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1 CN AB: Editorial: No Need To Rush To PotTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:60 Added:02/23/2018

Ontario Senator Tony Dean, sponsor of the Trudeau Liberals' pot bill in the Upper Chamber, is upset that Canadians will not be able to legally light up their spliffs until long after Canada Day.

He says time is of the essence, and that the government does not have the luxury of biding it.

Why is this? Why, after more than 100 years of marijuana being illegal, does the good senator think pushing back the smoke date by a few weeks is the wrong thing to do?

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2 CN AB: Medical Marijuana Users Wait For CoverageTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:104 Added:02/23/2018

Patients still struggling to get covered by insurance plans

As Alberta moves forward on retail applications for recreational marijuana, those who use the drug for medical reasons still wait for coverage.

Most forms of medical cannabis do not have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) in Canada, which leaves it subject to tax and exempts it from most health coverage plans.

"We're not talking about drug users using this to get high, we're talking about patients that need it to be able to function and be part of a working society," said Scott Bladon, an Edmonton man who has legally used cannabis for three years to treat psoriatic arthritis.

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3 CN BC: Driving High On B.C. HighwaysTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Ball, David P. Area:British Columbia Lines:95 Added:02/23/2018

As legalization looms, experts say we're not road safe yet

As Canada readies to legalize pot this summer, experts including an ex-traffic cop warn we're still stumped about stopping stoned drivers from hitting B.C.'S streets.

"I've stopped lots of people who have been under the influence of marijuana," recalls retired West Vancouver traffic enforcement officer Cpl. Grant Gottgetreu. "You had to get really good at making observations.

"Unless a person gets pulled over and there's an overwhelming smell of burned marijuana from the car … there's still no instrument out there to test like there is for alcohol yet."

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4 CN ON: LTE: Canada Will Change With Pot LawsTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Ontario Lines:44 Added:02/23/2018

(Re: New guideline recommends doctors avoid prescribing medical marijuana for most conditions, Feb. 15)

The British have just issued the same guideline raising the question why there was not public education on the serious dangers to health before the Trudeau government fast-tracked legalizing marijuana. Besides causing serious damage to young developing brains, using pot can also lead to very aggressive behaviour is some people. The bottom line is very little is known about the long-term health effects of the 80 cannabinoids contained in marijuana. One thing we do know from the experiences in Colorado and Washington states, after legalization, is there will likely be more impaired drivers on our highways leading to more road deaths and young people will gain access to the drug with dire consequences.

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5 CN MB: Unchartered TerritoryTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Brodbeck, Tom Area:Manitoba Lines:92 Added:02/23/2018

Pallister government not budgeting for pot tax revenue this year

If the Pallister government projects a reduced deficit in the 2018 provincial budget, it won't be because of a new pot tax.

The Winnipeg Sun has learned that next month's budget will not include a revenue line from marijuana sales, even though legalized pot is expected to go on sale sometime later this year.

Finance Minister Cameron Friesen confirmed government is not budgeting for any marijuana revenues in 2018-19 and is still examining the potential costs associated with legalized weed, including additional health care, road safety and justice costs.

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6 CN BC: LTE: Anti-Pot Champion NeededTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Davis, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:02/23/2018

I firmly believe that most Canadians don't want recreational marijuana legalized, and that there is still time to stop it.

The basic threat to the Liberal party is anti-marijuana voters who will get their attention in the election coming up next year.

I don't need to repeat the many solid reasons why legalization of pot is a bad decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It will turn into a disaster, causing major grief to thousands of families.

It's sad that most Canadians don't speak up as loudly as the dopers do while breaking the law. What we need is a well-known "champion," like a Jim Pattison type, to start up a campaign against legalization.

Bill Davis, New Westminster

[end]

7US LA: One Of Louisiana's 1st Medical Marijuana Pharmacies Plans ToWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Bacon-Blood, Littice Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

The Rx Greenhouse, one of the state's first marijuana pharmacy is looking to open in Metairie. This rendering is a picture of the pharmacy's waiting area.

