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121 CN AB: Needles, Syringes Found In Public Park SpaceThu, 11 Aug 2016
Source:Cochrane Eagle (CN AB) Author:Seewalt, Lindsay Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:08/11/2016

It's a rare occurrence for Cochrane park users to stumble across strewn syringes and hypodermic needles in a public area.

Needless to say, it created concern for soccer player Lucy Lovelock when she came across a scattered pile of such paraphernalia in the soccer field parking lot in community of GlenEagles the evening of Aug. 2.

"I have no issues with what people do in their private lives, but it concerns me to find this in a public area used by kids all the time," said the mother of two, who contacted Cochrane Fire Services to dispose of the mess.

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122 CN AB: Pot Purveyor Eyes CalgaryTue, 02 Aug 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Thomas, Brodie Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:08/07/2016

Police say plan for mail-order marijuana is not legal

The owner of Erbachay Health Centres was in Calgary in July, handing out business cards and flyers in hopes of getting a toehold on this side of the Rockies.

Now that Canadians know recreational marijuana will soon be legalized, it's getting harder to hold the floodgates back, even if it's in the guise of medical services.

Calgary City Council recently passed a bylaw limiting where medical marijuana counselling services can set up shop. Businesses offering that service can't be within 300 metres of one another, or 150 metres of a school.

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123 CN AB: Charges Dropped Due To Vague BylawThu, 04 Aug 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:08/06/2016

Through the smoke and mirrors of Calgary's bylaws, one medical marijuana user is celebrating a small victory.

Ticketed for her medicinal marijuana use in a Calgary Transit bus shelter, Lisa "Mamakind" Kirkman was prepared to challenge her fines, over $1,500 in infractions, as a Charter of Rights and Freedoms case. But after a year of fighting the write-ups, charges against her were withdrawn on Wednesday, according to her lawyer, because of a vague bylaw.

"The charges were withdrawn," said Student-at-Law Elizabeth Weisenburger. "Essentially the wording of the bylaw mostly pertained to burning pipe tobacco ... it was vague as to whether it included cannabis smoke."

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124 CN AB: Bylaw Is For Tobacco OnlyFri, 05 Aug 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:61 Added:08/06/2016

Legalized Pot Could Mean Changes to City Regulations

Calgary's smoking bylaw may not yet pass the puff test when it comes to marijuana regulation.

On Wednesday, a Calgary woman facing several charges for smoking in a bus shelter didn't pay a cent to the city because she was medicating with medical marijuana.

Her lawyer pointed out part of the reason the city withdrew charges was because of the tobacco laden language in the bylaw.

The city's smoking bylaw, which bans puffing in public places, was passed in 2006 and reinforced by the Tobacco Reduction act in 2008. But pot isn't tobacco. According to the city's chief bylaw officer Alvin Murray there's no section or listed exemption for medical marijuana or recreational use, because the bylaw simply isn't about marijuana at all.

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125 CN AB: LTE: Cross-Border Co-operation Needed To Halt March OfSun, 31 Jul 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Ellis, Mike Area:Alberta Lines:49 Added:08/02/2016

In 2011, there were six. Only five years later, and there are 274.

That's the number of lives lost to the deadly drug fentanyl last year in Alberta. With an increase of nearly 46 times the amount of deaths, we are seeing a public health crisis impact every community in our province.

Alberta is leading the nation in the fight against opioid drugs. The Progressive Conservatives were strong advocates for additional funding for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) that cracks down on illicit drugs flooding our communities. I also received unanimous support for Bill 205, the Pharmacy and Drug Amendment Act, 2016. This bill regulates the ownership of pill presses used to create fentanyl tablets.

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126CN AB: Editorial: Tackling A TragedyWed, 27 Jul 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:07/30/2016

Alarming words such as crisis, state of emergency, toxic and deadly are being bandied about. While they do impart a sense of concern, words that better convey the urgency of the situation would be more appropriate: catastrophic, decimation, annihilation.

With at least 139 deaths related to drug overdoses in the past two years, the Stoney Nakoda reserve at Morley is facing a tragedy of epic proportions. And before anyone scoffs at that notion, consider how those numbers would translate in Calgary.

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127 CN AB: Police Hope Impairment Laws Add PotFri, 22 Jul 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Edwardson, Lucie Area:Alberta Lines:59 Added:07/26/2016

Driving while high may carry same penalties as drinking

The Calgary Police Service is eagerly awaiting action on impaired driving laws once marijuana legalization goes through, according to Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey.

In February, the Liberal government officially announced its plans to legalize and regulate marijuana by early 2017, and Stacey said it's still unclear what that will mean for those who might drive while high.

