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Legislation: WE ARE NOT 'POT DOCTORS'
GovernmentWE ARE NOT 'POT DOCTORS'

I would like to clarify a few issues regarding the Health Canada Medicinal Marihuana Access Regulations ( MMAR ) program.

Physicians do not "prescribe pot." Every Canadian citizen qualifies automatically for MMAR if they meet the Health Canada criteria-anyone providing evidence of a qualifying condition, and/or anyone who's been to a specialist for their condition. This has nothing to do with the doctor's views on the matter-patients either qualify or they do not.

Doctors authorize for MMAR by filling out forms declaring that the patient has the condition. This automatically authorizes the patient to possess and grow marihuana. The patient instructs the doctor as to the daily quantity and method by which they consume marihuana. This is much different than a physician prescribing a medication-where the doctor instructs the patient.

Although above the B.C. average, Chilliwack doctors underauthorize for patients needing MMAR. According to the World Drug Report issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ( 2007 ), 16.8 per cent of Canadians, ages 15 to 64, smoked or ingested cannabis in 2006. It follows that out of 69,217 residents in Chilliwack, 11,628 would be users. Daily users are usually self-medicating for a range of conditions from depression to severe arthritis pain to cancer. In my large 4,500-patient practice, about 200 qualify for MMAR. Extrapolating from this, over 3,000 in Chilliwack could require access to medicinal marihuana and are not receiving the care they require. It is not about joints or THC. In cannabis, THC is only one of over 60 cannabinoids ( natural medicinal chemicals ). THC gets the user 'stoned' when it is heated ( smoked or cooked ). Cannabidiol ( CBD ) is a pain-fighting, anti-inflammatory cannabinoid that gives no high and can mitigate the euphoric effects of THC. THC is not active in its raw form whereas CBD is.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, February 03

Legislation: THE AGONY OF ECSTASY AND THE MAKING OF A LAW
GovernmentIt was a chance meeting aboard a quiet passenger ferry that would eventually send heavily armed police crashing through the doors of a Metro Vancouver home and forever change Canadian drug-enforcement policy.

The July 2011 raid was significant not only because it netted five arrests for suspected drug production but because it was the culmination of three years of lobbying the federal government to make illegal the possession of chemicals used to produce methamphetamine and ecstasy.

That chance 2007 meeting on the Bowen Island ferry between John Weston, now MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP had all the makings of a Hollywood screenplay:

An aspiring young politician promises a veteran street cop he'll take the gloves off law enforcement to help them fight street-drug manufacturers if he's sent to the capital. "He offered to give me a legal education on illegal drugs," Weston told The Outlook, "knowing that I might be elected and knowing that he was right that I perhaps needed an education on something that was so important to young people and to families in the riding I now represent."

A promise kept: Weston goes to Ottawa and Cpl. De Jong's plea is echoed in the country's highest halls of power. But the barriers of bureaucracy went up and the new anti-drug bill that seemed a slam dunk for Weston became a lengthy battle of attrition with fellow politicians and lawmakers.

Meanwhile, in the time since that first ferry meeting, one of Weston's own constituents would literally become the poster child for ecstasy and amphetamine awareness. On May 28, 2008, Erin Spanevello of West Vancouver tried ecstasy one night and stopped breathing at the age of 21.

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Posted by cryadmin on Sunday, December 18

Legislation: Crystal Meth DRUG PRODUCTION
GovernmentBackbencher law illuminates tough battle against synthetic drugs

On the final day of Parliament last March just before the federal election, a rookie Conservative MP from British Columbia pulled off a rare feat for a backbencher – he got a law passed.

John Weston won unanimous support in the House for a private member’s bill that comes into force Thursday. It is an amendment to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that police hope will help them in what so far has been a losing battle against the illegal manufacture of methamphetamines and ecstasy. <

“People were calling for something to end the scourge of crystal meth and ecstasy,” said Mr. Weston, who has supported drug-rehab programs in the Vancouver area. “The more I learned, the more I realized this was something really important.”

The new law for the first time makes it a crime to possess the tools of synthetic drug production – anything from chemicals to pill presses – if it can be proven they were intended for making illegal drugs.

