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New Canadian Prime Minister promises to legalise marijuana

by papapuff » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:23 am

NORML Blog



NORML Canada Testifies In Parliament On Impending Legalization

by Clare Sausen, NORML Junior Associate
September 21, 2017

When Trudeau announced his decision to legalize marijuana in Canada (set to take effect in 2018), Trump-fearing Americans vowed to seek refuge with our Northern neighbors.

So what brought Trudeau to his decision to repeal prohibition? You know what they say: behind every great man there’s even greater, weed-loving woman.

In November of 2012, two NORML Canada board members, Kelly Coulter and Andrea Matrosovs, met with Trudeau and convinced him that supporting full legalization– not just decriminalization– was the right course of action for the Parliamentarian.

“Al Capone would have loved it if alcohol were only decriminalized,” Coulter said, convincing Trudeau that decriminalization wouldn’t keep organized crime rings and gangs out of the marijuana business.

“I saw the light go on in his eyes,” Coulter said. “He was seeing this as a politician, realizing ‘I can sell this,’ ” she recalled.

Following in their footsteps, NORML Canada Board members Marc-Boris St-Maurice and Abigail Sampson went to testify before Parliament last week, discussing The Cannabis Act (C-45) with other jurisdictions in which cannabis is legal, to share their experiences in terms of public health, tax, and banking implications for legalization.

In addition, NORML Canada Board member Kirk Tousaw went to Parliament to talk international considerations and how to deal with the transport of marijuana across border lines as it remains federally illegal in the United States.

NORML Canada President John Conroy then took part in a panel on the issue of household cultivation (the current bill proposes four plants per household).

NORML Canada members are proving that citizen involvement in legalization efforts with lawmakers, even simply having a discussion like Coulter and Matrosovs did with Trudeau, can make an enormous difference. Only time will tell if the United States will be able to follow the example set by our neighbors to the North.

Follow NORML Canada on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website at: http://norml.ca/
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by papapuff » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:31 am

CBC.ca



Ontario cities looking for cut of province's pot profits

Municipalities warn they'll need new revenue streams to cover policing, other costs once marijuana legal

By Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News Posted: Sep 21, 2017

Municipalities across Ontario are following Toronto's lead and calling on the province to fund local policing efforts and other responsibilities once new marijuana laws come into effect.

"We're where the rubber meets the road," said Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) president Lynn Dollin.

Ontario became the first province to propose legislation regulating how recreational marijuana will be sold, with plans to introduce an LCBO-style network of more than 150 stores by 2020.

Meanwhile Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has vowed to crack down on illegal medical marijuana dispensaries across the province, an effort municipal police forces warn could be costly.

There are currently 17 illegal pot dispensaries in Ottawa, and as fast as police shut them down, they open back up.

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said local police forces need more money and better tools to deal with the problem, and the AMO agrees.

"We'll be making sure we get full cost recovery," Dollin said.

List of demands

The AMO, which represents more than 400 cities and towns outside Toronto, has been tasked by its members to stickhandle negotiations on the issue with the province, and has come up with a list of demands on their behalf.

"We need the cost provided by the province. It shouldn't be borne by the property tax payer," Dollin said.

Among the changes the AMO is requesting are new powers to use zoning bylaws to put the dispensaries out of business for good.

Jessica Martin, senior communications adviser to Finance Minister Charles Sousa, said the province is meeting with municipalities to discuss "costs associated with legalizing marijuana."

"At this stage, it would be premature to establish a framework, given that the federal taxation approach has not yet been disclosed," Martin wrote in an email to CBC.

Marijuana task force

Mathieu Fleury, the Ottawa city councillor for Rideau-Vanier, is a member of a task force struck by the AMO to delve into the issue.

Fleury agreed it's too early to discuss figures, but said new sources of revenue will be required. He said the task force is weighing some of the experiences of other North American cities including Denver, Colo., the first jurisdiction on the continent to legalize marijuana.

Denver has introduced a 3.5 per cent dedicated sales tax on retail sales of the drug, generating $10.5 million in 2016.

That money is used to fund the growing costs of policing, regulation, education and affordable housing.

"New revenue streams are attractive," Fleury said.

However Ontario doesn't allow municipalities to levy new taxes. What's more likely is a negotiated share of the provincial pot tax.

