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1 CN ON: Legalizing Cannabis Could Reduce Opioid Use: ExpertsThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Kirkup, Kristy Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:06/19/2017

Research suggests a safer alternative to powerful painkillers

OTTAWA - Leading medical experts say legalizing cannabis may offer new hope to one day reduce the use of opioids -powerful drugs frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain.

Dr. Mark Ware, a globally-recognized researcher and the vice-chair of the federal government's task force on legalizing marijuana, said a legal framework for cannabis will help to facilitate further research.

He said published scientific research already suggests cannabinoid molecules interact with the brain in a way that has an important "synergy" with how opioids interact with receptors in the body.

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2 CN YK: Opioid-Related Death Rate Called No SurpriseMon, 12 Jun 2017
Source:Whitehorse Star (CN YK) Author:Blake, Emily Area:Yukon Territory Lines:117 Added:06/12/2017

The Yukon and British Columbia experienced the highest rates of apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada last year.

According to a new national report from the federal government, the territory and province had a rate of over 15 deaths per 100,000 population compared to a national rate of 8.8 in 2016.

"I don't think it's a surprise," Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon's chief medical officer, told the Star of the findings this morning.

He noted that the territory's high rates are driven by the five deaths officially linked to fentanyl since April 2016.

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3 CN ON: Dispensary Owners Hope For DischargeThu, 08 Jun 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Mercer, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:163 Added:06/08/2017

'Is it justice in the community?' - Judge criticizes Waterloo Regional Police decision to launch a raid

KITCHENER - A provincial court judge criticized the Waterloo Regional Police's decision to raid an illegal marijuana dispensary in uptown Waterloo last summer, suggesting a warning might have been sufficient to close it down.

Instead, a young Kitchener couple were in court Wednesday, facing criminal convictions for operating a dispensary they say only sold cannabis to adults with medical marijuana licences.

Justice Colin Westman wondered aloud why their Waterloo Dispensary, which sold marijuana out of a second-floor business on King Street, was busted by police in August when other local dispensaries were given written warnings a few months later.

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4CN QU: Legalizing Pot Prompts Sober Second ThoughtsTue, 30 May 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Hanes, Allison Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:05/30/2017

Montrealers have a well-earned reputation as a society of bon vivants with our abundant terrasses, fun festivals and depanneurs stocked with beer.

But with the countdown on to the legalization of marijuana in Canada, which is scheduled to happen just over a year from now, on July 1, 2018, Quebecers are raining on the parade.

It started with the Quebec government, expressing skepticism about the social costs versus the anticipated windfalls. Quebec's public health institute has raised red flags about potential harm from stoned driving or the effects of cannabis on developing brains. And now the concern apparently extends to ordinary citizens, who have expressed serious reservations about the implications of permitting recreational pot use compared to other Canadians.

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5 CN NS: Marijuana Grower Funds Man's Fight For Insurance CoverageMon, 29 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:Nova Scotia Lines:96 Added:05/29/2017

One of Canada's largest medical cannabis producers says it will fund a Nova Scotia man's ongoing legal fight to have his marijuana prescription paid for by his employee-insurance plan - the latest move in a nationwide push by industry, patients and their advocates for more widespread cannabis coverage.

Aurora Cannabis Inc., a publicly traded grower based in Alberta, announced this week that it will bankroll elevator mechanic Gordon Skinner's coming defence this fall in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

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6 CN BC: Column: Benefits, Risks Of Medical MarijuanaMon, 29 May 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Roach, Keith Area:British Columbia Lines:77 Added:05/29/2017

DEAR DR. ROACH: What advice do you have for both doctors and patients for approaching medical marijuana use? What is your ideal vision of its future?

ANSWER: I look at marijuana as a potentially useful medicinal plant that has several potential downsides. One of the downsides is an unrealistic expectation of its usefulness by believers. I increasingly see claims that marijuana (or one of its extracts) can treat or cure almost every known disease. It also is hampered by its status as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, so high-quality research is difficult to do. Finally, it has been used for many years as a recreational drug (which is partially responsible for the first two downsides). This has led to resistance to the idea among nonbelievers that it might have legitimate use. The psychological effects for which it is used recreationally can cause it to be intolerable for some. Further, a small percentage of people (estimates range between 2 percent and 6 percent) have difficulty quitting the drug, even when they want to.

