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1 CN BC: Column: How Could A Spiritual Guru Die From Street Drugs?Mon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Proulx, Shaun Area:British Columbia Lines:139 Added:08/22/2017

Last month, you could hear the collective global gasp when news broke that eminent Zen Buddhist Michael Stone had passed away in Victoria, B.C. The shock was a natural reaction to the unexpected death of a beloved force of nature, a powerful communicator who, through his ability to make ancient spiritual ideas fresh and relevant, helped improve the lives of countless people around the world.

Stone left behind a wife and two children - with another on the way - and would have celebrated his 43rd birthday this past Saturday. But what also caused thousands of jaws to drop from the news was the Stone's cause of death: the charismatic, world-renowned and respected yoga/meditation/mindfulness expert, author, and speaker - who founded the Centre of Gravity in Toronto-died after OD-ing on street drugs.

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2 CN BC: LTE: Consumption Sites Not About WellnessSun, 20 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Verbrugge, Isolde Area:British Columbia Lines:45 Added:08/22/2017

Re: "Consumption sites save lives," editorial, Aug. 9.

Drug addiction is one of many problematic symptoms seen in our society today due to unfulfilled basic human needs such as love, community and holistic wellness.

It is shameful to call a supervised drug-injection site a "health and wellness centre." As a health and wellness professional, I ask: How does providing a place for suffering, vulnerable persons to poison themselves have anything to do with health or wellness?

Wellness is the "active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life," a "positive approach to living." Health is defined as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

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3 CN BC: PUB LTE: Doctor Has It WrongThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:British Columbia Lines:43 Added:08/19/2017

Dr. Michael O'Malley asserted that "incidence of psychosis has already been documented by some of the states in the U.S., who rushed to legalization of marijuana." ("Pot stance off-base," Letters, Aug. 16).

There is no evidence that cannabis usage rates have gone up in the U.S. states that have legalized cannabis, much less that rates of psychosis have increased.

There is some evidence that cannabis strains that are high in THC but low in the anti-psychotic cannabinoid CBD, as well as some important terpenes, may trigger psychosis in minors so predisposed. Unfortunately, black market cultivators and dealers prefer such strains and they do not require proof of age.

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4 CN BC: PUB LTE: We Want Our PotFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Lipskis, Peter Area:British Columbia Lines:27 Added:08/19/2017

Your front-page article about "scofflaw" cannabis retailers fails to acknowledge the enormous consumer demand, without which the proliferation of marijuana shops wouldn't be possible.

Like thousands of fellow cannabis enthusiasts who have had to go to people's apartments for decades to buy weed, I welcome the refreshing change of being able to shop at decent retail outlets.

In this case, the people are way ahead of all three levels of government, who still don't have a clue about how they're going to regulate and sell the stuff.

Peter Lipskis, Vancouver

[end]

5 CN BC: Health Authority Issues New Opioid PlanThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:109 Added:08/19/2017

The BC Centre for Disease Control issued a bold set of recommendations to address the province's unparalleled overdose crisis that includes providing drug users with clean opioids to take home and inject or allowing them to grow their own opium.

The recommendations, if adopted, would push British Columbia closer to essentially legalizing and regulating the use of drugs beyond marijuana - something many of the province's top drug policy and public-health experts have called for. It has taken on a new urgency, they say, with fentanyl's domination of the illicit drug supply, which has led to a dramatic surge in overdose deaths.

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6 CN BC: LTE: Pot Stance Off-BaseWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:O'Malley, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:36 Added:08/17/2017

I am disappointed and alarmed at the lack of balance in the editor's recent editorial on marijuana in the Citizen. He ignores the science that has clearly documented the neurotoxic effects of marijuana in the developing brain of the teenager.

Having worked here in Prince George as a family doctor for 31 years and since then for nine years as a G.P. psychiatrist I see the destruction that this drug is responsible for when it sparks psychoses in some individuals. The incidence of this condition will rise with legalization of this drug. This rise in the incidence of psychosis has already been documented by some of the states in the U.S., who rushed to legalization of marijuana.

