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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.



3 Colombia: Mixed Legacy For War On DrugsFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Guardian Weekly, The (UK) Author:Brodzinsky, Sibylla Area:Colombia Lines:196 Added:02/13/2016

In Colombia, Peace Deal With the FARC in Sight

But Herbicide-Resistant Coca Production on Rise

In the lowlands surrounding the town of La Hormiga, coca was once king.

Fields of the bright green bushes stretched to the horizon in every direction and farmers were flush with cash. The surrounding municipality was the one with the most coca crops in the country that produced the most cocaine in the world.

This was "ground zero" for Plan Colombia, a massive multipronged effort funded by nearly $10bn in US aid that started in 2000. The plan aimed to recover a country that was in the grips of drug mafias, leftist guerrillas and rightwing militias, and whose institutions malfunctioned and economy faltered.

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4 US ME: PUB LTE: Opioid Overdoses Topic At Falmouth DiscussionFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Weber, Patty Area:Maine Lines:33 Added:02/13/2016

Every day, an average of more than 80 Americans die from opioid overdoses. The number of Maine residents seeking treatment for opiate abuse has tripled since 2010, and the number of babies born affected by prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol increased by 68 percent between 2010 and 2014.

The National Council of Jewish Women is hosting a panel discussion on this subject from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Falmouth Public Library, 5 Lunt Road.

The event will be open to the public, and featured guests will be Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck; Oliver Bradeen, the Portland Police Department's substance abuse disorder liaison; and the Rev. Alice Hildebrand, head of the bereavement team at Maine Medical Center.

For more information, call 781-2351.

Patty Weber



5US CA: Proposed Boonville Marijuana Event Voted Down by FairFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA) Author:Randall, Adam Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/13/2016

The board of directors for the Mendocino County Fair voted down a man's proposal this week to hold a marijuana festival at the Boonville fairgrounds property, citing concerns of federal laws, while perhaps creating a new precedent at the facility for future marijuana-related activities.

Chad Rea, a Boonville resident and producer of the "Mendo Grow Show," said he had approached the fairgrounds board about hosting his event, titled "The Spring Planting Show," that was scheduled for the weekend of May 14.

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6US CA: California Senator Introduces Expected MedicalFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA) Author:Randall, Adam Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/13/2016

As part of the sweeping changes to the state's medical marijuana industry, an expected new tax was introduced Wednesday that would target point of sale transactions for marijuana products.

Senate Bill 987, "The Marijuana Value Tax Act," would impose an excise tax of 15 percent on purchasers seeking medical marijuana products for consumption or other uses within California when purchased from any retailer.

The tax, if moved forward within the state Legislature, is being proposed to take effect beginning in January 2018, when the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation begins to enforce operatives of the recent Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, according to Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who authored the bill.

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7 US DC: PUB LTE: Cigarette Smoke Kills. Cannabis Smoke? Not SoSat, 13 Feb 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:White, Stan Area:District of Columbia Lines:24 Added:02/13/2016

Matthew L. Springer's Feb. 4 letter, "Secondhand marijuana smoke is harmful, just like tobacco smoke," comparing cannabis (marijuana) smoke to cigarette smoke, is laughable. While cigarette smoke is enough to gag a maggot and cause emphysema, cannabis is nothing like it.

In 5,000 years of documented use, cannabis has not killed a single person, while cigarettes kill more than 1,000 Americans daily. Cannabis smoke may be unpleasant, but it won't kill anyone.

Stan White, Dillon, Colo.


8 US ND: Marijuana Measure Sponsors Must Resubmit Petition AfterFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Grand Forks Herald (ND) Author:Nowatzki, Mike Area:North Dakota Lines:120 Added:02/13/2016

BISMARCK - Backers of a proposed ballot measure to legalize marijuana in North Dakota made an error in their petition submitted Wednesday, and the state's chief law enforcement officer said their proposal to legalize pot-related synthetic drugs also is a big mistake.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and the head of the state Board of Pharmacy expressed concern Thursday that, in addition to legalizing natural marijuana, the measure would delete synthetic cannabinoids from the list of Schedule 1 drugs after several years of efforts to outlaw the substances.

