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1CN BC: Pot Aficionados Gather To Celebrate The CauseTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Author:Chadwick, Julie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2015

Monday's Nanaimo event announced on social media only hours before it occurred

It's perhaps fitting that the history of yesterday's celebration of marijuana culture has somewhat hazy origins.

April 20, or 420 as it is commonly known, has for decades been the appointed day for marijuana activists and enthusiasts alike to gather together.

A variety of theories have been floated over the years regarding the choice of that date. One theory claims it goes back to the 1970s when a group of teenagers in Marin County, Calif., would meet up at 4:20 p.m. after school to pass the joint and then go roaming in search of a fabled abandoned pot field in the adjacent hills.

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2 CN BC: Annual 4/20 Event Adopts Political ToneTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Stueck, Wendy Area:British Columbia Lines:92 Added:04/25/2015

Some cannabis enthusiasts took the opportunity to urge people to vote in the upcoming federal election

An annual demonstration on Monday brought a haze of smoke and marijuana merchandise including pot-laced chocolates and marijuana mango slushies to downtown Vancouver, where police monitored an event that has grown steadily since its debut in 1995.

Political messages were also on the menu. Marijuana advocacy group Sensible B.C. was on site to promote its "grow the vote" campaign, an initiative to mobilize voters for October's federal election. The group, which failed in a 2013 attempt to force a referendum to end arrests for marijuana prohibition in British Columbia, has since turned its focus to the federal scene.

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3 US CA: PUB LTE: End Prohibition Now, CaliforniaTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:East Bay Express (CA) Author:White, Stan Area:California Lines:27 Added:04/25/2015

Hopefully, California residents are paying attention. Forcing the black market to regulate cannabis (marijuana) has proven to be one of the United States' worst policy failures in history. Forcing government to regulate the relatively safe, god-given plant is best for everyone.

Since Colorado re-legalized cannabis, nearly every negative prediction has proven false by nearly every measure. California voters will likely have the opportunity to completely re-legalize cannabis in 2016 and should not let that golden opportunity slip away. The negative consequences of cannabis prohibition cannot end soon enough.

Stan White, Dillon, Colorado

[end]

4US CA: OPED: 5 Lessons Can Ease State's WayFri, 24 Apr 2015
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Tvert, Mason Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2015

5 LESSONS CAN EASE STATE'S WAY

Many people were stunned in 2012 when voters in Colorado and Washington adopted the nation's first laws making marijuana legal for adults.

Some never thought it would happen. Most knew it would, but didn't expect it to be so soon. And just about everyone assumed that, if or when it did happen, it would surely happen in California before anywhere else.

The Golden State has long been at the forefront of the marijuana policy reform debate. In 1996, it became the first state to allow marijuana use for medical purposes. In 2010, it fell just a few percentage points short of becoming the first to extend that right to adults 21 and older. And for the past two decades, it has been a major battleground for conflicting state and federal marijuana policies.

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5 US HI: Column: 'Analog Drug' Law Violates Due ProcessSat, 25 Apr 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Sullum, Jacob Area:Hawaii Lines:102 Added:04/25/2015

Back in 1986, Congress passed the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act, a law aimed at "designer drugs" that were similar to illegal compounds but different enough to escape prohibition.

Nearly three decades later, the government is still scrambling to keep up with the output of creative underground chemists, banning one psychoactive substance after another, only to find substitutes already on the market.

As a case the Supreme Court heard on Tuesday illustrates, the analog drug law failed because it tried to do the impossible.

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6 US: Cancer Risks From Pot Remain UnclearSat, 25 Apr 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:United States Lines:39 Added:04/25/2015

QUESTION: Leaving aside questions of addiction and brain effects, what is known about the effects of marijuana on things like the lungs and digestive tract?

ANSWER: The limited formal studies that have been done on marijuana and cancer have yielded complex and often conflicting results, according to a summary of research updated last year and published by the National Cancer Institute for health professionals.

For example, a large study reviewing the medical records of 64,855 men in the United States found that use of cannabis was not associated with tobacco-related cancers and a number of others, but was linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. But a smaller study in North Africa, involving 430 cases and 773 controls, did find an increased risk of lung cancer in those who also smoked tobacco.

