As legal marijuana spreads and the opioid epidemic rages on, the
number of drugged drivers killed in car crashes is rising
dramatically, according to a report released today.
Forty-four percent of fatally injured drivers tested for drugs had
positive results in 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association
found, up more than 50 percent compared with a decade ago. More than
half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids or a
combination of the two.
"These are big-deal drugs. They are used a lot," said Jim Hedlund, an
Ithaca, New York-based traffic safety consultant who conducted the
highway safety group's study. "People should not be driving while
they're impaired by anything and these two drugs can impair you."
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WASHINGTON - One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the
vibrant colors. A third admitted, "I absolutely just loved altering my
Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are
among the most powerful in America's arsenal. Air Force records
obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and
used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as
part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure
military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman
deserted to Mexico.
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After the death of her father, a prominent hotel owner in Seattle,
Ella Henderson started taking morphine to ease her grief. She was 33
years old, educated and intelligent, and she frequented the upper
reaches of Seattle society. But her "thirst for morphine" soon
"dragged her down to the verge of debauchery," according to a
newspaper article in 1877 titled "A Beautiful Opium Eater." After
years of addiction, she died of an overdose.
In researching opium addiction in late-19th-century America, I've come
across countless stories like Henderson's. What is striking is how,
aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they feel so familiar to a
21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable
point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then
self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost
their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.
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It's all about harm reduction and improving community health outcomes
No doubt some Hamiltonians are chuckling to hear city council is
considering banning sugary drinks from city buildings to protect
With good reason.
The proposed ban by the public health department lands at the same
time the city is moving ahead with opening its first safe injection
site for drug addicts.
It's more than a little ironic that the city may be cracking down on
sugar while enabling the use of illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine.
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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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WASHINGTON - FPI Management, a property company in California, wants
to hire dozens of people. Factories from New Hampshire to Michigan
need workers. Hotels in Las Vegas are desperate to fill jobs.
Those employers and many others are quietly taking what once would
have been a radical step: They're dropping marijuana from the drug
tests they require of prospective employees. Marijuana testing - a
fixture at large American employers for at least 30 years - excludes
too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs
is more challenging than it's been in nearly two decades.
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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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The Liberal Party of Canada has voted in favour of removing criminal
penalties for the personal possession of drugs.
It's one of a number of policies that the party selected as
priorities at a convention in Halifax on Saturday (April 21).
Members also voted in favour of universal pharmacare, decriminalizing
consensual sex work, and expanding medicare to cover mental-health
A total of 15 policies were selected to become official party
However, a policy's status as a party priority does not mean that
party leaders have to include it in the document where it really
counts: the party's campaign platform for the next federal election.
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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
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U.S. prosecutors say their evidence against notorious Mexican drug
lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman includes killings, torture,
kidnappings, prison breaks and even an attempt to smuggle seven tons
of cocaine in cans of jalapenos.
A government memo filed Tuesday also says there's evidence that Guzman
was involved in a 1992 drug-gang shootout at a Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico, nightclub that left six people dead.
Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, said he was reviewing the memo and
would "respond in due course."
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President Trump's proposal to invoke the death penalty for drug
traffickers is an idea that is, in the practical scheme of things,
unworkable. It is also probably unconstitutional and obviously
simplistic. It is a gimmick, not a policy.
We need a policy.
The president likes dramatic gestures for difficult problems - a ban
on all potential terrorists, a big wall next to Mexico, a 25-percent
tariff on steel. This is not an altogether bad instinct. We need
strong, decisive leaders and criminals need to fear punishment.
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WASHINGTON - President Trump's plan to use the death penalty on drug
dealers has all the hallmarks of his favorite policies: It could fit
on the front of a baseball cap. It is a proven applause line. It
appeals to a conservative base.
But, like so many of Trump's slogans-turned-policy, it's dredged from
a bygone era and lacks clear evidence showing it would be effective.
