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1Canada: Canadian Study Finds A Link Between Starting Medical CannabisThu, 29 Oct 2020
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Stelmakowich, Angela Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2020

43.5 per cent of study participants who used marijuana as a substitute for alcohol decreased the frequency of their drinking.

Authorized medical marijuana patients who began using cannabis to help reduce their drinking report experiencing a reduction or even discontinuation of alcohol use, notes new research out of the University of Victoria.

The finding reflects feedback from 2,102 patients registered with Tilray, a medical cannabis research and production company in Canada. The input was received as part of the Canadian Cannabis Patient Survey 2019, which gathered details on patient demographics, patterns of weed use and self-reported use of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs before and after starting medical cannabis.

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2 Canada: Oped: Canada Faces Its Own Opioid Crisis. It ShouldTue, 15 Sep 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Moscrop, David Area:Canada Lines:102 Added:09/15/2020

In July, the Canadian province of British Columbia experienced its fifth straight month with more than 100 overdose deaths - and its third above 170 lives lost.

Globally, the World Health Organization reports approximately 500,000 deaths from drugs, over 70 percent of them tied to opioids. In Canada, from January 2016 through December 2019, more than 15,000 people died from apparent opioid-related causes. In 2019 alone, there were over 21,000 "suspected opioid-related overdoses" across nine provinces and territories, excluding Quebec (for which data wasn't provided). The opioid crisis clearly persists at home and abroad.

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3 CN AB: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Still An Effective StrategyWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:45 Added:07/25/2020

Like myself, I suspect many citizens of Lethbridge were alarmed by the finding of misappropriated funds within ARCHES, and the subsequent withdrawal of provincial funding to their supervised consumption site (SCS). As an RN who has worked for a number of years in harm reduction, I am reeling for our clients and their families in terms of how this will impact them.

One thing is clear - the inappropriate management of funds within one agency does not refute decades of empirical research behind the effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions in mitigating drug-related health and social issues. This financial audit was not intended to evaluate the effectiveness of harm-reduction services provided to people who use drugs. To conflate findings of financial mismanagement with lack of effectiveness in harm reduction would only further exacerbate drug-related health issues.

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4 CN BC: Are More B.C. Tokers Finally Looking To Legal Cannabis OverFri, 24 Jul 2020
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wadhwani, Ashley Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:07/25/2020

A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying all product legally

B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the battle over bud.

A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That's an 18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.

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5 Canada: Oped: Tough-On-Crime Anti-Drug Moralizing Does A DisserviceSat, 25 Jul 2020
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Schultz, William Area:Canada Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

If the idea of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of illicit drugs once sounded radical, the coalition of people who now espouse the idea would certainly seem to be strange bedfellows.

On July 9, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police called on the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illicit drugs; B.C. Premier John Horgan asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do the same in a Jul. 20 letter. Benjamin Perrin, the top criminal justice adviser in Stephen Harper's "tough-on-crime" administration, recently wrote a book in support of decriminalization, and major publications, including The Globe and Mail, have published editorials urging the same.

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6Canada: Editorial: National Post View: Listen To The PoliceWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:National Post (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2020

Listen to the police

Let's talk about decriminalizing all drugs

We're having a national conversation about policing and criminal justice. Examining our drug laws is a natural extension of this debate

More than nine years ago, writing about the war on drugs, this editorial board encouraged the government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper to get bolder with decriminalizing cannabis.

"By any reasonably broad metric," we wrote then, the war on drugs "has been an abysmal failure. According to estimates by the UN - by no means a liberal organization when it comes to drug policy - worldwide consumption of opiates rose 34.5 per cent from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27 per cent, and cannabis by 8.5 per cent. In achieving that abject failure, tens of thousands of people have been killed."

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7 Canada: Pot in Canada: Legal, But Not ProfitableMon, 16 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Austin, Ian Area:Canada Lines:196 Added:12/20/2019

SMITHS FALLS, Ontario - When Canada became the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana, visions of billions of dollars in profits inspired growers, retailers and investors, sending the stock market soaring in a so-called green rush.

A year later, the euphoria has vanished.

"No one wants to invest in it now," said John-Kurt Pliniussen, a professor of marketing at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

That is because those who have invested have generally lost money. During the first year after legalization, the value of shares in Canada's six largest marijuana companies tumbled by an average of 56 percent, according to stock price data.

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8 Canada: The Verdict Is In, And Year One Of Legalized Cannabis InFri, 18 Oct 2019
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Berkow, Jameson Area:Canada Lines:276 Added:10/18/2019

There's no getting around it: Year one of legalized cannabis in Canada was a dud.

