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1 CN AB: Oped: Alberta Not Getting The Full Picture On OpioidsSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Swann, David Area:Alberta Lines:91 Added:05/24/2017

By any objective measure, the opiate crisis has affected British Columbia far more severely than Alberta.

Both legal and illegal opiate use is more prevalent, and it was the first province to see this unprecedented number of deaths due to overdoses of fentanyl and other opiates.

B.C.'s response has been robust.

The declaration of a public health state of emergency led to resources being mobilized across government departments and between all stakeholders in a co-ordinated plan.

Their Provincial Health Officer reports monthly on the efforts to combat the crisis, and the province has embraced early harm reduction measures such as naloxone kits and supervised injection sites.

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2 CN PI: OPED: Time To Focus On PreventablesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI) Author:Colohan, Desmond Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:92 Added:05/24/2017

In a recent Canadian Public Health Association discussion paper, "A New Approach to Managing Illegal Psychoactive Substances in Canada," the point was made emphatically that our current approach to managing risk is not working.

Here are some of its highlights:

- - A psychoactive substance is a chemical that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness or behaviour. Societies mitigate the health, social, and economic consequences of the use and misuse of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, tranquillizers and sleeping pills in a variety of ways with varying degrees of success. Their effects on population health, however, are often overshadowed by our fascination with the direct effects of substance misuse on individuals [e.g. recent rise in the opioid death rate due to adulteration of the drug supply with fentanyl and its analogues]. Currently, western societies manage illegal psychoactive substances largely through prohibition and criminalization and legal drugs, like tobacco and alcohol, through regulation, restricted availability and price control. The laws and systems initially introduced to control these substances reflected the times ! and prevalent issues of the day, but no longer reflect current scientific knowledge concerning substance-related harms to individuals, families, or communities.

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3 CN AB: Column: Tackling The Problem Of OpioidsFri, 19 May 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Spearman, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:127 Added:05/24/2017

We've all heard the very troubling news reports in Alberta and across Canada about the growing problem of addiction to opioids, especially fentanyl.

Opioid addition is devastating families and causing an alarming number of deaths among those who - knowingly or unknowingly - make the mistake of using it. The issues associated with opioid addiction touch many different agencies, institutions, public and social service organizations. It touches families, and it touches individuals.

Lethbridge is not immune. Last fall, after hearing about what was happening in our city, I asked a broad range of leaders and organizations in our community to come together to collaborate on how we can respond in the best way possible.

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4CN BC: Column: Beware Of 'Evidence-Based' Policy PositionsWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

A term we hear with increasing frequency is the claim that we need "evidence-based policy" on this or that public issue. With the possible new importance of the B.C. Green party - we'll know more after the final election count on May 24 - you'll be hearing the phrase a lot more as the Greens love the term like yogis love mantras.

"Evidence-based policy" started out as a medical term. Doctors wanted evidence on the effectiveness of a treatment before using it. It is the empirical method in action. Constant research examines how patients fare after various procedures, surgeries or drug treatments so doctors can know which treatments are best.

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5Canada: Column: Progress On Opioids, Incoherence On MarijuanaThu, 18 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Selley, Chris Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

Legalizing pot shouldn't be this hard to get right

The move toward marijuana legalization is … still not as coherent as it could be, let's say.

The Liberal legislation, unveiled last month, would establish rules around THC-impaired driving that may well prove unconstitutional: science has yet to establish a solid link between a given level of THC concentration in a driver's blood or saliva and his level of impairment.

Frustratingly, there are still those who use this as an argument against legalization - as if it would create pot-impaired drivers where there are none today.

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6CN QU: OPED: Needle Programs For Prisoners Increase SafetyMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Elliott, Richard Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:05/19/2017

Drug use in jail is a reality and reducing harm is vital, say Richard Elliott and Rick Lines.

Almost one-third of federal prisoners reported using drugs during the past six months.

In December 2016, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott committed her government to a new national drug strategy that reinstates harm reduction as a non-negotiable pillar. It was a welcome announcement, signalling a modest shift away from the last decade's emphasis on prohibition and punishment - policies that continue to kill people who use drugs in Canada.

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7 CN ON: Editorial: War On Drugs Has Been Colossal FailureSat, 13 May 2017
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:05/16/2017

Be careful! This is the message to users of illegal drugs from a community-wide education and awareness campaign that includes a website, www.FentanylCAnKill.ca .

