Canada

Chronicle AM: Canada Liberals Endorse Drug Decrim, Gillibrand Says Legalize It, More... (4/23/18)

Canada (STDW) - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 17:51

Canada's Liberal Party formally endorses drug decriminalization (although Justin Trudeau is keeping his distance), the State Department cites continuing human rights concerns in the Philippines drug war, a Utah medical marijuana initiative appears set to make the November ballot, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:tue]Marijuana Policy

Kirsten Gillibrand Says Time to Legalize Marijuana, Calls on Sessions to Meet With People Busted for Pot. The junior senator from New York and potential Democratic presidential contender said Sunday the time has come to legalize marijuana and that she had sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions inviting him to discuss the impact of the drug war with New Yorkers who have been denied jobs, housing, and college financial aid because of non-violent drug crimes. She also called on Sessions to reinstate the Cole memo, the Obama administration's policy of largely leaving state-legal marijuana alone.

Idaho Democratic Gubernatorial Contenders Split on Marijuana Policy. One Democrat running for governor wants to legalize marijuana; the other does not. In a Sunday night debate on Idaho Public Television, contender Paulette Jordan said she fully supports legalization and cited the tax benefits for the state. Boise businessman AJ Balukoff, who is also seeking the nomination, disagreed. He said he is opposed to the substances and believes medical marijuana needs to be properly tested. Idaho is one of four states in the country that has not passed any form of marijuana law reform, not even a CBD medical marijuana law.

Albuquerque Decriminalization Went into Effect on 4/20. New Mexico's largest city has now decriminalized the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The change went into effect last Friday after a measure was passed by the city council and signed by Mayor Tim Keller. Pot possession still remains a crime under state and federal law.

Medical Marijuana

Utah Initiative Appears Set to Qualify for November Ballot. A medical marijuana initiative from the Utah Patients Coalition looks very likely to qualify for the November ballot. While it won't be official until May 15, petitioners appear to have met the overall signature requirement, with 145,000 registered voter signatures in hand, well above the 113,000 required. But the initiative also must meet specific signature thresholds in each of the state's 29 state Senate districts. As of last Friday, they had done so in 26 of them.

Foreign Policy

State Department Says Drug War Killings Remain Top Philippines Human Rights Concern. In its global rights report for 2017, the State Department said drug war killings and rising police impunity remain the top human rights concerns in the Philippines. "Extrajudicial killings have been the chief human rights concern in the country for many years and, after a sharp rise with the onset of the antidrug campaign in 2016, they continued in 2017,"reads the report released Friday (Washington time). The report also expressed doubt and uncertainty over Filipino government reports on the killings. "Police claimed to have begun investigations of all reports of extrajudicial killings,"the report read in part. "Some civil society organizations accused police of planting evidence, tampering with crime scenes, unlawfully disposing of the bodies of drug suspects, and other actions to cover up extrajudicial killings,"it added.

International

Canadian Liberals Formally Endorse Drug Decriminalization, Trudeau Demurs. Canada's governing Liberal Party endorsed the decriminalization of the possession of all drugs at its national convention Saturday. But party policy isn't necessarily government policy, and party leader Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has distanced himself from the decriminalization plank. Drug decriminalization, as well as the decriminalization of sex work and proposals to reform health care, which the party also approved, are seen as bolstering the Liberals' odds against the New Democrats, who traditionally attack them from the left.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

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CN ON: How Will The Province Keep Pot Shops Away From Schools?

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 18 Apr 2018 - Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered that school boards be given a say in where provincial marijuana stores are located, noting that boards are likely to know "where their kids go at lunchtime (and) where they go after school." Her demand came after the announcement that Toronto's first outlet of the Ontario Cannabis Store would be located in Scarborough, 450 metres from Blantyre Public School. The Toronto District School Board said it had asked to be consulted about the location, but never was. Concerned Blantyre parents discussed the news at a school council meeting last week.
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CN ON: Editorial: Theres No Need To Panic Over Pot Shop Locations

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 17 Apr 2018 - Two very different things, both related to marijuana, happened in Toronto last week. One mattered, and pointed to some of the challenges still ahead with the legalization of marijuana later this year. The other was the proverbial tempest in a teapot. Allegations that workers were smoking pot on the job, forcing Metrolinx to shut down work on a section of the $5.3-billion Crosstown LRT project, was a serious matter.
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CN BC: Reasons Unclear For Ban On Mixing Caffeine And Cannabis