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7 US: Officials Fear Illicit Drug Is More Potent, PopularSat, 25 Apr 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Schwarz, Alan Area:United States Lines:56 Added:04/25/2015

A sharp rise in visits to emergency rooms and calls to poison control centers nationwide has health officials fearing that more potent and dangerous variations of a popular drug known as spice have reached the nation's streets.

In the first three weeks of April, state poison control centers received about 1,000 reports of adverse reactions to spice - the street name for a family of synthetic substances that mimic the effects of marijuana - more than doubling the total from January through March, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

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8US CA: San Jose Officer Accused of Selling Pot From StorageSat, 25 Apr 2015
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Lee, Henry K. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2015

A San Jose police officer was charged with dealing marijuana that he kept in a storage facility, authorities said Friday.

Officer Son Vu, 44, was scheduled to appear Friday afternoon in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose on charges of possession with intent to sell and maintaining an illegal stash location. Vu was arrested Thursday and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The 21-year department veteran has been on paid administrative leave since his initial arrest in June 2014.

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9 CN BC: Column: City Too Lenient On Pot LawbreakersThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Marshall, Kathryn Area:British Columbia Lines:71 Added:04/25/2015

Imagine someone held a convention for lawbreakers and city hall blocked off some streets to give the convention goers more room.

It sounds pretty ridiculous, right?

But that's what happened on Monday. It was 420, the "celebration" of pot and cannabis culture which has become an annual traditional rivalling Earth Day.

Every year on April 20 thousands of marijuana "enthusiasts" descend on the Vancouver Art Gallery lawn. And this year, Vancouver City Hall and the police made it easier for them.

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10 US: Marijuana Reform Activists Push For Change With DEA HeadWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Time Magazine (US) Author:Rhodan, Maya Area:United States Lines:105 Added:04/25/2015

And the resignation of Chief of Administration Michele Leonhart offers the chance for change

Marijuana legalization advocates are excited about the departure of Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, whom they long considered an obstruction in their goal of reforming the nation's drug laws.

"We are happy to see her go," says Dan Riffle, the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. "She's a career drug warrior at a time when we've decided the `War on Drugs' is an abject failure."

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11 US IL: PUB LTE: Why Treat Marijuana Users?Fri, 24 Apr 2015
Source:Journal Standard, The (Freeport, IL) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Illinois Lines:26 Added:04/25/2015

This is in response to "Low-level pot offenders in Rock River Valley offered treatment instead of jail," printed in the Journal-Standard.

I think that it is noble that pot consumers not be sent to jail for using a natural herb that has never killed anybody. But why treatment? Like millions of others, I am addicted to coffee that contains caffeine. Do I need or want treatment for my coffee addiction? No.

How would coffee consumers feel if their nanny-state government criminalized coffee? Probably the same way marijuana consumers feel today.

Kirk Muse, former Freeport resident

[end]

12 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalize, Regulate MarijuanaThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Woo, Lawrence Area:British Columbia Lines:33 Added:04/24/2015

Re: Put a lid on pot, Letters, April 17

Minister of Health Rona Ambrose wrote, "We continue to oppose Justin Trudeau's deeply irresponsible scheme to make it easier for our children to access marijuana by selling it in stores, just like cigarettes."

There is hardly a single shred of truth in that statement.

The Liberal government would control and regulate such transactions. Sale of marijuana to minors would be strictly prohibited. The proposed policy would provide better protection for our children. The Tories are resorting to spreading misinformation. Is this a sign of desperation?

Lawrence Woo

Liberal party candidate for Richmond Centre

[end]

13CN BC: Vancouver Moves To Defuse Pot Dispensary ExplosionThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Lee, Jeff Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

City could become the first in Canada to regulate the sale of marijuana

Vancouver is about to become the first city in Canada where the business of selling marijuana will be regulated and permitted.

Although the drug is illegal in Canada and technically only available to people by a mail-order, prescription system set up by the federal government, the city will permit the operation of dispensaries under a proposed framework that selects which businesses can open and imposes rigid operating conditions.

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14CN BC: Vancouver Plots Medical Pot RulesThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Lee, Jeff Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

Proposal would make city first in Canada to license dispensaries

Up to now, there has been a lack of clear and transparent regulatory framework from the federal government.

Vancouver is about to become the first city in Canada to regulate the business of selling marijuana.

