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CN ON: Focus On Medical Use

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Press, 30 Aug 2014 - Hempfest Lands in Moonbeam This Weekend MOONBEAM - The organizer of a pro-marijuana festival believes the drug should remain out of politician hands. Organizers for Hempfest Canada announced that the 16th annual celebration would not be held in Sault Ste. Marie, where it has called home for the past few years, but instead in Moonbeam. The main goal of Hempfest, which takes place this weekend, is to educate the public on the proper use of medical marijuana.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: PUB LTE: Marijuana Prohibition Leads To Organized Crime

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
Guelph Mercury, 29 Aug 2014 - Re: Smoking is bad for you, period - Aug. 25 Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if abused. Criminal records are nonetheless inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: Editorial: Pot policy: A Major Election Issue?

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Orangeville Citizen, 28 Aug 2014 - At this point, it would seem to be almost inevitable that marijuana will be a major issue in next year's federal election. Unless Canada's three major political parties change their present stance on the matter, their respective positions would seem to be miles apart.
Categories: Canada

CN SN: PUB LTE: Proven Treatment

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
The StarPhoenix, 28 Aug 2014 - Thank you for making the case for methadone maintenance in your editorial, Positive news on methadone (SP, Aug. 23). Methadone has been proven to reduce drug use and related crime, death and disease among chronic opioid addicts. Though it is known as a treatment for heroin, methadone is also a viable treatment for addiction to synthetic opiates such as OxyContin. Methadone staves off debilitating withdrawal symptoms, but does not produce a high that prevents people from living productive lives.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: Column: Pot's Poster Boy Is (Sigh) Back

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
The Beacon Herald, 27 Aug 2014 - You have to give Marc Emery credit: After more than four years in a U.S. prison, he can still draw a crowd. Better yet (from his point of view), he can still wrangle the news media. The "Prince of Pot," as journalists and his disciples have dubbed him, has certainly earned that nickname. A native of London, Ont., he has spent most of his adult life championing the cause of cannabis policy reform.
Categories: Canada

CN AB: LTE: Blowing In The Wind

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 27 Aug 2014 - Re: "Feds blame Trudeau for blowing smoke on marijuana debate," Aug. 19. I agree with Health Minister Rona Ambrose. The part-time drama teacher and also leader of the third party Justin Trudeau, is targeting his marijuana platform strictly to bring out the youth vote.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: PUB LTE: Use Our Tax Dollars Well

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Windsor Star, 27 Aug 2014 - Re: Legalizing dope would cost everybody, opinion column by Chris Vander Doelen, Aug. 13. I was appalled at Windsor Star columnist Chris Vander Doelen's column begging that we re-enter the era of reefer and other criminal code madness.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: 'Smoke Is The Problem': Colby

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
The Chatham Daily News, 27 Aug 2014 - C-K medical officer of health speaks out on marijuana Members of the Canadian Medical Association passed a motion earlier this month at the organization's annual convention that smoking any plant material is unhealthy.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: PUB LTE: In Support Of A Regulated Market

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Standard Freeholder, 27 Aug 2014 - Re: "Clear the smoke and regulate pot like booze," Aug. 21, 2014. Lost in the debate over marijuana is the ugly truth behind marijuana prohibition. North America's marijuana laws are based on culture and xenophobia, not science. The first marijuana laws were a racist reaction to Mexican migration during the early 1900s. Writing under the pen name Janey Canuck, Emily Murphy warned Canadians about the dreaded reefer and its association with non-white immigrants.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: PUB LTE: Marijuana Law Reform Sends Wrong Message

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 27 Aug 2014 - Re: "Clear the smoke and regulate pot like booze," Aug. 21, Brian MacLeod. Lost in the debate over marijuana is the ugly truth behind marijuana prohibition. North America's marijuana laws are based on culture and xenophobia, not science. The first marijuana laws were a reaction to Mexican migration during the early 1900s. Writing under the pen name Janey Canuck, Emily Murphy warned Canadians about the dread reefer and its association with non-white immigrants. The yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst led to its criminalization in the United States.
Categories: Canada

CN AB: Majority Of Albertans Support Legalization Of

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 27 Aug 2014 - A new poll has found that slightly more than half of Albertans support the legalization of marijuana. Seven of 10 people polled don't believe Canada has to wait for other countries to become more bud-friendly before passing legislation of its own.
Categories: Canada

CN AB: Pot Poll. Majority Of Albertans Support Legalization Of

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 27 Aug 2014 - A new poll has found that slightly more than half of Albertans support the legalization of marijuana and seven-in-10 don't believe Canada has to wait for other countries to become more bud-friendly before passing legislation of its own. The poll, released Tuesday by Insights West, found that 52 per cent of Albertans supported legalization, compared to 42 per cent opposed.
Categories: Canada

Canada's Marc Emery is a Man on a Mission [FEATURE]

Canada (STDW) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 20:33

Canada's "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery has finally returned home after spending just over 4 ½ years in US federal prison for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet. From his base in Vancouver, BC, Emery parlayed his pot seed profits into a pro-marijuana legalization political juggernaut.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Not only did the gregarious former libertarian bookseller relentlessly hassle Canadian and American drug warriors -- including the dour then-drug czar, John Walters -- he published Cannabis Culture magazine, created the BC Marijuana Party and helped turn parts of downtown Vancouver's Hasting Street into a Western Hemisphere Amsterdam, complete with a vaporizer lounge and several other cannabis-related enterprises.

