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A current awareness resource for the students and faculty members in the Criminology department.

October 17, 2018: Canada Blazes New Trail as the Cannabis Act Comes Into Effect

Published October 11, 2018 by Yolanda Koscielski

As you may have heard, the Cannabis Act is in effect from October 17, 2018 onwards. This will undoubtedly raise lots of interesting questions and novel scenarios. Here are some library resources that can help.

Check out our legal databases for analysis from a legal perspective:

1. Westlaw Next Canada contains all sorts of legal materials, such as:

Academic articles: Select "articles and newsletters" under the "Commentary" heading.

Sample article: Canada's New Cannabis-Related Driving Legislation: The Elusive Quest for an Effective Deterrent (October 2018)

Past court sentences for cannabis crimes: The Annual Nadin-Davis Sentencing Guide (found in Westlaw) summarizes the different sentences delivered to those on trial for Cannabis crimes.

Sample case: "The accused, a semi-retired 65-year old government agency worker, pleaded guilty to simple possession of cannabis. Police responded to a 9-1-1 call about a smoke alarm in the accused’s home. In the subsequent search of the premises, police found over 500 grams of marihuana, of which 30 grams was unfit for consumption. The accused admitted to growing the marihuana for his personal use, mainly to treat sleep apnea....[The judge] imposed six months unsupervised probation which included an order to donate $2000 to a specified drug prevention program".

Legal analysis: the online text, Drug Offences in Canada, summarizes the background of the creation of law C-45. 

Excerpt: "The first important step towards marihuana legalization was the publication of a Discussion Paper in June, 2016 entitled 'Towards the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Marihuana'”.

2. LexisNexis Quicklaw is another large legal database SFU Library subscribes to. A quick search for "cannabis" brings up a range of info:

Practitioner article from The Lawyer's Daily: Police forces planning ‘absolute’ abstinence pot policies may face legal hurdles, lawyer says.

Journal article: Intellectual Property Rights in the Recreational Cannabis Market: Craft or Commodity?, (2017) 50 UBC L Rev 621 - 656

Case law: an intellectual property case law, Kesselman v. International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd, where a business owner was trying to secure the trademarked name, Zenabis, which was similar to another cannabis trademarked name, Zen.

Books - online and print - can provide comprehensive overviews of topics from a diverse range of viewpoints, for instance:

World Wide Weed: global trends in cannabis cultivation and its control examines the sociology and economics of weed production. Notably, it is written by SFU Criminology faculty member Martin Bouchard.

Start your own cannabis business : your step-by-step guide to the marijuana industr, by the Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. and Javier Hasse, provides practical business and industry information, covering topics such as growing "your cannabis business into a multistate company".

Books such as The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids : the current state of evidence and recommendations for research outline the current state of knowledge of the health impacts of cannabis use. Its authors note: "While a myriad of studies have examined cannabis use in all its various forms, often these research conclusions are not appropriately synthesized, translated for, or communicated to policy makers, health care providers, state health officials, or other stakeholders who have been charged with influencing and enacting policies, procedures, and laws related to cannabis use".





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