One of the state's first marijuana pharmacies is looking to open in Metairie nearly two years after Louisiana lawmakers authorized the use of medical marijuana for certain conditions.

The Rx Greenhouse last month got preliminary approval from the state Pharmacy Board and plans to be operational by Sept. 1, according to CEO Dr. Sajal Roy, who is also a pharmacist.

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8 US SC: SC Lawmaker Proposes Cannabis Oil For Some InmatesWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Schechter, Maayan Area:South Carolina Lines:46 Added:02/23/2018

South Carolina could allow prison inmates with physical or mental-health issues to be treated with cannabidiol oil, an active ingredient found in marijuana plants.

The S.C. House budget-writing committee OK'd an amendment Tuesday that would authorize the S.C. Department of Corrections to start a pilot program to study the effects of cannabidiol oil use on inmates.

South Carolina already has a law -- Julian's Law -- that allows patients with certain forms of epilepsy to use cannabidiol oil.

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9US CA: Auditor: Continue Marijuana Program Despite 'Multiple' FlawsWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

The state auditor says Ohio should continue its medical marijuana program despite "multiple" flaws in selecting grower applicants.

Republican Auditor David Yost says the program's flaws should be handled by administrative appeals or lawsuits.

At issue is the Department of Commerce's admission last week that a scoring error led to a company's inadvertent exclusion from the proposed list of the dozen big marijuana growers in Ohio's new program.

The agency says it identified the mistake after Yost expressed concern that two employees had complete access to the scoring data.

The agency offered to put the program on hold. Yost said in Wednesday's letter it's too late for that. He urged the agency to get advice from the Ohio Attorney General.

[end]

10 US TX: Pete Sessions At Opioid Addiction Summit Talks MarijuanaTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Caplan, Jeff Area:Texas Lines:148 Added:02/23/2018

Congressman Pete Sessions used a speech to a group of doctors and other healthcare providers at an opioid epidemic summit Tuesday to suggest that marijuana is the gateway to addiction and as a campaign against the medical and recreational legalization movement.

The Republican from Dallas called the rising number of deaths from opioid overdose a "national crisis" and implored those on the front lines of the fight, the scientific and medical communities, he said, to provide solutions he can bring to Congress, saying he will get the appropriate funding added to next month's budget bill.

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11CN BC: Editorial: Damaged Lives Need Our HelpSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

With toxic street drugs such as fentanyl killing four British Columbians a day, much of the response has focused on overdose treatments with naloxone, and supervised injection sites. Yet public-health staff have concluded that emergency interventions such as these will not stop the epidemic. If the supply of these drugs cannot be halted - and no war on drugs has ever been won - the only option is to prevent the downward slide that leads to street-drug addiction.

Many of the victims are middle-age men and women who have fought a lifelong struggle against such challenges as alcoholism, mental illness, the lasting effects of childhood abuse and more.

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12 US MD: Column: Rodricks: Baltimore Should Call Off The War On DrugsTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Rodricks, Dan Area:Maryland Lines:122 Added:02/23/2018

Would Baltimore be better off if we called off the war on drugs? Yes. There would almost certainly be less violence here. The downside: Barring a sudden and significant change in the city's economic base that could lead to more jobs for men who have been involved in the illegal narcotics trade, we would still have too many neighborhoods with open-air drug markets.

But first things first. Let's deal with the violence.

The violence remains Baltimore's most immediate and pressing problem; we are internationally known for it.

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13CN ON: Column: In Defence Of Pot LoungesSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Dawson, Tyler Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

The mayor is wrong on allowing legal pot cafes, and here's why

Mayor Jim Watson won't support the idea of legal lounges where people can smoke pot.

That's not even remotely surprising: Watson's a cautious, conservative mayor when it comes to social policy. He doesn't want to make it easier for anyone to smoke anything in lounges.

If his view wins the day, there won't really be anywhere in Ottawa to smoke pot, because politicians at Queen's Park have banned smoking marijuana in public places.

