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1 CN BC: Court Sides With Cities On Pot Shop RegulationMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Fries, Joe Area:British Columbia Lines:60 Added:02/21/2017

Penticton's mayor is applauding a recent B.C. Supreme Court decision that ruled local governments do indeed have the right to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. "The judge clearly stated that even though the use of marijuana is federally regulated, the federal law does not authorize access to medical marijuana from dispensaries and municipalities are not precluded from putting in regulations to control them," Andrew Jakubeit said in a statement.

"This decision is welcomed as it provides further clarity on our rights and obligations to control dispensaries and gives added strength to our enforcement policy."

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2 CN BC: Column: Say No To Legal HeroinMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Stafford, Brent Area:British Columbia Lines:65 Added:02/21/2017

Ends always justify the means for those striving to do good, no matter the cost to life, liberty and truth.

The truth about hard drugs, such as heroin, is blunt - it destroys lives and it kills. With each injection, intravenous drug users on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver are slowly, sometimes quickly, killing themselves. I believe these people are well aware of this fact. How could they not? The risk of death is an ever-present danger that is impossible for any hard-drug user to ignore, let alone plead ignorance.

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3 CN BC: Column: Bad Drug Policy KillsMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Mullins, Garth Area:British Columbia Lines:82 Added:02/21/2017

Last month, my colleague Laurie P. died of overdose, one of 116 fatal ODs in B.C. in January. She was a harm reduction activist and had a graceful, inclusive style of community organizing.

We've been here before.

During prohibition, people got sick and died from potent or contaminated bootlegged booze. Organized crime flourished. Then, liquor was legalized again.

It's time to do the same with hard drugs.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized possession of all drugs. Overdose deaths and HIV transmission rates fell. Drug use is down and treatment is up. Trafficking remains illegal but users get health services, not jail time.

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4CN BC: Faced With Lengthy Waits, Addicts Seek Help In NanaimoFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Non-profit group takes Victoria patients to get same-day methadone prescriptions

A Victoria non-profit group has started a service to drive people to Nanaimo to get methadone and suboxone prescriptions because the wait time to see a doctor is much shorter.

"A lot of clients would say: 'I can't see a doctor for weeks.' So when this new clinic opened in Nanaimo and said they were taking clients, we saw an opportunity," said Lucy Hagos, operations manager at the Daily Dose Society, which operates the Wheels for Recovery program.

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5 CN BC: PUB LTE: Not Thumbing Our Noses At City CouncilFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Jaenicke, Bob Area:British Columbia Lines:71 Added:02/21/2017

We would like to respond to a recent article (Penticton Western News, Feb. 8, Some dispensaries'thumbing their noses' at the city rules) which Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said we are 'thumbing our nose' at the city by operating without a business license.

Firstly, we can appreciate the concerns of citizens who are unfamiliar with the medical benefits of cannabis products and the service that a professional dispensary provides. This is a new type of business for many communities and there are still old perceptions that all users are hippies and kids just getting high. The majority of our customers are adults over the age of 50 who are seeking help with medical issues such as arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, MS, glaucoma, seizures and pain relief.

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6CN BC: No Sheriff, So Court Cuts Accused Drug Dealer LooseSun, 19 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Dickson, Louise Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

A B.C. Supreme Court justice freed an accused cocaine trafficker Friday because there was no sheriff to lead the man from a cell in the Victoria courthouse to the courtroom.

The decision highlighted an ongoing sheriff shortage that has closed courtrooms, delayed trials and tossed cases out of court around B.C. The Victoria courthouse is particularly hard hit.

Justice Robert Johnston blamed the situation on "a lack of provincial will to provide the necessary resources," as he stayed a charge of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking against Richard D'Allesandro.

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7CN BC: Feds Sweeten Health-Care Deal With $10m For Opioid CrisisSun, 19 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Shaw, Rob Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

After decrying Ottawa's "divide and conquer" approach to health-care agreements, British Columbia signed its own side deal on Friday - to get extra cash for the drug-overdose crisis.