Drug overdoses have killed hundreds of people in British Columbia. The most recent report shows that 120 died in March of this year.

The local campaign is in response to a spate of opioid overdoses.

One day last October, Brantford police and paramedics were called to three separate incidents, involving four people who overdosed on fentanyl. That day was similar to an overnight incident in June when there were four fentanyl overdoses and one death in the city.

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8 CN ON: Editorial: Pot Isn't Safe For The YoungMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Roe, John Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:05/16/2017

As the Trudeau government works overtime to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada by the summer of 2018, there's a huge job to be done outside Parliament.

Health officials, educators, parents and the government must somehow persuade young Canadians to swear off a drug that will suddenly be legal for adults all around them to use for fun and relaxation.

This won't be easy, especially when teens see Mom and Dad light up a reefer and are told: "Do as we say, not as we do." But the stakes for our youth couldn't be higher. New research out of the University of Waterloo highlights both the harm marijuana is doing to the young as well as the high number of Canadian teens already indulging in the drug.

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9 CN ON: Editorial: Pot Isn't Safe For The YoungMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:05/16/2017

As the Trudeau government works overtime to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada by the summer of 2018, there's a huge job to be done outside Parliament.

Health officials, educators, parents and the government must somehow persuade young Canadians to swear off a drug that will suddenly be legal for adults all around them to use for fun and relaxation.

This won't be easy, especially when teens see Mom and Dad light up a reefer and are told: "Do as we say, not as we do." But the stakes for our youth couldn't be higher. New research out of the University of Waterloo highlights both the harm marijuana is doing to the young as well as the high number of Canadian teens already indulging in the drug.

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10CN BC: Column: Colorado Has Lessons For North AmericaFri, 12 May 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Wallace, Steve Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/15/2017

I recently attended the regional Driving Schools Association of the Americas conference in Denver, Colorado. Here are some of the things we talked about:

Many new teen drivers view sleep as a waste of time. Despite the fact that between nine and 10 hours is recommended for adolescents by the medical community, teens are getting not only much less than that, but poor quality sleep.

A polysomnographic technologist told us that studies show teens who get only four hours of sleep have about the same crash rate as a drunk driver. Sleep deprivation is a serious matter, especially for the young driver. Sleep before midnight is especially valuable and highly recommended for the youthful driver. Sleep specialists promote being in bed by 10 p.m. and up at 7 a.m. for teens.

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11 CN ON: Column: War On Drugs A Colossal FailureWed, 10 May 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Hunt, John R Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:05/15/2017

Be careful! This was the message to users of illegal drugs from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. Drug overdoses have killed hundreds of people in British Columbia. The most recent report shows that 120 died in March of this year.

The local warning came as a result of a man using tainted cocaine. He was taken to the North Bay Regional Health Centre. He was given large doses of naloxone. It probably saved his life. Drug users are being told to have a friend standing by when they ingest drugs. If something goes wrong the friend can dial 911 and perhaps save a life.

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12CN BC: Editorial: Drug Addiction Needs TreatmentFri, 12 May 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/12/2017

A Victoria father wants the power to force his 15-year-old daughter into a drug-rehabilitation facility. He fears for her life, because the girl has become a heroin addict, and might also have used fentanyl. She's been hospitalized at least twice for overdose treatment.

Seven provinces, including Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, have legislation permitting kids to be admitted involuntarily to detox centres. But no such option exists in B.C.

This year, Gordon Hogg, the retiring MLA for Surrey-White Rock, tabled a Safe Care Act, which would have created the required authority. However, the bill died when the election was called.

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13 CN ON: Column: Drugs And Federal Politics A Combustible MixSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Delacourt, Susan Area:Ontario Lines:106 Added:05/08/2017

No one plans to acquire a drug problem over the course of a lifetime - and neither do governments.

Yet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is nearing its midpoint in power surrounded by drug problems: serious issues to confront about legal, illegal and almost-legal substances. Two years ago, as they campaigned for office, most of these issues were not high (pardon the pun) on the Liberals' agenda.

First, the legal drugs. The federal Liberals' old allies at Queen's Park threw a deliberate curveball at Ottawa in the latest provincial budget when they introduced pharmacare for all Ontario health-card holders under the age of 25.

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14 CN ON: Column: Drugs, Legal And Illegal, On Agenda In OttawaSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Delacourt, Susan Area:Ontario Lines:106 Added:05/08/2017

No one plans to acquire a drug problem over the course of a lifetime - and neither do governments.

