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81 CN AB: Pot-Impaired Driving Bill UnveiledWed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Cameron, Elizabeth Area:Alberta Lines:75 Added:11/15/2017

Police say they're satisfied with provincial legislation Calgary

There is currently zero tolerance for any alcohol in the system of a new driver in Alberta, and the province announced it intends to extend that ban to include marijuana.

Alberta began putting the legislative pieces in place for legalized marijuana on Tuesday, starting with changes to align its rules with pending federal Criminal Code amendments.

"Impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death and injury in Canada,'' Transportation Minister Brian Mason said after introducing Bill 29 in the legislature. "If this bill passes, it will support our government's goal of zero impairment (and) related collisions and fatalities on Alberta roads.''

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82 CN AB: NDP Open To Talk Of Decriminalizing Harder DrugsTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:88 Added:11/14/2017

Alberta's NDP government has no position on decriminalizing hard drugs but is open to the conversation around the issue, associate health minister Brandy Payne said Monday.

As Ottawa moves toward legalizing recreational cannabis next year, recently elected federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has called for the decriminalization of personal possession of all drugs to help combat the escalating problems with opioids.

Speaking to reporters, Payne said Alberta has not looked at the idea of decriminalization, noting that the designation of drugs as legal or illegal is a federal responsibility.

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83CN AB: Column: Private Pot And A Leaderless Alberta PartySat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Thomson, Graham Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/13/2017

Alberta is definitely going to pot.

But privately, not publicly.

According to a good old fashioned scoop by my colleague Emma Graney, the government will introduce legislation next week to allow the private sector to sell marijuana in stand-alone stores starting July of next year.

Thus endeth the big mystery over whether pot sales would be done through privately owned shops or government-controlled outlets.

These "hemporiums" (I'm really hoping that catches on) will be run much like our private liquor stores that are located all over the place, making a beer run much more convenient than the days of yore (before 1993) when Alberta's government-run liquor stores were the only game in town.

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84 CN AB: Alberta To Fight Ottawa's Cannabis-Tax 'Clawback'Sat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Cryderman, Kelly Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:11/13/2017

Alberta will introduce legislation as soon as next week to allow the establishment of private cannabis stores, and will also launch a battle with Ottawa over how to split the tax revenue from the drug sales.

Late Friday, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci held a news conference to slam the federal government's proposal that Ottawa get 50 per cent of the excise tax on marijuana products. The provinces and territories would receive the other half.

Ottawa's claim to a large share of the $1 a gram, or 10 per cent of the producer's sale price, is not fair, Mr. Ceci contends. The provinces and municipalities, not Ottawa, will be responsible for related costs, such as policing, education and other implementation work.

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85CN AB: Province Slams Ottawa Over Proposed Split On LegalizedSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/13/2017

The provincial government's plan to allow legal marijuana sales at privately owned stores has the business community optimistic about potential opportunities.

Less impressed is Finance Minister Joe Ceci, who was grinding his teeth Friday at the federal government's proposed 50/50 split in tax revenue from pot sales.

"I'm not sure what the federal government is smoking, but I can tell you that's not going to work for Alberta," he told media.

Provinces and municipalities are bearing the brunt of the responsibility around legalized pot sales, he argued, so it's unfair for the federal government to swoop in and grab half of the cash.

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86 CN AB: Important To Be Informed About Marijuana, SACPA ToldFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Schnarr, J. W. Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:11/13/2017

A discussion on medicinal marijuana, its uses and who is using it was the on the menu at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs' weekly speakers series.

Dr. Ife Abiola, medical director for the 420 Clinic, spoke on the drug and gave anecdotal information on many of the patents seen at the clinic.

He said it is important for local residents to get informed on the drug ahead of impending national legalization.

"This is going to be changing a lot of different facets of our lives," he said. "You can expect to be seeing whether it's through a medical clinic, dispensary or other people just using in a ubiquitous way in our lives. Everyone needs to have a certain level of education about this. "

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87CN AB: Private Sector To Operate Pot ShopsFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/13/2017

But NDP legislation would leave online sales to the government

Plans are underway for legal marijuana to be sold in Alberta through private bricks-and-mortar stores, but online sales will be controlled by the government, Postmedia has learned.

