Colin Perkel writes the upcoming legalization of marijuana is unlikely
to kill Canada's black market - right away, at least
TORONTO - From texting a local dealer to dropping into a neighbourhood
dispensary or ordering online, Canada's black market for recreational
marijuana has seen significant changes in recent years and, no doubt,
will see more as the country hurtles toward a new world of
legalization next summer.
What does seem clear, however, is that the illegal market is unlikely
to disappear in a puff of smoke come legalization day.
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TORONTO-Communities across Ontario cannot opt out of hosting a
government-run pot shop if they are selected for a site, the
provincial government said Friday after at least one town expressed
resistance to having a cannabis retail location.
If a community is selected to host one of the marijuana shops, it
could delay hosting the store but cannot completely opt out of having
it, said Ontario's Ministry of Finance.
"As we roll out the next phase of stores, we will continue to engage
with municipalities on an ongoing basis including with those
municipalities who may not be ready for a store opening in July 2018,"
said Jessica Martin, spokesperson for Finance Minister Charles Sousa.
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Health officials are disappointed that the province has set the legal
age for marijuana consumption at 19 years.
The consensus among provincial and national health organizations is
that the minimum age should be 21, and some believe it should be even
older, said Dr. Phil Tibbo, director of the Nova Scotia Early
Psychosis Program and a psychiatry professor at Dalhousie University.
"Regular cannabis use can actually have a significant impact on brain
development up until about your mid-20s," he said in an interview Thursday.
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LCBO advises city that Peterborough will have one of the first 40
marijuana stores to open in Ontario
Peterborough will have a marijuana store by next summer, says the city
Allan Seabrooke said the store will sell marijuana for recreational
use. He said it will be open by July - the same month weed is going to
be legalized in Canada.
In an email to The Examiner, Seabrooke wrote that the store will be
operated by a subsidiary of the LCBO and will sell only cannabis - not
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Unprecedented support shown for drug accused
In an unprecedented show of support for an accused, some 80 people
crowded into two Sydney courtrooms Friday to attend a bail hearing for
a man charged with drug trafficking.
The crowd left the Sydney Justice Centre cheering and clapping and
drove away beeping their horns in showing their extreme pleasure with
the decision to grant bail.
Provincial court Judge Peter Ross allowed the release of Donald James
Campbell, 38, who is charged with two counts of possession for the
purpose of trafficking, involving marijuana and hashish. He faces an
additional drug charge of growing marijuana.
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B.C.'s NDP government is right to get ahead of the curve and establish
a framework for distributing and regulating recreational cannabis in
advance of the federal government legalizing it next July.
But the plan still has some shortcomings that should be addressed
before we legally light up our sativa and enjoy what one vendor
described as its spicy, earthy flavours.
B.C. intends to make marijuana available at public and private retail
outlets, supplied exclusively by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch.
The government has determined that people age 19 and over will be
allowed to buy it.
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The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission is a good choice for managing
Prince Edward Island's new marijuana stores. The LCC is well equipped
for developing policy and providing oversight.
It is also good that the provincial government has decided its pot
sales will be conducted from different storefronts than its liquor
It just gets the right message out there: If it is not good for the
PEILCC to sell liquor and pot from the same premises, it's not good
for a consumer to mix liquor and pot.
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Smoke-free means smoke-free at Sault Area Hospital - whether that
applies to tobacco fixes or toking up.
Sault Area Hospital currently has a no-cigarette policy that
encompasses its entire property, which will apply once recreational
pot becomes legal in Canada next summer.
"We have a no-smoking policy, so that would apply to smoking marijuana
on our property," SAH president and CEO Ron Gagnon told The Sault Star.
SAH's policy includes all buildings, parking lots, the Hub Trail
running along the eastern edge of the hospital grounds, roads
encircling the hospital leading to and from both Great Northern Road
and Third Line and wooded and grass areas to the south and west of the
emergency department and helipad.
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As we stumble down the cobblestones on the uneven and relatively
unchartered path to marijuana legalization, we're bound to trip once
But so far, we have to give props to the provincial government for
appearing to get it right.
So far we have agreed with the legal age of 18, we accept the
private/public sales model and, for the most part, agree with rules on
where you can and can't smoke up.
This week's successful negotiation with the federal government on tax
revenue is another case in point.
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A funeral home in Aldergrove decided they needed to do something after
seeing so many heartbroken families lose loved ones to a drug
overdose. The funeral directors have put together an awareness and
prevention campaign that does aim to shock people about how deadly
In an unusual move, the BC Coroner's Office has come out against
Alternative Funeral and Cremation Service's awareness campaign, saying
scare tactics don't work, they only further stigmatize drug users.
While it's true the D.A.R.E. program and Just Say No hasn't been
successful in deterring youth from trying hard drugs, it likely did
impact a few kids here and there. And at this point in this fentanyl
epidemic - reaching anyone is better than doing nothing. It isn't
costing taxpayers anything.
