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151 Canada: Supervised-Injection Sites ExpandedSat, 27 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Canada Lines:102 Added:05/27/2017

Ottawa broadens overdose-prevention program, approving three more locations for Vancouver region, one for Montreal

The federal government has approved four more supervised-injection sites - three in the Vancouver region and one in Montreal - in its latest effort to combat an escalating overdose crisis across the country.

The new round of approvals brings the number of federally sanctioned sites to nine, significantly expanding what was once a radical intervention limited to a single location in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Such facilities, run by local health agencies, allow users to consume illicit drugs in the presence of health workers who can intervene in the event of an overdose.

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152 CN ON: Editorial: Need To Get Proactive With The Opioid CrisisSat, 27 May 2017
Source:Daily Press, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:76 Added:05/27/2017

It seems we're finally coming to grips with the opioid crisis. Not in the sense that we're able to prevent it or roll it back, unfortunately.

But now the data needed to conduct the fight is becoming available. It's not perfect, but it is a huge - and positive - step.

Where we've been reactive, we'll now be able to be proactive. Or at least more proactive than we have been, watching as the wave of death rolls across Canada.

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153 CN ON: OPED: Don't Criminalize Drug UsersSat, 27 May 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Lester, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:77 Added:05/27/2017

The article Needles the cause, cure (May 23) postulates possible reasons for higher rates of HIV and hepatitis C virus in London.

As an organization that advocates with and for people who inject drugs (PWID), we note that, while unsafe injection practices may be a potential driver of these increased rates, it is probably not the only influence. There are multiple social and systemic influences that may not only contribute to the increase of disease, but also contribute to overall diminished health of those who inject drugs.

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154 Canada: Mayors Call For Help On Opioid CrisisSat, 27 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Canada Lines:111 Added:05/27/2017

One measure being sought by big-city leaders - expanded heroin-assisted treatment programs - finds support from Vancouver police

Canada's big-city mayors are calling for the expedited approval of new supervised drug-consumption sites, improved data collection and the expansion of unconventional therapies, such as heroin-assisted treatment, to address a national overdose crisis that shows no signs of abating.

The formal recommendations from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' task force on the opioid crisis come as the Vancouver Police Department issues its own call for expanded addictions programs, including heroin-assisted treatment.

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155 CN ON: Police Bust Marijuana DispensarySat, 27 May 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:47 Added:05/27/2017

CAMBRIDGE - Waterloo Regional Police drug officers closed down a marijuana dispensary in Cambridge on Wednesday.

Police raided the storefront business at 184 Samuelson St. near Elgin Street North at 1 p.m.

Police spokesperson Cherri Greeno said the illegal business did not have an official name.

During the raid, police seized a large amount of marijuana, marijuana products, a small amount of suspected cocaine and prescription pills, including Xanax and Oxycocet.

A 29-year-old Cambridge man and a 21-year-old Cambridge woman were arrested. Both face several charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.

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156 CN BC: Addiction Experts Urge Medical Heroin ExpansionSat, 27 May 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:68 Added:05/27/2017

VANCOUVER - Addiction experts from five European countries say their experience with prescription heroin programs have provided overwhelming evidence to suggest Canada should expand its one clinic in the midst of a deadly opioid crisis.

Researchers from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada held a symposium in Vancouver on Friday to share lessons they've learned from multiple clinical trials and years of treatment.

Wim van den Brink of the Netherlands told a news conference that some European programs started as a way to deal with the public nuisance of drug use but the medical health benefits improved people's quality of life and saved money in the criminal justice system.

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157Canada: Robertson, Other Mayors Urge Feds To Take Lead On OverdoseFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/26/2017

Mayors across Canada are calling for federal leadership on the "national emergency" of overdoses by ensuring provinces provide timely access to addiction treatment and by launching public education campaigns.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who heads a task force of the big city mayors caucus on the opioid crisis, said he and his counterparts in 12 other cities agree the situation is so dire that Ottawa must take a leadership role if jurisdictions are not moving fast enough to save lives.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said last month she's frustrated with provinces and territories that have not provided her with information on overdose deaths despite repeated requests.

