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1CN 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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2 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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3 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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4 CN ON: Column: Pot Legalization Shrouded In Rhetoric About ProtectingSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Krayden, David Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:04/19/2017

For a while, it appeared that I was attending the wrong news conference on Thursday. The usual Liberal government suspects were there, with their typical tendentious talk, including Health Minister Jane Philpott and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

But I was waiting to hear about the legalization of marijuana, and all these people wanted to advertise was how some new legislation was going to "protect children" and "make safer communities" and even obviate organized crime.

What was this announcement all about? It all started with Liberal MP and parliamentary secretary Bill Blair, who led the public relations charge and hit every talking point with an ease and skill that you might not expect from a former Toronto police chief.

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5CN BC: Family Doctors Key To Screening For Addiction In Fight AgainstSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

A tag hanging from a dead man's left toe says the cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl, "unknowingly taken with other drugs."

The cadaver draped in a white sheet is displayed in transit ads funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation and represents 922 people who died in British Columbia from drug overdoses last year alone.

A spiralling number of deaths, often involving the painkiller fentanyl, prompted the provincial government to declare a public health emergency on April 14, 2016, and to launch its own awareness campaign on TV, radio, Facebook, transit and at bars and restaurants.

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6CN AB: 'There Wasn't This Escalation In Crime'Fri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolande Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Calgary's police chief is backing calls for a local site where drug users could consume substances under medical supervision. Roger Chaffin said preliminary discussions are underway about what a supervised consumption site in the city will look like. He added that police will work to ensure that community members feel safe.

Dr. Thomas Kerr is the co-director of the Addiction and Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the principal investigator of several large cohort studies involving people who inject drugs and people living with HIV/AIDS. He spoke to Postmedia about community concerns when supervised injection facility Insite was established in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in 2003.

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7 Canada: PUB LTE: Decriminalize ThemWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Long, Dennis Area:Canada Lines:43 Added:04/15/2017

Re Why Stop With Pot? Let's Decriminalize All Drugs (April 11): I strongly agree with Andre Picard that all drugs should be decriminalized. As a provider of treatment for drug dependence, I know that drug addiction is a treatable condition.

The ludicrous idea that society can legislate its way to becoming drug-free has been proven to be futile. I have seen firsthand the devastation criminalization has imposed on drug users and their families. This must stop.

The scientifically supported way of dealing with this problem is by effective and available harm reduction and treatment. This is a social and public health problem that cannot be ameliorated by criminal sanctions and incarceration.

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8 CN BC: Edu: Column: Deadly DopingMon, 10 Apr 2017
Source:Capilano Courier, The (CN BC Edu) Author:Beyleveldt, Christine Area:British Columbia Lines:138 Added:04/13/2017

Knowing the signs of an overdose can save someone's life, especially with inconspicuous opioids like Fentanyl lurking in common street drugs. It begins with high-like symptoms - euphoria, relaxation and drowsiness, and cedes to shortened breath, a slowed heart rate and unconsciousness. The effects of Fentanyl set in quickly. The trouble is, anyone can fall prey because the opioid often goes undetected until it's too late.

Fentanyl is laced into illicit street drugs to enhance their effect. Originally a pain medication used as an anaesthetic, it's 50 to 100 times stronger than Morphine. Because it's so potent, the drug comes in small doses, often concealed in silica gel sachets discreetly marked that can't be seized at the Canadian border.

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9 CN ON: Overdoses, One Fatal, Spark New ConcernSun, 09 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rider, David Area:Ontario Lines:69 Added:04/13/2017

Four others in serious condition after ecstasy use at two city dance clubs

Five overdoses near Toronto nightclubs early Saturday, including one that killed a 24-year-old woman, triggered a health warning and calls for clubs and authorities to take new steps to save lives.

Police say the overdoses involved the party drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Tests should reveal if the woman also ingested fentanyl, a toxic anesthetic sometimes mixed into other drugs, or another substance.

The overdoses near Uniun Nightclub, near Adelaide and Portland Sts., and Rebel Nightclub at Polson Pier are part of an alarming trend, said Councillor Joe Cressy, who chairs the city's drugstrategy.

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10CN BC: Opioid Crisis Has Gone ProvincewideThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2017

In 2016, 11 regions have gone beyond 15 overdose deaths, medical officials say

Health experts painted a grim picture Wednesday morning as they updated Vancouver's mayor and council on an ongoing opioid crisis that has spread from its "epicentre" in the Downtown Eastside to touch every part of the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall addressed a sombre Vancouver council chamber Wednesday, almost a year to the day after he announced a public health emergency in response to what he called at the time, "the recent surge of overdoses."

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11 CN BC: Feds Move Too Slow In Crisis: VCHThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:73 Added:04/13/2017

Consumption sites should be up to provinces: Medical chief

Not enough is being done to speed up critical decisions that can save lives a year into British Columbia's overdose crisis, according to Vancouver Coastal Health's chief medical health officer.

Dr. Patricia Daly and provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall were at Vancouver city hall Wednesday to brief council on the progress to date since Kendall first declared a public health emergency on April 14, 2016.

Last year, 922 people died in the province of illicit drug overdoses - three times the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents.

