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1 US NY: NY's Pot LotterySun, 03 May 2015
Source:New York Post (NY) Author:Zwirn, Ed Area:New York Lines:80 Added:05/04/2015

300 vying for five medical licenses

The race is on to secure the five licenses to be granted under New York state's medical marijuana program, which takes effect in January.

And the cash--crop lottery could bring in millions for the winners.

Statewide revenues will likely total $239 million in 2016 and more than $1.2 billion by 2020, according to a report issued by GreenWave Advisors late last year.

"Let the cash register ring for New York state," says Green Wave's Matt Karnes.

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2US TX: Editorial: Medical MarijuanaSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:05/04/2015

Prescription Painkillers Can Prove Deadly, but Alternatives Remain Illegal in Texas.

The days before Thanksgiving should be filled with turkey recipes and touch football, building up to the excitement of the Christmas season. For six people in Harris County, however, those days were their last. Over a period of two days in November 2013, half-a-dozen Houstonians died of prescription drug overdoses ("Pain pill OD data largely unsound," Page A1, April 26).

Drugs kill someone in Harris County almost every day. None of those deaths are due to marijuana. Our laws fail to reflect this public safety risk, and it is time for a change.

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3 CN ON: PUB LTE: Weed Not Like AlcoholFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Healy, Frank A. Jr. Area:Ontario Lines:31 Added:05/04/2015

I'm a 50-year-old regular user of marijuana and the last thing I want to do is come across as a whiner.

However, I have to say that the title you chose for your piece on the weed lounge (HelloOccifer) was inaccurate. The largest problem we users of "dope" face is the lack of knowledge by those who are non-users and those against legalization. Your joke would only apply to alcohol users, since marijuana doesn't make you slur your words. (At least not when it's used on it's own.)

The Cheech & Chong shtick continues to feed into the idea that abuse of marijuana is somehow okay with adult marijuana users and, frankly, it's not!

Frank A. Healy Jr.

(We hope not all pot smokers are like Cheech & Chong)

[end]

4 US MA: Authorities Warn About 'Legal LSD'Sun, 03 May 2015
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Boss, Owen Area:Massachusetts Lines:74 Added:05/04/2015

Federal authorities are cracking down on new designer drugs like N-Bomb, also known as "Legal LSD," hoping legislation aimed at making the synthetic hallucinogen illegal to possess in the Bay State will prevent more teen overdose deaths.

"There's no such thing as a safe synthetic drug. One dose can kill you," DEA spokesman Anthony Pettigrew said of N-Bomb, a synthetic drug gaining popularity among teens that can appear in a variety of forms. "Anytime someone uses any synthetic drug, including N-Bomb, they're playing Russian roulette."

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5 US NM: Column: Marijuana Still More Popular Than PoliticiansSun, 03 May 2015
Source:New Mexican, The (Santa Fe, NM) Author:Terrell, Steve Area:New Mexico Lines:96 Added:05/04/2015

Right after last November's general election, in this very column, I made the contention that marijuana was more popular than either gubernatorial candidate - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democrat Gary King - at least in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

I made that claim based on the number of votes that (nonbinding) marijuana-decriminalization initiatives received in Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties. In both counties, the pro-marijuana position got more votes than either of the candidates.

But Martinez and King shouldn't feel bad. As The Washington Post's Wonkblog pointed out last month, recent polls in large swing states show that marijuana is more popular among voters than any of the 2016 candidates for president.

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6 US OH: Pot Breathalyzer-like Device In WorksMon, 04 May 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Armon, Rick Area:Ohio Lines:67 Added:05/04/2015

Using Saliva, the Cannibuster Would Provide Police With a Suspect's THC Level in Minutes

AKRON, OHIO - Two University of Akron students are developing a mobile device similar to a Breathalyzer that will test the level of marijuana in one's system.

Called the Cannibuster, it could be a significant roadside tool for law enforcement as more states allow the medical and recreational use of the drug.

"Marijuana is considered to be the fastest-growing industry in the United States today," said University of Akron biomedical engineering student Kathy Stitzlein, who came up with the idea. "We want to be on the cutting edge."

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7US CO: Some Open To Lax RulesMon, 04 May 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Murray, Jon Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:05/04/2015

Candidates Consider Loosening Ban on Public Use of Pot.

