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1CN AB: Chief Says Legalizing Cannabis Doesn't Mean Possession ChargesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Legalizing marijuana will tie up police resources and risks clogging the court system, Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht says in a blunt assessment of Canada's plan to legalize the drug by next summer.

"I don't think we're going to be ready," Knecht said during a yearend interview at Edmonton Police Service headquarters. "There's a lot of work that's got to be done in the next few months."

Legalization is one of the biggest issues facing police services across the country next year. Police chiefs including Knecht have warned that the timelines are too tight and there are too many outstanding issues, including ambiguity around roadside tests for marijuanaintoxication.

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2 CN NF: LTE: Mr. Trudeau, Weare Just Not ReadyMon, 25 Dec 2017
Source:Aurora, The (CN NF) Author:Power, Keihan Area:Newfoundland Lines:90 Added:12/27/2017

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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3 CN AB: LTE: Slow Down, EveryoneSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:South Peace News, The (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:48 Added:12/27/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass its marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions and so few answers?

Just this week, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said that the legislation is coming too fast, stating that, "There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety". The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned that it will be "impossible" to be ready for the government's target of legalizing marijuana by July 2018. Do these things not matter?

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4 Canada: Companies Fret About Hazy Rules Around Pot UseSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Szklarski, Cassandra Area:Canada Lines:87 Added:12/27/2017

Some HR officials concerned that legalization could lead to safety issues in workplace

Once recreational cannabis use becomes legal, taking a "smoke break" at work could suddenly become much more complicated.

At least that's the fear among some human resources officials who wonder if the law change will bring impairment at work, decreased productivity, poor attendance and, of course, safety issues.

Many questions linger over what legal pot will mean for the average workplace, says Scott Allinson of the Human Resources Professionals Association, which outlined its concerns in a 25-page report over the summer.

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5Canada: Half Of All Pot Users Shrug Off Driving RiskWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Forrest, Maura Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2017

OTTAWA - A new Health Canada survey shows that Canadians are hazy on the risks of driving high.

Only half of respondents who had consumed cannabis in the past year felt that marijuana use affects driving, according to the Canadian Cannabis Survey, released Tuesday, compared with 75 per cent of all respondents. Another 24 per cent said it depends, while 19 per cent said cannabis doesn't affect driving.

Of those who had used marijuana in the last 12 months, 39 per cent said they had driven within two hours of consuming cannabis at some point in their lives. Forty per cent of those said they had done it in the previous 30 days, and 15 per cent said they had driven after using cannabis in combination with alcohol. Only two per cent reported an interaction with police related to driving under the influence.

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6 CN NF: LTE: Mr. Trudeau, We're Just Not ReadyWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Northern Pen (CN NF) Author:Power, Keihan Area:Newfoundland Lines:84 Added:12/24/2017

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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7 CN AB: LTE: There Are Risks To Consuming PotThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:McColl, Pamela Area:Alberta Lines:36 Added:12/24/2017

Re: "Irksome issues around cannabis legalization," Licia Corbella, Opinion, Dec. 16.

Canadians need to be surveyed on far more marijuana harms than just the risk of driving marijuana impaired. Health Canada has identified conditions for which the use of marijuana is strictly contraindicated.

Our country's health watchdog advises men to avoid the use of marijuana if they want to start a family.

How many Canadians understand the science that links marijuana to a heightened probability of testicular cancer, sterility and damage to DNA? How many Canadians are aware of the scientific evidence that suggests marijuana can negatively impact pre- and post-natal development?

Such warnings, provided from Health Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use, are not the rantings of reefer madness, but rather, statements by highly regarded institutions.

Pamela McColl, Vancouver

[end]

8 CN BC: British Columbia Going Down The Road To PotWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Quesnel Cariboo Observer (CN BC) Author:Alexander, Ken Area:British Columbia Lines:127 Added:12/24/2017

Province releases first decisions on cannabis regulation after public engagement

After receiving input from 48,951 British Columbians and submissions from 141 local and Indigenous governments and other interested stakeholders, the provincial government made some decisions on the anticipated legalization of non-medical cannabis in July 2018.

On Dec. 5, the NDP government announced the following policy decisions:

Minimum age

The Province will set the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis at 19 years old. A minimum age of 19 is consistent with B.C.'s minimum age for alcohol and tobacco and with the age of majority in B.C.

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9CN ON: Gignac Calls For City Input On Location Of Pot StoreTue, 19 Dec 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Cross, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2017

Predicting a "mess" of traffic chaos and policing problems when the province opens a cannabis retail store in Windsor, Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac Monday called for the city to have some input on the location.

Her motion, passed by council, involves expressing concerns about increased policing demands and making the province aware the city has a designated entertainment district downtown where there is already a beefed-up police presence.

"I'm expressing concern that I want to make sure it's done right," she said.

