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1 Canada: Cannabis Debate: Legal Pot Is Far Safer For Youth ThanMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:Canada Lines:108 Added:04/18/2018

Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term, heavy use.

Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24 represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from criminals.

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2 US MA: DARE Officers, Their Ranks Thinned, Face Legal Pot And OpioidTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Contrera, Jessica Area:Massachusetts Lines:218 Added:03/16/2018

WEST BRIDGEWATER - The class had covered bullying, Internet safety, and good decision-making, and by February, Officer Kenneth Thaxter could see that the sixth-graders were ready.

The lights went off, and the projector went on.

"Today," the DARE officer said, "we're going to talk about marijuana."

For 16 years, every elementary school student in this small town has learned about drugs from Thaxter. But this year, his lesson needed to change, and he was about to find out whether the students knew why.

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3 Colombia: Colombian Coca Farmers, Facing A Threat To TheirFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Kraul, Chris Area:Colombia Lines:222 Added:11/28/2017

The anti-narcotics police arrived here in the heart of Colombia's cocaine industry last month to destroy the coca crop. The community was determined to save it.

Roughly 1,000 farmers, some armed with clubs, surrounded the hilltop camp that police had set up in a jungle clearing and began closing in on the officers.

The police started shooting. When they were done, seven farmers were dead and 21 were wounded.

"Several friends and neighbors died on the ground waiting for medical assistance," said Luis Gaitan, 32, who protected himself by hiding behind a tree stump.

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4 CN ON: Column: Campaign Must Be HonestFri, 29 Sep 2017
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Soupcoff, Marni Area:Ontario Lines:66 Added:09/29/2017

You're about to legalize a drug that poses more serious risks to young people than it does to adults. You want to make sure young people know about these risks so that they don't see legalization as a green light to start or continue using the drug. (The drug will still be legally off limits for those under 18 at least, but this doesn't tend to mean a lot in practice.) What do you do?

Creating successful anti-drug campaigns is tricky. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program has been used in U.S. schools since the eighties and has proved popular and pervasive.

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5Canada: Column: Pot Education: Truth Is A Good Place To StartFri, 29 Sep 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Soupcoff, Marni Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2017

You're about to legalize a drug that poses more serious risks to young people than it does to adults. You want to make sure young people know about these risks so that they don't see legalization as a green light to start or continue using the drug. (The drug will still be legally off limits for those under 18 at least, but this doesn't tend to mean a lot in practice.) What do you do?

Launch an educational campaign, of course. That's why, in anticipation of Canada's legalization of marijuana in 2018, Health Canada has put out a new tender. They're looking for a contractor to create marketing events - geared mostly to teenagers and young adults - that will raise awareness of the health and safety risks of cannabis. Which is a good idea... if the department, and the firm they hire, do their homework first.

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6 CN ON: Column: Pot Education Must Be HonestFri, 29 Sep 2017
Source:Sault Star, The (CN ON) Author:Soupcoff, Marni Area:Ontario Lines:66 Added:09/29/2017

You're about to legalize a drug that poses more serious risks to young people than it does to adults. You want to make sure young people know about these risks so that they don't see legalization as a green light to start or continue using the drug. (The drug will still be legally off limits for those under 18 at least, but this doesn't tend to mean a lot in practice.) What do you do?

Creating successful anti-drug campaigns is tricky. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program has been used in U.S. schools since the eighties and has proved popular and pervasive.

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7 Canada: OPED: Money Alone Can't Solve Ontario's Opioid CrisisFri, 29 Sep 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Jivani, Jamil Area:Canada Lines:92 Added:09/29/2017

The Toronto Board of Health has joined the chorus of voices asking the Ontario government to better fight the opioid crisis. This week, the board voted unanimously to recommend the province declare the opioid crisis a provincial emergency. Last month, more than 700 health-care workers across Ontario signed an open letter also requesting Premier Kathleen Wynne declare the opioid crisis a provincial emergency.

In response to last month's open letter, Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins resisted declaring an emergency and instead offered a familiar solution: spending more money. The provincial government plans to spend $222-million over three years to hire more harm-reduction workers, expand the supply of naloxone and create more clinics. Following the board of health's vote, Dr. Hoskins doubled down on his refusal to label the opioid crisis an emergency.

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8 Canada: Athletic Landscape Grows Hazy As Legal Marijuana LoomsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Spencer, Donna Area:Canada Lines:159 Added:08/17/2017

Canada's elite athletes are smoking, eating and investing in marijuana. Is a toke before stepping to the start line far off?

