Environmental Issues
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61US CA: OPED: Regulate Potency In Pot Before Legalizing ItSun, 21 Aug 2016
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Quinones, Sam Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/21/2016

In November, California will consider whether to legalize recreational marijuana, and voters seem ready to approve the idea.

But the question of legalization is out of date, and is derived from the mistaken idea that all pot is created equal and that most of it is fairly weak.

A question we ought to ask ourselves is just as important if legalization is to succeed: What kind of marijuana should we legalize?

The hyper-potent mutant strains that pass for marijuana today have little relation to naturally grown pot associated with Northern California hippie growers of the 1970s. Levels of THC tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that creates the high in pot now reach 20 to 30 percent, which is seven to 15 times the potency of a few decades ago.

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62 US CA: LTE: Cannabis? No ThanksSun, 21 Aug 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Lowenthal, Marlene Area:California Lines:32 Added:08/21/2016

EDITOR: Santa Rosa is a destination for tourism, dining, wine tasting, boutique breweries, cycling, and the list goes on. Job growth and increasing real estate values are all the more reason not to encourage an industry such as the production of cannabis to be a part of our local economy ("SR aims to be epicenter of legal pot industry," Aug. 14). It brings with it health and safety hazards and environmental concerns. The industry also encourages low-wage earners and has low-density employment.

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63 US AZ: It's Cheaper to Grow Pot in Arizona in Greenhouses ThanThu, 18 Aug 2016
Source:Phoenix New Times (AZ) Author:Nichols, Nate Area:Arizona Lines:472 Added:08/20/2016

You would be forgiven for not recognizing the nondescript brick warehouse in Phoenix's Grand Avenue industrial district as the site of a high-tech agricultural facility.

But as soon as you step inside, the smell of hundreds of marijuana plants is overwhelming. As you make your way through the small rooms that line the main hallway, you can hear the whoosh of ventilation fans and the gentle hum of huge artificial lights suspended above a lush green canopy of leaves. Reggae, old-school hip-hop, and pop-punk blare from a portable speaker as a crew of 30 or so workers trim, water, and inspect the all-female crop of cannabis plants casually known as "the ladies."

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64 US CA: Column: What Legalizing Pot Could MeanFri, 19 Aug 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Abcarian, Robin Area:California Lines:154 Added:08/20/2016

A Statewide Ballot Measure on Adult Recreational Use Is Complicated - and Highly Likely to Pass.

SACRAMENTO - I know you've been distracted/disgusted/gobsmacked by the presidential campaign all summer.

But history, polling and common sense tell us that California's electoral votes already belong to Hillary Clinton (sorry, Donald Trump fans). So stop wasting time worrying about that, Golden State types, and turn your attention to the doorstop of a ballot that you'll be facing when you vote Nov. 8.

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65 CN AB: Medical Pot User Fights DismissalFri, 12 Aug 2016
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Thomas, Brodie Area:Alberta Lines:66 Added:08/16/2016

Marijuana use big issue for employers, expert says

Darrin Rogowski said he is launching a human rights complaint after his employer let him go in late July because he uses medical marijuana after hours.

Rogowski, 30, was working for Inertia Environmental - an Okotoks-based hydrovacing company. He worked on the company's trucks, which use high-pressure water to move earth when excavation by other means isn't allowed.

"When I got my medical marijuana licence back in May, I told one of my supervisors I had it, and nothing else was really said about it," he said.

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66 US CA: Santa Rosa Invites Marijuana Businesses to Step Out ofSun, 14 Aug 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:McCallum, Kevin Area:California Lines:375 Added:08/14/2016

Larry Schaeffer has grown marijuana in Sonoma County for more than a decade.

His Cherry Kola Farms outside Penngrove supplies award-winning strains of pungent pot to one of Sonoma County's largest medical cannabis collectives, as well as discerning dispensaries around the state.

But after years of operating in a quasi-legal status as a nonprofit collective, Schaeffer is ready to go legit. He wants to be an above-board business, in an approved location with proper permits, and pay taxes like any other legitimate enterprise.

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67 US CA: Two North Coast Legislators' Medical Pot Tax Bills GoSat, 13 Aug 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Kovner, Guy Area:California Lines:62 Added:08/14/2016

Two North Coast Legislators' Medical Pot Tax Bills Go Down to Defeat

Two medical marijuana tax proposals submitted by North Coast lawmakers have failed in Sacramento, leaving California voters to decide on higher taxes incorporated in a pot legalization measure on the November ballot.

The tax rates in Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, exceed the rates in the two failed bills by state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, both Healdsburg Democrats whose districts include the pot-rich Emerald Triangle.

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68US CA: Pot Foes Hoping Credibility Counters CashSun, 31 Jul 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/01/2016

A growing number of Southern California law enforcement organizations and leaders are voicing objections to a state ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana, saying it would make the state less safe.

