Posts Tagged ‘canada’

Canada: Marijuana Arrests On The Rise

Canada’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in almost four decades, according to Statistics Canada, but marijuana-related arrests are dramatically increasing.

Stats Canada shows that 58,000 Canadians were arrested for cannabis possession in 2010, a number that is 14 percent higher than the year before, reports Renee Bernard at News 1130.
Pot smokers are being unfairly targeted by the Harper government, according to Jacob Hunter with the Beyond Prohibition Foundation.

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Photo: I Love Weed
Jacob Hunter of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, left, is arrested June 10 at a “Free Marc” protest in Ontario.
​ ​”There’s been very little evidence of any increase in use in Canada, but there seems to be a huge amount more attention being paid to just simple marijuana possession,” Hunter said. “Both the arrests for production and possession of cocaine and other drugs have gone down.”
The crackdown on pot use is a huge waste of money, according to Hunter, given that a large number of Canadians support legalization.
“The great irony of all this is that of every poll conducted in the last 10 years, more Canadians support the legalization of marijuana than actually voted for a Conservative candidate in the last election,” Hunter said.
The crackdown on simple marijuana possession is incredibly costly and ultimately futile, Hunter said.
“It’s become clear what this government’s priorities are,” Hunter said. “A crackdown on simple marijuana possession, mandatory minimum sentences for growing even one marijuana plant, and a dismantling of the medical marijuana program.
“This is nothing less than a total war on marijuana,” Hunter said.
“What we are seeing is a coordinated effort led by the Conservative government to crack down on simple marijuana possession as part of a multi-billion dollar increase in the war on drugs,” said Kirk Tousaw, executive director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, reports Phillip Smith at
“Why? Why did 58,000 Canadians need to be arrested over a plant that more Canadians want legalized than voted for Conservative candidates?” Tousaw asked. “Why is Mr. Harper spending billions to arrest Canadians for simple marijuana possession?”

Canadian Province Ordered To Pay For Patients Medical Marijuana Grow

Oh Cannabis

The Nova Scotia government has been ordered to pay the costs associated with medical marijuana growing operations of a woman who said she could not afford to grow and maintain her alloted medicine.

The Income Assistance Appeals Board ruling says that the province’s department of community services must pay $2,500 in start-up costs as well as a $100 quarterly fee for growing supplies of $100.

According to a CBC report, the unidentified couple who live in Amherst have licences from Health Canada to grow up to 25 plants, but they can only afford to grow six and sometimes run low on their supply.

Medical Marijuana

The appeals board said Her need for marijuana was real and that having the government pay for the grow-op equipment was preferable to paying another licensed grower.

The woman’s husband, who also uses medical marijuana, is currently suing community services, the cabinet minister responsible for the department, Denise Peterson-Rafuse, and the appeals board over the same issue.

Community services’ legal department is now weighing its options and said it would not make any statements at this time.

It is not known whether this ruling will affect his decision to proceed with his lawsuit.

Doctor Forced To Buy Patient’s Pot After Botched Surgery

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Photo: BC Daily Buzz
Michael Joinson will receive a settlement of $300,000 for botched back surgery,
including $50,469 for medication including marijuana.

​A Canadian doctor has been ordered to pay a patient more than $300,000 to cover expenses including medical marijuana following a botched back surgery.

Michael Joinson, who heads the nonprofit Always Growing Green Society, which operates Taggs Medical Cannabis Dispensary in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, won a total settlement of $310,289.14 to cover his loss of earnings and medical care as well as medications to treat pain, including cannabis capsules, dried marijuana and cannabis edibles, reports Monisha Martins of Maple Ridge News.

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Photo: Fraser Health Neurosurgery
Dr. Navraj Heran, above, going to be buying lots of marijuana.
Not for himself — for a patient, after Dr. Navrag botched the surgery.
​ Dr. Navraj Heran, a neurosurgeon, admitted he was negligent while performing surgery on Joinson’s lower back. However, Dr. Heran denied his surgery was solely responsible for the gradual onset of Joinson’s chronic pain.
Dr. Heran targeted the wrong vertebrae in the first operation, which resulted in Joinson having two additional surgeries to his lower back.
Joinson said he consented to the first surgery, did not consent to the second, then consented to the third.
Besides asking for compensation for lost wages, Joinson asked for more than $800,000 to fund a lifetime supply of medical marijuana.
The court awarded Joinson far less for his medical costs, including $50,469 (part of the $310,000 settlement) for medication, including marijuana.
Joinson said he smoked about 10 grams a day to treat pain in his back and knee, according to a written judgement released last week.
Another doctor testified that Joinson’s use of cannabis had allowed him to reduce his consumption of the narcotic painkiller morphine.
Joinson’s dispensary, Taggs, opened in Maple Ridge last year and currently has more than 300 medical marijuana patients as members.
All members of Taggs are required to have documentation from Health Canada or a registered physician to buy marijuana.

