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1 CN AB: Pot Regs ComingWed, 22 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:03/24/2017

Sales rules in place next year: justice minister

Alberta should have regulations in place to allow recreational marijuana sales next year, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Tuesday.

The federal government has vowed to introduce legislation this spring to legalize pot, but Ganley said packaging, distribution, zoning, building codes and other details must be worked out before people can smoke and eat cannabis in the province without breaking the law.

"I'm not sure whether that has yet penetrated the public's consciousness fully. There's an enormous amount of work that has to be done," she said following a speech to the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties convention in the Shaw Conference Centre.

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2 CN AB: City Staff Have Pot On The BrainWed, 15 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Simes, Jeremy Area:Alberta Lines:60 Added:03/17/2017

Officials mull ground rules for looming legalization

City staff are laying the ground rules for possible legal pot shops in Edmonton.

Councillors discussed a city report Tuesday that provides an initial look on what legal pot could look like as the city waits for the federal government to release more details on plans to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use.

In the report, the city proposes adding "cannabis retail sales" and "cannabis lounges" to a bylaw that currently regulates development of bars and retail stores.

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3CN AB: Council Works To Tighten Up Zoning Rules For Pot ShopsWed, 15 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2017

Edmonton moved to close loopholes in the zoning bylaw Tuesday to ensure marijuanasales can't happen in corner stores and residential neighbourhoods.

The zoning changes will also specifically ban toking in pubs, a move city planners called "preventative maintenance" to prepare Edmonton for the coming legalization of recreational marijuana use.

"So operations aren't able to legitimize blended uses," said senior planner Colton Kirsop at council's executive committee.

Kirsop recommended other zoning changes and smoking bans be delayed until the federal rules are clear so council debate doesn't "get lost in the weeds." Ottawa is expected in June to introduce legislation regarding recreational marijuana, with legalization to follow in 2019. Based on task force recommendations, it appears it will also legalize cannabis lounges, but ban drinking and smoking there, say city staff.

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4 CN AB: Sowing The Seeds Of Pot LegalizationTue, 14 Mar 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Tijana Area:Alberta Lines:105 Added:03/17/2017

Cannabis Crusader stops in Lethbridge

This spring, cannabis plants may start appearing in places you'd least expect. And it might be because of Dana Larsen's Overgrow Canada campaign.

On Monday night, the cannabis expert, activist and author spoke in Lethbridge for the first time as part of his Overgrow Canada Tour. The event took place at Moose Hall and attendees were given 100 free cannabis seeds to plant.

"Lethbridge has been somewhat excluded from these types of events in the past, just being a smaller city kind of off the beaten track, and I feel it's important to get this tour here to Lethbridge, to get the exposure to see that (marijuana) is here in Lethbridge as much as it is everywhere else in Canada, and the city needs to embrace that," said local event host Austin Moloughney.

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5CN AB: Police See Surge In Cancer-Causing Narcotic AdditiveMon, 13 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:ClaireTheobald, Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2017

Painkiller mixed with cocaine by dealers can cause seizures, coma or death

Police fear a growing amount of buffing agent being seized in drug busts means more high-level dealers are bringing wholesale quantities into Edmonton for redistribution, creating another avenue for profit.

The Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement (EDGE) unit seized more buffing agent in 2016 - 82.05 kg - than all cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine combined.

Buffing agents are used by drug dealers to dilute illicit drugs to increase profits.

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6CN AB: Hempfest Participants Balk User StereotypesMon, 13 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:LePage, Michelle Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2017

Recreational marijuana users are lazy.

That's the stereotype entrepreneur John Carlson wanted to break while manning a booth for his business at the HempFest Cannabis Expo at the Shaw Conference Centre this past weekend.

The 26-year-old is the owner of Boxcar Studios in Olds, Alta., a glassblowing studio and shop that specializes in "420/710 accessories."

Carlson, a self-taught glassblower, said he wanted to show people marijuana users can be professional and organized.

"If you look here, there's a room full of young, hardworking entrepreneurs."