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158 CN NS: Drug Battle Moves Across CBRMFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Montgomery-Dupe, Sharon Area:Nova Scotia Lines:94 Added:05/26/2017

A Town That Cares group to host more town hall meetings

The fight against the local drug crisis is being expanded.

Buddy Penney, a founder of the A Town That Cares group, says town hall meetings will be held in communities across the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

"We want people to see it's a problem for every community, not just New Waterford," he said.

"We will be working on gathering support to see a mental health/drug addiction facility built in the CBRM. Strength comes in numbers."

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159 CN ON: Editorial: Finally A Start To Opioids FightFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:78 Added:05/26/2017

It seems we're finally coming to grips with the opioid crisis.

Not in the sense that we're able to prevent it or roll it back, unfortunately.

But now the data needed to conduct the fight is becoming available. It's not perfect, but it is a huge - and positive - step.

Where we've been reactive, we'll now be able to be proactive. Or at least more proactive than we have been, watching as the wave of death rolls across Canada.

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160 CN BC: Debate Over Cannabis Dispensary License Lights Up CouncilFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Grand Forks Gazette (CN BC) Author:Saylors, Kathleen Area:British Columbia Lines:78 Added:05/26/2017

A report about a potential dispensary bylaw led to questions about city involvement in RCMP matters.

After City of Grand Forks heard a presentation on the potential legal ramifications of having a dispensary bylaw last week, questions arose from the gallery on the city's involvement in the recent RCMP action towards dispensaries in the city.

Dave Smith from Smithplan Consulting presented the report to council on the legal consequences and actions the city could take on dispensaries within city limits, which was requested at the March 13 Committee of the Whole.

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161 US: OPED: Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your IreFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:MacDonald, Heather Area:United States Lines:110 Added:05/26/2017

Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire Jeff Sessions's policy won't lock up harmless stoners, but it will help dismantle drug-trafficking networks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being tarred as a racist-again-for bringing the law fully to bear on illegal drug traffickers. Mr. Sessions has instructed federal prosecutors to disclose in court the actual amount of drugs that trafficking defendants possessed at the time of arrest. That disclosure will trigger the mandatory penalties set by Congress for large-scale dealers.

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162 US VT: Vermont Pot Bill Vetoed As Changes SoughtThu, 25 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Kamp, Jon Area:Vermont Lines:73 Added:05/25/2017

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he is vetoing a bill that would have made the state the first to legalize marijuana through legislation rather than a ballot measure, but he also left the door open for legalization.

The bill, passed by the Vermont House and Senate, would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited amount starting in mid-2018. The bill also called for a commission to propose yet-more legislation that could have created a taxed, regulated market later on.

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163 US: Questions For The DEA After Three Fatal ShootingsThu, 25 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Savage, Charlie Area:United States Lines:151 Added:05/25/2017

WASHINGTON - The Drug Enforcement Administration misled the public, Congress and the Justice Department about a 2012 operation in which commando-style squads of American agents sent to Honduras to disrupt drug smuggling became involved in three deadly shootings, two inspectors general said Wednesday.

The D.E.A. said in response that it had shut down the program, the Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team.

Under the program, known as FAST, squads received military-style training to combat Taliban-linked opium traffickers in the Afghanistan war zone. It was expanded to Latin America in 2008 to help fight transnational drug smugglers, leading to the series of violent encounters in Honduras in 2012.

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164US: 'Great job': Trump Hails Philippine Leader For Drug WarThu, 25 May 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Stanglin, Doug Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:05/25/2017

President Trump, in a recent phone call, congratulated Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte for a "great job" in his crackdown on drugs, which human rights groups and the United Nations have condemned as a vigilante-style campaign that has left thousands of suspected drug dealers and users dead.

