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Found 8 results

  1. 6 PCCs (Police Crime Commissioners) want Cannabis decriminalised, 30% want it debated/discussed, 39 PCCs in total. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbctwo M
  2. On our many cannabis conundrums What Doug Ford must know is that a large section of cannabis consumers are not down with supporting government weed. More bluntly put, the “white market.” When people witnessed the post-legalization feeding frenzy by corporate Canada, members of various governments and high-ranking lawmakers, they were repelled. Many of these elites vilified and jailed cannabis consumers, while the wealthiest and most connected few in the white market made out like bandits. So now it’s OK for the cattle to graze in government pot pens while incurring even harsher penalties if they reject the status quo — this is prohibition 2.0. Not sharing the opportunities that legalization brings with citizens who meet the appropriate criteria limits choice and diminishes the tax revenue that governments salivate for. Wake up and smell the hypocrisy. I work in the legal cannabis industry, focused on women’s health, and believe the government is making a big mistake by not allowing wellness products — such as vape pens and topical cannabis products — in the first wave of legalization. I am also a medical cannabis patient, and these products are crucial in treating my illnesses. Topical creams are often the most effective for treating my pain, inflammation and irritation, and can be used throughout the day with no psychological effects. For insomnia, my vaporizer has been life-changing. It is safer and more convenient than other ways of smoking. It has been disheartening to see so many wellness aids left out of the huge step forward of legalization. The current plan is to sell cannabis through LCBO outlets. Initially, they plan to start with 40 outlets. There are nearly 100 communities in Ontario with a population of more than 10,000 people. (For comparison, there are approximately 900 LCBO outlets in Ontario selling alcohol.) Forty outlets is absurd. Does this mean that until they can provide an adequate number of outlets making access equal for all Ontarians that the black market will be legal? I look forward to seeing how Doug Ford the businessman deals with this impending disaster. Unlike impaired driving tests for alcohol abuse where police can test subjects suspected of impaired driving at roadside using breathalyzers, gaze nystagmus testing and roadside sobriety tests, testing for marijuana abuse at impaired levels has not yet been perfected, placing the community at large in danger. Legalizing marijuana before safeguards are in place to test whether drivers are impaired by it is failing to look before you leap. As we approach this historic moment in Canadian law, Canadians should be aware of American immigration law that bars admission to the U.S. of anyone who has been found guilty of possession of marijuana or even admits to having used or possessed marijuana. People should be cognizant of this when being questioned at a U.S. border point of entry. An affirmative response to a question about marijuana use or possession may prevent entry. It is apparent that the Americans often do not seem to enforce that bar to entry. Both Justin Trudeau and Stockwell Day have publicly admitted having smoked marijuana, yet they have had no problems going to the U.S. I don’t know which marijuana entrepreneurs are more disgusting — authoritarians like Julian Fantino, or the remains of the Tragically Hip monetizing Gord Downie. No one needs to have their hard-earned dope budget eroded by corporate middlemen. Grow your own! https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2018/07/14/on-our-many-cannabis-conundrums.html
  3. If you had the chance to help legalisation of cannabis what would you want in/not home growing of 12 plants, ban on strong skunk, would you want it sold in shops with edibles,
  4. Mike Power Opposite a bleak government building in suburban Ottawa, Canada, a barebones “cannabis clinic” – with just a cash register, jeweller’s scales and a glass counter – is doing a brisk trade. “Pirate! Muslim! Gangster! Yes! We all smoke!” shouts one teen as he high-fives the owner, Rohmi. He pockets his pungent bag and bounces out, giggling. On the wall, there’s a menu listing today’s special: moonrocks – buds rolled in cannabis oil then dipped in powdered hash at C$40 (£24) a gram. There are cans of Canna Cola; potent, weed-laced gummy bears; a mound of gooey hashish smelling of dark chocolate, hops and pine resin. If this is medicine, it’s unclear what the illness is, other than sobriety. It makes an Amsterdam coffeeshop look tame – and it’s this free-for-all, wild-west-of-weed