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1 CN ON: LTE: Legalizing Pot Will Yield Sky-High Health-Care CostsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Sault Star, The (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Don Area:Ontario Lines:44 Added:08/17/2017

I was a volunteer for the Lung Association for 30 years. We advocated to help smokers quit and pointed out the dangers of smoking tobacco products. I was president of the Ontario Lung Association for two years and appointed to the Canadian Lung Association for two years.

During those years, I met many doctors who pointed out the dangers of tobacco to human health.

Those same doctors told me that smoking marijuana was even more unhealthy because marijuana contained several more carcinogens (cancer causing agents) than tobacco.

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2 CN ON: City Will Open 3 Injection SitesTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Jeffords, Shawn Area:Ontario Lines:54 Added:08/17/2017

T.O.'s top doc says move is in response to opioid crisis

Toronto's will open three "interim" supervised injection sites this week.

Dr. Eileen da Villa, the city's chief medical officer of health, confirmed Monday that the opening of the three sites has been accelerated in response to the opioid overdose crisis.

The move comes a little over a week after the city said it would speed up the development of the sites from their original mid-fall scheduled opening. At that time, city staff were directed to open them as soon as possible.

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3 CN ON: Toronto Rushes To Open Interim Supervised Drug-Use SitesTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Gray, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:94 Added:08/17/2017

After a wave of overdose deaths, Toronto public health officials are scrambling to open interim supervised drug-use sites, including one in a harm-reduction clinic near Yonge-Dundas Square that could be operating within days.

The move, announced by the city's medical officer of health on Monday, comes after volunteer front-line workers and activists set up a controversial pop-up supervised drug-use site in an east-end park. The group, calling itself the Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance, says the city has been dragging its feet in responding to the opioid crisis.

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4 CN ON: City To Open Interim Safe-Injection SiteTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:84 Added:08/17/2017

Move follows weekend opening of unsanctioned site in Moss Park

After an unsanctioned safe-injection site opened in a downtown park over the weekend, Toronto Public Health has announced it will open an interim site where people can shoot their drugs in a safe environment.

The interim supervised injection services will be located at a site for which (federal) exemptions have already been provided, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's Medical Officer of Health, said Monday.

"We want to make sure that we're providing these interim supervised-injection services in a manner that's safe for the clients and of course for our staff."

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5 CN ON: Court Rules Rights Violated In Grow-Op CaseWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:91 Added:08/17/2017

Police needed a warrant for hydro records turned over by local utility, ruling says

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that police investigating a suspected marijuana grow-op in a Hamilton home needed a search warrant to obtain hydro records from a local utility company.

The landmark decision sends a clear message to law enforcement agencies and hydro companies, says Toronto cannabis lawyer Paul Lewin. He argued the case on behalf of appellants Maria Del Carmen Orlandis-Habsburgo and Edwin Robert LeFrancois.

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6 CN ON: LTE: Marijuana Will Add To Health Care CostsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Don Area:Ontario Lines:43 Added:08/17/2017

I was a volunteer for the Lung association for 30 years. We advocated to help smokers quit and pointed out the dangers of smoking tobacco products. I was president of the Ontario Lung association for two years and appointed to the Canadian Lung association for two years.

During those years, I met many doctors who pointed out the dangers of tobacco to human health.

Those same doctors told me that smoking marijuana was even more unhealthy because marijuana contained several more carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) than tobacco.

[continues 117 words]

7CN ON: Illegal Pot Shop Robbed For Third Time This SummerTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:McCooey, Paula Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

An illegal west-end pot shop has not let a recent string of robberies run it out of business.

The CannaGreen shop at 102 McEwen Ave., off Richmond Road, was robbed for the third time in two months this past weekend. Late Monday morning, the front glass door of the business remained shattered, evidence of a Saturday night smash and grab.

The vandalized door was propped open, allowing for the scent of pot to emanate from the store that appeared to have patrons coming and going. Two employees - one behind a glass display case and the other behind a wall with a service window where customers receive product from the back room - would not comment on the incident.

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8 CN ON: LTE: Death To DealersTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Favro, Norman Area:Ontario Lines:47 Added:08/17/2017

British Columbia recorded 935 deaths due to drug overdoses in 2016 and the number is projected to surpass 1,400 by the end of 2017. Approaches to this epidemic include the antidote Naloxone, injection sites, education etc. These are fine, but do not address the real problem, which is reducing drug availability by reducing the number of dealers and suppliers. Singapore has enacted laws which include capital punishment for dealers and suppliers of illicit drugs.

