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1CN BC: Column: Beware Of 'Evidence-Based' Policy PositionsWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

A term we hear with increasing frequency is the claim that we need "evidence-based policy" on this or that public issue. With the possible new importance of the B.C. Green party - we'll know more after the final election count on May 24 - you'll be hearing the phrase a lot more as the Greens love the term like yogis love mantras.

"Evidence-based policy" started out as a medical term. Doctors wanted evidence on the effectiveness of a treatment before using it. It is the empirical method in action. Constant research examines how patients fare after various procedures, surgeries or drug treatments so doctors can know which treatments are best.

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2Canada: Column: Progress On Opioids, Incoherence On MarijuanaThu, 18 May 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Selley, Chris Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2017

Legalizing pot shouldn't be this hard to get right

The move toward marijuana legalization is … still not as coherent as it could be, let's say.

The Liberal legislation, unveiled last month, would establish rules around THC-impaired driving that may well prove unconstitutional: science has yet to establish a solid link between a given level of THC concentration in a driver's blood or saliva and his level of impairment.

Frustratingly, there are still those who use this as an argument against legalization - as if it would create pot-impaired drivers where there are none today.

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3 CN BC: Fentanyl Test Boosts Dose-Reduction RateMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:84 Added:05/19/2017

A pilot project operated by Vancouver Coastal Health has found success with a simple detection strip for the notorious opioid

Drug users who test their drugs and discover fentanyl are 10 times more likely to reduce their dose, raising the possibility that making such tests widely available could reduce overdoses.

That is one finding of a drug checking pilot project at Insite, Vancouver's supervised-injection site, operated by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). Launched last July, the initiative offers drug users the option of testing their drugs for fentanyl using a simple test strip, which produces results in seconds.

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4CN QU: OPED: Needle Programs For Prisoners Increase SafetyMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Elliott, Richard Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:05/19/2017

Drug use in jail is a reality and reducing harm is vital, say Richard Elliott and Rick Lines.

Almost one-third of federal prisoners reported using drugs during the past six months.

In December 2016, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott committed her government to a new national drug strategy that reinstates harm reduction as a non-negotiable pillar. It was a welcome announcement, signalling a modest shift away from the last decade's emphasis on prohibition and punishment - policies that continue to kill people who use drugs in Canada.

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5 CN ON: Opioid Overdose Deaths SoaringThu, 11 May 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:116 Added:05/15/2017

WATERLOO REGION - Twenty-eight people have died of opioid-related overdoses in Waterloo Region since January, say Waterloo Regional Police.

And the culprit is suspected to be fentanyl.

Police say they can't be certain, but they believe the deadly drug is contributing to the number of calls police and paramedics are responding to in the region.

The numbers are climbing fast. Last year, 15 to 20 people in total died of overdoses because of fentanyl, said Staff Sgt. Slodan Lackovic, head of drug branch.

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6 CN AB: PUB LTE: Safe Injection Sites Needed In SuburbsTue, 09 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Nixon, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:44 Added:05/09/2017

There can be no doubt a safe injection site needs to be in the McCauley community health centre or in the Boyle Street Co-op or the George Spady Centre.

However, homeless people in the inner city are not the majority of opiate users, so why all the injection sites in one small area? This is simply opportunistic.

People living in McCauley have shown themselves to be very compassionate towards the poor and addicted.

They also seem to have no ability to set reasonable social boundaries.

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7 CN AB: Safe-Injection Site A Plausible Scenario For Medicine HatFri, 05 May 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:89 Added:05/08/2017

A safe-injection site could be coming to Medicine Hat.

Though still early in the process, HIV Community Link executive director Leslie Hill says this is something communities around Alberta could be seeing over the course of the next year or so.

"Right now we have a researcher in Medicine Hat working on creating a survey to get to drug users," she said. "We are doing this in response to a rise in opioid use across the province and we are trying to be proactive with this."

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8 CN AB: City Closer To Supervised Consumption SitesWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Simes, Jeremy Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:05/08/2017

Council votes to approach feds; decision to be made in Ottawa

Edmonton got a step closer to seeing supervised consumption sites in the city, after city council voted Tuesday to ask the federal government to allow the proposed sites to open as soon as possible.

Councillors voted 10-1 to send the letter of opinion to Ottawa, and although the decision is ultimately up to the federal government, the ruling Liberals have previously indicated they support the services.

Couns. Bev Esslinger and Mike Nickel were absent for the vote.

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9CN AB: Column: Everyone Loves Safe Injection Sites A Except TheWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Staples, David Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

It's painful on a daily basis to deal with people in the neighbourhood who have serious addiction issues.

Most everyone in the city, it seems, supports safe injection sites for intravenous drug addicts going into Edmonton inner-city neighbourhoods. Everyone except for one lonely group, those people who have to live near them.

The prospective neighbours don't buy the notion that these sites will make life better for all.

Edmonton city council, on the other hand, voted overwhelmingly, 10 votes to one, in favour of giving its stamp of approval for safe injection sites.

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10CN AB: Protesters Decry Plan To Cluster Three Safe-Injection Sites InMon, 08 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Faulder, Liane Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

Protesters representing the Chinese community, as well as residents in McCauley and Central McDougall, expressed anger Saturday at not being properly consulted before a decision was made to place three safe injection sites into their midst.

The proposed public locations are the Boyle McCauley Health Centre on 96 Street and 106 Avenue, Boyle Street Community Services at 101 Street and 105 Avenue, and the George Spady Society at 100 Street and 105A Avenue, all locations that currently offer support for homeless people. A fourth site at the Royal Alexander Hospital would serve the hospital's patients.

