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1CN QU: Column: Opium Has A Long And Colourful HistorySat, 02 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Schwarcz, Joe Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/02/2017

In 1805, German apothecary Friedrich Serturner revolutionized the practice of pharmacy by isolating morphine from opium.

Opium, the latex exuded by the bulb of the poppy plant on scoring with a sharp instrument, has a long history of use dating back to about 3400 BC.

The Sumerians, living in the region that is modern day Iraq, are known to have cultivated the poppy and were aware of the effects of consuming its juice, referring to it as the "joy plant."

Judging by artwork depicting Sumerian medicine men carrying poppies, they were also aware of opium's painkilling abilities.

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2 Afghanistan: Most Of Heroin Consumed In Canada Is Of Afghan OriginTue, 22 Aug 2017
Source:Asian Pacific Post, The (CN BC)          Area:Afghanistan Lines:129 Added:08/25/2017

The Taliban in Afghanistan is now running significant heroin production lines in the war-torn country to provide jihadists and insurgents with billions of dollars, western law enforcement officials

And much of that heroin is flowing into Canada.

"More than 90 per cent of all heroin consumed in the US is of Mexican origin. But in Canada more than 90 per cent of the heroin consumed is of Afghan origin," said William Brownfield, US Assistant Secretary for Drugs and Law Enforcement when addressing reporters in the Afghan capital Kabul recently.

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3 Canada: They Turned To Medical Cannabis For ReliefSat, 19 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Robertson, Grant Area:Canada Lines:726 Added:08/21/2017

In less than a year, the government will legalize recreational marijuana. But, as Grant Robertson reports, growers may already be pushing for profits at the expense of customers' health

Scott Wood had been losing weight for weeks, and it was starting to scare him. His skin developed strange blistering rashes, his muscles ached constantly, and his lungs burned. He couldn't stop coughing, and he was spitting up gobs of thick, clear mucous that looked like Vaseline.

But the worst day came in October when Mr. Wood, 53, a family man and military veteran, collapsed at the grocery store. "I walked about five feet, and I couldn't get a breath," he said. "I was down on my hands and knees in the parking lot."

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4 US MA: When It Comes To Marijuana Foods, Regulation Drives InnovationWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:171 Added:08/16/2017

DENVER - Many college students will tell you that making pot brownies is easy - just sprinkle a little marijuana into a pan of melting butter, then follow the instructions on the back of the Duncan Hines box.

But marijuana entrepreneurs in this center of cannabis innovation face a much higher bar. They have no trouble dreaming up creative treats and concoctions infused with psychoactive THC, but meeting hundreds of pages of health and safety regulations means their imagination is handcuffed. And for good reason: the rules demand precise dosing, uniform potency, and warning symbols imprinted on the food itself.

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5 CN ON: Street Drugs 101: A PrimerSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:204 Added:08/15/2017

As deadly fentanyl fuels a public health crisis, Free Press reporter Jennifer Bieman reveals what you should know about common London street drugs

Forget the old adage that what you don't know, can't hurt you. When it comes to street drugs, what you don't know can kill you.

That was the thrust of a rare public health warning - three health agencies and London police joined in its release - last week in London, when authorities stressed that the latest villain in Canada's opioid drug crisis, deadly fentanyl, is turning up in other illegal street drugs.

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6US CA: Column: Realities Behind The Epidemic Of Alcohol And DrugSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Rosen, Mitchell Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Shortly after becoming licensed as a family therapist, I was hired to facilitate group therapy on a chemical dependency unit. I did this every day for about 10 years. I also coordinated family group for the spouses and relatives of those who were recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. There were a lot of "take aways" from this experience.

Despite my education, I held many prejudices and myths toward those who abused alcohol and drugs. These men and women taught me a great deal.

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7US CA: Riverside Could Say No To Recreational Marijuana BusinessesSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Robinson, Alicia Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Riverside has long prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries. Now officials may add recreational pot businesses to the ban -- at least temporarily.

Since November, when California voters legalized adult use of marijuana, the Riverside City Council has not decided whether to allow, tax and regulate pot cultivation, manufacturing and sales.

On Tuesday, July 25, council members will consider saying no to pot businesses until they have more information on how state regulations will look and what other Inland and Southern California communities are doing.

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8CN QU: Column: Little Packets Of TroubleSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Schwarcz, Joe Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

So-called bath salts, other street drugs are not a safe way to seek pleasure

When someone offers a tiny packet of "bath salts" for sale with a price tag somewhere between $30 and $50, you know that it is not meant to be sprinkled into a bathtub. These "bath salts," commonly available in head shops, online and even in some convenience stores, may sport a label declaring "not for human consumption," but they are clearly designed to cater to the insides of the body rather than the outside.

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9 CN BC: Column: Hit Pause On Pot PlanSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:07/25/2017

It's less than a year before this great but apparently idiotic country plans to legalize marijuana, and some doubts emerged this week over whether that deadline is achievable.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister - attending the Council of the Federation meetings in Edmonton with the other premiers and territorial leaders - is lobbying his counterparts to push back by a year the federal government's July 2018 date to legalize pot.

Pallister says more time is need for provinces to educate the public about the dangers of drugged driving and also for police and the Crown to sort out how to enforce the law around impaired driving related to cannabis. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall also supports an extension and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says that while her province will shoot for the deadline, she may seek an extension.

