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1 CN ON: OPED: Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized NowSat, 03 Feb 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Kemeny, Jeremy Area:Ontario Lines:103 Added:02/06/2018

Millions of criminals are Canadians buying pot from Canadians, writes Jeremy Kemeny

Everyone smoking recreational marijuana right now is a criminal.

That is according to Canadian law and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who - planning to legalize this summer - has encouraged authorities to enforce these rules.

There are a lot of criminals. In 2016, an estimated 4.9 million Canadians between the ages of 15 and 64 years old spent money on pot, which translates into $5.7 billion according to a new Statistics Canada report. And 94 per cent of that, the agency said, was consumed illegally. Your child, sibling or parent might be guilty. You probably have a cousin that's guilty. Some of your friends are likely guilty. That's millions Canadians guilty of possession of cannabis.

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2 Canada: Senators Tackle Legal Pot BillSun, 24 Dec 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Pazzano, Sam Area:Canada Lines:58 Added:12/27/2017

Senator Tony Dean is quarterbacking the challenging, complicated marijuana bill come Jan. 31, 2018, when his fellow Senators get back to their posts.

But he has already armed his colleagues for informed debate amongst the 38 fellow Independent senators, 34 Tories and 15 Liberals.

"It's not a cold start, we've heard from some 100 witnesses at parliamentary committees about the nature of cannabis," said Dean in an interview this week.

"I don't believe the status quo (prohibition) is viable," said Dean, 64, a senator since Nov. 2016.

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3 CN ON: Saunders Considers Officer Drug TestingWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:12/20/2017

Chief's comments come after confirmation that constable died from fentanyl overdose

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders says he's actively looking at drug testing for officers in the wake of a constable's fentanyl overdose death this year.

"I don't want to lose any officers to anything, especially drugs of any kind and if there are things that we can do to reduce that, then I'm very interested in that," Saunders said Tuesday during a year-end interview.

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4CN AB: Judge Acquits Officer Of Stealing Seized MarijuanaWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

Laziness, not criminal intent, was likely behind a city police officer's decision to take home seized drugs, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Provincial court Judge Jerry LeGrandeur said he had a reasonable doubt Const. Robert Cumming took home marijuana handed over to him by an undercover officer for his own personal use.

LeGrandeur said Cumming's conduct in placing the contraband in his garbage bin in the alley behind his house before retrieving it hours later supported the suspended officer's story.

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5Canada: Learning The Lessons Of HistorySun, 10 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Krugel, Laurel Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2017

Ahead of recreational cannabis use becoming lawful, some observers see parallels with the end of prohibition

The third in a series on the impending legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada.

A notorious 1922 police shooting in southwestern Alberta, and the sensational trial that followed, caused many people to wonder whether enforcing alcohol prohibition was worth the trouble.

Alberta's move to outlaw drinking in 1916 was wildly unpopular in the Crowsnest Pass, a cluster of coal mining towns nestled in the Rocky Mountains, near the B.C. boundary.

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6 CN BC: Feds Seek Input On Pot RegulationsFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:North Shore News (CN BC) Author:Seyd, Jane Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:11/28/2017

North Shore residents should be able to buy marijuana in either private or government-run outlets, similar to liquor stores, but there should be strict regulations banning youth under 19 from accessing weed and roadside suspensions for drivers impaired by pot.

Local municipalities also want a cut of marijuana revenues to help with enforcement of the rules and a say about where pot shops are set up.

Those are some of the messages put forward by all three North Shore municipalities in response to a provincial call for submissions as B.C. considers how legal marijuana will be sold and regulated next year. Those responses received are now posted online by the province.

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7 CN ON: Column: Ex-Cops Cashing In On New Pot Laws Upholds Old PowersMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Toronto, CN ON) Author:Mochama, Vicky Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:11/23/2017

Known for his mishandling of Veterans A airs, corruption scandals within his constabulary and, shall we say, colourful comments on race and marijuana, former Toronto and Ontario police chief Julian Fantino is launching a pot business with a former RCMP senior leader. It has rightly been met with outcry.