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7 CN AB: Blood Tribe Battles Drug WoesSun, 12 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:192 Added:03/17/2017

Suboxone offers hope for fentanyl addicts as reserve marks period of progress

Nearly every day, Darcy Medicine Crane catches a ride in a medical transport truck to a pharmacy in Stand Off, a community on the Blood reserve in southern Alberta, to take his daily dose of Suboxone.

He's earned enough trust to be given "carries" - a small amount of the drug that he can administer himself at home - but said he prefers to make the 20-minute drive to the pharmacy each day.

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8 CN AB: Preparing For Legal Pot ShopsFri, 10 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Simes, Jeremy Area:Alberta Lines:97 Added:03/11/2017

City report addresses marijuana dispensaries

The city is getting a head start on preparing for the expected growth of legal pot shops in Edmonton, but at least one business owner eyeing a future store wants more answers.

Edmonton addressed marijuana dispensaries for the first time in a report released Thursday, as it waits for the federal government to release more details on its expected bill to legalize sales of cannabis for recreational use.

The report is the first look into what legal pot in Edmonton could look like: it outlines where marijuana can be grown, and adds 'cannabis retail sales' and 'cannabis lounges' to a bylaw that governs the development of bars and other retail stores.

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9CN AB: Column: If Scourge Of Opioid Deaths Isn't An Emergency, ThenTue, 07 Mar 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/09/2017

Some columns are hard to write because it's almost impossible to stop watching the events that propel them.

That's the way it was with Monday's emergency legislature debate on opioid addiction and deaths.

It was fascinating, emotional, moving and very informative. It might have surprised many Albertans who think politicians have no clue about real life.

MLAs on all sides - Wildrose, PC, Alberta Party, Liberal and NDP - have seen the carnage close up.

Progressive Conservative MLA Rick Fraser, a former EMS worker, recalled arriving at a residence to find a 14-year-old boy who'd seemed perfectly normal when he arrived home, only to die shortly afterward in the basement.

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10 CN AB: Column: Drug Dealers Getting Away With MurderSun, 05 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:03/08/2017

While it seems out of context for a career progressive, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has gone law-and-order rogue in his quest to stem the plague of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the nation's capital.

He wants manslaughter charges laid against drug dealers if the illicit narcotics they peddle end up causing death.

And he is not wrong in wanting this.

The time is now to stop whistling past the graveyard, and ignoring the fact there is a fentanyl crisis that is not going away anytime soon - aided by the fact the lethal drug, 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, is being laced into counterfeit pain killers disguised as known prescription narcotics of specific strengths.

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11 CN AB: Column: Stiffer Sentences For Drug DealersFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:03/06/2017

An initiative to address the proliferation of illicit opioids was announced by Crime Stoppers in Ontario this week. They promised a cash reward for information leading to a seizure of drugs and/or the arrest of a trafficker.

Other parts of Ontario have also tried this. Some declared the program a "success" having paid two rewards for about 12 tips.

We have not seen a reduction in the number of opioid overdoses. In fact the opposite is true.

Tips leading to the conviction of a drug trafficker or two is good but will likely not put them out of business. Others will fill their place. It is time for stiffer sentences that really will be a deterrent.

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12CN AB: Expert Calls Treatment Of Opioid Addicts OutdatedWed, 01 Mar 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

Canada's use of methadone to treat fentanyl and other opioid abuse is dangerous and outdated, says a substance-abuse expert gathered with others in Banff mapping out addiction strategies.

Canada should follow other countries, including the U.S., that have moved toward using another drug, buprenorphine/naloxone to manage opioid addiction, said Dr. Cam Wild of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

"Canada has fallen behind other countries in treatment - in many places, Suboxone is the first line of care," said Wild, using buprenorphine/naloxone's brand name.

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13 CN AB: LTE: Addicts Can't Shirk ResponsibilityMon, 27 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Szecsy, Peter Area:Alberta Lines:26 Added:03/04/2017

Re: "Officers carrying naloxone kits can save lives, RCMP says," Feb. 11.