The exchange is found in a leaked transcript of a April 29 conversation between the two leaders published by The Washington Post and reported on by The New York Times.

"I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem," Trump says, according to the transcript. "Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that."


165 CN BC: City Calls For More Fentanyl Test StripsFri, 19 May 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Li, Wanyee Area:British Columbia Lines:46 Added:05/24/2017

Six people died from overdoses last week in Vancouver

As the number of overdose deaths continues to rise in Vancouver, the city announced it wants to see more fentanyl test strips made available to drug users.

The strips test for the presence of fentanyl and a nine-month pilot project at Insite found users who knew their drugs contained fentanyl were more likely to decrease their dose and therefore less likely to overdose.

It's an approach that could save more lives, said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Our residents are literally dying waiting for both treatment options that will get them off dangerous street drugs and save their lives, and immediate interventions like expanded drug testing that reduce overdoses," he said in a press release.

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166CN AB: Fentanyl Deaths Leap 61 Per CentSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2017

Provinces chief medical officer calls for heightened efforts amid deepening crisis

Alberta's top doctor is calling for expanded efforts to combat a high number of opioid deaths as health officials released a new report on fentanyl overdoses Friday.

"We need to continue our efforts to decrease the number of overdoses that we're seeing due to fentanyl and other opioids," said Dr. Karen Grimsrud, the province's chief medical officer of health, following the release of Alberta Health's Opioids and Substances of Misuse report on Friday.

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167 CN MB: Judge Slams Law, Delays SentencingSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:May, Katie Area:Manitoba Lines:107 Added:05/24/2017

Gives mom convicted of drug smuggling time to arrange child care ahead of mandatory prison term

In a case that has raised questions about the effect of mandatory minimum sentences, a Manitoba judge has taken pity on a woman he convicted by agreeing to give her more freedom before he sends her to prison.

In a likely unprecedented move, Justice Sheldon Lanchbery reserved his decision and delayed the sentencing of 37-year-old Sandra Dignard by about two months. That will allow the mother of four time to make child-care arrangements before she is placed in custody. The judge said he has no choice but to sentence Dignard to two years in prison for drug trafficking, despite his belief she should not be locked up.

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168 CN AB: Oped: Alberta Not Getting The Full Picture On OpioidsSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Swann, David Area:Alberta Lines:91 Added:05/24/2017

By any objective measure, the opiate crisis has affected British Columbia far more severely than Alberta.

Both legal and illegal opiate use is more prevalent, and it was the first province to see this unprecedented number of deaths due to overdoses of fentanyl and other opiates.

B.C.'s response has been robust.

The declaration of a public health state of emergency led to resources being mobilized across government departments and between all stakeholders in a co-ordinated plan.

Their Provincial Health Officer reports monthly on the efforts to combat the crisis, and the province has embraced early harm reduction measures such as naloxone kits and supervised injection sites.

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169 CN PI: OPED: Time To Focus On PreventablesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI) Author:Colohan, Desmond Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:92 Added:05/24/2017

In a recent Canadian Public Health Association discussion paper, "A New Approach to Managing Illegal Psychoactive Substances in Canada," the point was made emphatically that our current approach to managing risk is not working.

Here are some of its highlights:

- - A psychoactive substance is a chemical that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness or behaviour. Societies mitigate the health, social, and economic consequences of the use and misuse of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, tranquillizers and sleeping pills in a variety of ways with varying degrees of success. Their effects on population health, however, are often overshadowed by our fascination with the direct effects of substance misuse on individuals [e.g. recent rise in the opioid death rate due to adulteration of the drug supply with fentanyl and its analogues]. Currently, western societies manage illegal psychoactive substances largely through prohibition and criminalization and legal drugs, like tobacco and alcohol, through regulation, restricted availability and price control. The laws and systems initially introduced to control these substances reflected the times ! and prevalent issues of the day, but no longer reflect current scientific knowledge concerning substance-related harms to individuals, families, or communities.