Draconian, yes, but if we as a society have to choose between the deaths of dealers who knowingly destroy lives and families, or deaths of thousands of our young adults, the decision is a no-brainer.

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9CN ON: City Trying For Early Injection Site OpeningsTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Doherty, Brennan Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

Officials in Toronto are trying to partially open three safe- injection sites months earlier than anticipated, due to a rise in overdoses and deaths.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's medical officer of health, said"interim safe injection sites" will be opened at three Health Canada- approved permanent sites until renovations to the long-term facilities are complete.

"We' re trying to open them as quickly as possible," she said, adding that, while she didn't have an exact date, the sites could be up and running in a matter of days.

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10CN ON: OPED: Canada Should Decriminalize All DrugsTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Spratt, Michael Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

Jailing addicts does nothing to stop substance abuse, says Michael Spratt.

Last week, Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Isra Levy, pledged Ottawa Public Health's support for "new evidence-based approaches" to combat the problems caused by illegal drugs including - wait for it - decriminalization.

City Coun. Mathieu Fleury said, "It's a crazy thought, but it's a crazy thought that might actually have some merit."

Fleury should be commended. Where Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had cast off the shackles of evidence-based thinking to stand against the city's first safe consumption site, Fleury's open mindedness is a breath of fresh air.

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11 CN ON: PUB LTE: Marijuana Hasn't Caused An Overdose DeathMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Press, The (CN ON) Author:Meyers, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:29 Added:08/15/2017

Letter writer Simon Guillet rails against marijuana and conflates it with opioids and heroin. He obviously is not aware that marijuana has not caused an overdose death in recorded history.

It's the "safest therapeutic substance known to man … safer than most foods," wrote DEA judge Francis Young after hearing hundreds of hours of testimony.

U.S. states that have legalized weed have had significant drops in opioid use and overdoses.

So don't fear the weed, Canada, embrace it. You'll be much better off.

Jeff Meyers, Westlake Village, Calif.

[end]

12CN ON: Toronto Gets First Safe Injection SiteMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Warnica, Richard Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

It's unofficial - but welcome

The tent went up at ten to four on Sunday - a big tan tarp slung over a metal base in the last ungentrified sliver of Toronto's downtown.

Around it, tattooed volunteers shifted supplies: black naloxone kits, water bottles, baggies stuffed with sterilized needles and gear.

"Don't you think this is so cool," Angie Austin said to a group of friends sitting on the grass nearby. "What is it?" one replied. "It is," she said, "a safe injection site."

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13 CN ON: Crackdown On Opioids Fuels Heroin IncreaseMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:08/15/2017

The deadly painkiller fentanyl, thrust under a spotlight by a rare warning by three health agenices and city police, isn't the only dangerous street drug raising eyebrows in London.

Heroin is also showing up, in levels-those who work with addicts say they haven't seen before.

One agency blames the spike on the province tightening the prescription drugs it covers under a program for people on social assistance and seniors, which has driven some users to heroin instead.

"I've never known it (heroin) here. Now it is," said Karen Burton, needle and syringe program coordinator at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection in London, whose work includes a drug needle exchange program. "Heroin is here and I don't see it disappearing anytime soon."

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14 CN ON: Editorial: A Sensible Approach To Dealing With Drug AbuseSun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:84 Added:08/15/2017

In the wake of a recent spike in drug deaths in Toronto, municipal politicians have suddenly gone into overdrive suggesting ways to combat this scourge.

In the space of a week we went from Mayor John Tory leading a plan to speed up the completion of three previously approved supervised drug injection sites in Toronto, to Board of Health Chairman Joe Mihevc suggesting it's time to consider decriminalizing heroin and other drugs.

Clearly, it's time for everyone to slow down.

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15 CN ON: Advocates Renew Call For City To Act On OverdosesSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:92 Added:08/15/2017

People on the frontlines of the opioid overdose crisis say they know exactly what needs to be done to save lives and tackle the "public health emergency."

Build safe affordable housing, expedite the opening of the safe injection sties, expand the distribution of overdose-reversing naloxone and drug-testing kits, and increase funding for harm-reduction staff positions.

