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New Canadian Prime Minister promises to legalise marijuana

by papapuff » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:34 am

CBC.ca



The pot-tential is here: Gaze Seed Company is ready, when it's legal

Prototype seed packages have been made, and are just waiting for legalization next summer

By Alyson Samson, CBC News Posted: Aug 09, 2017

There's still 11 months before marijuana is legal in Canada, but the Gaze Seed Company is already getting a jump on their marketing.

They have created a prototype for their branding of seed packaging and a mailing list for anyone who wants to sign up for future information on what they will be carrying — and growers workshops.

"It's been huge, so many people are excited but they might be a bit over eager they still have to wait until the July 1st date," Jackson McLean said.

McLean is the assistant manager at the Gaze Seed Company, and handles the business's marketing.

"We have a lot of customers who expressed interest in it before, and they're excited about legalization too, we just want to be there to support them," he said.

The seeds may have to be kept in a special cabinet away from the vegetable seeds or somewhere restricted depending on the legalization rules, such as age restrictions.

"Apart from that, it's just going to be like turnip," McLean said.

Consultations

The cannabis seeds they sell will have to come from licensed producers.

"We're actually emailing back and fourth with the government to find out where we're actually allowed to get seeds from," he said.

They're hoping to keep the seeds affordable but have seen them range in price up to $50.

"We want to keep it pretty affordable for people, especially with selling medical strains that don't get you high," McLean said.

"I might be growing some myself, I don't see any problem with it. To me it's the same as brewing your own beer or wine," he said.

Hydroponics will be a huge part of people growing their own cannabis, and Gaze is already prepared to meet those needs with a range of set ups and plans to offer workshops on how to use them.

"We just like being ahead of the game and always like bringing in new and interesting things into the store that gets people. And once they're in they see all sorts of stuff they didn't know that we had," McLean said.

There are a range of cannabis users that McLean expects to see visiting the store this time next year.

"Most people my age do partake, you're going to get all kinds," he said. "You're going to get elderly people who have their prescriptions for the medical stuff."
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by papapuff » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:50 am

Lake Cowichan Gazette




Lake Cowichan will wait for legalization before deciding locations for pot stores

Lake Cowichan council tell school board they’ll wait for legalizing of pot before making regulations

LEXI BAINASWed Aug 9th, 2017

Lake Cowichan town council won’t be making any decisions on the location of pot dispensaries in town until the federal government makes marijuana legal in Canada.

A brief discussion at the July 25 council meeting was generated by a letter from the Cowichan Valley School District board of education’s chair, Candace Spilsbury.

In it, she asked Lake Cowichan to develop “policies similar to other jurisdictions in not permitting marijuana dispensary stores close to schools.”

Whether or not to allow pot dispensaries at all has been a controversial subject with the legal situation in limbo at the moment, but the Town of Lake Cowichan is not allowing such stores to purchase business licences in town yet.

So far, there is only one location open in Lake Cowichan, and it doesn’t have a business licence, according to the town.

Spilsbury and her fellow trustees are concerned about where they might be located.

“The board wishes to inform all local governments of the high need to collectively do our utmost to protect our young people and ask that the community’s best interests at heart be considered in planning any local developments. We wish to state clearly that we are not taking a stand for or against the use of medical marijuana, our request is about zoning bylaws for businesses selling marijuana in close proximity to K-12 schools,” Spilsbury said.

Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest pointed out, when the letter was considered by council, “We don’t allow them now. This should be saved until when it does become legal. That’s the time to look at this. We’re not the only community that’s going to be struggling at that time. “

Coun. Tim McGonigle said another factor is how the provincial government will become involved in dealing with the sale of legal pot.

Forrest said that subject probably came up recently in talks between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and new B.C. Premier John Horgan.

lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com
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by papapuff » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:48 pm

Law Street Media



The Path to Cannabis in Canada: Eight Crucial Events

By Charlie Alovisetti | August 10, 2017

While the United States remains locked in an impasse between state and federal law, Canada looks to pass nationwide marijuana legalization this year and begin recreational sales in 2018. How did Canada get to this point? The path to legalization in Canada has been a haphazard one, driven largely by legal decisions. To make the recent Canadian cannabis developments easier to understand, below are eight key court cases and regulations that shaped the current landscape:

1996: CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES ACT (“CDSA”)

Provided for limited exemptions for the medical use of cannabis in Section 56, but legal access to dried marijuana for medical purposes was not provided until 1999.

2000: R. V. PARKER (ONTARIO COURT OF APPEALS)

Section 4 of the CDSA was found to be unconstitutional because prohibiting cannabis possession forced people to choose between liberty and health. The medical marijuana exemption in place was found to be unconstitutional because of the Minister of Health’s discretionary power.

2001: MARIHUANA FOR MEDICAL ACCESS REGULATIONS (“MMAR”)

R. v. Parker led to the MMAR, which enabled individuals with the practitioner authorization to access dried marijuana for medical purposes by producing their own marijuana plants, designating someone to produce for them, or purchasing Health Canada supply.

APRIL 1, 2014: MARIHUANA FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES REGULATIONS (“MMPR”)

The MMPR replaced the MMAR, which was officially repealed on March 31, 2014. For the first time in Canada, the new system allowed for the production and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes, but still contained restrictions on certain types of marijuana.

JUNE 2015: R. V. SMITH (SUPREME COURT OF CANADA)

The Court decided the MMPR’s restrictions were unconstitutional and that individuals with a medical need have the right to use and make other cannabis products. To eliminate uncertainty, in July 2015 the Minister of Health issued section 56 class exemptions under the CDSA to allow licensed producers to produce and sell cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves in addition to dried marijuana, and to allow authorized users to possess and alter different forms of cannabis.

FEBRUARY 2016: ALLARD V. CANADA

A Canadian federal court found that restricting an individual’s right to home grow and requiring individuals to get their marijuana only from licensed producers violated liberty and security rights protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court found that individuals who require marijuana for medical purposes did not have “reasonable access” under the MMPR’s restrictions. Instead of striking certain portions of the MMPR or reinstating the MMAR, the court called for a new legislative framework for accessing medical marijuana.

AUGUST 24, 2016: ACCESS TO CANNABIS FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES REGULATIONS (“ACMPR”)

The ACMPR, similar to the MMPR, provided for commercial production and distribution of quality-controlled fresh or dried marijuana or cannabis oil or starting materials (i.e., marijuana seeds and plants) and allowed for limited production by individuals. The two types of licenses to be aware of are: (1) Dealers License, issued under the Narcotic Control Regulations and permits activities with cannabis, including analytic testing and (2) Licensed Producers who are authorized to produce and sell cannabis under the ACMPR.