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7CN BC: Blunt Defiance By Pot-Shop ScofflawsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

Marijuana dispensaries owe more than $1 million in unpaid tickets

The value of unpaid tickets issued to Vancouver's rogue pot shops is high and only getting higher, recently passing the $1 million mark.

While Vancouver continues to crack down on scofflaw dispensaries, the latest numbers show they're having limited success: as of this week, 64 dispensaries were operating without a licence compared to 31 working within the city's licensing system, while the city had issued 2,024 tickets to dispensaries with 406 tickets (or 20 per cent) paid.

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8 CN BC: Column: We Humans Can Even Turn Antidotes Into AddictionsTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Taylor, Jim Area:British Columbia Lines:121 Added:08/17/2017

B.C. is heading for another record year for fentanyl overdose deaths. Despite making Naloxone antidote kits widely available, the death rate is up 88 per cent over last year, which was also a record year.

Last year, according to figures available online, B.C. had 935 deaths from drug overdoses. This year, the province had 780 deaths by the end of June. If the rate continues, the province will hit 1,400 deaths by the end of the year.

But in the welter of data, I find two facts interesting.

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9 CN BC: Column: We Can Even Turn Antidotes Into AddictionsTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Taylor, Jim Area:British Columbia Lines:90 Added:08/17/2017

B.C. is heading for another record year for fentanyl overdose deaths. Despite making Naloxone antidote kits widely available, the death rate is up 88 per cent over last year, which was also a record year.

Last year, according to figures available online, B.C. had 935 deaths from drug overdoses. This year, the province had 780 deaths by the end of June. If the rate continues, the province will hit 1,400 deaths by the end of the year.

But in the welter of data, I find two facts interesting.

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10 CN BC: RCMP Constable Inspired Cheech And Chong CharacterMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hawthorn, Tom Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:08/15/2017

Abe Snidanko, the relentless narcotics officer who was feared by the scourge of Vancouver's hippies and lampooned by the stoner comedy duo of Cheech and Chong, has died. He was 79.

Constable Snidanko's name became a byword for the conflict between the establishment, including mayor Tom Campbell, and a burgeoning counterculture scene in the West Coast city.

Musician and marijuana aficionado Tommy Chong became familiar with the officer's reputation in Vancouver in the late 1960s. With comedic partner Richard (Cheech) Marin, he created the character Sgt. Stadanko (sometimes written Stedenko), a caricatured foil to good-natured hippies who were seeking only to get high. The character was portrayed to outrageous effect by a flat-topped Stacy Keach in the smash 1978 comedy Up in Smoke.

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11CN BC: OPED: Leadership On Drugs Desperately NeededMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:McPhie, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Action, not words, is what we need to fix problem writes Michael McPhie.

Like most of us in B.C. over the past few months my attention has been focused on the goings on in Victoria and, more recently, the significant effect from the wildfires.

I have to commend both the province and the federal government for their response to the wildfire situation. It has really been quite extraordinary and I'm sure has saved many homes and ultimately lives. It clearly demonstrates what is possible when focus and resources are provided in a timely manner.

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12 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalized Drugs Are Best Way To Save LivesSun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Randell, Alan Area:British Columbia Lines:40 Added:08/15/2017

Re: "Consumption sites save lives," editorial, Aug. 9.

The answer to ending the fentanyl crisis was given in the editorial, but even as it quoted the words from Jack Phillips of the Society of Illicit Drug Users, it seemed to be oblivious to the message. The editorial quoted his words: "As long as people are using crap drugs, they will overdose and continue to die."

Phillips might well have continued to say that the best way to ensure that users have access to safe drugs is to put an end to drug prohibition and legalize all recreational drugs, but perhaps that was considered too radical for the tender souls at the Times Colonist editorial department.

