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1 CN ON: Column: Health Concerns Should Be A Buzzkill For Pot-HappyWed, 13 Sep 2017
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:09/14/2017

If the Trudeau Liberals were Boy Scouts, they'd be miserable failures in living up to the troop's famous motto of "Be Prepared."

Anyone who still thinks the Liberals have all the pieces in place in their rush to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by Canada Day 2018 has being smoking the drapes. Health concerns? Hmmm, perhaps it would have been best to have gotten onto this long before now, seeing as how sucking in THC-laced smoke into the lungs just might have some health repercussions for the burgeoning toker crowd. But that is not the case. While Ottawa's parliamentarians were enjoying their last week of summer recess before returning to the partisan fray, an all-party Commons health committee began meeting only this Monday to question medical and legal professionals on the looming legislation.

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2 CN AB: Column: Feds Too Chilled OutTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:09/14/2017

Only now bothering to consider health impact of legalized marijuana

If the Trudeau Liberals were Boy Scouts, they'd be miserable failures in living up to the troop's famous motto of "Be Prepared."

Anyone who still thinks the Liberals have all the pieces in place in their rush to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by Canada Day 2018 has being smoking the drapes. Health concerns? Hmmm, perhaps it would have been best to have gotten onto this long before now, seeing as how sucking in THC-laced smoke into the lungs just might have some health repercussions for the burgeoning toker crowd.

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3 CN ON: Suspended Officer Facing More ChargesWed, 23 Aug 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:O'Reilly, Nicole Area:Ontario Lines:117 Added:08/25/2017

Charges include fraud, bribery, trafficking

A suspended Hamilton police gangs and weapons enforcement unit officer already awaiting trial for his alleged role in helping a drug trafficking organization is facing 16 new criminal charges.

On Tuesday, Craig Ruthowsky was charged with bribery, two counts of breach of trust, two counts of obstructing justice, public mischief, two counts of weapons trafficking, fraud under $5,000, trafficking marijuana, perjury, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, robbery and two counts of trafficking cocaine.

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4 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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5 Canada: Organized Crime Backs Off In Run-Up To Pot LegalizationTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Peter Area:Canada Lines:59 Added:08/17/2017

'Disorganized criminals,' new law force mob, bikers away from meagre earnings

Once a relatively safe, profitable business for outlaw bikers and mobsters, organized crime is moving away from the marijuana market because legalization and homegrown pot are making any gain not worth the risk, experts say.

The market share in the pot business for organized criminals has already slid as pot-loving "disorganized criminals" perfected their horticultural skills. There wasn't much need to smuggle pot into the country when Canadian cannabis connoisseurs liked the homegrown stuff better, experts say.

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6 Philippines: The Man Running Duterte's Antidrug WarSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Almendral, Aurora Area:Philippines Lines:178 Added:06/03/2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Gen. Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police, knows the value of a public display of remorse. He has been forced to apologize more than once.

He was wrong, he acknowledged before the Philippine Senate as TV cameras rolled, to have trusted undisciplined policemen who killed a small-town mayor suspected of dealing drugs, as the mayor lay defenseless on a jail-cell floor.

"I cannot blame the public if they're losing their trust and confidence in their police," he told the Senate panel, accepting a tissue from the mayor's son to wipe away his tears.

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7Canada: Column: Nice Pot Law There, LiberalsFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:McParland, Kelly Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

There's always been something a bit odd about the great marijuana legalization crusade. Supporters, eager to avoid being seen as a bunch of frustrated pot-heads who just wanted easier access, put forward solid, practical arguments.

They pointed out that the war against drugs wasn't working: anyone could see that. People who wanted pot would find a way to get it, no matter how illegal it might be. Police time was wasted chasing kids with a few grams of marijuana, and branding young people as criminals for a bit of pot was a crime in itself. Criminalization just paved the way for organized crime to peddle the stuff to kids, with no controls and huge profits. It made no sense.

