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1 CN AB: PUB LTE: Gateway MythSat, 17 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Macklin, Chet Area:Alberta Lines:33 Added:06/21/2017

Noel Hershfield is incorrect. In fact, there is an abundance of studies dispelling the 'gateway' myth. Marijuana is like a gateway drug the same way an appetizer is a gateway to an entree. One generally occurs before the other.

Further, many people mistakenly believe marijuana use precedes rather than follows other drug use. In fact, most drug use begins with alcohol and nicotine. And if the next argument is that cannabis introduces you to a dealer selling harder drugs, that's even more reason to legalize it. Consider the large number of people whom have used cannabis and not gone on to use other illicit drugs. Correlation is not causation!

Chet Macklin



(There appears to be little consensus on this issue.)

[end]

2 CN AB: PUB LTE: Gateway MythSat, 17 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Macklin, Chet Area:Alberta Lines:32 Added:06/21/2017

Noel Hershfield is incorrect. In fact, there is an abundance of studies dispelling the 'gateway' myth. Marijuana is like a gateway drug the same way an appetizer is a gateway to an entree. One generally occurs before the other.

Further, many people mistakenly believe marijuana use precedes rather than follows other drug use. In fact, most drug use begins with alcohol and nicotine. And if the next argument is that cannabis introduces you to a dealer selling harder drugs, that's even more reason to legalize it. Consider the large number of people whom have used cannabis and not gone on to use other illicit drugs. Correlation is not causation!

Chet Macklin



(There appears to be little consensus on this issue.)

[end]

3 CN AB: Beltline Tabbed For Safe SiteThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Cameron, Elizabeth Area:Alberta Lines:84 Added:06/19/2017

Province hopes to open public health service by end of 2017

The Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre in the Beltline could soon be Calgary's first supervised consumption site, pending federal approval.

Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne confirmed on Thursday the province has applied to provide supervised consumption services in Calgary at the downtown health facility and will soon begin discussions with nearby residents.

"It's our hope that we'll be able to open the doors by the end of this year," Payne said, speaking to a large crowd who gathered at the health facility's lobby for the announcement.

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4CN AB: Plans Inch Ahead For City's First Safe Drug-Use SiteThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolanda Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

Alberta Health Services has submitted an application to establish Calgary's first supervised consumption site for drug users in the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre, Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne confirmed Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the province comes to grips with an opioid crisis that has killed hundreds, and as Edmonton seeks to open four supervised consumption sites.

Community consultations on the proposed service at the Beltline facility will take place over the coming weeks, beginning with the distribution of postcards to residents and businesses within a two-kilometre radius of the health centre to notify them of small-group discussions.

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5CN AB: OPED: Let's Keep Legalized Cannabis Profits At HomeThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Mooij, Jeff Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

Stand-alone stores can lower prices while creating jobs, says Jeff Mooij.

The Alberta government has wisely begun a broad consultation process so the public can provide their input on the upcoming legalization of cannabis.

As both the provinces and the federal government attempt to implement new laws and regulations across the country, Alberta has the opportunity to get it right and become a leader in the safe, informed and responsible recreational consumption of cannabis.

Alberta can build from the strengths and avoid the pitfalls experienced by other jurisdictions that have already legalized recreational use. It was encouraging to see both Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci visit Denver to learn from their processes.

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6CN AB: Medical Pot A Growing Issue Among WorkplacesMon, 12 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/16/2017

An estimated 500,000 Canadians will be using drug for health reasons by 2024

Apprentice ironworker Johnathan Dickson says his union wouldn't send him out to construction jobs last year while he was using medical marijuana.

While an official with Ironworkers local 720 maintains the situation is far more complicated than that, Dickson's case illustrates some of the workplace issues - mainly involving safety - related to the growing Canadian consumption of prescription pot.

"In talking with our clients, (medical cannabis) is an issue that's coming up more and more," says Cristina Wendel, an Edmonton employment and labour lawyer at Dentons, who cited estimates that 500,000 Canadians will be using the drug for health reasons by 2024.

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7 CN AB: Weed In The WorkplaceMon, 12 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:123 Added:06/16/2017

Increasing popularity of prescription pot highlights a growing issue for employers

Apprentice ironworker Johnathan Dickson says his union wouldn't send him out to construction jobs last year while he was using medical marijuana.

