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51 CN ON: LTE: Safe Injection Sites Not The AnswerSat, 10 Jun 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Kuhn, David Area:Ontario Lines:42 Added:06/13/2017

Re: Supervised injection sites to be considered by region - June 7

Whenever I see or hear someone talking about supervised injection sites, I can't help but hear "they're going to do it anyway ..." in the back of my mind, because that's the rationale that people who are for injection sites use. Only, these people usually add something like "at least they'll be safe ..." to further justify their position that this is helping addicts.

Clearly, we have a drug problem in this region - we have a national problem - and I think that local authorities should be working with agencies and groups to help those in our community with substance abuse issues who are battling and struggling with addiction.

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52 CN NF: If You Build It, They Might ComeSat, 10 Jun 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Oliver, Kenn Area:Newfoundland Lines:129 Added:06/13/2017

Advocates support idea of supervised injection and consumption site in St. John's, but unsure if drug users would use it

Advocates endorse supervised injection and consumption site in St. John's The number of supervised injection and consumption facilities - often referred to as safe-injection sites - in Canada will soon grow exponentially.

Over the last month, a new facility opened in Surrey, B.C., two were approved for Montreal, three more were approved for Toronto and there's one on the way for Ottawa. There's also talk in the addiction treatment and outreach community of Halifax having its own.

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53CN AB: NDP Says Safe Site For Drug Consumption ComingFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/13/2017

Associate health minister Brandy Payne says she anticipates a supervised consumption site for users of dangerous opioids will be operating in Calgary within months.

Payne also said Thursday she expects there will ultimately be multiple safe-consumption sites in the city to try to combat a rising death toll from fentanyl and other opioids.

A Calgary application for a supervised consumption site is one of five Alberta proposals - the rest are from Edmonton - that have been submitted to Health Canada for an exemption under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

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54 CN YK: Territory Is Pursuing Its Own Cannabis LegislationTue, 13 Jun 2017
Source:Whitehorse Star (CN YK) Author:Cohen, Sidney Area:Yukon Territory Lines:92 Added:06/13/2017

The Yukon government plans to have its own cannabis legislation in place when marijuana becomes legal across Canada in July 2018.

The territorial law could pave the way for a retail weed market in the territory, though the justice minister said it's too early to confirm whether the Yukon legislation will support brick-and-mortar dispensaries.

The purpose of the Yukon's legislation will be "to keep Yukoners safe, to restrict access to cannabis to youth, and remove profits that are related to organized crime," said minister Tracy-Anne McPhee.

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55 CN ON: Health Board Calls For Pot DecriminalizationTue, 13 Jun 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:06/13/2017

Endorses an end to simple possession charges as 2018 legalization looms

Toronto's Board of Health is calling on the federal government to decriminalize pot possession immediately as part has of a package of recommendations it adopted unanimously on the looming legalization of marijuana.

The "fact it is still criminal is criminal," board member and Councillor Paula Fletcher said during Monday's Board of Health meeting.

Fletcher noted illegal dispensaries continue to operate, while "some of my residents are being charged with possession and trafficking for hand-to-hand sales of marijuana. It does not seem fair at all."

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56 CN YK: Opioid-Related Death Rate Called No SurpriseMon, 12 Jun 2017
Source:Whitehorse Star (CN YK) Author:Blake, Emily Area:Yukon Territory Lines:117 Added:06/12/2017

The Yukon and British Columbia experienced the highest rates of apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada last year.

According to a new national report from the federal government, the territory and province had a rate of over 15 deaths per 100,000 population compared to a national rate of 8.8 in 2016.

"I don't think it's a surprise," Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon's chief medical officer, told the Star of the findings this morning.

He noted that the territory's high rates are driven by the five deaths officially linked to fentanyl since April 2016.

