By: ERIN ANDERSSEN, The Globe and Mail
It turns out the recent finding that pot smoking as teenagers makes for dopey adults may not have been such smart research after all.
A new analysis of the data suggests that researchers may have missed a more significant social factor than an adolescent marijuana habit: poverty. Read more »
Please join NDP members and riding associations from across the country in supporting our drug policy reform resolution at this year's federal NDP convention in Montreal. Visit the official NDP convention website www.montreal2013.ndp.ca/ for more on convention dates and times.
We feel that this resolution represents the best step forward in terms of clarifying and extending NDP cannabis (marijuana) policy for the future. Please see our resolution below, and contact Dana Larsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nicole Seguin (email@example.com) for more information.
Thanks, see you at the convention!
Resolution Read more »
By Ian Gillespie, The London Free Press
We’re supposed to have a system that punishes the bad guys, not the sick ones.
But that’s not how it has worked for Mike Spottiswood, a 54-year-old Londoner who has spent the past two years mired in legal woes over the medicine he’s legally allowed to use to treat a host of health problems.
The problem? His medicine is pot.
“I’ve done nothing bad,” says Spottiswood.
“I’ve been a law-abiding person my whole life. All I’ve done is use cannabis as medicine.” Read more »
BY BARBARA YAFFE, VANCOUVER SUN
Taxpayers must be wondering how long the list of proponents will have to grow before Ottawa moves to decriminalize pot use.
Last week, the Union of B.C. Municipalities became the latest group to recognize the futility of Canada’s existing marijuana laws, with mayors voting at their Victoria convention to lobby Ottawa on the subject.
Specifically, their resolution called on governments to ”decriminalize marijuana, and research the regulation and taxation of marijuana.”
The voters were mayors and councillors: politicians at the level of government closest to the community, folks who understand how much time and money is being wasted on a useless pursuit.
The UBCM should go further and form its own task force to research pot regulation and taxation. Read more »
By Elisabeth Braw, Metro World News
Fighting drugs is a costly enterprise. And, claim many, soft drugs are usually harmless and should be decriminalized. In 2001 Portugal did exactly that: The country scrapped criminal sentences for drug use. Instead of jail, drug users get treatment — and society benefits.
These days, Portuguese can buy “magic mushrooms” and hashish in a number of specialty shops. Some refer to them as Dutch-style “smart shops,” though they officially trade in herbal substances. But if you know where to find drugs, you can buy them without worrying about going to jail. Read more »
A new support group for people who use medical marijuana is looking for sympathetic doctors.
About two dozen people attended an information session last night at the Murphy's Community Centre in Charlottetown
Many said they had approached their family doctors for permission to use pot, but were turned down.
Organizer Kat Murphy says the support group will try to connect people with doctors willing to make the referral. And she said, they'll go to the mainland if they have to.
"One of the things we want to do is organize some kind of a public forum to talk to the doctors, maybe get somebody in from another province where they are more receptive to medical marijuana as a health option. P.E.I. is facing a huge health crisis," said Murphy. Read more »
By Grant Granger - New Westminster News Leader
There was no outcry of ruining the neighbourhood when a representative of a medical marijuana dispensary made a case for setting up a "pot shop" on 12th Street in New Westminster to the West End Residents Association (WERA) last week.
WERA president Elmer Rudolph said Justin Cleveland of the West Coast Green Light Society made an impressive 15-minute powerpoint presentation and fielded questions for 20 minutes at an association gathering that included about 15 residents.
"It was either noncommittal, or I would say I would have the general feeling it was positive," said Rudolph of the reaction. "I didn't get any indication that anybody felt very strongly anti-dispensary." Read more »
By: Glenda Luymes, The Province
Pastor Ward Draper quotes Scripture and swears in the same breath.
He wears his clerical collar beneath a military-style black uniform as he leads a congregation of addicts at a Saturday-night church service in Abbotsford.
He dispenses communion — and crack pipes.
It’s tempting to call him a contradiction.
But Draper is adamant: “We’re bringing the church back to where it should be,” he says, meaning the streets and alleys where the community’s most vulnerable reside.
Draper is the pastor of The 5 and 2 Ministries — Canada’s only church outside Toronto that does needle exchange — in Abbotsford, the only community in the country with a bylaw banning harm reduction. Read more »
BY IAN MULGREW, VANCOUVER SUN
With three western American states mulling legalized marijuana and the Union of B.C. Municipalities set to debate it, a new group wants the province to stop enforcing the federal criminal ban on pot.
Several prominent cannabis crusaders have drafted a proposed law, called the Sensible Policing Act, and are asking for a provincial commission to study the regulation and taxation of the demonized plant.
Vancouver lawyer Kirk Tousaw said the would-be act instructs police to stop arresting adults for possession, while minors still would not be allowed to possess pot. Read more »
BY LES LEYNE, TIMES COLONIST
Ted Smith is the happiest new taxpayer you can imagine. The longtime marijuana advocate was only too happy to go public recently with news that the Canada Revenue Agency has sent him a demand note for about $150,000 in back taxes.
That's based on just the last few months of operation of the long-running pot-buying club Smith runs for the benefit of people with various medical afflictions.
"In many ways this is a wonderful thing that's happened," he told reporters at a news conference. "Paying taxes - has been my dream since the beginning," he said. Read more »