APRIL 13, 2017: THE CANNABIS ACT, BILL C-45 (THE “CANNABIS ACT”)

On April 13, 2017, the Cannabis Act was introduced. If passed, it will provide Canadians with legal access to recreational cannabis nationwide. On June 8, 2017, after the second reading of the bill, the Act passed the House at a vote of 200 for and 76 against. The bill has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Health. The bill is widely expected to pass Parliament and take effect in the summer of 2018.

Canada is already a worldwide leader in the growing cannabis industry, with last year’s sales reaching over one billion Canadian dollars. With the passage of the Cannabis Act, annual sales are expected to increase to between five and eight billion in the first-year post-recreational legalization. And the total estimated annual economic impact could be as high as $23 billion. Given the size of the new market, anyone with an interest in cannabis should pay special attention to Canada and the eight key events listed above.

Amber D. Lengacher also contributed to this post.
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by papapuff » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:43 am

VOCM



MADD Canada Optimistic About Safe Marijuana Roll Out

August 13, 2017

When it comes to marijuana, MADD Canada is hoping the proper regulations are put in place to ensure its legalization is rolled out smoothly and safely – particularly on the country’s roadways.

We’re less than a year away now from the federal government legalizing pot in Canada.

MADD Canada President Patricia Hynes-Coates says she’s been in meetings with both provincial and federal governments, and she says she believes they’re all in the right mindset to ensure the proper limits are in place when it comes to impaired driving.

She says whatever amount the government sets as a limit must be abided by. But she says the lower it is, the safer our roadways will be.

Hynes-Coates says they also want to ensure this product does not end up in the hands of our youth. They hope to see marijuana sold in licensed establishments to those 21 years of age or older.
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by papapuff » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:48 am

MetroNews Canada



No pot smoking in cars? Tough rules urged for legalization of marijuana

Pot should be sold in plain packages tax revenues focused on mental health and addiction services, CMHA says

By: Torstar News Service Published on Mon Aug 14 2017

When it becomes legal next July, recreational marijuana should be sold with more restrictions than that other weed – tobacco – sold in plain packaging, says the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ontario branch.

The group will release a position paper Monday calling on the province to ban pot smoking in cars with a “zero tolerance” policy, cap the amount of THC in cannabis products and use all tax revenues from them to boost addiction and mental health services.

Staff selling marijuana products in stores should have special training akin to the Smart Serve program for bartenders in what the CMHA dubs a first-of-its-kind “Cannabis Card.”

“We have an opportunity to start fresh with this,” Camille Quenneville, chief executive officer of CMHA’s Ontario branch told the Star before the wide-ranging, 18-page submission was made public.

The provincial government will spend the coming months settling on an age of majority for recreational marijuana, deciding on a retail network of stores where it will be sold, developing a public education campaign and dealing with a host of regulatory issues.

Ontario has established a Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat to co-ordinate the effort on behalf of all government ministries. Medical marijuana is already legal.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has strongly hinted the age of majority for cannabis will be set at 19, the same as for alcohol — a position the mental health association supports.

But Quenneville urged the province to set strict advertising and marketing restrictions, as with tobacco, to “minimize the profile and attractiveness” of cannabis, while going one step further with plain packaging to downplay brand identities.
“We think that makes sense.”

Cigarettes are now kept behind closed doors in stores with brand logos visible on their packaging, but alongside explicit warnings about the health dangers of smoking.

The association’s push for pot tax revenues to improve addiction and mental health services is based on concerns that “there’s a link between heavy use and anxiety and depression and psychosis,” particularly if there’s a personal or family history or cannabis use begins in the mid-teens, said Quenneville.

“There’s not nearly enough mental health services for the population,” she added, also calling for more extensive research on causal relationships between cannabis and mental health problems.

Mental health and addictions now account for 7 per cent of the provincial health-care budget and CAMH is pushing for an increase to 9 per cent, as recommended by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

“The one piece we struggle with is young people who are at higher risk for mental health,” Quenneville said, which makes a strong public education campaign critical to reach “emerging adults” in their teens and early twenties.

‎Efforts to make people aware of the dangers of cannabis are needed to combat any mindset that “if it’s legally available and it’s sold, how bad can it be?” she added.

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said last month that he wants to government to get out months in advance of legalization with a strong public education and awareness campaign, especially given medical concerns that cannabis can be harmful to people under 25 because their brains are still developing.

Quenneville agreed, saying “we need to get at it. A year from now (to the expected legalization date ‎next July 1) is not a long time.”

On the concept of a “Cannabis Card,” Quenneville said it’s a logical step to certify that people selling recreational marijuana products have training on their attributes, risks and effects to better deal with customers.

“We don’t think it’s out of scope for marijuana, which can be more harmful. You have to have a level of knowledge.”

‎The proliferation of marijuana dispensaries also needs to be “cleaned up,” said Quenneville, whose association is urging the government to cut back the number of outlets where cannabis will be sold, to regulate hours of opening more tightly and to consider a non-profit retail model once legal sales begin next summer.

In the meantime, Ontario should be pushing the federal government to decriminalize, as soon as possible, the personal possession of 30 grams or less of cannabis, the CMHA recommends in the policy paper.

Youth offenses on cannabis possession should also be decriminalized and existing penalties replaced with fine, community service or mandatory education or addiction programs.

“A lot of young people are being charged with possession,” said Uppala Chandrasekera, director of public policy for the mental health association.

For drivers and their passengers, strict enforcement of a ban on cannabis consumption of any kind in automobiles will be key to curbing impaired driving, the association added.

“A zero-tolerance policy would include both the driver of the motorized vehicle, as well as any passengers in the car. It is important that a clear message be sent to the public.”
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by papapuff » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:04 am

Winnipeg Free Press


Pallister still hazy on pot plan, but help could be on the way

Dan Lett By: Dan Lett
Posted: 08/14/2017

In his struggles to come up with a regime to control the sale of recreational marijuana, Premier Brian Pallister may have found a powerful ally.

Shoppers Drug Mart.

Despite a looming July 1, 2018 deadline to have a system in place, the province has been very reluctant to talk about how it would like to handle the production, distribution and sales of recreational pot. Last month, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson issued an expression of interest to find potential partners and solutions to handle all aspects of legalized marijuana.

Although it’s too early to identify all those responding to the expression of interest, there is increasing evidence to suggest Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the interested parties.

Government sources say senior representatives of Loblaw Companies Ltd., the parent of the pharmacy chain, have already been in contact with Manitoba to express a burning desire to participate in the sale of both medical and recreational pot.

This is hardly a surprising development. For the past two years, Loblaw has been working diligently to build its profile as one of Canada’s most 420-friendly corporate entities.

