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.
[continues 809 words]
Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach and general manager Chris Jones
remains "disappointed" in Duron Carter.
Carter faces charges for marijuana possession in Winnipeg and
"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.''
[continues 332 words]
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.
[continues 826 words]
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.
[continues 841 words]
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
"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.
[continues 377 words]
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
[continues 264 words]
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
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.
[continues 476 words]
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.
[continues 637 words]
Late decision will push back legal sales of weed until August or even
OTTAWA- Canadians will have to wait until at least early August - and
maybe as late as early September - to legally purchase recreational
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
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.
[continues 531 words]
Re: "Cannabis: City asks for public feedback" in the Feb. 7 issue of the
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.
[continues 120 words]
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
Brian Slade, Pitt Meadows
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.
[continues 344 words]
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
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]
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
[continues 81 words]
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'
But these pot smokers aren't being brazen. They're actually helping
police better detect impaired drivers on the road, CBS Los Angeles
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]
Bowman wants help getting promised provincial funding for
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]
If, five years ago, someone had asked me how I felt about cannabis,
I'd assume they were a cop. Even the term "marijuana" - a word
believed to be brought to the United States by Mexican migrant workers
before the Prohibition era, which was later used to promote racist
anti-pot messaging - was a red flag to discreet and casual users such
Weed, cheeba, ganja, sticky-icky, dank nugs - terms the community has
appropriated from Rastafarians, West Coast hippies, rappers and Indian
yogis: These are the words that would have communicated familiarity
and, therefore, acceptance of the habit. But what do you call it now
that Canada has developed a sophisticated legal medical program and is
close to passing its recreational cannabis legislation? Well, from
black-market producers to young workers in illegal dispensaries to the
burgeoning, optimistic legal industry: We've all agreed to say cannabis.
[continues 1184 words]
The ongoing effort in the Senate to derail the passage of the Liberal
government's bill to legalize marijuana is not an exercise in sober
second thought, as its Conservative proponents claim, but an attempt
to obstruct democracy. The Trudeau government should use the tools at
its disposal to push this important legislation through the Upper House.
Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, and C-46, which would tighten rules on
impaired driving related to marijuana use, have been before the Senate
since the Commons passed them in late November. And they may languish
there forever if the government does not invoke so-called time
allocation, a tool for curtailing debate that the Liberals have
[continues 491 words]
Fentanyl. The drug is one that most people never even heard of until a
few years ago. Now it strikes fear into the hearts of public health
officials, youth workers, parents and others. A few grains of
fentanyl, often mixed with another recreational drug without the
user's knowledge, can cause death within minutes. It has caused
thousands of overdose deaths in Canada and tens of thousands in the
U.S., and those numbers are rising rapidly.
How have we dealt with this crisis? The primary strategy has been to
supply naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of fentanyl, as
widely as possible to police officers, health care providers and
others who are likely to encounter people who have overdosed. The use
of naloxone is a "harm reduction strategy", intended to reduce the
negative consequences of using fentanyl, and it has saved many lives.
But it is not enough. Overdose deaths from fentanyl continue to
increase even after widespread distribution of naloxone kits. We
desperately need another strategy. But what kind of strategy would
[continues 652 words]
Seth and Danielle Hyman with their daughter Rebecca 8, of Weston, are
seeking to have a strain of marijuana legalized to help prevent
seizures in their daughter, Rebecca, in 2014. Despite the legalization
of medical marijuana, Seth Hyman said the drug is still difficult to
get for is daughter. [Miami Herald]
When Seth Hyman first began to buy medical marijuana in Florida for
his 12-year-old daughter last year, he hoped it would be the answer to
fixing her life-threatening seizures.
[continues 902 words]
Hydroponic systems to grow your own pot, an on-site bud trimming
school and hand-blown glass pipe demonstrations are among the mix of
exhibitors at this weekend's Hawaii Cannabis Expo.
Drew Gennuso, owner of Trim Ready Hawaii, showed Ari Medina how to
trim legal hemp, which looks like cannabis, Friday at the Hawaii
Cannabis Expo at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.
Hydroponic systems to grow your own pot, an on-site bud trimming
school and hand-blown glass pipe demonstrations are among the mix of
exhibitors at this weekend's Hawaii Cannabis Expo.
[continues 767 words]
DOVER, Del. -- A task force studying issues surrounding marijuana
legalization in Delaware is wrapping up its work, but it remains
unclear whether there is enough support among state lawmakers to
legalize recreational pot use.
The task force issued a draft report Wednesday and plans to present a
final report Feb. 28.
