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1 US CA: PUB LTE: Forget Marijuana It's Meth That's The ProblemSun, 18 Jun 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Schmale, Susan Area:California Lines:40 Added:06/18/2017

I just heard Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer on the news discussing our gang problem, killings and crime in Fresno. He then mentioned marijuana as the drug gangs use. That might be true, but why do we rarely hear about the huge methamphetamine problem in Fresno from Chief Dyer, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and the local media?

Methamphetamine is being imported, made and sold widely in Fresno and surrounding areas. It is sucking the life out of our communities. Methamphetamine is the problem, not marijuana, which is legal in California. Apparently it's easier to advertise "cracking down on crime" by using our tax dollars to bust growers/dealers of this legal plant.

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2 Philippines: On The Run From Duterte's CrackdownMon, 05 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Almendral, Aurora Area:Philippines Lines:168 Added:06/09/2017

MANILA - Every morning before dawn, Rosario Perez checks to make sure her sons are still alive. The three brothers, all in their 20s, sleep at the houses of friends and relatives, moving regularly, hoping that whoever may have been assigned to kill them won't catch up with them.

They are not witnesses on a mob hit list, or gang members hiding from rivals. They are simply young men living in the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"How could I not send them to hide?" said Ms. Perez, 47, after peeking in on two of her sons and phoning the third. "We can barely sleep out of fear."

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3CN BC: Music Festivals Arm For Overdose RiskFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

'The new reality': Fentanyl test strips and naloxone kits are part of the mix

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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4 CN ON: Naloxone On Schools' RadarSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Crosier, Steph Area:Ontario Lines:146 Added:06/06/2017

Local school boards may bring 'opioid antagonist' into schools to deal with possible overdoses

Local school boards are considering following their neighbours and potentially bringing naloxone into local schools in the face of the opioid overdose crisis.

On Tuesday, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario announced the overdose kits would be placed in all of its schools, located in the easternmost counties of Ontario and including the cities of Brockville and Cornwall.

"We hope that these kits will never need to be used, but in the event that they are needed, the naloxone will help to buy time for someone experiencing an opioid overdose until first responders arrive," William Gartland, the board's director of education, said.

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5 US: PUB LTE: Mandatory Sentences Often Hit The MinnowsSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ring, Kevin Area:United States Lines:39 Added:06/03/2017

Under federal law, anyone convicted of selling just five grams of methamphetamine-the weight of a nickel-is subject to a mandatory five-year prison term. Get caught buying or selling a second time, no matter how many years after your first offense, and you will be subject to a 10-year mandatory prison sentence.

Ms. Mac Donald may pretend that mandatory sentences are reserved for the likes of El Chapo, but the truth is mandatory sentences are more often used against low-level offenders. Ninety-three percent of people who receive federal mandatory minimums played no leadership role in their crimes. There are lots of minnows and few sharks.

There are simply no studies that show mandatory sentences reduce drug crime. Every dollar wasted on mandatory minimums is one that would be better invested in proven anticrime strategies like hiring more police officers and expanding substance abuse treatment.

Kevin Ring

President

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Washington

[end]

6 CN ON: OPED: Don't Criminalize Drug UsersSat, 27 May 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Lester, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:76 Added:05/27/2017

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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7 CN ON: OPED: Don't Criminalize Drug UsersSat, 27 May 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Lester, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:77 Added:05/27/2017

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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8 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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9 CN AB: Safe-Injection Site A Plausible Scenario For Medicine HatFri, 05 May 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:89 Added:05/08/2017

A safe-injection site could be coming to Medicine Hat.

Though still early in the process, HIV Community Link executive director Leslie Hill says this is something communities around Alberta could be seeing over the course of the next year or so.

"Right now we have a researcher in Medicine Hat working on creating a survey to get to drug users," she said. "We are doing this in response to a rise in opioid use across the province and we are trying to be proactive with this."

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10 CN ON: Fentanyl Continues To Wreak HavocFri, 28 Apr 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Crosier, Steph Area:Ontario Lines:120 Added:05/03/2017

Naloxone kits are flying off the shelves at local pharmacies and the Street Health Centre, as fentanyl continues its disastrous wave across eastern Ontario.

Dr. Meredith Mackenzie, a physician at the centre, said on Wednesday that its clients are listening to their advice and reading news reports and are making an effort to curb their use, but it's not working.

