After a hundred years of prohibition, cannabis joins the ranks of things in Canada that are no longer illegal. (Alongside Margarine, women’s right to vote, alcohol and business on Sundays.)
News outlets across the country have been pouring coverage efforts into the pot-stock munchies. There are new publications and new staff reporter positions, think pieces and blog posts galore—and Canada’s ethnic media has joined the conversation.
MIREMS has been following coverage of cannabis legalization since it was announced: "Bill C-45: Ethnic Media’s diverse reactions to Cannabis Legalization" and a year ago: "Canada moves toward Cannabis legalization-coverage from ethnic media"
This special story collection highlights some stories about legalization day now that it's finally arrived. From different multicultural and multilingual communities across the country. From Cantonese to Tamil; editorials and commentary the ethnic media weighs in. Safety and uncertainty are the chief concerns.
Cantonese: "Quebec's higher minimum age for cannabis could help organized crime: Trudeau"
Cantonese Fairchild TV Ontario reports:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the incoming Quebec government's plan to raise the legal age for smoking cannabis to 21 could leave an opening for organized crime. Speaking to reporters on the last day of a trip to Armenia, Trudeau said increasing the legal age could undermine one of the federal law's key aims - eliminating the black market. (13/10/2018)
Chinese: "Marijuana legalization, good or bad?"
Toronto's Chinese Canadian Times reports:
In this article, the author discusses the upcoming marijuana legalization date and its impact on the Chinese community. Liberal MP Shaun Chen talked about marijuana legalization and his experience with marijuana use at schools at Export Minister Mary Ng's press conference with the Chinese media. Chen said that marijuana legalization will effectively destroy the black market and control the access to marijuana. Roy Hu, candidate for TDSB Trustee for Ward 21 Scarborough North, also remarked at a press conference on October 9 that he opposes marijuana use, but he does not oppose marijuana legalization. Hu said that the best way to protect marijuana users is through governmental regulations, and the best way to help people to stay away from marijuana is through education about the negative impacts of marijuana use. At the end, the author says that the Liberal government proposed marijuana legalization in 2015 to win over votes from marijuana users, and some of the municipal candidates are proposing to get marijuana out of schools and communities to woo voters for the upcoming municipal elections, especially in cities like Markham and Richmond Hill, where the Chinese population is high. The author says that the marijuana bill will need to be improved over time with its implementation, and she is hoping that it is going to be done not only for the sake of votes. (12/10/2018)
Filipino: "Liberals eyed rules for cannabis use by workers, drug testing, documents show"
National source the Philippine Canadian Inquirer reports:
Federal officials have quietly probed possible new workplace rules for employees who show up to work high after cannabis is legalized next week, newly released documents show. The documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law show Labour Minister Patty Hajdu was given options to deal with cannabis impairment in the workplace in early June as officials ironed out the details of any new policy. Federal departments were wrestling at the time with their own response to workers who may smoke or vape pot, but were also quietly told Hajdu was considering changes to the Canada Labour Code – including whether and how to allow for mandatory drug testing for employees. That work is ongoing: Employment and Social Development Canada says federal departments and agencies are still swapping information with each other, along with provinces and territories “to better understand the potential impacts of cannabis legalization and regulation on workplace health.” “Federally regulated employers do not tolerate impairment on the job – that does not change on October 17th,” Hajdu said in a statement. (11/10/2018)
Italian: "Cannabis Day Cometh"
Toronto's weekly Italian print newspaper Lo Specchio reports:
October 17, a day when Canada goes Uruguayan, will be the first day for legal marijuana. How the whole thing will be managed remains an open and thorny question. Customers will have to be 19 or over. The panoply of cannabis-based products in the legalization includes the drug itself (fresh or dry), oil, plants and seeds from an authorized retailer. The federal tax will be $1 per gram or 10%, with Ottawa keeping 25% and turning the rest over to the provinces. In Ontario, the government has opted for a public-private venture. Cannabis for recreational use will be available for sale legally online by the government-run agency, and delivery is by post. By April 19, 2019, private marijuana shops will be able to sell but will require municipal authorization. While a marijuana overdose should not be lethal per se, a 2012 study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction found that driving under the influence was responsible for 75 deaths and 7,794 victims of collisions and property damage, with an estimated cost of about $1 billion. (12/10/2018)
Korean: "Whereabouts of Alberta’s cannabis warehouse will be secret"
Calgary's weekly Korean source CNDreams reports:
Alberta is starting to stockpile marijuana but is not saying where it is being kept. Finance Minister Joe Ceci said cannabis shipments have begun but for security reasons, the province will not be revealing the location. Ceci also said he is pleased with the progress preparing for the October 17 legalization date and that Alberta is ahead of other provinces on it. (28/09/2018)
Polish: "Attorney General for Ontario announces an information campaign on cannabis laws"
CHIN FM 100.7 Polish radio reports:
In connection with the legalization of marijuana on October 17th, Attorney General for Ontario Caroline Mulroney announced a campaign that will inform Canadians of the laws that will apply to smoking cannabis. The chief of the Toronto police Mark Saunders stressed that the legalization of marijuana does not mean that everyone will be able to use the drug without consequences - for example, police officers will not be able to use cannabis within 28 days before reporting for duty. So far, authorities from other regions of Ontario have not released their version of changes to the regulations. (14/10/2018)
Portuguese: "Doug Ford does not want to allow cannabis use close to children"
A weekly Portuguese newspaper Sol Portugues reports:
It appears Premier Doug Ford doesn't approve of his own government's new rules that would allow people to smoke cannabis in public parks. With marijuana set to become legal on Oct.17, Ford is vowing Friday to have his finance minister and attorney general take another look at legislation unveiled two days ago that allows cannabis use wherever people can currently smoke cigarettes. Ford directly contradicted that plan while speaking with reporters, saying: "We won't be allowing [cannabis use] close to parks. That's unacceptable, our priority is to keep children safe." Following the news conference, officials from the premier's office said Ford was only referring to playgrounds. "Premier Ford was clear in his remarks today — under our proposed legislation — individuals will not be permitted to smoke cannabis in playgrounds around children," Simon Jefferies, a spokesperson for Ford, wrote in an email to CBC Toronto. (05/10/2018)
Punjabi: "Marijuana legalization and its danger"
Weekday Punjabi radio show Gaunda Punjab CIRV FM 88.9 reports:
Starting October 17, 2018, Canadians will be able to legally use recreational marijuana. They will also be able to grow four marijuana plants per household. Journalist Balraj Deol criticized the coming law and expressed his concerns over it. He said though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is claiming that law will make children more safe, how can he assure that children will not consume marijuana grown in their backyards. And how are police going to make sure that each household is growing just four plants and not more than that, Deol said. The law can also increase illegal growing of marijuana plants, he said and added legalizing marijuana is a very dangerous law. (03/10/2018)
Russian: "The legalization of cannabis in Canada"
Russian Chin FM 91.9 in Toronto reports:
The radio host discussed the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes on October 17. It will allow Canada to become the second country after Uruguay to take this step. The total sales of marijuana in Canada, including medical, illegal and legal recreational, should increase sales revenue in 2019 to $7.17 billion. The Ontario government has announced that it will control online sales of recreational cannabis after its legalization on October 17, and private retail stores should appear by April next year. Bruce Chapman, president of the Police Association of Ontario, said in an interview that police are concerned about the upcoming legalization. According to him, this concern is caused by the experience of US police, including in Colorado and Washington, where the use of drugs was legalized and the number of fatal accidents caused by drivers with drugs in their blood increased. The federal government also reported that $4.1 million will be spent on three cannabis information campaigns prepared for Toronto youth. The report on federal funding came the day after the Ontario government announced that an advertising campaign would be launched to raise social responsibility and highlight the danger of recreational cannabis. (14/10/2018)
Spanish: "Close to two million people have driven under the influence of marijuana"
Toronto's weekly Diario El Popular reports:
An investigation published by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has found that 1.9 million Ontario drivers have driven under the influence of marijuana. More than 735,000 of them have done so in the last three months. The fact that those who drive under the influence of cannabis are young novice drivers with less experience on the road is something that should concern us all, according to CAA spokesperson Elliott Silverstein.
Tamil: "Ontario's cannabis education campaign: 'Just because it's legal it doesn't mean it's safe'"
Daily Tamil radio show East GM 102.7 reports:
The Ontario government has launched a campaign to educate Ontarians about important information about the drug, including potential health effects, and where and when it can legally be purchased and used. “We can’t just legislate, we have to educate,” Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said during an interview. To that end, the government has launched an advertising campaign, looking to “educate and communicate” important facts about marijuana use in the province. She says that the government has been working with several ministries to ensure that the awareness campaign hits several key points to ensure safety on the roads and in communities. (15/10/2018)