Canada: Long-Awaited Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced
On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Canada, following through on a campaign pledge and ending a long wait by advocates and entrepreneurs.
The new law would allow adults 18 and over to possess or share up to 30 grams of dried herbaceous cannabis and to purchase cannabis or cannabis oil from retailers, to be regulated at the provincial level. Canadians will also be allowed to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use and to prepare legal cannabis products at home. Cannabis-infused edibles are to be available for sale after the regulatory framework is developed and brought into force.
“If your objective is to protect public health and safety and keep cannabis out of the hands of minors, and stop the flow of profits to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told a news conference, according to the Canadian Press. “Police forces spend between $2 billion and $3 billion every year trying to deal with cannabis, and yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world… we simply have to do better.”
Supreme Court Gives Judges Flexibility In Mandatory Minimum Cases
The US Supreme Court on April 4 handed down a unanimous decision in Dean v. United States, giving federal judges greater flexibility in mandatory minimum cases—an aim activists have long been demanding. Advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums filed a brief in support of the petitioner in the case.
As Bloomberg BNA reports, Levon Dean Jr, of Sioux City, faced consecutive mandatory minimum sentences for use of a firearm in two robberies of local drug dealers. The two mandatory sentences added up to 30 years: a five-year minimum for the first offense and a 25-year minimum for the second. Because of the severity of the mandatory firearm term, Dean requested a sentence of just one day on his robbery and conspiracy charges. The district court wrote that 30 years plus one day was “more than sufficient,” but nonetheless believed it lacked the authority to bend the mandatory minimum law. The Supreme Court has now found otherwise, and Dean will be getting his 30 years plus one day.
How much Marijuana has been Grown in Washington? Over 150,000 Pounds of Useable Marijuana was Produced in Fiscal Year 2017
Oregon Marijuana Sales Far Exceed Expectations
Legal cannabis sales in America continue to be brisk in every state where the drug is sold over-the-counter—and they continue to defy expectations.
American consumers have a far greater appetite for marijuana than economists, accountants and other estimators thought. As sales figures from Oregon reveal, actual legal cannabis sales have outstripped some projections by more than six times.
In Oregon, through the first three months of the year, roughly 11,000 pounds of cannabis were legally sold in the state’s approximately 300 legal dispensaries, for total sales revenue of $43.7 million, according to a recent report from the state Department of Revenue, published last week by KATU-2 News.
Alaska Marijuana Control Board Delays Decision on Onsite Marijuana Consumption
Marijuana Seizures Surge in Hong Kong
You can make an argument for Hong Kong, the former British colony turned international banking and cultural center, as the most liberal place in China.
With that statement, you would also likely offend some people, in both mainland China and in Hong Kong: While the city is officially part of China under the “one country, two systems” situation, Hong Kong has its own autonomous government, semi-democratic politics and capitalist economy and independent currency. And as you may have heard, there are an awful lot of people in Hong Kong who don’t take kindly to direction from Beijing.
But one thing Hong Kong has in common with the mainland is a total prohibition of drugs.
Some would argue it’s a cultural thing, as “recreational” drugs are what led to the Chinese having to hand over Hong Kong Island to the British in the first place. Nevertheless, the people of Hong Kong are like anyone anywhere else: They like to get high, and there are an increasing amount of opportunistic cannabis cultivators willing to risk life imprisonment to satiate that need.
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