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1 CN ON: Oped: Safety Top Priority In New Cannabis LawsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Tribune, The (CN ON) Author:Goodale, Ralph Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:04/22/2017

If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure.

From the very beginning, health and safety objectives have been in the forefront of our approach to cannabis. The new legislation we introduced last week reflects that - to do a better job of protecting our kids and fighting crime.

We have benefited from the thorough, balanced and thoughtful advice of an expert task force which gathered the best available data, medical and legal input, the experiences of other jurisdictions around the world and the views of a vast array of Canadians. Our proposals are in line with their recommendations.The new law would create a strong framework for legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting the use of cannabis:

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2 CN MB: OPED: Take Public-Health Approach To PotThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Reimer, Joss Area:Manitoba Lines:84 Added:04/22/2017

This time next year will be the last 4/20 - the unofficial cannabis holiday known by its numeric calendar date - when possessing weed for personal use will be a crime. Legalization is coming to Canada in the summer of 2018.

So far, reactions to legalized cannabis have ranged from healthy concern to outright fearmongering. Some people have claimed it will lead the youth astray, make our roads less safe and harm our overall health.

Legalizing cannabis is not without risk. But legalization can also address how risky our current approach, the so-called War On Drugs, has been.

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3CN AB: Usual Crowd Expected At 4/20 Marijuana EventThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Edmonton's police chief says he doesn't expect a larger than usual 4/20 gathering Thursday as the city prepares for legal marijuana.

"I imagine we'll get a few people there, but nothing that's really on the radar we're concerned about," Chief Rod Knecht said Wednesday.

The annual smoke-up at the Alberta legislature could be one of the last under existing marijuana laws, as the Trudeau government prepares to legalize the drug.

The Liberals introduced bills this month to legalize and regulate marijuana by July 2018.

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4CN BC: Column: Why Are Provincial Politicians Staying Mum OnWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Campaigning provincial politicians have dozens of changes in mind for B.C., but they are scarcely talking about the major adjustment that's coming, regardless of who wins the May 9 election.

For all the competing visions being outlined by provincial leaders, the federal government's move to legalize marijuana is going to be the single biggest revamp on the social and political scene. It was introduced last week and could be in effect by next summer. Still, Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns have scarcely taken notice.

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5 CN SN: Letter: Goodale Writes About Marijuana LegalizationWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN) Author:Goodale, Ralph Area:Saskatchewan Lines:115 Added:04/22/2017

Dear editor,

If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing to organized crime-then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure.

Law enforcement agencies in Canada spend an estimated $2-3 billion a year trying to fight pot, yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world. And criminals walk away with $7-8 billion every year in illicit proceeds. We have to do better.

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6 Canada: O'Leary Backs Marijuana LegalizationThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Stone, Laura Area:Canada Lines:140 Added:04/22/2017

Other Conservative candidates have expressed mixed reactions to the Liberals' proposal to overturn prohibition of the drug

Conservative leadership candidates are split over marijuana policy, with Kevin O'Leary the only serious contender voicing support for legalization and Maxime Bernier refusing to say whether he'll vote in favour of the Liberal legislation to lift the prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis.

Mr. O'Leary said up to 30 per cent of the population uses the drug medicinally and recreationally, and he believes the Conservative Party membership understands it has to embrace "a much larger constituency."

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7 CN AB: Local Leaders Skeptical About Marijuana LegalizationWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:St. Albert Gazette (CN AB) Author:Henderson, Jennifer Area:Alberta Lines:114 Added:04/22/2017

Last week the Liberal government tabled its long awaited legislation to legalize marijuana but provinces and municipalities are already concerned with the costs and responsibilities associated with it.

St. Albert MP Michael Cooper and Mayor Nolan Crouse are both concerned that the federal government is downloading the responsibilities to the provinces and municipalities without providing any financial support.

The bills tabled on Thursday outline the federal government's guidelines for legalization, which they plan to achieve by July 1, 2018.

