Cowichan Valley Citizen, 22 Apr 2016 - It was certainly an interesting choice of date to make the announcement. On Wednesday (April 20 or 4/20, which is celebrated as a national holiday for cannabis culture), Canada's health minister, Jane Philpott stated that Canada's legislation to begin the legalization and regulation of marijuana will be introduced next spring.
Morning Journal, 22 Apr 2016 - One way or another, it appears Ohioans who need it will have marijuana in their medicine cabinet. The only questions may be how soon and by whose rules. A bill introduced this week in the Legislature would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana edibles, patches, plant material and oils, but doesn't allow for the smokable form.
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Apr 2016 - Singapore has blasted widespread calls to make the worldwide fight against illicit drugs less punitive, using a major meeting at the UN to argue that a "soft approach" would cause a flood of narcotics to the island state. "We believe that drugs will destroy our society," said Singapore Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam.
The Daily Star, 22 Apr 2016 - UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Jamaica defended its decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana. Iran said it seized 620 tons of different types of drugs last year and is helping protect the world from "the evils of addiction." Cuba opposed the legalization of drugs or declaring them harmless. The first U.N. General Assembly special session to address global drug policy in nearly 20 years heard major differences on the approach to drug use on its second day Wednesday.
New York Times, 22 Apr 2016 - United States authorities discovered a half-mile tunnel running between California and Tijuana, Mexico. They also seized a significant amount of cocaine and marijuana. For all the talk about a wall between the United States and Mexico, the problem with border security continues to be as much below ground as above. On Wednesday, officials in San Diego announced the discovery of another cross-border tunnel built by drug smugglers - the longest one found yet, at about half a mile.
This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, elected last fall, campaigned on a promise that his Liberal government would legalize marijuana. Now, we're getting an idea of just when that is going to happen.
[image:1 align:left]Speaking at the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem Wednesday, Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott said the government will introduce legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana in spring 2017.
"Our approach to drugs must be comprehensive, collaborative, and compassionate. It must respect human rights while promoting shared responsibility. And it must have a firm scientific foundation. In Canada, we will apply those principles with regard to marijuana," she said.
"To that end, we will introduce legislation [to legally regulate marijuana] in spring 2017 that ensures we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and the profits out of the hands of criminals. While this plan challenges the status quo in many countries, we are convinced it is the best way to protect our youth while enhancing public safety."
Canada's is a parliamentary system, which generally means that if the government introduces a bill, it becomes law. There could be unforeseen bumps in the road, but it appears all but certain that the land of the maple leaf is soon going to become the land of the pot leaf, too.
In the meantime, government officials, including legalization point man former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, are emphasizing that until the law changes, marijuana remains illegal except for medicinal purposes. After a Canadian Supreme Court decision in March, medical marijuana users will be able to grow their own, a right that was taken away by the previous Conservative government.
But within a couple of years, any adult Canadian should be able to join them.
Winnipeg Free Press, 21 Apr 2016 - POT advocates called for marijuana legalization at Wednesday's 4/20 festivities, but it could be the last time they have to. A group of weed smokers clouded up downtown and gathered at the Manitoba legislature to celebrate the herb. The usual premise of 4/20 is to encourage politicians to look into either legalizing or decriminalizing the drug, but now that Justin Trudeau is prime minister, that could change.
Prince George Citizen, 21 Apr 2016 - VANCOUVER - Stoner subculture will likely take a hit with the incoming legalization of marijuana in Canada because as the cause vanishes, so will celebration of the drug, say experts. The declaration comes as the federal government announced a spring 2017 deadline for introducing new marijuana laws and while thousands of people gathered across Canada for the annual April 20 'Weed Day' protest, also known as 4-20.
Metro, 21 Apr 2016 - The annual pot-themed gathering at the legislature had a festive vibe Wednesday, after signals on the same day from the federal government that pot could be legal as soon as next spring. Keith Fagin, head of 420 Alberta, described the government's announcement timing as "tongue in cheek," as it coincided with 420, the annual day of celebration for lovers of cannabis culture.