B.C. had been one of the most vocal critics of Ottawa's strategy to pick off provinces one by one with special agreements, rather than negotiate across-the-board health transfers with all the provinces.

But B.C. officials said Friday they eventually decided to settle the feud because they wanted to present a united Canadian front in the softwood lumber trade dispute with the U.S.

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8CN BC: Editorial: Methadone Is Life Or DeathSun, 19 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

If governments were really providing an urgent response to the fentanyl crisis, Correne Antrobus wouldn't be prowling Victoria's streets looking for a drug dealer to sell her daughter methadone. Antrobus shared her story in the Times Colonist this week. Her daughter is addicted to opiates, but wants to quit. When she asked her family for help, they sought medical support and a quick start on legal methadone that would stabilize her addiction, keep her safe and allow her to seek treatment.

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9CN BC: Column: Moses And The Missing MarijuanaSun, 19 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Moriarty, Wayne Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Inspired by Canada's finest storyteller, Moriarty shares a tale from his misspent youth

As a tribute to Stuart McLean, Canada's finest storyteller who passed away Wednesday, I'd like to tell you a story about the time, in a whim of desperation, I considered killing Moses, the family dog.

I was 16 the night my best friends Drew and Larry came to my house to smoke some marijuana.

The three of us were going to a dance that night. My home seemed like a safe place to toke before heading off to the gymnasium at Lord Byng Secondary, where, if fortune smiled upon me this evening, I would slow dance with the golden Ilona through the entirety of Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick.

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10 CN BC: Drug Reform Day Of Action PlannedThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:93 Added:02/21/2017

On Tuesday (February 21), exactly 914 feathers will hang from the trees in Oppenheimer Park.

They will symbolize the 914 people who died of an illicit-drug overdose in B.C. in 2016. The feathers will be carved out of wood and as many as possible will bear the name of somebody who died after taking drugs.

The Vancouver demonstration is part of a national day of action that is so far planned for seven cities across Canada. In B.C., events are also planned for Victoria and Nanaimo.

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11 CN BC: Kelowna Has B.C.As 3rd Highest Number Of Overdoses In JanuarySat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Peacock, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:73 Added:02/21/2017

IHA saw largest increase in rate of drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016, a 145 per cent jump, from 64 to 158 deaths

Kelowna had the third highest number of illicit drug overdose deaths among B.C. cities last month.

In January, there were eight drug overdose deaths in Kelowna, 10 deaths in the Okanagan and 18 deaths across Interior Health, according to a BC Coroners Service report released Friday.

The top two cities for drug overdose deaths in January were Vancouver with 45 deaths and Surrey with nine.

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12CN BC: Overdose Cases At Shelter All SurvivedSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Wilson, Carla Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Every one of the 26 people who overdosed on illicit drugs at Our Place in January survived, some treated with oxygen alone to keep them breathing.

As a result, they did not join the 116 people who died of drug overdoses in B.C. last month.

The 18 deaths recorded on Vancouver Island matched the high seen in November, and was up two from December, according to a report from the B.C. Coroners Service. Overall numbers in B.C. were down from a record high of 142 in December.

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13CN BC: Paper Castigated City's Dope MenaceSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mackie, John Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Vancouver World kept up steady stream of stories on evil of drugs

The evil of drugs has been a recurring theme for Vancouver newspapers since the city was founded in 1886. But few papers went as far as the Vancouver World's anti-dope campaign in January and February of 1922.

The tone of the campaign is summed up in an illustration by cartoonist Ernest LeMessurier on Feb. 18. A sharply dressed "dope trafficker" cowers before a cat o' nine tails whip being wielded by an arm labelled "public indignation." The title of the illustration is "The Cure."

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14 CN BC: RCMP Shut Down Pot Dispensary Next To DaycareThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC) Author:Bush, Chris Area:British Columbia Lines:74 Added:02/21/2017

Police cite parents' concerns over health and safety

Nanaimo Mounties have closed a marijuana dispensary that opened next door to a children's daycare centre.

Leaf Labs Medical Cannabis Services, at 679 Terminal Ave., was shut down Monday, three days after it opened, when police checked the business and allegedly observed evidence they believe contravened Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The dispensary was closed and secured until a search warrant was granted to search the premises.Police seized about 0.7 kilograms of marijuana.