Tax concerns

Ivan Ross Vrana, a former Health Canada employee who worked on the marijuana file, said governments should be very careful when it comes to taxation.

"It's going to have to be a delicate balancing act," said Ross-Vrana, now a vice president with the public relations and consulting firm Hill and Knowlton Strategies.

"It will be very easy [for buyers] to go to a black market, which will undercut the price if the price is too high," Ross-Vrana said.

That could mean little in the way of new revenue for cities unless provincial regulators can find the sweet spot when it comes to pricing.

"We acknowledge that pricing is an important component of how provinces and municipalities will achieve the core objectives of legalization with respect to public health and reducing the illicit market," Martin wrote.
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by papapuff » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:04 pm

Saskatoon StarPhoenix



Researcher says Sask. survey on recreational pot 'invalid' because it can be taken outside the province

Some critics are calling the Saskatchewan government's survey on recreational pot "misleading" and "invalid" after they discovered it contains information that is contradictory to messages issued by the federal government.

MORGAN MODJESKI, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX
Published on: September 21, 2017

Some critics are calling the Saskatchewan government’s survey on recreational pot “misleading” and “invalid” after they discovered it contains information that is contradictory to messages issued by the federal government.

The survey, which has received more than 30,000 complete and incomplete responses, indicates that the consumption of Cannabis referred to in survey questions “does not include edibles (food products that contain cannabis) as they will not be legalized under federal law.”

However, information on the Government of Canada website indicates products like edibles “would be made available for purchase once appropriate rules for their production and sale are developed.”

In response to an interview request about the inconsistency, the provincial Ministry of Justice provided a prepared statement.

“Our understanding is that edibles are not being legalized by the Federal Government at this time as rules for their production and sale have not been developed. If rules are introduced to permit these products, the province will consider how best to accommodate them,” it stated.

Marc Spooner, a University of Regina professor who ran for the NDP in the 2011 federal election, said the misrepresentation of the federal government’s plan is only one issue with the survey. He said the fact that it’s not limited to Saskatchewan Internet Protocol (IP) addresses means people from across Canada — and potentially other countries — can take the survey.

“It’s very vulnerable to being hacked,” Spooner said. “There’s actually a term for that; it’s called ‘freeping,’ and that’s when a group from a certain viewpoint purposely distorts an online poll or survey.”

Spooner said a recent instance of freeping that captured widespread attention was when the online community decided to choose the name “Boaty McBoatface” for a British research vessel.

“There are many ways they could have constructed this survey to avoid this,” he said of the survey’s potential vulnerabilities. “Right now, as a measure of Saskatchewan’s attitudes, this survey is invalid.”

Spooner said there’s “no way of knowing” if people completing the survey are Saskatchewan residents and it shouldn’t be used to form public policy in its current form.

When the StarPhoenix requested a follow-up interview on these potential vulnerabilities, a statement was again provided instead.

“We would encourage Dr. Spooner or anyone else that has questions or concerns to contact us at cannabisreform@gov.sk.ca,” it stated.

Jessica Playford, an employee at Skunk Funk Smoker’s Emporium in Saskatoon, said the inconsistency between the federal government’s position and the information in the provincial survey could result confusion.

“How are we going to know what’s going to be happening … if they’re being told one thing and it’s actually going to be another way?” she said.

“False information is going to be fed through the community like crazy and then people are going to lose faith in the government more than they already have.”

The survey closes Oct. 6.

mmodjeski@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/MorganM_SP
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by papapuff » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:08 pm

Montreal Gazette


'Get real' about setting legal age for marijuana, Couillard says

The premier says there are other considerations, including that Quebec and Ontario are neighbours and Ontario has set the legal age at 19.

PHILIP AUTHIER, MONTREAL GAZETTE
Published on: September 21, 2017

QUEBEC — Premier Philippe Couillard says setting the age to buy legal marijuana at 21 may not be realistic given Quebec’s proximity to Ontario, which has set the age at 19.

On the same day as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is making an official visit to Quebec — she will address the National Assembly Thursday afternoon — Couillard questioned the opposition Coalition Avenir Quebec’s view that the legal age should be 21.

