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1 CN ON: A Tale of Two ShootingsFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:McArthur, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:369 Added:08/19/2017

One of the Trudeau government's stated policy goals for ending marijuana prohibition is to divert the profits reaped by gangsters toward legitimate shareholders. But an investigation by Greg McArthur and Molly Hayes offers a glimpse into the insidious nature of organized crime, finding that criminal groups easily exploited loopholes in the federal government's old medical-marijuana licensing regimes

In the late afternoon of March 14 in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, a masked gunman jumped out of the passenger side of a black Jeep Cherokee, darted across a snow-dusted parking lot and unleashed a flurry of bullets into a black BMW. Thirty seconds later, he was back in the car, leaving Saverio Serrano - the son of a notorious Canadian Mafia figure and cocaine importer - wounded, and Mr. Serrano's 28-year-old girlfriend dead.

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2 US: Editorial: President's Declaration Offers A Chance To Bring FocusTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:United States Lines:80 Added:08/15/2017

President Trump's declaration of a national opioid crisis creates an opportunity to bring greater focus and more resources to a scourge that is killing an average of almost 150 people a day. (Getty Images)

President Trump's recent declaration recognizing the opioid crisis acknowledges something people have been saying for years. It remains to be seen whether this new development opens up more resources.

The opioid epidemic is ravaging a generation of mostly young people, although older people are not immune. There are an estimated 2.6 million opioid addicts in the United States.

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3 CN AB: LTE: War On Isis With DrugsSun, 02 Jul 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Nilsson, Steven Area:Alberta Lines:40 Added:07/04/2017

Here's an idea what to do about all those illegal drugs that are confiscated, and the drug dealers they arrest in the process. Put it all in a cargo plane and send all of it to ISIS. Give the terrorists all the drugs, along with the dealers. This would save a lot of manpower, bullets, and not having to store any of the evidence anywhere, where it could only take up space the authorities don't have. Never mind all the money we, the taxpayer, can all save on not having trials for the criminals. And the jail time they may get. At the same time, we solve our terrorist wars and troubles. Another saving on the taxpayers wallets.

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4Canada: Finance Ministers Sort Weed From Chaff On Pot TaxationMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Blatchford, Andy Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

'Co-ordinated approach' begins on revenue tools

OTTAWA * As the country's finance ministers meet in Ottawa, the Trudeau government should expect to hear concerns about the added burden marijuana legalization could heap onto provincial shoulders.

The agenda for the two-day, federal-provincial-territorial gathering, which started Sunday, will include discussions on how best to apply taxes on a regulated market for cannabis.

The federal government introduced legislation in April with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational marijuana by July 2018.

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5 US: PUB LTE: Small-Time Dealers Get Long Sentences TooSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Angelos, Weldon Area:United States Lines:33 Added:06/03/2017

In Heather Mac Donald's "Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire" (op-ed, May 26) about mandatory minimum sentences (MMS), she writes that 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentences are only given to large-scale traffickers. In 2004 I was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for selling $1,000 worth of marijuana while possessing a firearm. The judge who sentenced me called my punishment "unjust, cruel and even irrational" and compared it to the much shorter federal sentences given to repeat child rapists, murderers and even some terrorists.

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6 CN ON: Editorial: War On Drugs Has Been Colossal FailureSat, 13 May 2017
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:05/16/2017

Be careful! This is the message to users of illegal drugs from a community-wide education and awareness campaign that includes a website, .

Drug overdoses have killed hundreds of people in British Columbia. The most recent report shows that 120 died in March of this year.

The local campaign is in response to a spate of opioid overdoses.

One day last October, Brantford police and paramedics were called to three separate incidents, involving four people who overdosed on fentanyl. That day was similar to an overnight incident in June when there were four fentanyl overdoses and one death in the city.

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7 CN ON: Column: War On Drugs A Colossal FailureWed, 10 May 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Hunt, John R Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:05/15/2017

Be careful! This was the message to users of illegal drugs from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. Drug overdoses have killed hundreds of people in British Columbia. The most recent report shows that 120 died in March of this year.

