Is Ontario keeping too tight a lid on pot?
Premier Kathleen Wynne faced that question at a town hall meeting
Wednesday night in Brampton, where about 250 citizens - some with
anger in their voices - grilled her about high local auto-insurance
rates, health care, workers' compensation, the Tarion new home
warranty system, the rising minimum wage, the recent five-week
community college strike and other issues.
"Can we not have the private sector?" one young man asked as the clock
ticks down to the legalization of marijuana across Canada on July 1.
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Re Legal pot set to cost $10 a gram, Dec. 12
It is clear that the legalization of marijuana will fail its stated
objectives and we are on track for another costly boondoggle that will
implicate the health and well-being of Canadian society for many years
The stated objectives are to keep cannabis out of the hands of
children and to keep profits out of the hands of organized crime.
Legalization will achieve neither. Legalizing something legitimizes
it. Children will now see marijuana as a safe legal product denied to
them only due to their age.
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TORONTO - Ontario adolescents are drinking, smoking and using cannabis
and other recreational drugs at the lowest rates since the late 1970s,
suggests a biennial survey of Grade 7 to 12 students by the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health.
But the 2017 survey released Thursday turned up a disturbing finding:
almost one per cent of respondents in Grades 9 to 12 reported having
taken illicit fentanyl in the previous year, raising a red flag given
the opioid's involvement in hundreds of overdose deaths across the
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Federal service drops case involving cannabis activist whose charges
were stayed last month
Federal prosecutors have decided to drop their appeal of a court
ruling that dismissed charges against a prominent B.C. cannabis activist.
Dana Larsen was arrested in Calgary during a national tour to give
away millions of marijuana seeds to the public.
On Monday, Larsen said in Vancouver that the Crown's appeal was to be
heard July 2 in the Alberta Court of Appeal.
But after a review this week, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada
said it is dropping the case.
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The federal Crown has decided to drop its appeal of a ruling
dismissing charges against a prominent cannabis activist who was
arrested in Calgary during a national tour to give away millions of
marijuana seeds to the public.
On Monday, Dana Larsen said he was served notice at his home in
Vancouver and the case was to be heard July 2 in the Alberta Court of
Appeal. But after a subsequent review this week, the Public
Prosecution Service of Canada said it is dropping the case.
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He may not be able to change it but that doesn't mean he has to like
the new law allowing people to grow their own pot plants.
"Personal cultivation is something I personally really struggle with
as a citizen, a parent and a police chief," Cape Breton Regional
Police Chief Peter McIsaac said during the recent Police Commissioners
"It's a view shared pretty consistently in the policing community
across the country."
When the Cannabis Act comes into effect in July 2018, Canadian adults
will be allowed to grow four plants at home, up to a height of 100 cm.
This is about waist high on an average adult.
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Politicians voice their concerns over 'little information' available,
possible impact on community
A number of York Region mayors have come out against proposed
marijuana stores in their municipalities.
East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson has joined regional colleagues
Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti in
speaking out against the possibility of a marijuana dispensary coming
to the municipality.
"My concern at this point is there is so little information about what
it would look like. What are rules and regulations?" Hackson said.
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Drug may do more harm than good, say critics
VANCOUVER * There is little to no research to support the supposed
benefits of medical cannabis, and what evidence exists suggests that
using marijuana as medicine may do more harm than good, family
doctors' associations across Canada are telling their members.
A trio of advisories prepared by the Alberta College of Family
Physicians has been distributed to more than 32,000 clinicians,
summarizing the scientific literature, or lack thereof, around
"One thing that was quite consistent was adverse events," said Dr.
Mike Allan, a professor of family medicine at the University of
Alberta in Edmonton. "And the benefits, even if they're real, are much
smaller than what people might anticipate."
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Clark says municipalities will have extra costs for policing,
Mayor Charlie Clark says cities like Saskatoon will face the toughest
financial challenges when marijuana is legalized in six months, and he
wants to make sure sufficient resources exist.
Clark said he welcomed the news from the federal government this week
that 75 per cent of the expected $400 million in revenue from taxes on
marijuana will go to the provinces.
Now, Clark said he would like a clearer picture from the provincial
government on how that will work in terms of funding the municipal
response to legalized cannabis.
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An argument against the legalization of marijuana
We should not let underground drug lords pressure us into legalizing
something that could be quite harmful for our health.
During his election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised
to legalize marijuana if we chose him as our leader. That day is near,
and marijuana might be legalized on Canada Day 2018. Such a decision
should not be taken lightly. Our country is not ready for this change.
