Potheads will save & boost Big Tobacco: Marijuana is the new tobacco

The pot stock bubble: Inside the rush to profit from medical marijuana
By Grant Robertson, The Globe and Mail, Dec. 19 2014
Denis Arsenault couldn’t believe what he was seeing. When his company, OrganiGram Inc., made its debut on the TSX Venture Exchange this summer, the shares suddenly shot up.

Such a high valuation didn’t make sense – not even to Mr. Arsenault, and he was the company’s chief executive officer.

Just a few weeks earlier, OrganiGram, an upstart producer of medical marijuana based in Moncton had been valued privately at just over $40-million. But on the open market, speculators feverishly drove up the total value of shares to nearly $120-million in late August.

It wasn’t that Mr. Arsenault didn’t believe in the future of his business. OrganiGram is one of only 15 companies to land a highly coveted federal licence in Canada’s new medical marijuana sector, touted as a potential multibillion-dollar industry in the years to come.

But the company hadn’t made a dime yet. OrganiGram was probably a year away from pulling in meaningful revenue – and it was already worth nine digits in the stock market.

“I was just shaking my head,” Mr. Arsenault said of that first week of trading.

What happened was exuberant, if irrational, and OrganiGram wasn’t the only company feeling the surge.

Investor appetite for Canadian marijuana stocks also turned rival Tweed Inc. of Smiths Falls, Ont., into a $100-million company before it had even logged its first shipment to patients.

Sooner or later, everyone was jumping on the marijuana trend. .....click "Read More" below to continue...


Marijuana poisoning incidents spike in Washington state

By Victoria Cavaliere | Reuters – Tue, 18 Nov, 2014
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Marijuana exposure incidents, or 'pot poisonings,' have spiked in Washington state, especially among teenagers, in a trend experts said on Tuesday appears to be linked to the state's largely unregulated medical marijuana industry.

Marijuana exposures are defined as any situation where an adult or child suffers an adverse reaction to the consumption of marijuana, such as increased heart rate, paranoia or stomach illness, according to the Washington Poison Center.

Some 210 marijuana exposures were reported in the first nine months of the year, more than in all of 2013, according to Washington Poison Center Clinical Managing Director Alexander Garrard.

"Our thought is that the spike is potentially related to the number of unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries that are opening up around the state," he said.

Washington legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012, with the first retail stores opening in 2014 under a highly regulated and taxed system in contrast to the relatively lax pre-existing regime for medical pot.

The state's medical marijuana industry, legalized in 1998, sells products of unconfirmed potency as well as marijuana edibles attractive to children, like gummy bears and lollipops.

While retail stores have been slow to open, Garrard said medical dispensaries have been expanding steadily over the past year.

He said most exposures among young children are accidental, with parents reporting their children found and ate marijuana-laced items such as cookies and candy bars.

Exposure incidents among teens ages 13 to 19 have seen the biggest spike, a trendline possibly linked to accessibility, Garrard said. There were 39 teen exposures in all of 2013, with almost as many reported this year through August, data shows.

"A kid may have access to it (medical marijuana) and who knows what they are doing with those products when they go to school, and they are hanging out with their friends," Garrard said. "It's really hard to track that information."

Marijuana detractors argue the push to legalize pot, which remains illegal under federal law, comes amid a lack of clear data about how cannabis affects young brains and bodies.

Garrard urged anyone suffering from illness linked to marijuana to report the incident to the poison center, which keeps patient information confidential.

"A lot of what we know about these adverse effects comes from these case reports or people having shown up in the hospital," he said. 
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by James Dalgleish)


Your kid’s brain on pot: The real effects of marijuana on teens

Adriana Barton, The Globe and Mail, Oct. 16 2014
As the debate over legalization heats up, Adriana Barton examines the effects of marijuana on the developing brains of teenagers – our nation’s most prolific users – and finds there is no such thing as a harmless habit

Like it or not, your kids will probably try marijuana. So will their friends. Canadian teens are more than twice as likely as adults to smoke pot – and have the highest rate of cannabis use in the developed world. Marijuana has become as much a part of Canada’s youth culture as hockey or Katy Perry.....click "Read More" below to continue.....