Using an obscure federal provision to bring capital cases against
dealers, the concept that Trump enthusiastically backed during a visit
to New Hampshire this week, fits within the framework of some of his
other cornerstone ideas: Build the wall, Launch trade wars, Arm
teachers. To some critics in the mainstream, though, the ideas are
impractical, imprecise, or just dangerous.
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Guns, gangs unit member has pleaded not guilty
A suspended Hamilton police officer fed drug traffickers sensitive
information and favours in return for cash payments, a Crown attorney
said Monday during his opening address to a Toronto jury.
Craig Ruthowsky, a former member of the Hamilton Police Service's guns
and gangs unit, has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice,
bribery, breach of trust, trafficking and conspiracy to commit an
He became ensnared in a Toronto Police Service wiretap investigation
called Project Pharaoh aimed at gathering evidence of drug and firearm
trafficking in Toronto's west end, Crown attorney John Pollard said in
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The drugs have started eating away at our Punjabi youth.
This disease has spread throughout North America. The desire to earn
quick money without any hard work has pushed many Punjabi youth into
Last year a Punjabi husband and wife were caught by the RCMP with
cocaine worth $8.4 million. It was a large consignment of drugs being
taken from the United States to Calgary. The couple, identified as
Gurminder Singh Toor, 31, and Kirandeep Kaur Toor, 26, were arrested
in connection with the cocaine.
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Suspended Hamilton cop Craig Ruthowsky revealed that he aided a drug
dealer to cultivate his trust so he could snare a larger trafficker,
his former best friend testified Tuesday.
Sgt. James Paterson, who once considered himself Ruthowsky's "best
friend," confronted Ruthowsky after he was suspended in 2012 while
both were working for Hamilton's guns and gangs unit.
"Craig Ruthowsky advised me that the dealer was dangling a bigger fish
in front of him that he wanted to get, this major importer Officer
Ruthowsky had said 'I was trying to make myself look like a dirty cop
so that will trust me more, and he'd give up the bigger fish,'" said
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Plenty of hard work goes into training police service dogs to sniff
out illicit substances
For the vast majority of the dog population, sitting, shaking their
paw and possibly rolling over is more than enough to get a treat, or
some time with their favourite toy.
For police service dogs Astor and Flint, some of the highest praise
comes after sniffing out drugs hidden in a home or a vehicle.
The Medicine Hat Police Service is two weeks into training PSD Astor
to detect drugs and to notify his handler of any illegal substances he
may sniff out.
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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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Alberta's supervised consumption sites should be permitted to offer
drug testing to help users learn what dangers might be lurking in
their illicit narcotics, the province's opioid commission recommended
While questions persist about the effectiveness of fentanyl-sensing
strips and other testing devices, providing insight to users on what
they plan to inject or ingest will undoubtedly save lives, commission
"Anytime you can give people a bit more understanding than absolutely
none about what's in their drugs, I think that's a positive," Elaine
Hyshka, co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response
Commission, told a news conference downtown.
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You think your taxes are high?
For medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, they can be
stratospheric. Cannabis retailers face an effective tax rate of up to
85 percent, and that won't be reduced by the new tax law.
Most mainstream businesses pay effective tax rates of about 15 percent
to 30 percent.
"It's a burden," said Chris Visco, co-owner of TerraVida Holistic
Centers, which opened one of Pennsylvania's first medicinal cannabis
shops on Feb. 17 in Sellersville. "People think that we're getting
rich. It's really not the case. The profit margins are going to be
really narrow after taxes. And you have to still pay local and state
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The president of the union representing more than 3,000 Suncor workers
says they have prepared to bring the issue of random drug testing back
to arbitration if the Supreme Court of Canada does not hear their case.
The comments came after the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld an
injunction against the practice granted by the province's Court of
In a Thursday morning interview, Ken Smith, president of Unifor Local
707A, said he was confident Canada's top court will hear their case.
The union expects to hear a decision by the end of March.
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