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1 CN ON: LTE: Marijuana Even More Unhealthy Than TobaccoThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Press, The (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Don Area:Ontario Lines:41 Added:08/19/2017

I was a volunteer for the lung association for 30 years. I was President of the Ontario Lung Association for two years and appointed to the Canadian Lung Association for two years.

During those years, I met many doctors who pointed out the dangers of tobacco to human health.

Those same doctors told me that smoking marijuana was even more unhealthy because marijuana contained several more carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) than tobacco.

The federal government is well aware of the tremendous costs to health care of tobacco smoking and yet it is proceeding with legalizing to allow the use of marijuana by selling it openly.

[continues 84 words]

2CN AB: $1.2m Pledged For Supervised Drug-Use SiteThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:08/19/2017

Associate minister confident Ottawa will approve proposal for Beltway operation

A proposed supervised drug-consumption site at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre will receive a $1.2-million funding boost from the province, as the number of fentanyl-related overdoses in Alberta continues to mount.

Associate minister of health Brandy Payne said the funds will go toward renovating the Beltline health centre that is expected to eventually house Calgary's first supervised drug-consumption site.

No timeline for the facility's opening has been confirmed, but Payne said the latest data on drug deaths across the province reaffirms the need for harm-reduction services.

[continues 511 words]

3 CN AB: Editorial: Facing Up To Ugly TruthsFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:60 Added:08/19/2017

One a day. That's the death toll fentanyl or its opioid derivatives are taking in Alberta each day.

It's a startling fact. And the problems are mounting, with officials saying that death rate is already moving towards two per day.

So when the province announces $1.2 million to help establish a supervised drug consumption site at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre, we should all encourage government action.

The debate around safe drug sites is well known. Whether it should be done is for health and law enforcement professionals to hash out. We need to trust the experts to come to the right answer.

[continues 256 words]

4 CN AB: Fentanyl Deaths In Fort McMurray Already Nearing 2016 TotalFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:Bird, Cullen Area:Alberta Lines:70 Added:08/19/2017

Halfway through 2017, Fort McMurray is already nearing its year-end total for fentanyl overdose deaths last year, according to an Alberta Health report released Wednesday.

A total of eight people have died from fentanyl overdoses in the first six months of 2017, compared to nine fentanyl overdose deaths over the whole of 2016. The report, Opioids and Substances of Misuse, shows that in the second quarter of 2017, a total of 119 people died in Alberta from apparent fentanyl-related drug overdoses, compared to 85 overdoses over the same period in 2016.

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5 CN ON: Policy Lessons Re: Pot In The WorkplaceThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Press, The (CN ON) Author:Meldrum, Emma Area:Ontario Lines:124 Added:08/19/2017

Timmins business owners had pot on the mind Wednesday morning.

About 40 people sat in on a presentation by lawyer Carly Stringer in the Schumacher Lions Den in the McIntyre Centre. The event, organized by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, focused on employer and employee obligations and rights regarding marijuana in the workplace.

"Marijuana is going to be arguably treated in the same way as any other prescription drug," said Stringer. But: "Having a prescription for marijuana, it doesn't entitle them to be impaired at work. It doesn't allow them to compromise the safety of anyone on the work site."

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6 CN ON: Spike In Overdoses Alarms Health UnitThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Barrie Examiner (CN ON) Author:Browne, Cheryl Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:08/19/2017

Psst. Pass the word along. Much like the warning at the '60s Woodstock concert to avoid the brown acid, authorities are warning today's recreational drug users to carry naloxone kits in case their drugs are laced with fentanyl.

"We're alerting recreational drug users that the MDMA (ecstasy) or cocaine they're taking could be tainted with fentanyl," said Janice Greco, manager of injury and substance misuse prevention at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

Greco is sounding the alarm after the health unit was warned of a spike in overdoses between Aug. 9 and Aug. 13 by its surveillance program at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).

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7 CN ON: Oped: Cannabis Legislation Will Better Protect ChildrenFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Oakville Beaver (CN ON) Author:Oliver, John Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:08/19/2017

It may shock many Canadians to learn that 28 per cent of Canadian youths use marijuana - the highest rate among developed countries surveyed in a 2013 UNICEF report.

This means that if you know four youths between the ages of 11 and 15, one of them is using marijuana.

