‘Free the weed’: Cannabis supporters protest globally for relaxation of marijuana laws
What, What! In Toronto some 20,000 marijuana activists gathered in Queens Park in Toronto to take part in the 18th Global Marijuana March.
“Thousands of people are still facing criminal charges,” said event founder Neev, who refused to give his last name, according to the Toronto Sun. “It should be legalized, it should be cheaper. It’s so expensive because it’s not legal yet. I appreciate the Liberals wanting to do it right, but the rollout is so slow.”
A number of those taking part wore fancy dress costumes, while they chants of “free the weed” could be heard.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Canada: Federal Court Finds That The Marihuana For Medical Purposes Regulations Are Unconstitutional
In a decision released on February 24, 2016, Allard v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2016 FC 236, the Federal Court declared the entire Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (the “MMPR”) to be unconstitutional. The decision followed a challenge brought by four medical marihuana users who argued that the regime imposed by the MMPR restricted their access to medical marihuana, thereby violating their rights to liberty and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act criminalizes the production, distribution and possession of marihuana.
In 2001, the federal government enacted the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (the “MMAR”), which permitted individuals who had the support of a physician to obtain an authorization to possess (“ATP”) marihuana for medical purposes. Under the MMAR, ATP licence holders could obtain marihuana by personally producing it, by obtaining it from a designated producer or by obtaining it from Health Canada.
In 2013, the federal government repealed the MMAR and enacted the MMPR in their place. The MMPR restricts the right to produce and distribute medical marihuana to licenced producers who can comply with strict security requirements which are imposed on the production of other types of medications. Patients can only obtain medical marihuana by mail order from licenced producers.
At the time of enacting the MMPR, the federal government indicated that a new medical marihuana regime was needed because of, among other things, negative impacts on public health, safety and security arising from the growth of medical marihuana in residential homes. In the years leading up to the enactment of the MMPR, local governments and police forces advised the federal government that the growth of medical marihuana in residential homes contributed to a number of issues including: unsafe building alterations, the use of dangerous goods in quantities prohibited by fire codes, the growth of mould and fungus, the emission of unwanted odours and diversion of marihuana into the black market.
In Allard, the federal government argued that the enactment of the MMPR was justified for reasons of public health, safety and security. Unfortunately, however, the Federal Court found this argument to be unsupported by the evidence. In the court’s view, the negative impacts on public health, safety and security alleged by the federal government either did not exist or were remediable, and ultimately did not justify the imposition of a new medical marihuana regime which restricts patients’ access to medical marihuana by prohibiting personal production and prohibiting certain means of consumption.
In the result, the Federal Court declared the entire MMPR to be invalid, but suspended this declaration for six months to give the federal government time to enact a new or parallel medical marihuana regime.
While the six month suspension is in place:
- Persons who held valid personal-use production licences or designated-person production licences as of September 30, 2013, or who were issued such licences between September 30, 2013 and March 21, 2014, can continue to produce medical marihuana in their homes pursuant to those licences, as theFederal Court order permitting this remains in effect. We note that while the terms of the Federal Court order suggest that it only applies to the Allard plaintiffs, both the Allard plaintiffs and the Government of Canada have interpreted the order as applying to all persons who held valid personal-use production licences or designated-person production licences during the specified time period.
- Persons who do not benefit from the Federal Court order mentioned above can only legally produce marihuana in production facilities approved under the MMPR. Medical marihuana dispensaries remain unlawful and those who run them may be subject to prosecution under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
After the six month suspension is over, local governments’ ability to regulate the location of medical marihuana grow-ops will be restricted, as the Allard decision effectively means that some level of personal production must be permitted by the federal government.
The federal government has yet to announce whether it will appeal the decision, or whether it will begin crafting a new or parallel medical marihuana regime.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Article By: http://www.mondaq.com/
A B.C. grower is seeking certification, but the Kashruth Council of Canada questions the need if marijuana is consumed legally, as medicine
Is marijuana kosher? If it’s medicine, it doesn’t matter.