While an official with Ironworkers local 720 maintains the situation is far more complicated than that, Dickson's case illustrates some of the workplace issues - mainly involving safety - related to the growing Canadian consumption of prescription pot.

Growing issue

"In talking with our clients, (medical cannabis) is an issue that's coming up more and more," says Cristina Wendel, an Edmonton employment and labour lawyer at Dentons, who cited estimates that 500,000 Canadians will be using the drug for health reasons by 2024.

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8 CN AB: PUB LTE: Address Root Causes Of Drug AbuseSat, 10 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Kontos, Yulia Area:Alberta Lines:34 Added:06/14/2017

People do not just wake up one day and decide, "I am going to become a drug user."

There are social causes that bring about drug use which need to be dealt with in order to reduce this problem. Drug use is more prevalent among people who are disadvantaged. If we really want to stop this epidemic of opioid overdose, there needs to be public policy in place that will lessen the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged people in order to stop drug use before it starts.

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9CN AB: Editorial: A Program That WorksFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/14/2017

Every government-funded program should be so lucky as to have Julia Carriere as an exemplar of its good work.

The 21-year-old woman was seven-months pregnant and addicted to drugs when she was arrested for trafficking in March 2016. Getting picked up by police turned out to be the second chance she needed and a timely blessing for her then-unborn son Richard, now one year old.

Carriere is the latest graduate of the Edmonton Drug Treatment Court Service, a program that delays sentencing after an offender pleads guilty to a criminal offence related to drug addiction.

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10 CN AB: LTE: Hazards Of Pot Use Are Already EvidentThu, 08 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:32 Added:06/13/2017

Re: "Talking pot: NDP launch marijuana survey online," Herald Online, June 2.

Anyone interested in the impact of legalized marijuana only need look at what has happened in the U.S. In Colorado, there has been an increase in young people at ERs from pot smoking and consuming edibles. In Washington state, road deaths have doubled since legalization.

The Trudeau government, in its rush to appease its pro-pot base and reap billions from sales, is simply ignoring conclusive studies saying young people who smoke marijuana run a greatly enhanced risk of suffering psychosis or other mental issues later in life.

One thing for sure: health care and policing services will feel the impact of legalization.

Larry Comeau, Ottawa

[end]

11CN AB: NDP Says Safe Site For Drug Consumption ComingFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/13/2017

Associate health minister Brandy Payne says she anticipates a supervised consumption site for users of dangerous opioids will be operating in Calgary within months.

Payne also said Thursday she expects there will ultimately be multiple safe-consumption sites in the city to try to combat a rising death toll from fentanyl and other opioids.

A Calgary application for a supervised consumption site is one of five Alberta proposals - the rest are from Edmonton - that have been submitted to Health Canada for an exemption under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

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12 CN AB: More Drugs? Really?Mon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:29 Added:06/09/2017

How is this not an emergency? I find it mind-boggling that the Trudeau government has made legalizing marijuana its top priority rather than developing a national strategy to cope with the opioid crisis that is killing thousands of young people from coast to coast. Why on earth, with this opioid crisis, would any sensible government want to add another dangerous drug to the mix, with so many long-term effects of pot unknown.

Larry Comeau



(Apples and oranges but many people would agree with you. Others, not so much.)

[end]

13 CN AB: LTE: More Drugs? Really?Mon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:29 Added:06/09/2017

How is this not an emergency? I find it mind-boggling that the Trudeau government has made legalizing marijuana its top priority rather than developing a national strategy to cope with the opioid crisis that is killing thousands of young people from coast to coast. Why on Earth, with this opioid crisis, would any sensible government want to add another dangerous drug to the mix, with so many long-term effects of pot unknown.

Larry Comeau



(Apples and oranges but many people would agree with you. Others, not so much.)

[end]

14 CN AB: PUB LTE: Gone To PotTue, 06 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Burdon, Ted Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:06/09/2017

Larry Comeau seems to believe that legalizing marijuana amounts to "government adding another dangerous drug to the mix". The pot is already out there and legalizing it will not increase usage. However I do agree that all drug usage needs national attention.

The federal government should set up a new agency which will receive 100% of the new taxes raised through the production and distribution of marijuana. This agency would invest in education and rehabilitation for all drug users including alcoholics. I would hate to see all this new tax revenue disappear down the bottomless pit we call government budgets.

Ted Burdon



(A little green from green doesn't sound like a bad idea.)