Even though the drug is technically available only to people with federally issued medical marijuana cards, the city will permit the operation of dispensaries under a proposed framework that rigidly sets out who can operate businesses and under what conditions.

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15 US: PUB LTE: No Wonder Federal Courts Have Such A Massive BacklogFri, 24 Apr 2015
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McAllister, Gordon D. Jr. Area:United States Lines:43 Added:04/24/2015

As a retired state court trial judge and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, I read with some interest a?oRecord Backlog Jams Courtsa?? (page one, April 7) about cases in federal courts. These delays often amount to justice denied for litigants who dona?Tt get the relief they seek in a timely manner.

The article doesna?Tt mention the elephant in the courtroom: the explosion of drug cases in both federal and state court and their effect on our criminal system. Rather than debate the issue of how and where to put more courtrooms, it is time to have a serious and adult discussion about drug use and the criminal justice system. Statistics from the U.S. Sentencing Commission for 2013 reveal that 31% of all federal criminal cases were drug cases, and 21% of those cases involved marijuana. This is our a?owar on drugsa?? in action. If in fact there is a war, it seems to me we are losing. In my 28 years on the bench, my criminal docket contained a greater percentage of drug cases than the average federal court docket, and if you factored in the crimes committed by drug users to help support their habit, the number was much closer to 50%. The war on drugs has been a decadeslong failed experiment in treating drug use as criminal behavior. The cost of this folly to the judicial system goes beyond the court system and takes valuable man hours from law-enforcement personnel and is the major cause of jail and prison overcrowding. Treatment of drug use as a medical and not criminal issue would benefit not only the individual user, but the court system and society as well.

Gordon D. McAllister Jr.

Queenstown, Md.

[end]

16 Canada: Former Top Public Servant Smokes Out Local OpportunityThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Dube, Dani-elle Area:Canada Lines:60 Added:04/24/2015

A former senior manager at Health Canada's Medical Marijuana Program has been named CEO of a private medical marijuana education centre opening two Ottawa locations in the coming months.

Gulwant Bajwawas announced as the new CEO for National Access Cannabis (NAC), a private company helping clients obtain medical marijuana legally on Wednesday.

"I knew nothing of this plant (when I was younger)," said Bajwa."But I was fortunate enough that I had an opportunity to work at Health Canada's medical marijuana program in 2010 and that's when I saw the positive effects this plant has as a medicine."

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17 CN BC: PUB LTE: Demon Weed's Deplorable CultureThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC) Author:Scott, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:04/24/2015

I share some of recent letter writer Rose Stacey's concerns regarding the demon weed and grieve with her the anguish of a parent whose child has become enmeshed in that deplorable culture.

However, nothing has destroyed our own culture more than the evils of the drug laws. Yes, marijuana is not a harmless substance, but then neither are alcohol and nicotine, both readily available legally.

As a retired psychiatrist who actually ran a dual diagnosis unit at a large tertiary care psychiatric institution in Vancouver from 2002 to 2004, I have to tell Stacey that I saw much more tragedy and grief attendant on the misuse of alcohol than from cannabis. As a matter of fact, I have a hard time remembering any patient whose misuse of cannabis caused problems even half as severe as the problems we saw daily from alcohol abuse.

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18CN BC: High-tech Pot Vending Machines Coming SoonWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Crawford, Tiffany Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

A Vancouver-based cannabis company wants to make buying weed as easy as buying a snack. Kaneh Bosm Biotechnology, based on West Hastings Street, says it will be installing two high-tech marijuana vending machines - called BioCanna ADMs - by the end of this month. The locations have not yet been revealed.

They won't be the first pot vending machines in this city.

Medical marijuana dispensary B.C. Pain Society installed Canada's first vending machine last spring at its East Vancouver location. Buyers must be members, which requires a doctor's note.

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19 CN BC: Legal Hurdles Push Pot Patients To Black Market, Study SaysWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Kane, Laura Area:British Columbia Lines:71 Added:04/24/2015

Many medical marijuana patients in Canada are struggling to buy pot under current laws and are turning to the black market, a University of British Columbia study has found.

About one-third of 450 patients reported in a national survey that they could not access marijuana legally under federal rules, said PhD student Rielle Capler.

"They really want to be able to use this medicine legally," she said.