His comments also suggest the plan Quebec comes up with this fall — in response to Ottawa’s decision to make weed legal as of July 1, 2018 — will be similar to Ontario, which presented its plan last week. The two provinces are working closely together on the problem and sharing ideas.

Answering a question in the legislature from CAQ leader François Legault, who said setting the age at 21 would be a clear signal that pot is dangerous for young brains and thus to be discouraged, Couillard asked Legault to think about the bigger picture.

“Does he seriously think he will prevent youths from 18 to 21 from smoking pot?” Couillard asked. “Get real. I think they are smoking already and will continue to smoke.


“What we want to do is prevent organized crime and the black market from profiting from the situation. He (Legault) has not thought this through.”

Couillard then said there are other considerations, including the fact Quebec and Ontario are neighbours and Ontario has set the legal age at 19.

“What will happen on the bridges over the Outaouais River Saturday night if the ages between the two provinces are very different?” Couillard asked. “I guess he (Legault) will go and police them to be sure young Ontarians don’t cross into Quebec.”

But Legault said as a doctor Couillard should know about the effects of marijuana and play it safe with the legal age, to which Couillard said if Legault has a plan to stop youth from smoking, he should present it now.

He urged Legault to have a proactive, constructive attitude, noting after Quebec presents a bill this fall setting out how the province’s rules on marijuana he will be able to comment freely at the legislative hearings into the legislation.

The Parti Québécois earlier this week said it believes the legal age to buy marijuana should be 18.

Wynne’s speech to the legislature will mark the first time that a premier of another province addresses politicians in the National Assembly.

pauthier@postmedia.com

twitter.com/philipauthier
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by papapuff » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:31 pm

News1130



Opposition parties question why Liberals did not act sooner on UN drug treaties

NATIONAL
by KRISTY KIRKUP, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Posted Sep 21, 2017 10:59 am PDT Last Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm PDT

OTTAWA – Opposition parties are asking why the Liberal government did not consider sooner how to deal with three United Nations drug treaties after they learned Thursday the issue is only expected to go before the cabinet this fall.

Officials in Global Affairs Canada have been reviewing options available to cabinet on how to deal with the treaties — the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances —given the government’s plan to legalize marijuana by July 2018.

The treaties, which require cannabis be outlawed, were flagged as an issue long ago, Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole said, adding the question should be put to Parliament before cabinet makes a final call.

“They cannot ignore these international treaties,” he said speaking outside the House of Commons.

“We’d at least like an indication of which route they intend to follow.”

The treaties are another example of how the government is moving too quickly with its pot plan, he said.

“Doctors are telling them to slow down, law enforcement, chiefs of police are telling them to slow down, premiers are telling them to slow down and the international community is probably wondering what we are going to do with these treaties,” O’Toole said.

NDP justice critic Alistair MacGregor also wondered why a government decision hadn’t come sooner.

“Here we are in the month of September,” he said in an interview. “This legislation was introduced as of April of this year and, of course, the work on the cannabis file started far before that.”

Both the NDP and the Conservatives raised the issue in the House of Commons last spring, he said.

“We were given a non-answer officially in question period and I’ve had discussions with a few Liberal MPs off in the corridors who themselves were puzzled as to why there was not a clear direction from the government at that time,” he said.

“It would have been nice for sake of clarity with this being such a revolutionary change to our drug laws that this is something they could have considered at an early occurrence, rather than now when we are well underway in examining this legislation at committee and going to be reporting it back to the House of Commons this fall.”

One of the options expected to be considered by cabinet is to withdraw from the treaties and rejoin later with reservation.

Steven Hoffman, an international legal expert based at Osgoode law school, said he is pleased that the cabinet will review the issue, adding he sees withdrawal as the clearest option.

“The most important thing now is for cabinet to seriously consider the challenge and the options available to ensure that we do not violate international law,” Hoffman said.

Adam Austen, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, said the government has been working with international experts, including at the United Nations, to determine the best course forward on Canada’s international commitments.

“We are committed to continuing to work with global partners to best promote public health and combat illicit drug trafficking,” he said in a statement.

In August, department officials visited the United Nations office on drugs and crime in Vienna to discuss the treaties and marijuana legalization.

The 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs requires a year’s notice for withdrawal, while the other two require six months notice.