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15CN BC: Four Applicants Eyeing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries InFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Comox Valley Echo (CN BC) Author:Briones, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

The Village of Cumberland has received four applications to operate a medical marijuana dispensary business.

Application packages for Temporary Use Permits were submitted to the village before the January 15 deadline.

Staff reviewed the applications for completeness and indicated each contained all the required information and details.

The applicants are Trugreen Solutions Inc owned by George Oliver, Cumberland Pot Pourri owned by Ian and Katherine Kelly, Mid Island Medicinals owned by the Waverly Hotel and Pub, and Trichome Collective owned by Marwayne Enterprises Ltd.

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16 CN BC: PUB LTE: Cities Should Act On MarijuanaSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Michaud, Julien Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:02/21/2017

Re: "Langford launches new bid to block marijuana dispensary," Feb. 15. I'm fairly certain jay-walking is still against the law. Is Langford Mayor Stew Young "mad as hell" that this is still going on, despite being illegal?

There has long been good reason to decriminalize marijuana, as Canadian drug laws arguably cause more harm than good. Our federal government, along with a great many voters, clearly agree with this.

Municipalities need to take responsibility and do what they know is right, with or without help from the federal government.

Julien Michaud

Brentwood Bay

[end]

17 CN BC: MLA Still Supports Legalizing Hard DrugsThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:112 Added:02/21/2017

In the late 1990s, Sam Sullivan, today the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, paid for a 20-year-old sex worker's heroin habit for a period of three weeks.

He was a city councillor at the time. The story was front-page news in 2005, when Sullivan made a successful run for mayor. During the campaign, he refused to apologize for helping the girl purchase drugs.

"I had become very angry with a society that would let this lovely young woman degrade herself because our morals wouldn't allow us to accept where she was and help her try to move past it without destroying her life in the process," Sullivan told the Vancouver Courier that year.

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18CN BC: First Pot-Shop Rezonings Headed To Public HearingFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Cleverley, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Victoria councillor criticizes first come, first served approach

The first of dozens of cannabis dispensary rezoning applications in Victoria is headed to public hearing, but consideration of another will wait.

City councillors decided Thursday to forward an application for Trees, at 546 Yates St., to public hearing, while deferring consideration of a second application from Pure Releaf, for its proposed dispensary at 510-512 Yates St. - less than half a block from the Trees outlet.

Approval of both outlets would be in violation of the city's cannabis dispensary rezoning policy, which mandates that storefront cannabis retailers must be at least 200 metres from each other.

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19CN BC: RCMP Again Swoop In On Langford Pot ShopThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Kate Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

City files injunction to block dispensary that was first shut the day after opening

West Shore RCMP have once again moved to shut down Langford's first and only pot shop, arresting two people and seizing marijuana on Wednesday.

Mounties executed a search warrant at Green Tree Medical Dispensary at 108-688 Granderson Rd.

"The storefront had illegally reopened its doors over the weekend contrary to municipal and federal regulations," said West Shore RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Berube.

No charges have been laid and Berube said the investigation is ongoing.

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20 CN BC: Mayor Calls For Drug Injection Rooms In All Government HotelsThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:149 Added:02/21/2017

The B.C. government owns more than 25 low-income hotels in community hit hardest by overdose drug deaths

Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling on the provincial government to set up drug injection rooms in all of the single-room-occupancy hotels it owns in the Downtown Eastside as another measure to prevent people from dying of a drug overdose.

The provincial government owns more than 25 hotels in the Downtown Eastside, where people are dying at an alarming rate of overdoses largely linked to the deadly synthetic narcotic fentanyl.

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21 CN BC: B.C. Supreme Court Ruling Gives Cities Authority To RegulateFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Bula, Frances Area:British Columbia Lines:127 Added:02/21/2017

Cities have the right to deny business licences to illegal marijuana dispensaries and to prohibit the cultivation or sale of marijuana through their zoning bylaws, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled.

