The drug trade is particularly lucrative in prison.
A recent seizure of 19 grams of heroin from an inmate at Kent
Institution in Agassiz had an estimated street value of $3,000. But
prison officials put its "institutional" value at $10,000.
Gordon Matson, assistant warden management services, called the April
15 incident a "major seizure" for the Correctional Service Canada facility.
"As you can imagine, the value of drugs in prison is substantially
more than [on] the street simply due to its scarcity," wrote Matson
in an e-mail. "With respect to value, three times the value is a
A drug-detection dog found the heroin in an inmate's running shoes
during a routine search of inmate property. Criminal and disciplinary
charges are being considered but have not yet been laid.
The federal government plans to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to
overturn a B.C. ruling that allowed a safe-injection site to remain
open, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, pictured, said yesterday.
"This case raises important questions regarding the doctrine of
interjurisdictional immunity and the division of powers between the
federal and provincial governments," he said.
Mr. Nicholson said the B.C. Court of Appeal and the government of
Canada both believe it is important that the Supreme Court be asked
to rule on the matter.
Canwest News Service The Harper government has tabled a bill that
would restore a power for the courts to order offenders to surrender
urine samples or other bodily fluids if they are on probation and
suspected of violating an order not to drink or take drugs.
The ability to demand random samples was struck down three years ago
by the Supreme Court, which invited Parliament to craft legislation
that complies with the Charter of Rights.
Under the revamped regime proposed Friday, judges would be able to
impose drug-and-alcohol prohibition orders that would permit police
and probation officers to request samples when there is reasonable
grounds to believe that an individual has breached a condition of
Until 2006, police and probation officers routinely demanded bodily
samples from individuals who were on probation or subject to peace
Research - Smoking pot can cause as much damage to cells and dna as
tobacco smoke, according to a group of Canadian researchers who are
challenging the belief that marijuana is less harmful than cigarettes.
Rebecca Maertens, a researcher from health Canada and coauthor of the
study, says many Canadians believe marijuana smoke is less toxic and
causes less damage than tobacco because pot is "natural."
Neither marijuana nor the main psychoactive component of the plant,
thC, has been shown to cause cancer. negative health effects induced
by smoking marijuana, such as chronic bronchitis, have been well
documented, as have other negative health effects.
Although marijuana smoke caused significantly more damage to cells
and dna than tobacco, according to the study, only tobacco smoke
caused chromosome damage.
Project Approved As Pilot Project
Victoria councillors have agreed to allow the Vancouver Island Health
Authority to oversee distribution of crackpipe kits in the city, but
only on a pilot basis.
Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said such a project would have to include
an assessment of community support for the program.
Earlier this week, VIHA medical health officer Dr. Murray Fyfe asked
councillors to support distribution of the crack kits.
The kits would include a mouthpiece for crack pipes and a push stick
- -- similar to a chopstick -- used to recover hardened crack from the
pipe after it has been smoked.
[continues 68 words]
(CNS) - The majority of British Columbians think legalizing pot would
reduce drug-trade-related violence, an Angus Reid Strategies poll has found.
Sixty-five per cent of respondents would legalize marijuana to
minimize violence, compared to 35 per cent who think harsher
penalties for marijuana trafficking are the answer.
British Columbians are more evenly split on existing drug-enforcement
laws. A slim majority (51 per cent) says lax enforcement on so-called
"soft drugs" such as marijuana lets criminals go free, which may lead
to violence. Forty-nine per cent say enforcement criminalizes
The online poll of 822 people, conducted April 24-26, has a margin of
error of 3.4 percentage points, 19 times in 20.
VANCOUVER -- The federal government's medical marijuana program and the
restrictions it places on growing the drug are unconstitutional, according
to a B.C. Supreme Court justice who has endorsed a recent Federal Court
Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg gave the federal government a year to fix
regulations so that compassion clubs or groups of users can get together
and have a common grow-operation.
At the moment, any licensed grower is restricted to supplying only one
Koenigsberg still convicted Mathew Beren of Vancouver Island of
trafficking. She gave him an absolute discharge, meaning he will have no
[continues 54 words]
Excerpt Of Transcript Of Alberta Provincial Court
Judge Heather Lamoureux Questioning Calgary Police Detective Doug
Hudacin During The May, 07, Trial Of Philip Kaminsky, Found With Two
Grams Of Crack Cocaine In His Possession. Det. Hudacin Was Testifying
As A Calgary Police Drug Expert.
Judge: If this is such a difficult problem along 7th Avenue and the
St. Louis and Cecil
Hotel and Olympic Plaza such that you cannot even walk down the
street without getting
approached to buy drugs, how come it is not being stopped?
[continues 315 words]
At least 10 B.C. residents have required serious medical attention,
possibly after snorting cocaine contaminated with an antibiotic used
to treat worm infestations in animals.
Public health officials are warning doctors, social service agencies
and drug users of the tainted coke after receiving reports of people
becoming seriously ill after using drugs likely mixed with levamisole.
The 10 cases were reported on Vancouver Island and in the Lower
Mainland. Patients suffered from an abnormally low number of a type of
white blood cell that serves as the main defence against infections.
Specific elements of marijuana can be good for the ageing brain by
reducing inflammation and possibly stimulating the formation of new
brain cells, according to Ohio State University researchers.
The research suggests that the creation of a drug with certain
properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay
Alzheimer's disease. The exact cause of Alzheimer's is still not
known, but chronic inflammation in the brain is believed to contribute
to memory impairment.
"Could people smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer's disease if the
disease is in their family?" asked Gary Wenk, professor of psychology
at Ohio State University and an investigator on the study. "We're not
saying that, but it might actually work.
