Canada will legalize pot, after arresting a bunch of people for pot offences first: Neil Macdonald By: Neil Macdonald - CBC NEWS OPINION - April ...
Ottawa's plans for cannabis legalization may be slowed by provinces By: Mike Hager - March 27, 2017 - Globe and Mail Ottawa’s plan to legalize ...
BY: World Cannabis - March 9, 2017 Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested last night in at the Toronto Pearson Airport on their way to ...
Despite special regulations, entrepreneurs hope to take bite of Canada's marijuana edibles market Mom and pop edible makers 'deserve a piece of legalization,' says organizer ...
Portland mayor decries 4/20 marijuana giveaway By: Marissa Bodnar - CBS 13 - April 23, 2017 PORTLAND, Maine — The mayor of Portland said he’s disappointed ...
It could be legal to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana under bill to be tabled Thursday Highly anticipated pot plans will be made ...

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How a Cannabis Expert Sneaks Weed Past the TSA

How a Cannabis Expert Sneaks Weed Past the TSA

By: Patrick Allan – Lifehacker – April 17. 2017 – Tips for flying within the US

So you’re about to hop on a plane, but you want to bring your legally acquired medical marijuana product with you on the flight. It’s a very sticky icky situation, but here’s what one expert recommends

If you’re thinking “Won’t you get in trouble?!” the answer is maybe. Marijuana is legal in a lot of places in the U.S. now, especially for medicinal purposes, and TSA doesn’t actually look for drugs—it’s not their job. There are no drug-sniffing scanners in those conveyor belt machines, and they aren’t chomping at the bit to bust you for having weed-infused honey. Their focus is on safety and finding dangerous items. Plus, the TSA has relaxed a little on the matter for a few years now, and some major airports are now even considered to be “medical marijuana-friendly.” For example, you can fly domestically within the state of California carrying eight ounces or less of medicinal marijuana or equivalent in cannabis product as long as you have a state-issued card.

That said, things can get complicated because the TSA is a federal program. Marijuana is still illegal according to federal law, no matter what a state’s laws say, and the TSA says local law is not relevant when it comes to handling such matters. They don’t treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana since federal law provides no basis for it. The whole federal vs. state law thing is a mess, but if you want to try and understand it all, Last Week Tonight had a great rundown of the situation. So what’s that mean for you, a well-to-do novice smuggler? Well, TSA may not be looking for your weed, but they might refer the matter to a law enforcement officer if they happen across it during security screening, even if you have a state-issued card. Then whatever happens is up to the responding law enforcement officer. They might confiscate the item, or possibly arrest you. This should go without saying, but try at your own risk.

If you are going to try, though, there are ways to do it right and increase your odds. Basically, you just need to make it so TSA won’t happen across it during routine checks, which is actually easier than it sounds. Over at The Cannabist, Joel Milton, the chief executive of Baker, a tech company that helps dispensaries build their brand and engage with their customers, shares his best tips:

  • Don’t bring any liquid cannabis: TSA is always on the lookout for liquids of any kind, so avoid the infused drinks and elixirs. Bringing a liquid under the 3.5 ounce limit is better, but still not ideal since they’ll be looking more closely.
  • Use odor-sealed packaging: If you’re bringing flowers, or even some edibles, keep them sealed in containers that don’t let any stink out. If they can smell it at all, you’re not getting it through. Pack it along with snacks and food items so it blends in.
  • Don’t try too hard to hide it: TSA and their machines are looking for anomalies. As Milton points out, shoving a container of it into a jar of peanut butter is going to look very suspicious on a scanner. Same goes for shoving a vape pen into the battery compartment of your laptop and other such hideaways. They’ll want to pull those things out and check them. Milton says it’s better to keep the amount very small and to hide things in plain sight.
  • Eat an edible before you fly: If you’re not comfortable flying with it on your person, just down a treat before you go through security. Just know your limits and don’t eat too much.

Milton explains he’s had his bags searched several times by TSA, usually because of an errant water bottle, but he’s had things hidden in plain sight that went overlooked. Remember, TSA are looking for very specific things. If they don’t see that stuff, they want to move things along as fast as possible.

Still, keep in mind, if it’s found by a TSA agent, things might not work out. But as long as you’re careful, not trying to smuggle a brick of it, and not flaunting it around like an idiot, there’s no reason you should have any trouble. TSA makes the final call on whether an item is allowed on the plane or not, so be smart and don’t give them a reason not to allow it.

