Marijuana Politics

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Wed
19
Jun

First pot, then magic mushrooms? Decriminalization is spreading

As cannabis legalization spreads across the globe, another mind-altering drug is trying to follow in its tracks: magic mushrooms.

Denver voted in May to decriminalize the fungus that contains psilocybin, a psychedelic compound popularized by ’60s counterculture. Oakland, California followed Denver’s lead a few weeks later and Oregon is trying to get a similar measure on the ballot for 2020.

Tue
18
Jun

Legislators to discuss marijuana laws, opioid crisis at conference in Sioux Falls

Water quality, marijuana laws and the opioid crisis will be topics of discussion among legislators gathering in Sioux Falls this week. 

Legislators from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Manitoba are meeting this week to hear from experts and discuss cross-border policy issues during the annual International Legislators Forum, which is being held in Sioux Falls this year. The forum, in which eight legislators from each jurisdiction meet, grew out of the 1997 Red River flood and is facilitated by the Consensus Committee, a public policy nonprofit based in Bismark, N.D.

"It's a way of trying to solve problems and try to minimize partisan politics," said Sen. Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, who helped organize this year's forum.

Tue
18
Jun

Not your pot? Could this still be a problem for drivers transporting passengers carrying cannabis?

A recent court ruling out of Newfoundland and Labrador could have implications elsewhere in the country for those driving or having control of a vehicle in which cannabis is being transported, especially if not theirs and without their knowledge.

While the lower court ruling is not binding in Newfoundland and Labrador or other provinces, it may make it harder for prosecutors across Canada to obtain convictions for provincial cannabis transportation offences where the driver did not know there was cannabis in the vehicle. Canadians charged with such offences now have a persuasive case that their lawyers can point to in order to try to convince a judge to dismiss the charges or at least mitigate their sentence upon conviction.

Tue
18
Jun

Global marijuana trade is still five to seven years off, but Canada aims to be world's cannabis king

Cam Battley believes that in the not-too-distant future, his company — one of Canada’s largest licensed producers — will be exporting a “significant chunk” of the cannabis it is growing domestically.

“We have a massive market over in Europe, even in Latin America,” says Battley, chief corporate officer at Aurora Cannabis Inc. “These countries are legalizing medicinal cannabis one by one but they’re not growing as much as us. They’re going to need product, and we’ve already got the ball rolling on exporting.”

Mon
17
Jun

Canadian cannabis companies facing harsh rules for new drug formats

Call it the gummy conundrum.

Canada released its regulations Friday for new cannabis formats that will become legal this fall, including edibles, beverages and vape cartridges. The government crafted rules aimed at keeping the drug out of the hands of minors, so it wasn't surprising to see producers will be prohibited from selling products "that can reasonably be considered appealing to a young person."

But the vagueness of that phrase has led to some head-scratching.

"A cookie is appealing to a kid, so can I make a cookie? Can I make a brownie? What do you mean by appealing to kids?" said cannabis lawyer Trina Fraser, a partner at Brazeau Seller Law in Ottawa.

Fri
14
Jun

Ottawa asks U.S. to note cannabis pardons to ensure accurate picture

Ottawa is encouraging Washington to take careful note of criminal pardons granted to Canadians for pot possession so that U.S. officers have the most accurate information when deciding whether to let people cross the border.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he made the point to a receptive Kevin McAleenan, the acting U.S. secretary of homeland security, during a meeting in Washington this week.

“It is important for the records that are kept on the American side to reflect the accurate legal status of Canadians,” Goodale said in an interview.

Parliament is studying a government bill that would ease the process of obtaining a pardon for possessing a small amount of cannabis now that recreational use of the drug is legal in Canada.

Fri
14
Jun

Low THC levels not linked to car crashes: UBC study

University of B.C. researchers say Canada’s impaired driving laws may be too strict when it comes to low levels of THC.

The UBC study, published in the journal Addiction, found that THC levels less than five nanograms/ml of blood do not lead to an increased risk of causing car crashes in most drivers.

Canadian drug-impaired driving laws penalize drivers found to have blood THC levels of between two to five nanograms/ml with fines.

Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher, associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at UBC and lead researcher on the five-year study said in an interview Thursday that he would recommend Canada’s laws be changed to not penalize someone with under five nanograms/ml in their blood.

Wed
12
Jun

City council expected to debate policy preventing legal weed sales in DTES

The debate on a motion proposing easier access for opioid alternatives in the city’s Downtown Eastside is expected to begin again Wednesday, when Vancouver city council meets to discuss policy and strategic priorities.

Submitted by Coun. Rebecca Bligh in late May, the motion titled “Cannabis as an Alternative to Opiates and More Dangerous Drugs on the Downtown Eastside” proposes amending an almost four-year-old exclusion zone keeping medical marijuana from being sold in one of the city’s most vulnerable communities.

“What I’m asking is well-considered exceptions to that rule, and that city staff come back and make recommendations to council,” Bligh told CTV News Vancouver in an interview Tuesday.

Mon
10
Jun

Marijuana legalization sparks concerns about DUIs, enforcement for McHenry County police chiefs

Police chiefs in McHenry County have concerns about residents driving under the influence and how to properly enforce the law now that Illinois is poised to become the 11th state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana.

Since marijuana first was legalized in Colorado in January 2014, the state has collected about $6.4 billion in total sales, according to data from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Conversely – despite downturns in a number of marijuana-related crimes – traffic fatalities involving a driver who tested positive for cannabis compounds increased from 55 in 2013 to 139 in 2017, according to a 2018 report from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice’s Office of Research and Statistics.

Fri
07
Jun

Marijuana stocks to watch after FDA hearing

Last week the FDA held its first-ever hearing on CBD, the non-psychoactive substance in cannabis. It has long-been used for medical applications and now that it’s being put into food items and sold on a mass-scale, the FDA is requesting more information. The hearing lasted nearly 10-hours and saw more than 100 speakers testify about the wide range of experiences and segments of the industry over the years. At the end of the day, everything seems to come down to compliance yet the FDA still has to determine how it will regulate CBD.

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