Until now, while the import of so-called precursor chemicals was regulated, possession once they were in the country was not illegal – making Canada an attractive venue in the worldwide manufacture and smuggling of meth and ecstasy. “It’s going to give law enforcement an excellent tool that we never had before,” said Sergeant Douglas Culver, the national co-ordinator for the RCMP’s synthetic drug program. “Before we almost had to wait until the drugs were produced. This way hopefully some of the labs will never get set up and the drugs will never hit the streets.”

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Posted by cryadmin on Saturday, June 25

Legislation: Damage: Meth madness
GovernmentWE CAN'T understand why millions of Americans want to blank out their brains with dope. From crack cocaine to heroin to OxyContin to crystal meth, it's a billion-dollar criminal business. Almost daily, it seems, West Virginia police bust another secret meth lab and haul the chemical-cookers to jail.

Now, Oregon and Mississippi have mostly wiped out meth labs through a simple law change: requiring prescriptions for cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine. Oregon's new law was written chiefly by district attorney Rob Bovett. In a recent commentary, he wrote:

"The latest bad news from the world of methamphetamine is that makers of the drug have perfected a one-pot recipe that enables them to manufacture their highly addictive product while on the move, often in their car. The materials they need - a two-liter soda bottle, a few cold pills and some household chemicals - are easily obtained and easily discarded, often in a trash bag dumped along the highway."

Bovett said America's meth madness flared after 1976, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine nasal decongestant to be sold over the counter, "inadvertently letting the genie out of the bottle. Afterward, the meth epidemic spread across the nation, leaving destroyed lives and families in its wake."

Sales of those decongestants soared to nearly $600 million a year, far more than required by snifflers. Most of the purchases were by illegal meth lab operators. Bovett continued:

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Posted by cryadmin on Sunday, November 28

Legislation: WESTON'S ANTI-METH BILL GOES TO SENATE
Government West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky member of Parliament John Weston was "on cloud nine" Wednesday, June 9, after his private member's bill to hinder the purchase of legal substances for manufacturing crystal meth and ecstasy received third and final reading with unanimous consent.

"It's hard to describe the feeling, but the house is rarely unanimous on things, and to see all the members rising in support of a bill you've been working on for a few months is really very exciting," said Weston. "There were MPs from all corners of the house giving me the thumbs up and smiling - it's a real team effort."

Third and final reading is the final stage in the House of Commons before the piece of legislation is sent to the Senate. Weston said he is working to push the system as quickly as possible.

"Speed is everything because if you move slowly an election intervenes and everything dies on the order paper," he said.

Targeted ingredients in the bill include meth's precursor chemicals, such as pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, which are commonly found in over-the-counter cold medications, as well as acetone, rubbing alcohol and iodine.

"The bill would give our law enforcement community a powerful new tool with which to confront the growing menace of two drugs which are attacking the health and welfare of Canadians," said Weston.

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, June 22

Legislation: STARS ALIGN' FOR WESTON'S ANTI-METH BILL
Government House of Commons Embraces Bill Despite Questions Over Harm Reduction

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky MP John Weston once again reveled in uniting a rarely harmonious House of Commons during a presentation of his private member's bill Friday ( May 7 ) that would hinder the purchase of legal substances for the manufacturing of crystal meth.

Friday's debate was the beginning of third reading, the final stage of debate in the House of Commons before the piece of legislation is voted on again and sent to the Senate.

During his 15-minute presentation, Weston pointed to a chance encounter to illustrate how "the stars aligned" to make the bill a reality.

"I was on a flight from Ottawa to Vancouver when I chanced to sit next to a board member for [the Baldy Hughes Addiction Treatment Centre in Prince George], Kevin England, who proceeded to add to and encourage the efforts of the great team of people who support the bill," said Weston.

"When we meet strangers on flights who provide informed support for a legislative initiative, we know the stars are aligned and the idea is one whose time has come."

Targeted ingredients in the bill include meth's precursor chemicals, such as pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and Sudafed, which are commonly found in over-the-counter cold medications, as well as acetone, rubbing alcohol and iodine.

"The bill would give our law enforcement community a powerful new tool with which to confront the growing menace of two drugs which are attacking the health and welfare of Canadians," said Weston.