Sixteen months after Colorado launched legal recreational marijuana sales, the center of the burgeoning industry in Denver is asking to extend shops' evening closing hours and revisit the outright ban on public consumption.

And many City Council candidates in Tuesday's election are receptive - - including several with a good shot of winning or proceeding to a runoff.

Industry concerns center on competing with pot shops in neighboring cities that have closing hours later than Denver's 7 p.m. cutoff for both recreational and medical stores. Some in the industry also want to provide tourists with safe, legal places to smoke or consume their purchases, since hotels typically don't allow it in rooms.

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8 US NV: Growth IndustryMon, 04 May 2015
Source:Las Vegas Sun (NV) Author:Shine, Conor Area:Nevada Lines:119 Added:05/04/2015

Nevada Lawmakers Get Up-Close View of Colorado's Pot Business

With medical marijuana already here and full legalization on the ballot in 2016, a group of Nevada legislators took a trip to Denver last weekend to get an up close look at how the state is handling its booming cannabis market.

What they saw was impressive, according to Sen. Patricia Farley, R-Las Vegas, who said Nevada would do well by mirroring the laws and regulations Colorado has put into place.

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9 US NJ: Column: Loving Trenton, Hating the Politics of RacismMon, 04 May 2015
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ) Author:Forchion, Edward Area:New Jersey Lines:165 Added:05/04/2015

I've been coming to Trenton-the state capital-for 20 years to protest and to utilize state services, but I never lived in Trenton. Hopefully that will be changing ASAP: I'm looking for a little spot to call home. I've been living at my mom's house for the last year and a half since returning from California. But this past year I've mingled, smoked, and schmoozed with hundreds of Trentonians. I don't know what it is about TRENTON, but I'm loving it to the point I'm attempting to live and open a business here.

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10 US OK: Editorial: Law an Example of Why More Reform Is NeededSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK)          Area:Oklahoma Lines:83 Added:05/04/2015

OKLAHOMA'S three-strikes law for drug felony convictions, on the books since 1989, underscores the importance of policymakers occasionally reviewing state statutes to determine whether there's a better way to handle crime and punishment. The answer, generally, is yes.

As Jennifer Palmer reported in today's Oklahoman, 54 state prison inmates are serving sentences of life without parole for drug violations. They were sentenced under the three-strikes law, which mandates a life sentence when two convictions for any drug felony are followed by a drug-trafficking conviction.

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11 CN BC: B.C. Health Backs Dispensary ChangesThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Bailey, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:05/04/2015

Minister Terry Lake says Vancouver is 'operating in the interests of their citizens' by overhauling regulations

B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is backing Vancouver over the federal government in the city's bid to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries over Ottawa's objections.

"I understand why Vancouver has done what they have done, because of the vacuum created by the federal government," Mr. Lake told reporters in Victoria on Wednesday, making his first comments on the controversial issue.

"I think they are operating in the interests of their citizens and at least putting some regulatory framework in their city and, as our public health officers have said, they think they are doing it for the right reasons.

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12 CN ON: Cocaine, Meth Remain Drugs Of ChoiceThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:76 Added:05/04/2015

Fentanyl joining the deadly mix of prescription medication police are finding in abundance in region

WATERLOO REGION - Cocaine, methamphetamine and a list of prescription drugs continue to be the drugs of choice among users and dealers in Waterloo Region.

But another drug that has been causing havoc in bigger cities across the country is the potent opiate - fentanyl.

Waterloo Regional Police say fentanyl is available locally and in one case a dealer was selling heroin laced with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is prescribed as a painkiller, and the strong opioid is used by cancer patients. It has become a popular illicit drug. Street users chew or smoke pieces of the time-release patches.

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13CN BC: Pot Dispensary Owner Backs Police RaidThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/04/2015

Public Promise: Marijuana outlet will come down hard on anyone allegedly involved in selling to minor

The owner of a Vancouver pot dispensary raided by police Wednesday said he will deal "very harshly" with whoever was involved in allegedly providing edibles to a minor.

Vancouver police said they began investigating a Weeds Glass and Gifts location in the 2900-block West 4th Avenue in March after reports that a 15-year-old was hospitalized after allegedly purchasing edible marijuana products from the store, in addition to reports of "other events involving young people."

