North America


Get pot legalization right: Start by limiting spread of dispensaries

Our new federal government has made it clear that legalized marijuana is just a matter of time. A visitor to Canada would be forgiven for believing legalization has already taken place: Cannabis dispensaries have been popping up across the country, especially in the past few months.

Many of these dispensaries are geared toward providing cannabis to people with a prescription from their doctor. But recent reports from Toronto show that many dispensaries sell cannabis with little more than the customer’s signature on a waiver form. Although illegal, the outlets seem to be operating more openly, presumably on the assumption that if legalization is coming, enforcement will leave them alone. Thus far, with a few exceptions, they seem to be right.



The medical benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, or cannabidiol, are many. From all forms of epilepsy and seizure disorders to cancerCrohn’s, and lupus, this highly effective chemical compound is being leveraged by an increasingly large number of patients and medical professionals to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions.


Rebel salutes weed exemption status

Rebel Salute has become the second entertainment event to be granted exemption status under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The two-day reggae festival to be held at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann, from January 15 to 16 follows behind the recent staging of the Cannabis Cup in Negril which was the first to receive exemption since the decriminalisation of ganja in Jamaica.

Making the announcement at the launch of Rebel Salute at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday Justice Minister Mark Golding noted that the festival continues to live by the fundamental aspects of the Rastafari ‘livity’ which qualifies it for exemption.


Cannabis cultivation has a dirty secret, but the future is sun-grown

Dan shines a light on the dark and dirty traditions of cannabis cultivation and argues that a sun-grown future is the only sustainable pathway for a burgeoning new industry. Recorded at TEDxVancouver at Rogers Arena on November 14, 2015.

YouTube tags: marijuana, grow op, cannabis, cannabis cultivation, sun-grown TED, TEDxVancouver, TEDxVancouver 2015, Vancouver, TEDx, Rogers Arena, Vancouver speakers, Vancouver conference, ideas worth spreading, great idea,


Canada Don't be surprised if marijuana legalization gets shoved to the back burner

OK, I’ll say it: What was she smoking?

Except that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s vision of a state-run monopoly on the fragrant weed, courtesy of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, is quite plausible, given the logic of imminent legalization. What becomes readily apparent, as the federal Liberals continue to find their footing, is that the idea of legalization of marijuana has never been deeply examined.

Legalization was a terrific attention-getter in 2013, and a powerful emblem of change. That worked for Justin Trudeau two years ago. It highlighted his youth and cool. It made Stephen Harper and his sternly anti-pot front bench look like fussy old bores — Sister Matilda, waggling a disapproving finger at the rambunctious kids at the back of the bus.


Mexico issues first permits for personal marijuana use

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government on Friday granted the first permits allowing the cultivation and possession of marijuana for personal use.

The federal medical protection agency said the permits apply only to the four plaintiffs who won a favourable ruling from the Supreme Court last month. The court said growing and consuming marijuana is covered under the right of “free development of personality.”


he permits issued Friday won’t allow smoking marijuana in the presence of children or anyone who hasn’t given consent. The permits also don’t allow the sale or distribution of the drug.


Canada leads way in legalising marijuana

OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) – Justin Trudeau raised eyebrows when he admitted to having dabbled in marijuana while a member of parliament, but his pledge as prime minister to legalise pot has been broadly cheered.

He said in a policy speech on Friday that his Liberal government would introduce legislation as early as 2016 to legalise marijuana, making Canada the first in the G7 bloc of industrialised nations to do so, although precise details remain sketchy.

Two in three Canadians support decriminalising possession and use of the mind-altering weed, according to a recent Ipsos poll.

Support is widespread and at its highest level in three decades, it said, even though cannabis use has fallen off.


Ex-JTF2 soldier becomes medical marijuana advocate for veterans

A former member of Canada’s elite counter-terrorism unit has emerged from the shadows to promote medical marijuana for ailing veterans.

Kevin Whitenect hopes that his message promoting medical cannabis will bring hope to those former soldiers dealing with emotional or physical pain as well as reduce the stigma surrounding its use.

“I saw a value for veterans,” said Whitenect, who spent most of his 17 years in the Canadian Forces with the Ottawa-based Joint Task Force 2 counter-terrorism unit. “I started speaking with veterans who were using (medical cannabis) and started hearing the great stories about how it is getting them off the mind-numbing narcotics they are being issued.”


Mexico to Hold Regional Marijuana Reform Debates

Spurred by a landmark pro-marijuana decision by its Supreme Court, Mexico has decided to move ahead with a national dispute on reforming cannabis policy.

The country will hold a series of 5 arguments across the country, from January to March, that will concentrate on marijuana-related concerns consisting of health ramifications, possible regulations, the potential for reducing drug-related violence, and whether cannabis is a human right, according to AFP News.


Can UN Leadership Fix Broken Drug Policies? A Call for Ban Ki Moon in Advance of the 2016 UNGASS

Last month, close to 1000 advocates, service providers, community leaders, researchers and government representatives met in Kuala Lumpur for the 24th International Harm Reduction conference. This year, the conference took place in Asia to inspire the region to consider drug policies that offer alternatives to the failed goal of Drug Free Asia by 2015 set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


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