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14CN BC: Column: This Is Your Brain On PotSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Todd, Douglas Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Psychologists point to 'compelling evidence' of cannabis' potential health impairments

Apart from the #Metoo maelstrom and the housing crises in Toronto and Vancouver, few things stir up Canadians more than marijuana, which its promoters claim is the cure for everything from glaucoma to brain disease =2E

Should private outlets sell recreational marijuana? Is it more enjoyable to smoke or swallow cannabis? Will I get rich on pot stocks? Is it possible to remove the criminal underground from Canada's $6 billion-a-year cannabis industry?

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15CN BC: Column: Opioid Crisis Mostly Affects Men, But Few AcknowledgeSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Todd, Douglas Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Are public health officials facing up to the fact that the overdose epidemic in Canada and the U.S. is mostly devastating boys and men?

There are small signs some health officials are slowly, awkwardly, hesitatingly beginning to acknowledge the obvious: The overdose crisis is predominantly an issue of men's health.

Public officials have much denial to make up for. It was just a year ago that former B.C. Liberal health minister Terry Lake pulled out the public relations stops to open a 38-bed Vancouver facility for women to overcome substance abuse. Months before an election, Lake also announced an overdose prevention site exclusively for females.

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16 CN ON: Cops Concerned Over Costs Of Legal PotSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON) Author:Hale, Alan S. Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:02/22/2018

Dealing with the impact of marijuana legalization is expected to be one of the year's biggest challenges for the Cornwall Community Police Service, according to Chief-designate Danny Aikman.

"Obviously there is a lot of attention being paid the legalization of marijuana and the impact that will have on municipalities as well as police forces," he said.

The Cornwall police are concerned their costs could increase because of the change in the law, and Aikman said just because possession will be legal, doesn't mean enforcement efforts can be stopped.

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17CN MB: First Nations Big Winners In Manitoba Cannabis PlanSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Rendell, Mark Area:Manitoba Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

A group of First Nations looks set to win big in the Manitoba cannabis market, thanks to partnerships with several cannabis companies chosen to run the province's private marijuana retail system.

On Friday, Manitoba announced that it had "conditionally accepted" proposals from four groups - chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants - to run dispensaries in the province. Canopy Growth Corp. in partnership with Winnipeg-based Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., took home one conditional letter; another went to upscale retail brand Tokyo Smoke, a subsidiary of Hiku Brands Ltd.

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18CN AB: Editorial: Sage Advice On CannabisSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Calgarians are demonstrating strong common sense when it comes to offering advice on how marijuana should be regulated. The drug will be legalized by the federal government on July 1, but it's been left to cities to determine where pot smoking will be permitted. A survey prepared for the city by Environics Research finds that approximately 55 per cent of Calgarians believe marijuana consumption should be treated more like alcohol, rather than regarded as a product similar to tobacco.

Such a conclusion is prudent and would mean that pot couldn't be smoked in public, just as imbibers can't drink beer and other alcohol in public. It's difficult to imagine people walking down the street with a glass of wine in their hand - it's equally troublesome to picture a group of Calgarians sharing a joint as they meander down the road.

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19 CN MB: Groups Feel Left Out Of The Weed PartySat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pursaga, Joyanne Area:Manitoba Lines:77 Added:02/22/2018

A few groups feel they were overlooked in the competition to sell legal pot in Manitoba, including some small business owners.

Rick Macl, owner of the Brandon shop Growers 'n Smokers, said he partnered with another business to submit a proposal.

But he also said his eventual rejection letter was expected early on in that process, due to conditions set by the province.

"I knew I had no chance having (less than) three stores going in alone. I was forced to join other companies," said Macl. "I was in desperation mode."

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20 US PA: Tears Of Joy At Opening Of Bucks County Medical MarijuanaSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Terruso, Julia Area:Pennsylvania Lines:128 Added:02/22/2018

Robert Consulmagno walked into TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and left half an hour later feeling hopeful for the first time in a while.