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14 CN SN: Column: Should Marijuana Be Legalized?Fri, 01 May 2015
Source:Observer, The (CN SN) Author:Running, Kelly Area:Saskatchewan Lines:80 Added:05/04/2015

The other day as I scrolled through my Facebook the usual advertisements popped up, but I also saw numerous references to 420, April 20. Now I'm not sure how that time/day was chosen, but similar to people drinking and saying, "It's five o'clock somewhere," a 420 culture has developed surrounding marijuana.

This sparked our topic of debate this week, should marijuana be legalized?

As I began researching the topic it became evident that a lot of money surrounds the production and sale of it. According to one article I came across, cannabis is actually the largest cash crop in the United States. If it were legalized more people could benefit from the production of marijuana and hemp. Although the article said that Canada and some European countries have developed industrial hemp production it could further be used in numerous other forms including use as bio-fuel. It would also allow for the diversification of crops grown allowing farmers to have a wider range of produce. Currently it is a specialty crop in Canada.

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15 CN BC: LTE: Condemn MarijuanaThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC) Author:Enright, Jim Area:British Columbia Lines:43 Added:05/04/2015

Thank you to some of your recent letter writers who have shown the courage to condemn marijuana.

I have seen the devastating effects of this drug up close and personal. Two of the large companies I worked for (as a health and safety person) were under my jurisdiction and out of six fatal accidents I investigated, five were caused by these individuals using marijuana - toxicology tests showed heavy concentrations of THC in their systems.

I would like to point out to our young people that if it does get legalized that doesn't make it any less harmful. Legalizing alcohol, nicotine and marijuana is a huge money grab for a few and a heavy tax burden for the rest of us, not to mention all the sickness and suffering it causes.

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16 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalizing Pot A Hot Topic Among ReadersFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Patten, Kathryn Area:British Columbia Lines:34 Added:05/04/2015

Re: Marc Emery? Call him irresponsible, Column, April 25

Shelley Fralic has it right. While I support legalizing marijuana, Marc Emery's comments regarding teen use of marijuana are dangerous and damning.

Researchers of neuroscience and neuropsychology, who have examined teenagers' brains after use of marijuana, tell us that their brains show weaknesses in neuropsychological functioning related to: attentive behaviour, learning, information processing, spatial skills, memory processing, planning and problem solving, even after 28 days of abstinence. Teenage brains are still developing and THC can damage, delay, and deter normal brain development, particularly in the prefrontal cortex.

Dr. Kathryn Patten

Adjunct Professor, Educational Neuroscience; Director, Neuro Emotional Literacy Program, Simon Fraser University

[end]

17 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalizing Pot A Hot Topic Among ReadersFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Lipskis, Peter Area:British Columbia Lines:26 Added:05/04/2015

Re: Marc Emery? Call him irresponsible, Column, April 25

Shelley Fralic scorns Marc Emery's opinion that fast cars, alcohol and athletics might cause more harm to teens than marijuana use. But, given the statistics for death and injuries from street-racing, downtown's alcohol-driven "entertainment district," and hockey concussions, his point seems valid.

Peter Lipskis

Vancouver

[end]

18 CN BC: LTE: End Users May Want To Look In The MirrorFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Kamloops This Week (CN BC) Author:Noakes, John Area:British Columbia Lines:68 Added:05/04/2015

Editor:

Many of us may have read Michael Smyth's column, Culture of Silence, in the Province newspaper.

There was also coverage on television news.

The coverage tells of gun-packing drug dealers who have turned Surrey into a war zone. MLA Harry Bains is grieving the death of his nephew, Arun Bains, who died as a result of one of these shootings.

Sgt. Lindsey Houghton spoke at a packed public meeting and police distributed some 800 information booklets to parents as part of the effort to break the cycle of violence.

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19 CN ON: What's The Buzz?Sun, 03 May 2015
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Helmer, Aedan Area:Ontario Lines:155 Added:05/04/2015

Vapour lounge draws activists, medical marijuana users - and opinions

The clock strikes 4:20 p.m. on a sun-baked Friday afternoon in the capital, and the patrons of Ottawa's most buzzworthy new establishment take notice.

A lighter flickers into service as a heavily-tattooed gentleman, idly flipping through a magazine, sparks a half-spent roach hanging from his lips.