"People are much more aware of the drug contamination problem," Mackenzie said. "That means people are using more safely, they're using less, but they are still overdosing, even though they have a big tolerance. We're seeing people with high-opioid tolerance overdosing on smaller amounts of drugs."

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11 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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12 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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13 CN AB: Editorial: Ramifications Of Legal Marijuana Remain CloudyThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Gallant, Collin Area:Alberta Lines:99 Added:04/22/2017

Today is April 20, or 4/20 for short, the day marijuana activists use for protest, public displays of defiance and a call to action to legalize pot.

The times are certainly about to change as Ottawa and the provinces consider the implications of the Liberal government's plan to make marijuana legal.

Concerns about decriminalizing pot, however, have many recreational smokers increasingly leery about receiving what they wished for.

Those are the people who should benefit most from the bill, which is posed as a measure to avoid criminal records and fines for possession of the drug that is extremely common, if one is being honest.

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14 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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15CN AB: Police See Surge In Cancer-Causing Narcotic AdditiveMon, 13 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:ClaireTheobald, Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2017

Painkiller mixed with cocaine by dealers can cause seizures, coma or death

Police fear a growing amount of buffing agent being seized in drug busts means more high-level dealers are bringing wholesale quantities into Edmonton for redistribution, creating another avenue for profit.

The Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement (EDGE) unit seized more buffing agent in 2016 - 82.05 kg - than all cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine combined.

Buffing agents are used by drug dealers to dilute illicit drugs to increase profits.

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16 CN ON: Region Struggles With Drugs That Claim More Lives Than CarSat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:271 Added:02/21/2017

WATERLOO REGION - A group of parents sit around a small table. Their eyes are red from crying.

Nearby are framed photos of the children they have lost to drug overdoses. Among them are Iain Goddard, Brittany Cobbing and Austin Padaric.

Janice Walsh-Goddard didn't even know what fentanyl was when she heard it killed her son.

Iain Goddard died last May while Janice was in England on vacation. She got the call on the last day of her weeklong trip.

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17 CN AB: Blood Tribe Police Dealing With Fentanyl Abuse DailySat, 18 Feb 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Villeneuve, Melissa Area:Alberta Lines:101 Added:02/21/2017

When it comes to fighting the illegal drug trade, fentanyl knows no borders.

Overdose deaths attributed to the illicit opioid are skyrocketing each year in cities, towns and on reserves in Alberta.

The Blood Tribe Police have not been immune to the effects on the community it serves to protect. They welcome the Alberta Government's announcement last week that police officers are among those who will be trained to administer lifesaving Naloxone, which temporarily reverses the effect of fentanyl.

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18 CN AB: Athabasca RCMP Are Reminding Motorists That Marijuana Is StillFri, 17 Feb 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:46 Added:02/21/2017

After a spike in roadside drug seizures, Athabasca RCMP are reminding people marijuana is still illegal.

The past month has seen a spike in drug seizures through traffic stops, with approximately 10 grams of cocaine and methamphetamine and 300 grams of marijuana and marijuana products - such as hash and hash oil - in 15 separate incidents, said Cpl. Curtis Harsulla, spokesman for the Athabasca RCMP.

"Some folks think it may be legal soon, but it's not quite there," Harsulla said.

Typically, the traffic enforcement unit may seize 15 to 30 grams of various drugs every five days, he said.

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19 CN ON: RMC Blind Drug Test Called 'Good Assessment'Thu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Crosier, Steph Area:Ontario Lines:105 Added:02/14/2017

Despite a completely clean campus always being the goal, top brass at Royal Military College are pleased with the results of a blind drug test conducted in mid-October that weren't exactly perfect.

"Having now tangible, fact-based information is really great. It gives us a good assessment of the current situation," Brig.-Gen. Sean Friday, commandant of RMC, told the Whig-Standard on Wednesday. "The whole idea of a blind drug test is so that we can get actual information to see if our [Canadian Armed Forces] drug control program at large is succeeding or not."

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20CN AB: Fentanyl Victims Are Stigmatized, Advocates SayThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Logan, Shawn Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2017

'These people aren't going out there to die,' enforcement unit officer insists

The victims of fentanyl, which saw its deadly toll reach new highs in 2016, rarely fit the stereotypes people sometimes imagine, advocates say.

"We're not concerned because we don't believe it can impact us in any way - but these are soccer moms and accountants and lawyers," said Rosalind Davis, whose partner Nathan Huggins-Rosenthal held an MBA and was a stockbroker when he became addicted to the opioid that ultimately killed him.

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