[end]

15 CN AB: Support Key To Drug BattleFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:80 Added:06/06/2017

Police chief updates SACPA audience

"Catch and release" may work with fish conservation, but it's no answer to the issues of drug addiction.

That's the word from Rob Davis, Chief of the Lethbridge Police Service. He says repeatedly arresting people addicted to alcohol or drugs and then releasing them - with no assistance offered - is very expensive and it solves nothing.

"That's what we were doing," and so were police services across the nation.

But Lethbridge has a myriad of social service agencies, he told a Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs audience Thursday, and now police officers make an effort to connect repeat customers with an appropriate service agency as they're released.

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16CN AB: Column: Alberta Takes Important Step In Fight To Stop OpioidThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

There, the NDP finally said it. Alberta's fentanyl deaths are an "emergency."

That's pretty obvious after 113 fatalities already in the first three months of this year, after 363 in 2016. Overdoses now kill more people in Alberta than traffic crashes and homicides combined.

In 2011, there were only six deaths from this scourge. Opioids have become an undeniable public emergency.

It's also a suburban problem, not just a blight on the inner city. Last year, 80 per cent of Calgary deaths were outside the city core.

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17CN AB: Talking Pot: NDP Launches Online Marijuana SurveySat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Schwartz, Zane Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

The Alberta government has launched an online survey to gauge public opinion on key cannabis questions as it prepares for federal legalization in 2018.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley rolled out the survey Friday as a litmus test to see where Albertans stand on issues such as what the legal age should be, whether marijuana should be permitted in public places, and how police should handle motorists who drive under the influence.

It's part of a consultation strategy that will include meetings with groups directly affected by the impending legislation, such as police, municipal and indigenous leaders, and addictions and mental health workers. The government will also be conducting surveys at festivals and other public events.

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18CN AB: Online Pot Survey Launched To Gauge Public OpinionSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Schwartz, Zane Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

The Alberta government has launched an online survey to gauge public opinion on key cannabis questions as it prepares for federal legalization in 2018.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley rolled out the survey Friday as a litmus test to see where Albertans stand on issues such as what the legal age should be; whether marijuana should be permitted in public places; and how police should handle motorists who drive under the influence.

It's part of a consultation strategy that will include meetings with groups directly affected by the impending legislation, such as police, municipal and indigenous leaders, and addictions and mental-health workers. The government will also be conducting surveys at festivals and other public events.

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19CN AB: Reserve Fights BackWed, 24 May 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/29/2017

Blood Tribe battles opioid crisis

In the wake of four more fentanyl overdose deaths last month, Blood Tribe leaders gathered in Stand Off on Tuesday to update band members and government officials on the opioid crisis.

The cluster of overdoses comes after more than 12 months where the number of deaths from fentanyl had stabilized on the southern Alberta reserve that first declared a state of emergency in March 2015 after 30 band members died from overdoses.

"We were expecting that something would happen," said Esther Tailfeathers, a doctor on the Blood reserve. "We were actually pretty surprised that we were able to keep it down for a while. So, we're doing something right, but we need to do more right things."

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20 CN AB: 'We Need To Do More': Blood Tribe Records More Fatal ODsWed, 24 May 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:61 Added:05/29/2017

STAND OFF - In the wake of four more fentanyl overdose deaths last month, Blood Tribe leaders gathered Tuesday to update band members and government officials on the opioid crisis.

The cluster of overdoses comes after more than 12 months where the number of deaths from fentanyl had stabilized on the southern Alberta reserve that first declared a state of emergency in March 2015 after 30 band members died from overdoses.

"We were expecting that something would happen," said Esther Tailfeathers, a doctor on the Blood reserve.

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21 CN AB: OD Casualties RememberedFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Cameron, Elizabeth Area:Alberta Lines:56 Added:05/29/2017

Families in city honour the 559 who died from opioids in 2016

Calgarians left behind by fatal overdoses last year came together to remember their loved ones on Wednesday, just one week after the province released staggering new numbers on the crisis.

It's the last thing we ever expected to happen to us Barbara Saunders, who lost her son Merlin to an accidental fentanyl overdose in late 2016

Last year, 559 people died in our province from drug overdoses, according to the latest report from Alberta Health, which said 363 of those Albertans died from a fentanyl-related overdose and 196 from other opioids, such as codeine.