"I'm vehemently opposed to it," Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said. "I think that it would be a terrible move for California to make."

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said the initiative to legalize marijuana "will do nothing to curb black-market activity in California." He is one of several police officials who is actively opposing the measure, a group that includes the Riverside Sheriffs' Association, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and the California Police Chiefs Association.

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69 CN ON: Revealed: The Dirty Secrets Of Retail MarijuanaThu, 28 Jul 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Robertson, Grant Area:Ontario Lines:853 Added:07/30/2016

Ottawa says it's dangerous. Dispensaries say it's safe. The Globe subjected unregulated weed to a battery of tests to find the truth

Inside a sterile facility, the lab technician holds up a petri dish to show the intricate pattern of bacteria that are quickly multiplying.

"Looks like something is already growing," she says, surprised by how much has amassed in less than a day and a half.

In any other context, the dish would be a sight to behold, with an attractive swirl of shapes that resembles an oil painting. But the bacteria growing inside are Citrobacter freundii, a human pathogen that can lead to serious infections, particularly in the elderly and weak.

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70 US CA: Sonoma County Holds Public Meetings to Help Draft PotTue, 26 Jul 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Johnson, Julie Area:California Lines:85 Added:07/26/2016

A series of town hall meetings are underway to help Sonoma County create a comprehensive set of rules to regulate and capitalize on a burgeoning marijuana industry, from seeds in the ground to manufacturing, delivery and sales.

County supervisors have signaled their intent to bring marijuana cultivation and related businesses into the legal sphere - and under local control - before regulations and license programs under the state's landmark Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act are likely operational in 2018.

No draft rules have yet been written. County staff from nearly every department are taking part in the meetings to gather public input. Three meetings remain, including town hall events Wednesday in Sebastopol and Thursday in Santa Rosa.

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71 US CA: Competing Pot Tax Mendocino County Measures Headed toFri, 22 Jul 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Anderson, Glenda Area:California Lines:84 Added:07/22/2016

Mendocino County voters can expect two competing marijuana tax initiatives on the November ballot, one proffered by county officials and one by cannabis cultivators.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday a 2.5 percent business tax on gross sales from marijuana cultivation and dispensaries, along with a $2,500 annual fee on marijuana distributors, delivery services, nurseries and testing laboratories. That business tax could be raised in increments of 2.5 percent up to a maximum of 10 percent, whether on medicinal or recreational pot.

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72 Philippines: PUB LTE: Extra-Judicial Killings: NormalizingWed, 20 Jul 2016
Source:Sunstar Davao (Philippines)          Area:Philippines Lines:178 Added:07/20/2016

the Citizen's Council for Human Rights (Cchr) Strongly Condemns the Escalating Number of Killings of Suspected Drug Pushers and Dependents WHO Said to Have Died Either During So-Called Legitimate Police Operations or at the Hands of Unknown Gunmen.

the Surge in Fatalities Is Too Alarming to Be Ignored: From January 1 to May 9 This Year (129 Days), Reported Deaths From Drug-Related Violence Was 39. but the Death Count Suddenly Swelled After May 10. in a Matter of 64 Days, 251 Deaths Have Already Been Reported. What Makes These Spate of Executions Most Worrisome Is That This Was Prompted by President Duterte's Pronouncements, Made Even Before His Assumption into Office, That Urged the Police, Ordinary Citizens and Later, the New Peoples Army to Kill All Those Involved in the Illegal Drug Trade, With the Promise That He Would Shield Them Against Any Legal Consequences.

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73 US MA: Life And Loss On Methadone MileSun, 17 Jul 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ramos, Nestor Area:Massachusetts Lines:631 Added:07/17/2016

Last night's needles line the sidewalks at dawn along the blighted blocks where Massachusetts Avenue and Southampton Street meet. People emerge from shelters and halfway houses and trudge toward the methadone clinics that lend this place its ugly nickname.

An open-air drug market is in full swing on the corner outside a convenience store, where offers of drugs trill like music. "Clonidines-Clonidines-Clonidines-Clonidines!" "Does anybody need Xani Bars?" Phenergans, Pins, Johnnies? A man grimaces one chilly morning, unsteady on his feet. He opens his mouth to reveal a knotted bag of heroin, double-wrapped and ready to be swallowed should police wade into the crowd. "This is all I have left," he says.

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74 US CA: Column: Pot Not The New AlmondThu, 14 Jul 2016
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Stansberry, Linda Area:California Lines:64 Added:07/14/2016

How much marijuana is being grown in Humboldt County? We've all heard some store porch supposition on the subject, but there's little actual data to back it up. A recent article, published in the April edition of Environmental Research Letters, may help fill this vacuum.