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170 Canada: Pot Plans Respect International TreatiesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:Canada Lines:92 Added:05/24/2017

Task force leader says Canada can be an example

A former Liberal cabinet minister who led a federally appointed task force on legalizing cannabis says Canada's plan to green light the drug for recreational use is in keeping with the spirit of international treaties - all of which criminalize the possession and production of marijuana.

It will be up to the government to make the case in relation to the treaties, Anne McLellan said Friday in an interview with The Canadian Press.

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171Canada: Unifor Cites Canna Clinic Staff's Right To UnionizeSat, 20 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Freeman, Sunny Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2017

TORONTO - Canada's largest private-sector union says it isn't bothered that its first-ever group of medical marijuana members works at an illegal pot dispensary.

Unifor spokeswoman Katha Fortier said it is in the process of negotiating a contract for all 40 employees at one of Toronto's Canna Clinic marijuana dispensaries, which sells dried cannabis as well as oils and edibles, but does not have a Health Canada licence to do so.

Licensed producers are currently the only legal sellers of marijuana in Canada and their operations are strictly regulated. They can sign up patients only with a medical authorization from a doctor and can deliver product only through a mail order system.

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172 Canada: Streamlined Injection-Site Conditions Become LawFri, 19 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Canada Lines:94 Added:05/24/2017

A piece of legislation that makes it easier to open supervised injection sites has become law, replacing Harper-era regulations that effectively stalled the harm reduction service as overdose deaths climbed.

Under Bill C-37, which received royal assent on Thursday, agencies wanting to open a supervised-injection site must meet five streamlined conditions, down from 26 under the previous Respect for Communities Act.

The Liberal government tabled the bill in December. It received final approval on Wednesday, with minor amendments.

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173 CN AB: Column: Tackling The Problem Of OpioidsFri, 19 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Spearman, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:127 Added:05/24/2017

We've all heard the very troubling news reports in Alberta and across Canada about the growing problem of addiction to opioids, especially fentanyl.

Opioid addition is devastating families and causing an alarming number of deaths among those who - knowingly or unknowingly - make the mistake of using it. The issues associated with opioid addiction touch many different agencies, institutions, public and social service organizations. It touches families, and it touches individuals.

Lethbridge is not immune. Last fall, after hearing about what was happening in our city, I asked a broad range of leaders and organizations in our community to come together to collaborate on how we can respond in the best way possible.

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174 CN ON: Legal Pot Poses Problems For MunicipalitiesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Simpson, Barbara Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:05/24/2017

Lambton County trains managers as local governments brace for expected challenges

SARNIA - With Canada ready to legalize marijuana by next July, Ontario municipalities are ablaze with activity prepping for the impacts of that move - including in the workplace.

Lambton County recently held a training session for its 75 managers about marijuana and workplace safety. Among the chief municipal concerns are the potential for workers to believe it's legal for them to smoke marijuana on municipal property, as well as the potential for impaired driving if a high worker operates a municipal vehicle.

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175 CN ON: Municipalities Eye Workplace Pot PoliciesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Simpson, Barbara Area:Ontario Lines:97 Added:05/24/2017

With Canada ready to legalize marijuana by next July, Ontario municipalities are ablaze with activity prepping for the impacts of that move - including in the workplace.

The County of Lambton recently held a training session for its 75 managers about marijuana and workplace safety. Among the chief municipal concerns around legalization include the potential for workers to believe it's legal for them to smoke marijuana on municipal property, as well as the potential for impaired driving if a high worker operates a municipal vehicle.

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176Canada: Legalized Pot 'In The Spirit' Of Treaties Targeting MarijuanaSat, 20 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2017

OTTAWA - A former Liberal cabinet minister who led a federally appointed task force on legalizing cannabis says Canada's plan to green light the drug for recreational use is in keeping with the spirit of international treaties - all of which criminalize the possession and production of marijuana.

It will be up to the government to make the case in relation to the treaties, Anne McLellan said Friday.