Rep. Helene Keeley, a Wilmington Democrat who is co-chair of the task
force and chief sponsor of a stalled legalization bill, said the bill
would be amended to address some of the concerns raised during
task-force meetings. The panel has discussed a variety of issues,
including law-enforcement concerns, taxation and banking, consumer
safety, and local authority and control.
[continues 459 words]
It's a common stereotype that people who smoke weed are a bit
foggy-headed and missing a few brain cells.
But a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder
found that alcohol is much more damaging to your brain than marijuana.
In fact, the study - which was published in the journal Addiction -
suggests that weed use doesn't seem to alter the structure of a
person's brain at all.
Kent Hutchison, a co-author of the study, told Medical News Today that
he wanted to examine what effect pot has on a person's brain because
there isn't a conclusive answer to the question.
[continues 364 words]
Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission
intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state
legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent
agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this
In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the
commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers
urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license
marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical
storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and
theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.
[continues 450 words]
Police seize 5.8 kg in January - half of what was seized in
MAKE no mistake: Winnipeg has a meth problem.
That's the message city police drove home Thursday at a lengthy news
conference, painting a dark picture of a city in the grips of a
methamphetamine epidemic and the strain placed on front-line services
that are trying to contain the street drug.
"The emergence of methamphetamine that we're experiencing in our
community is getting to the level where it's starting to keep me awake
at night," Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said.
[continues 944 words]
Twenty years ago this Sunday, when Ross Rebagliati was told he had
tested positive for a banned substance, he didn't have to ask which
It was THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, and it was going to
cost him the first Olympic gold medal ever awarded in
Three decades later, Rebagliati still has his gold medal, Canada is
five months away from fully legalized weed sales, Rebagliati owns his
own major medicinal cannabis supply company (the pun-ish Ross' Gold),
and snowboarding is a lot more mainstream.
[continues 923 words]
Surrey mulls over 'missteps' from U.S. cities that have legalized
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says the city has developed a "balanced,
appropriate and evidence-based approach" in preparing for the expected
passing of the Trudeau government's Bill C45 Cannabis Act this coming
"Like all governments, the City of Surrey must determine the changes
needed to ensure an effective response to cannabis legalization,"
Hepner said. "Our report was prepared following a comprehensive review
of best practices in jurisdictions of the United States with legal
recreational cannabis markets. Council and I have directed staff to
implement the necessary steps outlined in the framework over the
[continues 630 words]
Town wants 'cautious' approach; hearing on Tuesday
With cannabis legalization just months away, the District of Tofino is
considering a bylaw that would heavily restrict where pot shops can
operate in the community.
A public hearing is set for Tuesday. People will be able to weigh in
on the proposed bylaw, which would "prohibit the use of any land,
building or structure for the sale, production or distribution of
cannabis," according to a notice of public hearing on the district's
[continues 340 words]
Marijuana legalization for someone my age is somewhat difficult to
As a teenager growing up in the early 1970s in Cape Breton, I strayed
off the approved path (like thousands of my peers across our beautiful
island and millions more across our country) and smoked marijuana.
At the time it was a serious criminal offence and government officials
made it a priority to do everything possible to eliminate its usage as
they believed the drug was poisoning the minds of our youth across the
[continues 180 words]
Forces try out 'marijuana simulation kits'
The Canadian Forces is buying kits that will let its leaders
experience what it's like to be stoned on marijuana.
The "marijuana simulation kits" will include "marijuana impairment
goggles," among other i tems. The Canadian Forces wants to acquire 26
of the kits by April 30 or sooner if possible.
"The purpose of the Marijuana Simulation Kits is to raise awareness of
marijuana impairment, reduce risk of marijuana impairment, and promote
healthy lifestyles within the Canadian Armed Forces," companies who
want to bid on the contract were told. "The marijuana impairment
goggles, which is one of the several items included in the Marijuana
Simulation Kit, allows users to experience first-hand, the deficits
marijuana creates on the body."
[continues 291 words]
Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary
city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West
Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a
sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of
The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and
employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal
marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.
[continues 367 words]
In an interview with The Citizen last April during the 2017 provincial
election, NDP leader John Horgan admitted that government and
politicians are behind public sentiment when it comes to marijuana.
Knowing it and saying it is one thing but Horgan, now the premier,
still seems reluctant to act on it, based on the additional details on
a provincial pot policy the NDP government announced Monday that will
take effect once marijuana is legalized later this year.
"Some may think that this work will end in July when non-medical
cannabis is legalized by the federal government," Public Safety
Minister Mike Farnworth said. "But the truth is our government will be
dealing with this significant change in policy for years to come."