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57US GA: Student In Drug Search Felt 'violated'Sun, 11 Jun 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Schrade, Brad Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/11/2017

A federal civil rights lawsuit filed last week against a south Georgia sheriff offers new details of the bizarre school-wide search of hundreds of students where deputies allegedly touched girls' breasts, vaginal areas and groped boys in their groins.

One of the nine Worth County High School students who filed the lawsuit, identified as K.P., told the AJC that the April 14 search was "very, very scary." She said the incident was stuck in her memory and it colored the rest of her senior year.

The day of the search, she said, students didn't know what was happening when an announcement was made early in the day that the school was on lock-down.

[end]

58 US: Drug Trade Rises In Dark Corners Of The InternetSun, 11 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Popper, Nathaniel Area:United States Lines:232 Added:06/11/2017

Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail

Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite dozens of arrests, new merchants - many based in Asia - quickly pop up.

As the nation's opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.

The internet.

In a growing number of arrests and overdoses, law enforcement officials say, the drugs are being bought online. Internet sales have allowed powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl - the fastest-growing cause of overdoses nationwide - to reach living rooms in nearly every region of the country, as they arrive in small packages in the mail.

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59 US CA: Hills Like Home In Laos. And Now A Crop, Too.Sun, 04 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:181 Added:06/09/2017

HAYFORK, Calif. - The red and purple opium poppies that his family grew on a mountainside half a world away were filled with an intoxicating, sticky sap that his mother traded for silver coins to feed her children and pay for their escape.

Adam Lee smiles at the memory of a childhood in war-torn Laos and voyage to America, where he spent decades adapting to life in big cities.

Now 47 years old, Mr. Lee has returned to the mountains - the Trinity Alps of Northern California - and to a career farming a different mind-altering crop for his livelihood: marijuana.

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60 Philippines: On The Run From Duterte's CrackdownMon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Almendral, Aurora Area:Philippines Lines:168 Added:06/09/2017

MANILA - Every morning before dawn, Rosario Perez checks to make sure her sons are still alive. The three brothers, all in their 20s, sleep at the houses of friends and relatives, moving regularly, hoping that whoever may have been assigned to kill them won't catch up with them.

They are not witnesses on a mob hit list, or gang members hiding from rivals. They are simply young men living in the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"How could I not send them to hide?" said Ms. Perez, 47, after peeking in on two of her sons and phoning the third. "We can barely sleep out of fear."

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61 US: Drug Deaths In America Are Rising Faster Than EverTue, 06 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Katz, Josh Area:United States Lines:218 Added:06/09/2017

New data compiled from hundreds of health agencies reveals the extent of the drug overdose epidemic last year.

AKRON, Ohio - Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times.

The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

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62 CN AB: More Drugs? Really?Mon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:29 Added:06/09/2017

How is this not an emergency? I find it mind-boggling that the Trudeau government has made legalizing marijuana its top priority rather than developing a national strategy to cope with the opioid crisis that is killing thousands of young people from coast to coast. Why on earth, with this opioid crisis, would any sensible government want to add another dangerous drug to the mix, with so many long-term effects of pot unknown.

Larry Comeau



(Apples and oranges but many people would agree with you. Others, not so much.)

[end]

63 CN ON: PUB LTE: Hypocrisy On Pot Vs. AlcoholMon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Lavigne, Francois Area:Ontario Lines:42 Added:06/09/2017

Re: Medical journal blasts Liberals over pot age limit, May 30

While I understand the Canadian Medical Association Journal's concern for the potential harmful effects of marijuana consumption on the "young" brain, I also find the criticism of the government's plan somewhat hypocritical.

If marijuana consumption is harmful, why single it out when the same young person can legally obtain and consume alcohol at around the same age as the proposed legislation? Surely the potential harmful effects of alcohol on the human body and brain are just as well-known.

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64 CN AB: LTE: More Drugs? Really?Mon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:29 Added:06/09/2017

How is this not an emergency? I find it mind-boggling that the Trudeau government has made legalizing marijuana its top priority rather than developing a national strategy to cope with the opioid crisis that is killing thousands of young people from coast to coast. Why on Earth, with this opioid crisis, would any sensible government want to add another dangerous drug to the mix, with so many long-term effects of pot unknown.