Potheads' heads buried in sands about marijuana facts

Drs. Oz & Roizen: New marijuana facts surface
By Mehmet Oz, M.D., and Mike Roizen, M.D., October 6, 2014
  With clever names like Peace of Mind, Girl Scout Cookies, Train Wreck and Tsunami, it's a good bet that the marketers of legal marijuana finished high school.

That's less certain for their younger customers. New research shows daily marijuana use before the age of 17 cuts your chances of graduating from high school or getting a college degree by 60 percent. And that info's just the tip of the joint. Now that marijuana is legal for recreational use in Washington and Colorado, and for medical purposes in 19 other states plus the District of Columbia, scientists are able to study the drug more closely. The result is an outpouring of data on marijuana's formerly unknown or underappreciated risks.

One new study found that 40 percent of cannabis-using adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse report symptoms of withdrawal - a true marker for drug dependence (addiction). And kids are eight times more likely to use illicit drugs later in life if they smoke marijuana regularly. Another study found that adolescents who smoke pot daily shed an average of six IQ points by adulthood; points you're not getting back, and that can mean the difference between an engaged, rewarding life and not!

Just because the drug is legal in some places, doesn't mean it's smart to use it. As Derek Jeter says: "If you have dreams and aspirations to be successful, drugs and alcohol are only going to alter those dreams. Try to stay away from them and find something more productive to do with your time."

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/10/06/3412500/new-marijuana-facts-surface.html


Toxic smoke is harmful, not medicinal

(Medicines don't float along with toxic smoke) 
Doctors denounce pot smoke
Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News, August 21, 2014
They already opposed tobacco. Now the nation's doctors say Canadians shouldn't smoke "any plant material" whatsoever, including marijuana.

Delegates at the Canadian Medical Association's general council meeting voted Wednesday to formally oppose the smoking of any plant substance.

Opponents to the motion said it was a back-door way to ban medical marijuana. Some claimed it smacks of Prohibition all over again.

Taken literally, the blanket statement could cover dozens of plants that people smoke in different cultures.

But outgoing CMA president Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti said smoking harms the lungs' "natural cleaning and repair system and traps cancer-causing chemicals" in the airways.

He cited a 2008 study by the American Chemical Society that found marijuana smoke contains many of the same chemicals as tobacco but in substantially higher levels.

Smoking marijuana may be more harmful than tobacco, partly because people often take "deeper, longer" puffs, said incoming president Dr. Chris Simpson.

The motion strengthens the CMA's opposition to marijuana for medical purposes, especially in its smoked form, he added.

The CMA has a policy supporting decriminalization of pot, "because we don't see the value of turning people who smoke marijuana into criminals," Simpson later told reporters.

On medicinal marijuana, the group's position is unequivocal, he said. "We are very sympathetic to the number of Canadians who tell us that they derive relief from marijuana. So we stand in solidarity with the patients," he said. "But our position is very clear: The evidence is insufficient to support its use as medicine."

Dr. Deborah Hellyer, a Windsor, Ont., respirologist said that smoking one joint "is equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes."

But Dr. Ashley Miller of St. John's said the "prohibitionist" tone of the motion contradicts existing evidence and she worried about the cultural sensitivity.

Others at the meeting, held at the Ottawa Convention Centre, worried what message defeating the motion would send to the public.

"If we don't support it, it says, 'Smoke whatever you want' and I think that's a really bad message to send to the public," said Calgary physician Dr. Robin Cox.
Related news:   
Chris Simpson: Why the CMA chose not to participate in the government’s anti-pot campaign


Sham of "medical" marijuana dispensaries

Medical marijuana: Easy to get, easy to buy
A reporter had no trouble getting the medical green light required by Vancouver medical dispensaries
By Mike Hager, Vancouver Sun,  September 2, 2014
   Recreational marijuana may as well be legal in the city of Vancouver, given how easy it is for an adult to buy from a fast-growing number of dispensaries openly selling cannabis to customers.

In 2010, there were five dispensaries in the city, according to police. In January last year, police counted a dozen. Most were concentrated in the city’s Downtown Eastside or along Kingsway.

