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1CN AB: Calgary Police Raise Alarm Over Fatal Collisions Linked ToThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolande Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2016

When they're having these medical emergencies, their car turns into a missile with nobody at the controls.

In a year when three fatal collisions were linked to drugs, Calgary police are increasingly concerned about people driving under the influence.

In 2015, there were no fatal crashes specifically related to drugs. Police are hoping the deaths this year isn't a trend that will continue into 2017.

Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey with the Calgary police traffic section noted there is a lot of uncertainty about potential effects as federal marijuana legislation comes into play next year.

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2 CN AB: Police Warn Alcohol And Drugs Don't Mix With DrivingFri, 23 Dec 2016
Source:Stony Plain Reporter, The (CN AB) Author:Love, Marcia Area:Alberta Lines:83 Added:12/28/2016

The message has been spread for years that drinking and driving don't mix, but taking drugs and driving can be just as fatal and needs to be taken seriously, police say.

The Capital West Integrated Traffic Unit reports it is seeing more cases of impaired driving by drug use.

Const. Mike Hibbs of the Capital West Integrated Traffic Unit said there were two individuals found to be impaired by drugs at a check stop in the capital region this past weekend.

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3CN AB: Work Cut Out For Province In Clearing The Air On LegalizationMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

After two days of legal marijuana immersion therapy, Alberta's justice minister admits more questions than answers remain on how the province rolls out pot reforms.

But a federal task force's recently unveiled recommendations - calling for cannabis sales outside liquor stores, mail order retail and a minimum age of 18 - have cleared some of the smoke. While an October trip to Denver - the epicentre of Colorado's cannabis legalization - was useful, what Alberta's post-prohibition landscape looks like remains dependent on Ottawa's still hazy blueprint, says Kathleen Ganley.

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4 CN AB: LTE: Anti-Drug RantWed, 21 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Dirks, Laurie R. Area:Alberta Lines:35 Added:12/26/2016

"I have been hearing and reading a lot about the drug "fentanyl" and about the many hundreds who have died using it! Well, I guess I want to kill myself, so would the government please advise me were I can get a couple pills? Oh, and by the way, would they send along the location of any of the "injection sites" were I can get the "antidote" just in case I change my mind.

The question remains: Why is the government supporting this sort of crap by offering injection sites and free antidotes to people who know full well taking the drug may kill them, (but they do it anyway?). Maybe it's the government who needs the "antidote." It would be interesting to know the amount of money the government have spent on this so far. I don't think you will publish this, but it's worth a try?

Laurie R. Dirks



(Wow, we hope no one you care about is suffering with addictions. Merry Christmas, Laurie.)

[end]

5 CN AB: PUB LTE: Unbelievable LetterFri, 23 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Towson, Dan Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:12/26/2016

In response to Laurie R. Dirks letter regarding problems with government spending money on addictions. Never in my life have I read such an uninformed, ignorant, selfish and cold-hearted response to a problem that affects us all.

As a Canadian, I'm embarrassed to know that uneducated buffoons such as yourself are breathing our collective air. These are people who are suffering a terrible disease, often as a result of being prescribed dangerous drugs by sometimes ill-meaning doctors. People who have no choice, no options, literally no hope.

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6CN AB: Column: Legalizing Cannabis Will Set The Stage For A War WeFri, 23 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Nelson, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2016

Decrease in tobacco use proof society is best at battling addictions head on

Arguing that smoking dope is safer than drinking booze is akin to stating that getting shot in the leg is preferable to taking one in the head.

Yet, that's the argument often used by pro-pot crusaders, as we debate the minutiae about what age should Albertans be allowed to legally buy weed. Well, folks, that bus long ago left the station - kids can already get a hold of dope with little effort.

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7 CN AB: Sylvan Lake RCMP Host Street Drug Trends PresentationThu, 22 Dec 2016
Source:Sylvan Lake News (CN AB) Author:Swan, Jenna Area:Alberta Lines:74 Added:12/24/2016

Around 40 parents and youth attended a recent community street drug trends presentation at Fox Run School.

Organized by the Sylvan Lake RCMP the presentation aimed to equip parents with skills to allow recognition of street drugs and theparaphernalia associated with drug use.

Sylvan Lake RCMP School Resource Officer,Constable Michael Lee in partnership with Constable Kevin Lintott of the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit out of the RCMP's Red Deer City Detachment provided information to parents on various street drugs including cocaine, heroine, marijuana,methamphetamine and MDMA. In addition, the officers also touched on the impact fentanyl is having in North America and Central Alberta.