"Help is on the way," Consulmagno said, lifting his purchase – a vape pen and cartridge of 500 mg of "Keystone Kush" – to applause from dispensary staff. "I've been waiting a long time for this."

Consulmagno, a disabled Marine veteran who suffers from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, was the first person to buy medical marijuana from TerraVida, one of two dispensaries to open in the Philadelphia area Saturday. The other, Keystone Shops, is in Devon. Pennsylvania's first dispensary opened Thursday in Butler, followed by others in Pittsburgh, Bethlehem, and Enola on Friday.

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21US MN: Minnesota's Marijuana Moment: Why To Legalize, By Someone WhoSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Scott, Paul John Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

With decriminalization advancing coast to coast, legalized pot appears on its way, and Minnesota will light up the debate this year. Change is overdue.

I don't smoke marijuana. There are secret purchases required, plus the learning of code, dealer etiquette, dosing expertise, exotic strains, the latest artisanal delivery systems, and it all sounds way too complicated.

Also, because it's easy to forget this detail, pot is illegal.

But even if pot were decriminalized tomorrow - a proposal on the table at the State Capitol - the chances of my racing out to score some "Chronicles of Narnia" and then heading home to roll up a fatty are, well, slim. Unlike Bill Clinton, the one time I did blaze up, over 20 years ago, I inhaled quite deeply enough to find the effect unpleasant. Some of us have all the feelings of alienation and existential weirdness you could ask for, thank you very much.

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22 US AZ: PUB LTE: A Real SolutionSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:East Valley Tribune (AZ) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Arizona Lines:26 Added:02/22/2018

Thanks for publishing Kathy Inman's outstanding letter: "Marijuana Solution" (Feb. 11). I'd like to add that about seven years ago before and after my hip-replacement surgery, I was taking about six Vicodin tablets every day.Now, thanks to medical marijuana, I take no pain pills.

Vicodin can and does kill thousands of people every year. Cannabis, on the other hand, has never killed anyone. For those who oppose cannabis use don't buy it. Don't buy it. Don't grow it and don't use it. Period.

Kirk Muse

Mesa

[end]

23 CN AB: Editorial: Alberta Cannabis Retail Rules Show SenseSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:02/22/2018

The Notley government rolled out more of its marijuana retail regulations on Friday and, we must say, they continue to stay ahead of other provinces.

The only way this year's legalization of bud is going to work is if obtaining legit weed is reasonably close in convenience and price to buying the illegal stuff. The Alberta NDP government seems to be making a reasonable stab at doing just that.

When you can walk into just about any bar in the province and in a few minutes pick up a couple of joints at a reasonable price, it won't automatically be easy for legal retailers to compete.n Users might have to drive further and pay more for the straight stuff.

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24 CN ON: PUB LTE: We Don't Need More Pot ResearchSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Fallucco, Tony Area:Ontario Lines:33 Added:02/22/2018

Can we please stop with the "more" research on marijuana? The only research that is needed is to determine how much good it can do medically.

Everyone knows why it was banned decades ago - so they could sell more pills. There is not one recorded death due to overdose, no one has ever gotten stoned and gone on a killing spree, no one has ever smoked pot and driven 150 km/h on the highway. Just recently we are finding out about CBD's helping people with Parkinsons, arthritis, and seizures.

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25CN AB: Easy Money In Marijuana Retailing? Think Again, Expert SaysSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Panel warned of supply problems, tight margins

A Vancouver cannabis retailer whose company plans to open 10 Alberta stores this year says anyone rushing into the field shouldn't expect to find a pot of gold.

"People definitely see it as a potentially very profitable business, or cash cow. It's not," Andrew Gordon, director of operations for Aura Cannabis, said Friday following a panel discussion sponsored by the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"The margins are very similar to other retailers … There's (also) a potential of real shortages facing our business right out the gate in the first 18 months. We have seen that in jurisdictions down south."

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26CN AB: 250 Cannabis Stores Possible In First Year Of Legalized PotSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Alberta could be the site of 250 cannabis stores in the first year of legalization, with retailers able to offer discount prices on bud and marijuana oil, provincial officials said Friday.