Loblaw has already applied to the federal government to dispense medical marijuana. The company has also donated $1 million to St. Thomas University in New Brunswick to help fund a new research chair on cannabis. And earlier this year, the company announced its employees health plan would cover up to $1,500 in medical marijuana to treat a limited list of conditions.

When you consider all those steps, it only seems to make sense that Loblaw would expand its interests to include the soon-to-be-legal recreational marijuana market. The company has certainly been dropping hints.

At Loblaw’s annual general meeting last spring, CEO Galen Weston strongly hinted recreational pot sales were also on the company’s radar. "You can never predict the future," Weston said at that time.

That same coyness was evident last week when the Free Press asked Loblaw Companies directly if it had been in contact with Manitoba over the retail sale of recreational pot.

"We have had discussions with various governments primarily to share our view that pharmacists should play an important role in the safe and responsible distribution of medical cannabis," a Loblaw spokesman said. "At the same time, it has been speculated that retailers will play a part in provincial frameworks, and we appreciate the opportunity to gather and share information in conversation with governments. In the absence of any confirmed frameworks, it’s premature to say what — if any — role we could play."

Of course, unless Pallister decides to move ahead with a made-in-Manitoba system for recreational pot sales, the lobbying efforts of Shoppers Drug Mart will be all for naught.

To date, the premier has put far more effort into trying to delay the July 2018 deadline than he has devising a safe and dependable system for the production, distribution and sale of cannabis products.

Pallister’s effort to get Ottawa to delay legalization of recreational marijuana for an additional year — unveiled last month at the annual Council of Federation meeting — seems doomed to fail. Although the council did strike a working group to probe Ottawa for more details on what a legal pot marketplace would look like, most provinces are forging ahead with their own plans. For some provinces, like New Brunswick, the promise of additional tax revenue has dampened any appetite for a delay in implementation.

The pointlessness of Pallister’s strategy became evident a few days after the Council of the Federation Meeting when Health Minister Jane Philpott, during a visit to Winnipeg, said bluntly there would be no deadline extension for any province. Philpott added there was still "a tremendous amount of background work" being done between federal and provincial officials.

Increasingly, Pallister is beginning to look like a leader who is looking for a way to completely avoid having to implement the legal sale of recreational pot in his province. Pallister has never said he is opposed to legalization, but he appears to have deliberately avoided doing anything meaningful to meet Ottawa’s July 2018 deadline.

Some of that is due to the fact Pallister’s core support base is solidly in the constituency of Canadians opposed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to legalize recreational marijuana.

It doesn’t matter that most Manitobans are somewhat or stridently supportive; decisions that disappoint the base tend to slow the flow of donations from party members.

It’s also likely that Pallister is looking to avoid yet another battle with public sector unions, many of which are actively trying to discourage the province from partnering with private retailers or stand-alone dispensaries.

Last year, the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union released a poll that showed 65 per cent of Manitobans wanted cannabis sold and regulated the same way as alcohol. The MGEU has suggested the province’s existing network of government liquor marts would be easily able to handle cannabis sales.

Pallister may be predisposed to steer clear of the liquor mart option, which would involve doing something a public sector union actually wants. However, if he does decide to snub liquor marts, he will have some support from — of all sources — the federal government. A federal task force report released last December urged the provinces to avoid selling cannabis products in locations that also sold alcohol or tobacco.

Interestingly, Shoppers Drug Mart and most other pharmacy chains stopped selling tobacco years ago. Enough said about that.

It’s pretty clear Pallister will have myriad options available to him well before the federal government makes recreational pot legal. Now, all he needs is the will to meet next summer’s deadline.

dan.lett@freepress.mb.ca
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by papapuff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:31 am

CBC.ca



Canada's elite athletes are smoking, eating and investing in pot

Top performers enter tricky landscape with pending legalization of weed

By Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 15, 2017

Canada's elite athletes are smoking, eating and investing in marijuana. Is a toke before stepping to the start line far off?

The Canadian government intends to legalize recreational cannabis by July 1, 2018. It's already legal for personal, recreational use in a handful of U.S. states.

Cannabis, hashish, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list, but only during competition.

When labs receive urine samples taken out of competition, they don't test for those substances, according to the Canadian Centre For Ethics in Sport.

WADA also relaxed the in-competition threshold in 2013 to allow for 150 nanograms per millilitre of urine instead of 15.

That tenfold change is significant given Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati was nearly stripped of his Olympic gold medal in 1998 at 17.8 ng/ml.

He said he inhaled second-hand smoke from a joint. Rebagliati's medal was reinstated largely because marijuana wasn't yet a banned substance by the International Olympic Committee.

Divided opinion

An informal survey of Canadian athletes planning to compete at the PyeongChang Olympics in February produced a variety of opinions, ranging from keeping marijuana on the prohibited list to removing it when it becomes legal at home.

"I think it's pretty proven that it's not unsafe for you and it's definitely not performance-enhancing, at least in what I do," alpine skier Dustin Cook said.

"So yeah, I think it should be taken off the banned list when it becomes legal."

Snowboarder Spencer O'Brien agreed.

"I personally do not smoke weed, but I feel like it's not a performance enhancing drug," she said. "I don't see any aspect of that that would give somebody a competitive edge.

"Cigarettes aren't a banned substance. They're not great for you, but they're not a banned substance. Once marijuana is legalized, I think it should be something that isn't a banned substance."

A good night's sleep

Bobsled pilot Kaillie Humphries says she's never tried weed or hash "and I think I'm the only athlete in the entire world," but knows of teammates who smoke it and eat it in food as a sleep aid while training.

"You lift at 6 p.m. and you're wired because you had a big lifting session. You're not sleeping until two, three four in the morning," said the Olympic gold medallist.

"A lot of athletes use it for recovery. It's not something performance-enhancing."

But both she and luger Sam Edney agree sliding down a track at more than one hundred kilometres per hour under the influence of a substance that alters perception and behaviour is dangerous.

"For me, I feel it's a safety thing," Edney said. "In a racing sport, under the influence is still under the influence."

Alcohol and archery not a good combination

The only Olympic sport in which athletes are tested for alcohol is archery, with the in-competition blood alcohol concentration limit set at .10 grams/litre by WADA.

The international sport shooting federation, however, says an athlete showing signs of intoxication would be immediately booted from the shooting range.

Skeleton racer Dave Greszczyszyn says he's seen the odd athlete have a beer while training and racing.

The 38-year-old substitute teacher saw the coming legalization of marijuana as a means to pay for his sport, which had its Own The Podium funding slashed this quadrennial.