Our police and EMS are turning themselves inside out trying to save people hell-bent on killing themselves. What responsibilities do these drug users assume in any of this? They know the risks, but also realize that there is a safety net that our police and medical professionals offer that will save their lives if something should go wrong. So how much do we fine these people for breaking the law, using our valuable EMS and medical resources and saving their lives?

Peter Szecsy, Calgary

[end]

14CN AB: Officer Skipped Proper Police Protocol, Trial ToldThu, 23 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/25/2017

Const. Robert Cumming didn't follow police protocol when he took home a seized backpack containing two baggies of marijuana, a senior officer testified Wednesday.

Det. Timothy Fitzgibbon said Cumming should have requested a case number after an undercover officer, posing as a concerned citizen, handed him a backpack while he was on patrol. But Fitzgibbon told Crown prosecutor Richard Tchir not only did Cumming not create a new police file, he didn't take notes of receiving the item.

"If someone gives you property, you need to have a case number generated," Fitzgibbon said. "No number was ever generated (by Cumming) for that date."

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15 CN AB: PUB LTE: Safe Injection Sites Aren't A ThreatFri, 24 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Meeker, Connor Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:02/24/2017

Re. "Support services key to safe injection sites," Opinion, Feb. 18

I applaud police Chief Rod Knecht's commitment to establishing supervised injection sites in Edmonton, and his recognition that people facing addiction are better helped through compassion than punishment.

However, his claim that these sites "[risk] jeopardizing community compassion due to the resulting scourge of discarded needles, increased criminal activity, social disorder and neighbourhood degradation" is baseless.

Multiple studies have shown that after Vancouver's supervised injection site (INSITE) opened in 2003, there was no increase in crime, violence, drug trafficking, or the number of intravenous drug users in the surrounding community. In fact, the number of publicly discarded syringes and people injecting in public spaces actually decreased.

Claims that supervised injection sites lead to negative social effects are based on fallacious assumptions that have failed to materialize - and giving them credence perpetuates false and harmful myths about these sites.

Connor Meeker, Edmonton

[end]

16CN AB: Editorial: Contentious Life SaversFri, 24 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/24/2017

Let's be clear that the four safe injection sites proposed for Edmonton's inner city are not a silver bullet in the battle against substance abuse. But as Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne puts it, safe injection facilities should be seen as one tool in a much larger tool kit being deployed against fentanyl.

Proposals for the city's first supervised injection sites for drug addicts living on the street were announced this week for three central-Edmonton community agencies: Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Boyle Street Community Services, and the George Spady Society. A fourth centre would operate at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for its patients, many of whom come from the inner-city.

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17 CN AB: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Must Be Part Of The DiscussionThu, 23 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Grimsrud, Karen Area:Alberta Lines:85 Added:02/23/2017

Re. "Support services key to safe injection sites," Opinion, Feb. 18

The rising number of Albertans dying from opioid overdoses is a significant public health crisis that is not going away soon.

Working with a wide range of partners, including law enforcement, we have taken a number of steps to help address this challenge. These steps include immediate actions to help decrease the number of persons dying from overdoses along with longer-term approaches that address mental health and addictions.

It is now widely accepted that previous approaches to addictions that focus solely on modifying individual behaviour were not effective at eliminating the risks associated with drug use. Instead, we need a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, treatment, enforcement, harm reduction, and monitoring.

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18 CN AB: Column: Record Drug Bust Part Of Vicious CircleMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:97 Added:02/21/2017

Last week we made headlines with a record drug bust after more than $1.2 million in drugs, cash, weapons, drug manufacturing equipment and vehicles were seized by the Lethbridge members of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team.

I commend the members of the LPS and the RCMP who make up the integrated Lethbridge team for their great work.

In the news conference, I was asked how this seizure impacts the city. Beyond preventing the obvious drug use, sales and potential fatalities, I mentioned how drugs and addictions are related to property crimes. I know many citizens have been victims of car prowling and residential break-ins to their homes, garages and sheds. Many businesses have also been hit by very organized thieves as was clear when a car dealership had dozens of wheels and rims stolen from new cars on their lot not too long ago.

