Legalized use of marijuana is on the doorstep as the federal Liberals
have started the legislative process in earnest. Bills introduced on
Parliament Hill last Thursday will establish the legal parameters for
the production, sale, distribution and possession of marijuana.
Now, with marijuana to be fully legalized by Canada Day in 2018, there
needs to be great care taken by the Liberals to craft legislation that
not only provides serious consequences for the sale of the drug to
minors, but also for using marijuana and driving.
[continues 347 words]
Mailing Pot to MPs Won't Have the Desired Impact
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana, we
just don't know when.
The marijuana advocates must feel like he's taking too long for their
liking given the recent stunt by pot activist Dana Larsen, who sent a
special package to the 184 Liberal politicians, including MPs in
Durham and Northumberland. The manila envelopes sent to the MPs
contains his and illustrator Patrick Dowers' new book Cannabis in
Canada, the Illustrated History - as well as a gram of medical-grade marijuana.
[continues 312 words]
To the editor:
Re: 'Are you kidding me?', letter to the editor regarding Cannabis Day, durhamregion.com, July 11, 2011.
The letter writer is terribly misinformed about cannabis and its
Talk to Ben Fudge. He is an Oshawa man who can hardly move because of
his medical condition. He requires cannabis for pain relief and just
to have a somewhat normal life.
He is not just "masking his symptoms with a great big buzz", he is
getting real pain relief. Does the letter writer live with pain? Does
the person know how much pain can ruin one's quality of life?
[continues 58 words]
Police Receive $116,000 Grant From 'Robin Hood' Fund
WHITBY -- Durham police are getting new gadgets to help fight local
crime and it's being paid for by the criminals themselves.
On July 6, Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley was in Whitby at
police headquarters to announce a $115,750 grant for Durham police,
which comes from proceeds of crime seized by police. The proceeds
include cash as well as money earned from the sale of property such as
cars and real estate.
[continues 492 words]
Mullen Park Needs More Lighting And Security To Deter Drug Deals,
Parties, Says Resident
AJAX -- An Ajax man is so fed up with problems at Mullen Park he
showed up at a recent Town council meeting with a garbage bag filled
with debris picked up by local mothers at the neighbourhood park.
Mullen Drive resident Patrick Doyle offered to show councillors the
contents, but Town officials took his word the bag was filled with
condoms, feminine hygiene products, liquor bottles and various other
objects left behind by partying teenagers.
[continues 639 words]
Repeat Offenders Next Focus Of Force
AJAX -- As one enforcement initiative wraps up, the Durham Regional
Police is getting ready for another.
"We have some significant issues and we're working very hard. Last
fall, we were given the green light by Regional council to use our
surplus on extra patrols, to target parks, gangs and youth," Deputy
Chief Chuck Mercier told Ajax councillors.
The $500,000 "made a significant difference. It's intelligence-led
policing. Let's not chase crime after, let's chase criminals
beforehand," Deputy Chief Mercier stated to council's general
government committee on Thursday.
[continues 591 words]
Recalls Home Invasion Terror
WHITBY -- A key Crown witness was overcome with emotion Thursday as
he recounted what he described as a life and death struggle with
several masked men who stormed his south Ajax home in a robbery attempt.
Donald Newell said he fought desperately with the men, who invaded
his house in an apparent attempt to steal the marijuana he was
licensed to grow for medical reasons.
"I've had these people ruin my life for two years," said Mr. Newell,
his voice breaking and tears coming to his eyes after about a half
hour on the witness stand in Superior Court in Whitby Thursday morning.
[continues 351 words]
PICKERING - Monique Goudet moved to Pickering to get away from the
violence and illegal behaviour of her neighbourhood in Toronto - she
now feels her children aren't much safer in Glendale.
"I came to Durham to get away from Markham (Road) and Eglinton
(Avenue) when I heard a gunshot...I moved from one ghetto to another,"
Ms. Goudet was one of about 60 residents who came out to share their
concerns with Durham Regional Police Chief Vernon White at a town hall
meeting Wednesday evening. Most of the people in attendance were from
the Glendale neighbourhood near Liverpool and Kingston roads who
wanted to discuss the concerns they have with people drinking, and
doing and selling drugs in the Pine Creek ravine.
[continues 438 words]
The long-simmering standoff that is "The Police versus Hells Angles
Motorcycle Club" is defined, it seems, by a continuous and uneasy
siege, each side eyeing the other with loathing and distrust. This
ongoing impasse is punctuated on occasion by events not unlike
eruptions from a restless volcano.
Such an event occurred last week, when police in Durham and across the
province arrested 27 bikers on charges ranging from drug trafficking
to conspiracy to commit murder.
Operation Tandem, 18 months in the making and carried out with the
assistance of an informant from within the Hells Angels, dealt the
bikers a blow; although the HA is a powerful organization with
tentacles extending around the world, full-patch members and
high-placed officers are not that numerous. In Oshawa, the arrest of
five members, including the chapter president, was seen as a
significant strike by police.
[continues 228 words]
The new Conservative government in Ottawa is right on track in
hinting they'll not pursue the previous administration's plans to
decriminalize marijuana. In fact, they should go one step further.
This is not a plea to liberalize attitudes towards the use of the
drug so much as a suggestion legalization may help to fight, if not
eliminate, the criminal activity that surrounds it.
