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1 US: OPED: Why The U.K. Isn't Having Problems With VapingSat, 26 Oct 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ridley, Matt Area:United States Lines:156 Added:10/26/2019

The Volstead Act prohibiting intoxicating beverages became law on October 28, 1919-a century ago this week-and came into force a few months later. Most people now agree that Prohibition was a failure, driving the alcohol industry underground, where its products became unsafe, its profits lucrative and tax-free, and its methods violent. Most countries have since taken the view that it is better to legalize, regulate and tax drink than to ban it.

Today, there is a similar debate over vaping, a popular new practice prohibited or heavily restricted in many countries. Electronic cigarettes, which use heating elements to vaporize liquids usually containing nicotine, were invented in China in the early 2000s by Hon Lik, a chemist looking for a way to satisfy his nicotine addiction without dying of lung cancer as his father had. Nicotine itself is far less harmful to smokers than the other chemicals created during combustion. Heavyweight studies confirm that there are much lower levels of dangerous chemicals in e-cigarette vapor than in smoke and fewer biomarkers of harm in the bodies of vapers than smokers.

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2 US MI: When Can We Finally Buy Recreational Marijuana In Michigan?Tue, 22 Oct 2019
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:119 Added:10/23/2019

Last year, after the vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Michigan was certified, people lined up outside provisioning centers with the expectation that they would be allowed to buy some in those locations - - only to find that a state medical certification was still required.

Nearly a year later, folks are still wondering when they'll be able to walk into a store and buy some weed.

The conventional answer to that question is probably sometime early in 2020. That's based on the Marijuana Regulatory Agency's stated plan to start taking applications from businesses that already have medical marijuana business licenses this fall. MRA people have said that they will process these applications with dispatch. And since these already medically licensed businesses have already gone through the rigorous licensing process, it should be quicker and easier than the first time around.

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3 US: U.S. Governing Body Embraces Cannabis Products ThroughMon, 21 Oct 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Futterman, Matthew Area:United States Lines:134 Added:10/23/2019

The sports industry's embrace of cannabis products is continuing to evolve as U.S.A. Triathlon has become the first national governing body of an American sport to make a sponsorship deal with a company that sells products containing cannabidiol, or CBD.

CBD is a nonintoxicating compound that, like the intoxicating compound THC, is found in varying amounts in hemp, a legal cannabis plant. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances. THC and scores of other cannabinoids remain on the banned list, but by removing CBD, WADA opened the door for elite athletes to use and endorse CBD products.

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4 US FL: Miami Beach Officially Bans Public Smoking Of Marijuana AndTue, 22 Oct 2019
Source:Miami New Times (FL) Author:Lipscomb, Jessica Area:Florida Lines:54 Added:10/23/2019

For the past three and a half months, marijuana has essentially been decriminalized in Miami. After Florida legalized hemp July 1, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it would no longer prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is virtually indistinguishable from hemp.

Nevertheless, the City of Miami Beach has passed a municipal ordinance to discourage people from smoking weed in public. At a meeting last week, city commissioners unanimously voted to outlaw public smoking of marijuana and hemp.

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5 US CA: After Governor Bans Pot Use In Limos, And For HospitalSun, 20 Oct 2019
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McCreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:139 Added:10/23/2019

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines.

Newsom took the action on tour buses and hospitals as he signed several other bills in the last few weeks that will ease pot restrictions, including measures waiving taxes on cannabis provided for free by charities to people with serious health problems and allowing parents to provide medical marijuana products such as oils, creams and pills to their sick children on K-12 school campuses.

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6 US: Cannabis oil and Vaping: Hazy HazardsMon, 21 Oct 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Richtel, Matt Area:United States Lines:261 Added:10/23/2019

SAN FRANCISCO - For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly growing, with scant notice from public health officials.

Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their business. Teenagers, millennials and baby boomers alike have been drawn to the technology - no ash, a faint smell, easy to hide - and the potentially dangerous consequences are only now becoming evident.

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7 US IL: Medical Marijuana Popularity Surging In Illinois As RevisionsSat, 19 Oct 2019
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Rober Area:Illinois Lines:149 Added:10/23/2019

The medical marijuana program in Illinois is seeing record growth since changes in the law greatly expanded the program and made it easier for patients to participate.