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13 CN BC: LTE: Calls Growing To Curb Deadly Violence In Lower MainlandFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Gunson, Steve Area:British Columbia Lines:30 Added:08/15/2017

Re: Surrey on edge after trio of shootings, Aug. 10

It doesn't take a genius to figure out the root cause of the deadly violence happening in the Lower Mainland is control of the illegal drug trade. Control, fear and retaliation are all part of this nasty business.

What is even more disturbing is the family and friends of these thugs know about their criminal activity. B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth is correct in saying, "Parents and family members have the information and need to come forward."

Until the community starts addressing the root causes, the violence will continue.

Steve Gunson, Abbotsford

[end]

14CN BC: Another Dispensary Breach, And Still No Pot LawFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Sensitive patient data supplied to a Vancouver cannabis dispensary has been either mishandled or - according to the shop's owner - stolen, a situation that again highlights the confusion over the regulation of retail pot.

Most people in weed-friendly Vancouver, it seems, don't have a problem with dispensaries. A Nanos poll of Vancouverites last year found only 14 per cent supported banning medical dispensaries.

But the city's decision to take the lead in Canada by licensing a still-illegal industry has contributed to a regulatory haze where many in Vancouver - including cannabis users and non-consumers alike, and even those involved in the weed business - have expressed confusion about the state of affairs while Canadians await expected federal legislation to legalize nonmedicinal marijuana.

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15 CN BC: Weemedical Society Defends Marijuana SalesThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Latkowski, Barbara Area:British Columbia Lines:85 Added:08/15/2017

In light of two recent arrests involving what Prince George RCMP are referring to as an "illegal storefront business," members of a provincial marijuana advocacy group are not about to give up.

"Prince George has a fair population and lots of people who do physical work and require pain relief," said MayJoan Liu, director of the WeeMedical Society.

"We are all people. Everyone has aches and pains. Why should someone have to travel all the way to Vancouver to find pain relief?"

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16 CN BC: Editorial: What's The Point Of Pot Arrests?Thu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:128 Added:08/15/2017

Part one of two

RCMP are still making pot arrests, in Prince George, in 2017, less than a year before marijuana becomes legal in Canada.

It'd be funny if it wasn't so silly.

Police are so backward on pot that their press releases still spell it as "marihuana," which is how it's spelled in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the basis for the latest local charges.

Maybe they should pronounce it the way they spell it? Now that might be funny.

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17CN BC: Hippie Nemesis Snidanko, Feared In A60s, Dead At 79Thu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mackie, John Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

In the 1960s, the name Abe Snidanko sent chills up the spine of every hippie in Vancouver. Snidanko worked undercover with the RCMP drug squad and busted longhairs for pot and other drugs.

Snidanko's fame went international when former Vancouverite Tommy Chong used him as the inspiration for Sgt. Stadanko, the opening track on Cheech and Chong's 1973 comedy album Los Cochinos.

The fictional Sgt. Stadanko also appeared in the Cheech and Chong films Up in Smoke and Nice Dreams. But what the real Sgt. Snidanko thought about his fictional counterpart is unknown - he declined interviews.

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18 CN BC: Editorial: Pot's March To RespectabilityFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:126 Added:08/15/2017

Part two of two

Marijuana is like Pink Floyd.

The English group remains hugely popular. A cover band played Prince George earlier this year, sold out the Playhouse and earned a standing ovation at the end. Former Floyd man Roger Waters is currently touring the biggest arena venues in North America, mixing in a few new songs with the Floyd classics.

Not bad for a band that except for two songs - Another Brick In The Wall and Money - had little commercial radio presence in their heyday. Unlike Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and the Eagles, who poured out radio-friendly four-minute classics at will during the 1970s, the Floyd released dense concept albums with songs more than 10 minutes long, odd time signatures and lengthy instrumental passages.

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19 CN BC: B.C. Officials Eye Portugal's Drug PolicyThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:British Columbia Lines:102 Added:08/14/2017

Canadian health authorities, including the province's health officer, say European country's model could help combat opioid crisis

Canadian health-care experts, including British Columbia's provincial health officer, want the federal government to strongly consider Portugal's approach to drug policy, including the decriminalization of personal possession.

