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1 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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2 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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3 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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4 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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5 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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6 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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7 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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8 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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9CN 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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10 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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11 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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12 US MA: Trafficking Will Disqualify Potential Pot Industry WorkersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:119 Added:03/05/2018

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.

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13 CN ON: Column: 'It's Broken Our Lives'Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Mandel, Michele Area:Ontario Lines:103 Added:03/01/2018

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.

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14 CN ON: Motherisk Panel Calls For Sweeping ChangeTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mendleson, Rachel Area:Ontario Lines:305 Added:03/01/2018

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.

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15 CN ON: Richards' Drug Bust Led To Concert For The Blind In OshawaSun, 25 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Hauch, Valerie Area:Ontario Lines:160 Added:02/27/2018

Judge nixes jail for Stones guitarist, orders community service instead

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.

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16 Canada: Column: We Should Treat Heroin Like Other Prescription DrugsTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:119 Added:02/25/2018

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 to work.

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 heroin.

"It saved my life. No question, it saved my life," Mr. Thompson, 47, says emphatically.

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17 CN NS: Decision Casts Doubt On Accuracy Of Lab Testing ResultsTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:92 Added:02/25/2018

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 more reliable.

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.

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18 US TX: Pete Sessions At Opioid Addiction Summit Talks MarijuanaTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Caplan, Jeff Area:Texas Lines:148 Added:02/23/2018

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.

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19 Canada: Editorial: It's Time For An All-Out War On FentanylSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:101 Added:02/17/2018

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.

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20 CN MB: More, Cheaper Meth On City StreetsFri, 09 Feb 2018
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Thorpe, Ryan Area:Manitoba Lines:145 Added:02/14/2018

Police seize 5.8 kg in January - half of what was seized in 2017

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.

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