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1 US MD: Maryland General Assembly Ethics Committee Hires SpecialFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:140 Added:01/21/2017

Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, speaks to reporters on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly's 2016 session. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Special counsel hired for ethics investigation into Baltimore County Del. Morhaim's cannabis work.

The General Assembly ethics committee that's investigating Del. Dan K. Morhaim's work with a medical cannabis company has hired a special counsel to assist with the review.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who on Friday disclosed the hiring of the special counsel, said the action underscores the serious nature of the investigation.

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2 US MA: Mass. Legislation Would Sharply Curb Marijuana LawFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:106 Added:01/21/2017

Senator Jason M. Lewis proposed legislation that would reduce the amount of marijuana people 21 years and older could possess in their home from 10 ounces to 2 ounces, and the number of marijuana plants people could grow from 12 per household to six per household.

The right of Massachusetts adults to possess and grow marijuana would be sharply curbed, and the ability of retail shops to begin selling recreational pot next year would be deeply undercut if legislation filed Friday afternoon by a key state senator becomes law.

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3 CN BC: Are Langley And Canada Going To Pot?Fri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Langley Times (CN BC) Author:Landreville, Troy Area:British Columbia Lines:177 Added:01/21/2017

With the release of a 106-page federal task force report, the possibility of legalizing marijuana inches closer to reality

Legalizing marijuana in Canada - once passed off as a pipe dream - appears to be gaining traction.

And in the wake of a 106-page report drafted by a federal task force on legalized recreational marijuana, advocates aren't just blowing smoke.

The study containing more than 80 recommendations gives shape to a Liberal promise to the legalize recreational pot consumption and sales, with safeguards in place to restrict youth access and choke off the illicit market that fuels criminal enterprises.

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4US: Marijuana Activists Hand Out Free Joints For #trump420 In DCFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:USA Today (US)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/21/2017

[photo]

Marijuana activists hand out free joints for #Trump420 in DC Hundreds of people turn out for free marijuana cigarettes at the #Trump420 event, scheduled to include a march to the National Mall where participants will light up four minutes and 20 seconds into Donald Trump's presidency.

[end]

5 US DC: Outside Lawyer To Review MD Lawmakers Marijuana BusinessFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:District of Columbia Lines:72 Added:01/21/2017

[photo] Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)

The Maryland General Assembly has hired outside counsel to aid its ethics investigation of a state lawmaker who championed medical marijuana while having a business relationship with a prospective dispensary, a spokesman for the Senate president confirmed Friday.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said on the floor of the legislative body that the ethics committee had recently tapped an outside lawyer to help on a matter.

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6 US PA: Mayor, DEA To Hold Opioid Summit In West KensingtonSat, 21 Jan 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:38 Added:01/21/2017

Mayor Kenney and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration will lead a community summit Saturday to address the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia's Fairhill and West Kensington neighborhoods, epicenter of addiction in the region.

The summit, called "El Barrio Es Nuestro" ("The Community Is Ours"), will give residents a chance to speak in English or Spanish about quality-of-life issues with key city officials, including members of the mayor's recently launched Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic.

"This neighborhood is one of the worst-hit areas in the entire country," Gary Tuggle, the DEA's special agent in charge of the Philadelphia field division, said. "By bringing together health, law enforcement, and community leaders, we hope to come up with a solution."

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7 US OR: 10,000 People Smoke Cannabis On Inauguration Day InSat, 21 Jan 2017
Source:Willamette Week (Portland, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:61 Added:01/21/2017

[photo] 10,000 People Smoke Cannabis on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. to Protest Trump's Pick of Drug Warrior Jeff Sessions The weed was pretty good. #Trump420 protest in Washington, D.C. (Corey Pein)

An estimated 10,000 people lined up for five blocks to collect some 8,000 free joints at this morning's surprisingly punctual #Trump420 protest at Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington, DC.