"We believe, as a task force, that we are, at least, in the spirit of those treaties," she said. "Those treaties talk to the protection of youth and young people, keeping young people out of criminal situations. They speak to fairness and justice and they speak to public health."

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177CN BC: For Cannabis Crusader, Time To Call It A DaySun, 21 May 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Watts, Richard Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2017

With major marijuana changes in the air, Ted Smith says moment is right to bow out

Ted Smith, Victoria's longtime cannabis crusader, is calling an end to his activist career.

On Saturday, the 47-year-old got together with friends in Beacon Hill Park to offer thanks, share memories and, of course, enjoy a few joints.

The time, 4:20 p.m. - once a release time from high school detentions - - was selected in remembrance of past misadventures with the rules.

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178 CN BC: LTE: Marijuana Legalization A Bad IdeaSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Eberle, Shelley Area:British Columbia Lines:31 Added:05/24/2017

Editor: In response to S. Rathwell (letter to the editor; Weed Can Help Our Economy in The Daily Courier on May 17). Pot production might bring a few jobs, but the damage to our social fabric would heavily outweigh any gain.

Marijuana is currently a leading cause of substance dependence, and, if legalized, the increase in users and addiction would be large and rapid. Legal, recreational pot use is not a safe way to relax. It is a psycho-active, addictive substance that affects our youth in a very negative way.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug around the world. Those who support its legalization for recreational use fail to recognize that the greatest costs of weed are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.

Shelley Eberle, Penticton


179 CN BC: Richard's Rant Is Over Aids Activist DiesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Plant, Don Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:05/24/2017

Richard's rant is over. Richard Babcock, the tell-it-like-it-is AIDS activist who started the Okanagan's first compassion club, was penniless and living in a storage locker shortly before he died of pneumonia last month. He was 57. He chose to buy a vehicle instead of pay rent so he could get to his doctors' appointments, said his sister, Melody Kelly.

As a young man in the '90s, Babcock visited prostitutes and used needles to inject the cocaine he craved. Soon after he was diagnosed with AIDS, he became clean and started advocating for others afflicted with the disease. He could be abrasive, but at his core he was "just another human being - not as self-centred or as ignorant as I was," he said in a 2005 interview.

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180 CN NF: LTE: Legalizing Marijuana Will Bring A Mess Of TroubleSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Chafe, Russell Area:Newfoundland Lines:92 Added:05/24/2017

Marijuana will soon be legal in Newfoundland and Labrador. Among other things, it will no longer be against the law to grow up to four plants at a time in your house. Anyone with a green thumb could produce about six pounds a year. In today's market that's a value of almost $50,000!

This unregulated marijuana will flood our streets. This alone negates any argument that "The marijuana we are buying from government dispensers is tightly regulated," because who is going to pay $30 to $40 a gram from our government dealers when they can buy unregulated marijuana from the thousands of want to be entrepreneurs who will sell it for less?

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181 Canada: Editorial: Declare A Health Emergency, YesterdayTue, 23 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:111 Added:05/23/2017

In 2015, more Canadians were killed by opioid-related overdoses than lost their lives at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 1995, at the peak of that earlier public-health disaster, 1,764 Canadians were killed by the blood-borne virus. The latest estimates are that opioids claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Canadians in 2015.

And all indications are that the death toll is rising, not falling. Part of the problem may have to do with this: Doctors are not just prescribing opioids, but prescribing them widely and liberally. For example, the number of prescriptions for opioids and their derivatives increased 5 per cent in Ontario over the three years ending 2015-16. Last year, Ontario doctors wrote 9.1 million orders for opioid painkillers.

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182 CN ON: V.I.P. Program Evolves With Drug CultureTue, 23 May 2017
Source:Chatham Daily News, The (CN ON) Author:Shreve, Ellwood Area:Ontario Lines:108 Added:05/23/2017

K of C Council 1412 shows its appreciation

The drug culture has changed over the years, but an elementary school program, taught by Chatham-Kent police, has evolved to help keep local kids educated and safe.

