By The Associated Press - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
DENVER – Medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but employers in…
DENVER – Medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but employers in the state can lawfully fire workers who test positive for the drug, even if it was used off duty, according to a court ruling Thursday.
The Colorado Court of Appeals found there is no employment protection for medical marijuana users in the state since the drug remains barred by the federal government.
“For an activity to be lawful in Colorado, it must be permitted by, and not contrary to, both state and federal law,” the appeals court stated in its 2-1 conclusion.
The ruling concurs with court decisions in similar cases elsewhere and comes as businesses attempt to regulate pot use among employees in states where the drug is legal. Colorado and Washington state law both provide for recreational marijuana use. Several other states have legalized medical use.
The patchwork of laws across the nation and state-federal conflict has left the issue unclear. Based on this ruling, employees who use pot in Colorado do so at their own risk. In Arizona, however, workers cannot be terminated for lawfully using medical marijuana, unless it would jeopardize an employer’s federal licensing or contracts.
The Colorado case involves Brandon Coats, 33, a telephone operator for Englewood, Colo.-based Dish Network LLC. Coats was paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager and has been a medical marijuana patient in the state since 2009.
He was fired in 2010 for failing a company drug test, though his employer didn’t claim he was ever impaired on the job.
Coats sued to get his job back, but a trial court dismissed his claim in 2011. The judge agreed with Dish Network that medical marijuana use isn’t a “lawful activity” covered by a state law intended to protect cigarette smokers from being fired for legal behaviour off the clock. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half of all states have such laws.
Dish Network did not return a call seeking comment.
Coats’ attorney, Michael Evans, plans to appeal and issued a statement saying the ruling has wide implications.
“This case not only impacts Mr. Coats, but also some 127,816 medical marijuana patient-employees in Colorado who could be summarily terminated even if they are in legal compliance with Colorado state law,” Evans noted.
Judge John Webb dissented in the split decision, saying he couldn’t find a case addressing whether Colorado judges should consider federal law in determining the meaning of a Colorado statute.
Marijuana supporters say the courts are discriminating against them because Colorado’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities law, the provision protecting cigarette smokers, prevents workers from being fired for legal behaviour off the clock.
The court said lawmakers could act to change the law to protect people who use marijuana, but there have been no plans to do that at the state capitol.
Coats told reporters Thursday afternoon that he obtained a prescription for medical marijuana to deal with debilitating muscle spasms that would otherwise prevent him from working. He has been looking for a job ever since being dismissed by Dish.
“I’m not going to get better anytime soon,” said Coats. “I need the marijuana, and I don’t want to go the rest of my life without holding a job.”
The Washington state Supreme Court also has found that workers can be fired for using marijuana, even if authorized by the state’s medical marijuana law.
Last year, a federal appeals court ruled against a cancer survivor in Battle Creek, Mich., who was fired from his job with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after failing a drug test for marijuana. Joseph Casias had a medical marijuana card and said he used pot to alleviate symptoms of an inoperable brain tumour.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the California Supreme Court also has ruled that people could be fired for testing positive for marijuana. The Legislature passed a bill to change that in 2008, but it was vetoed.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:56 PM - 0 Comments
VANCOUVER – It’s not the “did you inhale” question many politicians have been asked,…
VANCOUVER – It’s not the “did you inhale” question many politicians have been asked, but a lobby group will be questioning want-to-be politicians on their position over a regulated marijuana market in British Columbia.
Stop the Violence BC — a coalition of police, doctors, lawyers, politicians and academics — argues a regulated and taxed marijuana market could choke the flow of funds going to organized crime, reduce the proliferation of illegal grow-ops in B.C. and fund drug awareness and harm prevention campaigns.
The group proposes a research trial that would test the impact of a regulated marijuana market in British Columbia.
Dr. Evan Wood, who founded the Stop the Violence BC coalition, said the trial would fit under an exemption in the federal drug law — the same exemption that Insite, the supervised drug injection site in B.C., already operate under.
“This would be something that is fully compliant with the international treaties that Canada is signatory to and fully compliant to our federal drug laws,” Wood said.
Wood said B.C. politicians have hid behind the argument that marijuana is a federally controlled substance and criminal law falls under federal jurisdiction.