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10 CN BC: Stop Treating Pot Like Plutonium, Says Local Dispensary OwnerThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Chief, The (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Pat Area:British Columbia Lines:96 Added:12/21/2017

Concerns still abound as cannabis legalization planned for this summer fast approaches

A Squamish cannabis retailer thinks the province's recent announcement around the sale of marijuana is a step in the right direction but says there are still many unanswered questions.

"I'm excited, but there is still not much that's changed since the announcement," says Bryan Raiser, owner of 99 North Dispensary.

The federal government has said marijuana will be legalized by July 1 of next year but handed it over to the provinces to determine how to manage the details.

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11 CN ON: OPED: Marijuana Legislation Will Not Achieve Its ObjectivesWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Hill Times, The (Ottawa, CN ON) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:12/20/2017

Bill C-45 is horrible legislation which will not achieve its objectives and should never see the light of day. The Senate will do its job and thoroughly study the Bill, but Canadians will be well-served if it is defeated, writes Alberta Senator Betty Unger.

It's difficult to remember the last time the federal government and the provinces came to an agreement on revenue sharing in a single day. But that's what happened last week when the feds agreed to give the provinces 75 per cent of tax revenue generated by the sale of marijuana.

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12CN BC: Cities Will Get Money, Help With Weed Effects: BlairWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Tri-City News (Port Coquitlam, CN BC) Author:McKenna, Gary Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2017

As a former Toronto police chief, Liberal MP Bill Blair said he understands how the federal government's legislation legalizing marijuana consumption for recreational use affects municipalities.

Blair, Ottawa's point person on the pot file, was in the Tri-Cities this week, meeting with mayors and councillors, he said, to ensure cities have the tools and information ahead of the regulation changes coming next summer.

"I recognize the important roles that mayors, councillors and local police officers have to make this thing work," he said in an interview Monday with The Tri-City News at Port Coquitlam city hall. "They have a big job to do here and we want to make sure they have the support they need that is required at the local level in order to make sure that this works in this community."

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13 CN ON: Bottoms Or Bongs Up?Mon, 18 Dec 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Artuso, Antonella Area:Ontario Lines:82 Added:12/18/2017

Will weed be the new booze?

Will a culture so tied to alcohol switch allegiance once recreational cannabis is readily and legally available?

A recent study out of the University of Connecticut looked at alcohol sales in jurisdictions with medical marijuana, and found the two substances to be substitutes, with monthly booze sales falling 13%.

A 2016 Deloitte study predicted some alcohol consumers will migrate to legal recreational marijuana.

Dan Malleck, associate professor in Health Sciences at Brock University, said the U.S. study looked at medical marijuana, and the findings suggest that people are switching if they're using alcohol to self-medicate for conditions like stress.

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14CN SN: Mayor Wants Cities To Get Fair Share Of Pot TaxesThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Tank, Phil Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:12/17/2017

Clark says municipalities will have extra costs for policing, services

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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15 CN NF: LTE: Mr. Trudeau, We're Just Not ReadyThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Power, Keihan Area:Newfoundland Lines:94 Added:12/17/2017

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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16CN QU: OPED: Let's Not Delay New Bill On Impaired DrivingThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Gold, Marc Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

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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17CN AB: Column: City's Marijuana Concerns Are All Smoke, MirrorsTue, 12 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

Certain cannabis crimes ... will vanish altogether, thus resulting in less enforcement.

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 hall?

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 property taxes.

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18CN BC: Minister Warns Pot Will Not Be Big Money-MakerWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Chan, Cheryl Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

The B.C. government says revenue from legalized marijuana isn't going to create the financial windfall many expected once the province's thriving but illicit industry moves out of the shadows and is taxed like tobacco.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Carole James cautioned against expectations.

"There will be revenue coming in after the first couple of years, but I don't see it as a big money-maker for British Columbia," James said at an editorial board meeting with The Vancouver Sun and The Province.

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19 Canada: Column: Which Party Will Pay For Pot Delay?Mon, 11 Dec 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Ibbitson, John Area:Canada Lines:98 Added:12/16/2017

You may think that you will be able to buy marijuana legally as of July 1. You should think again. Conservative senators are threatening to hold up passage of the two bills that would legalize cannabis consumption and toughen rules against abuse. Unless these senators yield, the bills are unlikely to become law in time for the Canada Day deadline.

"I think we have to do our job properly, and that means months," Conservative Senator Claude Carignan, the lead opposition critic on the legislation, said when asked in an interview how long he thought it would take the Senate to pass the bills. How many months?

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20CN BC: Editorial: Caution's Best On PotSat, 09 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/14/2017

B.C.'s NDP government is right to get ahead of the curve and establish a framework for distributing and regulating recreational cannabis in advance of the federal government legalizing it next July.

But the plan still has some shortcomings that should be addressed before we legally light up our sativa and enjoy what one vendor described as its spicy, earthy flavours.

B.C. intends to make marijuana available at public and private retail outlets, supplied exclusively by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch. The government has determined that people age 19 and over will be allowed to buy it.

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