"I actually invested in a bit trying to make some money," Greszczyszyn said. "Half of our team has invested in the stocks trying to make some money to help fund ourselves in our program."

Substances on WADA's prohibited list meet at least two of the three following criteria: its use has potential to, or can enhance performance; its use presents an actual or potential health risk; its use violates the spirit of sport.

Daleman not wavering

Figure skater Gabrielle Daleman comes down firmly on the side of criteria No. 3. She's adamant marijuana should not be removed from WADA's prohibited list.

"I think it should stay on. I believe in clean sport," she said. "I'm actually surprised that's going to be legal because all drugs are bad. I do not recommend them at all.

"We should still continue to push for clean sport, fair, and doing everything the way it's supposed to be."

Athletes tend to be fanatical about what goes into their bodies, so smoking a joint seems ridiculous to some.

"You do not want to put anything down that throat that is going to make your throat burn," ski cross racer Georgia Simmerling said.

Resistance to change

The social and political winds around marijuana and cannabis are changing as they are now used to treat pain and certain medical conditions.

The CCES's position is marijuana isn't performance-enhancing, said president and CEO Paul Melia, but not every country that is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency code feels that way.

There is still resistance from some countries to completely removing marijuana from the prohibited list, he said.

"Political pressures are probably more relevant to the question of when and if marijuana would come off the prohibited list," Melia said.

"When the use of marijuana becomes legal in Canada, I don't think that will have any impact on the status of marijuana or THC on the WADA prohibited list."
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by papapuff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:36 am

TheChronicleHerald.ca



HRM council voting to keep an eye on pot laws

THE CHRONICLE HERALD
Published August 14, 2017

Halifax Regional Council is being asked to take the first steps in preparing for the legalization of marijuana, including restricting where production plants can open up shop.

On Tuesday, council will vote on directing staff to monitor federal and provincial initiatives on the legalization and regulation of cannabis for recreational use.

Staff would then report back to council for further direction once there is a greater understanding of what HRM's role will be in the legalization process.

They use the word “cannabis” throughout the report to refer to the entire plant, as opposed to calling it marijuana.

In 2016, the federal government formed a task force to engage provincial and municipal governments to provide advice on a regulatory framework. Later that year the task force released their final report, which was then introduced as the proposed Cannabis Act in the House of Commons in April.

The act proposed restricting the purchase of cannabis to those 18 years of age or older, and allowing adults to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public.

It also suggested that adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household, at a maximum height of one metre.

Ottawa says they want to bring this Act into force no later than next July.

HRM staff say they want to be prepared once the federal and provincial government release a plan on how to regulate the drug.

Staff outline two ways the municipality can regulate cannabis production facilities and dispensaries: through land use controls and licensing requirements.

“Although HRM’s land use planning documents are currently silent on cannabis facilities and dispensaries, zoning and other planning tools could be used to direct cannabis-related uses to appropriate areas,” reads the report.

There are 38 federally licensed producers in Canada, including two in Atlantic Canada, but none are in Nova Scotia.

If one were to open here, staff want council to let them amend current land-use bylaws to restrict the opening of such facilities to industrial zones only, thus keeping them out of residential areas.

There has also been an issue with dispensaries opening in HRM in the past couple of years.

It’s illegal to possess or sell cannabis in Canada, and federal regulations prohibit the sale of the plant through dispensaries or a retail storefront of any kind. HRM has denied several permit applications but several store owners have attempted to open their doors anyway.

Aunties Health and Wellness was allegedly openly selling cannabis products to recreational users through their storefront location on Barrington Street. The owner was arrested late last year and the landlord locked staff out.

HRM says they will continue to employ their enforcement approach, which includes investigating dispensaries for land use compliance and partnering with Halifax Regional Police Integrated Drug Unit to ensure Criminal Code compliance.

The HRP and RCMP are the only enforcement agencies within the municipality that are able to enforce federal legislation.
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by papapuff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:04 am

CBC.ca



Parents should talk about their own marijuana use, says writer and mother

Rebecca Eckler, a mother of 2, says stigma around pot use by parents needs to be dispelled

By Muriel Draaisma, CBC News Posted: Aug 15, 2017

It's time for parents to talk about their own marijuana use with legalization looming, says a Toronto writer and mother of two.

Rebecca Eckler, executive editor of the online magazine SavvyMom.ca, explained that openly talking about the subject would lower the stigma around recreational pot use by parents.

"These conversations need to be had," she said.

"How are we going to discuss this with our children? Should we judge moms who use cannabis? What are the differences between moms who drink a couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day versus someone who has another way to relax? What are the side effects?" she asked.

For many mothers, pot smoking reduces anxiety and helps to ease depression. For those with more serious health issues, it helps relieve pain, she said.

It's socially acceptable for parents to talk openly about drinking alcohol, given that drinking is legal, but it's not yet socially acceptable to talk openly about smoking marijuana, given that recreational use is still illegal, said Eckler, and added that should change.

In an interview with Metro Morning on Tuesday, Eckler said pot smoking is probably a more common activity among parents than most people think.

"Well, first and foremost, I'm not the only mom that occasionally smokes weed. In fact, almost all of my mother friends these days seem to smoke weed recreationally," she said, adding that "marijuana is going to be legal in one year and parents have to start having the conversation."

The federal government hopes to legalize and regulate the use of recreational marijuana by July 2018.

Eckler explained smoking pot "now and then" doesn't make you a bad parent — comparing it to drinking a glass or two of wine. She expressed herself in "Parenting Has Gone to Pot: Why So Many Moms Are Getting High (Including Me!)," an article she wrote for SavvyMom.ca.

Smoking pot helps her relax, Eckler wrote.

"I'm not the first to write about it. In America, they've been writing about it for months," she told Metro Morning.

"Mothers always make these jokes — 'Oh, it's wine time!,' 'It's mommy's happy juice time!' But when it comes to taking a toke, everybody is like — 'Oh, you're a bad mother.' And in my opinion, I don't think it makes you a bad parent."

Eckler has received more than 100 private messages from mothers who smoke pot too, but said they won't discuss it publicly.

"It tells me there's still a stigma. There's embarrassment around it. They won't want their kids to find out," she said.

But Eckler, who has a 13-year-old daughter, Rowan, and a five-year-old son, Holt, said she never smokes pot in front of her children. She smokes outside, in her backyard, while walking the dog, or when her children are visiting their grandparents.

She said she won't admit smoking pot to her daughter at this point because she doesn't want her to think she does it all the time.

Parental use poses risks to teens, kids: doctor

Recreational pot smoking by parents does come with health risks to teens and children, both psychological and physical, said Dr. Christina Grant, an associate professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton. It's important to remember their brains are still developing, she explained.