It exposes not only his personal hypocrisies but also those of the pot legalization process.

A focus on criminalizing personal use rather than public health concerns (i.e., accessibility to children, mental health issues) has contributed to the circumstances that make young Black and Indigenous people known to police. Along with carding, illegality of marijuana has introduced more young racialized, especially Black, people to the criminal justice system than is patently fair.

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8 Canada: Feds Unveil Regulation Plan For Recreational CannabisWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Israel, Solomon Area:Canada Lines:135 Added:11/22/2017

Ottawa seeks to undercut black market using 'small-scale growers'

OTTAWA - The federal government has revealed part of its strategy for regulating recreational cannabis when it becomes legal in July, proposing to allow "micro-cultivation" while modifying the existing federal licensing scheme for medical marijuana producers to let them sell into the future market.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor released a 75-page consultation document Tuesday afternoon kicking off a 60-day period for officials, groups and citizens to respond to the plan.

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9CN ON: Racist Past Of The Word Marijuana Raises New ConcernsFri, 03 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

Is the word marijuana racist?

It's a long-standing debate in the cannabis world, but the question is now slipping into the mainstream as the drug is on the edge of becomingly legal for recreational use. Many people aren't aware of the history of the term marijuana, which is linked to campaigns in the U.S. in the 1930s to demonize the plant by associating it with Mexican immigrants.

Halifax Coun. Shawn Cleary recently created controversy when he declared he would no longer use the word. "Let's do what we can to not perpetuate racism," he said on Twitter.

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10CN ON: In Search Of A Buzz, Branding: Legal Pot Shops Need NameFri, 03 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

The name of the government agency that will sell pot to Ontario has been revealed: the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

But neither does LCBO, the name of the provincial liquor monolith that sells us whiskey and wine. That acronym is so well known in Ontario that today no one bothers to spell it out.

Will the acronym for the new marijuana agency - OCRC - become just as familiar? It has a certain slurry symmetry. It could lend itself to a nickname. How about "Ock-Rock," suggests Trina Fraser, an Ottawa lawyer who specializes in cannabis business law.

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11 CN ON: Roots Of A ScandalSat, 21 Oct 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mendleson, Rachel Area:Ontario Lines:314 Added:10/21/2017

Hair testing by Motherisk was presented as evidence in a murder case. It was deemed not up to forensic standards, tossed out and even mocked by the judge. That was in Colorado - 22 years before the Motherisk scandal blew up

Twenty-two years before controversy shuttered the Motherisk lab, before its hair-strand drug tests were deemed unreliable, before the outcomes of thousands of child protection cases were called into question, a Colorado court threw out Motherisk's evidence in a hearing that foretold the crisis that is now playing out across Canada.

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12 CN ON: Column: Health Concerns Should Be A Buzzkill For Pot-HappyWed, 13 Sep 2017
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:09/14/2017

If the Trudeau Liberals were Boy Scouts, they'd be miserable failures in living up to the troop's famous motto of "Be Prepared."

Anyone who still thinks the Liberals have all the pieces in place in their rush to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by Canada Day 2018 has being smoking the drapes. Health concerns? Hmmm, perhaps it would have been best to have gotten onto this long before now, seeing as how sucking in THC-laced smoke into the lungs just might have some health repercussions for the burgeoning toker crowd. But that is not the case. While Ottawa's parliamentarians were enjoying their last week of summer recess before returning to the partisan fray, an all-party Commons health committee began meeting only this Monday to question medical and legal professionals on the looming legislation.

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13 CN AB: Column: Feds Too Chilled OutTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:09/14/2017

Only now bothering to consider health impact of legalized marijuana

If the Trudeau Liberals were Boy Scouts, they'd be miserable failures in living up to the troop's famous motto of "Be Prepared."

