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1 CN NS: Exhibits Still Unaccounted For From Evidence StorageMon, 27 Feb 2017
Source:Metro (Halifax, CN NS) Author:Woodford, Zane Area:Nova Scotia Lines:67 Added:03/04/2017

Force believes missing money placed in police bank account

Halifax Regional Police have located 34 of 72 exhibits that were missing from their evidence storage, but the remaining 38 - including nearly $5,000 in cash - are still unaccounted for.

Chief Jean-Michel Blais will present a report to the municipality's Board of Police Commissioners on Monday updating the force's progress on finding the missing items from the Drug Exhibit Audit released last year.

That audit was conducted between June and November 2015 after an officer was accused of stealing from an evidence vault. Police originally found 90 per cent of the drug exhibits in one vault were unaccounted for, and 55 per cent of the evidence in the money vault wasn't where it was supposed to be.

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2 CN ON: Opioid Overdose Crisis Draws A CrowdTue, 28 Feb 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Ferguson, Elliot Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:02/28/2017

Health, community and emergency service agencies from the Kingston area gathered Monday to plan for what many fear is a coming public-health crisis.

With a sudden spike in opioid overdoses across the country, medical experts, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, community health groups and representatives from public health units from Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Grenville and Lanark and Prince Edward County met for a daylong set of table-top exercises and discussions about how best to cope with the opioid overdose crisis should it hit the Kingston area.

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3 CN ON: Region Struggles With Drugs That Claim More Lives Than CarSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:271 Added:02/21/2017

WATERLOO REGION - A group of parents sit around a small table. Their eyes are red from crying.

Nearby are framed photos of the children they have lost to drug overdoses. Among them are Iain Goddard, Brittany Cobbing and Austin Padaric.

Janice Walsh-Goddard didn't even know what fentanyl was when she heard it killed her son.

Iain Goddard died last May while Janice was in England on vacation. She got the call on the last day of her weeklong trip.

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4 CN BC: Marijuana Could Contain Fentanyl: RCMPWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Rocky Mountain Goat News, The (CN BC) Author:Matthews, Evan Area:British Columbia Lines:110 Added:02/15/2017

When asked if fentanyl is the now biggest reason to fear recreational drugs, Valemount RCMP Officer, Chris Gallant said, "To answer the question simply, yes."

The Valemount Secondary School hosted a fentanyl forum to educate residents on what fentanyl is, what an overdose looks like and how to reverse the effects of an overdose. A similar presentation was given to students earlier in the day.

Principal Dan Kenkel emceed the forum and the panel consisted of the B.C. Ambulance Service's (BCAS), Dakota Stone, B.C. Emergency Health Services' (BCEHS) Community Paramedic, Jasmin Gasser, Northern Health Mental Health and Addictions Counselor, Heather Whalen, Northern Health Community Health Nurse, Bernita Nesjan, and RCMP Officer, Chris Gallant.

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5CN SN: The Dope On Driving While Drug-ImpairedThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Cowan, Pamela Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2017

Reporter's eerie experience in simulator suit

I felt like Jimmy Hoffa with one leg encased in cement.

I was lurching because of my super heavy left leg, which made it tough to walk and impossible to navigate in a straight line.

My ears buzzed with random sounds.

My double vision was blurry with flashing red, blue and green lights on the periphery.

If I shut one eye I could kind of focus on what was straight ahead. But barely.

When four tennis balls were lobbed my way, I was so uncoordinated and my reaction time so slow I couldn't catch one. My right arm chronically twitched and I could barely turn my neck or bend my elbows because of my restricted movement.

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6CN BC: Column: Less Enabling Needed To Battle B.C.'s Drug CrisisMon, 06 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

Here we are in the biggest fatal overdose epidemic in B.C. history and what's top of mind for the province's addiction treatment experts? The need to "destigmatize" addiction. In fact, let's not even call the taking of deadly illegal drugs an "addiction" or "drug abuse" any more, they tell us. We're supposed to call addicts "patients" with a "substance-use disorder."

Excuse me if I don't buy the nicey-nicey language. And I doubt if most people who live in the real world and who have to pay millions of dollars in taxes for all these latest trendy approaches to drug addiction do, either.

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7 CN BC: Fernie Prepares For FentanylThu, 02 Feb 2017
Source:Free Press, The (Fernie, CN BC) Author:McLachlan, Phil Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:02/05/2017

All first responders in the Fernie area are now equipped to take on a potential opioid crisis.