That’s the message from Canada’s largest kosher certification agency after its board of rabbis held a debate on whether to certify cannabis oils as kosher.
The Kashruth Council of Canada met Thursday to discuss an application from MedReleaf, a licensed producer of medical pot. The meeting followed news in the U.S. that a New York company would soon offer certified kosher medical cannabis products.
But after “a lot of interplay and exchange,” the Kashruth council decided the Jewish faith doesn’t require sick people to consume kosher medicine, said managing director Richard Rabkin.
“Something that is medicine, that’s prescribed from your doctor, that you need to take for your health, that doesn’t need kosher certification,” he said by phone after the meeting.
“We don’t really want to get into the business of providing kosher certification for something that is doctor-prescribed. We’re not going to go down that path.”
Kosher foods are those that conform to Jewish law, with strict guidelines on the types of foods that can be consumed and how they are prepared.
Rabkin said there’s a principle in Judaism that the preservation of human life overrides other religious concerns. If one must consume something non-kosher to survive — or, in the case of medical marijuana, to relieve pain or seizures — one can and should do so.
He acknowledged that some medical cannabis users might prefer to consume kosher pot, but he said a conversation with a rabbi should alleviate their concerns.
Neil Closner, chief executive officer of MedReleaf, said he was proud his company pushed Kashruth to consider the issue.
“It was because of us that they even had this meeting,” he said. “We’re pleased with the outcome that from their perspective, (medical) cannabis is considered kosher for all consumers.”
Closner is Jewish and observes a kosher lifestyle. He said to his knowledge, no other companies in Canada currently offer kosher medical marijuana products and he had hoped MedReleaf would become the first. It has a licence to produce oils and expects to begin selling them in six to eight weeks.
He said he might consider seeking certification from another agency in the future, particularly if he expands into the recreational pot market.
In fact, not all kosher certification agencies agree with Kashruth on medical marijuana.
Kosher Check, a global kosher certification agency headquartered in British Columbia, debated the issue two years ago and decided in favour of certifying edible medical pot products.
Rabbi Mendy Feigelstock said while preservation of life does come before all else in Judaism, his organization decided it would be helpful to offer a kosher choice for those who want it.
He said dried marijuana that is smoked is automatically considered kosher since it is a plant. However, edible products including oils, capsules, brownies and cookies would need to be certified.
“There are people who are suffering and unfortunately sometimes the only medication left for them is marijuana, which could ease their symptoms, and to force a person to smoke it seems silly,” he said.
“If it’s easier to ingest it either in an oil or some other edible, then there’s no reason why that person should not be able to ingest it kosher, if that’s something that they’re careful about.”
Kosher Check’s business director Richard Wood said the organization had a few inquiries about kosher cannabis over the years but nothing had progressed to the certification stage.
He said when certifying an edible pot product, inspectors would look for issues including insect infestation in plants, equipment that is used for multiple purposes or capsules that use gelatin, which is produced from a non-kosher animal slaughter.
The issue of kosher pot is only coming to the forefront now in Canada because cannabis producers were banned from selling oils until last July, following a Supreme Court of Canada decision that ruled medical cannabis patients have the right to consume edible pot.
Another licensed medical marijuana producer, Aurora, is also considering kosher certification. Chief brand officer Neil Belot said in an email that the company had been in touch with a prominent certification agency to discuss the possibility.
Last Wednesday we put all of our flowers on sale and we got an amazing response.
This Wednesday the savings will continue and all concentrates and tears will be 10% off. This is a great time to save on some beard bros shatter or some phoenix tears by Purely Medicinal. Every Wednesday we will be offering sales on popular items so be sure to check back in and find out what is on sale next Wednesday!
We also offer free shipping on Sundays and all edibles are on sale every Monday.