At a news conference Friday beside a laundromat in a hardscrabble section of downtown Toronto, community health workers, drug users and anti-poverty activists were also united in their call to end the criminalization of drug use.

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16 CN ON: Harm Reduction Workers Want Action On Toronto Opioid 'Crisis'Sat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Farooqui, Salmaan Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:08/15/2017

TORONTO - Harm reduction workers in Toronto are calling for the immediate opening of interim safe injection spaces and social housing with a focus on helping drug users as the city deals with a spike in opioid overdoses.

The demands were among a list of measures issued by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and other advocacy groups on Friday, as they called for a declaration of a public health emergency over the issue and asked for the wide distribution of drug testing kits in the city.

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17 CN ON: Advocates Call For Interim Drug-Use Sites In TorontoSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Farooqui, Salmaan Area:Ontario Lines:90 Added:08/15/2017

The city is also being urged to declare a public-health emergency amid a string of overdoses and suspected related deaths

Harm-reduction workers in Toronto are calling for the immediate opening of interim supervised drug-use spaces and social housing with a focus on helping drug users as the city deals with a spike in opioid overdoses.

The demands were among a list of measures issued by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and other advocacy groups on Friday, as they called for a declaration of a public-health emergency over the issue and asked for the wide distribution of drug testing kits in the city.

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18 CN ON: LTE: Vulnerable People Start With Available DrugsMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Press, The (CN ON) Author:Guillet, Simon Area:Ontario Lines:51 Added:08/15/2017

In reply to Robert Sinclair's letter ("gateway drug theory is flawed") defending the legalization of marijuana, and his refuting that weed may be a gateway to harder drugs, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, as late as April of this year, has stated that "an alternative to the gateway-drug hypothesis is that people who are more vulnerable to drug-taking are simply more likely to start with readily available substances such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol, and their subsequent social interactions with others who use drugs increases their chances of trying other drugs."

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19 CN ON: Niagara On Track For Record Fentanyl DeathsFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:LaFleche, Grant Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:08/15/2017

The number of Niagara residents dying from fentanyl related overdoses is on track to hit a record high this year, according to data provided by Niagara Regional Police.

Police say officers have responded to 15 fatal opioid overdoses since Jan. 1, with 10 of them involving fentanyl. Police responded to 12 fentanyl related fatal overdoses in all 2016.

This data only reflects overdose incidents that involved the police. It does not capture overdoses, fatal or otherwise, that did not involve a police response such as a person arriving at an emergency room on their own.

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20 CN ON: LTE: Grim ReapingSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Harris, Jamie Area:Ontario Lines:38 Added:08/15/2017

A conspiracy hypothesis must surely be tested regarding the carnage currently inflicted by street fentanyl and its weaponized derivative, carfentanil.

Simply stated, drug dealing is a business. No entrepreneur is going to deliberately contaminate product so that it kills the customers.

Suspicion must be entertained that some organization with ulterior motives is deliberately contaminating the street drug supply.

Opioid and stimulant injectors are the main target. The possibility of tainted street marijuana (Get naloxone, pot users urged, Aug. 4) pales by comparison.

Now more than ever, the adage rings true that illegal drugs are not dangerous because they're illegal, they're illegal because they are dangerous.

Harm reduction efforts are laudable but they are failing to stop the purge.

Jamie Harris

London

[end]

21CN ON: Companies Rush To Brand Pot Products While Marketing RulesSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Would you like to indulge in an exhilarating burst of energy and creativity while enjoying an uplifting experience?

That may be in store for medical marijuana users purchasing a new strain created in conjunction with Tokyo Smoke, according to the Canadian "lifestyle" company that unveiled the product on Thursday.

It's also perhaps a peek into the future as cannabis companies scramble to create brands that will be attractive to millions of potential customers when recreational pot is legal.

Tokyo Smoke, which sells cannabis accessories, coffee and clothing, has teamed up with Aphria, one of the country's largest medical marijuana growers, on four new strains of marijuana.

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22 CN ON: City Seeks Pot Dispensary Court InjunctionSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Dongen, Matthew Van Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:08/15/2017

Supporters vow to fight bid to permanently close businesses

"They are looking to set a precedent. I hope they do..." - Britney Guerra, Cloud Nine Owner

The city is escalating its battle with illegal storefront pot shops by seeking a court injunction to shutter a popular downtown dispensary and vapour lounge.