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22CN AB: Fentanyl Deaths Leap 61 Per CentSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2017

Provinces chief medical officer calls for heightened efforts amid deepening crisis

Alberta's top doctor is calling for expanded efforts to combat a high number of opioid deaths as health officials released a new report on fentanyl overdoses Friday.

"We need to continue our efforts to decrease the number of overdoses that we're seeing due to fentanyl and other opioids," said Dr. Karen Grimsrud, the province's chief medical officer of health, following the release of Alberta Health's Opioids and Substances of Misuse report on Friday.

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23 CN AB: Oped: Alberta Not Getting The Full Picture On OpioidsSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Swann, David Area:Alberta Lines:91 Added:05/24/2017

By any objective measure, the opiate crisis has affected British Columbia far more severely than Alberta.

Both legal and illegal opiate use is more prevalent, and it was the first province to see this unprecedented number of deaths due to overdoses of fentanyl and other opiates.

B.C.'s response has been robust.

The declaration of a public health state of emergency led to resources being mobilized across government departments and between all stakeholders in a co-ordinated plan.

Their Provincial Health Officer reports monthly on the efforts to combat the crisis, and the province has embraced early harm reduction measures such as naloxone kits and supervised injection sites.

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24 CN AB: Column: Tackling The Problem Of OpioidsFri, 19 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Spearman, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:127 Added:05/24/2017

We've all heard the very troubling news reports in Alberta and across Canada about the growing problem of addiction to opioids, especially fentanyl.

Opioid addition is devastating families and causing an alarming number of deaths among those who - knowingly or unknowingly - make the mistake of using it. The issues associated with opioid addiction touch many different agencies, institutions, public and social service organizations. It touches families, and it touches individuals.

Lethbridge is not immune. Last fall, after hearing about what was happening in our city, I asked a broad range of leaders and organizations in our community to come together to collaborate on how we can respond in the best way possible.

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25 CN AB: Call To Declare Public Health Emergency Over Rising FentanylSun, 21 May 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Passifiume, Bryan Area:Alberta Lines:110 Added:05/21/2017

As fentanyl overdose deaths in Alberta rise, a Vancouver-based advocate says Alberta would do well to follow her province's lead in declaring opioid-related deaths a public health emergency.

On the front lines in B.C.'s battle against their ongoing overdose crisis, Leslie McBain said Alberta's rising numbers of overdose deaths isn't going to slow without decisive action from the provincial government.

"The number of deaths in Alberta is rising," she said. "It's insane and inhumane to not do something about it."

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26 CN AB: PUB LTE: Marijuana Law Actually Protects KidsThu, 18 May 2017
Source:Sherwood Park News (CN AB) Author:Maki, Heather Area:Alberta Lines:54 Added:05/18/2017

Re: "Marijuana law doesn't protect kids," April 21, Opinion - Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnett Genuis, The News:

Genuis' bold claim is that the "new proposed marijuana legislation will allow anyone under age 12 to 17 to possess and distribute up to five grams of marijuana." This is, quite simply, a falsehood. The new proposed legislation does not only go on "at length about the importance of keeping marijuana from children," but it has made it clear that the purpose of legalizing marijuana is to, in fact, keep it out of the hands of Canadian youth.

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27 CN AB: LTE: Affects Of Smoking Pot Remain HazyThu, 11 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Millman, Evelyn Area:Alberta Lines:35 Added:05/15/2017

It has taken years to persuade individuals that smoking causes cancer and years to persuade various levels of government, corporations, schools and other organizations to ban smoking in public places.

Now we are faced with a new but similar peril which seems to parallel tobacco smoking. There are many unknowns that cause us concern, like the effects on health, addictions, distracted and impaired driving and psychiatric implications.

We understand the need for medical marijuana use but do we need to rush into something that requires a lot more thought and research into long-term effects just because of the pressures of marijuana growers and by users who want easier access for their habit?

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28 CN AB: Children Living In Houses Where Drugs SeizedThu, 11 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kuhl, Nick Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:05/15/2017

Several young children were found living in drug houses on the city's westside, while five people face charges under Alberta's Drug Endangered Children's Act after ALERT recently seized nearly $100,000 worth of drugs and cash.

ALERT's organized crime and drug unit in Lethbridge, along with Lethbridge Police Service members, executed four search warrants on vehicles and homes in west Lethbridge late last week to conclude an investigation that began in late 2016.