"They've expressed patience and understanding that there are some growing pains, but in the meantime they're also sharing that it's really impacting =C2=85 their health and well-being."

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20CN BC: Letter: Times Sure Have Changed When It Comes To MarijuanaWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Enns, Ruth Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

One evening in August 1971, my husband and I took a leisurely trip to Gastown. There had been rumours of a "smoke-in" by pot users, but we didn't take it that seriously.

Well, the police arrived. If you have never been chased by police on horses, you have not been truly scared.

We hid in the doorway of the Army & Navy Department Store and couldn't go home as our vehicle was parked in Gastown, so we had to wait until civility returned.

How the times and thinking have changed over 44 years with street closures now for those who wish to toke-up. We will watch it on TV from the safety of our home. Some adventures in life one never forgets.

Ruth Enns, Vancouver

[end]

21 CN BC: LTE: 4/20 Coverage Bad For KidsWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Loeppky, Bob Area:British Columbia Lines:22 Added:04/24/2015

I get that 4/20 is a popular event and I get that you want to report it. What I don't get is putting it on the front page, advertising it to the young people. Why not the article on how pot lowers your IQ?

How can I be an effective parent with my granddaughter when she sees the front page? She won't catch the article inside.

Bob Loeppky, Revelstoke

[end]

22 CN BC: Ex-Olympian Rebagliati Calls For Marijuana LegalizationWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Burgmann, Tamsyn Area:British Columbia Lines:90 Added:04/24/2015

VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis.

"I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.

The Olympic medallist, who now runs his own medical pot company, said he's convinced that educating citizens about the health benefits of marijuana will make it so mainstream that legalization is inevitable.

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23 CN BC: LTE: Make Pot Pedlars PayThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Austin, Robert Area:British Columbia Lines:38 Added:04/24/2015

'Celebration' is now a trade show; need to protest is long past

Re: Pot protest evolves into cannabis craft fair, April 21

Now that the 4/20 "celebration" has evolved from a protest into a trade show, it is time Vancouver police and city council treat it like any other event of that nature. Enforce city bylaws and require the organizers to obtain necessary permits and foot the bills for policing and all other associated costs.

While they're at it, they should also insist it take place at a time that is much less disruptive to traffic. I can't think of any other trade show that would be allowed to be so intrusive.

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24 CN BC: Olympic Star Rebagliati Calls For Pot To Be An Issue In ElectionTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Burgmann, Tamsyn Area:British Columbia Lines:94 Added:04/24/2015

VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis.

"I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.

The Olympic medallist, who now runs his own medical pot company, said he's convinced that educating citizens about the health benefits of marijuana will make it so mainstream that legalization is inevitable.

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25CN BC: Pot Use Needs Airing In Federal Election, Says Ex-OlympianWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Burgmann, Tamsyn Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis.

"I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.

The Olympic medallist, who now runs his own medical pot company, said he's convinced that educating citizens about the health benefits of marijuana will make it so mainstream that legalization is inevitable.

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26 US: Supreme Court Curbs Drug-sniffing Dogs During Traffic StopsWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Baravin, Jess Area:United States Lines:84 Added:04/24/2015

Justices continue on path of strengthening constitutional protections against `unreasonable search and seizure'

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Tuesday police can't prolong a routine traffic stop to allow a drug-sniffing dog to search the vehicle unless they have a reasonable suspicion of uncovering contraband.

The case is the latest to see the justices reinvigorate constitutional protections against "unreasonable searches and seizures," following recent decisions that rejected warrantless cellphone searches and installation of GPS trackers.

Tuesday's ruling tightens the parameters police should follow when using drug-sniffing dogs during a traffic stop, building on a 2005 precedent allowing the drug searches while stressing such procedures become unlawful if a motorist is detained solely to conduct the search.

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27 US: DEA Chief Michele Leonhart To Step DownWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Barrett, Devlin Area:United States Lines:83 Added:04/24/2015

Resignation comes amid disagreements with Obama administration on drug and criminal-justice policy

The head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has decided to resign amid mounting disagreements with the Obama administration on drug and criminal-justice policy, and intense criticism of her handling of a sex-party scandal involving DEA agents.