Now city hall staff say there are 45 spread across Vancouver, with a handful in trendy neighbourhoods such as Yaletown and Kitsilano. Many have lounges where friends gather to learn about the pain relief brought by different edibles or the coolest new ways to smoke different strains of B.C.’s best bud.

Technically, it’s against the law for a person to buy marijuana without a federal certificate issued on the advice of a physician or nurse practitioner.

And there has never been a federal licensing system for dispensaries.

But, responding to complaints by patients about access to marijuana, dispensaries have formed their system of issuing membership cards based on easy-to-get documentation from any medical professional.

Some of the dozens of dispensaries in the city skirt the law by teaming up with health professionals other than doctors and nurse practitioners, like naturopaths and in one case a psychologist, who issue certificates that dispensaries then rely on to let patients become members. The dispensaries then willingly sell cannabis products to these members......click "Read More" below to continue.....


Unhealthy pot-smoking versus health culture

Exercise Offers Healthier High Than Pot
By Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014
When Cheech and Chong lit up the movie screens with their marijuana-fogged dialogue - "Hey man, how's my driving?" "I think we're parked, man" - they probably never imagined cannabis would become legal. But today more than 20 states have authorized medical marijuana, while Colorado and Washington have legalized it for personal use. So we say it's time to back up (carefully) and take a look at the health risks associated with recreational use (addressing medical use is for another column).

The active ingredient in marijuana (THC or 9 delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) has been engineered to be much more concentrated in today's crops than it was in the 1970s. That, combined with the highly individual way the drug affects the brain (20-somethings, listen up, you're still developing neural wiring), makes it hard to predict who might be at risk for long-term marijuana-related problems.

What is known, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is that regular or heavy use is linked to traffic accidents and reduced lung function (the smoke contains carcinogens) and can encourage addictions. In addition, for some folks, THC's effect on neurotransmitters may increase the risk for depression and the development of psychosis. It also can cause memory and attention deficits. And particular to eating THC, there may be an increased risk of panic or anxiety.

Our advice? Go for a free twofer: An exercise high from aerobic routines, like interval walking (see doctoroz.com for how-to), boosts both serotonin and endorphin levels. You'll get smokin' hot without craving a peanut butter and jelly pizza.
© King Features Syndicate


A neighbourhood plastered with posters imploring woman to 'stop selling weed to our kids

(A poster on a street in east Vancouver warns person to stop 
(Photograph by: Nick Procaylo)
selling marijuana to school kids in the area):
To the woman on Wall St. selling weed to our kids:
 Stop immediately.
Stop selling weed to our young children.
Stop giving them candy canes. 
You are not kind.
Stop your two for one.
 Our kids are becoming addicts.
For tips, please email:
------------- @gmail.com
 CASH REWARD for tips leading to arrest."

By John Colebourn, The Province, May 23, 2014
A series of posters have been taped to poles and trees along Wall Street in east Vancouver warning a person to stop selling marijuana to school-age kids in the area.

The posters along Wall Street up to where it intersects at Dundas Street were put up about two days ago, say area residents.

“People have been talking about the posters,” said one resident with a young child, who did not want her name used.                                                                 

“I have no idea who put the posters up,” added the woman who lives in the 2200-block Wall Street.

She said it is shocking to hear that young children are possibly being exposed to people selling drugs along the busy street. “I didn’t know it was that bad along here.”

Another resident who did not want to be named said the street is no worse than most other low-income areas. “There is pot everywhere,” said the woman. “This street is no different.”

More than a dozen posters can be seen along Wall Street.

The poster said the drug dealing needs to stop.

“Stop selling weed to our young children,” reads the poster. “Our kids are becoming addicts.”

The poster indicates a cash reward will be given to people who provide tips that lead to an arrest.

The person behind the posters contacted The Province and said many of the teens in the area are down on Wall Street during school hours scoring pot.

“Some lady on Wall Street is selling pot to teenagers and that is our problem,” said the woman who called herself Louise. “I have had the police to my house to discuss the problem,” she added.

She said they will give the tipster $100 for information that leads to a conviction.Vancouver police were unavailable to comment on the situation.