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19CN AB: Column: Support Services Key To Safe Injection SitesSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Knecht, Rod Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Drug addicts need our care and compassion - not incarceration - writes Rod Knecht.

The Edmonton Police Service recently published its organizational position on supervised injection sites, which calls for supervised injection sites to be more than designated physical spaces where addicts can consume illegal drugs.

In addition to the necessary basic human requirements of shelter and security, the sites also need to provide a complete slate of support services for drug addicts - from emergency medical care to assistance with food, medication and mental health issues - to name a few.

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20 CN AB: Opioid Therapy Changing LivesFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Cameron, Elizabeth Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:02/21/2017

Advocates call for increased access to new drug treatment I don't need to stick needles in my arms anymore... I can work a normal job.

A new therapy is the most effective intervention to treat opioid use disorder and other associated harms, according a recent progress report from the office of Alberta's chief medical officer of health.

Opioid replacement therapy (ORT) prevents the agonizing symptoms of opiate withdrawal - allowing people to get clean and get their lives back.

"If I hadn't gotten on methadone, I'd probably be dead," said Chelsea Burnham, a 25-year-old mental health and addictions outreach worker.

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21 CN AB: Blood Tribe Police Dealing With Fentanyl Abuse DailySat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Villeneuve, Melissa Area:Alberta Lines:101 Added:02/21/2017

When it comes to fighting the illegal drug trade, fentanyl knows no borders.

Overdose deaths attributed to the illicit opioid are skyrocketing each year in cities, towns and on reserves in Alberta.

The Blood Tribe Police have not been immune to the effects on the community it serves to protect. They welcome the Alberta Government's announcement last week that police officers are among those who will be trained to administer lifesaving Naloxone, which temporarily reverses the effect of fentanyl.

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22 CN AB: Athabasca RCMP Are Reminding Motorists That Marijuana Is StillFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:46 Added:02/21/2017

After a spike in roadside drug seizures, Athabasca RCMP are reminding people marijuana is still illegal.

The past month has seen a spike in drug seizures through traffic stops, with approximately 10 grams of cocaine and methamphetamine and 300 grams of marijuana and marijuana products - such as hash and hash oil - in 15 separate incidents, said Cpl. Curtis Harsulla, spokesman for the Athabasca RCMP.

"Some folks think it may be legal soon, but it's not quite there," Harsulla said.

Typically, the traffic enforcement unit may seize 15 to 30 grams of various drugs every five days, he said.

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23CN AB: Not 'Party drugs': Council Assesses Fentanyl's ImpactTue, 14 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/16/2017

Edmonton is battling a new drug overdose crisis that simply doesn't fit any standard assumptions, council members were told Monday.

Only 20 per cent of the overdose deaths from fentanyl last year were in core neighbourhoods. Young men in the suburbs are actually at a much higher risk, said city officials.

"This has gone beyond being an inner-city issue," said Mayor Don Iveson, adding those dying most often from illicit fentanyl and prescription opioid painkillers are taking them alone at home where no one is available to help when things go wrong.

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24 CN AB: Editorial: Co-ordinated Action Needed On OpioidsSun, 12 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:88 Added:02/16/2017

The fentanyl crisis in Alberta has been well documented. The harm the drug is doing to Alberta families, schools and communities has become a major public issue in the last two years.

It hasn't gone unnoticed by police and political leaders. Alberta's government has added more treatment beds for addicts and victims of overdoses.

It has also made sure more emergency overdose treatment kits are available in police and fire stations, on ambulances, at emergency departments, even in provincial jails and schools.

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25 CN AB: Equipped To RespondSun, 12 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:75 Added:02/16/2017

RCMP report success with naloxone kits

While emergency medical personnel respond to the bulk of drug overdose calls, RCMP and municipal police are increasingly drawn into the fray as the opioid crisis continues to take its toll on Alberta.

Postmedia has obtained preliminary data on how frequently RCMP members are administering naloxone on the job.

Alberta RCMP members have administered naloxone - an antidote used to reverse the effects of fentanyl and other powerful opioids - a total of three times since officers were provided with the nasal spray kits last October.