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8 CN AB: LTE: Gov't Doing Nothing About Other Preventable DeathsFri, 23 Dec 2016
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Friesen, Richard Area:Alberta Lines:32 Added:12/24/2016

Last week the Trudeau government announced that it will be banning asbestos in Canada. Asbestos kills over 400 Canadians every year.

It is commendable that the government would do that after recognizing the dangers of asbestos. But it is rather ironic that during that same period of time 4,200 Canadians died from alcohol-related deaths, 39,000 Canadians died from tobacco-associated illnesses and during the same period, 100,000 unborn children's lives were terminated and the government has no plans to ban anything regarding those deaths. All of the above would have been preventable.

In a decade from now I suspect we will have results of how many people will have needlessly died as a result of the Trudeau government decriminalizing marijuana.

Richard Friesen

Lethbridge

[end]

9 CN AB: Editorial: Let's Consider Alternatives To Dealing WithFri, 23 Dec 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:83 Added:12/24/2016

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the best way to tackle the illicit drug crisis.

Vancouver is facing epidemic proportions of people overdosing on illegal drugs and many deaths. Safe injections sites are not making a significant difference. They're calling for more detox and addictions treatment programs but even that is not the answer.

The majority of males in emergency departments because of an overdose are young people without a history of prescription opioid use, Dr. Nick Mitchell, senior medical director, addictions and mental health, Alberta Health Services (AHS), recently told the News.

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10 CN AB: No Moves To Prepare For Pot Sales In CochraneThu, 22 Dec 2016
Source:Cochrane Eagle (CN AB) Author:Seewalt, Lindsay Area:Alberta Lines:80 Added:12/24/2016

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moves closer to following through with his campaign promise to legalize recreational cannabis, businesses and individuals are waiting to see the local impact and some feel that legalization would remove stigma surrounding those who also use cannabis for medical reasons.

The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation released its final report to the federal government last week, which will be used to inform legislation to be introduced to parliament this spring.

It is too preliminary to abstract a possible implementation timeline beyond that.

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11 CN AB: New Banff Shop For Pot ParaphernaliaWed, 21 Dec 2016
Source:Rocky Mountain Outlook (CN AB) Author:Ellis, Cathy Area:Alberta Lines:81 Added:12/24/2016

A company with medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver is the latest place in Banff to get marijuana products and paraphernalia.

It's unclear, however, if Canna Clinic has any plans to turn its new Bear Street location into Banff's first dispensary once the federal government legalizes recreational marijuana.

Selling and processing marijuana for non-medical purposes is currently illegal in Canada, but the federal government wants to legalize marijuana and the task force it appointed to study the issue last week recommended marijuana be allowed to be sold at storefronts.

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12 CN AB: Marijuana Has Young SkepticsWed, 21 Dec 2016
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Cheadle, Bruce Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:12/23/2016

With apologies to The Who, the kids may not be alright with this.

A series of 24 focus groups on perceptions of marijuana legalization commissioned by the federal Liberal government found that the youngest teenaged participants were the most cautious about the policy shift.

The government has been laying the groundwork for months on a major public education and awareness campaign that will accompany the looming legalization of recreational marijuana.

Health Canada commissioned a series of focus group surveys last June to plumb public perceptions around legalized cannabis, including the health impacts and attitudes to drug-impaired driving.

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13 CN AB: LTE: Bad IdeaTue, 20 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Reimer, Jackie Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:12/23/2016

The public is being asked what should be the legal age to buy marijuana? This is a joke right? Is this an unstoppable bus? Just wondering if Premier Rachel Notley has consulted any recovering addicts? They are all screaming at their TVs, "Don't legalize it!" My question is, "Who is going to pay for the aftermath? Is the government prepared to open and run more treatment centres? You must know that weed is not just weed anymore. It is being laced with the deadly drug fentanyl.

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14 CN AB: Editorial: 18 Years Is Too Young For Legal MarijuanaTue, 20 Dec 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:89 Added:12/23/2016

Whatever the legal age becomes in this country, governments should launch powerful, long-term public awareness campaigns to shatter the belief that marijuana is a safe high.

When the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal in Canada in the next few years, how old should you have to be to join in the fun?

This issue - the legal age for buying and consuming cannabis - is the biggest single challenge facing the federal Liberals as they rewrite the law on this popular, but potentially harmful, drug.