Canada: Marijuana Patients Allowed To Vape In Airports, Planes

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Photo: urbangrower
Vapes on a plane!
Lisa Mamakind was told that as long as patients aren’t using the devices during the times when passengers aren’t allowed to use electronics, she was free to medicate as needed.
​Health Canada-licensed medical marijuana patients are now allowed to consume cannabis through vaporization both in airports while waiting for their flights, and while on the plane during the flight, according to Lisa Mamakind and Cannabis Culture magazine.
“At the end of May 2011, as a license-holder, I took it up myself to clear up any ambiguities in regard to where and when I’m able to medicate,” Mamakind writes in Cannabis Culture. “Up until this point, we could only speculate as to what exactly were the policies of the corporations and agencies we deal with when we choose air travel.”

According to Mamakind, cardholding Canadian medical marijuana patients have been hassled going through security, as Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA — think TSA) agents haven’t been trained to recognize either medical marijuana cards or licenses.

“The old policy stood that even if the cannabis is legal, if it’s found amongst your carry-on items, a report would have to be made, sometimes involving police stationed in the airport — and it could take up to a good 20 minutes to work through the process,” Mamakind said. “Often insensitive agents pull out bags of medicine to display for the entire security area, remarking at the scent and/or asking what strain it is.
“After the last time this happened to me, the CATSA representative for Calgary International Airport suggested that I file a complaint in order to get the policy changed,” Mamakind said.
According to Mamakind, she was contacted by a CATSA representative this week, informing her that the policy is indeed changing and that a memo to that effect will be circulated nationwide in Canada within the month.
This memo will explain to CATSA agents bout the new policy of recognizing medical marijuana cards and paper licenses, and explain that filing a report when they come across one isn’t necessary.
“There will be special notes made regarding the professional, courteous conduct required when an agent does come across marijuana; this medicine is to be treated as they would any other prescription medication,” Mamakind said. “Agents don’t pull our your Viagra and comment on it, so therefore, the same should be true for your pot.
Mamakind naturally then started wondering: If licensed patients can now bring marijuana with them through airport security, what about medicating in the airport?
“That’s the bailiwick of each individual airport authority, so I called the two airports I was dealing with, YYC (Calgary) and YYZ (Toronto),” Mamakind said. “I asked both if there was any reason why I wouldn’t be able to use my vaporizer once I’m past security and they said, ‘As long as you an find a plug…’ “
Mamakind then wondered if perhaps it might be possible to vaporize medication on the airplane as well, so she called WestJet, explained what a vaporizer is and how it works, and confirmed that as long as the device is battery-operated (as in no plug-in required, and no flames needed), and as long as patients aren’t using the devices during the times when passengers aren’t allowed to use electronic devices — that is, not during take-off or landing — she was free to medicate as needed.
“Once on the plane and in the air, the NO2 vaporizer was packed with the much-needed AK47 and I was able to periodically relieve my nausea throughout the over-three-hour flight, becoming the first person to legally and openly vape on a plane,” Mamakind said. “I suppose high at 30,000+ feet is about as high as anyone’s ever gotten on a commercial airline without medibles.”
Mamakind received somewhat less encouraging news from airline Air Canada after contacting them about their policies on vaporization aboard planes.
“Not only did I wait several hours to speak with an agent, Air Canada claimed that, ‘…it’s not on our list of things you can bring on the plane, so therefore it’s probably not allowed on the plane.’ “
Mamakind is encouraging all Canadian medical marijuana cardholders to contact Air Canada themselves and demand that the same courtesy which is given to WestJet fliers be given to those traveling on Air Canada as well.
“In fact, I encourage everyone to contact any and all domestic airlines and find out their policy about vaping on a plane,” Mamakind said.

Superfast Computers Triggering Botched Marijuana Grow Raids

Photo: Bitcoin Miner
Turns out, looking only at electric usage from a residence, the consumption for bitcoin mining won’t look much different from a marijuana grow-op. Cue clueless cops.

You don’t have to be growing marijuana to get raided for it. At least one Bitcoin miner has been raided by police because unusually high power usage led them to suspect he was growing marijuana, according to unconfirmed reports on Monday.