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 17 Apr 2018 - VANCOUVER - A government prohibition against mixing cannabis and caffeine makes little sense, say some research scientists. There is only speculation that the combination might pose a risk. The practice, so common in the legendary pot capital of Amsterdam that cannabis dispensaries are called "coffee shops," appears unlikely to be coming to Canada anytime soon.
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CN BC: 4/19 Pot Panel Wants To Clear The Air Regarding Cannabis And

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
Richmond News, 17 Apr 2018 - On the eve of 4/20, CBC is hosting a panel to give kids and parents the information they need before anyone tokes up. Titled 4/19, the free evening event at Vancouver Technical secondary hosted by CBC's Gloria Macarenko is aimed at informing teenagers and their parents about the medical, social and legal impacts of cannabis use for youth, with legalization in sight.
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CN BC: Politicians Are Committed To Reducing Stigma Around Drug Use

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 17 Apr 2018 - VANCOUVER - Vancouver city councillors agreed the city's approach to harm reduction may appears extreme to those who haven't experienced the overdose crisis' impacts first-hand. But Coun. Hector Bremner told StarMetro he thinks those skeptical of harm reduction simply haven't had an opportunity to learn how it really works.
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CN BC: Vancouver Park Board Reiterates Opposition To 4/20 Cannabis

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 17 Apr 2018 - "The 4/20 marijuana event will take place again this year in Sunset Beach Park, against the wishes of the elected park board commissioners. The board continues to have significant concerns about the event's impact on residents, the park and facilities that serve our community. "The park board does not believe this event is an appropriate use of park space because it violates our no smoking by-laws and has negative consequences for park users and infrastructure. The Board has declined to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria for issuing a special event permit.
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Canada: Cannabis Debate: Legal Pot Is Far Safer For Youth Than

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 16 Apr 2018 - Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term, heavy use. Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24 represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from criminals.
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Canada: Cannabis Debate: Not Enough Is Being Planned To Protect Youth

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 16 Apr 2018 - Canada is moving closer to the legalization of recreational Cannabis this summer. Federal legislation is awaiting Senate approval and all the provinces have developed their implementation approach. Governments across the country rarely agree on anything. But as we embark on this change, they have been unanimous in agreeing that their top policy objective is the protection of youth. We know what the approaches and commitments have been from various governments, so we are in a good position to know whether their actions reflect their words. So far, the simple answer is no.
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Canada: Some Cities Try To Put Brakes On Rush To Marijuana

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 04/14/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 14 Apr 2018 - MONTREAL-In the rush to marijuana legalization, cities across the country are harnessing their limited powers to delay the opening of retail pot stores, dictate where they can operate or ban them outright-at least temporarily. There was uproar from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto District School Board after finding out the city's first retail cannabis store would open just 450 metres from a school, in a strip mall where students often eat lunch.
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Chronicle AM: MD MedMJ Bill Passes, Israeli MedMJ Sales to Begin on 4/20, More... (4/10/18)

Canada (STDW) - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 19:08

New Mexico's largest city ends civil asset forfeiture, a Maryland medical marijuana expansion bill has passed the legislature, select Israeli pharmacies will soon begin selling medical marijuana products, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Medical Marijuana

Maryland Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill. The Senate on Monday gave final approval to a bill that would increase the number of licenses for medical marijuana growers from 15 to 20 and the number of licenses for processors from 15 to 25 -- largely in a bid to increase minority business ownership in the industry. None of the companies licensed so far has a black owner. House Bill 0002 has already passed the House and goes now to the desk of Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Asset Forfeiture

Albuquerque to End the City's Civil Asset Forfeiture Program. New Mexico's largest city will quit seizing people's property unless there is a criminal conviction first. This decision brings the City in compliance with New Mexico state law and comes on the heels of a decision by a US District Court Judge James Browning that said that "the city's ordinance violated federal due process protections and the 2015 state law which said governments can't seize a person's property unless there is a criminal conviction in the case." The state passed asset forfeiture reform in 2015, but the city of Albuquerque refused to obey the state law -- until now.

