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151 CN NS: PUB LTE: Opportunity Knocks For Marijuana BootleggersThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS) Author:MacDonald, Sterling Area:Nova Scotia Lines:46 Added:03/10/2018

To the editor,

Bootleggers in Pictou County sell beer at double the price because of all the risks involved. Marijuana is mostly supplied by organized crime. These people face all the risks of the bootlegger and more. There have been murders, kidnappings, torture, etc., all in the quest for control of the marijuana trade.

Is it any wonder why their prices are so high? The reasons they risk life and limb is that the profits are astronomical.

Marijuana is one of the cheapest, easiest and maintenance-free plants to grow. Can someone please explain how the government-sanctioned marijuana distributors came up with such exorbitant prices when their entire operation is "risk free." Marijuana on the street is the very same marijuana that the government distributors sell but their prices don't reflect this.

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152 CN ON: Column: To Reduce Stigma, Increase ResearchTue, 06 Mar 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Shkimba, Margaret Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:03/10/2018

Medical cannabis take-up hampered by lack of research and red tape

I picked up a View magazine while I was waiting for the bus a few weeks back. There was an article on the 15 or so uses of cannabis, so after I caught up with CATCH (Citizens at City Hall), I turned to the article on cannabis looking for some useful information.

By this time, I was on the bus, seated on a side seat, next to an elderly woman. I could feel she was reading over my shoulder, so I turned to her slightly. She asked me the name of the paper and we started a conversation about cannabis.

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153 CN NS: PUB LTE: Weed WoesThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Coast, The (CN NS) Author:Hansen-MacDonald, Nick Area:Nova Scotia Lines:59 Added:03/10/2018

To see how the NSLC's marijuana distribution will be a disaster take a tour of Halifax's "medical" marijuana dispensaries. There are a dozen, or more, at least. They all have lines, seven days a week, from open to close. Their inventory (marijuana) is sourced in the industrial black-market production infrastructure in BC which is vast, efficient and already produces a variety of products (in-demand strains of marijuana) and product formats (oils, vape cartridges, topicals, edibles, etc).

Many people don't fully understand that these dispensaries are actually all illegal and will be shut down upon legalization. Currently, the only legal way to purchase medical marijuanais through the mail from a licensed producer.

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154CN ON: Cannabis Shop Loses Court Fight Against EvictionWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/10/2018

Cannabis Culture, a former pot shop on Bank Street, lost a court bid to have its eviction overturned.

Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin ruled the landlord was justified in terminating the lease because the dispensary was operating in contravention of both its rental lease and federal law.

The landlord posted an eviction notice on the door of the illegal dispensary in December and called a bailiff to change the locks. Cannabis Culture appealed to the Superior Court of Justice to reinstate the lease so it could continue to operate.

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155 CN BC: Column: Legal Weed Coming, Time To Talk RulesTue, 06 Mar 2018
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Laurio, Jukka Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:03/10/2018

Can we put the words "illegal" and "marijuana" together and still be making a relevant statement in Canada? Marijuana is going to be legal as a recreation drug.

The federal government has committed itself to legalization. The provincial government has stepped forward with a plan for legal marijuana, which included dispensaries as a component. They even went so far as to include early licence application for dispensaries.

Marijuana will be sold, consumed by people and I do not believe there is anything that will stop that from happening. This means the political movement to legalize marijuana is no longer of significant relevance. Operating dispensaries as a political statement is no longer required. So, now what?

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156 Canada: Pot Exec Vows To Fund Court ChallengeWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Israel, Solomon Area:Canada Lines:156 Added:03/10/2018

Investment firm head says he'd spend $25,000 to fight cannabis-impaired driving provisions

As experts warn of flaws with the cannabis-impaired driving provisions of Bill C-46, a high-profile Canadian cannabis industry executive has vowed to bankroll a future court challenge against that aspect of the proposed law.

Chuck Rifici, the CEO of cannabis industry investment firm Wheaton Income Corp., and the former chief financial officer of the Liberal Party of Canada, said he would commit up to $25,000 to fund such a challenge.