attitude that Canada’s government wants to tame by legalising cannabis during prime minister Justin Trudeau’s first term in office. Laws that will legalise cannabis for recreational use will be announced in the week of 10 April, and will be passed by July 2018, say government sources, making Canada the first G7 country to do so. Globally, cannabis prohibition is being briskly dismantled, a wave of decriminalisation or legalisation sweeping south through the Americas, with states such as Colorado leading the way. California voted to legalise recreational use in November 2016. The US currently has 29 states offering legal medical marijuana and eight states with legal recreational cannabis markets. Countries including Uruguay, Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil, Colombia and Chile are either creating legal markets for medicinal cannabis or relaxing rules on possession and cultivation. In the EU, Germany is preparing for imminent full medicinal legalisation, and the Republic of Ireland voted in December 2016 to allow medical use. In the UK, medical marijuana is available in the form of a tincture spray, Sativex, but access is severely limited. What is different about Canada’s plans to legalise is the scope of the law change – it will be legal, nationally, for anyone over the age of 18 to use cannabis for pleasure next year. Trudeau told journalists early this month that he wanted to seize the profits of the criminalised market and use the income to help those with drug problems. But his main aim in legalising the drug was to make it harder for children to get hold of it, arguing that alcohol laws showed that proper controls and regulations work. “It’s easier for a teenager to buy a joint right now than a bottle of beer, and it’s not right,” he said. “We know by controlling and regulating it, we are going to make it more difficult for young people to access marijuana.” The evidence is on his side: in Colorado, where cannabis has been legal since 2014, teen use has fallen by about 12%, due to a combination of factors including a smaller black market and better drugs education. Ironically, however, the upcoming change in Canada has prompted a huge growth in outlaw dispensaries. Rohmi and hundreds of other dealers selling in kerbside clinics are claiming to be operating under rules allowing Canadians to use cannabis to treat complaints as diverse as insomnia, ADHD and chronic pain. In reality, they are cashing in and riding the pre-legalisation green rush. Police are clamping down, with dozens of raids in recent weeks, but the mood on the streets and in the clinics is one of delighted anarchy, with some outfits simply reopening the day after a raid in a new spot. Rohmi says he takes C$15,000 in cash every day, and claims his business is an act of civil disobedience. “We’re doing this as a Gandhi type of thing. Peaceful protest, activism,” he says. Isn’t he afraid of getting robbed? He laughs and nods at a plank in the corner with the word “Bertha” scrawled on it. “I got Bertha, she’s my security!” The road to legalisation in Canada has been long and circuitous. Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2000. By 2012, under the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, there were 40,000 Canadians growing cannabis at home, says Chuck Rifici, a cannabis entrepreneur and former chief financial officer for the centre-left Liberal party. “The average Canadian is not particularly concerned with cannabis usage, or its illegality,” he says, with wry understatement. Some of these homegrowers now illegally supply the clinics that are commonplace in all Canadian towns, while there are 38 licensed producers for the medical market, which has 130,000 users. Trudeau, who won the 2015 general election for the Liberals on a promise to free the weed, has spoken of his own cannabis use in casual terms, cementing his image as a modern progressive. Trudeau sought policy advice from Bill Blair, an old-school cop famed for his zero-tolerance approach to cannabis when he ran the force in Toronto. Trudeau told Blair he wanted to legalise cannabis to stop criminals from preying on kids, and Blair agreed that this was the best way to present the policy to the public. Cannabis is popular in Canada – one-third of 18 to 24-year-olds use it, as do 3.4 million of all Canadians, 10% of the country’s population. For comparison, in the UK, there are about 2 million users, 3% of the population. Blair told Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper in January: “Our intent is to legalise, regulate and restrict. There needs to be reasonable restrictions on making sure that we keep it away from kids, because I think that is very much in the public interest.” Trudeau set up a taskforce, led by