Larry Comeau



(Apples and oranges but many people would agree with you. Others, not so much.)

[end]

65 CN AB: PUB LTE: Gone To PotTue, 06 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Burdon, Ted Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:06/09/2017

Larry Comeau seems to believe that legalizing marijuana amounts to "government adding another dangerous drug to the mix". The pot is already out there and legalizing it will not increase usage. However I do agree that all drug usage needs national attention.

The federal government should set up a new agency which will receive 100% of the new taxes raised through the production and distribution of marijuana. This agency would invest in education and rehabilitation for all drug users including alcoholics. I would hate to see all this new tax revenue disappear down the bottomless pit we call government budgets.

Ted Burdon



(A little green from green doesn't sound like a bad idea.)

[end]

66 CN PI: LTE: 'No' To Methadone, MarijuanaTue, 06 Jun 2017
Source:Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI) Author:Curtis, John W. A. Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:30 Added:06/09/2017

A pioneer in methadone now says methadone isn't working. People on methadone are using other drugs. It is my opinion that under the methadone program the province has become the drug dealer.

What is the province going to do when Justin Trudeau legalizes marijuana? Intelligence isn't an attribute required for a politician. People are seeing provinces sue tobacco companies for health care costs. It won't take long for the provinces to sue companies selling marijuana for health care costs. Methadone isn't working for addictions to heavy drugs so how is the province going to pay for addictions to marijuana? Justin Trudeau campaigned for Wade MacLauchlan in the last provincial election, it is time both leaders provide answers. I think both methadone and legalizing marijuana are a joke.

John W.A. Curtis, Summerside

[end]

67 CN ON: MADD Tackling Drug-Impaired DrivingMon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Daily Press, The (CN ON) Author:Meldrum, Emma Area:Ontario Lines:72 Added:06/09/2017

Drunk driving rates across the country aren't going down.

The statistics may be consistent, but MADD volunteer Amy St. Amour is hopeful that events like Strides for Change can keep the issue in people's minds.

"I don't understand how somebody can have too many drinks and still choose to drive," said St. Amour. "At the end of the day, it's a choice that you make. I don't know how we're going to change that mindset, but I do know that walks like this and all the events and fundraising that we do, hopefully keeps it top of mind for everybody in Timmins.

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68 CN BC: MD Warns Of Party Drug OD RiskThu, 08 Jun 2017
Source:Alberni Valley News (CN BC) Author:Blats, Karly Area:British Columbia Lines:35 Added:06/08/2017

In the wake of the death of a 16-year-old New Westminister girl, who died on May 26 of an overdose, Island Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback advises people wanting to take party drugs of the risks involved with uncontrolled substances.

Angel Loyer-Lawrence and a friend thought they were taking the party drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, when Lawrence overdosed and died. Her friend was also taken to the hospital but survived.

"Any uncontrolled substance is purchased with risk associated with it. Unfortunately we do see tragic events such as what recently occurred (in New Westminister)," Hasselback said. "There was some reporting out of Victoria of a pharmacy that was doing some lab testing that's showing fentanyl being incorporated into MDMA, which is Ecstasy, and I think that really speaks to the drug trade."

Hasselback said there are risks of an overdose any time fentanyl is added into other drugs.

"On the other hand…even if we just had well-controlled, quality drugs here there are risks associated with them as well," he said.

[end]

69 CN ON: Dispensary Owners Hope For DischargeThu, 08 Jun 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Mercer, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:163 Added:06/08/2017

'Is it justice in the community?' - Judge criticizes Waterloo Regional Police decision to launch a raid

KITCHENER - A provincial court judge criticized the Waterloo Regional Police's decision to raid an illegal marijuana dispensary in uptown Waterloo last summer, suggesting a warning might have been sufficient to close it down.

