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1CN AB: OPED: Objections To Medical Cannabis 'Dead Wrong'Fri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Moir, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

College's information outdated, says James Moir.

The Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) recently published a statement reflecting their stance on medical cannabis, basically stating there is insufficient evidence to recommend it, and that adverse effects outweigh any benefits.

As a physician working in Edmonton's only legitimate "physician-and-nurse-run" cannabinoid medical clinic, I must object strongly to this stance. I have an MD from the University of Alberta, with five years' subspecialty training in anesthesiology and pain medicine, and have over 20 years clinical experience in this area. I have five years' experience in perioperative medicine and extra training in cannabinoid medicine, which allows me to prescribe medical cannabis and work in the clinic, where I have been for the better part of a year.

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2 CN ON: City Shooting For Quick OD-Prevention SiteWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:127 Added:12/24/2017

In the wake of a deadly opioid drug crisis that's killed hundreds in Ontario, London health officials are fast-tracking a pop-up, - -overdose-prevention site they want to have up and running by January.

The stripped-down version of a supervised consumption site will give drug users a safer environment to inject. The location of the site, or the total number if there is more than one, hasn't been pinned down. But the plan is to have at least one as early as possible in 2018.

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3 US: Report: 'Substantial' Hepatitis C Infection Increase Tied ToThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:United States Lines:98 Added:12/21/2017

The United States' overall rate of hepatitis C infection more than doubled from 2004 to 2014 -- and among people under 40, it increased by 300 to 400 percent.

The reason for the jump? Transmission through injecting opioid drugs, said a report published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

Lead author Jon Zibbell, senior public health analyst in the Behavioral and Urban Health program of North Carolina-based RTI International, said public health officials have long presumed the link, but the research, performed in conjunction with a number of other agencies, provides data to back it up.

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4 US PA: Organ Donations From Fatal Drug Overdoses DoubleSat, 16 Dec 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Baldrige, Susan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:12/18/2017

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Charles Grugan's drug addiction took a toll on his family.

They tried to help him, but on Oct. 12, 2011, Grugan 33, overdosed on heroin. He never recovered.

While on life support in a regional hospital, doctors approached his family and showed them his driver's license.

Grugan had made the decision to be an organ donor when he was 18 years old.

His heart, liver and kidneys were successfully transplanted into three people.

"It was a silver lining for us," Grugan's' mother, Eileen Grugan, said. "Donating Charles' organs to others was the thing that kept our family together and pulled us through this grief.

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5 US FL: This City OK'd Marijuana Dispensaries. Now It's Having SecondFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Geggis, Anne Area:Florida Lines:127 Added:12/08/2017

Have they opened Pandora's box? Some Deerfield Beach city leaders worry that's what they might've done by allowing marijuana dispensaries in the city.

They're now trying to stop medical dispensaries from clustering citywide by keeping them out of commercial areas that also have homes, as well as setting rules to stop them from opening next to one another.

Mayor Bill Ganz said he doesn't want the city to become known as the place to buy pot, even if it's just the medical kind that doesn't get you high.

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6 CN ON: City Backs Downtown Supervised Injection SiteTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Dongen, Matthew Van Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:12/05/2017

Two community agencies on hand to lend support for initiative which is expected to be paid for by province

The city has endorsed a supervised injection site for downtown Hamilton but it's up to a community agency to step up to run such a facility.

The city's board of health endorsed the findings of a long-awaited study Monday that recommend adding at least one permanent site in the core for people to safely inject illegal drugs under the watchful eye of health professionals.

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7 CN ON: Editorial: Safe-Injection Site Makes Sense For HamiltonSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:12/02/2017

Facing the reality that Hamilton needs at least one supervised injection site is not pleasant.

In an ideal world, such a thing might not be needed. People with drug addictions would get counselling and support to break their addiction. Until then, they could ingest drugs in a safe and clean environment.

But this isn't an ideal world. We're in a historic and growing street-drug crisis. And those qualities - access to support and a safe environment - are exactly what you get with a supervised injection site (SIS).