Legislation governing the sale of weed once it becomes legal July 1 will be introduced in the legislature next week. Governmentcontrolled online sales is meant to alleviate safety concerns raised by Albertans in response to the NDP's planned pot framework, released Oct. 4, sources say.

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88CN AB: Ex-Police Chief Trying To Ensure Sale Of Pot Done RightThu, 09 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Southwick, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/11/2017

Rick Hanson spent four decades in policing - more than seven of those years as Calgary's chief - where he made a career out of fighting organized crime and the local drug trade. Nearly three years into his retirement, it may come as a surprise he is now involved in the cannabis industry.

But Hanson said Wednesday he is among a growing number of former senior police officers across Canada who are leveraging their experiences to ensure legalization is done safely while eliminating criminals from the supply chain.

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89 CN AB: Two Former Ministers Promoting Pot IndustryWed, 08 Nov 2017
Source:News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS) Author:Cotter, John Area:Alberta Lines:51 Added:11/11/2017

Two former Alberta government cabinet ministers and a police chief are part of a group that is working to promote the legal recreational marijuana industry.

Former justice minister Jonathan Denis belongs to an organization called the Canadian Cannabis Chamber that is providing legal, lobbying and security advice to companies as Canada prepares for the legalization of pot next July.

Denis said he never dreamed he would be working as an advocate for an industry that will sell a substance that people were arrested for during his years as Alberta's solicitor general.

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90 CN AB: Pot Committee CreatedFri, 03 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Edwardson, Lucie Area:Alberta Lines:63 Added:11/06/2017

Feds plan to legalize recreational pot by July 2018

The day of cannabis legalization looms over local governments and law enforcement - including Calgary police - but they're taking it in stride.

At the October Calgary Police Commission meeting, CPS chief Roger Chaffin said the best time to know the exact legislation to come on July 1 would have been "in the past," but said they're already taking steps to address legalization now.

The province's cannabis framework, released in early October, proposes Albertans will have to be at least 18 years old to buy pot from the specialized retail stores selling it.

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91 CN AB: Edmonton Festival Organizers Pondering Merky Pot PoliciesSun, 05 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Johnson, Doug Area:Alberta Lines:92 Added:11/05/2017

As the province and city ponder their pot policies, how and if Edmontonians will be able to smoke marijuana at festivals is still up in the air.

The province's proposed framework treats the inhalation of cannabis in public much like tobacco products, with the added caveat that it can't be used near schools and hospitals or in vehicles.

The specifics on how pot will be consumed in public and on festival grounds will ultimately depend on how the different levels of government roll out legislation.

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92CN AB: Column: NDP Needs To Focus On The Rules Surrounding MarijuanaTue, 31 Oct 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:10/31/2017

That should be the extent of government involvement in the sale of pot

There may be one upside in organized labour's embrace of government owned and operated retail cannabis outlets in that it may convert some conservatives who were previously opposed to legalization into champions of private pot proprietors.

Otherwise, though, it's hard to see any value in the proposition that the Alberta government be tasked with establishing and overseeing marijuana stores come next year. Last Friday marked the end of the government's consultation process, and it had left the door open on this rather fundamental question.

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93 CN AB: PUB LTE: MP Misses Point Of Safe Injection SitesTue, 31 Oct 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Schulz, Petra Area:Alberta Lines:41 Added:10/31/2017

Re. "MP hosts impassioned debate over supervised injection sites in southwest," Oct. 30

The title should have been "MP misses the point." Supervised consumption services (SCS) primarily save lives, and anyone who has lost a loved one can tell you how important that is.

Our son Danny died from an overdose in 2014. He was only 25, was a promising young chef and is dearly missed. There are many families like ours who are members in our group Moms Stop The Harm, who live in MP Matt Jeneroux's riding of Edmonton-Riverbend. I encourage him to meet them.

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94 CN AB: NDP To Roll Out Its Cannabis Legislation In Fall SittingSat, 28 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Cryderman, Kelly Area:Alberta Lines:103 Added:10/30/2017

Alberta will introduce legislation laying out its plan for cannabis legalization, and also make a final call on whether storefront sales will be managed by government monopoly or private interests, before the end of the year.

