Upcoming weed expo at Stampede Park expected to match Edmonton trade
Taboos over marijuana are going up in smoke, supercharging cannabis
expos in Alberta, including one taking seed in Calgary next month, say
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
[continues 471 words]
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.
[continues 237 words]
Marijuana enthusiasts gather to celebrate annual holiday in haze of
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
[continues 601 words]
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.
[continues 831 words]
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.
[continues 588 words]
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
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.
[continues 617 words]
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.
[continues 59 words]
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.
[continues 241 words]
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?
[continues 686 words]
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.
[continues 867 words]
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.
[continues 87 words]
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
"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.
[continues 455 words]
There was a cloud of smoke at Galt Gardens Thursday as hundreds
gathered to smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20
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.
[continues 489 words]
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.
[continues 1048 words]
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.
[continues 1328 words]
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
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.
[continues 665 words]
The Record speaks to a wide range of people who shun normal
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.
[continues 2148 words]
With legalization on the horizon, today's 4/20 gathering will be a
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.
[continues 703 words]
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."
[continues 277 words]
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.
[continues 301 words]