More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since stores opened in November 2015 - including a spike of almost 37,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, a 93% increase, according to state records. The surge of new patients exceeds the number signed up in any previous fiscal year, based on the latest annual report on medical cannabis by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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8 US: Psychedelics In The Golden YearsThu, 17 Oct 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Schwartz, Casey Area:United States Lines:234 Added:10/22/2019

At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1956, has had great professional success as the co-founder of Walden Venture Capital. He lives in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, in a large house with an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

And yet something was always lacking. Mr. Sarlo's father had disappeared from their Budapest home in 1942. He had been drafted in a forced labor battalion, an experience he did not survive. At age 4, George had told himself that it was because he was "a bad boy" that his father had left that day, early in the morning, without saying goodbye. He believes that he never recovered from that early loss.

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9 Canada: The Verdict Is In, And Year One Of Legalized Cannabis InFri, 18 Oct 2019
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Berkow, Jameson Area:Canada Lines:276 Added:10/18/2019

There's no getting around it: Year one of legalized cannabis in Canada was a dud.

It was an unmitigated disaster for many investors. The bubble burst, and the shares of most large Canadian marijuana producers dropped by at least 50 per cent. The public markets are largely closed to the industry; at the moment, there's simply no appetite for more pot stocks.

The Trudeau government's goal wasn't to make shareholders or investment banks rich, though. It was to whittle down the black- market marijuana business. Giving cannabis users a place to buy regulated marijuana would generate new tax revenue, open up new business opportunities and reduce the burden on police and the courts.

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10 US: PUB LTE: Legal, Regulated Pot Is The Answer To Vaping DeathsTue, 15 Oct 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Stewart, Harv Area:United States Lines:23 Added:10/15/2019

I'm sorry to say that Dr. Scott Gottlieb has it completely backward ("Pot Legalization Makes Vaping Deadly," op-ed, Oct. 11). The correct way to fix the problem of poisonous THC vaping is to legalize and regulate it.

His article goes on and on citing the consequences of not doing so. I'm sure he doesn't realize it, but he is simply underscoring the reasons why some states have stepped forward to protect their citizens by bringing marijuana into the legal and regulated arena.

Harv Stewart

[end]

11US: Vaping Crisis Hits Juul's Pot CompanyMon, 14 Oct 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Bomey, Nathan Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:10/14/2019

When Juul Labs and Pax Labs split from one company into two in 2017, they seemed destined to reach new heights.

Juul would conquer the e-cigarette industry. Pax would dominate the marijuana vaping business.

Their fortunes, however, quickly diverged. Juul found itself under fire for its alleged role in getting kids hooked on nicotine after pitching itself as a safe alternative to cigarettes; Pax largely escaped scrutiny as the burgeoning cannabis market made the company irresistible to investors.

But that honeymoon period might be ending for Pax.

[end]

12US GA: Lower Penalties For Pot A Growing MovementSun, 13 Oct 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2019

A shot glass emblazoned with a marijuana leaf is up for sale. Jackpot prizes include pure hemp rolling paper. Nearby, groups of people enjoy drinks and dinner while chatting about why weed should be decriminalized and legalized in Georgia.

Thaddeus Willis, a Gwinnett County resident and Air Force veteran, has heard about the push to lessen the penalty for possessing small amounts of weed in Georgia.

"That's the first step," said Willis, enjoying chicken Parmesan and a soda at the monthly meeting for Peachtree NORML, a pro-marijuana advocacy group. Eventually, he said, "It needs to be made legal here."

[end]

13US GA: Charging Dealers In OD's FeasibleSun, 13 Oct 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2019

There may be some hurdles, but there is legal standing for the murder prosecution of a DeKalb County man who allegedly sold drugs to a 22-year-old who later fatally overdosed, local experts said.

The case against Antoin Thornton, 28, is believed to be the first of its kind for DeKalb. Thornton allegedly sold heroin to Alexander Whitehead, who was found dead at a Dunwoody apartment complex in March. Police said the drugs, laced with the potent opioid fentanyl, caused the overdose.