"The rub is, we're waiting for the marijuana legislation to pass," he said. "Whatever that will look like, we're hoping for the best as far as impaired driving rules go. But, I guess time will tell."

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128 CN AB: Downturn, Drugs Led to Spike: ChiefThu, 21 Jul 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Simes, Jeremy Area:Alberta Lines:48 Added:07/22/2016

The spike in Calgary's crime severity index (CSI) can largely be linked to the increase in the city's drug activity and economic slump, according to Calgary police Chief Roger Chaffin, as fentanyl and other opioid use remains high across the province.

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada released a report that showed Calgary's CSI index jumped by 29 per cent, the largest increase in Canada's metropolitan areas. The CSI measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime.

According to Calgary police, there was a spike in methamphetamine, heroin and opiate drugseizures.

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129 CN AB: Column: Turn To God For Assistance In Breaking Bonds OfSun, 17 Jul 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Graham, Billy Area:Alberta Lines:44 Added:07/18/2016

QUESTION: I admit I probably smoke pot a bit more than I should (it's legal in our state), but now my wife is getting after me because she says I'm addicted to it and turning into the equivalent of an alcoholic. Can harmless drugs like pot really do that to you? - Z.K.

ANSWER: No drug is harmless, and experts I have consulted agree that almost any drug can become addictive - including marijuana. When that happens, a person becomes more and more dependent on it, and may find it almost impossible to break away from it on their own. Gradually it ruins their life and destroys their relationships.

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130CN AB: Column: Panel To Stir The Pot On Marijuana PolicyThu, 07 Jul 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Simons, Paula Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:07/10/2016

McLellan to lead advisory group through a tangle of thorny questions

"I've always been more interested in policy than politics," says Edmonton lawyer and former Liberal deputy prime minister Anne McLellan.

Former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan has just been named to chair the federal government's Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.

That's handy because late last week McLellan was named chairwoman of federal government's new Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation. She's going to need all of her policy-wonk passion - and all her expertise as Canada's former minister of health, minister of justice and minister of public safety - to succeed.

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131 CN AB: PUB LTE: Column Too Quick To Condemn PotSat, 02 Jul 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Botkin, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:33 Added:07/07/2016

Re: "Time to address drug-impaired driving," Jonathan Denis, Opinion, June 25.

While impaired driving is always bad, this column once again uses the word "drug", when what is really meant is marijuana. There are lots of prescription drugs that cause impairment resulting in accidents, but very little if any direct evidence that marijuana is involved in traffic mishaps.

Jonathan Denis seems to think that a joke in a Cheech and Chong movie constitutes sufficient evidence to support a criminal record, with all its consequences, for a driver with THC in their system.

The correlation he cites to Washington state fatal accident statistics is without merit, because it does not mention whether those involved had alcohol in their systems as well.

Mark Botkin, Calgary

[end]

132 CN AB: Caution Urged On Medical MarijuanaMon, 27 Jun 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Farooqui, Salmaan Area:Alberta Lines:54 Added:07/01/2016

There's still plenty up in the air when it comes to dispensing medical marijuana, a Saskatchewan pharmacist told colleagues gathered in Calgary Sunday for their annual conference.

Amy Wiebe, pharmacy manager at the Saskatoon City Hospital, said she held biases about medical pot in the past.

"There's so much stigma attached to it, and I had a pretty big bias against it," Wiebe said. "But the more I learned, the more I was like, 'OK maybe there is something to this.' "

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133 CN AB: Column: How Readers Would Treat 42,000 AddictsSat, 25 Jun 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Gifford-Jones, W. Area:Alberta Lines:89 Added:06/28/2016

Eureka! Just recently I reported that it was impossible to write this column. I had asked readers to respond to how I believe 42,000 addicts on methadone should be treated. Then my computer developed terminal cancer and I thought all your responses had been lost. Fortunately, the "Geek Squad" resurrected them.

From a Times Colonist reader: "Your suggestion that sending addicts to northern Canada to chop wood caught my eye. I was impressed by your research. The addicts I have known have no interest in getting o methadone and improving themselves. I say, enough of this nonsense. Why not have them chop wood? We all do some form of work to eat." This reader then added, "I initially believed that the practice of hanging drug dealers in Singapore was too extreme. But on further thought I'd hang them myself if they gave heroin to my healthy innocent granddaughters."

