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1 CN ON: Looking North Of The Border To Limit Heroin DeathsThu, 24 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Goodman, J. David Area:Ontario Lines:232 Added:05/24/2018

TORONTO - An aging construction worker arrived quietly in the building's basement, took his seat alongside three other men and struck his lighter below a cooker of synthetic heroin.

A woman, trained to intervene in case of an overdose, placed a mask over her face as his drug cooked and diluted beneath a jumping flame. He injected himself, grew still and then told of the loss of his wife who died alone in her room upstairs - an overdose that came just a few months before this social service nonprofit opened its doors for supervised injections.

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2 US OH: Needle Exchange Program Offers Fentanyl Test StripsMon, 07 May 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Lindstrom, Lauren Area:Ohio Lines:101 Added:05/11/2018

Northwest Ohio Syringe Services has begun distributing fentanyl test strips to active users of opioids and other drugs. The exchange, a program through the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, is part of a larger strategy of harm reduction to keep people with addiction issues healthy while using, and provide them with resources and help when they want to seek treatment.

Fentanyl has become the scourge of anyone trying to fight Ohio's opioid epidemic: deadly in small quantities and appearing in an increasing number of fatal overdoses.

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3US LA: Medical Marijuana Is Coming To Louisiana. But Will Any DoctorsFri, 27 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/27/2018

Louisiana's nine future medical marijuana dispensaries have been selected. The two grow sites, managed by LSU and Southern University, are preparing to start growing and processing the drug by next February at the latest.

Legislators have been focused on the issue, too. Two bills are making their way through the Legislature that would potentially expand the number of medical marijuana patients.

But after all these preparations are made, will there be doctors for medical marijuana patients to go to?

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4 CN ON: Ontario Tory Leader Doug Ford Says He's Dead AgainstFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Loriggio, Paola Area:Ontario Lines:101 Added:04/25/2018

Doug Ford says he is "dead against" supervised injection sites and believes the focus should be on drug rehabilitation instead.

And if elected premier of Ontario in June, the Progressive Conservative Leader says he will do everything he can to fight the opioid crisis and get people who are struggling with addiction the help they need.

"If your son, daughter, loved one ever had an addiction, would you want them to go in a little area and do more drugs? I am dead against that," Mr. Ford said Friday. "We have to help these people. We can't just keep feeding them and feeding them."

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5 US CA: Some California Cities Want Amsterdam-Style Pot Lounges, PushFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Parvini, Sarah Area:California Lines:153 Added:04/25/2018

For decades, it has embraced its gay and lesbian bars and the rock 'n' roll debauchery of the Sunset Strip. It runs a free nightlife trolley called The PickUp, with a jar of free condoms by the door.

Now, it's embracing a different type of social scene: pot lounges.

The city is poised to allow cannabis lounges where people can consume the once-taboo product in a social setting. West Hollywood will join San Francisco, Oakland and South Lake Tahoe, which earlier this year became some of the first cities in California to open the consumption lounges modeled after those in Amsterdam. Communities in the Coachella Valley are also joining the ranks.

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6 US FL: Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Fed Limits On Research HinderWed, 25 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Taylor, Marisa Area:Florida Lines:251 Added:04/25/2018

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.

For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

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7US LA: Could Medical Marijuana Treat Severe Autism? Some LouisianaWed, 25 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2018

A car ride anywhere with Denise Young's 16-year-old son Seth can be extremely dangerous.

Seth was diagnosed as a young child as having low-functioning autism, a severe form of the disorder that makes him hypersensitive to sound and light and which can trigger tantrum-like meltdowns.

"They call it a rage," Young said. "He has thrown punches in the back of my seat, the back of my head (while driving)."

Medication hasn't worked, according to Young. One prescription only made Seth's rages worse, she said. Another one caused excessive thirst and hormonal imbalances.

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8 US: Column: We Scorned Black Addicts But Support White Addicts. Why?Wed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Dvorak, Petula Area:United States Lines:142 Added:04/18/2018

We have been here before -- a raging epidemic of addiction that destroys lives, families and communities.

Who was on the front line in the 1990s, when the drug was crack and the addicts were mostly black? Drug czar William Bennett. His weapons were prosecution and prison.

Today, when the drugs are opioids and the addicts are mostly white? U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, a doctor, is out there, telling the country, "We need to see addiction as a chronic disease and not a moral failing."

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9US 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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10 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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11 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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12 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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13US 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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14 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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15 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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16 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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17CN 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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18 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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19 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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20 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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