A vaporizer whirs to life at nearby table while three puffy-eyed dudes await their turn to take a pull. The unmistakable aroma of bongwater hangs heavy in the air.

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20 CN AB: PUB LTE: Weed Not Like AlcoholSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Healy, Frank A. Jr. Area:Alberta Lines:33 Added:05/04/2015

I'm a 50-year-old regular user of marijuana and the last thing I want to do is come across as a whiner. However, I have to say that the title you chose for your piece on the weed lounge (Hello Occifer) was inaccurate. The largest problem we users of "dope" face is the lack of knowledge by those who are non-users and those against legalization.

Your joke would only apply to alcohol users, since marijuana doesn't make you slur your words. (At least not when it's used on it's own.) The Cheech & Chong shtick continues to feed into the idea that abuse of marijuana is somehow okay with adult marijuana users and, frankly, it's not!

Frank A. Healy Jr.



(We hope not all pot smokers are like Cheech & Chong.)

[end]

21 US CA: PUB LTE: Why Is The Marijuana Industry Singled Out?Sun, 03 May 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Gilbert, Brett Area:California Lines:34 Added:05/03/2015

I am amazed at how opposition to the marijuana industry ("Pot dispensary forecast cools," April 24) continues to be thinly veiled in regulations and opinions of how the industry should operate.

Unfair filters that no other industry has to face continue to be barriers to success of the industry. Politicians should just be honest and say they don't want it in their community.

San Diego, for instance, is failing the industry by restricting the number and spacing of dispensaries. Washington is cleaning up a mess now because of similar restrictions. These are passive-aggressive approaches to inhibiting the industry's success.

A truly free market will determine a healthy industry. Has San Diego ever determined the number of liquor stores or gas stations in each district, or how close they are together?

Brett Gilbert

Pacific Beach

[end]

22CN ON: Column: Mayoras View On Pot Vapour Clouds IssueFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Chianello, Joanne Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:05/03/2015

Let's start with how Mayor Jim Watson is right.

He's right to be frustrated over the city's apparent inability to do anything about the marijuana smoking going on at Buzz On.

It's a ludicrous set of circumstances that finds the city with the authority to strictly regulate the smoking of tobacco - which is perfectly legal - while simultaneously having its hands tied when it comes to restricting the consumption of a largely illegal substance.

That's why Watson called this week for the police to crack down on the patrons of the marijuana vapour lounge.

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23 CN NS: Column: Weed Lube Does Exactly What You Think It DoesThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Coast, The (CN NS) Author:Beaumont, Hilary Area:Nova Scotia Lines:102 Added:05/03/2015

Something to toke about - Part 3

This is the column I don't want my grandma to read. That's right, folks-this week we're talking about weed lube.

This winter, when storms were slamming Halifax and we were all hibernating, two people I know decided to get creative. My friend and his girlfriend (let's call them Jack and Diane) whipped up some cannabis-infused lubricant. As Jack explained, "The original point was to get pussy-high."

He found a recipe online for a cannabis lube made with coconut oil and cocoa butter. Considerate gentleman that he is, Jack thought his partner might enjoy the experience. She was totally game.

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24 US HI: Legislators' Unusual Steps Keep Pot Measure AliveSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Dayton, Kevin Area:Hawaii Lines:132 Added:05/03/2015

The story of marijuana as medicine at the state Capitol this year was a story of careful preparation, dogged grass-roots politics and compassion for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. And don't forget the impact of money.

Bills to establish marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii have stalled in the state Legislature for years, but dispensaries suddenly emerged this year as one of the most talked-about issues for lawmakers. It was an issue so important they refused to allow it to die.

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25 Australia: Column: We Must Show Some Balls In War On DrugsSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Sunday Telegraph, The (Australia) Author:Devine, Miranda Area:Australia Lines:113 Added:05/03/2015

THE emotional circus surrounding the executions of Bali Nine drug masterminds Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is wrong on so many levels.

One lowlight was the grandstanding 11th hour intervention by a group of actors telling Tony Abbott to "show some balls".

But nothing was as bad as the unscrupulous opportunism of the drug reform lobby.