No one business or person will be able to own more than 15 per cent of the locations, or a maximum of 37 stores, the government said, and the outlets must be located no closer than 100 metres from schools and health-care facilities.

"This is a brand new market and we want to ensure everyone can participate, from the very small to the very large entities," said Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, adding there's no shortage of prospective retailers.

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27 US HI: Illegal Marijuana Sales Alleged At ExpoSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:118 Added:02/22/2018

The state Narcotics Enforcement Division is investigating allegations of illegal activity at last weekend's Hawaii Cannabis Expo, where some vendors openly distributed cannabis seeds and other products.

Most of the more than 100 vendors, including all three of Oahu's legal medical marijuana dispensaries, were not distributing products illegally. But some were straddling the line of recreational use - including a number of exhibitors "giving away" seeds by donation.

The state Department of Health notified the attorney general's office and law enforcement about possible illegal sales at the event and is "concerned about the allegations," DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

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28CN SN: Coach Jones Taking Wait-And-See Approach On Carter's PotThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:McCormick, Murray Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/20/2018

Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach and general manager Chris Jones remains "disappointed" in Duron Carter.

Carter faces charges for marijuana possession in Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

"I was really disappointed because I had just come off the heels of going down to Florida and spending good quality time with him and his mom,'' Jones said Wednesday from his home in South Pittsburg, Tenn.

"It's like when a family member or a close friend gets into a situation like that. I'm really disappointed because I thought we were a bit beyond that thing. It's something that we'll wait and see what the legal process goes through and what the authorities say. Then we'll have more of a comment on exactly what happens with Duron.''

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29 CN ON: OPED: Demand Will Set Pot Price As Fair, And Likely LowerThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Taylor, Peter Shawn Area:Ontario Lines:129 Added:02/20/2018

You save by buying bulk - and this law of shopping logic holds for illegal as well as legal products. Which means someone in Cambridge is either a very sharp negotiator, or a pot-smoking liar…

As part of the institutional preparation for the legalization of marijuana, Statistics Canada is currently collecting reams of data on the pot economy.

This is necessary to ensure the reliability of national accounts when legal weed becomes a reality, as sales will otherwise show up as a huge, immediate spike in consumer purchases.

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30 Canada: Sun Life To Add Medical-Marijuana CoverageThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:O'Hara, Clare Area:Canada Lines:124 Added:02/20/2018

Company is gearing up to include medicinal cannabis under extended health-care benefit plans, helping offset costs for users

Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada will become the first major insurance company to add medical marijuana to its group benefits plans for Canadian companies, a pivotal move in the insurance industry that will help ease the financial burden for medical marijuana users, and a sign of the growing acceptance of cannabis in the Canadian workplace.

As of March 1, Sun Life will include medical cannabis as optional coverage under an extended health-care benefit plan. Sun Life, which administers group benefits plans for more than 22,000 Canadian companies, oversees health and dental coverage for more than five million Canadians - including dependents.

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31CN AB: Guideline Calls On Doctors To Rethink Pot PrescriptionsFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Derworiz, Colette Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/20/2018

A new medical guideline suggests family doctors should think twice before prescribing medical marijuana to their patients.

The Simplified Guideline for Prescribing Medical Cannabinoids in Primary Care, published Thursday in the medical journal Canadian Family Physician, says there is limited evidence to support the reported benefits of medical marijuana for many conditions.

It adds that any benefit could be balanced, or even outweighed, by the potential harm.

"While enthusiasm for medical marijuana is very strong among some people, good, quality research has not caught up," project leader Mike Allan, director of evidence-based medicine at the University of Alberta, said in a news release.

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32 CN AB: Stirring Pot In CalgaryFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:67 Added:02/20/2018

Survey suggests renters more likely to smoke marijuana

An advocacy group for renters say a city survey is needlessly pitting homeowners and landlords against a vulnerable community.