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29 CN AB: PUB LTE: Safe Injection Sites Needed In SuburbsTue, 09 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Nixon, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:44 Added:05/09/2017

There can be no doubt a safe injection site needs to be in the McCauley community health centre or in the Boyle Street Co-op or the George Spady Centre.

However, homeless people in the inner city are not the majority of opiate users, so why all the injection sites in one small area? This is simply opportunistic.

People living in McCauley have shown themselves to be very compassionate towards the poor and addicted.

They also seem to have no ability to set reasonable social boundaries.

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30CN AB: Taxes From Pot Should Go To Mental Health, U Of A Prof UrgesSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

Mental health is 25 per cent of the total disease burden so we have a massive imbalance in spending on public health.

Alberta needs to better prepare its health-care system for marijuana legalization, an academic told a Calgary seminar on the watershed drug reforms said Friday.

While Cam Wild praised Ottawa's approach to legalizing the recreational use of the drug, he said the province has considerable work to do in the medical field to ensure the move's success.

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31 CN AB: Safe-Injection Site A Plausible Scenario For Medicine HatFri, 05 May 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:89 Added:05/08/2017

A safe-injection site could be coming to Medicine Hat.

Though still early in the process, HIV Community Link executive director Leslie Hill says this is something communities around Alberta could be seeing over the course of the next year or so.

"Right now we have a researcher in Medicine Hat working on creating a survey to get to drug users," she said. "We are doing this in response to a rise in opioid use across the province and we are trying to be proactive with this."

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32 CN AB: City Closer To Supervised Consumption SitesWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Simes, Jeremy Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:05/08/2017

Council votes to approach feds; decision to be made in Ottawa

Edmonton got a step closer to seeing supervised consumption sites in the city, after city council voted Tuesday to ask the federal government to allow the proposed sites to open as soon as possible.

Councillors voted 10-1 to send the letter of opinion to Ottawa, and although the decision is ultimately up to the federal government, the ruling Liberals have previously indicated they support the services.

Couns. Bev Esslinger and Mike Nickel were absent for the vote.

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33CN AB: Column: Everyone Loves Safe Injection Sites A Except TheWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Staples, David Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

It's painful on a daily basis to deal with people in the neighbourhood who have serious addiction issues.

Most everyone in the city, it seems, supports safe injection sites for intravenous drug addicts going into Edmonton inner-city neighbourhoods. Everyone except for one lonely group, those people who have to live near them.

The prospective neighbours don't buy the notion that these sites will make life better for all.

Edmonton city council, on the other hand, voted overwhelmingly, 10 votes to one, in favour of giving its stamp of approval for safe injection sites.

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34CN AB: Marijuana Legalization Could Threaten Public Health GainsThu, 04 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

The prospect of legal marijuana in 2018 is raising alarm among anti-smoking advocates, while some public health experts are hopeful legalization will prove to be a greater benefit than risk.

In April, the federal Liberal government unveiled a plan to legalize recreational pot for those over 18 by July of next year.

Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said he doesn't oppose legalization but believes public health is taking a back seat to commercial and political interests as the Trudeau government speeds toward legal weed.

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35 CN AB: OPED: Regulating Marijuana Is A Fool's ErrandMon, 08 May 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:McGarvey, Robert Area:Alberta Lines:109 Added:05/08/2017

The good news: an absurd prohibition on pot is about to end. The bad news: the Trudeau government has tied itself in knots

EDMONTON - The federal government's plan to legalize marijuana is another nail in the coffin of Canada's expensive and wasteful war on drugs. But at what social cost?

Former justice minister Anne McLellan, who chaired the federal task force on marijuana legalization, and Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief, played key roles in the government's new legislation. This forthright and responsible group examined the complex issues, listened to many concerned citizens, drafted their reports and made their recommendations.

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36CN AB: Protesters Decry Plan To Cluster Three Safe-Injection Sites InMon, 08 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Faulder, Liane Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

Protesters representing the Chinese community, as well as residents in McCauley and Central McDougall, expressed anger Saturday at not being properly consulted before a decision was made to place three safe injection sites into their midst.

The proposed public locations are the Boyle McCauley Health Centre on 96 Street and 106 Avenue, Boyle Street Community Services at 101 Street and 105 Avenue, and the George Spady Society at 100 Street and 105A Avenue, all locations that currently offer support for homeless people. A fourth site at the Royal Alexander Hospital would serve the hospital's patients.

