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1 CN AB: Fentanyl Deaths Rise In AlbertaWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Bennett, Dean Area:Alberta Lines:99 Added:02/10/2017

Overdose deaths reach 343 in 2016

An increasing number of fentanyl overdose deaths in Alberta has prompted the government to announce new efforts to combat the opioid. Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne says 343 people died from fentanyl overdoses last year - a 25 per cent increase from 257 deaths in 2015.

The total number of deaths was 117 the year before that.

"Opioid overdoses and deaths are a public health crisis in Alberta," Payne said Tuesday at a news conference at a downtown fire hall.

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2 CN AB: RCMP To Fight Fentanyl Problem With Dogged DeterminationWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Villeneuve, Melissa Area:Alberta Lines:91 Added:02/10/2017

It's a deadly drug that's use is quickly growing across the nation, including our own backyard. Fentanyl, an opioid 100 times more toxic than morphine, is known to cause serious harm to individuals, including death.

To prepare for increased trafficking and save more lives, the RCMP is ramping up their training across Canada for police dogs and their handlers. The Coaldale RCMP currently has one police dog team - Cpl. Jesse Gawne and his canine partner Ejay - who will soon be trained to detect the illicit drug.

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3CN AB: Firefighters Join The Battle Against Fentanyl OverdosesWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2017

New provincial statistics paint an increasingly grim picture of Alberta's fight against fentanyl, as the NDP government escalated its efforts Tuesday to get more naloxone antidote into the hands of first responders.

Alberta Health's latest opioid report from 2016 suggests a deepening crisis is playing out across much of the province, where fentanyl was a factor in 343 overdose deaths last year - up one-third from 2015.

The statistics show the final three months of 2016 were particularly harsh. The deaths of 111 people were related to fentanyl in that time frame, more than double the number from the same period in 2015.

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4CN BC: Editorial: Is Free Heroin The Best Route?Tue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2017

More than 900 British Columbians died of illicit drug overdoses last year. That's 80 per cent more than 2015, and the highest total ever recorded in our province. Nor is there an end in sight.

Drug deaths climbed throughout 2016, reaching 142 in the month of December alone. If that trend continues, we could conceivably see 1,700 fatalities or more this year. Those are disastrous numbers.

The main effort to curtail fentanyl deaths has focused on the antidote naloxone. Kits are being handed out to users, their families and first-response teams across the province.

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5 CN ON: Safe London Needle Site Study's Out TomorrowTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:02/10/2017

Amid rising HIV rates and an entrenched needle culture, London researchers will unveil Wednesday a study on the value of a supervised injection site in the city.

Researchers interviewed 200 people who are or were injection drug users to assess people's willingness to use the sites and about 20 representatives from health care, law enforcement, government and community organizations to get feedback.

"There are several general recommendations based on the results of the study," but no specific direction to any agency or organization, Western University researcher Ayden Scheim said Monday.

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6 CN ON: Core Cool To Hot-Button Pot ShopTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:85 Added:02/10/2017

With legislation to legalize marijuana expected in the spring, a new player has emerged on London's increasingly crowded pot-dispensary scene.

The Chronic Hub Social Club has opened at 119 Dundas St., the first marijuana dispensary to set up shop in the city's core.

The new pot shop brings London's dispensary count to six, four of them popping up after Justin Trudeau pledged in the 2015 election campaign to legalize marijuana.

"It's just another reason to come downtown," said Charles Colvin, chief executive of the Chronic Hub. "That's what you want in your downtown core, is for people to be down there."

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7 CN AB: Firefighters Will Give Naloxone InjectionsWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:101 Added:02/10/2017

Fentanyl overdose deaths in Alberta continue to rise, with 343 fatalities in 2016 alone; AHS hopes more emergency workers carrying the kits will help bring those numbers back down

Another initiative to help prevent opioid overdose deaths will have firefighters administering naloxone injections, Alberta Health announced Tuesday.

"Now firefighters across the province can administer injectable naloxone, giving them an additional life-saving tool when responding to an overdose call," said associate minister of health Brandy Payne.

Medicine Hat's firefighters do not currently respond to medical emergencies but that situation is being re-evaluated, said fire chief Brian Stauth.