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15CN AB: Province Will Seek Input On Minimum Age For MarijuanaMon, 19 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Rumbolt, Ryan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/23/2016

Premier Rachel Notley says she wants to consult Albertans to help shape provincial legislation on legalized marijuana, including on the minimum age for users.

A report from the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation said a federal minimum age for purchase of marijuana should be set at 18, with the recommendation that individual provinces and territories be allowed to "harmonize" the minimum age with that of buying alcohol and tobacco.

"It's a balancing act, obviously, because on one hand the objective of legalizing marijuana-for the most part - is to control it and to actually make it more safe," Notley told Postmedia.

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16 CN AB: Public Asked To Pipe UpSun, 18 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Rumbolt, Ryan Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:12/23/2016

Alberta to conduct consultations before setting legal age to buy marijuana

With cannabis legalization coming down the pipe in 2017, Premier Rachel Notley said input from Albertans will help set the minimum age to purchase marijuana.

Notley weighed in on weed legalization following a report released by the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation recommending a national minimum age of 18 to purchase marijuana.

The report also said provinces and territories should be allowed to "harmonize" the minimum age for cannabis with their minimum age for purchasing alcohol and tobacco.

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17CN AB: Legal Pot May Not Curb Organized Crime: ChiefFri, 16 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/19/2016

It's not yet known whether new laws will create more work, Chaffin says

It's not clear recommendations on legalizing cannabis will reduce his force's work or even curb organized crime, Calgary police chief Roger Chaffin said Thursday.

While Chaffin said the federal task force did a comprehensive job in crafting 80 recommendations for ending 93 years of marijuana prohibition, numerous uncertainties remain, including what role police would play.

"There's still many unanswered elements yet to be determined, such as how much is to be mandated to which levels of government," he said.

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18 CN AB: LTE: Crazy StreetsSat, 17 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:McArthur, Jake Area:Alberta Lines:26 Added:12/19/2016

What the hell, hundreds drive drunk with full immunity daily here in Calgary due to a lack of law enforcement. So, let's legalize marijuana and put a bunch of stoners behind the wheel as well and really have some fun endangering all the innocent folks out there. Idiots!

Jake Mcarthur



(We hope you are wrong about hundreds of drunk drivers but stoned drivers are a concern.)

[end]

19 CN AB: Column: Bringing The Buzz Kill To Marijuana LegalizationFri, 16 Dec 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Wells, Paul Area:Alberta Lines:104 Added:12/18/2016

Reading the 106-page report of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, with its determinedly bland cover design and its epically drab title, "A Framework For the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada," it's hard to shake the urge to blow off a little steam by sparking up a great big bowl of

Whoa! Wrong attitude! Sorry about that. Lord forbid anyone suggest that the point of legalizing marijuana in Canada is to increase the amount of fun anybody might be having.

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20 CN AB: Calgary Police Chief Sees Supervised Injection Sites As PartSat, 17 Dec 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Tait, Carrie Area:Alberta Lines:136 Added:12/17/2016

Calgary's police chief is open to introducing supervised facilities for drug users, so long as such programs are part of a larger strategy to lower addiction rates and address problems that accompany drug dependency, such as crime and joblessness.

"It always makes police chiefs look resistant when they say no to these things. My answer has been: 'Sure, as long as it is part of a better strategy,' " Calgary Police Service Chief Roger Chaffin said in an interview this week.

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21 CN AB: In Need Of Full ServicesSat, 17 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Graney, Juris Area:Alberta Lines:84 Added:12/17/2016

Future Edmonton supervised injection sites should offer counselling and medical services, police say

When Edmonton drug and gang enforcement detective Guy Pilon toured the Insite supervised injection site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside several months ago he didn't like what he saw.

He had visited it three years prior and wanted to see the progress of it and other drug treatment facilities in the city.

"There are users now waiting outside of Insite just waiting to get in," Pilon said.

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22CN AB: Police Recommend Injection Sites Offer Array Of SupportsSat, 17 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Juris Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/17/2016

When Edmonton drug and gang enforcement detective Guy Pilon toured the Insite supervised injection site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside several months ago he didn't like what he saw.

He had visited it three years prior and wanted to see the progress of it and other drug treatment facilities in the city.

"There are users now waiting outside of Insite just waiting to get in," Pilon said.

"They are shooting up in the street, they are shooting up around the corner. There are just users everywhere."

