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Drugs in the News Media

2 Years since legalization

By Drug Policy, Government, News Media


Canadian government gets ‘C’ average in the legalization report card

October 17, 2020
Sam Riches – The GrowthOp
A new report by the Cannabis Council of Canada reviews the legal industry’s performance over the past two years

[picture] FILE: A worker tends to marijuana plants at the Aurora Sky facility in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Jason Franson/Bloomberg

A new report from the Cannabis Council of Canada, which represents some of the country’s largest licensed producers, including Canopy Growth, Tilray, and Cronos Group, has graded the government’s performance over the first two years of legalization with a ‘C’ average.


‘It’s changed so much’: Alberta cannabis retailers, growers reflect on success as legal industry turns 2

October 18, 2020
Eloise Therien – Global News

Oct. 17 marked the second anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada. Eloise Therien caught up with local retailers and growers to find out how the industry has changed within that time

Canada became the second country to legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana on October 17th, 2018 — meaning Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of the industry.

See more @


Illegal cannabis market still thriving in Canada two years after legalization

October 19, 2020
Sonia Aslam – The Canadian Press

[picture] FILE – In this March 21, 2015 file photo, a man rolls a marijuana cigarette as a large group gathered near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalizing marijuana, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

It’s been two years since Canada legalized recreational marijuana, but the illegal market is still thriving.

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#164 Activist Keith Fagin – A Sensible Approach

By Drug Policy, News Media

My interview with #Calgary-based activist & educator Keith Fagin (@kf420) is up! His stories are awesome, his perspective is even better. I hope you enjoy

Anchor FM Inc.

Old guard cannabis activists rally to support Keith Fagin, one of their own

By Drug Policy, News Media

2010 occupation of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office

December 20, 2019

‘Keith represents the type of person who made cannabis law reform happen in Canada,’ says Jodie Emery

John Conroy met Fagin while they were both working together at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Canadian Chapter in the early ’70s. Conroy went on to serve as NORML Canada‘s president and Fagin became its regional director for the prairies.

“This man deserves support from all of the people he’s helped and for all of the great work he’s done in Alberta⁠ — both him and his wife Debbie,” Conroy said. “I was very sad to see what had happened to him and felt he was very deserving of getting the stuff he needs to get mobile again.”

Dana Larsen

Keith Fagin is a cannabis hero and he needs our help now.

Please donate a few bucks to help out.

Fagin has been involved in the modern cannabis movement since its early days, said Dana Larsen, director of the Vancouver Dispensary Society.

Fagin helped found one of the country’s first compassion clubs, Calgary 420, Larsen said. He was always willing to talk about why Canada needed to legalize cannabis and defend the culture — and then once legalization happened, Fagin was ready to educate people about how flawed the system still is.

NORML Canada Launches Post-Legalization Platform

By Drug Policy, News Media

NORML Canada
October 11, 2019 08:30 ET | Source: NORML Canada –

NORML Canada launches official Post-Legalization platform to focus advocacy efforts on reforming Canada’s legal Cannabis system.

In light of the first year of legalization, NORML Canada has monitored the Canadian cannabis landscape closely, to determine the next steps for crafting achievable and functional reform of cannabis regulations.

The five key “pillars” established by NORML Canada are designed to help focus organizational resources to support our ongoing government and public outreach.

1) Increased Access
Our goal is to ensure consumers have ease of access to legal cannabis products, access to medical dispensaries, access to world-class product options, as well as access to affordable legal options.

2) Transitioning “Unregulated Market” into the legal framework
Creating avenues for the current unlicensed market to be welcomed as part of the legal cannabis industry in order to achieve the government’s stated goal of disincentivizing the illicit market.

3) Social discrimination protections
Putting in place protective regulations that remove stigma barriers and consequences for consumers in the workplace, housing, and family.

4) US relations – border & banking
Ensuring international respect for Canada’s sovereign laws. Removal of any unnecessary international banking/travel barriers for legal business and cannabis entrepreneurs.

​​5) Expungement, apologies, reparations & beyond
Government must acknowledge the fact that cannabis laws were historically unjust and discriminatory in the first place.

NORML Canada invites the public and press to join us at the historic Hotbox Lounge on Oct 17th, from 4-7pm to launch the new official platform, and to discuss the year-to-date.

NORML Canada proudly welcomes our sister chapter to the South – NORML Michigan, to share insights on Michigan’s newly passed legal recreational cannabis bill. Our combined goals are to understand how we can learn from and collaborate with one another.

About NORML Canada

NORML Canada is a non-profit, public interest, member operated and funded group, chartered at the federal level in Canada since 1978. US NORML advocates for consumers rights to access high quality, safe, convenient & affordable cannabis. NORML was founded in California, 1970.