At Escarpment Wellness, we are happy to introduce our first sale events.
Earlier in the week we introduced our Weekly Wellness Sale which will take place every week. This sale will feature discounts on selected items and is a great chance to ensure you receive your delivery before the weekend.
Every Sunday we will now offer free shipping to our customers on all orders.
Don’t forget starting tomorrow and all Mondays going forward will be known as Medible Monday here at Escarpment Wellness. All edibles will be on sale.
We have had a great response to these promotions and look forward to offering even more sales events soon…
The Escarpment Wellness Team
Picking strains that you like is a very personal thing. Here are a few thoughts to consider when selecting your cannabis.
We have a huge variety of named strains available from many providers. Some of these offerings are excellent – and some are not. Being able to make an informed decision matters. Everyone is looking for something different. Some patients want to minimize the psychoactive effects while others seek the shift of perspective that cannabis can bring.
So what are you looking for? It seems there is an infinite range of effects within the cannabis spectrum. Uplifted or sedated, energized or calm, clear or confused are all in the cards. Put first things first. Decide which effects you are looking for.
Indica, Sativa or Hybrid: Almost all strains are hybrids nowadays. However, these labels are still good for describing effects. Generally, an indica will provide a heavier, more physical experience. A sativa will bring a lighter, more energizing high. Hybrids bridge these two worlds with traits from each.
It is hard to find a single strain to do it all. A selection of different strains is appropriate for different occasions. I find that having three regular strains lets me know what to expect while still providing variety.
I like a strong indica for relaxation and its calming effect. A heavy indica is not good for early in the day, though. Then I like a hybrid to balance out the physical and mental effects. My third choice is a high quality sativa. OK, so all I have to do is pick three strains and I am good to go, right? Not quite so fast.
Most strains present a number of phenotypes. Super Lemon Haze, for example, will throw some examples that smell more like lemon and some that are sweeter. One plant may have yellow pistils next to a sister with red ones. The effects vary with phenotype as well. Luckily, a lot of the selection work is done for you by the grower. Mother plants are identified (a process that takes months) so that clones can be taken. This ensures a consistent and repeatable product for both producer and consumer. Quality is determined first by genetics and then by the growing environment.
How can reviews still be relevant with all these factors? It turns out that most people experience similar effects from the same strain. Decide which traits you favour and check some reviews on Lift Cannabis to narrow down your choices. Remember that reviews are subjective. Focus on what you are looking for.
Cost is always a factor. Do an initial cut to reduce the number of choices, then pick a few to try. Buy small samples. You don’t want a bunch of pot sitting around that you find you don’t like.
OK, so now you have some cannabis to try. It’s time for a test! This truly is an art as much as it is a science.
It is not possible to give a sample a fair evaluation after consuming other cannabis. Therefore I like to try any new strain first in the day. It can take time to fully assess a variety. However, I find that first impressions are most often correct. One puff can be enough to tell you if it’s good or not.
Trust your first impressions. Here are some characteristics to evaluate, too.
THC and CBD Levels: These numbers are an indicator of what to expect. High THC (over 20%) increases strength and duration. High CBD (over 4%) brings physical relief. However, overall effects are determined by the many compounds in cannabis working together, known as the “entourage” effect.
Don’t fully trust the numbers in any case. Cannabinoid levels vary throughout the plant as well as from plant to plant. The numbers are likely not correct (certainly not to two decimal places!) and don’t tell the whole story. Use them as a guide in making your selections but form your own opinions.
Appearance: Visible factors are the bud size, shape, density, trim and color. Bigger buds yield more but small buds work, too. Firm, fairly dense flowers which break up easily are my preference.
Trimming removes large leaves and refines the shape of the bud. I like to see any leaves with a stem removed and the larger sugar leaves clipped. The bud shape will change depending on the trimming and drying methods used. Flowers that are hand trimmed and hung to dry maintain their natural shape. Machine trimmed product can look shaved or uneven. Buds that are dried in trays may be flat on one side or even crushed. Presentation is a good indicator of the care that was taken in growing.
