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1 CN MB: Justice Minister Disturbed By Young SmokersFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Martin, Nick Area:Manitoba Lines:50 Added:04/25/2017

JUSTICE Minister Heather Stefanson looked out her legislature building window Thursday with dismay at how many young people were on the lawn smoking up.

"It does disturb me how many young people were out there today," Stefanson told reporters.

She didn't go outside and she kept her window closed, Stefanson said with a smile.

But Stefanson was all seriousness when she reiterated her fears that federal legislation shows no signs of educating young people about the dangers of marijuana, especially of driving after using pot.

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2 CN ON: OPED: Resources To Prevent Cannabis Addiction Must WorkSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Tribune, The (CN ON) Author:Prins, Rick Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:04/24/2017

I have to admit, I felt less than enthusiastic a few weeks ago when I heard the Canadian government was going to follow through on its promise to legalize cannabis.

We knew this was an election promise the Liberals were destined to keep. And yet, I did not share the enthusiasm of the activists blowing smoke on camera as the dates for introducing the legislation and the July 2018 implementation were announced. I am pretty much a law and order kind of citizen. My exposure to cannabis has mainly been limited to the times when I encountered teens smoking in parks, behind high schools or occasionally in high school washrooms. My only addiction, at least what I am willing to admit publicly, is dark roast coffee.

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3 CN AB: A Hazy SituationThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:75 Added:04/24/2017

Questions around planned pot legalization still in the air as police prepare for 4/20 events

Edmonton's police chief says he doesn't expect a larger-than-usual 4/20 gathering Thursday as the city prepares for legal marijuana.

"I imagine we'll get a few people there, but nothing that's really on the radar we're concerned about," Chief Rod Knecht said Wednesday.

The annual smoke-up at the Alberta legislature could be one of the last under existing marijuana laws, as the Trudeau government prepares to legalize the drug.

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4 CN AB: Column: Making The Illegal SaferTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Vulcan Advocate (CN AB) Author:Wilson, Morgan Area:Alberta Lines:103 Added:04/21/2017

There's very little middle ground in the debate about safe injection sites.

Lines are quickly drawn between the supporters and the opposition.

I suspect that you could do a bit of political polling during a discussion about "supervised consumption sites" and the lines dividing the participant camps would likely reveal a left-right political split as well.

Conservatives tend to be anti-drug, anti-safe injection types.

Liberals tend to flow to the other side, largely supporting supervised consumption sites.

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5 Canada: Column: What Was Justin Smoking?Tue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Wente, Margaret Area:Canada Lines:94 Added:04/19/2017

Legalizing pot is trickier than it looks, and the Prime Minister might soon be wondering if the hassle is worth the price

Justin Trudeau's vow to legalize marijuana - made without much thinking, one suspects - was one of his signature campaign promises. It was intended to brand his party as progressive, youthful and enlightened. And the time seemed right. Most Canadians agree that it's time to make it legal.

But when the government unveiled its long-awaited legislation - on the eve of a long weekend - our hip Prime Minister was nowhere in sight. He left the job to a bunch of hatchet-faced ministers, who grimly assured us that this was going to be all about law and order and harm reduction, not fun. Clearly, the government hoped that everyone would get distracted by the holiday and move on.

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6 Canada: Editorial: The Countdown To Legalization BeginsMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:108 Added:04/19/2017

And just like that, the Trudeau government has started the clock on the creation of a multi-billion-dollar marijuana industry in Canada, one as big as the beer industry. By the end of next year, pot will be just another lifestyle choice for Canadians, like deciding on a restaurant for dinner or which smartphone best expresses your special uniqueness. One day, you may end up knowing someone who works as a quality inspector on a joint-rolling assembly line.

It's a monumental move, and the fact that we knew it was coming doesn't lessen its impact now that it's here. Where the United States is moving state-by-state on this contentious issue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are legalizing an iconic and popular narcotic in one fell swoop on a national basis. It is a generational reform.

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7CN ON: Fighting Fire With FireMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Medical marijuana may assist in keeping addicts off dangerous opioids.

The patients at Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla's methadone clinic are trying to beat their addiction to heroin, narcotic painkillers and other opioid drugs, but most of them still smoke pot.

