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1 CN BC: Editorial: Tougher Sentences For Selling Fentanyl WelcomedWed, 22 Mar 2017
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:47 Added:03/24/2017

A judge at B.C.'s top court is calling for stronger sentences for people who sell fentanyl.

We couldn't agree more.

In a ruling posted online Friday, the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal to increase the six-month sentence of a 59-year-old man who was caught with drugs, including 2.6 grams of the deadly opioid.

The Crown had argued that the sentence wasn't enough, but the effort was denied, since fentanyl-related deaths were not as prevalent at the time of the offence. However, the three judges agreed the court should identify a higher sentencing range because of the current "public health crisis associated with illicit fentanyl."

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2 CN ON: Oped: Law Not The Top Drug Use IssueThu, 23 Mar 2017
Source:Sun Times, The (Owen Sound, CN ON) Author:Perras, Floyd Area:Ontario Lines:84 Added:03/24/2017

Ronald Reagan once quipped that the government's view of the economy could be summed up as follows: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

For better or for worse, the Canadian government seems to have decided that marijuana has been on the move long enough to start taxing and regulating it.

For the uninitiated, legalizing marijuana would mean that the drug would be available for purchase but regulated by the government -- similar to alcohol or tobacco. The difference is that marijuana is far cheaper to produce at scale than either of those two.

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3 CN ON: Column: Selling marijuana: First, Do No HarmTue, 14 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Agar, Jerry Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:03/17/2017

For those who believe there is no potential harm from illegal marijuana stores in the city, consider Shelley Marshall's story.

Marshall is a suicide survivor who wrote and performs her story through her excellent, one-woman play: Hold Mommy's Cigarette.

She strongly believes in medical marijuana for medicinal purposes and is for legalization, but with regulations.

Her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will never completely disappear, but, she says: "You can get the symptoms to go away if you take care of yourself and if you are in the good company of people who care."

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4 CN ON: Column: Selling marijuana: First, Do No HarmTue, 14 Mar 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Agar, Jerry Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:03/17/2017

For those who believe there is no potential harm from illegal marijuana stores in the city, consider Shelley Marshall's story.

Marshall is a suicide survivor who wrote and performs her story through her excellent, one-woman play: Hold Mommy's Cigarette.

She strongly believes in medical marijuana for medicinal purposes and is for legalization, but with regulations.

Her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will never completely disappear, but, she says: "You can get the symptoms to go away if you take care of yourself and if you are in the good company of people who care."

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5CN BC: Column: Pot Still Risky Business Outside VancouverWed, 15 Mar 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Moriarty, Wayne Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2017

I am reminded often of how we live in something of a pot bubble here in Vancouver - how marijuana advocates enjoy a mostly hassle-free ride from the local constabulary.

These reminders come in the form of news stories and anecdotes from other jurisdictions where the sale and use of marijuana is not treated with the benign indifference it receives here. Surrey, for example. A lawyer friend was telling me just the other day how a client of his was arrested recently when the RCMP shut down a dispensary in that city. His client had no stake in the dispensary other than as a customer. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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6 Canada: Editorial: Bringing The Pot Debate To A HeadMon, 13 Mar 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:64 Added:03/17/2017

The arrest in Toronto on Wednesday of Marc Emery, one of North America's leading pot legalization advocates, may seem draconian to his many supporters. But the law is the law, and those who are alleged to flout it risk arrest, regardless of their reasons for doing so.

No one knows this better than Mr. Emery. A diehard libertarian, he once spent four days in jail for violating Ontario's Sunday shopping laws. More famously, in 2005, he was arrested and eventually extradited to the United States, where he was sentenced to five years in prison for selling marijuana seeds to American customers.

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7 CN ON: Column: Prescribing A Solution To Opioid AddictionThu, 16 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:126 Added:03/16/2017

City health authorities considering heroin to treat addicts

Ottawa's health unit supports prescribing heroin to treat severe addicts and at least one treatment clinic is considering it as the city fights the rising rates of overdoses from it and similar opioid drugs.

"We really see it as more an extension of our opiate substitution therapy program than part of our supervised injection efforts," said Rob Boyd, the head of the drug-treatment programs at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre on Rideau Street. Boyd has been leading the charge to add an injection site to the centre's existing methadone clinic.