Portugal's model could benefit British Columbia, Perry Kendall said, noting his province has seen increased overdose deaths from illicitly produced fentanyl - a problem moving across Canada.

Portugal did not decriminalize all drugs in all circumstances, he said, noting the country's approach removes the application of criminal law on personal possession for limited amounts while offering education and social supports.

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20CN BC: Editorial: Consumption Sites Save LivesWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2017

Victoria will get its first supervised consumption site for illicit drug users, another piece in the puzzle as we struggle to control a crisis that has killed more than 1,700 people since 2016. The site won't make fentanyl go away, and it won't solve the problems that lead people to drug addiction, but it will save lives. And we can hope that at least some of those saved lives will be guided to treatment.

Health Canada approved the project last week. The site, which is expected to open in about a year, will be at 941 Pandora Ave. and will be called the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre.

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21CN BC: OPED: How To Stem Overdose CasesSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Tupper, Kenneth Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2017

Quality checks of illicit drugs is one way, writes Kenneth Tupper.

In recent years across B.C., a public-health tragedy has resulted in thousands of preventable deaths from street drugs containing powerful opioids such as fentanyl or its analogs.

Toxicity from adulteration has occurred not just in the heroin supply, but also in stimulants, club drugs and counterfeit pills. Border agents and police have tried to reduce or disrupt the supply, but they have had little success in stemming the tide of illicit drug importation and consequent deaths.

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22 CN BC: Starting A Dialogue About Youth Drug AbuseWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Lake Country Calendar (CN BC) Author:Gerding, Barry Area:British Columbia Lines:71 Added:08/09/2017

Online survey results to be discussed at Kelowna forum

An Okanagan drug treatment agency is heading up a conversation about drug abuse among Central Okanagan youth.

The Bridge Youth &Family Services in Kelowna, with support from the children and youth mental health and substance use local action team, want to initiate a dialogue about how to best serve young people who're experimenting with or are addicted to drugs.

Jamie McGregor, program coordinator for youth detox and adult supported recovery, said problematic substance abuse has been an ongoing concern in the Central Okanagan now for decades, noting that last year 319 people under the age of 29 died of an opioid overdose in B.C.

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23 CN BC: First Supervised Consumption Site To Open Next YearWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wong, Kendra Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:08/09/2017

Dr. Richard Stanwick has been waiting a long time to see the opening of Victoria's first supervised consumption site.

Now after more than 11 years, that dream is becoming a reality.

Health Canada approved Island Health's application las week for a supervised consumption site at 941 Pandora Ave., to be named the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre.

The site will offer integrated health services including mental health counselling, a nursing clinic and links to addiction treatment programs.

"This is going to save lives … If you think of a hub with many spokes, this is but one component that we're adding in terms of trying to address the opioid crisis," said Stanwick, Island Health's chief medical officer.

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24 CN BC: Drug Dealers Beware: RCMPWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Peace Arch News (CN BC) Author:Hinks, Aaron Area:British Columbia Lines:48 Added:08/09/2017

White Rock officers cracking down on drug trafficking

White Rock RCMP have a stern message for those who peddle drugs in the city.

"If you deal drugs in White Rock you are not welcome here. Prepare to be arrested. We will not tolerate the misery and pain you are bringing into the community," White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Daryl Creighton said in an emailed statement Friday afternoon.

The news release comes on the heels of "significant" street level drug seizures and arrests in White Rock.

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25 CN BC: Editorial: Losing The War On DrugsTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Miller, James Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:08/08/2017

Send addicts immediately to treatment; bust dealers

Holiday Mondays are ordinarily a quiet time to work around The Herald office, especially early in the morning. That wasn't the case yesterday as a a Good Samaratan was greeted in our back alley by a woman passed out, looking nearly dead, as a result of what appeared to be a drug overdose.