"Obviously, adults can make decisions for themselves around recreational cannabis use. I think when we're talking about children or adolescents, people need to be aware of what the concerns are," said Grant, also a member of the adolescent health committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society.

"I think having open, honest conversations with your older teens about choices you have made is one thing," she said. "As teenagers are asking parents what their habits are, what they've done, I think being on the side of being more open is a probably good thing for that relationship."

While talking about it may be beneficial, the actual activity sends a message that it's acceptable.

"One of the things we do know from research is that parents using cannabis is a green light for teenagers to use cannabis," she said, adding that one in seven teens who experiment with marijuana will develop a cannabis use disorder — a serious substance abuse problem in which cannabis takes over a teen's life, including academic functioning and social activity.

Concerns include smoke, edibles, inattention

As for children, Grant said there is a mistaken perception that second hand smoke from cigarettes is more harmful than that of marijuana but there is no evidence for that claim. Smoking pot in the car and in the home around children is not recommended, she said.

Another risk comes in the form of edibles. About 30 per cent of toddlers who have accidentally ingested edibles require intensive pediatric care, said Grant. And if parents are smoking pot to self-medicate for depression or anxiety, Grant explained there are issues around developing cannabis use disorder which could affect parenting.

With files from Metro Morning
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by papapuff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:14 am

OurWindsor.ca



Organized crime’s interest in the illegal pot business is going up in smoke

There wasn’t much need to smuggle pot into the country when Canadian cannabis connoisseurs liked the homegrown stuff better, experts say

NEWS Aug 15, 2017 12:10 by Peter Edwards OurWindsor.Ca

Once a relatively safe, profitable business for outlaw bikers and mobsters, organized crime is moving away from the marijuana market because legalization and home-grown 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.

The days when Hells Angels and mobsters enjoyed a strong hand in Canada’s marijuana trade will be just a hazy memory by the time pot is to be legalized next year, according to some experts.

“A pretty small part of the marijuana industry today is what I call organized crime,” said criminologist Neil Boyd of Simon Fraser University — a change from a few decades ago, when big-league criminals thrived in the pot trade.

That’s a major shift from the mid-2000s, when outlaw bikers worked with traditional Mafia groups to move into exporting Canadian marijuana, according to Kash Heed, former B.C. solicitor general, minister of public safety and West Vancouver Police chief. Most of that product was exported to the U.S., Heed said.

Rick Ciarniello, a Canadian spokesperson for the Hells Angels, politely brushed off questions about whether the world’s largest outlaw motorcycle club has a position on legalized marijuana.

“Some are prone to believe all the police hype and propaganda,” Ciarniello said. “If that is to be believed, the Hells Angels must have such a position. The fact is; the hype and propaganda is wrong. As such, the short answer is no.”

The efforts of organized crime to control the pot trade have been undermined for the past three decades by “disorganized crime,” according to Alan Young, an associate professor at the Osgoode Hall law school. Many of these are green-thumbed potheads growing marijuana for friends.

Others are in it for the money but don’t resort to traditional organized crime hallmarks of corruption, collusion and violence, Boyd says: “They’re really just business people.”

Legalization of marijuana in some American states has cut the demand to smuggle it south. In Colorado and Washington State, where marijuana was recently legalized, pot prices have dropped almost 50 per cent over the past year, Boyd says, and lower prices mean less incentive to break the law.

“I suspect there’s not going to be much money in cannabis at all,” Boyd said. “I think things are changing.

“I think they (organized criminals) already have been withdrawing from the market.”

A veteran says organized crime is entering a period of readjustment — and potential new opportunities — regarding marijuana in Canada. “They’re all trying to get into the legal side of it,” says the officer. “They have so much money they can manipulate the stock. Any criminal wants to legitimize his business.”

Small-scale cultivation of pot would likely be allowed, much like it’s now legal to make limited amounts of beer or wine for personal use. Amateur enthusiasts should be allowed to grow four plants per household, according to the Final Report of The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.

Former Toronto police Chief Bill Blair is the Liberal’s point man in shaping marijuana legislation. He declined to be interviewed for this article.

In Toronto, police will continue to crack down on illegal marijuana dispensaries until the law is changed, spokesperson Mark Pugash said, adding that marijuana at some pop-ups has been found to contain pesticides, mould, rat feces and insecticide.

Experts agree it will be a mistake for the government to overtax pot and drive the price up, as this will create an opening for criminals.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clearly supports the push to regulate illegal pot pop-ups. In a meeting with the Star’s editorial board in December, Trudeau said: “We haven’t legalized it yet. Yes, we got a clear mandate to do that. We’ve said we will. We’ve said we’re going to do it to protect our kids and to keep the money out of the pockets of criminals.”
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by papapuff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:24 pm

Straight.com



How each province and territory (except B.C.) is preparing for cannabis legalization

While Premier Horgan stays mum on a provincial framework, what are others doing to prepare?

by Amanda Siebert on August 15th, 2017

When it comes to cannabis legalization and things like age limit, distribution, and taxation, British Columbians are still hearing crickets from our provincial government.

While some provinces have reached out to citizens through online surveys, others have shown interest in providing incentives to small businesses, while others still are hoping for a regional distribution plan.

A provincial-territorial working group on cannabis legalization was established at a recent meeting between premiers in Edmonton, and the group is expected to report back to premiers by November 1, with information about common considerations and best practices for legalization and regulation. (Premier Horgan was not at that meeting.)

So far, all we've learned is that Solicitor General Mike Farnworth will lead planning for the safe implementation of legalized cannabis.

It looks like British Columbians might be waiting a little bit longer to find out exactly how our ND-Green government plans to distribute and tax cannabis when it's legalized in 2018, but for now, here's what other governments are doing to prepare.

Alberta

Our neighbours to the east held a public engagement process that gave citizens two months to complete an online survey, while organizations were invited to participate in round tables, sector meetings, or make written submissions about the pending legislation.

Topics in the survey included legal age, where to purchase cannabis, using cannabis in public, and road safety.

More than 45,000 Albertans responded to the survey and 100 organizations provided feedback. The province is currently reviewing the engagement findings and will work to develop the Alberta Cannabis Framework, which will be released in draft form to stakeholders and the public in the fall.

Saskatchewan

This province's plans for distribution are still quite hazy, which is obvious given Premier Brad Wall's recent call to delay the federal government's plan of legalizing cannabis by July 1, 2018.

His office hasn't provided the public with so much as a timeline on when or how they plan to develop the province's framework for distribution, but did say in a written statement that a they've organized a working group that will "consider the various aspects of the federal legislation, such as the implementation of necessary provincial legislation and regulations, and the creation of an effective model for distribution and taxation."

