To: Mayor and Council of the City of West Kelowna
I find myself writing this in support of the cannabis dispensaries in
West Kelowna which have either been closed or are threatened to be
closed by this current council. Over the past one-and-a-half years I
have been a regular customer of a number of those businesses. They
have become an important part of our daily lives dealing with
arthritis, achy backs, anxiety, stomach issues, restless leg syndrome,
etc. etc. The cannabis products provided by these businesses have been
instrumental in helping us enjoy our time at this point in our lives.
We (my wife and I ) are in our late 50s and have found that we prefer
to use more natural methods to tend to our more minor health issues if
possible and these dispensaries provide this for us and thousands of
others in your community.
[continues 380 words]
Safe sites for drug users stir up heated debate at MP-led community
forum in southwest Edmonton
Heated debate erupted in the gymnasium at Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour
School Saturday as residents of Edmonton-Riverbend argued over whether
their suburban community would ever welcome supervised injection sites.
"It was pretty clear that a lot of people weren't supportive of safe
injection sites coming into suburban areas, which we've been hearing
through letters to the office and phone calls," said Matt Jeneroux,
member of parliament for Edmonton-Riverbend.
[continues 550 words]
As little as five years ago, we imagine most people would have scoffed
at the idea of needing a special group to pick up discarded needles in
Though the Comox Valley is not as badly affected as others, which are
in the middle of a needle epidemic directly related to the opioid
crisis that has killed so many across B.C. in the last several years,
it isn't immune, either.
The provincial statistics for 2017 to date are horrifying. This
province has never faced a drug threat like that of fentanyl.
[continues 224 words]
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.
[continues 2243 words]
Supervised drug consumption site set to open Jan. 2
What's old will be renewed again in a bid to save lives from the
rising number of drug overdoses in Lethbridge. Government officials
and local media received a tour Friday of the city's future supervised
consumption site, currently under construction.
The former Pulse nightclub is being transformed into what will become
a "clean and safe space" area for drug users to snort, inhale, inject
or swallow drugs while under the supervision of healthcare
professionals and without fear of arrest.
[continues 1061 words]
Hair testing by Motherisk was presented as evidence in a murder case.
It was deemed not up to forensic standards, tossed out and even mocked
by the judge. That was in Colorado - 22 years before the Motherisk
scandal blew up
Twenty-two years before controversy shuttered the Motherisk lab,
before its hair-strand drug tests were deemed unreliable, before the
outcomes of thousands of child protection cases were called into
question, a Colorado court threw out Motherisk's evidence in a hearing
that foretold the crisis that is now playing out across Canada.
[continues 2352 words]
Once-respected Sick Kids lab performed tests for more than 100 child
welfare providers in five provinces, an investigation reveals. For
families who have been torn apart, the fallout is a 'tragedy'
In British Columbia, a mother is desperate to convince the children
she lost years ago that she didn't choose drugs over them.
In Nova Scotia, a 7-year-old girl prays for her brother, who was
adopted into another family.
And in Ontario, a mother whose daughters were taken shortly after they
were born is waiting for a reunion that may never come.
[continues 3012 words]
A plan to increase the availability of needle containers in the
community is being welcomed by some city residents.
"I think it's a good idea," said Tracey Bucci, of the Grand River
"It would help reduce the risk of innocent people and animals from
becoming infected by discarded needles. However, addiction issues do
still need to be addressed because that's the root of the problem."
Bucci and her group of volunteers led clean-up efforts this year aimed
at collecting used syringes in the area of Mohawk Lake.
[continues 444 words]
The provincial health officer is asking B.C. schools to consider
The provincial health officer is recommending B.C. schools - including
those in Sea to Sky area - obtain the tools to deal with opioid overdoses.
A letter sent to superintendents across B.C. said that while schools
aren't considered high-risk environments, they are advised to have
naloxone kits and train staff to use them.
This advisory comes in the midst of what provincial health officer Dr.
Perry Kendall has called a "public health emergency" - the use of
fentanyl has been blamed for a sharp increase in the amount of deaths
from drug overdoses.
[continues 347 words]
Chief medical examiner's office pores over deaths in opioid fight
EDMONTON - In the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner each morning,
medical examiners, investigators, and morgue staff divide the stack of
files containing unexplained deaths that have come in from the night
Five years ago, this department, headquartered in a low-slung grey
building in Edmonton, investigated between 1,900 to 2,000 cases a year.
But in the last couple of years the caseload has jumped to between
2,500 to 2,600 annually - the bulk of that increase, officials say, is
due to fentanyl and other opioid deaths.
[continues 1507 words]
Urged to declare an emergency, province promises "significant
resources and supports"
The opioid drug crisis flaring up in Southwestern Ontario is becoming
so bad across the province, hundreds of doctors, nurses and others are
pushing Queen's Park to declare an emergency.
In an open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne Monday, the health workers
say limited resources and poor data are preventing them from
responding properly to a disturbing, sustained increase in overdoses.
