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1 US CA: LTE: Unhappy With EditingTue, 14 Jan 2016
Source:Chico News & Review, The (CA) Author:Esplanade, Nathan Area:California Lines:51 Added:06/14/2016

Re "Undermining the public's trust" (Guest comment, by Nathan Esplanade, Jan. 7):

Apparently to undermine my anti-alcohol and -marijuana guest comment last week, the CN&R changed and deleted some of my words and made others insensible, and completely omitted my conclusion.

In the same issue, the CN&R published more propaganda arguing legalizing pot would enable pain relief for the poor and enrich local governments. In so doing, it once again ignored the elephant in the room: Patients with a prescription can already acquire affordable medication via the Internet.

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2 US VT: PUB LTE: Strict Controls On MarijuanaFri, 19 Feb 2016
Source:Rutland Herald (VT) Author:Generess, Kenneth Area:Vermont Lines:32 Added:02/19/2016

I have read about much of the conversation regarding the legalization of marijuana. We should err on the side of caution when accepting and legalizing any bill that does not adhere to certain conditions. First, I personally would like to see the creation of a state-run marijuana exchange. Any persons or industry that chooses to grow marijuana for sale would be required to sell their crop at this exchange. Growers would be given fair market value for their produce. The state marijuana market would be supplied solely through this process. At the exchange produce will be broken down for distribution. Each crop will have a batch number. Every package will have a tracking number. Every ounce will be accounted for. Residency requirements should be in place for growers. Individuals who grow whether for personal use or sale would be required a permit. Individual restrictions will apply. Industrial growers will require a pre-existing Vermont farmers license.

Rutland

[end]

3 US CA: Column: Let It BurnThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Scott-Goforth, Grant Area:California Lines:83 Added:02/11/2016

So many hash labs are blowing up around these parts that Humboldt Bay Fire, which services the greater Eureka area, recently declared it won't go into the burning aftermath of the explosions.

The new policy comes on the heels of several hash lab fires in the area, the most recent of which (on Jan. 20) sent a resident to the University of California Davis burn center and left "obvious signs that the explosion moved the roof off the walls," according to a press release.

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4US CO: Drug Overdose Deaths Hit Record Levels in Rural ColoradoThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Olinger, David Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

Drug overdose deaths are reaching record levels in a surprising corner of Colorado: the windswept southern counties where ranchers graze cattle and farmers raise corn.

In eight counties stretching from Baca west to Rio Grande, yearly overdose deaths have reached the highest level measured by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Denver and Adams counties have hit the same level- 20 or more deaths per 100,000 residents - along with two other Colorado counties.

Altogether, every one of Colorado's 64 counties except Mineral, a sparsely populated county in the mountains, has experienced a rising drug death rate in the last 12 years.

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5 US: Senator: Sentencing Reform Bill Isn't StalledThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Horwitz, Sari Area:United States Lines:85 Added:02/11/2016

Despite Recent Setbacks, Utah Republican Says Legislation Has Traction

The co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation to reduce some mandatory minimum drug and gun sentences said Wednesday that he is hopeful Congress can still pass the bill despite recent setbacks.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said issues have arisen that have slowed the legislation - considered by advocates of sentencing reform to be the most significant in decades. But "I don't believe it's stalled," he said at "Out of Jail, Into Society," a Washington Post Live event about prison reform.

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6US MI: OPED: Drug Task Forces That Lose Money Will Lose TeethThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Lerner, Richard Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

The administration has opined that our country incarcerates too many people for nonviolent drug offenses. It recently decided to address that problem. However, the only people who are going to be happy about the solution are drug dealers.

In December, the federal government quietly cut almost half of the funding for Drug Enforcement Agency task forces across the country. Police chiefs across the country received a letter from the Department of Justice entitled "Deferral of Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Payments." It explained that drug forfeiture funds, which local agencies receive for working with DEA, would be "deferred" until further notice. DOJ referred to this as a $1.2 billion "rescission" needed to balance its budget.

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7 US CA: Column: Tommy Chong's Last LaughThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:SF Weekly (CA) Author:Roberts, Chris Area:California Lines:118 Added:02/11/2016

It was in a low-rent town in flyover country, playing a gig in front of a crowd of squares and straights in the Ronald Reagan '80s - the dark days of Just Say No, compulsory D.A.R.E. classes for children, and the crack-cocaine epidemic, all the things that led to our country's current drug-fueled incarceration crisis - when Tommy Chong really blew his audience's minds.