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9 CN BC: End Pot Possession Arrests: PetitionersFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:43 Added:02/13/2016

A British Columbia marijuana advocate expressed hopes an official petition to Parliament can get the Liberal government to end arrests for marijuana possession.

The e-petition was posted to the Parliament of Canada website on Thursday and had nearly 2,000 signatures by Metro deadline.

Among the demands, the petition calls for the government of Canada to immediately "repeal the prohibition on possession," end police raids on medical cannabis dispensaries and asks for marijuana to be removed from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act within a year.

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10 CN BC: LTE: Pot And Cigarettes Are Both UnhealthyThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Merritt Herald (CN BC) Author:O'Grady, Pat Area:British Columbia Lines:39 Added:02/13/2016


I hope recreational "pot" is never legalized! The world has already gone to pot (Re: "Marijuana laws in legal limbo," Feb. 4)!

Medicinal marijuana is legal - fine and dandy if this helps a sick person. But when pot makes a healthy person sick don't tell me how it should be legal recreationally! Cigarette smoke is deemed harmful to the public - well, so is marijuana smoke.

The building I am in is designated no smoking by the BC Housing-governed ASK Wellness Society. Why are dope and cigarette smokers allowed into a non-smoking building?

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11 US HI: Pot Panel Members' Names To Be ReleasedSat, 13 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:90 Added:02/13/2016

But Whether the Health Department Has Finalized the Committee Is Unclear

The state Health Department reversed course Friday, saying it will release the names of medical marijuana dispensary committee members before the panel grants Hawaii's first licenses for legal pot sales. On Tuesday the agency said it would keep secret the names of the panelists who are to select eight winning applications from the 66 that were submitted last month. The decision to keep the selection process secret drew a sharp rebuke from lawmakers. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser also threatened to sue the state if the names were not released.

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12US CO: Down in ' 15: Driving While HighFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Phillips, Noelle Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/13/2016

The State Patrol arrested fewer people than in 2014 for the pot charge.

The State Patrol arrested fewer people on allegations they were driving under the influence of marijuana last year than in the previous year, according a report released Thursday.

The report is the first glimpse at how the change in law is affecting highway safety, because the patrol did not keep statistics on the number of people accused of driving under the influence of marijuana prior to 2014, when recreational pot became legal.

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13 US WA: Editorial: Use Available Tools to Fight Opioid DrugFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:68 Added:02/13/2016

AMERICA is suffering from a pernicious and growing addiction to a category of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin.

Opioid abuse and overdoses take a lethal toll in Washington and across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the U.S. death count at 28,648 for 2014.

President Obama's welcome, if belated, response to this crisis would direct $460 million toward states to dramatically expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse.

As the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute noted in a 2015 online briefing, medication-assisted treatment "can be a lifesaving and cost-saving intervention for those with opioid use disorder."

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14 Canada: Editorial: Legal Pot Means More Law, Not LessWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:55 Added:02/12/2016

The Canadian Police Association made a reasonable request this week when it asked the Trudeau government to remind everyone that recreational marijuana is still an illegal substance. For more than a year, so-called marijuana "dispensaries" have been popping up in cities across the country, selling pot and pot-filled products in open violation of the Criminal Code. The pace of new openings has only increased since the election of the Liberals, who promised to legalize marijuana.

Police say these days some Canadians are shocked to learn that it is actually illegal to buy and sell pot recreationally. And it's no wonder. Canada's laws have been evolving rapidly since 2000, when the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that marijuana must be available to people who need it for medical purposes. Today, it is legal for people with a medical prescription to order pot from federally authorized suppliers, who deliver it in the mail. But it is still against the law to buy, sell, grow or use it for fun and games.

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15 CN BC: City Beefs Up Business Licence BylawWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Metcalfe, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:02/12/2016

New rules aimed at clarity for marijuana dispensaries

Nelson city council hopes changes to its business licence bylaw will help to chip away at the legal ambiguity around marijuana dispensaries.

