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  1. Alfa
    HEALTH OFFICIALS VOW TO RESPOND TO RECOMMENDATIONS


    REGINA -- Health Canada officials say they are taking recommendations from the western ministers conference on crystal meth seriously, even though they made changes to fight the growing use of the drug even before the conference began.


    Early Friday, just before the ministers met in Regina, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler announced the federal government's intent to strengthen licensing controls on the key ingredients used in the production of crystal meth as well as the date rape drug, GHB.


    Four chemicals used in making methamphetamine -- red phosphorus, white phosphorus, hypophosphorous acid and hydriodic acid -- now require a licence and permit to import, export, produce or distribute.


    The government is also considering amending the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to allow for tougher penalties for production, possession and trafficking of crystal meth.


    Those were two of the five recommendations that eventually came from the western ministers at the conclusion of the one-day conference.


    Participants also urged the federal government to create offences for possession of key ingredients, commit adequate resources to enforcement and create a national crystal meth awareness campaign.


    Chris Williams, a spokesperson for Health Canada, said department officials are reviewing the other recommendations.


    "We acknowledge the work that the western provinces are doing to address the concern of increased use and production of methamphetamine in their regions," he said. "We also support them in their efforts to find collaborative ways of addressing the issues."


    Williams said Ottawa is talking to stakeholders about moving crystal meth up to a Schedule 1 drug, which would carry a maximum penalty of life for trafficking, instead of Schedule 3, which has a 10-year maximum sentence.


    Less serious drugs, including meth, LSD and ecstasy, are among those classified as Schedule 3 drugs, while the Schedule 1 designation is used for the most dangerous drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.


    As for the most concrete step taken by ministers at the conference -- restricting the sale of cold remedies containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine -- Saskatchewan's governing body for pharmacists isn't sure if it will be worthwhile.


    "So far we've resisted pressure to impose restrictions because we haven't seen any evidence of increased sales that are leading to the clandestine manufacture of crystal meth," said Ray Joubert, registrar for the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists. "If that were the case and there were solid evidence to support it, that's certainly something we would consider very seriously."


    Western ministers have directed officials to report back by Oct. 1 with recommendations as to how the substances will be restricted.


    Joubert said a balance between limiting access for illicit use and those who legitimately need the medicines is needed, but the college will ask members to abide by whatever is decided by the government.

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  1. BlueMystic
    http://register.thestar.com/LoginPage.aspx?SID=JuQ7&RID= 3075&CU=aHR0cDovL3d3dy50aGVzdGFyLmNvbS9OQVNBcHAvY3MvQ29u dGVudFNlcnZlcj9wYWdlbmFtZT10aGVzdGFyL0xheW91dC9BcnRpY2xlX1R5 cGUxJmM9QXJ0aWNsZSZjaWQ9MTExOTA0NzcwODgzNCZjYWxsX3BhZ2VpZD05 NjgzMzIxODg0OTImY29sPTk2ODc5Mzk3MjE1NCZ0PVRTX0hvbWUmJTIwRFBM PUp2c09EU0g3QXcwdSUyYndvUk8lMmJZS0RTYmxGeEFrJTJid29WTyUyYllP RFM8YnIlMjAvPiUyMGJoRnhBZyUyYndrUk8lMmJVUERTWGlGeE1oJTJid2ta TyUyYlVDRFNUbUZ4SWslMmJ3PGJyJTIwLz4lMjA4Uk8lMmJNS0RTUGtGeFVq JTJidzhVTyUyYk1ORFNQZ0Z4VXYlMmJ3OFlPJTJiSUxEUzxiciUyMC8%2bTG tGeFFoMXclM2QlM2QmdGFjb2RhbG9naW49eWVz


    Crystal in the county
    ANDREW CHUNG
    STAFF REPORTER


    Cheap, dangerous and highly addictive, crystal methamphetamine has hit the small towns of Perth County hard. Police claim it started when Dan McCool brought the recipe from Texas. He says meth would eventually have made it here without him.

    Stratford, Ont.—Dan McCool is the picture of a hard-working jack-of-all-trades. Lean, muscled and curly haired, he gets up at 6 every morning, throws on jeans and a ball cap and doesn't usually get home to his mother's house until after 10 at night.

    He hustles for seeding work from a handful of farmers. He does repairs for a swamp-side millwright operation. Some employers know of his past. Some do not.

    Most who do know won't give him a job, because McCool, 42, is the man police around here say brought crystal methamphetamine to Perth County.