Chong and his partner Cheech Marin had been plying their brand of stoner humor for almost two decades, their comedy LPs and films on the Hi-Fis and Betamaxes of cannabis users around the world. (And the pair would separate soon after, when Marin tried to make a break from the THC-fueled typecast and go for a straight-laced acting career.) But on this night and in this town - some nameless "right-wing Christian" place Chong cannot recall - the still-bearded longhairs were not playing to their audience. Still, the crewcuts paid to see these freaks, leftovers from the '60s, in action. And they were curious.

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8 US CA: Sen. Mike McGuire Floats Bill to Increase Sales Tax onThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Kovner, Guy Area:California Lines:81 Added:02/11/2016

State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, introduced legislation Wednesday that would establish a 15 percent statewide sales tax on medical marijuana, a move he said was needed to help cover local government costs to control the booming cannabis industry.

The tax would be in addition to the existing sales tax - roughly 8 percent on goods and services - and is expected to generate more than $100 million a year, with a 30 percent share available to cities and counties for costs associated with medical cannabis.

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9 US AZ: Column: Social Media Hates On WeedThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Taracena, Maria Ines Area:Arizona Lines:75 Added:02/11/2016

Last week, dispensary owners in Arizona, and other states, woke up to news their Facebook pages were deleted

At least a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries in Tucson realized their Facebook pages had been deleted on Thursday, Feb. 4 by the social media site, according to the Daily Haze.

Facebook claimed they had banned the pages because the company does not allow any material that "condones drug use."

The Haze spoke to Tucson's Earth's Healing's marketing director, Florence Hijazi, who told the online publication that not having a Facebook page damages the dispensary's business, because their patients check their page on a daily basis for different specials and other updates. Hijazi also told the Haze that, in response to being kicked out of Facebook, Earth's Healing plans to focus more on their Twitter account and their phone app.

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10 US CO: Column: Dear Stoner: Does Marijuana Help WithThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Westword (Denver, CO) Author:Fuego, Herbert Area:Colorado Lines:59 Added:02/11/2016

Dear Stoner: Does marijuana help with depression?

Searching

Dear Searching: Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. There's such a wide range of studies on the subject that trying to wrap your head around it can make your hair fall out - or leave you more depressed. A survey of 4,400 adults that was funded by the Marijuana Policy Project indicated that regular and occasional marijuana users had more positive moods and fewer somatic complaints than non-users, but it also found medical users to be more depressed than recreational users. Other published studies have shown marijuana smokers to be diagnosed with depression more often and to be more at risk for schizophrenia or psychosis than non-smokers, but doctors don't agree on whether marijuana is the cause of a patient's depression or just that patient's preferred method of self-medication.

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11 US OR: Column: How To Ruin Valentine's Day-with Weed!Thu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Portland Mercury (OR) Author:Jardine, Josh Area:Oregon Lines:80 Added:02/11/2016

IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY, which can be difficult for single people. (Who are only alone because something is wrong with them. WHAT? I'm right. You know I'm right. Think of all your single friends, and name two who aren't that way because of a deep, twisted, untreatable inner flaw. Yikes.)

But even for those of us who are happily coupled-and don't hate-there are expectations forced upon us that this has to be the most romantic, multi-orgasmic holiday of the year, right after Arbor Day or when a new dispensary opens down the block.

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12 Thailand: Editorial: Grasp Drug Policy NettleWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Bangkok Post (Thailand)          Area:Thailand Lines:74 Added:02/11/2016

The United Nations is aiming to set a new macro policy on recreational drugs worldwide, starting today. It has taken almost a generation even to get to this point, which is the token beginning of a UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs. There are strong feelings emerging that the UN itself might even take a stand leaning towards legalisation of such drugs. A kickoff meeting this evening in New York will hear testimony, mostly from the pro-enforcement side.

This is, essentially, Thailand's time to stand up for this country's policies on illegal drugs - or to call for changes. It is certain that after today's "interactive panel discussions" on the subject that a handful of Latin American countries and most of the 279 NGOs registered to attend will be lobbying hard on the legalisation side. Thailand and Thais are not prepared to go that far. Yet changes must be made.