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14 US: OPED: Pot Legalization Makes Vaping DeadlyFri, 11 Oct 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Gottlieb, Scott Area:United States Lines:121 Added:10/11/2019

Doctors have linked a tragic wave of lung injuries and deaths to the vaping of tainted marijuana concentrates. The episode reveals the dangers created by the federal government's decadelong refusal to challenge state laws legalizing pot and promoting risky uses of its derivatives.

The Obama administration announced in 2013 that it wouldn't enforce federal drug laws in states that had legalized pot use. The following year, Congress started attaching legislative riders to budget bills to prevent the Justice Department and other agencies from enforcing federal laws banning marijuana use in the 33 states that have made weed legal. The Trump administration has tried to reverse some of these policies. In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama administration guidance giving U.S. attorneys discretion not to enforce federal drug law in states that have legalized marijuana. But the White House has been reluctant to challenge popular state policies directly. As a result a large pot industry has bloomed in recent years, and a dangerous market in cannabis concentrates, such as the ones responsible for the vaping deaths, has proliferated.

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15Guatemala: Poppies Cultivated For Heroin Fuel CrisisThu, 26 Sep 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Gonzalez, Daniel Area:Guatemala Lines:Excerpt Added:10/01/2019

SAN ANTONIO, Guatemala - Surrounded by green fields of potatoes, oats and corn on his small farm, Carlos Lopez recalled the decent money he was earning before last year, cultivating a different crop he referred to simply as "the plant."

The plants, ones with the bright red flowers, "are worth a lot more than these other crops," Lopez said, wearing a blue baseball hat, sitting on a plastic chair behind his two-room, mud-splattered house.

"Amapola," said Lopez, speaking the Spanish word for poppy.

[end]

16 US CA: Most Californians Want Marijuana Stores In Their CommunitiesTue, 01 Oct 2019
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:147 Added:10/01/2019

SACRAMENTO - Three years after California legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, most voters want municipalities to permit pot shops in their communities even though the vast majority of cities have outlawed them, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times.

According to the poll, 68% of Californians say legalization has been a good thing for the state, an increase in support since 2016, when 57% of voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, selling and possessing cannabis for recreational use. The poll results come as city and state leaders are battling in court and the Legislature over control of California's pot market, including a dispute over efforts by California lawmakers to force cities to open their doors to cannabis shops.

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17 US: Fitness Devotees Are Getting Stoned To Stay TonedMon, 30 Sep 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Copeland, Rob Area:United States Lines:119 Added:09/30/2019

Pauline Nordin is a trainer, model and licensed nutritionist. Earlier this year, she replaced the frozen peas in her freezer with 2,000 cookies.

The shortbread treats are laden with cannabis-the equivalent of about 1,500 joints. Ms. Nordin, 37 years old, says she can't recover from her punishing workouts without them. She eats two each night before turning in.

"My lifestyle is a Ferrari and my body is a well-tuned machine," she says. "I would never do something destructive."

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18 US CA: What You Can And Cant Do At The New Cannabis Cafe In WestMon, 30 Sep 2019
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Harris, Jenn Area:California Lines:95 Added:09/30/2019

The Lowell Cafe is a new restaurant and bar in West Hollywood that will allow diners to smoke marijuana inside and out thanks to a new license issued by the city. It's slated to open Oct. 1 and when it does, it will be the first of its kind.

If you're imagining a giant smoky room filled with bowls of weed, couches and lots of pizza, think again. Imagine instead a functional restaurant with servers, plus a special air-filtration system that sucks up and filters the smoke from people smoking weed, everywhere.

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19US WI: Billions At Stake As Wisconsin Discusses Legalizing MarijuanaSun, 29 Sep 2019
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2019

CHICAGO - The historic hub of black culture on the south side of Chicago called Bronzeville bears the marks of disinvestment common to many of the city's black-majority neighborhoods.

Along the expansive South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, lines of greystones alternate in and out of disrepair, and many of the district's blocks that were once home to vibrant institutions - earning it the name "Black Metropolis" - are now mottled with overgrown, vacant lots. A census tract within the area is one of the poorest in the city.