    Crystal is one of the most addictive drugs, with a host of properties that also make it one of the most appealing. It's cheap, between $50 to $100 a gram, which means for as little as $5, users can get a high that lasts longer than most other drugs.

    And it is now the biggest drug problem here, police say.

    Stratford, a small city 150 km southwest of Toronto, is a tourist destination known for its Shakespearean theatre festival, fine restaurants and elegant Victorian architecture. Yet in the city and the tiny towns that radiate from here, crystal meth is hooking hundreds and it's on the rise. It's in the schools, on the streets and addiction has soared.

    It's also one of Stratford's best-kept secrets.

    "I don't think people want to think it's happening here," says Catharine Hardman, director of Choices for Change, the local addiction treatment centre. "Stratford is a very nice, very beautiful place to be. People don't like to think there's this side of it."

    In the last five years, the number of people seeking treatment for amphetamines has increased from just six in 2000 to 62 in 2004.

    Meth seizures and arrests by the Stratford Police Service during that time went from one to 19, while the Ontario Provincial Police, laid 100 drug charges and 72 criminal code charges related to meth since 2002. The OPP clandestine lab team dismantled 17 labs.

    "We're getting killed with it right now," says a detective with the Stratford police drug unit who is active in undercover investigations. "We spend most of our time on it. In fact, I said the other day, `Wouldn't it be nice to just do a weed grow again?'"

    Crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, glass, jib and tina, is a more pure and potent form of speed, the drug that became all the rage in the 1970s until a series of tragedies led to the famous tagline: Speed kills.

    Users tend to feel euphoric, alert and awake. But it is also extremely addictive and comes with some frightening side effects. Aside from the cardiac and stroke risk, users can end up psychotic, hallucinating or violent. Some see bugs on their skin and try to pick them off, leaving sores. Highs are often followed by deep depression.

    Cheaper than crack cocaine, meth is now a major presence on the streets of the western provinces. Police and medical experts are mobilizing for its onslaught in Ontario. But that has yet to happen.

    Except in Perth County, two hours drive southwest of Toronto.

    The area is ideally suited to meth-making: It's farm country that allows meth cooks to work without being noticed. They've placed portable labs in the corners of farmers' fields and most recently, in the backs of trucks. Many of the products needed to make meth — like anhydrous ammonia, a fertilizer — are in good supply, says Ontario Provincial Police clandestine lab coordinator Det. Sgt. Paul Henry.

    Police say meth is spreading. Already it's popping up more often in Waterloo region, and police there say it comes from Perth.

    "It's a sad, sad thing," says Sgt. Ray Massicotte, who heads the Waterloo Regional Police drug unit. "Once it hits like it did out west it's not going to be pretty,"

    But where did it come from? Police point to the man who was living in Texas, where he was convicted of meth possession in 2001. He was deported back to Canada and began to cook it here.

    That man is McCool. His was the first clandestine meth lab to be discovered in Perth County, in Nov. 2002.

    "You were the person who brought the method to Ontario and were described as the chemist," said the Stratford judge who sentenced McCool to two years in prison.

    "Okay, so I brought the recipe back here. But there's been meth here a lot longer than when I got here," says McCool, taking a break from grinding a metal plate inside the millwright's farm shed, and pulling out a hand-rolled cigarette.

    "They've gotta pin it on someone," he bristles.

    "It's big in the U.S. It's big out west. Just 'cause I brought it in at this day and time doesn't make me the only one. If I didn't, someone else would."

    He was caught, he says, because a friend turned informant. He was making the crystal in a barn in Monkton, west of Stratford.

    Police staked the place out. Armed with a warrant, they barged in wearing camouflage, sticks sprouting from their helmets. Police also searched McCool's apartment, and the raid rounded up nine people and a reported 280 grams of meth, worth about $25,000.

    He spent 15 months of a two-year sentence in two Kingston jails for possession, production and trafficking of meth. He was released on parole, but sent back after he failed a surprise urine test, he says. He was still smoking crystal meth.

    Now fresh off parole, he's trying to find work, in factories, a cab company, but no one will hire him steady: "They likely think I'm cooking it up still, but I ain't got nothing to do with it anymore. It just shows you can't change what people think."

    He'd open a business if the sandblasting equipment and vehicles he bought before he was arrested were returned. But it's on the property of a former friend who won't give it back and he doesn't have receipts, he says. The police won't help, he says.

    McCool, an experienced auto wrecker, says he just wants to be productive.