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13 UK: OPED: Drug CasualtiesWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Grillo, Ioan Area:United Kingdom Lines:263 Added:02/11/2016

Billionaire warlords, who started as small-time weed smugglers, have swathes of Latin America under their bloody rule, and the chaos is creeping north. But, says IOAN GRILLO, they owe their power to white-collar crooks from the States, who first set up their deadly networks

A chain of crime wars is currently strangling Latin America and the Caribbean, drenching it in blood. And the first link in the chain is found in the US. Specifically, in a Barnes and Noble bookshop in a mall in El Paso, Texas.

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14 Australia: Medicinal Cannabis Growers SchemeWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)          Area:Australia Lines:33 Added:02/11/2016

The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers.

Although medicinal cannabis is available for particular patient groups and clinical trials, it is now illegal to grow and import most medicinal cannabis products, leading some patients to buy them from the black market and run the risk of prosecution for drug use and possession. Health Minister Sussan Ley hoped for bipartisan support for legal changes that she said would help chronically ill patients in allowing therapeutic products to be grown on a larger scale to meet patient demand. She was confident a single cultivation scheme rather than state- and territory-based schemes, would hasten regulation and patients' access to medicinal cannabis. "A national regulator will also allow the government to closely track the development of cannabis products for medicinal use from cultivation to supply and curtail any attempts by criminals to get involved," she said. It is unclear whether the scheme will gain enough Senate support, because it differs from a separate Greens-led bill for a national regulator that would oversee growth, manufacture and distribution of medicinal cannabis. This model, introduced into the Senate in 2014, has support from both Liberal and Labor senators.

[end]

15US CA: Police Will Help Addicts RecoverWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Marroquin, Art Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

ANAHEIM Drug addicts who are ready to kick their habit soon will be urged to seek out help from an unconventional new ally: the Police Department.

Mayor Tom Tait on Tuesday announced what he calls "Drug Free Anaheim," aimed at encouraging chronic drug users to walk into a police station in Orange County's most populous city and ask for help in exchange for a free ride to a rehabilitation center.

Anaheim appears to be the first California city to adopt the tactic, which Tait said puts the city's focus on helping users recover - rather than jailing them - while allowing police to enforce drug laws.

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16US AK: Anchorage Assembly Sets Buffer Zones for PotWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Kelly, Devin Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

When pot businesses can legally open in Anchorage later this year, they'll have to be at least 500 feet from schools in most parts of the city, the Anchorage Assembly decided Tuesday night.

The Assembly also narrowly voted against a proposal to allow on-site consumption in retail stores, at least for now. That question was referred back to the Assembly's committee on marijuana regulation. Assembly members said the city should wait for the outcome of still-evolving state regulations before adopting local rules on marijuana bars or cafes -- but left undisturbed laws for private social clubs, where customers can bring their own pot to consume.

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17 US OR: Editorial: Study Cannabis In Oregon, But Not YetWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:56 Added:02/11/2016

A state task force has recommended that Oregon create an independent institute for research into the medical uses of marijuana. The reasons for doing so are sound, and lawmakers should follow the recommendation. But not right away.

The task force, created by the 2015 Legislature under the auspices of the Oregon Health Authority, issued its report Monday. The report recommends creating the Oregon Institute for Cannabis Research. The institute would conduct studies both within the university system and outside it, and would raise private funds as well as relying on a dedicate source of state funding.

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18CN SN: Police in 'Grey Zone' Awaiting Feds' Legislation ofWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Hamilton, Charles Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

Saskatoon's police chief says the Liberal government needs to clarify Canada's marijuana laws to combat serious misunderstandings about the legality of the drug.

"The police aren't anti-marijuana," Chief Clive Weighill said. "But we are in a situation right now that is a very grey zone."

Weighill said despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election promise that pot will be legalized for personal use, smoking, growing and selling weed in Canada is still against the law.

Weighill, who is also president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said the government needs to offer clarity to people - especially those who believe that because of the election promise, the drug is already legal.

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19 US CA: LTE: Treat AddictionsThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Kahn, Lauren Area:California Lines:24 Added:02/11/2016

Regarding "$1 billion prescription for treating addictions" (Open Forum, Feb. 8): A big thank you to President Obama for his proposal to allocate $1.1 billion in new funding to stop the opioid overdose epidemic.