—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter
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by papapuff » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:25 pm

Toronto Sun



Trudeau’s pot plan goes up in smoke

john-snobelen BY JOHN SNOBELEN, TORONTO SUN
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017

Remember back when Justin Trudeau was cool?

As a Liberal backbencher, Trudeau had it all. Great hair. Nice car.

As leader of the Liberal party, he spoke with the kind of delicious platitudes that only those who have never failed can embrace.

Canadians loved the guy. He was going to solve our problems with a combination of moral superiority and celebrity chill.

The budget would balance itself.

Aboriginal problems would miraculously resolve themselves.

The environment would heal under the soft stirring of his canoe paddle.

Challenges that plagued lesser leaders for decades were nothing in the face of Trudeau’s enlightened approach.

When Trudeau swept the Liberals to a majority government, Canada was suddenly glowing in his reflective coolness. Camelot North.

Nothing in his policy arsenal demonstrated cool better than his pledge to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Before the last election, the liberalization of marijuana didn’t need much explanation.

Heck, it was 2015.

Fast-forward to 2017 and the Liberal approach doesn’t look so cool anymore.

True to form, the Trudeau government barely paused to consider the challenges of legalizing marijuana.

They simply tossed the problems to the provinces.

Which is how, in this ocean of coolness, we came to the embarrassingly uncool announcement that Ontario would only permit the sale of marijuana in a few special LCBO stores.

The new pot stores won’t look like the relative retail oases of the LCBO wine and alcohol stores today.

They will be throwbacks to the 1950’s when Ontarians skulked into a barren LCBO store, filled out a form and waited while a dutiful public servant retrieved the poison and put it in a brown paper bag.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s approach to marijuana distribution recalls a line from a JJ Cale song, “Momma don’t allow no reefer smoking round here.”

It might be legal, but by Gawd, it ain’t gonna be easy.

This is, of course, an attempt to protect Ontarians from the evil weed.

You wouldn’t want this stuff getting in the hands of children.

Trouble is, the Liberal approach to marijuana is going to ensure the kids, and most adults, source their weed from a, dare I say it, cooler, source: Organized crime.

It isn’t difficult to get high quality marijuana in Canada. You can order it online and Canada Post will bring it to your home.

This may shock our Liberal friends but children can get all the pot they can smoke.

It’s cheap and readily available. Organized criminals are good at this. Heck, they own the illegal cigarette business.

Where will the Liberal approach to regulating pot consumption leave us?

Folks will have to choose between fully taxed marijuana and the joys of a government retail experience (online or in store) or the more enticing and cheaper offerings from organized crime.

The regulators will be in the impossible position of attempting to control a legal product that is distributed online and can be lawfully produced in any backyard.

The cops will be armed with the highly subjective roadside sobriety test as the only barrier to driving stoned.

Get ready for an onslaught of cars driving at 10 miles an hour down the 401, with empty Doritos bags flying out the windows.

How cool is that?

In this brave new world, the Liberals’ attempts at regulation are laughable, which is a problem for Trudeau and Wynne.

Last time I checked, it wasn’t cool to be laughed at.

- Snobelen was a cabinet minister in the Conservative government of Ontario premier Mike Harris from 1995 to 2002
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by papapuff » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:37 pm

The Guardian



P.E.I. woman hosting pot talk after province says no to public meetings

Teresa Wright teresa.wright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on September 22, 2017

A local woman is taking matters into her own hands to speak openly about legalizing marijuana after her request to government for a public meeting was denied.

Annie MacEachern says she asked provincial officials about its plans for a public meeting after government released a public engagement survey asking Islanders for their opinions on how the province should deal with impaired driving, education, taxation, public health and regulatory compliance in regards to legal cannabis.

When she told there were no public meetings planned, she decided to host her own meetings.

“When they told me that they would not be offering any kind of informational sessions or public discussions, I felt responsible to take that on,” she says.

MacEachern, who has a degree in public relations, says she has been researching the cannabis industry for the last five years.

“Public safety and health are my main concerns in the legalization of recreational cannabis, and I firmly believe that conversations about how this rolls out need to be happening in the public with our communities.”

She held her first public discussion at the new National Access Cannabis location in P.E.I. and was attended by about 50 people. She hopes an even larger group attends her second upcoming event.

