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  1. Hi Maybe they could ask British Growers to pop over for a wee while Canadian Cannabis Production Increase Needed To Meet Demand As demand for medical cannabis in Canada increases at an unprecedented rate, suppliers need to up their game to keep up with the market According to officials in Canada, a sharp increase in the cultivation of medical cannabis is needed, in order to keep up with growing demand there Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Aurora Cannabis Inc., said on Monday, “Right now, the existing capacity and what is already envisioned will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the adult consumer market.” There is an added urgency also, due to the fact that recreational cannabis use is set to become legal as of July 1st, 2018. According to Battley, “We need to expand our capacity right away simply to meet the demands of the rapidly growing medical cannabis system. When the demand of the adult consumer system is layered on top of that, it’s a rush to build as much capacity as possible.” Despite the worries and in some cases minor panic, Battley also came with some good news, telling reporters, according to The Canadian Press, that Battley made the comments on the same day that Aurora (TSX:ACB) began trading common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange Canada has a well-developed medical cannabis system, “This is a coming of age, not just for Aurora, but for the cannabis sector and what we’re seeing now is that Canada has established itself as the world leader in a brand new emerging industry that we are literally inventing in real time,” he said. According to Battley, Canada is leading the global movement in the field of medical cannabis, and Jordan Sinclair, director of communications for Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), another major medical cannabis producer, agrees, “There’s no doubt that we already are …that Canada is the global leader in cannabis on the medical side certainly.” According to the Health Canada website there are 52 authorized an licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes in the country. That number is set to grow as medical cannabis steadily becomes more easily accessible for patients in Canada. http://www.cannatech.news/2017/07/27/canadian-cannabis-production-increase-needed-to-meet-demand/ Bongme
  2. Hi Fewer And Fewer Cannabis Crimes Are Being Reported To Police In Canada Newburgh In terms of overall crime severity, Statistics Canada reported Monday that Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kelowna had the highest Crime Severity Index in the country, as well as the highest police reported overall crime rates past year. In its annual report on police-reported crime released on Monday, the agency noted that while the police-reported impaired driving rate is down for a fifth consecutive year across Canada, reports of drug-impaired driving are up - largely driven by a 38 per cent increase in Ontario for 2016. Across the country, Statistics Canada said the combined rate of drug-related offences for substances other than cannabis and cocaine - both of which have been on the decline - has been increasing since 2010. The agency says the number of people charged with the possession of pot, which the Liberal government has introduced legislation to legalize, also went down to 17,733 a year ago, which is about 3,600 fewer than in 2015. Ottawa's crime rate jumped in 2016, bucking national trends that saw only a slight increase in the amount of crime across Canada. Ottawa's unusually high 24 homicides in 2016 drove a 10-per-cent increase in the severity index's numbers. There were nearly 1.9 million Criminal Code incidents reported by police in 2016, according to Statistics Canada - roughly 27,700 more than there were in 2015. However, the severity of the crimes increased slightly for the second year in a row. However, there was also an increase in the rate of certain violent crimes, including sexual violations against children. http://newburghgazette.com/2017/07/24/fewer-and-fewer-cannabis-crimes-are-being-reported-to/ Bongme
  3. Hi Meeting going to pot: Cannabis on agenda for second day of premiers meeting It's Weed Wednesday at the premiers meeting in Edmonton. The leaders of Canada's provinces and territories are set to compare notes on how to handle the rules when the federal government legalizes recreational use of cannabis next July. While Ottawa will pass the enabling legislation, it will be up to the provinces to decide how cannabis will be distributed and sold, what public places it will be allowed and whether the minimum age to buy it will be higher than 18. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says the sheer amount of work and the unanswered questions require a one-year delay on implementation. "It's too soon," Pallister said at a media availability on Tuesday. "We aren't ready as a country to fully address the issues that may come up as a consequence of this." Pallister said domestic issues aren't the only ones that need resolving. He suggested there are also questions on how Canada will interact with its largest trading partner, the United States, where only a handful of states have legalized marijuana use. "Better co-ordination among the provinces will be helpful in respect of getting at a lot of these issues." Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her government is consulting the public as her province prepares to meet the July 1 deadline, but she hasn't ruled out asking for an extension. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Ontario's Kathleen Wynne and Stephen McNeil of Nova Scotia said they are also working to be ready by July 1. McNeil said rules needs to be uniform across the country, particularly in Atlantic Canada and especially around the minimum age. "I've said all along I believe 19 (as a minimum age) makes sense," he said. http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/07/19/news/meeting-going-pot-cannabis-agenda-second-day-premiers-meeting Bongme
  4. Hi Canadians want Ottawa to erase old marijuana convictions, poll finds A clear majority of Canadians want the federal government to issue pardons to fellow citizens who have a criminal record for marijuana possession, a new poll has found. The survey stands to buttress the call of marijuana activists, lawyers and politicians who argue that the old criminal records will be a legal anomaly once marijuana is legalized for recreational use by all adults. The federal government tabled legislation last month that aimed to legalize marijuana by the middle of next year. Despite widespread pressure, the government has refused to call on law enforcement to stop charging marijuana users with simple possession while the legislation goes through Parliament, or to promise an amnesty for past convictions after the adoption of the new law. According to a poll by The Globe and Mail/Nanos Research, however, 62 per cent of Canadians support or somewhat support the calls for a pardon for every person with a criminal record for marijuana possession. By comparison, 35 per cent of respondents said they oppose or somewhat oppose the move. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a public forum organized by Vice Canada last month that the current system was unfair, leaving vulnerable and marginalized Canadians more likely to end up with criminal records than those from privileged backgrounds. However, he stopped short of promising an amnesty. “We’ll take steps to look at what we can do for those folks who have criminal records for something that would no longer be criminal,” Mr. Trudeau said. Last year, a C.D. Howe Institute report urged the government to pardon everyone who has been convicted of marijuana possession, pointing out even a minor possession conviction severely limits a person’s ability to work and travel. “If you have a criminal conviction, it automatically disqualifies you from a number of positions,” said Anindya Sen, the University of Waterloo economics professor who penned the report. “That’s just economic waste. You have people on social assistance who could otherwise be employed and contribute to the economy.” Estimates vary on the number of people with simple possession convictions in the country. Tens of thousands of Canadians have been charged with marijuana possession every year since the 1970s. In 2015, police reported 49,000 cannabis possession offences. The Nanos survey also found that 8 per cent of Canadians said they currently do not use cannabis, but will do so once it becomes legal. By comparison, 73 per cent of Canadians said they are not users and will not start after the legislation is adopted, and 12 per cent said their current usage will remain at the same level even if the product is legalized. Only 1 per cent of respondents characterized themselves as current users whose consumption will go up in the legal regime. Asked about their confidence in Health Canada’s ability to test the safety and potency of Canada’s marijuana supply, 61 per cent of respondents expressed confidence, compared with 35 per cent who had doubts. The Nanos survey was conducted between April 29 and May 5, reaching a random survey of 1,000 Canadians that is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The legislation known as Bill C-45 would lift the prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis that goes back to 1923, positioning Canada as a leading country on the relaxation of laws related to illicit drugs. If adopted as planned by the summer of 2018, Canada will become the first G7 country – and the second in the world after Uruguay – in which cannabis use is legal across the land. The legislation would allow all Canadians 18 or older (older still depending on the province) to buy marijuana by mail and in provincially regulated retail spaces, or to grow up to four plants at home. The possession limit of dried cannabis would be set at 30 grams, while edible cannabis products would be legalized at a later date. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadians-want-ottawa-to-erase-old-marijuana-convictions-poll-finds/article35077433/ 4 Comments Bongme