Instead, a young Kitchener couple were in court Wednesday, facing criminal convictions for operating a dispensary they say only sold cannabis to adults with medical marijuana licences.

Justice Colin Westman wondered aloud why their Waterloo Dispensary, which sold marijuana out of a second-floor business on King Street, was busted by police in August when other local dispensaries were given written warnings a few months later.

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70 CN ON: Column: Pot Possession Charges Are A Sign Of HypocrisyWed, 07 Jun 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Harper, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:06/07/2017

It's long been apparent that the Liberal legalization of marijuana in this country is not going to provide the mellow buzz the government had sought.

We're more than a year out from promised legislation, but there's smoke on the horizon.

The Canadian Medical Association has condemned the legal age of 18 being set by the federal Liberals, citing data that shows early marijuana use leads to everything from depression and anxiety to a lifetime dependency rate of 17 per cent for those who start smoking as teenagers. That's almost double the rate of those who begin use after their brains mature at age 25.

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71 CN BC: Illicit Drug-death Numbers Continue To RiseWed, 07 Jun 2017
Source:Delta Optimist (CN BC) Author:Jacques, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:60 Added:06/07/2017

The number of illicit drug deaths in B.C. continues to be a major cause of concern, with April showing the second-highest recorded numbers in a single month in the province, according to the latest statistics from the BC Coroners Service.

Provisional data show that 136 people died as a result of illicit drug use during April, an average of 4.5 each day, and almost double the April 2016 total of 69.

The April deaths bring the provisional numbers for the year-to-date to 488, and they show that more than half of all illicit drug deaths involved persons between the ages of 30 and 49 years. Four out of five who died were male.

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72CN BC: Lions Not Worried About Pot PastFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Willes, Ed Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

NFLer will not test positive for marijuana here, because the CFL doesn't test for it

Frank Alexander is a 6-5, 275-pound defensive lineman who was picked in the fourth round of the NFL Draft and spent three seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

Before that, he played four years at Oklahoma where he was voted the Big 12's co-defensive player of the year and made the All-Conference team in his senior year.

Now, if that's all you knew about the 27-year-old Alexander, you'd take one look at his presence in Kamloops and wonder, "What on Earth is he doing at the B.C. Lions training camp?"

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73 CN ON: Overdose Kits In SchoolsFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:Recorder & Times, The (CN ON) Author:Bedford, Sabrina Area:Ontario Lines:76 Added:06/06/2017

Regional Catholic board has purchased Naxalone to counter possible opioid overdoses

The region's Catholic education board is responding to the growing threat of opioids in Eastern Ontario by placing overdose remedy kits in all of its schools.

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario( CDSBEO) announced Tuesday it has purchased Naloxone kits for all of its schools in response to the growing Fentanyl crisis that is making its way through the counties, and in some cases claiming lives.

"We hope that these kits will never need to be used, but in the event that they are needed, the Naloxone will help to buy time for someone experiencing an opioid overdose until first responders arrive," said the board's director of education, William Gartland.

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74CN BC: Music Festivals Arm For Overdose RiskFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

'The new reality': Fentanyl test strips and naloxone kits are part of the mix

Vancouver Island music festivals are stepping up harm-reduction measures with fentanyl test strips, more naloxone kits and outreach in light of B.C.'s drug overdose crisis.

"If you're a festival organizer, it's imperative to have this on your radar. This is the new reality," said Emmalee Brunt, communications manager for the Tall Tree Music Festival.

The festival takes place in Port Renfrew from June 23 to 26 and is expected to draw about 3,000 people.

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75 CN AB: Support Key To Drug BattleFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:80 Added:06/06/2017

Police chief updates SACPA audience

"Catch and release" may work with fish conservation, but it's no answer to the issues of drug addiction.

That's the word from Rob Davis, Chief of the Lethbridge Police Service. He says repeatedly arresting people addicted to alcohol or drugs and then releasing them - with no assistance offered - is very expensive and it solves nothing.