No sooner had the shots been fired on Nusakambangan Island than the drug liberalisers started capitalising on acute media-driven sympathy, declaring the executions were proof the "war on drugs" is futile.

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26 UK: Column: It's Conservative To Want To Legalise DrugsThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Daily Telegraph (UK) Author:Birrell, Ian Area:United Kingdom Lines:110 Added:05/03/2015

Decriminalisation Would Safeguard Families and Drive the Gangs Out of Business

Outside of their families and friends, few tears will have been shed for the eight heroin smugglers just executed by firing squad in Indonesia. They may have claimed to have become reformed characters in jail, but they knew the Indonesian penalty for trafficking drugs. Yet the pantomime of death played out in the full glare of the global media reminded us of two things: first, the hideous barbarity of the death penalty; and second, the dreadful futility of the war on drugs.

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27 US OK: I Will Die In Prison For A Nonviolent CrimeSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Palmer, Jennifer Area:Oklahoma Lines:457 Added:05/03/2015

With State Prisons Over Capacity, Some Are Calling for Reversal of Harsh Law

Kevin Ott drew his first strike when he was arrested for a small bag of methamphetamine in his pocket in 1993.

A year later, authorities caught the self-described country boy from Okemah with marijuana plants growing at his home. That strike got him 15 months in prison.

Still in his early 30's, Ott took strike three in 1996 when police found 3 1/2 ounces of meth in his home, enough for prosecutors to charge him with trafficking. His punishment: life without parole.

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28 CN ON: A Meth MessSat, 02 May 2015
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:O'Brien, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:05/03/2015

Emergencies Soar As the Drug's Use Here Becomes Rampant

Drug overdose calls to 911 in London are skyrocketing, with paramedics responding to more than three times the calls they fielded only two years ago, The Free Press has learned. Since January this year, paramedics have dealt with 251 drug overdoses - that's an average of more than two a day, and more than triple the number of calls during the same period in 2013. "Saddened" by the dramatic spike, the region's medical officer of health says the numbers prove London agencies need to start working differently and together to support addicts.

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29 CN ON: OPED: No, It Is Not Time We Legalized PotThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Caledon Enterprise, The (CN ON) Author:Knudsen, Kerry Area:Ontario Lines:66 Added:05/03/2015

Last Thursday we published a column by Danielle Marr advocating a rethink of Canada's pot laws. Here, the case for keeping the leaf off limits.

People smoke recreational pot for one reason: to affect their judgment. People do not smoke white pot to go with fish, red pot to go with meat or foamy pot to cool off while mowing the yard. They smoke pot to affect judgment. Period. It makes such concepts as "socks smell funny" funny.

The active principal in pot is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is detectable in the urine six months after ingestion. This means judgment is affected for six months. This is significantly different than wine or beer. I know the dopers will poo-poo (spelling intended) this fact, but they are relating to a buzz they identify as "high." The body adjusts to the buzz, but the THC remains, as does the judgment effect. For reference, watch an old Cheech and Chong bit. A stoner is a stoner, night and day, sleeping or driving, working or not. Maaahhhn.

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30 CN BC: Public To Get Say On Pot ShopsFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:141 Added:05/03/2015

The public will have a say in the city's proposal to regulate the growing number of marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver after city council decided Tuesday to send the issue to public hearing.

The move, which is unprecedented by a Canadian municipal government, came after city manager Penny Ballem outlined a series of regulations to ensure the city has some control over the 85 pot shops.

Regulations call for an annual $30,000 licence fee for dispensary operators, criminal record checks and keeping pot shops 300 metres from schools and community centres.

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31 CN BC: Column: Pot Battle Echoes Fight Over InsiteFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Garr, Allen Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:05/03/2015

The battle lines being drawn over Vancouver's plans to regulate pot dispensaries should seem familiar. The last time we saw two sides forming in this exact configuration was the tussle over Vancouver's supervised drug injection site, Insite.

Recall that the city, under former NPA mayor Philip Owen, first led the charge. The province backed the project arguing that it was a matter of health care and therefore under the province's jurisdiction.

When Ottawa was run by the Liberals and former Prime Minister Paul Martin, Insite was granted a certificate through Health Canada that allowed it to have illegal drugs on the premises. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority was a partner in the project.