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20 US: Thc Products Tied To IllnessesSat, 28 Sep 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ansari, Talal Area:United States Lines:80 Added:09/28/2019

More than three-quarters of people who have developed severe lung illness after vaping reported using THC-containing products, a new report found, as officials continue to piece together a picture of the mysterious disease.

The new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 76.9% of the 514 patients studied used products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in the month preceding the onset of symptoms. More than half of the patients reported using nicotine-containing products, while 36% said they only used of products with THC and 16% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.

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21 US: Several Vaping Brands Tied To Illnesses, C.D.C ReportsSat, 28 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grady, Denise Area:United States Lines:150 Added:09/28/2019

Several marijuana products have been identified as possible culprits in the mysterious epidemic of serious lung illnesses that has sickened more than 800 people who use vaping devices and e-cigarettes to inhale THC or nicotine, or both.

Health officials said on Friday that the products include THC-filled vaping cartridges labeled "Dank Vapes," as well as some other illicit brands that people bought from friends or family or on the street.

But officials said Dank Vapes appeared to be a label that THC sellers can slap on any product and is not a specific formulation or a single product. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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22 US: PUB LTE: Candidates Need To Address Drug WarSun, 22 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Williams, Bill Area:United States Lines:25 Added:09/27/2019

Having lost a son to heroin use, I want to ask the following of the candidates: Our "war on drugs," declared by President Nixon in 1971, is a dismal failure. The historian Alfred McCoy wrote recently in The Nation that "instead of reducing the traffic, the drug war has actually helped stimulate that ninefold increase in global opium production and a parallel surge in U.S. heroin users, from just 68,000 in 1970 to 886,000 in 2017." Drug deaths reached 192 a day in 2017, with many of them between the ages of 12 and 25. That is a silent Parkland =85 every day. What is your solution to this catastrophe?

Bill Williams

New York

[end]

23 Australia: Casual Use Of Marijuana Is Legalized In CanberraThu, 26 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kwai, Isabella Area:Australia Lines:102 Added:09/26/2019

SYDNEY, Australia - Australia's capital on Wednesday became the first jurisdiction in the country to legalize the recreational possession and cultivation of marijuana, a move that runs counter to federal laws that can carry prison terms for personal use of the drug.

Passage of the measure, which came after months of debate over policy, legal and health issues, echoed efforts in the United States, where more than 10 states have legalized recreational use of marijuana even as it remains illegal under federal law.

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24US GA: City To Decriminalize Pot PossessionThu, 19 Sep 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2019

The city of Chamblee is the 11th local government in Georgia to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.

The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night eliminating the possibility of jail time and severely reducing the fine for possessing one ounce or less of weed. An adult caught with marijuana by a Chamblee police officer will be cited and fined $75 for their first offense, according to the ordinance. That charge can be paid online and a court date isn't required.

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25 Iraq: Iraq Faces A New Adversary: Crystal MethSun, 15 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Rubin, Alissa J. Area:Iraq Lines:216 Added:09/15/2019

BASRA, Iraq - Hussein Karim sold his three cars, he sold the land where he planned to build a house, and he spent his savings - several thousand dollars - all on his crystal meth habit.

He is one of thousands of meth addicts in Iraq, a country where drug problems have been rare. But growing addiction here is the most recent manifestation of how the social order has frayed in the years following the American invasion in 2003.

Mr. Karim, 32, now lives in a windowless room with his wife, his three children and his disabled brother.

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26 US: PUB LTE: Treatment Courts Should Be IncludedSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:37 Added:09/13/2019

In highlighting Seattle's new approach to drug possession, Nicholas Kristof makes a compelling case that it is past time to adopt a public health approach to addiction, but he is too narrow in his conclusions. When we view the war on drugs strictly though the lens of drug possession, we fail to include people who need help the most: those who have committed crimes driven by their addiction and/or mental health disorder and who face incarceration as a result (crimes including D.U.I., theft, property crimes). These individuals desperately need treatment but are not eligible for diversion via programs like LEAD, which typically only address drug possession.

