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CN ON: 84 Per Cent Back Safe Injection Site

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 21 Nov 2016 - The city has found a funding partner to help study if Hamilton should offer supervised injection sites for drug users. A report that goes to councillors this week says the anticipated $250,000 cost of a study can be cut to around $90,000 thanks to a proposed partnership with a health program and institute at McMaster University.
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CN ON: Column: Sudden Stop Not The Answer For Opioids

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 21 Nov 2016 - Canadians have one of the highest rates of prescription opioid use in the world - five times higher than in the U.K., for example. This is a tragedy because we don't do any better at reducing chronic pain - just at creating addiction and an epidemic of overdose death. Many reasons have caused this, including the influence and marketing tactics of the pharmaceutical industry, the willingness of Canadian insurers to pay for drugs like OxyContin, as well as mistaken assumptions about opioids by prescribers and dispensers.
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CN BC: Column: Drug-Addiction Column Draws Complaints

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 08:00
The Daily Courier, 21 Nov 2016 - There was a frank exchange of views on the subject of drug addiction after Friday's column about two addicts' outlook on the issue. As in: "Fire this writer at once. Thanks for stigmatizing this population which you clearly have zero understanding of." "Heartless." One writer credited me with some intelligence, "but it was a bit hidden today."
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CN BC: Column: Column Draws Complaints

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 08:00
Penticton Herald, 21 Nov 2016 - There was a frank exchange of views on the subject of drug addiction after Friday's column about two addicts' outlook on the issue. As in: "Fire this writer at once. Thanks for stigmatizing this population which you clearly have zero understanding of." "Heartless." One writer credited me with some intelligence, "but it was a bit hidden today."
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CN ON: Action Promised At Close Of Opioid Crisis Summit

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 11/20/2016 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 20 Nov 2016 - Minister says legislation on way to combat rising addiction, death rates OTTAWA- The federal government is eyeing a number of legislative changes to address Canada's opioid crisis, Health Minister Jane Philpott said Saturday at the conclusion of a summit examining the issue.
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CN MB: 'Underwhelming'

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 11/20/2016 - 08:00
Winnipeg Sun, 20 Nov 2016 - Opioid conference misses point, advocate says A policy to address the latest opioids crisis at a Health Canada conference in Ottawa does not go far enough, or fast enough, to prevent future deaths, an advocate says.
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CN NS: MADD Wants New Motor Vehicle Legislation Before Marijuana Is

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 08:00
Truro Daily News, 19 Nov 2016 - Mandatory roadside screening and oral fluid testing for drugs should become law before the federal government proceeds with legalizing marijuana, a spokesperson for MADD Cobequid says. "This is something that has to take place before the decriminalization is put in place," newly elected president Kay Foster-Alfred said during a public meeting Thursday evening. "This is going to be happening and we have to be ready for it."
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CN ON: Saving Lives During Opioid Crisis

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 08:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 19 Nov 2016 - Politicians, policy-makers discuss ways to prevent overdoses OTTAWA - As people continue to die from overdoses, health experts, policy-makers and grief-stricken family members brainstormed Friday on a battle plan to take on Canada's opioid-abuse epidemic.
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Chronicle AM: Trump Picks AG Drug Warrior, Singapore Hangs Man for 5 lb of MJ, More... (11/18/2006)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 21:56

Thwarted activists in one state are already preparing for 2018, Trump chooses an ardent, unreconstructed drug warrior as attorney general, the surgeon general endorses harm reduction, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana

Michigan Legalizers Gear Up for 2018. This year, legalization advocates came up just short in their bid to qualify an initiative for the ballot after state courts ruled that some of their petition signatures came outside a specified time-frame for signature gathering. But, buoyed by election results in other states where weed was on the ballot, MI Legalize say it is preparing to try again in 2018. The group will need to come up with about 250,000 valid voter signatures in a six-month period to qualify.

Drug Policy

Donald Trump Selects Drug Warrior Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The Alabama Republican senator, who once said that the Ku Klux Klan was, "OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana," has a track record of opposition to marijuana reform. Earlier this year, Sessions spoke out against marijuana legalization in a Senate hearing, and urged the government to send the message to the public that "good people don't smoke marijuana." He has also said in a separate hearing that marijuana cannot be safer than alcohol because, "Lady Gaga says she's addicted to it and it is not harmless." Sessions is also a proponent of harsh sentences for drug offenses. Sessions was the chief opponent of recent bipartisan efforts to reduce sentences for drug offenses, demagoguing that "this proposal would provide for leniency for illegal alien drug traffickers," and voting against the bill in the Judiciary Committee.

Harm Reduction

US Surgeon General Issues Addiction Report Endorsing Harm Reduction. The office of the Surgeon General has released a report on alcohol and other drug use that endorses harm reduction and calls needle exchanges "an important strategy." The report by Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy also acknowledges the role of harm reduction in "meeting people where they're at," saying that such programs meet the "needs of those who are not yet ready to participate in treatment" and those "who may not be ready to stop substance use -- offering individuals strategies to reduce risks while still using." The report identifies drug abuse and addiction as the nation's number one public health problem.

