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Found 4 results

  1. hi Cannabis shops set to open in Canada by autumn after Senate approves legalisation The Telegraph Canada's Senate passed a law Thursday legalizing recreational marijuana, moving it closer to becoming the first member of the Group of Seven nations to legalize the production, sale and consumption of the drug. Bill C-45, or the Cannabis Act, passed the Senate with 52 votes for, 30 against and one abstention after months of debate over the ramifications of legalization. The Cannabis Act will now go back to the House of Commons, which passed the bill in November 2017 but needs to sign off on changes made by the Senate. Legalizing weed was a 2015 campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has admitted having smoked a joint with friends "five or six times." The initial timeline for legal pot sales called for it to be available by July 1, Canada's national day, but autumn now appears more likely. It would then be up to Canada's provinces and territories to set up distribution networks and enforcement. The sale of medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. Bill C-45 would allow individuals over the age of 18 to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use. Sales to anyone under 18 would be banned under federal law but provinces and territories could set their own age limits. Statistics Canada has estimated that the market will be worth Can$5.7 billion ($4.5 billion US), based on last year's consumption data. Uruguay approved the recreational usage of marijuana five years ago and nine US states have too but Canada will be the first G-7 country to do so. In an interview with AFP last month, Trudeau said the world is closely following Canada's plans and predicted several nations would follow suit. "There is a lot of interest from our allies in what we're doing," he said. "They recognize that Canada is being daring... and recognize that the current regime (of prohibition) does not work, that it's not preventing young people from having easy access to cannabis. "In many countries, especially in Canada, it is easier (as a minor) to buy a joint than buy a beer," Trudeau said. "Organized crime is making huge sums of money on the illicit sale of marijuana." Trudeau insisted that creating a regulated market would take it out of the hands of crime groups and "better protect communities and children." However, he added the allies he spoke with "are interested in seeing how things go... before they try it," without specifying which nations. It would also allow the federal government and the provinces to levy taxes on legal weed sales amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Pot sales would be through authorized retail stores much like the current situation regulating alcohol sales in Quebec and Ontario. A total of 105 businesses have been authorized to grow marijuana and offer pot-based products. Under the new law, individuals could grow up to four plants at home. The government has also set aside funds to study the impact of legalized cannabis consumption on public health. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/08/cannabis-shops-set-open-canada-autumn-senate-approves-legalisation/ Graphics etc on link Bongme
  2. Hi Canadian judge Pierre Chevalier calls marijuana laws 'obsolete and ridiculous' as he awards a symbolic $1.30 fine The Quebec judge said it was time to legalise the drug as people had been using it as a 'natural medicine' for centuries The Independent A judge in the Canadian province of Quebec has called laws governing cannabis "obsolete and ridiculous" as he handed a $1.30 penalty to a man sentenced for possession. Judge Pierre Chevalier issue the symbolic fine to 46-year-old Mario Larouche, who had been found with 30 marijuana plants. Larouche said he was in pain after a road accident and was unable to get a legitimate prescription for medical marijuana. The prosecution had originally demanded he be sentenced to 90 days in prison and a $250 fine, according to Canadian newspaper Le Droit. Judge Chevalier said: "If (Larouche) had a responsible doctor, he would probably have his prescription and he wouldn’t be here today. "This is everything wrong with this system - you don’t have access to a natural medicine which has been used for centuries, millennia." He called on the new government led by Justin Trudeau to legalise the drug. He said: "We are in a society where people are accused of possession and use of marijuana - despite more than half the population having consumed it. These are laws that are obsolete and ridiculous. "I think it is time we looked much more leniently at this." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canadian-judge-pierre-chevalier-calls-marijuana-laws-obsolete-and-ridiculous-as-he-awards-a-symbolic-a6757561.html Bongme