The local warning came as a result of a man using tainted cocaine. He was taken to the North Bay Regional Health Centre. He was given large doses of naloxone. It probably saved his life. Drug users are being told to have a friend standing by when they ingest drugs. If something goes wrong the friend can dial 911 and perhaps save a life.

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8 Canada: Justice Minister Defends Proposed Maximum Penalty ForMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Curry, Bill Area:Canada Lines:92 Added:04/19/2017

A prison sentence of up to 14 years for providing cannabis to youth is shaping up as one of the early points of contention as the Liberal government prepares to defend its landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, makes clear in its opening passages that the main purpose of the legislation is to prevent young people from accessing cannabis.

Those opening statements are backed up with stiff penalties, including imprisonment for up to 14 years for providing marijuana to someone 17 or under.

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9 US: Pot Is Supposed To Stay On The Ground, Even Where It's Legal ToTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weed, Julie Area:United States Lines:139 Added:04/15/2017

People in 29 states can legally use medical marijuana for a variety of problems, including the relief of pain, anxiety or stress. But what if they want to travel with it?

Secure airport areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints are under federal control, and the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 (most harmful) substance, even in states where it is legal for adults to consume it.

The laws conflict, but federal law trumps state law, making it illegal to fly with marijuana in carry-on or checked luggage. It is also illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if both states have legalized it.

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10CN AB: Column: If Scourge Of Opioid Deaths Isn't An Emergency, ThenTue, 07 Mar 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/09/2017

Some columns are hard to write because it's almost impossible to stop watching the events that propel them.

That's the way it was with Monday's emergency legislature debate on opioid addiction and deaths.

It was fascinating, emotional, moving and very informative. It might have surprised many Albertans who think politicians have no clue about real life.

MLAs on all sides - Wildrose, PC, Alberta Party, Liberal and NDP - have seen the carnage close up.

Progressive Conservative MLA Rick Fraser, a former EMS worker, recalled arriving at a residence to find a 14-year-old boy who'd seemed perfectly normal when he arrived home, only to die shortly afterward in the basement.

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11 CN BC: HMCS Saskatoon Continues War On Drug TraffickingMon, 27 Feb 2017
Source:Lookout (CN BC) Author:Mallett, Peter Area:British Columbia Lines:53 Added:03/04/2017

HMCS Saskatoon deployed Feb. 20, beginning its latest contribution to Operation Caribbe, Canada's decade-long contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Kingston-Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel and its crew are fulfilling Canada's commitment to Operation Martillo - the United-States led multinational effort among Western Hemisphere and European nations aimed at drug interdiction and counter smuggling operations in the area.

"By preventing the flow of illicit drugs and denying unlawful access to the sea, our sailors are effectively interrupting a major funding source for organized crime," said Lieutenant-Commander Todd Bacon, Commanding Officer HMCS Saskatoon. "Our mission success during these operations is a result of the continued support our sailors receive from their family, friends and colleagues back home."

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12 US CA: Column: Drug War OverkillFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Abcarian, Robin Area:California Lines:171 Added:01/06/2017

A pot bust against legal growers in Yolo County seems to go too far

If ever you needed proof that we live in an age of confusion about marijuana laws, let me share with you the story of Ted Hicks and Ryan Mears, two Sacramento-area entrepreneurs who decided to start a legal medical cannabis business last year and ended up on the business end of assault rifles wielded by officers from a multi-agency, anti-drug task force.

I first heard about the case from Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor in September, at a "State of Marijuana" conference aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Saylor, who was on a panel discussing how cities and counties were dealing with cannabis regulation, said that Hicks and Mears and their business, Big Red Farms, were considered by county officials to be "shining stars" in the cannabis licensing arena.

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13 US IL: Duterte Threatens To Throw Corrupt Officials Out Of AThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:98 Added:12/29/2016

- -- and says he's done it before

In his latest controversial statement, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his bloody anti-drug war that has killed thousands, threatened to throw corrupt officials out of a helicopter, saying he has done it before, to a kidnapper, and won't hesitate to do it again.

"I will pick you up in a helicopter to Manila, and I will throw you out on the way," Duterte said in Tagalog in front of a crowd in the Camarines Sur province Tuesday, according to GMA News. "I've done it before. Why would I not do it again?"