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8 Canada: Study Finds Gangs Traffic Cannabis Less Than Other DrugsTue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:Canada Lines:124 Added:01/24/2017

Canada's organized-crime groups and gangs are much less likely to produce and traffic marijuana than they are other illicit drugs such as cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, according to a new federal study that tracked drug violations from police forces in four cities across three provinces.

The new report from Statistics Canada analyzed all drug-related violations over a two-year period in Victoria, Vancouver, Regina and Waterloo, Ont., and found that police linked organized crime to 39 per cent of all cannabis-trafficking charges and 6 per cent of cases involving the production of marijuana.

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9 Philippines: Defending The Drug War, Duterte Chastises BishopsThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Romero, Alexis Area:Philippines Lines:111 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] In this Nov. 26, 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his keynote address during the San Beda College of Law Alumni Homecoming at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taguig City. (PPD/King Rodriguez)

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dug up old controversies including the so-called Pajero scandal and clergy sexual abuse in his latest tirade against the Catholic Church, which has been raising concerns over the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs.

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10 Philippines: Duterte To Meet With Governors Next To Talk Drug WarSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Romero, Alexis Area:Philippines Lines:58 Added:01/16/2017

MANILA, Philippines - After confronting mayors with alleged ties to the narcotics trade, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to meet with governors to discuss the drug problem as he stressed that he would not back down on his campaign even if it costs him his position.

"I'd be calling the governors next week. I'd really tell them. You tell your barangay captains, you have supervisory powers cities under you, those that are not yet charter cities, you tell the mayors," the president told businessmen in Davao City Saturday night.

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11CN BC: OPED: Prescription Heroin Could Save LivesFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Mulligan, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2017

As of the end of November, 755 people had died of drug overdoses in B.C. Prescription heroin could greatly reduce this toll.

One of the principal reasons for the large number of overdose deaths has been the increasing presence of fentanyl, an opioid 100 times more powerful than heroin. Fentanyl is often substituted for, or added to, other illegal drugs.

A single envelope of pure fentanyl is enough to produce thousands of pills and tens of thousands of dollars in profit. One kilogram of fentanyl, which can be purchased online for less than $100,000, is enough to produce one million pills that can be sold for $20 each.

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12 Philippines: Duterte's New Year's ResolutionMon, 02 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Villanueva, Marichu A. Area:Philippines Lines:139 Added:01/02/2017

No matter how the questions were rephrased, the President stuck to his guns in his replies on his much criticized campaign against illegal drugs.

For a man who made a campaign vow to bring genuine change in the country, it may come strange. For his new year's resolution, President Rodrigo Duterte promises no change in his administration's offensive campaign against illegal drugs.

President Duterte though already publicly declared "sorry for the unintended" killing of innocent by-standers in his administration's deadly war against illegal drugs. But President Duterte vows to continue the anti-drug campaign despite the alleged extra-judicial killing controversies that hounded him in his first six months into office.

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13 Philippines: Predawn Services And The Pall Of The Drug War MarkSat, 24 Dec 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Kaiman, Jonathan Area:Philippines Lines:140 Added:12/25/2016

At 4:50 a.m., the stragglers dashed through Manila's darkened streets, hoping for a spot in the pews.

But they were too late. Hundreds of worshipers had already packed the Sto. Nino de Paz Community Greenbelt Chapel, a low, white dome in a sprawling outdoor shopping complex, for Friday's Simbang Gabi Christmas Mass.

So at least 100 more crowded on the pavement outside, singing "Glory to God" beneath a crisp crescent moon.

Christmas in the Philippines is a long, spirited and, to many, exhausting affair. About 90% of Filipinos are Christian, and they take the holiday seriously. Stores start playing Christmas music as early as September and don't stop until early January. Christmas trees spring up in malls and public parks. Carolers go door to door singing "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night" and "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit", a lively Tagalog tune celebrating Jesus' birth. The holiday delicacy is lechon - -- whole suckling pig, a Filipino delicacy.

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14CN BC: Airport Security Officer-Drug Dealer 'Not Credible': JudgeFri, 09 Dec 2016
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/12/2016

B.C.'s top court says officer lied about being under threat to help smuggler

Invoking a rarely used investigative procedure, B.C.'s top court has caught and hammered an airport security officer-turned-drug trafficker who pulled the wool over the eyes of his trial judge.

