr . Raymond Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

The federal government slipped its marijuana bill into the House the day before Good Friday, with almost no one around to ask questions. The government itself had few answers to the more pressing issues, leaving most important matters to be determined later, by other levels of government. So in the same spirit, herewith various questions that do not appear to have adequate answers.

What is the social good that marijuana legalization is intended to achieve? The arguments for legalization - removing the burden on the criminal justice system, not impeding future career prospects with a youthful criminal conviction, removing the scope for organized crime - are negative in nature, getting rid of various supposed bad things. But what is the good that we can expect from making marijuana more readily available? Is there any? Can we expect greater labour productivity, higher educational achievement, enhanced physical fitness, a lower carbon footprint, a better equalization system?

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13Canada: Column: Nice Pot Law There, LiberalsFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:McParland, Kelly Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

There's always been something a bit odd about the great marijuana legalization crusade. Supporters, eager to avoid being seen as a bunch of frustrated pot-heads who just wanted easier access, put forward solid, practical arguments.

They pointed out that the war against drugs wasn't working: anyone could see that. People who wanted pot would find a way to get it, no matter how illegal it might be. Police time was wasted chasing kids with a few grams of marijuana, and branding young people as criminals for a bit of pot was a crime in itself. Criminalization just paved the way for organized crime to peddle the stuff to kids, with no controls and huge profits. It made no sense.

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14 CN ON: Editorial: High Taxes On Pot Will Help CriminalsMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:61 Added:04/25/2017

If the Liberals insist on legalizing marijuana before July 1, 2018, then they need to get it right. Canadians are learning that's easier said than done.

There are many hurdles - from health to enforcement to taxation - that the feds, provinces and families need to grapple with before then.

As Conservative leadership candidate and doctor Kellie Leitch wrote in a recent Sun guest column, medical research shows "young people who use marijuana have lower high school graduation rates, which puts their future in jeopardy. Worse, the science shows that marijuana use in 18- to 25-year-olds can result in brain deformities."

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15 CN MB: Editorial: Pot Law Needs Plenty Of WorkSun, 23 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:58 Added:04/24/2017

The federal government's proposed bill for legalizing marijuana expands police powers, sets new mandatory penalties for illegal possession, and boosts prison sentences for lawbreakers. That all sounds pretty tough.

But the legislation also downloads some difficult decision-making on to provincial authorities, and from there on to municipalities and local police. That part's going to be tougher.

For example: Where will legal cannabis be sold? The 130-page federal bill leaves this crucial detail to the province. Will it be in your local liquor store? At a corner store but hidden, like cigarettes? From some other outlet? Mail order only? And how close to a school or youth centre can sales take place? About all we know is you can't sell cannabis from a vending machine.

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16 CN ON: LTE: Just Say No To MarijuanaFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON) Author:Hanysh, Marion Area:Ontario Lines:41 Added:04/24/2017

Former prime minister Stephen Harper started the ball rolling, and present Prime Minister Justin (Pierre Jr.) Trudeau picked up on it and looks like he's going to run with it, legalizing marijuana.

As if we haven't got enough problems with drinking, driving, texting and myriad other distractions to keep people "safe from harm."

Medical marijuana is a fallacy, dreamed up by some potheads so they can smoke illicit drugs legally.

Duh. I have two adult children and five teenage grandchildren, and hopefully they won't get caught up in the usage of same.

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17CN SN: Pot Law Will Affect Health System: DoctorsFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Charlton, Jonathan Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

The era of legal weed will require broad investments in public health, according to the Saskatchewan Medical Association.

Legislation alone is inadequate, president Dr. Intheran Pillay said.

"I think expanding the access to support services such as mental health and substance use services would be important. I think it would be important to expand access to training programs in addiction medicine and I think it's important to make extensive educational resources on the risks of harm to youth and others available, as well."

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18 CN ON: High-profile Fans Endorse Burgeoning Pot IndustrySun, 23 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Coyle, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:97 Added:04/24/2017

World-class athletes attend Toronto cannabis trade show

Anyone hoping to find a stoner scene worthy of a Jeff Spiccoli pipe dream at the conference would be disappointed

There can't be much that better illustrates the mainstreaming of cannabis in North American culture than an industry "trade show" at which two world-class athletes endorse the product and muse about a day when pot companies will sponsor pro sports arenas. With the Liberal government promising to legalize marijuana by Canada Day 2018, the era of marijuana prohibition is over, Olympic gold medallist Ross Rebagliati told the O'Cannabiz Conference and Expo in Toronto on Saturday.

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19CN AB: Column: Get Ready For The Stoner Next DoorSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Spencer, Christina Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

"Stoners are nice," said Samantha, a happy participant in Thursday's 4-20 celebrations on Parliament Hill. "Honestly, we're like a great big family."

So went the blissful murmurings among cannabis users at the annual homage. With 6,000 people toking on the lawn in front of Centre Block - - the prime minister was not in town to bask in the glow of their happiness - you'd think recreational marijuana use was already legal.

It isn't yet, and may not be even by July 1, 2018, the target date the Trudeau government has set. Barely a week after four ministers and a parliamentary secretary were trotted out to introduce the pertinent legislation, it's becoming clear what a complicated business this is going to be.

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20CN BC: Distribution For Local Pot Growers Still On Foggy SideSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

Even with last week's tabling of the marijuana legalization bill, it's still unclear what the distribution system will look like, says Shawn Galbraith of Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. His company recently received approval from Health Canada to be a licensed producer of medical cannabis.

"Basically, as far as distribution, it's up to each province to decide how they want to distribute it and tax it, so there's a whole bunch of different models being floated out there right now," Galbraith said.

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