A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a
proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with
chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill
cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.
HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate
before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical
research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for
people with chronic medical conditions.
A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain
conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy
and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms,
intractable pain and PTSD to the list.
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A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of
downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such
businesses, alleging it violates state law.
Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed
the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a
judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable."
Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking
a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while
the court rules.
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Cure Oahu, backed by a local private investment group, opened with 10
strains, including top sellers Master Kush, Da Glue, Sour Chem and
Sunset Mango. The dispensary in the former Bank of Hawaii branch
building at 727 Kapahulu Ave. said there was heavy demand for indica,
sativa and hybrid flower strains as well as tinctures and lozenges,
which sold out shortly after opening.
The 5,434-square-foot building has had a major makeover with a
high-tech, 2,400-square-foot open lobby and dispensing area with two
private consultation booths and large electronic tablet stations where
customers can browse through information and choose from a variety of
strains. Patients are also able to register and order products online
before coming into the dispensary.
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Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy
response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president
would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers
than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.
In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally
ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance
quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's
own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health
improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to
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Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer
patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana
plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit
court judge on Wednesday.
Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in
a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right
to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen
Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.
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Two people using fentanyl at London's temporary overdose prevention
site on the weekend were resuscitated by a nurse after they overdosed,
Middlesex-London's medical officer of health says.
"These people were inexperienced, and fentanyl is a drug where it's
easy to miscalculate how much you are taking. If this had happened in
a back alley or stairwell somewhere, it could have easily resulted in
death," Dr. Chris Mackie said Sunday.
The drug users were resuscitated Saturday using oxygen, he
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The life-saving drug may actually increase opioid abuse. Here's
My friendly local pharmacy has started selling naloxone kits to the
general public. They think everyone should have one. The idea is that
you never know when you're going to have someone overdose in your home.
As the opioid crisis spreads like a curse across North America,
naloxone - a lifesaving drug that neutralizes the effects of an opioid
overdose - is not confined to first responders anymore. Schools in
Toronto are stocking up in it. Librarians across the United States
have been trained to administer it to overdosing visitors. Everywhere,
the message is: make sure you have some on hand, just in case.
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City's fatality rate is now nearly double Ontario average, fuelling
Opioid-related deaths in Hamilton have soared more than 80 per cent in
From January to October, 75 Hamilton residents died from an opioid
overdose in 2017 compared to 41 during the same period the year before.
"Opioids are continuing to have a devastating impact on individuals,
families, and the community," Hamilton's medical officer of health Dr.
Elizabeth Richardson said in a statement Friday. "The sustained trend
of rising opioid related deaths, which are preventable, in Hamilton is
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Emergency services taxed by spike in overdoses, incidents
Police, firefighters and paramedics are so overwhelmed with
drug-related 911 calls in the days after welfare cheques are issued
that Victoria's police chief wants the province to consider staggering
distribution of the cheques throughout the month.
"Generally speaking, we see a spike during the evening of welfare
Wednesday and the day or two after of overdose calls, disturbances,
drug activity occurring. Sometimes someone has been defrauded or
robbed," Police Chief Del Manak told the Times Colonist.
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Nearly three weeks in, London's temporary overdose-prevention site -
the first of its kind in the province - has gone from four drug users
a day to 44, and front-line workers are beaming.
The stripped-down supervised consumption facility opened Feb. 12, a
quick, co-ordinated response to the growing number of opioid overdoses
among London drug users. As of Tuesday, staff were seeing as many as
44 clients a day.
"Clients are having trouble believing it. It's too good to be true,"
said Sonja Burke, needle exchange director at the Regional HIV/AIDS
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The medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Camden County in
September 2015 is the busiest of the five that have opened in New
Jersey since the program began seven years ago, according to a
Department of Health annual report.
Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center, in an industrial
park in tiny Bellmawr, served 2,762 patients and sold nearly 885
pounds of cannabis in 2016, the report said. The state had nearly
10,800 registered patients as of the end of last year.
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As a national opioid crisis wages on, Toronto police have decided to
equip their downtown frontline officers with the opioid antidote naloxone.