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157 CN ON: Bradley Balks At Ontario Pot Bucks PlanSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Stacey, Megan Area:Ontario Lines:75 Added:03/10/2018

The haze around pot revenue for cities is beginning to clear, but one Southwestern Ontario mayor doesn't like what he's seeing.

Municipalities are no longer in the dark about the dollars they'll get to deal with the rollout of legalized marijuana, after the province announced Friday that $40 million from the tax on legalized marijuana will flow to cities in the next two years.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the numbers don't add up, pointing to the 444 municipalities in Ontario that have to share that cash.

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158Canada: Canadians Pay An Average Of $7 A Gram For Pot: DataSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Rendell, Mark Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:03/10/2018

Canadians are paying just under $7 a gram for marijuana, on average, according to new data crowdsourced by Statistics Canada.

Between Jan 25 and Feb 28, StatCan received 17,139 voluntary reports, submitted online, on how much people paid for cannabis. The data, released Friday, found the national average price for a gram of cannabis was $6.83, although price ranged widely depending on location, quantity purchased and use.

Cannabis was reportedly cheapest in Quebec, coming in at $5.88 a gram on average. It was most expensive in the Northwest Territories, where people reported paying an average of $11.46 a gram. In most other provinces, people paid slightly more than the national average, mostly in the $7 range. Only in Quebec and New Brunswick were cannabis users paying less than the national average.

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159CN AB: Offer Drug Testing At Safe Consumption Sites, Opiod CommissionSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/10/2018

Alberta's supervised consumption sites should be permitted to offer drug testing to help users learn what dangers might be lurking in their illicit narcotics, the province's opioid commission recommended Friday.

While questions persist about the effectiveness of fentanyl-sensing strips and other testing devices, providing insight to users on what they plan to inject or ingest will undoubtedly save lives, commission leaders said.

"Anytime you can give people a bit more understanding than absolutely none about what's in their drugs, I think that's a positive," Elaine Hyshka, co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response Commission, told a news conference downtown.

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160 Canada: Column: Does Naloxone Really Save Lives?Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Wente, Margaret Area:Canada Lines:100 Added:03/10/2018

The life-saving drug may actually increase opioid abuse. Here's why

My friendly local pharmacy has started selling naloxone kits to the general public. They think everyone should have one. The idea is that you never know when you're going to have someone overdose in your home.

As the opioid crisis spreads like a curse across North America, naloxone - a lifesaving drug that neutralizes the effects of an opioid overdose - is not confined to first responders anymore. Schools in Toronto are stocking up in it. Librarians across the United States have been trained to administer it to overdosing visitors. Everywhere, the message is: make sure you have some on hand, just in case.

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161 CN ON: Moss Park Harm-Reduction Volunteers Staying PutSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Gray, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:132 Added:03/10/2018

More supervised injection sites planned as opioid-overdose numbers skyrocket

The construction trailer that houses the illegal, volunteer-run overdose prevention site in Toronto's Moss Park is about to open for another evening, as a dozen drug users, some clearly anxious for their fix, cluster around its muddy entrance in the cold.

Activist and harm-reduction worker Zoe Dodd, named one of Toronto Life magazine's most influential people last year, alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and R&B star the Weeknd, unloads an extra box of anti-overdose naloxone kits from her beat-up sedan.

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162 CN ON: Opioid-Related Deaths In Hamilton Surge In One YearSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:03/10/2018

City's fatality rate is now nearly double Ontario average, fuelling more concern

Opioid-related deaths in Hamilton have soared more than 80 per cent in one year.

From January to October, 75 Hamilton residents died from an opioid overdose in 2017 compared to 41 during the same period the year before.

"Opioids are continuing to have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and the community," Hamilton's medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said in a statement Friday. "The sustained trend of rising opioid related deaths, which are preventable, in Hamilton is very concerning."

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163 CN AB: PUB LTE: Safe Injection Sites Donat Promote DrugsSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wanechko, Dennis Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:03/10/2018

The war on drugs has never been won by anyone, anywhere. But Jason Kenny figures that it can be won here in Alberta by stricter law enforcement and by limiting safe injection sites.

