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1 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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2 CN NK: N.B. Lagging On Opioid Response: ActivistsTue, 10 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leeder, Jessica Area:New Brunswick Lines:138 Added:10/10/2017

Grassroots harm-reduction initiative launched as those on the front lines lament provincial government's boardroom approach

Health officials in New Brunswick are taking too long to address the serious and growing opioid problem in the province's two largest cities, say local harm-reduction activists who have launched a grassroots initiative in the face of what they describe as government inaction.

It has been more than six months since the province's top doctor formed an advisory group to come up with solutions to address the issue, but the government's response so far has been lean compared with that of other Atlantic provinces and the rest of the country.

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3 CN BC: Expert Calls For Drug DecriminalizationThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:10/06/2017

VANCOUVER - Canada's political leaders must take bold action by joining forces to decriminalize illicit drugs and save lives in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis, a leading drug-policy expert says.

Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana to protect youth and stop the flow of profits to organized crime must also apply to drugs that have killed thousands of Canadians.

"That's very sad that he can't see the logic that he's using so loudly on cannabis to shift that logic to a far more serious problem," MacPherson said Wednesday.

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4 CN BC: Decriminalize Drugs To Fight Overdoses: ExpertThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:87 Added:10/06/2017

VANCOUVER - Canada's political leaders must take bold action by joining forces to decriminalize illicit drugs and save lives in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis, a leading drug-policy expert says.

Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana to protect youth and stop the flow of profits to organized crime must also apply to drugs that have killed thousands of Canadians.

"That's very sad that he can't see the logic that he's using so loudly on cannabis to shift that logic to a far more serious problem," MacPherson said Wednesday.

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5CN ON: OPED: Why 'Pop-Up' Prevention Sites Are LegitWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Elliott, Richard Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

Despite the mounting toll of overdose-related deaths in Ontario, Ottawa's mayor and certain city councillors are trying to close a "pop-up" overdose prevention site in Raphael Brunet Park. The site, staffed by concerned volunteers with Overdose Prevention Ottawa and funded via community donations, provides life-saving harm reduction services for people who use drugs. There have been more than 1,150 visits and no fatalities since it opened five weeks ago.

Various political "leaders" in Ottawa have criticized pop-up site organizers and been quick to presume the illegality of the site. The site operates without a federal ministerial exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which means that those using illegal drugs at the site can still be charged for possession when using a service that could mean the difference between life and death.

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6 CN AB: CP Rail Cutting Off Access To Injection SiteSun, 01 Oct 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Schnarr, J. W. Area:Alberta Lines:97 Added:10/06/2017

Stafford Drive bridge area being fenced off

CP Rail is cutting off access to one of the most active illicit injection sites in the city in the coming months, which could drive up drug use in other areas of the city.

In a report to Lethbridge Police Commission on Wednesday, ARCHES Executive Director Stacey Bourque told the commission when CP Rail cuts access to the area under Stafford Bridge, many drug users will lose access to an area where ARCHES cleans thousands of used needles every month.

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7CN ON: Injection-Site Storm Intensifies Over Use Of A City-Owned ParkSat, 30 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:10/05/2017

Protesters turn on Coun. Fleury for seeking the closure of temporary tent pop-up clinic

For over a year, Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury has been one of city council's most vocal backers of a supervised drug injection site to save Ottawa drug users from overdoses. Friday, protesters crowded outside Fleury's city hall office, calling him everything but a killer.

About 100 supporters of Overdose Prevention Ottawa and its "pop-up" tent in a Lowertown park chanted "Shame!" and demanded he "man up!" and face them.

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8 CN ON: Protesters Crowd Into Councillor's Office To Oppose Closing OfSat, 30 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:102 Added:10/05/2017

'POP-UP' SAFE INJECTION SITE IN LOWERTOWN

People crowd in the reception area for councillors' offices at city hall yesterday to protest councillor Mathieu Fleury suggesting a Lowertown 'pop-up' safe-injection site be removed.