University of California Berkeley research specialist Van Butsic, and Jacob C. Brenner, a professor at Ithaca College, spent almost a year analyzing satellite imagery from Humboldt County, counting greenhouses and extrapolating to come up with a figure of 4,428 grow sites spread over 60 watersheds. The project was inspired by what the researchers called "an urgent need for systemic empirical research."

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75 US CA: Medical Marijuana Advocates Oppose Proposed GrowTue, 12 Jul 2016
Source:Union, The (Grass Valley, CA) Author:Riquelmy, Alan Area:California Lines:88 Added:07/14/2016

New proposed rules for medical marijuana grows led to anger on Tuesday as some medicinal cannabis proponents said they couldn't support the new recommendations while urging supervisors to compromise.

County officials, however, said they had to consider environmental concerns and secure four out of five supervisor votes on July 26 to pass interim grow rules and repeal the existing outdoor grow ban.

An ad hoc marijuana grow committee met Tuesday for the third time in its attempts to craft an interim grow ordinance in the wake of Measure W's failure. An advisory committee is expected to help write a permanent ordinance over the following months.

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76 US CA: Calaveras Green Lights Marijuana CultivationFri, 08 Jul 2016
Source:Union Democrat, The (Sonora, CA) Author:Cowan, Jason Area:California Lines:144 Added:07/08/2016

County Has Permitted About 800 Growers

The destruction left by the Butte Fire was still evident Thursday morning in remnants of charred, leafless trees and gaping holes on hillsides, but vegetation does grow from the ruins: marijuana.

In an area hit hardest last year, not far from Baker Riley Way in Mokelumne Hill, lies a pocket of cannabis cultivators.

Among them is Max Cirello, 19. He said Calaveras County officials told him he was among the youngest in the area to obtain a commercial license last week.

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77 CN BC: Council Splits Over 'Temporary' Bylaw on Medical PotWed, 06 Jul 2016
Source:Osoyoos Times (CN BC) Author:McGuire, Richard Area:British Columbia Lines:108 Added:07/08/2016

It's rare that Osoyoos town council splits on an issue, but that happened Monday on the issue of medical marijuana outlets.

The issue arose as council debated a staff recommendation to bring in a zoning bylaw that would effectively prohibit all marijuana operations except medical marijuana grow operations on land zoned as industrial.

To be clear, none of council opposes medical marijuana for those who need it, and none support unrestricted retail outlets.

The debate was whether the town needs a bylaw that Alain Cunningham, director of planning and development services, described as "a temporary and transitional zoning amendment" until the federal government clarifies the law on sales of medical marijuana.

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78 US CA: Column: Canna-Unionize?Thu, 07 Jul 2016
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Trujillo, Colin Area:California Lines:184 Added:07/07/2016

Union leaders are talking about normal union concerns in a dimly lit Arcata bar. There are cocktails all around.

They talk about safety, protecting jobs, keeping wages high, changing laws and providing training and education for workers and employers.

Although these sound like run-of-the-mill union concerns, this is not your typical union. This is the Humboldt Medical Cannabis Union (HMCU), a group working to protect cannabis jobs in Humboldt County and bring farmers and workers out from the underground and into legitimacy.

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79 CN QU: Editorial: The High And The MightyWed, 06 Jul 2016
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:McDevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:133 Added:07/06/2016

Since his election on October 19 last year as Canada's 23rd Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has ushered in an astounding shift in Canada's political atmosphere. No longer are we enjoined by an angry, suspicious, and hateful government to live in fear and loathing of those who might trigger our xenophobic tendencies because of different beliefs, customs, or even methods of preparing foods. We are no longer asked to spy on our neighbours and rat out 'suspicious behaviour or, God help us, have 'Barbaric Practices. Age-old habits of homophobia and loathing of other gender identities are no longer encouraged by a fundamentalist leadership and scientists are no longer gagged, filtered, and silenced, Natives are no longer ignored or despised by government and generally, the air of oppression that hung over the country during the Harper decade has vanished into thin air.

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80 US CA: Column: Big Money And Bigger RisksThu, 30 Jun 2016
Source:SF Weekly (CA) Author:Roberts, Chris Area:California Lines:121 Added:06/30/2016

Mendocino County is back in the marijuana business.

Not that its citizens ever stopped growing, and not that the Emerald Triangle's cash-rich economy found another cash crop. But after a few years' hiatus, Mendocino is again using cannabis as a funding source - - for law enforcement, with the county sheriff taking in $150,000 from marijuana in a single day, and all of it willingly paid.

Tired of receiving 911 calls from neighbors complaining about the pot garden next door, only to send a deputy out to investigate what turned out to be a legal grow - wasting an hour's worth of time in the process - Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman came up with a novel plan in 2010. His office would inspect and license legitimate grows, and charge the growers for the privilege.

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