Yet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is nearing its midpoint in power surrounded by drug problems: serious issues to confront about legal, illegal and almost-legal substances. Two years ago, as they campaigned for office, most of these issues were not high (pardon the pun) on the Liberals' agenda.

First, the legal drugs. The federal Liberals' old allies at Queen's Park threw a deliberate curveball at Ottawa in the latest provincial budget when they introduced pharmacare for all Ontario health-card holders under the age of 25.

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15 CN BC: Column: Will Legalization Keep Pot Away From Kids?Sat, 06 May 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:British Columbia Lines:161 Added:05/08/2017

"We are moving forward to ensure that we keep ... cannabis out of the hands of young people." - Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, May 1 The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -During the 2015 election, the federal Liberals campaigned on a plan to greenlight marijuana for recreational use to keep it of the hands of children and the profits out of the hands of criminals.

The party's election platform said Canada's current approach - criminalizing people for possession and use - traps too many Canadians in the justice system for minor offences.

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16CN AB: Column: Everyone Loves Safe Injection Sites A Except TheWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Staples, David Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

It's painful on a daily basis to deal with people in the neighbourhood who have serious addiction issues.

Most everyone in the city, it seems, supports safe injection sites for intravenous drug addicts going into Edmonton inner-city neighbourhoods. Everyone except for one lonely group, those people who have to live near them.

The prospective neighbours don't buy the notion that these sites will make life better for all.

Edmonton city council, on the other hand, voted overwhelmingly, 10 votes to one, in favour of giving its stamp of approval for safe injection sites.

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17CN ON: Editorial: Hazy On Pot PardonsSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Dawson, Tyler Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

It appears the prime minister is blowing smoke out of both sides of his mouth.

Justin Trudeau is insisting that Canada's police officers continue enforcing marijuana laws until the drug is legalized, even while musing recently to Vice Media that perhaps there should be pardons for those convicted of marijuana possession.

That stance sends mixed signals. It's simply too early for the discussion. Trudeau should have held off on such speculation until after marijuana becomes legal.

Instead, intentionally or not, the prime minister has set the government down a complicated path - much as he did with promises of legalization in the first place.

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18 CN AB: OPED: Regulating Marijuana Is A Fool's ErrandMon, 08 May 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:McGarvey, Robert Area:Alberta Lines:109 Added:05/08/2017

The good news: an absurd prohibition on pot is about to end. The bad news: the Trudeau government has tied itself in knots

EDMONTON - The federal government's plan to legalize marijuana is another nail in the coffin of Canada's expensive and wasteful war on drugs. But at what social cost?

Former justice minister Anne McLellan, who chaired the federal task force on marijuana legalization, and Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief, played key roles in the government's new legislation. This forthright and responsible group examined the complex issues, listened to many concerned citizens, drafted their reports and made their recommendations.

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19US GA: Column: Atlanta's Pot Laws DiscriminateMon, 08 May 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Torpy, Bill Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

The Atlanta City Council is considering making the penalty for getting caught with pot similar to finding a parking ticket flapping on your windshield.

The effort is based on the idea that black residents are overwhelmingly the target of marijuana enforcement in the city, staining them with jail time, fines and arrest records that follow them in life.

The effort was put forward by Councilman Kwanza Hall, a mayoral candidate who has tried to carve out his place in the crowded mayor's race by pushing to do away with some quality-of-life offenses such as spitting, jay walking, idling and loitering - things one often does while smoking weed.

[end]

20 CN BC: Editorial: High Times, Low Productivity In B.C.Mon, 01 May 2017
Source:Business In Vancouver (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:58 Added:05/06/2017

Street-level 4-20 concerns are about to shift from Vancouver's Sunset Beach to B.C. C-suites.

The looming legalization in Canada of marijuana's recreational use pretty much extinguishes the marijuana criminalization protest aspect of the annual smoke-in.

For businesses in B.C. and elsewhere across the country, the real challenges of that legalization will migrate into the workplace.

There are, of course, numerous enterprise opportunities in Canada's pending medical and recreational marijuana boom.

Deloitte has estimated that the annual marketplace value for recreational marijuana sales alone in Canada could be between $5 billion and $8.7 billion. Total economic impact, Deloitte estimates, could be closer to $23 billion. But that's just the equation's revenue potential.

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