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Liberals to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018

The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018.

CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has been stickhandling the marijuana file for the government, briefed the Liberal caucus on the roll-out plan and the legislation during caucus meetings this weekend, according to a senior government official who spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity.

Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, briefed the Liberal caucus on new marijuana legislation, which leaves the provinces to decide how marijuana is distributed and sold, according to a senior government official. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Provinces to control sales

The federal government will be in charge of making sure the country's marijuana supply is safe and secure and Ottawa will license producers.

But the provinces will have the right to decide how the marijuana is distributed and sold. Provincial governments will also have the right to set price.

While Ottawa will set a minimum age of 18 to buy marijuana, the provinces will have the option of setting a higher age limit if they wish.

4 plants per household

As for Canadians who want to grow their own marijuana, they will be limited to four plants per household.

Legalizing marijuana was one of the more controversial promises Justin Trudeau made as he campaigned to become prime minister.

 

But in their platform the Liberals said it was necessary to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana" in order to keep drugs "out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals."

The Liberals had promised to introduce legislation by the Spring of 2017. Announcing the legislation the week of April 10 will allow the party to hit that deadline.

Raids raise questions

Trudeau referred again to that rough timetable a few weeks ago when he said the legislation would be introduced before the summer. But at the same time he also warned that it wasn't yet open season for the legal sale of marijuana.

"Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply," Trudeau said in Esquimalt, B.C. on March 1.

That warning became more concrete a week later, when police in Toronto, Vancouver and other cities carried out raids on marijuana dispensaries and charged several people with possession and trafficking, including noted pot advocates Marc and Jodie Emery.

Trudeau's promise to legalize marijuana was seen as one of the reasons for the Liberals' strong showing among youth voters in the 2015 election. 

But at the NDP's leadership debate in Montreal Sunday, which was focused on youth issues, several of the candidates pointed to marijuana legislation as an example of a broken Liberal promise.

"I do not believe Justin Trudeau is going to bring in the legalization of marijuana and as proof that ... we are still seeing, particularly young, Canadians being criminalized by simple possession of marijuana," said B.C. MP Peter Julian.

Federal marijuana legislation to be introduced in spring 2017, Philpott says

Original Article By David Cochrane, CBC News Posted: Mar 26, 2017 9:00 PM ET

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A former Liberal cabinet minister who recently chaired a panel guiding Ottawa’s push to legalize cannabis says police everywhere should enforce the existing prohibition of marijuana, despite several communities in British Columbia choosing to regulate – not raid – illegal pot shops.

Anne McLellan, head of an official task force that submitted recommendations to Ottawa on how best to legalize cannabis, said Thursday that Vancouver crafted Canada’s first municipal marijuana bylaw in response to what was a “growing difficult situation for them.”

But the former minister of public safety, health and justice in the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin said other cities should not follow suit before the current laws change, echoing what the federal government has repeatedly said when asked about the rise of illegal dispensaries.

“Nobody would deny that there are some practical problems at street level, absolutely, nobody denies that,” said Ms. McLellan, who was in Vancouver speaking at Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus on the work the task force did last year.

“Cities should wait until the law changes instead of making their own rules now and hoping to adapt them to a federal framework later on,” she said. “I cannot advocate that anybody break existing laws. We are a nation of law-abiding citizens.”

Ottawa is expected to table legislation this spring that will legalize and regulate recreational marijuana over the next two years. While the stores are still illegal under federal law, they have proliferated in cities such as Vancouver and Victoria, where local politicians argue their rules can eventually be adapted to any national framework regulating the storefront sale of the drug.

All dispensaries and compassion clubs across Canada still operate outside the federal government’s medical-marijuana program, which permits about 30 industrial-scale growers to sell dried flowers and bottles of cannabis oil directly to patients through the mail.

The federal government has said its two core priorities behind legalizing the recreational sale of marijuana are: to keep the drug out of the hands of young people and to stop the flow of money to organized criminals involved in the production and sale of the drug on the black market.

