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1 CN AB: Editorial: A Pot Revolution Comes To CanadaSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:92 Added:04/22/2017

The right prices and levels of taxation must be set. If they're too low, people might be tempted to overindulge. If they're too high, criminals will provide cheaper alternatives.

In case you missed it, the federal government has just sown the seeds for a full-blown social revolution in Canada.

Last Thursday, just before the Easter long weekend started, the Liberals tabled legislation that will legalize and regulate the production, sale and use of recreational marijuana in this country starting in the summer of 2018.

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2 CN BC: Is This Pot Prohibition 2.0?Fri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:190 Added:04/22/2017

Nelson-Creston candidate calls federal legislation announcement 'draconian'

The stakes are high.

Members of the Kootenay craft cannabis community are worried federal legalization will leave them out in the cold, and are concerned the new laws will be invasive and draconian - leading some to dub the Cannabis Act "Prohibition 2.0."

With the cannabis industry making up an estimated 25 to 35 per cent of the local economy, the potential effects of legalization on the Nelson community will be far-reaching. Sensible B.C.'s local representative Herb Couch is one of the voices speaking out against elements of the new law and calling on both provincial and municipal politicians to take action.

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3 CN ON: Oped: Safety Top Priority In New Cannabis LawsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Tribune, The (CN ON) Author:Goodale, Ralph Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:04/22/2017

If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure.

From the very beginning, health and safety objectives have been in the forefront of our approach to cannabis. The new legislation we introduced last week reflects that - to do a better job of protecting our kids and fighting crime.

We have benefited from the thorough, balanced and thoughtful advice of an expert task force which gathered the best available data, medical and legal input, the experiences of other jurisdictions around the world and the views of a vast array of Canadians. Our proposals are in line with their recommendations.The new law would create a strong framework for legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting the use of cannabis:

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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 Canada: LTE: Weed WorriesWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:O'Meara, William Area:Canada Lines:26 Added:04/22/2017

Your editorial covers the many issues around the legalization of marijuana that have had extensive coverage in past months (The Countdown To Legalization Begins, April 17).

I am open to the legalization process. However, what seems to be missing is a discussion on second-hand smoke. What about those who do not wish to smoke pot or share secondhand fumes? Are safeguards needed for the interests of all segments of the population? Are there hazards that are not being addressed?

John Loewy, Saskatoon

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6 Canada: PUB LTE: Weed WorriesWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:O'Meara, William Area:Canada Lines:32 Added:04/22/2017

Most of the critics of the new marijuana legislation complain that it will affect people's health and, thus, legalization will contribute to poor health outcomes. What are these people smoking? People already smoke marijuana - Canada has one of the highest rates of marijuana usage in the world. Do these naysayers seriously expect that, upon legalization, the population is going to run out, en masse, and begin smoking marijuana?

Teens smoking marijuana will be a problem. The evidence is becoming clear that smoking at an early age can lead to mental health problems. But teens smoke marijuana now, and their supply is likely contaminated with mould, pesticides and who knows what else. At least under legalization, the quality can be controlled, people working in the industry will pay taxes (as opposed to criminals who do not), and police will be free to pursue more important things. Legalization is not a panacea, but it's a lot better than the status quo.

William O'Meara, Toronto

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7CN AB: Usual Crowd Expected At 4/20 Marijuana EventThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Edmonton's police chief says he doesn't expect a larger than usual 4/20 gathering Thursday as the city prepares for legal marijuana.

"I imagine we'll get a few people there, but nothing that's really on the radar we're concerned about," Chief Rod Knecht said Wednesday.

The annual smoke-up at the Alberta legislature could be one of the last under existing marijuana laws, as the Trudeau government prepares to legalize the drug.

The Liberals introduced bills this month to legalize and regulate marijuana by July 2018.

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8 CN MB: From Protest To PartyThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Cash, Martin Area:Manitoba Lines:114 Added:04/22/2017

With legalization on the horizon, today's 4/20 gathering will be a celebration

For as long as anyone can remember, the annual 4/20 gathering at the Manitoba legislature grounds was about protesting the country's harsh marijuana laws. Police would be out in force to keep an eye on a rag-tag group of stoners, rarely arresting anyone unless things got out of hand.

This year's event, which begins at noon today, has a much more celebratory tone since legislation is in the works to legalize the recreational use of pot.

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9 CN BC: Column: Is Marijuana The Miracle Drug Pot Pushers Claim?Thu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Slivinski, Ada Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:04/22/2017

There are some pretty substantial medicinal claims around marijuana. Children who no longer have seizures thanks to cannabis oil, symptoms of multiple sclerosis stalled or in some cases reversed thanks to the drug.

I've spoken with many people who say marijuana has drastically changed their lives for the better and that they would not be functioning at anywhere near the level they are today without it.

I spent one afternoon with Chris Nelson, the coowner of Weeds South Van, and he spoke openly and frankly about the desperation that led him to try giving his wife cannabis oil and the drastic way it has changed both of their lives for the better. While I was at the shop I also met a young man who became addicted to opioids after his leg was amputated and doctors prescribed him meds for the pain. He credits pot with helping him kick the habit by easing some of the downsickness that comes with withdrawal. He now works at Weeds and says many of the people who come through the door have used marijuana for the same reason.

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10 CN ON: LTE: We Need More Weed Like Hole In HeadThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Pomian, Rafal Area:Ontario Lines:32 Added:04/22/2017

Everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana will increase its use. Other places that have done it confirm the trend. Doesn't that mean there will be more drug users, more drivers under the influence and more health problems?