He is against safe injection sites, because in his conservative way of thinking, they promote the use of drugs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Safe injection sites help save lives.

On the street, drug addicts can be exposed to bad batches of drugs or they can be thrown in jail for possession of illegal drugs. I'm quite sure addicts are not happy they have to resort to safe injection sites to get their fix.

And by going to safe injection sites, they are not demonized for being addicts and they can go to these places so that they can get off their dependence on drugs for good.

Dennis Wanechko, Leduc

[end]

164 CN AB: PUB LTE: Naturally GoodMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Olliver, Gord Area:Alberta Lines:35 Added:03/09/2018

Obviously reefer madness is still on when we hear about a "drug house" being closed down and the bad guys had fentanyl labs, steroid labs and shatter labs. Shatter is the street name for cannabis oil, which should be legal as our delusional puppet promised it would be. This fearmongering is ridiculous. It's a concentrate removing carbons and impurities! Nothing more. I have used cannabis oils for my fibromyalgia and broken back for 25 years without problems and becoming a criminal (except for the fact I've had to go to criminals to get it). Fentanyl gets prescribed to a person for a back injury and three months later they have nothing, are on the street selling themselves, in full addiction mode and robbing homes. Marijuana oil made me a gold-medal mountain bike champion after I treated my back injury with it and no other pain meds. The Prozac my doctor was feeding me made me wake up! I still have all the unused pills.

Gord Olliver



(It's hardly reefer madness with legalization around the corner.)

[end]

165 US: States Mull 'Sanctuary' Status For Marijuana BusinessesMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Bohrer, Becky Area:United States Lines:118 Added:03/09/2018

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Taking a cue from the fight over immigration, some states that have legalized marijuana are considering providing so-called sanctuary status for licensed pot businesses, hoping to protect the fledgling industry from a shift in federal enforcement policy.

Just hours after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Jan. 4 that federal prosecutors would be free to crack down on marijuana operations as they see fit, Jesse Arreguin, the mayor in Berkeley, California, summoned city councilman Ben Bartlett to his office with a novel idea.

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166 CN ON: LTE: No To Legalizing MarijuanaMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Beacon Herald, The (CN ON) Author:Bouma, Elijah Area:Ontario Lines:26 Added:03/09/2018

I think that marijuana should not be made legal for recreational use because there is no good way to judge impairment caused by the drug. The Denver Post says on the matter: "The evolving science of testing for marijuana, and the lack of consensus over how to measure impairment creates challenges for lawmakers, police and prosecutors, not to mention users." It goes on to say how the number of fatal car crashes from marijuana is rising. Legalizing marijuana will make our communities more dangerous for everyone.

Elijah Bouma

St. George, Ont.

[end]

167 CN BC: Column: You And I Pay Interest On The DebtMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Albas, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:83 Added:03/09/2018

Last week, the Liberal government introduced the 2018 budget. As is customary in Canadian democracy, it is the role of the Liberal government to promote what it views as the merits of their budget.

As the Official Opposition, it is our job to illustrate the concerns we have with the budget. On that note, I have a few. It has become clear over this mandate, that the prime minister excels in making promises, but often falls short on the delivery of said promises. For example, we were promised electoral reform, a national housing strategy, infrastructure investment, new fighter jets for our militaryÂ…the list goes on. This budget is no exception. Mr. Trudeau distinctly promised Canadians that after a series of small deficits, his government would return to a balanced budget in 2019. This budget demonstrates that the Liberals have no intention whatsoever of returning to balance in 2019.

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168 CN ON: Stigma Here To StayMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Stevenson, Jane Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:03/09/2018

Pot still considered taboo during workdays

The late, great George Carlin apparently once joked that the 1960s-era crackdown on the business man's "three-martini lunch" shouldn't affect the working stiff's "two-joint coffee break."

But will the latter be frowned upon in the workplace if pot becomes legal - as expected - in Canada later this year?

There is stigma that still exists," says leading Canadian cannabis activist Jodie Emery.

