Hemp, which was Kentucky's biggest cash crop for a century before
tobacco, is poised for a comeback thanks to bipartisan legislation
introduced Thursday in Congress. It's about time.
Regular hemp cultivation in this country was banned in 1937. That's
when federal law enforcement officials, who feared the repeal of
Prohibition would leave them nothing to do, launched the first war on
With a lot of "reefer madness" hype, the government banned marijuana.
Also swept up in that ban was industrial hemp, a botanical cousin in
the cannabis family that looks similar to pot but can't make you high
no matter how much you smoke.
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More than 100 people in five states, including Missouri, have been
treated in the past month for "serious unexplained bleeding" believed
to be linked to inhaling fake marijuana laced with rat poison,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illinois alone has reported 107 cases, and three people have died, the
state's Department of Public Health said Monday. People have been
hospitalized for coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody
nose and bleeding gums.
Elsewhere, two people have been hospitalized in Indiana, one in
Maryland, one in Wisconsin and one in Missouri.
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Severe bleeding linked to consumption of synthetic cannabinoids has
resulted in at least two deaths and injury to nearly 90 others,
according to state health officials.
Illinois legislators approved an amendment to the state's controlled
substances act last spring in an attempt to curb the sale and use of
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law a few months later.
Less than a year after that, an outbreak of severe bleeding and at
least two deaths are being linked to the ingestion of these materials,
many of which are found for sale at tobacco shops, convenience stores
and other retail sites throughout the state.
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The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few
years ago in San Francisco.
"People in front of me started lighting up and then other people
started lighting up," said Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor
in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San
Francisco. "And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to
myself, 'Hey, they can't smoke in AT&T Park! I'm sure that's not
allowed.' And then I realized that it was all marijuana."
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Alleged local international crime cartel had United States, Mexican
Calgary school buddies came together to form their own drug
trafficking gang, with links to murder, money laundering and vicious
Mexican cartels, say city police.
The group was allegedly responsible for millions of dollars in
international drug imports and exports, and has been tied to a brazen
Calgary shooting that left two dead in a south Calgary Superstore
Calgary police say the group now faces dozens of charges, from drug
importation to money-laundering to murder.
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Earlier this month, front-line health workers in Toronto raised the
possibility that part of the city's cocaine supply may be tainted with
fentanyl, after a handful of drug overdoses were connected to users
unknowingly consuming the deadly opioid while smoking crack.
This dismal scenario is common in Canada. Across the country, illicit
drugs are being cut with the synthetic painkiller - which is up to 50
times more potent than heroin - because it is cheap and powerful and
saves dealers money. During a month-long period in the summer of 2016,
86 per cent of the street drugs tested at Vancouver's supervised
injection sitewere laced with fentanyl.
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The country's biggest airlines, train and trucking firms, construction
companies and transit authorities are urging the government to allow
them to conduct mandatory drug tests for key members of their work
The issue of testing is currently in front of the Senate, where two
bills are being studied: C-45 to legalize cannabis by the summer, and
C-46 to make it easier for law-enforcement authorities to crack down
on impaired driving.
Ottawa wants C-46 to be adopted before the prohibition on cannabis is
lifted to deal with the potential consequences of increased
consumption. Among other things, the legislation will create new
drug-impaired driving offences and make it easier for police to
conduct random roadside tests for alcohol.
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National Non-Smoking Week 2018
National Non-Smoking Week (NNSW) has been observed during the third
week in January for more than 35 years.
From Jan. 21 to 27, one of the most important events in Canada's
ongoing health education efforts in the prevention and reduction of
tobacco use will be promoted, with Weedless Wednesday on Jan. 23.
Weedless Wednesday focuses on the benefits of cessation and promotes a
"one day at a time" approach to quitting smoking - a concept appealing
to many smokers who may be discouraged when contemplating a week or
perhaps a lifetime without cigarettes. Coping with one smoke-free day
is manageable, and can contribute to small successes that lead to the
decision of quitting long-term.