To clarify, I don't want to come across as cynical. I know that
medical marijuana has its place in treating patients with chronic or
terminal illness. I also don't agree with throwing people in jail for
carrying small amounts for personal use. I see this as a waste of
time, money and resources. At the same time, however, I don't think
that the legalization of marijuana is what our country needs. And I
certainly don't think it will make our country healthier, happier or
safer. The decision to legalize marijuana has implications for health,
society and our youth
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Complaints about marijuana dispensaries have increased each year since
the City of Vancouver implemented a licensing regimen in 2015. But
even after three years of consecutive growth, the number remains
In 2015, there were 30 complaints, according to data supplied by the
city. Then 84 in 2016 and 112 in 2017 (up to December 6).
For comparison's sake, so far in 2017 the city has received 348
complaints about other business categories (excluding illegal housing
suites and short-term rentals like those on Airbnb). Meanwhile, this
year there have been 5,529 complaints about potholes and 7,734 about
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While details deserve review, it's crucial not to wait for the
legalization of cannabis, Marc Gold writes.
Bill C-46 would allow police to demand that a driver suspected of
having a drug in their body provide a saliva sample.
Every holiday season, volunteers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Canada (MADD) distribute red ribbons to remind us of the lives lost
due to impaired driving. Look around over the next few weeks, and
you'll find them on key chains, car antennas and pinned to jackets.
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Certain cannabis crimes ... will vanish altogether, thus resulting in
The city's claims that cannabis legalization is going to be a big
money loser for them should certainly not be taken with a grain of
salt, but rather, a few kilos of it.
Or, to put it another way, what are they smoking down at city
A council committee last week heard the details on administration's
latest estimates around the cost of legalization: about $10 million or
so a year, or about the equivalent of a one per cent increase in
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The legalization of marijuana promises to provide governments with a
tidy little windfall. That's the dirty secret the country's finance
ministers didn't want to talk about when they were cutting up the cash
this week. But it's true.
To hear the provinces talk, you'd think legalized cannabis would be
nothing but a drain on their revenues. They complain that the legal
pot regime will be more costly to police than the current illegal one
- - without exactly explaining why.
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WHEN politicians talk about the arrival of legal cannabis, they make
it sound like it's going to be more trouble than it's worth.
Oh, the worry. According to the narrative coming out of the federal
and provincial capitals, legalizing pot is going to involve enormous
costs with very little return, in terms of tax revenue.
There are expected to be increased costs for provinces and
municipalities in the areas of law enforcement, public education,
health care and addictions treatment at a time when governments of all
levels are having trouble generating the revenues needed to sustain
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Opposition Tories press for details on rollout of government-run
The province appears to be keeping details of its business plans for
selling legal pot in P.E.I. close to its chest for the time being,
promising more specifics in the coming months. The Opposition
Progressive Conservatives pressed for more details on government's
plans, announced last week, to sell legal cannabis in government-run,
standalone stores operated by the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission.
On Friday, Finance critic Darlene Compton questioned Finance Minister
Allen Roach on what the start-up costs would be for these stores. She
also wanted to know how many stores will open in P.E.I. and what the
projected revenues will be for the province?
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With the Ontario government passing legislation Tuesday that paves the
way for the government-run sale of recreational marijuana starting in
July, the search is on for a ready-to-go store in Windsor.
According to a City of Windsor staff report going to council Monday,
the list of requirements for this store, run by an LCBO subsidiary,
the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp., include a standalone operation,
apart from the LCBO's alcohol operations; 2,500 square feet of space
at a location that's already properly zoned for retail; a location
that's near to a Transit Windsor bus route; an existing space instead
of new construction; and a location that's not located close to
schools, addiction treatment centres, mental-health facilities and
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Indigenous leaders ask where they stand in legal marijuana plan
OTTAWA - Indigenous leaders looking at the prospect of legalized
marijuana in Canada say they don't see a route to riches, but rather a
serious risk that the black market in pot will set its sights on their
Isadore Day, the Ontario regional chief of the Assembly of First
Nations, said Tuesday he fears for Indigenous community safety because
the federal government is moving too quickly with its plans to
legalize pot by July 2018.
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It's enough to make you want to roll a big, fat one.
The province is attempting to have a regulatory framework in place
prior to the legalization of marijuana on July 1.
Weekly, maybe daily, the confusion grows over what the brave new world
of legalized weed will look like.
That, in my view, is perfectly understandable as the clock loudly
ticks toward Ottawa's July 1, 2018, deadline for legalization of wacky
The feds have said that the date is hard and fast. Our government is
taking them on their word.
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Marijuana smokers in British Columbia might have to abide by the same
public smoking rules as tobacco users when cannabis becomes legal,
Premier John Horgan said Tuesday.
Horgan said his government is still formulating its marijuana policy,
but might follow the same provincial smoking laws and community-clean
air bylaws that prohibit smoking near buildings or public spaces.
"Cigarette smokers can no longer smoke in public places," Horgan said
in an interview.
"I think that may well be how we have to proceed with cannabis. We'll
make a decision in the new year."
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