Special Const. Tamara Dick, one of three officers who teach the program to Grade 5 students across Chatham-Kent, said they focus on this age group "before they have to make some bigger choices in life . . . to give them a foundation as to how to make those choices."

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183 CN BC: PUB LTE: Hemp Could Be Robust For B.C.Tue, 23 May 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Rathwell, S. Area:British Columbia Lines:42 Added:05/23/2017

Editor: In response to Shelley Eberle's letter to the editor on May 20, marijuana legalization is a bad idea.

Contrary to popular belief, usage rates among teenagers were monitored the last few years by Scientific American. After Colorado legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana, they found rates decreasing from 30 per cent of teens using in 2011 to 21 per cent in 2015. This has also been the case in Washington state as well as Portugal, as after marijuana was decriminalized, both usage and addiction rates decreased.

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184 US: Editorial: Lurching Backward On Justice ReformMon, 22 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:67 Added:05/22/2017

When it comes to criminal justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a man out of time - stuck defiantly in the 1980s, when crime in America was high and politicians scrambled to out-tough one another by passing breathtakingly severe sentencing laws. This mind-set was bad enough when Mr. Sessions was a senator from Alabama working to thwart sentencing reforms in Congress. Now that he is the nation's top law enforcement officer, he's trying to drag the country backward with him, even as most states are moving toward more enlightened policies.

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185 Canada: Canadians Want Ottawa To Erase Old Marijuana Convictions,Mon, 22 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leblanc, Daniel Area:Canada Lines:93 Added:05/22/2017

A clear majority of Canadians want the federal government to issue pardons to fellow citizens who have a criminal record for marijuana possession, a new poll has found.

The survey stands to buttress the call of marijuana activists, lawyers and politicians who argue that the old criminal records will be a legal anomaly once marijuana is legalized for recreational use by all adults.

The federal government tabled legislation last month that aimed to legalize marijuana by the middle of next year. Despite widespread pressure, the government has refused to call on law enforcement to stop charging marijuana users with simple possession while the legislation goes through Parliament, or to promise an amnesty for past convictions after the adoption of the new law.

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186 CN AB: Call To Declare Public Health Emergency Over Rising FentanylSun, 21 May 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Passifiume, Bryan Area:Alberta Lines:110 Added:05/21/2017

As fentanyl overdose deaths in Alberta rise, a Vancouver-based advocate says Alberta would do well to follow her province's lead in declaring opioid-related deaths a public health emergency.

On the front lines in B.C.'s battle against their ongoing overdose crisis, Leslie McBain said Alberta's rising numbers of overdose deaths isn't going to slow without decisive action from the provincial government.

"The number of deaths in Alberta is rising," she said. "It's insane and inhumane to not do something about it."

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187 CN ON: OPED: Fentanyl Crisis Mistakes Echo Response To HIV/AidsSun, 21 May 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Watt, Jaime Area:Ontario Lines:118 Added:05/21/2017

Abuse of fentanyl, the highly addictive opioid pain medication, is taking a menacing toll across Canada.

Opioid-related overdoses killed 1,400 Canadians last year. To label the situation a coast-to-coast crisis is a massive understatement.

Fentanyl can be found in knock-off prescription painkillers, in party drugs and even in cocaine.

The fact that other drugs are being laced with fentanyl means that drug users often haven't actively sought out the "thrill" of fentanyl and don't even realize what they've done until it's too late.

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188 CN PI: LTE: Dangers Lurk With LegalizationWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Guardian, The (CN PI) Author:MacIsaac, J. Bruce Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:40 Added:05/20/2017

There was a Letter to the Editor on the subject of legalizing marijuana by a person who is in the business of treating youth who have addiction issues. I agree with what the person is trying to relay on this very important issue. The people who are in the business of treating people with addictions know first hand the dangers of this great idea that the government is bringing on and that is legalizing of marijuana.