Blair, in June 2016 to write the roadmap towards legalisation. A more moderate and Canadian approach is hard to imagine. Experts included researchers and academics, patients and lawyers, users, chiefs of police and fire departments, and government officials and associations. Steve Moore, of British thinktank VolteFace, which is campaigning for legalisation in the UK, says Canada’s model is more sensible than that of the US. “The American states that have legalised are too libertarian, with their billboards and TV advertising,” says Moore, who lauds Trudeau’s focus on tackling crime and reducing youth access. The Canadian path to legalisation is at once liberal and conservative, adds Moore, who believes such an approach could work in the UK. The Canadian taskforce’s paper made more than 80 recommendations, including a minimum age of access – 18 – with restrictions on advertising, and guidance on production, manufacturing and distribution. It laid out measures for testing, packaging and labelling, with a strong emphasis on education around the risks of use, especially driving under the influence. It drew no conclusions on whether legalisation would lead to increased use, and instead took a harm-reduction and public-health approach – acknowledging the risk inherent in cannabis use and proposing ways to mitigate it. Police will admit privately that the cannabis clinics aren’t a priority. “We have other problems,” says a source, drily. A public emergency has been declared in the state of British Columbia, where opiate users are dying in unprecedented numbers. With a population of just 4.6 million, in 2016, there were more than 900 deaths from fentanyl, a super-strong synthetic opioid. In the UK in 2015, there were just 11 fentanyl deaths, and 1,201 heroin deaths, according to the Office of National Statistics. The Canadian government is preparing for the public-health problems that an estimated 600,000 new smokers will bring. No one yet has a satisfactory answer as to how driving under the influence will be managed, since a roadside test for the drug is still not sufficiently accurate, and no agreed metric of cannabis impairment has been set. Another day, another dispensary; this time, Montreal. I decide to register to see how strictly procedures are observed. They have run out of forms, so I am handed a laminated document that I fill in with a whiteboard pen, claiming a bad back and occasional anxiety. I’m registered in minutes, and wander into the striplit room for my medical consultation. The staff know little about the dosage, onset or duration of effects for the drugs they are selling me, and hand me a small pinch-seal bag of capsules with a handwritten label on it: “20mg THC”. A child could open it in a second – and they look like sweets. It is easy to see why a more regulated market solution is being urged. An altogether more orderly vision of the future can be found a short drive from Ottawa, in the town of Gatineau, western Quebec, where a licensed medicinal cannabis producer, The Hydropothecary, is expanding ahead of legalisation, hoping to supply the new market. We approach the farm and more than 100 security cameras silently track us. We kit up in hazmat suits, shoe covers, hair- and beardnets (the site has to follow safety rules drawn up for opioid factories) before we enter the grow room. The unmistakable aroma of 1,200, two-foot female cannabis plants is like a gentle slap in the face, but I’m blinded by 1MW of high-pressure sodium light beaming down on the spiky leaves and budsites. The plants are stretching towards a bespoke arched glass roof that shelters them from the Canadian winter, pumping out THC in a fruitless search for a male. It’s a female-only space; pollen from males would fertilise them, rendering the bud seedy and worthless. This room can produce 350kg of marijuana a month, says Adam Miron, the firm’s co-founder. A similar operation in the UK would currently carry up to a 10-year jail sentence. The crop will sell for an average of C$10 a gram, and as the company is vertically integrated, selling via next-day mail order, all profits stay in-house. Miron flips fluently between biology and marketing matters, to legal and political issues, and back to branding. He introduces his master grower, Agnes Kwasniewska, a permanently delighted and highly educated Polish-Canadian who takes pride and interest in every plant. We enter the drying vault through a thick steel door, where millions of dollars of product lie curing in temperature-controlled cases. There’s a litre flask of cannabis oil worth C$80,000, which is passed between the terrified visitors as if it’s plutonium. Every gram is documented from seed to bag. Every gram will be taxed, and children will not be allowed to buy it. Trudeau and Blair would