From tobacco to double whammy: tobacco & marijuana

Edmonton school boards ban electronic cigarettes over marijuana concerns
By: The Canadian Press, 05/9/2014
EDMONTON - Two Edmonton school boards have banned the use of electronic cigarettes on school property over concerns that some students could use the devices to smoke marijuana on the sly.

Police say officers have caught five high school students in the last two weeks with e-cigarettes filled with marijuana oil.

The devices use a battery to heat and vaporize the oil. They mask the smell of the more concentrated drug, which delivers a more powerful high than a regular joint.

"Edmonton Public Schools fully supports the Edmonton Police Service in making the community aware of any dangerous emerging trend," Supt. Darrel Robertson said in a release.

"We will do what we can to not only enforce the restriction of the e-cigarette use around our schools, but to making sure our students, staff and parents are educated of its dangers."

Edmonton Catholic Schools has imposed a similar ban.

Electronic cigarettes, which use the same technology to vaporize nicotine or other materials, are growing in popularity around the world, including with teens. Proponents say they are a safer alternative to tobacco.

A study published in September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. suggests that e-cigarette use by high school students to smoke nicotine and other additives more than doubled to 10 per cent in 2012 from 4.7 per cent the previous year.

Police say the trend of using e-cigarettes to smoke cannabis poses another problem. They say it has increased the demand for marijuana and hash oil, which some people are distilling in dangerous home labs.

Fire and police officials in Alberta warn such extraction labs can cause fires and explosions.

Last July, a blast in a lab rocked a home in a Calgary residential neighbourhood as children played outside.

"The demand for hash oil, or cannabis resin, is attributed to the proliferation to the electronic cigarettes," said a recent release from Alberta's Law Enforcement Response Teams.

The Canadian Medical Association has said e-cigarettes are not approved for sale in Canada, but are readily available.

It has been calling for a ban on the sale of nicotine-loaded e-cigarettes to adults until there is solid evidence the devices are safe.

The association has said minors shouldn't be allowed to buy any kind of e-cigarettes.

— With files from CHED


More victims of "pot is harmless" propaganda

North Vancouver Mounties issue warning about pot-laced treats
Vancouver Sun, April 29, 2014
METRO VANCOUVER - North Vancouver Mounties have arrested a 16-year-old youth for allegedly selling pot-laced treats to other students in the past week.

RCMP Cpl. Richard de Jong said several Grade 10 students from two different high schools had ingested the marijuana-infused treats, which included Rice Krispy Squares and brownies. One of them became ill and was hospitalized while another was sent home from school.

De Jong said he's not sure where the treats had come from, but believes they may have been bought during the 4/20 event.

The youth arrested was found to be carrying both the treats and cash, de Jong said.

He noted such drug-laced treats are becoming more prevalent and "can be very tempting to children" because they look and taste the same as ordinary sweets. But many youth can become quite sick depending on several of factors including the child's age, weight, the potency of the drug, and how much is ingested, he added.

"It's very risky behaviour," he said.

RCMP School Liaison Officers are also working closely with staff of the North Vancouver School District to both educate students and parents and to ensure school properties are drug free.


Prescribing toxic smoke

(A letter in the Letters section of the Globe and Mail, A10, March 25, 2014):
Rx for pot plants
Re Wary Doctors Pressed into Prescribing Medical Pot (March 23):  There are good reasons why doctors are reluctant to prescribe marijuana. These include all the problems with prescribing whole plants as medicines, including the thousands of other chemicals delivered in addtion to the intended active ingredient, variations in the potency of the active ingredient, making accurate dosing impossible, and issues of purity.

There is no reason to think smoking marijuana is any safer than smoking tobacco. If used at all, marijuana plants should be consumed only orally (for example, in brownies).

Evidence for the benefit of marijuana is limited; belief, no matter how strongly held, does not qualify as evidence.

There are pure, properly tested drugs containing the active cannbinoid ingredients of marijuana, and those may be reasonable candidates for prescription.