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10CN BC: Column: Feds Must Push Pause Button On Pot LegalizationFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

It's less than a year before this great but apparently idiotic country plans to legalize marijuana, and some doubts emerged this week over whether that deadline is achievable.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister - attending the Council of the Federation meetings in Edmonton with the other premiers and territorial leaders - is lobbying his counterparts to push back by a year the federal government's July 2018 date to legalize pot.

Pallister says more time is need for provinces to educate the public about the dangers of drugged driving and also for police and the Crown to sort out how to enforce the law around impaired driving related to cannabis.

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11 Colombia: Peace Is New Test For Colombian Coca FarmersTue, 18 Jul 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Casey, Nicholas Area:Colombia Lines:209 Added:07/22/2017

LOS RIOS, Colombia - Every three months or so, Javier Tupaz, a father of six, heads downhill from his clapboard home to work in his cocaine laboratory.

Under a black tent in the jungle, he shovels coca leaves into a giant vat with gasoline, then adds cement powder - the first steps in his cocaine recipe.

Like everyone in his village, Mr. Tupaz depends on coca for cash and has survived decades of war here in Colombia. He churned out his product during the seemingly endless conflict between the rebels and the government, which tried many times to destroy his coca plants. He simply replanted.

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12 US MA: Boston Startup Dives Into Marijuana Industry With High-TechSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:108 Added:07/19/2017

The compact mass spectrometer shows precisely what's in marijuana.

The compact, high-tech chemical sensors made by the Boston startup 908 Devices are used by emergency responders to scan for toxins after industrial accidents, and by researchers in the pharmaceutical and energy industries to profile the composition of drugs and petroleum products.

Now, the firm has unveiled a new sensor intended to give it a foothold in a less conventional but fast-growing industry: commercial marijuana.

The sensor, dubbed the G908, is a countertop "push-button" mass spectrometer designed to identify cannabis compounds. Its designers say the device approaches the accuracy of traditional "gold standard" lab equipment but is far smaller, faster, cheaper, and easier to use.

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13 US: Column: The Crisis In Americaas Crime LabsSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Malkin, Michelle Area:United States Lines:105 Added:07/17/2017

Junk science endangers lives. Forensic junk science in the hands of overzealous prosecutors, ignorant police detectives and reckless experts threatens liberty.

There is a crisis in America's government-run crime labs - and it's not just the result of a few rogue operators. The problem is long-festering and systemic.

In April, Massachusetts state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan made national headlines after investigations and lawsuits over her misconduct prompted the state's Supreme Judicial Court to order the largest dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

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14 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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15 US: Drug Trade Rises In Dark Corners Of The InternetSun, 11 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Popper, Nathaniel Area:United States Lines:232 Added:06/11/2017

Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail

Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite dozens of arrests, new merchants - many based in Asia - quickly pop up.

As the nation's opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.

The internet.

In a growing number of arrests and overdoses, law enforcement officials say, the drugs are being bought online. Internet sales have allowed powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl - the fastest-growing cause of overdoses nationwide - to reach living rooms in nearly every region of the country, as they arrive in small packages in the mail.

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16 US: Nicholas Sand, Prolific LSD Chemist, Dies At 75Sun, 14 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grimes, William Area:United States Lines:190 Added:05/14/2017

One day in 1964, Nicholas Sand, a Brooklyn-born son of a spy for the Soviet Union, took his first acid trip. He had been fascinated by psychedelic drugs since reading about them as a student at Brooklyn College and had experimented with mescaline and peyote. Now, at a retreat run by friends in Putnam County, N.Y., he took his first dose of LSD, still legal at the time.

Sitting naked in the lotus position, before a crackling fire, he surrendered to the experience. A sensation of peace and joy washed over him. Then he felt himself transported to the far reaches of the cosmos.

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17 CN ON: Only The Purest Pot Will DoTue, 09 May 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:92 Added:05/09/2017

A Western professor says it's easier to do heroin research than his marijuana work

Steven Laviolette is trying to score some pot, but not just any marijuana will do.

The Western University neuroscientist is sourcing pure tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in cannabis that gives users the euphoric high feeling.

Unlike a gram of marijuana that can be bought for $10 on the street or at an illegal dispensary, the same amount of pure THC costs more than $2,000 and is nearly impossible to find in Canada, said Laviolette, who researches marijuana's effect on the brain.

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18 CN BC: LTE: Pot Smokers Are Lab RatsWed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Steinberg, Jerry Area:British Columbia Lines:24 Added:04/30/2017

One positive outcome of the legalization of cannabis will be the increase in the amount of research that will result when more and more Canadians consume it. We will learn - in 10 years or less - what happens to lips, tongues, lungs, hearts and brains when they are exposed to THC and the other chemical compounds found in marijuana.

Millions of young Canadians will be the guinea pigs in this experiment, and hospitals and morgues could be the research sites.

Jerry Steinberg, Surrey

[end]

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: The War On Deadly OpioidsWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:St. Albert Gazette (CN AB) Author:Henderson, Jennifer Area:Alberta Lines:135 Added:04/22/2017

How drug units deal with fentanyl

The death toll for fentanyl continues to rise in 2017, with nearly double the number of deaths being reported in the first six weeks of the year.

According to Health Canada, from Jan. 1 to Feb, 11, 51 people died from overdosing on fentanyl. In 2016 during the same six weeks, 28 Albertans died as a result of a fentanyl overdose.

The drug was first found in St. Albert in 2014 and since then the St. Albert RCMP's drug unit said that currently there is at least one pill found in around 80 per cent of their overall drug cases.

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