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CN ON: PUB LTE: Treat Marijuana Like Smokes, Booze

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 23 Mar 2015 - Re: Let the cops ticket tokers, Editorial March 10 In 2002, a nonpartisan Senate committee released a four-volume report in which it unanimously and unambiguously recommended that cannabis be legally regulated in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco. The committee explicitly warned against a ticket and fine regime, citing jurisdictions that have tried it. Civil penalties lower the threshold and "widen the net" for enforcement. Where before the police would turn a blind eye or seize the cannabis and merely warn the possessor, they instead would issue a ticket. In Australia, because failure to pay is a criminal offence, more offenders were criminalized after the ticketing system was implemented. Giving the police more discretion exacerbates existing geographic and demographic enforcement disparities, which are already disproportionately skewed toward the lower classes and visible minorities. While a few hundred dollars might represent a fancy meal to a police chief or a newspaper editor, it might represent the grocery or electricity bill to a struggling single parent. It has been over a decade since the Senate made its recommendations and more than four decades since the Le Dain Commission and the Shafer Commission. The futility, crime, costs and damage caused by cannabis prohibition are well understood. Legal regulation is long overdue.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: LTE: Don't Treat Marijuana Like Smokes, Booze

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 23 Mar 2015 - Re: Let the cops ticket tokers, Editorial March 10 What the supporters of decriminalization don't discuss is the direct connection between dropout rates and pot use. Studies have linked the use of pot in youth to an irreversible decline in IQ, memory, and other neuropsychological abilities. In distinct and individual diagnoses there are positive uses, but as a recreational drug, marijuana is far more harmful than helpful. Obviously the government would put an age restriction on the use of marijuana if it was legalized for recreational use, but I have seen as a young student that this method isn't foolproof for alcohol, so who would think it would be infallible for a drug that can cause severe, permanent damage? I don't think marijuana should be legalized for recreational use. It would not have a positive benefit for society.
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Chronicle AM: DEA "Cold Consent" Searches, NYC Calls for Pot Legalization, KY Heroin Bills Collide, More (3/20/15)

Canada (STDW) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 22:41

An Ohio legalization initiative heads for signature-gathering, the NYC city council calls for decrim and legalization, the DEA's "cold consent" searches get critiqued, Kentucky pols can't agree on how to deal with heroin, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana

Louisiana Legalization Bill Pre-Filed. State Rep. Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge) has pre-filed a marijuana legalization bill. He submitted House Bill 117 yesterday. To go into effect, it would have to both pass the legislature and be approved by the electorate in the November 2016 election. Louisiana has some of the country's harshest marijuana laws.

Ohio Ballot Board Clears ResponsibleOhio Legalization Initiative. Backers of the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative have cleared the final hurdle before beginning signature-gathering. The state Ballot Board agreed that the proposal amounts to a single constitutional amendment, so it's good to go. Backers will now need to gather more than 300,000 signatures by July to qualify for the ballot. The amendment would allow only 10 growing sites already promised to investors.

NYC City Council Calls for Decriminalizing and Legalizing Marijuana. This week, the New York City Council called for the state to pass legislation to both decriminalize and to tax and regulate marijuana. As part of the Council's State Budget and Legislative Agenda for the 2015-2016 legislative session, the council urged the state legislature to pass two marijuana policy reforms -- the Fairness and Equity Act and the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA). The Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito had previously announced her support for marijuana legalization in November, but this marks the first time that decriminalization and legalization have been part of the Council's official legislative agenda.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 1 yesterday. The measure has passed the House and now heads for a Senate floor vote.

Methamphetamine

New York Senate Approves Bill to Increase Meth Penalties. The Senate has passed Senate Bill 1150, which would increase penalties for meth possession and sale. Meth would be treated similarly to heroin and cocaine under the bill. The bill is now in the Assembly Codes Committee as Assembly Bill 5577.

Opiates

Kentucky Legislators Still Can't Agree on Heroin Bills. House and Senate negotiators met yesterday to try to reach a compromise on competing bills that address heroin use in the state, but mainly agreed to disagree. There are differences over increasing penalties for heroin dealers, whether to allow needle exchanges, and on how to protect people who report overdoses. There is now a chance legislators could agree on a compromise that simply omits the sentencing and overdose reporting provisions.

Asset Forfeiture

Sen. Chuck Grassley Investigating Asset Forfeiture Abuses in US Marshals Service. The Iowa Republican sent a letter Wednesday to the agency demanding documents after he received whistleblower allegations that the service's Asset Forfeiture Division had used asset forfeiture monies "to purchase extravagant office decorations such as custom wall paper and window treatments." He is also looking into allegations of favoritism in hiring at the agency.