I pulled in a few minutes afterward, having been passed on Winnipeg Street by an ambulance.

A 911 call and five emergency personnel responded, reviving the woman before taking her away voluntarily, presumably to the hospital for treatment.

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26 CN BC: B.C. Eyes Patterns In Opioid CrisisTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:101 Added:08/08/2017

Province's new plan to fight overdose deaths requires coroners to log extensive information on victims

A new mandate in British Columbia to collect comprehensive information on all fatal overdose victims aims to provide a fulsome look at why people use illicit drugs - from past medical issues to economic status - - to help curb problematic drug use and prevent overdose deaths.

The BC Coroners Service's new Unintentional Drug Overdose Protocol requires coroners to fill out an 11-page document for every person who dies of a suspected overdose. The data gathering is the most ambitious in the country. Last week, B.C. released data showing 780 people died of opioid overdoses between January and June this year. The province has been the hardest hit by the opioid crisis that is rapidly spreading across Canada.

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27 CN BC: Technology Growing Problem For Okanagan School DistrictTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Fries, Joe Area:British Columbia Lines:83 Added:08/08/2017

Drugs top reason for student suspensions in Okanagan Skaha, but suspensions due to threats over social media on rise

Certainly with the proliferation of cellphone use, we have had to ensure students understand what appropriate use of technology looks like. Todd Manuel

Inappropriate use of technology is now the second-most common reason for student suspensions in the Okanagan Skaha School District.

Seven such suspensions were handed down during the 2016-17 session, compared to just two in the previous three years combined, according to data the Herald obtained from the school district in response to a freedom-of-information request.

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28 CN BC: Hard-Hit Communities Look To Legal Cannabis For JobMon, 07 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Kane, Laura Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:08/07/2017

In a tree-nestled First Nation community on Vancouver Island, forestry and farming used to be the major industries that kept the economy humming and put food on families' tables.

But members of the Cowichan Tribes, like people from so many small and rural towns in Canada, have seen jobs driven elsewhere through dramatic changes to those sectors.

So when a medical-marijuana company moved next door, Chief William Seymour saw an opportunity for his members to get good jobs and stay in the area.

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29CN BC: Fentanyl Blamed For Spike Of 88 Per Cent In Deaths FromSun, 06 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Johnston, Patrick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/06/2017

Fewer people died in the province of drug overdoses in June than in earlier months this year, but the death rate continues to be far higher than last year.

According to the B.C. Coroners Service, 780 deaths so far this year can be attributed to overdosing on illicit drugs. That's up 88 per cent from the same period a year ago, when there were 414 deaths.

In total, there were 978 overdoses deaths in B.C. last year.

The scale of the crisis becomes clearer in statistics reported by the city of Vancouver, which suggest the number of overdoses that end in death are a drop in the bucket when counting total overdoses.

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30CN BC: Gang Violence The Top Priority For Province's New SolicitorMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bolan, Kim Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2017

B.C.'s new solicitor general wants to review the province's anti-gang programs to see if changes are needed to more effectively battle brazen gun violence.

Mike Farnworth, the NDP's longtime critic of the public safety portfolio, told Postmedia News the public is understandably concerned by the ongoing violence.

In recent weeks, there have been several shootings in Surrey, Abbotsford and Vancouver, as well as a killing in Chilliwack that police say was a targeted attack.

"It is a critical issue in the Lower Mainland and at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you are - whether you are in Surrey or Vancouver or Pouce Coupe or Prince Rupert - you deserve to feel safe in your home," Farnworth said. "People deserve to be safe and feel safe in their communities."

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31CN BC: 23 Die From Illicit-Drug Overdoses In June On Island, DoubleSat, 05 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2017

Health officials say crisis worsening despite bid to end it

Island Health was the only health authority in B.C. to see an increase in overdose deaths in June, according to statistics released Friday.

At least 23 people on Vancouver Island died from an illicit-drug overdose in June, up from 11 in May, according to the B.C. Coroners Service. This brings the total to 123 deaths in the first half of this year. The total for all of 2016 was 160.