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8 Canada: Editorial: Harm ReductionThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:60 Added:02/10/2017

The principle feels counter-intuitive, and for many Canadians, the idea of applying it in their neighbourhood is instinctively repellent. Make it easier for intravenous drug users to shoot up by giving them a safe and legal place to do it? Really? Really. Research and experience from multiple countries reveal a simple truth, namely that supervised injection sites work and the most frequently expressed concerns about them are overblown.

Overdose deaths tend to drop, without an increase in property crime or drug dealing in the immediate vicinity ( the evidence is less conclusive on countering the spread of infectious disease). The number of addicts tends to fall, as do public disorder offences.

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9 Canada: Trailer Park Boys-Backed Marijuana Grower Recalls ProductsWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Chronicle Herald (CN NS) Author:Cousins, Ben Area:Canada Lines:71 Added:02/10/2017

Health Canada is randomly testing medical marijuana for unapproved pesticides after the chemicals were found in samples.

The announcement comes one month after two medical marijuana companies voluntary recalled their product after unapproved pesticides - myclobutanil and bifenazate - were found in the marijuana.

Included among the companies was OrganiGram, a Moncton-based producer of medical cannabis and Atlantic Canada's only licensed grower of the product.

Health Canada's regulations only allow a list of 13 pesticides in medical marijuana, and myclobutanil and bifenazate are not approved.

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10 CN BC: Some Dispensaries 'Thumbing Their Noses' At The City RulesWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Kidd, Steve Area:British Columbia Lines:89 Added:02/10/2017

Last year, Penticton city council took some bold steps to deal with the growing problem of medical marijuana dispensaries opening in the city, culminating in the issuance of temporary use permits as an interim measure.

If they expected that would prevent them from having to deal with the problem again, before the expected legalization of marijuana sales is passed by the federal government later this year, they were mistaken.

Only two permits were issued, and another five applicants were refused. Not receiving a permit didn't stop Okanagan Cannabis Solutions, which opened their Main Street location on Jan. 16, or Jukka Laurio, who applied to the city - and was refused - for non-profit status for his Association for Medical Marijuana Awareness. He continues to operate Herbal Green dispensary despite the lack of a permit, and ongoing fines.

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11 CN BC: Vancouver Slowly But Surely Shutting Down Rogue Pot ShopsWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:02/10/2017

Vancouver's approach to regulating illegal marijuana dispensaries is working, says the councillor who helped develop Canada's first municipal pot licensing regime, even if almost half of the stores continue to operate outside the bylaw.

Councillor Kerry Jang, point person for the governing Vision Vancouver party on the marijuana file, said that regardless of how long it takes to shut down these rogue shops, the city's regulatory program - not police raids - is paying off. The strategy is meeting the city's public-health goals of stamping out sales to minors and cutting down on the armed robberies now plaguing Toronto's illegal dispensary sector.

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12 Canada: Updating Substance-Use Policies Is No Easy TaskWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Bouw, Brenda Area:Canada Lines:105 Added:02/10/2017

Employers have to strike the right balance between employee rights and the need to operate an efficient workplace

Companies are being urged to create or update their drug and alcohol policies in light of the growing use of pot for medical purposes and the pending legalization of marijuana in Canada.

The recent incident of an allegedly impaired Sunwing Airlines pilot, who was removed from the cockpit of a plane as it was getting ready to fly out of Calgary, also served as a reminder to organizations why it's important to have a policy on how to deal with employees who are drunk or high on the job.

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13 CN BC: Nelson Council Introduces New Dispensary BylawWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:104 Added:02/10/2017

This is all temporary.

Nelson city council passed the first three readings of a new pot dispensary bylaw on Monday evening, but their assumption is the federal government's coming legalization will make their work redundant within the next three years.

"This really is a temporary thing, allowing this until we see what the federal government is going to do," councillor Mike Dailly said during the meeting.

"Then it will be ground zero, and we're going to have to start all over again."

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14 CN BC: Pot Dispensaries Shut DownWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Nielsen, Mark Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:02/10/2017

Prince George RCMP shut down two suspected pot dispensaries in less than a week.