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8CN BC: Column: Arrest Of Emerys Tarnishes Justice In CanadaFri, 10 Mar 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/11/2017

Persecution of pot providers makes no sense with legalization supposedly on its way

It is always darkest before the dawn - and those who have waited nearly a century for the light of cannabis legalization may find solace in the proverb.

With the federal government set to abolish the criminal prohibition on recreational use of marijuana, Toronto police have thrown pot royalty in jail.

They called it Project Gator - a cross-country operation to put the bite on the most celebrated ganja couple since Cheech and Chong.

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9 CN ON: Column: Room For Everyone To Get A BuzzFri, 10 Mar 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Warmington, Joe Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:03/11/2017

You'd think they'd be out of doobies.

Even after Toronto Police cleaned the place out of all their pot, the stench of marijuana was ripe inside the store.

Police took out tens of thousands of dollars worth of product from envelopes and jars. But they didn't get it all. Staff found police left behind some rolled joints and undetected envelopes of pot.

The smiling group, who got off on warnings by the same police who did charge owners Marc and Jodie Emery, quickly rolled and sparked up the spoils in defiance right in front me and colleagues Maryam Shah and photographer Craig Robertson. The message was clear. "We will be open again tomorrow," general manager Jamie McConnell insisted. "When you are in the pot dispensary business, you expect this."

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10 CN BC: Column: 4/20 Organizers Wrong To Plan Party During FentanylThu, 09 Mar 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Slivinski, Ada Area:British Columbia Lines:61 Added:03/11/2017

Plans are well under way for this year's 4/20 pot party.

Organizers have begun booking booths for this year's event even though the Vancouver Park Board has denied the group a special event permit. Just like last year, the Park Board has been stuck in an extremely difficult position - forced by the mayor's inaction to put up with a 4/20 party they haven't sanctioned while the federal government constantly teeters on the verge of legalizing marijuana.

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11 CN NS: OPED: Ethical WeedThu, 09 Mar 2017
Source:Coast, The (CN NS) Author:Johnstone, Luke Area:Nova Scotia Lines:82 Added:03/11/2017

For years, cannabis has been a counter-cultural symbol-a plant that can be grown almost anywhere, giving it little marketing potential. That's about to change.

At a show last summer, a musician friend said to me, "This is Pineapple Express-I bought it legally in Kensington Market." Legal. Weed. Kensington. Toronto. That stuck in the memory banks, and I followed up next time I was in Toronto, visiting several locations of one well-reputed dispensary, sampling as many marijuana strains and concentrates as my budget would afford.

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12CN BC: Editorial: Board Right On Pot FestSat, 11 Mar 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/11/2017

The mission of the Vancouver park board is to provide, preserve, and advocate for parks and recreation services to benefit all people, communities, and the environment. Its purpose is not to provide a venue at taxpayers' expense for a special interest group that intends to break city bylaws and to sell or otherwise distribute what is still an illegal product.

The 4-3 decision by the park board commissioners not to grant a permit to the organizers of the 4/20 event was the only reasonable position it could take. Indeed, one wonders what the three dissenters were smoking.

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13CN BC: Editorial: PM Undermines Marijuana LawSat, 11 Mar 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/11/2017

Has Ottawa led marijuana-dispensary owners up the garden path? Are municipalities that have begun licensing these outlets jumping the gun? Judging by remarks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made in Victoria last week, that might indeed be the case.

During the 2015 federal election campaign, the Liberal Party promised to legalize marijuana. The party also said it would regulate and restrict access to the drug, but not surprisingly, the message most Canadians heard was that legalization is on the way.

However, during his visit here last week, the prime minister appeared to walk back, or at least qualify, that promise: "I cannot stress enough that until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current law applies."

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14 CN BC: Editorial: Opioid Crisis Has Broad ReachWed, 08 Mar 2017
Source:Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:59 Added:03/09/2017

Given the number of overdose deaths recorded on the West Shore, around Greater Victoria and across B.C., most would agree that the fentanyl-fuelled health crisis here has reached a critical stage.

The potency of this drug, often contained within such substances as heroin or available in pill form, has caught many people by surprise, from the users themselves to the emergency responders who must attend to them when things go terribly wrong.