Prescribing whole plants for the purpose of smoking them cannot be regarded as a reasonable thing to ask of physicians. 
- J. David Spence, MD, professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology, Robarts Research Institute


Girl brainwashed that pot is harmless

High school girl caught selling pot brownies to pay for her prom dress
By Tina Robinson | Daily Buzz
Ahh, prom. The high school event that every teenage girl looks forward to. But what if you couldn’t afford a prom dress?

18-year-old Saira Munoz of Yuba City, California, was stuck in this little predicament, and selected a very unconventional (and illegal) way to make some money to pay for her dress, CBS Sacramento reports.

She decided to put on a bake sale at her River Valley High School where she would feature some very special brownies she had made. Yes, you guessed it: The main ingredient in her special brownies was marijuana.

She even hired fellow student Carlos Robles to help her sell these stoner sweets.

However, she did not foresee the consequences that the drug could have on other students. One student got sick from the brownies and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, foiling Munoz’s baked brownie prom dress scheme.

“People make mistakes,” said Robles of the bake sale stunt that landed his friend Munoz in handcuffs. “I was hurt, because she got arrested, and nobody wanted to see somebody we cared about go away,” he said.

Having hired Robles as her special brownie vendor, she was charged with employing a minor to sell marijuana — which according to CBS Sacramento, is a felony.

What’s even more unfortunate for the brownie entrepreneur is that she is in danger of being deported back to her home in Mexico.

Munoz came to the U.S. in 2000 with temporary permission, but after the Sutter County Probation Department called the feds about her conviction, a deportation may be in the cards for the teen.

For now, a judge has sentenced Munoz to four years probation and nine days in jail.

Suddenly, not getting the prom dress you want doesn't seem like such a big deal.
Source: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-buzz/high-school-girl-caught-selling-pot-brownies-pay-171150761.html?vp=1


Even casual use of cannabis alters brain, warn scientists

Casual pot use causes brain abnormalities in the young: study
By Alex Dobuzinskis | Reuters, 4/16/2014
(Reuters) - Young, casual marijuana smokers experience potentially harmful changes to their brains, with the drug altering regions of the mind related to motivation and emotion, researchers found.

The study to be published on Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience differs from many other pot-related research projects that are focused on chronic, heavy users of cannabis.

The collaborative effort between Northwestern University's medical school, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed a direct correlation between the number of times users smoked and abnormalities in the brain. .....click "Read More" below to continue.....


Amanda Bynes quit pot, recovers from pot madness

(Poster's note, 11/16/2014: Unfortunately, Amanda has recently relapsed mentally)
Amanda Bynes blames weed for erratic behaviour
Actress AMANDA BYNES blames her erratic behaviour on dope smoking.
Express.co.uk, April 10, 2014
The troubled Hollywood star completed a stint in a rehabilitation centre last year (13) for mental health evaluation after a spate of bizarre antics.

The Hairspray star's mother Lynn has now spoken out to insist her daughter is not suffering from any mental illness and is adamant smoking too much weed was responsible for her bizarre behaviour.

In a statement released by family lawyer Tamar Arminak, Lynn says, "Amanda has no mental illness whatsoever. She has never been diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar. She is very sorry for all the hurtful tweets, statements and actions that occurred while she was under the influence of marijuana."

Bynes was placed in a rehab unit last year (13) after a series of odd antics culminated in her starting a fire on the driveway of a neighbour's home in California.
Source: http://express.co.uk/news/showbiz/469670/Amanda-Bynes-blames-weed-for-erratic-behaviour
Amanda Bynes isn’t a schizophrenic
By Kirstin Buick on April 11, 2014, Bang Showbiz
Amanda Bynes doesn’t have schizophrenia.

The troubled actress, who completed psychiatric treatment in December following a series of public outbursts, has asked her lawyer, Tamar Arminak, to shoot down rumours claiming she suffers from the mental disorder.

Speaking to People magazine, Mr Arminak said: “There has been much speculation about Amanda’s medical condition. She has remained silent because she believed it was best to keep her mental health diagnosis private. However, she asked me to dispel certain rumours. For the record, Amanda does not have schizophrenia, nor has she ever been diagnosed with it.”

The attorney also claims the 28-year-old star, who chucked a marijuana bong out the window of her apartment in New York City last May, has never abused drugs or alcohol and she quit cannabis nine months ago.