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Marijuana legalization: How to talk about pot with kids

Marijuana legalization: How to talk about pot with kids

BY: CTV News – April 17, 2017

With the federal government unveiling a plan to legalize marijuana before July, 2018,
many parents are wondering how to talk to their kids and teens about the drug.

Should they tell their kids if they’ve tried it? Can they use it in front of them?
Or would it be better for parents to tell kids to stay away from the drug altogether?

Joanna Henderson, a clinician-scientist in the Child, Youth and Emerging Adult Program at CAMH,
the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, says parents do need to talk to their kids about marijuana,
but with three key ideas in mind.

  • Start the conversations early
  • Be honest and open
  • Model the behaviour you want to see in your kids

Studies show that Canadians are already among the highest users of marijuana in the world,
Henderson says.So it’s not surprising that most children already have some knowledge or
exposure to pot by the time they reach their teens.

“About 20 per cent of high school students… will report having used marijuana in the past year.
By the end of the high school, it’s about a third to a half, depending on where you are in Canada,”
Henderson told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.

For that reason, she says, it’s important to talk to kids about marijuana when they’re young,
before their friends and peers influence their views, because too often,
parents wait too long to have those talks.

At the same time, parents need to reflect on the messages their own behaviour
sends about alcohol and drugs.

“It’s important to remember that, from the earliest ages, parents are teaching
their kids about substance use.
Whether it’s alcohol or marijuana, they model their attitudes through what they do and
what they say,” she said.

“So the first thing is for parents to think about their own attitudes and behaviours.”

When it comes time to actually talking about drugs, Henderson says the best approach
is an honest one in which parents acknowledge the realities and risks of the drug,
just as they would do with alcohol.

“We really want parents to think about being balanced in their approach,” she said.

To read the entire article click here



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Justice Minister defends proposed 14-year maximum sentence for providing cannabis to minors

Justice Minister defends proposed 14-year maximum sentence for providing cannabis to minors

By: Bill Curry – Globe and Mail – April 16, 2017

A prison sentence of up to 14 years for providing cannabis to youth is shaping up as one of the early points of contention as the Liberal government prepares to defend its landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, makes clear in its opening passages that the main purpose of the legislation is to prevent young people from accessing cannabis.

Those opening statements are backed up with stiff penalties, including imprisonment for up to 14 years for providing marijuana to someone 17 or under.

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould defended that provision during an interview with CTV’s Question Period, which aired Sunday.

“We want to ensure when we legalize cannabis in this country that we keep it out of the hands of kids and do everything that we can in order to make that happen,” said Ms. Wilson-Raybould. “I am not going to apologize for the strict penalties that we’ve put in place in this legislation.”

The penalties for providing marijuana to a minor would be much more severe than those currently in place in relation to alcohol. In Ontario, for instance, the sale of alcohol to a minor carries a maximum sentence of one year.

In the state of Colorado, where legal marijuana stores have been operating since Jan. 1, 2014, selling alcohol to minors is treated as a misdemeanour offence in a similar way to Ontario.

For marijuana, only individuals aged 21 or older are allowed to buy or possess cannabis products in Colorado. As it relates to providing marijuana to minors, the state set four levels of offences based on the quantity of product as well as whether or not the minor is more than two years younger than the adult. The potential sentences range from six months to 32 years.

Craig Jones, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada (NORML Canada), said the penalties in the Canadian bill for providing marijuana to someone 17 or under simply don’t make sense.

Mr. Jones said it would be highly unlikely that a judge would impose such a penalty. He also said groups like his would challenge the provision in court as unreasonable.

“For the last 50-odd years, governments have put out this scenario of this trenchcoat-wearing, fedora-clad stranger hovering around the perimeter of schoolyards selling drugs of all kinds to children,” he said. “But the truth is that most kids who acquire cannabis get it from their siblings or a friend a couple of lockers down the hallway. I just can’t envision a scenario in which a judge thinks that a 14-year sentence is applicable to what is probably, in most cases, a first offender. It just struck me as a kind of ridiculous thing that will get amended in committee review.”

The government tabled the 144-page bill on Thursday before the House of Commons rose for a two-week recess. The government also tabled a related bill, C-46, that updates impaired driving laws.

Conservative Senator Vern White, the former chief of police in Ottawa, said he’s not concerned by the 14-year maximum sentence. He said that because there is no mandatory minimum sentence, judges will use their discretion.