    Young people, the biggest crystal meth users, don't have to go far to get the drug in Perth County. Chances are they can find it in school.

    The town of Listowel, in the county's heartland, is surrounded by cow pastures and Mennonites dressed all in black, driving horse-drawn buggies.

    "You can find meth in two minutes at the school and, if not, have a list of numbers of people who will bike down and give it to you," says Kelly, a Listowel District Secondary School student who asked her real name not be used. "There's never a day you can't get meth."

    Some students said that meth is readily available.

    While Kelly says students do not use the drug at school, she's aware of dealers who make use of bicycles and cars to hook youth up with the drug.

    One young man even runs a "meth taxi." He drives into town every day to pick up a few students. They buy and smoke the meth in his car and later return to school, Kelly says.

    School principal Jackie Campbell said there is a zero tolerance policy toward drugs at school, and that police are invited to search lockers once a year. There have been no meth incidents at school, either.

    Even so, she says, "I'm sure if a student wanted to find it they could find it."

    She said the school established a student-led anti-drug committee last year. While crystal meth hasn't been its focus, Campbell says, "Maybe we should be looking at this issue."

    At one "meth party" in a sparse apartment in Listowel with but a bare mattress, dirty dishes and flickering television on the floor, people were snorting endless lines of crystal, Kelly says. She watched as one teenager thought he was still playing a Nintendo game, even though it had been turned off. "That really scared me," she says.

    A number of students — who tend not to go to school — also do it in the town of St. Mary's, says Nickey Muma, 18, who says she has smoked meth six times. There is a house they usually party at, where the speakers pump out loud music. One man has sores all over his body, some oozing, she says. She has seen users shuddering and shaking.

    "It's a dirty drug," says Muma, who will graduate this year. It's been a few weeks since she smoked it last, but she still feels the crystals in her lungs. It hurts all the way into her back.

    She says the price of meth makes it appealing to students, but also that there are few other options.

    "There's nothing to do. No mall, no movie theatre."


    McCool grew up in a farmhouse in Wingham, north of Stratford. He left home at 16 after a fight with his father, who died shortly after. He now lives with his mother in Mitchell, another picturesque town in Perth whose best-known resident was one of hockey's first superstars, Howie Morenz.

    While working in the U.S. 14 years ago, McCool met a woman and settled in a small town south of Fort Worth, Texas. They had a son who is now 10, hunts imaginary Antarctic animals and loves Pokémon.

    Immigration caught up with McCool and deported him back to Canada in 1999. Undeterred, he flew to Mexico and crossed back into the U.S. on foot.

    He was in the auto wrecking business, and it was after a client offered him drugs instead of cash as payment that he began his crystal meth odyssey.

    The client taught McCool how to cook the stuff and McCool started making it for himself.

    In 2001 he was surrounded in a Wal-Mart parking lot by immigration and narcotics officers. McCool had a small baggie of meth in his pocket, he says. After months in jail, he was shipped to Toronto.

    McCool found himself back where he started, in Perth County. Without his family. Without his possessions.

    And also without work. So he started cooking meth.

    The recipe, known as the "Nazi" or Birch Reduction method, requires no heat source. Some of the ingredients are readily available in rural settings: Anhydrous ammonia, sulphuric acid, lithium from batteries, ephedrine from cold medication. It is mixed in large pails until translucent, rock-like crystals form.

    There are other recipes, but police claim that, from McCool, dozens of others learned how to cook meth in Perth County, starting an epidemic.

    "What do they think? I had a class every night at 7?" McCool responds, shaking his head. "Other people learned, sure that's what happened. But I didn't teach them. Look at the hundreds making it now. They get the recipes off the Internet."

    For Mike, a 41-year-old addict Stratford, the move from crack to meth was easy.

    "Crack is far more expensive. The high lasts only a few minutes and soon your $100 a gram is gone. But crystal will send you flying to the moon and keep you there for hours," says Mike, who asked that his last name not be published. He recently finished an addiction treatment program and hopes to return to work.

    "The first time I tried crystal, there was no need for anything else. For the next six months it was just me and crystal."

    Every day he fights cravings for the drug that he first smoked at a party and looked like a crushed chandelier. "You can romance the stuff and start salivating. The word itself is such a trigger."

    Except that in his darkest days, he saw faces in the trees and bugs crawling on the walls.

    Dr. Miriam Mann, chief of emergency medicine at Stratford General Hospital, says she is seeing the effects of meth in her emergency room: Young people psychotic or freaked out. She knows when police have broken up a meth lab, because users come in experiencing withdrawal and depression.