The mellow, all but police-free event was a first stop for President Donald Trump's protesters and fans alike this Inauguration Day morning. The weed was pretty good.

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8 Philippines: US Shouldn't Pay For Duterte's Drug War, SaysFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines)          Area:Philippines Lines:49 Added:01/21/2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- A US newspaper called on Washington to make sure that US aid to the Philippines is not used for President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial ran weeks before the kidnap-for-ransom-murder of a South Korean expatriate in the hands of Philippine National Police officers -- in the guise of an anti-drug operation--came to light and triggered an international outcry.

The Post-Gazette editorialized on Jan. 2 that "Even in a roomful of tinhorn dictators, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines would out."

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9 CN ON: Police To Offer Nasal Naloxone To Those Overdosing OnSat, 21 Jan 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:77 Added:01/21/2017

WATERLOO REGION - Waterloo Regional Police officers will be carrying nasal naloxone beginning in February.

Front-line officers are currently going through training on naloxone - a drug used to temporarily reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, said Insp. Mike Haffner.

The training is being provided at police headquarters on Maple Grove Road by local paramedics, he said.

"We want the ability to save an individual's life," Haffner added.

Local paramedics have lifesaving naloxone kits and can provide someone overdosing with a naloxone injection. But often police are the first responders to arrive at drug overdose calls.

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10 CN BC: Column: Marijuana Linked To Health Issues, Study FindsSat, 21 Jan 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Clark, Gordon Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:01/21/2017

Here we go again. Another week, another massive report by top doctors and scientists finding very limited medicinal value to marijuana. In an age when liberal politicians such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson claim to be implementing "evidence-based" public policy, I find it odd that they have such a blind spot when it comes to pot.

A new report by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research - that reviewed the results of 10,700 studies on the medicinal qualities of marijuana concluded that there is "conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective" in treating only three conditions: chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms (although there was "limited" evidence of "clinician-measured" spasticity relief).

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11 CN MB: In 'Denial' About Drug ProblemWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Larkins, David Area:Manitoba Lines:46 Added:01/20/2017

An advocate for Winnipeg's homeless and addicted population says the city is in "denial" about its injection drug problem.

Rick Lees, executive director of Main Street Project, looks at other large urban centres in Canada and says Winnipeg is lagging behind in addressing its hard drugs problem.

"On the committees I sit on, it's always on the agenda for discussion, but that's all it is," Lees said. "We're where (other cities) were a year or two years ago. Ottawa is on the cusp of doing it, Toronto's mayor is out in support of it, Vancouver has been doing it for seven years now. In Manitoba, I think we're a bit in denial either because we're a smaller population or we just don't think it's that big a deal because it's not interfering with our mainstream lives."

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12CN SN: Doubts On Safe Injection SitesWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:MacPherson, Alex Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

Poll reveals few in Saskatoon back plan lauded by advocates

Jason Mercredi and other addictions workers who deal with the effects of unsupervised drug use say a safe injection site would bring many benefits to Saskatoon.

A facility where users can inject drugs safely would not only reduce the risk of overdoses, but cut the province's "unprecedented" HIV rate and reduce the burden on the provincial health-care system, AIDS Saskatoon's interim executive director said. "The reality is we need to adopt best practice, and B.C. has shown that best practice is a safe consumption site," Mercredi said, referring to the two precedent-setting safe injection clinics in Vancouver.

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13CN BC: Langford Pot Shop Busted After One DayWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

It took just one day for West Shore RCMP to shut down a newly opened Langford marijuana dispensary, with the municipality's mayor saying illegal pot shops will not be tolerated.

The Green Tree marijuana dispensary opened Monday on Granderson Road, steps from West Shore RCMP headquarters and blocks from David Cameron and Savory elementary schools.

West Shore RCMP said officers conducted a compliance check on Tuesday and observed "evidence of possible offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act."

Marijuana was seized, but the detachment did not say how much.