For over a year, Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury has been one of city council's most vocal backers of a supervised drug-injection site to save Ottawa drug users from overdoses. Friday, protesters crowded outside Fleury's city hall office, calling him everything but a killer.

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9 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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10CN ON: No Injection Facility Plan For Vanier Site: Salvation ArmySat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Willing, Jon Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:09/27/2017

Organization considering how it could transport clients to supervised location

The Salvation Army isn't planning a supervised injection site for the shelter and health complex it has proposed for Vanier, but the organization is putting thought into how it could transport clients to those licensed facilities.

While the topic has come up in public, Salvation Army spokesman Glenn van Gulik said the organization has no intention of running an injection site if it receives planning approval for the project at 333 Montreal Rd.

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11 CN ON: Reported Overdoses Tip Of IcebergSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Young, Gord Area:Ontario Lines:102 Added:09/27/2017

Many cases unreported due to naloxone distribution, says health official

There's likely a large number of unreported opioid overdoses in North Bay.

That's because the antidote naloxone is being distributed by pharmacies and front-line organizations to those struggling with addiction, as well as their friends and family members, throughout the community.

Kathleen Jodouin, HIV education co-ordinator at the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area, says her organization has had a take-home naloxone program in place for the past two years. And, she says, the drug, which temporarily reverses the effects of heroin and other opioid drugs, is frequently given out.

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12 CN ON: Opioid Epidemic Taking Toll On Emergency DepartmentsSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:St. Thomas Times-Journal (CN ON) Author:Broadley, Laura Area:Ontario Lines:155 Added:09/27/2017

The opioid crisis plaguing much of Canada has made its mark on southwestern Ontario's emergency rooms.

Visits to the region's emergency rooms for opioid overdoses went up almost 28 per cent from 281 in 2015 to 359 in 2016, according to statistics recently released by Public Health Ontario.

Divided by health unit, Chatham-Kent, and Lambton and Huron numbers actually dipped in 2016 compared to 2015 while Elgin-St. Thomas, Middlesex-London and Oxford numbers skyrocketed.

"We've seen high rates of overdose here for several years. We've seen the hospital rates go up," said Dr. Chris Mackie, medical officer of health for the London-Middlesex Health Unit.

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13 Canada: Editorial: Why Prohibition FailedSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:125 Added:09/27/2017

Why is Canada legalizing marijuana, and why does the move - if done right - make sense? It's all about harm reduction. Smoking marijuana has real health risks, particularly for young people. But the long-standing ban on the sale of pot isn't addressing them. The drug is widely available and widely used; according to the OECD, Canada has the developed world's highest rate of youth pot use. Prohibition's only real accomplishment is as an unintended industrial strategy, fostering a multi-billion-dollar black market.

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14 CN SN: PUB LTE: Overdose Charge Causes ConcernThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Donovan, Kathy Area:Saskatchewan Lines:42 Added:09/26/2017

The recent arrest of a man after a call for assistance for a drug overdose (Overdose leads to drug charges, Sept. 6) causes me great concern.

As in heart attacks, in such cases survival is dependent on a quick response. Yet unlike other health emergencies, people hesitate to call at an overdose situation. They may fear arrest, loss of child custody, and judgment by others, among other things.

The response in this case either a punitive attitude or ignorance on the part of the police. It may not only lead to more overdose deaths, but it will also serve as a deterrent to seeking other services which may identify people as drug users.

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15 CN ON: Edu: Column: Ontarioas Marijuana Regulation Plan Is NeitherMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Varsity, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Naveed, Ramsha Area:Ontario Lines:175 Added:09/25/2017

The provincial government should permit private dispensaries and designated establishments for consumption

On September 8, 2017, Ontario became the first province in Canada to publicly release an official plan for the upcoming legalization of marijuana. The federal government seeks to legalize by July 1, 2018 but has left it up to individual provinces' discretion to determine the finer details of how the substance will be sold, who will be allowed to consume it, and where usage will be permitted.