    "A lot of meth users end up in emerg," she says. It's also one of the most difficult drugs to kick, she adds.

    And with so many people abusing it in the area, some find it hard to stay away from crystal.




    Shannon Clark, 22, and Ryan Dekker, 24, used to party with meth in her garage in the tiny village of Ethel.

    Clark would sit, spaced out, while Dekker, his shaggy hair bouncing, would play his electric guitar non-stop. Along with their friends, they would spend hours scrawling brooding poetry on the clapboard table. Dekker would often write, inexplicably, about goats.

    They smoked it, swallowed it whole — wrapped in a piece of tissue, a method called "parachuting" — and snorted it. "It felt like glass going through your face," Clark says.

    "I used to think putting things up your nose was glamorous, like Marilyn Monroe," she says. It was only after her younger sister told her she no longer looked up to her that Clark stopped. She now works at a gas station.

    Before Dekker stopped, he had already been in treatment twice and in jail for a night.

    He and his friend were swarmed by cops who mistook them for suspects in a gas-bar robbery. So he swallowed his entire pocketful of meth — a full gram. He doesn't remember it, but he was swinging from the jail cell bars and frothing at the mouth.

    The next morning, he walked up a stranger's driveway and asked a hanging flower pot for a cigarette.

    Dekker was also a dealer, a job that made him feel powerful and needed. "You got so much attention; you had what everyone else wanted." He says his customers had been getting younger.

    Last summer he began living in his car so he could more conveniently get to his customers and suppliers.

    His world revolved more and more around meth.

    "I accepted that one of my friends or I was going to die. I was waiting for it to happen. Then I decided I didn't want it to be me, so I quit."

    Now both have to stay away from meth. Clark is about to be married. She is faced with the unpleasant task of barring friends who still do meth from her wedding. Dekker visited a pal recently only to find him weighing his stash of crystal on a scale. After hesitating, Dekker turned on his heel and left.

    In the five months he's been "clean," he's fallen off the wagon a few times, but not with meth.

    "I still think about (meth), think about doing needles. It makes my mouth water," he says, rapidly balling and opening his fists.

    "It gets intense."

    But McCool disagrees. "I don't think it's highly addictive at all," he says. "All it did for me is keep me awake. Didn't make my head spin or make me see stars.

    "If you're seeing spaceships," he adds, "you probably shouldn't be doing it. You're not supposed to hallucinate off the shit."

    It made him more himself, he says. "You just fit in with the rest of the world and you actually get work done. So I don't see anything wrong with it."

    In fact, he adds, it should be legalized.

    McCool is just taking life day by day. He works relentlessly, and scrapes by. He talks to his son on the telephone every so often. He doesn't much speak to his wife. He was deported before a divorce was finalized, he says.

    His past still haunts him though.

    No one will give him permanent work. And, since he returned home from the pen, the meth chemists have come knocking. He's been bombarded with requests to start cooking again, or to offer advice on fixing bad batches — something he says he won't do.

    "The cops are watching me," he says, his eyes narrowing. "I'm not going back to jail."

    Speed kills — crystal meth is worse

    What is it? Crystal methamphetamine is also known as ice, jib or tina.

    Is it speed? Speed is 60 to 80 per cent pure methamphetamine. Crystal is 90 to 95 per cent pure meth.

    Where did it come from? First synthesized in 1919, it was marketed in the 1930s as Benzedrine, used for nasal congestion and weight loss. Soldiers were given meth during World War II to combat fatigue.

    How is it ingested? It can be injected, ingested orally, snorted or smoked.

    What are the effects on the user? The high is intense and long lasting, up to 12 hours. Creates powerful sexual urges, reduces fatigue and hunger.

    Side effects? Very addictive. Use can lead to deep depression, aggression, violent rages, psychosis and hallucinations, malnutrition, rotten teeth, body sores.
  2. psyvision2000
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    <TD vAlign=center width="100%" background=http://i1.bluelight.nu/p/10.gif bgColor=#e8e8f1>[​IMG]Victoria shaken by drug death of girl, 13 09-09-2005 14:18</TD>
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    <TD>By JANE ARMSTRONG

    Friday, September 9, 2005 Page S1

    VANCOUVER,Canada -- She was supposed to start high school this week. Instead, Mercedes-Rae Clarke is one of Victoria's youngest drug casualties, dead at 13 after taking what she believed was an ecstasy pill.