This week, the City of Calgary put out their citizen cannabis survey, which included data about how Calgarians feel about impending legalization along with some pointed policy questions to help the city as they draft new rules for weed.

The survey found that renters are more likely to currently smoke marijuana at 32 per cent when compared to 12 per cent homeowners reporting they currently puff. When it comes to home growing, the city found that of those who were likely to grow marijuana plants inside their home 68 per cent of those were living in rented town homes or apartments. In Calgary particularly, the term renter has become a dirty word - especially when it comes to the politics of putting in secondary suites. The divisive term is often in the middle of council discussions.

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33 Canada: Guidelines Call On Doctors To Limit Pot ApprovalsFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:Canada Lines:89 Added:02/20/2018

New medical cannabis guidelines for family doctors stress that they should authorize marijuana for only a small fraction of patients because many of its reported benefits have not been proved by rigorous clinical trials.

The guidelines, published Thursday in the Canadian Family Physician journal, warn that the number of randomized studies backing up the use of cannabis to fight various ailments is "extremely limited or entirely absent." The scientific evidence dictates that doctors should recommend the drug only when treating a handful of very specific medical conditions such as: chronic nerve pain, palliative cancer pain, muscle stiffness associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries and the nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy, according to Mike Allan, a professor of medicine at the University of Alberta and project lead for the guidelines.

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34 Canada: Ottawa Still Not Ready To Launch Marijuana LegalizationFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leblanc, Daniel Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:02/20/2018

With target date pushed back twice, government spokesman says there is no need to impose time allocation in the Senate to speed up process

Ottawa is acknowledging for the first time that legal recreational marijuana will not be for sale until August or September.

The federal government initially promised to legalize cannabis before July 1, before giving itself until the end of July. Bill C-45 makes it clear that cannabis will become legal at a date set by cabinet, not when the legislation passes.

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35 Canada: Senate To Vote On Marijuana Bill June 7Fri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Bryden, Joann Area:Canada Lines:96 Added:02/20/2018

Late decision will push back legal sales of weed until August or even Labour Day

OTTAWA- Canadians will have to wait until at least early August - and maybe as late as early September - to legally purchase recreational marijuana.

That's the bottom line now that senators have struck a deal to hold a final vote by June 7 on the legislation that will usher in the legal cannabis regime.

As recently as last week, the Trudeau government was insisting it was on track for legalization in July. But given the Senate timetable, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor conceded Thursday that's not going to happen.

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36 CN BC: PUB LTE: Cannabis Compassion Club Confident Of Legal WinFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:McMillan, Philip Area:British Columbia Lines:48 Added:02/20/2018

Re: "Cannabis: City asks for public feedback" in the Feb. 7 issue of the Nelson Star.

I want to voice my disappointment with this article.

We don't have a municipal business licence, but the Nelson Cannabis Compassion Club isn't a for-profit business. Since March, 2000 we have been licensed by the province as a non-profit organization, incorporated under the Societies Act. The licensing and regulating of which is the jurisdiction of the province.

Also in the Feb. 7th 2018 issue Pam Mierau says, "Our assumption is they (medical dispensaries) will be treated like anybody else who is looking to set up a retail store here, and they'll have to go through the same process , and they won't have any advantage over anyone else." "But we're not sure." Well, she shouldn't be sure as there is a major difference between a recreational user of cannabis and a medical user. It's called the Chart of Rights and Freedoms. Recreational users don't have charter protections and medical users do. Even the provincial government realizes this. If you look at their announcements around the retail sales of recreational cannabis they use the same term "non-medicinal cannabis" over and over again.

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37 CN BC: LTE: Pot Records Should StayThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Slade, Brian Area:British Columbia Lines:24 Added:02/20/2018

Why are people expecting to have marijuana-conviction charges removed from their records and/or expecting compensation for any prison time they may have served? They knowingly broke the law at the time.

I don't think any of them would be admitting to their habit if the government were announcing that they were going to criminalize it. Compensating people for breaking the law would be a waste of taxpayers' money.