He explained: “She’s devoted to living her life as healthy as possible. She’s never had a history of abusing alcohol or hard drugs, and she’s proud to say she’s been marijuana-free for the past nine months.”

The Sydney White actress, who was arrested last July after setting a small fire outside an elderly woman’s home in Los Angeles, is now hoping to rebuild her life and has become a student at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

A source said previously: “She’s a great student who always participated and really cared about her classes. She really fit in and loves her school.”
-Bang Showbiz
Source: http://you.co.za/news/amanda-bynes-isnt-a-schizophrenic/


Harms of pot legalization: Pot is brain-damaging, cigarette not; both smokes are toxic

Pot-coloured glasses

David Frum | April 5, 2014, National Post
America’s 50 states are sometimes called “laboratories of democracy.” Although the expression is intended to highlight in flattering terms how innovative they can be, it also suggests that the states’ political experiments can and do fail. In the event of failure, the hope must be that damage can be stopped at the state line. Today, the experiment of state-by-state marijuana legalization is failing before our eyes — and failing most signally where the experiment has been tried most boldly. The failure is accelerating even as the forces pushing legalization are on what appears to be an inexorable march.

In November 2012, the states of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize the sale of marijuana to any adult consumer. Advocates of legalization carried the vote with a substantial campaign budget, a few million dollars, and a brilliant slogan: “Drug dealers don’t ask for ID.” The implied promise: Marijuana legalization would be joined to tough enforcement to keep marijuana away from minors. After all, persistent and heavy marijuana use among adolescents has been shown to reduce their IQ as adults by 6 to 8 points. An Australian study of identical twins found that a twin who started using cannabis before age 17 was 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than the twin who did not. People in Colorado had good reason to worry about teen drug use. Colorado voters had approved a limited experiment with medical marijuana in 2000. A complex series of judicial and administrative decisions in the mid-2000s overthrew most restrictions on the dispensing of marijuana. Between 2009 and 2012, the number of dispensaries jumped past 500, and the number of medical cardholders multiplied from roughly 1,000 to more than 108,000.

With so many medical-marijuana card-holders walking about, it was simply inevitable that some would re-sell their marijuana to underage users. A 2013 study of Colorado teens in drug treatment found that 74% had shared somebody else’s medical marijuana. The number of occasions on which they had shared averaged over 50 times. According to a report by the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Colorado teens, by 2012, were 50% more likely to use marijuana than their peers in the rest of the country......click "Read More" below to continue.....


College Student Fell To Death After Eating Pot Cookies

AP | by  SADIE GURMAN, 04/02/2014
DENVER (AP) — A Wyoming college student visiting Denver on spring break jumped to his death after eating a marijuana cookie that his friend legally purchased in one of Colorado's recreational pot shops, authorities said Wednesday.

An autopsy report lists marijuana intoxication as a "significant contributing factor" in the death of 19-year-old Levi Thamba Pongi, a native of the Republic of Congo who fell from a motel balcony on March 11.

Pongi's friends told investigators he ate the cookie and "exhibited hostile behavior" that included pulling things off walls and speaking erratically, the report said.

Attempts by the three friends to calm Pongi seemed to work until he went outside and jumped over the balcony railing, according to the report.

Denver police ruled the death an accident and their investigation remains open.

Colorado law bans the sale of recreational marijuana products to people under 21. Possession by people under 21 is also against the law. Authorities said one of Pongi's friends was old enough to buy the cookie from a pot shop.

The medical examiner's office had Pongi's body tested for at least 250 different substances, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana, which are known to cause strange behavior. His blood tested positive only for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the report.

One of Pongi's friends also tried the cookie but stopped after feeling sick, said Michelle Weiss-Samaras, a spokeswoman for the Denver County medical examiner's office.

The marijuana concentration in Pongi's blood was 7.2 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. Colorado law says juries can assume someone is driving while impaired by marijuana if their blood contains more than 5 nanograms per milliliter of the chemical.

Officials at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., say Pongi started taking classes as an exchange student in January. He was studying engineering.

"The Northwest College campus community continues to grieve after Levy's death," the college said in a statement. "All of us were deeply saddened by this tragic incident and feel for his family."