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26CN AB: Police Officers Equipped With Naloxone Kits Save Lives: RCMPSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/14/2017

While emergency medical personnel respond to the bulk of drug overdose calls, RCMP and municipal police are increasingly drawn into the fray as the opioid crisis continues to take its toll on Alberta.

Postmedia has obtained preliminary data on how frequently RCMP members are administering naloxone on the job.

Alberta RCMP members have administered naloxone - an antidote used to reverse the effects of fentanyl and other powerful opioids - a total of three times since officers were provided with the nasal spray kits last October.

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27 CN AB: RCMP Fentanyl Antidote Kits Help To Save DozensSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:63 Added:02/14/2017

While EMS and emergency medical personnel respond to the bulk of drug overdose calls, RCMP and municipal police are increasingly drawn into the fray as the opioid crisis continues to take its toll on Alberta.

Postmedia has obtained preliminary data on how frequently RCMP members are administering naloxone on the job. the information comes as the Calgary Police Service prepares to roll out its own fentanyl antidote kits and naloxone training to officers starting on Feb. 28.

Alberta RCMP members have administered naloxone - an antidote used to reverse the effects of fentanyl and other powerful opioids - three times since officers were provided with the nasal spray kits last October.

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28CN AB: Officers Carrying Naloxone Kits Can Save Lives, RCMP SaysSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/14/2017

While EMS and emergency medical personnel respond to the bulk of drug overdose calls, RCMP and municipal police are increasingly drawn into the fray as the opioid crisis continues to take its toll on Alberta.

Postmedia has obtained preliminary data on how frequently RCMP members are administering naloxone on the job. The information comes as the Calgary Police Service prepares to roll out its own fentanyl antidote kits and naloxone training to officers starting on Feb. 28.

Alberta RCMP members have administered naloxone - an antidote used to reverse the effects of fentanyl and other powerful opioids - a total of three times since officers were provided with the nasal spray kits last October.

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29 CN AB: Column: Readers Support Death For TraffickersThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Jones, Gifford Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:02/14/2017

Last week, I wrote that unless we use Singapore's solution to hang drug pushers, we will never defeat the opioid epidemic in North America. This week, a strong response from readers.

A police officer in a major Canadian city writes, "Thank you for the temerity to write this column. I wonder why we have a law that says a drug is illegal, yet the law supervises injection sites to consume illegal drugs!" He adds, "Unfortunately our lawmakers do not have the gonads to protect citizens against flagrant abuses. Thanks for your valued columns."

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30CN AB: Fentanyl Victims Are Stigmatized, Advocates SayThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Logan, Shawn Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2017

'These people aren't going out there to die,' enforcement unit officer insists

The victims of fentanyl, which saw its deadly toll reach new highs in 2016, rarely fit the stereotypes people sometimes imagine, advocates say.

"We're not concerned because we don't believe it can impact us in any way - but these are soccer moms and accountants and lawyers," said Rosalind Davis, whose partner Nathan Huggins-Rosenthal held an MBA and was a stockbroker when he became addicted to the opioid that ultimately killed him.

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31 CN AB: Locals Training In Fentanyl Overdose PreventionThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Villeneuve, Melissa Area:Alberta Lines:116 Added:02/11/2017

Several initiatives to combat opioid crisis

Expanding access to life-saving naloxone to fight fentanyl overdoses across Alberta will save lives, but more still needs to be done to combat the crisis.

In an AHS report released on Tuesday, there were 343 people who died of fentanyl-related overdose last year in Alberta. Sixteen of those were reported in the South Zone.

The government announced it is moving forward with several initiatives to combat the opioid crisis. This includes the delivery and training of naloxone for first responders and grant funding for support agencies in some communities to work towards establishing supervised consumption services.

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32 CN AB: Calgary Cops Push For Nasal NaloxoneThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Logan, Shawn Area:Alberta Lines:37 Added:02/11/2017

Calgary cops are hoping the province will ante up for the nasal version of drug designed to combat fentanyl overdoses.