The use of prescription drugs is so prolific in our country that precious Super Bowl 50 ad space was used for a product that relieves opioid-induced constipation. I am heartened to know that the president is dedicating more resources to stave off this health crisis of epidemic proportions and to help save precious lives.

Lauren Kahn, San Francisco

[end]

20US CA: Senator Backs State Sales Tax On Medical PotThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Gutierrez, Melody Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

SACRAMENTO - California would levy a new 15 percent tax on medical marijuana sales to enforce new regulations and pay for state programs, rehabilitation and parks under a bill introduced Wednesday.

The Marijuana Value Tax Act could bring the state more than $100 million in new revenue. The tax was anticipated after the state passed historic regulations last year that require state and local licenses for medical marijuana businesses under the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations.

"Now that there is a long overdue regulatory framework put into place, it's time to help fund the areas that are most affected by the cultivation - those communities that have long been paying the price of the negative effects of cultivation brought on by the 'bad actors' who destroy the environment and bring in crime," state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who authored SB987 and parts of last year's marijuana regulations, said in a statement.

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21 US OR: Pesticide For Pot Is Pulled NationwideWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Oregon Lines:24 Added:02/10/2016

The Oregon Department of Agriculture stopped the sale of a pesticide used by marijuana growers because one of its active ingredients is not listed on the product label.

The agency says the product, Guardian, identifies itself as 100 percent natural and lists its active ingredients as cinnamon oil and citric acid. A state lab, however, found the presence of abamectin, a widely used insecticide.

A company official said the product has been pulled nationwide.

Times staff and news services

[end]

22 US CA: Medical Marijuana Rules Vary - And May ChangeWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA) Author:Vodden, Eric Area:California Lines:106 Added:02/10/2016

Medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries are governed by a sometimes-confusing smorgasbord of rules and regulations that differ from county to county and city to city.

Now there are four pieces of approved state legislation to add to the mix, including a cleanup bill signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown that makes corrections to the earlier-approved bills.

Add to that the prospect of multiple statewide ballot initiatives in November and the result is a lot of uncertainty over the future of medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries, locally and statewide.

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23 US CO: Column: Colorado's Recall ProblemWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Colorado Springs Independent (CO) Author:Stein, Nat Area:Colorado Lines:93 Added:02/10/2016

There's a marijuana recall saga playing out in Denver that suggests our regulatory system isn't quite up to snuff yet (at least when it comes to quality control.)

It first blew up last March when the city of Denver quarantined more than 100,000 plants from six separately owned and operated grows after the fire department discovered off-label pesticide use on the plants during routine safety inspections.

The city stepped up its inspections of cultivation facilities, and the Denver Post 's Cannabist blog even commissioned its own tests for pesticides on retail marijuana extracts.

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24 US CA: PUB LTE: Syringe SolutionsWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Miller, Tim Area:California Lines:29 Added:02/10/2016

Thank you for your article in The Chronicle regarding "Coordinated effort to remove syringes" (Feb. 9). I hope you'll consider exploring this subject further, looking at the root causes of the incredible increase in improperly discarded needles. Where are all these thousands of needles coming from?

Why the exponential increase? How much is attributable to the disappearance of needle exchange programs and their replacement with needle giveaways? Is this policy right for San Francisco? What other cities have changed this policy? What differentiates successful implementations from unsuccessful? Even if exchange is not required, can we mandate that the giveaways accept used needles for disposal (apparently many do not)? We need to find a solution to the root of the problem. Cleanup is good, but it's just a BandAid.

Tim Miller, San Francisco

[end]

25 US CA: Column: Green-Lighting WeedWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:East Bay Express (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:132 Added:02/10/2016

City staffers are seeking to lift Oakland's cap on dispensaries and to license vapor lounges, commercial gardens, hash-makers, kitchens, and labs.

Oakland stands poised to dominate California's new era of regulated medical cannabis. The Oakland City Council could green-light up to eight new medical cannabis dispensaries per year, as well approve dozens of related licenses for cultivation, testing, edibles, and pot extracts at its meeting on Tuesday, February 16.

Under the sweeping plan pushed by staffers in Mayor Libby Schaaf's administration, Oakland would also issue new licenses for delivery-only dispensaries, transportation services, lounges, and analytical labs. The plan also likely will produce millions of dollars in new tax revenue for the city; would increase safety by reducing the need for a black market for medical pot; would add more local jobs; and would produce safer medical cannabis supplies on a smaller carbon footprint, according to city staffers. The plan is scheduled to go before the council's Public Safety Committee on Tuesday night, February 9.