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27 US: PUB LTE: A Public Health Approach Is NeededSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Jonas, Steven Area:United States Lines:33 Added:09/13/2019

Tobacco products, which kill almost 500,000 people per year, are legal, and still advertised to a limited extent. Alcoholic beverages, which kill about 88,000 people annually, are not only legal but also widely advertised. Many of the opioid deaths are a result of accidental overdoses because users are unaware of just how much drug is in a particular dosage they consume.

Why not legalize opioids but: sell them only from government operated "package stores" (as alcohol still is in certain jurisdictions) so that doses are known; have no advertising; have a massive public health program? Accidental overdose deaths would be virtually eliminated; the criminal drug trade would be eliminated; and, if the tobacco-use cessation program model were followed, use would go down.

Steven Jonas Port Jefferson, N.Y.

The writer, professor emeritus of preventive medicine at Stony Brook Medicine, is the author of "Ending the 'Drug War'; Solving the Drug Problem: The Public Health Approach."

[end]

28 US: PUB LTE: No Progress In Heroin EpidemicSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Gruner, Bryan Area:United States Lines:30 Added:09/13/2019

Wow! Are you kidding me? This is the most fantasized assessment of Seattle's drug epidemic I've ever seen. In actuality, we are spiraling toward complete social meltdown here, and Nicholas Kristof thinks we've figured out how to end the war on drugs?

As a three-decade resident of Seattle, I can tell you that from the sprawling homeless camps ringing the city, to the bedraggled hordes of dead-eyed addicts on Second Avenue, to the piles of human feces in Pioneer Square, there is no progress being made to end the heroin epidemic in this city. Whatever actions local governments are taking only make things worse.

Seattle is becoming a wasteland of crime, refuse, excrement and addiction. It's disgusting to watch and it gets worse every year.

Bryan Gruner Bellevue, Wash.

[end]

29 US: PUB LTE: Addicts Need HelpSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kier, Kathy Area:United States Lines:37 Added:09/13/2019

Re "Ending the War on Drugs," by Nicholas Kristof (Sunday Review, Aug. 25):

This article gives me hope that Seattle is finally doing something about the devastation of drug use on its streets.

My son is a struggling heroin addict, and thank God is now a part of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, program. He completed treatment in jail through drug court, finished work release, is now in drug court housing and meets with his counselor at LEAD.

I know firsthand how difficult it is for families. I've walked the streets of downtown Seattle looking for my son where drug users and dealers hang out. I've seen them passed out with a needle hanging out of an arm or leg. I'd ask myself, What is Seattle doing to fix this problem?

Addicts need support. The LEAD program is good, but what about those addicts who haven't been arrested and directed to LEAD?

Kathy Kier

Seattle

[end]

30 US NY: Officers Said They Smelled Pot. A Judge Called Them Liars.Fri, 13 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Goldstein, Joseph Area:New York Lines:176 Added:09/13/2019

Police officers can often justify a search with six words: "I smelled an odor of marijuana."

Courts in New York have long ruled if a car smells like marijuana smoke, the police can search it - and, according to some judges, even the occupants - without a warrant.

But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity, and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about it.

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31 US CA: Fights Over Growing Marijuana Cause StinkFri, 13 Sep 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Elinson, Zusha Area:California Lines:101 Added:09/13/2019

CARPINTERIA, Calif.-On a recent sunny morning in this beach town near Santa Barbara, realtor Gary Goldberg ran into Das Williams on the street and raised a concern: A persistent skunky aroma had required him to knock $18,000 off the sale price of a condo.

"It smelled like marijuana," said Mr. Goldberg, adding that buyers threatened to pull out because of the odor.

Mr. Williams, a Santa Barbara County supervisor who helped craft regulations for large cannabis farms here, assured the realtor that he was doing everything he could to tamp down the smell. The argument over odor is part of an acrimonious debate over how to regulate the region's growing marijuana industry, pitting farmers against some residents.

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32 US: PUB LTE: Pregnancy And MarijuanaFri, 06 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Paltrow, Lynn M. Area:United States Lines:40 Added:09/10/2019

"New Warning Against Use of Marijuana for 2 Groups" (news article, Aug. 30) is reminiscent of coverage of pregnant women and cocaine use that reported damage theories that were alarmist.

