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
productivity and other costs. article continues below Trending Stories
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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.
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"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.
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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.
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Veterinarian Katherine Kramer remembers an 18-year-old cat she
recommended be put on hemp-based cannabidoil (CBD).
"It had heart disease and pancreatitis so painful the traditional
amount of pain medication knocked him out and he had no quality of
life," says Kramer, a veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Wellness
Clinic. "So, I contacted the [medicinal marijuana] Compassion Club."
Kramer says with not much to lose, the owner agreed to work together
and very soon the cat was eating and playing again.
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Nelson Police executed a search warrant on a downtown medical
marijuana dispensary and arrested five employees.
Five employees at MMJ marijuana dispensary, 752 Vernon Street, were
taken into custody Tuesday morning, March 20, without incident.
Charges against the employees are pending, said a release from NPD
Chief Constable Paul Burkart, adding that all five were released from
custody Tuesday afternoon.
Until charges are formally laid, Burkart said the NPD will be making
no further comment as the investigation is ongoing. A further update
can be expected in the next week.
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The Town of Oliver is setting aside a hearing to "hash out" some
details in local bylaws prior to the legalization of the sale of
Council on Monday "decimated," as Coun. Larry Schwartzenberger put it,
a staff recommendation to restrict cannabis sales via zoning bylaws in
Oliver, as well as a $15,000 ask to hire a consultant to determine the
wishes of the community.
"We will be able to approve or disapprove an application. If something
is in the commercial zone that's too close to a park or school, we
will just not approve it," Schwartzenberger said.
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News release that called for study to make personal use legal called
Things started off on a pretty collegial tone Tuesday morning in
Vancouver city council.
Much of the morning session was concerned with development plans for
an 8.4-hectare site in south Vancouver. Councillors echoed their
support for the project, and one commented on proceedings going "so
smoothly." The mayor agreed, saying it was nice to conduct the meeting
"without the kind of friction that can sometimes occur."
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Near the historic native village of Kitwancool in northern B.C., the
hereditary chief of the Gitanyow frog clan has his eye on an old
logging site that could be the perfect place to grow a new cash crop.
"It's already serviced with a power supply," said Will Marsden. "We
see an opportunity for our people to be employed in sustainable jobs
in our traditional territories."
Those jobs would be in the legal marijuana trade, coming soon to
British Columbia and the rest of Canada.
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Can we put the words "illegal" and "marijuana" together and still be
making a relevant statement in Canada? Marijuana is going to be legal
as a recreation drug.
The federal government has committed itself to legalization. The
provincial government has stepped forward with a plan for legal
marijuana, which included dispensaries as a component. They even went
so far as to include early licence application for
Marijuana will be sold, consumed by people and I do not believe there
is anything that will stop that from happening. This means the
political movement to legalize marijuana is no longer of significant
relevance. Operating dispensaries as a political statement is no
longer required. So, now what?
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Last week, the Liberal government introduced the 2018 budget. As is
customary in Canadian democracy, it is the role of the Liberal
government to promote what it views as the merits of their budget.
As the Official Opposition, it is our job to illustrate the concerns
we have with the budget. On that note, I have a few. It has become
clear over this mandate, that the prime minister excels in making
promises, but often falls short on the delivery of said promises. For
example, we were promised electoral reform, a national housing
strategy, infrastructure investment, new fighter jets for our
the list goes on. This budget is no exception. Mr. Trudeau
distinctly promised Canadians that after a series of small deficits,
his government would return to a balanced budget in 2019. This budget
demonstrates that the Liberals have no intention whatsoever of
returning to balance in 2019.
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Back off, bud.
The City of North Vancouver is aiming to slam the lid on the host of
unlicensed pot shops that have operated with seeming impunity in
recent years following Monday's council meeting.
The crackdown, which involves civil court injunctions, is meant to
give the city enough time to draft its own regulations about where and
how marijuana dispensaries can operate within city limits.
"I do believe that it should be legalized but it needs to be
regulated," explained Mayor Darrell Mussatto. "This enforcement action
here is allowing us some time so that we can put in these regulations
before it actually becomes legalized."
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How do we get out of this box? It may be time to follow Portugal in
British Columbia has a $250,000-a-day drug habit that is spiralling
out of control - and it's not supported by the Downtown Eastside
Rather, it's the opioid substitution program.
The province now spends more than $90 million a year on "treatment"
and health services for participants of the drug-maintenance program -
that's more than it provides for legal aid.
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Emergency services taxed by spike in overdoses, incidents
Police, firefighters and paramedics are so overwhelmed with
drug-related 911 calls in the days after welfare cheques are issued
that Victoria's police chief wants the province to consider staggering
distribution of the cheques throughout the month.
"Generally speaking, we see a spike during the evening of welfare
Wednesday and the day or two after of overdose calls, disturbances,
drug activity occurring. Sometimes someone has been defrauded or
robbed," Police Chief Del Manak told the Times Colonist.
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