"The consequences have been clear: lives lost, families destroyed and
harm reduction and health care worker burnout," they write.
[continues 794 words]
Largest drug seizure in OPP history has three men facing charges
ORILLIA - The OPP showed off the largest ever drug seizure of its
nearly 110- year history Monday morning.
Three men have been arrested, accused of importing 1,062 kilograms of
pure cocaine. The drugs were displayed by police during a press
conference in four specially constructed glass containers, each with a
dimension of about four feet tall by eight feet wide.
"This is a massive seizure, bigger than I've ever seen in my 33 years
of policing," OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes said during the press
conference at OPP Headquarters in Orillia.
[continues 825 words]
Re: Winnipeg in grips of meth problem, say police (Aug. 27)
Winnipeg police spokesman Const. Jay Murray is wrong when he says "the
majority of property crime in the city is related to the
methamphetamine subculture." Drug prohibition is responsible, just as
it was when cocaine was the drug de jour in the past.
The drug problem boils down to some people want to use those drugs and
other people don't want them to.
The short of it is that it is none of your business what drugs the
next door neighbours are using since none of that use harms you.
Repeal drug prohibition and the majority of property crime would end
since these drugs that people want could be obtained for cheap and of
a known purity at the local pharmacy.
Temporary clinic has been open for a week in building at Victoria and
It has been nearly one week since Toronto opened its first city-run
site for people to use illegal intravenous drugs and, so far, three
dozen people have used the controversial service.
"We are thrilled to be offering this life-saving service to the
community," Dr. Rita Shahin, Toronto Public Health's associate medical
officer of health, said Saturday.
"The very first client that we had when we opened our doors, to us,
represents a potential life that we may have saved. We had 36 visits
in just five days, which . . . represents a great success. We look
forward to more people becoming aware of the service and helping more
people in our community."
[continues 560 words]
Temporary space a stopgap until the three planned permanent sites open
Toronto has taken a controversial step to combat overdose deaths,
opening its first city-run site for people to use illegal intravenous
"It provides a safe environment for people who are going to use
drugs," Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's chief public health official,
told reporters outside the building at Victoria and Dundas Sts. that
already houses The Works needle-exchange program.
"We know both through research and lived experience it's highest risk
for overdose and deaths when people . . . use alone," she said. "We
provide a safe environment, a supervised environment for people to use
their drugs safely, so they minimize harm to themselves."
[continues 439 words]
Alberta's justice minister says the province's law enforcement
communities are having to "constantly" adapt in their efforts to
combat the evolving methods of illicit drugmanufacturers.
Following news that health workers have found possible fentanyl-laced
stickers in Calgary and Edmonton, Kathleen Ganley said police are
doing a "very good job" of staying on top of drug trends. That
vigilance is key, Ganley says.
"It's like this with most types of drugs, they're sort of constantly
adapting to continue to try to keep those hidden and we're having to
constantly adapt to continue to try to find those. We'll continue to
use intelligence to move forward."
[continues 83 words]
Alberta shepherds in new era in global fight against fentanyl
INNISFAIL - Alberta is leading the world in fentanyl detection, having
developed the first safe method for police dogs to detect the deadly
All but one of the 136 drug-detecting dogs schooled at the RCMP
facility just north of Calgary have been trained to aid in the
fentanyl crisis that's taking thousands of live.
The RCMP developed a liquid solution for training because powdered
fentanyl was too dangerous.
The equivalent of just two grains of salt is enough to kill someone
and was the reason agencies across the world didn't attempt to develop
the solution themselves, said Staff Sgt. Gary Creed, senior trainer
for the RCMP police dog service.
[continues 219 words]
Last month, you could hear the collective global gasp when news broke
that eminent Zen Buddhist Michael Stone had passed away in Victoria,
B.C. The shock was a natural reaction to the unexpected death of a
beloved force of nature, a powerful communicator who, through his
ability to make ancient spiritual ideas fresh and relevant, helped
improve the lives of countless people around the world.
Stone left behind a wife and two children - with another on the way -
and would have celebrated his 43rd birthday this past Saturday. But
what also caused thousands of jaws to drop from the news was the
Stone's cause of death: the charismatic, world-renowned and respected
yoga/meditation/mindfulness expert, author, and speaker - who founded
the Centre of Gravity in Toronto-died after OD-ing on street drugs.
[continues 1019 words]
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.
[continues 992 words]
On top of city, region and provincial efforts, Matt Brown makes new
bid to tackle local crisis, issues
Another drug crisis, another drug strategy.
In the midst of an ongoing London drug strategy, a regional drug
strategy and a provincial drug strategy - none of them completed yet -
the city's mayor wants his own drug strategy.
But the new effort will be nimble with a concrete focus, battling
opioid overdoses and other problems in large part through the
establishment of a supervised injection site, city health leaders promise.
[continues 571 words]