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Cancer Center Refuses Donation from Cannabis Club

Cancer Center Refuses Donation from Cannabis Club

In a heartbreaking turn of events, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has refused to accept a donation simply because it comes from a local cannabis company. The Calgary Cannabis Club raised $6,000, in honor of a loved one, to give to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, but now they have to decide what else to do with the money instead.

It is not easy to understand this decision considering that Canada made history in October 2018 as the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize and regulate cannabis on the federal level.

The funds were raised through an auction event held in memory of former club member, Rick Beaver, who lost his battle to cancer at the age of 65. Beaver went to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for treatments before he passed away in November of last year. The auction was in December, and the donation was refused by AHS in January.

According to Pat Parsons of the Calgary Cannabis Club, friends and fellow club members intended to give the money to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Rick’s name, as a way to commemorate him.

Cannabis Medication

Rick was a long time proponent of cannabis as medication, and had a knack for home cultivation. “He was very educated when it came to cannabis,” Parsons said about his friend. “He knew about different treatments that would help him and other people.”

Rick relied heavily on cannabis to combat the debilitating symptoms associated with cancer, and the adverse effects caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

“He knew he would be on a lot of other harsher drugs if he wasn’t medicating with cannabis,” Parsons told Global News. “Cannabis gave him as much of his life back as he could have in the later stages of his life which was, I think, a big part of the reason why he chose to stay positive.”

Cannabis Philanthropy

While donations from groups affiliated with cannabis are not currently being accepted, it is possible that this may change in the future.

“Until the engagement is complete and a longer-term perspective on cannabis philanthropy has been determined, AHS will defer accepting any donations from the cannabis sector,” Alberta Health Services said in a statement. “AHS will update its foundation partners about progress of the engagement throughout 2019 and will also provide materials to support board discussions and decision-making related to cannabis.”

With hope for the future, friends of Rick Beaver are still saddened by the current situation. “It was a little bit heartbreaking,” Parsons said. “The cannabis community came together to show our support for Rick, and we thought it would be a thoughtful way to give back to the community. I think part of it is the stigma behind cannabis.”

Rick preached about the benefits of growing at home, so the club may use the money to help other patients who want to follow in his footsteps.

Photo courtesy of Shaw Global News

Trump Administration Has Calm Response To Canadian Marijuana Legalization

Trump Administration Has Calm Response To Canadian Marijuana Legalization

Canada’s new marijuana legalization law went into effect on Wednesday, and the U.S. federal government’s response so far has been mostly muted and dispassionate.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, for example, posted a few calm and friendly videos simply reminding people not to bring cannabis with them when crossing the border.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dop_b709PA

The Embassy also launched a frequently asked questions page, which responds to queries about how consuming marijuana or investing or working in the cannabis industry could impact admissibility to the U.S.

Perhaps of most interest to Canadians involved in cannabis businesses, the document reiterates and confirms that “a Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the United States for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the United States.”

“However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the United States for reasons related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible,” it says.

While one of the questions—”Do you anticipate more American tourists crossing into Canada due to the change in legalization?—seems to acknowledge that many U.S. citizens support and would like to take advantage of Canada’s new marijuana laws, the Embassy doesn’t really provide a direct response.

The FAQ also covers issues related to visa applications.

“If you plan to use marijuana in the United States then you will be found ineligible for a visa based on intending to engage in unlawful activity in the United States,” it says. “It does not matter if you use doctor-prescribed marijuana. If you smoke cannabis in Canada, you may also be found ineligible…if a physician determines that you have a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior – for example, impaired driving – or are a drug abuser or addict.”

When it comes to working or investing in the marijuana industry, the Embassy says it will only affect visas if the person is “found to be coming to the U.S. for reasons related to the cannabis industry.”

The page also says that while “legalization of cannabis in Canada will not have any impact on cannabis’s legality in the United States,” American officials “have discussed legalization of cannabis at various levels” with their Canadian counterparts.

Despite the relatively polite and level-headed response to the new legalization law of its neighbor to the north, the American government isn’t exactly excited about it.

A top U.S. Customs and Border Protection official, for example, said that Canada’s move to grant pardons for past marijuana offenses wouldn’t necessarily shield those individuals from being denied entry into the U.S.

It remains to be seen how President Trump himself, key White House staffers or Department of Justice officials will respond to Canada’s legalization of marijuana if asked about it publicly.

Marijuana Stores Will Be Hard To Find For Most Canadians On Day One Of Legalization

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Trump Administration Has Calm Response To Canadian Marijuana Legalization

Canadian Voters Are Way More Worried About Donald Trump Than Marijuana Legalization

Canadian Voters Are Way More Worried About Donald Trump Than Marijuana Legalization

Canadians are more concerned about the actions of the U.S. president south of their border than they are about the impact of marijuana legalization in their own country, a new poll finds.

When asked “How concerned are you feeling about the following issues these days,” 73 percent said they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about Donald Trump, while only 33 percent said the same thing about the legalization of cannabis.

Abacus Data survey results.

Four out of ten Canadians are wholly unconcerned about the end of marijuana prohibition, but only 11 percent feel that way about President Trump.

The survey, conducted by Abacus Data this month and released on Friday, also showed that the greater concern about Trump as compared to marijuana persists across party lines, with Liberal, NDP and Conservative voters all putting the U.S. president ahead of cannabis among their worries.

Abacus Data survey results.

