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1CN BC: The Rise Of Vancouver's Deadly Gang WarThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Brean, Joseph Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2018

Homicide rate rising to levels not seen in years

The Vancouver shooting death of an innocent teenage boy caught in the crossfire of a drug gang shootout has revived fears of gang war in British Columbia's Lower Mainland.

"We are targeting gangs as we speak," said Adam Palmer, chief of the Vancouver Police Department, as he announced the death of two people, including one of the gunmen, in a wild shootout just after 9 p. m. on a busy city street last Saturday.

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2 CN ON: Column: Politicians Will Bungle Pot LegalizationWed, 10 Jan 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:DiManno, Rosie Area:Ontario Lines:142 Added:01/10/2018

I happened to spend three days over New Year's in Las Vegas. Work! On the Star's dime!

What a pleasure it was to smoke indoors again, a rarity in our world, with all the casinos tobacco-friendly. A city built on vice recognizes that gamblers are smokers and drinkers.

But on New Year's Eve, when venturing out onto the Strip, I immediately recoiled from the stench of cannabis.

Had forgotten that Nevada is one of eight American states where recreational marijuana is now legal. Clark County, in which Vegas is situated, boats some 80 dispensaries selling recreational (as opposed to medical) pot. Anyone over the age of 21 can buy up to one ounce of cannabis (or one-eighth-ounce of concentrate) at a time.

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3CN AB: Crime-Busting Team Keeps Afoot On Gasa In War With GangsMon, 08 Jan 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Juris Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:01/08/2018

ALERT boss says officers will focus on keeping up with tech-savvy bad guys

Disarming and dismantling the upper echelon of organized crime groups in Alberta is in the sights of the province's dedicated guns and gang investigators in 2018, says the province's integrated law enforcement boss.

But in order to disrupt the complex networks of drug-running and gun-toting criminals in Alberta, officers will need to stay ahead of the technology curve as these groups - which include some of the province's most notorious outlaw motorcycle gangs - are becoming increasingly tech savvy.

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4 CN MB: Column: Mr. Big Ups Split On Weed TaxesTue, 12 Dec 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Manitoba Lines:98 Added:12/16/2017

So, pot czar Justin Trudeau, realizing his actual street dealers were on the verge of a revolt, turned to his Mr. Big, Bill Morneau, and told him to divvy up a more saleable split of the profits from upcoming pot deals.

When profits are projected to be in the billions, honour among thieves, and we say "thieves" with all due respect, begins to lose its lustre.

After all, it will be the street dealers who will be taking on the majority of the risk, meaning all those premiers hypnotized by dollar signs who will have to set up their own turf, build their own drug outlets, collect the juice from the sales, and deal with law enforcement should the criminal element invade their space.

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5 CN AB: Column: High Time For ProvincesTue, 12 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:100 Added:12/16/2017

Feds up profit split on pot deals

So, pot czar Justin Trudeau, realizing his actual street dealers were on the verge of a revolt, turned to his Mr. Big, Bill Morneau, and told him to divvy up a more saleable split of the profits from upcoming pot deals.

When profits are projected to be in the billions, honour among thieves, and we say "thieves" with all due respect, begins to lose its lustre.

After all, it will be the street dealers who will be taking on the majority of the risk, meaning all those premiers hypnotized by dollar signs who will have to set up their own turf, build their own drug outlets, collect the juice from the sales, and deal with law enforcement should the criminal element invade their space.

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6 CN ON: Street Drugs 101: A PrimerSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:204 Added:08/15/2017

As deadly fentanyl fuels a public health crisis, Free Press reporter Jennifer Bieman reveals what you should know about common London street drugs

Forget the old adage that what you don't know, can't hurt you. When it comes to street drugs, what you don't know can kill you.

That was the thrust of a rare public health warning - three health agencies and London police joined in its release - last week in London, when authorities stressed that the latest villain in Canada's opioid drug crisis, deadly fentanyl, is turning up in other illegal street drugs.