“A lot of people of have messaged me on social media and come up to me in public to tell me they were excited to hear that this discussion was happening in public. People want to talk about this. All I want to do is allow a safe, open space to discuss

cannabis,” MacEachern said.

In a statement to The Guardian, the province says it is limiting its requests for public input to written or survey submissions at this time because of the limited time it has before the federal government makes marijuana legal in July 2018.

“We have a very short timeline for decision making, writing legislation and creating policy for cannabis use,” the government statement said.

“The public survey allows us to focus the discussion on areas which the province actually has control over (i.e. legal age, distribution method), and the format is accessible for all Islanders.”

Government further argues this approach is reaching more Islanders than public meetings would.

“Where a town hall typically only brings in a small portion of the population, we have already reached over 2,700 Islanders through the online survey to-date, plus those who submitted paper copies to Access P.E.I. and those who have made a written submission.”

The province does say it plans to also reach out to stakeholders for consultation and pledged to “have further public engagement when it comes to education and information on issues such as public health, safety, law enforcement etc.”

Meanwhile, MacEachern’s public discussion will take place Sunday, Sept. 24 at Dynamic Fitness, 99 Pownal St., from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Teresa.wright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa
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by papapuff » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:40 pm

TheChronicleHerald.ca



Feds issue tender for anti-marijuana campaign aimed at youth

AARON BESWICK THE CHRONICLE HERALD
Published September 22, 2017

Health Canada doesn’t want kids smoking pot.

The federal agency responsible for the health of Canadians issued a tender call Thursday for a marketing campaign to raise awareness among youth aged 13 to 24 about the harmful affects of smoking marijuana on their still-developing brains.

It also wants pre- and post-campaign monitoring of the awareness of youth of the affects.

The advertising campaign will roll out in anticipation of Canada’s legalizing marijuana next year.

Ed McHugh, a professor at St. Mary’s University’s marketing department, offered a warning.

“In the world of marketing and communications it is very difficult to change human behaviour,” said McHugh.

“We don’t think it’s going to happen to us. We think it’s going to happen to others.”

And according to a 2013 United Nations Children’s Fund study, Canadian kids are already smoking pot.

It found 28 per cent of Canadian children between the ages of 11 and 15 had used marijuana at least once in the past year — more than in either the United States or the Netherlands (where weed was already legal).

But the case is not hopeless.

McHugh points to advertising campaigns by Labatt Beer to promote responsible drinking some 20 years ago.

“They did these focus groups and what they heard back was, ‘don’t be parental and try to use humour if you can,’” said McHugh.

The result was a televised advertising campaign that humorously showed the potential shame a person could create for themselves during a night of hard drinking.

Polling afterward showed the advertising had raised awareness, said McHugh.

One thing that Health Canada does not state in its 45-page request for proposals is a budget for this advertising campaign that would be meant to reach youth across Canada. Health Canada was not able to provide a budget for the campaign to The Chronicle Herald before suppertime on Friday.

“You can’t put together a proposal without knowing what the budget is,” said McHugh.

He added, however, that he does “applaud Health Canada for attempting to get out ahead” of the legalization of marijuana with an educational campaign.

The deadline for proposals is Oct. 16.
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by papapuff » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:02 pm

cheknews.ca



B.C. government set to roll out rules on marijuana

Posted By: Isabelle Raghemon: September 24, 2017 In: CHEK, News

VIDEO

Nerves are building up for some Victoria cannabis business owner.

"I think everyone is waiting with bated breath in anticipation of what the B.C. provincial government is going to roll out," says the owner of The Green Ceiling, Ashley Abraham.

On Monday, the province will reveal the first details on the regulation in British Columbia of weed when legalized next year.

"Definitely hoping to see a drastic difference from what's being rolled out in Ontario," says Abraham.

On Septmber 8th, Ontario announced marijuana will be sold in government stores and cannabis products will have to be used in private residences.

That model in B.C. would mean lounges like The Green Ceiling would have to shut its doors.

"I don't think that's gonna work in British Columbia," explains AbrahaIt's"It's here and it's working. There's no need to re-invent the wheel. It's just about finding a way to make it run a little smoother."