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32CN ON: Vapour Lounge 'Last Thing This City Needs'Thu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Chianello, Joanne Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:05/03/2015

If there were any doubt where Mayor Jim Watson stood on the city's first vapour lounge, which opened on Montreal Road recently, he put it to rest on Wednesday.

"I'm not impressed with it at all," Watson told reporters after Wednesday's council meeting. "I think it's the last thing this city needs."

The mayor had plenty to say about Buzz On - where patrons pay a membership fee to smoke their own marijuana on the premises - and the frustration he feels about the city's inability to deal with the controversial new establishment.

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33 US MD: Editorial: Policing The PoliceSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:176 Added:05/03/2015

Freddie Gray's Death Has Sparked Discussions of Many Injustices, but at Its Heart Is the Breakdown in Relations Between Police and the Community

The death of Freddie Gray and the riots that followed have brought Baltimore's problems to the forefront of national, even international, attention.

The drug addiction, poverty, failing schools, health disparities, deteriorating housing, broken families and unemployment that plague neighborhoods like the one where Gray lived and was arrested in have been on full display, and they have become a part of the larger discussion about what it would mean to bring about justice in the wake of his death.

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34 US MA: PUB LTE: Marijuana Policy Could Be Answer to OverdoseSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Massachusetts Lines:37 Added:05/03/2015

Regarding Jeff Jacoby's thoughtful April 26 column "What price is too high for a miracle drug?": The need for the anti-overdose drug naloxone would be less pressing if Massachusetts had done a better job implementing the medical marijuana law passed by voters in 2012. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that states with open medical marijuana access have a 25 percent lower opioid overdose death rate than marijuana prohibition states. States with established access showed a 33 percent reduction in overdose deaths.

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35 US MA: PUB LTE: Life-Saving Drug Should Not Be Tangled in theSun, 03 May 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Van, Eric M. Area:Massachusetts Lines:40 Added:05/03/2015

Jeff Jacoby seems to suggest that pharmaceutical companies should be applauded for more than doubling the price of the life-saving anti-overdose drug naloxone in response to increased demand, thus ensuring that "inventories of the drugs aren't immediately depleted" (Opinion, April 26). As a result, he claims, "more lives are being saved."

That's nonsense. A given supply of a drug ultimately saves the same number of lives whether it is disseminated all at once or rationed. Meanwhile, allowing the drug companies to raise prices as long as demand outstrips supply gives them a powerful incentive against rapidly increasing manufacture; they can maximize their profits by doing so slowly, thus keeping supplies low and prices high.

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36US CA: What Destroyed Baltimore Police's Relationship WithSun, 03 May 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/03/2015

The riots in Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of an African-American man in police custody have produced anguished and thoughtful reactions. Here's a sampling.

David Simon, former Baltimore Sun police reporter and creator of "The Wire" TV show, in an interview with the Marshall Project: [The] drug war which Baltimore waged as aggressively as any American city was transforming in terms of police/community relations, in terms of trust, particularly between the black community and the Police Department. Probable cause was destroyed by the drug war. ... [It] made everybody in these poor communities vulnerable to the most arbitrary behavior on the part of the police officers, it taught police officers how not to distinguish in ways that they once did.

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37CN BC: Vancouver 'Hub' For Money Laundering: ExpertsThu, 30 Apr 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/02/2015

Ex-Mountie says there's a lot of dirty money involved in real estate purchases and building boom

Vancouver is "emerging as a critical money laundering hub" for international criminals, due to a convergence of factors including drug money, international connections, an active port, and a hot real estate market, experts say.

International criminals looking to "wash" ill-gotten gains in Vancouver remain a persistent problem, said Kim Marsh, a Vancouver-based financial crime specialist with decades of experience in law enforcement and private investigations.

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38 US PA: No Foul Play, Says Veteran OfficerSat, 02 May 2015
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Roebuck, Jeremy Area:Pennsylvania Lines:111 Added:05/02/2015

He Said Drug Squad Stayed Within the Law.

Michael Spicer, one of six Philadelphia police narcotics officers charged in a federal corruption case, testified in his defense Friday. And with his career and his freedom in question, he sought to set a few things straight.

He never saw anyone on his squad plant drugs, he said. Nobody stole anything, either. And most important, Spicer stressed, nobody ever tried to throw anyone off a balcony.