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14CN BC: Pot-Shop Cash Seized Aboard Helijet FlightThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

Victoria police have seized cash that was heading to a Victoria cannabis bakery, after someone smelled marijuana coming from a piece of luggage on a Helijet flight - a sign of the marijuana industry's reliance on cash.

It was the second time in a week that suspected marijuana raised alarms on a Helijet flight. In the first case, police seized 30 pounds of marijuana.

Officers arrived at Helijet's Dallas Road terminal Tuesday night "after it was reported that there was a strong smell of marijuana coming from a package," said Victoria police spokesman Const. Matt Rutherford. No marijuana was found but an undisclosed quantity of cash was seized, because "the package where the money was found previously contained marijuana."

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15CN BC: Column: Confusing Hodgepodge Of Dispensary RegulationsThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Knox, Jack Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

For those keeping score at home: Langford just shut down its only marijuana dispensary, which puts it in line with neighbouring Colwood, which has decided to keep them out, but at odds with Sooke, where three pot shops popped up.

Victoria allows marijuana dispensaries (three dozen of them) but Esquimalt - - with which the capital shares a police department - does not.

Storefronts in Nanaimo, Campbell River and Port Alberni have been raided by the RCMP, but others go untouched. They're popping up in places like Mill Bay, Salt Spring Island and Chemainus, though two in the last community just got hit with $200 bylaw fines.

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16CN SN: Dispensary's Billboards Aim To Spark Conversation About UseThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:James, Thia Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

Company's goal is to promote pot as alternative to pharmaceuticals

The company behind the roadside billboards popping up in Saskatoon and Regina featuring a stylized marijuana leaf logo wants to normalize cannabis use.

One such billboard, located at Idylwyld Drive North and 44th Street in Saskatoon, is meant to drive people to Erbachay's website, where owner of the Vancouver-based Erbachay Health Centre Darcy Delainey said they'll learn more about cannabis.

"This is something we wanted to have a conversation with people (about) so they can start learning what cannabis is and not just what they've been told all these years," he said.

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17 CN NS: Dispensing With Marijuana ProhibitionThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Coast, The (CN NS) Author:Windsor, Hillary Area:Nova Scotia Lines:90 Added:01/20/2017

The law is still against business owners like Shirley Martineau, even as Canada remains high on legalization.

Even though it may seem like the illegality associated with weed today is akin to the criminal severity of something like jaywalking, the fact is that here in Nova Scotia, under many circumstances, having, selling or smoking the stuff could still get you thrown in jail.

That's exactly what may happen to Shirley Martineau, owner of Auntie's Health and Wellness Centre, which was closed down earlier this month after Martineau decided on her own accord to begin providing access to medicinal marijuana to anyone over the age of 19-regardless of a prescription.

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18 CN ON: LTE: Stopping Drug Imports Is The Real AnswerTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Kennington, Barry Area:Ontario Lines:27 Added:01/20/2017

RE: Safe injection sites

Providing safe injection sites for drug addicts is fine, but until the federal and provincial governments get really serious about stopping the importation of these illegal drugs by: 1. giving the newest and best testing equipment to our custom officers and police 2. flooding the Internet that our kids watch with warnings of personal death by the use of illegal drugs that are bought on the street and 3. by giving the courts the power to sentence the drug dealers maximum sentences when convicted. This pandering to drug users and dealers has to stop.

Barry Kennington, Hamilton

[end]

19 CN BC: Column: 2016's Toughest Issues: Marijuana, Panhandling, AndWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Kozak, Deb Area:British Columbia Lines:122 Added:01/20/2017

Happy New Year everyone! The beginning of a new year is both a time of personal contemplation and looking forward. And so it is for council. It is hard to believe that we are midway through this term.

In the past year we saw vigorous and thoughtful debate on some complicated issues. 2016 tested council and the results will shape and define future direction.

There is no doubt that developing policy in the social realm is much more difficult than considering a variance application to build a shed.