be happy. Just as the 1,200 plants in Gatineau were being tended by Kwasniewska, a vast, illegal grow was discovered in Wiltshire in a nuclear-bomb shelter, with three trafficked and enslaved Vietnamese teenage boys tending about 4,000 plants, imprisoned behind a five-inch steel door. Industrial-scale cannabis farmers in the UK have often used trafficked children who are imprisoned for months and forced to water and monitor and protect the plants from rival gangs. Upon discovery, the children, already abused and exploited, are jailed. Canada, meanwhile, is creating a C$20bn-a-year industry that will employ thousands of people, minimise public-health harms, cut teen access to the drug and save the taxpayer millions in enforcement costs. There’s a sense of energised hope and cautious optimism in every conversation you have: Canadians feel that change is coming. Miron’s desire to grow this business is impassioned and infectious, and seems more than simply financial. What drives him? “Two years ago, my father had terminal lung cancer,” he says. “Very terminal. He was given months to live. He didn’t have much breath capacity, but I will never forget holding a vaporiser to his lips as he sat on the porch with me, and he managed to inhale a few puffs. He slept there, free from pain for the first time in days, resting. He was my first customer.” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/29/the-wild-west-of-weed-will-legalisation-work-for-canada
  5. European Parliament Hosts the International Conference on Medical Cannabis Support for medical cannabis has skyrocketed across the globe in recent years as poll after poll has revealed a supermajority of voters favoring medical marijuana. In yet another sign of the mainstream support of medical use, the European Parliament recently hosted the International Conference on Medical Cannabis in Brussels, Belgium. Prominent European doctors, researchers, advocates and politicians spoke at the conference, advocating for sensible cannabis laws to be implemented across the EU. Leafly reported on the conference: Lying on an adjusted hospital bed, Dr. Franjo Grotenhemen, chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoids in Medicine (IACM), gave an insightful update on recent developments in Germany. “The German government has prepared a bill,” he said. “It was forced by court decisions to do this. But as a political leader, you say: ‘I was not forced, I changed my mind.’ So the politicians changed their mind in all German parties, that patients should have access to cannabis products if they need them.” Most speakers focused on patients needs and the incredible results seen with cannabis treatment, but some also brought up legalization’s economic benefits. Saul Kaye, an Israeli pharmacist and cannabis activist, painted a picture of how his country benefits from its medical cannabis program, the oldest in the world. “For regulators in the room,” he said, “it’s no longer a question of if, it’s now a question of how and when you do it. Every decision you make has an implication in the value chain that you can create. This is an industry that is exploding worldwide, an industry that will make a lot of money and that is the driver. What you need to consider is whether you want to be part of that new initiative or whether you want to block it.” *** In his closing remarks, a German member of the European Parliament, Stefan Eck, took a clear and strong position. “For 5,000 years, cannabis has been used for medical purposes, and in my opinion it is now time to legalize cannabis for medical purposes in the EU as well. I believe that, as soon as possible, we should at least implement a Europe-wide legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. This is the minimum. And we should always keep in mind that the ban on cannabis is absolutely illogical as long as other substances, like nicotine and alcohol, are allowed. I would like to thank you for taking part in this important conference and close by saying unequivocally: Legalize it!” It is great to see such progress across the globe, and we look forward to helping the momentum for the international movement when the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) heads to Berlin, Germany, April 10-12, 2017. With medical cannabis legal through German dispensaries, Berlin seeking to legalize cannabis coffeeshops and German politicians like Stefan Eck fighting for legalization, Germany is certainly helping lead the way in the European Union. If the EU legalizes medical cannabis across the board, then adult-use will follow suit. These are exciting times for the cannabis law reform movement, and while there will be some speed bumps along the way, our progress around the world shows that prohibition’s days are numbered.
