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1 US CA: California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra Announces Probe OfMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:39 Added:06/21/2017

Citing an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths across the country, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Friday that California is joining with more than 26 other states to investigate whether drugmakers have used illegal marketing and sales practices.

Becerra said the probe would focus on whether drug manufacturers have played a role in creating or extending the opioid problem.

Makers of opioids have been under heat in recent years as the addiction crisis has intensified. A 2016 Times investigation revealed that Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, knew its drug's painkilling effects might not last as long as long as marketed, which could potentially promote addiction. The investigation also found Purdue Pharma collected extensive evidence of criminal trafficking of its drug but in many cases did not alert law enforcement.

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2 US: Drug Trade Rises In Dark Corners Of The InternetSun, 11 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Popper, Nathaniel Area:United States Lines:232 Added:06/11/2017

Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail

Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite dozens of arrests, new merchants - many based in Asia - quickly pop up.

As the nation's opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.

The internet.

In a growing number of arrests and overdoses, law enforcement officials say, the drugs are being bought online. Internet sales have allowed powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl - the fastest-growing cause of overdoses nationwide - to reach living rooms in nearly every region of the country, as they arrive in small packages in the mail.

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3 CN ON: Teens And DrugsSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Thorpe, Ryan Area:Ontario Lines:286 Added:06/06/2017

Drug use among teens is nothing new. But street drugs are a bigger threat than ever, because they can be laced with deadly substances. The Spectator investigates what youth are using, and how to identify the dangers

A GIRL is hanging out with friends after school. One of them has stolen a gram of marijuana from an older brother. They pass around a pipe. It is her first time getting high. She is 14.

A 15- YEAR-OLD walks through the hall at school. He sees a classmate selling cannabis-edibles out of a backpack and a friend making a purchase. A GIRL is invited to meet up with friends behind her school. Someone lights a joint and passes it to her. She is in Grade 7.

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4 CN ON: Do You Know What Your Kids Are Vaping?Wed, 24 May 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Hamilton-McCharles, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:05/29/2017

High school students in North Bay are vaping marijuana juice and crushed Oxycontin before and during school.

The startling news came in March when Almaguin Highlands Secondary School principal Donna Breault made a presentation to the Near North District School Board about vaping and its dangers.

Board chairman David Thompson says parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing.

"I think parents would be shocked," Thompson says. "Students are vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin and sharing filters, which is putting them at risk of some serious health concerns like hepatitis."

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5 CN ON: Officer Charged Over Opioids Stolen From PoliceMon, 29 May 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Clairmont, Susan Area:Ontario Lines:158 Added:05/29/2017

At least 30 cases linked to drugs missing from a storage locker likely will be dropped, setting accused dealers free

A Halton cop who spent years taking drugs off the street is facing five criminal charges after prescription opioids were stolen from a police evidence locker.

At least 30 cases connected to the missing drugs likely will be dropped because of the evidence-tampering, setting accused dealers free.

Staff Sgt. Brad Murray was in charge of the Drug and Morality Unit at the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) and had authorization to access the locked storage area where all drugs seized by the service were kept and catalogued.

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6 CN ON: Halton Sergeant Charged After Probe Into Evidence TamperingMon, 29 May 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:McLean, Jesse Area:Ontario Lines:147 Added:05/29/2017

Cop led unit that encouraged residents to drop off prescription drugs

The former head of Halton Region's police drug squad, who once boasted of major busts and encouraged residents to drop off their unused prescription painkillers so police could properly dispose of them, has been arrested and accused of using his position to steal drug exhibits stored in an evidence vault.

Brad Murray, a staff sergeant with 16 years on the Halton force, was charged Sunday with obstruction of justice and two counts each of theft under $5,000 and breach of trust following a seven-month internal probe and external investigation by Toronto police.

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7 CN ON: 'Parents Would Be Shocked'Tue, 23 May 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Hamilton-McCharles, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:05/28/2017

Students vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin, says principal

High school students are vaping marijuana juice and crushed Oxycontin before and during school.

The startling news came in March when Almaguin Highlands Secondary School principal Donna Breault made a presentation to the Near North District School Board about vaping and its dangers.

Board chairman David Thompson says parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing.

"I think parents would be shocked," Thompson says. "Students are vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin and sharing filters, which is putting them at risk of some serious health concerns like hepatitis."

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8 CN ON: Police Bust Marijuana DispensarySat, 27 May 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:47 Added:05/27/2017

CAMBRIDGE - Waterloo Regional Police drug officers closed down a marijuana dispensary in Cambridge on Wednesday.

Police raided the storefront business at 184 Samuelson St. near Elgin Street North at 1 p.m.

Police spokesperson Cherri Greeno said the illegal business did not have an official name.

During the raid, police seized a large amount of marijuana, marijuana products, a small amount of suspected cocaine and prescription pills, including Xanax and Oxycocet.

A 29-year-old Cambridge man and a 21-year-old Cambridge woman were arrested. Both face several charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.

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9 US: Tests Show More American Workers Using DrugsWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Weber, Lauren Area:United States Lines:84 Added:05/20/2017

More U.S. workers are testing positive for illicit drugs than at any time in the last 12 years, according to data coming out today from Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest workplace-testing labs in the nation.

The number of workers who tested positive for marijuana rose by 4%, while positive results for other drugs also rose. The increases come against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an apparent resurgence in the use of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.