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7US CA: Column: Realities Behind The Epidemic Of Alcohol And DrugSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Rosen, Mitchell Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Shortly after becoming licensed as a family therapist, I was hired to facilitate group therapy on a chemical dependency unit. I did this every day for about 10 years. I also coordinated family group for the spouses and relatives of those who were recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. There were a lot of "take aways" from this experience.

Despite my education, I held many prejudices and myths toward those who abused alcohol and drugs. These men and women taught me a great deal.

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8 CN BC: Elsner Consulting For Pot SectorTue, 30 May 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Beamish, Jeff Area:British Columbia Lines:94 Added:05/30/2017

Frank Elsner, a former top cop in Sudbury who resigned earlier this month as Victoria police chief, has launched a cannabis consulting business.

Elsner, who is facing six misconduct allegations from his time with the Victoria department, is now the principal consultant for UMBRA Strategic Solutions, which will provide security consulting to marijuana businesses, according to a post on his Linked In profile.

A message signed by Elsner on the company's website says: "After a great career in policing I started Umbra Strategic Solutions. I wanted to do something that I am passionate about while utilizing my knowledge, skills and abilities." Elsner writes that he has "come a long way" in his thinking about harm reduction, community wellness and the role police play.

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9CN BC: Elsner Blames 'Bad Blood' For His FallWed, 24 May 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/29/2017

'I need to get on with my life,' says ex-Victoria police chief, now a security consultant for cannabis businesses

Former Victoria police chief Frank Elsner has launched a cannabis security-consulting business and suggests the allegations that ended his policing career were the result of "bad blood" created by his efforts to change the culture of the Victoria Police Department.

Elsner said he was hired to "clean house" at the VicPD, and not everyone embraced his proposed changes.

"I was brought in to make the changes that were necessary and part of that was changing the culture of the organization from a reactive one to a proactive community-based one," Elsner said.

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10 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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11 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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12 US TX: Officers Killed In Murder Or Self-Defense?Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sack, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:762 Added:03/24/2017

With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85 miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.

SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.

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13 CN ON: LTE: Feds Need to Get Off the PotWed, 29 Jun 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Barclay, D. Scott Area:Ontario Lines:26 Added:06/30/2016

The federal law forbidding dispensing cannabis-based product - except by mail - to registered medical patients with doctors' prescriptions, from federally licensed growers, was struck down by our Supreme Court.

That means that the police are arresting people under a law that has been rendered illegal.

How about going after the real culprits: crack pushers, organized crime, biker gangs that import a flood of guns and hard drugs across our borders every day, resulting in deaths of our young people?

D. Scott Barclay, Georgetown

[end]

14 CN ON: Column: Massive Pot Raid Actually Makes Life In TorontoMon, 30 May 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Keenan, Edward Area:Ontario Lines:142 Added:05/31/2016

In Fact, Project Claudia Will Drive Some Trade Back Into The Streets

What the hell was that all about?

It's a question you might have asked yourself after police Chief Mark Saunders' news conference Friday, which was hijacked by a couple of activists whose persistent questioning and arguing left virtually no room for Saunders to answer, for minutes on end.

The journalists in attendance were left to stand around waiting for a chance to get actual information, and the chief was left standing as the event drifted along, to seemingly no purpose.

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15 CN ON: Column: Weeding Out Pot ShopsSat, 28 May 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Warmington, Joe Area:Ontario Lines:133 Added:05/30/2016

They had bag loads of marijuana lollipops, cannabis-infused chocolate - - and lots of confiscated weed - from pot shops.

But what they didn't have were weapons: Guns, knives, swords and brass knuckles.

Those are reserved for the other kind of dope dealer - ones in alleys who don't pay rent.