“I’m fine with it because really it’s [for] an extreme case,” he said. “I think judges will take into account the age difference, whether or not they were friends, whether the buyer was a frequent buyer. All that kind of stuff is still going to be considered.”

Other offences currently in the Criminal Code that carry maximum 14-year sentences include producing child pornography, attempting to leave Canada to commit terrorism and aggravated assault of a peace officer.

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~~~MISSING CANNAVAN~~~ $420 REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO RECOVERY



By: World Cannabis – April 15, 2017

~~~$420 REWARD~~~ FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE RECOVERY OF THE CANNAVAN

Yesterday afternoon, April 14, World Cannabis had its Cannavan stolen near 134th St. and 72nd Ave in Surrey, BC.
The van is very distinctive with large World Cannabis logos and a large satellite dish on the roof. It had all of the World Cannabis protest equipment inside.

There is a $420 reward for any information leading to the recovery of the van and its contents.

PLEASE CALL 911 AND/OR 604-512-4151 TO REPORT SIGHTINGS.

 



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Scowly Liberals legalize the demon weed

Scowly Liberals legalize the demon weed

If marijuana is so dangerous, as the Liberals keep saying over and over again, why is the government seeking to make its recreational use by adults easier?

BY: Paul Wells – Macleans – April 13, 2017

 

And now, an edited but faithful reproduction of the background documents the Liberals released with their marijuana bill on Thursday:

“…strictly… strictly… restrict… strict… significant penalties… strictly… zero tolerance… dangers… restrict… strictly… restrict… stop criminals… strictly… restrict… punish more severely… tougher… deaths and accidents… risk every day… dangers… punish more severely… oral fluid.”

This sets a certain tone.

After reporters were given a few minutes to read the bill, federal officials from, mostly, the Health department were ushered into the National Press Theatre to brief us. One began talking. “What’s your name?” a few reporters asked. The official’s eyes bugged out in terror.

My colleagues reassured him that we would not quote him in print, an assurance that is standard practice in these so-called technical briefings. “We’ve done this before,” one said.

Thus reassured, the official and his colleagues began laying out the details of the pot law, which sets a minimum age for marijuana sales (18 years) and allows for provinces to increase that minimum; caps the number of plants per household at four and the legal height at one metre; and radically increase criminal penalties for providing cannabis to children and for driving while impaired.

Then the nameless officials filed out and the cabinet ministers, whom we could feel free to quote, filed in. Jane Philpott from Health, Jody Wilson-Raybould from Justice, Ralph Goodale from Central Casting, and Diane Lebouthillier from Unilingual Francophones.

Perhaps you will find that last joke a little harsh, but Lebouthillier was quick to correct anyone who thought she might be there as Minister of Revenue: the bill does not provide for any tax on the sale of cannabis. She was there as “a social worker by training,” and as a former secondary-school teacher from the Gaspé, where, she informed us sadly, it was easier for too many of her students to get their hands on a reefer of the marihuana than on a cigarette.

The ministers proceeded to lament the scourge of pot. They were led by their not-quite-ministerial colleague Bill Blair, the former Toronto Police Chief who has, in his capacity as a parliamentary secretary with special responsibility for not even remotely messing around, criss-crossed the country looking increasingly stern about this whole pot business. “Today is an important day,” Blair said. All of his career, he’s been trying to protect children. Today was another child-protecting day. “It is not our intent to promote the use of this drug,” he said, sternly. No kidding.

Goodale at one point sputtered as he tried to find a word for cannabis in the context of its potential transport across international borders: “This — this — this — ” he said, making helpless massing gestures with his hands in front of his face. “This product,” he managed at last.

Blair said the goal of the legislation was to ensure that henceforth, nobody could get marijuana from “some gangster in a stairwell.” This suggested that the situation has indeed deteriorated since my high-school days, when my more louche classmates were unable to locate a gangster in any stairwell and had to resort to getting their weed from so-and-so’s big brother.

The news conference was well-attended and the ministers’ time finite, so the event ended before I was able to ask my question. It would have been this: If marijuana is so dangerous — to children, to road safety, at the border and as a driver of organized crime — why is the government seeking to make its recreational use by adults easier?

Put another way: Given the Liberals’ body language, the plain meaning of their bill, and every single element of their discourse since 2016, the only part of this bill that makes no sense is the legalization part. They could strictly crack down on all the other dangers and everyday risks, with zero tolerance and harsh penalties up the wazoo, without legalizing anything. And since not one of them said anything resembling “this is a great day for personal freedom and the right of adults to exercise choice responsibly,” I honestly do not understand why they are legalizing anything.