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23CN AB: Owner Of Head Shop No Longer Has To Hide What Business He's InWed, 14 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Fortney, Valerie Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/15/2016

A decade ago, Vlassis Douvis's storefront window was plastered with T-shirts.

"The T-shirts weren't for sale," the Calgary entrepreneur says with a laugh. "It was to hide what was really going on inside."

These days, Douvis isn't doing much hiding. It's pretty clear, in fact, what kind of business he operates. At his three Hemp Roots stores in the city, marijuana leaves are painted on the windows and the only thing blocking the view inside is Christmas tinsel.

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24 CN AB: Liquor Store Industry's Plans To Sell Marijuana Up In SmokeWed, 14 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Clancy, Clare Area:Alberta Lines:62 Added:12/15/2016

A group representing Alberta's liquor stores is advocating for the alcohol industry's involvement in the sale of legalized recreational marijuana.

"It's unfortunate from our perspective that the task force took out an entire industry for selling cannabis, especially when that industry has such a good track record," said Ivonne Martinez, president of the Alberta Liquor Store Association. "We have high compliance, we sell in a responsible way."

Her comments followed the release of a report Tuesday that was commissioned by the federal Liberal government. The framework document recommended that recreational marijuana shouldn't be sold in the same locations as alcohol or tobacco. It also recommended storefront and mail-order sales to Canadians over the age of 18 and personal growing limits of four plants per person.

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25 CN AB: Naloxone Saving More And More Lives From OverdoseSat, 10 Dec 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Revell, Peggy Area:Alberta Lines:92 Added:12/14/2016

A spike in fentanyl-overdose reversals thanks to naloxone kits has been documented by the local HIV Community Link, and shows the lifesaving impact the program is having.

Since the local organization began training and dispersing naloxone kits, they've officially documented 16 overdose reversals - and 12 within just the last few weeks, said overdose prevention nurse Kim Dick.

"It's been quite a jump - it's been correlated with something like a bad batch of heroin we're assuming was laced with fentanyl coming through town," said Dick.

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26 CN AB: Column: Smoking Today's Dope Like It's The Seventies? Stoned!Sun, 11 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:111 Added:12/14/2016

The Remembrance Day Massacre, as it was dubbed, began at 3 a.m. when long-haired Toronto drug cops busted down the door of our shared apartment, guns drawn, and hauled the four of us off in handcuffs.

I was arraigned in court for marijuana possession the next morning, wearing blue jeans, sneakers and my Fly United T-shirt showing two ducks copulating in mid-flight.

This was in the `70s.

I had already been fingerprinted and had my mug shot taken before appearing before the bail-court judge, as had my three roomies, all students at Ryerson.

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27 CN AB: PUB LTE: Black Market PotMon, 12 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:White, Stan Area:Alberta Lines:27 Added:12/14/2016

While Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister are advocating delaying regulation of cannabis, usage by citizens who wish to use the plant will continue. Their message then must be acknowledged as informing consumers to continue purchasing cannabis from the black market while government takes additional time to create a regulated legal market to replace it. And that's tolerable since North Americans have grown accustomed to the increased efficiency of the black market regulating cannabis for the last eight decades.

Stan White

(New rules are allegedly coming soon.)

[end]

28 CN AB: Fentanyl Preying On Young Men Lacking A History Of UseSat, 10 Dec 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:77 Added:12/14/2016

Many young males without a history of prescription opioid use are arriving in emergency departments due to fentanyl overdoses, says Alberta Health Services.

"A lot of the individuals we are seeing coming into our emergency departments, who are dying from fentanyl overdoses, tend to be younger males who don't often have a history of prescription opioid use," said Dr. Nick Mitchell, senior medical director, addictions and mental health Alberta Health Services.

There are also older people with chronic opioid use over time. The dose may have been increased, other medications added, or they may be more medically frail, said Mitchell.

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29 CN AB: LTE: Common Sense Is Going Up In SmokeSat, 10 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:King, Trevor Area:Alberta Lines:36 Added:12/14/2016

Re: "Don't rush federal pot law, NDP cautions," Dec. 7.

The Liberal government plans to legalize marijuana next spring to stop its illegal distribution by the bad guys and, of course, to make a lot of money at the same time.

What pitfalls may lie ahead? A significant increase in the drug's use across all age groups, increased traffic accidents and deaths, increased cross-border issues with the U.S.A., increased health problems, increased use of more powerful drugs, increased addictions and treatment, and an increased number of unlicensed growers for the authorities to try and eliminate.