International

Canadian Conservative Senators Want to Kill Home Cultivation. As a vote looms in the Senate on the Liberals' marijuana legalization bill, some Conservative senators are talking about filing an amendment to ban home cultivation, as well as other nibbling at the edges of the bill. "Senate Conservative Caucus will be looking at making recommendations on various legislative voids, including: driving under the influence; public consumption; home grow; outdoor grow; detection of high concentration of marijuana; border crossing …," wrote Sen. Larry Smith. Any amendments from the Tories would need support from independent counterparts to pass any amendments. The Senate currently has 12 Liberals, 43 independents, 33 Conservatives and five nonaffiliated members. The vote on the legalization bill is set for June 7.

Israeli Pharmacies to Begin Selling Medical Marijuana Products on 4/20. Surely it's just a coincidence, but select Israeli pharmacies will begin selling prescription medical marijuana products beginning April 20. Some 20 pharmacies will participate in the pilot program for regulated medical marijuana sales. The move is the result of marijuana reforms led by the Ministry of Health and approved by the government in 2016.

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CN BC: Researchers Look At Cannabis And Prescription Heroin To Tackle

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 07:00
Vancouver Courier, 04 Apr 2018 - Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street drugs As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.
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CN ON: Marijuana-Dispensary Raid Charges Not Sticking In Court

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 07:00
London Free Press, 03 Apr 2018 - More than half the charges laid against London marijuana dispensary staffers and operators swept up in a series of raids on the illegal businesses in the past two years have been withdrawn, court records examined by The Free Press show. London police have launched seven raids in three separate crackdowns on city pot shops since August 2016, resulting in 49 charges against 15 people.
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CN BC: Vet Can't Imagine Practising Today Without CBD

Canada (MAP) - Sun, 04/01/2018 - 07:00
Richmond News, 01 Apr 2018 - Veterinarian Katherine Kramer remembers an 18-year-old cat she recommended be put on hemp-based cannabidoil (CBD). "It had heart disease and pancreatitis so painful the traditional amount of pain medication knocked him out and he had no quality of life," says Kramer, a veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Wellness Clinic. "So, I contacted the [medicinal marijuana] Compassion Club."
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CN BC: Medical Marjuana Dispensary Busted

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 03/23/2018 - 07:00
Nelson Star, 23 Mar 2018 - Nelson Police executed a search warrant on a downtown medical marijuana dispensary and arrested five employees. Five employees at MMJ marijuana dispensary, 752 Vernon Street, were taken into custody Tuesday morning, March 20, without incident.
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CN BC: Oliver To 'Hash Out' Use Of Recreational Marijuana

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:00
Penticton Herald, 14 Mar 2018 - The Town of Oliver is setting aside a hearing to "hash out" some details in local bylaws prior to the legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana. Council on Monday "decimated," as Coun. Larry Schwartzenberger put it, a staff recommendation to restrict cannabis sales via zoning bylaws in Oliver, as well as a $15,000 ask to hire a consultant to determine the wishes of the community.
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CN ON: Ford Plunges Into Policy

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 14 Mar 2018 - Sex-ed, pot and Brown There's no dust on Doug Ford. Just a day after being elected head of Ontario's PC party, Ford has announced he'll repeal the Liberal's sexed curriculum, hand marijuana sales back to the people and make a decision on permitting Patrick Brown to run as the PC candidate in the riding of Simcoe North.
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CN NS: Marijuana Outlet Crackdown Makes No Sense, Says Criminologist

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:00
Truro Daily News, 14 Mar 2018 - The legalization of pot may be looming but that doesn't mean police are backing off their crackdown on the "grey" marijuana market. Most recently, RCMP in Colchester County raided the Community Compassion Centre in Bible Hill. They seized cash, marijuana, marijuana derivatives and drug paraphernalia, and charged Ricky Joseph Leclerc, 51, of Upper Kennetcook.
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CN ON: Friel Critical Of Govat Approach To Pot

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:00
The Expositor, 14 Mar 2018 - A provincial government commitment to provide $ 40 million to help municipalities cover the costs of pot legalization is a starting point, says Mayor Chris Friel. But Friel remains critical of the Ontario government's approach to the legalization of marijuana saying the increased law enforcement and safety costs are just one part of the overall picture.
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CN AB: Cannabis Survey Not Being Padded By Users

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 14 Mar 2018 - You can still have your say about cannabis restrictions in the community until Wednesday afternoon but concerns have been raised about people being able to submit more than one survey. "Yes, there are no restrictions based on IP addresses as this is city policy," said Jim Genge senior planner, planning and development services.
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