"That's what we were doing," and so were police services across the nation.

But Lethbridge has a myriad of social service agencies, he told a Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs audience Thursday, and now police officers make an effort to connect repeat customers with an appropriate service agency as they're released.

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76 CN BC: Overdoses In Schools A Call To ActionThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Ball, David P. Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:06/06/2017

Experts discuss how educators can curb risks

Feeling connected is critical to avoiding problem substance use. Cindy Andrew

As New Westminster School District students continue to grapple with a tragedy that took the life of one of its 16-year-old students this week, and nearly killed another, experts have said their overdoses are a "call to action" for all schools.

Both teens overdosed on an "unknown" substance they wrongly believed was the party drug MDMA, local police said.

In Vancouver, several schools and teachers have been issued overdose reversal kits and training, Metro has learned. Several districts' substance use counsellors are raising awareness of fentanyl overdoses, and some teens even trained on overdose symptoms and first aid.

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77 CN ON: Ottawa Approves 3 Toronto Supervised-Injection SitesSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Ontario Lines:103 Added:06/06/2017

The federal government has approved three supervised-injection sites for Toronto, further expanding a contentious harm reduction service in its latest effort to counter a surging number of overdose deaths in Canada.

Illicit fentanyl and chemically similar drugs have caused fatal overdoses to skyrocket. Opioid overdoses in Ontario increased 11 per cent in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period the year before, B.C. is on pace to have 1,400 deaths this year, and fentanyl-related fatalities in Alberta in the first quarter of 2017 are 60 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

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78CN AB: Column: Alberta Takes Important Step In Fight To Stop OpioidThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

There, the NDP finally said it. Alberta's fentanyl deaths are an "emergency."

That's pretty obvious after 113 fatalities already in the first three months of this year, after 363 in 2016. Overdoses now kill more people in Alberta than traffic crashes and homicides combined.

In 2011, there were only six deaths from this scourge. Opioids have become an undeniable public emergency.

It's also a suburban problem, not just a blight on the inner city. Last year, 80 per cent of Calgary deaths were outside the city core.

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79 CN ON: Spike In Violent Home Invasions Tied To DrugsMon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:O'Reilly, Nicole Area:Ontario Lines:115 Added:06/06/2017

Guns, yes - but knives, pepper spray, hammers, bats, batons and pipes have all been wielded as invaders strike in Hamilton

The number of violent home invasions in Hamilton nearly doubled last year, highlighting a growth in what police say is crime fuelled by the illegal drug trade in the city.

Last year Hamilton police investigated 67 violent home invasion robberies, up from 36 in 2015, said police spokesperson Const. Steve Welton.

As of March this year there had already been 12 home invasions, according to police records. The Spectator is aware of at least five more since then, including two in which people were shot.

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80 Canada: LTE: Fearing For Today's YouthThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Smith, Trig Area:Canada Lines:32 Added:06/06/2017

Re: Legalizing weed will harm youth, warns CMA editorial, Brian Cross, May 29 The Liberal federal government wants to bring the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C- 45) into force by July 2018 legalizing the use of marijuana beginning at age 18. It is irresponsible, foolish and dangerous for the government to condone the use of marijuana at the age of 18 knowing the evidence indicates that the use of marijuana is harmful to the still developing brain which, according to the CMA, doesn't reach maturity until around age 25.

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81 CN NF: PUB LTE: Wrong Prescription For The Cannabis ActSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Fleming, Sean Area:Newfoundland Lines:82 Added:06/06/2017

If people can legally buy alcohol and tobacco at the age of 18 or 19 (not to mention enlist in the military), then how can we justify setting a higher age for cannabis?

On May 29, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published an editorial written by its editor-in-chief, Dr. Diane Kelsall, titled "Cannabis legislation fails to protect Canada's youth."