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32CN BC: B.C. Overdose Deaths Soar 88% In First Six Months Of YearSat, 05 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Johnston, Patrick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2017

Don't use alone, chief coroner urges, as 2017 death toll in opioid crisis hits 780

Fewer people died of drug overdoses in June than in earlier months of this year, but the death rate continues to be far higher than last year.

According to the B.C. Coroners Service, 780 deaths so far this year can be attributed to overdosing on illicit drugs.

That's up 88 per cent from the same period a year ago, when there were 414 deaths. In total, there were 978 overdoses deaths in B.C. last year.

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33CN BC: Police Issue Warning, Fearing Public Will Get Caught Up InFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bolan, Kim Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2017

The sun was setting on Coal Harbour last week when the Vancouver police marine squad took special notice of a charter boat called the Magic Charm.

Aboard the vessel were dozens of young men, some of whom were linked to the Red Scorpion gang. Several had chest tattoos reading "My brother's keeper."

The anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit was called in to check the party boat crowd when it docked beside the Westin Bayshore around 9 p.m. on July 25. It was another tense interaction between the police and some of those involved in the

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34 CN BC: Vets Seeing More Dogs On DrugsFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Langley Times (CN BC) Author:Tamminga, Monique Area:British Columbia Lines:84 Added:08/04/2017

Langley vet says she treats at least one dog a month that ingests pot

In the last couple years, veterinarians have seen an increase in the number of dogs that have ingested harmful drugs, mainly marijuana.

"We have seen a notable increase in the last few years of dogs coming to the hospital having ingested pot. We get at least one per month," said Langley veterinarian, Dr. Renee Ferguson of Mountainview Veterinary Hospital.

"Unfortunately, it is becoming common that dogs eat pot or drugs while out on a walk or at a park," she said.

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35CN BC: Ottawa OKs First Supervised Drug-use Centre In VictoriaFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2017

The federal government has approved the first supervised consumption site in Victoria for illicit drug users, but it will be at least a year before it opens.

"This is going to save lives and take us beyond what our overdose prevention sites are doing," said Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical officer for Island Health. "Now they won't be a stop-gap measure, they are a bridge."

The site approved by Health Canada is at 941 Pandora Ave. and will be called the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre. It's next to Our Place Society, which offers various services to Victoria's vulnerable citizens.

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36CN BC: Overdoses Hit First Nations HardestFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2017

Those with registered Indian status in B.C. are three times more likely to die than others

B.C.'s overdose crisis is disproportionately impacting Indigenous people, who are three times more likely than non-First Nations people to die, according to data released Thursday.

The preliminary numbers show that 14 per cent of overdoses in B.C. were experienced by First Nations people, who were five times more likely than non-First Nations people to overdose.

Ten per cent of overdose deaths in B.C. were First Nations people, who comprise 3.4 per cent of the population.

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37CN BC: First Nations People Three Times More Likely To Die FromFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2017

B.C.'s overdose crisis is disproportionately impacting Indigenous people, who are three times more likely than non-First Nations people to die, according to data released Thursday.

The preliminary numbers show that 14 per cent of overdoses in B.C. were experienced by First Nations people, who were five times more likely than non-First Nations people to overdose.

Ten per cent of overdose deaths in B.C. were First Nations people, who comprise 3.4 per cent of the population.

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38CN BC: B.C's First Nation Families Devastated By Drug DeathsFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2017

Shirley Jones said she was devastated to learn that three young men in her family from the Tseshaht First Nation in Port Alberni died in recent weeks from suspected fentanyl overdoses.

"It's heart-wrenching living this [crisis] at work and then hearing about these young people in my mother's family," said Jones, who is a custodian at Our Place Society on Pandora Avenue. An overdose-prevention site has operated at the site since 2016.

"Even here, I've seen young natives who were chronic alcoholics die from overdoses, and I had no idea they even used," she said. "It was hidden."