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Coming soon marijuana, a magical weed that feeds and gives the brain a
Say goodbye, to yesterday's fix in the coffee shop, a journey awaits
that can put you over the top.
Grow your own weed a thing called pot. Roll a joint, you'll like it a
Let's light up the world and create more smoke, then pray that Mother
Nature doesn't choke.
Booze and guns were given a shot but failed to get it done, where
smoke from pot may block light from a blazing sun.
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Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said more information should come in
Though the Province of B.C. has unveiled part of their distribution
model for legal cannabis, Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said more
information is needed before city hall can start generating ideas
about how to deal with the changes.
"In spring, we will start going out to get information to better
gauge, with the community and stakeholders, to help determine how many
do we want, how many is enough and what should we be putting in our
own regulations to deal with the zoning and placement of dispensaries
when they become legalized later in the year," said Jakubeit. "We need
to, in early spring, start addressing it and by that time the province
should be unveiling more information to help us formulate a plan."
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Legal doesn't mean light up whenever you want
Ever since, and probably long before, the federal Liberals started the
process to legalize marijuana, some people have been equating
legalization with deregulation.
That was never in the cards. Saying 'But it's legal now, mannnnnnn,'
after blowing smoke in a cop's face isn't going to carry much weight
as he confiscates your joint or outfits you with a pair of pretty
The announcement this week that B.C.'s Liquor Distribution branch will
have responsibility for distribution of non-medical marijuana
shouldn't have come as a surprise, though it seems it did for many.
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Like all parents, Nadine Remington wants to know her nine-year-old son
is safe while on school property.
But, the increasing problem of drug use on school property after hours
is heightening fears for her and other parents.
Earlier this week, Remington was told by her son who is in Grade 4 at
Queen's Park School that people were living in a shed on the school's
property and that he had seen a needle and matches nearby.
After a similar experience of the boy finding drug paraphernalia at
KVR Middle School while at camp this summer, she took his claims
seriously and headed out to the school to see it herself. Remington
and her husband didn't find anyone in the shed, but there was evidence
suggesting someone was living in it recently and a needle on the
ground at the door.
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"Merely having a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you're using
marijuana. We can't prove you're using marijuana. Our practice of
having them turn in their firearms was incorrect," Honolulu police
Chief Susan Ballard said of her department's controversial policy
requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns.
Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said her department's
controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to
relinquish their guns was wrong.
"It is not illegal to possess the ones you already have," Ballard told
the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday. "Merely having a medical
marijuana card doesn't mean you're using marijuana. We can't prove
you're using marijuana. Our practice of having them turn in their
firearms was incorrect."
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Province's age restriction, home-growing ban lack common
GOVERNMENTS in Canada have been playing politics with marijuana for
some time now. The promise to legalize cannabis helped Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau and his federal Liberals achieve a majority government
in 2015, and now provincial governments across the country are coming
to grips with legalization according to their own political principles.
Some provincial governments (Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick) are
creating Crown corporations to be the legal marijuana dealers. Others
(Manitoba, Alberta, Newfoundland) are letting the private sector run
the stores. British Columbia just announced a retail solution that
will include both the public and private sectors.
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One thing the government's round of cannabis consultation discovered
is how firmly established the underground marijuana business is in
The legalization of marijuana next July across Canada is going to be a
dramatic change. But judging by the interest groups that made
submissions on how to go about it, it's a relatively short hop in B.C.
from the current situation to the historic new regime. They're already
organized, up-front and pretty open about what's going on.
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First Nations leaders say they must be given the right to govern the
sale and distribution of legalized marijuana within their communities
and to set the laws that will oversee its use by their people.
Chiefs attending an annual conference of the Assembly of First Nations
(AFN) on Wednesday expressed wide-ranging views on the federal Liberal
government's plan for legalizing cannabis by next July 1.
Some told the assembly they have not had enough time or money to
prepare for the change and urged the AFN to ask for a delay in the
implementation of Bill C-45, which would make marijuana legal in
Canada for the first time in 94 years.
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Re: Legalization of recreational weed unlikely to kill pot black market
right away, Published online Dec. 4
In trying to push out organized crime from the marijuana trade, Canada
will try to succeed at a task it has failed in other places.
Contraband tobacco is the lesson that Canada, and especially Ontario,
refuses to learn. Illegal cigarettes are a major problem, with about
one third of all cigarettes purchased in Ontario being illegal. The
RCMP has identified 175 criminal gangs involved in the trade, who use
the profits to deal in other illicit activities, including guns, drugs
and human smuggling.
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Council does not want LCBO's legal dispensary to be located in
"Thanks but no thanks."
That was the answer Monday night from local councillors to a
suggestion Richmond Hill should be one of the first host towns for
legal recreational marijuana sales.
The town of Richmond Hill received a letter Nov. 28 from the Ministry
of Finance announcing a cannabis store may be coming to town in July
"We are not interested," Mayor Dave Barrow said at a committee of the
whole meeting this week.
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