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Posted by cryadmin on Wednesday, May 19

Legislation: MP Weston’s anti-meth bill wins Unanimous approval
GovernmentBill C-475 Attacks Crystal Meth,

A private member’s bill from West Vancouver’s MP that aims to make crystal meth harder to manufacture has passed the House of Commons by unanimous consent.

Bill C-475 amends Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to make it illegal to possess, produce, sell or import chemicals with the knowledge they will be used to create crystal meth or ecstasy, and threatens violators with a prison term of up to 10 years.

The legislation, introduced by West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky country MP John Weston Wednesday, passed second reading in the House of Commons 287-0.

“I’m just delighted,” said Weston. “People whose lives have been ruined or whose family members or friends have been ruined wanted something to be done.”

A similar bill was tabled by Peace River MP Chris Warkentin in 2007, but died when an election was called.

Unlike some street drugs, methamphetamines can be manufactured from chemicals that are available to the public. Iodine, acetone, rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, even cold medication can be found on the list of ingredients.

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Posted by cryadmin on Saturday, April 17

Legislation: MP WESTON AIMS TO 'SHRINK DISTANCE' BETWEEN OTTAWA, RIDING
Government First-Term MP Sums Up An Event-filled First Full Year In Office

"Shrinking the distance" between John Weston's far-flung B.C. riding and Ottawa has been one of the major themes of the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country Member of Parliament's first full year in office.

First elected in October 2008, the Conservative MP said in a wide-ranging year-end interview last week that while he's had the honour of going on two major international trips in 2009 - including Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent sojourn to China, Hong Kong and South Korea - he has enjoyed the challenge of what he termed standing "the pyramid" on its head and allowing communities to take a leading role in setting his agenda.

That's been especially true of the federal government's efforts to provide economic stimulus in response to the economic downturn, Weston said.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, December 25

Legislation: West Vancouver MP John Weston introduces Bill to control Meth Precursors
GovernmentMember of Parliament John Weston introduced a private member's bill in the House of Commons last week that would make it an offence to procure the ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine drugs such as ecstasy and crystal meth.

Weston's bill goes further than another similar bill put forward by Peace River MP Chris Warkentin that died on the table as a result of last year's snap election. Weston's bill allows for conditional sentences for offenders, while expanding its scope to include ecstasy.

"The Attorney General asked me if I would introduce this bill, and I leapt on it because I feel it speaks to the needs of the people in our riding and what I'm hearing from educators, coaches and others," said Weston. "There is a lot of public awareness and concern over these two drugs."

As a father of three, Weston said he is concerned that youth are particularly vulnerable.

"Kids who experience these drugs can drop out of school. In some cases their futures are ruined, they end up on the streets in some cases. There are families that have been destroyed. Some embark on criminal careers to support their habits. And no family is immune, no matter what demographic group they belong to or their economic class."

Weston is also concerned that Canada has been identified internationally as an exporter of both drugs, while the drugs themselves can endanger lives if they include toxic or poisonous substances. Doses are not regulated or uniform in any way, and as a result people can overdose on what they believe is a small amount.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, November 06

Legislation: PROPOSED BYLAW TO PLACE MORE RESPONSIBILITY ON HOMEOWNERS
EnforcementTerrace homeowners could soon be tagged with high fees and service costs if their properties are found in hazardous conditions and emergency crews are called in to clean it up.

City council is looking at a Controlled Substance Property Remediation bylaw that would authorize certain city officials right of entry and inspection, and forward the charge of the drug cleanup to the owners.

Local RCMP Inspector Eric Stubbs and Const. Tim Russell explained the reasoning behind setting up the bylaw at a city council meeting Aug. 10.

Stubbs said the bylaw would deal with health risks the properties pose to the community in manufacturing the controlled substances, and eliminate the cleanup cost to taxpayers.

He highlighted the meth lab bust in the basement of a residence on the 4700 block of Scott Ave. last year as an example.

"Dismantling these types of operations pose a number of risks to both the occupiers of those residences, as well as their neighbours, as well as...those enforcing search warrants," he said.

"These particular labs have to be dealt with in a careful, prudent, and safe way, that is very expensive," he continued, noting that materials need to be moved, stored, shipped and disposed of in a particular way, which can cost a lot of money.

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Posted by cryadmin on Monday, August 24