So why are we doing it? Has the federal government discovered new money that it will have to give to the provinces who are stuck implementing it? Or is this yet another ill-thought election promise that is hitting the fan?

Especially the young are at risk, and the age limit of 18 is a joke. Kids can get it now when it's illegal, so how much easier will it be to get when it's legal?

Weed is an additional health risk that Canadians need like a hole in the head.

Rafal Pomian, Ottawa

[end]

11CN BC: Column: Why Are Provincial Politicians Staying Mum OnWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Campaigning provincial politicians have dozens of changes in mind for B.C., but they are scarcely talking about the major adjustment that's coming, regardless of who wins the May 9 election.

For all the competing visions being outlined by provincial leaders, the federal government's move to legalize marijuana is going to be the single biggest revamp on the social and political scene. It was introduced last week and could be in effect by next summer. Still, Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns have scarcely taken notice.

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12CN AB: Editorial: Work Must Exclude PotThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Adding to the many concerns and ambiguities clouding the Trudeau government's rush to legalize recreational marijuana use in Canada, the energy sector has exposed a significant void in the proposed rollout.

Enform, the oilpatch safety organization, is justifiably concerned that proposed federal laws tabled in the House of Commons last week do not include regulations on workplace safety.

It's urging Ottawa and provincial leaders - though the federal cannabis task force - to harmonize labour rules to ban marijuana use in workplaces where safety could be compromised. In Alberta, that would include most oil and gas operations.

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13 CN SN: Letter: Goodale Writes About Marijuana LegalizationWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN) Author:Goodale, Ralph Area:Saskatchewan Lines:115 Added:04/22/2017

Dear editor,

If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing to organized crime-then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure.

Law enforcement agencies in Canada spend an estimated $2-3 billion a year trying to fight pot, yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world. And criminals walk away with $7-8 billion every year in illicit proceeds. We have to do better.

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14CN ON: Police To Continue To Enforce Marijuana LawsWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Samba, Mugoli Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Chief says officers will arrest and charge users since pot not legal until July 2018

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick says that police will keep enforcing current marijuana laws - including during "4/20" celebrations planned in Windsor on Thursday - despite the Trudeau government's intention to legalize its use.

"Today, marijuana is illegal," Frederick said in a scrum with reporters following the unveiling of Windsor police's 150th anniversary cruiser Tuesday. "And anybody who (illegally) possesses or traffics marijuana today is subject to prosecution. No question."

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15 CN ON: 4-20 Needed More Than Ever: ActivistsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Ottawa, CN ON) Author:May, Drew Area:Ontario Lines:49 Added:04/22/2017

Weed community isn't fully behind legalization plans

With marijuana legalization tabled - and ahead of April 20, as promised by the governing Liberals - some Ottawa activists say they aren't confident the new laws will reflect the concerns of the cannabis community.

Mike Foster, owner of Crosstown Traffic, a sponsor of Ottawa's 4-20 event, said there will be mixed emotions at the April 20 event on Parliament Hill.

"Some people are going to be celebrating this, what they perceive as a newfound liberation," Foster said. "Anyone who actually reads the whole document is going to realize there's not much there to celebrate."

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16 CN BC: Editorial: 4/20 A Headache For TrudeauThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:120 Added:04/22/2017

April 20 is 4/20 on the calendar, the numerical slang long used by marijuana enthusiasts to signify lighting up. This year's 4/20 has major significance because this will be the last year the current laws of the land apply. By this day next year, recreational use of marijuana by Canadian citizens 19 years and older will be legal.

More than any other, this election promise made by Justin Trudeau's Liberals shows that Team Sunny Ways didn't really believe they'd win the 2015 federal election.

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17 Canada: Pharmacy Distributors Want In On Canada's Legalized MarijuanaThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:Canada Lines:71 Added:04/22/2017

OTTAWA - 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 said in an interview Wednesday, 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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18 Canada: Editorial: Before We Legalize, DecriminalizeThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:103 Added:04/22/2017

The Trudeau government has put itself and many Canadians in a bind with the announcement that it will legalize marijuana by July of next year.

On the one hand, Canada has made it clear that the war on this particular drug is over - a decision based on pot's popularity and ready availability in this country, and in the knowledge that criminalizing its sale and possession for personal use is more harmful, on balance, than allowing its consumption in a tightly regulated market.

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19 Canada: O'Leary Backs Marijuana LegalizationThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Stone, Laura Area:Canada Lines:140 Added:04/22/2017

Other Conservative candidates have expressed mixed reactions to the Liberals' proposal to overturn prohibition of the drug

Conservative leadership candidates are split over marijuana policy, with Kevin O'Leary the only serious contender voicing support for legalization and Maxime Bernier refusing to say whether he'll vote in favour of the Liberal legislation to lift the prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis.

Mr. O'Leary said up to 30 per cent of the population uses the drug medicinally and recreationally, and he believes the Conservative Party membership understands it has to embrace "a much larger constituency."

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20 CN BC: 4/20 Organizers Say Protests Still NecessaryThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:110 Added:04/22/2017

With Canada now well on its way to legal recreational marijuana, what is there left for activists to protest at Vancouver's annual 4/20 event?

Plenty, according to organizers of the massive gathering, which is scheduled to happen this Thursday (April 20) at Sunset Beach in the city's West End.

In a telephone interview, Canada's most prominent advocate for marijuana reform, Jodie Emery, was highly critical of legislation the Liberal government tabled in Parliament on April 13.

"It is prohibition 2.0," she told the Georgia Straight. "It is not legalization. It is a continuation of the kind of criminalization that we've seen before, with the introduction of even harsher laws that will victimize even more peaceful Canadians."

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