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7 CN BC: Column: Exploring Pitfalls, Benefits Of Medical MarijuanaMon, 29 May 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Roach, Keith Area:British Columbia Lines:102 Added:05/29/2017

DEAR DR. ROACH: What advice do you have for both doctors and patients for approaching medical marijuana use? What is your ideal vision of its future?

ANSWER: I look at marijuana as a potentially useful medicinal plant that has several potential downsides.

One of the downsides is an unrealistic expectation of its usefulness by believers. I increasingly see claims that marijuana (or one of its extracts) can treat or cure almost every known disease.

It also is hampered by its status as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, so high-quality research is difficult to do.

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8CN AB: Fentanyl Deaths Leap 61 Per CentSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2017

Provinces chief medical officer calls for heightened efforts amid deepening crisis

Alberta's top doctor is calling for expanded efforts to combat a high number of opioid deaths as health officials released a new report on fentanyl overdoses Friday.

"We need to continue our efforts to decrease the number of overdoses that we're seeing due to fentanyl and other opioids," said Dr. Karen Grimsrud, the province's chief medical officer of health, following the release of Alberta Health's Opioids and Substances of Misuse report on Friday.

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9 CN ON: Legal Pot Poses Problems For MunicipalitiesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Simpson, Barbara Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:05/24/2017

Lambton County trains managers as local governments brace for expected challenges

SARNIA - With Canada ready to legalize marijuana by next July, Ontario municipalities are ablaze with activity prepping for the impacts of that move - including in the workplace.

Lambton County recently held a training session for its 75 managers about marijuana and workplace safety. Among the chief municipal concerns are the potential for workers to believe it's legal for them to smoke marijuana on municipal property, as well as the potential for impaired driving if a high worker operates a municipal vehicle.

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10 CN ON: Municipalities Eye Workplace Pot PoliciesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Simpson, Barbara Area:Ontario Lines:97 Added:05/24/2017

With Canada ready to legalize marijuana by next July, Ontario municipalities are ablaze with activity prepping for the impacts of that move - including in the workplace.

The County of Lambton recently held a training session for its 75 managers about marijuana and workplace safety. Among the chief municipal concerns around legalization include the potential for workers to believe it's legal for them to smoke marijuana on municipal property, as well as the potential for impaired driving if a high worker operates a municipal vehicle.

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11 Canada: Editorial: Declare A Health Emergency, YesterdayTue, 23 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:111 Added:05/23/2017

In 2015, more Canadians were killed by opioid-related overdoses than lost their lives at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 1995, at the peak of that earlier public-health disaster, 1,764 Canadians were killed by the blood-borne virus. The latest estimates are that opioids claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Canadians in 2015.

And all indications are that the death toll is rising, not falling. Part of the problem may have to do with this: Doctors are not just prescribing opioids, but prescribing them widely and liberally. For example, the number of prescriptions for opioids and their derivatives increased 5 per cent in Ontario over the three years ending 2015-16. Last year, Ontario doctors wrote 9.1 million orders for opioid painkillers.

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12 CN NF: Through The CracksFri, 12 May 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Whiffen, Glen Area:Newfoundland Lines:119 Added:05/15/2017

Torbay man's job is in limbo as workplaces wrestle with marijuana policies

Scott Tizzard has been wrestling with a two-pronged dilemma for the past seven months.

And like the north poles of two magnets trying to meet, they repel each other in his mind.

The first is his fight for his legal right to medical marijuana - the only thing that works to ease the chronic pain from his diagnosed osteoarthritis after trying a long list of medications his doctors have prescribed over the years.

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13 US NY: States Medical Marijuana Licensing Panel Found To Have LittleThu, 04 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McKinley, Jesse Area:New York Lines:134 Added:05/08/2017

ALBANY - When the State of New York approved the use of medical marijuana in 2014, the applicants to dispense the drug were vetted and reviewed by a panel of experts said to have deep backgrounds in several fields.

The identities of the panel's members had been a mystery since. By July 2015, the panel had chosen five companies that would receive exclusive statewide medical marijuana licenses, a potentially lucrative award in a state with nearly 20 million residents and hundreds of thousands of potential patients.

