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1 US TX: Officers Killed In Murder Or Self-Defense?Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sack, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:762 Added:03/24/2017

With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85 miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.

SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.

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2 CN BC: OPED: Perspectives On The Drug Overdose Crisis In BCWed, 01 Mar 2017
Source:BC Medical Journal (CN BC) Author:Tyndal, Mark Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:03/06/2017

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 2, March 2017, page(s) 89 BC Centre for Disease Control Mark W. Tyndall, MD, ScD, FRCPC

British Columbia is in the midst of a public health crisis, with 914 documented overdose deaths in 2016. While there has been a steady increase in overdose deaths over the past 2 years, December 2016 had the highest monthly total of deaths ever recorded (128 deaths).[1] This is particularly alarming as it is happening despite a public health emergency announcement in April 2016 and a massive scale-up of the take-home naloxone program that has been used in over 3000 overdose reversals.

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3 CN BC: Expert Calls For 'Scaled Up' Approach To Opioid CrisisFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Ball, David P. Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:03/06/2017

Disease control director says more should be prescribed

One of British Columbia's top experts on diseases has slammed longstanding "drug policies that criminalize drug users," in an op-ed in the B.C. Medical Journal's new issue, and pushed for the expansion of government-prescribed opioids.

Dr. Mark Tyndall, provincial medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, wrote about the province's opioid overdose epidemic, which has killed almost 1,000 people in the last year "despite a public-health emergency announcement in April 2016."

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4CN BC: Paper Castigated City's Dope MenaceSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mackie, John Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2017

Vancouver World kept up steady stream of stories on evil of drugs

The evil of drugs has been a recurring theme for Vancouver newspapers since the city was founded in 1886. But few papers went as far as the Vancouver World's anti-dope campaign in January and February of 1922.

The tone of the campaign is summed up in an illustration by cartoonist Ernest LeMessurier on Feb. 18. A sharply dressed "dope trafficker" cowers before a cat o' nine tails whip being wielded by an arm labelled "public indignation." The title of the illustration is "The Cure."

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5 CN AB: PUB LTE: Poverty Drives Drug EpidemicMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Blakley, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:25 Added:01/10/2017

Leave it to a University of Calgary political science professor to connect legal pot to the fentanyl crisis. These people are afraid to take cold medicine.

Marijuana is only illegal because of turn-of-the-century racism, and the overdose epidemic has been allowed to escalate because the victims are poor. It's the so-called Calgary School's world view manifest.

Reid Blakley, Vancouver, B.C.

[end]

6US WI: Scott Walker Signs Bills Targeting Heroin, Other DrugsThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison- Doctors will have to check a statewide database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs, under a broad series of bills that Gov. Scott Walker signed Thursday to curb the abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.

"Wisconsin, like many other states across the country, is noticing a dangerous trend - an escalating number of cases involving heroin and opioid use, addiction, and overdose. The legislation we're signing into law today as a part of our HOPE tour works to combat this trend," Walker said in a statement.

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7 Canada: The First Lady Of Reefer MadnessSun, 01 Jan 2017
Source:Walrus, The (Canada) Author:Green, Melvyn Area:Canada Lines:451 Added:01/02/2017

How a renowned Canadian feminist popularized our racist war on drugs

Detective Joe Ricci and his partner, Alex Sinclair, were out on a routine bust in Vancouver's Chinatown. It was 1916, and Ricci and Sinclair were front-line officers in the war on opium. The drug had been criminalized in Canada eight years earlier through the introduction of the Western world's earliest drug prohibition law, and the Vancouver police department had been chasing down traffickers ever since. Ricci was a familiar sight in the neighbourhood. He had made such a big arrest in 1913 that for days after, the Vancouver Daily World reported, "not a light [was] to be seen and the ringing noise of the chuck-a-luck dice [had] stopped." But the gamblers and the opium smokers were soon back, and Ricci was out patrolling the streets again.

