Make a bong out of snow? Why not? We have so much of it.
Posts Tagged ‘canada’
A new poll suggests Canada may have reached the tipping point and a 66-per-cent majority favours legalizing marijuana.
Hallelujah! Finally we might get a sensible public policy discussion in this country about what to do about a relatively benign substance that has been demonized and outlawed for a century yet is as readily available in schoolyards as cigarettes.
The prohibition and a 40-year-long “War on Drugs” have led to pot being more widely accessible, taxpayers considerably poorer, gangs richer and thousands upon thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens branded “criminal.”
Another 50,000 or so Canadians are busted every year for possession; throw in 20,000 or so traffickers and producers and this so-called war is costing us as much as $400 million annually in law enforcement, court and corrections.
Bearing in mind a million dollars a year buys roughly 12 new cops, 14 teachers or public health nurses, ask yourself: Couldn’t all that money be better spent?
The federal Liberal party obviously thinks so – 77 per cent of delegates at the weekend convention voted to legalize the herb, echoing the Senate special committee on illegal drugs (chaired by a Conservative), which 10 years ago urged the government to free the weed. Four decades ago, the LeDain Commission similarly called for an end to the criminal prohibition of cannabis.
Across the country today, more and more people agree.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children. Under the Tories’ omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.
Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it’s done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 1½ years if it’s in a rental or poses a safety risk.
The omnibus legislation imposes one-year mandatory minimums for sexually assaulting a child, luring a child via the Internet or involving a child in bestiality. All three of these offences carry lighter automatic sentences than those for people running medium-sized grow-ops in rental property or on someone else’s land.
A pedophile who gets a child to watch pornography with him, or a pervert exposing himself to kids at a playground, would receive a minimum 90-day sentence, half the term of a man convicted of growing six pot plants in his own home.
The maximum sentence for growing marijuana would double from seven to 14 years, the same maximum applied to someone using a weapon during a child rape, and four years more than for someone sexually assaulting a kid without using a weapon.
Read more @ The Province
CANNABIS CULTURE – Marijuana culture is growing in the Canadian Prairies, and now the home of much of our country’s hemp-growing industry will play host to the 1st Annual Prairie Medicinal Cannabis Cup from July 8 – 10 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Jeff Lundstrom, owner of Skunk Funk Smoker’s Emporium in Saskatoon and organizer of the Prairie Medicinal Cannabis Cup, says the event was designed to showcase the thriving cannabis culture that exists on the prairies and offer a unique perspective as a centre of hemp cultivation.
“There’s a strong movement there and people aren’t aware of it because the bigger cities soak up a lot of the attention,” Lundstrom told CC in an interview filmed during the Treating Yourself Hemp Expo in Toronto. “Saskatchewan stands on the edge of what built this country – potash, uranium, agriculture – we are the frontline in the hemp industry.
Watch the full interview on Pot.tv
The event will feature a cannabis competition where judges will sample ten different strains, six of them local Saskatchewan strains. The three-day event will feature guest speakers, live music, catered food, a vapour lounge and designated area for combustibles, free giveaways, a Sunday Award ceremony, and more.
Tickets can be purchased at Head 2 Head in Regina, Skunk Funk, Jupiter and Undergrind in Saskatoon, and Watch Tower in Moose Jaw.
Organizers don’t plan on releasing the location of the event until the day of the event and ticket-holders can call a hotline (on the back of the ticket) to acquire the information and directions.
For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136314446439803
Conservative Stephen Harper could win a majority government with as little as 34% of the vote on May 2. We must ensure this does not happen, or S-10, and mandatory minimums like it, will be law in 100 days. The most important thing you can do is VOTE on May 2!
WhyProhibition.ca is finalizing its list of strategic votes and will be releasing that with the latest poll information this weekend.
Why so late?
The NDP, led by Jack Layton, has been on an historic and unprecedented rise in the last few days, overtaking the Liberals for 2nd place nationally, and within 5% of the Conservatives as of Friday. Depending on how the votes split riding by riding, this could potentially yield a Conservative majority government but could also result in an NDP minority government. The outcome will likely be decided by who turns out to vote.
The NDP under Jack Layton has been the most positive party in the House of Commons on marijuana law reform and medical marijuana, and is truly a friend to our community. Jack Layton is a man we have personally met with many times, and he has always been honest, open and very friendly. He understands the failures of prohibition, and is not afraid to talk about them.
Beyond Prohibition Foundation and WhyProhibition.ca have no doubt that an NDP government would be the best electoral outcome for our community and would represent the best chance for cannabis law reform in Canadian history.
The Conservatives have spent this campaign using a strategy called “micro-targeting” which involves focusing on specific areas in specific ridings to get a majority government with the lowest percentage of popular vote, possibly as low as 34%.
We must ensure that Stephen Harper can not micro-target his way to victory.
By voting strategically, we can not only stop Stephen Harper from obtaining a majority, but could potentially usher in the a government ready to make substantial change to Canada’s marijuana laws.
Please, for our country, for our friends and for our future, get out and VOTE on May 2.
Today in R v. Mernagh the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found the entire regulatory scheme governing medical marijuana (the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations) to be invalid. As a result sections 4 (prohibiting possession) and 7 (prohibiting production) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act were stricken. The government has been given 90 days to fill the legislative void or it will become legal to possess and produce marijuana.
The basis for the decision was that the government’s controversial decision making allopathic physicians the only gatekeepers to patient access created a scheme that was too restrictive and made it too difficult for Canadians to lawfully acquire the medicine. In the Court’s words “…it is long past time for the government to provide the medical access to marihuana that was directed by the Parker court over ten years ago…” Parker was a 2000 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal that gave rise to the MMAR scheme.
“Complaints about the doctor-as-gatekeeper role, from patients and physicians, have been a constant feature of this flawed system,” said Kirk Tousaw, the Foundation’s Executive Director and a BC lawyer that successfully argued R v. Beren, in which the BC Supreme Court found certain supply-side aspects of the scheme to violate the Charter. “This decision represents a huge step forward for critically and chronically ill Canadians that want to access this safe and effective medicine without being turned into criminals for doing so.”
Jacob Hunter, the Foundation’s Policy Director and an authorized medical cannabis consumer, also hailed the decision: “I know how hard it has been to find a supportive physician. There are a million medical cannabis consumers in Canada and, in ten years, less than 10,000 have been able to become legal. That just isn’t right.”
The Foundation urges the upcoming new government of Canada to work with patients, producers and distributors of medical cannabis over the next 90 days to craft a legislative model that works. “Who knows,” speculated Tousaw, “the government could always choose not to re-legislate, as did with the abortions laws after the Morgentaler decision, and finally put an end to the harms being caused by marijuana prohibition. ”
The Foundation congratulates Mr. Mernagh and counsel Paul Lewin for their outstanding efforts and salutes all those that assisted in the case.