Shirley Bond, the Liberal attorney general who is running for re-election, said her party has been clear about its position on the legal aspects of cannabis control.
“We’ve said clearly that any significant change to how we manage this from a law enforcement perspective in British Columbia needs to be led by the federal government.”
Bond said, however, a Liberal government would welcome coalition members to “bring their proposal and give us the opportunity to look at what it says.”
Former Liberal attorney general Geoff Plant said he is heartened to hear that Bond is at least open to hearing his argument.
“That’s not slamming the door,” said Plant, who is among five attorneys general who are members of the Stop the Violence BC coalition.
“I think it is appropriate for any provincial government to pick and choose the federal issues it wants to take on,” said Plant, adding that this issue is one that needs to get a lot more traction if the federal law is ever to be challenged.
“I’m not asking any candidate for the legislature today to support legalization, though I hope one day they will,” said Plant.
“I’m only asking whether they would go out of their way (to prevent) an important piece of research that will help us all learn what we need to know,” he said.
“You would be hard pressed to find a better example of a law whose unintended consequences are more perniciously contrary to its intended effect than this one,” he said, adding that cannabis prohibition has provided “the economic incentive for an enormous underground economy and routinely kills people on our streets.”
The NDP have expressed their support for decriminalizing marijuana but have also hid behind the argument that the matter is a federal one and out of their jurisdiction.
“It doesn’t appear that the federal government has any interest in decriminalization,” NDP justice critic Leonard Krog said in an interview last year.
Last year, mayors from eight B.C. communities added their voice to the coalition’s call for a regulated and taxed marijuana market, and academics recently pegged the value of the B.C. pot industry at between $443 million and $564 million a year.
A 2012 study, conducted by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University researchers who are members of the coalition, said there are more 366,000 pot users in B.C.
By Alan Parker - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM - 0 Comments
Cards replicate ‘sickly sweet’ grow-op smell
The smell of cultivated marijuana is spreading across England this week, courtesy of Crimestoppers U.K.
The crime-fighting charity is mass mailing scratch-and-sniff cards which replicate the smell of growing cannabis plants to help homeowners identify possible marijuana grow ops in their neighbourhoods. Police will also hand out the cards.
A total of 210,000 scratch-and-sniff cards will be distributed this week in areas of England which Crimestoppers says police have identified as “hot spots” of marijuana cultivation. The cards are more than a publicity gimmick. Crimestoppers U.K. says it hopes citizens will scratch, sniff and possibly call Crimestoppers to pass along an anonymous tip.
By Emily Senger - Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM - 0 Comments
Athlete known for positive pot test hopes to cash in on his stoner reputation
Ross Rebagliati, the Canadian snowboarder best know for being stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for marijuana at the Nagano Olympics, announced that he is opening his own marijuana dispensary in Whistler, B.C.
It seems like the new career move will allow Rebagliati to cash in on his reputation. ”The fact that ever since the ’98 Olympics 15 years ago I’ve been synonymous with marijuana has been a big part of it,” Rebagliati told CTV British Columbia.
The store will be called Ross’ Gold, after Rebagliati’s gold medal, which was eventually returned to the snowboarder after an appeal and his argument that he only inhaled second-hand smoke.
The idea, he says, is to take advantage of new medical marijuana laws that come into effect in March. These laws will see the government get out of the business of growing and shipping medical marijuana.
Though the store is not yet open — he’s still looking for a location — Rebagliati told CBC News that he hopes it will contain a coffee shop in the front, a doctors office, and a head shop and marijuana dispensary in a back area, which will not permit minors.
He hopes Ross’ Gold will bring a higher-end approach to marijuana, something he likens to the wine industry or even Starbucks, complete with the possibility of franchise options.
“We’re looking at creating an environment similar to the one that Starbucks has created for their clients … and try to shed some of the old stereotypes when it comes to the marijuana industry,” he told CBC News.
By Bob Keating - Monday, January 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM - 0 Comments
The strange culmination of one of B.C.’s most bizarre drug cases in recent memory
It was a crime story that all but wrote itself. In 2010, police investigating an outdoor marijuana operation in British Columbia’s southern Interior uncovered more than just pot plants. As the officers worked to dismantle the grow op, bears sauntered out of the woods, first six, then another four, and by final count as many as two dozen. When police searched the nearby house of an eccentric recluse, they found a “frantic” Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and a “laid back” raccoon.