Fernie Fire and Rescue were the last group in the area to become trained in opioid overdose situations by BC Emergency Health Services. The main area of focus for training was on Naloxone, the antidote for opioid overdoses.

Unable to give any numbers at this time, Elk Valley RCMP Corporal Bob Wright did state that, "We have responded to Fentanyl drug use in the Elk Valley. It has resulted in overdose-type situations."

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8 CN BC: Carfentanil May Explain Overdose SurgeThu, 02 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Givetash, Linda Area:British Columbia Lines:87 Added:02/02/2017

Provincial health officer says powerful drug, found in recent treatment-facility tests, may be to blame for spike in deaths last year

The appearance of the deadly opioid carfentanil may explain the dramatic spike in overdoses in British Columbia, despite efforts to slow the carnage, the provincial health officer says.

Perry Kendall said as the number of overdose deaths climbed to record levels in November and December, officials suspected the synthetic drug normally used as a tranquilizer on large animals such as elephants was to blame.

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9 CN BC: Burkart Spearheads Fentanyl Task ForceFri, 27 Jan 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:158 Added:01/31/2017

Nelson Police Chief aims to educate public and those vulnerable to overdose

The numbers are terrifying.

Nelson Police Chief Paul Burkart has the B.C.Coroners Service annual report sitting on his desk, as well as alarming Interior Health statistics that show fentanyl has come to the Kootenays.

In 2016 there were 914 overdose deaths in B.C.,a record number for the province and more than double the total for 2015.

"It certainly does scare me," Burkart told the Star.

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10 CN ON: Drug Overdoses IncreaseThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Delhi News-Record, The (CN ON) Author:Sonnenberg, Monte Area:Ontario Lines:79 Added:01/16/2017

The Haldimand- Norfolk Health Unit wasn't exaggerating last year when it warned about the threat of illegal street drugs cut with powerful synthetic opioids.

Norfolk paramedics responded to 37 drug overdoses in all of 2014. This rose to 59 in 2015. In 2016, the total was 90.

"These are only the number of calls that were specifically dispatched as drug overdoses and do not account for other primary problems associated with overdose that the crews were sent to such as vital- signs- absent, unconscious-unresponsiveness, seizures, respiratory problems or behavioural-psychiatric occurrences," Sarah Townsend, Norfolk's manager of emergency medical services, said Jan. 6 in an update on opioid occurrences.

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11CN AB: Edmonton DJ Champions Naloxone Kit To Treat City's OpioidWed, 11 Jan 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Clancy, Clare Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:01/12/2017

An Edmonton DJ says he wants a "call to arms" to encourage artists and venues to carry naloxone kits in an effort to curb the number of opioid-related deaths in the city.

Dragan Jargic, who performs as DJ Dragon, said he recently picked up one of the injectable packs used to combat fentanyl as a harm-reduction measure.

"I took it upon myself as a personal thing to make sure there's one kit around," he said. "So many people are unwittingly using fentanyl.

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12 US MD: A Federal Prosecutor Takes On The Heroin Scourge That ClaimedSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:128 Added:01/09/2017

[photo] Bruce Brandler is chief federal law enforcement officer for a sprawling judicial district that covers half of Pennsylvania. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

The phone at Bruce Brandler's home rang at 3:37 a.m. It was the local hospital. His 16-year-old son was there, and he was in really bad shape.

A suspected heroin overdose, the nurse said.

Brandler didn't believe it. Erik had his problems, but heroin? It seemed impossible.

Nearly 10 years later, the nation is gripped by a spiraling crisis of opioid and heroin abuse -- and Brandler, a veteran federal prosecutor recently promoted to interim U.S. attorney, suddenly finds himself in a position to do something about the scourge that claimed his youngest son's life.

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13 US PA: Some State Farmers To Grow Industrial HempSat, 31 Dec 2016
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:246 Added:12/31/2016

[photo] Heather Skorinko had hoped to grow industrial hemp on her North Whitehall Township farm, but the state's restrictive pilot program will lock out most family farms, she said. (APRIL BARTHOLOMEW/THE MORNING CALL)

Industrial hemp returns to Pennsylvania in 2017. So why are advocates so riled up?

Too often in recent years, Heather Skorinko has struggled to make money growing corn and soybeans on her North Whitehall Township farm, which has been in the family for more than 120 years.