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37CN AB: Council Votes To Support Supervised Injection SitesWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2017

Letter to federal authorities is first step; advisory committee to give feedback

City council voted 10-1 Tuesday to write a letter of support for four supervised injection sites in the inner core, pledging to monitor for any negative effect on the community.

The province is responsible for funding the service; Ottawa is responsible to regulate it.

But Mayor Don Iveson said, "We will continue to play a key role ... so we can speak up if the worst fears of the community do come to pass."

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38CN AB: City Residents Give Council Earful On Supervised InjectionTue, 02 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2017

'Already, the drug dealers, they own the place. It will only get worse,' says resident

Tensions were running high at city hall Monday with more than two dozen community members begging city council not to endorse three supervised injection sites for drug users in their area.

"Already, the drug dealers, they own the place. It will only get worse. How is that healthy for anyone?" said McCauley resident Geo Fiddler, showing council a photo-montage of used needles and homeless people in the area.

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39 CN AB: Editorial: Opioid Crisis A Local Issue, TooWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:76 Added:05/06/2017

Complex problem requires multi-pronged approach

In the past couple of years, the growing opioid crisis has grabbed headlines across the country as the death toll continues to climb. A recent Canadian Press story reported that Canadians are the second highest per-capita consumers of opioids in the world, after their U.S. counterparts. But while opioid use is declining in the U.S., in Canada it's rising.

It's a problem that hits close to home. There were 349 fentanyl reported overdose deaths in Alberta in 2016. That's up from 257 such deaths in 2015, and almost triple the 117 fentanyl deaths in 2014. In the first six weeks of 2017, 51 fentanyl deaths were reported, a pace that, if maintained throughout the year, would see yet another annual increase.

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40CN AB: Drug-Using Employees Mean Higher Costs, Oil And Gas CEOs WarnTue, 02 May 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Healing, Dan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2017

Oilpatch CEOs fear their costs will rise when the federal government passes legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

The issue of drug use is closely watched in the industry, where workers tend to be young and hazards include long commutes to and from remote drilling sites, wells that produce poisonous or explosive gas, and exposure to heavy machinery. Many oil and gas companies have strict bans on alcohol and drugs at work.

Precision Drilling CEO Kevin Neveu, whose Calgary-based firm operates in Canada and the United States, says his opposition to legalization is supported by his company's experiences in Colorado after that state legalized the drug in 2014. He said costs there have increased for employees who need drug counselling, or for those who fail drug tests and must be sent home under Precision's "zero tolerance" drug and alcohol policy. And it's more difficult to find new recruits, who can pass pre-employment drug tests, he said.

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41 CN AB: Opioid Crisis Hits HomeTue, 02 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Villeneuve, Melissa Area:Alberta Lines:179 Added:05/06/2017

Coalition on opioid use informs council about local issue and efforts to combat problem

The rising use of illicit opioids, such as fentanyl, in Canada has become an "epidemic" and Lethbridge isn't immune. On Monday, a local coalition on opioid abuse informed members of city council about the scope of the issue and how, through collaborative efforts, it plans to combat the multi-faceted problem.

The coalition was formed last November in response to the rising number of addictions and overdoses related to the dangerous and highly-addictive drug, as well as the resulting consequences such as increased property crime, drug trafficking, public consumption and needle disposal.

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42 CN AB: Column: Tale Of Two Drug BustsWed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:102 Added:04/30/2017

"My father had a couple of connections," said Justin Trudeau.

"No s---!" cried the peasants.

These would be the same peasants, by the way, with no connections whatsoever, whose father was not a former prime minister still worshipped by the progressives and the elites, who wouldn't know a good lawyer from an ambulance chaser (and could not afford either), and who have no strings to pull in either law enforcement or the judiciary because they are just another sad face in a teeming court system overflowing with sad faces.

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43 CN AB: Column: Let's Not Sweat The Small StuffWed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Leong, Ricky Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:04/30/2017

As Canada prepares to legalize marijuana, one lone Alberta pot plant has the potential to become something of a poster child for the internal struggle currently facing law enforcement.

In a news release issued this month - days before the federal government was to reveal its new cannabis policies - RCMP in Hanna trumpeted the arrest of a 48-year-old woman resulting from the execution of a search warrant at a home, which turned up one marijuana plant and marijuana equipment.

The woman was to appear in court this week.

[continues 504 words]

44CN AB: Pot Fans At 4/20 Rally Divided On Merits Of Legalization BillFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Marijuana could be legal in Canada next year, but whether what comes next will be better has users of the drug divided.