Critical examination would reveal that the surgeon general's advisory focuses on associations and unspecified "risks." There's an enormous difference between things that pose potential risks, which are virtually everything a woman does, ingests or is exposed to during the course of pregnancy, and actual harm to the pregnant woman and fetus.

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33 US: Center To Explore Psychedelics For Mental HealthTue, 10 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Carey, Benedict Area:United States Lines:166 Added:09/10/2019

Since childhood, Rachael Petersen had lived with an unexplainable sense of grief that no drug or talk therapy could entirely ease. So in 2017 she volunteered for a small clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University that was testing psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, for chronic depression.

"I was so depressed," Ms. Petersen, 29, said recently. "I felt that the world had abandoned me, that I'd lost the right to exist on this planet. Really, it was like my thoughts were so stuck, I felt isolated."

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34 US: Money Behind The MissionTue, 10 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Carey, Benedict Area:United States Lines:149 Added:09/10/2019

The announcement on Wednesday that Johns Hopkins Medicine was starting a new center to study psychedelic drugs for mental disorders was the latest chapter in a decades-long push by health nonprofits and wealthy donors to shake up psychiatry from the outside, bypassing the usual channels.

"Psychiatry is one of the most conservative specialties in medicine," said David Nichols, a medicinal chemist who founded the Heffter Research Institute in 1993 to fund psychedelic research. "We haven't really had new drugs for years, and the drug industry has quit the field because they don't have new targets" in the brain. "The field was basically stagnant, and we needed to try something different."

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35US: Pot Makes Its Mark On Presidential BallotTue, 10 Sep 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:09/10/2019

DENVER - Once a politically dangerous subject, legal marijuana has become something of a de facto platform plank for the 2020 Democratic candidates: All support either legalizing or decriminalizing its use, and the differences lie in how far the candidates are willing to take it.

Those differences - particularly former Vice President Joe Biden's reluctance to embrace full federal legalization and the lack of enthusiasm that increasingly organized young marijuana activists have for him - may play a role in determining who faces President Donald Trump next fall, experts said.

"People from both parties are just thinking, 'Duh, we should be legalizing this at the federal level,' " said Rachel Gillette, a Denver-based cannabis activist and attorney. "It would be great if they could focus on this. It's time."

[end]

36 US: PUB LTE: Prohibition Never WorkedSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brautigam, Michael G. Area:United States Lines:31 Added:09/08/2019

Believing that I could never agree with Nicholas Kristof about anything, I found myself gobsmacked that I agreed, writ large, with his profile of Seattle attempting to end the war on drugs.

I don't agree with his emphasis on race and privilege, but it's about time to completely end the war on drugs - and I say this as a former narcotics prosecutor in Brooklyn during the golden age of crack. Only total legalization will work. But saying drugs should be legal is not saying that drugs are good.

We, as a nation, need to approach this as adults, and stop doing something that hasn't ever worked well but has been doubled down on every decade.

Michael G. Brautigam

Cincinnati

[end]

37 US: PUB LTE: Recovering Addicts Could Be Useful In This FightSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Josepher, Howard Area:United States Lines:34 Added:09/08/2019

I want to thank Nicholas Kristof for bringing our attention to the successful way Seattle's Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program is addressing the interplay of drug addiction and the law. I support his call for more "evidence-based public health interventions." At Exponents, we also invest in evidence-based practices that employ recovering individuals and those with the lived experience of addiction.

Recovering addicts, especially those who have benefited from a particular treatment or process, have great value in engaging and helping an active addict. Medication-assisted treatments are effective, but the recovering community is an underutilized asset in our efforts to bring this opiate epidemic under control.

Howard Josepher

New York

The writer is co-founder and chief clinical officer of Exponents, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people affected by drug addiction, incarceration and H.I.V./AIDS.

[end]

38 US: PUB LTE: The Media And Government Exaggerated Drug AbuseSun, 08 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kuzmarov, Jerey Area:United States Lines:34 Added:09/08/2019

I thought that Nicholas Kristof's article was very good in showing the efforts of Seattle's prosecuting attorney, Dan Satterberg, to scale back on drug prosecutions and promote treatment alternatives.