Law Enforcement

Justice Department Report Criticizes DEA's "Cold Consent" Searches. In a new report, the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General details how the DEA's use of "cold consent" searches, where agents confront travelers at airports, bus, and rail stations and "ask" for consent to search them, may be racially profiling passengers and unjustly seizing their money. Click on the title link or read the report for lots more detail.

Reentry and Rehabilitation

Ex-Felon Federal Voting Rights Bills Filed. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has filed S 772 to secure the federal voting rights of people who have served their time. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has filed a companion bill, HR 1459, in the House.

Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up More Cosponsors. The Senate version, S 502, now has nine cosponsors, with the latest being Sen. John Isaakson (R-GA). The House version, HR 920, now has 22 cosponsors, with six signing on in the past week. The bills would retroactively apply provisions of the Fair Sentencing Act and would reduce mandatory minimum sentences.

International

Canada Supreme Court Takes Up Medical Marijuana Edibles. The high court is hearing a case where plaintiffs charge that Health Canada violated medical marijuana patients' constitutional rights to life, liberty, and safety by barring any form of marijuana except dried plants. The government has lost at every step of the legal process so far, but continues to argue the case.

Zambia Opposition Party Joins Green Call for Marijuana Legalization. Zambia's second largest opposition party, the United Party for National Development, has joined the Greens in calling for the legalization of marijuana cultivation. "There is nothing wrong with cannabis. Just like you and me 'dear reader' Cannabis Sativa, the plant, was also created by God," wrote party vice-president for political affairs Canisius Banda. "Cannabis is a resource. Cannabis must be decriminalized the world over. Nonetheless, regulation, albeit wise, just as it exists for many other things ought to remain. Just like Zambia boasts of Copper, California boasts of Cannabis, the biggest cash crop, responsible for US$14 billion a year in sales. Zambia would do well, under decriminalized but controlled conditions, to start growing Cannabis, and at least, for now until we are a bit more civilized, only for export to countries that have made it legal."

Categories: Canada

CN BC: Compassion Club Licensed In Gibsons, Second Dispensary Denied

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
Coast Reporter, 20 Mar 2015 - The Town of Gibsons has issued a business licence for a compassion club, but the operators say no cannabis products will be sold on site - - at least for now. "We do plan to eventually become a dispensary, but you know the controversy surrounding that," Rainforest Compassion Club co-owner Rod McEwan said Tuesday.
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CN BC: MP Discusses Recent Events, Statements

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
Cranbrook Daily Townsman, 20 Mar 2015 - It's not everyday that a federal Cabinet minister comes to town. However, Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks has been trying to get James Moore out to Cranbrook for the last year. "I think he was well received and it was great to have him out and about," said Wilks, who spent the day with Moore meeting with different groups all day, including addressing members of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce for lunch on Wednesday.
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CN BC: Mp Discusses Recent Events, Statements

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
Kimberley Daily Bulletin, 20 Mar 2015 - It's not everyday that a federal Cabinet minister comes to town. However, Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks has been trying to get James Moore out to Cranbrook for the last year. "I think he was well received and it was great to have him out and about," said Wilks, who spent the day with Moore meeting with different groups all day, including addressing members of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce for lunch on Wednesday.
Categories: Canada

CN MB: Judge Clears Police In Battering-ram Drug Bust

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 20 Mar 2015 - A Winnipeg drug dealer who claims his rights were violated when police tactical team members used "Wild West" tactics to storm into his Fort Rouge home with a battering ram, flash bang and high-powered weaponry, lost his bid for freedom Thursday. Queen's Bench Justice Herbert Rempel ruled police acted properly and within their mandate in the case of Christopher Li.
Categories: Canada

CN BC: PUB LTE: It Makes No Sense

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
The Chief, 19 Mar 2015 - I am writing to express my dismay at the Squamish RCMP's attempt to halt legal and regulated sales of marijuana and cannabis derivatives from Mr. Bryan Raiser's small business. These efforts seem highly counterintuitive and illinformed. I doubt that the RCMP's move stems from ignorance of the proven therapeutic benefits of THC in the treatment of pain, chemotherapy side effects, neurodegenerative diseases, IBS and anxiety, as by now this is common knowledge (Schicho and Storr 2011, Sagar et al. 2009, Grimaldi and Capasso 2011, Hill et al. 2009, Piscitelli and Di Marzo 2012). As far as the pot legalization issue goes, political considerations trump scientific evidence.
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CN BC: Grower Gets Some Sympathy