"Now it depends though, of course, where you work. In a modern city like Toronto or Vancouver, you could probably have more progressive attitudes towards that in workplaces but definitely in smaller towns and more conservative jurisdictions, you would have push back."

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169 US: For All Their Risks, Opioids Had No Pain-Relieving AdvantageTue, 06 Mar 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Kaplan, Karen Area:United States Lines:112 Added:03/09/2018

For years, doctors turned to opioid painkillers as a first-line treatment for chronic back pain and aches in the joints. Even as the dangers of addiction and overdoses became more clear, the drugs' pain-relieving benefits were still thought to justify their risks.

Now researchers have hard data that challenges this view.

In the first randomized clinical trial to make a head-to-head comparison between opioids and other kinds of pain medications, patients who took opioids fared no better over the long term than patients who used safer alternatives.

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170 US: Trump Officials Study Death Penalty For Drug Dealers In OpioidFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Zezima, Katie Area:United States Lines:127 Added:03/09/2018

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is studying new policy that could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers, according to people with knowledge of the discussions, a sign that the White House wants to make a strong statement in addressing the opioid crisis.

President Donald Trump last week suggested executing drug dealers as a way to make a dent in opioid addiction. Opioids killed nearly 64,000 people in 2016, and the crisis is straining local health and emergency services.

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171 CN BC: City Takes Steps To Close Pot ShopsFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:North Shore News (CN BC) Author:Shepherd, Jeremy Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:03/09/2018

Back off, bud.

The City of North Vancouver is aiming to slam the lid on the host of unlicensed pot shops that have operated with seeming impunity in recent years following Monday's council meeting.

The crackdown, which involves civil court injunctions, is meant to give the city enough time to draft its own regulations about where and how marijuana dispensaries can operate within city limits.

"I do believe that it should be legalized but it needs to be regulated," explained Mayor Darrell Mussatto. "This enforcement action here is allowing us some time so that we can put in these regulations before it actually becomes legalized."

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172 US CA: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Kratom Hits San Diego AreaSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Sisson, Paul Area:California Lines:115 Added:03/08/2018

A San Diego County resident is among 40 people nationwide to become infected with salmonella bacteria linked to kratom, the controversial tropical herb that many have begun using to treat opioid addiction despite an import ban from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, a 44-year-old, whose gender and city of residence were not released, became ill in January.

Testing performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that symptoms were caused by the same subspecies of the salmonella bacteria that has now produced cases in 27 states.

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173 CN ON: LTE: No To Legalizing MarijuanaSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON) Author:Bouma, Elijah Area:Ontario Lines:26 Added:03/08/2018

I think that marijuana should not be made legal for recreational use because there is no good way to judge impairment caused by the drug. The Denver Post says on the matter: "The evolving science of testing for marijuana, and the lack of consensus over how to measure impairment creates challenges for lawmakers, police and prosecutors, not to mention users." It goes on to say how the number of fatal car crashes from marijuana is rising. Legalizing marijuana will make our communities more dangerous for everyone.

Elijah Bouma

St. George

[end]

174 Canada: Time For Companies To Assess Their Cannabis PoliciesSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Kranc, Joel Area:Canada Lines:85 Added:03/08/2018

What will you do if your employee returns from lunch smelling of marijuana? That's one of several issues companies may have to deal with once the federal government legalizes the use of cannabis later this year.

What is it about legalized marijuana that differs - or not - from other substances, such as alcohol, which are already prohibited from use at work?

A survey by the Human Resources Professional Association released in January found that 71 per cent of HR professionals believe their workplaces are not prepared to deal with the coming legalization of recreational marijuana, including issues related to impairment, usage on the premises and safety.

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175 CN NF: Nipping It In The 'Bud'Sat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:McNeish, Sam Area:Newfoundland Lines:127 Added:03/08/2018

Lawyer Denis Mahoney outlines a plan for employers surrounding the legalization of cannabis in Canada

How are employers going to deal with the use of cannabis in the workplace once it becomes legal later this year?

According to lawyer Denis Mahoney, a partner with Mcinnes Cooper in St. John's, speaking to delegates at the 50th anniversary conference of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association (NLCA) on Friday, there are many questions that need to be answered first.