My one objection is his statement that "the war on drugs began in 1971 out of a legitimate alarm about narcotics both in the United States and among U.S. troops in Vietnam." My book "The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs" detailed how the media and politicians exaggerated the scope of drug abuse in Vietnam and created a false moral panic about drugs that drove forward the war on drugs.

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39US: America's Unjust War On WeedFri, 06 Sep 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Rivers, Eileen Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:09/06/2019

It was 2012, and Ferrell Scott was watching television inside Pennsylvania's Allenwood federal penitentiary when he learned that the sale of marijuana, something he was given a life sentence for just four years earlier, was becoming legal in two states.

Colorado had approved its recreational use, the inmate learned from the broadcast, and so had Washington.

Scott had been struggling with depression since he was incarcerated in March 2008. But he felt a bit of hope as he watched the framework that had put people like him away without parole begin to crumble.

[end]

40 US: PUB LTE: It's Really A War On Certain GroupsFri, 06 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Carasso, Roger Area:United States Lines:37 Added:09/06/2019

Portugal's decriminalization of drugs reduced the number of heroin users from 100,000 to 25,000. Its drug mortality rate became the lowest in Western Europe.

What's badly needed is to look at the real reason for criminalizing drugs. The first anti-cocaine laws in the early 1900s were aimed at black men in the South. The first anti-marijuana laws in the early 20th century targeted Mexican migrants and Mexican-Americans.

The "war on drugs" was coined by President Richard Nixon. A top Nixon aide, John Ehrlichman, later admitted that it was aimed at Mr. Nixon's two major enemies, the antiwar left and black people: Criminalization meant that "we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

The war on drugs had little or nothing to do with health or safety. It was about political persecution.

Roger Carasso

Santa Fe, N.M.

[end]

41 US: The Baffling Legal Gray Zone Of Marijuana At The AirportThu, 05 Sep 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McCartney, Scott Area:United States Lines:139 Added:09/05/2019

In the cloudy world of travel with marijuana, what gets dispensed in Vegas should probably get smoked in Vegas.

Marijuana tourism is booming here, as it has in Colorado, Oregon and elsewhere. But what's allowed and what's legal at airports and hotels can feel like a confounding set of contradictions.

Possessing limited quantities of recreational marijuana is legal in Denver and Las Vegas, but it's illegal at the airports in those cities. Not true in Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle, where possession at the airport is allowed up to certain limits.

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42 US: The Gold Rush Guide To Pot InvestingWed, 04 Sep 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ryan, Carol Area:United States Lines:79 Added:09/04/2019

Investment legend has it that the best money in the California gold rush was made selling picks and shovels. Fertilizer and real estate are equivalent bets on the volatile pot boom.

Shareholders in cannabis stocks have lost money lately. Companies that "touch the plant"-those that cultivate and sell pot, such as Cronos Group and Green Thumb Industries-have shed up to 50% of their market value over the past six months, as worries grow about profitability in the sector and the resilience of black-market sellers in legalized states like California. Big corporate investors are among the casualties: Tobacco giant Altria MO -0.58% 's 45% stake in Cronos is now worth 10% less than the $1.8 billion the Marlboro maker paid for it last December.

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43 CN BC: PUB LTE: Dealers Might Have Tips For Legal Pot-SellersSat, 31 Aug 2019
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Beyer, Chuck Area:British Columbia Lines:41 Added:09/02/2019

It is indeed sweet victory to see the B.C. Liquor Corp. selling cannabis.

In the B.C. election of 2001, I, as a B.C. Marijuana Party candidate, was arrested at the behest of the Victoria Hillside liquor store for campaigning for legal cannabis.

Some advice about marketing would be in order.

As a Realtor of 30 years, I can offer some pointers. Analyze the prevailing market and emulate it. At present, in the "friends" market, you can smell before you buy. If you don't like it, you can bring it back.

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44 US: Surgeon General Warns Pregnant Women And Teenagers Not To SmokeThu, 29 Aug 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kaplan, Sheila Area:United States Lines:71 Added:09/02/2019

Surgeon General Warns Pregnant Women and Teenagers Not to Smoke or Vape Marijuana

Dr. Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, said they may be unaware of the health hazards posed by new, professionally grown marijuana crops.