Bears, bud and a B.C. backcountry hippie were too much for headline writers to resist. Within hours of the police suggesting that marijuana growers were using bears to guard their crops, the news spread around the world. “Don’t Smokey near this bear,” declared the New York Post, while video of a Russian news anchor trying to tell the story of the pot bears through tears of laughter was an online hit.
Last month the case against Allen Piche, 67, the owner of the grow op who admitted he regularly fed the bears dog food, finally came to a close. And if the details of that initial raid seemed odd, revelations about the bungled police investigation and Piche’s own strange relationship with the bears surely cement it as one of B.C.’s most bizarre drug cases in recent memory. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM - 0 Comments
The Liberal leadership hopeful explains his support for the decriminalization of marijuana, zings high school student.
By this point in the response, the student who originally asked Trudeau the question had stopped paying attention to the MP’s answer and began talking to his friends. Trudeau noticed, and didn’t waste the opportunity to point out that while a number of studies have shown marijuana is less hazardous to health than alcohol and tobacco, the drug can also affect brain development if used heavily during teenage years.
“And the effect of marijuana on the growing brain is being demonstrated by the muttering in the corner right now,” said Trudeau of the unaware students. His comment drew gasps, then laughter and finally thunderous applause from other students and staff.
By David Newland - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 3:34 PM - 0 Comments
Keeping kids away from pot is a small problem. Keeping gangs away from pot is a big one.
Sometimes, it’s hard to see the plantation, for the pot. A recent report concluding that adolescent pot smoking affects intelligence got all the headlines. But a bigger issue was hiding behind smaller type: BC RCMP busted Hells Angels for growing pot to fund the importation of cocaine.
I’m dismayed to learn that the pot I smoked as a teenager has probably made me dumber. But I can’t say I’m surprised. I knew at the time that marijuana messed with my brain. That was why I smoked it.
That’s why I’m afraid we may never convince kids to stay away from the stuff. Yes, some will exercise good judgment if they’re educated properly, and avoid high-risk activities, like smoking tobacco or marijuana, drinking alcohol, speeding, engaging in unprotected sex, or doing hard drugs. Or any combination of the above.
The more we can educate the better. But some kids will gravitate toward the very same activities in spite, or indeed because of the risks.
Marijuana’s status as an illegal substance has not prevented teenagers, who are most at risk for mental damage, from using it. It certainly never stopped me. As long as the stuff can be grown quite easily at home, or in the vast expanses of the Canadian countryside, it’s not likely to stop anyone.
Most Canadians are in favour of legalization, or at least decriminalization of marijuana. Some argue that would help keep pot out of the hands of younger people, by making it available only through legal sellers, who would have to adhere to strict regulations including age limits for sale or use.
But that never stopped my friends and me when it came to tobacco or alcohol, which we only had to pilfer from our parents, or pay older kids to obtain for us. So how it would work for pot is a mystery to me.
Maybe legally available bud could be kept at lower levels of THC, making it effectively ‘bud light’ and therefore, perhaps, arguably less dangerous. But beer and cigarettes are available in relatively harmless single doses too. It doesn’t prevent anyone overusing them.
The real advantage of legalization, I’ve come to believe, isn’t that it would keep small amounts of marijuana out of the hands of kids. As the parent of a teenager, it pains me to admit we may never fully succeed in doing that.
What we just might do, though, is keep large amounts of marijuana out of the hands of criminals.
The fact is, the Hells Angels have been making inroads in B.C. for years. The biker gang and other criminal organizations grow and traffic pot as a big business, one which, because it’s illegal, must be protected with the threat of violence. Moreover, it’s an easy cash crop to exchange for cocaine, guns, and other stuff that’s a whole lot nastier than marijuana.
Of course, if marijuana was legal in Canada, there’d be a booming business in smuggling legal Canadian pot into the States, just as there was a booming business in smuggling legal Canadian whiskey into the States during prohibition. But the recent busts reveal the extent to which the Hells Angels are already doing business across borders, from B.C. to Panama.
And at least if pot was legal in Canada, the ordinary recreational consumer of marijuana wouldn’t be funding the activities of major crime networks every time they bought some weed. Instead, they’d be contributing tax dollars, some of which, surely, could be earmarked for better education and treatment for victims of drug abuse, including youth.
