Pot: all around the circle…

Dec 14, 2016

CBC News – Peter Zimonjic
Don’t hold your breath: fully legalized pot could still be years away – Legalizing pot is just the 1st step before the more complex task of regulating its use and sale

Have you noticed foot-dragging and second thoughts around the legalization of marijuana?  It seems, we have discovered how complex the change would be both for inside Canada and it terms of the international treaty obligations around prohibiting illicit drugs.  Neil Boyd, professor of law in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, Eugene Oscapella, professor of law at the University of Ottawa, Murray Rankin, NDP MP, and Bill Blair, former Toronto Chief of Police and vice –chair of the parliamentary committee,  walk through some of the complexity.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cannabis-pot-weed-legal-1.3894284   Text of the full Task Force report:  A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada   http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/task-force-marijuana-groupe-etude/framework-cadre/index-eng.php    Related article: Globe and Mail – Daniel Leblanc   Ottawa plans to open up legal market for cannabis by 2019   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/federal-task-force-advises-wide-ranging-legalization-of-recreational-marijuana/article33307322/   Related article: National Post – John Ivison  Task force on pot legalization strikes a fine balance of input   http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-ivison-task-force-on-pot-legalization-strikes-a-fine-balancing-input   Related article: Toronto Star – Paul Wells    Report on legalization of pot contains highs and lows    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/14/paul-wells.html   Related report: CBC News – Kathleen Harris   Pot-impaired driving alarms raised in wake of marijuana task force report – Bill to legalize pot set for spring 2017 despite lack of ‘reliable’ tool to detect high drivers   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/marijuana-task-force-impaired-driving-1.3894337       Related article: Globe and Mail Editorial (Dec. 13, 2016) Marijuana legalization report wants people to have their pot and not smoke it, too   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/marijuana-legalization-report-wants-people-to-have-their-pot-and-not-smoke-it-too/article33316378/   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Editorial (Dec. 13, 2016)   Liberals should heed pot task force – health, not revenue  http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-task-force-is-right-pot-and-booze-shouldnt-be-sold-together    Related article: Globe and Mail – Daniel Bear   Will legalizing marijuana actually dismantle its black market?   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/will-legalizing-marijuana-actually-dismantle-its-black-market/article33314341/   Related article:  Ottawa Citizen: Jacquie Miller    Seen and herb: Players speak out on pot legalization report     http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/seen-and-herb-players-speak-out-on-pot-legalization-report


Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles
CSIS breaches promise to report on past media surveillance – Spy agency cannot confirm if journalists were subject to investigation

The controversy around C-51 has again flared by a refusal the Canada’s spy agencies to reveal to the Senate, despite previous promises to do so, the CSIS activity around spying on journalists. “We regret that we cannot confirm whether journalists have been the subject of any CSIS investigation.” Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan says that the answer to the Senate is “bizarre” and citing operational security for its refusal implies that surveillance activity of the media is on-going.  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/14/csis-breaches-promise-to-report-on-past-media-surveillance.html

 Globe and Mail – Steven Chase
Canada will not follow U.S. in restricting some arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The US has decided to restrict somewhat the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia in the light of Saudi killings in Yemen.  The US prohibition seems to involve the guidance systems for smart bombs and had already prohibited cluster bombs.  Canada won’t follow suit, particularly where it concerns armoured personnel carriers and Minister Dion thinks that Canada can monitor well enough the use that the Saudis have for weapons we sell them.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/us-to-halt-some-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia-over-yemen-civilian-killings/article33307886/

Globe and Mail – Sarah Farb
‘It’s coming back, you know’

Farb, aged 17, and in a very personal reflection around her Jewish family and friends, reflects in a Canadian context on the questions around racism and bigotry prompted by the recent US election.  Is it coming back?  To Canada? What our elders – parents and grandparents witnessed in a previous era?  “I hope we acknowledge the truth in that phrase, “It’s coming back.” But, most of all, I hope my family, and minority families across both countries, recognize this frightening reality still warrants unity and hope, not resignation and remorse.”    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/my-grandparents-were-right-to-worry-about-the-return-of-racism-and-hatred-but-i-havent-losthope/article33309361/

Ottawa Citizen: Andrew Seymour
Mentally ill inmate turned away at hospital before hanging self: lawyer

The lawyer for Justin St. Amour, an inmate in the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre who hanged himself in a segregation cell, says that Justin attempted to get help for a mental health issue and was turned away from the Ottawa Civic Hospital on the grounds that he had no mental health issue, despite an extensive history and diagnosis.   He then threatened his disability support worker and was arrested after police were called.  http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/mentally-ill-inmate-turned-away-at-hospital-before-hanging-self-lawyer