All Canadians should be concerned about this trend, because the younger someone is when they start using marijuana and the more often they use it, the greater the overall risks to their health.

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8 CN AB: Editorial: Facing Up To Ugly TruthsFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:08/19/2017

One a day. That's the death toll fentanyl or its opioid derivatives are taking in Alberta each day.

It's a startling fact. And the problems are mounting, with officials saying that death rate is already moving towards two per day.

This is the kind of tragedy that spurred the province to offer up cash to help establish safe drug consumption sites in the inner-city.

While it is but one piece of the fight against opioids, it's an important one.

[continues 278 words]

9 CN ON: LTE: Marijuana Is A Bigger Health Risk Than TobaccoFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Don Area:Ontario Lines:41 Added:08/19/2017

I was a volunteer for the Lung Association for 30 years. I was president of the Ontario Lung Association for two years and appointed to the Canadian Lung Association for two years.

During those years, I met many doctors who pointed out the dangers of tobacco to human health.

Those same doctors told me that smoking marijuana was even more unhealthy because marijuana contained several more carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) than tobacco.

The federal government is well aware of the tremendous costs to health care of tobacco smoking and yet it is proceeding with legalizing to allow the use of marijuana by selling it openly.

[continues 84 words]

10 CN ON: LTE: Marijuana Bigger Health Risk Than TobaccoFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Recorder & Times, The (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Don Area:Ontario Lines:39 Added:08/19/2017

To the editor: I was a volunteer for the lung association for 30 years. I was President of the Ontario Lung Association for two years and appointed to the Canadian Lung Association for two years.

During those years, I met many doctors who pointed out the dangers of tobacco to human health.

Those same doctors told me that smoking marijuana was even more unhealthy because marijuana contained several more carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) than tobacco.

The federal government is well aware of the tremendous costs to health care of tobacco smoking and yet it is proceeding with legalizing to allow the use of marijuana by selling it openly.

[continues 85 words]

11 CN BC: PUB LTE: Doctor Has It WrongThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:British Columbia Lines:43 Added:08/19/2017

Dr. Michael O'Malley asserted that "incidence of psychosis has already been documented by some of the states in the U.S., who rushed to legalization of marijuana." ("Pot stance off-base," Letters, Aug. 16).

There is no evidence that cannabis usage rates have gone up in the U.S. states that have legalized cannabis, much less that rates of psychosis have increased.

There is some evidence that cannabis strains that are high in THC but low in the anti-psychotic cannabinoid CBD, as well as some important terpenes, may trigger psychosis in minors so predisposed. Unfortunately, black market cultivators and dealers prefer such strains and they do not require proof of age.

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12 CN ON: City Councillor Asks Police Chief To Close West-End Pot ShopFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Blackmore, Olivia Area:Ontario Lines:45 Added:08/19/2017

Bay Ward Coun. Mark Taylor has written a letter to police Chief Charles Bordeleau asking Bordeleau to close a marijuana pot dispensary on McEwen Avenue.

The letter comes days after the west-side dispensary was robbed for the third time in two months.

"I am writing you today with respect to the CanaGreen marijuana location at 102 McEwen Ave. in my ward, its ongoing illegal activities and the repeated break-in events that have occurred there," Taylor said Thursday in his letter, which he also posted on Twitter.

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13 CN BC: PUB LTE: We Want Our PotFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Lipskis, Peter Area:British Columbia Lines:27 Added:08/19/2017

Your front-page article about "scofflaw" cannabis retailers fails to acknowledge the enormous consumer demand, without which the proliferation of marijuana shops wouldn't be possible.

Like thousands of fellow cannabis enthusiasts who have had to go to people's apartments for decades to buy weed, I welcome the refreshing change of being able to shop at decent retail outlets.

In this case, the people are way ahead of all three levels of government, who still don't have a clue about how they're going to regulate and sell the stuff.

Peter Lipskis, Vancouver

[end]

14 CN ON: A Tale of Two ShootingsFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:McArthur, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:369 Added:08/19/2017

One of the Trudeau government's stated policy goals for ending marijuana prohibition is to divert the profits reaped by gangsters toward legitimate shareholders. But an investigation by Greg McArthur and Molly Hayes offers a glimpse into the insidious nature of organized crime, finding that criminal groups easily exploited loopholes in the federal government's old medical-marijuana licensing regimes

In the late afternoon of March 14 in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, a masked gunman jumped out of the passenger side of a black Jeep Cherokee, darted across a snow-dusted parking lot and unleashed a flurry of bullets into a black BMW. Thirty seconds later, he was back in the car, leaving Saverio Serrano - the son of a notorious Canadian Mafia figure and cocaine importer - wounded, and Mr. Serrano's 28-year-old girlfriend dead.