Dr. Kelsall takes issue with three aspects of Bill C-45, the federal government's Cannabis Act. She argues that the minimum age for buying and consuming cannabis should be 21 instead of 18, with limits on the potency of cannabis for people under 25; that home cultivation should be prohibited; and that the federal government should set national regulations for distribution and retail. These well-intentioned suggestions are misguided and potentially harmful.

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82 Canada: Mayors Want Pot CashSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)          Area:Canada Lines:93 Added:06/06/2017

Cities say money needed to help with costs of enforcement

The mayors of Canada's biggest cities say they need a slice of the tax windfall from legal marijuana to cover what they describe as significant costs associated with enforcing a signature initiative from the federal Liberals.

They raised their concerns with cabinet ministers this week, pressing the case that some tax revenues from sale of the drug must filter down to cover costs associated with land-use issues, business licensing applications and enforcement once the purchase, sale and recreational use of the drug is no longer illegal.

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83 Canada: Mayors Seek Share Of Weed RevenueSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC)          Area:Canada Lines:86 Added:06/06/2017

OTTAWA - The mayors of Canada's biggest cities say they need a slice of the tax windfall from legal marijuana to cover what they describe as significant costs associated with enforcing a signature initiative from the federal Liberals.

They raised their concerns with cabinet ministers this week, pressing the case that some tax revenues from sale of the drug must filter down to cover costs associated with land-use issues, business licensing applications and enforcement once the purchase, sale and recreational use of the drug is no longer illegal.

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84 CN ON: Naloxone On Schools' RadarSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Crosier, Steph Area:Ontario Lines:146 Added:06/06/2017

Local school boards may bring 'opioid antagonist' into schools to deal with possible overdoses

Local school boards are considering following their neighbours and potentially bringing naloxone into local schools in the face of the opioid overdose crisis.

On Tuesday, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario announced the overdose kits would be placed in all of its schools, located in the easternmost counties of Ontario and including the cities of Brockville and Cornwall.

"We hope that these kits will never need to be used, but in the event that they are needed, the naloxone will help to buy time for someone experiencing an opioid overdose until first responders arrive," William Gartland, the board's director of education, said.

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85 CN BC: PTSD And Pot StudiedThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Siebert, Amanda Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:06/06/2017

B.C. scientists are conducting a study that is one of the first to compare the way different strains of marijuana might affect patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Leading the team of researchers is Zach Walsh, a clinical psychologist and an associate professor at the University of B.C.'S Okanagan campus.

For Walsh, the need for research that backs up claims made by veterans' groups, patients, and advocates has reached a critical point.

"It's the patients leading the way on this, and they're using cannabis, so it's our job as health scientists to figure out if it's working," Walsh tells the Georgia Straight by phone.

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86 CN ON: Hempfest 'Killed' By Lack Of SponsorsThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Northern Times, The (CN ON) Author:Grech, Ron Area:Ontario Lines:76 Added:06/06/2017

The organizer behind Northern Ontario's longest running hemp festival is pulling the plug.

Robert Neron, a Moonbeam resident and longtime activist in support of freer access to medical marijuana, made the announcement through a posting on social media on Sunday.

He said unless someone else comes forward to take over managing the event, the cancellation of Hempfest is likely permanent.

In his announcement, Neron also revealed his intention to "retire completely from any activism" in the future.

"My health will no longer permit me to do so," he told Postmedia Network in an interview Sunday night. "As for Hempfest, lack of money from sponsors killed the festival … I can no longer sustain myself, my health, little less a not-for-profit festival."

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87 CN BC: Avoiding Toxic WeedThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Smith, Charlie Area:British Columbia Lines:53 Added:06/06/2017

Should dispensaries and licensed producers be regulated in a manner 2 similar to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's oversight of food safety? The U.s.-based Cannabis Safety Institute published a paper in 2015 noting that "pesticide use is widespread" in the marijuana industry and recommended that laboratories "must be supplied with clear instructions" on which ones to test for. The institute also pointed out that heavy metals, including arsenic, can be found in soils and in poorly manufactured herbicides-and they can be absorbed by cannabis plants.