"(Toronto Mayor) John Tory knows perfectly well that shutting these dispensaries down will force countless medical marijuana users, many of them veterans, back into the arms of dealers," said Russell Barth, known as the Angriest Pothead in Canada. "I am so glad, as, must be, the taxpayers, to know that all the other crimes in the Greater Toronto Area have been solved. The mayor and chief of police should resign immediately."

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16US CA: OPED: Heroin Belt Binds Affluent, Largely WhiteSun, 20 Dec 2015
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Quinones, Sam Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2015

In Affluent Simi Valley, Houses Are Large, the SUVs Gleam and Many Kids Are Addicts

A Christmas Tree in a Suburban Shopping Malls Helps Tell the New Story of Heroin

Widespread Painkiller Prescriptions Helped Fueled Opiate Addiction and Death

Town Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley is not a remarkable place as malls go.

A freeway runs alongside it. There's a Buffalo Wild Wings, a movie theater, and a motorized train that takes toddlers on rides around the mall. Since last Saturday, a large Christmas tree covered in ornaments stands in the middle of the shopping center, next to a Starbucks.

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17 Canada: Canada Poised To Deliver Legal MarijuanaSat, 12 Dec 2015
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Marsden, William Area:Canada Lines:165 Added:12/14/2015

Neighbors to North Look to U.S. Experience

MONTREAL - For police forces across Canada, August is harvest time.

Officers slip on their coveralls, grab thick gardening gloves, shoulder machetes and begin the annual ritual of chopping down marijuana plants hidden in cornfields, remote mountain valleys and forest clearings.

If the grower is unlucky enough to be caught redhanded, he is cuffed and taken off to court. Each police unit hits two or three of these hidden marijuana plantations, with the confiscated pot taken to incinerators. The destruction of marijuana plants goes on for about two weeks, and then it's back to normal police work.

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18 Canada: Canada Government Looks At Legalizing MarijuanaMon, 07 Dec 2015
Source:Watertown Daily Times (NY) Author:Marsden, William Area:Canada Lines:168 Added:12/09/2015

MONTREAL - For police forces across Canada, August is harvest time.

Officers slip on their coveralls, grab thick gardening gloves, shoulder machetes and begin the annual ritual of chopping down marijuana plants hidden in cornfields, remote mountain valleys and forest clearings.

If the grower is unlucky enough to be caught red-handed, he is cuffed and taken off to court. Each police unit hits two or three of these hidden marijuana plantations, with the confiscated pot taken to incinerators. The destruction of marijuana plants goes on for about two weeks, and then it's back to normal police work.

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19 Canada: As Canada Moves Closer to Legal Pot, an Urge to 'GoMon, 07 Dec 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Marsden, William Area:Canada Lines:169 Added:12/09/2015

It Would Be the First G-20 Country to Nationally Allow Recreational Use

Montreal - For police forces across Canada, the month of August is harvest time.

Officers slip on their coveralls, grab thick gardening gloves, shoulder machetes and begin the annual ritual of chopping down marijuana plants hidden in cornfields, remote mountain valleys and forest clearings.

If growers are unlucky enough to be caught red-handed, they are cuffed and taken to court. Each police unit hits two or three of these hidden marijuana plantations, with the confiscated pot taken to incinerators. The destruction of marijuana plants goes on for about two weeks, and then it's back to normal police work.

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20 Canada: Liberal Majority May Push Canada To Make Pot LegalMon, 07 Dec 2015
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Marsden, William Area:Canada Lines:121 Added:12/09/2015

MONTREAL - For police forces across Canada, the month of August is harvest time.

Officers slip on their coveralls, grab thick gardening gloves, shoulder machetes and begin the annual ritual of chopping down marijuana plants hidden in cornfields, remote mountain valleys and forest clearings.

If the grower is unlucky enough to be caught red-handed, he is cuffed and taken off to court. Each police unit hits two or three of these hidden marijuana plantations, with the confiscated pot taken to incinerators. The destruction of marijuana plants goes on for about two weeks, and then it's back to normal police work.

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