Michele Leonhart, who has led the agency since 2007, has been under growing pressure to depart. Her hold on the job has been precarious for more than a year following her apparent discomfort with the Obama administration's acceptance of laws in some states decriminalizing marijuana.

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28 CN BC: Rebagliati Says Pot Hot This ElectionWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:04/24/2015

Olympic medallist who champions medical marijuana says politicians must address issue

VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis.

"I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.

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29CN BC: Is 4/20 Vancouver A Protest, Or Just A Farmer's Market ForWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Lindsay, Bethany Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

Vancouver's annual 4/20 rally has evolved into a giant farmers' market for marijuana and attracts tens of thousands of people. So why don't the organizers have to go through the city's official permitting process?

A city spokesman says officials have repeatedly suggested organizers obtain a special event permit for the gathering at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but to no avail. Despite the increasingly commercial flavour of the day, the rally is still considered a protest.

The demonstration led to the closure of portions of Robson and Howe streets, causing traffic congestion throughout the downtown core, and was connected to dozens of emergency room visits. The VAG shut its doors for the day.

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30 US CA: PUB LTE: CompromiseThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Chico News & Review, The (CA) Author:Southwick, Keely Area:California Lines:45 Added:04/24/2015

I would like to tell you about my grandmother. She was raised, and still is, Mormon. She has suffered so badly with arthritis that some days she can barely move, let alone sleep. She takes many pain killers and her liver is now in trouble because of them.

For years we tried to convince her to eat medical marijuana but, due to her beliefs about staying morally clean, she refused. Until this last year. We told her all of the benefits in the book, and let her speak to her doctor, her bishop and her heavenly father, to come up with the correct answer for her situation.

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31 US NV: PUB LTE: Fox News LiesThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Reno News & Review (NV) Author:Reynolds, J. R. Area:Nevada Lines:63 Added:04/24/2015

Re "Borders on slander" (Letters to the Editor, April 2):

It may seem odd to some individuals that I am hardly a "member of the elite liberal progressive class," as, apparently, some folks on the right (and please forgive me for using labels here, but I do so merely to make a point) have labeled me. Evidently, I have given this impression because I questioned the role of Congress. Seriously, I believed they represented the people. The former and current Congress may not be the worst in our history, but it's darned close. The manner in which some members of Congress conduct themselves is beyond shameful. Spending so much energy on vilifying the sitting president is schoolyard bullshit. You may get standing ovations and cheers from the part of your constituency that really hates the president, but you're not getting anything done. And that is why sitting members of Congress should be working to get things done! It is called compromise, folks. It's finding some common ground somewhere and working on it. Perhaps some of Sen. Dean Heller's fellow senators can take a cue from our GOP senator from Nevada. He's far from perfect, but at least he tries to get things done for his home state and for his country. We "liberals" can applaud him for that.

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32 US AZ: Legal Theft Part IThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Taracena, Maria Ines Area:Arizona Lines:120 Added:04/24/2015

Owner of 420 House files a lawsuit against TPD claiming illegal forfeitur e

On a May evening about two years ago, Ron Johnson claims he woke up to someone banging at his front door. He dragged himself out of bed and opened up. Before he could even ask what was going on, a Tucson Police officer handcuffed and shoved him in the back of a patrol car for the next six hours.

Two days prior, he had suffered a heart attack and was trying to recover at home. While in custody, he says he repeatedly told officers he did not feel good, but any request for medical attention was ignored.

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33 CN MB: LTE: Control 4/20Wed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Wells, Joshua Area:Manitoba Lines:34 Added:04/24/2015

If you're going to make marijuana legal for one day, why would you hold it at the Legislative building? I really don't care that people smoke marijuana and I really don't care if it's legalized or decriminalized. Let's face it, people are going to do it one way or another. People do it, but it should be the exact same as alcohol and only be allowed to be consumed in the comforts of your home or at a place that is licensed for it. It makes Winnipeg look trashy, with a bunch of people sitting around red-eyed and lazy. There are children that go to this, most parents don't even know their 12 to 17 year olds are there. If you held this "event" in a more controlled environment, not in front of the Legislative building it would be better because you could ID people and not allow someone's child to smoke weed in public where something bad could happen to them.

Joshua Wells

(Trying to force these folks into a "controlled environment" would be a little like herding cats.)