International

Singapore Hangs Nigerian Man for Five Pounds of Weed. Chijoke Stpehen Obioha, 38, a Nigerian citizen, was hanged Friday in Singapore after being convicted of trafficking 2.6 kilograms of marijuana. He had been jailed for nine years after his 2007 arrest. Under Singapore law, anyone caught with more than a pound of marijuana can be sentenced to death. In 2015, Singapore executed four people, one murderer and three drug offenders.

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CN ON: City Looks To Get Handle On Budding Residential Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 08:00
Brampton Guardian, 18 Nov 2016 - A Brampton councillor wants the city to clamp down on licensed marijuana grow operations in residential neighbourhoods. "Even though there are legal marijuana grow operations happening in residential communities, the municipality has no legislative authority to inspect them for safety and compliance," said Regional Coun. Gael Miles.
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CN ON: Make Lifesaver More Available

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 08:00
London Free Press, 18 Nov 2016 - Bundle overdose-fighting naloxone with opioid prescriptions to save lives, area health unit urges It's been proven to be the most effective weapon in the fight to prevent deaths from opioid overdose, a major killer in Ontario.
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CN BC: B.C. Drug Overdoses Rising

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 08:00
Prince George Citizen, 18 Nov 2016 - VANCOUVER - The death toll from illicit drugs will likely continue rising because of stronger opioids, an onerous federal law and accidental overdoses among people who unwittingly take a killer pain medication, says British Columbia's medical health officer. Dr. Perry Kendall said a record-number of fatal overdoses have officials in several cities across the province urging the federal government to approve facilities where drug use is supervised and overdoses can be reversed.
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CN SN: Fentanyl, Meth Use Rising

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 08:00
Moose Jaw Times-Herald, 18 Nov 2016 - Police are seeing more fentanyl and crystal meth cases in the city and some locals have overdosed on fentanyl, they say. "Prior to, you know, within the last year, 2016, fentanyl really didn't exist here," said Moose Jaw Police Deputy Chief Cliff Froehlich.
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Chronicle AM: No More Small MJ Arrests in Vegas; NM & RI to Consider Legalization, More... (11/17/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 21:39

Marijuana, marijuana, marijuana. The news today is almost all about marijuana, plus an asset forfeiture bill pre-filed in Texas.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana

Maine Recount to Proceed. Opponents of the Question 1 legalization initiative, which won by around 4,000 votes (less than 1% of the total votes cast), have handed in petitions seeking a recount. Now, state officials must verify that at least 100 signatures on the petition came from registered voters who voted in the November 8 election. Once that hurdle is passed, the actual recount will begin. The recount will cost Maine taxpayers about $250,000. "With thousands of votes in the margin, the recount is not going to be successful," said Yes on 1 campaign spokesperson Alysia Melnick, "and it's unfortunate the opposition would go against the will of the people and use taxpayer dollars for a recount that will not change the outcome."

New Mexico Democrats Eye Legalization Bills Next Year. Democrats now control the state legislature, and they are vowing to introduce new legalization bills despite the opposition of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla Park) has filed a legalization bill the last two years, and says he will do it again next year. "It's not an academic exercise anymore," he said. And Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) also says he will be introducing a constitutional amendment that would take the issue to a popular vote.

Rhode Island Governor Ponders Legalization in Wake of Election Victories. Gov. Gina Raimundo (D) said Tuesday she's ready to more seriously consider legalization after voters in neighboring Massachusetts approved it last week. Democrats control both houses of the legislature, and both House Speaker Thomas Mattiello and Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio say they are ready to take up legalization bills.

Tennessee Attorney General Says Municipal Decriminalization Measures Not Enforceable. The state's two largest cities, Memphis and Nashville, have both passed decriminalization ordinances this year, but in an opinion issued Wednesday, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery ruled that the measures are unenforceable because there are pre-empted by state laws that continue to make pot possession a criminal offense. "A municipal ordinance that attempts to regulate a field that is regulated by state statute cannot stand if it is contradictory to state law," he wrote.

Las Vegas Prosecutors Announce End to Small-Time Pot Prosecutions. Prosecutors in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, say they will now quit pursuing charges against people caught with small amounts of marijuana and won't file any new charges for pot possession. Prosecutors in the city of Las Vegas say the same thing. The moves comes in the wake of last week's victory for the Question 2 legalization initiative.

Asset Forfeiture

Texas Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa has pre-filed a bill for the session beginning in January that seeks to raise the burden of proof in asset forfeiture proceedings. The measure, Senate Bill 156, would raise the burden of proof from "a preponderance of the evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence."

