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1US LA: Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain, PTSDThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

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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2 US FL: Company Files Lawsuit Challenging Orlando's Medical MarijuanaMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Gillespie, Ryan Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:03/31/2018

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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3 US HI: Cure Oahu Begins Cannabis SalesTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:45 Added:03/31/2018

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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4 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

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 AIDS.

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5US FL: Joe Redner Hopes To Be Allowed To Grow His Own Cannabis AsWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/21/2018

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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6 CN ON: London's Anti-OD Site Saves Two LivesMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Daniszewski, Hank Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:03/10/2018

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 said.

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7 Canada: Column: Does Naloxone Really Save Lives?Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Wente, Margaret Area:Canada Lines:100 Added:03/10/2018

The life-saving drug may actually increase opioid abuse. Here's why

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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8 CN ON: Opioid-Related Deaths In Hamilton Surge In One YearSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:03/10/2018

City's fatality rate is now nearly double Ontario average, fuelling more concern

Opioid-related deaths in Hamilton have soared more than 80 per cent in one year.

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 very concerning."

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9CN BC: Stagger Welfare Cheques: Police ChiefWed, 28 Feb 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

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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10 CN ON: Numbers Increase At OD-Prevention SiteFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:68 Added:03/02/2018

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 Connection.

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11 US PA: Busiest Medical Marijuana Dispensary In N.J. Is In TinyFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:101 Added:02/28/2018

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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12 CN ON: Toronto Police Opt To Supply Officers With NaloxoneFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hayes, Molly Area:Ontario Lines:96 Added:02/27/2018

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 meeting Thursday.

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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13 Canada: PUB LTE: Giving Up On AddictsThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Swenson, Luke Area:Canada Lines:48 Added:02/27/2018

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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14 CN NS: Reducing The Risks NHCS Doing Its Part To Combat OpioidWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Truro Daily News (CN NS) Author:Curwin, Lynn Area:Nova Scotia Lines:52 Added:02/25/2018

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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15 Canada: Tattoo, Needle Programs In Prisons Could Curb Hep C: MemoTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Bronskill, Jim Area:Canada Lines:90 Added:02/25/2018

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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16 CN ON: 'It Is Just Not Slowing Down'Wed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mathieu, Emily Area:Ontario Lines:109 Added:02/21/2018

Rally in response to the opioid crisis hears tales of loss and 'burnt out' workers

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 crisis.

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17 Canada: Sun Life To Add Medical-Marijuana CoverageThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:O'Hara, Clare Area:Canada Lines:124 Added:02/20/2018

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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18 CN ON: Aids Network Proposes First Injection SiteSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:02/17/2018

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 arrest.

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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19 CN ON: London To Open Temporary Supervised Drug-Use SiteMon, 12 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hayes, Molly Area:Ontario Lines:107 Added:02/12/2018

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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20 CN ON: Overdose Preventions Site Opens MondaySat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Brown, Dan Area:Ontario Lines:39 Added:02/10/2018

Ontario's first legal drugoverdose prevention site opens Monday in London.

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 drug laws.

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