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In May 2016, Taylor Weyeneth was an undergraduate at St. John's
University in New York, a legal studies student and fraternity member
who organized a golf tournament and other events to raise money for
veterans and their families.
Less than a year later, at 23, Weyeneth, was a political appointee and
rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the White
House office responsible for coordinating the federal government's
multibillion dollar anti-drug initiatives and supporting President
Donald Trump's efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. Weyeneth would
soon become deputy chief of staff.
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Licensed marijuana producers caught using banned chemicals could pay
up to $1-million
Federally regulated marijuana companies caught using banned pesticides
that put consumers' health at risk will now face fines of up to
$1-million per violation, The Globe and Mail has learned.
The fines will be enshrined in federal legislation as a way to clamp
down on unauthorized use of dangerous chemicals by licensed cannabis
growers, according to Health Canada.
The new penalties come after an investigation by The Globe this year
revealed banned-pesticide use in the medical-marijuana industry was
far worse than the government realized, resulting in serious health
consequences for people exposed, including cancer patients who took
the drug to ease their pain.
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WORCESTER - Thousands of people gathered at a convention hall Saturday
for the first-ever Harvest Cup, a friendly if spirited competition
among home-growers of marijuana that doubled as a convention for the
burgeoning cannabis industry and its consumers.
The event, taking place this weekend at the DCU Center, came the same
week that marijuana regulators began drafting rules for the scheduled
July start of recreational sales in Massachusetts. Many participants
Saturday were overheard debating various policies and what they will
mean for the small-scale cultivators at the heart of the Harvest Cup
once millions of dollars of investment funds pour into the state.
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"You've come a long way, baby."
This is the famous slogan of the Virginia Slims brand - a long, slim
cigarette marketed to women as a sign of the progress of feminism and
freedom for their gender.
Society has also come a long way in its thinking around the marketing
of products like tobacco, and campaigns that make it seem glamorous.
We have learned that slick marketing images that ran through previous
decades did not just influence adults. The Marlboro Man and images
like it captured the imagination of kids, romanticizing smoking for
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Lessons are still being digested after a lethal batch of opioids in
October put emergency workers to the test
The first warning came mid-afternoon on a Thursday in late October,
from a client at a downtown Victoria HIV/AIDS and harm-reduction facility.
It was the day after "cheque day," when social-assistance payments are
issued in B.C. - a period linked to an increase in overdoses and other
related harms. But even with that factored in, front-line workers were
getting the sense that things were worse than usual.
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For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of
violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet
for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.
"I've screamed out for death," said Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego.
"I've cried out for my mom who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not
realizing she can't come to me."
Queen lost a modeling job after being mistaken for an alcoholic. She
racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and her
nausea interrupted her sex life. Towards the end of her illness,
Queen, who stands 5-foot-9, weighed in at a frail 109 pounds.
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When it comes time for your monthly uterine massacre, you bet Mary
Jane has your back-and anywhere else that aches whilst surfing the
crimson wave. Here are the cannabis products that my co-workers and
partner can thank for not being murdered by me once every three weeks.
1 Arthritis balm from Cannalife Botanicals
Ever heard of our bodies' endocannabinoid system? It regulates mood,
memory, appetite, pain and inflammation, while co-piloting the immune,
reproductive, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. The
100-plus chemical compounds cannabis is made up of (like psychoactive
THC, and CBD which helps with pain) fit into different endocannabinoid
system cell receptors like brokenhearted BFF lockets.
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With legalization on the horizon in Canada, dispensaries are marketing
marijuana as a cure for what ails you - including cancer. Do the
claims hold up? Adriana Barton takes a closer look at the science
behind cancer and cannabis
In a lab at the University of Nottingham in England, brain-cancer
specialist Richard Grundy is growing cells from children's brain
tumours to see if cannabidiol - a compound in marijuana - can kill
Brain-tumour cells rarely thrive outside the body, though, so he'll be
lucky if half a dozen cell clusters survive long enough to study the
hunch. Even if the compound snuffs out cancer cells in the lab,
there's no guarantee it would do the same in humans. "But," he said,
"one has to start somewhere."
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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.
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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
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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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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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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