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Kamloops This Week, 19 Mar 2015 - But, Judge Says Pot Plants Don't Need to Be Returned A provincial court judge has criticized a "bureaucratic bungle" created by the Conservative government and Health Canada when the country's medical marijuana rules were changed.
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CN BC: Dispensary Plans To Stay Open

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
The Chief, 19 Mar 2015 - Bryan Raiser said he's encouraged by Squamish council support Today is the day. The RCMP told Bryan Raiser that he had to close his medical marijuana dispensary by Thursday, March 19.
Categories: Canada

CN BC: 'Prohibition' On Drugs Doesn't Work

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 19 Mar 2015 - An unlikely expert says narcotics and addiction must be considered health issues, not criminal issues Bruce Haden is an award-winning Vancouver-based architect. On Wednesday, he spoke at the TED conference - not about architecture or urban design, but about drug policy. He called for a move away from controlling drug use by making it illegal, and moving to a different system of regulation.
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CN ON: Column: Insurance Objections Go Up In Smoke

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 19 Mar 2015 - And so the levee breaks. The man to break it is called Jonathon Zaid. A student at the University of Waterloo. Anearnest, likeable young man with an almost unbelievable story to tell. Although we always knew the person who would break the medicinal-marijuana-insurance-levee would have those qualities.
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CN BC: LTE: Warning: Medical Marijuana Coming

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Parksville Qualicum Beach News, 19 Mar 2015 - We are amazed and frankly concerned about the apparent lack of opposition to the potential medical marijuana production facility on Tuan Road in Parksville. A medical marijuana facility already exists in Nanaimo, in the Duke Point industrial complex. Why would it be necessary to build a similar factory when one exists only 45 km from Parksville?
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CN BC: Kamloops Physician Ian Mitchell Explains How Cannabis

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 18 Mar 2015 - Dr. Ian Mitchell says that in an ideal world, physicians would learn about the medicinal properties of cannabis in medical school. Doctors would be trained about different extracts from marijuana plants, including cannabidiol, aka CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC. But the Kamloops emergency-room physician tells the Georgia Straight by phone that the vast majority of doctors haven't been educated in this area.
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CN BC: Corporations Move In On Canada's Medicinal Cannabis Industry

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 18 Mar 2015 - As a result of policy changes introduced by the Conservative government, corporations are taking over medicinal cannabis, concentrating business in the hands of people with ties to Big Pharma. One morning in February, Nanaimo councillors and business leaders met in an industrial area about 20 minutes from the city's downtown.
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CN NS: OPED: The True Face Of Addiction

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The News, 18 Mar 2015 - The face of addiction looks significantly different from that portrayed in popular media. Depictions of 'out of control' alcohol and drug users, persuaded into engaging in these risky behaviours for selfish purposes, taints our understanding of what addiction really is. The reality is that one in five Canadians experience addiction problems, yet very few actively seek assistance in coping with their addiction.
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CN BC: Recovery From 'Disenfranchised' Grief

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The Tri-Cities Now, 18 Mar 2015 - Mom Starts First Canadian Chapter of Support Group for Those Grieving a Death Due to Drugs Jennifer Woodside has already been through the worst day of her life. It was April 4, 2014, when her 21-year-old son Dylan went to sleep and never woke up.
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CN BC: Editorial: Medical Pot An Opportunity

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 18 Mar 2015 - Normally, amendments to the city's zoning bylaws are just passed with no debate or discussions by the time they make their way to the city council table. Any discussion needed has already happened, staff has given their input, mayor and councillors have had their questions answered, so it's on to the next thing. But you throw in some marijuana and things get stupid fast.
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Canada: Court Ruling Could Send Odorous Private Grow-Ops Up In

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 18 Mar 2015 - There were days when David Kralik would arrive at his landscaping and snow-removal business in Mississauga and stay just a few minutes - the heady odour of marijuana from the grow-op next door was too powerful. "You open the door to come in, go into my office, and I just sit down, fire up the computer and - " He lets out an expletive. "And you just leave. It's that bad."
Categories: Canada

CN ON: PUB LTE: Reform Pot Laws

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 16 Mar 2015 - Suppose I described a country with laws that lined the pockets of criminals - laws that punished the poor and prevented the sick from getting their medicine. A country where police had virtually absolute discretion to enforce those laws, and used it so that a nice young white person is likely to escape with a wink and a nod, and a nice young black person - well, let's just say they won't escape at all.
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