Alberta laid out the broad strokes of its cannabis plan earlier this month. But NDP government House Leader Brian Mason said Friday the province will introduce two pieces of legislation in the fall sitting: One will deal with the road-safety and impairment aspects of cannabis and the other dealing with cannabis regulation, including distribution, sales, where it can be consumed and the minimum legal age. He added that, across the country, everyone is scrambling to have their own province-specific laws in place before Ottawa's July 1, 2018, deadline for recreational marijuana legalization.

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95 CN AB: Column: Despite Fanfare, Medical Benefits Of Marijuana RemainSat, 28 Oct 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:McLeod, Scott Area:Alberta Lines:104 Added:10/30/2017

Many Canadians can hardly wait for the day that the recreational use of marijuanabecomes legal. As a medical doctor, I'm far less enthusiastic. I worry about two things: The experimental nature of marijuana in medical practice and the public health consequences of legalized marijuana.

Before you write me off as overly prudish or an anti-marijuana conservative, let me say out of the gate that I'm not opposed to legalized marijuana in principle - I'm just paying attention to the evidence, or rather, the lack of it. My concern is that as marijuanabecomes more easily available, Canadians may become more inclined to self-medicate with this so-called "miracle drug."

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96 CN AB: Former Cop Urges Caution Regarding Cannabis In The WorkplaceSat, 28 Oct 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:80 Added:10/30/2017

Ed Secondiak began his Friday lecture on cannabis in the workplace by cautioning against potential dangers of the soon-to-be-legalized substance.

"We would consider marijuana a dangerous drug simply because impairment is not recognized by the individual or perhaps the person (working) with them," said Secondiak, a former drug enforcement RCMP officer who now works with ECS Safety.

The talk at Medicine Hat College was organized by APEX and intended for local employers, whom Secondiak encouraged to ask questions at any time.

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97CN AB: Column: A Private-Public Rumble Sparked By Pot StoresFri, 27 Oct 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Varcoe, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:10/30/2017

NDP MLA mulls hybrid model for sales as marijuana legalization draws nearer

Chatting with MLA Craig Coolahan about the Alberta Heritage Fund this week, a more burning topic of public debate sparked up.

Should the Alberta government run its own pot stores?

The NDP MLA for Calgary-Klein said the topic keeps resurfacing, particularly as the deadline for public feedback on Alberta's new marijuana framework wraps up Friday.

"I've been talking about cannabis all week," said Coolahan, who serves as chair of the legislative committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.

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98 CN AB: Editorial: Hands Off The Weed!Fri, 27 Oct 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:10/30/2017

To paraphrase rock outfit The White Stripes: Premier Rachel Notley, we've said it once before but it bears repeating.

Do not listen to public sector unions when it comes to marijuana sales in Alberta.

Following on the heels of the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members last weekend voted in favour of a resolution supporting the sale of cannabis in provincially run stores when the practice is made legal next July.

As we have previously stated in this space, the sales should be left to the private sector, which has the experience and track record in managing sales of a regulated product - tobacco and alcohol.

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99 CN AB: Editorial: Too Much Green To Go With Public PotFri, 27 Oct 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:66 Added:10/30/2017

To paraphrase rock outfit The White Stripes: Premier Notley, we've said it once before but it bears repeating.

Do not listen to public sector unions when it comes to marijuana sales in Alberta.

Following on the heels of the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members last weekend voted in favour of a resolution supporting the sale of cannabis in provincially run stores when the practice is made legal next July.

As we have previously stated in this space, the sales should be left to the private sector, which has the experience and track record in managing sales of a regulated product - tobacco and alcohol.

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100CN AB: OPED: Safe Injection Sites A Small Step But Big Milestone InWed, 25 Oct 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Williams, Shelley Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:10/30/2017

Coalition of agencies is working to provide 24/7 service, Shelley Williams writes.

Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton, known as AMSISE, is a coalition of 25 individuals and groups, including people with lived experience, community agencies, medical, academic, and public sector representatives.

AMSISE started as a conversation with Edmonton's harm reduction needle distribution service, Streetworks, in January of 2012 and continues to be a community-driven initiative.

The focus is on people with severe and chronic addictions, usually homeless, whose chaotic and furtive injection-drug use takes place in unsafe environments, including parks, back alleys, behind dumpsters, along fences, and in agency and public washrooms. Multiple studies have established a direct link between unstable housing and public injecting. Communities will benefit by reducing unsafe needle debris as an unintentional hazard.

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