The first, located in the 700 block of Fourth Avenue, was closed by police on Feb. 3 and the second, in the 1400 block of Third Avenue, was closed three days later, RCMP said Tuesday.

The stores appeared to have gotten ahead of themselves as, despite signaling its intention to do so, the federal government has not yet legalized marijuana.

And while Vancouver, which has its own police force, has passed bylaws to regulate the businesses, "any municipality that allows this to occur does so at its own risk because it's going against federal legislation," City of Prince George spokesman Mike Kellett said.

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15CN AB: Denver Shares Its Pot LessonsTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Klingbeil, Annalise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2017

Nenshi wants city prepared for legalization

Denver's Dan Rowland advised Calgary's city council to go slow, expect the unexpected, and introduce strict regulations and robust enforcement as Calgary prepares for the looming federal legalization of marijuana.

Denver, Colorado became the first city in the world to legalize recreational marijuana sales on January 1, 2014, and Rowland was in Calgary Monday to share what his city has learned at a lengthy council education session on the drug.

"Part of what I do is to help folks understand that this is not necessarily a game-changing experience," said Rowland, a citywide communications adviser with the city of Denver.

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16 Canada: No Pesticide Testing Done For Marijuana, Regulator SaysWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Robertson, Grant Area:Canada Lines:110 Added:02/10/2017

Health Canada, which is facing a growing controversy over tainted medical marijuana, cannot say with certainty how widespread the use of banned pesticides is within the industry. Instead, the regulator has been leaving it up to the growers to police themselves on the use of potentially harmful chemicals.

In a background briefing with The Globe and Mail, a senior Health Canada official acknowledged that even though the government prohibits the use of potentially harmful chemicals such as myclobutanil, the department has not been testing cannabis growers to ensure the 38 federally licensed companies were, in fact, not using it.

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17 CN BC: Marijuana Dispensaries Coming Under FireTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:02/10/2017

Marijuana dispensaries are back on city council's agenda today during what looks to be a jam-packed set of meetings.

McNaughton Support Services, which provides programs for adults and youth with developmental disabilities, has complained about Okanagan Cannabis Solutions opening up next door at 575 Main St., without the proper approvals.

"We were relieved when we heard that city council had not issued a licence for this dispensary, but see that it is now open in spite of this," director Warren McNaughton wrote in a letter to council.

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18 CN QU: Three Montreal Sites Approved For Supervised ConsumptionTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Quebec Lines:94 Added:02/10/2017

Health Canada has approved three supervised consumption sites for Montreal - the first federal approvals for the harm-reduction facilities outside of Vancouver as Ottawa presses forward in its response to Canada's overdose crisis.

Montreal has waited two years for federal sign-off on the sites, during which fatal overdoses linked to illicit fentanyl have surged in parts of Canada, notably British Columbia and Alberta. The federal department announced the approvals on Monday, noting that such sites have shown positive results in Canada and other countries.

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19CN BC: Column: Less Enabling Needed To Battle B.C.'s Drug CrisisMon, 06 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

Here we are in the biggest fatal overdose epidemic in B.C. history and what's top of mind for the province's addiction treatment experts? The need to "destigmatize" addiction. In fact, let's not even call the taking of deadly illegal drugs an "addiction" or "drug abuse" any more, they tell us. We're supposed to call addicts "patients" with a "substance-use disorder."

Excuse me if I don't buy the nicey-nicey language. And I doubt if most people who live in the real world and who have to pay millions of dollars in taxes for all these latest trendy approaches to drug addiction do, either.

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20 CN ON: Pilot-Testing Your HighSat, 04 Feb 2017
Source:Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON) Author:Hambleton, Todd Area:Ontario Lines:86 Added:02/09/2017

SDG OPP constables among those road testing equipment that measures drug impairment

LONG SAULT - SDG OPP officers are testing cutting-edge, high-tech equipment that will eventually be used to detect drivers who are under the influence of drugs.

In the far-east portion of the East Region, Consts. Pat Dussault and Mike Roy - both with the Highway Safety Division unit - are the hands-on officers, testing two devices: a Securetec drug reader, and an Alere mobile forensic test system.

"It's an extra tool for us," Dussault said on Friday. "Anything that helps us combat impaired driving from alcohol or drugs is welcome."

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