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1Canada: Column: Freedom Not Just Another WordMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Robson, John Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

The Liberals really seem about to legalize marijuana. Amazing. I am not astonished that they are keeping a campaign promise. Parties generally mean what they say, however poorly they think through the practicalities. What astounds me is that we may see a significant measure to reduce government meddling in people's lives.

The Liberals are moving with ostentatious caution, possibly to avoid playing into their stereotype as the pothead party. But since one survey says a quarter of Canadians have smoked marijuana just for fun in the past year you'd be surprised who indulges without succumbing to Reefer Madness.

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2 CN MB: Weeding Out AnxietyFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Larkins, David Area:Manitoba Lines:73 Added:04/25/2017

4/20 participants extol virtues of pot as drug that helps you cope

Leigh Filbert admits he lived the "rock-star lifestyle" in the past and acknowledges now his body is paying for it.

Filbert suffered a stroke a little over a year ago that left the right side of his body paralyzed. He suffers from anxiety he also contends is paralyzing, emotionally.

Attending his first 4/20 rally, Filbert biked around the Legislature grounds on Thursday "to gather constructive information" about the cannabis movement as he continues on his road to recovery.

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3Canada: Column: Nice Pot Law There, LiberalsFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:McParland, Kelly Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

There's always been something a bit odd about the great marijuana legalization crusade. Supporters, eager to avoid being seen as a bunch of frustrated pot-heads who just wanted easier access, put forward solid, practical arguments.

They pointed out that the war against drugs wasn't working: anyone could see that. People who wanted pot would find a way to get it, no matter how illegal it might be. Police time was wasted chasing kids with a few grams of marijuana, and branding young people as criminals for a bit of pot was a crime in itself. Criminalization just paved the way for organized crime to peddle the stuff to kids, with no controls and huge profits. It made no sense.

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4 CN ON: Column: In The Eyes Of The Law, Where's The Breathalyzer ForThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Recorder & Times, The (CN ON) Author:Sommerfeld, Lorraine Area:Ontario Lines:107 Added:04/24/2017

Canada loves being way up there, even No. 1, in those surveys about the best places to visit or live. Not so cool? We're also No. 1 in alcohol-related vehicle deaths among wealthy countries, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting on 2015.

If we can't get our game together on alcohol, what's going to happen when we add legalized marijuana to the mix? I pity the cops tasked with judging a cornucopia of drug-addled drivers, dabbling from both the illegal and legal sides of the aisle.

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5 CN SN: Editorial: It's Still A Clouded IssueWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Estevan Mercury (CN SN)          Area:Saskatchewan Lines:80 Added:04/22/2017

Canadians will be able to celebrate this country's 151st birthday by legally lighting up a joint.

The federal government has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018, fulfilling one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election campaign promises. But there are still a lot of questions regarding the details of a legal pot industry.

Canada doesn't have a lot of international precedent to guide it. We will be just the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to fully legalize marijuana. It's decriminalized in some parts of the world, and legal in some American states, but countries as a whole have been leery about legalizing marijuana.

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6 CN AB: The War On Deadly OpioidsWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:St. Albert Gazette (CN AB) Author:Henderson, Jennifer Area:Alberta Lines:135 Added:04/22/2017

How drug units deal with fentanyl

The death toll for fentanyl continues to rise in 2017, with nearly double the number of deaths being reported in the first six weeks of the year.

According to Health Canada, from Jan. 1 to Feb, 11, 51 people died from overdosing on fentanyl. In 2016 during the same six weeks, 28 Albertans died as a result of a fentanyl overdose.

The drug was first found in St. Albert in 2014 and since then the St. Albert RCMP's drug unit said that currently there is at least one pill found in around 80 per cent of their overall drug cases.

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7 CN AB: Editorial: Ramifications Of Legal Marijuana Remain CloudyThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Gallant, Collin Area:Alberta Lines:99 Added:04/22/2017

Today is April 20, or 4/20 for short, the day marijuana activists use for protest, public displays of defiance and a call to action to legalize pot.

The times are certainly about to change as Ottawa and the provinces consider the implications of the Liberal government's plan to make marijuana legal.