I know that from my own experience with addiction, that the results from the disease are so damaging and far reaching it boggles my mind how government can justify the legalizing of a drug that caused so much pain and suffering to addicts, family, friends and taxpayers.

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189 CN MB: Don't Sell Pot, Booze Together: MGEUWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Kusch, Larry Area:Manitoba Lines:94 Added:05/20/2017

WHEN marijuana is legalized in Canada, it should be sold in standalone publicly operated stores, the head of the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU) says.

Michelle Gawronsky said the union believes that Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corp. should be responsible for selling cannabis products, but that marijuana not be marketed in booze stores.

"You don't want to be selling the two together. You want to be socially responsible. That's the whole idea here," she said following a public hearing on Bill 25, The Cannabis Harm Protection Act.

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190 CN MB: PUB LTE: Booze Is WorseThu, 18 May 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Elston, Jacqueline Area:Manitoba Lines:38 Added:05/20/2017

In Larry Comeau's letter he quotes a report that marijuana related ER visits in Colorado among kids have quadrupled since legalization. Previously, marijuana possession and use was a felony. It might just be the increase in visits to the ER since legalization has something to do with users in Colorado no longer fearing prosecution if they seek help while under the influence. Is it not possible that mental illness issues in general are on the rise in young people unrelated to marijuana use? It would certainly seem so according to many recent studies.

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191Canada: Veterans Affairs' Pot Tab Hit $44.5 MillionWed, 17 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Freeman, Sunny Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

AGRICULTURE * MedReleaf was top beneficiary, documents show

Veterans Affairs paid out $44.5 million for medical marijuana expenses in the year before Ottawa cracked down on soaring reimbursement costs - - more than three times what it covered in the prior two years combined.

The department covered 3.7 million grams of marijuana at an average cost of $12.01 per gram from October 2015 to September 2016 - 30 per cent higher than what it considers market value.

The cost breakdown was included in documents released under an access-to-information request ahead of a Veterans Affairs policy change this month that will significantly reduce the amount of medical marijuana eligible for reimbursement.

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192CN BC: Column: Beware Of 'Evidence-Based' Policy PositionsWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

A term we hear with increasing frequency is the claim that we need "evidence-based policy" on this or that public issue. With the possible new importance of the B.C. Green party - we'll know more after the final election count on May 24 - you'll be hearing the phrase a lot more as the Greens love the term like yogis love mantras.

"Evidence-based policy" started out as a medical term. Doctors wanted evidence on the effectiveness of a treatment before using it. It is the empirical method in action. Constant research examines how patients fare after various procedures, surgeries or drug treatments so doctors can know which treatments are best.

[continues 632 words]

193Canada: Column: Progress On Opioids, Incoherence On MarijuanaThu, 18 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Selley, Chris Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

Legalizing pot shouldn't be this hard to get right

The move toward marijuana legalization is … still not as coherent as it could be, let's say.

The Liberal legislation, unveiled last month, would establish rules around THC-impaired driving that may well prove unconstitutional: science has yet to establish a solid link between a given level of THC concentration in a driver's blood or saliva and his level of impairment.

Frustratingly, there are still those who use this as an argument against legalization - as if it would create pot-impaired drivers where there are none today.

[continues 734 words]

194 US: Unity Was Emerging On Sentencing, Then Came SessionsMon, 15 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hulse, Carl Area:United States Lines:128 Added:05/20/2017

WASHINGTON - As a senator, Jeff Sessions was such a conservative outlier on criminal justice issues that he pushed other Republicans to the forefront of his campaign to block a sentencing overhaul, figuring they would be taken more seriously.

Now Mr. Sessions is attorney general and need not take a back seat to anyone when it comes to imposing his ultratough-on-crime views. The effect of his transition from being just one of 535 in Congress to being top dog at the Justice Department was underscored on Friday when he ordered federal prosecutors to make sure they threw the book at criminal defendants and pursued the toughest penalties possible.

