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1 CN ON: Column: No Shortage Of Fear And Alarm At Pot HearingsSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Harper, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:09/19/2017

It's difficult to analyze the impact of Ottawa's coming marijuana legislation with studies and numbers and examinations of other jurisdictions.

This is the type of social legislation that sparks emotions that can't be allayed with pie charts.

There are many thousands, if not millions, of Canadian parents worried this will make it easier for their children to find pot.

On the other hand, an untold number of parents are likely to spark one up tonight to relax after the kids head to bed.

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2 Canada: Column: Who's Looking Out For The Children?Thu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Balkissoon, Denise Area:Canada Lines:103 Added:09/19/2017

As marijuana legalization looms, let's remind lawmakers that the focus must be on public health, not criminal justice

Twenty-year-old me can't believe 40-year-old me has come to this, sending out a warning call about the dangers of marijuana. There is more than a fragrant whiff of do as I say, not as I did about this column.

But 40-year-old me has seen things 20-year-old me hadn't, such as people around me coping with addiction and mental illness. So I'm here to be a wet blanket: As legalization approaches, let's focus on (spoiler alert, old-lady phrase) our young people.

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3 CN QU: Edu: Editorial: McGill Cannot Ignore The Fentanyl CrisisMon, 11 Sep 2017
Source:McGill Daily, The (CN QU Edu)          Area:Quebec Lines:71 Added:09/13/2017

Content Warning: drug use and overdose

Last week, public health officials in Montreal warned of an imminent fentanyl crisis that poses a serious risk to the city's drug users. Fentanyl is an opioid prescribed to relieve chronic pain, but its intensity is 40 times that of heroin, and its toxicity 100 times that of morphine. Fentanyl can be found in opiates, as well as party drugs such as cocaine, PCP, and MDMA. Because it's often present without the consumer's knowledge, it can easily cause a fatal overdose. In British Columbia, 706 overdose deaths from January to July 2017 involved fentanyl. In Montreal, there have been 24 confirmed drug overdose cases since the beginning of August 2017. Faced with this growing public health crisis, the McGill community must waste no time in supplying the tools and information necessary to keep students safe.

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4 CN ON: Column: Spend Real Money To Teach About PotWed, 13 Sep 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Harper, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:113 Added:09/13/2017

It's difficult to analyze the impact of Ottawa's coming marijuana legislation with studies and numbers and examinations of other jurisdictions.

This is the type of social legislation that sparks emotions that can't be allayed with pie charts.

There are many thousands, if not millions, of Canadian parents worried this will make it easier for their children to find pot.

On the other hand, an untold number of parents are likely to spark one up tonight to relax after the kids head to bed.

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5 CN ON: MP Says Pot Law Talks Must Address RacismWed, 23 Aug 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Smith, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:94 Added:08/25/2017

OTTAWA - The plan to legalize marijuana should recognize that the black community has been overly-criminalized for using the drug, says a Liberal MP who is calling on the government to consider that perspective.

"We do know that black Canadians have been disproportionately charged with and are imprisoned for possession of small amounts of cannabis," Greg Fergus, a Quebec MP who chairs the Liberal black caucus, said on Tuesday.

"I don't think that's because there is a greater propensity in the black community to consume marijuana," he said.

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6CN 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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7 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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8 US MD: Maryland Regulators Approve Eight New Medical MarijuanaMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cox, Erin Area:Maryland Lines:115 Added:08/14/2017

Maryland's medical marijuana regulators approved final licenses for eight growing companies on Monday, allowing them to start cultivating the drug.

Several companies said they are ready to begin growing immediately, while others say they will take weeks to get started.

"Now, we have a real industry," said Cary Millstein, CEO of newly licensed grower Freestate Wellness in Howard County.

Until Monday, just one of the 15 selected firms had received final permission to start cultivating medical marijuana, which was first legalized in the state in 2013. Even at full capacity, one firm could not produce nearly enough to support 102 planned dispensaries.

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9US WI: Column: Mills: It's Time To End The War On DrugsFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Mills, Emily Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

I grew up in the 1980s, back when the "Just Say No" campaign was in full swing. I remember being prepared to fend off relentless peer pressure to do drugs, evil strangers offering what was not actually candy, and so forth. Then I grew up, and almost none of the scenarios I'd been taught in D.A.R.E. ever really came to pass.

I still avoided drugs, mostly because of a combination of a good home life and an over-analytical brain. It wasn't as if drugs weren't around, though. I watched too many of my friends experiment with everything from speed to acid. No one ever pressured me to try it. It was simply there if you wanted to dive in.

