BY SARAH SIMPSON, CITIZEN
Ted Smith has long argued that marijuana production should be a legal industry, with cultivation regulated, instead of hindered, by the government.
The Victoria-based president of the International Hempology 101 Society and publisher of Cannabis Digest is one of many, from government officials to noted academics, who believe the time has come for a change in the way society views the plant.
In 2008, B.C. Business magazine placed the province's marijuana industry in second place for its contribution to the B.C. gross domestic product.
Smith says it's time to reformat how cannabis is thought about, believing it could do wonders for the province's economic outlook. Read more »
BY NEAL HALL, VANCOUVER SUN
VANCOUVER - A judge recently acquitted a Vancouver Island resident of growing marijuana after finding the police search warrant used to seize 396 pot plants was based on wrong information, but he still faces his home being seized under the Civil Forfeiture Act.
The RCMP, suspecting Christopher Shoquist was up to no good, obtained a search warrant to search his rural property at 1051 Koskimo Road in Qualicum Beach.
Officers stood behind what they believed was a neighbour's fence to observe an outbuilding that was suspected to contain a marijuana grow operation. Read more »
BY LINDSAY KINES, TIMES COLONIST
A spike in drug overdose deaths on Vancouver Island has prompted the B.C.
Coroners Service to remind the public about risks associated with extra-strength heroin on the streets.
Regional coroner Matt Brown said there were eight confirmed heroinrelated fatalities from January to July with another four suspected cases awaiting toxicology test results.
That compares with six over the same period in 2010.
"There's a definite spike there," he said.
Brown said the majority of the overdoses occurred in January, but cases continue to surface, prompting the concern.
"What we want to do is make sure that the general public is aware that there is a higher potency of heroin out there," he said. Read more »
BY SPENCER ANDERSON, COMOX VALLEY ECHO
The North Island Compassion club, a medical marijuana group, was busted by Comox Valley RCMP last week.
On Friday, police executed a search warrant on the club's headquarters on Sixth Street in Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
They seized several pounds of marijuana, and arrested four people. RCMP spokeswoman Const. Tammy Douglas confirmed two were charged and released on a promise to appear in court.
"Police are concerned the club has become a front for marijuana dealing," said Douglas in a statement. "We recognize there are conflicting views on the medicinal value of marijuana but it remains illegal to sell in the manner in which they were conducting business." Read more »
Nanaimo neighbourhood associations want in on the conversation about harm reduction strategies the Vancouver Island Health Authority expects to roll out this summer.
The health authority plans to implement an Island-wide harm reduction strategy, including 60 sites in various communities.
About 10 sites are being considered in Nanaimo and will be secondary providers of harm reduction materials that include condoms, needles, syringes, alcohol swabs, push sticks, plastic tubes and cookers.Read more »