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11 CN BC: Boundary-Similkameen Candidates On: The Drug CrisisWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Lavers, Vonnie Area:British Columbia Lines:45 Added:05/06/2017

Vonnie Lavers is the B.C. Green Party candidate for the Boundary Similkameen riding.

We have begun to figure out that addicts have illness. Their illness is exploited by criminals.

We know that where there is addiction there is desperation. Impoverished addicts may commit crime to obtain money to buy their drug. What addicts obtain on the street is unregulated and too frequently deadly. The toll of misery extends from the individual and the family through the medical system and the criminal justice system.

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12CN AB: Council Votes To Support Supervised Injection SitesWed, 03 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2017

Letter to federal authorities is first step; advisory committee to give feedback

City council voted 10-1 Tuesday to write a letter of support for four supervised injection sites in the inner core, pledging to monitor for any negative effect on the community.

The province is responsible for funding the service; Ottawa is responsible to regulate it.

But Mayor Don Iveson said, "We will continue to play a key role ... so we can speak up if the worst fears of the community do come to pass."

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13CN AB: City Residents Give Council Earful On Supervised InjectionTue, 02 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2017

'Already, the drug dealers, they own the place. It will only get worse,' says resident

Tensions were running high at city hall Monday with more than two dozen community members begging city council not to endorse three supervised injection sites for drug users in their area.

"Already, the drug dealers, they own the place. It will only get worse. How is that healthy for anyone?" said McCauley resident Geo Fiddler, showing council a photo-montage of used needles and homeless people in the area.

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14CN BC: Overdoses Up, Still No Safe Injection SiteTue, 02 May 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Saltman, Jennifer Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2017

Two locations designated for consumption have yet to materialize in fentanyl-ravaged city

When Alexandra Sayers began living on 135A Street in Surrey a year ago, she was "absolutely terrified" of needles or seeing someone suffer a drug overdose.

Since then, the 21-year-old has had friends die from overdoses and administered naloxone, which blocks or reverses the effect of opioids, more than a dozen times.

"Now it's so regular that I can do it with my eyes blindfolded and with one hand," she said. "It's on a regular basis that people are overdosing. It's scary being out here."

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15 CN ON: He Saved 17 People But Police Want To Jail HimSun, 30 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Contenta, Sandro Area:Ontario Lines:394 Added:05/01/2017

Mark Baratta works with drug users on the front lines of Ontario's opioid epidemic. But as deaths mount, Baratta's story illustrates how far society has to go to end the crisis . . . if it so chooses

Like most people who might be called heroes, Mark Baratta shies away from the label. A lean and purposeful man, Baratta has saved 17 people, each on separate occasions. He chalks it up, with a shrug of his shoulders, to keeping his head in the presence of death.

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16 CN BC: LTE: 4/20 Festival Is 'Insane'Wed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Stuart, Margaret Area:British Columbia Lines:28 Added:04/30/2017

Marijuana is illegal. When will our government learn that ignoring illegal smoking laws and offering injection sites are only increasing our drug problem?

It is similar to how stupid the Americans are with their gun laws. Guns kill. We are just as ridiculous to promote drug use.

It is leading to more drug users moving to B.C. and requiring subsidized housing and more fentanyl deaths, not less.

This 4/20 festival is insane. The birds are high, I can't stand the second-hand smoke. What is the matter with our politicians?

Margaret Stuart, Vancouver

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17 CN AB: A Hazy SituationThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:75 Added:04/24/2017

Questions around planned pot legalization still in the air as police prepare for 4/20 events

Edmonton's police chief says he doesn't expect a larger-than-usual 4/20 gathering Thursday as the city prepares for legal marijuana.

"I imagine we'll get a few people there, but nothing that's really on the radar we're concerned about," Chief Rod Knecht said Wednesday.

The annual smoke-up at the Alberta legislature could be one of the last under existing marijuana laws, as the Trudeau government prepares to legalize the drug.

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18CN AB: Usual Crowd Expected At 4/20 Marijuana EventThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Edmonton's police chief says he doesn't expect a larger than usual 4/20 gathering Thursday as the city prepares for legal marijuana.

"I imagine we'll get a few people there, but nothing that's really on the radar we're concerned about," Chief Rod Knecht said Wednesday.

The annual smoke-up at the Alberta legislature could be one of the last under existing marijuana laws, as the Trudeau government prepares to legalize the drug.

The Liberals introduced bills this month to legalize and regulate marijuana by July 2018.

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19 Canada: Canada's Catholic Bishops Warn Against Marijuana LegalizationTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Catholic Register, The (Canada) Author:Gyapong, Deborah Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/22/2017

OTTAWA - Legalizing marijuana shows a "disregard" for public health and safety, Canada's Catholic bishops charge.

The bishops' statement came one day before the Liberal government announced the introduction April 13 in the House of Commons of the Cannabis Act, which will eventually "legalize, regulate and restrict access" to marijuana.

"From the standpoint of public health, not only does this course of action appear to be unwise, it is potentially dangerous," said the statement signed by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton. "The very significant health risks associated with the use of cannabis are widely recognized, particularly in young people."

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20 CN AB: Column: Making The Illegal SaferTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Vulcan Advocate (CN AB) Author:Wilson, Morgan Area:Alberta Lines:103 Added:04/21/2017

There's very little middle ground in the debate about safe injection sites.

Lines are quickly drawn between the supporters and the opposition.

I suspect that you could do a bit of political polling during a discussion about "supervised consumption sites" and the lines dividing the participant camps would likely reveal a left-right political split as well.

Conservatives tend to be anti-drug, anti-safe injection types.

Liberals tend to flow to the other side, largely supporting supervised consumption sites.

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