The bylaw, previously unaltered since 1990, will now require a licensed business to be in compliance with local, provincial and federal laws. Mayor Deb Kozak says this puts the city in a position to better enforce the bylaw when the federal government comes out with new legislation on marijuana in the near future. The bylaw passed third reading and is still to be adopted at a future meeting. Its full text is attached at the online version of this story at nelsonstar.com


16 US: 2016 Could Be The Year For Industrial HempThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Haas, Sarah Area:United States Lines:126 Added:02/12/2016

In 2015 U.S. consumers bought over $500 million in hemp products, buying everything from food, cosmetics, fabrics and paper to construction material, insulation and plastics. It is estimated that there are more than 25,000 product applications for industrial hemp and yet the hemp market struggles to capitalize on that vast potential. Currently listed as a federal Schedule 1 drug in the Controlled Substances Act, it is illegal to grow the plant or possess live seeds. But recent activity at the state and industry level is beginning to challenge that long standing status.

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17 CN ON: Thorny Issue For CityThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jason Area:Ontario Lines:64 Added:02/12/2016

Transit advisory group faces dilemma after Dec. 23 decision to kick man off bus

One man's medical marijuana usage on a city bus could now spark a legal debate.

The transit advisory committee is asking council to seek legal advice on the nuances and room for challenging provincial legislation permitting the use of medical marijuana in public places.

Ongoing discussions around whether or not medical vaporizer usage should be allowed aboard transit was ignited by a Christopher Hobin, who was kicked off a city bus on Dec. 23, when he used the electronic device stacked with pot prescribed for his varied chronic pain and stomach ailments.

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18CN SN: Legal Pot Much Like BoozeThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:MacPherson, Alex Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/12/2016

Employers may ask for drug tests

Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has promised to legalize recreational marijuana use, but anyone thinking about sparking a joint before starting a new job could be in for a rude surprise, according to one legal expert.

"In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this is really going to change the landscape that much in terms of the law in the workplace," said Keir Vallance, who practised labour and employment law before joining the University of Saskatchewan's College of Law.

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19 CN BC: Nelson Council Lobbies Province And FedsWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Metcalfe, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:101 Added:02/12/2016

Changes Requested in Hospital Funding, Social Services, and Marijuana Regulations

When federal and provincial governments make decisions, municipal governments often get stuck with more than their fair share of the work and expense.

Last week Nelson council decided to lobby senior governments for change on four such issues: capital funding for hospitals, income assistance service delivery, marijuana legislation, and marijuana revenues.

Capital funding for hospitals

Municipal taxation covers 40 per cent of provincial hospital funding and that cost is reflected in residents' annual property tax bills. Council believes this is asking too much of municipalities, and its resolution asks the Union of BC Municipalities to petition the provincial government to "acknowledge that property tax revenue is an unsuitable avenue to fund hospital infrastructure renewal projects, and prioritize the urgent review of the historic cost sharing ratio with a recommendation to amend current policy accordingly."

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20CN BC: Victoria Considers $5,000 Licensing Fee For Pot ShopsThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Cleverley, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/12/2016

Marijuana-Related Businesses Have Exploded, Growing From Four to 30

Victoria residents will be able to weigh in on how to best regulate the growing number of marijuana storefronts at an upcoming town-hall meeting.

City staff have been exploring potential regulations designed to reduce the community impact of medical-marijuana businesses, while maintaining access to medical marijuana.

The proposed regulations include an annual licence fee of $4,000 to $5,000, a ban on anyone younger than 19 being in the stores, and a requirement that health-warning signs be posted.

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21CN SN: Legal Pot Much Like BoozeThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:MacPherson, Alex Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/12/2016

Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has promised to legalize recreational marijuana use, but anyone thinking about sparking a joint before starting a new job could be in for a rude surprise, according to one legal expert.

"In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this is really going to change the landscape that much in terms of the law in the workplace," said Keir Vallance, who practised labour and employment law before joining the University of Saskatchewan's College of Law.

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22 US HI: Newspaper Demands Pot Panelists' NamesFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:105 Added:02/12/2016

Oahu Publications Says It Is Prepared to Sue If the Heath Department Refuses

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser told the state Health Department on Thursday it will file a lawsuit if the agency does not release by the close of business today the names of committee members who will award Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary licenses.

Jeff Portnoy, attorney for the Star-Advertiser's parent company, Oahu Publications Inc., delivered the notice to the Department of Health demanding it disclose the names.