Throngs of pot smokers gathered on the Alberta legislature grounds Thursday for one of the last 4/20 rallies before marijuana is legalized next year.

On April 13, the Trudeau government introduced a bill to legalize and regulate the sale and possession of marijuana by July 2018.

While some 4/20 attendees were happy to see the drug become legal, others said the law won't make life better for cannabis users. While U.S. states including Colorado and Washington now have legal pot, Canada would be just the second country to legalize the drug.

[continues 345 words]

45CN AB: Marijuana Enforcement Likely Violates Charter Rights: ExpertsFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Ottawa is facing big questions as its move to legalize cannabis use for adults goes hand in hand with stricter laws on drunk and drugged driving and tough sentences for those providing marijuana to minors.

While the Alberta government is supportive of new measures around roadside tests, a University of Calgary law school professor and a prominent city defence lawyer say many of the new federal laws go too far and will almost certainly be challenged as unconstitutional.

In keeping its campaign promise on legalization, the Liberal government last week unveiled a crackdown on impaired driving that will no longer require police to suspect a driver has alcohol in his or her system to administer a roadside test. New legislation will also enable police to take a saliva sample from a driver they suspect of drug use.

[continues 437 words]

46CN AB: Calgary Catches Up On Cannabis CultureFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Upcoming weed expo at Stampede Park expected to match Edmonton trade show

Taboos over marijuana are going up in smoke, supercharging cannabis expos in Alberta, including one taking seed in Calgary next month, say organizers.

Fuelled by a buzz over impending national legalization and eight U.S. states that have dropped pot prohibition, an Edmonton trade show held in early April exceeded attendance expectations, said Kevin Blackburn of organizer Canwest Productions.

"We were hoping for 3,000 to 5,000 people and we doubled that," he said.

[continues 471 words]

47CN AB: Column: Get Ready For The Stoner Next DoorSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Spencer, Christina Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

"Stoners are nice," said Samantha, a happy participant in Thursday's 4-20 celebrations on Parliament Hill. "Honestly, we're like a great big family."

So went the blissful murmurings among cannabis users at the annual homage. With 6,000 people toking on the lawn in front of Centre Block - - the prime minister was not in town to bask in the glow of their happiness - you'd think recreational marijuana use was already legal.

It isn't yet, and may not be even by July 1, 2018, the target date the Trudeau government has set. Barely a week after four ministers and a parliamentary secretary were trotted out to introduce the pertinent legislation, it's becoming clear what a complicated business this is going to be.

[continues 571 words]

48 CN AB: Legalization Gets Spirits High At City RallyFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Tijana Area:Alberta Lines:84 Added:04/24/2017

There was a cloud of smoke at Galt Gardens Thursday as hundreds gathered to smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 celebration.

Every year on April 20, Canadians gather for pro-pot events, but it seems that cannabis activists may soon be getting what they want as the Government of Canada has proposed the Cannabis Act, which would legalize and regulate cannabis use.

Despite cannabis use still being illegal for most, unless prescribed for medical purposes, Lethbridge Police Services simply observed the rally and no arrests were made on drug charges.

[continues 489 words]

49 CN AB: Hatters Gather To Raise Awareness About The Legalization OfFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:59 Added:04/24/2017

A few dozen Hatters gathered in front of city hall Thursday to light up a joint and raise awareness of the proposed legalization of cannabis in Canada.

The group met downtown at 3 p.m. and talked to anyone interested before lighting up some joints at 4:20 p.m. and marching to the provincial building. Armed with signs, pamphlets and pins, the group's main goal was to raise awareness and, more importantly, spread education on the topic of the proposed legalization, said group spokesperson Caelan Walton.

[continues 328 words]

50 CN AB: Users 'Leery' About LegalizationFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:74 Added:04/24/2017

4-20 revelers aren't all that excited about recent federal government announcements.

A newfound sense of empowerment met with an air of cynicism at the annual 420 gathering on the Alberta legislature grounds Thursday.

While cannabis seedlings were handed out for free and at least one dispensary advertised openly, participants were cautious to rejoice over recent announcements from the federal government that will see marijuana legalized by July 2018.

"I'm a little leery and we're just kind of watching and seeing what they're doing," said Paige Brummet, who is on the board of directors for Edmonton-based non-profit United Cannabis Coalition. "We're here to fight."

[continues 354 words]


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