Cannabis is usually green with the pistils or hairs adding a colorful highlight. A variety of colors can appear in the pistils as well as on the surface of mature top buds. General appearance does not determine potency but is a good indicator of quality.
Resin can be seen gleaming on the bud surface with the naked eye. Frosty bud means lots of resin and is a sign of potency. A 30X hand magnifier will reveal the resin bearing trichomes in all their glory. The ball heads shift from clear to cloudy to amber as the plant matures. Cannabis harvested with clear trichomes provides a more up or heady effect. Plants that have been allowed to fully mature have amber trichomes and a more settled or body effect. I like to see mature resin glands which are cloudy or amber.
Curing: Curing improves cannabis. It reaches its prime a few months after harvest. Chlorophyll breaks down. The taste and smell improve. Most commercial product doesn’t get much time to cure after drying. You still don’t need to consume green pot. A few weeks in the jar can do wonders. Cannabis that has been stored for a while actually tastes better. Check the dates on the container to see when it was packed. Rotate your stock “first in, first out” to let it age a bit.
Smell: Smell is far and away the number one factor you can assess before actually trying a sample. Scent is also an indicator of genetics. Each family such as the Skunk, Kush and Haze clans has a distinct odor profile.
Most importantly, does it smell good to you? Terpenes create smell and influence the effects. You will soon discover there are certain smells you like best. Often the smell will let you predict the quality and the taste. I prefer a sweet and fruity odor with earthy or hash tones below.
Preparation: How well does the bud break up? Does the humidity seem right? It’s too dry if it disintegrates into powder. It’s too wet if you need a grinder (or scissors) to shred it. I prefer my flowers a bit on the dry side so they break up more easily. Good bud will be slightly sticky with resin when handled. Back to the smell; does it release a burst of scent when crushed? Can you smell it on your fingers? And does it smell the same as it did in the container? Any golden dust which collects at the bottom of the pile (or grinder) will be mostly resin.
I like to prepare cannabis by hand rather than using a grinder. It is possible to get more of the sticks and stems out by hand. This improves the quality and also keeps them from poking holes through the rolling paper. Sticks and stems contain almost no resin so it is no loss to throw them away. You should find no seeds. If you do, throw them away, too.
Consumption: Finally, we get to try the pot. Assuming you are smoking or vaporizing, how does it taste? Does it fire up OK? Does resin stain the rolling paper in a joint? What color is the ash? A light or white color is preferable; dark ash or a harsh taste often indicates poorly flushed product with fertilizer still present. A joint or bowl that keeps going out is a bad sign. And snap, crackle and pop belong in your cereal, not in your pot.
A smooth and sweet taste with a rich flavor is my preference. Coughing on harsh smoke is bad. Coughing which gently clears the airways can be good. I most often smoke joints. These are low tech, easy to carry and discrete to use. A half gram joint will provide two quarter gram doses. A quarter gram dose is enough to tell you what any cannabis is like. If it takes more than that to achieve the desired effects, stay away.
Effects: Ah, finally the important part, the effects. Around this point I should mention – take notes. You may not be writing a review but record your impressions anyway. You will be glad you did after you have tried several strains and start to wonder which one did what.
There are three parts to the high. The initial elevation sets the tone. It is typically more intense and does not last very long i.e. twenty minutes to a half hour. The effects then settle and hopefully last another two or three hours. Finally, things wind down, sometimes more gently than others.
Each of these phases should be considered when testing. Some cannabis will be fine in the beginning but may wipe you out as it wears off. Other kinds will have a more gentle ending. Remember your criteria. Do you want it to make you hungry? Happy? Sleepy? Your notes will help you recall each experience.
How long does it last? Do repeated doses sustain or increase the effects? Most importantly, do you like it? Don’t overanalyze, jot down your feelings and impressions.