Colorado lawmakers move to tighten edible marijuana laws
By Keith Coffman | Reuters – Tue, 22 Apr, 2014
DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado lawmakers are moving to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles, an issue that has gained attention following two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products, the measures' main sponsor said on Tuesday.

The state House of Representatives this week unanimously passed a bill limiting the amount of concentrated marijuana that can be sold, and another bill requiring more specific labeling of pot-laced products, such as candies and baked goods.

Rep. Frank McNulty, a Republican from suburban Denver, said the measures are needed to protect the public and assure that edibles are not mistakenly consumed by children.

"The packages of edibles are labeled that they contain marijuana, but once they're out of the package, they're indistinguishable from a brownie or lollipop bought at a grocery store," he said. .....click "Read More" below to continue...


Dangers of unrestricted pot grow-ops

B.C. marijuana fires total 36 in 8 years
Even licensed operations fail due to lack of permits and inspections, RCMP report says
By Kelly Sinoski and Matthew Robinson, Vancouver Sun, April 1, 2014

Marijuana grow lamps were to blame for 36 fires in B.C. over the past eight years, according to Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C. data, and nearly a quarter of those blazes struck homes that had been licensed to grow medical marijuana.

Risk of fire, such as the one that burned a massive medical marijuana operation in Surrey to the ground Monday, is just one of many hazards cited by the federal government in its battle against a temporary injunction granted by Federal Court last week that allows licensed users to keep growing plants in their homes.

“Given that marijuana growing operations require the use of high-powered lights that are not designed for residential home use, and the fact that marijuana plants require 12-18 hours of light a day, it is not surprising that these operations would face an increased risk of fire,” states a Federal Court submission compiled for Health Canada....click "Read More" below to continue....

Huge Surrey fire linked to medicinal marijuana growing operation

Huge Surrey fire linked to medicinal marijuana growing operation 
METRO VANCOUVER - A pungent haze loitered among the ashes of a massive medical marijuana grow operation levelled Monday by what Surrey’s top firefighter termed a suspicious blaze, sparked on the very day Canada’s controversial, outgoing pot licensing scheme was set to expire.

It took more than 30 firefighters to put out the six-metre-high flames that destroyed a modified warehouse on a former Port Kells mushroom farm that since at least 2011 had housed three medical marijuana licenses good for more than 500 plants, according to Chief Len Garis.

“Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” said Garis, who added that the fire showcased the dangers of licensed grow operations under the old system. “But you know what? I have six engines there and it’s just a stark example of why these things need to be regulated properly.”

He noted that the Government of Canada appealed a Federal Court injunction Monday that allows people to continue to grow medical marijuana while a full legal challenge plays out in the courts. Garis and other Lower Mainland chiefs had been planning to start a crackdown today on local medical marijuana patients who refused to stop home production and destroy their plants, as was required by Health Canada regulations until the injunction was set two weeks ago.

By Monday afternoon, firefighters had entered the smouldering warehouse near 187th Street and 88th Avenue where they found plant remnants in what may have been a drying room, said Garis, who did not know what part of the plants had gone up in smoke.

Neighbours living near the old mushroom farm said the smell of marijuana on the huge site was not unusual, and that over the past few days they had seen tenants moving equipment off the property, which had been gutted by the fire.

“I saw the flames on top of the roof and it was going crazy,” said Drago Kodelja, who lives in the 8700-block of 187th Street directly across the street from the fire. “The whole building burned down from one end to the other. And it went fast. In half an hour, they couldn’t stop it.”

Kodelja said that he often smelled marijuana at the property and that there were “scrubby” people hanging around.

“There were a lot of weirdos around there. They had long hair, unclean, with a lot of tattoos. Everybody thought it was suspicious. And quite a few people complained about the marijuana smell. Quite a few neighbours have moved out because they were fed up with the marijuana.”.....click "Read More" below to continue....


Dangerous candies

Are pot-laced candies seized part of a growing trend?
By Steve Mertl | Daily Brew – Tue, 18 Feb, 2014
Marijuana-laced candies, already worrying authorities in the United States, now are causing concerns north of the border.

