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1CN AB: Calgary Catches Up On Cannabis CultureFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Upcoming weed expo at Stampede Park expected to match Edmonton trade show

Taboos over marijuana are going up in smoke, supercharging cannabis expos in Alberta, including one taking seed in Calgary next month, say organizers.

Fuelled by a buzz over impending national legalization and eight U.S. states that have dropped pot prohibition, an Edmonton trade show held in early April exceeded attendance expectations, said Kevin Blackburn of organizer Canwest Productions.

"We were hoping for 3,000 to 5,000 people and we doubled that," he said.

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2CN ON: Rain Puts A Damper On Marijuana FestivalFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Samba, Mugoli Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

A handful of marijuana users gathered under clouds of rain and smoke Thursday to hear cannabis advocates speak at Charles Clark Square in Windsor's first 4/20 Festival.

But despite the Facebook event's call that "thousands of patients" would be in attendance, the event attracted less than 40 people at any one time in the opening hours.

"They're coming, they're going, they're coming back," said event organizer Leo Lucier.

By 4:30 p.m., around 80 people were in attendance, and Lucier said he hoped more might come after work. He said that about 500 people have been "in and out of the event" throughout the day.

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3 CN MB: Lighting Up At The LegislatureFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Olson, Matthew Area:Manitoba Lines:108 Added:04/25/2017

Marijuana enthusiasts gather to celebrate annual holiday in haze of smoke

THE rain may have thinned the crowds - and clouds of smoke - at the Winnipeg 4/20 celebration Thursday, but cannabis supporters still kept their spirits high and their joints lit.

People gathered together on the lawn and sidewalks outside of the Manitoba legislature for the event held every April 20. More planning went into this year's festivities than ever before, with vendors and food trucks lining the street.

This year was a bit different than it has been in the past. Now that the federal Liberal government has tabled a bill to make marijuana legal by Canada Day in 2018, there is cause for celebration - and some frustration.

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4CN ON: Parliament Hill's 4-20 Party Had An Extra Buzz This YearFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

The annual celebration of cannabis on Parliament Hill had extra resonance this year, coming just a week after the federal government introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

But for many in the sea of young people at the 4-20 rally, it was also the year's best pot party. They sat in groups, fiddling with water pipes and bongs, puffing on joints, and pulling snacks from backpacks.

Organizers estimated the crowd as upward of 10,000; Hill security officers pegged it closer to 6,000.

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5 CN ON: Column: Pot Laws Looked Like They'd Never Change. Then, WhamFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Salutin, Rick Area:Ontario Lines:104 Added:04/25/2017

People celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, though they're inevitable. Since you never know the precise moment of a WHAM, it should be worth a cheer

Deep social change happens so slowly it looks like nothing is happening. Not just over years, but decades, maybe longer. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Then, WHAM. The imminent legalization of (non-medical) marijuana is a perfect example. Its perfectness even has a generational, father to son, symmetry.

Back in 1969, the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau appointed a royal commission to recommend policy on marijuana. Its head was a future Supreme Court justice. They heard hundreds of witnesses, including John Lennon, and in 1973, reported. Two of the three members recommended decriminalization for possession and cultivation; the third supported legalization. No one suggested keeping it criminal. It must have been what Trudeau wanted. You always select people knowing what they'll give you. Then, nothing, nothing, nothing - till the son. Why finally now? Who knows? But that's how it goes: there is social ferment, yet no official policy or law reflects it. You feel it's hopeless. Then it bursts forth whole. Too bad for devotees of the cause who died in the interim.

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6CN ON: Column: There's No Room For Doubters On Pot BandwagonSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Henderson, Gord Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

Fifty years on, I still wince in recalling those two frightened high school kids I saw hauled into an Oshawa courtroom and handed stiff jail terms, two years less a day, for possessing minuscule amounts of marijuana.

They weren't dealers. They were just teens dabbling in the latest thing, but they had the misfortune of being the first "drug arrests" in a tough, beer-swilling automotive city that was close to hysteria over the arrival of dirty, long-haired hippies and their damn weed.

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7 CN ON: LTE: There Are Problems With Legalized PotSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Khan, Muneer Ahmad Area:Ontario Lines:35 Added:04/25/2017

Drugs should be used as a last option. By making cannabis more available, we are promoting it as a first option.

Dr. John Goodhew, who supports cannabis use for therapeutic applications, such as pain, says it can be difficult for physicians to filter out those who want the drug just to get high.

It's no surprise that more and more Canadians are asking their doctors for medical marijuana. And we cannot deny the harmful effects of the drug. We should focus our energy on why Canadians turn to marijuana and help them leave it, as much as possible.

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8Canada: Medicine Distributors Say They Offer 'Proven Solution' ToSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

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, 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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9Canada: Column: Important Questions On LegalizationFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Souza, Fr . Raymond Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

The federal government slipped its marijuana bill into the House the day before Good Friday, with almost no one around to ask questions. The government itself had few answers to the more pressing issues, leaving most important matters to be determined later, by other levels of government. So in the same spirit, herewith various questions that do not appear to have adequate answers.

What is the social good that marijuana legalization is intended to achieve? The arguments for legalization - removing the burden on the criminal justice system, not impeding future career prospects with a youthful criminal conviction, removing the scope for organized crime - are negative in nature, getting rid of various supposed bad things. But what is the good that we can expect from making marijuana more readily available? Is there any? Can we expect greater labour productivity, higher educational achievement, enhanced physical fitness, a lower carbon footprint, a better equalization system?

