When 74 percent of San Francisco voters last year backed legalizing
the adult recreational use of marijuana statewide, the idea was to
make it easier to buy and smoke pot - a substance that has never been
that hard to buy or smoke in San Francisco anyway.
Tell that to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The Keystone Cops of Cannabis have spent countless hours over endless
committee meetings in recent weeks, devising ways to dramatically
limit where people can buy and sell marijuana once the substance
becomes legal for recreational use statewide on Jan. 1.
[continues 1120 words]
Staff at Revelstoke Secondary School now have a new tool to keep
students safe. The high school received two Naloxone kits at the end
Naloxone is used to counteract the effects of an opioid
With a focus on student safety and well-being, principal Greg Kenyon
said that getting the kits was an obvious decision, despite the school
being low-risk for drug overdoses.
"It's just another thing we do and have," said Kenyon. "It's like
we're trained for responding to anaphylaxis and we're trained now to
respond to Naloxone and administering that."
[continues 635 words]
The question is not when our government will decriminalize personal
possession and provide a safe clean drug source, like we do for
alcohol and soon to be marijuana, but how many more families will be
devastated with the loss of a loved one before a government is brave
enough to value lives over votes.
In Portugal, possession is not a criminal offence if you have a 10 day
personal supply in your possession. If it is more than that then it's
treated as trafficking. By decriminalizing personal possession, we can
then start to rid the negative stigma that is associated with addiction.
[continues 210 words]
Canada's response to the opioid crisis has been fragmented and
marginally effective at best. We deserve a better approach, and the
answers are out there. Other countries are effectively dealing with
the issue and Canada should be more open to learning from them. There
are several key steps we can take to ensure Canadians with addiction
can lead healthier, happier and more productive lives.
First, we need to recognize this is actually a crisis. Do you remember
SARS and how it impacted every Canadian with a focused response from
our public health teams? Forty-four Canadians died from SARS. How
about AIDS at its peak in 1995? We all were aware of the crisis and as
Canadians we worked together diligently to help. That year about 1,400
people died from AIDS. Compare this to over 2,400 Canadians dying from
opioid overdoses in 2016 and the number likely to double in 2017.
[continues 625 words]
Years ago, when Justin Trudeau stepped onto a platform in a Vancouver
park and proclaimed through a cloud of sweet-smelling haze that a
federal Liberal government would legalize marijuana, there was much
excitement within the cannabis community.
With last week's announcement by Trudeau's provincial Liberal cousins,
the realities of draconian regulation in Ontario have resulted in the
crushing disappointment of those long-forgotten high hopes.
For recreational users, smoking will only be permitted in private
residences. Puffing at work, on university campuses, on patios,
sidewalks or parks, will all remain prohibited.
[continues 442 words]
OK comes as city, province spar over unsanctioned tent nearby
A trailer at the Shepherds of Good Hope became Ottawa's third legal
supervised injection site late Monday.
Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced in a news release that
the federal government has approved an exemption permitting Inner City
Health Ottawa to operate a sanctioned injection site in the trailer.
It becomes the fifth such site funded by the province. Hoskins said
the province would provide nearly $500,000 in operating funds.
[continues 738 words]
Conditions can push people to commit crimes: Study
Releasing people on bail on the condition they do not go to the
Downtown Eastside sets them up for failure, according to research from
three Canadian universities.
Judges often order people on bail to avoid certain "no-go zones" or
"red zones" in an effort to prevent them from committing crimes. But
it, in fact, does the exact opposite, says SFU geography professor
"These are people who have yet to be found guilty of an offence," he
[continues 391 words]
Structure is meant to be temporary solution as temperatures drop,
while Toronto officials race to get indoor location approved
Toronto's illegal, activist-run overdose-prevention site in the city's
Moss Park now has the use of an insulated, heated, military-style
medical tent, complete with a generator - all courtesy of the
The khaki tent, which measures about three by eight metres, was
erected Thursday by Ontario's Emergency Medical Assistance Team, a
unit usually deployed for community evacuations or "mass-casualty events."
[continues 860 words]
Government will work with harm-reduction workers operating pop-up
Ontario is dispatching its Emergency Medical Assistance Team to set up
a tent in Moss Park to provide a heated and insulated space for safe
"This is an overdose crisis. People are dying and, today, Minister
Eric Hoskins and the Ontario government have stepped up," Councillor
Joe Cressy said Wednesday night. The tent will be set up Thursday and
replace a temporary site run by the Toronto Overdose Prevention
Society (TOPS). The ministry will work with TOPS staff, Cressy said.
[continues 517 words]
Talks to move Toronto's illegal popup supervised drug-use site inside
a nearby homeless centre have failed, but the harm-reduction activists
who have been setting up their tents in an east-end park every evening
say they plan to stay put.
The crowdfunded, volunteer-driven Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance
(THRA) has operated its controversial pop-up site in Moss Park near
Sherbourne and Queen Streets since August, with tacit approval from
police and city officials amid a growing number of opioid overdose
[continues 706 words]
The City of Toronto and the province are asking the federal Minister
of Health for the "immediate approval" of a proposed indoor supervised
drug-use site at an east-end homeless centre where an illegal outdoor
site has been operating for months.
