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1US CA: San Francisco Pot Proposal Aims To Help Victims Of 'FailedWed, 01 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

Each of San Francisco's 11 supervisors has called for "equity" in the city's cannabis laws, meaning they want to create a racially diverse industry that gives former drug offenders a shot at success.

On Wednesday, Supervisor Malia Cohen presented an ordinance to help the city achieve its social justice goals when sales of recreational marijuana become legal throughout the state in January. The city won't issue permits to sell recreational cannabis until an equity program is approved.

Cohen's proposal - modeled after a similar program that Oakland approved in March and another that's being considered in Los Angeles - would prioritize permits for dispensary operators with marijuana arrests or convictions between 1971 and 2009. Also eligible for priority would be entrepreneurs who committed other nonviolent crimes during that time period, or who earn 80 percent of San Francisco's area median income, or who were displaced from their homes within the past 22 years.

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2CN ON: OPED: We Need Clean Needle And Syringe Program In PrisonsThu, 02 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Chu, Sandra Ka Hon Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

Does Trudeau back harm reduction or not, ask Sandra Ka Hon Chu and Richard Elliott

Implementing needle and syringe programs in federal prisons could prevent numerous new HIV and Hepatitis C virus infections each year, saving tens of millions of dollars.

Five years ago, we started a constitutional court case, because it was clear that, despite the evidence, the previous government would never agree to implement these health services in federal prisons.

But the Trudeau government has repeatedly declared its commitment to harm reduction and evidence-based policy, to Charter rights, and to the health and welfare of vulnerable Canadians. Prison-based needle and syringe programs reflect all of these.

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3CN ON: Racist Past Of The Word Marijuana Raises New ConcernsFri, 03 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

Is the word marijuana racist?

It's a long-standing debate in the cannabis world, but the question is now slipping into the mainstream as the drug is on the edge of becomingly legal for recreational use. Many people aren't aware of the history of the term marijuana, which is linked to campaigns in the U.S. in the 1930s to demonize the plant by associating it with Mexican immigrants.

Halifax Coun. Shawn Cleary recently created controversy when he declared he would no longer use the word. "Let's do what we can to not perpetuate racism," he said on Twitter.

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4CN NS: Halifax Official Stops Using Word 'Marijuana'Fri, 27 Oct 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Thomson, Aly Area:Nova Scotia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/30/2017

Claims it's racist

HALIFAX * A Halifax councillor says he will no longer use the term "marijuana" because it is racist, sparking a social media debate over the well-used synonym for cannabis.

Coun. Shawn Cleary said a police officer he works with on a cannabis legalization task force recently brought it to his attention that the term has a racist history.

Cleary said in the early 1900s during the criminalization of cannabis in the U.S., "marijuana" was used to demonize marginalized communities, namely Mexicans.

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5CN BC: OPED: Rethink Our Approach To Opioid BattleThu, 19 Oct 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Novotna, Gabriela Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2017

Thirteen Canadians a day were hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-2015, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information, and the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily rising.

What began with the over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller once thought to have a low potential for addiction, led to the diversion of legal drugs to the illegal market, and later to the dramatic expansion of the illegal production of fentanyl.

As the horror stories of addiction and death multiply, it is clear that what was once a medical issue is now a population-health crisis.

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6 CN ON: OPED: The Opioid Crisis Is A Health Issue, Not A CriminalTue, 17 Oct 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Novotna, Gabriela Area:Ontario Lines:116 Added:10/20/2017

According to the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily on the rise with about 13 Canadians a day hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-2015.

The over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller previously thought to have a low potential for addiction, led first to the diversion of legal drugs to the illegal market, and later, to the dramatic expansion of the illegal production of fentanyl.

As the horror stories of addiction and death have multiplied, it is now clear that what was once a medical issue is now a population health crisis.

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7 CN MB: OPED: Opioid Crisis A Health Issue, Not A Criminal OneFri, 20 Oct 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Novotna, Gabriela Area:Manitoba Lines:102 Added:10/20/2017

ACCORDING to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily on the rise, with approximately 13 Canadians a day hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-15. What began with the over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller previously thought to have a low potential for addiction, led first to the diversion of legal drugs to the illegal market, and later to the dramatic expansion of the illegal production of fentanyl.

As the horror stories of addiction and death have multiplied, it is now clear that what was once a medical issue is now a population health crisis.

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8 CN ON: Editorial: Get Smarter On DrugsFri, 06 Oct 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:89 Added:10/11/2017

The chorus calling on Ottawa to decriminalize possession of all drugs is growing louder and more urgent. The government should listen

The chorus calling on Ottawa to rethink its approach to the epidemic of opioid overdoses sweeping this country is growing louder and more urgent. Two new reports issued this week echo a broad consensus among public health experts: decriminalizing the possession of all drugs is crucial if we're going to tackle this crisis.

In Ontario, more than two people died from opioid overdoses every day last year - and the rate seems to have risen in 2017. In British Columbia, the problem is even worse.

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9 CN NS: Editorial: Decriminalize All Drug Possession? Not A Bad IdeaThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:80 Added:09/26/2017

NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh's recent promise that, as prime minister, he would move quickly to drop criminal penalties for possession or purchase of small amounts of all drugs will no doubt seem radical to many.

Broad-based decriminalization would beast ark reversal after decades of increasingly punitive policies. And this would certainly add a layer of complication to the already complicated task of legalizing marijuana, which Ottawa and the provinces are struggling to do by next summer. The Trudeau government' s current position on decriminalization is understandable: Ottawa already has its hands full with pot.

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10 CN BC: Column: Opioid Crisis Deserves More Attention Than Pot PlansThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Garr, Allen Area:British Columbia Lines:100 Added:09/21/2017

Nothing seems to have the cops and local and provincial politicians scrambling more these days than their attempts to get ahead of the federal government's plans to make marijuana legal by next summer.

But that should hardly be too much of distraction to allow the toker in the Prime Minister's office, the cute and clever Justin Trudeau, off the hook when it comes to effectively dealing with a more immediately critical drug issue, the opioid crisis.

Yet is seems to have.

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11 CN ON: Editorial: Decriminalize All Drugs? Not A Bad IdeaSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:119 Added:09/19/2017

NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh's recent promise that, as prime minister, he would move quickly to drop criminal penalties for possession or purchase of small amounts of all drugs will no doubt seem radical to many.

Broad-based decriminalization would be a stark reversal after decades of increasingly punitive policies. And this would certainly add a layer of complication to the already-complicated task of legalizing marijuana, which Ottawa and the provinces are struggling to do by next summer. The Trudeau government's current position on decriminalization is understandable: Ottawa already has its hands full with pot.

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12 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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13 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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14 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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15 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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16 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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17CN 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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18 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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19 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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20US 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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