Think of the children, yes, of course. We do. That’s why these studies get so much attention when they come to light. But that’s the small-scale pot problem.
When it comes to marijuana legalization, won’t somebody please think of the Hells Angels?
Now there’s a pot problem, on a massive scale.
By Brian D. Johnson - Friday, July 6, 2012 at 6:58 AM - 0 Comments
On Mexican drug cartels, movie violence and whether America is getting more pot-positive
Oliver Stone, the Oscar-winning director of Platoon, Wall Street, JFK and Nixon, tackles the drug war in Savages, a thriller based on Don Winslow’s bestseller about a Mexican drug cartel that confronts a pair of primo pot farmers in California—Ben (Aaron Johnson), a philanthropic botanist, and Chon (Taylor Kitsch), a ruthless Navy SEAL veteran. Living the high life, they try to retire. But when their shared lover (Blake Lively) is taken hostage, they go to war against the cartel (led by Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek), while a corrupt U.S. drug agent (John Travolta) plays both sides against the middle.
Q: How real is the threat of a Mexican cartel attacking California marijuana growers?
A: Don Winslow has done a lot of research into the drug wars. He wrote a wonderful book called The Power of the Dog, which is pretty documentary-like. This one, he just spun off a fantasy about what could potentially happen with young, attractive growers with a high-end product. It hasn’t happened yet as far as I know. This is a hypothetical fiction. The cartels can sell cheap, ungroomed bud successfully for very little money across the United States, as well as cocaine and methamphetamine. The operation of a small group in California would not be attractive to them. But a cartel like the Tijuana one, if they had some problems, they would look to other markets and it would maybe make sense to partner with a niche deal.
By Ken MacQueen - Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:19 AM - 0 Comments
After years of fighting marijuana cultivation, the city wants to encourage legitimate commercial farming
Like many of Vancouver’s urban farmers, Emi Do operates outside the law. Unlike most, her product is no more nefarious than Swiss chard and collard greens. The 28-year-old owner of Yummy Yards has backyard garden plots throughout the city’s west side. Her commercial enterprise, however, exists in a “murky area” of city licensing and bylaws, so she calls that aspect of her business “edible landscaping” to be on the safe side. That may eventually change. After years of fighting to stamp out marijuana cultivation, Vancouver council wants to tweak its laws to encourage legitimate commercial farming in a city better known for growing condo towers.
The move will require easing prohibitions on businesses operating on residential land and in indoor commercial hothouses—laws that were created to stop marijuana grow operations, says Coun. Andrea Reimer, a member of council’s Greenest City Action Team. A crackdown in the 1990s created the “unintended consequences” that now block urban food production. “To open that door again, we have to do it in a way that doesn’t allow grow ops to also walk through.”
As it stands, Do can’t get a license as a “food producer” in Vancouver. Nor can she sell veggies that have been grown in the yards of people who offer up their land in exchange for landscaping and fresh produce. For now, she views her Vancouver plots as a form of business advertising and has moved her commercial crops to agriculturally zoned land on the city fringe. For $640, customers get a weekly box of fresh veggies throughout the 18-week growing season.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 5:49 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Thomas Mulcair wished to pick up where Jack Layton had once left off.
Last June, he reminded, Mr. Layton had stood in this place and asked the Prime Minister to identify the government services that would soon be cut. The Prime Minister, Mr. Mulcair recounted, had then stood in this place and said the government had been “very clear” that it would not cut pensions or transfers to the provinces for programs such as health care.
“Our question is also clear,” Mr. Mulcair finished. “Tomorrow, will the Prime Minister meet or betray his word in this House?”
Though returned to the country, the Prime Minister was not returned to the House. Today’s stand-in was John Baird, who proceeded to chop his hand and jab his finger and speak very assuredly of all that is good and unsullied about his government. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, March 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM - 0 Comments
I also support the party’s existing policy on further decriminalising the possession of marijuana for any use with the goal to eliminate the influence of organised crime on the production and distribution of marijuana. In order to make good on those policies, we first need to replace the Harper government with its wrong headed ideological approach to criminal issues. This is why party members should think about who is best positioned to beat the Conservatives in 2015.