Let’s take it a step further. I believe the only reason the Liberals have tabled this bill is that they promised to, and that they are getting a little heavily-subscribed on broken campaign promises in other domains. I believe everything from Blair’s appointment on forward is an expression of contrition for ever opening up this mess. I believe this bill, once passed, will radically increase the amount of police time devoted to measuring the height of plants, policing stairwells for gangsters, administering saliva tests at roadsides, and otherwise fretting over the demon weed. And proportionately less time doing other police work.

Which means this is the first time I’ve ever seen a government deliver on a campaign promise while flip-flopping on the policy question at hand.

It’s usually at about this point that Liberals get all huffy and say, “We always campaigned on tighter regulation. We never meant to make it easier for kids to get marijuana.” Well, sort of.  Here’s the policy resolution that made pot legalization Liberal policy in 2013. And indeed it says regulation blah blah blah children blah blah. But it also proposes an amnesty for people previously convicted of  simple possession—a sure sign that the goal of the original proposal was to increase freedom, not further limit it.

I think this bill spends so much time apologizing for its own existence that it is not at all clear why anyone would seek to operate within its regime of hard-to-procure, weak product, served with a scowl, instead of continuing to operate within the black market. If this bill becomes law, the overwhelming majority of marijuana sold and consumed in Canada will continue to be sold and consumed illegally. Not a great day at the office for rooms full of ministers and public servants. Campaign promises aren’t cheap, as those who make them eventually figure out.

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Three questions (so far) on the marijuana bill

Three questions (so far) on the marijuana bill

By: Tyler Dawson – Ottawa Citizen Editorial Road  – April 13, 2017

The Liberal government’s pot legislation looks like a hand-drawn roadmap of how marijuana will be legalized, instead of the efficient GPS system it should be.

It offers tougher criminal penalties in some cases. It expands some police powers. It downloads a lot of responsibility on to provinces and municipalities. Yet it doesn’t address important aspects of legalization.

In short, legislators know what they want to do: protect children and reduce illegal sales of pot. How they’re going to do it, well, details are either hazy, missing or highly debatable. Here are three outstanding issues:

Civil liberties

This bill ought to be a victory for civil liberties, but it slips in an important challenge to them by attempting an overhaul of impaired driving protocols. It eliminates the need for a police officer to be reasonably suspicious that a driver has been drinking before making the person take a breath test. (Currently, while an officer can pull you over for any reason, he or she has to have some grounds for alcohol testing.)

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she’s confident this change is constitutional. But the measure is particularly troubling considering that, in many cities, racial minorities are pulled over disproportionately.

Meanwhile, the bill doesn’t lock down the scientific question of true drug impairment, though it talks about penalties corresponding to various THC levels found through saliva tests.

Pricing

In order to eliminate the black market, the price of legal marijuana must be low enough to undercut the sale of illegal cannabis. Yet the government had little to say Thursday about the tax structure it proposes. This will be explained, it said, “in months ahead.” So the Liberals are offering essentially no information on one of the most important aspects of legal pot sales.

Regulation vs. legislation

The government plans to roll out other important details through regulation, rather than legislation. This was their answer to questions around packaging, labelling and marketing of legal cannabis. Bill C-45 gives the government the power to regulate this.

So we know that while the legislation will prohibit packaging that’s appealing to youth, no one can yet say whether that means plain packaging, or some colours, or what. The government did manage to say cannabis won’t be sold through vending machines.

There are other big questions. Hopefully, one day, the haze will clear.
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Weed around the world: what legal marijuana looks like in other countries

Weed around the world: what legal marijuana looks like in other countries

BY:   – 

Canada is on track to become the second country in the world to legalize the consumption and sale of recreational marijuana, after Uruguay made the big leap in 2014.

On Thursday, the Liberal government introduced its Cannabis Act, which allows people aged 18 and over to purchase and consume marijuana.

Much like alcohol, many of the nuts and bolts of legislation will be left to the provinces, who will be able to raise the minimum age if they so wish, and will be required to implement a retail system.

The Trudeau government also plans to punish people for driving under the influence of marijuana, selling it to minors and importing or exporting it without a government permit.

Here’s a look at some other countries that have either legalized, decriminalized or simply chosen to tolerate recreational marijuana.

Uruguay