"We are really concerned about this at the employers' council because as I can tell you in our business today, the No. 1 issue we are working with clients on today, above all else, is this particular topic," Mahoney said.

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176 CN ON: Proprietors Of Pot Dispensary Get Discharge From CourtSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:Langley, Alison Area:Ontario Lines:61 Added:03/08/2018

Two women arrested in April after police raided their medical marijuana dispensary in St. Catharines have been granted a conditional discharge.

"I only wish I was able to help more people on the legal route," Abbigail Millar, 32, told Judge Tory Colvin in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Friday.

Millar, together with Angela Millar, 38, were arrested after Niagara police raided Kronic Inc., a dispensary on Wright Street.

Police seized just under 3,000 grams of marijuana as well as pre-rolled marijuanacigarettes, marijuana oil capsules and a variety of marijuana edibles. The also seized more than $4,000 in cash.

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177 CN ON: 'Budtender' Receives Conditional SentenceMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Yanagisawa, Sue Area:Ontario Lines:143 Added:03/08/2018

A Kingston judge has disposed of the last of the charges against a group of six young "budtenders" arrested in a raid on an illegal Princess Street marijuana dispensary in March 2017.

Justice Larry O'Brien declined, however, to impose a sentence that would have encumbered the 23-year-old Ottawa woman with a criminal record when the principals profiting from the business went unidentified and were never charged.

Instead, he gave the woman a discharge, conditional upon her successful completion of one year of probation, after she pleaded guilty to a single charge of possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The terms of her probation oblige her to complete assessments and counselling as directed by her probation officer and require that she not socialize with anyone she knows to have a criminal or drug record.

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178 US: Oped: Balance On Cannabis May Lead To Answers On OpioidsSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Hill, Kevin P. Area:United States Lines:89 Added:03/08/2018

The United States is the midst of an opioid crisis. Ninety Americans die each day from opioid overdoses on prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl, and Massachusetts has not been spared. Many states are using the best available tools to battle the crisis, with an eye on developing better science and policy to put an end to the crisis. As more states implement either medical or legalized recreational cannabis policies, they should consider whether cannabis can play a role in the opioid crisis.

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179 US PA: Your Taxes Pale Beside What Marijuana Businesses PaySat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:135 Added:03/08/2018

You think your taxes are high?

For medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, they can be stratospheric. Cannabis retailers face an effective tax rate of up to 85 percent, and that won't be reduced by the new tax law.

Most mainstream businesses pay effective tax rates of about 15 percent to 30 percent.

"It's a burden," said Chris Visco, co-owner of TerraVida Holistic Centers, which opened one of Pennsylvania's first medicinal cannabis shops on Feb. 17 in Sellersville. "People think that we're getting rich. It's really not the case. The profit margins are going to be really narrow after taxes. And you have to still pay local and state taxes."

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180 CN ON: Prescott Nixes NaloxoneThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Recorder & Times, The (CN ON) Author:Lowrie, Wayne Area:Ontario Lines:84 Added:03/05/2018

Prescott - The town's fire department has joined the growing number of volunteer fire companies in Leeds and Grenville that refuse to carry naloxone to counter opioid overdoses.

Fire Chief Barry Moorhouse said his department based its decision partly on the fact naloxone-carrying paramedics are based in Johnstown, only eight minutes away as the ambulance flies. Usually, the EMS can get to a medical call in Prescott before his volunteer department, Moorhouse said.

As well, Moorhouse said he fears the slippery slope of having his trucks carrying drugs to medical calls. The department is far more likely to encounter diabetic patients or people felled by allergic reactions than people affected by opioid overdoses. Should firefighters be required to carry EPIPENS and insulin, too? he wondered.

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181 CN ON: Region Looking Into 3 Safe Injection Sites Locations NotThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Weidner, Johanna Area:Ontario Lines:131 Added:03/05/2018

WATERLOO REGION - Waterloo Region plans to look further into pursuing three supervised injection sites, following a study that found a need and support in the community for the service to combat fatal opioid overdoses.