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12 CN BC: NDP Health Critic 'Disappointed' By Federal Overdose ResponseMon, 27 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:95 Added:03/31/2017

MP Davies says Liberal budget is a fifth of what Tories proposed

The New Democratic Party's health critic calls the amount of money devoted to fighting the ongoing overdose crisis in the federal budget shocking.

Don Davies, MP for Vancouver Kingsway, says the $110 million set aside for the Canadian Drugs and Substance Strategy over five years is a fifth of the $556 million proposed by the former Conservative government in its last budget.

The reduced spending comes at a time when many provinces are struggling to contain an ongoing overdose death crisis.

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13 CN BC: Editorial: At The SourceWed, 22 Mar 2017
Source:Powell River Peak (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:59 Added:03/22/2017

While news spread this week of Powell River RCMP taking down what it considered to be the beginnings of a "dial-a-dope" operation, a lot of questions were raised.

The initial question being: what exactly is a "dial-a-dope" operation? Turns out it is a way of using disposable cell phones, or "burner phones," to keep police off the trail of drug suppliers. Look how well that went after someone phoned in an anonymous tip about the upstart operation.

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14 CN ON: Time For 'Finger-Wagging To Stop' Says Recovering AddictWed, 22 Mar 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:137 Added:03/22/2017

Street expert says 'acceptance is huge' - to show others that someone cares

KITCHENER - When Larissa Ziesmann was homeless, she often slept in shelters, stole from stores and sold goods on the street to feed her heroin addiction.

Home was the seedy Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Ziesmann, now a recovering addict, recalls when the deadly drug fentanyl hit the streets of Vancouver.

"People that I knew they were dying. One day they were there and then dropping off, a few a day," said Ziesmann, who tried fentanyl once.

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15 CN BC: Pot Advocate Preaches At PrestigeFri, 17 Mar 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:96 Added:03/17/2017

He wants people to plant cannabis in public places.

Notorious pot activist Dana Larsen was in Nelson on Tuesday evening, and during his talk at the Prestige Lakeside Resort he distributed envelopes that included Ziploc bags containing CBD-rich cannabis seeds.

"By giving away these seeds and encouraging people to plant them in public places like traffic circles, in front of city hall and police stations or on their own property, I want to normalize the cultivation of cannabis," he said during his talk, which was attended by approximately 40 people.

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16 CN ON: Column: Prescribing A Solution To Opioid AddictionThu, 16 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:126 Added:03/16/2017

City health authorities considering heroin to treat addicts

Ottawa's health unit supports prescribing heroin to treat severe addicts and at least one treatment clinic is considering it as the city fights the rising rates of overdoses from it and similar opioid drugs.

"We really see it as more an extension of our opiate substitution therapy program than part of our supervised injection efforts," said Rob Boyd, the head of the drug-treatment programs at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre on Rideau Street. Boyd has been leading the charge to add an injection site to the centre's existing methadone clinic.

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17CN ON: Health Unit, Clinic Support Prescribing HeroinWed, 15 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/15/2017

Ottawa's health unit supports prescribing heroin to treat severe addicts and at least one treatment clinic is considering it as the city fights the rising rates of overdoses from it and similar opioid drugs.

"We really see it as more an extension of our opiate substitution therapy program than part of our supervised injection efforts," said Rob Boyd, the head of the drug-treatment programs at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre on Rideau Street. Boyd has been leading the charge to add an injection site to the centre's existing methadone clinic.

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18CN BC: 'No Time To Stop' The Fight Against OpioidsSun, 05 Mar 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/08/2017

Community activist is saving overdose victims from dying in the back alleys of the Downtown Eastside

It takes 15 minutes to walk the short distance across the street market at Hastings and Columbia with Sarah Blyth, a volunteer with the Overdose Prevention Society.

Everyone in this small, grungy Vancouver parking lot wants the ear of the woman at the front line of the fentanyl crisis in the Downtown Eastside.

Blyth founded the OPS last fall with others who had grown sick of people dying in laneways after using tainted drugs.

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19 CN BC: PM Attends Roundtable On Opioid CrisisSat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:03/06/2017

Attendees at the meeting urged Trudeau to consider extra funding and expanded access to injectable opioid treatment

Canada's Prime Minister and Minister of Defence met with people on the front lines of B.C.'s overdose crisis on Friday, listening as they spoke candidly about the urgent need to scale up treatment options, the province's record death toll and the emotional impact it's had on first responders.

But while those who attended the meeting in the Downtown Eastside clinic said the visit by Justin Trudeau and Harjit Sajjan was appreciated and deeply meaningful, the Prime Minister offered no promises on specific requests, such as dedicated funding for, and reduced barriers to, heroin-assisted treatment.

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20CN ON: Test Strips Let Users See If They've Been Exposed To FentanylSat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Gillis, Megan Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

AIDS committee hopes to use results for study

A project launched this week by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa is offering urine test strips that reveal to people who have used drugs whether they've been unwittingly exposed to the powerful opioid fentanyl.

"We're hoping to give community members a free and simple way to find out whether or not they've been exposed to fentanyl through recent substance use and we're also hoping, if we can, to collect a bit of data on what those results might be," ACO harm reduction coordinator Caleb Chepesiuk said.

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