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1US CA: Marijuana On The Job: Some New Twists In Drug TestingFri, 17 Jan 2020
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Phomicinda, Watchara Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2020

Three years after recreational marijuana was legalized in California, it still casts a cloud over most job applicants.

Many employers in the state still require drug screening as a prerequisite for hiring someone, experts in the hiring field say. And while recreational use and possession are allowed for people 21 and older, failing a drug test can still prompt an employer to toss a resume into the reject pile.

But with 11 states now legalizing recreational marijuana use, there are new perspectives that might be giving workers something of a break.

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2US MN: Minnesota Study Links Pot Use In Pregnancy To Infant HealthFri, 10 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Olson, Jeremy Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:01/13/2020

Researchers hope the findings counter recent trends of mothers using marijuana for pregnancy-related nausea symptoms.

Researchers in Minnesota and Iowa have found greater risks of social and emotional problems in infants whose mothers consumed marijuana during pregnancy.

Using results of a developmental screening tool for 1-year-olds, the researchers found that 9.1% of babies from marijuana users were at risk, compared to 3.6% of babies whose mothers didn't consume the drug while pregnant.

Researchers said the size of that gap was surprising, along with screening results showing that 8% of mothers tested positive during pregnancy for the presence of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, lead researcher of the study from the HealthPartners Institute in Bloomington, Minn. Researchers from the universities of Minnesota and Iowa co-authored the study, which was published in the Journal of Perinatology.

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3US: Marijuana Psychosis Treatment Tough To Find For Young PeopleTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2020

When Garrett Rigg moved from a "transitional living program" facility near Chicago last month into a group home, it was a major milestone for the 27-year-old, who traveled 1,000 miles from his home in Denver to get treatment after a cannabis-induced psychotic break five years ago.

Rigg had to leave his hometown because it lacked suitable long-term treatment, according to his mother, Connie Kabrick. The three marijuana dispensaries at the intersection a half block from her home are the reason why she says he can't move

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4 US: LTE: The Harms Of Marijuana Are IgnoredTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Madejski, Thomas J. Area:United States Lines:33 Added:01/07/2020

Regarding your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26): Tobacco, marijuana and vaping companies mislead the public on the clear harms associated with wider use of today's higher-THC-content marijuana and inhaling substances other than clean air. Opponents of expansion of marijuana availability acknowledge concerns about disparate enforcement of drug laws. But the costs to society from legitimizing the addiction industry far outweigh the benefits.

Meanwhile, proponents of recreational marijuana push the false narrative of a tax windfall for governments and improved safety for users while ignoring the harms: mental-health issues, addiction, acute and chronic lung disease, domestic violence and more.

Dr. Madejski was president of the Medical Society of the State of New York from 2018 to 2019.

[end]

5 US: PUB LTE: The Gateway Theory Is A JokeTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Nostrand, David Allan Van Area:United States Lines:23 Added:01/07/2020

"Is Marijuana Fueling a Public-Health Crisis?"

The statistic from your editorial, that "95% of heroin and cocaine users report first using pot," doesn't prove much. Remember, 99% of criminal motorcycle-gang members started by riding bicycles.

David Allan Van Nostrand

Boca Raton, Fla.

[end]

6 US: LTE: We Still Need To Learn More About CannabisTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Cobert, Barton Area:United States Lines:33 Added:01/07/2020

As a physician specializing in drug safety, I agree that "pot is more dangerous than people realize, and Americans should pause on the rush to legalize until we understand how much medical and social harm it is doing."

The safety profile of cannabis is largely unknown. The states and localities that have legalized marijuana have focused on the quality of marijuana products, but haven't required anyone to systematically report side effects. That needs to change. Since today's marijuana products are four to five times more potent than past products, old data understates the safety issues.

I fear that the marijuana story is a slow-moving train wreck. We're witnessing widespread use of largely unregulated and untested products which may be toxic in themselves as well as adulterated or counterfeited.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

[end]

7 US: PUB LTE: The Majority Agree With Policy ReformTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Armentano, Paul Area:United States Lines:37 Added:01/07/2020

One in five Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens reside some place where the medical use of cannabis is legally authorized. Many of these latter programs have been in place for the better part of two decades.

Were the societal impacts of these policies not preferable to those associated with criminal prohibition, or as dire to public health as some critics suggest, then support for marijuana policy reform would be rapidly declining. Instead, the opposite is true.