But owners and supporters of the Hamilton Village Dispensary and Cloud Nine are vowing to fight to save the 275 King St. E businesses.

The injunction request obtained by The Spectator cites zoning and bylaw violations in asking a judge to order the businesses permanently closed. It also wants Hamilton police to be required to enforce the order.

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23 CN ON: Advocate Calling For National State Of EmergencySat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Artuso, Antonella Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:08/15/2017

Opioid crisis 'like genocide'

Recovery advocate Annie McCullough is calling for Canada to declare a national state of emergency in the opioid crisis as the death toll continues to climb, including three fatalities in Durham Region Friday.

McCullough, a co-founder of Faces and Voices of Recovery Canada, said that what Toronto and the GTA is experiencing now - a surge in fentanyl-related overdoses in Toronto - has been an epidemic in Vancouver over the past two years.

"What's going on with fentanyl almost feels like a conspiracy because people know now that it's killing people and they're not stopping distributing it, whoever these people are that are doing it," McCullough said. "It's almost like they have a death wish for people; it feels like genocide."

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24 CN ON: Street Drugs 101: A PrimerSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:204 Added:08/15/2017

As deadly fentanyl fuels a public health crisis, Free Press reporter Jennifer Bieman reveals what you should know about common London street drugs

Forget the old adage that what you don't know, can't hurt you. When it comes to street drugs, what you don't know can kill you.

That was the thrust of a rare public health warning - three health agencies and London police joined in its release - last week in London, when authorities stressed that the latest villain in Canada's opioid drug crisis, deadly fentanyl, is turning up in other illegal street drugs.

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25CN ON: Pot Shop Objector Left High And DryFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

'Everyone is just standing still, letting it happen'

When a shop openly selling marijuana opened a couple blocks from her home, Angie Todesco was astounded.

A year later, she shuffles through a file folder of official responses from authorities she figured might have some power to shut down a store illegally selling drugs. She's written, emailed or called everyone from the prime minister to the Manor Park Community Association. "It doesn't amount to a hill of beans," she says.

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26CN ON: Legal Pot Poses Judicial ConundrumThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Bowen, Neil Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

In what's believed to be a Canadian first, a judge in Sarnia is having to wrestle with the question whether having medicinal pot on you is illegal if you're driving under its influence.

In a case heard Wednesday, federal drug prosecutor Michael Robb said the issue hadn't come up before in the government's prosecution service.

Anthony Francis Barr, 27, of St. Clair Township near Sarnia, pleaded guilty to driving while impaired by marijuana and to possession of marijuana.

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27 CN ON: White High On New Opioid ExchangeThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Payne, Elizabeth Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:08/15/2017

Former Ottawa police chief and current senator Vern White is applauding an opioid replacement program being set up by Ottawa Inner City Health. He has been calling for similar programs across the country.

White planned to contact Wendy Muckle, the executive director of the non-profit health agency that works with Ottawa's homeless. "I am going to congratulate her on being willing to take on the bigger discussion around addiction," White said.

"I guarantee this will make a difference in terms of crime."

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28 CN ON: Fentanyl Blamed For Deadly ODFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Bowen, Neil Area:Ontario Lines:161 Added:08/15/2017

Sarnia cops warn of opioid-laced street drugs after three overdoses - one of them fatal - in five hours

Three overdoses in mere hours, one of them deadly - the sinister new face of Southwestern Ontario's opioid drug crisis has killed again, this time not a week after a rare public health warning about the often-hidden killer.

A few grains of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, mixed with cocaine, likely caused a fatal overdose Wednesday night in Sarnia, prompting a new warning from police in that city about drugs laced with fentanyl.

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29 CN ON: LTE: Disputed Drug Bust Justified, Police SayFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Renwick, Chris Area:Ontario Lines:58 Added:08/15/2017

Re: 'I lost everything': Ottawa man loses home after false fentanyl bust, Ottawa Citizen, July 31.

The Caldwell Avenue apartment was well known to both Ottawa Police patrol officers and Ottawa Community Housing due to the heavy traffic and disruptive drug activities. Officers and paramedics were dispatched twice to the apartment in April 2017 for people who had overdosed.