[end]

34 US MI: Column: Why African-Americans Are Largely Absent FromWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:116 Added:04/24/2015

When I was at the breakfast for Tommy Chong a couple of weeks ago, I talked with another African- American at the event. Actually, he was the only brother at this gathering of activists and dispensary owners aside from me.

As we spoke, I noted that brothers are few and far between when it comes to marijuana activism. His comment was: "And you know why."

Indeed I do. Brothers are afraid to stick their necks out on this issue because when the powers that be decide to start chopping heads off they know which heads are going to roll first. Given the history of the war on drugs and the fact that African-Americans get arrested for marijuana at more than three times the rate of whites, it makes sense to be paranoid.

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35CN BC: Celebration Turns To Pot For Huge 4/20 CrowdTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2015

PEACEFUL GATHERING: Event at Vancouver Art Gallery attracts young and old as plume of smoke fills the sky

It was 4:20 p.m. on April 20 and there wasn't a cloud in the sky over Vancouver, save for the massive plume of sweet-smelling smoke hovering above the art gallery.

The 20th annual 4/20 protest and celebration of marijuana in Vancouver saw more than 15,000 people surround the Vancouver Art Gallery Monday with bongs, pipes and joints in hand.

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36 US NJ: Column: Sign Of The TimesThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ) Author:Forchion, Edward Area:New Jersey Lines:134 Added:04/24/2015

I have a dilemma: Good Troopers

In these times of altercations recorded on cell phone cameras and Internet hashtag campaigns against police abuse, I have a different dilemma: I can't commend the good officers for fear of getting them in trouble. I'm now being treated very well by New Jersey police - and I can't really write about it because I don't want to screw them up. I want good cops to prosper and weed out (pun intended) the bad ones.

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37 US CO: Column: Cannabis Cup Encapsulates the Marijuana CultureThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Rucker, Leland Area:Colorado Lines:115 Added:04/24/2015

There was plenty of weed at the Cannabis Cup celebration last weekend in Denver. Billed as the biggest marijuana party in the world, the Cup is a three-day psychedelic mash-up of counter culture, high technology and entrepreneurship, equal parts Woodstock, SXSW, Comic-Con and Gold Rush.

After the state Marijuana Enforcement Division announced a couple days before the event that businesses with Colorado licenses wouldn't be allowed to offer free samples, I wondered what the effect might be on the party, since freebies are at least part of the reason more than 40,000 people, many from out of state, are willing to pay $40 a day for tickets and wait for more than an hour just to get in the place.

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38 US CA: Column: Party OnThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Scott-Goforth, Grant Area:California Lines:88 Added:04/24/2015

This is lame," murmured one of Arcata's few hardcore stoners around 4:23 p.m. A couple of young men had stepped off the concrete slab at Redwood Park, the small piece of public property that the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights had wrested from the control of a zealous city staff over the course of the last few months (see "Save the Date," April 2).

Around 100 people mingled at the park on the chilly, foggy afternoon. A disparate cross-section of Arcata: sporty young male stoners, restless and edgy traveler types, college professors, attorneys and media - lots of media. But bloggers, students and professional reporters weren't the only ones collecting images. Organizers reported that eager police officers - around 10 of them at one point - - avidly recorded HumRights' gathering. By 4 p.m., much of the weed-enthusiast crowd had dissipated into the Community Forest. Most of the cops disappeared, too. A couple of them could be seen approaching groups, chatting briefly and returning to their arms-crossed outposts.

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39 US CO: Column: Which Kind Of Vape Pen Is Best?Thu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Westword (Denver, CO) Author:Breathes, William Area:Colorado Lines:63 Added:04/24/2015

Dear Stoner: I'm curious about buying a vape pen and wondering what brand or type you recommend and which is the most popular.

Tokin' Tom

Dear Tom: It depends on how you plan to use your vape pen. Are you a flower guy? Do you want to smoke oils? If so, do you want to load them yourself, or do you want something more "plug and play"? Some like the ease and function of the pre-loaded vape pens and refills like O. pen, while others want to load oils and waxes into the pens themselves. Others just want to be able to vape buds. The O.pen Vape-style pens are great for stealth usage, as the vapor exhaled doesn't have much of a smell, and the cartridges look like the ones that tobacco users puff on. They're also relatively cheap ($15 for the pen and around $30 for a cartridge), but they aren't favored by connoisseurs because they tend to be made with lower-quality oils that don't have much flavor. O.pen will be releasing a new line of cartridges soon that it says have a much greater flavor profile, thanks to new extraction methods that preserve the flavor-containing oils and terpenes.