Emery also put a bunch of his money -- several hundred thousand dollars -- into financing marijuana reform efforts on the US side of the border. It's hard to say what, exactly, got him in the sights of US law enforcement, but when he was arrested by Canadian police at the behest of US authorities, the DEA was quick to gloat that it had struck a blow against the forces of legalization.

The US eventually got its pound of flesh from Emery, forcing him into a plea bargain -- to protect his coworkers -- that saw him sentenced to five years in federal prison for his seed selling. Emery did his time, was released from prison earlier this summer, then sent to a private deportation detention facility in the US before going home to Canada less than two weeks ago.

But if US and Canadian authorities thought they had silenced one of the biggest thorns in their side, they should have known better. Nearly five years in prison hasn't exactly mellowed Emery; instead, he is more committed than ever to drug war justice, and he's raring to go.

The Chronicle spoke with him via phone at his home in Vancouver Monday. The topics ranged from prison life to marijuana legalization in the US to Canadian election politics and beyond.

"If you go to jail for the right reasons you can continue to be an inspiration," Emery said. "I got a lot of affirmation, thousands of letters, people helped to cover my bills, and that's a testament to my influence. My experience was very positive. I network well and try to live in the present moment, just dealing with what's going on."

Still, Emery needed about $180,000 to get through those 4 ½ years behind bars, including more than $18,000 in email costs -- it isn't cheap for federal prisoners to send emails -- but for Emery, keeping his voice heard in the outside world was a necessity. He reports having received between $70,000 and $80,000 in donations while in the slammer.

"That still left Jodie doing the near impossible," he said. She traveled from Canada to the southern US 81 times to visit her husband, visiting him on 164 days and spending a like amount of time in transit. If it weren't for Jodie Emery, prison would have been a much lonelier place, as it is for most inmates.

[image:2 align:right]"In my prison, there were 1,700 prisoners, but on an average weekend, only 25 were getting a visit," Emery noted, adding that most inmates were either black or brown. "And other than Jodie, only seven people came to visit me."

While Emery waited in prison, the world continued to turn, and he has emerged into a different place. Now, two US states and Uruguay have legalized marijuana outright, and two more states and the District of Columbia are likely to do so this fall. For the Prince of Pot, it's all good.

"I like that Washington and Colorado went for two different models, although I think the Colorado model is better and has been more quickly executed," he said. "In both places, prices haven't really dropped, but they will once other states come on board. It has been really encouraging to see that people would travel to another state to buy it legally."

That's a good thing for the cannabis culture, he said.

"We are a proud culture. Legalization means a lot of things, and one of them is the end of stigmatization. We've been picked on and scapegoated as if we were taking part in some evil practice, but that is largely over in Denver," Emery argued. "They're integrating it into the mainstream economy; we're going to see a lot of interesting things."

Unsurprisingly, the small-L libertarian and marijuana seed entrepreneur is not overly concerned that legalization will lead to the commercialization or corporatization of the herb.

"We need big money in order to have an effective lobby," he said. "When there's something that tens of millions of Americans want, the money will come, and the money is welcome. It's going to put into new products, new technologies, and we have to welcome that. Capitalism is way to make things happen legally, and we need to get those people on board."

But Emery wants people to be able to grow their own, too.

"It's not legal unless we can grow it in our backyards or fields," he said, "and as long as we can grow it, it's basically legal."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]That's life in these United States, but Emery, of course, doesn't live in the United States -- in fact, he is now permanently barred from entering the country -- he lives in Canada, and things haven't gone nearly as swimmingly there when it comes to freeing the weed.

A decade ago, Canada was the hope of the global cannabis culture. It appeared poised to make the move toward legalization, but first the ruling Liberals were unwilling to even push through their decriminalization scheme, and then they were defeated by the Conservatives, who went in the other direction on marijuana policy, for instance, by adopting mandatory minimum sentences for growing more than small amounts of pot.

Stephen Harper's Conservatives remain in power today, and Emery has sworn political vengeance on them. He has also aligned himself with the Liberals, whose leader, Justin Trudeau, is now an advocate of legalization. That's in line with Canadian public opinion, which consistently shows strong support for marijuana law reform, including a poll this week that showed two-thirds support for reform, with 35% saying legalize it and 31% saying decriminalize it.