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10 CN NF: Brave New Work WorldMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Whiffen, Glen Area:Newfoundland Lines:134 Added:05/16/2017

Knowing more about impairment key to setting fair and safe workplace rules: expert

Alex Boucher says the looming legalization of marijuana is opening up a whole new frontier for employers.

He's an expert in wellness areas, including disability management and workplace accommodation, and works with employers, unions and communities.

He acknowledged that medical marijuana use has posed challenges in the workplace, and that legalized pot will add an extra level of challenge for employers wanting to be fair and yet ensure the workplace is safe.

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11 CN ON: Parents Play Vital Opioid RoleWed, 10 May 2017
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Hendry, Luke Area:Ontario Lines:113 Added:05/15/2017

Introduced to the dangers of narcotics during public seminar held Tuesday night

Parents need to be involved and informed to help lower the risk of accidental drug overdoses among young people.

That was the message heard Tuesday night at a public seminar organized by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at Bridge Street United Church.

About 50 people attended the talk, which was intended as an introduction for parents to the dangers of opioids, also known as narcotics. They include such drugs as codeine, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl.

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12 CN ON: He Saved 17 People But Police Want To Jail HimSun, 30 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Contenta, Sandro Area:Ontario Lines:394 Added:05/01/2017

Mark Baratta works with drug users on the front lines of Ontario's opioid epidemic. But as deaths mount, Baratta's story illustrates how far society has to go to end the crisis . . . if it so chooses

Like most people who might be called heroes, Mark Baratta shies away from the label. A lean and purposeful man, Baratta has saved 17 people, each on separate occasions. He chalks it up, with a shrug of his shoulders, to keeping his head in the presence of death.

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13 CN ON: Veterans With PTSD Hail Medical PotMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Coyle, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:114 Added:04/25/2017

Ex-soldiers tell trade show how natural drug has helped them battle war's after-effects

Trev Bungay says the horror began in 1998 when he was among Canadian soldiers scouring the beaches of Nova Scotia in cleanup operations after the crash of a Swissair jet just off the Atlantic coast.

"That was really my look at trauma for the very first time," Bungay told a panel discussion on Sunday at the inaugural O'Cannabiz Conference and Expo.

Then came international missions in Africa, Bosnia, Haiti and four combat tours in Afghanistan.

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14Canada: A Parent's Worst NightmareSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Kalaichandran, Amitha Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

Young brains more vulnerable to fentanyl and opioid addiction

At 23, Cameron Shaver seemed to be on track for success with a landscaping business, a new car, and he was thinking about heading back to school to take culinary arts.

The jack-of-all-trades from Winnipeg was an inspiration to his friends. He'd come a long way from his earlier teen years, when he had struggled with drug addiction. Back then, it was ecstasy.

Cameron had been clean for years when, last September, his mother Sandi received the phone call that no mother should get. Cameron had died of a fentanyl overdose.

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15 CN ON: Medical Marijuana Users Push For ChangeSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Mercer, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:305 Added:04/24/2017

The Record speaks to a wide range of people who shun normal painkillers

KITCHENER - William Campbell and his wife were on their way to a friend's 25th wedding anniversary one night in 2008 when a drunk driver pulled out in front of them. They didn't have time to stop.

Campbell, 53, was hospitalized after the head-on collision, and everything in his life would change. Earlier that day, he'd aced an exam to become a lab technician, after getting laid off from a furniture factory where he'd worked for 22 years.

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16 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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17CN 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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18 US FL: A Florida Sheriff Catches Attention, And Some Heat, With AnWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fortin, Jacey Area:Florida Lines:138 Added:04/15/2017

Maybe it was the ski masks that did it.

Or it could have been the steely look in the eyes of Lake County, Fla., Sheriff Peyton Grinnell as he deadpanned: "We are coming for you. Run."

Perhaps it was the muted background music: an eerie melody that wouldn't have been out of place in a Batman movie.

In the end, what could have been an unremarkable public service announcement about opioid abuse in Lake County spread widely on the internet, garnering about a million views on the Facebook page of the sheriff's office, where it was first posted Friday. It sparked concerns about police militarization and drew more than a few comparisons to Islamic State recruitment videos.

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19Canada: Medical Pot Isn't A Cash Grab, Mohawks SayTue, 28 Mar 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Curtis, Christopher Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:03/31/2017

Money from reserve dispensaries 'going right back into community'

With the federal government on the verge of creating a multi-billion dollar legal marijuana industry, Brian Marquis worries aboriginal people will be left high and dry.

Marquis, 57, is a patient at the Legacy 420 dispensary on the Tyendinaga Mohawk territory near Kingston, Ont. And after nearly three years of frequenting the business, he says he has seen the financial potential and medical benefits of cannabis.

Now he wants to see storefront dispensaries sprout up in reserves across Canada: providing an economic engine that will help lift indigenous people out of poverty and, he says, provide an antidote to Canada's opioid addiction crisis.

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20 CN ON: Taking The Lead On WeedMon, 27 Mar 2017
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Miller, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:157 Added:03/31/2017

NIMCA gathers to discuss national strategy to fight opiod crisis with pot

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY - A newly-minted First Nations organization is hoping to lead, not follow, when it comes to the regulation and dispensation of marijuana on reserves.

On Sunday, members of the National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association (NIMCA) - hailing from provinces across the country - gathered at the Mohawk Community Centre on the Tyendinega Mohawk Territory Ontario to discuss its national strategy.

With a federal government, which ran on a platform of legalizing marijuana in power and a growing opioid crisis across the country, members say something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

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