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15CN ON: Column: Decriminalizing Drugs No Fix For Opioid CrisisFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/19/2017

Decriminalize or legalize crack and that will reduce the opioid crisis and save lives?

The hare-brained idea from Toronto that the country should consider decriminalizing or legalizing illicit drugs because current policy has failed is not just "crazy," it is insane.

It would be laughable if the issue weren't so deadly serious.

The worst of it is that Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Isra Levy, supports this, saying Ottawa Public Health backs "new evidence-based approaches" on fighting drug addiction, including decriminalization. Also on side is the councillor for Ottawa-Vanier, Mathieu Fleury. "It's a crazy thought, but it is a crazy thought that might actually have some merit," he said.

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16 CN ON: Column: Legalizing Illicit Drugs Won't Solve Opioid CrisisFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:85 Added:08/19/2017

The hare-brained idea from Toronto that the country should consider decriminalizing or legalizing illicit drugs because current policy has failed is not just "crazy," it is insane.

It would be laughable if the issue weren't so deadly serious.

It is a crazy thought without any merit - and it has no place in the discussion of the serious problem of opioid addiction that is destroying many young lives in the city and around the country.

First proposed by a Toronto overdose panel in the wake of the deadly fentanyl crisis, it was taken up by that city's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen De Villa, who said decriminalization of all illegal drugs could be the answer to the failure of the current approach to drugs. The key argument of the Toronto overdose action plan is that current policy has reduced neither the drugs, nor the supply.

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17 CN BC: Health Authority Issues New Opioid PlanThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:109 Added:08/19/2017

The BC Centre for Disease Control issued a bold set of recommendations to address the province's unparalleled overdose crisis that includes providing drug users with clean opioids to take home and inject or allowing them to grow their own opium.

The recommendations, if adopted, would push British Columbia closer to essentially legalizing and regulating the use of drugs beyond marijuana - something many of the province's top drug policy and public-health experts have called for. It has taken on a new urgency, they say, with fentanyl's domination of the illicit drug supply, which has led to a dramatic surge in overdose deaths.

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18Canada: Column: Safe Injection Safest Answer We Can DeviseWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Selley, Chris Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:08/19/2017

Harm reduction deserves benefit of the doubt

I suspect this generation of policy-makers, and the previous one especially, will struggle to explain to their grandchildren just what on earth they thought they were doing about opioid addiction. I don't mean the likes of Donald Trump, who seems to think a get tough policing approach - a "war on drugs," perhaps - might get the job done. I mean smart, reasonably compassionate Canadians, by no means all conservatives, whose worries about safe injection sites in particular look bizarre even today, when people are still using them.

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19 CN ON: Health Board Like A Drug Cartel: MammolitiWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Jeffords, Shawn Area:Ontario Lines:57 Added:08/19/2017

Toronto's Board of Health or drug cartel?

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti asked that question in a tongue-in-cheek statement released Monday where he slammed the board for allowing a pop-up supervised injection site to operate in Moss Park over the weekend.

Drug cartels coordinate use of narcotics, establish territory and "silence politicians," he said in a statement.

"If you thought that those descriptions only apply to drug cartels, then you're in for a rude awakening," Mammoliti said.

The veteran city councillor, who has been a vocal opponent of the city's move to open three supervised injection sites, says there will be consequences for allowing the pop-up site to exist.

[continues 234 words]

20 CN ON: Editorial: City Hall Creates Its Own ProblemsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:63 Added:08/19/2017

After advocates for safe drug injection sites in Toronto set up an unlicensed, "pop up" one in a tent in Moss Park on Saturday, police announced they wouldn't close it down.

Their argument was that while such a facility can attract the drug trade, the recent crisis in drug overdose deaths, as the city scrambles to set up legal safe injection sites, is of more pressing importance.

We understand their argument but, respectfully, we don't agree. One tent in a park is symbolism, not an effective plan of action. Turning a blind eye to an unlicensed injection site, in our view, undermines the rule of law.

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