A day after Alberta associate health Minister brandy Payne announced a ministerial order that would allow first responders to use an injectable version of naloxone, which helps control symptoms of fentanyl and other opioids, the city's police force asked the province to consider helping cover costs of the nasal variant, already in use.

"The CPs will be requesting the provincial government extend the program to include nasal naloxone as well as the injectable format" said spokesman Mike Nunn. "Nasal naloxone reduces the risk of improper use both for police members and the public."

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33 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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34 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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35CN 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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36 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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37CN 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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38 CN AB: 5 Questions Brian Thiessen, LawyerSat, 04 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Tait, Carrie Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:02/09/2017

Brian Thiessen chairs the Calgary Police Commission, the civilian organization that oversees the city's police force. He joined the board about a year and a half ago, as the number of deaths tied to opioid overdoses was exploding in Alberta, he tells Carrie Tait. Mr. Thiessen explained to The Globe and Mail why he supports supervised-consumption sites and labelling the fentanyl issue a crisis

What do you think the CPS should do to address opioid deaths?

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39CN AB: Council Readies Itself For Legal PotSat, 04 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Klingbeil, Annalise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

Calgary's elected officials will gather on Monday for an education session on marijuana, as the legalization of weed looms.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said council will hear from experts including officials from American municipalities that have already lifted pot prohibition.

"We actually have convened a panel. We've brought in some experts from other places to really talk to use about what the city's response and reaction is going to have to be from a zoning perspective, from a bylaw perspective and so on, on marijuana," Nenshi said.

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40 CN AB: 'Juana Know More?Sat, 04 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Klingbeil, Annalise Area:Alberta Lines:57 Added:02/09/2017

Calgary council goes to school on marijuana legalization

Calgary's elected officials will gather on Monday for an education session on marijuana, as the legalization of weed looms in Canada.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said council will hear from experts including officials from American municipalities that have already lifted pot prohibition.

"We actually have convened a panel. We've brought in some experts from other places to really talk to use about what the city's response and reaction is going to have to be from a zoning perspective, from a bylaw perspective and so on, on marijuana," Nenshi said.

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41CN AB: Man Gets 15 Months For Selling Drug-Laced SweetsSat, 04 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Parsons, Paige Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

A man who pleaded guilty to running an operation that included selling drug-laced baked goods out of a west Edmonton music venue will spend 15 months behind bars, a judge ruled Friday.

Mitchell Scott Ennis, 49, appeared crestfallen when Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ken Nielsen announced a sentence of 25 months, before adding that such a sentence would be "unduly harsh," and reduced it to 15 months.

In June 2016, Ennis admitted to four counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and breach of a recognizance.

[continues 397 words]

42 CN AB: Pot Baker Behind BarsSat, 04 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Parsons, Paige Area:Alberta Lines:79 Added:02/09/2017

Man who pleads guilty to selling drug-laced goods gets 15 months

A man who pleaded guilty to running an operation that included selling drug-laced baked goods out of a west Edmonton music venue will spend 15 months behind bars, a judge ruled Friday.

Mitchell Scott Ennis, 49, appeared crestfallen when Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ken Nielsen announced a sentence of 25 months, before adding that such a sentence would be "unduly harsh," and reduced it to 15 months.

[continues 432 words]

43 CN AB: Researchers To Study Treating Epileptic Children With CannabisThu, 02 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:02/04/2017

As desperate parents of children with severe epilepsy turn to alternative therapies, researchers are launching a study examining the efficacy and safety of treating seizures with medical marijuana products.

"Parents are becoming more aware of the use of cannabis to treat epilepsy from social media and parent support groups," said Richard Tang-Wai, a pediatric epileptologist at the University of Alberta.

"Because there is little scientific evidence regarding the use of cannabis products in children, most physicians are reluctant to prescribe them, resulting in parents trying to make their own preparations at home or turning to suppliers who cannot verify the quality of their product. This adds to the urgency of doing studies like this."

[continues 389 words]

44CN AB: U Of A Joins Study Into Using Pot Oil To Treat Kids WithThu, 02 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/04/2017

As desperate parents of children with severe epilepsy turn to alternative therapies, researchers are launching a study examining the efficacy and safety of treating seizures with medical marijuana products.