In 2014, Uruguay became the first country to comprehensively legalize the production, sale and consumption of recreational marijuana, Reuters reported.

The South American country allows adults to buy up to 40 grams of marijuana every month from approved pharmacies. Cannabis users must first register with authorities and have their purchases tracked.

Registered pot users can even set up smoking clubs of anywhere from 15 to 45 people to grow marijuana with other enthusiasts. These cannabis cooperatives can plant up to 99 plants in the same space.

While Canada’s government is said to be eyeing the millions and possible billions in tax revenue to be obtained through marijuana, Uruguay exempts cannabis from taxes otherwise imposed on agricultural products, only mandating a value-added tax for sale.

Commercial growers are charged a fee, but this measure intends “to keep the price competitive with the black market, not to maximize state income,” according to a Brookings Institute report.

The Netherlands

You could be forgiven for thinking that marijuana is legal in Amsterdam, one of the world’s most well-known tourism destinations for pot smokers.

But it’s not. Rather, it’s tolerated.

The possession and sale of small amounts of pot — up to 5 grams — has been decriminalized in the country for just over 40 years, according to the research publication Crime and Justice.

However, cultivation of the plants is illegal. This means the country’s famous coffee shops can legally sell marijuana to customers, but owners have to source their product from criminal elements, Dutchnews.nl reports.

It’s a legal grey zone that some Dutch lawmakers are trying to clear up. In February, the country’s lower house of parliament narrowly voted in favour of establishing a system of legalized, state-approved commercial growers, the BBC reported.

However, the results of the country’s recent election mean the lower house of parliament no longer has a pro-cannabis majority.

For that reason, it may be some time yet before proprietors of Amsterdam’s coffee shops can source their marijuana legally, rather than awkwardly procure weed from illegal growers while authorities look the other way.

Spain

The sale of marijuana is technically illegal in Spain, but the country is home to hundreds of cannabis clubs, according to a blog post by Nadja Vietz of the international law firm Harris Bricken.

Legally speaking, cannabis clubs operate as collectives where people can consume marijuana on the club’s property, and only a certain amount. Members technically pay to own a part of the club, rather than to buy marijuana, allowing them to evade punishment for selling marijuana.

A staff member recommends different strains of marijuana to a member of a cannabis club in Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 22, 2014.

A staff member recommends different strains of marijuana to a member of a cannabis club in Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 22, 2014.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Private consumption of marijuana is permitted while public consumption remains outlawed. But as Vietz writes, and as anyone who has walked the streets of Barcelona on a weekend night can attest, public consumption this isn’t a major enforcement priority for police.

Unlike Canada, however, Spain doesn’t have a medical marijuana regimen in place. According to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Certification Clinic, Spanish doctors cannot prescribe medical marijuana, so patients who use pot for medical purposes turn to the same cannabis clubs frequented by recreational users.

Portugal

In 2001, Spain’s next-door neighbour Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize the use of all drugs.

The measure was not found to result in an increase in cannabis use by young people or any further attendant problems for law enforcement, according to a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

The report emphasizes that Portugal’s decriminalizing of drug use was part of a broader effort to tackle drugs — particularly hard drugs like heroin — as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. It said the Portuguese model “might in fact be best described as being a public health policy founded on values such as humanism, pragmatism and participation.”

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How to legalize marijuana, without ever saying ‘marijuana’

How to legalize marijuana, without ever saying ‘marijuana’

What’s in a name? Why Liberal ministers stuck to a script on pot

By David Cochrane – CBC News – April 14, 2017

There is a superstition in the acting world that William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is cursed, so actors avoid saying its name inside a theatre to avoid bad luck.

They refer to it instead as “the Scottish play.”

On Thursday, you would have been forgiven if you thought there was a similar superstition around speaking the word “marijuana” in the National Press Theatre.

Four cabinet ministers and the parliamentary secretary who has headed up the government’s marijuana legalization efforts spent close to an hour taking questions and outlining their plan to legalize and regulate marijuana without ever uttering the word.

They referred to it instead as “cannabis.” Forty-five times, in fact.

They were asked questions that used the word “marijuana.” They were asked questions that used the word “pot.” But in each and every answer, the ministers pivoted to the word “cannabis” with a level of discipline that suggested intent.

One might have developed the impression the government was dancing away from the word “marijuana” on the day it made good on its promise to table marijuana legislation.