The United States surgeon general on Thursday issued a public warning that smoking or vaping marijuana is dangerous for pregnant women and their developing babies.

At a news conference with other top administration health officials, the surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, said he was concerned that pregnant women, teenagers and others were unaware of the health hazards posed by new, professionally grown marijuana crops.

[continues 333 words]

45 US OK: Marijuana 'Unity Bill' And Other New Laws To Take EffectThu, 29 Aug 2019
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Forman, Carmen Area:Oklahoma Lines:88 Added:09/02/2019

The medical marijuana "Unity Bill" that sets up a basic legal framework for the implementation of State Question 788 will take effect Thursday.

Nearly three dozen other new laws will also take effect this week.

Here's a look at some of the new laws.

'Unity Bill'

Also known as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, House Bill 2612 sets up a framework for regulating Oklahoma's medical marijuana industry.

The lengthy bill that was a compromise between legislators and those in the medical marijuana industry sets guidelines for marijuana testing, tax collections, seed-to-sale product tracking, packaging, employment and more.

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46 US: OPED: Do We Really Want A Microsoft Of Marijuana?Sun, 01 Sep 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Caldwell, Christopher Area:United States Lines:123 Added:09/01/2019

The legalization of marijuana as a medicine in 33 states, 11 of which allow its use as a recreational drug, has made weed a dynamic American industry, among the economy's fastest-growing sources of new jobs. California alone, with $3.1 billion in projected marijuana sales for this year, has a legal market as large as that of any country on the planet.

Entrepreneurs grumble nonetheless. Not since Ronald Reagan ran for president have American newspapers been so full of anecdotes about heroic jobs-creating businessmen stymied by regulation.

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47 US NY: Marijuana Convictions To Be Erased For Thousands In New YorkThu, 29 Aug 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Paybarah, Azi Area:New York Lines:119 Added:08/29/2019

Even as states across the country have legalized marijuana, potentially opening the door to a multibillion dollar industry, the impact of marijuana criminalization is still being felt by people - mostly black and Hispanic - whose records are marked by low-level convictions related to the drug.

But on Wednesday, New York began the process of expunging many of those records, as part of a new state law to reduce penalties associated with marijuana-related crimes, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed.

[continues 780 words]

48US: Vaping-Related Illnesses Being Linked To THC UseThu, 29 Aug 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/29/2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection warned Friday against the purchase of electronic cigarette cartridges containing THC or other cannabis or altered e-cigarette products that are sold "off the street."

So far, 215 possible cases of vaping-related lung illness have been reported in 25 states, CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement, "and additional reports of pulmonary illness are under investigation." The Washington Post reported Thursday that state and federal investigators have 354 cases currently under review.

[continues 52 words]

49US WA: 5 Years In, Washington Considers Overhaul Of Pot RegulationTue, 27 Aug 2019
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/27/2019

SEATTLE -- Five years after Washington launched its pioneering legal marijuana market, officials are proposing an overhaul of the state's industry rules, with plans for boosting minority ownership of pot businesses, paving the way for home deliveries of medical cannabis and letting the smallest growers increase the size of their operations to become more competitive.

Liquor and Cannabis Board Director Rick Garza detailed the proposals -- part of what the board calls "Cannabis 2.0" -- in an interview with The Associated Press. It's an effort to picture what the legal marijuana market will look like over the next five years, after spending the past five years largely regulating by reaction as the difficulties of building an industry from infancy absorbed the agency's attention.

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50 US: Column: Ending The War On DrugsSun, 25 Aug 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:304 Added:08/25/2019

SEATTLE - On gritty streets where heroin, fentanyl and meth stride like Death Eaters, where for decades both drugs and the war on drugs have wrecked lives, the city of Seattle is pioneering a bold approach to narcotics that should be a model for America.

Anyone caught here with a small amount of drugs - even heroin - isn't typically prosecuted. Instead, that person is steered toward social services to get help.

This model is becoming the consensus preference among public health experts in the U.S. and abroad. Still, it shocks many Americans to see no criminal penalty for using drugs illegally, so it takes courage and vision to adopt this approach: a partial retreat in the war on drugs coupled with a stepped-up campaign against addiction.

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