"Parents are becoming more aware of the use of cannabis to treat epilepsy from social media and parent support groups," said Richard Tang-Wai, a pediatric epileptologist at the University of Alberta.

"Because there is little scientific evidence regarding the use of cannabis products in children, most physicians are reluctant to prescribe them, resulting in parents trying to make their own preparations at home or turning to suppliers who cannot verify the quality of their product. This adds to the urgency of doing studies like this."

[continues 370 words]

45CN AB: Drug House Shut DownTue, 31 Jan 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/04/2017

Police received almost 100 complaints

Neighbours living near a well-known Coventry Hills drug house are welcoming news that the address has been shut down by court order and will be listed for sale.

After more than 95 calls to police in just two years - including a violent hostage situation that rattled neighbours - the home at 71 Coventry Road N.E. has been boarded up by Alberta's Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit.

"That house has been nothing but a pain in our side for years," said neighbour Dustin Formos, who lives a few doors down with his three young boys.

[continues 171 words]

46CN AB: Researcher Links Playing Sports To Substance AbuseMon, 30 Jan 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Clancy, Clare Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/04/2017

Athletes who compete at an elite level may be at greater risk of substance abuse, a University of Alberta researcher says.

Laurie de Grace, who has interviewed 21 people recovering from addiction, wants to raise awareness about the potential link between athleticism and the use of drugs and alcohol.

"I was really surprised by the large number of people who had a substantial sports background," she said.

Her research, published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, focused on athletes who played sports such as hockey, rowing and baseball.

[continues 281 words]

47CN AB: Mayor Urges New Ideas To Tackle Opioid DeathsFri, 03 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Klingbeil, Annalise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/03/2017

Calgary could be a 'test bed,' he suggests to federal health minister

Amid a growing opioid crisis, Mayor Naheed Nenshi has spoken to Canada's health minister about using Calgary as a "test bed for new treatment modalities," which could include safe consumption sites for drug users.

When he met with federal Health Minister Jane Philpott in Calgary last month, Nenshi offered the city as a place to test new ways of treating fentanyl and other powerful and often deadly opioids ravaging lives across the country.

[continues 475 words]

48 CN AB: PUB LTE: Go Green, JustinThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Gross, Jon Area:Alberta Lines:30 Added:01/31/2017

Well it's almost February 2017 and marijuana has not been legalized. Well, you really can't blame Trudeau, because he is mostly traveling to different parts of the globe, so a lot of his work is not being done, but I am getting very impatient and can't wait for my first puff. It's supposed to be very good for you, good for the temperament, and is supposed help for my Tinnitus. So hopefully next time he's home he'll stay long enough to authorize and resolve it. Then he can go traveling. Sure hope this is soon so a fellow has a bit of relief from his issues.

Jon Gross



(You could try for a medical marijuana prescription, Jon.)

[end]

49 CN AB: Column: I'll Pay The Minister Of Health $1,500 For AnMon, 30 Jan 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Jones, Gifford Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:01/30/2017

Why would I want to pay $1,500 to have a meeting with the federal minister of health (MOH)? It's because of the old saying, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." High profile people gain access to Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, by paying $1,500. I'm sure this fee isn't just to talk about the weather! So why can't I make a similar offer to the MOH? And also pay a similar amount to the Minister of Justice (MOJ)?

[continues 620 words]

50 CN AB: Researcher Looks At Link Between Sports, AddictionWed, 25 Jan 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Boyd, Alex Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:01/25/2017

Some athletes more prone to substance abuse: Study

New research from the University of Alberta suggests there could be a potential link between sports and substance abuse.

Laurie de Grace set out to interview people recovering from substance abuse for her master's research with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation - and found unexpected things.

"I was surprised by the number of participants that I had that had a strong sports background," de Grace said.

In a paper published this month in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, she wrote that the prevalence of substance abuse in some sports communities creates a greater risk of addictions for people already vulnerable to them.

[continues 332 words]


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