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1 CN ON: For Many Parents, Motherisk Was A Formidable Foe In The CourtsSun, 22 Oct 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mendleson, Rachel Area:Ontario Lines:294 Added:10/22/2017

Analysis of 50 cases sheds light on how people often suffering from poverty or other disadvantages were tarred by test results indicating that they were drinkers or drug users

In an Elliot Lake, Ont., courtroom in 2011, a woman fighting for custody of her step-grandchild tried to convince the judge that Motherisk's results were bogus.

The Children's Aid Society of Algoma had submitted Motherisk's tests of the woman's hair, which were positive for cocaine and opioids, as proof she had recently used drugs. The woman, identified by the court as L.G., argued the lab must have miscalculated because she had been clean for several months. The judge was not swayed.

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2 CN ON: Lawyers Spar Over Motherisk Class-ActionFri, 13 Oct 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mendleson, Rachel Area:Ontario Lines:128 Added:10/13/2017

Lawsuit's fate rests on judge, whose verdict could set off years of legal wrangling

Motherisk's flawed hair-strand tests tainted thousands of child protection cases across Canada, but was every parent who tested positive for drugs or alcohol potentially harmed in some way? How much is that harm is worth? And what's the best way to determine who should pay?

These are among the complex questions that were debated in a Toronto courtroom this week in the high-stakes battle over the fate of a proposed national class-action seeking millions in damages for families affected by the litany of failings uncovered at the Hospital for Sick Children's Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory.

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3CN BC: Nanaimo Mother Marks Her Son's Birthday In SorrowFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

Cheryl Guardiero should have spent Thursday celebrating her son's 30th birthday. Instead, she attended an International Overdose Awareness Day vigil in Nanaimo, her boy now among the dead for whom they grieved.

Brett Colton Mercer was born in Nanaimo on Aug. 31, 1987, to loving parents who eventually had five children. He died Aug. 19, 2017 of an accidental drug overdose, alone in a motel room in Hope, where he had recently landed a job with an oil and gas firm.

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4 CN AB: Mothers Advocating For Drug Addiction AwarenessThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Airdrie City View (CN AB) Author:Ruth, Dustin Area:Alberta Lines:153 Added:08/15/2017

Two local mothers are bringing awareness to the rippling effect drugs leave on families by sharing the stories of their own children enveloped in the throes of addiction.

Opening a public discussion about drug addiction is how mothers Shawna Taylor of Airdrie and Christina Sackett of Crossfield first connected.

"There are so many families being affected," Taylor said. "I think the stigma is so incredible that people are embarrassed to come forward. It took us a long time."

Taylor has been married to her husband Jeff for 23 years and said the two raised their daughter, Kenedee, and son, Nathan, to respect curfews and stay away from drugs.

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5 US: OPED: The Female Victims Of The War On DrugsSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ritchie, Andrea J. Area:United States Lines:145 Added:07/23/2017

As debate raged around health care and Russia-gate last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quietly held a "national summit" of law enforcement representatives to discuss the future of policing.

Vice President Mike Pence predicted that the summit, which was largely held behind closed doors, would "impact this country for years to come." Its purpose was to influence the recommendations - due out next week - of the Department of Justice Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, created in response to one of President Trump's executive orders. Drugs featured prominently on the agenda.

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6 US MI: Audit: Women's Prison Not Conducting Searches For ContrabandThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Eggert, David Area:Michigan Lines:62 Added:07/13/2017

Auditors uncovered what a prison spokesman called "terrible" and "unacceptable" failures to conduct contraband searches of inmates, cells and staff.

The Michigan Department of Corrections said Thursday it may take disciplinary action after auditors uncovered what a prison spokesman called "terrible" and "unacceptable" failures to conduct contraband searches of inmates, cells and staff at a women's prison.

Auditor General Doug Ringler said during two five-day periods last year, the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti did not conduct or document nearly a quarter of the required cell searches and prisoner shakedowns. Using surveillance video, auditors also found that 58 of 170 required cell searches were not backed up by the footage -- meaning they were potentially falsified.

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7 US OH: Woman Selling Marijuana, Illegal Mushrooms For 'SpiritualFri, 07 Jul 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Feehan, Jennifer Area:Ohio Lines:64 Added:07/11/2017

Deb Sheamer and other friends of Charmaine Bassett protest her arrest and detention outside of the Lucas County Courthouse on June 21.