Sites are proposed for the central cores of Kitchener and Galt, and a third spot to be determined that could be a mobile unit.

"In Waterloo Region, we know that overdose is on the rise," said Grace Bermingham, regional manager of information, planning and harm reduction.

Bermingham presented findings from the first phase of a feasibility study on supervised injection sites to a regional committee on Tuesday. The second phase involves identifying potential locations and further consultations with people who live, work or go to school near a proposed site.

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182 CN AB: Kenney Opposes Consumption SitesThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:42 Added:03/05/2018

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney said he would be opposed to expanding Safe Consumption Sites across the province if elected premier.

"Helping addicts inject poison into their bodies is not a solution to the problem of addiction," he said bluntly while visiting Lethbridge on Wednesday.

Disagreeing with local Lethbridge government, aid organizations and law enforcement officers who have championed the site, Kenney went on to state he did not feel safe consumption or injection sites work, as evidenced by the spike in opioid overdose deaths in Vancouver despite having a safe injection site in that city for over a decade.

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183CN AB: Pot Dispensary Owner Accuses Police Of 'Picking And Choosing'Fri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Police are "picking and choosing " when it comes to marijuana enforcement, says a Whyte Avenue medical cannabis dispensary owner charged after a bust last month.

The Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement Section (EDGE) executed search warrants Feb. 2 at two commercial addresses and a residence, turning up cannabis products with a combined street value estimated by police at $150,000.

Paul Olson, owner of Whyte Cross dispensary, one of the businesses raided Feb. 2, said it was "a little bit of a surprise" when police entered his store and seized his products.

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184CN AB: Police Say City School Pals Built International Drug RingFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Passifiume, Bryan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Alleged local international crime cartel had United States, Mexican connections

Calgary school buddies came together to form their own drug trafficking gang, with links to murder, money laundering and vicious Mexican cartels, say city police.

The group was allegedly responsible for millions of dollars in international drug imports and exports, and has been tied to a brazen Calgary shooting that left two dead in a south Calgary Superstore parking lot.

Calgary police say the group now faces dozens of charges, from drug importation to money-laundering to murder.

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185 US RI: Proposed Law Could Define Drug-Induced Homicide As MurderFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Rhode Island Lines:30 Added:03/05/2018

PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced legislation that could have drug dealers who sell substances that lead to a fatal overdose facing life in prison.

Current law states any person convicted in the sale, delivery, or distribution of a controlled substance to a minor who overdoses could face a life sentence.

The new proposal introduced by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, and Senator Hanna Gallo would include victims of any age.

If passed, the legislation would be named ''Kristen's Law,'' in honor of Kristen Coutu. The 29-year-old was found dead in her car after overdosing on fentanyl in 2014.

Aaron Andrade allegedly sold the drug to Coutu, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 to serve.

[end]

186 US PA: Growing Pains for Pa. Marijuana ProgramFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:68 Added:03/05/2018

Too much demand. Not enough supply.

Less than two weeks after it launched, Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is a victim of its own success.

The two open marijuana dispensaries in the Philadelphia region reported Friday they had sold out of most medicines and might not be restocked until after March 15.

"We have no inventory," said Chris Visco, co-owner of the TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville, Bucks County. "We took a shipment on Wednesday. On Thursday we had the biggest sales day we've ever had. By this morning, all we had left were a handful of disposable vape pens," a type of electronic cigarette loaded with hash oil.

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187CN BC: Column: B.C. Opioid Treatment Costs Soar Beyond $90m A YearThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

How do we get out of this box? It may be time to follow Portugal in legalizing drugs

British Columbia has a $250,000-a-day drug habit that is spiralling out of control - and it's not supported by the Downtown Eastside street bazaar.

Rather, it's the opioid substitution program.

The province now spends more than $90 million a year on "treatment" and health services for participants of the drug-maintenance program - that's more than it provides for legal aid.

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188 US IL: Bipartisan Effort Pushing To Legalize Recreational MarijuanaFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Griffin, Jake Area:Illinois Lines:63 Added:03/05/2018

Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use throughout the state is being revised to gain more bipartisan support in an effort to secure a veto-proof majority.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy and state Sen. Heather Steans introduced the bills last year, but the Chicago Democrats are rewriting some aspects to make the legislation more attractive to Republican counterparts.