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CN BC: Smoking Pot Could Help Drug Users Kick Addictions: Study

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 08:00
Metro, 17 Nov 2016 - Remember the old "gateway drug" theory that marijuana leads to harder drugs like cocaine or meth? Now researchers at the University of British Columbia believe the idea might actually work in reverse.
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US: Editorial: Stoner City, USA

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 08:00
Wall Street Journal, 17 Nov 2016 - In Denver it'€™s now easier to get high in public than to smoke cigarettes. Denver voters last week passed a first-of-its-kind referendum allowing consumption of pot in public settings, though the new law has so many caveats and complexities that hipsters may have to hire a fleet of consultants. Cannabis liberationists: meet the regulatory state.
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CN ON: C-K Police Buying Drone

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 08:00
The Chatham Daily News, 17 Nov 2016 - Device can be used for surveillance, chief says The Chatham-Kent Police Service expects to have a new tool in place. Three years after police chief Gary Conn raised the idea of purchasing a drone, approval was granted at Tuesday's meeting of the Chatham-Kent Police Services Board.
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Chronicle AM: New England MJ Legalization Heats Up, Oakland Eyes Public MJ Bank, More... (11/16/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 21:53

Last week's legalization victories are reverberating throughout New England, and the city of Oakland is moving toward a publicly-owned bank that could serve pot businesses.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana

Connecticut Governor Says He's Considering Marijuana Legalization. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has said that given last week's votes to legalize marijuana in nearby Maine and Massachusetts, he is reevaluating legalization in his own state. Malloy had previously supported decriminalization, but said that was far enough. But now: "We might have to reexamine our legal position, our position of enforcement, based on what some surrounding states are doing," said Malloy.

Slow Action on Certifying Legalization Vote Could Mean No Legal Weed in Maine Until January. The state's legalization initiative will not go into effect until 30 days after the state certifies and the governor proclaims the results. That could push legalization back until January 7 if the secretary of state's office and the governor take all the time allowed before acting. Legalization supporters had said pot should be legal there by Christmas.

Vermont Legislators Ready to Try to Pass Marijuana Legalization Again. A pair of key lawmakers said they are ready to try to get legalization through the legislature again, but incoming Republican Governor Phil Scott says don't bother. Still, Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said legalization votes in Maine and Massachusetts are forcing the state's hand. "For me, that's a game-changer, that Massachusetts has voted to legalize," Sears said. Sears' counterpart in the House, Judiciary Committee chairwoman Rep. Maxine Grad, is also ready to go, saying the Maine and Massachusetts votes will make lawmakers more amenable to moving forward.

City of Oakland Eyes Public Bank for Marijuana Industry. The city of Oakland has taken a first step toward opening a public bank in a move aimed at allowing marijuana businesses access to financial services. Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan is leading the charge." Creating a local bank in the city of Oakland could benefit lots of local businesses," said Kaplan. "But, it's also a great match for the needs of our growing cannabis industry to have access to safe banking." The issue has already been before the city council and will be again on November 29.

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Chronicle AM: TX MJ Decrim Bills, Canada Study and BMJ Call for Drug Decrim, More... (11/15/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 22:00

As more states legalize weed, Colorado's governor warns of gray market dangers, Texas sees a slew of early marijuana decriminalization bills, the British Medical Journal calls the drug war a failure, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana

Colorado Governor Warns of Dangers of Gray Market. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said Monday that the state's gray market in marijuana is a "clear and present danger" that demands tougher regulations and enforcement. The state must "move swiftly and aggressively to make sure illegal activity is stamped out," he said. "If we don't stamp it out right now, it becomes acceptable. And then, all of a sudden, people are going to start getting hurt. If you let crime grow, it will breed on its opportunity." Hickenlooper's remarks come as he asks lawmakers to set aside $16 million in pot tax revenues for new efforts to control the gray market.

Texas Marijuana Decriminalization Bills Filed. Lone Star State lawmakers filed several decriminalization bills Monday, the first day of filing for the 2017 legislative session. One would create a special court for first-time possession offenders; another would reduce criminal penalties for possessing up to a half ounce. Similar bills have been offered in Austin in the past, but have so far failed to pass. House Bill 58 by state Rep. James White (R-Woodville) would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders based on the principle that first-time defendants are often self-correcting. House Bill 81, filed by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) would replace criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of up to $250. The bill also allows Texans to avoid arrest and possible jail time for possessing a small amount of marijuana. House Bill 82, filed by Rep. Harold Dutton, Jr. (D-Houston), would make a pot possession a Class C misdemeanor, down from a Class B. And Sen. Joe Rodriguez has filed Senate Bill 170, which would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce.

International

Canadian Federal Study Calls for Drug Decriminalization. A research paper from the Canadian Justice Department has noted that that are healthier and less costly ways of dealing with drug users than arresting them, and urges the Canadian government to seriously consider drug decriminalization. "It is becoming more challenging to justify the criminalization of drug users," the study says.

British Medical Journal Says War on Drugs Has Failed. The prestigious British Medical Journal has called for ending penalties against drug users and for governments to regulate legal drug markets. "All wars cause human rights violations, and the war on drugs is no different," the Journal said in an editorial, "Prohibition and stigma encourage less safe drug consumption and push people away from health services."

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CN ON: Cannabis Culture Reopens

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 08:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 15 Nov 2016 - It no longer sells marijuana, but Cannabis Culture reopened Saturday to sell drug paraphernalia with an aim of becoming a community hub for pot smokers. The chain store at 282 George St. N, drew long lineups of recreational and medicinal smokers after opening as a marijuana dispensary in September before being shuttered following a pair of police raids, first on Sept. 15 and then on Sept. 29.
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