Medical-cannabis patients who use illegal cannabis dispensaries
instead of turning to other legal and black-market sources do so
because they feel safe at these shops and like that they have reliable
supplies of the specific strains they want, according to new research
from the University of British Columbia.
Rielle Capler, a PhD student and the study's lead author, said the
results can help give Ottawa and provincial governments an idea of
what consumers want as they look toward legalizing the drug some time
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Life for the police in North Bay is going to become at least a little
more difficult. The city is going to lose its primary needle exchange
Police Chief Shawn Devine has warned that this will put the public and
others at risk. The Nipissing Detoxification and Substance Abuse
Program is slated to close in September. The North Bay Regional Health
Centre is cutting the program.
The report carried some alarming or amazing statistics about needle
exchanges. The ordinary citizen may wonder where or who are the people
using all these needles.
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In the years when hundreds of British Columbians were dying from AIDS,
we would have been hard-pressed to imagine a worse health crisis.
We know otherwise now. With deaths from illicit drug overdoses killing
an average of four British Columbians a day, we're in the midst of a
crisis that's claiming more than three times the lives lost to
HIV/AIDS in the peak years of the early 1990s. Our province is in
unprecedented territory, grappling with a per-capita overdose rate
that's double the Canadian average and increasing dramatically with
each passing year.
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Losing needle exchange program will be 'devastating'
Losing the city's largest needle exchange program will put the public
and police at risk, North Bay Police Chief Shawn Devine said Tuesday
at the monthly police board meeting.
Devine said the closure of the Nipissing Detoxification and Substance
Abuse Program on King Street July 31, as it prepares to shut down in
September, will impact community safety and well-being on many levels.
"Losing the services
is going to be devastating and will only lead
to unsafe situations for the general public and our front-line
officers," he said in his report to the board.
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The medical marijuana industry officially has its guidelines with the
passage of a bill out of the Florida Legislature on the last day of a
three-day special session.
The votes were 29-6 in the Senate and 103-9 in the House. The few no
votes were mostly Democrats who wanted fewer restrictions in the bill,
but also a few Republicans who remain against the idea of medical
marijuana on principle.
Gov. Rick Scott said he "absolutely" will sign the bill. That means
big changes for patients, caregivers, doctors and growers, compared
with the far more limited medical marijuana law passed by the
Legislature in 2014, which resulted in seven grower/dispensers in the
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TEMPLE TERRACE -- Dropping a giant joint in favor of the "USS
Maryjane" seemed to smooth the waters for a pro-marijuana entry in
this year's Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade.
The new float designed by the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws featured the flag-festooned ship crewed by some
military veterans and painted with the slogan, "Hemp for Victory."
The theme plays off a World War II film from the Department of
Agriculture that praised the nation's hemp farmers for their work in
creating strong ropes from the stalks of marijuana plants for the
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Walk into a medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey and the first
thing to hit you is the stink.
Weed's scent is a sour blast that seems to reek of citrus, diesel, and
skunk. At the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, Middlesex County,
charcoal air purifiers -- encased in gleaming steel and larger than
jet engines -- are strategically placed through the facility. It's
hard to say whether their presence tempers the odor, which is
generated by thousands of cannabis plants growing under lights in the
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Seven deaths recorded in Victoria in May, bringing total to at least
41 this year
Seven people died from illicit-drug overdoses in Victoria in May, in a
year that is already on track to surpass 2016 for deaths, according to
statistics from the B.C. Coroners Service.
In the first five months of 2017, at least 41 Victorians died from
overdoses. In all of 2016, the year overdoses were declared a public
health emergency, 68 people died in the city.
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Some local residents against proposed facility, fear impact on
Maintenance staff and volunteers at First Baptist have gotten used to
finding needles and other drug paraphernalia while tidying the flower
beds belonging to the historic Beltline church.
"All the time. We have a lot of needles. Now we've got special devices
to pick them up because it's not safe," said Jose Gongora, head of
maintenance for the church.
"Our volunteers are very worried and concerned because these guys use
needles and just drop it everywhere."
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A renowned HIV/AIDS clinic in Vancouver that helped pave the way in
harm reduction by first offering supervised-injection service 14 years
ago now wants to treat opioid addiction with injectable drugs.
Maxine Davis, executive director of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation,
submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health, Vancouver Coastal
Health and Providence Health Care in March to offer injectable
opioid-assisted treatment at its facility in Vancouver's downtown West
End neighbourhood, according to documents obtained by The Globe and
Mail under Freedom of Information legislation.
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Government-sanctioned and supported "supervised injection centers,"
where addicts can bring their illicitly obtained drugs and shoot up
with little fear of arrest or a fatal overdose, have been in service
in Europe for decades.