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26 CN BC: Editorial: Time To Start Talking About Substance AbuseFri, 05 Feb 2016
Source:Mission City Record (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:45 Added:02/10/2016

Whether it's alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, meth, acid or whatever vice chosen, substance abuse impacts almost everyone you know, one way or another.

It may be your brother or sister, your child or parent or even just a person on the street you happen to drive by, but whatever the connection, addiction has touched your life.

Some lives more than others.

Last night, the District of Mission held a forum on substance abuse and while the afternoon sessions were for service groups and politicians, the evening session was open to the public - more specifically, parents.

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27 US HI: Panel, Process For Pot Licenses To Remain SecretWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:108 Added:02/10/2016

The state Health Department said Tuesday it will neither release the names of committee members who will select the winners of Hawaii's eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses nor disclose any information about the selection process.

The department received 66 applications for the dispensary licenses and will determine by April 15 who is granted the right to open the first legal marijuana shops in Hawaii later this year.

"It is critical that the selection process be conducted without external influence and disruption, so that applicants are scored solely on their application and the merit criteria," said Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Department of Health. "To ensure the integrity of the selection process, DOH will not be releasing any additional information about applicants, the application process or evaluation panel at this time."

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28 CN NS: Editorial: Breathe In And Regulate Marijuana LawsMon, 08 Feb 2016
Source:Chronicle Herald (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:75 Added:02/10/2016

You don't have to be stoned to be confused by the status of Canada's marijuana laws.

Users of medical marijuana must wonder if it's OK to pick up supplies at pot dispensaries across the country.

In Nova Scotia, one operator proudly announced the opening of his Dartmouth dispensary last week.

But at least two in-province pot retailers were raided by police last year.

The law seems to suggest prescription holders should obtain the drug from licensed suppliers - which means by mail-order.

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29CN SN: Council Rejects 'Crazy Request' To Reopen Pot ShopTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Hill, Andrea Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2016

Medical Marijuana Store Owner Says Users Suffer Without Access to Weed

Pleas from the owner of Saskatoon's now-shuttered medical marijuana dispensary that he be allowed to operate in the grey area of the law fell on deaf ears at a council committee meeting.

Mark Hauk, founder of the Saskatoon Compassion Club, closed the dispensary's doors after he was charged last fall with trafficking, production and possessing the proceeds of crime.

He told council's planning committee on Monday that the closure means many people who relied on medical marijuana are now suffering. He asked that his business be allowed to operate despite the fact that it is presently considered illegal under federal law.

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30Mexico: Column: Legalizing Pot May Make Sense In MexicoWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Jervis, Rick Area:Mexico Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2016

MEXICO CITY - Armando Santacruz is a clean-cut father of five and successful business owner.

Nothing at all about him screams "pothead."

Yet, Santacruz, 54, is at the forefront of a growing movement to legalize marijuana in Mexico - a move that could have seismic repercussions both in Mexico and the USA.

He talks about legalizing pot with the same impassioned fervor many here use to describe soccer clubs or favorite restaurants.

Santacruz was one of four plaintiffs who won a pivotal Supreme Court case here in November, which allowed him and his co-plaintiffs their private consumption of cannabis and galvanized a national debate.

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31 New Zealand: Arrests For Drug Use Slightly Up In DecemberMon, 08 Feb 2016
Source:Marlborough Express (New Zealand) Author:Eder, Jennifer Area:New Zealand Lines:68 Added:02/10/2016

Marlborough police are finding more drug users and less drug dealers, according to new police data.

Police statistical indicators for December showed Marlborough police caught more than twice as many people using illicit drugs in December last year, compared to the previous year.

Nineteen people in Marlborough were caught using drugs in December last year, compared with nine in December 2014.

However, the number of people caught selling illegal drugs decreased by more than half, from 14 in December 2014 to five in the same month last year.

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32 CN NF: Life-Changing LeafMon, 08 Feb 2016
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Power, Louis Area:Newfoundland Lines:164 Added:02/10/2016

Medical marijuana user says doctors discouraged from prescribing; new clinic hopes to alleviate concerns

As the country moves towards legalizing marijuana for recreational use, patients in Newfoundland and Labrador are still having trouble accessing the herb for medical use.