But when interviewed by Tom Clark this past weekend—starting at the 8:28 mark here—and asked directly whether he would decriminalize marijuana, Mr. Mulcair responded in the negative.
No. I think that that would be a mistake because the information we have right now is that the marijuana that’s on the market is extremely potent and can actually cause mental illness.
He suggests something like the LeDain commission could be created to study the issue.
By Gabriela Perdomo - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM - 0 Comments
The members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a U.S.-based group advocating for marijuana decriminalization,…
The members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a U.S.-based group advocating for marijuana decriminalization, has registered its displeasure with Canada over proposed mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession with a letter to government officials. The letter, signed by active and retired judges, police officers and other public officials, says Canada is adopting the measures comparable to “those that have been such costly failures in the United States.”
A statement by a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson nonetheless insists the government has “no intention to decriminalize or legalize marijuana” and “remains committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions.” Mandatory minimum sentences for minor marijuana-related offenses are part of the government-sponsored Bill C-10, currently under review in the Senate. It is expected to be approved.
A recent poll found that 66% of Canadians favour either legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, whereas only one-in-five would prefer to maintain the status quo.
By Gustavo Vieira - Friday, February 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM - 0 Comments
Smoking pot before driving doubles the risk of a serious or fatal car crash,…
Smoking pot before driving doubles the risk of a serious or fatal car crash, according to a new Canadian study. The research by professor Mark Asbridge of Dalhousie University also found that the number of Canadian driving under the influence of marijuana is growing; in some places it is more common than drinking in driving. Previous research looking into the link between marijuana consumption and the risk of car accidents had yielded different results, so the Dalhousie team pooled data from nine studies involving 49,411 drivers from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, France and the Netherlands. The researchers discarded all cases where alcohol or other substances had been found in the blood of drivers who either tested positive for marijuana or reported to have been smoking within three hours of the crash. They found drivers who had smoked pot had a 92 per cent higher risk of being involved in an accident causing serious injury or death to themselves or other people.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 10:38 AM - 0 Comments
Six of the eight NDP leadership candidates respond to a survey on drug policy. All six seem to support some kind of decriminalization around marijuana and three (Niki Ashton, Peggy Nash and Romeo Saganash) seem open to pursuing a regulatory approach. Here is how Mr. Saganash explains his position.
A proposition in California suggested that it is time to look at full legalization, regulation and taxation. Medical authorities have recently made the same recommendation. This deserves serious study. Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, and unlike alcohol, it is non-addictive. The criminalization of marijuana creates ties to other crime, just as prohibition did with alcohol. Criminalization creates an enormous cost for the justice system, the penal system, and for society as a whole when we incarcerate tens of thousands of our young people. In the interim, decriminalization is the least we can do toward reducing the harm inflicted by our current legislation.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, January 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM - 0 Comments
Bruce Cheadle harshes the buzz on legalizing marijuana.
Among the questions policy-makers must ask: What sort of branding, if any, and packaging would be permitted? What would the age limit be for consumption? Who would be permitted to grow marijuana, and in what quantities? Would only licensed growers be allowed to produce pot? What would be the distribution point, public or private enterprise? Would there be volume limits on individual purchases, unlike alcohol and tobacco? A tax rate would be required that is high enough to discourage consumption but low enough to deter the black market from undercutting legal sales — a balancing act tobacco regulators continue to juggle. How would Canada manage crucial border issues with a prohibitionist United States?
By Adam Goldenberg - Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:12 PM - 0 Comments
One says he’s “a proven advocate for members.” Another says he’ll remove “obstacles to grassroots engagement.” A third wants the policy process to be “an effective tool for grassroots members.”
The people running to be the Liberal party’s next National Policy Chair are all preaching to the choir. Their fate is in the hands of Liberal delegates who took a day or two off work to fly to Ottawa to debate Liberal policy resolutions with other Liberals who took a day or two off work to fly to Ottawa to debate Liberal policy resolutions. Continue…
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 4:26 PM - 45 Comments
Christopher Bennett, who claimed that he should be allowed to smoke up to seven grams of marijuana—about 35 joints—every day for religious purposes, argued that Canada’s drug laws infringed upon his religious rights.
But in a 21-page ruling, Judge Michel Shore wrote, “While the applicant has shown that his practice is based on the belief that cannabis is the tree of life, this, in and of itself, does not make it a religious practice.”
