Legalization of recreational weed unlikely to kill pot black market right away

first_imgTORONTO – From texting a local dealer to dropping into a neighbourhood dispensary or ordering online, Canada’s black market for recreational marijuana has seen significant changes in recent years and, no doubt, will see more as the country hurtles toward a new world of legalization next summer.What does seem clear, however, is that the illegal market is unlikely to disappear in a puff of smoke come legalization day.“There’s a huge, complex system out there operating in the world that has been delivering excellent product to people at reasonable prices for 40 years now,” says Donald MacPherson, the executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, an organization based out of Simon Fraser University that advocates for evidence-based policy-making and harm-reduction strategies.“It’s really the degree to which the regulated system can, over a period of years, encroach on as much of that pre-existing market as possible — that is the key question.”Talking to users quickly reveals three major strands that make up the current system, starting with the traditional approach: knowing a guy who knows a guy who gets you your pot. It’s familiar, it’s trusted, it feels safe.More recently, street-level dispensaries have offered a somewhat normal retail store-front experience, though some offer only delivery, but perhaps the biggest change has been in what appears to be a very Canadian phenomenon: the burst of website-based mail-order marijuana suppliers, or MOMs as they are known.A plethora of websites now feature different cannabis products along with prices and, in some cases, testimonials, contests, specials, and freebies. Most ask for proof of age in the form of an uploaded ID document — 18 or 19 is generally minimum — and payment takes place via Interac. The vacuum-packed product is shipped to the buyer via Canada Post or courier.Francois, 34, an IT professional in Quebec City, says he now buys exclusively online.“The convenience factor is what brought me there,” says Francois, who like other users interviewed for this article only wants his first name used. “It’s delivered to your doorstep. It’s super easy, it’s super discreet.”Marie-Helene, 26, a journalist in Montreal who smokes recreationally most evenings and weekends, says she doesn’t expect much will change for her post legalization. She plans to stick with buying from a guy she knows who sells medical grade weed. She trusts him, she says, and she enjoys the personal touch — he knows what strains she likes — and what she calls their “professional-business relationship.”“It doesn’t feel super shady,” she says. “It probably sounds silly (but) it’s the same thing as people who enjoy buying stuff in stores — because it’s customer experience.”Robert, 55, an IT professional based in St. Catharines, Ont., a recreational user for decades, says he now has a medical prescription and can avoid a black market he believes was tied to organized crime. The illegal market is doomed over time, he says, because every gram sold legally is a gram the black market won’t need to grow.“Most of my friends can’t wait to purchase legally and are quite jealous that I am currently able to do that,” Robert says. “Friends who have more libertarian leanings swear they will never buy from the Ontario government (but) I bet that changes. People are lazy and follow the path of least resistance, so if they can buy a couple grams in the same shopping plaza that they are grocery shopping, they are going to do that.”Statistics Canada data indicate about 12 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older — or 3.6 million of us — reported in 2015 having used cannabis in the previous year, with 840,000 saying they used it most every day.Robert, however, says he thinks governments have hugely underestimated the prevalence of use and the Ontario government’s plan, for example, to start out with 40 retail outlets is laughable.“People don’t honestly answer surveys about sex and drugs, so nobody really understands how big the market will be,” Robert says. “I predict massive lines for legal weed next year.”Whether the black market shrinks and how quickly, observers say, will depend on what the legal market ends up looking like. It’s far from clear. Each province is charting its own course, with some tending toward maximum restrictions in terms of retail outlets, while others talk of stiff criminal sanctions for selling product to underage buyers or near schools.“These new laws are going to make the black market thrive,” says Chad, 40, who produces edible cannabis products in Toronto. “The black market is really vast. It’s really huge, right now, the competition.”The advent of dispensaries, he says, forced the black market to up its game in terms of quality and price. While the recent police crackdown on storefronts in Toronto has just pushed them underground, it has not dented what is a plentiful supply, he says. What Chad does believe is that many online sellers will go dark post-legalization.“Being online is just a way to get caught,” he says.The challenge facing federal and provincial governments, says MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, is the fact that the current system is so large, diverse and filled with expertise — in other words, it is mature.Across Canada, hundreds if not thousands of small-scale growers along with some large grow-ops supply a seemingly ravenous consumer cohort that includes younger Canadians who have some of the highest usage rates in the world, according to various surveys.Canada’s police services, however, have expressed concern they won’t be ready to enforce the new laws by next summer. They told a Commons committee earlier this year that among other things, they would need more time to train officers and increase the ranks of those certified to do roadside drug-impaired driving testing.OPP Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum warned that organized crime will flourish.“Policing will not be ready to go Aug. 1,” Barnum told the committee. “The damage that can be done between the time of new legislation and police officers ready to enforce the law in six months or a year can make it very, very hard to ever regain that foothold.”Enforcement is unlikely to make the illegal market go away, MacPherson says, but legalization does afford governments an opportunity to deploy policing resources elsewhere, and to make reliable public health information readily available as cannabis use becomes normalized in the way a glass of wine or beer already is.Most importantly, he says, displacing well entrenched networks now used for selling and buying good quality pot from people users know will require hassle-free access.“It’s a really interesting and complex thing that the government is trying to do,” MacPherson says. “It’s trying to take a very robust, complex pre-existing market and basically put it out of business by coming up with a better robust market.”last_img read more