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40 US CA: Column: No MaThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:SF Weekly (CA) Author:Roberts, Chris Area:California Lines:130 Added:04/24/2015

Want to escape the booming neighborhoods of San Francisco? Head west, where the rows of single-family Mediterranean-style or boxy Doelger homes that make up the Sunset District are virtually unchanged since their construction in the mid-20th century, giving the avenues a timeless feel. There are no towering construction cranes putting up condos, and 21st-century conveniences fail you: My Sidecar ride request to be taken to the Sunset was rejected three times before I settled in for a $40 cab ride.

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41 US CA: Column: Time To RescheduleThu, 23 Apr 2015
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:61 Added:04/24/2015

Last year we scored a historic victory that bans the Department of Justice from undermining state medical marijuana laws for one year. But the department recently declared that it will ignore the Congressional mandate and continue prosecuting people for medical marijuana. Do you think medical marijuana will never be safe unless we change federal law permanently? Is the CARERS Act the big chance to do it?

- -Lickity Split

Good question. I suppose we'll find out. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act, originally sponsored by senators Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, is picking up steam. According to a tweet from Senator Booker (yes, Twitter is a legitimate way of gathering information, so hush), the bill now has 14 co-sponsors, seven Dems and seven Repubs. That's pretty sweet. Not only that, this bill is really nice. The CARERS Act allows banks to handle medical cannabis money, amends the Controlled Substances Act so states can have legal medical cannabis and reschedules marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, meaning it would no longer be classified as a "dangerous narcotic." (I always giggle when someone calls cannabis a "narcotic.") By the way, United States District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller decided to allow cannabis to remain listed as Schedule 1 in a hearing last week. The defense's lawyers are, of course, planning an appeal. It would probably be easier to get this bill passed.

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42 CN ON: Arrest Irks Pot AdvocatesTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:55 Added:04/23/2015

London police get tongue lashing for enforcing law

Activists jeered police officers as they arrested a man at a pro-marijuana demonstration Monday in Victoria Park. Around 75 people gathered at the park for the annual 420 rally, an international day celebrating cannabis culture and advocating for the drug to be legalized.

At 4:20 p.m., an unidentified man in a black leather jacket showed a medicinal marijuana licence before sparking up a small pipe. The man had hardly exhaled when police officers promptly surrounded and arrested him, saying his licence had expired. That's when things got tense. Some in the crowd hurled profanity-laced insults at police and taunted officers as they led the man to a cruiser, searched him and put him in the back seat. Organizer Eric Shepperd blasted the police response, calling it "utterly absurd.

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43 CN BC: Editorial: Pot Gains Support On The RightTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:04/23/2015

Marijuana legalization isn't just an idea for potheads, dreamers and old hippies anymore.

Respectable people are jumping on the legalization bandwagon, too, with the latest group creating waves in the nation's capital last week.

Called "Canadian Conservatives for Legal Marijuana," the group posted two billboards, intending to draw attention ahead of "4/20," yesterday's traditional celebration day for marijuana smokers.

The group is headed by 17-year Reform/Conservative MP Inky Mark and claims the support of Conservative MPs Scott Reid and Gerald Keddy, Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership front runner Patrick Brown, and other right-leaning thinkers.

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44 CN ON: Demonstrators Hope Softened Stance On Marijuana Leads To LegalizationTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Herhalt, Chris Area:Ontario Lines:67 Added:04/23/2015

KITCHENER - It's getting harder to justify any law criminalizing marijuana use given successful legalization efforts in certain U.S. states and private medical growers operating in Canada, demonstrators at a Kitchener 4/20 demonstration said Monday.

"It should be like any other healthcare product," organizer Jeff Morrison said. "Most people agree now that we do need steps (to legalize marijuana)."

At about 4:20 p.m. on Monday afternoon, about 100 people could be seen sitting around a corner of Kitchener's Carl Zehr Square. Some smoked hand-rolled joints. Others carried flags and other items with marijuana leaves on them.