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14 CN BC: Doc Says Pot Can Reduce Opioid DependencyThu, 04 May 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Siebert, Amanda Area:British Columbia Lines:138 Added:05/06/2017

Dr. Caroline MacCallum wants doctors to know that cannabis "isn't the taboo medicine" they might think it is. Not only has she used it successfully to treat more than 50 conditions, she has also seen how it has helped her patients stop using prescription opioids.

MacCallum, a specialist in complex pain and cannabinoid medicine, is the medical director at Green Leaf Clinic in Langley, where she assesses patients for their eligibility for Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations program.

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15 Canada: A New Age For CannabisMon, 01 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Barton, Adriana Area:Canada Lines:209 Added:05/06/2017

Adults in their 70s, 80s and 90s are trying medical marijuana for the first time, hoping it will ease chronic pain, insomnia and depression after pharmaceutical drugs have failed. Businesses are noticing - and they are all in, Adriana Barton reports.

Around this time of year, Hope Bobowski can't wait to garden in the flower beds outside her home near Keremeos, in the hills of southern Interior British Columbia.

The petite 79-year-old loves card games and cooking for her great-grandchildren, but the only thing that keeps her on her feet is her daily dose of cannabidiol (CBD), a potent extract of cannabis or hemp.

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16CN BC: 'Everything Beautiful' At 4-20 Pot RallyFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Reid, Michael D. Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Flying a Canadian flag in celebration, Barrett Blackwood reflected on a time when the prospect of hundreds of pot smokers gathering in Centennial Square to collectively partake would have been out of the question.

"This is unprecedented to me, to be here and see no police," said Blackwood, 43. "When I first came here [from Nanaimo] in 1980, you couldn't come to this square and have a cigarette, let alone a joint. The police station was right there [on Fisgard street] and they'd come through the parkade and shoo you away."

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17 CN ON: Veterans With PTSD Hail Medical PotMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Coyle, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:114 Added:04/25/2017

Ex-soldiers tell trade show how natural drug has helped them battle war's after-effects

Trev Bungay says the horror began in 1998 when he was among Canadian soldiers scouring the beaches of Nova Scotia in cleanup operations after the crash of a Swissair jet just off the Atlantic coast.

"That was really my look at trauma for the very first time," Bungay told a panel discussion on Sunday at the inaugural O'Cannabiz Conference and Expo.

Then came international missions in Africa, Bosnia, Haiti and four combat tours in Afghanistan.

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18 CN ON: Knowledge Is Power When It Comes To Legal PotFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Enterprise-Bulletin, The (CN ON) Author:McVeigh, JT Area:Ontario Lines:132 Added:04/24/2017

After the federal government's announcement concerning legalizing recreational use of cannabis, more than a couple of old hippies have been buzzing.

Everyone has an opinion on it, from ethics professors to economic prognosticators. It would appear the broad green leaf that has been demonized for almost a century has coming back into favour.

Not to say the medical use of the product hasn't been grabbing attention in the past five years, outside the realm of popular culture.

More and more people in the medical profession are agreeing cannabis is a safer substitute to opioids for the treatment of a number of maladies and pain management.

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19 CN ON: Medical Marijuana Users Push For ChangeSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Mercer, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:305 Added:04/24/2017

The Record speaks to a wide range of people who shun normal painkillers

KITCHENER - William Campbell and his wife were on their way to a friend's 25th wedding anniversary one night in 2008 when a drunk driver pulled out in front of them. They didn't have time to stop.

Campbell, 53, was hospitalized after the head-on collision, and everything in his life would change. Earlier that day, he'd aced an exam to become a lab technician, after getting laid off from a furniture factory where he'd worked for 22 years.

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20 CN AB: Pot Law Draws Mixed ReactionThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Cochrane Eagle (CN AB) Author:Seewalt, Lindsay Area:Alberta Lines:110 Added:04/22/2017

Last week the federal government announced it will move forward with its highly-anticipated and contentious pledge to legalize recreational marijuana.

What might possibly be the most memorable piece of legislation undertaken by the Justin Trudeau Liberals will most certainly result in polarizing political and personal stances.

Social media and online reactions range from cheers to fears - including criticisms that the whole movement is nothing short of a government tax grab that has parent and landlord advocates up in arms.

"I've witnessed Justin Trudeau try to manage the economy, electoral reform … I'm not sure I have faith in his ability to protect kids from pot," said Banff-Airdrie Conservative MP Blake Richards.

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