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30 CN AB: PUB LTE: Black Market PotFri, 09 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:White, Stan Area:Alberta Lines:29 Added:12/12/2016

While Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister are advocating delaying regulation of cannabis, usage by citizens who wish to use the plant will continue. Their message then must be acknowledged as informing consumers to continue purchasing cannabis from the black market while government takes additional time to create a regulated legal market to replace it. And that's tolerable since North Americans have grown accustom to the increased efficiency of the black market regulating cannabis for the last eight decades.

Stan White



(New rules are allegedly coming soon.)

[end]

31 CN AB: Pot Tourism Hanging In The BalanceFri, 09 Dec 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:96 Added:12/10/2016

Would-be weed entrepreneurs await federal framework

Although not clear how pot legalization will go down, Albertans are already planning to piggyback business on the marijuana economy.

In Colorado, when pot was decriminalized in the state, their local tourism board didn't touch the stuff, because it's not federally legal. Yet if you plan a trip to the toking state, there are many services purporting to be 420 friendly.

And according to Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley, because of the state's restrictions on smoking outside, and of course, in restaurants, they quickly found the edibles market exploding.

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32 CN AB: Employers, Please ChillThu, 08 Dec 2016
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:51 Added:12/10/2016

Patients prescribed pot afraid of getting fired, demoted

Employers need to start accepting medical cannabis in the workplace, proponents say.

Kait Shane, director of patient care with medical cannabis clinic Natural Health Services, said while patient numbers are quickly growing, most keep their medical cannabis use secret at work for fear they will be fired, demoted or unfairly judged.

"It's really outdated policies that some employers have in effect, including zero-tolerance policies, which are basically breaching human rights violations in that people can access medical prescribed medication as needed," Shane said.

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33 CN AB: LTE: No Safe InjectionsWed, 07 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:34 Added:12/10/2016

Re: "safe injection sites in Edmonton would save lives and health costs". What a perverse argument, surely treating drug addictions and weaning addicts off their addictions, rather than simply facilitating them by providing safe injection sites, is a far better approach.

Addicts will still be committing crimes to purchase their drugs and the fact areas around safe injection sites are 'no-go areas' for the police presents all sorts of problems for those living near these sites. safe injection sites seem more about making the political left feel good, rather than positively addressing the growing problem of drug addiction by providing more treatment facilities for addicts.

Larry Comeau Ottawa



(Adding more treatment beds is certainly an important part of the equation.)

[end]

34CN AB: Chief Considers Equipping Fire Crews With NaloxoneWed, 07 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Lazzarino, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2016

Edmonton Fire Services Chief Ken Block is looking into the cost and benefits of outfitting fire crews with naloxone, the treatment drug for opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil, the latter of which has killed 14 people in the past two months in Alberta.

"We are actively looking at that. We have a medical director on staff who is working quite closely with Alberta Health Services just to see how we might be better prepared," Block said in an interview as his department's budget goes before city council.

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35 CN AB: Fire Chief Eyes Equipping Crews With NaloxoneWed, 07 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Lazzarino, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:74 Added:12/10/2016

Looking into the cost and benefits of the treatment drug for opioids

Edmonton Fire Services Chief Ken Block is looking into the cost and benefits of outfitting fire crews with naloxone, the treatment drug for opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil, the latter of which has killed 14 people in the past two months in Alberta.

"We are actively looking at that. We have a medical director on staff who is working quite closely with Alberta Health Services just to see how we might be better prepared," Block said in an interview as his department's budget goes before city council.

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36 CN AB: Greater Access To Drug Treatment Needed, Says OfficialWed, 07 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolande Area:Alberta Lines:80 Added:12/10/2016

Alberta has never been in more urgent need of providing improved access to treatment for drug users, says addictions medicine specialist Dr. Hakique Virani.

Virani said news from the provincial government this week that carfentanil overdoses have killed 15 people is tragic, as well as predictable.

"This is what we expect to happen in this illicit market when we're not meeting the needs for opioid addiction treatment and still drug traffickers are going to meet the demand for opioids, and they're going to do that with the path of least resistance," said Virani, who is based in Edmonton.

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37CN AB: Critic Of Safe-injection Site Now Singing Different TuneTue, 06 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2016

Alberta Avenue resident Adam Millie "tore a strip off " council staff when he heard Edmonton was considering four safe injection sites in the inner city.