Cassidy and Skillicorn met Friday with the Daily Herald editorial board to discuss the legislation.

Cassidy said having Republican support for the legislation would help get the law implemented this year since Gov. Bruce Rauner has signaled he would veto such a bill. Democrats have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but would need at least five Republicans in the House to override a gubernatorial veto even if every Democrat supported the bill.

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189 US OH: Addiction Center Director Sentenced To Seven Years ForThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Futty, John Area:Ohio Lines:57 Added:03/05/2018

A Whitehall man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $25,000 in restitution for a series of crimes related to his proposal to create a residential treatment center for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts on the Near East Side of Columbus.

Johnny R. Marcum, 47, of Pierce Avenue, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of identity fraud, four counts of passing bad checks, one count of forgery, two counts of theft and one count of tampering with records.

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190 CN PI: LTE: Bootlegging Better OptionThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Guardian, The (CN PI) Author:MacDonald, Ralph Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:34 Added:03/05/2018

Recently I watched on TV the story of a recovering drug addict. The turmoil this person had endured was a terrible saga of what an addict goes through and the difficult road to a life of depending on drugs to get through your days. Watching this story brought to mind the marijuana issue that we are about to embark upon in Canada.

I am surprised there are not more organizations speaking out against this drug and all the adverse effects this will have on our peoples. I know, you're saying, "why speak out, they (the government) will do it anyway," but when we don't demonstrate we're really giving it a blessing. I believe bootlegging the drug is better than legalizing it because when we legalize it we're giving a green light.

[continues 66 words]

191CN AB: Police To Reveal Details Of Crime Cartelas Deadly ReignThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Naylor, Dale Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Calgary police will reveal details Thursday about how they smashed a city-based crime cartel involved in murder, massive importation of drugs and money laundering.

Tentacles of the gang spread as far as Mexico, and Postmedia sources say they had connections with notorious drug cartels there.

Postmedia has also learned the group has been tied to a brazen daylight shooting May 21 that left two men dead in a southeast Calgary Superstore parking lot.

Sources say the bust is so significant that members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) will be on hand when police reveal details at a news conference Thursday morning.

[continues 343 words]

192 CN AB: Surveyed Hatters Mostly Pro PotThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Gallant, Collin Area:Alberta Lines:87 Added:03/05/2018

Majority to respond to city's online questionnaire have been for legalization

Two thirds of Medicine Hatters support pot legalization, according to early results of an online survey that asks how the city should regulate local marijuana sales, the municipal planning commission heard on Wednesday.

The same survey, filled out by 4,000 respondents as of Feb. 20, is on track to garner a larger response than similar surveys in Calgary and Edmonton. And city officials says the high numbers aren't the result of the pro-pot community "hijacking" the process to skew the results.

[continues 472 words]

193 CN PI: Coffee To CannabisThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI) Author:MacLean, Colin Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:78 Added:03/05/2018

Summerside's first marijuana retail store will be on Granville Street

The first legal cannabis retail store in Summerside will be located at 425 Granville St. - the former location of the city's short-lived foray into Starbucks coffee patronage.

The first legal cannabis retail store in Summerside will be located at 425 Granville St. - the former location of the city's short-lived foray into Starbucks coffee patronage.

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission (PEILCC) announced Wednesday the future locations of two of four planned, provincially-owned, cannabis retail outlets. The second was 509 Main St. in Montague.

[continues 432 words]

194 CN AB: Marijuana Tax Will Support EnforcementThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:63 Added:03/05/2018

Tax income from soon-to-be-legal marijuana is forecast at $615 million. But it could bring in much more, a Lethbridge business audience heard Wednesday.

And while the federal government will collect the new tax, 75 per cent of it will go to provincial governments to help communities with implementation costs.

That was one of just a handful of new or hiked consumer taxes included in the federal government's budget, highlighted in a breakfast presentation by experts from KPMG.