Kind of bizarre if you think about it, isn’t it? The idea that “cannabis is the tree of life” could not more obviously be a religious concept, in the ordinary meaning of the term “religious”. What else would you call it? And what would you call an activity predicated on such a belief? If the belief is assumed to be sincere, and Judge Shore specifically concedes this assumption, then it’s a religious practice. The sentence in quotation marks is, when read as plain English, oddly nonsensical. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM - 18 Comments
Chris Cobb looks at one of the implications of the government’s crime legislation.
“It is badly drafted legislation,” says University of Toronto criminologist Anthony Doob. “The government has a role to make good laws and this isn’t good law. We should penalize according to the harm caused and I don’t think that the 18-year-old who gives his 17-year-old friend marijuana deserves a penitentiary sentence. How did kids sharing marijuana suddenly become organized criminals?”
To the list of those with concerns about the government’s direction, you can the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel, who see a looming crisis in the justice system.
By Alex Ballingall - Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 7:45 AM - 0 Comments
Our semi-regular round-up of the odds and sods of the criminal world
British Columbia: A man recently walked into the Nanaimo Country Club Centre, allegedly with the intention of robbing the place. He jumped the counter and detonated bear spray into the clerk’s face, but couldn’t open the till. He then fled to the parking lot, spraying another man who tried to grab him; outside, he sprayed two more people before escaping in a white van. He was later arrested by the RCMP.
Alberta: A 32-year-old man, dubbed “Wile E. Coyote” by a judge, admitted to negligent arson after causing $70,000 in damage in a home explosion. He was trying to make hash oil by dumping butane onto marijuana in a pipe; the highly flammable material exploded while he was nearby playing video games.
Saskatchewan: A rancher near Bjorkdale, Sask., was charged under the province’s Stray Animals Act. Bulls were twice found fighting near a neighbour’s home after they escaped the man’s shoddy fencing. The same neighbour later came across about 100 cattle from the man’s ranch in her red clover field. A judge dismissed the charges last week.
By Michael Friscolanti - Friday, October 7, 2011 at 10:40 AM - 3 Comments
The RCMP has launched a new website that lists the addresses of former marijuana grow ops
In a move that is part public safety, part public shaming—and part public relations—the Mounties have launched a new website that lists the addresses of former marijuana grow ops and other busted drug-cooking labs. Inspired by similar initiatives in Quebec, Toronto and Winnipeg, the online database will act as a warning for homebuyers across the country, who otherwise wouldn’t know that the property they’re about to purchase was once loaded with pot plants or crystal meth and could suffer from problems such as mould. “Illicit marijuana grow operations in our neighbourhoods and the criminal organizations that run them are a danger to us all,” said RCMP Commissioner William Elliott. “Homeowners will now have a tool that will lower their risk of being victimized.”
But here’s another warning for would-be homebuyers: don’t use the new website as your only resource. The fine print is nearly as long as the press release. “Some addresses may have been erroneously included in this list,” the disclaimer reads. “If there is an address which has been erroneously included on this list, please advise the site administrator.”
“This is also not intended to be an exhaustive list of all addresses at which the RCMP is aware that marijuana grow operations and/or clandestine laboratories have been located,” it continues. “This list should not be relied upon for such purposes. This list is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon by any individuals. The RCMP will accept neither liability nor damages by any person who rely upon this information to their detriment.” Rely on this, in other words, at your own risk.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:07 PM - 24 Comments
List may not be accurate, Mounties admit
The RCMP is now publishing an online list of grow-ops and other houses where pot plants have been seized in Canada. The list, divided by province, features addresses, the number of plants snatched and the date the raids took place. Some other kinds of drug labs are also listed. The Mounties say the list is neither comprehensive, nor guaranteed to be accurate.
By macleans.ca - Friday, September 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
Canada reopens its embassy in Libya, the Taliban attacks the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul
On the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 last weekend, Americans grieved and nerves were frayed over warnings of potential repeat attacks, but the occasion passed peacefully. And with ceremonies, remembrances and rousing displays of patriotism at packed football and baseball stadiums, it perhaps even drew Americans closer at a time when the nation is badly divided politically and its economic future looks bleak. The event offered a reminder that there’s hope even in the darkest periods.