Trees Dispensary on Yates Street in downtown Victoria would also be on the chopping block if the province opts for government stores.

"I think that in a year and a half from now people are gonna look at B.C. and look at Ontario and they're gonna say B.C. did it right and Ontario is flailing," says Trees Dispensary owner Alex Robb.

He believes Ontario's plan won't satisfy customers and will keep the black market alive. He would live B.C. to take a different approach.

"Public and private at the same time that's gonna provide cannabis in rural areas but it's also gonna allow private dispensaries to operate in places like Vancouver and Victoria where they've been operating for two decades," says Robb.

The details on the next steps for regulation come out in Vancouver at 10:15 a.m on September 25.
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by papapuff » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:01 am

vancouversun.com



Solicitor general announces public engagement on cannabis legalization in B.C.

Jennifer Saltman JENNIFER SALTMAN

Published on: September 25, 2017

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced the official opening of a public engagement process around the future of non-medical cannabis regulation in B.C. on Monday

Farnworth spoke about the importance of collaboration in developing a framework for regulation during his remarks at a session at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) Conference in Vancouver.

“We want to make sure the policy we put in place meets the needs of British Columbians,” said Farnworth.

The topic of marijuana legalization and the role that municipalities will play in developing and administering policies is a big agenda item for the approximately 1,800 municipal employees and elected officials attending this year’s conference.

A resolution that was put forth by the UBCM executive calls for “fulsome and meaningful” consultation with the provincial government, adequate provincial funding to cover costs related to implementing its framework, a fair share of taxes for cities and respect for municipalities’ “choice, jurisdiction and authority” with regards to land use, zoning and other city-hall concerns.

Municipalities have felt snubbed by the federal government when they’ve tried to engage.

“I think it’s a bit of snobbery or haughtiness on the part of the federal government,” Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang, who is a UBCM executive member, said on the weekend.

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, who is also on the UBCM executive, agreed in an interview with Postmedia last week.

“We’re just kind of being ignored,” he said. “Which is too bad, because we’re the ones who are going to have to implement it.”

Also scheduled to speak at Monday’s session on cannabis legalization are Jang; provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall, who is on the federal Task Force on Legalization and Regulation; a lawyer from Young Anderson; and mayors and councillors from Victoria, White Rock, Fort St. James and Nelson.

jensaltman@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jensaltman

— With files from Nick Eagland and The Canadian Press
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by papapuff » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:03 am

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by papapuff » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:37 am

Times Colonist


Consultations planned on recreational pot sales, minister says

AMY SMART / TIMES COLONIST
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Recreational pot sales may vary by city and town, when it becomes legal next summer.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said the province is embarking on a public consultation process, but doesn’t expect to force a retail model on local governments.

“I think it’s important that local government is not only heard and at the table, but there’s an understanding that one size does not fit all,” Farnworth said.

What will be consistent across the province are things like age restrictions, enforcement and possession limits, he said.

No formula for revenue sharing between the federal and provincial government has been determined, he said.

Public and stakeholder engagement will wrap up Nov. 1.

In addition to an online and telephone public engagement campaign, the province is collecting input from local governments, indigenous groups, law enforcement, industry players and stakeholders in health, agriculture and other sectors.

The province has also asked the Union of B.C. Municipalities to form a standing committee on cannabis legalization so local governments can share their experience, knowledge and concerns.

The federal government introduced legislation in April that would legalize recreational marijuana by July 1, 2018, but is leaving it up to each province to determine its own distribution system and usage regulations.

Provinces can also upgrade traffic-safety laws related to cannabis-impaired driving.

Ontario announced its plans earlier this month to sell recreational marijuana through the province’s liquor control board and limit consumption to private residences.

asmart@timescolonist.com
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by papapuff » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:40 am

Castanet.net



Have your say on pot rules

The Canadian Press - Sep 25, 2017

The B.C. government is turning to the public before recreational marijuana is legalized for input on protecting children, making roads safer and keeping criminals out of the pot industry.

Once marijuana is legalized next July, the provinces will regulate the retail sale of marijuana and can upgrade traffic safety laws to protect people on the roads from cannabis-impaired drivers.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says he wants help shaping public health and safety issues in the public consultation process, which will also include a telephone survey.