The Liberals are going to try to take back the federal government in elections in October 2015, and Emery is happy to help savage the Conservatives whether it makes Liberals squeamish or not. His return just two weeks ago has already ignited a firestorm of media coverage, with his pot politics naturally front and center.

"We've now hijacked the whole conversation about the election; we are dominating the conversation," he gloated. "It's the number one election topic and has been since the second I arrived back in the country. There have been more than 150 articles about me in the last two weeks. It's a big deal, and I'm delighted it's a big deal. I have critics using up column inches to say disparaging things about me, and that's great, too. There's a real dialog going on, and we have the opportunity to change the feelings of our opponents and get them to understand the benefits to their communities in legalizing marijuana."

But can the Liberals win? Yes, says Emery.

"Election day -- October 19, 2015 -- will be legalization day in Canada. If Trudeau becomes prime minister, there is no going back," he prophesied. "And I am confident the Liberals will win. Normally, the anti-Harper vote is divided among the Greens, the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois, and the Liberals, but this time, with Trudeau being so charismatic, I am urging everyone to just this once vote for the Liberals. And the feedback I am getting is that this is going to happen, a Liberal majority is going to happen, and you should be in on it."

When it comes to marijuana reform, in Emery's eyes, Canadian politicians should take a lesson from their counterparts south of the border.

"My opinion of Americans has only improved," he said. "You did a great job in Colorado and Washington, and even your legislators are underrated. At least one from every state has gone to Colorado to check it out. It's wonderful! Up here, if it weren't for Justin Trudeau, we wouldn't hear anything."

Well, and now, Marc Emery. Again.

Categories: Canada

CN BC: PUB LTE: Kids Buy Pot More Easily Than Liquor

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Vancouver Sun, 26 Aug 2014 - Re: Pot challenge: Legalize while keeping kids safe, Aug. 22 The Conservative assumption that marijuana legalization would increase use by teens is flawed. Prohibition has not discouraged Canadian youth from using marijuana. Marijuana is easier to buy than cigarettes or alcohol for B. C. teenagers.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: LTE: Why Pot?

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 26 Aug 2014 - Re "The prince of pot returns" Get ready for the debate on the legalization of marijuana to kick into high gear. Maybe someone will finally be able to give me an unbiased explanation of why in an age when we are so actively discouraging people from smoking tobacco cigarettes, to the point of banning them from outdoor areas such as parks and restaurant patios, that we seem headed down the path of legalizing the smoking of marijuana?
Categories: Canada

CN ON: Student Newspaper Draws Fire For Sex, Drugs, Drinking

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
London Free Press, 26 Aug 2014 - Editor-In-Chief Stands Firm Amid Call For His Resignation Sex, drugs and drinking games? Those topics, subjects of a Western University student newspaper guide for first-year students, have several organizations calling for an apology and retraction. One local activist is calling for the resignation of The Gazette's editor-in-chief after 3,000 copies of the paper's annual frosh issue hit the streets last week. The issue includes an article headlined So you want to date a teaching assistant. "When I read it, I was completely disgusted," said Kevin Godbout, president of the Society of Graduate Students, which represents teaching assistants.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: PUB LTE: Children More Important Than The Message

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Packet & Times, 26 Aug 2014 - Re: "Clear the smoke and regulate pot like booze," column, Aug. 22 Lost in the debate over marijuana is the ugly truth behind marijuana prohibition. North America's marijuana laws are based on culture and xenophobia, not science. The first marijuana laws were a racist reaction to Mexican migration during the early 1900s. Writing under the pen name Janey Canuck, Emily Murphy warned Canadians about the dreaded reefer and its association with non-white immigrants. The yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst led to its criminalization in the United States.
Categories: Canada

CN AB: Remand Guard Says He Smuggled Drugs After Inmate Threats

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 26 Aug 2014 - An Edmonton Remand Centre guard who smuggled drugs for inmates is claiming he did it because he was threatened by a big-time drug dealer tied to the Hells Angels. Testifying Monday at his Court of Queen's Bench sentencing hearing, James Johnstone said his ordeal began when he was doing a security check in Jeffrey Caines' cell and the inmate blocked the door and told him he knew his address and phone number and his mother's address.
Categories: Canada

CN MB: LTE: Why Pot?

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 26 Aug 2014 - Re: "The prince of pot returns," Aug. 13. Get ready for the debate on the legalization of marijuana to kick into high gear. Maybe someone will finally be able to give me an unbiased explanation of why in an age when we are so actively discouraging people from smoking tobacco cigarettes, to the point of banning them from outdoor areas such as parks and restaurant patios, that we seem headed down the path of legalizing the smoking of marijuana?
Categories: Canada

CN PI: LTE: Legalization Would Be Wrong

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
The Guardian, 26 Aug 2014 - Editor: The present debate on legalization of marijuana is important, interesting and was held about 100 years ago with regard to liquor; those in favour of wide-open liquor availability winning the fight. So what's the big deal now with marijuana?
Categories: Canada
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