[continues 640 words]
The federal government is threatening to force a vote in the Senate to
speed up the adoption of the marijuana-legalization bill, stating
industry and governments need a clear timeline to a legal-cannabis
This government has never imposed time allocation in the Senate, but
it says it will have no choice if Conservative senators use procedural
tricks to delay the legislation.
In a speech on Tuesday, the government's representative in the Senate,
Peter Harder, said he wants a vote to send Bill C-45 to committee
before the start of a two week break on March 1. He said that if he
does not obtain all-party support for his proposal, he will move a
motion to force a vote.
[continues 517 words]
OTTAWA - The federal government is moving to ensure the Senate doesn't
hold up its plans to legalize recreational marijuana in July.
The government's representative in the upper house, Sen. Peter Harder,
served notice Tuesday that he wants second reading debate on Bill C-45
wrapped up by March 1, after which it would go to committee for
detailed examination before returning to the chamber for a final
debate and vote.
If the various Senate factions won't agree to that timetable, Harder
warned he will move a motion to impose time allocation to cut off
debate - the first time he's threatened to resort to that tactic since
taking on the role of government representative two years ago.
[continues 305 words]
Vancouver won't grant pot-shop licences to people with ties to illegal
drugs, but critics urge reconsideration
Rocco Dipopolo is an entrepreneur juggling three businesses - a tattoo
parlour, a gym and a boxing clinic - in East Vancouver, an area of
hipster coffee shops and chic duplexes that the 46-year-old remembers
as gritty during his delinquent adolescence.
Until recently, he also owned an illegal cannabis dispensary in the
city's trendy Commercial Drive neighbourhood. He had to step away from
that venture in order for it to secure a coveted business licence from
the City of Vancouver.
[continues 1336 words]
Latest stops in northwestern Minnesota show surge of drug traffic into
It seemed like an innocuous driving violation: A woman was motoring
through Otter Tail County in northwestern Minnesota with an obstructed
license plate. Then the observant state trooper discovered she was
sitting on packages of marijuana.
Troopers seized more than 300 pounds of the weed during the stop last
Friday, the latest of several large pot busts the State Patrol has
made in the past few weeks and a sign that the surge of large
quantities of pot and illegal drugs into Minnesota is continuing.
[continues 329 words]
One target drove a Mercedes and lived in a waterfront condo on Boston
Street; another was homeless, essentially living out of a storage unit
where he kept his money balled up in a sock. One lived with his
extended family in a house he bought with a lead poisoning settlement;
yet another had a half-million-dollar home on two acres of land in
The circumstances of the people who were targeted for robbery by the
Baltimore Police's Gun Trace Task Force ranged widely, according to
witnesses in the federal trial of two of its former members. The sums
allegedly taken went from three figures up to six.
[continues 1429 words]
Broward County Schools are hashing out plans for dealing with medical
marijuana on campus.
Under a proposed policy, students wouldn't be allowed to carry pot and
it could not be stored on campus. But a student's parent or caregiver
could bring it to school and administer it if the child has the proper
School staff would be not be allowed to handle it.
Pot use has long been banned on school campuses, but Florida voters
legalized it for medical purposes in 2016. The state Legislature last
year required schools to come up with a policy on dealing with it.
[continues 133 words]
Coming soon to a storefront near you: a cannabis shop. The provincial
government has brought down the latest of many new regulations as the
date for legalization approaches. After much debate and much reading
of tea leaves, the government says that legalized recreational
marijuana will be sold at stand-alone stores, some run by private
operators and others by the Liquor Distribution Branch. The
distribution branch will be the wholesaler, and all will be overseen
by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
[continues 548 words]
Municipal governments across Leeds and Grenville have been grappling
with the question of whether or not their volunteer firefighters
should carry naloxone kits to treat patients who overdose on opioids.
And they have been coming up with different answers.
In the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, for example, the
council has voted to supply the lifesaving antidote to its
firefighters and have them trained in its use.
Likewise in the Town of Gananoque where both its firefighters and
police officers have access to the kits and know how to use them.
Mayor Erika Demchuk said her town's police and fire departments have
carried the kits for months, both for their own protection and that of
[continues 658 words]
AKWESASNE - If the community gives the go-ahead, Akwesasne could be
the only place with a dispensary for recreational marijuana near
Cornwall when it becomes legal this year.