A step forward
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced this week that Canada will reopen its embassy in Libya. Diplomatic officials are already on the ground in Tripoli. Baird also said Ottawa will release $2.2 billion in Libyan assets that had been frozen during the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi. While isolated fighting continues with remaining Gadhafi loyalists, the hunt continues to capture the former strongman. Last week Interpol issued arrest warrants for Gadhafi, one of his sons and his intelligence chief for alleged crimes against humanity.
By Ken MacQueen and Patricia Treble - Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM - 108 Comments
The crime rate is down but police forces are growing. We’re poorer as a result, but not necessarily any safer.
This spring, Tamara Cartwright dropped off an envelope at her local post office outside Lethbridge, Alta. A friend had sent her a jar of hemp-based ointment, so she replied with a thank you card, wrote her name and return address on the envelope and, in a decision certain to haunt her for years to come, enclosed four grams of her homegrown marijuana, enough for perhaps four cigarettes. On an April morning some days later she returned to the post office to pick up another package. Moments later, police pulled her over, handcuffed her, put her in a cruiser and hauled her off to the police station.
It made quite a spectacle, says the 41-year-old mother of four, who suffers from colitis and is one of more than 10,000 medical marijuana patients registered with Health Canada. “It was embarrassing,” she says. “I was still in my pyjamas.” She emerged four hours later with a trafficking charge for giving away those four grams.
Her charge is part of a recent marked increase in arrests for cannabis offences. Cannabis arrests jumped 13 per cent in 2010 to 75,126. Of those, almost 57,000 were for simple possession, a 14 per cent jump from the year before. (The statistics reflect cases where the arrest was the most serious charge a person faced, not the thousands more where a pot charge was tacked onto a string of more serious crimes.) The cannabis arrest rate is an anomaly at a time when the overall crime rate in 2010 fell to its lowest level since the mid-1970s.
By Cigdem Iltan - Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM - 1 Comment
A round-up of weird and wacky lawsuits from across the country
Alberta: A former high school student says she was seriously injured when her desk collapsed and is suing Edmonton Public Schools for $200,000. The woman alleges she suffered post-traumatic headaches and joint dysfunction—the result, she claims, of the desk supplier or manufacturer’s negligence and the school’s failure to maintain the desks.
Manitoba: A Winnipeg hospital is suing its auditor for allegedly failing to notice $1.5 million skimmed from a hospital-operated ATM over the course of a decade. According to the lawsuit, hospital staff—not the auditor—discovered that a finance clerk who had access to cash used to replenish the bank machine had allegedly defrauded the hospital. The hospital alleges that its auditor misstated assets in financial statements and did not act in accordance with “generally accepted accounting principles.”
Ontario: Two seniors are suing Ottawa transit for injuries they suffered after falling on a bus, allegedly because of bad driving. One woman says she fell after the bus jerked to a stop, while the other says she fell when the bus sped up too quickly. The women are each seeking $2.1 million in damages.
By Michael Barclay - Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
British Columbia:… The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has filed a class-action lawsuit against the
British Columbia: The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has filed a class-action lawsuit against the district of Mission over a bylaw that allowed homes using more than the average amount of electricity to be inspected for signs of a grow op. Residents who were growing cucumbers or had incorrect wiring—with no marijuana to be found—were nonetheless fined up to $5,300, and in one case had trouble entering the U.S. The bylaw has since been suspended pending review.
Alberta: A man is suing the Calgary police, claiming he was wrongfully beaten up and arrested for trying to pick up a prostitute. According to the plaintiff, he was simply the passenger in his friend’s van when the driver allegedly tried to buy sex from an undercover police officer. A police vehicle then approached the van, and the plaintiff says he was pulled out and punched and kicked by two officers before being questioned and searched.
Saskatchewan: Regina’s CTV News anchor Manfred Joehnck is suing the local alternative weekly, Prairie Dog, for a blog post he claims misinterpreted on-air remarks he made comparing k.d. lang’s physical appearance to Charlie Sheen: “The older she gets, the more she looks like Charlie Sheen,” Joehnck joked, before qualifying: “Charlie on a good day, not his web page days.” The blogger took umbrage to what he perceived as a slur against lang’s appearance, and by extension her sexual orientation. Although Joehnck has apologized, his lawsuit claims the post and the reader comments are harmful to his reputation.