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20 US KY: Eastern Kentucky Gets Federal Grant For Hal Rogers Program ToFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Tate, Curtis Area:Kentucky Lines:41 Added:01/20/2017

A partnership that's working to fight drug addiction in eastern Kentucky has received a $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Republican Rep. Hal Rogers announced Thursday.

Operation UNITE, which operates in 32 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky, was founded in 2003 by Rogers to deal with what was at the time primarily an epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers.

Kentucky's Appalachian counties have since seen a surge in overdoses from heroin, as well as opioid painkillers. The competitive grant includes $50,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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21CN BC: Editorial: Pot Sales Should Follow LawThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

West Shore RCMP were justified in closing a newly opened marijuana dispensary in Langford. While the federal government is in the process of bringing in new legislation on marijuana, no one has the right to break federal or municipal laws, and that's what the pot shop was doing.

The Green Tree marijuana dispensary opened on Monday, despite warnings from city officials that it would be shut down, as it did not have a business licence, and Langford has no bylaws allowing the sale of marijuana.

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22 CN BC: This Bud's Not For YouWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Northern View, The (CN BC) Author:Lough, Shannon Area:British Columbia Lines:90 Added:01/20/2017

City eyes temporary ban on commercial marijuana outlets

The City of Prince Rupert stepped into hazy territory Monday night when councillors discussed how to navigate the potential legalization of marijuana.

Currently, if the federal government legalized cannabis this year, as it has stated, the absence of zoning or business licensing bylaws in the city may lead to the Wild West.

"At this time as well, it's not possible for the city to develop effective and also fair regulations governing commercial marijuana operations in the city without first knowing the federal and provincial frameworks," said Hans Seidemann, the manager of community development for the city, who presented the report to council Jan. 9.

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23 CN ON: St. Clair Twp. Takes Aim At Medical-Pot ProducersWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Kula, Tyler Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:01/20/2017

Public meeting on medical-marijuana production zoning scheduled Feb. 6

St. Clair Township is moving to restrict where medical marijuana producers can set up shop in the municipality.

A 6:45 p.m. public meeting is planned for council chambers in Mooretown on Feb. 6 to gather input on a proposal to change the township's official plan, restricting licenced medical marijuana production sites to industrial-zoned areas.

"(So) that there's a separation distance from sensitive land uses such as schools and residences," said John Rodey, chief administrative officer.

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24CN AB: Injection Sites Get Tepid Support In PollWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

47 per cent in favour as city set to host consultations

Almost half of Edmontonians support offering safe injection sites to drug addicts, according to new results from a Mainstreet/ Postmedia survey.

In a random survey of 614 Edmonton residents, 47 per cent said they support the idea of having safe injection sites - where drug addicts can inject illegal drugs under supervision - in the city.

As city officials prepare to host a series of public consultations on the proposed opening of up to four medically supervised injection sites in Edmonton, Ward 6 Coun. Scott McKeen said he expects access to information about injection sites will only increase that level of support.

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25CN SN: Editorial: Drug EducationWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)          Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

A poll released today by Mainstream and Postmedia makes it clear that Saskatchewan residents need to be educated on the dangers of drug use to our population. Residents of cities across the country were asked, "how closely have you been following the story of fentanyl, an opioid drug?" In Saskatoon, 35 per cent of those surveyed answered "very or somewhat." The number in Regina was slightly higher at 36 per cent.

This is an alarmingly low rate of awareness. The number of overdose deaths from fentanyl and other similar drugs has risen dramatically in Saskatchewan and across Canada in recent years. The number of people who indicated they are following the story in other western cities is much higher; 78 per cent in Vancouver, 55 per cent in Calgary and 58 per cent in Edmonton.

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26US CA: Obama Commutes Prison Sentence Of California HealthcareThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Doyle, Michael Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the 20-year prison sentenced imposed on Richard Ruiz Montes, convicted in 2008 for his role in the Modesto's pot-dealing California Healthcare Collective.