Attracting more addicts and crime to fragile communities is not the answer, Millie raged in a series of frustrated messages on Twitter, Facebook and in an email to council. Then he had a change of heart. He thought about the issue Friday evening.

On Saturday, he deleted those messages, sent an apology to council, and came to City Hall on Monday to argue this plan is actually critical to making those fragile communities safer.

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38 CN AB: Feds Told Not To Rush On Pot LegislationWed, 07 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:54 Added:12/10/2016

Alberta's NDP government is warning Ottawa not to rush on marijuana legalization but isn't calling for pending federal legislation to be halted.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Tuesday there is much work that will need to be done after the Liberal government introduces its legalization bill, which is expected this spring.

She suggested the legislation should be subject to considerable deliberations through the House of Commons committee process.

"We need time to consider these things but we need to consider them once we've seen what the feds are doing," Ganley told reporters at the provincial legislature.

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39 CN AB: PUB LTE: High DramaMon, 05 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Griffith, Mike Area:Alberta Lines:32 Added:12/07/2016

I have to laugh at all the hype about drugged driving on pot. Have you read your prescription drugs packaging? May cause drowsiness, do not operate machinery etc. So where are the tests for impairment for mind-altering prescription drugs? Oh, I know, pick and choose what laws to enforce and what laws not to enforce.

Typical law enforcement attitude, get the easy mark and look good doing it, too. Make headlines. Oh, and I have over 45 years experience with smoking pot responsibly. How much THC does one need to have in their system to be classified impaired? How much codeine, or how about anti-hyper drugs for kids that are prescribed by doctors?

Mike Griffith



(Wow, 45 years, eh?)

[end]

40 CN AB: PUB LTE: High DramaMon, 05 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Griffith, Mike Area:Alberta Lines:32 Added:12/07/2016

I have to laugh at all the hype about drugged driving on pot. Have you read your prescription drugs packaging? May cause drowsiness, do not operate machinery etc. So where are the tests for impairment for mind-altering prescription drugs? Oh, I know, pick and choose what laws to enforce and what laws not to enforce.

Typical law enforcement attitude, get the easy mark and look good doing it, too. Make headlines. Oh, and I have over 45 years experience with smoking pot responsibly. How much THC does one need to have in their system to be classified impaired? How much codeine, or how about anti-hyper drugs for kids that are prescribed by doctors?

Mike Griffith



(Wow, 45 years, eh?)

[end]

41CN AB: 'Drugged Driving Suit' Teaches SafetyTue, 06 Dec 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Clancy, Clare Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/07/2016

Edmonton police used a novel way to demonstrate how drugs and alcohol influence drivers in an effort to curb the number of collisions expected over the winter holidays.

The "drugged driving suit" uses padding, ankle weights, flashing light goggles and headphones to recreate the conditions of driving after consuming alcohol or illegal drugs.

This includes slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors and poor co-ordination.

The suit, showcased at Rogers Place on Monday, is part of a Ford program that teaches safe driving methods. Driving Skills for Life is slated to come to Edmonton high schools sometime next year.

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42 CN AB: PUB LTE: Shootings Reveal Failure Of PolicyMon, 05 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Dorothy Area:Alberta Lines:44 Added:12/07/2016

Re: "'We have a problem' city councillor suggests," Nov. 30.

If the current spate of shootings is, as suggested by the police, due to "chaotic situations" created by drug users, then it is high time the province takes a hard look at how other societies have drastically changed their policies in the war against drugs.

In countries such as Switzerland and Portugal, a shift to treating addiction as a health issue, rather than moral weakness or crime, has led to benefits and cost savings.

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43 CN AB: Report Looks At Safe SitesFri, 02 Dec 2016
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Simes, Jeremy Area:Alberta Lines:44 Added:12/05/2016

In 2014, there were 324 people in Edmonton sharing needles and injecting in public spaces, according to the group looking at safe consumption services in the city.

That's more than what Vancouver saw before launching safe consumption clinic Insite, says Shelley Williams, chair of Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services.

Council will review a new report on access to medically supervised safe consumption sites Monday, after the province announced in late October it would give AMSIS $230,000 to apply to the federal government for exemption from drug laws.

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44CN AB: Pot Trade Needs Controls: NenshiSat, 03 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Howell, Trevor Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/05/2016

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana could spark a new craft industry and create opportunities for small businesses - which "may not be a bad thing" in Calgary's slumping economy.