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88 CN BC: Cannabis Comes To The Rescue For WomenThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Siebert, Amanda Area:British Columbia Lines:186 Added:06/06/2017

When Andrea Dobbs began experiencing perimenopausal symptoms, she had no idea that her search for a remedy at a local dispensary would put her on the path to opening up one of her own.

Andrea Dobbs operated the Village Dispensary for a year before she smoked any of its cannabis. Amanda Siebert photo.

Now the co-owner of the Village in Kitsilano, Dobbs says her initial experience at a local pot shop in the early days of Vancouver's dispensary explosion wasn't ideal.

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89 CN ON: Teens And DrugsSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Thorpe, Ryan Area:Ontario Lines:286 Added:06/06/2017

Drug use among teens is nothing new. But street drugs are a bigger threat than ever, because they can be laced with deadly substances. The Spectator investigates what youth are using, and how to identify the dangers

A GIRL is hanging out with friends after school. One of them has stolen a gram of marijuana from an older brother. They pass around a pipe. It is her first time getting high. She is 14.

A 15- YEAR-OLD walks through the hall at school. He sees a classmate selling cannabis-edibles out of a backpack and a friend making a purchase. A GIRL is invited to meet up with friends behind her school. Someone lights a joint and passes it to her. She is in Grade 7.

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90CN AB: Talking Pot: NDP Launches Online Marijuana SurveySat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Schwartz, Zane Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

The Alberta government has launched an online survey to gauge public opinion on key cannabis questions as it prepares for federal legalization in 2018.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley rolled out the survey Friday as a litmus test to see where Albertans stand on issues such as what the legal age should be, whether marijuana should be permitted in public places, and how police should handle motorists who drive under the influence.

It's part of a consultation strategy that will include meetings with groups directly affected by the impending legislation, such as police, municipal and indigenous leaders, and addictions and mental health workers. The government will also be conducting surveys at festivals and other public events.

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91Canada: Thousands Charged With Pot Possession Since 2015Sat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Forrest, Maura Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

Liberals urged to issue pardons once it's legalized

More than 15,000 people have been charged with possession of marijuana and more than 2,000 have been convicted since the Trudeau government was elected in October 2015 on a platform to legalize the drug.

The prosecutions have continued despite the Liberals' commitment to make pot legal by July 2018, though it seems the numbers may have dropped since they took office.

"The fact remains that we still have people receiving criminal convictions for a substance that the government intends to legalize," said NDP justice critic Alistair MacGregor, who requested the figures tabled in the House of Commons this week. "(The Liberals) realize the effect a criminal record has on people's lives."

[continues 598 words]

92CN AB: Online Pot Survey Launched To Gauge Public OpinionSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Schwartz, Zane Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

The Alberta government has launched an online survey to gauge public opinion on key cannabis questions as it prepares for federal legalization in 2018.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley rolled out the survey Friday as a litmus test to see where Albertans stand on issues such as what the legal age should be; whether marijuana should be permitted in public places; and how police should handle motorists who drive under the influence.

It's part of a consultation strategy that will include meetings with groups directly affected by the impending legislation, such as police, municipal and indigenous leaders, and addictions and mental-health workers. The government will also be conducting surveys at festivals and other public events.

[continues 463 words]

93 Philippines: The Man Running Duterte's Antidrug WarSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Almendral, Aurora Area:Philippines Lines:178 Added:06/03/2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Gen. Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police, knows the value of a public display of remorse. He has been forced to apologize more than once.

He was wrong, he acknowledged before the Philippine Senate as TV cameras rolled, to have trusted undisciplined policemen who killed a small-town mayor suspected of dealing drugs, as the mayor lay defenseless on a jail-cell floor.

"I cannot blame the public if they're losing their trust and confidence in their police," he told the Senate panel, accepting a tissue from the mayor's son to wipe away his tears.