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134CN AB: Issuing Proper Dose Key To Medical PotMon, 27 Jun 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Farooqui, Salmaan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/28/2016

Pharmacy manager says finding that sweet spot is biggest challenge now

A Saskatoon pharmacy manager told a Calgary conference on Sunday that while the benefits of medical marijuana are clear, many unknowns still exist with how the drug should be used.

Amy Wiebe, a pharmacy manager at the Saskatoon City Hospital, admitted she had her own biases about medical marijuana in the past.

"There's so much stigma attached to it, and I had a pretty big bias against it," Wiebe said.

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135 CN AB: Pharmacist Wants To Distribute Medical CannabisFri, 24 Jun 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:60 Added:06/28/2016

There are no pharmacies in Alberta licensed to sell medical cannabis but there is at least one pharmacist locally that would like to see that changed.

"Pharmacies are the logical choice to be the distribution system. Pharmacists are highly trained and knowledgeable of drugs and drug interactions, have access to medical records, have all the security measures in place and are accessible to the entire community," said Greg Buekert, pharmacist Greg's Remedy's Rx.

Medicine Hat's first medical cannabis clinic will be open for business July 4. Dr. Michael Weigle of Natural Health Services clinic will determine whether medical cannabis is the appropriate choice for a patient. The team at NHS will help the patient select the cannabis products that will best meet their needs. The patient is then put in touch with a licensed supplier and the product is delivered to the person's home.

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136CN AB: OPED: Time To Address Drug-Impaired DrivingSat, 25 Jun 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Denis, Jonathan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/26/2016

Safety Issues Must Be Included As Part of Pot Legislation, Writes Jonathan Denis

Marijuana seems to be all the buzz this year.

The debate about whether or not to legalize pot is all but over. Recreational marijuana has already been legalized in five American jurisdictions - Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia - with more surely on the way.

Back home, Justin Trudeau's Liberals - with a majority government - are on track to follow suit in 2017.

I've long realized that, with my asthma, I'm probably in the minority in my generation who has never smoked pot.

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137CN AB: City Heads Off Headaches Of Medical Pot BusinessesWed, 15 Jun 2016
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Klingbeil, Annalise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/16/2016

City council has approved rules to prevent medical marijuana counselling businesses from clustering in communities or opening near schools, in an effort to prevent illegal dispensaries from littering neighbourhoods.

While the rules may be aggressive in a city with just two medical marijuana counselling outfits (that can't legally dispense the drug), some councillors said it's important to get ahead of what could be a major problem down the road.

"I'm not one to typically be supportive of overregulation but, in this particular instance, I think it's a prudent step ," Coun. Andre Ch a bot said during Tuesday's debate on the changes. Council heard that in larger cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, an explosion of counselling centres-turned illegal dispensaries have clustered together and plagued communities with problems.

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138 CN AB: Weed Counselling RegulatedWed, 15 Jun 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:62 Added:06/16/2016

City establishes rules for clinics prescribing marijuana

Calgary has now begun regulating marijuana counselling services, sparking debate over fears of what the pot-peddling establishments could become.

Medical marijuana counselling services are now required to apply for a building permit and ensure they're not within 300 meters of one another, while also not being within 150 metres of a school.

These measures were introduced in hopes of getting ahead of what some, including mayor Naheed Nenshi, fear could be a crowding out of businesses and the tarnishing of neighbourhoods with pot leaves.

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139 CN AB: Group Calls For Harm ReductionMon, 13 Jun 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Thomas, Brodie Area:Alberta Lines:59 Added:06/15/2016

Policies to Help Addicts Fights Stigma Faced by Drug Users

We all wear seat belts when we get in a car - just in case the worst should happen.

That's the philosophy behind harm reduction, according to Stasha Huntingford.

"It can't reduce all the risk but it can reduce some of the harm," said Huntingford.

She was spreading the message of harm reduction for drug users and the homeless at the third annual National Harm Reduction Day.

Several dozen people gathered in Olympic Plaza to hear speakers talk about harm-reduction methods such as clean needle exchanges.

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140CN AB: Column: 'High Driving' Hysteria Is All Half-BakedFri, 03 Jun 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Booth, David Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/05/2016

Marijuana, by Most Measures, Is Not the Scourge That Alcohol Is, Writes David Booth

National Post recently scandalized its famously conservative readers with a headline claiming that "about half of Canadians who drive while high insist pot doesn't impair them."

The article - When is stoned too stoned? - further sensationalized the "crisis" by noting: "nothing would make (20 per cent of those surveyed) stop driving while stoned."

With the Trudeau government poised to legalize marijuana, it was enough to send neo-cons into paroxysms of paranoia, fearing our roads would be turned into killing fields by the demon weed.

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