[continues 880 words]

195 US: Mixed Grades For A Scrapped Drug PolicyMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Reinhard, Beth Area:United States Lines:117 Added:05/20/2017

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week jettisoned an Obama administration policy that had been aimed at sparing less-serious drug offenders from harsh sentences, he called his new, more aggressive approach "moral and just."

But the verdict among law-enforcement and legal professionals is more mixed. Government data, along with interviews with former U.S. attorneys who advised the Justice Department under President Barack Obama, suggest the previous policy achieved several, though not all, of its goals.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced the policy that was to be embodied in what became known as the "Holder memo" in a 2013 speech to the American Bar Association. Mr. Holder pledged that federal prosecutors would focus on more dangerous drug traffickers and avoid charging less-serious offenders with crimes that required long, mandatory-minimum sentences. Mandatory-minimum sentences, he said, had led to bloated, costly prisons and disproportionately ravaged minority communities.

[continues 702 words]

196 CN BC: PUB LTE: Marijuana Can Help Our EconomyWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Rathwell, S. Area:British Columbia Lines:44 Added:05/20/2017

Editor: This is in response to D. Simpson's letter in The Daily Courier on Monday, May 15, citing Matthew 15:11, "It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth."

I'm sure that if God looks around the way the world works now, He would have more pressing matters than worrying about a little cannabis, which is a plant and not a drug, as it requires no tampering or time in a lab, unlike grains to make alcohol or poppies to make opium.

[continues 173 words]

197 CN BC: LTE: Marijuana Not Part Of God's LawWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Simpson, D. Area:British Columbia Lines:65 Added:05/20/2017

Dear Editor: In the New Testament, in Matthew 4:4, it states that "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

Further, it says in 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

In 2 Peter 1:3, "that we have been given all things that pertain unto life and Godliness."

God did not intend for man to write his own laws that jeopardized his. He is the one taking care of our welfare, but we allow the elected officials of our government to dream up their big plans to get God out of society and do as they like to perfect his directions for life.

[continues 279 words]

198 CN BC: PUB LTE: Marijuana Is Part Of God's WorldThu, 18 May 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Meyers, Jeff Area:British Columbia Lines:32 Added:05/20/2017

Editor: Re: Legalized marijuana not part of God's law

On May 15, letter writer D. Simpson should have read the first page of the Bible before ranting about the alleged evils of cannabis.

In Genesis 1:69, God said, "Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire Earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed."

Nowhere in the Bible did God order people to lay off the weed.

In fact, there is much evidence that the anointing oil used by people back in the day was cannabis oil.

Jeff Meyers, Westlake Village, California


199 CN BC: CNV Slams Lid On Pot ShopsWed, 17 May 2017
Source:North Shore News (CN BC) Author:Shepherd, Jeremy Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:05/20/2017

Weeds Glass gets business licence plucked

Marijuana shops in the City of North Vancouver are in a green and grey legal area.

Council revealed a closed-session decision to deny business licences to Weeds Glass and Gifts on Marine Drive as well as LotusLand Cannabis Club on East Second Street at a May 8 council meeting.

Both of the rejected licenses included requests for medical and recreational marijuana.

"These companies could have waited until the federal government and the provincial government decided what they're going to do and how they're going to do it," explained

[continues 185 words]

200 CN ON: Many Teens Get Into Cars With Impaired DriversThu, 18 May 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Weidner, Johanna Area:Ontario Lines:66 Added:05/20/2017

One in three high school students reports riding with a driver who has been drinking and one in five got in a car with a driver that consumed marijuana, according to a new University of Waterloo study.

Half of all students in Grades 11 and 12 admitted to at least one risky behaviour, either driving after drinking or using marijuana or being a passenger in the car of an impaired driver.

"For half of kids to be putting themselves in that kind of risk seems really high," said Leia Minaker, lead author on the paper and an assistant professor at Waterloo.

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