While mayors of Regina and Saskatoon have said that revenue from cannabis sales should go to cities to cover the "additional costs" of legalization, Wall has publicly disagreed, saying that revenues should go to education and the prevention of drug-impaired driving.

Manitoba

Like Wall in Saskatchewan, Premier Brian Pallister has putting more energy into convincing the federal government to delay the proposed date for legalization than coming up with a plan to implement it. (At the Council of Federation meeting last month between Canadian premiers, Pallister said he wanted it delayed for an entire year).

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott made it clear during a recent visit to Winnipeg that such an extension would not be available to any provinces.

So far, some are saying the biggest potential players for distribution in Manitoba could be pharmacies like Shoppers Drug Mart.

Ontario

Like Alberta, Ontario also launched a public consultation—albeit for a much shorter period of time—with similar questions that pertained to minimum age, where to purchase and use cannabis, road safety, distribution, and public education.

It's also established Ontario's Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat, a group made up of various provincial officials that will meet with public health experts to discuss the implications of legalization.

The province is in the midst of preparing an education campaign that will highlight the dangers of cannabis as it pertains to young adults. Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins says it will help "parents and kids understand what the risks are".

While medical cannabis clinics operated by licensed producers continue to open up around the province, dispensaries are being raided consistently in Ontario, despite plans to legalize recreational cannabis. Former provincial chief of staff Omar Khan recently told the CBC that dispensary owners that think they'll be included in the province's legal framework are "dreaming in technicolour."

Quebec

Possibly the most pessimistic of provinces and territories with regard to cannabis legalization is Quebec. A recent CBC survey showed that residents there are less likely to be in favour of legalization, less interested in having cannabis shops in their neighbourhoods, and not entirely convinced that legalization will stem the black market.

Quebec's provincial government is expected to table cannabis legislation in the fall, and will meet with experts before consulting with the public later this month. Those interested in taking part in consultations must register to do so.

Last month's release of police-reported statistics from Statistics Canada showed that while the rest of Canada saw a decrease in the number of cannabis-related charges, those charges were on the rise in Montreal and other parts of Quebec.

New Brunswick

We don't think it's a stretch to say that this maritime province has come up with the most progressive solutions to building a provincial framework. Politicians there began doing research and exploring possibilities before the federal government even released the legislation for cannabis legalization. (Although, this education campaign from the New Brunswick Medical Society might be a step in the wrong direction.)

Instead of fearing the work associated with developing legislation as so many other provinces seem to be doing, Premier Brian Gallant has told the media that he sees legalization as a way to boost the province's economy, even going so far as to declare marijuana a pillar of the province's economic strategy.

In addition, the provincial government is providing producers with financial incentives to set up shop. At Fredericton's St. Thomas University, a cannabis research chair will soon be appointed, and will work closely with government officials on developing sound public policy.

Prince Edward Island

In P.E.I., Premier Wade MacLachlan has said that although the province has yet to make a decision about age limit, distribution, or taxation, he hopes that there is room among the four maritime provinces for cooperation, and hinted to harmonizing the approach to legalization in the region.

Public consultations in the province are set to begin in late August and run into September. MacLachlan has stressed the importance of public education campaigns, particularly with regard to impaired driving.

Nova Scotia

Unlike premiers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has told the media that his government is planning to have rules and regulations for legalization in place in time for Prime Minister Trudeau's July 1, 2018 deadline.

The premier has also said that he's waiting on more information from the federal government before moving forward. Like MacLachlan in P.E.I., he hopes to see a regulatory framework in Atlantic Canada that is consistent across all four provinces. He's suggested that a legal age of 19 for cannabis makes sense.

Newfoundland & Labrador

Following a plan similar to other provinces, the province implemented an online questionnaire and gave residents of Newfoundland and Labrador until early July to take part. It covered topics like points of sale, legal age, enforcement, and road safety.

No major decisions have been made yet, as policy makers are currently in talks with doctors and business leaders as questionnaire data is reviewed.

Unlike leaders in New Brunswick, justice and public safety minister Andrew Parsons has warned against the idea that cannabis could be an opportunity to kickstart the province's economy.

Yukon

This territory has taken the route of offering its residents the chance to provide feedback through an online survey, asking questions about legal age, where it could be sold and consumed, and about safety in the workplace and on the road.

The Yukon government has told residents that its decisions will be guided by principles that "provide for legal controlled access to cannabis that displaces illegal and criminal activity," and "prioritize(s) public health, safety and harm reduction, with a focus on protecting youth from negative health effects."

Yukoners have until September 30 to complete the survey, and the results are set to be posted by November 15.

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories has also offered residents an online survey, which received a record number of responses in its first week. (CBC reported that the survey was the territory's most popular public engagement ever.)

The anonymous survey, which covers topics unique to the territory, includes concerns about access to cannabis in remote communities, as well as the suggested legal age, and if cannabis should be sold through a liquor commission. It's open to residents until September 22.

CBC reported that the territorial government will provide mail order or fly-in options for remote communities, but will "respect communities that decide to go down a prohibition path." Indigenous and community leaders have also been invited to provide feedback to the government.

Nunavut

You might be surprised to learn that, per capita, Nunavut boasts the highest number of marijuana users in Canada. Unfortunately, the territorial government in Nunavut made a whole lot of headway on creating a regulatory framework as a territorial election will take place on October 30. (This gives their government just two sittings before marijuana becomes legal.)

So far, Premier Peter Taptuna hasn't said much, but finance minister Keith Peterson has announced that Nunavut's legislature would conduct its own broad community consultations with different groups and organizations to "get some good recommendations on how to proceed."

Some MLAs have expressed concern about "dry" communities in the territory, and whether or not the same school of thought will apply to legal cannabis.
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by papapuff » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:31 am

Daily Beast



Will Canada Put Weed on the Same Shelves as Booze?

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration moving toward full legalization of marijuana, questions remain about how and where pot would be sold.

RICARDO BACA
08.18.17 1:00 AM ET

VICTORIA, British Columbia—As Canada marches toward federally legal recreational cannabis, one of the most compelling unknowns is what kinds of stores will eventually sell the marijuana.

Some Canadians are already envisioning a future in which a quick stop at the liquor store could net a bottle of wine for dinner, a six pack for the weekend, and a couple eighths of BC Bud.

While most of the legal world has opted to sell retail weed in pot-specific storefronts, aka dispensaries and pot shops, British Columbia and other provinces are being urged by liquor store owners to sell marijuana inside existing liquor stores.