"I don't think I even went out on that balcony. That never happened," he said, rejecting an allegation that in 2010 he threatened to toss a drug suspect from his Old City apartment's third-floor terrace. "That's a complete lie."

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39US AK: Proliferation of Used Hypodermics Spurs Talk of NeedleSat, 02 May 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Hollander, Zaz Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:05/02/2015

WASILLA -- A different kind of blight is emerging from heroin use in the Valley: discarded hypodermic needles littering roadsides, parks and waterways from Butte to Houston.

Valley residents say they find syringes without trying -- at a school bus stop in Big Lake, riding horses in Houston, in the sand next to Wasilla Lake.

Houston Fire Capt. Christian Hartley found 30 needles in a stretch of road near a gravel pit just off the Parks Highway in April. Last year, most of the hypodermics turned up along the Parks Highway -- maybe users just threw them out vehicle windows, he said -- but this year most cluster along King Arthur Drive, Houston's busiest artery.

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40 CN BC: LTE: Things To Do Instead Of Smoking PotWed, 29 Apr 2015
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC) Author:Myrholm, Eric Area:British Columbia Lines:44 Added:05/02/2015

In the past several days there has been a great deal of hype regarding the "4/20" smoke-in in Vancouver.

Being an octogenarian, I fail to understand the perceived importance of this event, where approximately 30,000 individuals gather to smoke and promote the possibly addictive, harmful drug marijuana.

Being at my stage of life, I have several concerns and questions regarding the pro-marijuana stance on this illegal product. I am not opposed to medically, professionally prescribed marijuana.

My main concern is the way the pro-marijuana lobby is promoting this product as a heath enhancer. There have also been statements made such as "parents should not be concerned about use by youth; there should not be any age restrictions for use; and it's OK to drive after use.

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41 CN BC: PUB LTE: New Drug Strategy Is NeededWed, 29 Apr 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Burrows, Mae Area:British Columbia Lines:28 Added:05/02/2015

I don't support people using drugs, but the "war on drugs" isn't working. If drugs were regulated or decriminalized, and addiction were treated as a health problem, gang related activities would disappear. Black markets and gangsters flourish under prohibition.

It is lame to blame parents. Addiction has many causes. Sometimes it's related to lifestyle, sometimes genetics. Often people start using drugs to self-medicate for an undiagnosed mental-health issue like anxiety, depression or ADHD. Once hooked up with illegal suppliers, it's hard to break the secrecy of underground relationships. We need a different approach than prohibition.

Mae Burrows, Burnaby

[end]

42 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalizing Pot A Hot Topic Among ReadersFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Finley, Steve Area:British Columbia Lines:46 Added:05/02/2015

Re: Ottawa blasts city pot shop plan; Health Minister Rona Ambrose sends letter to mayor, warning dispensaries are illegal, April 24

Health Minister Rona Ambrose is entitled to express her political position about Vancouver's efforts to regulate medical cannabis. What she is not entitled to do is lie.

Her letter claims that "normalizing the use and sale of marijuana can have only one effect: increasing marijuana use and addiction."

This is blatantly false. In fact, countries which provide some form of regulated access to cannabis, such as the Netherlands, have lower usage rates than aggressively prohibitionist countries such as the U.S.

[continues 105 words]

43 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalizing Pot A Hot Topic Among ReadersFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Usenik, Ryan Area:British Columbia Lines:24 Added:05/02/2015

We hear a lot of discussion and opinions with regards to the use of marijuana and the establishment of dispensaries in our communities. Nowhere do I hear mention of an increase of any problems arising from the presence of marijuana dispensaries.

Our government leaders should be guided by statistics and science when attempting to reduce a problem or increase the level of safety, as has been done with alcohol and tobacco.

Ryan Usenik Langley

[end]

44 CN ON: LTE: Just WrongSat, 02 May 2015
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:O'Hearn, Mike Area:Ontario Lines:34 Added:05/02/2015

Re "Blair cops to political ambitions" (Kevin Connor and Joe Warmington, April 27): Complete shocker that someone with the integrity displayed by former police chief Bill Blair his entire career would announce he was going to attempt to win the Liberal nomination and then run in a riding in which he has never lived. Then he follows that up with turning his back on police brethren nationwide by proclaiming he's in favour of legalizing marijuana. A man who not only ran Toronto's drug squad, but trained other drug enforcement officers in other jurisdictions. Perhaps he should have taken some time to decide his next career move. Jumping into bed with Junior Trudeau just seems so wrong on so many levels.