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8 CN MB: PUB LTE: Another Take On TokesWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:White, Stan Area:Manitoba Lines:27 Added:12/29/2016

Pamela McColl is guilty of some backwards thinking. Eight decades of cannabis (marijuana) prohibition has proven to be "experimenting with dangerous drug policies" and "risky public-health policy," not the other way around.

Insinuating cannabis laws involve "evidence-based drug policy" could not be farther from the truth. Cannabis prohibition and persecution was orchestrated from the beginning out of greed and racism. If cannabis were discovered today for the first time, it would be hailed as a miracle plant.

Stan White

Dillon, CO

[end]

9CN SN: Crystal Meth Fuelling Boost In City's Crime RateSat, 24 Dec 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Hamilton, Charles Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

Police chief says intervention, education key to tackling problem

For the first time under Chief Clive Weighill's tenure, crime in Saskatoon is going up. This city has the highest murder rate in the country and thefts and break-ins are spiking. The StarPhoenix sat down with the city's police chief to talk crime and what's next for 2017.

Q The rise of methamphetamine is well documented in Saskatoon. You've said it's a main contributor to the city's crime rate. How are you going to combat it?

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10 CN BC: PUB LTE: Drug War FailedThu, 22 Dec 2016
Source:Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC) Author:Scott, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:12/25/2016

Yes, there is a fentanyl crisis, but it is one we made ourselves in our all-fired enthusiasm to control everything.

The Drug War had its origins almost exactly 100 years ago when legislation was created both in the U.S. and Canada to "control" cannabis and opium, and were largely racially-inspired attacks on unpopular minorities who used these substances (eg. Chinese labourers working on the CP railway, and disposable artsy types).

Since the Second World War, the drug problem has grown like Topsy, each ill-advised exacerbation of the laws being reliably accompanied by an increase in prison populations, in the U.S. from 500,000 in 1980 to about 2.2 million in 2013.

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11 US PA: Past Approach To Crack Addicts Harsher Than Today's HeroinMon, 12 Dec 2016
Source:Reporter, The (Lansdale, PA) Author:Yates, Riley Area:Pennsylvania Lines:378 Added:12/14/2016

Officials, former inmate contrast the emphasis on treatment vs. incarceration

When Leola Bivins was first sent away for dealing drugs, she was a 22-year-old high school dropout with a 2-year-old daughter at home.

Addiction was the center of the life she knew in East Stroudsburg, where she was born and raised, she recalled recently. Bivins' mother was a heroin addict - she eventually died of an overdose - and seemingly everyone around her was either selling drugs or abusing them, Bivins said.

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12CN BC: As Drug Deaths Climb, Work Continues For Supervised SitesSat, 03 Dec 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Harnett, Cindy E. Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/07/2016

Island Health is forging ahead with preparations for supervised-consumption sites in Victoria, saying the mounting drug-overdose deaths demand action.

"The sense of urgency we have is that we have citizens within our community who are dying every day," Island Health CEO Brendan Carr said at a health board meeting in Victoria.

Applications for two of three supervised-consumption sites are on track to be submitted to Health Canada by the end of the month, Island Health said.

It wants to open supervised consumption services on Pandora Avenue next to Our Place, on Bridge Street near the Rock Bay Landing shelter, and at 844 Johnson St., which has been converted to housing for former residents of Victoria's tent city.

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13 US: Editorial: Race And Marijuana ArrestsFri, 25 Nov 2016
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:67 Added:11/29/2016

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office in 2014, has made some progress in cutting back on the unfair and sometimes illegal police practices under which thousands of New Yorkers are arrested every year for possessing trivial amounts of marijuana.

But despite research showing that whites and minority citizens use marijuana at similar rates, black and Latino New Yorkers are still far and away more likely to be singled out for low-level arrests that have little public safety value, but seriously damage their lives.