It was an unmitigated disaster for many investors. The bubble burst, and the shares of most large Canadian marijuana producers dropped by at least 50 per cent. The public markets are largely closed to the industry; at the moment, there's simply no appetite for more pot stocks.

The Trudeau government's goal wasn't to make shareholders or investment banks rich, though. It was to whittle down the black- market marijuana business. Giving cannabis users a place to buy regulated marijuana would generate new tax revenue, open up new business opportunities and reduce the burden on police and the courts.

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9 CN BC: PUB LTE: Dealers Might Have Tips For Legal Pot-SellersSat, 31 Aug 2019
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Beyer, Chuck Area:British Columbia Lines:41 Added:09/02/2019

It is indeed sweet victory to see the B.C. Liquor Corp. selling cannabis.

In the B.C. election of 2001, I, as a B.C. Marijuana Party candidate, was arrested at the behest of the Victoria Hillside liquor store for campaigning for legal cannabis.

Some advice about marketing would be in order.

As a Realtor of 30 years, I can offer some pointers. Analyze the prevailing market and emulate it. At present, in the "friends" market, you can smell before you buy. If you don't like it, you can bring it back.

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10 Canada: Oped: Medical cannabis: Strengthening Evidence In The Face OfMon, 19 Aug 2019
Source:Canadian Medical Association Journal (Canada) Author:Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann Area:Canada Lines:123 Added:08/22/2019

Canada has been at the forefront of cannabis research, education and regulation for the past 2 decades, yet uncertainty remains about how the drug should be used in medicine. Physicians lack evidence-based information and formalized training about cannabis, which stems, in part, from the drug's previously illegal status that hindered research. Among the public, however, many perceive cannabis as a natural and safe medical treatment. Patients increasingly seek advice about cannabis from physicians, request prescriptions or experiment with cannabis for medical problems on their own. However, physicians must adhere to good medical practice regardless of public pressure and provide counselling to patients based on up-to-date knowledge and evidence. Now that cannabis is legal in Canada more research should be forthcoming, but the evidence base remains weak.

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11 CN BC: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Is First AidTue, 20 Aug 2019
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:British Columbia Lines:55 Added:08/22/2019

Dear Editor:

Contrary to Joe Fries' editorial "Abstinence works best" (Courier, Aug. 16), Rhode Island treats addicted prison inmates with methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Like methadone, buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, or replacement opioid. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks opioid receptors.

The benefits of opioid substitution therapy are well-established, in and out of prison. It reduces crime, prevents overdoses and the spread of infectious diseases, denies profits to criminal gangs, allows addicted individuals to function normally within their families, jobs, and communities, and gets them off the hamster wheel of raising money by hook or by crook to pay criminal gangs for illicit opioids of unknown potency and purity.

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12 CN BC: Editorial: Abstinence Works BestThu, 15 Aug 2019
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Fries, Joe Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:08/20/2019

More than half of all Canadians believe drug treatment should focus on abstinence, rather than opioid replacement therapies, according to poll results released this week.

Research Co. found 57% of those surveyed were in favour of programs that aim to get people off drugs entirely, rather than programs that supply people with free dope to help keep them healthy and out of trouble.

It's unclear from the results if people's attitudes towards drug treatment are shifting, but it's clear that a majority of the population supports an approach that doesn't enable addicts.

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13 CN BC: PUB LTE: Too Soon For A Verdict On Pot LegalizationWed, 14 Aug 2019
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:British Columbia Lines:44 Added:08/14/2019

Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column, Aug. 11.

Lawrie McFarlane's verdict is premature. Legal regulation in Canada isn't analogous to legalization in Colorado, for among other reasons, Colorado allows advertising and initially allowed edibles and extracts with inadequate labelling, packaging and dose limitations.

Yes, emergency-room visits from adverse reactions spiked in Colorado following legalization, but this was due in part to inexperienced tourists from prohibitionist states, and consumers feeling more inclined to seek help once they no longer feared arrest. Panicked patients are typically discharged (the wiser) on the same day, with no lasting ill effects. Such visits remain far less common and severe than visits related to alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco.

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14 CN BC: PUB LTE: On Cannabis, Canada Is Different From ColoradoWed, 14 Aug 2019
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Lake, Stephanie Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:08/14/2019

Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column, Aug. 11.

In his opinion piece on cannabis legalization, Lawrie McFarlane cites a short-term increase in the numbers of adolescents visiting emergency rooms for cannabis in Colorado - a jurisdiction with a commercialized approach to cannabis legalization - as evidence that Canada's much more restrictive public health-oriented approach to legalization has failed.