Concerns about decriminalizing pot, however, have many recreational smokers increasingly leery about receiving what they wished for.

Those are the people who should benefit most from the bill, which is posed as a measure to avoid criminal records and fines for possession of the drug that is extremely common, if one is being honest.

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8 CN QU: Editorial: Legal Pot? Are We Tripping, Or What?Tue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:Black, Peter Area:Quebec Lines:91 Added:04/19/2017

"Far out, man!" That's likely what teenaged me would have said if a visitor from the future had said Prime Minister Trudeau had legalized marijuana in 2018. Then I might have said "What? Trudeau is still prime minister?" Then, "Wow, this is some boss weed if I'm talking to some dude from the future." I might have added "Hey, visitor, when did the Leafs win their next Cup?"

Truth be told, your scribe was not much of stoner in his youth, though he effected some of the look and lifestyle. Long hair. Check. Tie-dyed shirts. Check. Bare-foot summers. Check. But a regular consumer of marijuana products? Pas a mon gout. Didn't really have the mental constitution for it. In fact, it's always been a mystery, and the subject of mountains of research, how people react differently when tetrahydrocannabinol hits their bloodstream.

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9CN ON: Fighting Fire With FireMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Medical marijuana may assist in keeping addicts off dangerous opioids.

The patients at Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla's methadone clinic are trying to beat their addiction to heroin, narcotic painkillers and other opioid drugs, but most of them still smoke pot.

He estimates that 90 per cent of his patients at the Recovery Ottawa clinic on Montreal Road already use marijuana, and he's begun writing prescriptions so they can buy it legally.

Medical marijuana, used appropriately, can reduce insomnia, anxiety and cravings for opioids, says Ujjainwalla. Marijuana cannot replace methadone or suboxone, the drugs he uses to treat addicts, he says.

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10Canada: Legalizing Pot Unlikely To Sway Teen AttitudesSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Thompson, Nicole Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Some teens say their likelihood of using weed hasn't changed since the Liberal government announced details of its legalization plan - though they say it's made them more aware of information on both sides of the debate.

Government officials announced Thursday that cannabis would be made legal for recreational use by July 2018, and those aged 18 and over will be able to buy and grow a small amount of the drug for themselves.

But even as marijuana becomes more mainstream, several teens said their opinions about the drug have remained the same.

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11CN BC: One Year Later, 919 More DeathsSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Health officer says situation is worsening despite bold initiatives, partly due to rise in carfentanil in B.C.

It's been a year since provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the spike in overdose deaths a public health emergency.

But despite major efforts and resources, there is no end in sight.

"I had hoped for a different outcome," Kendall said. "Tragically, in that 12-month period, we have seen an additional 919 deaths."

A total of 922 people died from illicit drug-related overdoses in B.C. last year, compared with 513 in 2015 and 366 in 2014. This year could be even worse: In January and February alone, 219 people died.

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12 Canada: Marijuana 'Will Still Be Considered A Cool Thing To Do'Sun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Thompson, Nicole Area:Canada Lines:98 Added:04/19/2017

Teens say coming legalization won't affect their attitude on pot or how much they use

A 2015 drug and alcohol survey found that Canadian teenagers are "among the heaviest users in the western world"

Some teens say their likelihood of using weed hasn't changed since the Liberal government announced details of its legalization plan - though they say it's made them more aware of information on both sides of the debate.

Government officials announced Thursday that cannabis would be made legal for recreational use by July 2018, and those 18 and older will be able to buy and grow a small amount of the drug for themselves.

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13CN BC: Family Doctors Key To Screening For Addiction In Fight AgainstSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

A tag hanging from a dead man's left toe says the cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl, "unknowingly taken with other drugs."

The cadaver draped in a white sheet is displayed in transit ads funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation and represents 922 people who died in British Columbia from drug overdoses last year alone.

A spiralling number of deaths, often involving the painkiller fentanyl, prompted the provincial government to declare a public health emergency on April 14, 2016, and to launch its own awareness campaign on TV, radio, Facebook, transit and at bars and restaurants.