While not everyone can empathize with the person who risks much - including their life - to achieve a high, more people might feel for the emergency responders who attend to overdose calls and whose goal it is to keep people alive long enough to get them to hospital.

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15 CN ON: Column: Drug Counterfeiters Using Fentanyl Are Getting AwayTue, 07 Mar 2017
Source:Chatham Daily News, The (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:71 Added:03/09/2017

While it seems out of context for a career progressive, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has gone law-and-order rogue in his quest to stem the plague of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the nation's capital.

He wants manslaughter charges laid against drug dealers if the illicit narcotics they peddle end up causing death. And he is not wrong in wanting this. The time is now to stop whistling past the graveyard, and ignoring the fact there is a fentanyl crisis that is not going away anytime soon - aided by the fact the lethal drug, 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, is being laced into counterfeit pain killers disguised as known prescription narcotics of specific strengths.

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16 US: OPED: Trump Should Be Appalled By Police Asset ForfeitureMon, 06 Mar 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McGrath, Lee Area:United States Lines:108 Added:03/09/2017

America's sheriffs have given President Trump a woefully inaccurate view of civil asset forfeiture-the process through which police seize, and prosecutors literally sue, cash, cars and real estate that they suspect may be connected to a crime. "People want to say we're taking money and without due process. That's not true," a Kentucky sheriff told the president last month at a White House meeting. Critics of forfeiture, the sheriff added, simply "make up stories."

In fact, thousands of Americans have had their assets taken without ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted. Russ Caswell almost lost his Massachusetts motel, which had been run by his family for more than 50 years, because of 15 "drug-related incidents" there from 1994-2008, a period through which he rented out nearly 200,000 rooms.

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17CN AB: Column: If Scourge Of Opioid Deaths Isn't An Emergency, ThenTue, 07 Mar 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/09/2017

Some columns are hard to write because it's almost impossible to stop watching the events that propel them.

That's the way it was with Monday's emergency legislature debate on opioid addiction and deaths.

It was fascinating, emotional, moving and very informative. It might have surprised many Albertans who think politicians have no clue about real life.

MLAs on all sides - Wildrose, PC, Alberta Party, Liberal and NDP - have seen the carnage close up.

Progressive Conservative MLA Rick Fraser, a former EMS worker, recalled arriving at a residence to find a 14-year-old boy who'd seemed perfectly normal when he arrived home, only to die shortly afterward in the basement.

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18 CN MB: Column: Drug Counterfeiters Using Fentanyl Getting Away WithSun, 05 Mar 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Manitoba Lines:94 Added:03/08/2017

While it seems out of context for a career progressive, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has gone law-and-order rogue in his quest to stem the plague of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the nation's capital.

He wants manslaughter charges laid against drug dealers if the illicit narcotics they peddle end up causing death.

And he is not wrong in wanting this.

The time is now to stop whistling past the graveyard, and ignoring the fact there is a fentanyl crisis that is not going away anytime soon - aided by the fact the lethal drug, 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, is being laced into counterfeit pain killers disguised as known prescription narcotics of specific strengths.

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19 CN AB: Column: Drug Dealers Getting Away With MurderSun, 05 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:03/08/2017

While it seems out of context for a career progressive, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has gone law-and-order rogue in his quest to stem the plague of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the nation's capital.

He wants manslaughter charges laid against drug dealers if the illicit narcotics they peddle end up causing death.

And he is not wrong in wanting this.

The time is now to stop whistling past the graveyard, and ignoring the fact there is a fentanyl crisis that is not going away anytime soon - aided by the fact the lethal drug, 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, is being laced into counterfeit pain killers disguised as known prescription narcotics of specific strengths.

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20 CN ON: Column: Time To End The SlaughterSun, 05 Mar 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:03/08/2017

Drug counterfeiters using fentanyl getting away with murder

While it seems out of context for a career progressive, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has gone law-and-order rogue in his quest to stem the plague of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the nation's capital.

He wants manslaughter charges laid against drug dealers if the illicit narcotics they peddle end up causing death.

And he is not wrong in wanting this.

The time is now to stop whistling past the graveyard, and ignoring the fact there is a fentanyl crisis that is not going away anytime soon - aided by the fact the lethal drug, 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, is being laced into counterfeit pain killers disguised as known prescription narcotics of specific strengths.

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