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23 US HI: Editorial: Ditch The Secrecy On Pot LicensesFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:87 Added:02/12/2016

The people in the know clearly know the crucial fact about the new medical marijuana dispensary enterprise: It's going to be big business - very big.

That, as well as the fact that only eight licenses will be awarded, has turned those permits into valuable commodities.

And it's turned the process of selecting the licensees into a matter of public interest - one that should be done with as much transparency as possible.

Unfortunately, the state Department of Health, which is administering the fledgling program, has decided that the best course to fairness is to sequester the people making the decision: its review panel. In this way, DOH officials have said, the panelists would not be open to influence.

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24 CN BC: More Firefighters To Carry Opioid-Reversing NaloxoneTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Mui, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:39 Added:02/12/2016

Richmond firefighters are planning to start carrying two doses of naloxone on each fire engine after changes were made to allow non-medical personnel to administer the opioid-reversing drug.

The move comes after a late-January change by the Ministry of Health that allowed fire rescue first responders to start administering naloxone-which can be used to reverse the effects of drugs like heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl and methadone.

"Richmond Fire-Rescue would carry two doses in each of the emergency response vehicles totalling 20 doses, with an additional 10 doses being kept as a reserve supply," said acting fire chief Tim Wilkinson in a report to council.

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25 US MT: PUB LTE: Unfair View Of GrassThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Great Falls Tribune (MT) Author:White, Stan Area:Montana Lines:29 Added:02/12/2016

In response to the Feb. 7 letter, "No to marijuana," even prohibitionist government quit using the historically discredited gateway theory years ago. However, some people continue believing the lies, half-truths and propaganda which has perpetuated cannabis (marijuana) prohibition. Caging innocent responsible adults who use the relatively safe, extremely popular, God-given plant is vulgar and anti-Christian for a developed nation.

Further, Coloradans re-legalized cannabis, and every subsequent poll indicates we continue supporting the end of the farce. A sane or moral argument to continue cannabis prohibition doesn't exist.

- - Stan White,

Dillon, Colo.


26 CN QU: Edu: Marketing Marijuana As MedicineTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Concordian, The (CN QU Edu) Author:Craig, Savanna Area:Quebec Lines:140 Added:02/12/2016

Cannabis can be used to treat more than 40 different medical conditions

Montreal's first medical cannabis clinic, which opened in 2014 at its location on Amherst Street, provides a clean, modern environment where patients can get prescriptions and support in moving away from pharmaceutical drugs. Two glass cases stand in the window, showing off a variety of vaporizers of all shapes and sizes.

Medical marijuana is expected to impact the future of health and affect pharmaceutical companies.

Sante Cannabis does not directly distribute cannabis to patients, but has nine part-time physicians to assess patients on their eligibility to receive a medical marijuana prescription.

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27 US CO: Column: A Woman's WorldThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Haas, Sarah Area:Colorado Lines:109 Added:02/12/2016

Modern feminism boils down to two main angles. The first is a movement driven by equality: equal pay, equal representation, equal access to power and position. The second seeks to elevate the status of roles commonly perceived as feminine, recognizing the value of caretaking in society and increased social stature.

Women who attempt to achieve both know how difficult that feat can be because achieving one tends to preclude the other. Either women step into traditionally male positions that are more demanding on their time and energy or they commit to more nurturing roles that disassociate them from money and power. Even if a woman is willing to go for it all, her efforts are likely stymied by an inflexible society that struggles to accommodate shifting gender roles.

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28 US CA: Column: An Excellent BuMMRThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:65 Added:02/12/2016

I hear there is a new Weed Czar in town. I would like to know more.

- -Tab U. LaRasa

You are correct! Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Lori Ajax, currently the chief deputy director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, to head the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. (By the way, Brown signed Assembly Bill 21, so that March 1 deadline for cities and towns to develop regulations is a thing of the past.) Ajax-a Republican, if you care about those things; I know plenty of folks on all sides of every aisle who want clear and fair statewide regulations-will have to be approved by the Senate. If she gains approval, she will be in charge of creating an entirely new state agency, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. Aside from the unfortunate acronym (BuMMR, which is the opposite of what cannabis does), this new agency will have to deal with a ton of BS from all sides. The NIMBYs, the techies, the growers, the water providers, et al. will be clamoring to make sure they all receive their fair share of unfair advantages. To call her new job a huge and gigantic undertaking is perhaps the understatement of the year and I wish her the best of luck. I will also most likely be hitting her up for a job, since she will need at least 40-50 people on her team. Everyone polish up your resumes!