In light of prevalent drug consumption at the apartment and concerns for public safety, the Ottawa Police Drug Unit began an investigation into the suspected sale of controlled substances. A thorough investigation confirmed activity consistent with drug trafficking, and a search warrant was executed on April 25.

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30CN ON: Column: Police Should Make Amends To Royston ChristieFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

The scourge of fentanyl has hit the nation's capital with devastating consequences, and kudos to Ottawa police for going into overdrive to bring to justice the criminals who traffic in this deadly drug. But there is no excuse for what they did to Royston Christie after a drug raid at his Caldwell Avenue home.

And it is a shame that months later, nobody has raised a finger to support a man wrongly accused of dealing drugs and then left homeless to boot. Ottawa police have sent a letter to the Citizen (see below, left) giving their take on the arrest, but it still doesn't answer the fundamental question about Christie's treatment.

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31 CN ON: Can Legal Pot Turn Illegal?Thu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bowen, Neil Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:08/15/2017

Judge struggles with 'lawful prescription becoming unlawful due to its use,' by driver under its influence

SARNIA - In what's believed to be a Canadian first, a judge here is having to wrestle with whether having medicinal pot on you is illegal if you're driving under its influence.

In a case heard Wednesday, federal drug prosecutor Michael Robb said the issue hadn't come up before in the government's prosecution service.

Anthony Francis Barr, 27, of St. Clair Township near Sarnia, pleaded guilty to driving while impaired by marijuana and to possessing marijuana.

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32 CN ON: LTE: Facts, Studies Show Legalizing Marijuana Will Be AThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Guillet, Simon Area:Ontario Lines:54 Added:08/15/2017

In reply to Robert Sinclair's letter ("Gateway drug theory is flawed") defending the legalization of marijuana, and his refuting that weed may be a gateway to harder drugs, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, as late as April of this year, has stated that "an alternative to the gateway-drug hypothesis is that people who are more vulnerable to drugtaking are simply more likely to start with readily available substances such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol, and their subsequent social interactions with others who use drugs increases their chances of trying other drugs."

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33CN ON: Decriminalizing Debate Grows Beyond MarijuanaThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Pearson, Matthew Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Making everything legal 'crazy,' but might help, city officials say

Decriminalizing all illegal drugs - not just marijuana - may help decrease the devastating effects of drug use and addiction in Ottawa, city officials said Wednesday.

They were responding to a suggestion by Toronto's medical officer of health that such a drastic move could help address Canada's spiralling opioid crisis.

Dr. Eileen De Villa told reporters last week the current approach to drugs in her city and across the country "doesn't seem to be having the desired impact."

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34 CN ON: PUB LTE: Reducing Drug Use, DeathsSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Whitworth, Colin Area:Ontario Lines:59 Added:08/14/2017

Re Rethink before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

When it comes to dealing with addictive drugs as a society, Rosie DiManno misses the point entirely, partly because she based her argument on a bad interpretation of the facts.

She cites Portugal, which decriminalized drugs in 2001, saying there was a "40-per-cent increase in homicides related to drugs, even as overdose deaths have plunged."

That number is illusory and ancient. The increase in homicides between 2001and 2006 was for all homicides, not just those related to drugs. The statistics do not break homicides out by that category.

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35 CN ON: PUB LTE: Reducing Drug Use, DeathsSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:Ontario Lines:45 Added:08/14/2017

Re Rethink before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

Rosie DiManno should think twice about decriminalizing drugs. Canada gave the concept serious consideration in 1972 with the Le Dain Commission and thought about it some more with the House of Commons Special Committee on Non-medical Use of Drugs in 2002.

DiManno's apprehension seems to boil down to decriminalization sending "the wrong message." If refraining from criminalizing those who engage in unhealthy activities sends the wrong message, are we remiss in not criminalizing drinkers, smokers and the sports she endorses?

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36 CN ON: PUB LTE: Reducing Drug Use, DeathsSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Leigh, Simon Area:Ontario Lines:23 Added:08/14/2017

Re Rethink before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

If drugs were legal and pure, and users could read the instructions on the packet and ask their doctor or pharmacist how much will give them a good high and how much will kill them, surely there would be fewer accidental overdose deaths.

Simon Leigh, Toronto

[end]

37 CN ON: PUB LTE: Reducing Drug Use, DeathsSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Dale, Gary Area:Ontario Lines:37 Added:08/14/2017

Re Rethink before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

Rosie DiManno's column is well-reasoned but wrong. This century's problems aren't due to irrationality, not that there isn't a lot of that to go around, but rather to ignoring the facts and evidence.