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14 US: PUB LTE: A Failed War On Pot: Second LookSun, 30 Oct 2016
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:United States Lines:35 Added:11/02/2016

Letter to the editor:

Regarding USA TODAY's editorial "Marijuana on the ballot," no further studies are needed. The results are in. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. Few Americans had heard of marijuana, much less smoked it, until Congress made it illegal in 1937. Racial profiling was the clear intent of Reefer-madness-era legislation. The ugly legacy of racially disproportionate enforcement continues. This, despite mainstream use of marijuana, generated by the forbidden-fruit appeal. If the goal is to subsidize violent drug cartels, marijuana prohibition is a success.

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15CN QU: Need Medical Marijuana? Ask For BorisFri, 14 Oct 2016
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Curtis, Christopher Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:10/18/2016

Dispensary works in 'legal grey zone' awaiting new federal law

The smell is unmistakable.

There must be a small mountain of pot lying somewhere in a back room of the storefront office on St-Laurent Blvd.

That thick, skunky aroma - strong enough to trigger memories of a misspent youth - is apparent the moment patients are buzzed through the front door of Fondation Marijuana.

A whiteboard by the reception desk advertises strains with names like Grand Daddy Purps, Jean Guy and Blue Magic.

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16 US DC: Will Decriminalization Solve The Drug Scourge?Thu, 13 Oct 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Davidson, Joe Area:District of Columbia Lines:127 Added:10/17/2016

Illegal drug use and trafficking have led to a multitude of ills in the United States, sometimes because of racially infected law enforcement, particularly in black neighborhoods.

But is decriminalizing small amounts of narcotics at least part of the answer to the scourge?

Two major human and civil rights organizations make a good case for it and advance the decriminalization discussion in a report released Wednesday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are engaged in a major push to change the way federal, state and local governments deal with drug enforcement and abuse.

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17 US MD: Editorial: Md.'s Geography Of PotMon, 10 Oct 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:124 Added:10/11/2016

Our view: Legislators should investigate apparent inconsistency in medical marijuana commission's criteria for who gets grower licenses

When the General Assembly legalized medical marijuana in Maryland, it required the commission running the program to "actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity when licensing medical marijuana growers." But the attorney general's office advised the commission that, absent a study documenting racial disparities in the medical cannabis industry, creating racial and ethnic preferences was unconstitutional. As a result, the regulations the commission adopted make no mention of racial diversity.

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18US CA: Column: Try Social Justice For The Best Buzz Of AllMon, 10 Oct 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Garofoli, Joe Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/11/2016

DENVER - Many Californians will vote to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use Nov. 8 because - hell, yeah! But many of the rest of us are hoping for a longer, deeper high from legalization. We're hoping it brings some social justice.

That benefit of legalization, I fear, is being a bit oversold in California. Ask Candi CdeBaca. Legalizing pot hasn't started to solve decades of inequities in her neighborhood because not enough people there have made social justice a priority.

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19 CN ON: His Name Is Finally Cleared After Six Years Behind BarsSat, 08 Oct 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Gallant, Jacques Area:Ontario Lines:193 Added:10/09/2016

Judge who acquitted Nosakhare Ohenen says case raises 'serious prospect' that police planted drugs on him

In 2010, a judge ruled that Nosakhare Ohenhen's version of events detailing his arrest, including the allegation that Toronto police planted drugs on him, to be a "fabrication" and "totally implausible."

He was convicted on a number of drug and firearm offences, as well as for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, with credit for time spent in custody since his 2008 arrest.

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20 CN ON: Column: Rights 'Shockingly Ignored'Fri, 07 Oct 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Mandel, Michele Area:Ontario Lines:101 Added:10/08/2016

Judge blasts cops for actions that sent man to prison for 5 years

It's another black eye for Toronto Police delivered from the judicial bench.

Unfortunately, it comes rather late for Nosakhare Ohenhen. Long after the admitted drug dealer finished serving five years in prison, Justice Michael Quigley has acquitted him of all charges at his retrial, slamming Toronto cops for racial profiling and suggesting they may have even planted the drugs found in the man's Jaguar when he was stopped on Aug. 21, 2008.

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