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29 US CA: Farm-To-Joint: Sacramento Sparks UP Medical MarijuanaThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Womack, Graham Area:California Lines:181 Added:02/12/2016

City council proposes increased taxes amid statewide changes for cannabis

Last week, two days after Sacramento City Council voted to allow cultivation of medical marijuana, Brad Wasson's phone wouldn't stop ringing. The revenue manager for the city laid out the potential benefits of regulating cannabis cultivation before council on February 2. And while it's going to be awhile before people can plant large-scale medical-marijuana grows legally in Sacramento, maybe a few years, that hasn't stopped Wasson's phone from blowing up.

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30 US CA: Column: Our Marijuana FutureThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:vonKaenel, Jeff Area:California Lines:74 Added:02/12/2016

This 'Farm-To-Joint' Moment Could Mean Millions for Sacramento

Californians smoke a lot of marijuana. As you can imagine, it's not easy to get an accurate estimate of just how much. Marijuana has been called California's biggest cash crop, representing between $11 billion and $17 billion a year in sales, nearly twice as much as California's next largest commodity, milk and cream.

Some say these California crop values are highly inflated. Regardless of who is right, legalized or expanded medical marijuana represents billions of dollars in sales. This is a mind-blowing number for any local community hoping to expand its economy.

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31 US: Traffickers Con Seniors To Smuggle, Officials SayThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Nixon, Ron Area:United States Lines:89 Added:02/12/2016

WASHINGTON - In what law enforcement officials describe as a new front in international smuggling, global traffickers and cartels are increasingly turning to a new source for couriers to smuggle drugs across international borders: vulnerable American older adults.

The traffickers deceive seniors with promises of prizes or relationships, setting them up to unknowingly try to carry luggage filled with cocaine or other items through customs, hoping they will not arouse suspicions. Such cases have been seen in nearly a dozen foreign countries, officials say. Details of the smuggling and a counteroperation that officials called Operation Cocoon were disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security during a hearing on Wednesday before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

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32US CA: Roseanne Invests In Santa Ana Pot ShopThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Kwong, Jessica Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/12/2016

SANTA ANA - First, comedian Roseanne Barr blazed trails with her sitcom; more recently she joined the growing reality TV world as she farmed macadamia nuts in Hawaii.

Now the onetime presidential hopeful whose slogan was 'Yes, we Cannabis!' is entering the budding medical marijuana industry in Santa Ana.

Barr will be an investor and have a licensing agreement with a dispensary that's one of 20 that won a city lottery last year allowing it to apply to operate in Santa Ana, the actress' spokesman and the dispensary's partners said this week.

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33 US CA: PUB LTE: Re-Legalize ItThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:White, Stan Area:California Lines:32 Added:02/12/2016


As a Coloradoan who helped re-legalize cannabis (marijuana) in Colorado, it's strange to read California government continues struggling with medical cannabis issues ("What Deadline?" Feb. 4), when completely re-legalizing the plant looms on Election Day. If state government officials want to shape the inevitable they must do it now because citizens are not waiting on government to get the job done.

Responsible adults should be allowed to grow and use the relatively safe, extremely popular God-given plant without risk of being caged or discriminated against. Cannabis should be available to citizens like beer, wine and whiskey.

A sane or moral argument to perpetuate cannabis prohibition another day doesn't exist.

Stan White, Dillon, Colorado


34 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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35US 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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36 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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37US 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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38 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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39 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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40 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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41 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?


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.

[continues 269 words]

42 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.

[continues 624 words]

43 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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44 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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45 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.


46US 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.

[continues 499 words]

47US 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.

[continues 548 words]

48 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.

[continues 266 words]

49CN 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.

[continues 421 words]

50 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


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