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Current Affairs 2006 - Reform (37 items)

Dec 14, 2006 Canadian Weed Board Will Need A Bigger Cafeteria Eureka! Get this: The Canadian Weed Board.

Eh? Eh?

The column is now open for questions.

Yes, you, Q, you have a question?

Q: Just five. What? Why? Where? When? And, in particular, insofar as it certainly bears repeating: WHAT?!

A: Exactly as stated. Parliament passes legislation not to abolish, not to weaken, but to preserve forever the Canadian Wheat Board, on two conditions: 1 ) instead of a soft "Wh..." and an "...e-t," a hard "W.." and an "...e-d," a virtual homonym, and 2 ) instead of selling grain, the marketing monopoly moves exclusively into cannabis, marijuana, goof grass, spliff, mary jane, dope, jazzleaf. Everybody wins. The Canadian Whe..er, Weed Board gets to keeps its existence as a 500-employee federal bureaucracy. Farmers, released from historic board restrictions and obligations, gain the freedom to sell their grain to anybody at any time.

Nov 30, 2006 PUB LTE: Kudos For Vote To Scrap Pot Prohibition Members of Saskatchewan's NDP made political history at their convention becoming Canada's first governing party to support a resolution to eliminate the prohibition on marijuana. Although this is a great first step, there is a long way to go before state-sponsored discrimination against Saskatchewan cannabis users ends.

Nov 28, 2006 Country Going To Pot Today, nearly half a century, legions of narc squads, and several hundred million anti-drug dollars later, pot is being sold by kids, to kids in schoolyards from Pangnirtung to P.E.I. I smell its sweet, sharp scent pretty much every time I walk past the park in the middle of town. So much for the War on Drugs.

Nov 24, 2006 Baby Boom Pot Smokers' Principles Up In Smoke Weekly, in this city and across Canada, marijuana grow house operations are busted; kids are arrested in parks as they smoke grass -- the war on "drugs" marches on. So lucrative is the business of selling marijuana that drug dealers kill each other to stay on top, often also killing or maiming innocent bystanders in the process. And in the midst of all this, on any given Saturday night, the elite of this country -- including doctors, lawyers and journalists -- puff away on marijuana and sip red wine as they exchange pleasant conversation at dinner parties. Anything wrong with this picture?

Nov 20, 2006 Delegates Want NDP to Become More Green Among other resolutions, delegates also passed a call for government support to facilitate the sale of the Maple Leaf plant in Saskatoon slated to be closed, a call for anti-scab legislation, a call for the government to take action to avoid an SGEU strike and a call for the provincial party to support the federal NDP's position in favour of "non-punitive" marijuana laws.

Nov 18, 2006 Waging War On A Benign Plant I know countless people who treat marijuana as our father's generation treated alcohol - as a social indulgence, one to be shared at a party or consumed after a hard day at work. And not one of the dozens of people I know who enjoy using marijuana is anywhere near the slippery slope to the world of crack, as laughably claimed by prohibitionists who parrot the lie that pot is a dangerous gateway drug. The problem lies in the current laws. When the Conservatives decided to ditch the Liberals' progressive plan to decriminalize pot, they reinforced the warped reality that makes criminals of upstanding citizens who enjoy using marijuana.

Nov 4, 2006 She's Hardly a Pothead A survey commissioned by Cannasat found 80% of Canadians believe the sick should have access to marijuana with a prescription.

More accurately, 93% of Canadians support medical marijuana. Period. Nothing about presciptions. See: In a nationwide survey, anoverwhelming 93 per cent of Canadians indicated they accept the idea of people legally smoking marijuana for health reasons. Nearly three in four ( 70 per cent ) not only accept the practice but also personally approve of the behaviour.
See: When asked if cannabis should be made legal for medical purposes, such as helping cancer patients control pain, an overwhelming 92% of respondents to the National Post poll answered in the affirmative.
Oct 28, 2006 Church Allegedly Dealt Pot Members of the Assembly of the Church of the Universe in Toronto were pro-marijuana activists who were too lazy to agitate for the cause, a police source said yesterday. "Basically these folks believe in the legalization of marijuana, but didn't wait for the laws to change or have not taken the appropriate steps to change the laws," the source said.

Oct 28, 2006 Mayoral Candidate Charged With Pot Possession One of the candidates for mayor of Thunder Bay has been charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The Chronicle-Journal has learned that Douglas MacKay, 53, was charged Sept. 11 after police seized almost nine kilograms of marijuana.

Oct 14, 2006 The Folly Of Anti-drug Laws History is supposed to teach us lessons. But when it comes to drug use and abuse, two professors are arguing we as a society have failed to learn from the past...."The debate hinges far less on the scientific evidence than deep-rooted moral schisms . . . and there's a tremendous financial stake in prohibition. There's a lot of jobs on the line."

Oct 12, 2006 600,000 Reasons Why Pot Policy Doomed ...last week's report on marijuana use in B.C. from the University of Victoria's Centre for Addiction Research should be a reminder of the need to overhaul our policies on pot. And it should be a special warning to the Harper government that tougher enforcement, longer sentences and hardline rhetoric are doomed to be costly failures. In B.C. especially, an effort to wipe out marijuana use - and by extension production and sale - has about the same chance of success as banning alcohol. Governments concerned about the negative effects of marijuana use need to come up with a smarter approach.