  5. Hi Canada Tests Lower Age for Cannabis Legalization most controversial thing about Canada's move to legalize marijuana nationwide may be setting the minimum age for use at 18 — three years lower than in U.S. states that have embraced legalization — a move that is being closely watched across the continent. Advocates for the measure, expected to pass Parliament next year, say putting the limit at 21 would encourage a black market and drive youths into the hands of criminals. "Taking this business away from them I think is an obligation," said former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to Canada's justice minister and the man in charge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plan to legalize. The task force that drafted the measure reported that experts said "that setting the minimum age too high risked preserving the illicit market, particularly since the highest rates of use are in the 18 to 24 age range." But health experts are worried that the provision will encourage use of a substance that can have long-term consequences on still-maturing brains. "Our recommendation is still to postpone as old as possible, ideally after 25," said Dr. Granger Avery, president of Canadian Medical Association, which proposed setting the age at 21 only after it became clear that the government wanted it at 18. Legalization will inevitably lead more young people to smoke marijuana in the mistaken belief that it isn't harmful, said Christina Grant, a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Ontario. "One in seven youths who have used cannabis will develop an addiction to cannabis and that impacts your life, schooling, job prospects, social and emotional relationships," she said. The legislation introduced last month would make Canada the second country to have nationwide legalization, after Uruguay, which also set the minimum age at 18. While eight U.S. states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana, users there must be at least 21. Colorado State Rep. Jonathan Singer, whose state became the first to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, said it too should lower the age to 18 in order to stamp out the lingering black market. "If you are old enough to go to war then you should be old enough to be trusted to use a recreational substance," Singer said. U.S. teens have long crossed the border into the province of Quebec, where the drinking age is 18, and some say a lower recreational marijuana age allowance in Canada could mean an influx of pot tourism among young Americans. Canadian youth already have higher rates of cannabis use than their peers worldwide, with 21 percent of those aged 15-19 reporting they consumed cannabis and 30 percent of those aged 20-24, according to government figures. The Canadian legislation would give each of the 10 provinces power to set the minimum age, with at least Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba likely to choose the younger option of 18 to match the drinking age. The drinking age is 19 in the other provinces. Anyone caught selling or providing pot to someone under the age of 18 could face up to 14 years in prison. Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has said "no product is without risk" and noted tobacco and alcohol are legal although both pose serious health risks. "Just because a product is legal it does not mean it is advisable or recommended to use that product," Philpott said. David Hammond, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo, said the government will have to do more to educate young people on the health risks. Anyone arguing for pot age restrictions until 25 should be doing the same for alcohol and tobacco, he said. "It will be hard to argue that legalizing won't normalize it to some extent," he said. "You are loosening the restrictions." Associated Press writer Wilson Ring contributed to this report. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-canada-marijuana-legalization-20170518-story.html Bongme
  6. Hi Published on 30 Mar 2017 Cannabis Tourism: Could new Legislation give Windsor's Economy a new high? Bongme
  7. Hi Canada may legalise cannabis by Canada Day 2018 The Irish News 27 March Canada is set to announce legislation to legalise marijuana in the country in 2018, according to reports. Canada’s Minister of Health Jane Philpott announced the plans last April, with the government’s specially appointed task force on cannabis legalisation and regulation releasing its final report in November. It’s thought the bill will follow the recommendations set out by the task force – chaired by former liberal justice minister Anne McLellan – and will be put forth in the week commencing April 10, reports CBC News. And if the report is accurate, that means cannabis will be legal by Canada Day next year – that’s July 1. Ottawa will oversee the country’s marijuana supply as well as license producers. However, each individual province will be able to set out rules on the price, distribution and selling regulations itself. While Ottawa will enforce a minimum age of 18 for purchase, the provinces will have the option to raise the age limit should they wish. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to legalise cannabis during his election campaign in 2015. http://www.irishnews.com/magazine/daily/2017/03/27/news/canada-may-legalise-cannabis-by-canada-day-2018-978439/ Bongme Thats me coffee brake over
  8. A candidate for the Conservative Party leadership says she would re-criminalize recreational marijuana use if elected prime minister. Kellie Leitch listens to a question during a news conference on Feb. 27, 2015 in Ottawa. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP) Tory MP Kellie Leitch shared her perspective on pot during a wide-ranging interview with AM980's Andrew Lawton Tuesday. She suggested her experience as a pediatric surgeon has convinced her that the Liberal government's plan to legalize the drug will put children at risk. "With regards to marijuana, I feel strongly about this," she said. "We know this is a dangerous drug that has a huge impact on the developing child brain and adolescent brain." Leitch said pot should be available to those who use it medicinally, but it should be "in a pharmacy and provided by a prescription." Full legalization will only make pot more accessible to young people, she suggested. "I don't want to see any child put in harm's way by having access to a dangerous drug," she said. Liberals have pledged to table legislation to legalize marijuana in spring 2017. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long argued that regulating and taxing the drug will do more to keep it away from kids. Lawton then pressed the former cabinet minister if she would "campaign to make it criminal once again." She ducked the question by pointing out the millions of dollars Health Canada spends telling young Canadians not to smoke cigarettes — despite the government saying smoking pot should be "allowable." "I can't do the math on that very easily," Leitch said. "I think we should be talking to young Canadians about not smoking either of these things." Lawton then said he was looking for a direct answer. "Would you criminalize recreational marijuana once again as prime minister?" he asked. "Yes," she said. In late February, Leitch rose during question period to charge that Liberals weresending mixed signals to Canadians about marijuana. Again, she pointed to the Health Canada ads encouraging Canadians to quit smoking. "Now, the government wants Canadian kids to have access to a drug to smoke — marijuana," she said. She called on the government to protect kids from the "mind-altering drug." Leitch was serving as her party's health critic at the time. She has since given up the shadow cabinet role as she campaigns for the top Tory job. Maxime Bernier not so sure But it seems her only other declared opponent doesn't share Leitch's hardline views about marijuana. Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, who considers himself a libertarian, told The Huffington Post Canada earlier this month that he wants to see the Liberal legislation before determining his stance on pot. "Forbidden drugs will be forbidden, but … for marijuana, I'm open to having that discussion, and I'm going to wait [to see] what the government will do," he said. Bernier later told CBC News that he was "happy" Liberals are bringing in a bill anddid not rule out supporting it. "It depends how the government will do it," he said. "At the end I will decide whether I will vote for it or against it. But I am more toward — for — that." http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/04/27/kellie-leitch-pot-marijuana-conservative-leadership_n_9786756.html