Digicel done with 8 million network customers get free upgrades and services

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 24 jul 2015 – Digicel is done, complete with its network rebuild and this week the company celebrated with a press conference to announce the re-launch. It is an $8 million dollar investment by the telecoms giant which explained that the project involved the installation of over 30km of fibre optic cable, 11km of coaxial cable and the doubling of its international bandwidth capacity – all of which, Digicel promises, will deliver an unbeatable, superfast broadband experience to homes and businesses across TCI, even during peak times. Digicel is no longer just a mobile service player in the market and shared that on the TV side, users will see that the upgrade equates to sharper, more consistent, reliable picture quality. Add to this, during that press conference held Wednesday at the Blue Haven Resort, TV users will have an easy to use electronic TV guide and a host of leading new channels. Digicel Play CEO, Erik Staaf said, “Today, we are confident that the customer experience on our newly rebuilt network is the best and most reliable in the TCI – making Digicel the home of the fastest internet and best TV service. I want to say a massive thank you to our loyal customers for their patience during this process – we hope they’ll agree it’s been worth the wait.” And Digicel is serious about that thank you with three months of free premium movies to TV subscribers and a free upgrade to its broadband customers. Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Digicel T&T Donates Supplies to Anguilla and British Virgin Islands TCI Govt meets with Digicel and Carnival Cruise Lines Related Items:digicel, erik staaf, network update Thousands without power in TCIlast_img read more

Pellegrini Andy Carroll must earn a new contract

first_imgWest Ham coach Manuel Pellegrini warned Andy Carroll that he must prove his worth on the pitch in order to remain at the clubThe former Liverpool striker’s current contract with West Ham will expire at the end of the season after six years in London.But Carroll’s time with the Hammers has been clouded with a set of lingering injury issues that have restricted him to just 130 appearances in total.And now Pellegrini says Carroll will have to convince him that he’s worth keeping by proving it on the pitch.“When you need to renew your contract, of course you must demonstrate why you need to renew,” said Pellegrini, according to FourFourTwo.“We know what Andy can give to our team, now he must demonstrate he is able to do it week by week.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“He has now the last six months, and I hope that he will be able to do it.”Carroll made his first appearance of the season for West Ham in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Cardiff City in the Premier League.Pellegrini added: “For the moment, he can be a very important substitute.“We know what he can give to our team, the other day in 15 minutes, he had two or three shots, headers.“All the other defenders must be worried if they see Andy near the box, he can give a lot of important things to our team.”West Ham will face Crystal Palace this Saturday at home with kick-off set for 16:00 (CET).last_img read more