The government plans to legalize the possession of 30 grams of dried cannabis for Canadian adults over the age of 18. Provinces have the option to raise the age if they see fit. Canadians will be able to buy the cannabis through the mail or at provincially regulated retail spaces.

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8 Canada: Canada's Catholic Bishops Warn Against Marijuana LegalizationTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Catholic Register, The (Canada) Author:Gyapong, Deborah Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/22/2017

OTTAWA - Legalizing marijuana shows a "disregard" for public health and safety, Canada's Catholic bishops charge.

The bishops' statement came one day before the Liberal government announced the introduction April 13 in the House of Commons of the Cannabis Act, which will eventually "legalize, regulate and restrict access" to marijuana.

"From the standpoint of public health, not only does this course of action appear to be unwise, it is potentially dangerous," said the statement signed by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton. "The very significant health risks associated with the use of cannabis are widely recognized, particularly in young people."

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9 CN AB: Alberta Sees Costs, No Cash Cow From Federal CannabisWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Banff Crag & Canyon, The (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:92 Added:04/22/2017

It's going to be challenging to get the province ready for the federal government's deadline of July 1, 2018, for legalized marijuana in the country, says Premier Rachel Notley.

Bills tabled Thursday in the House of Commons in Ottawa kickstart a national move toward legalization of recreational pot for people 18 and older.

A lot of decisions in the "very ambitious project" will be left to provinces to figure out before the law takes effect, Notley told reporters Thursday at the Alberta legislature.

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10 CN SN: Editorial: It's Still A Clouded IssueWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Estevan Mercury (CN SN)          Area:Saskatchewan Lines:80 Added:04/22/2017

Canadians will be able to celebrate this country's 151st birthday by legally lighting up a joint.

The federal government has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018, fulfilling one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election campaign promises. But there are still a lot of questions regarding the details of a legal pot industry.

Canada doesn't have a lot of international precedent to guide it. We will be just the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to fully legalize marijuana. It's decriminalized in some parts of the world, and legal in some American states, but countries as a whole have been leery about legalizing marijuana.

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11 CN BC: Editorial: Legal WeedTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:North Island Gazette (CN BC) Author:Harding, John Area:British Columbia Lines:90 Added:04/22/2017

When the smoke clears we will all have a better understanding about the details of the federal government's new marijuana laws.

Right now, we know this about the proposed legislation, tabled in the House of Commons last week by the Liberal government:

* Adults 18 and older will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public, share up to 30 grams with other adults, and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.

* Selling cannabis to a minor will become a specific offence, for the first time in the history of the Criminal Code.

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12 CN QU: Editorial: Smoke And MirrorsWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:McDevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:127 Added:04/22/2017

When young Justin Trudeau announced during has election campaign that a Liberal government would legalize the personal possession of marijuana for recreational purposes, the overall political impact could best be described as a collective response somewhere between indifference to "it's about time." For most, the issue of marijuana legalization was pretty low on totem pole of concerns, given more pressing issues. At most, the proposal helped solidify young Justin's reputation as a hip, modern alternative to the depressing crankiness of his predecessor.

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13 CN AB: Concerns Sparked Over Federal Cannabis LegislationThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Airdrie City View (CN AB) Author:Waldner, Christina Area:Alberta Lines:96 Added:04/22/2017

he federal government outlined its plans for the legalization of cannabis April 13, which includes regulations for the production, distribution, sale and possession of the drug while introducing strict penalties for its misuse.

"Today, we are following through on our commitment to introduce comprehensive legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis and to create new laws to punish more severely those who drive under its influence," Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould said in a release issued by the government.

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14 CN BC: Police, Organizers Ready For 4-20 RallyThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Li, Wanyee Area:British Columbia Lines:76 Added:04/22/2017

Beach Avenue along Sunset Beach closed Thursday

The stage is set for today's 4-20 pot rally at Sunset Beach in Vancouver and organizers say the annual protest is here to stay despite the federal government's intention to legalize pot next year.

The unpermitted event, which drew 25,000 people to the beach last year, will feature more than 300 vendor booths and live music.