Vancouver’s approach to regulating its dispensaries stands in stark contrast to Toronto’s, where police and politicians say a continuing crackdown has become more urgent as these pot shops have become a magnet for violent thieves because some owners are reluctant to report robberies.

Civic and provincial politicians across the country are waiting on the coming legalization bill to give some guidance as to where the drug may be sold once it is legalized.

Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang, architect of the local dispensary bylaw, said he was disappointed in Ms. McLellan and Ottawa’s rhetoric, noting they both appear to be eschewing the public-health approach of his city, and that of other communities in B.C. also licensing these illegal stores.

“It’s sort of like we’re in purgatory,” he said Thursday. “And when you’re in purgatory, it’s not about allocating our resources, it’s about advocating what’s right for our citizens – that’s what Vancouver has done.”

He said he wants Ms. McLellan to push federal ministers to implement the new legislation faster because local governments across the country are wasting millions of dollars containing the grey cannabis market.

“When it comes to resources, the federal government better provide good resources for us to help enforce and help manage what they want us to do,” said Mr. Jang, a clinical psychiatrist. “Otherwise, we’re going to be back to square one.”

The Union of B.C. Municipalities has long advocated that cities deserve to receive some of the eventual tax revenue from recreational cannabis sales if they are expected to enforce federal cannabis laws.

The federal Liberals have said any pot proceeds would be directed to addiction treatment, mental-health support and education programs, and that provinces and territories will also have a significant say in how cannabis revenues are spent. A recent study from the parliamentary budget watchdog predicted that about 60 per cent of marijuana taxation will flow to the provinces.

Ms. McLellan, now in the public-policy division of Bennett Jones, one of the Canada’s leading law firms operating in the cannabis sector, said different communities have different concerns about the drug, as evidenced by Toronto and Vancouver’s contrasting approach to dealing with illegal dispensaries.

Original article by: MIKE HAGER, VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail. Published Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017 10:04PM EDT

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is proposing to adjust the established 2015 aggregate production quota for marijuana.  While marijuana is a scheduled I drug and the laws around it are enforced by the DEA, they do allow several government agencies and registered manufacturers to produce it for research and product development.

Registered manufacturers and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have requested a higher quota for production and supply of marijuana for 2015.  The previous 2015 established quote for marijuana was 125,000 g, and the new adjusted quota for 2015 is 400,000 g.

DEA-police.jpg

Highlights from the Federal Register Notice:

Background:

The DEA established the initial 2015 aggregate production quotas and assessments of annual need on September 8, 2014 (79 FR 53216). That notice stipulated that, as provided for in 21 CFR 1303.13, all aggregate production quotas and assessments of annual need are subject to adjustment.

Based on unanticipated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States the DEA proposes to adjust the established 2015 aggregate production quotas for the schedule I and II controlled substances difenoxin, diphenoxylate (for conversion), and marijuana to be manufactured in the United States in 2015. The adjustment is necessary to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, lawful export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks.

In proposing the adjustment, the Administrator has taken into account the following criteria in accordance with 21 CFR 1303.13: (1) Changes in demand for the basic class, changes in the national rate of net disposal for the class, and changes in the rate of net disposal by the registrants holding individual manufacturing quotas for the class; (2) whether any increased demand or changes in the national and/or individual rates of net disposal are temporary, short term, or long term; (3) whether any increased demand for that class can be met through existing inventories, increased individual manufacturing quotas, or increased importation, without increasing the aggregate production quota; (4) whether any decreased demand will result in excessive inventory accumulation by all persons registered to handle the class; and (5) other factors affecting the medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States and lawful export requirements, as the Administrator finds relevant.

Analysis for Adjusting the Established 2015 Aggregate Production Quota for Marijuana:

Since the establishment of the initial 2015 aggregate production quotas, the DEA has received notification from DEA registered manufacturers that research and product development involving cannabidiol, is increasing beyond that previously anticipated for 2015. The associated product development activities are related to process validation and commercialization activities, including qualification activities related to potential U.S. Food and Drug Administration submission support.