In one of his final presidential acts, Obama used his executive authority to cut Montes' sentence by more than half. Now held at a federal facility in Atwater, according to the Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator, the 36-year-old Montes will be released May 19.

He is identified as Richard by the White House and Bureau of Prisons, but has also been known as Ricardo. The White House listed his hometown as Escalon.

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27US CA: Chowchilla City Council Moves Against Recreational MarijuanaThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

The Chowchilla City Council voted unanimously this week to ban marijuana dispensaries, cultivation, manufacture and transport within city limits. The move comes on the eve of an election in which Californians will vote on Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational pot.

City Manager Brian Haddix said the council wanted to act now to ensure stricter restrictions were in place prior to the Nov. 8 election. He noted that marijuana is still a Schedule 1 substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

Mayor Waseem Ahmed said the move was necessary to "walk the talk of being a family friendly city."

[end]

28 US IL: PUB LTE: Opioid Epidemic Is Real, Getting WorseThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Delaney, Megan Area:Illinois Lines:43 Added:01/20/2017

I am writing to you in regard to the article "New pitch made for alcohol, drug treatment center near Campton Hills."

The opioid epidemic is a rather common in the U.S., but the opioid overdose statistics in Illinois have risen dramatically over a very short period of time, nearly 1,700 people in our state died from overdoses in 2014. This is a multifaceted problem, but our first step is destigmatization.

The recent opioid overdoses are directly related to an overall decrease of prescribing large amounts of pain killers. This crack down, which is absolutely necessary, causes people with narcotic addiction to seek it through heroin, rather than narcotic pain killers. Many reports all over the U.S. are pointing to heroin laced with fentanyl, a super potent narcotic, most likely from China, as the culprit to the heroin overdoses. This problem is not going away any time soon.

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29US NY: Carlucci: Opioid Deaths Rising In RocklandThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

[photo] The state senator wants more drug disposal sites and access to medication to treat addiction.

NEW CITY - Opioid deaths, including fatal heroin overdoses, are on the rise in Rockland County, where state Sen. David Carlucci is pushing a pair of proposals to help addicts.

There were 37 opioid deaths in Rockland last year, up from 25 in 2015, according to a report from the Rockland County Medical Examiner's Office.

That's compared to 36 opioid deaths in total between 2003 and 2009 in Rockland, according to Carlucci's office.

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30 US OH: Town Center To Train For Using NaloxoneThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:24 Added:01/20/2017

The Town Center at Levis Commons, a retail center off State Rt. 25 in Perrysburg, said Wednesday it will train some of its security, cleaning, and management staff to administer a life-saving drug used to counteract opiate overdoses.

The center said it was important to acknowledge the heroin problem with training about a drug that can halt the affects of an opiate overdose.

Employees are to be trained by the end of next week by officials with the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program. Training will include how to identify a possible overdose and how to administer naloxone.

[end]

31 US NY: Editorial: Senseless Limits On Marijuana ResearchTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:68 Added:01/20/2017

Even as more and more states allow their residents to use marijuana, the federal government is continuing to obstruct scientists from studying whether the drug is good or bad for people's health.

A report published last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine points out that scientists who want to study cannabis have to seek approvals from federal, state and local agencies and depend on just one lab, at the University of Mississippi, for samples. As a result, far too little is known about the health effects of a substance that 28 states have decided can be used as medicine and eight states and the District of Columbia have approved for recreational use.

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32 US WI: Editorial: Marijuana's Medical Benefits Can't Be IgnoredThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, WI) Author:Marlaire, Liam Area:Wisconsin Lines:93 Added:01/20/2017

Medical marijuana use should be legal in Wisconsin.

Twenty-eight states -- Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Ohio joined in November -- and the District of Columbia allow for such use. California was the first to legalize medical marijuana 11 years ago.