Whether Ontario's plans will be successful remains to be seen, but the government's emphasis on publicly-owned stores and privatized consumption could ultimately work to its detriment.

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16 CN MB: OPED: Public Monopoly Wrong Model For Pot SalesWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Goliger, Mark Area:Manitoba Lines:116 Added:09/23/2017

AS recreational cannabis becomes legal nationally on July 1, Canadians are faced with tremendous opportunity and risk. Our country is essentially rolling back a long-existing illegal trade to facilitate a legal, regulated market. The purpose, as the federal Liberal platform says, is: "to ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana."

With much yet to be figured out, the following focuses on the issue of how to implement retail distribution, which rests with each province.

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17CN ON: Health Board Approves Interim Injection Site PlanTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Willing, Jon Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Supervised health unit in Lowertown a temporary solution to ongoing problem

The Ottawa Board of Health on Monday night unanimously endorsed a plan by the city's top doctor to set up a temporary supervised injection site in Lowertown at a time when more people are overdosing and ending up in hospital emergency rooms.

Isra Levy, the medical officer of health, has already started the legwork to get the site ready at 179 Clarence St., which is an Ottawa Public Health facility, in partnership with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. Health Canada received the application for an interim injection site there last Tuesday.

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18 CN ON: City's Ranking 'Wake-Up Call'Sat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON) Author:Ball, Vincent Area:Ontario Lines:178 Added:09/20/2017

Report puts Brantford at top in province for emergency room visits due to opioid poisoning,

A report putting Brantford at the top of the provincial list for emergency room visits due to opioid overdoses is a "wake-up call," says Ruth Gratton.

"I think this report validates all of the hard work that is being done in the community and will serve as justification for ramping up those efforts," Gratton, manager of infectious disease at the Brant County Health Unit, said Friday.

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19 CN ON: Injection Site Gets OKTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Willing, Jon Area:Ontario Lines:94 Added:09/20/2017

Health board approves Lowertown location

The Ottawa Board of Health on Monday night unanimously endorsed a plan by the city's top doctor to set up a temporary supervised injection site in Lowertown at a time when more people are overdosing and ending up in hospital emergency rooms.

Isra Levy, the medical officer of health, has already started the legwork to get the site ready at 179 Clarence St., which is an Ottawa Public Health facility, in partnership with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. Health Canada received the application for an interim injection site there last Tuesday.

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20 CN ON: Pot Use Will Surge: PollTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Leeson, Ben Area:Ontario Lines:153 Added:09/19/2017

More than a third of respondents plan to use legalized marijuana

A new study by Sudbury-based researchers has found that 39 per cent, or 11.5 million adult Canadians intend to be cannabis consumers once the federal government's legalization plan becomes a reality.

According to a survey of 5,000 randomly selected Canadians, done in partnership between Oraclepoll Research and cannabis marketing consultant Colin Firth, 57 per cent of Canadians support the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana by July 2018.

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21 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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22 CN NS: Local MLA Worried About Pot LegalizationSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS) Author:Macdonald, Sam Area:Nova Scotia Lines:163 Added:09/19/2017

Government, business community and advocacy groups have varied opinions

As the deadline for the federal government's move to legalize marijuana in July 2018 approaches, users, stakeholders, business people and politicians involved in the matter offer a variety of concerns.

Hank Merchant, CEO of HBB Medical, a medical marijuana dispensary, welcomes the introduction of guidelines and regulations on the sale of marijuana, "because there are people who have no qualms about operating outside the law."

"We, as medical marijuana dispensaries, don't do that," Merchant added.

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23 CN NS: What Harm Reduction Really MeansTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:59 Added:09/19/2017

Harm reduction is one kind of treatment approach for helping people with substance abuse disorders and it can be confusing for people not familiar with it.