Oct 6, 2006 A Smart Response To BC's Pot Habit Stephen Harper should take a hard look at this week's study on marijuana use from the University of Victoria's Centre for Addiction Research. It signals certain failure for the kind of law-and-order crackdown on the drug the Conservatives appear to favour. That shouldn't be a surprise, just as the study's findings shouldn't come as a shock. British Columbians are more likely both to use marijuana and to believe that it should be decriminalized.

Oct 5, 2006 Column: Harper's No Sage Socrates believed that the unexamined life is not worth living, and last week's budget cuts by the Harper government to the Law Commission of Canada, the Court Challenges Program and the medical marijuana research fund show that this administration is committed to unexamined ignorance in governance. I may not be interested in having philosopher kings run this country, but it would be nice if those in power at least had the desire to develop public policy based on information, debate and analysis.

Sep 28, 2006 Column: RCMP Must Be Independent Of Politics n the end, what saved the Mounties was dope. Canada was just getting into the swing of the drug prohibition business, and Parliament ultimately decided that a national presence was necessary to effectively enforce the Opium and Drug Act. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police was born, and today employs 60,000 men and women. That crucial role of drugs in the history of the RCMP is important when trying to make sense of some of the more intriguing actions on the part of its high-level decision-makers over the past couple of years.

Sep 14, 2006 New marijuana seed business sets up shop The marijuana seed store on East Hastings Street in Vancouver has been open since May.
Manager Dana Larsen hopes to avoid legal problems by avoiding sales to the U.S.

A Vancouver man has launched a store-front business selling marijuana seeds over the counter and online to people across Canada and in Europe. Dana Larsen opened the Vancouver Seed Bank on East Hastings Street in May, and isn't hiding the fact that he's breaking the law.
Larsen's store is similar to the one operated by B.C. Marijuana party Leader Marc Emery until it was shut down by Vancouver police last year at the request of the U.S. government. Emery, who is free on bail, now faces possible extradition to the U.S. on drug and money-laundering charges. Larsen says he believes that as long as he avoids the American market, he won't be arrested.
"By us not sending any marijuana seeds to the U.S., we're not anticipating any problems from their government because we're not breaking any of their laws.
"And I don't think we'll have any problems within Canada. We're not the first person to be selling marijuana seeds and nobody in Canada has faced problems for selling marijuana seeds within Canada for quite awhile."
Larsen says police officers have come into his store while on patrol, and didn't appear to have any problem with his merchandise. However Simon Fraser University criminologist Neil Boyd says Larsen is taking a big risk.
"Most people who sell marijuana seeds aren't going to advertise publicly that they sell marijuana or marijuana seeds. He's playing a game of poker with those with the power to enforce the law."

Aug 30, 2006 RCMP Retract 'Pound For Pound' Assertion Police made an honest mistake by telling The Reminder that marijuana is sometimes traded pound for pound with cocaine, according to the RCMP National Headquarters. Paul Nadeau, the Mounties' national drug enforcement director, said police have no evidence to support this recently-reported "urban myth." "Personally, I have never heard of one instance where we've been able to corroborate that," he said from his Ottawa office. Nadeau said the fallacy is so widespread that it's believed by criminals, lawyers and some of the many thousands of police officers - -- RCMP and otherwise -- across the nation....The pound-for-pound statement was included as part of an Aug. 9 Reminder article outlining how today's marijuana is much more potent - -- and of greater concern to police -- than the pot of yesteryear. Within days of the story running, members of the pro-marijuana lobby from across Canada fired off e-mails and letters to the editor ridiculing the claim. They read the article online.

Police propaganda gets trounced - thanks to the efforts of many letter writers. It would be so much easier to separate fact from fiction if all media followed up on the dubious claims of reefer madness spewed into the "news", and got retractions from police and politicians.
Aug 11, 2006 First Medical Marijuana Exhibit First Medical Marijuana Exhibit at the XVI International AIDS Conference: Canada Leads the Way TORONTO, August 11, 2006 - For the first time in the conferenceís history, an exhibit on the therapeutic use of marijuana (cannabis) is being offered at the XVI International AIDS Conference this week in Toronto. This initiative acknowledges that for many people living with HIV/AIDS cannabis is an important part of their medical therapy.

Aug 9, 2006 Marching For Mary Jane On a sunny Saturday, without a trace of telltale smoke in the air, The Holy Smoke Culture Shop and supporters held a community rally in favour of changing marijuana laws. Featuring a handful of pro-marijuana and critics of government, including Paddy Roberts, who was involved in a bid to keep Marc Emery in Canada, the rally drew a crowd of over 60 people of all ages and backgrounds. Organizers were careful to not promote the event as a smoke-in, which they believed would damage their cause.

Aug 8, 2006 PUB LTE: Pot Perspectives POT PERSPECTIVES If there was any reason to doubt that the United Nations has become little more than an irrelevant toady to special interests, Antonio Maria Costa's harum-scarum opinion piece equating marijuana with cocaine and heroin laid all of that to rest. Surely he must be on drugs or something. David Coates, Toronto

Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v06/n1027/a02.html
Jul 21, 2006 PUB LTE: Come Out Of The Closet, Pot Smokers Dear editor, I was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana recently. It seems the right time to come out publicly for legalization, and I hope to persuade you to do the same. I have been smoking marijuana for 30-plus years -- it is my choice for relaxation and enjoyment. I know plenty of people in our town also enjoy this choice. I believe this holds true for millions across our country. Aren't we all tired of having to "hide" and deny our use in public because of outdated and senseless laws? Surely it is time to bury the b.s. and get marijuana legalized.

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