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1 US PA: Drugged Driving Deaths Spike With Spread Of Legal MarijuanaThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bergal, Jenni Area:Pennsylvania Lines:148 Added:05/31/2018

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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2 US: Security Troops On U.S. Nuclear Missile Base Took LSDFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:United States Lines:116 Added:05/25/2018

WASHINGTON - One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, "I absolutely just loved altering my mind."

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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3 US: OPED: America's 150-Year Opioid EpidemicSun, 20 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Lawson, Clinton Area:United States Lines:129 Added:05/20/2018

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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4 CN ON: Column: Enabling Drugs While Shunning SugarFri, 11 May 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Dreschel, Andrew Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:05/11/2018

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 people's health.

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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5 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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6 US: More Businesses Are Mellowing Out Over Hiring Marijuana SmokersWed, 02 May 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Rugaber, Christopher Area:United States Lines:198 Added:05/02/2018

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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7 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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8 CN BC: Liberal Party Members Overwhelmingly Vote For DecriminalizingMon, 23 Apr 2018
Source:Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:95 Added:04/23/2018

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 issues.

A total of 15 policies were selected to become official party priorities.

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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9 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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10 US: 'El Chapo' evidence: Killings, Prison Breaks And 7 Tons OfThu, 12 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:United States Lines:45 Added:04/17/2018

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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11 US OH: Editorial: There Is No Magic Solution For The Opioid CrisisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:72 Added:03/25/2018

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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12 US: Death Penalty For Drug Dealers Is Not A New IdeaWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Linskey, Annie Area:United States Lines:151 Added:03/22/2018

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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13 CN ON: Trial Hears Hamilton Cop Tipped Off Drug DealersTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:72 Added:03/17/2018

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 indictable offence.

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 Superior Court.

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14 CN MB: Column: Drug Smuggling Has Become A Problem For Canada'sTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Flora, Surjit Singh Area:Manitoba Lines:83 Added:03/17/2018

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 drug trafficking.

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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15 CN ON: Cop Aided Drug Dealer To Gain His Trust?Wed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Pazzano, Sam Area:Ontario Lines:42 Added:03/17/2018

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 Paterson.

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16 CN AB: Passing The Sniff TestMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:66 Added:03/16/2018

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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17 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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18CN AB: Offer Drug Testing At Safe Consumption Sites, Opiod CommissionSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/10/2018

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 Friday.

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 leaders said.

"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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19 US PA: Your Taxes Pale Beside What Marijuana Businesses PaySat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:135 Added:03/08/2018

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 taxes."

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20 CN AB: Union Preparing For Supreme Court Fight Against Suncor DrugFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:McDermott, Vincent Area:Alberta Lines:108 Added:03/05/2018

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 Queen's Bench.

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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