The Canadian government intends to legalize recreational cannabis by July 1, 2018. It's already legal for personal recreational use in a handful of U.S. states.

Cannabis, hashish, marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) prohibited list, but only during competition.

When labs receive urine samples taken out of competition, they don't test for those substances, according to the Canadian Centre For Ethics in Sport (CCES).

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9 Canada: Demystifying A Instead Of Decrying A Drugs For TeensSat, 17 Jun 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:Canada Lines:169 Added:06/19/2017

Educating teenagers about the safety of recreational drug use is an age-old conundrum for Canada, one at the forefront as the country pushes ahead with legalizing marijuana by next year

The ad shows four pretty young women laughing as their convertible rips past the picturesque Rockies on a warm sunny day, the driver - eyes narrowed slightly - joyfully passing a doobie to her friend.

In the next one, a hip young guy with high-top dreadlocks pinches a smouldering joint (backwards) in one hand and adjusts the car stereo with his other as his date leaves her house and approaches in a red party dress.

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10 CN ON: Growing ConcernsWed, 14 Dec 2016
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:133 Added:12/15/2016

Pot industry players react to marijuana legalization report

Pot smokers, dispensary owners and cannabis industry executives reacted Tuesday to the federal government task force recommendations on how Canada should go about legalizing recreational marijuana.

The dispensary manager: Stores should be here to stay

Kristina Simpson's hands fly up to her face in shock when she's informed the task force has come out in favour of marijuana storefronts. "Oh my gosh!" says the manager of Weeds Glass & Gifts dispensary on Bank Street. "I'm so happy!" She had braced herself for a more restrictive approach. The task force said storefronts with "well-trained, knowledgeable staff" should have a place, although the provinces would be left to decide how and where marijuana is sold.

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11 US: Cancer Study Of Psilocybin Hints At New Role For Illegal DrugThu, 01 Dec 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hoffman, Jan Area:United States Lines:202 Added:12/05/2016

On a summer morning in 2013, Octavian Mihai entered a softly lit room furnished with a small statue of Buddha, a box of tissues and a single red rose. From an earthenware chalice, he swallowed a capsule of psilocybin, an ingredient found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Then he put on an eye mask and headphones and lay down on a couch. Soon, images flew by like shooting stars: a spinning world that looked like a blue-green chessboard; himself on a stretcher in front of a hospital; his parents, gazing at him with aching sadness as he reached out to them, suffused with childlike love.

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12 US CA: Column: Latinos Are Key To Pot LegalizationSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Abcarian, Robin Area:California Lines:134 Added:08/29/2016

The town hall meeting, in a cavernous garage on an industrial side street in Gardena, was billed as an opportunity to learn about cannabis from some of the industry's experts.

I assumed there would be strong arguments made in favor of Proposition 64, the November ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.

But it hardly seemed necessary. From what I could tell, most of those in the room were already on board. Some had recently started businesses or were contemplating how to get a piece of what assuredly is going to be a huge economic pie if Proposition 64 passes.

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13 US CO: Column: Hemp Can Have Wider UseWed, 20 Jul 2016
Source:Colorado Springs Independent (CO) Author:Stein, Nat Area:Colorado Lines:87 Added:07/21/2016

The smoky sunsets of late make for an eerie reminder of the fires burning all around the Springs - to the west, up north and in our past. It's unwelcome deja vu, but it seems all but inevitable each summer.

Colorado is hot, dry and windy during the summer, making it fertile ground for ravaging fires. But research suggests this recent uptick may be attributable to insect outbreaks, drought and rising temperatures - all symptoms of manmade climate change. Innovators not resigned to that fate have found an unlikely tool for both surviving wildfires and preventing them at the same time: cannabis. (But not the kind that gets you high.)

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14 US CA: Column: Marijuana's Billionaire BogeymanThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:SF Weekly (CA) Author:Roberts, Chris Area:California Lines:118 Added:06/16/2016

For almost a year, American visitors to Las Vegas have been able to go to a show, dine at a celebrity chef's restaurant, drink, gamble - and legally buy cannabis.

Nevada was the first state in the nation to offer "reciprocity" to medical marijuana users, meaning a physician's recommendation from, say, California - useless in trying to access medical cannabis in, say, Colorado - is enough to gain entry to the cannabis dispensary nearest your favorite casino.