There are signs that Wisconsin may eventually adopt that stance. Although Republicans in the state often have opposed such measures, The Associated Press reported that state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, is circulating a bill that would make possessing a marijuana extract used to prevent seizures legal with a doctor's certification.

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33CN BC: New Fence Put Up On Pandora To Cut Drug DealingSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

Owner of private property follows recent move by church

Another fence is going up in the 800 block of Pandora Avenue as businesses grapple with drug dealing and homelessness in the area.

The new fence, on private property, will block off a small stairwell and sunken alcove on the Pandora side of the former Central Care Home, between the Subway restaurant and the Central Baptist Church.

The work was started shortly after videos showing people conducting drug deals near the stairwell were posted online. In the videos, a man in a hooded sweater can be seen standing on the sidewalk, portioning out and selling drugs, and counting $20 bills.

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34 US MA: Walgreens Agrees To Better Monitor Opioid DispensingThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Freyer, Felice J. Area:Massachusetts Lines:123 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] A Walgreens in Boston.

An investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey found that some Walgreens pharmacies failed to monitor patients' drug use patterns and didn't use sound professional judgment when dispensing opioids and other controlled substances - a concern because of soaring overdose deaths in Massachusetts.

Walgreens agreed to pay $200,000 and follow certain procedures for dispensing opioids, in a settlement filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court.

"Our records show," Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said in an e-mail, "that the prescriptions in question were dispensed to patients for a legitimate medical purpose and issued by licensed practitioners," suggesting the drugs were not diverted to the black market.

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35 US IL: Traveling To Denver For Pot Clubs? Rules Are Still Up In TheThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:60 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] Partygoers smoke marijuana during a Prohibition-era themed New Year's Eve party at a bar in Denver, celebrating the start of retail pot sales. Denver is starting work on becoming the first city in the nation to allow marijuana clubs and public pot use in places like restaurants, yoga studios and art galleries. Voters narrowly approved the "social use" measure last November. (Brennan Linsley / AP)

Denver has started work on the nation's first law allowing marijuana clubs and use in public places such as coffee shops or art galleries. But the details about what those pot clubs would look like are very much in the air. Here's what we know, and don't know, about the looming pot clubs headed to Denver:

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36US CA: Sacramento Has A Date For When It Will Start AcceptingThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2017

The city of Sacramento soon may begin accepting applications from businesses wanting to cultivate marijuana.

A City Council committee this week voted to lift Sacramento's moratorium on commercial cannabis cultivation. The action means that aspiring marijuana businesses would be able to apply for cultivation permits beginning April 2 under a new ordinance that could position the capital city as regional hub for commercial pot production.

The council in November voted 5-3 to allow licensed recreational or medical marijuana cultivation in city limits under state rules governing the marijuana industry. But it is unlikely that the city will be issuing actual permits for cultivation businesses until months after the application period opens.

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37 US CA: City Devastated By Oxycontin Use Sues Purdue Pharma, ClaimsThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Ryan, Harriet Area:California Lines:159 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] A bottle of Oxycontin pills. (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

A Washington city devastated by black-market OxyContin filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the painkillers' manufacturer Thursday, alleging the company turned a blind eye to criminal trafficking of its pills to "reap large and obscene profits" and demanding it foot the bill for widespread opioid addiction in the community.

The suit by Everett, a city of 100,000 north of Seattle, was prompted by a Times investigation last year. The newspaper revealed that drugmaker Purdue Pharma had extensive evidence pointing to illegal trafficking across the nation, but in many cases, did not share it with law enforcement or cut off the flow of pills.

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38 US NY: 19 Deaths In 19 Days In Suspected Opiate OverdosesThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:New York Lines:109 Added:01/19/2017

Nineteen suspected opiate deaths in the first 19 days of January have Erie County on pace for 365 deaths in 2017.

It could be worse. Last year started more deadly.

During the early weeks and months of 2016, the epidemic was claiming so many lives that county officials projected more than 500 people would die that year. The pace, however, slowed as the county took aggressive steps, including promotion of the widespread use of the opiate antidote Naloxone.