At its monthly meeting in January, a video of which is posted on
YouTube, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) ran the idea past its
members looking for feedback. It was made very clear during the
presentation the MCA would not pursue the idea if the community is not
in favour of it, but Grand Chief Abram Benedict argued the impending
legalization of marijuana presents the First Nation with an incredible
[continues 641 words]
With the legalization of recreational cannabis, local merchants look
to capitalize on the sale of marijuana merchandise
Everything from bongs to pipes and vaporizers will likely become
commonplace in local smoke shops as recreational cannabis sales will
become legal this summer.
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., which will operate marijuana
dispensaries from nine liquor outlets in the province, has said it
will leave the sale of cannabis accessories and related products to
the private sector.
That news was received well by smoke and e-cigarette shops that are
hoping to expand their line of products to include accessories used by
[continues 547 words]
Comment: Feds should pump the brakes and rethink its token gesture on safety
We're only seven weeks into the new year and already there are three
major hurdles on the trucking industry's plate. The legalization of
marijuana, the electronic logging devices (ELD) and either the total
cancellation or just a fine-tuning of the North American Free Trade
That's more than enough for the trucking industry to swallow, so let
me try to shed a little light on each of the three.
[continues 647 words]
Come as city officials prepare to discuss future of
Police are cracking down on illegal storefront pot shops across
Hamilton even as dispensary advocates prepare for "roundtable"
discussions with city officials about their future.
Operators of five MMJ and Pacifico medical marijuana dispensaries -
spread across the lower city and on the Mountain - told The Spectator
they were raided by police late last week.
Britney Guerra, a vocal dispensary advocate and former owner, said she
has heard from four other raided shops - one as recently as Monday -
but none of those operators were willing to speak to The Spectator.
[continues 377 words]
New Study: Fatal collisions involving young drivers increase by 38 per
cent after pot-smoking celebrations
The risk of a fatal accident among young drivers spikes by 38 per cent
in the hours after 4/20 celebrations, according to new research from
UBC and the University of Toronto.
The finding suggests that mass marijuana celebrations may not be
entirely without consequences.
John Staples, a professor of medicine and researcher at UBC's Centre
for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, said people aged 20 and
younger had a much higher risk of a fatal crash on April 20 from 4:20
p.m. until midnight compared to the same period one week before and
one week after.
[continues 377 words]
In regards to legalization of marijuana, I think that we should take a
similar approach to Amsterdam in the sense that it is frowned upon to
smoke in public but there are designated 'coffee shops' where smoking
is allowed and encouraged I feel like many small businesses could
profit from becoming a 'smoke bar,' similar to some of the hookah bars
around town and that will keep people out of the busy streets and away
from vulnerable people, children, disabled, etc.
(Plenty of people are against anyone smoking up in public spaces.)
Three weeks ago, after Philadelphia announced that it would encourage
the opening of a safe injection site, I praised the decision as a bold
kind of leadership. It showed that the city was stepping on the
national stage in the middle of a life-and-death catastrophe.
I still think that. Now the city has to sell it.
Sure, it's only been three weeks. But in the absence of an immediate
city PR strategy for saving lives - it feels funny even writing that -
you can feel myths proliferating. The city cannot simply react to the
discourse. It must help lead it.
[continues 805 words]
An unusual aspect of Canada's soon-to-be-legal cannabis market is that
the activists who led the legalization movement may find themselves
excluded from the industry for which their efforts paved the way.
Vancouver activists like Jodie and Marc Emery and dispensary pioneer
Don Briere, for example, have criminal records for possessing and
selling marijuana. Now those criminal records could be used against
them in federal and provincial licensing systems that are under
development to decide who gets to cultivate and sell recreational cannabis.
[continues 769 words]
"I believe that nicotine is not addictive."
This was the position the CEOs of the seven largest American tobacco
companies staunchly stood by while testifying in front of an infamous
1994 Congressional hearing.
The scientific evidence at the time rendered their ostensible belief a
tragic joke - a term that accurately describes the idea that Canadians
should blindly trust marijuana producers and distributors to design
their own packaging. Ottawa would do well by having health experts
take the lead in ensuring marijuana packaging is transparent.
[continues 579 words]
It only seemed appropriate that a long-distance phone call to Cheech
Marin would go awry, repeatedly getting dropped. Hearing each other
say, "Hello, hello, are you there?" back and forth was like reliving
the famous "Dave's not here" routine of Cheech & Chong, where a
stoned-out Chong keeps telling anxiety-ridden drug dealer Dave
(Cheech) knocking on the door that "Dave's not here."
Cheech Marin, left, and Tommy Chong at the 2014 Guys Choice Awards in
Cheech, though, knew better than to simply blame cellphone technology.
[continues 1192 words]