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1 US DC: Column: D.C., The Country's Capital For Pot-smokersSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Wilson, Reid Area:District of Columbia Lines:59 Added:03/01/2015

The mind-altering-substance market got a little more crowded in Washington this past week when the District joined three states in allowing residents to possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes.

And despite the objections of some congressional Republicans, initially led by Rep. Andy Harris (Md.), who's quite keen to tell D.C. voters that he knows better than they do, the District is actually the best place in America for marijuana aficionados - in part because of Harris's efforts to block the will of the voters.

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2 US MD: Hogan Wades Into Md.'s Ongoing Heroin BattleSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Duncan, Ian Area:Maryland Lines:182 Added:03/01/2015

Governor Creates Panels to Focus More on Prevention and Treatment of Addiction

"We're not just reacting to the sudden surge of overdoses and overdoses deaths. We're taking a holistic approach."

With the creation of two panels devoted to combating heroin use, Gov. Larry Hogan has waded into a worsening crisis - one that has defied solutions for decades.

It once looked as if Maryland had brought some measure of control to its long-standing battle against the drug, driving down fatal overdose rates for years. In Baltimore, for example, overdose deaths plunged from more than 300 in 1999 to around 100 in 2010.

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3 US MD: PUB LTE: War On Heroin Starts With TeensSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Mathis, Don Area:Maryland Lines:38 Added:03/01/2015

Gov. Larry Hogan's focus on addressing the heroin epidemic ("Hogan creates two panels for fight against heroin," Feb. 25) is a testimony that the scourge of heroin and other substance addictions has garnered bipartisan concern. The next public policy strategy should translate this realization in to greater access to treatment, more targeted public awareness campaigns and increased cooperation between law enforcement, health care and mental health care providers and community leaders.

The efforts by Governor Hogan and others need to focus on teens and young adults. The Maryland Addiction Recovery Center's December, 2014 analysis shows that heroin is now one of the top five drugs abused by teens.

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4 US MD: PUB LTE: Another Study Waiting To Be IgnoredSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Smith, William Area:Maryland Lines:49 Added:03/01/2015

I find it amusing that the Hogan administration is proposing a "study" to combat heroin addiction in Maryland ("The new face of Md.'s fight against heroin," Feb. 26).

Presumably it will complement the other "study" recently completed by the O'Malley administration. I'm sure the two of them will make lovely bookends in an office somewhere, where they will sit, gather dust and be ignored just like every other "study" the government has commissioned in its futile "war on drugs."

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5 US MD: OPED: A Viable Alternative To Drug ArrestsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Bernstein, Gregg Area:Maryland Lines:118 Added:03/01/2015

In Baltimore City, approximately 20,000 people were arrested for drug-related offenses annually in 2012 and 2013; nearly three quarters for simple possession. And while there has been a great deal of discussion over the last few years regarding the incarceration of individuals for drug crimes, particularly in minority communities, the fact is that most drug cases in Baltimore do not result in confinement, except for those unfortunate enough not to have the funds to post bail while awaiting trial.

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6 US FL: For Florida Pot Smoker, Feds Are No Drag; They're HisSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Halper, Evan Area:Florida Lines:91 Added:03/01/2015

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Even in this city full of absent-minded drivers, it's a wonder Irvin Rosenfeld doesn't stand out as a menace.

The interior of his Toyota 4-Runner reeks of marijuana. A canister stuffed with hundreds of joints lies in the trunk, and a bag full of them is in the door pocket. On a recent weekday, the 62year-old stopped at a red light and took a drag so deep his exhale filled the cabin with smoke. It was his fourth joint that day. It wasn't yet lunchtime.

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7 US: Cellular Tracking Device Sparks Privacy ConcernsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Nakashima, Ellen Area:United States Lines:65 Added:03/01/2015

TALLAHASSEE - The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time marijuana dealer of $130 worth of pot using a BB gun. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.

But before trial, his defense team found investigators had used a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device - a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay - to McKenzie's attorneys.