Brian Slade, Pitt Meadows

[end]

38 CN AB: Focus Put On Education As Marijuana Legalization LoomsThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:71 Added:02/20/2018

Public awareness of possible harm from marijuana use will be part of a public campaign in the coming days as July approaches when the federal government will legalize the use of the drug.

"We will have a public education campaign around the legalization of cannabis," a spokesperson for the Alberta Cannabis Secretariat said in an email. "However, the details of public education coming from the federal government have not yet been finalized."

Federal government details are necessary first in order to ensure there are no duplicated efforts at the provincial level.

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39 CN AB: Doobie-Dos And Don'tsSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Bennett, Dean Area:Alberta Lines:96 Added:02/17/2018

Alberta outlines specifics on cannabis sales

Alberta expects to issue 250 licences for cannabis stores this year, and says anyone who wants to run a weed shop will first undergo an exhaustive check ranging from tax records to mob ties. "We believe that our regulations will strike the right balance," Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Friday in Calgary as she unveiled the new regulations for marijuana distribution.

"The system that we are putting in place in Alberta will create an environment in which retailers can legally sell cannabis and provide access to safe products while keeping the health and safety of Albertans in mind."

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40 Canada: Editorial: It's Time For An All-Out War On FentanylSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:101 Added:02/17/2018

Earlier this month, front-line health workers in Toronto raised the possibility that part of the city's cocaine supply may be tainted with fentanyl, after a handful of drug overdoses were connected to users unknowingly consuming the deadly opioid while smoking crack.

This dismal scenario is common in Canada. Across the country, illicit drugs are being cut with the synthetic painkiller - which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin - because it is cheap and powerful and saves dealers money. During a month-long period in the summer of 2016, 86 per cent of the street drugs tested at Vancouver's supervised injection sitewere laced with fentanyl.

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41 CN ON: Aids Network Proposes First Injection SiteSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:02/17/2018

The AIDS Network is putting itself forward to run Hamilton's first supervised injectionsite at its downtown Effort Square location.

The AIDS service organization is preparing proposals to the provincial and federal governments for a permanent site where people can inject illegal drugs under the watchful eye of trained staff without fear of arrest.

Meanwhile, it is also proposing a smaller temporary overdose prevention site as a stopgap that would allow supervised injection until the permanent location was approved and operating.

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42 CN ON: Column: Sober Second Pot? Senate Deal Delays Marijuana RolloutFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Harper, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:127 Added:02/16/2018

Political manoeuvres in upper house likely to push legalization date into September - well past the Liberals' original July 1 target

If you were hankering for a summer of legalized marijuana in Canada, you can forget it.

And you can thank Canada's newly independent - but unelected - Senate for delays.

There is now a firm deadline for passage, but it wasn't the deadline the Trudeau government, and some provinces, wanted.

If this was a strictly political gambit, there are those who would finger the culprit, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, as the man who directed his Senate caucus to put the brakes on government legislation, choosing partisan battles over sober second thought.

[continues 660 words]

43 CN AB: LTE: Reckless To Allow Anyone Under 18 To Use CannabisFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Rose, Alan Area:Alberta Lines:36 Added:02/16/2018

I just spent the morning reading Bill C-45, the new cannabis law. I discovered under the section for possession, it states that a youth (12 to 18) who possesses more than five grams of dried marijuana will be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act but does not mention anything about amounts under five grams or under age 12.

Given all the science-based facts on the effect of cannabis on developing brains I find this to be a very careless section. The argument concerning ruining a young person's life with a record is made moot since the offence is dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

[continues 81 words]

44 US CA: California Police Are Watching Volunteers Get High OnFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Hill, Crystal Area:California Lines:77 Added:02/16/2018

Now that marijuana is legal in California, people don't have to hide their marijuana use -- in fact, some are smoking it right in officers' faces.

But these pot smokers aren't being brazen. They're actually helping police better detect impaired drivers on the road, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Glendale police Officer Bryan Duncan told the news station that about 75 percent of the DUI arrests he makes these days are drug impaired -- "more cannabis than alcohol."