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10Canada: Column: Nice Pot Law There, LiberalsFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:McParland, Kelly Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

There's always been something a bit odd about the great marijuana legalization crusade. Supporters, eager to avoid being seen as a bunch of frustrated pot-heads who just wanted easier access, put forward solid, practical arguments.

They pointed out that the war against drugs wasn't working: anyone could see that. People who wanted pot would find a way to get it, no matter how illegal it might be. Police time was wasted chasing kids with a few grams of marijuana, and branding young people as criminals for a bit of pot was a crime in itself. Criminalization just paved the way for organized crime to peddle the stuff to kids, with no controls and huge profits. It made no sense.

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11 CN ON: LTE: Just Say No To MarijuanaFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON) Author:Hanysh, Marion Area:Ontario Lines:41 Added:04/24/2017

Former prime minister Stephen Harper started the ball rolling, and present Prime Minister Justin (Pierre Jr.) Trudeau picked up on it and looks like he's going to run with it, legalizing marijuana.

As if we haven't got enough problems with drinking, driving, texting and myriad other distractions to keep people "safe from harm."

Medical marijuana is a fallacy, dreamed up by some potheads so they can smoke illicit drugs legally.

Duh. I have two adult children and five teenage grandchildren, and hopefully they won't get caught up in the usage of same.

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12CN BC: Distribution For Local Pot Growers Still On Foggy SideSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

Even with last week's tabling of the marijuana legalization bill, it's still unclear what the distribution system will look like, says Shawn Galbraith of Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. His company recently received approval from Health Canada to be a licensed producer of medical cannabis.

"Basically, as far as distribution, it's up to each province to decide how they want to distribute it and tax it, so there's a whole bunch of different models being floated out there right now," Galbraith said.

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13 CN AB: Legalization Gets Spirits High At City RallyFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Tijana Area:Alberta Lines:84 Added:04/24/2017

There was a cloud of smoke at Galt Gardens Thursday as hundreds gathered to smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 celebration.

Every year on April 20, Canadians gather for pro-pot events, but it seems that cannabis activists may soon be getting what they want as the Government of Canada has proposed the Cannabis Act, which would legalize and regulate cannabis use.

Despite cannabis use still being illegal for most, unless prescribed for medical purposes, Lethbridge Police Services simply observed the rally and no arrests were made on drug charges.

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14 Canada: Dispensaries Count Down To LegalizationSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:Canada Lines:156 Added:04/24/2017

A siege-like atmosphere pervades cannabis shops still in operation as they contend with threats from armed thieves, and the city

After the battering ram smashed through the front door, the officers quickly rounded up everyone and handcuffed them inside the small shop at Yonge and Wellesley.

The customers were soon let go, but Neev Tapiero, the owner of Cannabis As Living Medicine (CALM), Toronto's oldest dispensary, was held under arrest for three hours and charged with drug trafficking as part of a one-day crackdown on 43 marijuana dispensaries last May. Federal drug prosecutors have since stayed or withdrawn charges on 36 of the people nabbed in the citywide sweep while another 10 still face trial for selling marijuana outside Ottawa's mail-order system for registered medica lcannabis patients.

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15 Canada: Column: Stirring The Pot LegislationSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Southey, Tabatha Area:Canada Lines:172 Added:04/24/2017

It seems there is no task in Canada as thankless as legalizing marijuana. Last week, the Liberals announced their plans to fulfill their campaign promise and do just that - by July 1, 2018, at the latest - and a chorus of complaints went round the country.

People opposed to legalization of any kind, public policy-failure aficionados, were of course displeased. Those convinced that anything short of the government passing Bill 420 on the left-hand side, printed on small white papers, mandating that their local MP spark up a doobie for them when they get home from work is an infringement of their fundamental rights were also put out. No one seems happy.

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16 CN AB: Column: Welcome To The Pot PartySat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Hicks, Graham Area:Alberta Lines:111 Added:04/24/2017

Marijuana legalization is coming whether you like it or not - but don't worry, the sky won't fall

Marijuana is rushing out of the closet, what with the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana use across Canada as of July 2018.

Which is somewhat ironic: Pot has been almost as common as booze, smoked by a sizeable minority of Canadians since getting high became popular 50 years ago.

The fact it's been illegal just made users more secretive.

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17 CN ON: Medical Marijuana Users Push For ChangeSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Mercer, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:305 Added:04/24/2017

The Record speaks to a wide range of people who shun normal painkillers

KITCHENER - William Campbell and his wife were on their way to a friend's 25th wedding anniversary one night in 2008 when a drunk driver pulled out in front of them. They didn't have time to stop.

Campbell, 53, was hospitalized after the head-on collision, and everything in his life would change. Earlier that day, he'd aced an exam to become a lab technician, after getting laid off from a furniture factory where he'd worked for 22 years.

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18 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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19CN 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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20Canada: Privatize Marijuana Sales, Think Tank RecommendsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Freeman, Sunny Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Marijuana should be sold through independent retailers rather than provincially owned outlets to eliminate conflicts of interest between public health and profit imperatives, the C.D. Howe Institute urges in a new letter to be released Thursday.

Research fellow Anindya Sen's letter to the Liberals' marijuana point man Bill Blair argues against provincially owned marijuana outlets, a model not used in any other recreational market.

Some provincial governments, including British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba, have expressed support for selling marijuana through provincially owned liquor outlets. That could raise questions about whether they'd have incentive to encourage marijuana use to bolster provincial revenues, the way some advertise for their provincially owned alcohol outlets, Sen, who is also an economics professor at the University of Waterloo, wrote in the letter to Blair.

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