But any new model to distribute recreational weed, including edibles, should be controlled to ensure public safety and prevent people underage from using it, he said.

"I wouldn't want to see marijuana-infused jelly beans sold at every 7-Eleven counter," Nenshi told reporters Friday.

[continues 353 words]

45CN AB: Ad Blitz Warns Drivers To Steer Clear Of Driving While High OnFri, 02 Dec 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Howell, Trevor Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/05/2016

The Alberta government has rolled out a $167,000 online ad campaign warning drivers that getting behind the wheel high on marijuana "face the same consequences" as drunk drivers.

The series of ads, which began popping up on websites and social media Nov. 29, are aimed at younger, less experienced drivers who, may engage in riskier behaviour and believe marijuana doesn't impair their abilities, said Wendy Doyle, Alberta Transportation's executive director for the office of traffic safety.

"A lot of people believe that A) it's safer, B) that they can't get caught, or C) that the consequences are different or not as severe as driving if you're drunk," she said.

[continues 565 words]

46 CN AB: Rolling With Weed: Poll NDS Alberta Supports LegalizationFri, 02 Dec 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:12/05/2016

Support for legal pot highest among millennials

Albertans are increasingly cool with the legalization of kush.

A new ThinkHQ/Metro News survey has found that two-thirds of Albertans - - 65 per cent - agree the drug should be legal, while only 20 per cent admit that when it's legal, they will toke up.

That's an even higher rate of acceptance than a poll Insights West published in 2014, where half of Albertans asked would like to see the substance legalized.

[continues 344 words]

47CN AB: U Of A Students Begin Taking Overdose KitsMon, 28 Nov 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Juris Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/01/2016

University dispenses naloxone as part of fentanyl campaign

The University of Alberta has dispensed 11 fentanyl overdose response kits since the start of the fall term to head o the province's most pressing and deadly health crisis.

Even though the injectable naloxone packs have been available since last year, the uptake by students is being attributed to the fact the stigma associated with accessing the packs is slowly disappearing as more and more people realize the lethality of the opioid.

[continues 532 words]

48 CN AB: Airdrie Mom Hopes To End Marijuana StigmaThu, 24 Nov 2016
Source:Airdrie City View (CN AB) Author:Ruth, Dustin Area:Alberta Lines:121 Added:11/28/2016

An Airdrie mother of four and cancer survivor is striving to end the social stigma surrounding marijuana.

Using a multimedia approach, Melinda Sarpal, 37, is documenting her journey to open Cannabliss - a retail store promoting holistic education and tools focusing on cannabis and health - in Airdrie.

With a documentary, television show and podcast currently in the works, she said she wants to be a part of the now global conversation helping to normalize marijuana.

"In Alberta, we're so far behind," Sarpal said. "It's time we start bringing (cannabis) into conversation, making it mainstream and making it OK."

[continues 600 words]

49 CN AB: PUB LTE: Accept it: Some Like MarijuanaSat, 26 Nov 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Syrenne, Cole Area:Alberta Lines:30 Added:11/28/2016

Re: "Legalized pot will add to epidemic," Letter, Nov. 23.

Calling pot a very psychoactive, gateway drug that has very severe effects on the developing brain is misleading. Not only is "very psychoactive" very subjective, there is no evidence to support that marijuana is a gateway drug.

I can agree that it has severe effects on a developing brain, which makes me wonder why we wouldn't legalize and ID purchasers, keeping it out of the hands of children.

If alcohol and nicotine are socially acceptable for adults to consume, why can't we as a society accept that some adults would like to consume marijuana without being labelled a criminal?

Cole Syrenne, Calgary

[end]

50CN AB: OPED: Canada At A Crossroads On AddictionFri, 18 Nov 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Notarandrea, Rita Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2016

It's time for systemic changes, writes Rita Notarandrea.

With a crisis swirling, Canada is at a crossroads.

Opioid use across the country has reached extremely dangerous levels. Canada is the second largest per capita consumer of opioids worldwide, and as a direct result provincial health-care systems are dealing with unprecedented numbers of overdoses and deaths related to addiction.

If we are to learn anything from the opioid crisis, it is the need for systemic changes to provide better care for people struggling with an addiction. We need to refocus our efforts to provide the services and resources they need - be it interventions such as harm reduction services or proven treatment - to conquer their disease and make strides toward recovery.

[continues 554 words]


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