    At first, the girl's death was attributed to an allergic reaction. Mercedes-Rae and two other girls ingested what they believed were ecstasy pills last Saturday. Mercedes-Rae became ill almost immediately and was taken to a Victoria hospital where she died three days later. The two other girls were unharmed.

    Now, the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Island has said the girl's family believes the ecstasy was laced with crystal methamphetamine, called meth for short.

    The teen's death has shaken the picturesque West Coast city, where a frightening wave of crystal meth has taken hold of scores of young people.

    "Her parents came forward and said: 'This is no allergy,' " said Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for Vancouver Island. "Their daughter died of an overdose -- not of an allergic reaction. And they want people to know that this could happen to anyone's daughter or son."

    Dr. Stanwick called the teen's death a tragedy and warned that buying illicit drugs off the street is a risky game of "drug roulette."

    "You never know what you're getting, because the odds are the dealer doesn't know what [he or she] purchased," Dr. Stanwick said.

    A family member who spoke anonymously to a Victoria newspaper said Mercedes-Rae's family is devastated.

    "She was a petite, beautiful 13-year-old," the relative said. "She was a sparkle in everyone's eyes. She is loved beyond anybody's thoughts and will live in everyone's mind. To have this happen was totally unfair," he said.

    The exact cause of Mercedes-Rae's death won't be known until the coroner completes toxicology reports.

    Police say nearly every seizure of ecstasy contains some crystal meth. Victoria Police Constable Brad Fraser said dealers add the highly addictive substance to ecstasy to hook users.

    Crystal meth has swept across Western Canada, causing alarm among police, youth workers and health authorities. The drug arrived about five years ago on the West Coast, landing first in the clubs of Vancouver and Victoria. Like ecstasy, it gives users energy and stamina for all-night raves.

    However, it is highly toxic and can cause irreparable brain damage. It can also induce psychosis.

    In Vancouver, youth workers say the drug can caused mayhem at shelters when out-of-control users arrive in a psychotic state.

    In Victoria, police say it has led to an increase in property crimes, identity theft, mail theft and assault.

    Constable Fraser is the chairman of the law enforcement committee of a newly formed task force to combat crystal meth use in Victoria.

    Constable Fraser said that the entire community must get involved in the issue, otherwise, "unfortunately, there's going to be a lot more parents shopping for caskets that will fit a 14-year-old child -- to put it bluntly."

    Crystal meth is popular among young people in part because it is easy to buy and easy to make. Recipes can be found on the Internet, and the main ingredients -- ephedrine, red phosphorous and iodine -- can be bought at a drugstore or hardware store. The ingredients are found in allergy remedies and other medicines.

    Dr. Stanwick said the Victoria teen's death is the latest in a string of fatalities that occurred after users bought a drug apparently thinking it was something else.

    Over a two-week period in Vancouver starting in late August, 10 seasoned drug users died of overdoses after taking what appeared to be heroin. There is speculation the heroin was cut with powdered methadone, which is four times as potent as heroin.

    Earlier this month, three people were killed in a van when the driver smashed the vehicle into a rock face on a Vancouver Island highway after falling asleep at the wheel.

    The group had bought drugs that evening, Dr. Stanwick said. "They may have thought they were buying a stimulant when they in fact were buying a suppressant."


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  3. klaatu
    Canada - Cold drugs containing ephedrine no longer OTC

    www.therecord.com

    Apr 10, 2006

    As of today, fending off allergies will be more of a chore for those who rely on corner stores or small groceries for their sinus remedies.

    Medicines containing any trace of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine will be pulled completely from convenience stores, gas stations and any grocery store without a pharmacy.

    These medications include everything from children's cough medicine to adult allergy tablets.

    In pharmacies, medicines with ephedrine as just one of their ingredients -- Tylenol Cold and Advil Cold and Sinus, for instance -- are staying put on the regular shelves.

    But all pure ephedrine or pseudoephedrine medicines -- like Contac Cold 12-hour, Benylin D for infants and Sudafed Decongestant extra-strength -- can now only be sold over the counter.

    The changes are a result of a reclassification of the drug, a recommendation of the National Drug Scheduling Advisory Committee, which regulates national drug classifications.

    The advisory committee is part of the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, a group that effectively decides where prescription and non-prescription drugs can be sold.

    The aim is to "increase surveillance, detect potential abuses, monitor sales and reduce thefts," the organization said in its December 2005 recommendation.