  9. A marijuana activist says his high-profile arrest in Calgary has only boosted the profile of his national seed giveaway campaign, which has attracted new seed orders and several offers from suppliers. Dana Larsen, 44, of Vancouver, was charged with one count of trafficking marijuana and one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was later released from custody and is expected to appear in court on May 18. Larsen was arrested at the Days Inn on Macleod Trail South as his Overgrow Canada event, dubbed “Free Marijuana – Overgrow the Government Tour,” made its stop in Calgary, the second of 14 cities in the tour. “This kind of police overreaction just gets people worked up, and gets me in the media all across the country,” Larsen said in an interview. “Far more people knew about this campaign than did (Wednesday), and far more of them are interested in getting seeds and participating than did (Wednesday). “In that sense, this has only helped my efforts.” On the Overgrow Canada website, Larsen says he’s giving away seeds as part of what he calls the largest civil disobedience campaign in Canada’s history, ahead of promised marijuana legalization by Ottawa. Larsen had originally planned to give away a million cannabis seeds as part of the campaign, but he doubled it to two million after his arrest in Calgary. Insp. Mike Bossley said even though at least five police officers were in attendance at the Calgary event to keep the peace, the organizer began distributing marijuana seeds to members in the audience. One man went out to retrieve more stock and was arrested. Bossley said as the man was being taken into custody, the audience left the hotel – led by Larsen – to watch. The man, who was determined to be a “runner,” was later released without charge. But after a Calgary police inspector spoke to Larsen, he allegedly continued to distribute more seed packages at which point he was arrested. “Everybody has a right to a peaceful demonstration and conversation. So we allowed that process to take place,” Bossley said. “As that process took place, we recognized that the seeds that were being trafficked essentially, it was articulated they were in fact marijuana seeds. And as more and more information came to light, officers took the actions they did.” Bossley said the event became “a little more excited” as it unfolded, so additional officers were called to the scene for support. A backer of Larsen’s efforts uploaded a video of the arrest to YouTube. Supporters could be heard booing and shouting at police, although the incident largely remained peaceful. Officers also searched the van belonging to the event organizer and seized 119 grams of marijuana worth about $1,190, 1,097 grams of marijuana seeds worth about $30,000, and a small amount of cannabis resin and oil. Larsen said he has received many more orders for seeds, and has been contacted by people offering to supply additional seeds, after his arrest. He said his bail conditions forbid him from possessing or giving away seeds, so his campaign will give them away by mail order. “We must not wait around to see if maybe (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau will be kind enough to let us grow a few cannabis plants at home,” Larsen writes on his website. “We must seize the moment, seize our freedom and plant our victory gardens!” he writes, urging Canadians to plant seeds on balconies, windowsills, in yards and “into the fresh air where they belong.” Cindy Heemeryck, tour coordinator for the Overgrow Canada campaign, who posted $1,000 cash after Larsen was granted bail by a Justice of the Peace in Calgary, said she wasn’t impressed by her friend’s arrest. “Medical patients in this country have the right to grow their own medicine and that’s why this campaign was launched,” Heemeryck said. Lawyer Kirk Tousaw, who appeared in bail court by phone from B.C. said he opposed the bail conditions proposed by police, but was unsuccessful. He said Larsen is eager to fight these charges. “I don’t see a conviction on this coming,” Tousaw said by phone, calling it a waste of police and court resources. “Mr. Larsen possesses pretty good defences under the Charter.” Police say it’s illegal to traffic marijuana, and they will continue enforcing the law. VIDEO HERE.... http://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/marijuana-activist-charged-with-trafficking-after-arrest-in-calgary-during-seed-giveaway-tour
  10. By: Ben Spurr Staff Reporter, Published on Tue Dec 22 2015 More young adults in Ontario say they would smoke marijuana if the federal government legalizes the drug, according to a new public opinion poll. The provincewide survey, released exclusively to the Star by Forum Research, found that 29 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 reported using weed in the past year. But 39 per cent of people in the same demographic said they would likely take the drug if it were legal. Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said the increase was not unexpected, given that young people generally have a more permissive attitude toward pot. He noted that overall, it doesn’t appear that legalization would prompt a sharp uptake in marijuana use. Only 22 per cent of respondents of all ages said they would use pot if the law were changed, a small change from the 17 per cent who said they consumed the drug in the past year. “(Legalization) is not going to be the great cultural revolution that people are thinking it’s going to be,” Bozinoff said. “When you look at how many are using it now and how many would use it when it’s legal, it’s not that many people at the end of the day.” In its inaugural speech from the throne earlier this month, the new Liberal government promised to “legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.” The poll found that a majority of Ontarians, or 56 per cent, support that goal. But though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said regulating the drug will help keep it out of the hands of minors, he has yet to outline what an overhauled legal regime would look like. Key questions such as who would be authorized to sell pot and how much it would be taxed will be determined by a government task force that will take input from experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement. The Forum poll found, among Ontarians, setting up special dispensaries would be the most popular way to facilitate legal pot sales, with 57 per cent of respondents saying they approved of that model. Almost half, or 47 per cent, said they disapproved of a plan, floated by Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne last week, to sell marijuana through provincially owned liquor stores. But almost as many, 44 per cent, said they liked the idea. Wynne has argued the LCBO is a natural fit for the retail pot business because its unionized employees have experience distributing and selling a controlled substance. The poll found that only 15 per cent of respondents were in favour of allowing marijuana sales at corner stores. In Colorado, Oregon and Washington, three U.S. states that have recently legalized pot, marijuana is sold through licensed specialty stores or dispensaries. Although a solid majority of Ontarians backs the legalization of marijuana, most respondents still believe there is no place for pot in the public sphere. Nearly six in 10 said that smoking marijuana should be allowed only in private spaces. Support for legalization also varies widely depending on which political party Ontarians support. Only 32 per cent of Progressive Conservative voters want to end the prohibition. They were also the least likely to report using pot themselves. The Progressive Conservatives have lost four successive elections, and Bozinoff said the marijuana debate is a “flagship issue” that shows how difficult it could be for the party’s leaders to make electoral gains without abandoning their base. “It just shows that the Tories are still marching to their own drummer on social issues,” he said. “If they want to grow the party and get out of their second-place status, they’ve got to move to the centre. But their core on social issues is very conservative.” The survey of 1,003 randomly selected Ontario adults was conducted by interactive voice response on Dec. 20. Results are considered accurate plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Some data have been statistically weighted by age, region and other variables to ensure the sample reflects the actual population as reflected in census data. Poll results are housed in the data library of the University of Toronto political science department. With files from Bruce Campion-Smith http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/12/22/more-young-adults-in-ontario-would-smoke-pot-if-feds-legalized-drug-poll.html
  11. Hi Vid On Link Doctors warn against medical marijuana for kids The group representing Canada's pediatricians is warning parents against using medical marijuana to treat their children's health conditions, saying there is not enough evidence that the drug is either safe or effective. The Canadian Paediatric Society said in a statement Monday that while cannabis is increasingly being used to treat certain kids' illnesses, "evidence is lacking about the overall effect on children." Some parents have been turning to cannabis oil and other forms of marijuana to treat conditions that have failed to respond to conventional medicine. Those conditions include epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic pain management and even autism. Dr. Michael Rieder, chair of the society’s Drug Therapies and Hazardous Substances Committee and author of the statement, said there appears to be some benefits from medicinal marijuana for certain cases of epilepsy, but it’s important to weigh those benefits with the risk. “Like any potent psychoactive drug, we think we have to balance risk versus benefit. And make sure that children who can benefit can get the benefit, but at the same time acknowledging the risk,” he said. Alex Repetski, for example, told CTV's Canada AM earlier this year that cannabis oil has been life-changing for his three-year-old daughter, Gwenevere, who has severe epilepsy. He said no medication had been effective and Gwenevere's seizures were so bad, she could hardly sit or function in any way. But cannabis oil brought an end to his daughter's seizures, he said, allowing her to learn to crawl, walk and feed herself. Several other parents have reported similar results. But in its statement, the CPS says there needs to be much more study on both the safety and efficacy of children using cannabis. Rieder said there is "little data to