Friends of Charmaine Bassett protest her arrest and detention outside of the Lucas County Courthouse on June 21.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Michael Goulding on Friday found a Toledo woman charged with selling marijuana and illegal mushrooms for "spiritual purposes" competent to stand trial on felony drug charges.

Charmaine Rose Bassett, 56, of the 3400 block of Secor Road entered not guilty pleas to aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated trafficking in drugs, and trafficking in marijuana. She is the founder and "medicine woman" at Anyana-Kai, a member of the Oklevueha Native American Church.

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8 US CT: As Marijuana Debate Continues, A Little Girl's Life Is ChangedTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Vella, Vinny Area:Connecticut Lines:314 Added:07/05/2017

There are good days for West Tarricone. Days when she can laugh and live like any other 9-year-old. Days when she can play with her brother, Blake, and watch "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on her iPad.

But there are also bad days. Days when her body weathers 100 seizures. Days when it has closer to 1,000 - some lasting more than 90 minutes.

Lately, she's been having more good days thanks to Connecticut's new experiment with medical marijuana.

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9 US PA: Councilwoman Will Try To Block Medical Marijuana DispensarySun, 02 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:60 Added:07/04/2017

A Philadelphia city councilwoman says she will try to block a medical marijuana dispensary from being located in her East Mount Airy district.

"This is not a debate about the merits of medical marijuana -- which the community and I both support -- but it is solely about the proposed use at this location," Parker said in a statement, citing concerns about public safety and security. "I remain vehemently opposed to this site."

State Rep. Chris Rabb (D., Phila.), who lives four blocks from the proposed dispensary, said he was happy to have one in the neighborhood. But Rabb said he believes the two-story structure is "specifically an awful location."

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10 US OH: West Toledo Church Protests For Release Of 'Medicine Woman'Wed, 21 Jun 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Feehan, Jennifer Area:Ohio Lines:51 Added:06/21/2017

Members of a West Toledo church that describes itself as "an alternative medicine and naturopathic healing center" demonstrated outside the Lucas County Courthouse today in support of the woman they call their head medicine woman.

Charmaine Rose Bassett, 56, is held in the Lucas County jail on felony charges of aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated trafficking in drugs, and trafficking in marijuana.

Bassett, who founded Anyana-Kai at 3344 Secor Rd., was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury after Toledo police raided the church and seized marijuana and illegal mushrooms. The indictment alleges she sold the marijuana and mushrooms to members who paid a fee to join the church.

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11 CN BC: Cannabis Comes To The Rescue For WomenThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Siebert, Amanda Area:British Columbia Lines:186 Added:06/06/2017

When Andrea Dobbs began experiencing perimenopausal symptoms, she had no idea that her search for a remedy at a local dispensary would put her on the path to opening up one of her own.

Andrea Dobbs operated the Village Dispensary for a year before she smoked any of its cannabis. Amanda Siebert photo.

Now the co-owner of the Village in Kitsilano, Dobbs says her initial experience at a local pot shop in the early days of Vancouver's dispensary explosion wasn't ideal.

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12 US: Older Women And Cannabis: A Growth IndustrySun, 28 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ellin, Abby Area:United States Lines:148 Added:05/28/2017

Jeanine Moss never expected to get into the cannabis industry. But that was before her hip-replacement surgery.

Ms. Moss, 62, of Marina Del Ray, Calif., had quit her job as a marketing consultant before she had her hip done in 2014. As she left the hospital, her doctors handed her a "shopping bag filled with opiates," she said. The drugs made her disoriented and woozy.

So she switched to medical marijuana, which is legal in California and was familiar to her, having grown up in the nearby Venice section of Los Angeles. Within a week, she had tossed away her pharmaceuticals.

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13 CN ON: Opioid Relapse More Likely For Female Pot Smokers: StudyFri, 31 Mar 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Hayes, Molly Area:Ontario Lines:60 Added:04/04/2017

Marijuana use could be a predictor for relapse among women undergoing opioid addiction treatment, a Hamilton study has found.

A research team from McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton recruited 777 participants from Canadian Addiction Treatment Centre sites across the province as part of an ongoing research file into the risk factors of addiction.

About 60 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women in methadone treatment therapy also use cannabis, the study found. The women who smoked pot, the study found, were 82 per cent more likely to relapse and use opioids.