[continues 283 words]

195 CN AB: Budget Offers City Hope With Opioid CrisisThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:03/05/2018

Funds from marijuana taxes will also help, says mayor

Federal funds targeting the opioid crisis will be welcome in Lethbridge. And Mayor Chris Spearman says a share of the newly announced taxes on marijuana will also help, when its use becomes legal later this year.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau included $231 million in his new budget - - spread over five years - to support communities battling an opioid crisis.

"Maybe we can get some relief," Spearman said, pointing to the steps the City has taken to respond to the situation. One initiative, a safe-use centre where drug users can find medical help and counselling, opened Wednesday.

[continues 432 words]

196CN BC: Stagger Welfare Cheques: Police ChiefWed, 28 Feb 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Emergency services taxed by spike in overdoses, incidents

Police, firefighters and paramedics are so overwhelmed with drug-related 911 calls in the days after welfare cheques are issued that Victoria's police chief wants the province to consider staggering distribution of the cheques throughout the month.

"Generally speaking, we see a spike during the evening of welfare Wednesday and the day or two after of overdose calls, disturbances, drug activity occurring. Sometimes someone has been defrauded or robbed," Police Chief Del Manak told the Times Colonist.

[continues 704 words]

197 CN AB: Lethbridge OD Spike Watched Closely In The HatThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:03/05/2018

The significant spike in illicit drug overdoses in Lethbridge has not reached Medicine Hat - yet.

There is no way to predict that it will or when, said Insp. Tim McGough, Medicine Hat Police Service.

Lethbridge recently experienced its largest spike in overdoses - 16 cases - ever recorded in a 24-hour period. There were 42 overdose calls to first responders in the week after Feb. 19.

"We've had no specific overdose spike (in Medicine Hat) but we are always concerned with illicit usage." said McGough.

[continues 349 words]

198 CN AB: Union Preparing For Supreme Court Fight Against Suncor DrugFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:McDermott, Vincent Area:Alberta Lines:108 Added:03/05/2018

The president of the union representing more than 3,000 Suncor workers says they have prepared to bring the issue of random drug testing back to arbitration if the Supreme Court of Canada does not hear their case.

The comments came after the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld an injunction against the practice granted by the province's Court of Queen's Bench.

In a Thursday morning interview, Ken Smith, president of Unifor Local 707A, said he was confident Canada's top court will hear their case. The union expects to hear a decision by the end of March.

[continues 674 words]

199 CN NS: Yarmouth Recreation Director Expresses Concern About CannabisWed, 28 Feb 2018
Source:Yarmouth Vanguard, The (CN NS) Author:Allen, Carla Area:Nova Scotia Lines:55 Added:03/05/2018

Regulations as to where cannabis can be used are needed, officials say

With the upcoming legalization of cannabis, Yarmouth's recreation director, Frank Grant, has big concerns.

"One of the things that we have concerns of with legalized cannabis is how it's going to be used on the street, in our parks, in our sports fields, in our parking lots or outside gymnasiums or halls," he said.

In the past, when the recreation department has had issues with older youth, at facilities where cannabis has been detected and reported to the RCMP, Grant says it's been downplayed.

[continues 195 words]

200 US FL: Ex-DEA Chief Blasts White-Collar PushersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Cox, Billy Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:03/05/2018

SARASOTA - When the Drug Enforcement Administration was formed in 1973, roughly 2,000 Americans were dying from overdoses each week, largely from heroin injections. In 2016 alone, thanks to a deregulated pharmaceutical industry, fatal overdoses -- 80 percent opioid related - -- claimed 63,000 lives.

Or, as Peter Bensinger pointed out Thursday morning, opium-derived drugs have exacted a higher death toll in a single year than nearly two decades of fighting in the Vietnam War.

Appointed by President Ford in 1976 to become the nation's second DEA director, Bensinger detailed the history of America's relationship with the poppy to a Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning crowd gathered at First United Methodist Church. As the leading cause of death for U.S. residents under 50, the toll from opioids and its synthetic counterparts today would've been unimaginable to Bensinger when he was the nation's top drug cop.

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