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Canada to legalize recreational marijuana

“It’s a step in the right direction”

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The Canadian Senate has passed a bill to permit the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes in a landmark decision.

The bill now must obtain royal approval before becoming law.

The bill would permit the possession of 30 grams of dried cannabis, however age restrictions are expected to follow those relative to alcohol.

Per residence, Canadians will be allowed to own four cannabis plants per residence, although Quebec and Manitoba will have a ban on home cultivation.

Rules on smoking marijuana in public vary between provinces and territories.

Once the bill becomes law, the government will determine when it will come into effect.

CTV reports:

OTTAWA — The Senate has voted to pass Bill C-45, the government’s legislation to legalize cannabis, meaning that recreational marijuana will soon be legal across Canada.

Some parliamentarians are calling it an “historic” moment in this country, while others are warning of the work left to be done: raising public awareness about the implications of this incoming major social policy change.

After more than a year of intensive study in both the House and Senate, the bill cleared the final legislative hurdle Tuesday evening, passing by a vote of 52 to 29 with two abstentions from the Independent Senators from Quebec: Sen. Marie-Françoise Mégie and Sen. Rosa Galvez.

The vote was on a motion from Sen. Peter Harder, the Government Representative in the Senate, to accept the government’s position on the Senate’s amendments and pass the bill as is. It was all that was left in a short round of legislative ping-pong spurred by the upper chamber amending the government legislation.

The House of Commons will be notified of the Senate’s decision. After that, all that is left will be Royal Assent to officially pass the bill and for the government to determine when the new law will come into force.

Leader of the Independent Senators Group Sen. Yuen Pau Woo told reporters after the vote that the mammoth study of Bill C-45 was “a bit of a stress test” for the increasingly Independent Senate.

He said now, the work will have to begin on implementing the legislation, and making sure Canadians understand what this new regime means.

“We are now moving where in the legalized industry we have the chance to push out the illicit elements, we have the chance to do research on cannabis, we have the chance to properly educate our young people on the harms of cannabis use, and all of this should be the focus of the whole country now,” Sen. Woo said.

The legislation — an electoral promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party –allows adults in Canada to legally possess and use small amounts of recreational cannabis. It sets out parameters around the production, possession, safety standards, distribution, and sale of the drug. It also creates new Criminal Code offences for selling marijuana to minors. The proposed federal law spells out that it will be illegal for anyone younger than 18 to buy pot, but allows for provinces and territories to set a higher minimum age.

In a tweet, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was the bill’s sponsor, and first introduced the legislation in April 2017, said it was “an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada.”

The federal government is expected to formally respond to the bill’s passage Wednesday morning in the House of Commons foyer.

Last week, the government announced it would be accepting most but not all of the Senate’s more than 40 proposed amendments to Bill C-45. Among the 13 amendments that the federal Liberals rejected were the proposal to allow the provinces and territories to ban home-grown marijuana, and a proposed change to prohibit pot producers from distributing branded merchandise.

Earlier in the evening, an attempt by Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan to insist on an amendment to let provinces ban marijuana home cultivation, failed.

Reacting to his effort to push back on the government’s rejection of the change, Carignan said his attempt was to give the provinces a right he believes they should have, in an effort to circumvent what is now likely: the matter winding up in court.

Senators spent much of Tuesday offering their final thoughts on the legislation, with some expressing disappointment and frustration over MPs not accepting the Senate’s changes, and raising remaining concerns with the legislation as it stands.

Others argued that the upper chamber had done its due diligence and that it was time to concede to the will of the elected House of Commons, and pass the legislation.

In calling the vote, Senate Speaker George Furey had a slip of the tongue and called “all those in flavour” instead of “all those in favour,” sending snickers through the chamber. “It’s getting late,” Sen. Furey said.

Speaking with reporters following the vote, Sen. Harder said he was finally pausing after the manoeuvrings and the procedural wrangling to acknowledge that after a very lengthy debate, Canada is on the cusp of legalization after nearly a century of prohibition.

“It is a step in the right direction and what we now need to do is to insure as we move forward in implementation, that everybody plays their role, that everybody understands the obligations that they have and uses the opportunity of the next number of weeks to inform themselves of what a legal cannabis market means for them, their family, their communities, and the opportunities and risks that it poses,” said Sen. Harder.

So is marijuana legal? No.

The bill still needs to receive Royal Assent, which is expected as soon as tomorrow. That is the final step — essentially the Crown approving the bill. It’s overseen by Canada’s representative, the Governor General.

Once it passes, the government is expected to declare the date that legalization will come into force and be applicable.

On CTV’s Question Period, parliamentary secretary and the federal government’s point-person on pot, Bill Blair said he expects the date to be some time this September.

That window of time between when the bill passes and when it becomes federal law is to allow for the provinces, territories, municipalities, police forces, and other stakeholders to make sure their piece of the pot pie is operating in accordance with the new rules.

Blair said the date they decide on will be informed by discussions with their provincial and territorial counterparts, which have been given the ability to set regulations in their jurisdictions as to how a legalized marijuana regime will operate.

What you need to know:

Many of the decisions around how legalized marijuana is sold and used will be up to the provinces and territories. Here is what you need to know about what will be allowed:

  • The federally mandated public possession limit of 30 grams of dried cannabis has been maintained across the country, with most jurisdictions opting to keep their legal marijuana-smoking ages in line with those for drinking alcohol.
  • Bill C-45 allows individuals to grow up to four marijuana plants per residence, though some provinces, like Manitoba and Quebec, plan to ban home cultivation.
  • Provincial and territorial plans vary widely on whether you’ll be able to smoke in public.
  • Provinces and territories also differ on whether pot shops will be publicly or privately owned. For those opting for publicly owned stores, these will be operated by provincial Crown corporations that sell liquor. In some cases, provinces have even created subsidiaries of these companies with names. Unless otherwise noted, these will be standalone stores wholly separate from those that sell alcohol.
  • While dried cannabis and cannabis oil — both of which will be sold in 2018 — can be used to make edible products at home, the federal government has said that packaged edible products won’t be commercially available.

Outcome of drug-impaired driving bill pending

Bill C-45 was introduced alongside Bill C-46 which specifically deals with impaired driving. The government has hoped throughout the process that the two bills would pass in close succession.

This legislation proposes changes to the impaired driving laws to give police new powers to conduct roadside intoxication tests, including oral fluid drug tests, and would make it illegal to drive within two hours of being over the legal limit.

However, the Senate amended Bill C-46 to remove the provision that allowed police to conduct random roadside alcohol tests. The Senate also sought to legally downgrade impaired driving offences so that they are not classified as “serious criminality” in order to protect foreign nationals and permanent residents from losing their statuses or becoming inadmissible to Canada after such a conviction.

On Monday, the government gave notice of its position on the Senate changes, stating that it “respectfully disagrees” with these two changes. However, in the motion the government indicates it is willing to accept a handful of other Senate amendments to the legislation.

The House has yet to send this message back to the Senate but once that occurs, Bill C-46 is in for a similar final debate and vote, as seen with Bill C-45, where senators will have to decide whether they insist, or accept and pass the bill.

The House of Commons is scheduled to adjourn for the summer on Friday, June 22, but the Senate is set to sit for a week longer. There is always the potential of an early adjournment, or the opportunity to sit longer in exceptional circumstances.

It’s about time an end to the hysteria surrounding this matter has come about somewhere on the map. Canadians have developed the common sense not to cage people for owning a plant, and ruining citizen’s lives over a matter of such triviality.

 

 

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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