"Sometimes people think it's abstinence versus harm reduction but that isn't true," said Laura Chapman, health promotion specialist with Mental Health and Addiction Services.

"Harm reduction absolutely includes abstinence."

Chapman and many other clinical therapists, counsellors and other professionals working directly with people suffering from substance abuse disorders feel harm reduction is an important tool.

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24 CN BC: Singh Vows To Decriminalize Petty Drug Charges At NDP DebateTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:118 Added:09/14/2017

A federal New Democratic leadership hopeful has pledged to make it party policy to decriminalize petty drug possession if he is elected leader, supporting calls by an increasing number of health officials who say it would help lift the stigma around addiction.

Jagmeet Singh made his pledge on Sunday at an NDP leadership debate in Vancouver, a city that had recorded nearly 250 suspected overdose deaths by the end of August. Across British Columbia, 876 people died of illicit-drug overdoses from January through July of this year.

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25CN ON: Column: Province Gets It Right On Marijuana SalesTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:09/14/2017

There have to be restrictions; there have to be some controls as we navigate this brave new world of legalization.

Without question, the Ontario government's plan to regulate marijuana once the drug is legalized makes eminent sense. There's no doubt that Canada is entering uncharted waters; caution should be the watchword. We are, for the first time, legalizing the recreational use of a street drug whose broader long-term impact on the population remains uncertain and the last thing we need is to plunge into this with careless abandon.

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26 CN ON: Column: On Pot, Province Is Right To Take It SlowlyTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Kenora Daily Miner And News (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:85 Added:09/14/2017

Without question, the Ontario government's plan to regulate marijuana once the drug is legalized makes eminent sense.

There's no doubt that Canada is entering unchartered waters; caution should be the watchword.

We are, for the first time, legalizing the recreational use of a street drug whose broader long-term impact on the population remains uncertain and the last thing we need is to plunge into this with careless abandon.

No, the provincial Liberals are not taking us back to the 1950s with the measures they have announced to control the sale of cannabis. The government is simply taking it one step at a time, and it is the right strategy.

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27 CN ON: Column: On Pot, The Government Is Right To Take It SlowlyTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:96 Added:09/14/2017

Without question, the Ontario government's plan to regulate marijuana once the drug is legalized makes eminent sense.

There's no doubt that Canada is entering unchartered waters; caution should be the watchword.

We are, for the first time, legalizing the recreational use of a street drug whose broader long-term impact on the population remains uncertain and the last thing we need is to plunge into this with careless abandon.

No, the provincial Liberals are not taking us back to the 1950s with the measures they have announced to control the sale of cannabis. The government is simply taking it one step at a time, and it is the right strategy.

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28 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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29 CN ON: LCBO Will Open 150 Pot ShopsSat, 09 Sep 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Benzie, Robert Area:Ontario Lines:99 Added:09/13/2017

Government-controlled outlets, website only place weed will be bought legally

Premier Kathleen Wynne is cornering Ontario's recreational marijuana market by restricting sales to 150 LCBO-run stores.

The stand-alone cannabis outlets, separate from provincially owned liquor stores, and a government-controlled website will be the only place weed can lawfully be sold after Ottawa legalizes it on July 1.

In a move that will close scores of illegal "dispensaries" that now dot Ontario cities, the LCBO will get its product from the medical marijuana producers licenced by Health Canada.

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30 CN MB: Ontario's Pot Plan Can Set StandardSat, 09 Sep 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Israel, Solomon Area:Manitoba Lines:194 Added:09/12/2017

Government union says public sales model best bet for health and safety

CANADA'S most populous province has announced a plan to sell legal marijuana through a publicly owned system, which is music to the ears of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union.

MGEU president Michelle Gawronsky said she hopes Ontario's plan to sell cannabis separately from alcohol in publicly owned, stand-alone stores will set an example for Manitoba. A public sales model operated by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation would be the best possible option from a public health and safety perspective, she argued.

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