The first dispensary in Las Vegas "proper" opened last summer, and the first dispensary on Las Vegas Boulevard opened in March. With an adult legalization measure on the fall ballot in Nevada, it looks as if cannabis could soon be added to the list of must-do activities for a weekend in America's Sin City. And with an estimated 27 percent of Las Vegas' 41 million annual visitors coming from cannabis-friendly Southern California, there are millions of potential customers to make cannabis a complement to Vegas's gaming and dining industries. (In fact, with less than 2.8 million people statewide, there really is no cannabis industry in Nevada without toking tourists.)

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15 US MI: Column: Fighting For A Vote On Legalized MarijuanaWed, 08 Jun 2016
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:157 Added:06/08/2016

MILegalize is still kicking. The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan turned in more than 350,000 signatures in its attempt to put the question on the fall ballot. It was the only group out of a number of petition efforts to actually turn in their petitions with the qualifying 252,523 signatures.

To the organizers, activists, petition circulators, and petition signers, I say: "Well done." But the main question being asked now is: Was it done quickly enough?

MILegalize spent a year collecting signatures, and overcame numerous obstacles, from challenges to the petition print size, to a lack of money and no support from national organizations. That's something the Michigan Cannabis Coalition's competing ballot initiative couldn't do. Neither could the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan and a handful of others.

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16 Philippines: Expletives Light Up Davao Party For DuterteMon, 06 Jun 2016
Source:Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines) Author:Alconaba, Nico Area:Philippines Lines:153 Added:06/06/2016

DAVAO CITY-There were no fireworks at President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's victory party on Saturday, as pyrotechnics are banned in Davao City. But who needed them when Duterte himself was there?

"You sons of bitches, I will really kill you," Duterte warned drug dealers in a speech to 200,000 supporters celebrating his electoral victory at Crocodile Park.

The crowd cheered as the first expletive of the evening exploded from the mouth of the trash-talking city mayor, who will be inaugurated as the Philippines' 16th President on June 30.

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17US CA: Series: Hope And Relief Found In The HillsWed, 01 Jun 2016
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/01/2016

Moved by Silas Hurd's plight, a marijuana grower who specializes in plant genetics combed his seed groups for strains that might calm the boy's devastating epilepsy. The family had bouts of relief, but inevitably the seizures returned. And a growing political backlash cast shadow on their efforts.

Grass Valley - Aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma had taken his wife in 2000. Colon cancer claimed his father four years later.

Brad Peceimer, a former aerospace manufacturing engineer, grew marijuana and produced medicinal remedies for both of them, to help relieve the nausea and discomfort caused by their treatments. After their deaths, he kept cultivating, fascinated with plant science.

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18CN BC: OPED: Not Your Parent's PotMon, 16 May 2016
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:McIntosh, Diane Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/16/2016

The THC Potency Of Street Marijuana Has Increased, Writes Diane McIntosh

In my psychiatric practice, I treat patients with psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia. Most were born with a genetic vulnerability to develop the disorder, but many share another important life experience: they smoked pot from an early age.

Debate has raged across Canada about the impending legalization/decriminalization of marijuana. Canadian physicians, in their role as advocates for physical and mental health, have been conspicuously absent from the debate. This troubling void in leadership is apparent from the lack of informed discourse exhibited across all forms of media. Our failure to educate Canadians regarding the potential risks of street pot, particularly for a developing brain, has important social, physical and psychological implications.

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19CN AB: OPED: It's Time To Have A New Conversation With YouthsSat, 07 May 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Haines-Saah, Rebecca Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2016

Young People Need A Voice As Legislation To Legalize Rolls Out, Writes Rebecca Haines-saah

The April 20 announcement by federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott regarding the imminent legalization of cannabis use in Canada has provided us with the opportunity to protect our sensibilities or our children. We won't be able to do both and so we must choose.

When Philpott announced that the government plans to have legislation to legalize cannabis ready by spring 2017, the priority of "protecting children" was front and centre.

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20 US MA: Heroin, Prescription Opioids Form Especially Toxic MixMon, 02 May 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Horowitz, Evan Area:Massachusetts Lines:164 Added:05/02/2016

The Massachusetts heroin epidemic is unlike any other in the United States. The overdose rate in the state is more than twice the national average. And deaths from prescription opioids like OxyContin are only slightly less harrowing.

Unusual, too, is the degree to which these two scourges are feeding off each other. A substantial and spiking number of overdoses in Massachusetts involves both heroin and prescription drugs, something you rarely find elsewhere in the United States.

Until now, it's been hard to see how, exactly, heroin and prescription opioids were interacting, since almost all available data lump them together under the heading of "opioids." But a Globe examination of the information in death certificates from 1999 to 2014 reveals the increasingly toxic interplay between the drugs, both at the state level and in individual counties.

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