There have been endless studies concluding that criminal sanctions have no impact on people's behaviour, yet that doesn't stop people from arguing the opposite. Nor does the fact that increasingly harsh penalties adopted in the U.S. have reduced neither drug use nor drug deaths.

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38 CN ON: LTE: Reducing Drug Use, DeathsSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Lockman, Rick Area:Ontario Lines:26 Added:08/14/2017

Re Rethink before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

We lost a son to suicide two years ago at the age of 29. Marijuana is the starter drug that was the beginning of the end. Now we will have to watch many other youth never get started in life and many more die too young. We need to teach our youth, and adults for that matter, to deal with life straight up, not turn to a crutch when life gets tough. Face your problems with a clear head. I speak from experience. Alcohol or drugs do not solve problems; they mask them.

Rick Lockman, Orillia

[end]

39 CN ON: LTE: Pot A Real DangerSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Jordan, Donna Area:Ontario Lines:36 Added:08/14/2017

I am concerned the federal government plans to legalize cannabis for recreational use by July 2018 when there is so much well researched information available about its harmful effects and when so many health associations have expressed grave concern.

The only plausible reason I can see is that it is viewed as a source of revenue, yet The Free Press reported in Weighing the pot-ential impact (July 29) that the "marijuana boss for the city of Denver" stated 100 per cent of revenue there went toward regulation, education, enforcement and public health.

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40 CN ON: LTE: Messed UpFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Haskett, S. Area:Ontario Lines:29 Added:08/14/2017

Re "Rethinking the war on drugs" (Shawn Jeffords, Aug. 5): A safe injection is something received from a nurse or a doctor. What you people are doing is so messed up. Other countries arrest illegal drug users, they don't baby them. It's illegal for a reason - it kills you! Perhaps the do-gooders can set up a private track for drunk drivers. I know addiction - I quit smoking 20 years ago. It was hard but entirely possible.

S. Haskett Courtland, Ont..



(The debate over whether the use of illegal drugs is a criminal or a medical issue isn't going to end anytime soon)

[end]

41 CN ON: Not Time To Talk Decriminalization: ToryThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Jeffords, Shawn Area:Ontario Lines:40 Added:08/14/2017

Mayor John Tory says now is not the time to engage in a divisive debate about decriminalizing heroin.

Tory was reacting to comments made Friday by Board of Health Chair Joe Mihevc, who suggested the 'war on drugs' hasn't worked and it might be time for Toronto to try a new approach.

Starting a discussion about decriminalizi rugs, like heroin, could be part of that approach, he added.

Asked about Mihevc's comments Wednesday, Tory responded: "My answer to that would be 'not now.' "

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42CN ON: Ex-police Chief Applauds Drug ProgramThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Payne, Elizabeth Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2017

Former Ottawa police chief and current senator Vern White is applauding an opioid replacement program being set up by Ottawa Inner City Health. He has been calling for similar programs across the country.

White planned to contact Wendy Muckle, the executive director of the non-profit health agency that works with Ottawa's homeless.

"I am going to congratulate her on being willing to take on the bigger discussion around addiction," White said.

"I guarantee this will make a difference in terms of crime."

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43 CN ON: LTE: Facts Show Legal Pot Will Be A ProblemFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Guillet, Simon Area:Ontario Lines:55 Added:08/14/2017

To the editor:

In reply to Robert Sinclair's letter ("Gateway drug theory is flawed") defending the legalization of marijuana, and his refuting that weed may be a gateway to harder drugs, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, as late as April of this year, has stated that "an alternative to the gateway-drug hypothesis is that people who are more vulnerable to drug-taking are simply more likely to start with readily available substances such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol, and their subsequent social interactions with others who use drugs increases their chances of trying other drugs."

[continues 240 words]

44 CN ON: PUB LTE: Canadians Should 'Embrace The Weed'Wed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Meyers, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:36 Added:08/12/2017

The following is in response to the letter Pot legalization questionable as drug deaths spike which appeared July 31.

To the editor:

Letter writer Simon Guillet rails against marijuana and conflates it with opioids and heroin. He obviously is not aware that marijuana has not caused an overdose death in recorded history.