The case is the latest development in what has become a patchwork of inconsistent rules and legal skirmishes as cities grapple with changing laws and an aggressive new marijuana industry.

While the sale of marijuana at storefronts, such as dispensaries, remains illegal, some cities such as Vancouver have moved to regulate them through business licences. Others, including Abbotsford, have remained determined to keep them outlawed.

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22 CN BC: Column: Good Luck Getting Marijuana Back Into A Plain PackageThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Slivinski, Ada Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:02/21/2017

As the feds prepare to legalize marijuana, the task force appointed to conceptualize legalization has now recommended the drug be sold in plain packaging.

I can't imagine this being implemented successfully in Vancouver. This city famously has more pot shops than Tim Hortons restaurants and from Point Grey's Wealth to Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture they all have unique brands designed to attract a particular clientele.

They are also all operating outside the law and have been - in some cases - for years. Now, the federal government wants to legalize pot and force the blooming industry to comply with their rules but just like you can't close Pandora's box once it's been opened, it will be extremely difficult to shove all the brands and businesses built around marijuana into one uniform, plain package.

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23CN BC: Langford Mayor Upset As Pot Dispensary ReopensTue, 14 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Reid, Michael D. Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/16/2017

Langford Mayor Stew Young says he's madder than hell that the municipality's first and only pot shop reopened on the weekend.

"I am not going to turn a blind eye to something illegal," said Young, reacting to news that Green Tree Medical Dispensary is up and running. The store, at 108-688 Granderson Rd., had been shut down by West Shore RCMP on Jan. 17, the day after it opened.

"It is still illegal and the police will do their job, but the federal government better get its act together, because I'm fed up with the top politicians in the country saying we're going to legalize pot and it's turned into a free-for-all in the meantime," said Young, adding it's up to West Shore RCMP to take action. "I will never go to a policeman and say: 'Do not uphold the law.' "

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24 CN BC: Westside To Rein In Pot ShopsTue, 14 Feb 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Seymour, Ron Area:British Columbia Lines:74 Added:02/16/2017

West Kelowna council set to consider bylaw that would restrict where medicinal marijuana can be grown, sold

It's high time to force the closure of pot shops in downtown Westbank, city and police officials say. A new bylaw intended to curb the proliferation of stores selling so-called medicinal marijuana will be considered today by West Kelowna council.

The proposed regulations set strict limits on where and how marijuana-growing businesses could operate in the future with the expected legalization of the drug.

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25CN BC: Mom Buys Street Drugs 'Like Common Criminal' To Aid AddictedTue, 14 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/16/2017

A Victoria mother said she was desperate when she took her daughter to buy "street" methadone after being told it would take two weeks to a month to get a proper prescription.

"To our dismay, we have an addicted daughter asking for help and we are forced to buy some street drugs like a common criminal to keep her going until we can get her some help," said Correne Antrobus in a letter to the Times Colonist. "We have been waiting for this opportunity to help our daughter before she overdoses and the window is very slight when an addict is asking for help."

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26CN BC: UBC Research Links Addiction And GeneticsTue, 14 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Shore, Randy Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/16/2017

Scientists engineer mice to resist cocaine's habit-forming qualities

Scientists at the University of B.C. have built a better mouse - one that is indifferent to cocaine.

Unlike normal mice, the genetically engineered rodents did not show addictive behaviour even after repeated injections of the narcotic over days, suggesting habitual drug use in humans may be a matter of genetics.

While the finding is unlikely to yield a pill that cures addiction any time soon, it could lead to a test that identifies who is at greatest risk of addiction and enable people to act on that knowledge, said Shernaz Bamji, the lead author of a study published Tuesday by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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27 CN BC: West Kelowna's Top Cop Says Pot Dispensaries Are IllegalWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Kelowna Capital News (CN BC) Author:Waters, Alistair Area:British Columbia Lines:60 Added:02/16/2017

West Kelowna's new top cop says marijuana dispensaries are illegal...period.

At the request of West Kelowna city staff, West Kelowna's new RCMP detachment commander has clarified the force's position related to marijuana dispensaries.