The government is asking people to share their views until Nov. 1.

Farnworth announced the consultation process today at a convention of B.C. municipalities, which have been waiting for details of a marijuana plan, especially in Vancouver where local politicians have struggled to regulate pot shops for more than a year.

Only a handful of marijuana dispensaries and compassion clubs had received business licences in Vancouver by the spring, while nearly 50 more development permits or business licences were under review.

Many other pot shops continue to operate without licences, despite the potential of $250-a-day fines.

Victoria has also taken steps to require dispensaries to obtain business licenses and is seeking an injunction to shut down one pot shop for bylaw violations, including consumption on site.

Ontario already announced it will impose a minimum age of 19 for marijuana use, will only allow the drug to be sold in certain government liquor stores and will limit pot use solely to private residences.
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by papapuff » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:21 am

Times Colonist



How marijuana is sold could vary from city to city

AMY SMART , KATIE DEROSA / TIMES COLONIST

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Recreational pot could be sold at dispensaries in one city and corner stores in another when it becomes legal next summer.

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, said the province is embarking on a public consultation process for non-medicinal marijuana regulation, but doesn’t expect to force a retail model on local governments.

“I think it’s important that local government is not only heard and at the table, but there’s an understanding that one size does not fit all,” Farnworth said.

That comes as welcome news to some Greater Victoria politicians.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said he’s happy municipalities will have a say over retail operations.

“The province isn’t going to give us any money to manage these places, so we should be the ones to control it,” said Young, who has taken a tough stance against pot shops opening ahead of legalization.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said local governments should have a say in land use, planning and zoning, but she hopes the province will take a comprehensive approach so the rules don’t vary from town to town.

What will be consistent across the province, Farnworth said, are things like age restrictions, enforcement and possession limits.

Public and stakeholder engagement wrap up Nov. 1.

No formula for revenue-sharing between the federal and provincial governments has been determined, he said.

The province anticipates legalization will have large up-front costs and isn’t looking at the tax potential as a “cash grab,” said Farnworth, adding local governments won’t be stuck with those costs.

“We are not looking at this as a downloading exercise — we want to make sure we have in place the resources to deal with those upfront costs that are required.”

In addition to an online and telephone public-engagement campaign, the province is collecting input from Indigenous groups, law enforcement, industry players and stakeholders in health, agriculture and other sectors.

The province has also asked the Union of B.C. Municipalities to form a standing committee on cannabis legalization so local governments can share their experience, knowledge and concerns.

The federal government introduced legislation in April that would legalize recreational marijuana by July 1, 2018, but is leaving it up to each province to determine its own distribution system and usage regulations.

Provinces can also upgrade traffic-safety laws related to cannabis-impaired driving.

Ontario announced its plans this month to sell recreational marijuana through the province’s liquor control board and limit consumption to private residences.

Young said the province’s goal to lay out cannabis regulations by spring is way too late.

“We’re on the front line and the biggest cost to managing these stores and managing the sale of recreational marijuana will be borne by the municipalities,” he said.

Young would prefer to see recreational cannabis sold in liquor stores, since they already have staff trained to check ID.

He said licensed producers, who have already had to jump through hoops to satisfy Health Canada’s strict guidelines, should get preferential treatment when it comes to setting up storefront dispensaries.

He hopes the province will set the legal age to buy pot at 19, so it’s on par with the legal age for alcohol.

Young also said Langford would likely require that dispensaries be at least 800 metres apart and that they not be close to schools, parks or daycares.

Alex Robb, general manager for Trees Dispensary and director of the B.C. Independent Cannabis Alliance, is encouraged that the government wants input from the public and stakeholders.

But Robb pressed the province to unveil its regulatory regime as soon as possible, so cannabis businesses have time to get the infrastructure in place ahead of federal legalization.

“I would have preferred the provincial government to come out and say: ‘We’re going to bring in a mixed public-private approach,’ but I’m quite satisfied with the idea of a public-engagement program, because I think that will bring out all the other interests,” said Robb.

Farnworth defended B.C.’s pace, saying it was delayed by the provincial election and change of government.

B.C. Liberal public safety critic Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, said regulation will be difficult without a uniform retail model.

“I think it would be very difficult to have a multitude of different models at play at any given time,” Morris said.