Anyone who still thinks the Liberals have all the pieces in place in their rush to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by Canada Day 2018 has being smoking the drapes. Health concerns? Hmmm, perhaps it would have been best to have gotten onto this long before now, seeing as how sucking in THC-laced smoke into the lungs just might have some health repercussions for the burgeoning toker crowd.

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14 CN ON: Suspended Officer Facing More ChargesWed, 23 Aug 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:O'Reilly, Nicole Area:Ontario Lines:117 Added:08/25/2017

Charges include fraud, bribery, trafficking

A suspended Hamilton police gangs and weapons enforcement unit officer already awaiting trial for his alleged role in helping a drug trafficking organization is facing 16 new criminal charges.

On Tuesday, Craig Ruthowsky was charged with bribery, two counts of breach of trust, two counts of obstructing justice, public mischief, two counts of weapons trafficking, fraud under $5,000, trafficking marijuana, perjury, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, robbery and two counts of trafficking cocaine.

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15 CN ON: A Tale of Two ShootingsFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:McArthur, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:369 Added:08/19/2017

One of the Trudeau government's stated policy goals for ending marijuana prohibition is to divert the profits reaped by gangsters toward legitimate shareholders. But an investigation by Greg McArthur and Molly Hayes offers a glimpse into the insidious nature of organized crime, finding that criminal groups easily exploited loopholes in the federal government's old medical-marijuana licensing regimes

In the late afternoon of March 14 in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, a masked gunman jumped out of the passenger side of a black Jeep Cherokee, darted across a snow-dusted parking lot and unleashed a flurry of bullets into a black BMW. Thirty seconds later, he was back in the car, leaving Saverio Serrano - the son of a notorious Canadian Mafia figure and cocaine importer - wounded, and Mr. Serrano's 28-year-old girlfriend dead.

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16 Canada: Organized Crime Backs Off In Run-Up To Pot LegalizationTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Peter Area:Canada Lines:59 Added:08/17/2017

'Disorganized criminals,' new law force mob, bikers away from meagre earnings

Once a relatively safe, profitable business for outlaw bikers and mobsters, organized crime is moving away from the marijuana market because legalization and homegrown pot are making any gain not worth the risk, experts say.

The market share in the pot business for organized criminals has already slid as pot-loving "disorganized criminals" perfected their horticultural skills. There wasn't much need to smuggle pot into the country when Canadian cannabis connoisseurs liked the homegrown stuff better, experts say.

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17 Philippines: The Man Running Duterte's Antidrug WarSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Almendral, Aurora Area:Philippines Lines:178 Added:06/03/2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Gen. Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police, knows the value of a public display of remorse. He has been forced to apologize more than once.

He was wrong, he acknowledged before the Philippine Senate as TV cameras rolled, to have trusted undisciplined policemen who killed a small-town mayor suspected of dealing drugs, as the mayor lay defenseless on a jail-cell floor.

"I cannot blame the public if they're losing their trust and confidence in their police," he told the Senate panel, accepting a tissue from the mayor's son to wipe away his tears.

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18Canada: 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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19 Canada: Study Finds Gangs Traffic Cannabis Less Than Other DrugsTue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:Canada Lines:124 Added:01/24/2017

Canada's organized-crime groups and gangs are much less likely to produce and traffic marijuana than they are other illicit drugs such as cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, according to a new federal study that tracked drug violations from police forces in four cities across three provinces.

The new report from Statistics Canada analyzed all drug-related violations over a two-year period in Victoria, Vancouver, Regina and Waterloo, Ont., and found that police linked organized crime to 39 per cent of all cannabis-trafficking charges and 6 per cent of cases involving the production of marijuana.

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20 Philippines: Defending The Drug War, Duterte Chastises BishopsThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Romero, Alexis Area:Philippines Lines:111 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] In this Nov. 26, 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his keynote address during the San Beda College of Law Alumni Homecoming at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taguig City. (PPD/King Rodriguez)

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dug up old controversies including the so-called Pajero scandal and clergy sexual abuse in his latest tirade against the Catholic Church, which has been raising concerns over the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs.

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