I have not heard any reporting on what type of drug education our
children are receiving in schools. Considering the high number of
deaths due to drug overdoses just this year alone, that is 500 in B.C.
in the last three months, I would like to know if the schools have any
drug prevention education and if so, what is the message?
Recently the granddaughter of a friend of mine who is in Grade 7
stated that her teacher said, "if you're going to do drugs, do it safely"
[continues 256 words]
Letter writer Cristina Adam asserted that abstinence-based drug education is
the best, adding that "in no uncertain terms there is NO way to take drugs
safely." ("Letter: Say no to drugs the best message," May 3)
Alas, the "drug abuse resistance education" and "Just say 'no'"
messaging Adam recalls from her youth was found to be ineffective, if
not counter-productive. DARE graduates and those exposed to such
simplistic messaging were actually more likely to experiment with drugs.
While nothing in life is absolutely safe, some drugs, some means of
ingestion and some situations are more hazardous than others. For
example, cannabis is safer than alcohol, vaping is safer than smoking
and having a beer at home after work or school is safer than drinking
[continues 128 words]
A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying
all product legally
B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in
purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a
recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the
battle over bud.
A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent
of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months
have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That's an
18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.
[continues 176 words]
It is indeed sweet victory to see the B.C. Liquor Corp. selling
In the B.C. election of 2001, I, as a B.C. Marijuana Party candidate,
was arrested at the behest of the Victoria Hillside liquor store for
campaigning for legal cannabis.
Some advice about marketing would be in order.
As a Realtor of 30 years, I can offer some pointers. Analyze the
prevailing market and emulate it. At present, in the "friends" market,
you can smell before you buy. If you don't like it, you can bring it
[continues 90 words]
Contrary to Joe Fries' editorial "Abstinence works best" (Courier,
Aug. 16), Rhode Island treats addicted prison inmates with methadone,
buprenorphine and naltrexone. Like methadone, buprenorphine is an
opioid agonist, or replacement opioid. Naltrexone is an opioid
antagonist that blocks opioid receptors.
The benefits of opioid substitution therapy are well-established, in
and out of prison. It reduces crime, prevents overdoses and the spread
of infectious diseases, denies profits to criminal gangs, allows
addicted individuals to function normally within their families, jobs,
and communities, and gets them off the hamster wheel of raising money
by hook or by crook to pay criminal gangs for illicit opioids of
unknown potency and purity.
[continues 176 words]
More than half of all Canadians believe drug treatment should focus on
abstinence, rather than opioid replacement therapies, according to
poll results released this week.
Research Co. found 57% of those surveyed were in favour of programs
that aim to get people off drugs entirely, rather than programs that
supply people with free dope to help keep them healthy and out of trouble.
It's unclear from the results if people's attitudes towards drug
treatment are shifting, but it's clear that a majority of the
population supports an approach that doesn't enable addicts.
[continues 235 words]
Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column,
Lawrie McFarlane's verdict is premature. Legal regulation in Canada
isn't analogous to legalization in Colorado, for among other reasons,
Colorado allows advertising and initially allowed edibles and extracts
with inadequate labelling, packaging and dose limitations.
Yes, emergency-room visits from adverse reactions spiked in Colorado
following legalization, but this was due in part to inexperienced
tourists from prohibitionist states, and consumers feeling more
inclined to seek help once they no longer feared arrest. Panicked
patients are typically discharged (the wiser) on the same day, with no
lasting ill effects. Such visits remain far less common and severe
than visits related to alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco.
[continues 101 words]
Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column,
In his opinion piece on cannabis legalization, Lawrie McFarlane cites
a short-term increase in the numbers of adolescents visiting emergency
rooms for cannabis in Colorado - a jurisdiction with a commercialized
approach to cannabis legalization - as evidence that Canada's much
more restrictive public health-oriented approach to legalization has
However, as scientists who have carefully considered how to best
measure the public-health impacts of cannabis legalization, we would
suggest a thorough and ongoing analysis of Canadian data is needed to
understand the effects of the new regulatory landscape. Although
cannabis-related hospital visits should be a priority, we also need to
ask important questions about underlying causes: if we see an
increase, how much is due to increasing use among youth, and how much
could be related to shifting trends in products/modes of
administration (e.g., a shift towards high-THC concentrates, increased
[continues 114 words]
It's becoming increasingly obvious that legalizing marijuana
consumption was a colossal public-health blunder.
A good part of the evidence comes from south of the border, where
several states legalized pot much earlier than Canada. This has
allowed time for robust scientific follow-up - follow-up that is
beginning to reveal a frightening picture.
Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012, and recreational use in
2014. One result is that emergency hospital visits by adolescents with
marijuana-related symptoms have jumped from 84 a year in the pre-legal
era, to 500 in 2018.
