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1CN ON: OPED: Here's Why We Need Public Spaces Where People Can UseSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Valleriani, Jenna Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Licensing vapour lounges would enhance safety, say Jenna Valleriani and Abi Roach.

If you've been following the plans for cannabis legalization across Canada, one of the key concerns is not just how it will be sold, but where exactly people will be allowed to consume cannabis.

Not in parks, or in the streets, certainly not in restaurants or even in places where there are existing tobacco allowances. In Ontario, the proposed legislation boils down to this: The only place we can consume legal cannabis will be in the privacy of our homes.

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2 CN ON: Column: Ex-Cops Cashing In On New Pot Laws Upholds Old PowersMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Toronto, CN ON) Author:Mochama, Vicky Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:11/23/2017

Known for his mishandling of Veterans A airs, corruption scandals within his constabulary and, shall we say, colourful comments on race and marijuana, former Toronto and Ontario police chief Julian Fantino is launching a pot business with a former RCMP senior leader. It has rightly been met with outcry.

It exposes not only his personal hypocrisies but also those of the pot legalization process.

A focus on criminalizing personal use rather than public health concerns (i.e., accessibility to children, mental health issues) has contributed to the circumstances that make young Black and Indigenous people known to police. Along with carding, illegality of marijuana has introduced more young racialized, especially Black, people to the criminal justice system than is patently fair.

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3 US: In These States, Past Marijuana Crimes Can Go AwayMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:172 Added:11/23/2017

Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small amounts of the drug.

"We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war on drugs," says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.

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4 US NY: Racial Disparity Found In Local Marijuana Arrests, Study SaysTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Fairbanks, Phil Area:New York Lines:107 Added:11/14/2017

In just three years, the number of marijuana arrests in Buffalo dropped by more than half.

At the same time, the overwhelming majority of people arrested continued to be people of color.

A new study, released Tuesday, found 86 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession in Buffalo during the five year-period ending last year were black or Hispanic.

In Erie County, people of color accounted for 77 percent of all marijuana possession arrests over the same five-year period, according to the study.

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5US CA: Former Supervisors Threaten Ballot Measure Over ProposedTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

A proposed deal to cut through San Francisco's cannabis debate and allow existing medical dispensaries to sell recreational pot on Jan. 1 could put a choke hold on the industry, two former supervisors said Tuesday.

Scott Wiener and David Campos, who formed an unlikely partnership to intervene in the city's cannabis legislation, blasted the proposal by Supervisor Aaron Peskin hours before it went to the full board.

Peskin's idea of granting recreational permits to the city's 46 existing pot businesses, when coupled with zoning rules that other supervisors have introduced to keep the pot trade out of their neighborhoods, would create a monopoly for those already in business, Wiener and Campos said.

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6US 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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7CN 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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8CN 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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9CN 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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10CN 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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11 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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12 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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13 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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14 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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15 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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16 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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17 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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18 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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19 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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20 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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