People who buy pot from medical marijuana dispensaries can still be
charged criminally, even though the City of Victoria has implemented
regulations for the storefronts, warns a local defence lawyer.
Last month, Chantelle Sutton represented a Victoria man who bought
marijuana at a local dispensary in August 2015. After a brief trial,
Leslie Ian Hall was convicted of possessing marijuana.
But Hall was handed an absolute discharge when the judge found Hall
honestly believed he could legally buy marijuana with a doctor's
prescription and his membership with the Vancouver Island Compassion
[continues 460 words]
A bright yellow bin, about the size of a mailbox but taller, is now
positioned on the edge of the Junction Creek trail near Hnatyshyn Park.
The sunny hue, however, belies the gravity of its contents and the
issue it's mean to address.
The receptacle also boasts a biohazard symbol, and is there to contain
used drug needles that might otherwise be left on the ground and cause
a prick wound and possible infection.
It appeared within the last week, and in the wake of concerns raised
in late July about the dangers of discarded syringes.
[continues 466 words]
Hamilton will join the vanguard of Ontario cities studying whether to
give drug users a legal, supervised site to inject opioids such as
The board of health voted Monday to study supervised injection sites -
so long as the cost fits within the 2017 budget.
But the panel asked for emphasis on public consultation in areas that
could host such a centre.
The vote was one of several Monday that will move the city from
laggard to provincial pioneer in public health "harm reduction"
strategies, including a decision to offer free, clean crack pipes and
potentially expanding distribution of anti-overdose kits.
[continues 607 words]
In the discussion about Canadian drug policy, the unspoken question
is: Why should we take care of drug addicts? I have had to ask myself
this because my job is taking care of people with drug dependence and
mental illness in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver's notoriously drug
and disease-ridden inner city. What does society gain from assisting
people who engage in illegal activity, who bring their diseases and,
with increasing prevalence, their death, upon themselves?
I am a McGill and UBC-trained family and emergency physician, and have
practised in Canada, the United States and West Africa. I have
delivered babies, treated trauma victims, managed chronic disease, and
comforted dying people.
[continues 1815 words]
Re: "Drug scourge devastating our city and nothing is being done,"
Chris Nelson, Opinion, Aug. 25.
Thanks for Chris Nelson's excellent column, which raises important issues.
Firstly, it is outrageous that it has taken 17 months for ASIRT to
release its findings in the shooting death of Anthony Heffernan. I do
understand why prosecutors declined a criminal prosecution of the
policeman involved, as success would require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
On the other hand, no such requirement is necessary for city police
to immediately fire the officer. If CPS wants to "protect and serve,"
this should happen immediately.
[continues 121 words]
RECENTLY I MET a man in Phoenix who told me that being diagnosed with
cancer had made him happy. "How could this be?" I asked him. He told
me having cancer meant he would likely need surgery, which in turn
meant more prescriptions for the pain pills to which he had become
addicted. He had started using prescription painkillers when he was
young. Over the years, addiction hijacked his brain, compromising his
health, altering his reasoning, and leaving broken relationships and
deferred dreams in its wake.
[continues 836 words]
Advocates Say Clean Paraphernalia for Inmates Will Curb Blood-Borne
Illness Rates in Prison, but Correctional Staff Say They're Unsafe
The availability of illicit drugs in B.C. prisons underscores the
need for needle exchanges to curb the transmission of blood-borne
illnesses behind bars, civil liberties advocates say, but
correctional staff are strongly opposed to the idea, arguing that the
increased availability of clean needles could do more harm than good.
Marijuana is the most commonly seized intoxicant from federal prisons
in British Columbia, with 225 seizures from eight sites between
January, 2010, and June of this year, according to records obtained
by The Globe and Mail under freedom of information legislation.
[continues 582 words]
Medical marijuana dispensaries and users getting mired in new
Growing your own dope just got a little easier.
Sure, there's all kinds of legal mumbo-jumbo, fire and zoning codes
and doctor's notes to obtain, but technically, the federal government
just gave medical-marijuana users the green light to grow their own
After federal court Judge Michael Phelan struck down the previous
Marijuana for Medical Purposes (MMPR) legislation in February, which
barred medical marijuana patients from growing their own cannabis
(which they could under the previous Marijuana Medical Access
Regulations), he gave the newly-elected Liberal government six months
to create new medical marijuana laws.
[continues 967 words]
ALDERVILLE - A marijuana dispensary appears to be the first of its
kind in Northumberland County.
The store is called South Shore Wellness - Full Service Cannabis
Dispensary and is located at 8987 on Hwy. 45 in Roseneath.
The store has been open for approximately two months at the location
and after a recent visit by Northumberland Today, it seems business
It is located in an area where there is another store which would be
for this type of product including a hydroponic store.
[continues 482 words]
Drug-user support groups set up temporary, illegal SIS to aid with OD
A small tent pitched in Surrey on Wednesday symbolized the desperate
measures being taken to end the ongoing overdose crisis killing drug
users across B.C.
In an act of rebellion, drug-user support groups established an
illegal, temporary supervised-injection site (SIS) in the city ahead
of income-assistance payments Wednesday.
Two weeks ago, Fraser Health responded to 36 non-fatal overdoses in
Surrey within 48 hours. Research has shown overdose deaths in B.C.
increase by 40 per cent during income-assistance weeks.