Toronto Star, 21 Apr 2016 - The reek assaulted the nostrils from a block away. Deep inside the Weed Wednesday - formally 420 Toronto - demonstration at Yonge-Dundas Square, averting a contact high was challenging. Not so bad as that time the Star sent me to Amsterdam, on the paper's expense account, to investigate legal pot use and it took two days to recover from my research before I was fit to file.
Toronto Star, 21 Apr 2016 - On A Day When Cannabis Culture Is Celebrated, Ottawa Announces Next Step In The March To Pot Legalization OTTAWA - As thousands of people were preparing to gather in the sunshine on the lawn of Parliament Hill for the annual celebration of cannabis culture - and smoke a little, too, in plain view of the police - the Liberal government formally announced its plans to legalize and regulate marijuana.
The Barrie Advance, 21 Apr 2016 - The first time James Dean Wolfenden had a seizure, he fell in a school hallway, cutting open his head when he smacked it on the floor. The Barrie boy had no family history of epilepsy, but he was having a massive episode in front of his Grade 6 classmates.
Globe and Mail, 21 Apr 2016 - Now that Health Minister Jane Philpott has announced that the Liberal government will introduce legislation next spring to legalize and regulate marijuana, we have a question: What happens until then? Under Canadian law, a person can be arrested and charged with a criminal offence for possessing a small amount of pot. It is also a serious crime to traffic in marijuana, or to grow it for the purpose of trafficking it.
Vancouver 24hours, 21 Apr 2016 - Thousands Gather, Celebrate Announcement Of Coming Legislation The new Sunset Beach location for the annual 420 gathering was a hit with protesters and vendors alike on Wednesday - with thousands assembling on the shores of English Bay.
Vancouver 24hours, 21 Apr 2016 - Why do pot smokers get a free pass with their illegal activity on city land? When the reefer revelers are all gathered in one place, police should round them up and fine or arrest them. Though it makes sense that policing pot is not a priority for the Vancouver Police Department, there is one day of the year they should make an exception - 420.
The Expositor, 21 Apr 2016 - The legalization of marijuana may sound like a good thing but Calvin Reese, of the Brantford Cannabis Club, is taking a wait-and-see approach to the federal government's plans. "Just wait man, just wait. It's going be just like big pharma all over again," Reese said Wednesday during the annual 4/20 pro-marijuana rally in Victoria Park.
Washington Post, 21 Apr 2016 - OTTAWA - The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it will introduce legislation next year to decriminalize and legalize the sale of marijuana, making Canada the first G7 country to permit widespread use of the substance. The announcement was made by Canada's health minister, Jane Philpott, at a U.N. drug conference in New York. It follows through on a promise made during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's successful election campaign last fall.
Porterville Recorder, 21 Apr 2016 - SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Thousands sent up a cheer and a collective plume of marijuana smoke at the stroke of 4:20 p.m. Wednesday in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. They gathered at the park's "Hippie Hill" to toke up, eat and drink the afternoon away into the night. A plane dragging a banner encouraging attendees to "smoke weed" circled overhead, while unlicensed vendors set up tables and makeshift tents to sell all types and strains of bud, not to mention T-shirts, pipes and food.
The Pretoria News, 21 Apr 2016 - A More Nuanced Stand Needed AS THE last century drew to a close, and the West continued to congratulate itself on reaching the "End of History" and the sunny triumph of liberal democracy, the UN announced a bold ambition: to secure a "drug-free world". With communism having been overcome, the cycle of economic boom and bust seemingly broken, declaring war on an illegal, global trade must have felt to some like the next step towards social nirvana.
North Coast Journal, 21 Apr 2016 - If you spent your 4/20 crumbling up buds, rolling them up in papers and puffing away, you're going the way of dinosaurs, according to industry insiders. "Nobody smokes flowers anymore," Emerald Cup founder and Mendocino marijuana entrepreneur Tim Blake dismissively told Bloomberg BusinessWeek in a recent interview, during which he estimated that concentrates - things like hash, shatter, rosin, oil, wax and honeycomb - will make up 90 percent of the legal pot market by 2030.