When it comes to pot, there are certain undeniable truths. First is
this: People have always smoked dope and they always will. The second
is that the value of marijuana, like petroleum and other tightly
controlled substances, is directly affected by the quantity available
and the demand for it.
[continues 277 words]
Police Warn Users Drug May Be Mixed With Household Cleaner
AJAX - Cocaine diluted with high levels of a household cleaner may have
played a part in two deaths in Ajax recently.
Durham Regional Police suspect the tainted cocaine may have played a part
in the deaths of two young men found in different parts of Ajax, spokesman
Dave Selby says, adding the deaths occurred about a month ago.
Information gathered by the police drug unit that a cleaner, such as Comet,
may have been mixed in cocaine and sold. Cocaine is regularly diluted, or
'cut', with cornstarch, sugar, talcum powder or other drugs, such as
procaine, an anesthetic, to increase the volume and profit margin.
[continues 95 words]
Police Entered Grow Op Before Warrant Obtained
WHITBY - Cops responding to a vicious dog call saw the door to a
residence wide open and detected the smell of marijuana wafting out of
it, a Superior Court judge heard Wednesday.
Durham Regional Police Constable Jim Zaphiropoulos testified that he
was informed by officers already on scene of the possibility that a
marijuana grow operation was inside when he arrived at 650 Highview
Rd. in Pickering on the evening of April 20, 2003.
[continues 490 words]
Police found hundreds of marijuana plants
WHITBY - A defence witness has testified that he saw police break into
a Pickering house in which a marijuana grow operation was later found.
The evidence, from municipal animal control officer Scott Gibb,
appeared to contradict versions of events provided by Durham Regional
Police officers, who have told Superior Court Justice Barry MacDougall
that the door of the home stood wide open as they watched two vicious
dogs disappear through it.
Police have testified the door was insecure and would not latch,
leading them to believe someone may have broken into 560 Highview Rd.
on April 20, 2003. Officers have pointed to the presence of the dogs
in the house, and their suspicion that someone may have been inside
with them, as grounds for entering the house without a search warrant.
[continues 412 words]
It was an activist's delight: more than 30,000 pot plants growing
inside the former Molson brewery in Barrie, some budding within the
same giant steel vats that produced buckets of beer.
When police raided the site earlier this month and discovered a
full-fledged marijuana farm brimming room-to-room producing an
estimated $100-million worth of the weed, they not only opened the
doors on the largest indoor grow operation in Canadian history, they
also fired up talk about the federal government's current
marijuana-reform legislation and the proliferation of pot in this province.
[continues 360 words]
What do Homer Simpson, Woody Harrelson and Bill Clinton all have in common?
They have all done the forbidden dance with Miss Mary Jane.
Marijuana is getting more publicity and is becoming a pop-culture phenomenon
thanks in part to the recent talks in Parliament Hill over Canada's
recreational drug of choice.
As most already know, the few sweet months of THC-toking freedom have come
to an abrupt end, thanks to the Ontario Appeal Court, which decided Oct. 8
that Canada's marijuana laws be restored to their former glory.
[continues 417 words]
What Exactly Is The War On Drugs, Anyway?
'The war on drugs' is the buzzword forefather of today's popular 'weapons
of mass destruction,' but at least we vaguely know what the latter
catchphrase means. The war on drugs, on the other hand, seems to be an
ongoing struggle that makes little progress (unless you cite the occasional
arrest on 'COPS' a great leap forward towards ridding the world of
substance abuse). Who is the enemy in this war? Is it the pathetic cousin
who borrows money from every relative and always paws at his nose, or the
stereotypical image of the Columbian drug lord slitting throats and
exploiting the naiveties of our wholesome youth for his debauched benefit?
[continues 358 words]
Durham Police, CAS Probe Case In Which Two-year-old Ingested Ecstasy
AJAX -- Durham Police and child-protection officials are investigating
after a two-year-old girl apparently accidentally ingested a small amount
of liquid ecstasy.
The child was unresponsive when she was rushed by her 37-year-old mother
into emergency at Ajax and Pickering Health Centre about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Hospital staff were told she was suffering from possible poisoning after
ingesting a small amount of ecstasy, a street drug that can be deadly to users.
[continues 211 words]
To the editor:
It is unfortunate for the city of Oshawa as to what is transpiring
regarding the proposed methadone drug treatment clinic in the downtown, and
regarding the closure of our marina. There is no doubt there is a need for
such a clinic, which offers the treatment of the synthetic drug methadone
for the abuse of illicit or prescription drugs, and for those afflicted
with chronic pain syndrome.
However, the proposed location in the heart of the downtown, at Simcoe and
Athol streets, is most inappropriate. No matter the need for the clinic, in
the proposed site it will carry a very negative image, and such an image is
the last thing Oshawa's downtown needs, particularly in light of City
council's efforts to revitalize the downtown. There is no reason why the
City and the private owners of the clinic could not locate a better site
for this service, in a mutually satisfactory outcome.
[continues 210 words]
I've been a medical journalist for 27 years.
It's made me a terrible skeptic, but for good reasons.
I've seen too many distortions of the truth in medicine.
I've seen too many colleagues sit on the fence rather than take a
stand on controversial issues.
I've seen too many fight the use of painkillers when they could ease
the agony of dying cancer patients.
Above all else, I've seen too often a complete void of common
[continues 698 words]