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8CN BC: B.C. Emergency Response Centre With Island Link To BattleSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kines, Lindsay Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/02/2017

The B.C. government stepped up its fight against the growing number of drug overdose deaths Friday with the launch of a new emergency response centre that will link to regional and community action teams on Vancouver Island and elsewhere.

The emergency centre will have about 10 full- and part-time staff based at Vancouver General Hospital and backed by a team of experts.

The centre will analyze data, spot trends and work with new regional teams at Island Health and the other four health authorities to improve front-line services.

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9 CN BC: As Overdoses Mount, Prompt Warnings Are CrucialSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:163 Added:12/02/2017

Lessons are still being digested after a lethal batch of opioids in October put emergency workers to the test

The first warning came mid-afternoon on a Thursday in late October, from a client at a downtown Victoria HIV/AIDS and harm-reduction facility.

It was the day after "cheque day," when social-assistance payments are issued in B.C. - a period linked to an increase in overdoses and other related harms. But even with that factored in, front-line workers were getting the sense that things were worse than usual.

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10 CN BC: Pot Dispensary Suing City Claims Not-For-Profit StatusFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC) Author:Gawley, Kelvin Area:British Columbia Lines:65 Added:12/01/2017

Motacan Compassion Society is exempt from business licence requirement, operator argues

A medical marijuana dispensary is suing the City of Abbotsford in an effort to remain open and avoid paying thousands of dollars in tickets.

Motacan Compassion Society, which operates a storefront location in an alley off Montrose Avenue in downtown Abbotsford, says it is exempt from bylaws requiring a business licence due to its not-for-profit society status.

In a petition filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court, "principal operator" David Smith claims Motacan is a registered society that provides "reasonable access to medical cannabis to members of the society on a highly subsidized basis."

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11 CN AB: Editorial: Drug Addiction Should Be Health Issue, Not CriminalSat, 25 Nov 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:11/29/2017

Canada is currently in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis.

The two most western provinces and territories - British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories - have been hit especially hard, likely due to their relative proximity to China, where much of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is produced.

According to Government of Canada statistics from 2016, B.C. and Yukon each had more than 15 opioid overdoses per 100,000 people, while Alberta and N.W.T. each had between 10 and 14.9 overdoses per 100,000 people.

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12 CN BC: Housing Part Of Opioid Crisis SolutionWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Richmond News (CN BC) Author:Wood, Graeme Area:British Columbia Lines:99 Added:11/22/2017

Best-selling author Johann Hari weighs in on B.C. housing and opioid crises

Graeme Wood / Richmond News

Adequate, affordable housing - not a misguided, unscientific and subjective approach to drug criminalization - is the cornerstone of preventing and overcoming drug addiction.

That's the message British author and drug war critic Johann Hari brought to Richmond Monday at a conference hosted by Housing Central (BC Non-profit Housing Association, Co-op Housing Federation of BC, Aboriginal Housing Management Association and the Pacific Housing Research Network.)

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13 CN ON: Edu: Drug Use On Campus PersistsFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Journal, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Goulem, Brigid Area:Ontario Lines:192 Added:11/21/2017

Four students share their stories of drug use on campus

Illicit drug use among university students might be more common than our parents would like to think.

According to the Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drugs Survey published by Health Canada in 2015, 11 per cent of 20-24 year-old respondents reported doing cocaine, five said they do speed, meth or other amphetamines, 15 per cent took ecstasy and 16 per cent reported taking hallucinogens.

Despite being illegal, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines and stimulants are a very real part of student culture on campus. Although a large majority of students might never encounter them, these drugs exist within social circles across university campuses.

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14 CN BC: OPED: Red Zones Are Ruining LivesMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Larkin, DJ Area:British Columbia Lines:116 Added:11/20/2017

Regularly imposed bail condition is an untenable method of punishment and sets up marginalized people for failure

Imagine you have a serious medical condition requiring regular care. You are charged with a minor offence, for which you are innocent until proved guilty, and your first step into the justice system is to stand before a judge who will determine whether you will be released on bail. The judge says you are free to go, but as a condition of release you are not to be within the 10 square-block area that constitutes the downtown - even though your doctor, your pharmacy and your social supports such as friends and family are all within that area. You have been "red zoned" from your community.