He estimates that 90 per cent of his patients at the Recovery Ottawa clinic on Montreal Road already use marijuana, and he's begun writing prescriptions so they can buy it legally.

Medical marijuana, used appropriately, can reduce insomnia, anxiety and cravings for opioids, says Ujjainwalla. Marijuana cannot replace methadone or suboxone, the drugs he uses to treat addicts, he says.

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8CN BC: One Year Later, 919 More DeathsSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Health officer says situation is worsening despite bold initiatives, partly due to rise in carfentanil in B.C.

It's been a year since provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the spike in overdose deaths a public health emergency.

But despite major efforts and resources, there is no end in sight.

"I had hoped for a different outcome," Kendall said. "Tragically, in that 12-month period, we have seen an additional 919 deaths."

A total of 922 people died from illicit drug-related overdoses in B.C. last year, compared with 513 in 2015 and 366 in 2014. This year could be even worse: In January and February alone, 219 people died.

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9CN BC: Family Doctors Key To Screening For Addiction In Fight AgainstSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

A tag hanging from a dead man's left toe says the cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl, "unknowingly taken with other drugs."

The cadaver draped in a white sheet is displayed in transit ads funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation and represents 922 people who died in British Columbia from drug overdoses last year alone.

A spiralling number of deaths, often involving the painkiller fentanyl, prompted the provincial government to declare a public health emergency on April 14, 2016, and to launch its own awareness campaign on TV, radio, Facebook, transit and at bars and restaurants.

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10CN AB: 'There Wasn't This Escalation In Crime'Fri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolande Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Calgary's police chief is backing calls for a local site where drug users could consume substances under medical supervision. Roger Chaffin said preliminary discussions are underway about what a supervised consumption site in the city will look like. He added that police will work to ensure that community members feel safe.

Dr. Thomas Kerr is the co-director of the Addiction and Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the principal investigator of several large cohort studies involving people who inject drugs and people living with HIV/AIDS. He spoke to Postmedia about community concerns when supervised injection facility Insite was established in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in 2003.

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11 US FL: A Florida Sheriff Catches Attention, And Some Heat, With AnWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fortin, Jacey Area:Florida Lines:138 Added:04/15/2017

Maybe it was the ski masks that did it.

Or it could have been the steely look in the eyes of Lake County, Fla., Sheriff Peyton Grinnell as he deadpanned: "We are coming for you. Run."

Perhaps it was the muted background music: an eerie melody that wouldn't have been out of place in a Batman movie.

In the end, what could have been an unremarkable public service announcement about opioid abuse in Lake County spread widely on the internet, garnering about a million views on the Facebook page of the sheriff's office, where it was first posted Friday. It sparked concerns about police militarization and drew more than a few comparisons to Islamic State recruitment videos.

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12 CN BC: Edu: Column: Deadly DopingMon, 10 Apr 2017
Source:Capilano Courier, The (CN BC Edu) Author:Beyleveldt, Christine Area:British Columbia Lines:138 Added:04/13/2017

Knowing the signs of an overdose can save someone's life, especially with inconspicuous opioids like Fentanyl lurking in common street drugs. It begins with high-like symptoms - euphoria, relaxation and drowsiness, and cedes to shortened breath, a slowed heart rate and unconsciousness. The effects of Fentanyl set in quickly. The trouble is, anyone can fall prey because the opioid often goes undetected until it's too late.

Fentanyl is laced into illicit street drugs to enhance their effect. Originally a pain medication used as an anaesthetic, it's 50 to 100 times stronger than Morphine. Because it's so potent, the drug comes in small doses, often concealed in silica gel sachets discreetly marked that can't be seized at the Canadian border.

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13 Canada: Editorial: To Regulate Pot, Look At Tobacco And BoozeWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:108 Added:04/13/2017

The Liberal government is about to introduce legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana. What's the best way to do that? That's what Ottawa has been puzzling over ever since the Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, made their bold promise in the last election campaign.

For answers, look at how Canada has succeeded, and failed, in dealing with another recreational product both popular and problematic for public health: tobacco.

In the early 1990s, the federal government had a plan. If it steadily raised taxes on cigarettes, it could drive down the rate of smoking - thereby addressing one of Canada's biggest health challenges.