Park board commissioners voted against giving 4-20 event organizers a permit for this year's event but that hasn't changed things on the ground, said marijuana advocate, Dana Larsen.

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15 CN AB: Pot Law Draws Mixed ReactionThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Cochrane Eagle (CN AB) Author:Seewalt, Lindsay Area:Alberta Lines:110 Added:04/22/2017

Last week the federal government announced it will move forward with its highly-anticipated and contentious pledge to legalize recreational marijuana.

What might possibly be the most memorable piece of legislation undertaken by the Justin Trudeau Liberals will most certainly result in polarizing political and personal stances.

Social media and online reactions range from cheers to fears - including criticisms that the whole movement is nothing short of a government tax grab that has parent and landlord advocates up in arms.

"I've witnessed Justin Trudeau try to manage the economy, electoral reform … I'm not sure I have faith in his ability to protect kids from pot," said Banff-Airdrie Conservative MP Blake Richards.

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16 CN BC: Column: B.C. Leaders Lie Low On Legal Highs AheadThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:04/22/2017

Campaigning provincial politicians have dozens of changes in mind for B.C., but they are scarcely talking about the major adjustment that's coming, regardless of who wins the election.

For all the competing visions being outlined by provincial leaders, the federal government's move to legalize marijuana is going to be the single biggest revamp on the social and political scene.

It was introduced last week and could be in effect by next summer (just in time to help cope with Peter Mansbridge's retirement). Still, Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns have scarcely taken notice.

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17 CN ON: Editorial: Liberals Must Make Drug-Impaired DrivingWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Ajax/Pickering News Advertiser (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:63 Added:04/21/2017

Legalized use of marijuana is on the doorstep as the federal Liberals have started the legislative process in earnest. Bills introduced on Parliament Hill last Thursday will establish the legal parameters for the production, sale, distribution and possession of marijuana.

Now, with marijuana to be fully legalized by Canada Day in 2018, there needs to be great care taken by the Liberals to craft legislation that not only provides serious consequences for the sale of the drug to minors, but also for using marijuana and driving.

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18Canada: Column: Liberals Have Got It Right On Pot, MostlyTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Coyne, Andrew Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/21/2017

Sound reasons to proceed with caution

Perhaps the federal Liberals were hoping to be congratulated for moving forward with legislation to permit the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. It was, after all, the fulfilment of a signature election promise, and these days that's news.

If so, they were destined to be disappointed. Those opposed to legalization before were just as opposed to it after, while those in favour, which would include most of the press corps, found the Liberal approach, with its emphasis on how heavily regulated the legal marijuana market would continue to be, unspeakably square.

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19 CN BC: Marijuana Legalization Won't Happen Overnight: MPTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Cranbrook Daily Townsman (CN BC) Author:Crawley, Trevor Area:British Columbia Lines:152 Added:04/21/2017

The federal Liberal government released their plan to legalize marijuana last week in Ottawa, however, anyone thinking that it is going to happen overnight is in for a rude awakening.

Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski says the legislation actually contains two bills - one bill on marijuana legalization and another bill amending the criminal code to enact harsher impaired driving penalties, for both marijuana and alcohol.

First, the legislation has to be introduced into Parliament for first and second reading, before going to an all-party committee meeting. That committee can call in experts ranging from doctors to lawyers to police to testify on the merits or shortcomings of the bill. From there, recommendations are sent back to Parliament, which are rolled into a third reading.

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20 CN AB: LTE: Hazy LawMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Temoor, Sohail Area:Alberta Lines:30 Added:04/19/2017

While I do understand the reasoning behind legalizing marijuana, I believe that the public health risks outweigh the legislative benefits. It can cause impairment of both perception and motor skills.

These factors need to be functional to ensure safe driving. A likely outcome of legalizing marijuana is that it may lead to greater incidents of accidents - and possible deaths - due to intoxication. We are already working towards mitigating deaths due to alcohol, adding marijuana to the mix poses an additional liability to public safety.

Sohail Temoor



(People shouldn't drive drunk or stoned.)

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