By year's end, 247 people had died in confirmed overdoses, with 77 more suspected deaths, officials said Thursday.

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39 US PA: Philly Cops Meet With Pot Smokers To Plan A Bust But Don'tThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Terruso, Julia Area:Pennsylvania Lines:79 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] Chris Goldstein, right, shakes hands with police top brass after meeting at La Colombe to discuss his planned "smoke-in" protest on Friday in Rittenhouse Square. (Julia Terruso / Staff)

Members of the Philadelphia Police Department's top brass met with marijuana activists Thursday to hash out how pot citations will be issued at a protest planned for Friday.

"So we'll have everyone light up and then line up," said Nikki Allen Poe, talking with members of the Police Department at a corner table at La Colombe coffee shop at Dilworth Park, "and then you'll do the arr-."

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40 US NC: Obama Commutes Prison Sentence Of California HealthcareThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Doyle, Michael Area:North Carolina Lines:50 Added:01/19/2017

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the 20-year prison sentenced imposed on Richard Ruiz Montes, convicted in 2008 for his role in the Modesto's pot-dealing California Healthcare Collective.

In one of his final presidential acts, Obama used his executive authority to cut Montes' sentence by more than half. Now held at a federal facility in Atwater, according to the Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator, the 36-year-old Montes will be released May 19.

He is identified as Richard by the White House and Bureau of Prisons, but has also been known as Ricardo. The White House listed his hometown as Escalon.

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41 US TX: Obama Commutes Prison Sentence Of California HealthcareThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Doyle, Michael Area:Texas Lines:50 Added:01/19/2017

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the 20-year prison sentenced imposed on Richard Ruiz Montes, convicted in 2008 for his role in the Modesto's pot-dealing California Healthcare Collective.

In one of his final presidential acts, Obama used his executive authority to cut Montes' sentence by more than half. Now held at a federal facility in Atwater, according to the Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator, the 36-year-old Montes will be released May 19.

He is identified as Richard by the White House and Bureau of Prisons, but has also been known as Ricardo. The White House listed his hometown as Escalon.

[continues 184 words]

42US CA: Tulare County Extends Ban On Marijuana GrowingWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Griswold, Lewis Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2017

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to continue its ban on growing nonmedical marijuana in unincorporated areas for another two years.

The ban is aimed at commercial growers. It's still legal to grow up to six plants at a private residence under Proposition 64, as long as it's indoors.

Approved by voters statewide in November, Proposition 64 decriminalizes marijuana by allowing adults 21 and older to use, transport and buy it in limited amounts.

But the proposition allows local jurisdictions to impose their own regulations, including a ban on marijuana businesses, which the board adopted as a temporary measure in December and now has extended until December 2018.

[continues 514 words]

43US NJ: Large Opioid Distributor Must Pay $150m Over SuspiciousWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2017

McKesson Corporation agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations from federal authorities that the company failed to monitor and report suspicious sales of oxycodone and hydrocodone.

The Washington Post reported on the settlement in December, gleaned from a publicly disclosed Form 8-K filed by McKesson on April 30, 2015.

Tuesday was the first mention of the settlement by federal law enforcement authorities.

The settlement stemmed from an earlier case.

In 2008, McKesson agreed to pay $13.25 million after the government alleged it failed to create and maintain a system to detect and report suspicious orders of increasing amounts of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to independent and small chain pharmacies.

[continues 297 words]

44US WA: State Senate Bill Makes It Easier For Pot Businesses To PayWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2017

[photo] Cannabis from Stagecoach Ranch is seen on display during an event at Harvest, a medical marijuana dispensary in the Inner Richmond District, in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers want to make it easier for marijuana dispensaries to pay their taxes, saying many cash-only businesses are forced to drive long distances with thousands of dollars to make an in-person payment.