As it turns out, that was the case.

‘Parochial words’

“Cannabis is the term that the (federal) task force used. We are moving away from ‘marijuana,’ which seems to be a more parochial word that is used in terms of cannabis,” Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told CBC Radio’s The House.

The government has freely used the word “marijuana” in the debate around this public policy choice. As recently as April 11, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used it in question period — even throwing in a “joint” for good measure.

“We are legalizing and controlling the sale of marijuana with two goals in mind,” Trudeau told the House of Commons. “First is protecting our young people from the easy access they have to marijuana right now. It is easier for a teenager to buy a joint than a bottle of beer.”

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LIVE UPDATES: Liberals unveil pot legislation

LIVE UPDATES: Liberals unveil pot legislation

By: Kristy Kirkup – The Canadian Press – CTV News – April 13, 2017

OTTAWA — Adults 18 and older will be able to legally buy and cultivate small amounts of marijuana for personal use, while selling the drug to a minor will become a serious new criminal offence under the federal Liberal government’s proposed new legal-pot regime.

A suite of legislation introduced Thursday would, once passed, establish a “strict legal framework” for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot, and make it against the law to sell cannabis to youth or use a young person to commit a cannabis-related crime.e law as it stands today has been  an abject failure,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told a news conference.

“Police forces spend between $2 billion and $3 billion every year trying to deal with cannabis, and yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world … we simply have to do better.”

The new law would allow adults 18 and over to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.

They would also be permitted to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use, as well as make legal cannabis-containing products at home.

The government says it intends to bring other products, including pot-infused edibles, into the legalized sphere once federal regulations for production and sale are developed and brought into force.

“The current system of prohibition is failing our kids,” said Liberal MP Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief and the government’s point man on the legalized-marijuana file.

The plan is to have a legalized-pot system in place by the end of June 2018, he added.

“We have a responsibility to act as expeditiously as we can … we can’t drag our feet; we aspire to get this done as quickly as possible.”

Under the proposed Cannabis Act, it would remain illegal to import cannabis and cannabis products, and to export them without a valid permit. Permits may be issued for certain purposes, such as medical cannabis and industrial hemp.

It would also be against the law to sell cannabis in a package or with a label that could be construed as appealing to young people, to include testimonials or endorsements, or to depict a person, character or animal.

The government also aims to establish “significant penalties” for those who engage young Canadians in “cannabis-related offences” and a “zero-tolerance approach” to drug-impaired driving, along with a “robust” public awareness campaign.

The RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency plan to work together, along with local police, to uphold laws governing illegal cross-border movement of cannabis.

Goodale made a point of noting the existing laws remain in effect until the new legislation is formally proclaimed the law of the land.

“As the bill moves through the legislative process, existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected,” he said.

“This must be an orderly transition; it is not a free for all.”

Provinces, territories and municipalities would be able to tailor rules for their own jurisdictions, enforcing them through mechanisms such as ticketing.

They will also be permitted to set their own licensing, distribution and retail sales rules, establish provincial zoning rules for cannabis businesses and change provincial traffic safety laws as they deem necessary.

Philpott says criminalizing cannabis has not deterred use among young people, noting products like alcohol and tobacco are legally available with restrictions.

Once passed, the Liberal bills introduced today would make Canada the first member of the G7 to legalize marijuana for recreational use across the country.

 

UPDATE – 10:57am

Next Q on obstacles in Parliament, and whether a July 1, 2018 deadline is reasonable. Philpott says they hope MPs and senators will work collaboratively with them to move the legislation through. As for provincial regimes, Philpott says she expects differences between the provinces and territories. Some are ready, have already started discussions, while others are waiting a bit.

 

UPDATE – 10:52am

On price determination – that’s an ongoing discussion, Blair says. Will there be GST on it?
Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier says they’re still working it. The next 15 months will serve to determine everything to do with taxation. (BTW, she had the funniest reaction the other day when reporters asked her if she’s ever smoked pot…the first time, she just grinned and kept walking. The second time, she noted she did a social studies degree in the 1970s, and said reporters could figure it out on their own).

UPDATE – 10:49am