  3. Hi Vid On Link Canadian mum flouts cannabis law for treatment BBC News By Micah Luxen 1 December 2014 Liam has had far fewer seizures using cannabis oil The mother of a boy with severe epilepsy refuses to give her son his medical marijuana in the form the law dictates he should get it - through smoke or vapours. Six-year-old Liam McKnight is always the first in his family to run to the door. His mum Mandy says he loves to see who is visiting. The McKnight family, in Ottawa, Canada, has a constant flow of people coming through the house - between members of their daughter's dance community, and the many therapists - speech therapists, physiotherapists, listening therapists - who come to visit Liam. Liam has Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. But after debilitating seizures and pharmaceutical trials and errors throughout his life, Liam is doing much better, now that he is on a medical cannabis oil regimen. In June of this year, the day before Liam began using the oil (made from a particularly effective strain of marijuana), he had 67 seizures. The problem is, Liam's treatment is criminal. Using medical marijuana is legal in Canada, but only in the dried form that can be smoked or vaporised. That, says Mandy, is not realistic for such a young child. "Who's going to expect a six-year-old to smoke weed?" As early as 2001, Canada approved the use of medical marijuana, allowing people with severe conditions to use the drug to ease symptoms. But there haven't yet been clinical trials to prove oil is safe to use so there's a restriction limiting patients to the use of dried medical marijuana. In 2012, the British Columbia Supreme Court struck down this restriction. The province's high court gave the federal government one year to change the law. Instead, the government appealed against the ruling In August of this year, the BC Court of Appeal ruled in agreement with the BC Supreme Court. Within a month, the federal government appealed against the decision again, taking the case to the Canadian Supreme Court, which means the restriction still holds today. Mitch Earleywine, a researcher in addictions at University of Southern California, says smoking cannabis poses risks that are absent in other forms of medical marijuana. "Unfortunately, smoking - lit, burning material - does release some respiratory irritants," said Mr Earleywine. "Oil doesn't have the rapid onset that [vaporising or smoking] would have, but there's no data suggesting ingesting oil is any less safe." Liam is not developmentally capable of using a vaporiser, and Liam's mum says his dose can be more accurately measured in oil form. After Mandy McKnight wrote to the government of her family's predicament, Health Minister Rona Ambrose responded in a letter dated 1 August. "I am sorry to learn of Liam's struggles with epilepsy. I can understand how this would have a profound impact on you and your family. "To date, no marijuana oil product has been authorized for sale in Canada," Ms Ambrose wrote, adding any researchers interested in a clinical trial should contact Canadian officials. Health Canada responded to the BBC's inquiry with a similar response. "The risks and benefits of using unapproved marijuana products (e.g. salves, oils, creams made with extracts) are unknown," Sara Lauer, a spokeswoman for Health Canada, wrote. Earlier in November, New Democratic Party MP and health critic Libby Davies appeared with Mandy on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's news show Power & Politics, explaining current legislation and Parliament's committee report Marijuana's Risks and Harms - a committee Ms Davies sits on - that points to holes in Canada's law. "We have a government that's focused on an ideological position when it comes to marijuana, instead of a realistic pragmatic evidence-based position marijuana," Ms Davies said. Ms Davies has been supportive of her family, asking Parliament to amend regulations and allow edibles for kids like Liam. There are at least nine families using medical marijuana oil to ease Dravet symptoms in Canada, says Patti Bryant, chair of Dravet.ca, a Canadian network for families dealing with Dravet. In the Unites States, the laws surrounding the use of medical marijuana vary by state. In Michigan, the laws are similar to Canadian law. In New York, smoking is not allowed. "In recent years, the trend has been to have more variety available to patients, but it depends on the state," said Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project in the US. "There isn't a ton of clinical research." Many families move to states where access is legal, says Ms O'Keefe, and over 12,000 American families are on a waiting list for a strain of medical cannabis oil that treats children without the classic high of marijuana. But while the laws support the use of medical marijuana in 23 states and the District of Columbia, these have not met the needs of all families. Last month, Minnesota mother Angela Brown was charged for medicating her son with cannabis oil. She faces up to two years in prison and $6,000 (£3,800) in fines. The use of medical cannabis oil was approved under Minnesota law in May, but the law does not come into effect until July 2015. With the risks in mind, Mandy McKnight says breaking the law is a concern for her family. "Am I scared that I'm breaking the law? Yes, I am. But I'm more scared for Liam if we don't. I'm scared if we don't do anything, what would happen to him." Within the family's Dravet Syndrome support group 14 children died last year, she says. "Cannabis was a last resort for us. We don't have time to wait for clinical trials." So, every day at dinner, Liam eats about a tablespoon of cannabis mixed with coconut oil. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30183434 Vid On Link Bongme