It's not because of the fact that no licensed producers grow marijuana in the province; doctors here may be hesitant because the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador appears to discourage them from having anything to do with it.

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33 Canada: Liberals' Vow To Legalize Pot Creating Chaos, Police SayMon, 08 Feb 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leblanc, Daniel Area:Canada Lines:109 Added:02/10/2016

Canada's frontline officers and police chiefs are alarmed by the growing chaos in the marijuana industry, saying the Liberal Party's promise to eventually legalize the drug has sparked confusion across the country.

Illegal pot dispensaries are opening up from coast to coast at the same time as some users feel they should no longer be subject to the Criminal Code, prompting law-enforcement officials to urge the Trudeau government to remind Canadians that marijuana remains an illegal drug.

The dispensaries are ostensibly set up to distribute medical marijuana, but many are believed to also sell cannabis for recreational use with the flimsiest medical evidence or documentation. The licensed producers of medical marijuana have responded by launching a lobbying campaign to persuade the government to shut down the dispensaries. At the same time, these legal producers of medical marijuana are vying to be the first in line to legally produce marijuana for recreational use.

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34 CN BC: PUB LTE: Navy's Efforts Make No Difference to Drug CrimeTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Randell, Alan Area:British Columbia Lines:28 Added:02/10/2016

Re: "Navy making a difference in drug war," column, Feb. 6.

If the navy stopped chasing around the world for various drug shipments, would we notice any difference here at home? Were things a lot worse with respect to drug-induced crime before this program started back in 2006? Were the gangs more numerous then than they are today? Are we winning the war on drugs now?

I don't think so.

A truly ludicrous column.

Alan Randell Victoria

[end]

35CN SN: Column: No One Knows How Many Are Getting Medical MarijuanaTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:MacPherson, Les Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2016

I wrote last week a column about marijuana that contained bad information.

I had heard complaints from three different people that they could not find a doctor in Saskatoon to prescribe medical marijuana. I have since learned that maybe they weren't seeing the right doctors.

Some doctors still will not write prescriptions for the once-forbidden herb, but plenty of others have come around. Saskatoon-based supplier CanniMed alone has filled prescriptions written by 290 Saskatchewan doctors, 136 of them in Saskatoon, at last count. This would not include doctors whose prescriptions are filled by other licensed suppliers, of which there are more than 20. So, medical marijuana is far from impossible to get here, as I incorrectly reported.

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36 CN MB: Weeding Out The TruthTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Billeck, Scott Area:Manitoba Lines:131 Added:02/10/2016

MARIJUANA and fitness - common sense suggests one doesn't go well with the other. The stereotype of the lazy stoner who makes late-night pilgrimages for junk food doesn't mesh with someone who spends spare time lifting weights or goes on early morning jogs.

But some users who have taken a hit before lifting weights say there are benefits.

"Weed was a great help for me when I was just starting off weight training, running and cycling. For one, it really takes the edge of the soreness," says Martin, who doesn't want his last name published.

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37 CN MB: PUB LTE: Heavenly PotWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:White, Stan Area:Manitoba Lines:33 Added:02/10/2016

Re: "Rolling in dough," Jan. 29.

It's true, since Colorado completely re-legalized cannabis (marijuana), treating it like the relatively safe God-given plant that it is, the state has reaped huge taxes. But Canada shouldn't cleanse itself from cannabis prohibition to profit, but rather to end one of North America's worst policy failures because it's the right thing to do. The Luciferous practice of caging humans for using what God indicates He created and says is good on literally the very first page of the Bible is vulgar for developed nations. The sooner the devil law ends, the sooner the sky will stop falling in.

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.

("Luciferous" means "enlightening.")

[end]

38US CO: Pot Sales Just Less Than $ 1B In State In 2015Wed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Baca, Ricardo Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2016

Licensed and regulated marijuana stores in Colorado sold $ 996,184,788 of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015, according to the state Department of Revenue.

"I think it's ethical to round that up to a billion," cannabis industry attorney Christian Sederberg said Tuesday upon first hearing the 2015 totals.

Colorado recreational marijuana sales first started on Jan. 1, 2014.

Colorado also collected more than $ 135 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015- more than $ 35 million of which is earmarked for school construction projects.