At a meeting with council Friday, a statement from staff-sergeant Lesli Roseberry was presented that indicated marijuana continues to be regulated as a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which the RCMP has an obligation to enforce.

"The RCMP is responsible for enforcing Canadian laws, as they stand today," said Roseberry in her statement. "Our communities expect that we will take enforcement action to meet this responsibility, and do so in an impartial and professional manner. There is no such thing as having a tolerance for marijuana dispensaries. Simply put, these dispensaries are illegal."

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28 CN BC: City Prohibits Marijuana, But Not Medical ClinicWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Northern View, The (CN BC) Author:Lough, Shannon Area:British Columbia Lines:89 Added:02/16/2017

Selling marijuana for medical or recreational purposes has been temporarily banned from the city - yet a cannabis clinic that would provide service to North Coast communities still has every intention of moving forward with opening its doors within the year.

On Feb. 6, after a public hearing that drew only three vocal residents, Prince Rupert city council passed the zoning bylaw amendment that prohibits the commercial sale and production of marijuana until Jan. 1, 2018.

This temporary prohibition, however, does not block the Medical Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. (MCRCI) from opening a site in the city. There was some confusion raised during the public hearing over whether or not the bylaw would allow for a medical marijuana dispensary that would offer support and information to users, and a variety of marijuana products on site rather than ordering online.

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29CN BC: How Victoria Plans To Vet Dozens Of ShopsWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Cleverley, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2017

The process of weeding out dozens of pot shops in Victoria could begin this week as the first two zoning applications for cannabis dispensaries come before city councillors for consideration.

Making the applications are two dispensaries in the 500 block of Yates Street - one already in operation and one proposed. Under the city's cannabis rezoning policies, storefront cannabis retailers must be at least 200 metres from each other, so one is bound to fail.

Mayor Lisa Helps said the city is essentially adopting a first-come, first-served policy.

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30CN BC: Langford Launches New Bid To Block Marijuana DispensaryWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2017

The City of Langford has filed a civil injunction to once again shut down Green Tree Medical Dispensary, continuing an effort to block pot shops looking to gain a foothold in the municipality.

"We have filed the civil action on behalf of the City of Langford and the legal action has commenced," Troy DeSouza, a lawyer at Dominion GovLaw LLP, told the Times Colonist on Tuesday.

DeSouza said bylaw enforcement officers plan to serve the injunction to the dispensary today.

The business has 21 days to respond and if it contests the injunction, the matter could end up before the courts.

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31 CN BC: Marijuana Could Contain Fentanyl: RCMPWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Rocky Mountain Goat News, The (CN BC) Author:Matthews, Evan Area:British Columbia Lines:110 Added:02/15/2017

When asked if fentanyl is the now biggest reason to fear recreational drugs, Valemount RCMP Officer, Chris Gallant said, "To answer the question simply, yes."

The Valemount Secondary School hosted a fentanyl forum to educate residents on what fentanyl is, what an overdose looks like and how to reverse the effects of an overdose. A similar presentation was given to students earlier in the day.

Principal Dan Kenkel emceed the forum and the panel consisted of the B.C. Ambulance Service's (BCAS), Dakota Stone, B.C. Emergency Health Services' (BCEHS) Community Paramedic, Jasmin Gasser, Northern Health Mental Health and Addictions Counselor, Heather Whalen, Northern Health Community Health Nurse, Bernita Nesjan, and RCMP Officer, Chris Gallant.

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32 CN BC: LTE: Don't Ask Public To Pay For Drugs For Addicts, ReaderFri, 10 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Blatter, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:02/14/2017

I'm offended by provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall's comments about giving drug addicts free drugs.

Drug addicts steal to support their habits and we taxpayers, who work hard for our money, and senior citizens who are suffering on low incomes are paying for this. It isn't free, it's our tax money! And, please, I never want to hear that term, "recreational drugs." Nobody should be using unprescribed drugs and if more start dying over it the word might get out that drugs are not the thing to do!

It's time to stop making excuses and time to start looking at supporting those who work hard all their lives, abide by the rules and pay their taxes - law-abiding citizens.