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39 CN BC: Health Officials Struggle To Reach Middle-class Drug UsersFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Godfrey, Dustin Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:08/04/2017

In its fight to curb ever-climbing overdose death rates, middle-class drug users have been a challenge to reach for health officials.

Part of fighting the overdose crisis means getting the right messaging across to the right people, according to IH medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema. That includes letting people know help is available and conveying tried and true safety precautions when using drugs, such as not using alone and keeping naloxone on hand.

That can be an uphill battle, according to Mema, who said many people still believe the overdose crisis mostly or exclusively affects homeless or lower-class people.

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40 CN BC: LTE: Ignoring The Drug UseFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Stevenson, Gary Area:British Columbia Lines:34 Added:08/04/2017

I really appreciate the Penticton Western News and our Mayor Jakubeit having his own column in the paper, however, I don't think our mayor reads letters to the editor.

If he did, and Supt. de Jager also did, they would realize that drugs, and the City of Penticton and its local RCMP detachments willfully ignoring this rampant drug use, is by far the number one cause of crime.

I live beside a City of Penticton owned drug house that was in business for almost four years. The city said they were evicted in June, with new locks, but the place is as disgusting as ever - still vehicles parked in the yard and some of the renters still come and go.

There is something very cancerous growing in the city that comes with the drug trade. City hall and Mr. de Jager's RCMP do not look innocent to me.

Gary Stevenson

Penticton

[end]

41 CN BC: Kamloops RCMP Issues Cease And Desist Letter To LocalFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Kamloops This Week (CN BC) Author:Klassen, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:145 Added:08/04/2017

A marijuana dispensary that drew the ire of residents living above its Aberdeen store front is no more - and Kamloops RCMP say other pot shops in the city should prepare for a period of apparent tolerance to come to an end.

A note affixed to the front door of Canna Clinic on Hillside Drive says the store closed on Aug. 1 "due to unforeseen circumstances."

Calls and emails to the store went unanswered but RCMP Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay confirmed to KTW police sent the shop a cease and desist letter in July after receiving a barrage of calls from the public. Complaints from residents included drug consumption on the property, illegal drug sales and claims that thefts from vehicles and garages were on the rise, though Pillay said the latter is difficult to prove.

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42 CN BC: Column: Mayor Robertson Gets Emotional Over Opioid CrisisThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:126 Added:08/03/2017

I've got to say that in my years of covering city hall, I've never seen Mayor Gregor Robertson cry.

He almost did Wednesday.

He shifted in his chair in council chambers, made one of those faces people make before the tears roll, then paused mid-sentence.

"There's a loss of hope…"

The mayor was referring to the drug overdose crisis and the mounting death toll. He had just heard from city staff that 216 people in Vancouver this year have died of a suspected overdose.

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43 CN BC: New Injection Site Opens UpFri, 28 Jul 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Denis, Jen St. Area:British Columbia Lines:94 Added:08/02/2017

Medical officer wants to offer other forms of consumption

The first new supervised injection site in Vancouver since 2003 opened Thursday in the midst of the province's overdose crisis.

Starting July 28, a small room off the reception area at Lookout Emergency Aid Society will host an estimated 200 to 300 people a day, seven days a week.

"In 1992 (this site) opened as the Living Room, now called the Powell Street Getaway, but it was called the Living Room because many of the folks in this community live in SROs in smaller-unit buildings that don't have a living room to socialize in," said Shayne Williams, the executive director of Lookout.

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44CN BC: OPED: Opioid Crisis Victims Are People, Not StatisticsSat, 29 Jul 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Peach, Derek Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/02/2017

NDP Leader John Horgan held a town-hall meeting in Victoria in April, and I got a chance to ask a question.

"John, 914 human beings died here last year of drug overdoses and my child was one of them. What will our party do about that when we form the government?"

The answer was gratifying because it came slowly. First, Horgan spoke to me as a father and expressed his condolences without rushing into some glib reply. Then he spoke of the intention of the NDP to create a Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction so that in this province at least, there would be a clear line of responsibility for realizing some solutions to this national crisis. He did not pretend to know those solutions, but he promised to get to work on them.