[continues 51 words]

45 CN BC: Dispensary Offers Free Joint Or Pot Cookie For ReopeningSat, 02 May 2015
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:91 Added:05/02/2015

Many people strolling bohemian Commercial Drive simply smirked as they saw the dispensary's sidewalk sandwich board advertising its "grand reopening" with the offer of a free joint or pot cookie.

Some climbed the stairs, passed the prominent "No Minors" sign and stepped inside Health Lifestyle's second-floor shop, where friendly staff were busy restocking the shelves Friday afternoon with glass bongs and a variety of buds, butters and edibles. The dispensary planned to hand out a free joint or cookie to any member over this weekend to celebrate reopening after a Feb. 5 police raid.

[continues 579 words]

46CN BC: 72 Per Cent Of Vancouver Pot Shops Violate New RulesSat, 02 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Skelton, Chad Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/02/2015

More than 70 per cent of the marijuana-related businesses in Vancouver are in violation of proposed new city rules that would limit how close they can be to schools, community centres or each other.

According to an analysis by The Vancouver Sun, of the 84 pot shops in the city, 61 (72 per cent) are within 300 metres of a school, community centre, neighbourhood house or another marijuana-related business.

That would not be permitted under new rules the city has proposed to try to regulate the city's expanding number of medical marijuana dispensaries.

[continues 377 words]

47 Canada: Supreme Court To Hear Vancouver Drug CaseFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Seccia, Stefania Area:Canada Lines:51 Added:05/02/2015

The Supreme Court of Canada decided Thursday it will hear an appeal of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offences in a Vancouver case, which could provide clarity on how sentencing policy fits in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It's the first challenge under the Safe Streets and Communities Act of 2012 brought in by the Stephen Harper government requiring one-year mandatory minimum jail terms for drug convictions.

Downtown Eastside resident Joseph Lloyd was 25 when he was caught carrying less than 10 grams of heroin, crack cocaine, and crystal meth. When he was sentenced, he told the court he was addicted to all three drugs.

[continues 166 words]

48Canada: Supreme Court to Hear Man's Appeal of MandatoryFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Crawford, Tiffany Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/02/2015

The Supreme Court of Canada announced Thursday it will hear the appeal of mandatory minimum sentencing for a Vancouver drug dealer.

Joseph Lloyd was convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking after he was arrested by police two years ago for carrying fewer than 10 grams of heroin, crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. The amount of drugs considered possession for the purpose of trafficking is more than six grams.

At sentencing, Lloyd told the court he was addicted to all three drugs, according to the Pivot Legal Society which intervened in the case at a B.C. Court of Appeal hearing.

[continues 258 words]

49US CO: Column: NFL Blowing Smoke On UsageSat, 02 May 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Kiszla, Mark Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:05/02/2015

Let's call a cease-fire on the NFL's senseless war against marijuana. When Broncos rookie Shane Ray messes up and gets pulled over by police with 35 grams of marijuana in his car, he needs to answer to his mom, not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"My mom just started crying," Ray said, when I asked how he broke the news to Sebrina Johnson about getting busted for pot possession 80 hours before the draft's opening bell.

"And when something like that happens, you understand that it was such a disappointment. But, even through that, she said we were going to get through it. She backed me. All anybody could ask for is forgiveness when they make a mistake, and my mom forgave me."

[continues 176 words]

50 CN ON: Judge Chastises Officer for 'Flagrant' CharterFri, 01 May 2015
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Paul, Gordon Area:Ontario Lines:109 Added:05/02/2015

Drug, Weapon Charges Dropped After Evidence Ruled Inadmissible

KITCHENER - A judge threw out key evidence in a Kitchener drug case after ruling a police officer made "deliberate and flagrant" violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Justice Gary Hearn also concluded the officer tailored his evidence to try to justify his actions.

"Members of the public ... should expect that when they are detained by the police or questioned by the police ... that their charter rights will be respected and they will not be detained nor arrested without reasonable and probable grounds," Hearn wrote in a ruling last week.

[continues 656 words]


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