Finally, how does she work with others? Remember, you will likely be using more than one strain at a time. Effects are synergistic. You are going to switch to your other choices at some point so evaluate how this feels, too.
Conclusions: Many believe that a long and extensive test is necessary. I find that first impressions are most often correct. Once you know what you like, you will tend to seek it out naturally. Do you keep going back to a particular strain? If so, that’s the one to choose.
Do your research and decide what’s important to you. Remember that your impressions are the most important. It’s nice to read reviews to find out what other people think. I like to form my own opinions too. Now that you have the notes, you might even write a review to let everyone else know what you think.
Most importantly, trust your instincts.
By Special to Lift
January 4, 2016
We have launched Escarpment Wellness only 3 weeks ago and wanted to take an opportunity to offer you our first company update. We are excited at the opportunity to serve our customers with our online medical marijuana dispensary delivery service and want to thank all of you for your interest.
Who are we?
We are a group of medical marijuana patients from Ontario and we wanted to bring the best products in the country combined with the best customer service in a mail order marijuana business. We truly believe cannabis improves lives and are eager to share some of the best products with people across Canada.
Why Escarpment Wellness?
We are excited about the progress Canada has made in embracing medical cannabis dispensaries. For example, did you know there are more dispensaries in Vancouver than Tim Hortons?
So why should you shop with us?
FREE delivery on orders $200+.
Premium grade and wide product selection at affordable prices.
We conveniently deliver using Canada Post in Xpresspost envolopes.
FREE to join with proof of age (19+).
Who are our partners?
We work hard to source some of the best flowers in Canada. We carry edibles, tinctures, concentrates and other items by Purely Medicinal. All Purely Medicinal products are manufactured in a Health Canada approved facility with staff including several phyto chemists. All items are triple lab tested. We have concentrates by Beard Bros., Chrontario and Horatio Delbert.
How is Our Quality?
Flowers sell for $9 – $13 per gram.
AAA for $9 per gram;
$10 – 13 for AAAA per gram.
All flowers are sourced from small batch MMAR patients, are clean burning and very potent.
If we wouldn’t smoke it ourselves, we wouldn’t be selling it. We offer a Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re not happy with your purchase, you can exchange it or get a store credit.
It’s yet another feather in the cap of those who champion legalizing medical marijuana in the US.
In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (paywall), researchers observed that in US states with medical marijuana dispensaries, the number of admissions to rehabilitation facilities for pain medication and opioid overdoses has decreased by 15% and 16% respectively.
Other studies have looked at the relationship between legal marijuana use and opioid overdose, but this is the first study to track addiction to opioids as well.
Implications for medical marijuana dispensaries
Researchers examined the number of patients admitted to treatment centers in the US for painkiller addiction from 1992 to 2013; opioid-related deaths from 1999 to 2013; and the amount of prescription opioids legally sold to each US state from 2000 to 2011. They found that in states that maintain medical marijuana dispensaries, opioid painkillers are being prescribed at a similar rate to those state without marijuana dispensaries.
That suggests that most of the reductions in addiction and overdoses in states with marijuana dispensaries result from people seeking medical marijuana to alleviate their pain, as opposed to obtaining painkillers illegally. Additionally, they found that legalizing medical marijuana alone didn’t correlate with a decrease in addiction to and overdoses of opioid painkillers. Only states with laws protecting dispensaries saw the decrease.
There were an estimated 2.1 million people suffering from opioid substance abuse disorders in American in 2012, in a problem the Centers for Disease Control has dubbed an “epidemic.” While opioid painkillers (pdf) such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Methadone can cause individuals to stop breathing if they overdose, it is almost impossible to overdose on marijuana.
The notion that medical marijuana is a safer alternative to opioid painkillers could be influential in boosting the number of US states (which currently stands at 24 plus the District of Columbia) that allow marijuana for medical use.