Wilson-Raybould says she’s confident of the justifiability of the bill. McGregor asks about minority communities, who are often pulled over more than white drivers. Wilson-Raybould doesn’t specifically answer that but talks about roadside tests.

UPDATE

CTV’s Glen McGregor asks if the breath check is Charter-compliant. Wilson-Raybould says if this bill passes, it will be one of the strongest pieces of impaired driving legislation in the world. She says, as with all justice bills, she’ll table a statement about Charter compliance. (Justice lawyers review new legislation for Charter compliance).

UPDATE

Should people lie at the border? Reporter says Goodale’s last answer wasn’t very reassuring.
Goodale says nobody should lie at the border – everyone is obliged to tell the truth. But the fact of the matter is, he says, every country can decide who it lets in. He points out a number of U.S. states have already legalized cannabis or are in the process of doing so – says they can make the argument to Americans that if Canada manages to slow organized crime, it’s the better system.

UPDATE

What if the provinces don’t agree to play along? Blair talks about organized crime and says there’s a wide acknowledgement among the provinces that this will make communities safer. Says he’s confident they can reach a reasonable resolution with the provinces.

Wilson-Raybould says the bill lets the provinces and territories reflect their own situations.

UPDATE

Q on variety of producers – will they all be big companies, aside from people growing their four plants? Philpott says Health Canada has a robust regulatory framework – the best system in the world, for which other countries visit us to see it. She says they’re putting in place the ability to expand the number of companies. The current 41 licensed producers for medical marijuana are all small businesses, she says. But that seems to ignore that several are owned by the same company.

 UPDATE
Q: what is in this legislation to stop a dealer from pushing pot to kids? Blair wants to take this question. He says the bill creates a “very serious” new offence for trafficking cannabis to youth: a maximum 14-year sentence.

UPDATE

Asked about users trying to cross the border, Goodale says every sovereign country has the right to control who gets in. He says he expects people not to be treated in a capricious way at the U.S. border.

UPDATE

Blair says every jurisdiction that has legalized has focused on maximizing revenue, but the Canadian focus is a public health framework – reducing possible harms. He says that should help Canada avoid the pitfalls others have run into.

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Cannabis Culture stores remain open across Canada despite Toronto closures

Cannabis Culture stores remain open across Canada despite Toronto closures

A statement from Jeremiah Vandermeer, Cannabis Culture’s chief of operations, and the magazine’s editor-in-chief

By: Jeremiah Vandermeer – April 12, 2017 – Toronto Now

CANNABIS CULTURE – They arrest our staff and leaders. They raid our stores and lounges to steal and destroy our property. They try to kill what our company represents and erase our existence – but no army, politician or police force can stop an idea whose time has come.

I am sad to announce that all of our Cannabis Culture locations in Toronto and Hamilton have been forced to close their doors. Unfortunately, repeated raids, arrests, and threats to our landlords by authorities in Ontario have made it impossible for us to remain there until the laws have changed.

However, all of our Cannabis Culture stores outside of Toronto and Hamilton remain open for business!

The arrest of Jodie Emery – Cannabis Culture’s Chief Executive Officer – and the rest of the CC Five has been a hard hit for us. Jodie and Marc have been forced to remove themselves from the company due to restrictive bail conditions set by the Toronto police.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, despite his promise to reform our cannabis laws, continues to destroy the lives of our citizens by waging an unscientific and disastrous drug war. Alarmingly, the government has promised to increase criminal enforcement of marijuana restrictions even after “legalization” .

Cannabis Culture lives on and will maintain our quest for real marijuana legalization.

We will continue to stand up and fight for the decriminalization of our cannabis community at home and abroad – a peaceful community that has existed internationally for decades, flourishing in business and culture despite the risk of stigmatization and imprisonment.

We will likewise continue to speak out against increasing attempts to hijack and monopolize the budding legal cannabis industry and lobbying efforts by stock market marijuana companies to criminalize their competitors.

Activists and medical patients have fought for years to reform draconian drug laws, and have made major gains by winning cases and overturning bad laws in the Canadian courts. Canada’s Licensed Marijuana Producers now profit heavily thanks to the work activists have done for years in opening the doors to reform. Sadly, many of these companies seek to close the door behind them now that they have made it through the regulatory crack.

Started by Marc Emery over 20 years ago, Cannabis Culture has engaged in civil disobedience by breaking unjust laws and setting an example of what real, all-inclusive cannabis legalization should look like at our head shops, lounges and dispensaries – and we won’t stop until peaceful pot-lovers are truly free.
To read the original statement click here



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