support either the efficacy or safety of cannabis use" for any health condition in kids. He added that there has also been an "increasing body of data" suggesting possible harm from marijuana use. In particular, research from the U.K. and from Harvard suggests that marijuana use during adolescence may change the way the brain develops. As well, some British research suggests that marijuana use may increase the risk for psychosis, Rieder told CTV’s Canada AM. In July, Health Canada gave growers the green light to begin producing cannabis extracts, which are expected to be approved for sale in the coming months. That followed a Supreme Court ruling that said medical marijuana users should be permitted to consume the drug in other forms, such as oils and edibles, rather than having to smoke dried buds. The CPS says in its statement that doctors who use cannabis to treat children's conditions should have specific expertise and training in the use of cannabis in kids, which the CPS calls a "potent psychoactive drug." Before any treatment, doctors should thoroughly discuss with the family -- and the patient if possible -- the goals and risks of the drug, it said. It added that since smoking marijuana is "unacceptable" in children, studies on medical marijuana in kids should explore other ways of delivering the drug. And it added that teens still need to be discouraged from using marijuana recreationally. "The selective use of cannabis for medical purposes in children must not be confused with condoning its recreational use by adolescents," the statement said. Rieder added that there is the need for more research looking into how doctors can use marijuana to treat patients, in order to determine the drug's safety. Future research should look into how to properly administer the drug, what dose levels to prescribe and potential side effects. “I think there’s a lot more work that needs to be done,” he said. http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/doctors-warn-against-medical-marijuana-for-kids-1.2699020 Vid On Link Bongme
  12. Hi Going to pot? Canada leads way in legalizing marijuana Justin Trudeau raised eyebrows when he admitted to having dabbled in marijuana while a member of parliament, but his pledge as prime minister to legalize pot has been broadly cheered. He said in a policy speech on Friday that his Liberal government would introduce legislation as early as 2016 to legalize marijuana, making Canada the first in the G7 bloc of industrialized nations to do so, although precise details remain sketchy. Two in three Canadians support decriminalizing possession and use of the mind-altering weed, according to a recent Ipsos poll. Support is widespread and at its highest level in three decades, it said, even though cannabis use has fallen off. Details of the Liberal plan haven't yet been released. However, it is expected to go much further by not only legalizing marijuana but also creating a regulated market for it, as Uruguay and a few US states have done. An estimated one million out of Canada's 35 million people regularly smoke marijuana, according to the latest survey taken in 2014. Trudeau admitted in 2013 to having smoked pot five or six times in his life, including at a dinner party with friends since being elected to parliament. He has also said that his late brother Michel was facing marijuana possession charges for a "tiny amount" of pot before his death in an avalanche in 1998, and that this influenced his decision to propose legalizing cannabis. "I'm not someone who is particularly interested in altered states, but I certainly won't judge someone else for it," Trudeau said. "I think that the prohibition that is currently on marijuana is unjustified." - Details scarce - In 2014, there were just under 104,000 police-reported drug incidents in Canada. Of these, 66 percent were related to cannabis, primarily for possession, according to the official Statistics Canada. Police chiefs have urged legislative change allowing them to hand out fines for small amounts of pot possession instead of laying criminal charges to reduce policing and court costs, and to do away with such convictions affecting Canadians' travel, employment and citizenship. "This isn't about making cannabis more available to smoke, it's about dealing with a bad prohibitionist model that has led to global carnage," University of Ottawa criminologist Eugene Oscapella told AFP, citing drug-cartel killings as an extreme example. Legalizing pot will "destroy the illegal market," he said, adding that "the new regime should be based on public health to maximize benefits and minimize harms." Once Ottawa takes marijuana off its list of controlled drugs, regulating it will likely fall on Canada's provinces, the same way alcohol distribution is managed. "It's conceivable but unlikely that you will be able to go to a (corner store) in Quebec where you can now buy alcohol in order to buy marijuana," Oscapella said. He said he would be watching for a possible backlash from allies abroad that take a stiffer line on drugs and impacts on international treaties, as well as who will be allowed to produce pot and how it will be sold. - Tory opposition - "There are a lot of niggly little details that need to be worked out," said Oscapella. "The attorney general can stop prosecutions of drug possessions immediately, but distribution and other matters will take longer to sort out." The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes was effectively legalized in Canada in 1999, but subsequent efforts to soften Canada's pot laws went up in smoke with the election of Stephen Harper in 2006. Harper took a hard line against what he called a Beatles-era drug culture, saying cannabis was more dangerous for health than tobacco. His former health minister Rona Ambrose, who succeeded Harper as Tory leader, warned that judicial rulings had chipped away at the 1923 cannabis prohibition before the drug could be shown in clinical trials to be safe to use. In June, she said she was "outraged" that the Supreme Court had expanded the definition of medical marijuana to allow users to bake it into cookies or brew pot leaves for tea instead of only smoking it. The morning after the Liberals swept to power in October, pot stocks doubled in price as investors bet on firms already producing marijuana for medical use being able to quickly scale up to serve recreational pot users too. Only six firms were initially licensed by Health Canada to grow and sell medical marijuana in 2014. The number of licensees has since shot up to 26. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/going-pot-canada-leads-way-legalizing-marijuana-173813178.html#GQHz3x6 Bongme
  13. Hi Canadian company looks to sell weed coffee pods It’s no secret that Vancouver loves weed. Vancouverites can get it in dispensaries, in pizza places, and if one Canadian company has anything to say about it, they’ll be able to get it in their morning cup of coffee too. CannTrust, the only pharmacist-controlled and operated producer of medical marijuana in Canada, has unveiled the CANNCUP. Designed for use with single-cup coffee makers, the single shot pods feature coffee, tea, and hot chocolate mixed with medical marijuana. “The Supreme Court of Canada has made the decision that cannabis is acceptable in all forms and it should be up to the patient how they choose to use it,” said Eric Paul, Pharmacist and CEO of CannTrust Inc. in a press release. “They have said, in effect, that if users would rather drink their medical marijuana than smoke it, they have the right to do so.” The pod itself contains dried cannabis leaves, which are brewed along with the drink-of-choice, releasing a healthy dose of cannabinoids in the process. Paul says the one shot format of the CANNCUP is its primary benefit. “The inability to control dosage has been a concern among both health-care practitioners and patients,” explains Paul in the release. “CANNCUP provides a measured dosage that can be taken or administered without any impact on the immediate environment, which is particularly meaningful for patients living in long-term care facilities who may choose not to smoke or vaporize.” Clinical trials and Health Canada approval are still in the works, but CannTrust hopes to have CANNCUP in home sooner rather than later. “Our focus has always been on the treatment and therapeutic value of cannabis, and CANNCUP pods were developed in the spirit of this new ruling,” Paul says in the release. “We look forward to Health Canada approval so we can bring this effective treatment alternative to Canadians in need.” http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/12/canada-weed-coffeee-pods/ bongme
  14. Hi Canada’s Cannabis Industry Could Have 8 Million Customers While Canadian residents eagerly stand by and wait for newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make good on his promise to legalize cannabis throughout the country, a new poll published earlier this week indicates that, if legalization does come to pass, the nation’s retail cannabis trade will attract an estimated 8 million customers. The latest Forum Poll finds that the majority of the Canadian population – around 6-in-10 – want to see cannabis tightly-regulated and sold legally through government channels. However, it is the young and wealthy, mostly Liberal and New Democrats, who want it the most, while the Conservatives appear to have very little interest. “Now that marijuana legalization is a likelihood rather than a vague promise, Canadians are considering the issue more closely than in the past,” Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said in a statement. “They are just as much in favour of legalization as they were before the election, if not more, but they want to see it strictly licensed and controlled, not grown in basements and sold in corner stores. According to the poll, around 18 percent of the population consumed marijuana in 2014, but it suggests that number would likely increase to around 31 percent if the criminal penalties associated with possession were eliminated. Potentially, legalization would bring about a population where roughly 3-in-10 people purchase cannabis products on a regular basis. It is based on these statistics that the Forum Poll predicts a legal marijuana market could be up to 8 million consumers strong. “The size of the market…should be good news for the potential industry players waiting to open shop here,” Bozinoff said. It is predicted that nationwide legalization could generate $1 billion per year for the Canadian government. However, other estimates put the annual figure closer to the $5 billion mark. http://cannabisnowmagazine.com/current-events/economics-current-events/canadas-cannabis-industry-could-have-8-million-customers Bongme