Among all Canadian adults, marijuana legalization was ranked last in their list of concerns, behind gun violence, border crossings, extreme weather, housing affordability and the health care system. Cannabis was also last among Liberal and NDP voters, but Conservatives are less concerned about gun violence and climate and weather issues.

When it came to regional breakouts and residents of big cities vs. other communities, marijuana legalization consistently ranked last among respondents’ worries.

Legal marijuana sales in Canada are expected to begin on October 17.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Canadian Voters Are Way More Worried About Donald Trump Than Marijuana Legalization

Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Final Approval From Lawmakers

Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Final Approval From Lawmakers

After about seven months of legislative debate, Canadian lawmakers approved a bill to fully legalize marijuana nationwide on Tuesday.

Though the bill must still receive “royal assent” from the Governor General before the law is officially sanctioned, that step is generally viewed as a formality. At that point, Canada will become the first G7 nation to legalize recreational cannabis.

The decision in the Senate, which voted 52-29, with two abstentions, to approve the Cannabis Act, comes a week after the House of Commons approved 25 of the Senate’s amendments and rejected 13 others. About two weeks ago, the Senate gave initial approved the amended bill56-30.

Some Conservative and Independent senators expressed reservations about the final bill, particularly the rejection of an amendment that would have given individual provinces the authority to ban home cultivation of cannabis.

A vote to amend the legislation with respect to the home grow issue, which would have sent the bill back to the House, was voted down, 35-45 with one abstention.

Other Senate amendments that were rejected by the House include a ban on marijuana companies distributing “branded merchandise” and a requirement to establish a national registry “for shareholders involved in marijuana companies,” CTV News reported.

In April, three Senate committees submitted reports outlining their concerns about the legalization bill and offering recommendations that included a proposed one-year delay to better consult with Indigenous peoples. However, the Senate Aboriginal Peoples Committee later redacted that recommendation.

But in spite of the concerns of some committees and lawmakers, the legislation cleared its last major hurdle.

It will still take a few months before Canada implements a retail cannabis sales system. Liberal MP Bill Blair, the Canadian government’s point person on parliamentary cannabis legalization efforts, estimated that, pending royal assent, marijuana will be fully legalized and available for purchase in September.

Following the vote, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that “[i]t’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits.”

“Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.”

The Cannabis Act will legalize the possession, use, cultivation and sale of marijuana for adults 18 and older. Individuals would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants.

The bill also outlines criminal penalties for illegal distribution and sales of cannabis, crossing international borders with cannabis and possession over the legal limit.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Final Approval From Lawmakers

Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Faces New Challenges

Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Faces New Challenges

Three Canadian Senate committees submitted reports detailing a series of proposed amendments to the government’s marijuana legalization bill this week, threatening to delay and dilute what advocates consider an historic development in cannabis politics.

Though the traditionally conservative Senate passed the bill as written 44-29 in a second reading on March 22, it must now vote on amendments recommended by committees. One such panel is specifically advising the Senate to delay the bill for “as much as a year.”

Here’s what you need to know about each committee report:

Senate Legal And Constitutional Affairs Committee

A majority of Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs members proposed several amendments to the bill, including increased penalties for organizations found to be illegally exporting cannabis, limitations on the amount of dried marijuana an individual may possess and a ban on home cultivation.

The committee also unanimously expressed concerns about the risks of implementing marijuana legalization for “vulnerable populations, including youth and people living with mental illness,” as well as “the intrusion of organized crime in the cannabis industry.”

Their report will be considered by the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which is scheduled to submit its own report on May 29.

Senate Aboriginal Peoples Committee

The Committee on Aboriginal Peoples submitted a report that called for as long as a year delay on the bill, arguing that Indigenous communities were inadequately consulted about the legalization measure.

In its report, the committee proposed eight amendments. It’s seeking funding for “culturally specific education” about cannabis, the right for Indigenous communities to set their own cannabis taxes and penalties and excise tax revenue for public health and addiction treatment programs, among other things.

“Indigenous peoples are entitled to a say in how the government implements the legalization of cannabis,” Senator Lillian Eva Dyck, who chairs the committee, said in a press release. “They have expressed real concerns to us—the potential for increased harmful effects on indigenous communities on the one hand, and the possibility of losing out on economic opportunities on the other. We must address these issues.”

Senate National Security And Defence Committee

Finally, the Committee on National Security and Defence released a report that called on the government to continue talks and “negotiate an agreement” with the United States about possible consequences for Canadian travelers crossing the border after legalization.

The report cited witness testimony that Canadians may run the risk of facing longer interrogations at the border “and/or inadmissibility for life for a cannabis offense, or for simply admitting previous cannabis use to U.S. customs and border protection officers.”

The report comes about a month after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a staunch prohibitionist, met with Conservative Canadian senators to discuss the possible ramifications of the country’s pending legalization of marijuana.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Guarded About Prospect of Legalization Delay

Asked about senators’ proposed delay on the implementation of marijuana legalization, Trudeau “left the door open,” The Canadian Press reported Wednesday.

Declining to comment specifically, Trudeau said simply that “legalization is not an event, it’s a process.”

If the Senate accepts any of the committees’ amendments, the bill would then go back to the House of Commons for another vote. Such a delay may impact when legalization would be implemented. And in the event that the House rejects any amendments approved by the Senate, another bicameral volley would again set back the timeline for implementation.

Trudeau’s governing Liberal party initially pushed for legalization to take effect in July.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Faces New Challenges

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