[continues 557 words]
VICTORIA - B.C.'s largest First Nation is accusing the provincial
government of stalling its application for a retail cannabis licence
while it races to open its own public store in the community's prime
The Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island are in the sixth month of
trying to get approval for two retail store licences from the
provincial government. As the Cowichan wrestle with a wall of red
tape, and are repeatedly rejected for nation-to-nation talks with the
province, the B.C. government is competing against the First Nation
for the municipal rights to open a store in the community's largest
[continues 715 words]
VICTORIA - The economic cost of substance use in Canada in 2014 was
$38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian, says a report
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction partnered with the
Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to examine the data and
estimate the harms of substance use based on health, justice, lost
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[continues 258 words]
The costs and benefits of cannabis and cannabis policies are difficult
to calculate, but cannabis legalization will remove many impediments
A recent study finding an association between chronic cannabis use by
young people and diminished life outcomes acknowledged "while we
controlled for multiple potential confounds, it is possible that there
are other explanatory mechanisms that have not been accounted for ...
in the current study."
Oddly, one of the confounds the study neglected to control for is the
self-medication of emotional and psychological problems such as ADHD
and PTSD, which typically stem from childhood trauma: abuse, neglect,
abandonment or, in some cases perhaps, an emotionally unavailable father.
[continues 86 words]
Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and
her B.C. counterpart David Eby
Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves
and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all
grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.
Villano doesn't want that to change when marijuana is legalized later
this year, and she's among the proponents of local craft cannabis who
are pushing the federal and provincial governments to ensure its survival.
[continues 600 words]
Some time this summer, marijuana will be legal in Canada. It's
already legal in Washington state and has been for four years.
But Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth warned this week that
there's a significant problem looming at the border crossing,
because it's still going to be illegal there.
It makes no sense whatsoever, but the U.S. federal government controls
the border crossing, and marijuana is still nominally illegal in the
"People [meaning, cannabis users] are going to naturally assume, on
either side of the border, that they cross back and forth because
it's legal in each jurisdiction,a" told the house. "But the
reality is it will not be legal at that federal border crossing."
[continues 626 words]
The Liberal Party of Canada has voted in favour of removing criminal
penalties for the personal possession of drugs.
It's one of a number of policies that the party selected as
priorities at a convention in Halifax on Saturday (April 21).
Members also voted in favour of universal pharmacare, decriminalizing
consensual sex work, and expanding medicare to cover mental-health
A total of 15 policies were selected to become official party
However, a policy's status as a party priority does not mean that
party leaders have to include it in the document where it really
counts: the party's campaign platform for the next federal election.
[continues 495 words]
VANCOUVER - A government prohibition against mixing cannabis and
caffeine makes little sense, say some research scientists. There is
only speculation that the combination might pose a risk.
The practice, so common in the legendary pot capital of Amsterdam that
cannabis dispensaries are called "coffee shops," appears unlikely to
be coming to Canada anytime soon.
"It seems like the overriding philosophy for a lot of this is: ban
anything that might be a concern," said M-J Milloy, research scientist
with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use. "Then it's easier to un-ban
rather than trying to do it the other way around."
[continues 591 words]
On the eve of 4/20, CBC is hosting a panel to give kids and parents
the information they need before anyone tokes up.
Titled 4/19, the free evening event at Vancouver Technical secondary
hosted by CBC's Gloria Macarenko is aimed at informing teenagers and
their parents about the medical, social and legal impacts of cannabis
use for youth, with legalization in sight.
Experts range from youth workers and police officers to lawyers and
scientists, covering all aspects of this hazy issue.
[continues 410 words]
VANCOUVER - Vancouver city councillors agreed the city's approach to
harm reduction may appears extreme to those who haven't experienced
the overdose crisis' impacts first-hand.
But Coun. Hector Bremner told StarMetro he thinks those skeptical of
harm reduction simply haven't had an opportunity to learn how it
"The average person going about their day to day life, worrying about
their family and putting food on their table is not necessarily deeply
involved in these issues," Bremner said. "And so they go with what
they feel, or what they know, or what's the societal norm.
[continues 440 words]
"The 4/20 marijuana event will take place again this year in Sunset
Beach Park, against the wishes of the elected park board
commissioners. The board continues to have significant concerns about
the event's impact on residents, the park and facilities that serve
"The park board does not believe this event is an appropriate use of
park space because it violates our no smoking by-laws and has negative
consequences for park users and infrastructure. The Board has declined
to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria
for issuing a special event permit.
[continues 222 words]
Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street
As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent
studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable
options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing
long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.
An analysis of opioid prescriptions in the U.S.published on Monday by
the American Medical Association showed a significant decrease in
opioid prescriptions in states that have adopted some sort of cannabis
legislation. Using data from 2010 to 2015, the analysis counted 3.7
million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed in states that allow
weed dispensaries, while states that allow only home cultivation saw a
decrease of 1.8 million daily prescribed doses.
[continues 715 words]