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8US: The Human Cost Of Marijuana Is So HighMon, 06 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2020

I've covered things that injure, sicken and kill kids and adults for more than 30 years. From auto safety to medical errors, I've competed to break stories on the latest deadly defect or health policy change, most recently on electronic cigarettes.

In late August, I added vaping-related lung illnesses to the beat. Last month, I added marijuana, psychosis and other mental illness.

It's a pretty solitary place to be.

We reporters covered the heck out of vaping lung illnesses starting in August. Once it became clear the culprit was THC and not nicotine, however, the news media seemed to lose interest, said former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb at a breakfast event I attended in early November.

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9 Bolivia: Coca Growers Face New HostilityFri, 03 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Otts, John Area:Bolivia Lines:131 Added:01/03/2020

SHINAHOTA, Bolivia-During nearly 14 years as president, Evo Morales pampered the Chapare, the coca leaf-growing jungle region of central Bolivia where he got his start in politics.

Mr. Morales expelled U.S. antidrug agents and promoted the health benefits of the coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, which is legal and chewed by many indigenous people. His socialist government built a paper mill, an airport, and a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in the region. In turn, the farmers gave Mr. Morales, the head of a federation of coca growers, their fervent support.

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10US Il: Legal Weed Sales Begin In IllinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hauck, Grace Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:01/02/2020

It's a new year and, for Illinois, a new era of recreational marijuana.

Weed dispensaries across the state opened their doors before sunrise Wednesday, welcoming long lines of customers - some who had been waiting since 4 a.m.

"Cheers to lighting up the start of 2020!" one dispensary, Sunnyside, wrote on its Facebook page.

Under Illinois law, anyone over 21 with a valid state ID or driver's license can purchase recreational marijuana from licensed retailers.

[end]

11 US IL: Legal Weed In IlinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Robert Area:Illinois Lines:701 Added:01/02/2020

Illinois started off the new decade by embarking into the world of recreational marijuana, where people can buy the intoxicating plant legally and without a prescription.

Across the Chicago area, thousands lined up - some before dawn - for a chance to buy marijuana legally for the first time. The day featured long lines, a few glitches - and lots of happy customers.

"It's history, so it's worth the wait," Damien Smith of Maywood said as he left MedMen dispensary in Oak Park with a bag of cannabis products after waiting in line for about four hours.

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12 US: LTE: The Consequences Of LegalizationThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Bensinger, Peter Area:United States Lines:40 Added:01/02/2020

Your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26) is a wake-up call for parents and politicians. Marijuana isn't harmless. Nor is it legal under federal law, and for good reason. It contains more than 460 different chemicals and, as the editorial board points out, it's four to five times more powerful than the marijuana of the 1970s, '80s or '90s.

Extensive scientific research has documented serious harm to brain development for teenage regular users, major consequences for pregnant and nursing mothers and significant impairment for drivers and others performing sensitive tasks. Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana, leads the nation in use by 12-to-17-year-olds. Meanwhile, the gangs and drug dealers are cheering because their sales have skyrocketed, selling to minors and others at lower prices than dispensaries can offer.

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13 US: LTE: The Marijuana Experiment Is A FailureThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Luti, William Area:United States Lines:47 Added:01/02/2020

The editorial board is right to take a stand and tell the truth about marijuana. The grand marijuana human experiment in the "legal" states, abetted by an addiction-for-profit industry and politicians hungry for tax revenue, has taken a cruel toll.

By any objective benchmark, the experiments have failed: emergency-room visits, driving fatalities, calls to poison control, youth use and suicidal ideation have increased since legalization. Overproduction and black-market sales have collapsed the legal revenue streams, which are insufficient to cover the societal harms caused by high-potency THC.

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14 US: PUB LTE: Prohibition Is The Problem, Not MarijuanaThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Singer, Jeffrey A. Area:United States Lines:45 Added:01/02/2020

It is difficult to keep track of the fallacies and straw men in your reefer madness rant. Start with the obvious: The federal ban on cannabis makes it impossible for legal, federally regulated e-cigarette makers to develop and market safe THC cartridges for vaping. Consequently, most THC cartridges are dangerous bootleg products sold on the black market. Federal legalization would lead to improved product safety for which manufacturers would be held accountable.