What we are saying is it appears that a safe, legal substance that
mimics those important properties of marijuana can work on receptors
in the brain to prevent memory impairments in ageing. So that's really
The Vancouver drug-treatment court has received $200,000 in federal
funding, allowing it to create 34 temporary shelter spaces for
Six drug-treatment courts across Canada, including one in Vancouver,
were created to deal with people who are accused of non-violent crimes
that are motivated by drug dependence.
Instead of jail time, some people convicted in the courts are sent for
treatment and to join social programs, with strict conditions.
The new money will be used to create a pilot project for more
temporary or transitional shelters for participants in the
court-diversion program. Housing had not been part of previous
drug-treatment court funding.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Ottawa is trying to be tough on
producers and distributors of drugs, yet compassionate toward those
addicted to illicit drugs.
People who unknowingly purchase homes that have been used in the
illegal drug trade may put their health and their lives at risk,
according to a group of realtors, firefighters and civic
And there is no certain way of determining whether a home has been
used as a drug house, Kelvin Neufeld, president of the Fraser Valley
Real Estate Board, said in an interview. "
Our goal is to standardize the way they report grow-ops, meth labs or
whatever, he said.
[continues 59 words]
Canadians prescribed marijuana to treat illness will have more choice
in where to buy their drugs after a court ruling yesterday that ends
the federal government's monopoly on supplying medical marijuana to
Justice Department lawyers had sought to appeal a lower-court ruling
that granted licensed producers the right to grow marijuana for more
than one patient.
But the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the government's challenge,
saying it was not persuaded by government lawyers who argued that
growers supplying more than one patient would lead to an unregulated
[continues 152 words]
VANCOUVER- A commonly prescribed drug used in cough medicine is more
effective than methadone -- and as effective as heroin itself -- at
stabilizing the lives of heroin addicts and reducing their use of
street drugs, a new study says.
Since March 2007, the North American Opiate Medication Initiative has
been prescribing 115 addicts in Vancouver and Montreal with
medical-grade heroin to see if they would fare any better than a
control group of 111 on methadone.
The results, released yesterday, concluded addicts on heroin stuck
with treatment longer and had more success than the methadone group.
[continues 110 words]
Canada's Green party Leader Elizabeth May apologized on Wednesday for
never having smoked marijuana, as she unveiled her election plank,
which touts legalizing and taxing pot.
"I am not a fan of marijuana use," May told reporters. "I've never
used marijuana. I apologize."
The Green party in its policy document said decades-old marijuana
prohibition "has utterly failed and has not led to reduced drug use."
Rather, prohibition has led to costly policing to combat its
distribution, "criminalizing youth and fostering organized crime," it
The Green party says it supports cannabis sales to adults through
As well, the party would like to see "small, independent growers"
thrive, and the government taxing the weed at the same rate as
tobacco, generating an estimated $1 billion a year.
Clement Prefers More Drug Treatment, But Others Say Facility
OTTAWA - Ottawa will appeal the B.C. Supreme Court decision earlier
this week that ruled in favour of Vancouver's controversial
safe-injection site, federal Health Minister Tony Clement said Thursday.
The minister told the parliamentary health committee that he would ask
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to appeal the ruling handed down
Tuesday by Justice Ian Pitfield as soon as possible.
Clement called the scientific evidence about the site "mixed," but
said public policy was "very clear."
[continues 208 words]
OTTAWA - Drug addicts could face "certain death" if a supervised
injection site in British Columbia is closed, former police officers
from Canada, Britain and Australia said Tuesday.
Tony Smith of Vancouver, Tom Lloyd of Cambridge, England, and
Christopher Payne of Brisbane, Australia -- all retired from their
respective police forces -- were endorsing Insite, the Vancouver-based
centre located in the city's troubled Downtown Eastside.
"The way to tackle the illegal drugs market is to use a range of
measures," said Lloyd during a news conference on Parliament Hill.
"Law enforcement alone cannot solve drug addiction.
"You can get over addiction, but you can't get over a conviction. If
it's kept open, it will save lives. If it's shut, people will be
condemned to certain death."
KEREMEOS - The Okanagan is getting a new facility for treating youths
suffering from substance addictions, the provincial government
A 42-bed facility will be built in Keremeos and will become B.C.'s
first long-term residential treatment centre for addicted youth,
Premier Gordon Campbell said in a press release.
To be called The Crossing at Keremeos, the facility will be located on
a 58-acre area parcel of land 10 km outside of Keremeos, and 55 km
southwest of Penticton. It will service patients aged 14 to 24. The
site was formerly used by Outward Bound.
[continues 53 words]
AMSTERDAM - The Dutch interior minister wants police officials to stop
using soft drugs when they are off-duty as it tarnishes the image of
The use of some soft drugs is tolerated in the Netherlands and the
sale of cannabis in small quantities for recreational use is permitted
in government-regulated coffee shops.
"The minister does not want police officials to use soft drugs, such
as cannabis, not even during their spare time.
"It does not fit with the presentation of the police to the public," a
spokesman said Thursday.
There are 25 regional police forces in the Netherlands, some of which
have implemented a no-drugs policy for off-duty officers while others
have not, he said.
"We should have one rule for the whole force," he said.
KAMLOOPS -- Nearly 20,000 marijuana plants being grown on Crown land
were uprooted in the B.C. Interior after 10 RCMP detachments teamed
up to search and destroy outdoor grow-ops.
Clearwater RCMP Cpl. Mike Savage said the plants could have produced
more than 4.8 million joints "that would have ended up in our streets
and into the hands of our children."
An additional 36 kilograms of dried and harvested bud were
"eradicated," he said.
Some of the grow-op sites were so remote police had to be transported
by helicopter, where the plants were cut down and moved to disposal
sites, said Savage. Police also used ATVs and four-wheel drives.
[continues 61 words]