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14 Canada: Column: Why Stop With Pot? Let's Decriminalize All DrugsTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/13/2017

Canada is preparing to legalize and regulate possession of marijuana - with a target date of July 1, 2018.

It's a long overdue public policy with sound economic and health arguments to back it up, notably: More harm is caused by criminal prohibition and prosecution than the use of marijuana itself; Criminal laws prohibiting possession do not deter use; Decriminalization of possession does not lead to greater use; Decriminalization frees up resources for police and the courts to deal with more serious crimes;

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15 CN ON: Overdoses, One Fatal, Spark New ConcernSun, 09 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rider, David Area:Ontario Lines:69 Added:04/13/2017

Four others in serious condition after ecstasy use at two city dance clubs

Five overdoses near Toronto nightclubs early Saturday, including one that killed a 24-year-old woman, triggered a health warning and calls for clubs and authorities to take new steps to save lives.

Police say the overdoses involved the party drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Tests should reveal if the woman also ingested fentanyl, a toxic anesthetic sometimes mixed into other drugs, or another substance.

The overdoses near Uniun Nightclub, near Adelaide and Portland Sts., and Rebel Nightclub at Polson Pier are part of an alarming trend, said Councillor Joe Cressy, who chairs the city's drugstrategy.

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16CN BC: Opioid Crisis Has Gone ProvincewideThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2017

In 2016, 11 regions have gone beyond 15 overdose deaths, medical officials say

Health experts painted a grim picture Wednesday morning as they updated Vancouver's mayor and council on an ongoing opioid crisis that has spread from its "epicentre" in the Downtown Eastside to touch every part of the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall addressed a sombre Vancouver council chamber Wednesday, almost a year to the day after he announced a public health emergency in response to what he called at the time, "the recent surge of overdoses."

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17 CN BC: Feds Move Too Slow In Crisis: VCHThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:73 Added:04/13/2017

Consumption sites should be up to provinces: Medical chief

Not enough is being done to speed up critical decisions that can save lives a year into British Columbia's overdose crisis, according to Vancouver Coastal Health's chief medical health officer.

Dr. Patricia Daly and provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall were at Vancouver city hall Wednesday to brief council on the progress to date since Kendall first declared a public health emergency on April 14, 2016.

Last year, 922 people died in the province of illicit drug overdoses - three times the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents.

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18 CN BC: Pending Cuts Could Cripple Fentanyl FightThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Castlegar News (CN BC) Author:Novak, Chelsea Area:British Columbia Lines:205 Added:04/13/2017

In the midst of the fentanyl crisis, a local organization that provides overdose training and harm reduction is bracing for the loss of a major chunk of its funding.

ANKORS (AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society) was founded in 1992 at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis and provides services around HIV and Hepatitis C, harm reduction and prevention education. Originally established in Castlegar, the organization now has offices in Cranbrook and Nelson, and between the two may soon lose five employees and a significant part of its funding.

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19 CN BC: Services Save Lives, Says Interior Health OfficialFri, 07 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Peacock, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:58 Added:04/12/2017

More drug users accessing care, says chief medical health officer

Drug overdose deaths remain high, but Interior Health is reaching more drug users and saving more lives through its overdose prevention services, says chief medical health officer Dr. Trevor Corneil.

In February, there were 15 overdose deaths across the Interior Health region, down from 18 in January and 29 in December. On Tuesday, Corneil provided an update on the local drug overdose response to the IH board of directors, focusing on the success of overdose prevention services.

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20 CN BC: NDP Health Critic 'Disappointed' By Federal Overdose ResponseMon, 27 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:95 Added:03/31/2017

MP Davies says Liberal budget is a fifth of what Tories proposed

The New Democratic Party's health critic calls the amount of money devoted to fighting the ongoing overdose crisis in the federal budget shocking.

Don Davies, MP for Vancouver Kingsway, says the $110 million set aside for the Canadian Drugs and Substance Strategy over five years is a fifth of the $556 million proposed by the former Conservative government in its last budget.

The reduced spending comes at a time when many provinces are struggling to contain an ongoing overdose death crisis.

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