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14 Thailand: Foreigners Arrested, Coke, Crystal Meth, Ecstasy SeizedWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Bangkok Post (Thailand)          Area:Thailand Lines:48 Added:12/31/2016

Narcotics suppression police question Francis Mukwamba, a Zambian passport holder whose real nationality is uncertain, at a hotel room in Sukhumvit area of Bangkok on Dec 26. (Photo taken from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau Facebook page)

Two foreign nationals were arrested after 4kg of cocaine were found in their bags when they arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport from Africa and a third, their alleged contact, was later apprehended at a city hotel.

Pol Maj Gen Sommai Kongwisaisuk, acting commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said Johnny Halop Sajulga, a Filipino, and a Vietnamese woman, Chao Thi Thuong, 37, arrived from Ethiopia on Flight ET 628 on Dec 26.

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15 US: Australia Drug Smuggling Largest Cocaine Seizure In HistoryThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Business Insider (U.S.) Author:Woody, Christopher Area:United States Lines:114 Added:12/31/2016

Police took down a Sydney crime syndicate and made 'the largest cocaine seizure in Australian ... history'

[photo] An Australian investigator unloads cargo from a seize boat, December 2016. Australian Federal Police

Australian police dismantled a major cocaine smuggling ring after a two-and-a-half-year multi-agency operation undertaken with Tahiti, Australian authorities announced on Thursday.

Operation Okesi, which began in July 2014, culminated in a Christmas-night seizure of 500 kilograms of cocaine in New South Wales in eastern Australia.

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16 US CA: Trump Attorney General Pick May Spur Legal Battles Over PotFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Napa Valley Register (CA) Author:Elias, Thomas Area:California Lines:93 Added:12/31/2016

Thomas Elias writes the syndicated California Focus column, appearing twice weekly in 93 newspapers around California, with circulation of over 2.2 million.

As a United States attorney in Alabama serving under President Ronald Reagan in 1986, the 39-year-old Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was charged with enforcing civil rights laws. But he said then that he didn't have much of a problem with what the Ku Klux Klan stood for, musing that he thought the KKK was "OK until I found out they smoked pot."

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17CN BC: Courts Must Aid Drug-Trafficking fight: JudgeTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Dickson, Louise Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

The courts must do whatever they can to stop or reduce drug trafficking, a Nanaimo judge said last week as he handed a drug trafficker a six-month jail sentence.

On Dec. 19, Trevor Lee Sihota pleaded guilty to possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking. Sihota, a 35-year-old recovering crack cocaine and crystal meth addict, was arrested on March 7, 2013. Police found 42.7 grams of heroin valued at $4,700 to $6,000 in his apartment.

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18US KY: Feds: Louisville Drug Boss Dodged DeportationSun, 25 Dec 2016
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Warren, Beth Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

Ismael Gonzalez-Gonzalez was supposed to be deported nine years ago, but Cuba wouldn't take him.

Instead, he wound up in Louisville and, police say, emerged as a local boss directing the flow of drugs in the Louisville area and beyond for a Mexican cartel.

It's unclear how Gonzalez, a convicted felon who was arrested in a surprise drug raid last summer, first entered the United States before he ended up in Louisville, where he settled into a house in Jeffersontown. Many details about his case remain hidden in sealed federal court records.

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19 US: Inside the DEA: A Chemist's Quest To Identify Mystery DrugsSun, 25 Dec 2016
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Kinetz, Erika Area:United States Lines:316 Added:12/28/2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - No one knew what was in the baggie. It was just a few tablespoons of crystalline powder seized back in April, clumped like snow that had partially melted and frozen again.

Emily Dye, a 27-year-old forensic chemist at the Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Testing and Research Laboratory, did not know if anyone had died from taking this powder, or how much it would take to kill you.

What she did know was this: New drugs were appearing in the lab every other week, things never before seen in this unmarked gray building in Sterling, Virginia. Increasingly, these new compounds were synthetic opioids designed to mimic fentanyl, a prescription painkiller up to 50 times stronger than heroin.

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20 US OK: Beijing Denies Us Claim That China Is Synthetic Drug KingMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Altus Times, The (OK) Author:Kinetz, Erika Area:Oklahoma Lines:163 Added:12/27/2016

BEIJING -- U.S. assertions that China is the top source of the synthetic opioids that have killed thousands of drug users in the U.S. and Canada are unsubstantiated, Chinese officials told the Associated Press.

Both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy point to China as North America's main source of fentanyl, related drugs and the chemicals used to make them.

Such statements "lack the support of sufficient numbers of actual, confirmed cases," China's National Narcotics Control Commission told DEA's Beijing field office in a fax dated Friday.

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