Media inquiries Contact:
Abi Roach
Alex Krause

Calgary cannabis crusader celebrates first 4-20 since legalization

By Drug Policy, News Media

April 20, 2019
Alanna Smith – Calgary Herald

image – “Kalika (left) joins dozens of participates at a 4 20 public rally while lighting up her bong and enjoying the atmosphere at City Hall. Saturday, April 20, 2019. Brendan Miller/Postmedia”

“Keith Fagan has been a lifelong cannabis crusader but as he celebrates the first 4-20 since legalization he says more advocacy work is needed to eliminate the stigma still clouding now-legal pot users.”

4-20 celebration in Calgary has a ‘different feel’ after prohibition lifted

April 20, 2019

Michael Franklin, Web Producer – CTV Calgary
April 20 has always been an unofficial holiday of sorts for cannabis users to enjoy their product and fight for its legalization. But even now that the drug is legal, some experts say the battle isn’t over.

Post-legalization, Alberta cannabis fans look ahead with 4-20 ‘protestival’

April 20, 2019

Emma McIntosh – Star Calgary
Omar Mosleh – Star Edmonton
EDMONTON AND CALGARY—Alberta’s first 4-20 celebration with legal cannabis felt a little less like a protest and a little more like a celebration..

Calgary Now: Is legal cannabis really coming? Part 1

April 20, 2019

Original broadcast April 26, 2016
Kevin Chorney – Shaw TV Calgary

YouTube Video

Breaking down a stigma: Expert talks legalization of pot and mental health issue

By Drug Policy, News Media

September 23, 2018
Kayla Butler – 660 City News

{picture] (660NEWS file photo)

“We need to really strongly look at cannabis because it does help people. We know it’s helping people getting off of opiates. We know it’s helping people with mental health issues, with mood improvement, pain improvement.”

Senate passed C45 Cannabis Act

By Drug Policy, Government, News Media

Justin Trudeau to announce the date for cannabis legalization (Legalized 1.0) today June 20, 2018, at 4:30 PM EST (2:30 PM Alberta time)

A Conservative senator attempt to amendment C45 to let provinces
ban personal cannabis cultivation at home failed.

Royal Assent is expected to happen before the end of this week.
Changes to the current CDSA to be complete in 12 weeks. Actual date yet to be set.

#cannabis #c45 #CDSA

Alberta Health Services doctor redneck reefer madness!

By Drug Policy, News Media

warning reefer madness
Published April 15, 2018, “Health experts warn educators to ramp up readiness for pot legalization
Updated April 16, 2018, “AHS doctor worries more kids will self-medicate with pot once it’s legalized
Eva Ferguson – Calgary Herald

The science and evidence
April 17, 2018 – Sept. 4, 2002

Published April 17, 2018, “4/19 pot panel wants to clear the air regarding cannabis and youth
Bronwyn Beairsto – Vancouver Courier
University of British Columbia professor and researcher for the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, M-J Milloy says the link between cannabis and brain development is still merely by association.
There a great number of scientists worldwide working on this issue, but there’s been no smoking gun, Milloy said.
Zach Walsh, another UBC researcher specializing in cannabis, concurs.The evidence is weaker than the rhetoric;
According to Walsh, there appears to be a link between schizophrenia and other psychosis and marijuana use, but this could just be an association rather than causal.
He notes that there’s been a dramatic increase in cannabis use in recent years, especially in Canada, but schizophrenia levels have stayed stagnant.

Published February 9, 2018, “Why cannabis shouldn’t be considered a gateway drug
Calgary professor debunks marijuana myths” Dave Dormer – CBC News U of C associate professor Matthew Hill says some common beliefs around the drug aren’t rooted in fact Myth: Cannabis alters brain structure. A: That one I would say, right now from the current studies, that would be false.

Published November 21, 2017, “Five marijuana myths debunked: A public health expert clears the air on misinformation
Kevin Maimann – Metro
The University of Alberta, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Dr. Elaine Hyshka; Assistant Professor, School of Public Health. Dr. Elaine Hyshka, “There are also people who claim that cannabis is going to basically damage your brain when you use it, especially if you’re young, and that it’s going to contribute to the intellectual downfall of a generation. And that’s also not true,” she said.
Published November 14, 2017, “Debunking myths about cannabis legalization
The University of Alberta, O’Brien Institute for Public Health

December 16, 2015, “Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS)
Dr. Mark Ware – McGill University
Our data show that daily cannabis users had no greater risk than non-users (control group) to experience serious adverse events,’’ explains Dr. Aline Boulanger, director of the pain clinic at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. ‘’We found no evidence of harmful effects on cognitive function, or blood tests among cannabis consumers and we observed a significant improvement in their levels of pain, symptom distress, mood and quality of life compared to controls.

December 2, 2013, “A Controlled Family Study of Cannabis Users with and without Psychosis
Harvard University study
Evidenced that teen cannabis consumption is not lead to the development of schizophrenia later in life. The study compared families with a history of schizophrenia to those without. The study also examined non-psychotic cannabis consumers and non-consuming participant controls. The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself.

September 2002The Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drug Use” studied the cannabis issue extensively.
Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs.
Their unanimous recommendation was that cannabis be legalized in a regulatory framework similar to alcohol.
“Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue”

Download printable PDF document
with the science and evidence below