The Court of Appeal said the offender sold Provincial Court judge James Bahen a load of hokum about a mysterious, threatening "Mr. X" and the extent of his own regret.

Having set about to "deceive the sentencing judge, his assertion of genuine remorse rings hollow," it found, concluding Gurvinder Singh Pahl hadn't received his just desserts.

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15 Philippines: In the Philippines' Drug War, Little Help IsTue, 06 Sep 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Paddock, Richard C. Area:Philippines Lines:184 Added:09/07/2016

MANILA - Rayzabell Bongol, an 18-year-old mother and methamphetamine user, was afraid to die in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs in the Philippines. So she turned herself in to the police. They made her sign a pledge that she would never take illegal drugs again, then sent her home.

Once a week now, she is expected to attend a police-sponsored Zumba dance workout, where she gets a health check and a meal. Mr. Duterte "promised change," she said at a recent class as three dozen other recovering addicts bopped and swayed to a blaring Latin beat. "As you can see, I am changing."

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16 Philippines: OPED: How to Kill a Drug Addict: A Modest GuideMon, 05 Sep 2016
Source:Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines) Author:Belvis, Cyril Area:Philippines Lines:123 Added:09/05/2016

IT'S EASY: Start with semantics.

Step 1: Establish a consensual value system to shape a receptive audience. A consensual value system is composed of a repertoire of values everyone is willing to accept. It aims to be universal as well as encompassing by differentiating a set of favorable values from those unpalatable to the audience. We desire a drugfree Philippines. Who doesn't?

Values legitimize a political action (be it human rights intervention or extrajudicial killing) by leading their audience to perceive coherence in their binary arrangement.

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17 Philippines: Phl Facing Human Rights Calamity - HRW ExecThu, 01 Sep 2016
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Mateo, Janvic Area:Philippines Lines:121 Added:09/01/2016

As the casualties in the government's war on drugs continue to pile up, the Philippines faces a "human rights calamity," according to Human Rights Watch.

Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia deputy director, said at an ABS-CBN News Channel forum on human rights Tuesday night that the number of suspects killed in the hands of police in the first eight weeks of the Duterte administration is 10 times higher than those who died in the first six months of the year.

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18 Philippines: Did Duterte Own UpWed, 31 Aug 2016
Source:Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines) Author:Ramos, Marlon Area:Philippines Lines:34 Added:08/31/2016

DID "The Punisher" just own up to the killing of druggies?

President Duterte has admitted the government's lack of funds for the rehabilitation of drug dependents had led to the deaths of suspected drug lords.

Since he assumed the presidency on June 30, almost 2,000 alleged drug pushers and users had died in police operations and vigilante killings.

Speaking before members of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in Malacanang Monday night, the President said his administration did not have the money to finance recovery programs for some 700,000 drug users who had turned themselves in to police.

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19 Philippines: Drug Campaign: Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a ToothWed, 31 Aug 2016
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Mendez, Christina Area:Philippines Lines:138 Added:08/31/2016

Nobody, not even the poor, can justify getting into illegal drugs, President Duterte stressed, and there must be an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" principle of retributive justice to finally end the menace.

As this developed, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued a prayer for the healing of the nation amid the rising number of killings related to the war on drugs.

"They know that is prohibited, whether you are poor or rich," Duterte said Monday night as he reiterated his heart would never bleed for families of those killed in government operations, even if some of them were supposedly forced to become drug pushers to earn a living.

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20 Philippines: OPED: Arrest Drug Traffickers, Vigilantes; AvoidMon, 29 Aug 2016
Source:Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines) Author:Almazan, Cielito Area:Philippines Lines:97 Added:08/29/2016

WE, THE members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, acknowledge our active role as a visible force and prophetic voice in social life, in working for the common good. A role embraced by the Lord Jesus himself when he quoted the prophet Isaiah as he began his ministry: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." (Luke 4:18 19)

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