Bill Blatter, Langley

[end]

33 CN BC: LTE: Right Assessment But Wrong ReasonFri, 10 Feb 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Thomas, John D. Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:02/14/2017

Dear Editor: Weeks ago a writer from Victoria correctly fingered the BC government as responsible for the escalating drug overdose deaths. Right assessment, wrong reason.

The heroin deaths do not result from insufficient support to addicts. Conversely, the deaths result, ultimately, from the ever increasing, if unintended, provincial endorsement of this self-destructive behaviour. The patronizing acceptance of this aberration with the milksop pronouncements by Interior Heath officials and Minister Terry Lake serve only to justify and legitimatize this suicidal behaviour.

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34 CN BC: LTE: Mixed Messages On Drugs Imperils KidsSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Estey, Richard D. Area:British Columbia Lines:41 Added:02/14/2017

Re: No easy answer to addiction, letters, Feb. 4; and Get addicts off drugs, editorial, Jan. 28.

So B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake takes "great exception" to The Sun's editorial assertion that harm reduction policies "send the message that it's OK to be a drug addict." Unfortunately, his subsequent discussion is a reiteration of the rationale for harm reduction, not a refutation of The Sun's assertion.

Any state action that makes it easier to belong to the drug culture cannot but send a message that is at odds with the deadly danger there. Many claim irrefutable evidence of a net benefit in harm-reduction initiatives, but none of their studies have considered the softening of public attitude pointed out by The Sun.

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35 CN BC: PUB LTE: Opioid Addiction Treatment Should Be Made A PriorityThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:MacDonald, Scott Area:British Columbia Lines:33 Added:02/14/2017

Gordon Clark's Feb. 6 column contains two errors: He assumes that we can 1) enforce or 2) educate our way out of this opioid crisis. Such assumptions have been made for decades and have perpetuated the opioid epidemic.

The treatment recommendations being advocated today were called for in Canada in the early 1970s and again in the '90s, but were ignored. We mustn't miss another opportunity, particularly in the midst of the current crisis. Treatments we advocate now have worked in Europe and they can work in North America. We just need the will.

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36 CN BC: 'Significant' Rise In Region Overdose DeathsFri, 10 Feb 2017
Source:Campbell River Mirror (CN BC) Author:Douglas, Kristen Area:British Columbia Lines:132 Added:02/14/2017

Illicit drug overdoses are claiming lives at rates never seen before, a trend described by the Island's medical health officer as heart breaking.

"Unfortunately it's not going away and it's not going away any time soon," Charmaine Enns, Island Health's chief medical health officer, told city council at its Monday night meeting.

In fact, statistics show that fatal overdose rates are not only not going away, but they're on the rise.

"We were averaging two opioid overdose deaths a day in the province (in 2016)," Enns said. "For the month of December we were having an average of four deaths a day."

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37 CN BC: LTE: More Important Priorities Than Free HeroinThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Jamieson, N. F. Area:British Columbia Lines:30 Added:02/11/2017

Re: "Is free heroin the best route?" editorial, Feb. 7.

Most certainly. After free needles are provided to citizens with diabetes, everyone gets free legal drugs that are prescribed by physicians, B.C. parks are properly funded, citizens on disability get drugs free, the E&N is fully funded so passenger trains again run, a Malahat bypass is built, highways are properly maintained, ferries are free for everyone who lives on Vancouver Island, etc.

Until then, no free heroin should even be considered. People need to be responsible for the consequences of their actions.

N.F. Jamieson

Campbell River

[end]

38CN BC: Column: We Need To Find Way To Stop Overdose DeathsThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Gibson, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2017

Making drugs illegal and unsafe has fuelled the toll, says Gordon Gibson.

Why do we have laws which guaranteed that hundreds of British Columbians committed involuntary suicide last year - unwisely but also unintentionally killing themselves by injecting unknown substances? Legally assisted death is highly controlled, and yet we let drug deaths run rampant.

By contrast, any adult can go to a store and buy alcohol of known potency and lawfully drink all day.