  6. Cannabis should be legalised in the UK, according to a report that has the backing of several cross-party MPs including the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Current cannabis policy in Britain is a “messy patchwork” of legislation intermittently enforced by regional police and an embarrassment, says the report by the free-market thinktank the Adam Smith Institute. The government must recognise that legalising the Class B drug is the “only workable solution to the problems of crime and addiction in the UK and modernise and legalise”, the report says. Politicians and the public should recognised the UK’s drug strategy “has failed in its core aims to prevent people from using drugs, manufacturing drugs, and to put a stop to the crime, corruption and death that is taking place on an industrial scale around the world”. The report, The Tide Effect: How the World is Changing Its Mind on Cannabis Legislation, says legalisation would ensure the drug meets acceptable standards, remove criminal gangs from the equation, raise revenue for the Treasury and protect public health. A legal cannabis market could be worth £6.8bn annually, providing up to £1bn to the Treasury. It would also lower criminal justice costs, with 1,363 inmates currently in prison in England and Wales for cannabis-related offences at a cost to the taxpayer of £50m a year, the report says. Legal regulation would also allow long-term studies of the drug’s health effects that are not currently possible, it says. California is among the latest US states to legalise the drug. The Netherlands has in effect decriminalised it since 1976, and Portugal since 2001. Germany is on the brink of fully legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes and Canada is paving the way for full legalisation and regulation, says the report, which was compiled with VolteFace, a policy innovation hub that explores alternatives to current public policies relating to drugs. Clegg said: “British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world. Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation. “Now is the time for ministers to start writing the rules for this new legal market, including age limits and health warnings, so that we can finally take back control from the criminal gangs.” The report advocates handing responsibility for cannabis policy to the Department of Health, with the Home Office’s role changing from enforcement of prohibition to regulation and licensing. The former home secretary Jacqui Smith said: “Knowing what I know now, I would resist the temptation to resort to the law to tackle the harm from cannabis. We must overcome the prejudice and the negative language surrounding cannabis to create a new drugs strategy that actually works for the UK.” The World Health Organisation agrees that prohibition has led to policies and enforcement practices that entrench discrimination and propagate human rights violations, contribute to violence-related criminal networks and deny people access to the interventions they need to improve their health, the report says. It adds that the British Medical Journal has come out in support of legalisation, stating that the ban on the production, supply, possession and use of certain drugs for non-medical purposes is causing huge harm. Sam Bowman, executive director at the Adam Smith Institute, said: “As Canada becomes the first G7 country to legalise cannabis for recreational use and more and more big US states do the same, Britain needs to re-evaluate its own drugs policies to make sure this growing market is in the hands of legitimate, regulated businesses – not criminal gangs. “Cannabis is enjoyed by many otherwise law-abiding people and making criminals of them makes an ass of the law – the only sensible approach now is to legalise and regulate.” Caroline Lucas, the Green party’s co-leader and only MP, welcomed the report and said government ministers should “urgently take a fresh look at our drugs laws”. “The war on drugs has been an abject failure, and the continued criminalisation of cannabis users is deeply counterproductive,” she said. Labour’s Paul Flynn said: “The UK’s 45 years of harsh prohibition has multiplied use and harm.” The Conservative MP Peter Lilley said: “Currently cannabis can only be obtained from illegal gangs who also push hard drugs. So we are driving soft drug users into the arms of hard drugs pushers.” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/21/uk-should-legalise-cannabis-adam-smith-institute-report
