Limit potency and amount for ages 21-25
Maple Ridge psychiatrist Dr. Biju Mathew is joining others in his
profession in calling for the federal government to make legal age for
smoking marijuana 21.
"Marijuana shouldn't be used on kids below 25," Mathew
The Cannabis Act, introduced by the federal government last week,
calls for the minimum age forusing recreational marijuana to be 18,
although provinces have the option to raise that.
"They have [proposed to] legalized pot, and they've also come up with
stricter regulations, but they have lowered the age to 18, which is
very disturbing," Mathew, president of the B.C. Psychiatric
Association, said of the federal government.
[continues 622 words]
'Other provinces could get a head start'
Reports the federal government is soon to release its laws on
recreational pot has the NDP's Mike Farnworth awaiting the provincial
"So far, we've not seen any work on this by the provincial
government," said Farnworth, who's seeking re-election in Port Coquitlam.
Last year, Farnworth, along with MLA Carole James, visited Washington,
which legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, and Oregon, to learn
about some of the issues.
"How are they going to do the licensing? What type of edibles can be
sold? What's the tax level going to look like?"
[continues 737 words]
The question Sherry Hebeler wanted answered Wednesday at the fentanyl
forum in Maple Ridge was where was the help for her son when he needed
Her son Bradley Porter, 33, died in a hospital washroom in November
2015, after apparently taking crystal meth that had been laced with
fentanyl. He had been admitted to hospital and was addicted to
painkillers, but had gone missing.
"Nobody found him for two hours," Hebeler said, adding hospital
security later found him.
And three times previously when her son overdosed, when he was
released from hospital, she had called police and asked that he be
picked up on outstanding warrants.
[continues 346 words]
Maple Ridge will work with Fraser Health
Fraser Health will identify priority sites for supervised drug
consumption as part of a broader strategy to contain a surge in
illicit drug overdoses, and Maple Ridge could be one.
Fraser Health has to talk with the City of Maple Ridge first.
"This is not something we've really ever talked about as a
community," said Mayor Nicole Read.
"It sounds like this is a decision that's been made by Fraser Health
in response to an emerging situation that's a real crisis. Obviously,
we're going to be working with Fraser Health however we can to deal
with the situation in our own community. But what that looks like,
I'm not sure yet."
[continues 949 words]
Maple Ridge to Seek Injunction Like Abbotsford
Maple Ridge is following Abbotsford's lead and seeking a court
injunction to shut down one of the three medicinal marijuana stores
in the city.
Friday, Maple Ridge noted that a Supreme Court ruling found Weeds
Glass and Gifts in Abbotsfordviolated a city bylaw by not securing a
business licence before opening.
"Maple Ridge is pursuing an injunction in the B.C. Supreme Court to
shut down a similar Weeds Glass and Gifts store operation in Maple
Ridge," said a news release Thursday.
[continues 242 words]
By the end of next month, Maple Ridge firefighters will be rolling
through town with a new tool to help save lives.
The fire department's training personnel have now received instruction
from B.C. Emergency Health Services on how to the administer Narcan,
or naloxone, so they can pass on their training to the rest of 56
full-time and 60 paid-on-call firefighters.
Narcan kits allow first responders, or even family and friends, to
inject someone who's suffering a fentanyl or other opioid overdose.
[continues 326 words]
Looking to get ahead of new federal laws
Chris Fairfax is looking into the future and sees one where marijuana
gets equal if not greater billing than alcohol.
He's thinking about joining the ranks of stores that are selling
medicinal, even recreational pot, providing he can do so legally.
Fairfax, who owns The Wolf Bar on Lougheed Highway, told Maple Ridge
council Tuesday that he pays $1,200 a year each for his business and
liquor licences, that medicinal marijuana stores have no licences.
[continues 758 words]
'Location of properties should be made public'
Cities and the people who live within them, should be able to have a
say in where medical marijuana operations set up within their
boundaries, says the mayor of Maple Ridge.
"It should be a formal requirement that Health Canada make the
location of these potential sites known to the public and hold a
public meeting and consider the comments of our citizens in
determining if such a facility should be considered for licensing in
our city," Nicole Read said in a release Friday.
[continues 447 words]
Whonnock residents are worried about the size, smell and the traffic
of a potential medicinal marijuana operation on 272nd Street, but the
man behind the project says it will be a showcase of high-tech growing.
By summer, a 40,000-sq.-foot greenhouse will be complete on a 15-acre
piece of property tucked into a low-lying area near Whonnock Creek.
Just what will be grown inside the glass is up to Health
"The end use, in terms of crop, has not been determined," said Daniel
Sutton, president of the numbered company that's building the project.
[continues 879 words]
The number of clean needles handed out to drug users by Alouette
Addictions has more than doubled this year, from 18,000 to 50,000.
That doesn't mean, though, that the number of drug users has jumped
by that amount.