The users of other recreational drugs cannot obtain safe supplies of known potency to do the same thing. They have to play the Russian roulette of unknown chemicals. Yes, they "win" most of the time (if being wasted without dying fits that description), but they lose all too often. And then they die, recently from fentanyl and who knows what next.

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39 CN BC: Overdose Prevention Units To Open By End Of MarchThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Peacock, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:50 Added:02/11/2017

In response to the growing drug overdose problem, Interior Health will establish a mobile overdose prevention unit in Kelowna this spring.

In January, IH announced its plan to apply for an exemption from Health Canada to operate a mobile supervised injection site.

Unlike a supervised injection site, the mobile prevention unit will focus on helping people who have overdosed or are at risk of an overdose, and does not require an exemption from Health Canada.

"The mobile units are expected to be operational by the end of March 2017," said Dr. Trevor Corneil, chief medical officer with Interior Health, in a report to the IH board this week.

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40 CN BC: PUB LTE: Speed Up Legal Access To CannabisThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC) Author:Barr, Glenda Area:British Columbia Lines:43 Added:02/10/2017

I find our government's action in easing access to alcohol surprising, especially in consideration of the extreme caution shown in regard to providing legal access to cannabis.

Alcohol causes many deaths each year, yet regulations regarding use continue to be eased. Although we have been promised legally regulated access to cannabis, the process is extremely cumbersome and slow.

People continue to be arrested, gaining life-impairing criminal records, as we wait for the fulfillment of the promise to legalize.

Cannabis has never caused an overdose death and has many medicinal benefits, while we have a good awareness of many physical and social harms caused by the widespread abuse of alcohol. Our current situation, in which cannabis availability for non-medical use is left in the hands of the illegal market, provides easy access to minors and no protocols to assure the safety of the product.

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41 CN BC: Mobile Outreach On The WayThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Kelowna Capital News (CN BC) Author:Michaels, Kathy Area:British Columbia Lines:90 Added:02/10/2017

Long before a mobile injection site is approved by Health Canada, Kelowna will see a rollingoutreach unit open its doors to drug users.

"We will move ahead with establishing mobile units to provide other types of services, such as outreach, opioid agonist therapy, primary care nursing and wound care," said Dr. Trevor Corneil,chief medical officer with Interior Health, explaining that these services do not need to be sanctioned by the feds.

"Those types of things will prepare us well for when an approval is granted by Health Canada."

[continues 486 words]

42 CN BC: Pemberton Approves Restricting Medical Marijuana DispensariesThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Pique Newsmagazine (CN BC) Author:Mitges, Lynn Area:British Columbia Lines:84 Added:02/10/2017

Council agrees to Temporary Use Permit option

Vllage of Pemberton (VOP) council, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, gave third and final reading to its zoning amendment regarding medical marijuana dispensaries. The bylaw was approved at first and second readings in January.

The amendment, based on advice from VOP solicitors, defines and prohibits marijuana operations. The amendment has come up several times over the past few months as SWED Society applied to the VOP to permit a medical marijuana dispensary, and was the subject of a packed public meeting a week earlier in which most attendees voiced approval to allow such dispensaries.

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43 CN BC: Editorial: More Aid Welcome On OpiodsThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Langley Advance (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:52 Added:02/10/2017

The provincial government announced a boost in funding this week for one of the organizations trying to aid addicts.

Health Minister Terry Lake announced $5 million of extra funding for the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and an additional $1.9 million for ongoing operations funding.

It's that last that will be key going forward.

The BCCSU has developed new clinical treatment guidelines for opioid addicts, to go into effect later this spring. The use of opioids - heroin and related prescription drugs - has been the gateway for drug dealers to mix fentanyl and carfentanil into their product. Even tiny doses of fentanyl can prove fatal, and hundreds of addicts and casual drug users have died in the last year in B.C.

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44CN BC: Editorial: Is Free Heroin The Best Route?Tue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is all temporary.

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

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

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

[continues 549 words]

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

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

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

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

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

[continues 189 words]

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

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

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

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

[continues 367 words]

50CN BC: Column: Less Enabling Needed To Battle B.C.'s Drug CrisisMon, 06 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

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

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

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