Colorado released marijuana tax data for December 2015 on Tuesday, showing a major uptick in month-over-month sales.

[end]

39 US: Ex-Judge Urges Freedom For Man He SentencedWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Horwitz, Sari Area:United States Lines:111 Added:02/10/2016

Now a Professor, He Writes to Obama About Mandatory 55-Year Term

A former federal judge in Utah asked President Obama on Tuesday to "swiftly" give clemency to Weldon Angelos, a man he sentenced to 55 years in prison in connection with selling marijuana.

Calling the sentence "one of the most troubling that I ever faced in my five years on the federal bench," Paul G. Cassell, now a professor at the University of Utah's law school, said the mandatory minimum sentence he was required to impose on Angelos was one of the chief reasons he chose to step down as a judge.

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40 CN ON: PUB LTE: Grieving Grandfather Should Lobby For Drug LawFri, 05 Feb 2016
Source:Peterborough This Week (CN ON) Author:Randell, Alan Area:Ontario Lines:37 Added:02/10/2016

To the editor:

Re: Don't open the gateway of marijuana to harder drugs: bereaved grandfather

How sad that a grieving grandfather wants no changes to the law that was in place when his grandson died.

You would think that grieving families such as his would demand that the politicians make changes in the current situation to reduce or eliminate such tragedies.

My son, Peter, died 23 years ago after ingesting some street heroin.

Since that awful day, my wife and I have been working hard to convince our governments to put an end to the prohibition of certain drugs because we believe that, just as the prohibition of alcohol poisoned many users many years ago, the prohibition of other drugs does likewise today.

Alan Randell

Victoria, B.C.

[end]

41 US UT: PUB LTE: Medical Cannabis Safer Than OpioidsTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Salt Lake Tribune (UT) Author:Payne, David G. Area:Utah Lines:25 Added:02/09/2016

In regards to the LDS Church's opposition to Sen. Mark Madsen's bill to make medical cannabis legal, I have a couple of observations.

Utah has the highest rate of prescription opioid abuse in the country and the highest rate of accidental death due to opioid overdose.

Wouldn't it be better to give people the option of medical cannabis, that won't kill them, to relieve their suffering?

David G. Payne

Salt Lake City

[end]

42 US UT: PUB LTE: Madsen's Cannabis Bill Is The BestTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Salt Lake Tribune (UT) Author:Rice, Doug Area:Utah Lines:42 Added:02/09/2016

As parent of a child with epilepsy, I have been following the Legislature's cannabis bills closely. While I commend Rep. Brad Daw and Sen. Evan Vickers for their interest and their bill, I feel Sen. Mark Madsen is closer to hitting the bulls-eye.

Plenty of studies show cannabis works better as a whole plant. Madsen's bill, Senate Bill 73, tightly regulates "whole plant" medical cannabis, so the nightmares touted by recent op-ed pieces are not likely to happen. SB73 doesn't legalize smoking cannabis or growing your own. It regulates growing locations to prevent growing in residential zones. It's for medical purposes under a doctor's supervision, not for recreational purposes. I doubt any doctor would jeopardize their license by allowing cavalier use of cannabis under their direction.

[continues 114 words]

43 US NC: PUB LTE: Time for N.C. to End the Prohibition onTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Asheville Citizen-Times (NC) Author:Fraley, George Area:North Carolina Lines:41 Added:02/09/2016

It's reported our teachers are underpaid and other state employees are having issues with pay and health insurance.

Of course, Raleigh is bemoaning a lack of funds.

Let's see... we all want better paying jobs, better health care, better education - hey, I've got an idea; maybe it's time for N.C. to end the prohibition on cannabis.

While legalization may produce some challenges in the future, the problems with keeping pot illegal - the racial disparities in pot-related arrests and the black market that funds criminal groups around the world for instance are far, far worse.

[continues 121 words]

44 US OH: Medical Marijuana Plan For Ohio PitchedTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Dayton Daily News (OH) Author:Bischoff, Laura A. Area:Ohio Lines:54 Added:02/09/2016

Goal Is to Get Funds to Collect Valid Voter Signatures.

A team of veteran political operatives put out a 22-page proposal that offers up its political talent to help weed business interests with deep pockets take a run at putting a medical marijuana question before Ohio voters in November.