RCMP in Alberta busted an Edmonton man last month after detecting the strong odour of pot during a routine traffic stop on Highway 16, west of the city.

They turned up enough weed to make about 25,000 joints, the Edmonton Sun reported. But they also discovered more than a pound of candies containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

The accused, who faces a number of drug charges, admitted he'd bought the sweets in Vancouver, the Sun said.

The Mounties said the candies are produced by using chemicals to extract the THC from marijuana. The concentrated dose can be more potent than weed that's smoked, police said.

“Consumers have no way of knowing the percentage of THC or the potency of these candies,” RCMP drug expert Sgt. Lorne Adamitz said in a news release.

Police are worried children will get their hands on the drug-laced sweets and end up in hospital.......click "Read More" below to continue....


Officials: Spanish university student goes into comatose state after eating pot cake

By Harold Heckle, The Associated Press, Feb. 16, 2014
MADRID - A university student in Spain's capital went into a comatose state early Sunday after he ate a birthday cake baked with marijuana, while nine others were also hospitalized, officials said.

The comatose man wasn't responding to stimulus when admitted to a Madrid hospital, but he later recovered, city emergency services spokesman Javier Chivite said. The man was still hospitalized.

It wasn't immediately clear if the pot cake directly led to the man's comatose state, or if he had ingested other substances or had underlying medical problems.

An official at Puerta de Hierro de Majadahonda hospital confirmed the man went into a comatose state, but declined to reveal further details, citing privacy issues. The hospital official spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn't authorized to be identified by name.

A total of 11 people were affected by eating the cake, Chivite said. Ten of them were hospitalized, the hospital official said. Chivite said they were treated for irregular heartbeat.

Jose Dominguez de Posada, dean of Madrid's Alfonso X University, said the students were all male and aged between 18 and 22 and the most affected was studying veterinary sciences. Dominguez de Posada said the university campus houses about 12,000 students. 


"Legalizing marijuana is not the answer"

(a letter published in the Vancouver Sun,  Dec. 3, 2013)...

Re: Pot-smoking Mountie illustrates need to change drug laws, Column, Nov. 30

There are overwhelming reasons, evidence, and science against legalization of marijuana.

Taxes on legal marijuana would be offset by higher social, health care, criminal justice costs and lost workplace productivity. We'd have additional road carnage from more dopeaddled drivers. Myriad medical studies show marijuana's toxicity to cells, DNA; its links to schizophrenia and psychosis in some people, memory problems and increased risk of cancer.

Marijuana has all the noxious chemicals contained in tobacco except nicotine. One in 10 users (and one in six among adolescents) develop dependence.

Legalization would send mixed messages to kids about drugs. Displaced pot-pushers and distribution channels would be driven into more deadly designer drugs. There is a race to produce ever-increasing THC content levels. Australia reports THC topping out at 40 per cent, compared with the two-to-four per cent reefer of the 1970s. So let's get real: There will always be some form of marijuana prohibition.

Colorado and Washington face a raft of implementation fears and challenges, including black market price undercutting, while in the Netherlands a judge, provinces and towns have all made rulings against cannabis use in an attempt to contain serious and evolving marijuana industry problems.

Rob Brandreth-Gibbs,
Source: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Legalizing+marijuana+answer/9239899/story.html#ixzz2reeilGph

Seniors Home Grow-Op Found In New Brunswick

By Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press Posted: 11/20/2013
FREDERICTON - There needs to be an independent review of inspection policies following the discovery of a marijuana growing operation in the basement of a special care home for seniors in New Brunswick, the province's Opposition Liberals said Wednesday.

The party's social development critic said he finds it difficult to understand how marijuana could be grown undetected in a facility that is subject to inspections and entrusted to care for the elderly.

"Seniors could have been badly injured, or could have died as a result of this," Victor Boudreau said in the legislature Wednesday.

The RCMP say they seized 550 marijuana plants and marijuana growing equipment Friday after a fire erupted at the Forever Young Special Care Home in Clarks Corner. The six residents of the home safely escaped.

Investigators said they believed the fire was related to the marijuana growing operation .......click "Read More" below to continue....