"What we're seeing is that people are becoming more aware of the
service. People are becoming more aware of their health," and are
exchanging the needles to keep themselves and the streets cleaner,
said Annika Polegato, executive-director of Alouette Addictions Services.
[continues 980 words]
Maple Ridge is taking steps to ensure it can clean up illegal medical
grow ops by writing a new bylaw and hiring two more staff.
The extra enforcement will cost taxpayers another $130,000 yearly, if
council approves the Safe Premises Bylaw.
The extra money will be required to pay for a bylaw officer ($70,000
yearly,) $49,000 for a bylaw clerk and $10,000 for a vehicle.
The bylaw, introduced for discussion at a council meeting last week,
would replace a bylaw from a decade ago, by clarifying definitions and
increasing fees to ensure as many costs are recovered as possible.
[continues 203 words]
Campaign Still Short of Goal With a Month Left
Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin has added his voice to the call for
law reform by signing the SensibleBC petition, which calls for
referendum on decriminalizing marijuana..
"There needs to be some conversation had," Daykin said Tuesday.
"I think what we've got isn't working. Hopefully what's proposed will
help the situation. Maybe legalizing it and taxing the crap out of
it, selling it in liquor stores, is the way to go."
[continues 585 words]
Former Maple Ridge councillor Craig Speirs is inviting politicians of
all stripes to join the effort to finding a solution to the
smouldering question of marijuana.
Speirs is leading Sensible BC's efforts in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows
in an attempt to collect signatures from 10 per cent of the eligible
voters in the riding to force a B.C. referendum on legalizing the
herb. The group has to do so within 90 days in order to force an
HST-type referendum that could take in September 2014.
[continues 393 words]
Police Chief's Association Propose Alternative to Court Process
The two local mayors like the idea of police just handing out tickets
for pot possession instead of saddling people with criminal charges.
"We need to free up the court system to get some of the serious stuff
dealt with," said Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin.
If police find someone with marijuana but with no medical marijuana
licence, police should be able to issue a ticket, he says.
But if the amount is a kilogram or more, then trafficking charges
could be in order. "There has to be some way to simplify the system."
[continues 728 words]
Medical pot is coming, whether Maple Ridge likes it not.
So staff are suggesting the district make the best of it and set some
rules for where marijuana can be grown in Maple Ridge.
A recent announcement by the Agricultural Land Commission clarifying
that growing medical marijuana is a permitted use in the land reserve
confirms that Maple Ridge couldn't stop the process even if it wanted
"It just makes sense. We can't prohibit it anyways," planner Diana
Hall told council on Monday.
[continues 583 words]
The smell of marijuana, say neighbours, is so bad that two businesses
may relocate; it's so bad, employees often leave with headaches while
their clothing stinks.
Maple Ridge council could be giving the boot to the operation in units
103, 104 and 105 at 11410 Kingston St. after approving a remediation
The owner of the strata units, Arms Holdings Ltd., will have to either
hire a consultant and fix the smell within 30 days, or the legal grow
operation will be shut down.
[continues 1060 words]
Staff have followed through with council's order to find a place for
medical marijuana production in the farm fields of Maple Ridge.
A new bylaw proposes to allow commercial production of marijuana in
agricultural zones only - providing there are ample buffers between
the growing facilities and neighbours. A similar bylaw has been in
place in neighbouring Pitt Meadows since 2010.
Buildings used for pot production must be 60 metres from the front
and side lot lines and 30 metres from the rear property lines and any
creeks, according to the proposed zone amending bylaw.
[continues 549 words]
Council has told staff to find a way to put medical-marijuana grow
operations into agricultural areas of Maple Ridge.
"They're going to draft a bylaw where it can only be grown in an
agricultural zone and get it out of the houses," said Mayor Ernie Daykin.
"You can write a bylaw, and then the $64,000 question is - what
happens if it's challenged. Will it stand up?"
Politicians made the decision at their Tuesday meeting after a report
on the topic. According to the report, Health Canada is developing
new standards for medical marijuana operations in two years. Those
standards will toughen requirements for product quality, safety,
record keeping, and could result in the phasing out of smaller,
[continues 318 words]
Medical marijuana is here to stay and Maple Ridge can't do much about
it, except to say it should go on farmland and not in residential
A staff report says staff and a lawyer should write up such a bylaw,
an idea that was sent to a future council meeting for full discussion.
District planner Diana Hall told council that Maple Ridge can't
restrict medical marijuana production for personal use, but it can
regulate the commercial production of medical marijuana by requiring
that it go in specific zones, in this case, farmland.
[continues 564 words]
Go to bathroom before visiting the income assistance office on
Lougheed Highway in downtown Maple Ridge because the public washrooms
in that building are locked.
That bothers MLA Michael Sather.
"It's totally ridiculous. I can't believe it," Sather said last week.
"It's a human rights kind of issue."
Sather, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, said he's received a few
complaints, though not as many as he'd expect, after the department
closed the bathroom to the public about a year ago.
[continues 273 words]