Calling itself ARC Reaction, the group includes Democrat Aaron Pickrell, who was a senior policy adviser in the Strickland administration, Republican Mike Hartley, who served as a senior staffer in the Kasich administration, and Democrat Steven Stenberg, a Washington, D.C.-based direct mail and political strategist.

[continues 240 words]

45 US FL: PUB LTE: Give Consideration To Legalized PotTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Citrus County Chronicle (FL) Author:Jacobs, Sheila Area:Florida Lines:40 Added:02/09/2016

I remain so disappointed in the lawmakers unwilling to see the benefits of legalizing marijuana completely. It helps with more things that ail a person than what will be medically prescribed eventually. I realize this is a backwards state, just one, among several others. The laws imposed upon us, by people who can drink their way into oblivion, if they choose, is kind of hypocritical ... don't you think? They are stuck in a time warp and can't see past their rigid beliefs. Legalize it. Put laws on it. No difference than the rules for drinking. It is not a gateway drug.

[continues 134 words]

46 US TX: Editorial: Stop Making A Misdemeanor A High CrimeTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:76 Added:02/09/2016

We anticipate an interesting discussion Tuesday when the City Council considers whether police should be allowed or encouraged to "cite and release" folks whose only apparent offense is possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.

Our opinion: It's high time!

Sorry, we couldn't let that one pass. But don't confuse our partaking of the low-hanging fruit as a case of the munchies. It's a clear-eyed reality check.

Somebody besides the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) needs to say it: The police have more important things to do, the jail is an expensive, finite resource, and the worst, most dangerous thing about possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use is its illegality.

[continues 445 words]

47 CN SN: PUB LTE: Column InaccurateSat, 06 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Zettl, Brent Area:Saskatchewan Lines:31 Added:02/09/2016

Re: Why is marijuana legal in Vancouver and not Saskatoon (Feb. 4). CanniMed has 290 prescribing physicians in Saskatchewan with 136 physicians in Saskatoon alone, who have authorized patients to access medical marijuana through the legal Health Canada sanctioned Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations system.

More are becoming familiar with the value of cannabis as a medicine every day. General practitioners, family medicine specialists, oncologists, rheumatologists and hundreds of other doctors should be seen as the gateway to this valuable medicine. None of them prescribe medical advice through a Skype format.

There is enough confusion within the medical marijuana program in Canada without columnists like Les MacPherson failing to do their research.

Brent Zettl, president & CEO, CanniMed Ltd.

[end]

48 CN ON: Medics Have New ToolSat, 06 Feb 2016
Source:Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON) Author:Sonnenberg, Monte Area:Ontario Lines:50 Added:02/09/2016

The number of people who die each year from drug overdoses should decline now that all paramedics in Ontario have a new tool in their kit bag.

That tool is the drug naloxone, which is sold under the brand name Narcan.

Naloxone is a synthetic drug similar to morphine. When administered in a hypodermic needle or by nasal spray, it blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system. If administered in a timely manner, it restores breathing in overdose patients who are in danger of cardiac arrest.

[continues 187 words]

49CN SN: City Report On Weed To Go To CommitteeSat, 06 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Trembath, Sean Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2016

Solicitor says storefront operations not permitted to dispense marijuana

The owner of a Saskatoon marijuana dispensary has shuttered his storefront due to the financial burden associated with drug trafficking charges levelled against him, but he says he plans to continue helping people get medical marijuana licences through a newly founded organization.

"All things put together, unfortunately we had to move from that spot," said Mark Hauk, owner of the Saskatchewan Compassion Club.

Hauk closed the dispensary, which was located in the 200 block of Second Avenue North in Saskatoon, on Feb. 1.

[continues 382 words]

50 CN BC: Column: Urban Drug Ghettos Aren't WorkingThu, 04 Feb 2016
Source:Alberni Valley News (CN BC) Author:Fletcher, Tom Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:02/09/2016

Communities around B.C. are struggling to cope with the continued influx of what politicians call "homelessness," a term that suggests the problem can be solved merely by providing more homes.

Taxpaying citizens see the daily reality behind the soothing euphemisms - mainly transients squatting in parks and "tent cities" blighted by drug abuse and crime, and "homeless" shelters that fill up as soon as they open. They worry that the continued costly supply of supports only invites more arrivals, particularly in the gentle climate of southwestern B.C.

[continues 521 words]


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