In a letter to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor dated Oct. 31,
Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins say
the illegal site, set up in Moss Park near Sherbourne Street and Queen
Street East, has saved many lives since it was launched in August by
reversing overdoses in a neighbourhood that had been hit by an
increase in such deaths.
[continues 660 words]
Why are Ottawa politicians, and by extension the Ottawa Police
Services, continue to condone the use of illegal hard drugs by
allowing the pop-up safe-injection site to remain open?
With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's push to legalize marijuana, am I
assuming the Liberals' next step will be to legalize all illegal
drugs? This may be the plan, to have a drug-induced and dumbed-down
(Even the Trudeau Liberals might not have the guts to go there)
Here in Vancouver, it's tempting to praise ourselves for our
forward-thinking approaches to illicit drug use. We're home to Insite,
the first supervised-injection facility in North America, the success
of which paved the way for Health Canada to start approving
prospective supervised-injection sites in other cities across the
country this year. We're also home to the first and only prescription
heroin program on the continent, which has proven how life-changing it
can be for a person entrenched in opiate addiction to have access to a
clean, regulated supply of drugs.
[continues 970 words]
Tory Leader open to new ideas for tackling crisis in B.C., but remains
leery of supervised drug-use sites and further decriminalization
Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he is trying to keep an
open mind on options for dealing with the opioid overdose crisis in
British Columbia, but is not backing off key tenets on harm reduction
his party pushed in government.
That includes reservations about supervised drug-use sites. In an
interview on Wednesday ahead of a visit later this month to the Lower
Mainland, Mr. Scheer also said prosecuting drug users may steer them
into rehabilitation programs that would reduce the risk of overdoses.
[continues 591 words]
Ottawa's largest permanent supervised injection site could be open in
a Lowertown trailer as soon as this weekend.
The trailer, to be operated by Ottawa Inner City Health and located
outside Shepherds of Good Hope on Murray Street, will be open 24/7 and
serve a population of between 100 and 150 injection drug users, said
Inner City Health executive director Wendy Muckle.
Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins has endorsed the site in a
letter to federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, his office
[continues 546 words]
Re. "MP hosts impassioned debate over supervised injection sites in
southwest," Oct. 30
The title should have been "MP misses the point." Supervised
consumption services (SCS) primarily save lives, and anyone who has
lost a loved one can tell you how important that is.
Our son Danny died from an overdose in 2014. He was only 25, was a
promising young chef and is dearly missed. There are many families
like ours who are members in our group Moms Stop The Harm, who live in
MP Matt Jeneroux's riding of Edmonton-Riverbend. I encourage him to
[continues 111 words]
A Brantford man who has battled drug addiction for more than 40 years
hopes the city follows through with safe injection sites as part of
its strategy to combat substance abuse.
But Randy Roberts, 53, said there is also a need for the treatment of
trauma as part of a program to treat substance abuse.
"I want people to remember that we're all hurting," he
"There has been a lot of work done on this and for most addicts the
root cause of their addiction is childhood trauma -- physical,
psychological, sexual abuse."
[continues 701 words]
Coalition of agencies is working to provide 24/7 service, Shelley
Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton, known as
AMSISE, is a coalition of 25 individuals and groups, including people
with lived experience, community agencies, medical, academic, and
public sector representatives.
AMSISE started as a conversation with Edmonton's harm reduction needle
distribution service, Streetworks, in January of 2012 and continues to
be a community-driven initiative.
The focus is on people with severe and chronic addictions, usually
homeless, whose chaotic and furtive injection-drug use takes place in
unsafe environments, including parks, back alleys, behind dumpsters,
along fences, and in agency and public washrooms. Multiple studies
have established a direct link between unstable housing and public
injecting. Communities will benefit by reducing unsafe needle debris
as an unintentional hazard.
[continues 438 words]
WATERLOO REGION - Potential locations for supervised injection sites
in Waterloo Region will be made public by January, as Waterloo Region
Public Health begins a feasibility study into whether the harm
reduction service is needed here, what concerns the community might
have and how to address them.
A supervised injection site would provide a safe, clean place for
people to use their own drugs under the care of trained staff. Its
goals would be to reduce overdose rates and overdose deaths; reduce
transmission of diseases from shared needles; help drug users connect
to other health and social services, including drug treatment; and
reduce drug use in public places and the amount of unsafely discarded
needles and other litter.
[continues 567 words]
Heated debate erupted in the gymnasium at Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour
School Saturday as residents of Edmonton-Riverbend argued over whether
their suburban community would ever welcome supervised injection sites.
"It was pretty clear that a lot of people weren't supportive of safe
injection sites coming into suburban areas, which we've been hearing
through letters to the office and phone calls," said Matt Jeneroux, MP
Supervised injection sites - where intravenous drug users can inject
under the supervision of medical professionals as a way to reduce
overdose deaths - are approved for the Royal Alexandra Hospital, the
Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Boyle Street Community Services and the
George Spady Society.
[continues 506 words]