“I think it’s going to need a consistent approach to distribution, to make sure everyone’s following the same rules or guidelines.”

The priority should be ensuring the product sold is safe and doesn’t come from organized crime, and there needs to be public education about health risks and the dangers of cannabis-impaired driving, he said.

asmart@timescolonist.com

To provide input, go to engage.gov.bc.ca/BCcannabisregulation
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by papapuff » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:35 am

nowtoronto.com



Julian Fantino turns over a new leaf on marijuana

Toronto's former chief is not the only ex-cop or politician to want to profit from legal marijuana, but he may be the biggest hypocrite among them

BY ENZO DIMATTEO SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Julian Fantino has turned over a new leaf on marijuana.

The former Toronto police chief, OPP commish and Harper-era cabinet minister will serve as executive chair of something called Aleafia Inc., which describes itself on its website as a “total health network," a middleman essentially that connects prospective medicinal-marijuana users with licensed growers, according to the Globe and Mail, which broke the story over the weekend – and then promptly put it behind a paywall knowing full well the clicking frenzy Fantino's association with legal weed would touch off. Fantino's not the only former top cop or politician to try and profit off legal weed – the list is a long one – but he may be the biggest hypocrite among them.

You don't have to look far to understand why Fantino's involvement in the biz might be difficult to wrap your head around. Just google the words "Julian Fantino" and "marijuana," and what comes up is hit after hit of a career (both in politics and in policing) dedicated to a level of reefer madness that's had no equal. This is the dude who once likened decriminalizing weed to legalizing murder.

As recently as the last federal election, Fantino was claiming in an interview with the Toronto Sun that legal pot would prove a boon for organized crime, despite evidence to the contrary (like Colorado where marijuana is legal). Back then, he charged that the Libs' plan to legalize weed included opening marijuana cafes. Horrors. Fantino also distributed flyers in his Vaughan riding in 2014 claiming Justin Trudeau planned to make pot available to minors. Which is to say that when it comes to marijuana – and saving his own political ass – Fantino is prepared to say anything.

The real mind bender: Fantino also said in the Sun interview that he was offered "a lot" of money by an unnamed company to get in on the ground floor of the burgeoning bud business. All he would have to do was lend his name to the enterprise. He said, "I would never do it."

So what's changed?

Fantino told the Globe that he's "evolved" on the issue. He says it was his time as Veterans Affairs minister under Harper, during which he saw Afghan war vets turning to prescription marijuana to deal with anxiety, sleep disorders and PTSD, that was a turning point.

But that explanation doesn't quite pass the sniff test either since it was under Fantino's watch that the Veterans Affairs department recommended capping the amount of prescription marijuana vets could receive under the feds' benefits program.

It would be interesting to hear from Fantino if his newfound tolerance for marijuana extends to reparations for those, mostly Black youth, who have been saddled with life-limiting criminal records because of pot prohibition.

As OPP commish, Fantino only saw red when it came to green, establishing a "marijuana eradication program" to bust grow-ops. He claimed the operation was to counteract a growing marijuana epidemic that he claimed was fuelling the purchase of guns, cocaine and heroin. To him, marijuana was the root of all evil when it comes to the drug trade, even though it's widely accepted that most of the marijuana grown in Canada supplies the domestic market. It's safe to say Fantino has never been one to let the truth stand in the way of a good story, or photo op.

He wasn't always a buzzkill on pot. When the Liberals under Paul Martin were toying with the idea of decriminalization in 2003, Fantino instructed his officers on the Toronto force not to bust anyone holding under 30 grams. But that was more out of frustration than a belief in the idea of leniency. As long as Ottawa was taking its sweet time making up its mind on whether or not to decriminalize weed, the cops were in legal limbo.

Fantino will no doubt mine what contacts he's made in law enforcement and political circles for his new venture. His partner at Aleafia Inc., Raf Souccar, is a former undercover drug officer and RCMP deputy commissioner, and served on the PM's task force on marijuana.

It also just so happens that the director of communications at Canopy, the largest licensed marijuana producer in the country, is also a former underling of Fantino's at Veterans Affairs (and also winner of the Minister's Award of Excellence during his time there). Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

enzom@nowtoronto.com | @enzodimatteo
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