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10 CN ON: PUB LTE: Banning Drugs Only Makes Them More DangerousTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Randell, Alan Area:Ontario Lines:35 Added:08/08/2017

Re Think twice before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

I couldn't disagree more with Rosie Dimanno. Nearly all the harm done to users and non-users alike by illegal drugs is because the drugs are prohibited. Thousands were poisoned by adulterated booze during Prohibition and thousands more are dying today because of adulterated drugs, an aspect of government policy my wife and I became well acquainted with when our 19-year-old son, Peter, died shortly after ingesting some street heroin in 1993.

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11CN 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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12CN 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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13CN 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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14 US CA: OPED: Race Case For Reefer ReparationsThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Price, Neil Area:California Lines:143 Added:08/03/2017

Time to redress the harm done to thousands of Black youth who have life-limiting criminal records because of pot

The war on drugs has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on racialized groups, particularly young Black men.

While research has shown that Black people partake in recreational pot at the same rates as their white counterparts, it's Black people who have endured the heavy hand of justice. Black people are twice as likely to be taken to a police station after being charged for simple possession of marijuana. They are also twice as likely to be held overnight for a bail hearing.

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15 US NY: As States Keep Saying Yes To Marijuana, Attorney General SaysSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:New York Lines:113 Added:07/19/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has compared cannabis to heroin.

NEW YORK - In a national vote widely viewed as a victory for conservatives, last year's elections also yielded a win for liberals in eight states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

But the growing industry is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin.

A task force Sessions appointed to, in part, review links between violent crimes and marijuana is scheduled to release its findings by the end of the month. But he has already asked Senate leaders to roll back rules that block the Justice Department from bypassing state laws to enforce a federal ban on medical marijuana.

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16 CN ON: OPED: Let's Repair The Harms Of Canada's War On DrugsMon, 10 Jul 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Owusu-Bempah, Akwasi Area:Ontario Lines:114 Added:07/14/2017

The legalization of cannabis is a move forward for our country and sends a positive message to the rest of the world about a changing tide in the global war on drugs.

However, as we progress toward legalization, we must ensure that we work to repair the harms done to those most affected by almost a century of prohibition.

Justin Trudeau rose to power based, in part, on a promise to legalize cannabis after having publicly admitted to smoking weed while sitting as a member of Parliament. Trudeau is certainly not alone in his fondness for the drug. Survey data reveals that 11 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older have used it in the past year and over one-third admit to having done so at least once in their lifetime.

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17 CN NS: Boxer Fights For His ReputationTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Metro (Halifax, CN NS) Author:Croucher, Philip Area:Nova Scotia Lines:114 Added:07/14/2017

Custio Clayton alleges racial profiling by Montreal police

A cloud still follows Custio Clayton after one spring night in Montreal.

The former Olympian turned professional boxer has been in his hometown of Dartmouth for three weeks now, following his biggest pro victory to date. But this period of rest and relaxation has been sullied for the 29-year-old father of four.

Clayton says he was racially profiled by Montreal police during a traffic stop April 4 - during which a veteran officer accused him of being a drug dealer hiding marijuana inside a 2017 Yukon Denali.

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18 CN BC: Column: Cannabis Front And Centre On Parliament Hill LastFri, 07 Jul 2017
Source:Cowichan Valley Citizen (CN BC) Author:MacGregor, Alistair Area:British Columbia Lines:96 Added:07/10/2017

After a long session in Parliament working hard on legislative affairs, we have finally hit summer weather where the real work begins: reconnecting with constituents that sent me to Ottawa and ensuring that all of your issues are well represented and defended in the House of Commons.

I know that in your working and busy lives you cannot possibly follow all the things that have happened in the spring parliamentary session, so I appreciate this opportunity to give an update on some of the highlights.

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19 CN ON: Pot Arrest Data Reveals 'Startling' Racial DivideSat, 08 Jul 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rankin, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:447 Added:07/10/2017

Police stats obtained by the Star show disparity when it comes to marijuana possession charges

Black people with no history of criminal convictions have been three times more likely to be arrested by Toronto police for possession of small amounts of marijuana than white people with similar backgrounds, according to a Toronto Star analysis.

They've also been more likely to be detained for bail, the data shows.

The disparity is largely due to targeting of Black people by Toronto police, according to criminologists and defence lawyers interviewed by the Star, who note that surveys show little difference in marijuana use between Black and white people.

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20 CN ON: As Legalization Looms, Calls Grow For Pot AmnestySun, 09 Jul 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rankin, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:235 Added:07/10/2017

Criminal records that are hard to erase disproportionately affect lives, careers of Black people

More than 27,000 people in Toronto were arrested for possessing marijuana from 2003 to 2013, a Star analysis reveals. Nearly one-quarter of them were aged 12 to 18.

The data obtained by the Star also indicates that possession arrests and charges rose where the "carding" of residents by police was widespread. And just as this practice of stopping, questioning and documenting affected Black people disproportionately, so did marijuana charges.

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