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Morning Brew: Marijuana as religious ritual, police officer as crime novel writer, road repair funding skips Toronto, debate surrounding ceremonial Sikh swords resurfaces

Members of the "Beaches Mission of God, Assembly of The Church of the Universe" (who face drug trafficking charges dating back to 2006) are taking a far-fetched campaign to court, in an attempt to declare marijuana smoking a religious rite (and right). Ummm... I'm thinking you're not likely going to win this one, guys.

After initially being told he couldn't, a Toronto police constable has been given the go-ahead to write a work of fiction about Toronto-based crime. Sounds like it could be a neat read (aside from it potentially being a conflict of interest or ill-conceived plan).

Ever drive westbound on the 401 out in the city's west end, at 5pm? It's quite the commuter bottleneck at Dixie Road, isn't it? Rehabilitation of the bridge at Dixie is one of a number of road renewal projects that the federal and provincial government are injecting $139-million into this year - a job list and financial commitment that many (including Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion) are saying isn't nearly enough. The work is mostly in rural areas that will have little impact on the GTA's major commuter traffic problems.

A stabbing at a Sikh temple in Brampton last week, where the weapon is believed to have been a kirpan (a ceremonial dagger that is integral to Sikh religious tradition), has reignited the debate in court about the rights of individuals to wear ceremonial blades.

The timing is uncanny. On the same day that it was announced that the federal government will be relaxing strict rules for carry-on items on planes, another "shoe bomber attack" was thwarted by U.S. air marshals on a flight from Washington to Denver. It turns out he was just a moron trying to sneak a cigarette in the lavatory.

And in what could easily be a cut/paste from any given day, both the Leafs and Raptors suffered losses last night.

Photo: "Water beads" by jerowe, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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