  15. aura Kane, The Canadian Press Published Sunday, October 25, 2015 7:27AM EDT VANCOUVER -- A Colorado official has some sobering words of advice for Justin Trudeau if he fulfills his promise to legalize pot in Canada. "It's going to be a lot harder to implement than you think. It's going to take a lot longer to do it. And it's going to cost more than you think," said Lewis Koski, director of the state's Marijuana Enforcement Division. Colorado is one of four U.S. states to fully legalize recreational bud. Their challenges -- including how to regulate edibles like brownies and cookies and a rise in drug-impaired driving -- could be instructive for Canada's incoming prime minister. Among the questions Trudeau's government could grapple with are whether to allow people to grow pot at home or buy it in stores, and how much sales tax to charge. In Colorado, adults over 21 can grow up to six plants at home, while those who buy recreational weed in stores pay 25 per cent sales tax on top of the regular 2.9 per cent sales tax. The state has collected $141 million in taxes since storefront sales began in January 2014. But a portion of the tax earmarked for school construction projects has fallen short of a $40-million goal. There's also the matter of how to regulate edible products, which often take the form of sweet treats that appeal to children or are so potent that adults easily overindulge. Two suicides and a murder committed by people who consumed edibles have caused alarm in Colorado. The state introduced new rules in February to require more explicit warnings on labels and offer companies incentives to produce lower-potency goods. In Washington, nearly half of marijuana poisoning calls last year involved children. Packages on pot products can't use cartoon characters or bright colours, and must clearly mark each 10-milligram serving of THC, the chemical in pot that makes users feel high. "It can't be especially appealing to children, which is admittedly a bit subjective. So each one of those products is actually submitted for review prior to going on the shelves," said Mikhail Carpenter of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Another area Canada will need to study is drug-impaired driving. While fatal crashes in Washington only increased slightly after legalization, the percentage of drivers involved in those crashes who tested positive for THC doubled -- to 12 per cent in 2014 from 6 per cent in 2010. There is no approved breath or saliva test in the U.S. or Canada to determine if someone recently consumed marijuana. In Washington, a blood test is the best available method to measure THC levels. The state's maximum is five nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood. Washington police must obtain a judge-approved search warrant before bringing a driver to hospital for a blood test -- a process that can take a couple hours. While marijuana remnants can stay in a person's system for days, active THC dissipates rapidly. "That's why in a general traffic-stop situation, where say a person was smoking it as they were driving down the road, there's a time aspect where we want to try to get the test done as soon as possible," said Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brandon Villanti. But questions remain about whether every person with active THC in their system is actually impaired by the drug. Lawyer John Conroy said medical patients who regularly use marijuana do not get high. "Just measuring nanograms in your blood doesn't do it. That's what they do in Washington state and you're presumed to be impaired and it's irrebuttable." Alaska and Oregon legalized pot last year and are in the midst of crafting new rules. Cynthia Franklin, director of Alaska's Alcoholic Beverage and Marijuana Control Boards, said lawmakers are under pressure to meet tight timelines and begin issuing licences in May. "It's a wild ride, and we've been through a lot of loops and twirls and stomach-churning drops," she said. Representatives from all four states stressed the importance of public engagement. Oregon recently adopted its temporary requirements for marijuana licensees after a robust community debate. "We don't have a bunch of controversy around our rules because we've been transparent and open," said Rob Patridge, chair of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Patridge, also a district attorney, estimated about 75 per cent of medical marijuana grown in the state is currently going into the black market or being exported. "We're hoping that the regulatory environment that we've put in place will attract those who want to participate in a legal market," he said. "However, Oregon is way over-producing for its current population that could partake in marijuana. So, unless (legalization) is done on a nationwide level, we are certainly going to continue to have significant black market problems." And if Trudeau wants to learn from Oregon, Patridge said he would welcome a visit. "Tell him our door is open to him. We're happy to share with our neighbours to the north." http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/colorado-official-warns-trudeau-legalizing-pot-harder-to-implement-than-you-think-1.2626518
  16. Hi Trudeau win could send influx of foreign investment into Canadian cannabis space TORONTO - Friendlier laws on medical marijuana use in Canada are already drawing American investment north or the border, and the trend is likely to further ignite if the federal Liberals make good on their promise to allow recreational use of the drug. Poseidon Asset Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund focused squarely on the cannabis space, says it is considering boosting its Canadian holdings following Justin Trudeau's election win. "We have one core holding up there currently but we would love to expand that," says Morgan Paxhia, the hedge fund's founding partner and chief investor. South of the border, Poseidon invests only in businesses that are "one step away from touching the leaf," such as producers of cooling systems used in marijuana production facilities or vaporizer technology. That's because despite the fact that a number of states — including Oregon, Colorado and Washington — have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, U.S. federal laws that prohibit the drug leave cannabis producers operating in a legal grey zone. "We wouldn't want to put our (investors) at risk with that exposure in the United States," says Paxhia. "That's why Canada is of interest to us, because we can then participate in that growth." Experts say American institutional investors looking for cannabis plays are heading north, where medical access to the drug is legal countrywide, to avoid running afoul of U.S. federal laws or sinking their money into companies that could be shut down by U.S. federal authorities. "That's a theme we've been seeing for a long time — foreign investors investing in Canadian companies, to the point that most of the capital raised now for Canadian companies comes from overseas," says Khurram Malik, a Jacob Securities analyst who tracks the medical cannabis space. Trudeau's election win could accelerate that trend further says Alan Brochstein, the founder of 420 Investor and communications and marketing firm New Cannabis Ventures. "Canada really has a chance to be a global leader here," says Brochstein. Some companies that operate in the U.S. have even started listing their shares on Canadian markets in the hopes of capturing more investment dollars. "That's part of the rationale of listing in Toronto, because we can attract U.S. investment in Toronto," says Don Robinson, CEO of Golden Leaf Holdings, a cannabis extracts producer currently operating in Oregon. Golden Leaf, which has plans to expand across North America, listed its shares on the alternative Canadian Securities Exchange on Oct. 14. under the symbol GLH. Nutritional High International Inc., a company that sells marijuana edibles to recreational users in the U.S., has been trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange since March, even though edible cannabis products are not currently legal north of the border. "You're going to see a lot of U.S. marijuana companies listing on the Canadian exchanges up here," says Malik, noting that Canada has a high number of legitimate cannabis companies trading on its stock markets relative to other countries. "If you go to the OTC pink sheets in the U.S. there's probably over 100 names, but a lot of those are pretty sketchy," says Malik. "So (cannabis companies) are looking for a market where their legitimate peers are trading and that happens to be Canada." However, Braden Perry, a lawyer who specializes in government compliance, says even investing in Canadian cannabis firms could spell trouble for American funds. "If you have U.S. money invested in a product that is illegal in the United States, repatriating that money could be considered a money laundering violation," said Perry, a partner in Kansas City-based law firm Kennyhertz Perry, LLC. However, Perry adds that the issue is a complicated one. "I don't want to be accusing people of breaking the law when I don't know exactly what they're doing." http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/trudeau-win-could-send-influx-of-foreign-investment-into-canadian-cannabis-space-337028271.html Bongme