[continues 1245 words]

94 US: PUB LTE: Small-Time Dealers Get Long Sentences TooSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Angelos, Weldon Area:United States Lines:33 Added:06/03/2017

In Heather Mac Donald's "Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire" (op-ed, May 26) about mandatory minimum sentences (MMS), she writes that 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentences are only given to large-scale traffickers. In 2004 I was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for selling $1,000 worth of marijuana while possessing a firearm. The judge who sentenced me called my punishment "unjust, cruel and even irrational" and compared it to the much shorter federal sentences given to repeat child rapists, murderers and even some terrorists.

[continues 69 words]

95 US: PUB LTE: Mandatory Sentences Often Hit The MinnowsSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ring, Kevin Area:United States Lines:39 Added:06/03/2017

Under federal law, anyone convicted of selling just five grams of methamphetamine-the weight of a nickel-is subject to a mandatory five-year prison term. Get caught buying or selling a second time, no matter how many years after your first offense, and you will be subject to a 10-year mandatory prison sentence.

Ms. Mac Donald may pretend that mandatory sentences are reserved for the likes of El Chapo, but the truth is mandatory sentences are more often used against low-level offenders. Ninety-three percent of people who receive federal mandatory minimums played no leadership role in their crimes. There are lots of minnows and few sharks.

There are simply no studies that show mandatory sentences reduce drug crime. Every dollar wasted on mandatory minimums is one that would be better invested in proven anticrime strategies like hiring more police officers and expanding substance abuse treatment.

Kevin Ring

President

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Washington

[end]

96 US: PUB LTE: The Accused Don't Want To Take The RiskSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McBride, Bob Area:United States Lines:34 Added:06/03/2017

The fear conjured up by MMS is a prime motivator in the accused accepting a plea bargain. Even with a person who believes he is innocent, the downside is too great. There is something not right about destroying accepted historical precedent of the evaluation by a judge and jury, who have heard all the evidence and witnessed the character, arguments and demeanor of the prosecution and the accused, in favor of the wisdom of remote legislators stroked by the DAs looking for a bailout for their inability to earn a conviction on the merits.

[continues 63 words]

97 US: PUB LTE: Jail Has Solved NothingSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Keleti, Daniel Area:United States Lines:34 Added:06/03/2017

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, but this hasn't solved our problems. There were a record 33,000 opioid deaths in the U.S. in 2015. Our homicide rate is seven times the average of 21 Western developed nations, plus Japan.

Politicians are making jail the answer to addressing issues dealing with drug addiction, mental illness and violent crime. Yet jail doesn't seem to properly address these issues and often worsens the problems associated with them.

[continues 54 words]

98 US: High Times Is Sold For $70 Million To A Group That Includes SonFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Victor, Daniel Area:United States Lines:75 Added:06/02/2017

High Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business, said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.

The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand the publication's audience and its events business.

[continues 426 words]

99 CN BC: Editorial: Legal Pot Poses Legal QuestionsWed, 31 May 2017
Source:Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:05/31/2017

A consistent model for enforcement will be needed once marijuana is legalized

Whether you agree with the decision to legalize marijuana or not, that train has left the station and is scheduled to roll down the track on July 1, 2018. The question we need to focus on now is how it will affect the rights of citizens, law enforcement and the courts.

Once the smoke settles, there must be clarity and consistency in how the police and the judiciary deal with offenders under the federal government's new impaired driving legislation aimed at reducing carnage on our roads.

[continues 275 words]

100 US: Editorial: Gov. Walker Would Drug Test The PoorWed, 31 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:52 Added:05/31/2017

As he prepares to run for a third term, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, ever the devotee of low-road, right-wing politicking, is hoping the Trump administration will allow his state to be the first in the nation to mandate the drug screening of childless individuals who apply for Medicaid help.

"It borders on immoral," Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator, warned, accusing Mr. Walker of indulging in a "meaningless contest to see how cruel and discriminatory we can be to the poor."

[continues 300 words]


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