A group of smokers recently gathered at a hotel where they were first given field sobriety tests, and then allowed to start smoking marijuana, Inside Edition reported. They later took sobriety tests for a second time to judge how the drug affected their mental and motor skill, the news outlet said.

[continues 349 words]

45 CN MB: Mayor Calls On Feds To Apply PressureFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Robertson, Dylan Area:Manitoba Lines:116 Added:02/16/2018

Bowman wants help getting promised provincial funding for infrastructure

OTTAWA - Mayor Brian Bowman says he wants Ottawa to push the Pallister government to cough up more funding for infrastructure projects in the city, and to also give the city a handsome portion of tax collected from legalized marijuana.

"The challenge many of the big city mayors are having is ensuring that those funds are flowing through the provinces, and getting to municipalities to support municipal priorities," Bowman said Thursday, on the sidelines of the Big City Mayors' Caucus in Ottawa.

[continues 676 words]

46 US CT: Public Hearing On Legalizing Recreational MarijuanaFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:70 Added:02/16/2018

In a change from the past, the legislature's general law committee will hold a public hearing on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana.

In a change from the past, the legislature's general law committee will hold a public hearing on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana. (Getty Images)

In a switch from the past, the legislature's general law committee will hold a public hearing on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana.

Traditionally, committees such as public health and judiciary have had jurisdiction over the issue. But this year, legislators said the issue is being routed through the general law committee under its new House co-chairman, Rep. Michael D'Agostino, a Democrat who is running for attorney general.

[continues 303 words]

47 CN NS: OPED: Without Pot-Possession Pardons, System Still SkewedFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Chronicle Herald (CN NS) Author:Ajadi, Tari Area:Nova Scotia Lines:126 Added:02/16/2018

Both the Nova Scotia and federal Liberal governments are blowing the chance to rectify years of anti-black prejudice with their marijuana legislation.

For years, the government's "tough on crime" strategy gave police officers carte blanche to harass people of colour. Now that the government has decided to legalize recreational marijuana, they have no plans to issue pardons for marijuana possession convictions.

Thousands of people have been charged with pot possession over the past decade. Things got so bad under the Harper government that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police advocated for ticketing to replace criminal charges for simple possession.

[continues 700 words]

48 CN ON: SIU Refuses To Change Naloxone RulesFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Gillis, Wendy Area:Ontario Lines:135 Added:02/16/2018

Watchdog stands firm on requirement it be notified in cases involving the drug

Ontario's police watchdog is pushing back at chiefs for suggesting their officers might hesitate to provide the life-saving drug naloxone out of fear that it could prompt an investigation by the civilian agency.

In a strongly worded letter Thursday, the director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said the agency would not back down on its expectation that it be notified in cases where a civilian is injured or dies after an officer administers naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

[continues 793 words]

49CN ON: OPED: How The NDP Can Set Itself Apart On Drug PolicyFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Hutt, James Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:02/16/2018

Decriminalization is the right move , say James Hutt and Emilie Taman.

Canada's overdose crisis is getting worse, not better. In 2016, there were 2,861 opioid-related deaths. Last year, there were more than 4,000.

All of them were preventable.

As the NDP gathers in Ottawa this weekend for its national policy convention, many hope that this issue will be front and centre. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has already indicated that he favours the decriminalization of all drugs - not because it's the popular but because it's the right thing to do.

[continues 551 words]

50 US PA: Column: Does Anyone Care That 'Safe Injection Sites' AreFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bykofsky, Stu Area:Pennsylvania Lines:91 Added:02/16/2018

Thank you, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, for giving me cover so I don't wind up being painted as the "worst person in the world," the label Keith Olbermann used on his TV show to hang on people he didn't like.

I have been silent as the opioid epidemic raged because I had no clear-cut solution. The debate currently swirls around the idea of city-approved "safe injection sites," more formally known as CUES -- comprehensive user engagement sites.

[continues 545 words]


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