  17. Hi New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises to legalise marijuana Despite Conservative scaremongering, Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party have won a landslide victory Canada has a new government with the Liberal Party taking 184 seats in the parliamentary election, representing 54% of the vote. The outgoing Conservative Party has come in second with 99 seats. The Prime Minister-designate is Justin Trudeau, the oldest son of former PM Pierre Trudeau who in the '70s was a sort of prototype Bill Clinton and Margaret Trudeau who had an affair with Ted Kennedy and hung out with the Rolling Stones. These were both contributing factors to the couple eventually divorcing in 1984. One of their son's election pledges was to legalise marijuana "right away." "That's something we look forward to taking up, but from the federal side of it, moving it to a place where it is controlled and regulated is something we will start doing immediately," said Trudeau who's admitted smoking cannabis "maybe five or six times." "The current hyper-controlled approach around medical marijuana that actually removes from individuals the capacity to grow their own is not going in the right direction, in either respect to freedom or the kind of care that people need," he expanded in another interview. "We don't yet know exactly what rate we're going to be taxing it, how we're going to control it, or whether it will happen in the first months, within the first year, or whether it's going to take a year or two to kick in. We haven't released a time... We want to get the best ideas from various places and construct a Canadian model." His Conservative opponent, Stephen Harper, responded to Trudeau's pro-legalisation stance by claiming that "marijuana is infinitely worse than tobacco and it's something that we don't want to encourage." A Conservative mailer was sent out claiming "Trudeau's agenda would make it easier for kids to get and smoke marijuana", but it hasn't stopped him and the Liberals scoring a landslide victory. In a coming issue Hot Press will be talking to Anna Marie D'Angelo, Senior Media Relations Officer with Vancouver Coastal Health who operate the city's Insite safe injecting centre. http://www.hotpress.com/Cannabis/news/New-Canadian-Prime-Minister-Justin-Trudeau-promises-to-legalise-marijuana/15470193.html Vid On Link Bongme
  18. Hi Canadian Prime Minister Says Cannabis is Worse Than Tobacco - Science Disagrees Canada, and in particular, Canadian politicians, have been grappling with the question of marijuana for several years now. The Canadian Health Minister, Rona Ambrose, have been a vocal opponent of all forms of cannabis, saying that she was “outraged” when the Supreme Court voted to legalize the use of cannabis-infused edibles and concentrates for medical use. The misalignment of Canadian authorities on the issue of marijuana is troubling for medical patients and Canadian cannabis advocates. This week, while on the campaign trail for reelection of Prime Minister, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper made the inflammatory remark that marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco. Harper was responding to a reporter’s question about cannabis and why he is so strongly opposed to it, despite the fact that many use cannabis for medicinal purposes and that both alcohol and tobacco are legal and regulated for recreational use. He said: “There’s just overwhelming and growing scientific and medical evidence about the bad long-term effects of marijuana.” Alright, let’s take a step back and look at what’s wrong with this statement. Harper said that there is "overwhelming" evidence. Can we get some examples? How about a statistic or two? Maybe a source, rather than a vaguely worded statement? Maybe we should show him these studies instead: Tobacco causes 37,000 deaths in Canada every year. Cannabis has not caused a single recorded death in Canada’s history. Tobacco is known to cause cancers as well as pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. Cannabis has been proven to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Tobacco damages your airways and causes respiratory issues, such as lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and chronic bronchitis. Cannabis has not been shown to cause lung damage and, in fact, is a bronchodilator, which may actually improve lung function. In addition, according to a new poll by Vote Compass for CBC News, 75 percent of Canadians, including members of the Conservative Party, say that they favor easing the restrictions on marijuana laws. Of the 14,502 respondents, 56 percent favored legalization, 30 percent believe it should be decriminalized, and a slim minority of 14 percent believe that it should remain a criminal offense. Perhaps it is time for politicians to take a step back and recognize the will of their citizens. Canada, if you're looking for a change, keep your thoughts in mind when you cast your vote for the Canadian Federal Election on October 19. https://www.leafly.com/news/headlines/canadian-prime-minister-say-cannabis-is-worse-than-tobacco 1 Comment Bongme
  19. Hi Producers of dried medical pot awaiting approval to sell now-legal cannabis oils Medical pot growers readying now-legal oils TORONTO — A number of Canada's medical marijuana growers are poised to release cannabis oils for authorized patients who don't want to smoke or vaporize the dried herb to relieve their symptoms. In July, Health Canada gave growers the green light to begin producing the plant-based extracts, which are expected to be approved for sale in the coming months. About a dozen of the country's 25 medicinal pot producers have sought expanded licences to produce and market cannabis oils and/or fresh marijuana buds and leaves under the updated federal regulations. Among them are Ontario companies Tweed and Bedrocan Canada Inc., and B.C.'s Tilray. Tilray announced Monday that it has 20 cannabis extract products awaiting Health Canada approval, including oils in liquid form, gel caps and a topical preparation for certain skin conditions. "We really felt it was important to let patients and the general public, physicians and researchers know about these products ahead of time," Philippe Lucas, the company's vice-president of research and services, said from Nanaimo, B.C. "We know there's going to be a lot of questions about the products, the first time that these kinds of extract products will be legally available in Canada." Lucas said some patients and doctors aren't keen about the idea of having to smoke or vaporize dried marijuana. Cannabis extracts allow the drug to be ingested — and more discreetly. Patients who have been authorized by their doctors to purchase dried medical marijuana to treat such conditions as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis symptoms or epilepsy will not need a new prescription to access cannabis oils, he said. "There's an equivalency factor that we've put into these and so there will be an equivalency, for example, of the number of gel caps or the amount of oil you're allowed to order, based on your daily and monthly limits. "So any Canadian who's authorized to use medical cannabis right now would be able to access these," said Lucas, noting that the oils will be delivered by mail or courier in the same way the dried herb is currently shipped. Prices for the oil extracts, he said, should not be substantially higher than the $4 to $14 per gram for the dried products. Bruce Linton, chairman and CEO of the recently merged Bedrocan and Tweed, said the company initially plans to release two or three cannabis oil products, which could be scaled up to 10 or more, depending on patient demand. "There are different types of oils," Linton said from the Tweed plant in Smiths Falls, Ont., southwest of Ottawa. "The combination of ingredients is expected to have a similar effect in its oil form as it does in its flower form." For instance, an oil could include a combination of marijuana strains, while another could be a purified single strain with a specific effect, such as helping a person with chronic pain to sleep. "So each of the venues has their own distinct strains, which have their own distinct applications and will become their own distinct oils," he said of the Bedrocan and Tweed growing facilities. As well, some oils produced by the various growers will have different concentrations of the weed's main medicinal ingredients: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive agent that provides marijuana's high, and non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol), which is being used by some patients to control seizures. Lucas of Tilray said some parents have been going through the laborious process of making their own cannabis oil from dried marijuana to give to their children with epilepsy or other seizure disorders that are resistant to or poorly controlled by standard pharmaceuticals. Typically these oils come from strains high in CBD. Jennifer Ayotte of Oshawa, Ont., said having cannabis in oil form would be a major benefit in treating her 23-year-old daughter Stephanie, who suffers intractable seizures from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Currently Ayotte makes brownies containing dried marijuana that her daughter can eat. One brownie can be divided into many small portions and ingested throughout the day to control her seizures. The medicinal pot has made a big difference