The tip comes from an IRC chat captured by blogger Mike Esspe, though there are no corroborating details, reports Jerry Brito of Techland.
Bitcoin is the anonymous virtual currency that uses distributed computing power to validate online coins. “It’s like gold mining, except that instead of digging, a miner uses cryptographic math,” reports Techland.
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Screen capture: Mike Esspe
Does this mean, that with the growing number of bitcoin miners, courts will stop issuing warrants based on energy bills? Not bloody likely.
Like clandestine indoor marijuana growing operations, Bitcoin mining uses large amounts of electricity and runs up big power bills. It does this because it employs super-fast computers.
High power consumption has often alerted police to marijuana growing operations and has thus led to busts.
“The Canadian town of Mission, B.C. has a bylaw that allows the town’s Public Safety Inspection Team to search people’s homes for grow ops if they are using more than 93 kWh of electricity per day,” according to the blog Bitcoin Miner.
Though a typical mining rig will consume only a fraction of that amount, Bitcoin miners are adding capacity, and with multiple rigs, more and more miners are exceeding the level which triggers police interest, according to the blog.
Residents have been charged a $5,200 inspection fee — even if no marijuana or signs of a grow operation are found, reports Cam Tucker at the Delta Optimist.
Some Mission residents who feel their rights have been violated by the arbitrary searches, and have begun a class-action lawsuit against the District of Mission in B.C. Supreme Court.
There had already been speculation that mining Bitcoins will bring unwanted and misdirected attention from the police.
“I’m still waiting for the first bitcoin grow-op raid,” a Bitcoin mining pioneer had commented on an IRC channel back in January.
Increasingly ubiquitous supercomputing could lead to more and more false positives, not just for Bitcoin miners, but for hardcore gamers too, as well as anyone running video rendering farms or web servers from home, according to Techland.
“It will be interesting to see how courts will adapt to such uses when interpreting reasonable suspicion standards,” Brito writes.
Does this mean, that with the growing number of Bitcoin miners, courts will stop issuing warrants based on energy bills? Not bloody likely.

Canadian Marijuana Bears Wake Up With The Munchies

The infamous marijuana bears of British Columbia have woken after their winter hibernation, and they have the munchies — but they seem to be weaning themselves off dog food, according to the man who was once feeding them $100 of kibbles a day.

Allen Piche of Christina Lake, B.C., pleaded guilty in March to feeding the roughly two dozen wild black bears on his remote property after the B.C. Conservation Service last summer charged him and ordered him to stop, reports CBC News. Piche was charged after police found the mellow bears when they raided a marijuana grow operation on his property last August.
Initially there was speculation the bears might be guarding the cannabis crop, but Piche denied that.
Allen Piche (BC Marijuana Bears).jpg
Photo: CBC News
Allen Piche: “I’m counting on the bears to do the right thing. So far, they have.”
​ He was allowed to continue feeding the bears until they went into hibernation, but was ordered not to feed them when they woke up in the spring. If the bears couldn’t kick their dog foot habit, they might have to be shot, conservation officers said.
Most of the bears did come back to his remote property this spring, according to Piche, but once they figured out he wasn’t going to feed him, they left.
“I’ve had 80 percent of the bears come and now 80 percent are gone,” Piche said. “I’m counting on the bears to do the right thing. So far, they have.”
However, Piche said he is worried that the bears might come back this summer; they tend to return in early July after mating.
Piche, who describes himself as an “aging hippie,” said his former partner began feeding the bears, and he carried on when she was warned to stop because the bears kept returning.
The feeding continued for years until Piche was visited by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police last summer. RCMP officers arrested him and three others for allegedly tending a large outdoor marijuana growing operation.
That’s when the bears came ambling out of the forest and nuzzled up to police officers. One even sat on a police cruiser for awhile.
Piche has pleaded not guilty to the cannabis cultivation charge.

Top 10 Marijuana Quotes

10. “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”- William F. Buckley Jr.

9. “Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn’t like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton.” – Jay Leno

8. “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan

7. “The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it.” – J.W.D Henderson Director of the Bureau of Human Drugs, Health and Welfare, Canada

6. “Casual drug users should be taken out and shot” – Darryl Gates Head of Los Angeles Police Department United States Senate Judiciary Committee

5. “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.” –Bill Clinton

4. “When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” – Barack Obama

3. “Now, like, I’m President. It would be pretty hard for some drug guy to come into the White House and start offering it up, you know? … I bet if they did, I hope I would say, ‘Hey, get lost. We don’t want any of that.'” – George W. Bush

2. “I think pot should be legal. I don’t smoke it, but I like the smell of it.” – Andy Warhol

1. “I used to smoke marijuana. But I’ll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening – or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, midevening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early midafternoon, or perhaps the late-midafternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning. . . . But never at dusk.” – Steve Martin

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