  4. Hi Cannabis and Canada: Why has drug policy changed? By Kim Gittleson BBC business reporter, Bellingham, Washington State Marc Emery and his wife Jodie were greeted by supporters in Windsor, Canada on Tuesday Canadian Marc Emery's arrest in 2005 was hailed by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a significant blow to the legalisation movement. Now, after a five-year stint in a US jail, Canada's "Prince of Pot" returns to a completely different cannabis landscape. Marc Emery's voice is filled with an inescapable joy the day after he returned home to his native Canada after spending nearly five years in a US federal prison. "The transition was surreal - I was in leg irons with a chain iron around my stomach, driving 12 hours from the jail in Louisiana," says Mr Emery, 56, speaking to the BBC from Toronto. "Then, all of a sudden you're released and you're choosing your own food - it's a lovely feeling." In 2005 Mr Emery was arrested and in 2010 he was extradited to the US for selling nearly $3m (£1.8m) worth of marijuana plant seeds from his cannabis store to US buyers. Most of that money, Mr Emery says - nearly $2.1m of it - was donated to legalisation efforts in the US. That was why, at the time of his arrest, the DEA crowed that jailing him would halt efforts to legalise marijuana in the US and Canada. "Drug legalisation lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on," Now, visibly paler and with a few more grey hairs, Mr Emery says he was heartened to find out that the millions of dollars he had donated to legalisation efforts in the US had an impact. But, what he calls the "rich irony" of his situation - for instance, the Washington State prosecutor who put him in jail later ended up working with Mr Emery's wife, Jodie, to write Washington's recreational marijuana laws - has not escaped him. "The silence is deafening in Canada and the cowardice not to discuss marijuana legalisation is really peculiar," he says, especially given how a refusal to legalise cannabis could be hurting the once vibrant British Columbian weed, or "BC Bud", economy. Role reversal For some, it is more than just peculiar. In a reversal that few would have predicted, in the nearly five years that Mr Emery has been in jail, the US has taken the lead in the effort to legalise cannabis, stunning many observers who had long believed that Canada would be first. "It's ironic isn't it?" says Simon Fraser, a professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. "We used to be bleating here in Canada that our drug policy was being regulated by the US and that the DEA and other US agencies would never allow Canada to shift to a more liberal regime in terms of drug regulation. "Then, all of a sudden in the matter of a year, the roles reversed and certain states in the US are adopting the liberal regulation that many of us wanted in Canada," he says. Cannabis is a Schedule II drug - that means growing, possessing, distributing and selling it is illegal Possession can result in up to five years in jail Production can result in up to seven years in jail Trafficking can result in life imprisonment Using cannabis for medicinal reasons is legal everywhere in Canada and run by a federal agency, Health Canada According to recent statistics, 37,884 Canadians are authorised to possess dried cannabis Unlike in the US, where a piecemeal approach to legalisation has resulted in several successes for legalisation advocates, in Canada - where medicinal marijuana is regulated on the federal, not provincial, level - legalisation efforts have stalled and, in some cases, got more strict. Many have said that this is a result of the current Canadian government - controlled by the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has said marijuana should remain illegal to keep it away from children. "In Canada, you've seen a significant increase in terms of marijuana possession arrests - they've been really aggressive on this," says Clayton Mosher, a professor at Washington State University, who notes that the arrests have not been evenly distributed. But there has been a silver lining: in keeping marijuana legislation at a federal level, investors have been more keen to invest in medicinal marijuana growers in Canada, where at least the laws are more black and white. 'Winning the lottery' And further south, the tightening in Canada has has been a boon to those hoping to cash in on the "green rush". John Evich says he was convinced to invest in Top Shelf Cannabis, one of the first legal recreational marijuana stores to open in Bellingham, Washington, after running into a friend at the post office who asked him if he would join him in business if he "won the lotto" for a cannabis store licence. Now, Mr Evich says he has barely slept since the store opened on 6 July to hundreds of customers - over 10% of whom were Canadians who drove just an hour south to see what was happening. Demand was so strong in the first few days - and supply so scarce - that Mr Evich and his business partners were forced on several occasions to temporarily close the shop and turn away customers, Now Mr Evich has been reduced to stalking potential legal suppliers, looking for a few dozen pounds here, a few pounds there - all in order to keep up with demand, which was once directed northwards, at the estimated $4bn "BC Bud" industry. "It's odd to me to see the huge change - there were thousands of pounds [of marijuana] a month coming down from BC to here and now we're getting all of them [the Canadians] coming down here," he says. Need for green Mr Emery says that he hopes his return to Vancouver will help restart the legalisation debate in Canada. His wife Jodie has said she plans to run for elected office as part of Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party, which has stated support for legalisation efforts, in the next nationwide elections, expected sometime in 2015. But for Mr Emery, the matter is more than political: he is returning to his business, the Cannabis Culture store. "We need to earn some money - I owe back taxes," he says. In some ways, like almost every other Canadian cannabis-related business, Mr Emery is now struggling to keep customers in Canada. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28767270 Bongme