for Stephanie, who had been having up to a dozen seizures a day and had fallen down stairs and broken her leg as a result. Traditional anticonvulsive drugs either didn't work or provided little improvement, and they also had side-effects "that were just awful," said Ayotte, explaining that some made her daughter so psychotic that she tried to jump out of the car on Highway 401 and kicked in one of the vehicle's doors. While ingesting marijuana has reduced Stephanie's seizures by at least 90 per cent, the high sugar content needed to make them even remotely palatable has led to unwanted weight gain in her daughter, who also has severe cognitive impairment. "So having an oral would be tremendous," her mother said. "Certainly for us and for other people who are caring for her, it will make it a lot easier. So when she is out or we're in a restaurant and she needs to have it, instead of having a brownie, it can be put into the food that she's eating." A Health Canada spokesman said once a grower has received a supplemental licence to produce cannabis oils, the company is permitted to get production up and running, but is not yet allowed to sell the products. "Health Canada officials will conduct a formal inspection of their facility to determine if the licensed producer meets the requirements for sale," Sean Upton said by email. "When all requirements are met, including analytical testing to ensure compliance with the conditions of the supplemental licence and the requirements for good production practices under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulation, Health Canada will amend the supplemental licence to include the activity of sale." http://www.chroniclejournal.com/life/health/producers-of-dried-medical-pot-awaiting-approval-to-sell-now/article_c3607a58-5f8e-5a75-9450-e3ba751f17eb.html Bongme
  20. Hi Canadian Cannabis Firms Close Merger Tweed Marijuana, a publicly traded medicinal marijuana company on the Toronto Stock Exchange-Venture board (TWD), announced Monday morning that the company had completed its merger with Bedrocan Cannabis in an all-stock deal valued at about CDN$61 million on the day the arrangement was first announced in June. Tweed is Canada’s first publicly traded medical marijuana company and Bedrocan is a clinical research firm that claims to be one of only two companies in the world currently capable of producing standardized full-bud, pharmaceutical grade medicinal cannabis. Bedrocan operates as a division of Tweed, and Bedrocan’s shareholders own approximately 40% of the merged companies. Tweed shareholders own about 60%. The combined company claims more than 5,600 active registered customers. Beginning tomorrow, September 1, customers of either producer will have access to both dried cannabis strains and soon for cannabis oils as well. Bedrocan’s standardized, pharmaceutical-grade product line is a direct extension of the product that has been grown at the company’s Netherlands operations for more than a decade and used in medical trials. The history and consistency appeals to the medical community because doctors and patients can trust that each batch of medical cannabis contains the same percentage and ratio of cannabinoids over the duration of a prescription. In the first quarter of 2015 Tweed’s revenue totaled CDN$1.71 million, based on sales of nearly 216,000 grams of product at an average price of CDN$7.74 per gram. That works out to about US$2,650 per pound based on today’s exchange rate. Last week’s price for a pound of cannabis in the United States was $2,045, and that is the highest price this year. Tweed’s stock closed at CDN$1.68 per share on Friday, and the 52-week range is CDN$1.15 to CDN$2.90. http://247wallst.com/healthcare-business/2015/08/31/canadian-cannabis-firms-close-merger/ Bongme
  21. Hi Report debunks marijuana harm claims at core of Canadian PM’s drug policy 13 Aug, 2015 A Toronto-based research group published report that debunks claims of health and social harm of marijuana that hits the core of the drug policies advocated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper amid the ongoing election campaign. Harper, the leader of Conservative party, is fighting against calls to legalize marijuana by rival politicians, particularly Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. The PM revealed his party’s three-pronged plan to strengthen its national drug strategy at a campaigning event earlier this week. “The statistics in places like Colorado are very clear on this, that, when you go down that route [toward legalization], marijuana becomes more readily available to children, more people become addicted to it and the health outcomes become worse,” he told a rally Tuesday in Markham, north of Toronto, as cited by the Globe and Mail. The assertions are among the 13 claims about marijuana harm that the Toronto-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) attacked it its report released on Wednesday. The report said the science behind most of the claims was weak and accused pot opponents of cherry-picking facts to further their position. “It’s funny; it’s almost like [Harper] read the report in advance and decided to repeat a lot of the most oft-discredited ideas,” said M. J. Milloy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and member of the drug-policy center. Speaking to Vice news, he also stressed that the report’s release was not timed with the election campaign. Of the 13 claims selected for the report, which includes cannabis perception as a gateway drug leading to the use of more potent substances, the claim that its use may cause schizophrenia and that its legalization would create a ‘Big Marijuana’ industry akin to the tobacco industry, it says only two had moderately convincing evidence in science publications to back it. Indeed the potency of THC, the substance responsible for the psychoactive effect of cannabis, has grown over the decades of its cultivation for recreational use, the report said. There are also studies suggesting that cannabis may impair cognitive functions, although evidence on severity, persistence and reversibility of such effects are inconclusive, it added, labeling the scientific basis of the claims as moderate. The other 11 claims were called "weak" in terms of scientific evidence. “We are at a critical juncture, as more and more jurisdictions are reconsidering their policies on cannabis,” said in a statement Dr. Dan Werb, ICSDP director and co-author of the report. “Yet, the public discourse around cannabis is filled with frequently repeated claims that are simply not supported by the scientific evidence. Given that policy decisions are influenced by public opinion and media reports, there is a serious danger that misrepresenting the evidence on cannabis will lead to ineffective or harmful policy,” said the researcher. Some of the claims the group cited came from Kevin Sabet, head of the US anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. In comments to Huffington Post, Sabet blasted the report. "This reads like Big Tobacco propaganda of the 1950s," he wrote in an email. "It's not surprising that a small group of well-known legalization advocates and funders continue to deny the threat of Big Marijuana and advertising and promotion related to addiction." Cannabis has been legalized in 23 states and the District of Columbia in the US over the past few years, although most stop short from allowing recreational pot and allow it for medicinal purposes only. http://www.rt.com/news/312377-cannabis-report-canada-election/ Bongme
  22. 296SHARES Share on Facebook (286) Share on Twitter (10) + Image: Jose A. Huertas via Flickr The City of Vancouver is introducing a plan to regulate all marijuana-related businesses to achieve “a careful balance between ensuring adequate availability for those in need and ensuring community health, safety, security, aesthetics, equity and enjoyment of property.” In a press release, the City cites the lack of a clear regulatory framework for how and where marijuana businesses operate and emphasizes how quickly the industry has grown in Vancouver, with a growth rate of 100 per cent per year in marijuana-related businesses, including from 60 to 80 in the last four months alone. The proposal is in conjunction with VPD, Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Coastal Health, business improvement areas and “several key stakeholders in the industry”. According to the City’s proposal, key points under the proposed framework for marijuana-related businesses, include: 300m distancing from schools, community centres and neighbourhood houses(Existing practice is 1000ft as established in WA and CO states)300m distancing from other marijuana-related businesses(Existing practice is 1000ft as established in WA and CO states)Implement a licensing fee ($30,000) to recover costs from the significant burden across the City to manage and enforce new regulatory framework Operators must sign a Good Neighbour AgreementOperators require a Development Permit which would include a standard community notification processGeographic restrictions specific to unique areas in the city, limiting them to commercial areasMust not be located in the Downtown East Side other than on Hastings Street or Main Street Must not be located in the Granville Entertainment District Must not be located on a minor street Those who wish to apply for a marijuana-related business licence will have to undergo a three stage review process. Though the City has no authority to regulate the sale of marijuana, or any controlled substance, they do have the jurisdiction under the Vancouver Charter to regulate land use and businesses. The report outlines that there are currently 80 marijuana-related businesses in Vancouver operating without a business licence. Vancouver City Council will vote on the amendments during a meeting on April 28.