That's clearly not safe, said state Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who introduced a bill Tuesday to increase the number of places where tax and fee payments can be made in California.

[continues 405 words]

45 Philippines: Duterte Lashes Out At Catholic PriestsWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Romero, Alexis Area:Philippines Lines:76 Added:01/19/2017

In this Sept. 15, 2016 file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte shows documents containing the names of politicians, judges, and law enforcers involved in illegal drugs during his visit to Camp Tecson in Bulacan. (PPD/King Rodriguez)

CABANATUAN CITY - How can the Catholic clergy understand the seriousness of the drug problem? They should try shabu.

A joking President Duterte floated the proposal here on Wednesday as scored the Church anew for its supposed hypocrisy and pretensions.

The Roman Catholic Church, the faith of more than 80 percent of Filipinos, has been vocal in expressing concerns over the spate of killings linked to Duterte's brutal war on drugs. More than 6,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since Duterte assumed the presidency.

[continues 382 words]

46 Philippines: Defending The Drug War, Duterte Chastises BishopsThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Philippine Star (Philippines) Author:Romero, Alexis Area:Philippines Lines:111 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] In this Nov. 26, 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his keynote address during the San Beda College of Law Alumni Homecoming at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taguig City. (PPD/King Rodriguez)

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dug up old controversies including the so-called Pajero scandal and clergy sexual abuse in his latest tirade against the Catholic Church, which has been raising concerns over the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs.

[continues 716 words]

47 US SC: Obama Commutes Prison Sentence Of California HealthcareThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Doyle, Michael Area:South Carolina Lines:51 Added:01/19/2017

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the 20-year prison sentenced imposed on Richard Ruiz Montes, convicted in 2008 for his role in the Modesto's pot-dealing California Healthcare Collective.

In one of his final presidential acts, Obama used his executive authority to cut Montes' sentence by more than half. Now held at a federal facility in Atwater, according to the Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator, the 36-year-old Montes will be released May 19.

He is identified as Richard by the White House and Bureau of Prisons, but has also been known as Ricardo. The White House listed his hometown as Escalon.

[continues 184 words]

48 US CO: Are People Switching From Booze To Pot?Thu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Danish, Paul Area:Colorado Lines:87 Added:01/19/2017

It's a question people have been wondering about for years: Would marijuana be a competitor to alcohol if it were legal?

Now a new study is out suggesting it might.

The Marijuana Times recently reported that according to a study conducted by the research firm Cowen and Company, beer markets in Colorado, Oregon and Washington have "collectively underperformed" over the past three years.

All three states have both legal recreational marijuana and a popular craft beer culture.

"With all three of these states now having fully implemented a marijuana retail infrastructure, the underperformance of beer in these markets has worsened over the course of 2016," according to the report.

[continues 553 words]

49US: Anthem To Change Opioid Treatment Policy Under Deal With NYThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:USA Today (US)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2017

"We should be doing whatever we can to make lifesaving treatments accessible to those suffering from addiction," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

[photo]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks during a press conference on September 23, 2016 in New York City.(Photo: Drew Angerer, Getty Images)

Anthem, the nation's second-largest insurance company, has ended its policy of pre-authorizations for drugs to treat opioid use disorder following an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, his office said Thursday.

[continues 776 words]

50 US IL: Could Medical Marijuana Users Become Addicted To Pot?Thu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:173 Added:01/19/2017

Depressed, withdrawn and coping with a death in the family, Joseph thought getting high would help him feel better.

Instead, he said, his marijuana smoking grew into a daily habit that made him paranoid and constantly question how others saw him. He went days without going home, showering or eating much besides potato chips.

"I always thought (marijuana) would bring down my anxiety, but it just made it that much worse," the Rockford-area man said.

One day, after getting so high that he was pacing around, alarmed by his own gaunt appearance and generally "freaking out," Joseph was taken by his brother to a Rosecrance drug treatment center in Rockford, where he entered an inpatient program.

[continues 1228 words]


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