The idea of pot sales in liquor stores isn’t completely foreign. The mayor of Philadelphia floated such a scenario for Pennsylvania, and liquor store owners in Massachusetts were also pushing for the opportunity to retail cannabis. But no such system has ever been implemented.

“On the for side, it’s a good money saver, and we have similar structures in place—things like Serving it Right, a responsible service program that workers have to go through to be a server or someone who sells liquor,” marijuana executive Clayton Chessa told me during a recent conference in Victoria, British Columbia’s stately capital.

“They also have the distribution networks and channels as well as safeguards and security in place to make sure controlled substances aren’t sold to minors.”

But the government’s cannabis task force is against the co-located sales because “the potential for increasing rates of use and co-use run counter to the public health objectives of harm reduction and prevention,” and also because researchers have raised concerns about the co-use of cannabis and alcohol, saying it can increase overall intoxication.

Many Canadians already working in the cannabis industry also oppose the co-located sales. Sitting inside cozy 420-friendly consumption lounge The Green Ceiling in Victoria, owner Ashley Abraham and her friend Nicole Little questioned the alcohol industry groups’ motives and arguments.

“I think it’s a ludicrous attempt by the powers that be to grab a hold of a market that they’ve actively lobbied against for years,” Abraham said.

Added Little, who manages the neighboring Skunk & Panda Shatter Shack inside the Great Canadian Canna Mall: “Why are these liquor store employees more capable of checking IDs than we are? I don’t see how sending cannabis users into a liquor store is considered compassionate access.”

Even though Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his administration are moving confidently forward with their intent to legalize, there are still many unknowns.

“What the provinces are going to do with these retail cannabis sales is a big question mark,” said Chessa, general manager of operations at Vancouver-based Abattis Bioceuticals Corp, a publicly traded company that runs Health Canada-certified cannabis testing facility Northern Vine Labs. “If they’ve got enough money and the liquor industry can lobby properly, anything’s possible, as we’ve already seen in different industries across the world.”

British Columbia isn’t alone in considering such regulations. Ontario, Manitoba, and possibly other provinces including Alberta are also contemplating such arrangements.

But given British Columbia’s role as the epicenter of cannabis in Canada, the battle is particularly complex in this West Coast province.

“Trudeau’s fundamental goal is to legalize, regulate, and control this substance,” said Jeff Guignard, executive director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees, aka ABLE BC.

“Legalizing it is his job, and he’s doing that, but regulating and controlling it are boxes we can check pretty easily.”

ABLE BC is one of the primary groups behind the push in British Columbia to sell adult-use pot in liquor stores.
“We think that by using the existing liquor store model, the government is going to be able to offer an efficient, consumer-friendly environment where you have experienced, responsible, and formative staff with expertise in selling controlled substances handling these transactions,” Guignard said.

The multiple organizations lobbying on behalf of the effort say it would save time and money.

“Our most important factors are public safety and responsible usage,” said Stephanie Smith, president of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union, “but we also know that setting up a secondary distribution system and additional levels of oversight and regulation would be extremely costly for British Columbia citizens.

“(Our liquor stores) are age-controlled environments, and the staff in our liquor stores are heavily monitored to ensure they do appropriate ID checks… We see it as a perfect fit.”

The proposed measure is hardly a slam dunk in any province. Former British Columbia Premier Christy Clark came out against the proposal.

“Should (retail cannabis) be co-located to liquor stores? I don’t think so,” Clark said in April. “No one does that in the United States, and you don’t want these two intoxicants sitting beside each other on the shelf.”

But as new British Columbia Premier John Horgan supports the sale of recreational cannabis at liquor stores, the province’s thriving cannabis industry seems solidified against the proposal.

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said Brandon Wright, sitting in the bustling kitchen at Victoria-based Baked Edibles. “BC is so pro-dispensary that I’d have a tough time imagining a model where dispensaries didn’t exist here.”

As two of Wright’s colleagues baked and packaged the brand’s edibles among fragrant mobile pan racks and a modified Canadian flag overhead—sporting a cannabis leaf in place of the more familiar maple leaf—Wright talked on the region’s singular connection to the plant at the center of this now-national debate.

“The lobbyists will have a very difficult time with this in BC,” said Wright, Baked’s general manager. “They’ll have an easier time in other provinces that don’t have such a rich history in cannabis.”

Kyle Cheyne, who employs more than 100 people at his five cannabis dispensaries and three consumption lounges on Vancouver Island, agrees that such a proposal will be a tough sell in British Columbia.

“When it comes to BC, I don’t think we’ll ever in the history of mankind see liquor stores selling marijuana, because it’s very wrong and it doesn’t belong there,” Cheyne, whose shops operate under the Leaf Compassion banner, said while chilling in his newly opened Terp City consumption lounge on Douglas Street, central Victoria’s main drag. “I could see the liquor stores selling cannabis in Alberta, but that’s also where we’ll see the crazy stories about drinking and driving or getting stoned and driving.

“But it’s never happening here.”

Of course not all locals here think British Columbia is off limits for weed sales in liquor stores. Jay Ryan owns Buffy’s Pub and Liquor Store in Sooke, an hour west of Victoria, and he’s actively pushing to be able to sell adult-use cannabis in his bottle shop.

“You already have a distribution chain in place and a set of stores that have been background checked and authorized to sell a controlled substance,” said Ryan, adding that the cannabis sales could take place in a different room, away from the alcohol transactions.

“Having to reinvent the wheel just seems to be a waste of time and money.

“Of course, I’m a little biased on the subject.”
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by papapuff » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:41 am

InsideHalton.com



Cannabis legislation will better protect children

OPINION Aug 18, 2017 01:25 by John Oliver Oakville Beaver

It may shock many Canadians to learn that 28 per cent of Canadian youths use marijuana — the highest rate among developed countries surveyed in a 2013 UNICEF report.

This means that if you know four youths between the ages of 11 and 15, one of them is using marijuana.

All Canadians should be concerned about this trend, because the younger someone is when they start using marijuana and the more often they use it, the greater the overall risks to their health.

Canada’s current system of controlling marijuana fails our youths and does not adequately protect the health and safety of young Canadians. It’s time to change our approach.

The federal government has drafted Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, to keep marijuana (cannabis) out of the hands of young Canadians and the profits out of the hands of criminals.

This proposed law would establish serious criminal penalties for those who sell or provide cannabis to youths, and enact new offences and penalties for those who use youths to distribute or sell cannabis.

Like the Tobacco Act, Bill C-45 would also prohibit products and packaging that make cannabis appealing to young people.

As such, this bill would reduce the chance of our youths obtaining cannabis while regulating and controlling adult access to cannabis.