There's only one in all of North America, though. It's in Canada -- a
Vancouver, Canada, center called Insite. Research found that after the
center opened in 2003 fatal drug overdoses decreased by 35% in the
nearby community. Earlier this month Canadian officials authorized
injection centers in Montreal, Toronto and other cities.
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Opioid overdoses higher in South Zone than elsewhere in the
A Lethbridge coalition on opioid use is preparing an application to
establish supervised drug consumption services in the city to reduce
harm and help save lives.
Supervised consumption services provide a clean, safe space for people
who use drugs to do so under the supervision and care of health
professionals without fear of arrest or overdose. They also provide
access to support services such as counselling, education and
treatment for drug addictions.
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With cannabis legalization on the horizon next year, the federal
government must make it easier to study the potential medical benefits
of the drug and evaluate how ending prohibition might affect society,
according to an open letter to politicians from dozens of the
country's leading academics and public-health researchers who study
"Under widespread global prohibition, cannabis research has been
limited by the criminalization and stigmatization of cannabis use and
users, leading to substantial gaps in knowledge around the harms and
benefits of both medical and non-medical cannabis," reads a letter
sent Monday to federal lawmakers on the letterhead of the BC Centre on
Substance Use, an organization funded by the provincial government to
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After years of lobbying for safe injection sites, outreach workers at
Cactus Montreal have opened a facility that will allow people to use
intravenous drugs under medical supervision.
Drugs users began entering the site on Berger St. in downtown Montreal
on Monday afternoon, injecting drugs in the presence of a nurse and
"This is an important tool to reduce deaths and avoid infections,"
said Sandhia Vadlamudy, the executive director of Cactus. "We have
been waiting for this for a long time."
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'The new reality': Fentanyl test strips and naloxone kits are part of
Vancouver Island music festivals are stepping up harm-reduction
measures with fentanyl test strips, more naloxone kits and outreach in
light of B.C.'s drug overdose crisis.
"If you're a festival organizer, it's imperative to have this on your
radar. This is the new reality," said Emmalee Brunt, communications
manager for the Tall Tree Music Festival.
The festival takes place in Port Renfrew from June 23 to 26 and is
expected to draw about 3,000 people.
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"Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows, That too many
people have died?" - Bob Dylan, Blowin' in the Wind
Beginning in 1993, Justice Horace Krever led a Royal Commission of
Inquiry into the tainted-blood scandal in Canada. Inquiries were held
in other countries. One of the key questions was why people with
hemophilia were forced to continue to inject blood products that were
not screened for HIV, when newer and safer products were already available.
Criminal charges were laid in a number of settings. The Canadian Red
Cross pleaded guilty to the crime of distributing a contaminated drug
and made a large donation in exchange for six criminal charges being
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At her office in the Downtown Eastside, Lorna Bird argued that
Canada's drug laws actually hurt people a lot more than the drugs
"I lost two daughters to the war on drugs," she told the Georgia
The first one died of AIDS in 1994. Bird explained that at the time,
Vancouver needle-exchange programs operated with a strict one-for-one
requirement. That forced intravenous drug users to share dirty
needles, spreading HIV.
In 2008, another daughter died of an overdose. Bird maintained that if
she had been able to purchase drugs legally, from a supply that was
regulated and, therefore, clean, she would still be alive today.
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European experts say facilities like Vancouver's Crosstown can save
lives, money in battling opioid crisis
Addiction experts from five European countries say their experience
with prescription heroin programs have provided overwhelming evidence
to suggest Canada should expand its one clinic to tackle the deadly
Researchers from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the
United Kingdom and Canada held a symposium in Vancouver on Friday to
share lessons they've learned from multiple clinical trials and years
Wim van den Brink of the Netherlands told a news conference that some
European programs started as a way to deal with the public nuisance of
drug use but the medical health benefits improved people's quality of
life and saved money in the criminal justice system.
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The article Needles the cause, cure (May 23) postulates possible
reasons for higher rates of HIV and hepatitis C virus in London.
As an organization that advocates with and for people who inject drugs
( PWID), we note that, while unsafe injection practices may be a
potential driver of these increased rates, it is probably not the only
influence. There are multiple social and systemic influences that may
not only contribute to the increase of disease, but also contribute to
overall diminished health of those who inject drugs.
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"'It's a try-and-die drug': Fentanyl is suspected in weekend overdose
death" (SP, May 9) documents our cruel and ineffective drug policy.
Overdose deaths are completely avoidable, as is the spread of AIDS and
hepatitis C through drug use. These problems are caused by prohibition
of drugs, not the drugs themselves.
Drug policies other than prohibition have been tried, studied, and
shown to have great success, if success means fewer addicts and far
less crime and corruption.
When prescription heroin was provided in Manchester, England, crime
fell in some neighbourhoods by 80 per cent.
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