Legal recreational marijuana smoke wafts into Canadian skies in about eight months, a subject I wrote about this week. The authorities have a mound of details to work out on how legalization will work for sellers and buyers. But a much larger population — all Canadians — will encounter one area in particular: advertising.
How will promotion of Canada’s latest legal vice be regulated? The federal government has two models.
One is the system for cigarettes, which effectively bans most conventional advertising and marketing, requires stores to keep cigars and cigarettes out of sight and mandates that health warnings with gruesome photos dominate packaging. (A bill now before Parliament would also make the tobacco industry use generic packaging, without logos.)
Or the government could follow the regulatory pattern created for beer, wine and spirits. While those rules vary by province, pretty much anything goes other than showing actors and models actually sipping drinks, or making blatant appeals to children though, say, cartoon characters. And ads for spirits feature “consume responsibly” statements.
A group of 17 medical marijuana companies — which are all gearing up for the much bigger recreational market — released its advertising proposals this week. To no one’s surprise, they largely mirror the alcohol model.
They cast advertising not as a means of lifting sales but as something of a public service. In a news release, the group said that marijuana ads are “vital for the legal industry to have the tools necessary to push back against Canada’s thriving illegal market, while at the same time educating adult consumers about various product strains, responsible use, and how to differentiate between high and low quality cannabis product.”
Most of the medical community and experts on drug abuse oppose widespread pot advertising.
“We have an opportunity to learn from where we are with alcohol,” said Rebecca Jesseman, a director and senior policy adviser at the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction, a federally funded agency. “We really need to take a more cautious approach.”
Among other things, Ms. Jesseman wants cigarette-like limits and packages that show warnings about marijuana-impaired driving and the health dangers of inhaling heated vapors.
The government won’t announce its plan until after the bill to legalize marijuana becomes law. Until then, Ms. Jesseman expects heavy lobbying by the industry.
“I do not envy the people in the government making the decision,” she told me.
Read: Ready or Not, Recreational Marijuana Use Is Coming to Canada
Andrea Kannapell, an editor at The Times, made the pilgrimage from New York to Montreal for the tribute concert for one the city’s best known native sons, the musician and poet Leonard Cohen, who died a year ago this month. Here’s her report.
Here’s a review and a few clips from the tribute concert, which will be televised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in January, featuring Sting, k.d. lang, Adam Cohen and Lana Del Rey. The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal is presenting a special exhibition of Mr. Cohen’s work and the art he has inspired, including projections of lyrics from his songs on a grain elevator that dominates Montreal’s port, as well as a concert series of full performances of five of his albums.
After about a century, medical research on chimpanzees has effectively ended in North America. But moving the chimps now at universities and other research centers into retirement sanctuaries in the United States is taking longer than advocates for the intelligent and sociable animals had hoped.
Jim Gorman, a Times science writer, joined some chimps on the trip to their new home and has produced a moving, witty, not-to-be-missed story about their new lives.
Read: Lab Chimps Are Moving to Sanctuaries — Slowly
One of this week’s must reads from The Times appeared in Opinion. Until she received a cochlear implant seven years ago, Rachel Kolb had been profoundly deaf. During that time, she was frequently asked if she could hear music. Now that she finally can, Ms. Kolb has written an essay about the experience. Her reaction wasn’t what I expected. And after you read the essay, be sure to watch the innovative 360 video about Ms. Kolb’s relationship with music and the hearing world.
Read: Sensations of Sound: On Deafness and Music
Watch: 360 Video: Sensations of Sound
Two filmmakers from Vancouver, British Columbia, have gained access to what is perhaps the most mysterious hockey venue in the world: the Pyongyang Ice Rink in North Korea.
—My colleague Dan Levin made the trip to the Hart River in the Yukon Territory. Indigenous groups thought they had a deal to preserve its watershed. But the territorial government has a vision for the 26,000 square miles that emphasizes exploitation of gas, coal and other minerals. The dispute may shatter trust between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians.
—Roy Halladay, the former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher who died in a plane crash, was mourned by many baseball fans. In an appreciation, Tyler Kepner, who interviewed Halladay for a book about pitching this spring, wrote that his “legacy, to me, is powerful and instructive in any field: The purity of the effort matters most.”