"This is about life and death, and that's what we signed up to do,"
Chief Mark Saunders told the Toronto Police Services Board at their
Chief Saunders was tasked last year with submitting a report to the
board on how the service might go about deploying the antidote, which
can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
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Re: Opioid vending machines won't help B.C.'s addicts. Jeremy Devine,
Feb. 14 This piece, written by my classmate, Jeremy Devine, contains
misinformation and stigma. I felt compelled to write a response because
his views do not reflect mine or those of many of our fellow medical
school classmates at the University of Toronto.
The article suggests that British Columbia's harm reduction approach
is some ill-conceived mistake that jeopardizes the lives of people who
use drugs. In fact, Mr. Devine's ideological stance is not based on
evidence, and if enacted, could endanger countless lives.
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Harm reduction is more than a job for Karen Kittilsen Levine. Reducing
the numbers of people dying from opioid addiction and blood-borne
disease is something she's determined to do.
"We began doing outreach in Pictou County on November 1 and have more
than 40 clients, and we're beginning outreach in Amherst within a few
days," said Kittilsen Levine, who is the harm reduction coordinator
for the Northern Healthy Connections Society.
The organization collects used needles and distributes clean ones. It
also provides condoms and information on blood-borne diseases.
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OTTAWA - Setting up tattoo parlours and needle-exchange programs in
penitentiaries would help reduce the spread of hepatitis C, the
federal prison service has told the Trudeau government.
A Correctional Service memo obtained under the Access to Information
Act advises Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to round out existing
and planned measures to fight hepatitis and HIV in prison.
Prison tattooing and needle-exchange programs for drug users have
generated intense controversy over the years, and the March 2017 memo
says detailed research should be carried out before embarking on a
syringe needle program, in particular, "to avoid unintended and
negative consequences for inmates."
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Rally in response to the opioid crisis hears tales of loss and 'burnt
Kim Pare said his family did everything they could to help their
bright and beautiful daughter, but in the end she couldn't fight the
illness of addiction.
It's been almost four years since Kaitlyn died, at 24, from a
prescription opioid overdose and from her father's perspective nothing
has really changed.
"We are losing a generation of people who could be valuable members of
our society. We have to help them,' Pare said, speaking to about 30
people at a rally at King and York Sts. Tuesday's event was part of a
National Day of Action in response to the opioid and contaminated drug
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Company is gearing up to include medicinal cannabis under extended
health-care benefit plans, helping offset costs for users
Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada will become the first major insurance
company to add medical marijuana to its group benefits plans for
Canadian companies, a pivotal move in the insurance industry that will
help ease the financial burden for medical marijuana users, and a sign
of the growing acceptance of cannabis in the Canadian workplace.
As of March 1, Sun Life will include medical cannabis as optional
coverage under an extended health-care benefit plan. Sun Life, which
administers group benefits plans for more than 22,000 Canadian
companies, oversees health and dental coverage for more than five
million Canadians - including dependents.
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The AIDS Network is putting itself forward to run Hamilton's first
supervised injectionsite at its downtown Effort Square location.
The AIDS service organization is preparing proposals to the provincial
and federal governments for a permanent site where people can inject
illegal drugs under the watchful eye of trained staff without fear of
Meanwhile, it is also proposing a smaller temporary overdose
prevention site as a stopgap that would allow supervised injection
until the permanent location was approved and operating.
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Provincial plan aims to fill gap for communities waiting on permanent
services for opioid crisis
A temporary supervised drug use site will open its doors in London,
Ont., Monday - the first of what is expected to be many under a new
provincial emergency-response program that will fill the gap for
communities waiting on permanent sites.
Thousands of people are dying from overdoses every year across Canada.
In Ontario alone, there were 336 opioid-related deaths between May and
July last year, up 68 per cent from that same period the year before.
Fentanyl, a drug so potent that mere grains of it can be lethal, was a
factor in 67 per cent of those deaths - up from 41 per cent in 2016,
and 19 per cent in 2015.
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Ontario's first legal drugoverdose prevention site opens Monday in
The site, temporary while the search continues for a permanent site,
will be located at 186 King St.
The site is part of the health unit's response to the opioid crisis
sweeping Canada, whose toll ran to nearly 1,500 people in the first
half of last year alone.
The London site, embebbed within the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection
program location, has been granted an exemption from Canada's criminal
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