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14 CN ON: Column: Fat Chance Pot Bill Will Do Any GoodFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:DiManno, Rosie Area:Ontario Lines:179 Added:04/16/2017

Tell me what is the difference between a gangster in a stairwell and a licensed retailer in a pot shop?

I mean, if you get down to the nub of the thing, it's all just window-dressing, pretending that one is less exploitive than the other.

The retailer will be taxed, although none of those head-banging details were included in the marijuana legalization bills tabled by the federal government Thursday. The illegal dealer will be charged, most harshly if selling to a minor, under new Criminal Code provisions.

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15 CN ON: Cops Prepare For Legalized Pot UseWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:Benner, Allan Area:Ontario Lines:96 Added:04/14/2017

With the federal government's legalization of marijuana planned for July 1, 2018, if not sooner, Niagara police hope to have technology in place to catch stoned drivers before that date.

"I'd say it would be foolhardy not to be ready if you're going to legalize something, and not give police services the tools to enforce that," said Niagara Regional Police Staff Sgt. Rome Di Egidio.

While roadside testing has been done for decades to determine if a driver has been drinking alcohol, he said police are currently wondering how their jobs will be impacted by the pending legalization of marijuana.

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16CN ON: Niagara Cops Preparing For Legalized Pot UseWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON) Author:Benner, Allan Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/14/2017

With the federal government's legalization of marijuana planned for July 1, 2018, if not sooner, Niagara police hope to have technology in place to catch stoned drivers before that date.

"I'd say it would be foolhardy not to be ready if you're going to legalize something, and not give police services the tools to enforce that," said Niagara Regional Police Staff Sgt. Rome Di Egidio.

While roadside testing has been done for decades to determine if a driver has been drinking alcohol, he said police are currently wondering how their jobs will be impacted by the pending legalization of marijuana.

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17 CN QU: Editorial: Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'EmWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:McDevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:130 Added:04/14/2017

Tomorrow, the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau is expected to fulfill one of its most well-publicised campaign promises and present its much anticipated legislation to legalize the possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Why they couldn't wait another week until April 20 (420) is a question worth pondering, but then again, that might have required a sense of humour.

The history of drug prohibition in Canada goes back to the early 20th Century when authorities became concerned about the use of certain substances among Asian immigrant communities. Marijuana was added to the ever-increasing list of banned substances in the 1920s and once again, race was an integral component. Drug use became associated with decadence, jazz, racial mixing, and sexual license - all things designed to send shivers through middle-class society and its concept of propriety.

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18 Canada: Column: Why Stop With Pot? Let's Decriminalize All DrugsTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/13/2017

Canada is preparing to legalize and regulate possession of marijuana - with a target date of July 1, 2018.

It's a long overdue public policy with sound economic and health arguments to back it up, notably: More harm is caused by criminal prohibition and prosecution than the use of marijuana itself; Criminal laws prohibiting possession do not deter use; Decriminalization of possession does not lead to greater use; Decriminalization frees up resources for police and the courts to deal with more serious crimes;

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19 CN ON: Overdoses, One Fatal, Spark New ConcernSun, 09 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rider, David Area:Ontario Lines:69 Added:04/13/2017

Four others in serious condition after ecstasy use at two city dance clubs

Five overdoses near Toronto nightclubs early Saturday, including one that killed a 24-year-old woman, triggered a health warning and calls for clubs and authorities to take new steps to save lives.

Police say the overdoses involved the party drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Tests should reveal if the woman also ingested fentanyl, a toxic anesthetic sometimes mixed into other drugs, or another substance.

The overdoses near Uniun Nightclub, near Adelaide and Portland Sts., and Rebel Nightclub at Polson Pier are part of an alarming trend, said Councillor Joe Cressy, who chairs the city's drugstrategy.

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20CN BC: Opioid Crisis Has Gone ProvincewideThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2017

In 2016, 11 regions have gone beyond 15 overdose deaths, medical officials say

Health experts painted a grim picture Wednesday morning as they updated Vancouver's mayor and council on an ongoing opioid crisis that has spread from its "epicentre" in the Downtown Eastside to touch every part of the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall addressed a sombre Vancouver council chamber Wednesday, almost a year to the day after he announced a public health emergency in response to what he called at the time, "the recent surge of overdoses."

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