CanWest, 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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1 CN BC: Drugs' Value Higher in Prison, Official SaysSat, 24 Apr 2010
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:31 Added:04/25/2010

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 conservative estimate."

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.


2 Canada: Ottawa To Ask Supreme Court Of Canada To OverturnWed, 10 Feb 2010
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Canwest, Area:Canada Lines:25 Added:02/11/2010

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.


3 Canada: Tories Seek Power To Order Offenders' Bodily SamplesSat, 31 Oct 2009
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Canwest, Area:Canada Lines:32 Added:10/31/2009

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 their release.

Until 2006, police and probation officers routinely demanded bodily samples from individuals who were on probation or subject to peace bonds.


4 CN AB: Pot, Tobacco Found Equally HarmfulThu, 06 Aug 2009
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Canwest, Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:08/07/2009

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.


5 CN BC: Victoria Approves Crackpipe DistributionFri, 10 Jul 2009
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:35 Added:07/10/2009

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]

6 CN BC: Majority In B.C. Thinks Legalizing Pot ReducesSat, 02 May 2009
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:05/02/2009

(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 law-abiding citizens.

The online poll of 822 people, conducted April 24-26, has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points, 19 times in 20.


7 CN MB: Pot Laws Need to Be Loosened: B.C. JudgeTue, 03 Feb 2009
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Canwest, Area:Manitoba Lines:37 Added:02/03/2009

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 decision.

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 licensed user.

Koenigsberg still convicted Mathew Beren of Vancouver Island of trafficking. She gave him an absolute discharge, meaning he will have no criminal record.

[continues 54 words]

8 CN AB: 'I'll Just Never Say It Is A Losing Battle'Fri, 02 Jan 2009
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Canwest, Area:Alberta Lines:69 Added:01/02/2009

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]

9 CN BC: Officials Warn About Tainted CocaineFri, 12 Dec 2008
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:25 Added:12/12/2008

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.


10US: Marijuana May Stimulate Ageing BrainsMon, 01 Dec 2008
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Canwest, Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:12/01/2008

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 hopeful."


11 CN BC: Ottawa Contributes $200,000 To House 34 AddictsTue, 18 Nov 2008
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:36 Added:11/19/2008

The Vancouver drug-treatment court has received $200,000 in federal funding, allowing it to create 34 temporary shelter spaces for participants.

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.


12 CN BC: B C Group Aims To Standardize Reports About Drug-Trade HomesTue, 28 Oct 2008
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:33 Added:10/28/2008

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 politicians.

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]

13 Canada: Ruling Ends Government Monopoly On Medical PotTue, 28 Oct 2008
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:Canada Lines:50 Added:10/28/2008

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 patients.

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 industry.

[continues 152 words]

14 Canada: Cough Drug Helps Addicts More Than Methadone, Study FindsSat, 18 Oct 2008
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Canwest, Area:Canada Lines:44 Added:10/18/2008

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]

15 Canada: Greens Go Pro-GrassThu, 18 Sep 2008
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:Canada Lines:35 Added:09/18/2008

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 argues.

The Green party says it supports cannabis sales to adults through licensed distributors.

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.


16 Canada: Ottawa To Appeal BC Ruling Allowing Injection Site To Stay OpenFri, 30 May 2008
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Canwest, Area:Canada Lines:55 Added:05/30/2008

Clement Prefers More Drug Treatment, But Others Say Facility Vital

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]

17 CN BC: Ex-Police Support Safe-injection SiteWed, 21 May 2008
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:31 Added:05/21/2008

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."


18 CN BC: Youths With Substance Addictions Will Soon Get HelpFri, 09 May 2008
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Canwest, Area:British Columbia Lines:32 Added:05/10/2008

KEREMEOS - The Okanagan is getting a new facility for treating youths suffering from substance addictions, the provincial government announced Thursday.

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]

19Netherlands: No Drugs for Off-Duty Dutch PoliceFri, 01 Feb 2008
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Canwest, Area:Netherlands Lines:Excerpt Added:02/02/2008

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 force.

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.


20 CN BC: Cops Take 48m Joints Out Of CirculationThu, 11 Oct 2007
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:CanWest, Area:British Columbia Lines:39 Added:10/11/2007

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.

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