It's the "safest therapeutic substance known to man … safer than most foods," wrote DEA judge Francis Young after hearing hundreds of hours of testimony.

U.S. states that have legalized weed have had significant drops in opioid use and overdoses.

So don't fear the weed, Canada, embrace it. You'll be much better off.

Jeff Meyers

Westlake Village, Calif.

[end]

45 CN ON: Union Says Fentanyl Found At Collins BayWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:MacAlpine, Ian Area:Ontario Lines:72 Added:08/09/2017

Bob Finucan, Ontario regional president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers based in Kingston, said correctional service officers have been exposed to the dangerous drug fentanyl inside Correctional Service Canada institutions in Ontario twice in the past two months, including at Collins Bay Institution, but that there have been no reported overdoses or injuries from the exposures.

After hearing reports of federal correctional officers in Alberta being exposed to the deadly drug on three occasions in the past month, Finucan agreed that if it can happen in Alberta, it can happen in this region.

[continues 301 words]

46 CN ON: Editorial: We Need Recent Opioid Abuse DataWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON) Author:Rodrigues, Hugo Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:08/09/2017

Is Cornwall gripped by the fentanyl-driven opioid crisis swallowing other Canadian communities or not?

It's been difficult to get clarity on this question in recent months, made no clearer by a media release issued by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit late last week.

The EOHU is concerned recent reporting on fentanyl and the increasing availability of naloxone kits in our community has suggested there is no problem with opioid abuse in our communities. It told us the EOHU has tracked 35 opioid-related deaths in the area from 2010-15, which would put us with a rate among the highest in Eastern Ontario.

[continues 359 words]

47CN ON: OPED: Recreational pot: Who Should Make The Rules?Wed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Gregory, Allan W. Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/09/2017

Put the provinces in charge, argues Allan W. Gregory.

Most of the challenges of marijuana legalization will fall on provincial/territorial purses.

Marijuana for recreational use will soon become legal under the federal Liberal government's Bill C-45, but the discussion of how to best regulate what many suspect will be an enormous industry is still ongoing.

The model put forward by Bill C-45 was suggested by the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation and is based on the Tobacco Act. Under it, the federal government oversees the wholesale side (licensing and security for all production in Canada) and the provincial governments and territories are responsible for the retail level (public education, youth protection and distribution).

[continues 565 words]

48 CN ON: Was Pot Alert Wise Warning Or Blowing Smoke?Wed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:120 Added:08/09/2017

Proactive public health warning, or scare tactic?

A heated debate has erupted after the London region's top public health official warned that illegal drugs, including marijuana, could be contaminated with fentanyl, a powerful painkiller already blamed for hundreds of overdose deaths in Canada this year.

There's no shortage of skepticism about part of that warning, involving pot, especially since there's never been a confirmed case of fentanyl-laced marijuana in Canada.

Though multiple warnings that fentanyl-contaminated cannabis have circulated in communities - even former B.C. premier Christy Clark made the claim last year - both the RCMP and Canada's health minister have said the rumours haven't been proven.

[continues 665 words]

49 CN ON: PUB LTE: Does Drug Decriminalization Save Lives?Wed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Chu, Sandra Ka Hon Area:Ontario Lines:46 Added:08/09/2017

Re Think twice before decriminalizing drugs,

DiManno, Aug. 7 Citing Portugal's experience, Rosie DiManno recently argued that decriminalizing drugs isn't a solution to dealing with the opioid overdose crisis in Canada.

This is not rooted in fact. Our current crisis stems from a deadly, illegal drug supply.

If Canada decriminalized drugs and created a legal, regulated supply, fewer people would die.

After Portugal decriminalized drug use in 2001, there was a remarkable increase in uptake of treatment, and drug-caused deaths and HIV infection from injection drug use plummeted.

[continues 120 words]

50 CN ON: OPED: Drug Addicts Are Not 'Thugs'Tue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Tory, John Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:08/08/2017

Any overdose death is a tragedy.

It's a preventable death and I consider it my duty as mayor to ensure that the City of Toronto is doing everything it can to help prevent those tragedies.

Each person who dies from an overdose is someone's son, daughter, friend or loved one. They are human beings and they should not be abandoned by society due to a particular addiction.

I'm proud to have the women and men of Toronto's public service helping me in the fight against the overdose epidemic.

[continues 561 words]


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