[continues 480 words]

45CN BC: OPED: Addiction Treatment CrucialMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Wood, Evan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/02/2017

New approach is needed to tackle the overdose epidemic, writes Evan Wood.

We're now more than a year into the public health emergency declared by British Columbia's provincial health officer as a result of the province's rising rate of drug overdose deaths.

Tragically, the death toll continues to mount. The latest report from the province's coroner shows we're on pace to see more than 1,500 people die of overdoses in 2017 - more than the last two years combined.

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46 CN BC: Vancouver's Third Supervised Injection Site Opens Friday InFri, 28 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Brown, Scott Area:British Columbia Lines:59 Added:08/02/2017

Vancouver Coastal Health will open the doors to Vancouver's newest supervised injection site on Friday in the Downtown Eastside.

The Powell Street Getaway, located near Oppenheimer Park at 528 Powell St., will be the third such facility in Vancouver. The Dr. Peter Centre, an HIV-AIDS clinic, has offered supervised injection along with other services in Vancouver's West End since 2002, while the Downtown Eastside's Insite facility was the first sanctioned supervised injection site in North America when it opened in 2003.

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47 CN BC: Cannabis Edibles Aid AddictsThu, 27 Jul 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Siebert, Amanda Area:British Columbia Lines:124 Added:08/01/2017

A Downtown Eastside activist and a local entrepreneur are hoping to spearhead the first nonprofit organization of its kind with support from Vancouver's cannabis community.

The vocal support of Sarah Blyth, the founder of the Overdose Prevention Society for grassroots, peer-led harm reduction led to the establishment of several safe-consumption sites in Vancouver and beyond.

Unfortunately, the ongoing overdose crisis hasn't slowed-numbers for 2017 are set to double last year's count of 935 overdose deaths provincewide-so when Blyth, who doesn't use cannabis, came across an American study that found that states with legalized marijuana saw a 33-percent reduction in overdose deaths, she decided to explore the concept further.

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48CN BC: 'No Handbook For Parents' When It Comes To AddictionSun, 30 Jul 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/30/2017

Group coming together to organize events for Overdose Awareness Month in Victoria

Jennifer Howard says every month when the toll of overdose-death statistics is released by the B.C. Coroners Service, she is swept by two major reactions.

"It triggers my loss of Robbie and makes me think of the tragedy in that family, of their pain," said Howard, who lost her son Robert Cunningham to a fentanyl overdose in May 2016. He was 24, and died alone in his Shawnigan Lake apartment, having been introduced to drugs about six months before.

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49 CN BC: LTE: Sentence Drug Dealers The MaxTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Banko, James Area:British Columbia Lines:30 Added:07/28/2017

Dear Editor: There's been a 35 per cent jump in crime in our little haven of Penticton recently. Now most of the increase in crime is connected to the drug trade and is expected to grow if the economy continues to dwindle especially since jobs began drying up in the oil patch.

The justice system must not be weak in their sentencings. It has become a revolving door for most drug dealers and they take full advantage of the situation.

We must be the role models and give these people the maximum sentences in order to deter them and send them out of Penticton. If not, our safety will eventually be compromised.

James Banko

Penticton

[end]

50 CN BC: Pot Activist Calls For Open Cultivation Of Cannabis PlantsMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Johnston, Patrick Area:British Columbia Lines:47 Added:07/28/2017

A cannabis plant in every yard?

That could be the slogan for Dana Larsen's Overgrow Canada pot-seed campaign.

The marijuana advocate led a project this year to give away 5 million cannabis seeds this year; last year he and his colleagues gave away 2.5 million.

"We're encouraging people to plant them openly," he said Sunday. "The goal is to normalize cannabis growing."

It's a continuation of a civil disobedience campaign, following on from the growth of bong shops and dispensaries in many communities across Canada.

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