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Mark Kratman Is An Asset To Tewksbury  Wilmington

first_imgDear Editor,Mark Kratman has served Tewksbury well over the years and always had our best interests at heart. I worked closely with Mark on both the Wilmington and Tewksbury Chamber Of Commerce and The Tewksbury Economic Development Committee; he is always available and willing to help with any issues that face our town. He is a tremendous asset to our community and continues to be a strong advocate for our small business community.Mark met with businesses that expressed interest in doing business in Tewksbury and was among the first town officials to encourage them to move in and help them navigate our Town Government to acquire all necessary permitting. During his two terms as the Chairman of the Tewksbury Economic Development Committee, he worked with our town officials to improve Town Website and solicited Amazon and Lowell General Hospital to do business in Tewksbury. Mark understands the positive affects small businesses can have on our taxes and will continue to be a strong advocate for small business in both Tewksbury and Wilmington.The citizens of this district need someone like Mark who is not afraid to speak out on key issues that affect us all. Someone who was endorsed by the late Jim Miceli and knows his way around Beacon Hill.I hope my fellow citizens will join me on Tuesday, September 4 in voting for Mark Kratman for State Representative.Sincerely,Hanson BechatLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Former Town Crier News Editor, Town Moderator Jayne Wellman Miller Endorses Mark KratmanIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Committee To Elect Mark Kratman Expresses Disappointment With Robertson Campaign’s TacticsIn “Government”A VOTER’S GUIDE To Democratic State Rep. Candidate Mark KratmanIn “Government”last_img read more

SC to consider communitys view against jokes on Sardars

first_imgDo Sardars feel bad about Santa Banta jokes on them? If so, the Supreme Court on Monday said it will seriously consider examining a plea to ban websites displaying jokes on them.“If we think that your community do feel bad about it, we will definitely seriously consider it,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi said.“Does your community stand by you,” the bench asked a Sikh woman lawyer Harvinder Chowdhary, who has filed a PIL in this regard.She said Delhi Sikh Gurduwara Management Committee(DSGMC) has also filed a petition on the same issue and they are engaging a battery of senior advocates including Ram Jethmalani to argue the matter.While the woman advocate was making submissions, the bench intervened and asked Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia to express his views on the issue being a Sardar himself.last_img read more

Noble initiative for acid attack survivors

first_imgA 22-year-old Reshma Bano Qureshi and a 34-year-old Meena Khatun are the newly employed women under an odd but unique initiative by The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group. Both, survivors of a heinous crime – acid attack – are now working in the Flower Room, curating and creating flower arrangements for each room, providing the guests of the Lalit with a pleasing welcoming sight. It was Keshav Suri, the executive director of the group who is trying his best to give a better life and bring forth the marginalized communities into the mainstream. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn the past, Kitty Su has hosted a night celebrating inclusivity and diversity, with India’s first wheelchair-bound DJ, Vinod Khullar. Kitty Su continued this trend in 2018 by having transgender Chef Trapani, a globally celebrated authority in Tex-Mex Food, take on a five-city tour.In addition to all of this, perhaps the most notable initiative by The Lalit Group in 2017 was their collaboration with the NGO, Make Love Not Scars to host a high fashion couture fashion show, Powerwalk, where acid attack survivors strutted down the ramp to let society know that beauty comes from confidence and acceptance. The show had outfits donated by 20 designers who came together to ignore competition and create a sense of belonging and unity. The Lalit also helped a survivor, Sonia with her surgery, hosted her stay at the hotel and invested in her dream to own a beauty parlour in Hyderabad. Over time, Keshav Suri’s inspiration to provide acceptance and equality to the survivors has driven the Lalit Group of Hotels to employ two acid attack survivors into the hotel’s family.last_img read more