However, as scientists who have carefully considered how to best measure the public-health impacts of cannabis legalization, we would suggest a thorough and ongoing analysis of Canadian data is needed to understand the effects of the new regulatory landscape. Although cannabis-related hospital visits should be a priority, we also need to ask important questions about underlying causes: if we see an increase, how much is due to increasing use among youth, and how much could be related to shifting trends in products/modes of administration (e.g., a shift towards high-THC concentrates, increased edible consumption)?

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15CN BC: Column: Legalizing Pot Is Proving To Be A Public-HealthSun, 11 Aug 2019
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:McFarlane, Lawrie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2019

It's becoming increasingly obvious that legalizing marijuana consumption was a colossal public-health blunder.

A good part of the evidence comes from south of the border, where several states legalized pot much earlier than Canada. This has allowed time for robust scientific follow-up - follow-up that is beginning to reveal a frightening picture.

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012, and recreational use in 2014. One result is that emergency hospital visits by adolescents with marijuana-related symptoms have jumped from 84 a year in the pre-legal era, to 500 in 2018.

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16 Canada: Oped: The Unbearable Whiteness Of WeedFri, 02 Aug 2019
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Ejeckam, Chuka Area:Canada Lines:232 Added:08/02/2019

The Canadian cannabis industry is booming.

From giant industrial operations such as Canopy Growth to smaller "luxury"=9D cannabis retailers, to an array of cannabis "lifestyle"=9D brands and "cannabis brand consultancy"=9D firms, the industry is a lucrative fronti er for those seeking wealth in a rapidly growing market.

And oh, is there wealth to be had. Canadians spent $1.6-billion on legal weed in 2018 - double the total spent on medical cannabis the year before - despite the fact that non-medical cannabis was legally available only after Oct. 17. Statistics Canadaa's National Cannabis Survey from the first quarter of 2019 found that use of non-medical cannabis has increased among men and people aged 45 to 64. The survey reported that 646,000 people tried cannabis for the first time in the prior three months, half of whom were aged 45 or older.

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17CN BC: B.C.'s Largest First Nation Accuses Province Of Conflict OnMon, 24 Jun 2019
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Shaw, Rob Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/24/2019

VICTORIA - B.C.'s largest First Nation is accusing the provincial government of stalling its application for a retail cannabis licence while it races to open its own public store in the community's prime retail location.

The Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island are in the sixth month of trying to get approval for two retail store licences from the provincial government. As the Cowichan wrestle with a wall of red tape, and are repeatedly rejected for nation-to-nation talks with the province, the B.C. government is competing against the First Nation for the municipal rights to open a store in the community's largest shopping centre.

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18 CN NS: NSLC Snaps Up Cannabis Edibles ContractMon, 24 Jun 2019
Source:Chronicle Herald (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:58 Added:06/24/2019

If you've got the munchies for cannabis edibles, you'll have to go to the liquor store.

The province has tapped the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. - which already sells dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis accessories - - to sell edibles, extracts and topicals.

"The NSLC has done a good job in preparing and implementing our new retail model as recreational cannabis was legalized across Canada," said Karen Casey, the minister responsible for the NSLC, in a news release Monday.

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19 CN ON: As New York Mulls Legalizing Pot, Toronto Tokes UpMon, 17 Jun 2019
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Becker, Maki Area:Ontario Lines:125 Added:06/22/2019

TORONTO - Adam Ash, 37, wasn't the least bit shy in explaining why he was at the Hunny Pot Cannabis Co., a four-story boutique on Queen Street West in the middle of the city's downtown district.

"Marijuana," the Toronto resident said midday on a recent Monday, a little bewildered as to why someone would even bother asking.

Glass containers of marijuana flower were laid out on tables throughout the shop, amid glass cases of rolling papers, pipes, bongs, grinders and vaporizers. Employees known as "bud tenders" worked the floors, ready to provide advice and recommendations for picking just the right strain.

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20CN AB: Oped: Drug Users Will Die Without Supervised Consumption SitesTue, 04 Jun 2019
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Gagnon, Marilou Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/04/2019

The 2011 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Vancouver's Insite clinic clearly established 1) that supervised consumption sites are part of health-care services that should be made accessible to people who use drugs, 2) that these sites contribute to reducing the harms associated with drug use, and 3) that denying access to these sites increases the risk of death and disease.

In addition to saving lives every day, these sites act as an essential point of contact for people to access much-needed health-care services that have been proven effective to reduce overdoses, blood-borne infections (hepatitis C and HIV), infections (i.e., skin, soft tissue, heart and blood infections) and other medical complications. They also help connect people who use drugs with social services and support to address housing and food insecurity, mental health issues, trauma and isolation.

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