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14 US OK: Beijing Denies Us Claim That China Is Synthetic Drug KingMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Altus Times, The (OK) Author:Kinetz, Erika Area:Oklahoma Lines:163 Added:12/27/2016

BEIJING -- U.S. assertions that China is the top source of the synthetic opioids that have killed thousands of drug users in the U.S. and Canada are unsubstantiated, Chinese officials told the Associated Press.

Both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy point to China as North America's main source of fentanyl, related drugs and the chemicals used to make them.

Such statements "lack the support of sufficient numbers of actual, confirmed cases," China's National Narcotics Control Commission told DEA's Beijing field office in a fax dated Friday.

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15 US MA: Synthetic Opioids Slipping Into US Via Mail, Security ExpertsTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:MacQuarrie, Brian Area:Massachusetts Lines:145 Added:12/27/2016

Deadly synthetic opioids are streaming into the United States amid a flood of mail that arrives unscreened from abroad every day, overwhelming the Postal Service and fueling the drug epidemic gripping much of the country, security experts and Massachusetts lawmakers say.

Nearly 1 million packages a day enter the country without any advance electronic information that might flag the presence of dangerous opioids such as fentanyl, much of which is manufactured in China, said Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant Homeland Security secretary.

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16CN BC: More RCMP Staff Sought In Drug FightTue, 20 Dec 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kines, Lindsay Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/23/2016

The Canadian government needs to fill more than 200 federal RCMP vacancies in B.C. to help the province deal with its drug overdose crisis, B.C.'s director of police services said Monday.

Clayton Pecknold, who co-chairs the province's task force on overdose response, credited the federal government with introducing legislation to ease the way for safe consumption sites and prevent the smuggling of opioids into Canada.

"But there's more they can do," he said. "We are still down in the number of RCMP officers that we have doing federal drug enforcement in this province. We'd like to see the federal government act quickly on filling those positions."

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17 CN BC: Column: Prohibition Won't Solve Overdose Epidemic, But SaferSun, 27 Nov 2016
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Taylor, Jim Area:British Columbia Lines:131 Added:11/28/2016

Suppose 700 people died in a terrorist attack. Would you shrug it off because it didn't happen near you? Suppose 700 people died from a toxic chemical sprayed on farm vegetables. Would you still expect to see those vegetables for sale at your local supermarket?

Not * likely!

So why do we blandly tolerate government foot-dragging on the 700 drug overdose deaths that will happen in B.C. before the end of this year?

As of October, the province had 622 deaths. Two more months will push the toll over 700.

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18 CN ON: Column: Libs Chip Away At Law And OrderWed, 05 Oct 2016
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Krayden, David Area:Ontario Lines:91 Added:10/06/2016

Ottawa achieved a dubious distinction over the weekend when the capital saw its 50th shooting of 2016. With a quarter of the year left to go, that beats the previous record of 49 set in 2014.

Now, I am not prepared to invite outrage and opprobrium from the left by suggesting that we might encapsulate the increased violence with the sobriquet of "welcome to Justin Trudeau's Canada." But it does suggest that while Canada enforces some of the toughest gun control legislation in the world, the criminals never have any difficulty in obtaining weapons.

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19 CN ON: PUB LTE: Trudeau On Right TrackWed, 21 Sep 2016
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON) Author:Broschinski, Werner Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:09/24/2016

I believe that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plan to decriminalize and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana is correct and should be applied as well to other drugs, such as cocaine.

I feel this way not because I am in favour of drug use (I wouldn't dream of using these substances myself ) but because an iron-fisted "war" to eradicate drug use doesn't work and is counterproductive. Greater problems are caused by making drugs illegal than by the drugs themselves.

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20 CN ON: PUB LTE: All Drug Use Should Be DecriminalizedThu, 22 Sep 2016
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Broschinski, Werner Area:Ontario Lines:56 Added:09/24/2016

I believe that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plan to decriminalize and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana is correct and should be applied to other drugs as well - like cocaine, for example.

I feel this way not because I am in favour of drug use, but because an iron-fisted "war on drugs" attempt to eradicate drug use doesn't work and is counterproductive. Greater problems are caused by making drugs illegal than by the effects of the drugs themselves.

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