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45 CN ON: 420 Protest Turns Into EventTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Nyznik, Jessica Area:Ontario Lines:94 Added:04/23/2015

Information booths set up in Victoria Park to promote legalization of marijuana, medical marijuana awareness

Peterborough's annual 420 Cannabis Awareness Event has come quite a ways since it started six years ago.

"It was more of a full protest in the beginning, but now it's more like an event," said organizer Wayne Matheson at Victoria Park on Monday.

Since Matheson and his fiancee started the event in 2010, they now have 13 volunteers, get insurance and permission to use the property and also rent a few portable toilets.

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46 CN BC: 420 Event High On Fed Liberal VoteTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:McKay, Jeremy Area:British Columbia Lines:48 Added:04/23/2015

Justin Trudeau's face featured prominently at Vancouver event

Thousands of activists and enthusiasts gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the annual 420 rally to protest prohibition against pot and celebrate their love for marijuana.

Over 300 registered vendors were at the event selling everything from B.C. Bud to marijuana-infused ice cream - that number doesn't include the vendors walking around the rally peddling their goods.

"We're now seeing double the amount of attention in vender booths," said event co-ordinator Jeremiah Vandermeer. This year's theme was "Let's Grow the Vote" to encourage those attending the rally to vote in October's federal elections.

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47 CN ON: Marijuana-Smoking Marchers Rally At City HallTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:OpHardt, Joel Area:Ontario Lines:71 Added:04/23/2015

It's 420 =C2=85 time to smoke and protest country's pot laws

Clouds covered both sky and ground at City Hall as hundreds turned out for Hamilton's 420 pot rally.

A cold and wet Monday didn't stop supporters of legalization from voicing their displeasure with federal marijuana legislation.

"We should be able to grow it like tomatoes," said Peter Melanson, organizer of the event and frontman for the Melanheadz Vape Lounge on York Boulevard.

"I don't want anyone to go to jail for it - it's not hurting anybody."

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48CN SN: Pot Fans Rally At Annual Smoke ShowTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Warren, Jeremy Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:04/23/2015

A new cannabis smoking lounge in Saskatoon is part of one man's mission to create a pot-friendly country.

Jeff Lundstrom, owner of Skunk Funk Smoker's Emporium, opened the "vapour lounge" at 204 Avenue J South in February. For $5, patrons of the Lounge in the Loft can bring their own marijuana and smoke it in an establishment outfitted with big-screen TVs, video games, food and drinks.

"The lounge is an expression of what I want to see," Lundstrom said as Saskatoon's 4/20 rally began Monday afternoon. "People have hundreds of places to drink in Saskatoon, and what kind of problems happen there? We're a relaxed place where like-minded people come to consume a plant that is natural and healthy for you."

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49 CN NS: Halifax Pot Lovers Celebrate 4/20 With Prohibition PartyTue, 21 Apr 2015
Source:Metro (Halifax, CN NS) Author:Manoukian, Julia Area:Nova Scotia Lines:61 Added:04/23/2015

Club hopes pro-cannabis event will help legalization

At High Life Social Club in Halifax, they "celebrate cannabis every day," said owner Chris Henderson.

Pot enthusiasts helped take that celebration one step higher Monday at the club's inaugural prohibition party.

The pro-cannabis event featured glass blowing, a joint rolling competition and all the cloud-making and treat-munching enthusiasts could wish.

"This is my lounge. This is what we do here," said Henderson. Even though possession of cannabis is still illegal in Canada, Halifax police said there is nothing illegal about charging customers to vaporize in the cafe.

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50 US WA: Column: Educating JaneWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Seattle Weekly (WA) Author:Stusser, Michael A. Area:Washington Lines:126 Added:04/23/2015

Shooting Down a Few Anti-Legalization Arguments.

"They're talking about opening a weed stand, or whatever, right next to my kids' school," the woman began, reaching for a plastic cup of wine during ArtWalk. "I mean, they're already getting drunk. Now this will make a second thing we're allowing for!"

I gently reminded her that both of those things were illegal for minors, but she would have none of it.

"Seriously. The parties they go to are beyond," she said, gazing at an out-of-this-world painting on the gallery wall. "From eighth grade on, there is alcohol at most of their socials. That's already happening. So to add another drug that can mess up their minds . . . "

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