Additionally, the DEA has also received notification from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that it required additional supplies of marijuana to be manufactured in 2015 to provide for ongoing and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana. NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which oversees the cultivation, production and distribution of research-grade marijuana on behalf of the United States Government, pursuant to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (March 30, 1961, 18 UST 1407).

The Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, therefore, proposes to adjust the 2015 aggregate production quotas for difenoxin, diphenoxylate (for conversion), and marijuana, expressed in grams of anhydrous acid or base.

You can read the full Notice by the DEA and provide your opinion as they are requesting comments.

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For a while now we have been excited about the legal Cannabis sector and the opportunities for investments seem endless.  Over a year ago, we started covering the marijuana sector at Invest In MJ and it has been interesting watching the politicians finally taking a serious look at their stance on marijuana.  

It wasn’t too long ago that marijuana was a taboo subject and that most politicians didn’t want to broach the subject let alone provide their stance or political views on it.   Most career politicians opposed the idea of marijuana legalization because it didn’t get them votes or the lobbyist were very successful in their efforts to keep  cannabis classified as a schedule I drug.  Without actually doing any real research on marijuana or seeking out the truth on its medicinal benefits, they still hold the notion that cannabis is a gateway drug and that it should remain illegal.  The ignorance in DC is astounding or its just plain criminal that they still want to maintain control over the masses by making a plant illegal.  However they are losing The War Against a Plant and the debate is about to heat up in 2015 and 2016.

In a recent article and poll posted on The Washington Post, we can clearly see that Weed is polling better than the entire field of candidates for the 2016 elections.  While Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush may be the leading candidates when it comes to favourability ratings, medical marijuana is clearly the leader and recreational marijuana still beats out these contenders.  With over 80% in favor of medical marijuana and just over 50% for recreational, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida have spoken and they are more in favor of marijuana than they are of the various candidates.  If this poll of the three key swing states is any indications of what people want, I am sure US citizens would vote in favour of medical marijuana over any politician… that is if Med MJ was on the ballet.  

polls2016MJ.jpg

While the dysfunctional US gov’t may never address the real issues and problems it creates (endless wars, highest incarceration rate in the world, being a bankrupt country and the flaws of central banking), it may have to address marijuana as a Schedule I drug.  Obama has opened up the doors towards legalization and he recently commuted the sentences of 22 drug offenders which marks the largest of such “pot pardons” since he took office.  Obama had issued 21 commutations and 64 pardons over the course of his presidency while his predecessor George Bush commuted only 11 sentences.  The question is… will the new candidates close the doors on marijuana legalization once they get into power or leave it open and allow the masses to walk through without being criminalized.  

While medical marijuana will never be on the 2016 ballet (even though it should be since it is what people want); it sure will become one of most talked about topics in the coming years.  We believe medical marijuana will be one of the hottest topics of debate for this up and coming election. However, if we truly lived in a democratic world, we should be voting on topics that matter and what the people really want.  Instead we are stuck having to select one political party or another, both of which seek power to advance their master’s agenda and not addressing the wishes of the masses.

Should marijuana be legalized and would you vote for it?  Let us know what you think.

Vote on Marijuana

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The following blog was written by Jeff Berwick and originally post at : http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2014/7/8/the-end-of-the-war-on-drugs.html

 

[Editor's Note: The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]

The War On Drugs is finally ending. It has been a heinous collectivist/statist invention. The world will be better off the more libertarian drug laws become (and eventually if there is no drug laws at all). Not only the US is moving towards more relaxed regulations of marijuana, but so are many countries. The War On Drugs has functioned as the leading vehicle of mass incarceration in the US. Billions are spent on the War and its produced the highest incarceration rate in the world with 2.2 million Americans in prison or jail. If Americans are ignorant that they are slaves, then The War On Drugs is the best argument thereagainst. People are beginning to realize this:

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