[continues 800 words]
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department will soon begin a local needle
exchange program aimed at preventing intravenous drug users from
contracting HIV or Hepatitis C.
The health board voted unanimously Thursday in support of starting a
program which will be administered at two local sites. Both the Talbot
Center, a drug addiction recovery center in East Toledo, and St. Paul
United Methodist Church downtown have agreed to be access points for the
exchanges, said Kelly Burkholder-Allen, acting director of health
[continues 553 words]
Maryland has recently enacted or proposed two work-arounds for the
problem of Suboxone being smuggled into prisons. The first action,
taking Suboxone off the Medicaid preferred drug list ("State action
limits opioid addiction treatments," June 23), destabilized patients
in recovery without reducing demand in prisons. Last week, Maryland
correctional officials proposed a ban on prisoners receiving personal
letters by mail. This proposal was later withdrawn, presumably as a
response to criticism by the ACLU ("Maryland corrections officials
withdraw proposal to limit inmate mail to postcards," July 21).
[continues 275 words]
It is without doubt ironic that you use the word 'crack' in your
editorial when hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars are thrown
down the drain with regards to the so-called "harm reduction" in the
form of freebies to the drug dealers and drug addicts.
Like all things, it started with a simple idea of giving syringes to
prevent the spread of hepatitis. Then they were advised by the drug
companies to give them crack pipes, push sticks, mouth pieces, swabs,
heroin fryers and rubber bands etc. Please note the rubber bands are
medical rubber bands and the crack pipes are medical crack pipes. That
way the drug companies make more profit.
[continues 94 words]
With fatal drug overdoses at a 10-year high in O.C., it is important
to take the time to reevaluate our approach to drug abuse and tackle
the harms of such abuse through evidence-based practices proven to save lives.
According to reporting by the Register, at least 400 people lost
their lives last year due to drug overdoses. More than two-thirds of
the overdoses last year were tied to opioids.
Given the tremendous stigma around drug use and abuse, it is often
too difficult for people with substance abuse problems to reach out
for help. Ingrained and institutionalized attitudes against drug use
have in turn left few resources beyond the criminal justice system to
actually assist those in need.
[continues 322 words]
"We're talking about hundreds of deaths," Justine McIsaac lamented.
For the past year, McIsaac has been on the front lines of Canada's
opiate crisis, as an outreach worker for the Street Health Centre. The
hundreds of lives lost, she explained, go beyond the city's
boundaries, extending not just across the province but across the country.
Last week, an announcement was made by Federal Health Minister Jane
Philpott regarding the opiate crisis. Philpott signed an interim order
to temporarily allow naloxone - a critical overdose-reversing drug -
to be imported and sold in spray form across Canada.
[continues 699 words]
Every day, hundreds of discarded needles are picked up from Whalley
streets, many of them just steps from City Hall. Now, a downtown
business group is offering up fresh solutions.
On one side of the street, children glide up and down on their
skateboards at Chuck Bailey skate park. Their laughter fills the air.
On the other side of 107A Avenue, not far away, a homeless man named
Robert sits on the ground behind a tree, shrieking while feverishly
clapping his hands. His belongings, including a handful of needles,
are strewn about on a damp, dirty piece of carpet.
[continues 1390 words]
Tireless advocate for safe injection sites ODs days before they are
expected to be approved
Brooklyn McNeil spent much of the last year advocating for a service
that could have saved her own life.
Instead, there will be an empty chair tomorrow as Toronto's board of
health debates whether to proceed with three safe injection sites in
the city after a record 258 overdose deaths in 2014 - a 77-per-cent
increase over a decade ago.
McNeil, an Ontario scholar, singer, artist and harm-reduction
advocate, died of an overdose in an east Toronto alley last month. She
would have turned 23 on Tuesday. "She was so amazing at helping so
many people," said her grieving mother, Thia Massaro, on the phone
from Thunder Bay, where McNeil grew up. "But in the end she couldn't
help herself." McNeil began injecting opiates when she was 18 and had
survived six previous overdoses.
[continues 1024 words]
Ontario pharmacies to distribute life-saving naloxone free to people
at risk, their families or friends
WATERLOO REGION - A life-saving drug that reverses the effects of an
accidental overdose will be available for free at pharmacies across
People at risk of an overdose, their family or friends can pick up
naloxone at a pharmacy and receive training on how to safely
administer the drug in the case of an emergency opioid overdose.
"It's fantastic news," said Chris Harold, acting manager of the harm
reduction program at Region of Waterloo Public Health.
[continues 359 words]
There's An Antidote for Heroin Overdose, and a Former Addict Is Among
Those Working to Spread It Far and Wide
Joshua Livernois woke up hazy, sick and splashed with Dr. Pepper in a
hospital bed in Salinas, California. He couldn't piece together the
events of the previous day or so, and he's still not even sure which
year it was, probably 2005 or '06. He'd been using heroin off and on
for about 10 years and almost daily for five.
[continues 2388 words]
Councillor ready for site but wants more than one
An Ottawa councillor says he welcomes a supervised injection site
downtown - but only if there are similar services across the city.
On Monday, Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury and five other
councillors on the board of health will debate a staff report that
recommends opening a supervised injection site in the city.
Given that the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre has already
consulted on its plan to provide such a service, a supervised
injection site will likely go in his ward.
[continues 472 words]