  23. Hi Vancouver parents struggle to find help for daughter Navigating the medical marijuana system remains difficult in Washington, even for those who want to use CBD, a non-psychoactive component of the plant. Jim and Cindy Lightheart of Vancouver first learned that their daughter, Courtney, was sick nearly 25 years ago, when the girl was 5 months old. Courtney suffers from Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes her to have small seizures every eight seconds or so and grand mal seizures on a weekly basis. "The grand mal, it's like a volcano," Jim Lightheart said. "It builds and builds and then it erupts. At her peak, she was having 17 of them a month. Now she's down to about one a week." Courtney has never been able to speak, but she does use a few hand signals and expressions to tell her parents when she's thirsty, hungry or not feeling well. The couple have gone through dozens of pharmaceuticals to try to help her — many with severe side effects. "A lot of these medications just make her so miserable," Cindy Lightheart said. "One medication a few years ago, she just screamed and screamed all the time. It took us forever to get her off of it, but there was no way we could watch her suffer like that." Other medications have damaged Courtney's liver and kidneys, including the current one she's using. And she still has hundreds of seizures a day. "Three years ago, we had to pull out all her teeth and put her on a feeding tube," Jim Lightheart said. "It was so hard to do that." A few years ago, the Lighthearts heard about the success of a high CBD cannabis strain called Charlotte's Web used in Colorado to treat seizure patients. They're on the waiting list for treatment with it — but to do so they will have to move to Colorado, because the treatment is only available there and in a few other states. It's not available in Washington. "It's been helping a lot of people," Cindy Lightheart said. "I talked to a mom back in Colorado and she's using this CBD oil. She said her son is sleeping better, he's more alert. He used to lean over and drool; now he sits up." Part of the problem with the medical marijuana system here is that it's been hard for the couple to find a high-content CBD oil — even though their doctor recommended it for Courtney. "Doctors, their hands are tied," Jim Lightheart said. "They can ... (suggest) it, but once that's done, it's up to you to find it." Because the medical system has been so unregulated in this state, they haven't been able to find a list of reputable medical dispensaries that sell tested CBD oil that they know is safe for Courtney. And on the recreational side, where there is some demand for high CBD products, it's also been hard to get anything to meet their specific needs because the market is still evolving and many of those products aren't yet available. Another problem with going through the recreational market, which has far stricter testing requirements for marijuana than the medical side, is that consumers on that side are looking for products that have both THC and CBD — and the Lighthearts don't want Courtney to be exposed to THC, the substance that gets people high. "We don't want to give her any THC," Jim Lightheart said. "Charlotte's Web, that's the main thing we've heard about that's just CBD. If we find anything here that's similar, we want it to be tested so we know exactly what we'll be giving her." http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/mar/15/vancouver-marijuana-seizures-nonpsychoactive/ Bongme
  24. Hi Ticketing for pot possession on radar for Tories With just 12 weeks left before Parliament shuts down for an election, the Conservative government is considering introducing a bill to let police issue tickets to people caught with small amounts of marijuana, instead of laying criminal charges. The potential legislative change is in the hands of Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who has spoken strongly about the dangers of marijuana use. The government has not made a final decision on the proposed change. As well, it isn't clear if it would introduce a bill in the current Parliament, which ends in June, or make it a campaign promise in the fall election. But what is significant, Tories say, is that the idea is still on the government's "radar" as it prepares for re-election. It is looking for a marijuana proposal to contrast with the position of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who would legalize pot. The proposed ticketing change was advocated two years ago by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), and has the support of a group of former police officers in the Conservative caucus. They say police are hamstrung because they have only two options if they find someone with a small amount of pot: ignore it and let the person go; or lay a criminal charge that creates more paperwork for police and increases delays in an overburdened court system. Anyone found guilty of possessing a small quantity of marijuana for the first time can get a criminal record and potentially face a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail. The CACP is urging the justice minister to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to provide police with the "discretionary option" of issuing a ticket for simple possession of cannabis (30 grams or less of marijuana or one gram or less of cannabis resin) in cases where a criminal charge "would not be in the public interest." "Our government is still considering changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) aimed at creating a new ticketing proposal for possession of small quantities of cannabis," said a statement issued by his office. Clive Weighill, president of CACP, said his group is looking for ways to "streamline policing costs." "I think the world has really changed on this," said Weighill, who is Saskatoon's chief of police. "I think a lot of the judges right now are loath to give someone a criminal record because the police find him in possession of a couple of joints." The law, he said, puts police officers "in a very tough situation." "If you stop a vehicle and one person has a couple of joints in their pocket and the other person has open liquor, you give the person with open liquor a ticket. And yet what do you do with the person with the two joints? Do you charge them criminally? Do you let them off ?" © Copyright © The Regina Leader-Post http://www.leaderpost.com/Ticketing+possession+radar+Tories/10859400/story.html Bongme
  25. Hi Smoking rate in Nova Scotia increases, belies national trend LIVERPOOL — Nova Scotia’s smoking rate is on the rise. The results of the 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey were released Tuesday, and while the numbers show a new national low, they also show a nearly four per cent increase in the smoking rate for this province. After posting a smoking rate of 15.6 per cent in 2012, the province’s number increased to 19.4 per cent for 2013, second only to New Brunswick’s 19.6 per cent. British Columbia had the lowest smoking rate of any province at 11.4 per cent. The number remains better than the 15-year high of 29.8 per cent, registered in 2000. “Obviously, we’re pretty alarmed by the jump and the total number of smokers,” said Kelly Cull of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Nova Scotia chapter. “We’re a bit discouraged particularly by the 20-24 age group … For us, that’s really one of the biggest groups of concern and it’s a reason why we push for things like bans on flavoured tobacco.” Broken down by age, the province’s smoking rate was: 9.7 per cent for 15-19; 21 per cent for 20-24; 27.1 per cent for 25-44; and 16.4 per cent for 45-and-over. At the Main Street Kwik-Way in Liverpool on Tuesday, Nancy Whynot waited on customers who came in to get their tobacco fix. Whynot, who’s worked at the store for the last two years, said she hasn’t seen a big swing one way or another in the number of people coming in to buy tobacco products. “It seems about the same to me,” she said between customers. Cull said it’s difficult to explain the jump, but the way to change it is by “stopping youth initiation in the first place.” That’s why Cull and her group have pushed so hard for a ban on flavoured tobacco. The Liberal government introduced legislation calling for just that — with an exemption for menthol — last autumn, but it scrapped the bill in the face of an outcry from electronic-cigarette users who objected to flavoured e-juices being included in a ban. The Health and Wellness Department is in the process of a public consultation period to gather feedback before the Grits introduce new legislation during the upcoming spring sitting of the legislature. Health Minister Leo Glavine has promised a flavoured tobacco ban for this spring. It’s a must if smoking rates are to decrease, Cull said. “One in 10 young people (between) the ages of 15 and 19 are picking up a tobacco addiction and we believe — and the results show this — that 50 per cent of those people are using flavoured tobacco and that is a product that is proven to help people ease into a smoking addiction.” Nationally, the smoking rate among Canadians is at an all-time low, at 15 per cent of the population. The 2013 survey found 11 per cent reported smoking daily, while four per cent say they use tobacco only occasionally. The survey of 14,500 Canadians aged 15 and older included questions for the first time about the use of e-cigarettes. Overall, nine per cent of respondents reported having tried an e-cigarette, among them 20 per cent of people aged 15 to 24. The survey also found that 11 per cent of respondents of all ages reported using cannabis in the previous year, with 22 per cent of teens and 26 per cent of 20- to 24-year-olds saying they had smoked pot. http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1267056-smoking-rate-in-nova-scotia-increases-belies-national-trend Bongme