It is important that we view marijuana use as a public health issue, and not simply as a legal issue. At present, many of our youths do not understand the health implications of smoking cannabis. Bill C-45 aims to enhance public awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis. Health organizations such as the Canadian Medical Association and The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have identified education as a key strategy for reducing cannabis use.

Some people feel that our young people will continue to seek out illegal sources of cannabis, regardless of any attempts to legalize cannabis for adults. There are some interesting statistics that cast doubt on that belief. Returning to the UNICEF study, consider that Canadian youths use legal substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, at a much lower rate (4% and 16%, respectively) than they use marijuana (28%).

This trend is due to the fact that it is easier for youths to obtain illegal drugs than it is to acquire legal substances. Regulating the production and distribution of cannabis will take business away from organized criminals who currently have no qualms about selling marijuana to young people.

Like many of you, I am deeply concerned by the rate of illegal drug use by our young people, and I am determined to do something about it. Reducing marijuana use is a good place to start, and this is why I support Bill C-45. Keeping marijuana out of the hands of our youths and educating them on the health risks of cannabis are important goals of the Cannabis Act.

The proposed Cannabis Act is very comprehensive and will impact many aspects of society, in addition to helping our youths. Bill C-45 is the product of extensive consultation with experts from numerous fields and leverages the recommendations from a non-political taskforce report.

To learn more, I encourage you to attend a Town Hall with the Federal Minister of Health, Jane Philpott. I will be hosting this event on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 at the Operating Engineers campus at 2245 Speers Road, starting at 5:30 p.m. Please register at http://www.johnoliver.mp or 905-338-2008.

– John Oliver is the MP for Oakville
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by papapuff » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:26 pm

Westman Journal



Maguire to host five marijuana town halls across Westman


WESTMAN JOURNAL

AUGUST 19, 2017

BRANDON- Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, is inviting all constituents to any of the five town halls he will be hosting in the coming days to discuss the Government of Canada’s legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Maguire is hosting the town halls to hear directly from constituents on their thoughts and concerns regarding Bill C-45, an Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and Bill C-46, an Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances).

“My aim for the public meetings will be to discuss what is and is not contained in C-45 and C-46,” Maguire said.

He continued by saying, “The legalization of recreational marijuana is not just a federal issue as the provinces will have to determine how it will be sold and distributed. They will also need to set out what retail model will be used to sell marijuana and the regulations surrounding those businesses.”

The legalization of recreational marijuana will impact all three levels of government. The federal government’s plan is to remove the illegalities surrounding possession and the provinces and municipalities will be involved to determine zoning bylaws, retail location and rules.

“I know there will be varying views on the legislation and welcome everyone to come and to share their points of view,” said Maguire.

“I will ensure everyone’s thoughts are sent directly to the Minister of Justice and the Parliamentary Committee studying the legislation.”

At a recent Council of the Federation meeting, the Premiers issued a statement to highlight the costs that will be borne by the provinces for the administration and regulation, public education and law enforcement of recreational marijuana.

They also discussed the challenges surrounding the legalization date of July 1, 2018 and how federal engagement and information will be required to manage the transition properly.

Maguire has also written to the Parliamentary Budget Officer to determine what the costs will be to implement both pieces of legislation.

Questions were asked as to the cost to the federal government to monitor and regulate the growing and distribution of marijuana. Additionally, Maguire asked what the costs would be for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provincial and municipal law enforcement agencies in policing and upholding the integrity surrounding the distribution and selling of marijuana.

In response to Maguire’s letter, the Parliamentary Budget Officer responded that the Liberal government has not been forthcoming and refused to provide the information needed to perform a financial analysis.

“It is apparent that legalizing marijuana and the legislation pertaining to the law on driving under the influence will have significant costs not only to the federal government but also to provinces and municipalities,” said Maguire.

“I have requested this costing analysis because I believe that all levels of government, in particular Parliamentarians, deserve to know just how much this is going to cost.”

Another area that will be discussed at the town halls will be the issue of public safety and how the federal government plans on changing the Criminal Code to allow for roadside testing to determine tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in drivers.

There will also be a discussion on whether 18 years old is the right age to legally purchase recreational marijuana.

Currently there is debate among medical professionals about the age limit of 18 being too young.

The Canadian Medical Association in a recent editorial stated that the Liberal plan to legalize marijuana has the ability to put young people’s health at risk as cannabis has harmful effects on the development of young brains and they are advocating the age limit be 25.

Maguire concluded, “The public meetings will allow everyday Westman residents to make their voices heard and to provide amendments, suggestions and ideas on Bill C-45 and C-46. I strongly believe the voice of Westman can be heard in Parliament.”

Everyone is invited to the following town halls:

· Sunday, August 20
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
West End Community Centre
247 23rd Street
Brandon, MB

· Monday, August 213 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Holland Community Hall
136 Broadway Street
Holland, MB

· Monday, August 21
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
United Church Hall
432 Williams Street
Killarney, MB

· Tuesday, August 22
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Mountview Centre
111 South Railway Ave
Deloraine, MB

· Wednesday, August 23
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Legion Hall
540 8th Avenue South
Virden, MB
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by papapuff » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:58 pm

Montreal Gazette



Quebec wants to hear from you on legal marijuana

Smoke on the mountain: The crowd celebrates 4/20 at Mount Royal Park in Montreal on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

MONTREAL GAZETTE
Published on: August 21, 2017

The Quebec government wants to hear from you on how legal marijuana should be regulated in this province.

Quebec public health minister Lucie Charlebois announced Monday that public hearings will be scheduled throughout the province beginning Tuesday and continuing until Sept. 12.

In a statement made public Monday, the government says the hearings will “allow citizens to have their say, hear their opinions on what decisions should be taken and identify the necessary measures to ensure the protection of their health and safety.”

An online forum has also been established to allow those interested to fill out a questionnaire, at encadrementcannabis.gouv.qc.ca.

Apart from hearings in Quebec City and Montreal, public forums have also been scheduled to take place in several regional centres, including Rimouski, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, Granby and Gatineau.

The hearings come 11 months before the legalization of cannabis is expected to go into effect across Canada on July 1, 2018.

While the federal government has established a minimum age for consumption and a maximum amount for legal possession of marijuana, the provinces have the right to establish their own standards within those guidelines.

Associations representing Quebec’s psychologists and emergency room physicians have already warned that a minimum age of 18 is, in their professional opinion, too low, given the human brain’s continued development past that age. Concerns have been raised over the issue of driving while under the influence of marijuana and the most reliable methods law enforcement agencies can use to determine whether someone is driving while impaired by the drug.

Even the location of where the drug will be sold once legalized is under dispute.

The Couillard government hopes to table legislation providing a regulatory framework for legal marijuana in Quebec by this autumn.
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