  7. Prohibition was repealed 80 years ago today, and some of Denver's most-beloved places were swiftly created to help erase the stigma of alcohol. "A lot of great places opened," said Tom Noel, who teaches history at the University Colorado Denver. "The Ship Tavern at the Brown Palace was designed as a celebration of repeal." The swank Cruise Room at the Oxford Hotel opened the day after Prohibition was repealed. "I think there was an attempt by the liquor interests to make it more respectable, going from the low-down dives to classy places like the Ship Tavern," Noel said. The repeal of Prohibition brought into the open what had long been hidden, similar to what is expected to happen with the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado on Jan. 1. Experts see parallels between the repeal of Prohibition and the legalization of marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington, particularly the fact that criminalization never really stopped the use of the product, instead forcing it underground, creating an unregulated black market. Prohibition started in 1920, when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned the production, sale, importation and transportation of alcohol. It didn't eliminate drinking, however. Alcohol consumption dropped at the beginning, to about 30 percent of the pre-Prohibition level, but then increased sharply, according to a 1991 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, based on mortality, mental health and crime statistics. Bootleggers and organized crime prospered. Americans were horrified by booze-related mob violence, especially because Prohibition was expected to reduce crime. The Great Depression proved the tipping point with urgent need for increased funds in state and federal coffers. Prohibition had caused a loss of billions in tax revenues. "Public sentiment had turned so strongly against Prohibition," said Mark Pittenger, a history professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Franklin Roosevelt promised the repeal of Prohibition during his presidential campaign. Prohibition was overturned Dec. 5, 1933, when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment. LED lights cast a vibrant hue on marijuana plants in the flower rooms at 3D Denver Discreet Dispensary on Wednesday. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post) "It was one of the first things people could see from the New Deal," Pittenger said. "They took at it as government really doing things." Colorado's own Repeal of Prohibition occurred Sept. 26, 1933, when a delegation of 15 voted to ratify the 21st Amendment. Tremendous celebration erupted, with huge parties in the streets. The end of the prohibition of recreational marijuana sales — authorized last year by state Amendment 64, which allows the consumption and possession of small amounts of pot by people age 21 and older — is expected to be more laid back. "Businesses will open, and it will be a significant event, but it's not as if there's going to be some sort of parade down the street," Colorado Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert said. For starters, no one knows today which pot shops will be open Jan. 1. According to state regulators, 136 shops have applied for state recreational marijuana sales licenses, but none has been granted. 3D Cannabis Center owner Toni Fox hopes soon to be cleared to replace the shingle on her River North medical pot dispensary to welcome recreational customers. She hopes they'll be able to find her if her license is granted at the last minute. "It's going to be really tough to get the word out so fast," she said. The Brown Palace, where the Ship Tavern celebrated the end of Prohibition, will not continue the tradition by allowing people to smoke pot at its Churchill cigar bar — at least not right away. "It's something that they've been considering for some time but currently don't allow," hotel spokeswoman Ashley Cothran said. "They're open to that changing in the future, but at this point, it's a no." Curiosity probably will drive many people to at least take a taste of the once-forbidden drug — since consumption doesn't necessarily require smoking, said Mark Kleiman, a top national analyst of drug policy. Marijuana can be taken in foods, through smokeless vaporizers and in potent tinctures, for example. "I was in a meeting today on another topic with a short-haired, straight-laced Mormon lawyer in his mid-40s," Kleiman said. "We were discussing the fact that cannabis now will be available in e-cigarette form, and the guy casually said, 'If I could try it without breathing smoke, I'd try it.' " And former pot smokers may start up again, he said. "A lot of boomer-age people who stopped when their kids were born may go back to it as they retire." But they may be shocked by the powerful new strains, which could open a new market niche for low-THC pot. "Everyone my age complains they can't get the mellow stuff they got in college," he said. "Maybe the mellow stuff will come back." But no one really knows, and that's another parallel. Then-President Herbert Hoover once called Prohibition "the Noble Experiment," and the post-prohibition pot era is poised to be filled with just as much exploration. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24658066/anniversary-prohibitions-repeal-looks-legalization-pot
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23432762 Oh piss off. If the irrelevent dress wearing old twat REALLY cared about public health he'd be distributing condoms.