    The drugs are one of the primary ingredients in the production of crystal methamphetamine.

    The reclassification move has received mixed reaction from retailers and pharmacists.

    The drug advisory committee cited "retail diversion" -- where those producing meth obtain their ephedrine from retail channels -- as a growing concern.

    But Gary Sands of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers said retail diversion isn't a big problem now since most meth producers get their ephedrine in bulk.

    And if the advisory committee is concerned with retail diversion, drugs containing any ephedrine at all should be moved directly behind pharmacy counters.

    Now, some allergy and cold remedies will still be found in the same place in a drugstore but won't be found at all in any other kind of store, he said.

    "When (consumers) walk into the pharmacy, they're going to take it off the same shelf to the same kid at the register," he said.

    Sands said it's hard to explain to people, especially in rural areas without a pharmacy, why their medicines are no longer sold at their local stores.

    "It's going to be the grocer that has been put in that position," Sands said. "And for a lot of them, they won't be able to explain that. We think this is a commercially driven decision."

    For law enforcement, any move that could potentially limited the production of crystal meth is a good move.

    "Our region has done well, but just west of us in Perth County, (meth) is a real problem," said Insp. Bryan Larkin of Waterloo regional police. "This is really about limiting access and at the end of the day, it's a step forward."

    Having the pure ephedrine and pseudoephedrine drugs behind the counter and others in plain sight will not only help pharmacists monitor who is buying the drugs but will also encourage interaction, said Della Croteau of the Ontario College of Pharmacists.

    Even people who have taken a product before it was moved could benefit from discussing their medications with their pharmacist, she said.

    "The role of the pharmacist is to ensure the public knows how to take medication, but with everything, there's a balance," she said. "The issue around crystal meth is diversion, and controlling that involves several parties, and this is just one small part of that."

    Many larger pharmacies selling the drugs are also participating in Meth Watch, a national program that trains pharmacists and other staff to spot the signs of possible misuse.

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    Klaatu
  4. jardo
    Some more info..

    Cold remedies removed over crystal meth concerns

    Last Updated Mon, 10 Apr 2006 16:47:56 EDT
    CBC News

    Popular cold medications are being pulled from some store shelves in Canada, to curb their use in the production of crystal methamphetamine. As of Monday, medications containing pure pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, such as Sudafed Decongestant, will only be found behind the counters of pharmacies in some provinces – including Nova Scotia and P.E.I.

    Other medicines and allergy tablets that contain traces of the two drugs are being pulled from corner stores and gas stations in participating provinces. They will be sold only at pharmacies.
    Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are key ingredients in the production of crystal meth, a highly addictive drug that's relatively easy to make with items on household shelves.
    The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) recently recommended reclassifying the medications, which led to the stricter controls. The umbrella organization only has the power to make suggestions, but actual changes can only be implemented by provincial pharmacy registrars.


    'I think it's a good move to curb any sort of abuse': pharmacist
    Halifax pharmacist Darren Dileo said he supports the reclassification of the drugs.
    "I think it's a good move to curb any sort of abuse," Dileo said. "It certainly doesn't terribly inconvenience anybody. Generally we try and consult with people anyhow, so now we have it back here we can just let them know that."

    Halifax police and provincial RCMP said crystal meth production is not the large problem in Nova Scotia that it is out west.
    But the precaution is a good idea to keep the potential ingredients out of the hands of criminals, said Const. Jeff Carr, a spokesman for Halifax Regional Police. The Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists, part of the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities that brought in the new rules, agrees.
    "It seems to be a phenomenon that's working from west to east. So in the West, it's a full-blown problem. In the East, we're hoping to nip it in the bud, so to speak," said Susan Wedlake, registrar of the college.
    The pharmacists group said the new system will let them keep a closer watch on drugs such as pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, letting them spot abuses more easily.


    Grocers' protest, calling changes unfair
    Some grocers, however, said the rules aren't fair or legal, noting that both British Columbia and Alberta have rejected the recommendation by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities.
    The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers said it's obtained a legal opinion suggesting the rule change is beyond the legal jurisdiction of the Ontario College of Pharmacists. The group is calling on NAPRA to withdraw its rule change.
    "The fact that NAPRA are allowing these products to remain exactly where they are, on the general shelves in a pharmacy, and to be purchased without any intervention by a pharmacist, renders pharmacy's motives for this decision suspect," Gary Sands, vice-president of the federation, said in a release Monday.

    http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2006/04/10/cold-meds060410.html
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