The reason unlicensed dispensaries are flourishing in California relates to the state's exorbitant taxes and burdensome regulations. This isn't the case in Colorado and Washington, where an oversupply of legal cannabis outlets has driven prices down so much that state-based growers turn to California's black market in search of profits.

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15US IL: Illinois Sees First Legal Sales Of Recreational MarijuanaWed, 01 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)          Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:01/01/2020

CHICAGO - The sale of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal Wednesday in Illinois to the delight of pot fans - many who began lining up hours early at dispensaries.

About 500 people were outside Dispensary 33 in Chicago. Renzo Mejia made the first legal purchase in the shop shortly after 6 a.m., the earliest that Illinois' new law allowed such sales.

"To be able to have (recreational marijuana) here is just mind-boggling," Mejia told the Chicago Sun-Times after buying an eighth of an ounce called "Motorbreath."

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16 US CA: California Attempts To Revive Compassionate Cannabis ProgramsWed, 01 Jan 2020
Source:San Francisco Examiner (CA) Author:Kreidler, Mark Area:California Lines:153 Added:01/01/2020

For years, Richard Manning knew what he needed to cope with his physical pain, rage and PTSD - much of which he traced to a career-ending knee injury he suffered while on a domestic security detail with the Marines.

Cannabis may not have been a cure-all, but it was the closest thing he'd ever had to one.

Manning, a resident of Elk Grove, Calif., didn't have enough money to buy the daily amount of cannabis he needed, but he was able to get it through a network of charitable donors spawned by the Compassionate Use Act, a 1996 California law that allowed marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

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17US CA: Marijuana: 6 Things To Watch For In California In 2020Mon, 30 Dec 2019
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Agro, Nick Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2019

As California enters its third year of legal recreational cannabis sales, many expect upcoming new laws, high-profile court cases and major criminal justice reforms to shake up the industry.

Marijuana advocates are wary after a challenging second year, but most also are hopeful that changes in 2020 will put them in a better position a year from now.

"We always knew it would be an uphill battle," said Robert Flannery of Dr. Robb Farms, a cannabis cultivation company based in Desert Hot Springs. "But there are very few people who are not generally optimistic about the cannabis industry."

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18 Italy: Growing A Little Marijuana At Home Is Not Against The LawSat, 28 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Momigliano, Anna Area:Italy Lines:100 Added:12/28/2019

ROME - Growing small amounts of marijuana at home for private use is not a crime, Italy's top court has ruled, putting an end to a years-long legal dispute and adding Italy to the short list of countries to allow cultivation of recreational cannabis.

A 1990s law prohibits the cultivation and sale of marijuana in Italy, but conflicting court decisions, and a 2016 amendment that opened a loophole in the law, created confusion over how it should be interpreted.

The country's highest court appears to have settled at least part of the question, writing in a one-page statement of its findings that "at home, small-scale cultivation activities are to be considered excluded from the application of the penal code."

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19 US: Canada Banker Is Pot's Money ManMon, 23 Dec 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Monga, Vipal Area:United States Lines:251 Added:12/27/2019

Graham Saunders is a man in high demand.

When U.S. cannabis companies need financing they can't find elsewhere, they turn to this Toronto banker who operates far from Wall Street. Since the spring of 2016, Mr. Saunders's team at Canadian boutique firm Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has helped finance more than half of all pot deals in the global equity markets, raising more than $5 billion from investors, according to Dealogic.

The king of pot financing presents himself in business meetings as a banker from another era, sporting pinstripe suits, monogrammed cuff links and slicked-back hair. He drives a Bentley, has a collection of expensive watches, and answers to his high-school nickname, "Sudsy." Mr. Saunders, 51, has become so identified with cannabis that he has a jacket with marijuana leaves printed on it.

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20 US: Editorial: The Vaping-Marijuana NexusThu, 26 Dec 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US)          Area:United States Lines:96 Added:12/26/2019

A surge in vaping related lung illnesses this year caught the medical community by surprise, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting more than 2,500 lung illnesses and 54 deaths. Politicians are targeting e-cigarettes, but the CDC reported last week that marijuana is so far the greatest common denominator.

This is another reminder that America is undertaking a risky social experiment by legalizing and especially destigmatizing cannabis, and the potential effects are hard to foresee or control. The same political culture that is in a fury over legal opioids, and is trying to bankrupt drug companies as compensation, seems to have no problem celebrating a drug that may be damaging young brains for a lifetime.

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