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14 CN ON: Probe Uncovers More Flawed Cases In Motherisk 'Fiasco'Tue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mendleson, Rachel Area:Ontario Lines:138 Added:02/11/2017

Investigators ID 24 instances of dubious testing that led to children being taken from families

A probe of child protection files involving flawed drug and alcohol hair tests performed by the Hospital for Sick Children's Motherisk lab has now identified 24 cases in which the results were a key factor in removing children from their families.

While that represents a fraction of the more than 500 "high-priority" child protection files the Motherisk Commission has so far examined, the number is set to rise in the coming months as an additional 1,200 cases are targeted for review.

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15 US NJ: Wayne Police: Woman's Heroin Stamped 'Suicide Squad'Wed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:37 Added:01/18/2017

[Name redacted] of Denville, was charged by Wayne police with possession of heroin.(Photo: Courtesy of Wayne Police)

[Name redacted], 26, of Denville was arrested and charged with possession of 39 bags of heroin, among other charges, on Jan. 4.

According to police records, Officer Tomasz Cydzik observed a 2000 Honda Civic parked in the CVS parking lot on Hamburg Turnpike with her head down "as if unconscious" around 9:40 p.m. When the officer approached, [name redacted] opened her eyes and police observed an uncapped syringe inside the vehicle, according to police reports. After further investigation, five Suboxone under-the-tongue films, one Clonazepam pill, a sandwich-sized plastic bag containing suspected marijuana, two additional hypodermic needles, multiple open glassine bags of suspected heroin, 39 additional bags of heroin stamped "suicide squad" and one small zip lock bag containing suspected cocaine, police records show.

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16 US KY: Mother Fighting To Save Daughter Through Medical MarijuanaSat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)          Area:Kentucky Lines:77 Added:01/15/2017

Tiffany Wigginton Carnal is in the fight of her life to save her daughter.

Lyndi Carnal, 17, has Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Lyndi was diagnosed when she was 14. Since that time, she and her mother have spent three Christmases, three New Year's Days and countless other days at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

The medications Lyndi has taken to control the Crohn's and subsequent pain have negatively impacted her heart, kidneys and liver. Lyndi has also had her colon and rectum removed. The medications to control the pain keep Lyndi sedated and unable to function. One of her medications, Dilaudid, is a strong opiate that can be addictive.

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17 US NY: Women Are More Susceptible To Cocaine Addiction: StudySat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:68 Added:01/15/2017

Women can blame their cocaine addictions on their biology, according to a new study that claims that ladies are more susceptible to the drug's addictive qualities.

Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, specifically spikes in estrogen, intensify the drug's pleasurable effects, according to researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on The Upper East Side.

"Our study will change the way we think about addiction research to emphasize the need to further understand female subjects, as most research on addiction has been conducted in male subjects," the study's lead author, Dr. Erin Calipari, said in a statement.

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18US OH: A Mother's Fight For Daughter's Life Turned Battle ForTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) Author:Reinert, Melissa Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:01/11/2017

[photo] Tiffany Wigginton Carnal with her daughter Lyndi at Children's Hospital.(Photo: Provided)

Tiffany Wigginton Carnal is in the fight of her life to save her daughter.

Lyndi Carnal, 17, has Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Lyndi was diagnosed when she was 14. Since that time, she and her mother have spent three Christmases, three New Year's Days and countless other days at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

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19US WI: CDC Warns Of High Opioid Use By Women Of Childbearing AgeSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Fauber, John Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

Narcotic painkillers - which can cause birth defects - commonly were prescribed for women of reproductive age, according to new data presented Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research, which looked at the years 2008-2012, found that 39% of women ages 15 to 44 on Medicaid and 28% of those on private insurance received an opioid prescription.

"Many women of reproductive age are taking these medicines and may not know they are pregnant and therefore may be unknowingly exposing their unborn child," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

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20 CN BC: LTE: Addiction Is A Choice, Not A Disability, Says Woman WhoThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Siemens, Karin Area:British Columbia Lines:147 Added:01/07/2017

Could someone please clarify something for me? In Canada we have laws set in place to protect, to govern and direct. There is nothing safe about injecting anything illegal into our system. If we truly care about the welfare of addicts it's not about "reducing" the harm but rather eliminating the harm and bringing hope where hope has been lost.

Do you have children? Here's my take on all of this. Turn the elements of your stove on high, place your children's hands on those hot elements and do not let them remove their hands. Gently reach done and turn the heat down a few notches, well maybe a couple more. As long as those hands are on the heat and the heat is on, damage will continue to be inflicted. Their hands need to be removed from the heat and the heat turned off, not simply down.

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