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15 US MI: You Can Be Fired For Medical Marijuana. Advocates Want That ToMon, 13 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Lehr, Sarah Area:Michigan Lines:203 Added:11/14/2017

Can you be fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana?

Joseph Casias injured his knee at the Battle Creek Wal-Mart where he worked in 2009.

Per company policy, he took a drug test. It came back positive.

Casias had been using marijuana at home to treat pain from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf for wrongful discharge in violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

A U.S. District Judge sided with the company. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld the ruling.

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16US CA: Delay Makes It Unlikely San Francisco Will Sell Pot Jan. 1Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Har, Janie Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Supervisors in famously pot-friendly San Francisco are under pressure from cannabis advocates to pass regulations that would allow the industry to flourish once recreational sales become legal throughout California in January.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up proposed regulations Tuesday, when they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1. That would give them time to figure out where to allow new stores.

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17 US CA: San Francisco's Chinese Community Fights RecreationalTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:77 Added:11/14/2017

San Francisco is having a surprisingly difficult time establishing regulations for the broad legal pot market, thanks in part to criticism from older Chinese immigrants who oppose marijuana use.

Divided San Francisco supervisors are scheduled to take up the issue at a board meeting Tuesday, where they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1 as they continue to figure out where to allow new stores.

The possibility of overly strict regulations has businesses fretting over access and some San Franciscans wondering what happened to the counter-culture, anti-Prohibition city they know and love. The smell of cannabis being smoked is not uncommon in certain neighborhoods and parks.

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18 US FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open In Palm Beach CountyTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Swisher, Skyler Area:Florida Lines:100 Added:11/14/2017

Palm Beach County's first medical marijuana dispensary is now open for business.

At noon Tuesday, Knox Medical opened the center at 1 South Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, across the street from Lake Worth City Hall.

The dispensary occupies a former bank building in downtown Lake Worth, and the interior resembles a dentist or doctor's office. Patients check in at the foyer and then can proceed to a room with glass display cases showcasing Knox Medical's products.

Knox Medical CEO Jose Javier Hidalgo said the new dispensary will improve access to medical cannabis for everyone in South Florida.

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19 CN AB: Important To Be Informed About Marijuana, SACPA ToldFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Schnarr, J. W. Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:11/13/2017

A discussion on medicinal marijuana, its uses and who is using it was the on the menu at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs' weekly speakers series.

Dr. Ife Abiola, medical director for the 420 Clinic, spoke on the drug and gave anecdotal information on many of the patents seen at the clinic.

He said it is important for local residents to get informed on the drug ahead of impending national legalization.

"This is going to be changing a lot of different facets of our lives," he said. "You can expect to be seeing whether it's through a medical clinic, dispensary or other people just using in a ubiquitous way in our lives. Everyone needs to have a certain level of education about this. "

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20 CN BC: Fentanyl Task Force Plans Community ConversationFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Hall, Bob Area:British Columbia Lines:176 Added:11/13/2017

The event will feature stories from the front lines

Nelson's Fentanyl Task Force is set to host Growing Hope: A Community Conversation on the Current Fentanyl Crisis at Nelson's Hume Hotel on Nov. 22. The discussion will feature health care professionals, emergency responders, educators and community leaders across the West Kootenay.

"What will have the biggest effect on death is reducing stigma for people who are using drugs," says Chloe Sage, an educator at Nelson's ANKORS who will be part of a seven-person panel of speakers at the event. "One of the goals of these panels is to be able to talk about all the issues that involve people who use drugs and people who are at risk of dying from fentanyl overdose. When we start lowering the stigma and people can talk about what they are going through, then we will have less deaths because people will be able to seek the help they need."

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