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."
[continues 154 words]
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.
[continues 438 words]
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.
[continues 1074 words]
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
[continues 326 words]
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.
[continues 506 words]
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
[continues 118 words]
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.
[continues 383 words]
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
[continues 492 words]
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.
[continues 390 words]
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
[continues 815 words]
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.
[continues 674 words]
The state Cannabis Control Commission split 3-2 Wednesday over whether
to automatically disqualify people with trafficking convictions from
working with legal marijuana.
People with a prior conviction for trafficking in drugs other than
marijuana will be barred from working in jobs that include access to
the plant in the newly legal marijuana industry, a decision made after
about an hour of tense debate among state pot regulators.
The Cannabis Control Commission split 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon over
whether to automatically disqualify people with trafficking
convictions from working with marijuana, adding those convictions to a
list of automatically disqualifying issues like being registered as a
sex offender, open or unresolved criminal proceedings, violent felony
convictions, and felony convictions involving drugs other than marijuana.
[continues 727 words]
Victims of bad science at Motherisk
Return their children.
That's what they want - the parents who saw their kids ripped away
based on flawed alcohol and drug hair tests from the now shuttered
Motherisk lab at the famous Sick Children's hospital. A report tabled
this week examined 1,270 cases handled by the lab going back more than
two decades and found 56 clear cases where Motherisk's flawed test
results had a "substantial impact" on the decision to remove children
- - though critics argue there are far more.
[continues 651 words]
Recommendations too late for many families 'broken apart' by flawed
drug and alcohol tests
The Ontario Motherisk Commission's two-year effort to repair the
damage to families ripped apart by flawed drug and alcohol testing has
produced sweeping recommendations aimed at preventing a similar
tragedy, but in only a handful of cases has it reunited parents with
their lost children.
Alice, a Hamilton mother whose daughter was apprehended in 2011 after
hair testing from Motherisk purported to show she was a heavy drinker,
is among the lucky few.
[continues 2231 words]
Judge nixes jail for Stones guitarist, orders community service
More than 40 years have passed since the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
had to "slap'' Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards awake at a
Toronto hotel so they could arrest him for possession of heroin for
the purposes of trafficking.
The charge, which carried a minimum of seven years upon conviction,
was based on the 22 grams of heroin found on Feb. 27,1977, during a
raid of Richards' room at the Harbour Castle Hilton (now Westin
Harbour Castle), while he was sleeping.
[continues 1149 words]
Every morning, Kevin Thompson takes a short stroll from his apartment
to the Crosstown Clinic, where he signs in, gets his prescription
medicine, then sits in a small room and injects it before heading off
He follows this routine up to three times a day and has done so
virtually every day for more than a dozen years.
The medicine is diacetylmorphine, the medical term for prescription
"It saved my life. No question, it saved my life," Mr. Thompson, 47,
[continues 683 words]
Two years after the province abandoned using an Ontario laboratory for
drug and alcohol testing in custody cases, a decision by a Sydney
Supreme Court justice is casting doubt on whether a Halifax lab is any
The decision by Justice Theresa Forgeron of the court's Family
Division rejected a bid by the Department of Community Services to
have the director of the Capital Health Authority's toxicology lab,
Dr. Bassam Nassar, give expert opinion evidence concerning urine
testing samples from a Cape Breton father.
[continues 486 words]
Congressman Pete Sessions used a speech to a group of doctors and
other healthcare providers at an opioid epidemic summit Tuesday to
suggest that marijuana is the gateway to addiction and as a campaign
against the medical and recreational legalization movement.
The Republican from Dallas called the rising number of deaths from
opioid overdose a "national crisis" and implored those on the front
lines of the fight, the scientific and medical communities, he said,
to provide solutions he can bring to Congress, saying he will get the
appropriate funding added to next month's budget bill.
[continues 1053 words]
Earlier this month, front-line health workers in Toronto raised the
possibility that part of the city's cocaine supply may be tainted with
fentanyl, after a handful of drug overdoses were connected to users
unknowingly consuming the deadly opioid while smoking crack.
This dismal scenario is common in Canada. Across the country, illicit
drugs are being cut with the synthetic painkiller - which is up to 50
times more potent than heroin - because it is cheap and powerful and
saves dealers money. During a month-long period in the summer of 2016,
86 per cent of the street drugs tested at Vancouver's supervised
injection sitewere laced with fentanyl.
[continues 628 words]
Police seize 5.8 kg in January - half of what was seized in
MAKE no mistake: Winnipeg has a meth problem.
That's the message city police drove home Thursday at a lengthy news
conference, painting a dark picture of a city in the grips of a
methamphetamine epidemic and the strain placed on front-line services
that are trying to contain the street drug.
"The emergence of methamphetamine that we're experiencing in our
community is getting to the level where it's starting to keep me awake
at night," Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said.
[continues 944 words]