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8 US WA: Tribes Discuss Legal MarijuanaSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:107 Added:03/01/2015

Representatives Attend Forum on Regulatory, Social Issues

TULALIP, Wash. (AP) - The Justice Department's announcement in December that it would allow the nation's Indian tribes to legalize and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution if not silence or opposition from many tribes.

They were reluctant given the substance-abuse problems that already plague many reservations.

But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early indication of just how many might be weighing it, even if a thicket of potential legal issues remain.

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9 US: Decriminalization, Even Legalization Of Pot SpreadsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Chokshi, Niraj Area:United States Lines:83 Added:03/01/2015

It officially became legal to consume and grow marijuana in Alaska on Tuesday.

That means the state is the third to legalize the drug in as many years, but it is hardly the last. Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., have also approved legalization, and advocates plan to take advantage of shifting public opinion to target other states this year and next.

Here's a look at how the patchwork of existing laws compare, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, which played pivotal roles in passing some of the legalization laws.

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10 CN MB: House Arrest for 'Freeman'Fri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pritchard, Dean Area:Manitoba Lines:62 Added:03/01/2015

A so-called "freeman" who claimed justice officials had no right to prosecute him for running a marijuana grow operation in his basement has been sentenced to 13 months house arrest.

Scott David Peters, 45, argued he is not bound by Canadian law, but by a natural law "to do no harm."

"There is a big difference between a person thinking that a particular law is wrong and a person who actually disregards that law," Justice Robert Dewar told Peters.

"This sentence is intended to reinforce the notion that a person is not entitled to pick and choose which laws to obey - they must all be obeyed," Dewar said. "Consider this sentence an encouragement to start acting like a responsible citizen and govern yourself accordingly."

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11 US CA: LTE: Cherry-Picked CausesSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Grant, Julian Area:California Lines:36 Added:03/01/2015

"State Republican advocates for Oakland pot dispenser" (Insight, Feb. 22) and "GOP's crusader for legal pot calls it conservative cause" (Feb. 22) have both put a spotlight on the efforts of Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to get the Justice Department to refrain from trying to shut down dispensaries in states where voters have approved the use of medical marijuana. They have also noted Rohrabacher's advocacy for the legalization of recreational marijuana use is part of his strong "civil libertarian streak."

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12 US WA: Tripping On TourismSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Bush, Evan Area:Washington Lines:219 Added:03/01/2015

Wine Approach

Some in the Pot Industry Dream of Vineyard-Like Tours, but Some See Limits to That Comparison.

Jill Lane, master grower at Sky High Gardens on Seattle's Harbor Island, uncaps jar after jar of golf-ball-size marijuana buds and allows her guests sniffs of Bubblicious, Super Silver Goo and Green Crack.

"What kind of high is that?" asks Louise Avery, gesturing to one of the jars.

"This is for daytime: taking a hike. Beach volleyball," explains Lane to the group of visitors with Kush Tourism, a Seattle-based cannabis company. Lane continues describing strains as if the visitors surrounding the table were middle-age women in a Yankee Candle store.

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13US CA: Providing High Level Of ConfidenceSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Krieger, Lisa M. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2015

Labs Can Tell You What's In Your Pot, From THC to Contaminants

Cannabis used to be what moonshine is to alcohol, its content as murky as a cloud of smoke lingering over a Phish concert.

Now a cadre of Bay Area laboratories can tell you exactly what you're getting for your money - creating reliability, safety and standardization in a business that long relied on the casual assurances of a skanky friend from Stonerville.

Gone are the days of being ripped off with a nickel bag of dusty oregano. Or eating a cookie that delivers manic euphoria, when all you wanted was to ease a little nausea.

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14 US DC: PUB LTE: Hope Amid A Heroin CrisisSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Mathis, Don Area:District of Columbia Lines:34 Added:03/01/2015

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) emotional disclosure that his cousin died of a heroin overdose shows that the tragedy of addiction is not restricted to any income class, ethnic group or geographic area ["For Hogan, the heroin crisis hit in the heart," Metro, Feb. 25]. Addiction afflicts individuals and families from all walks of life, in Maryland and across the United States.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2013 Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that 4.9 percent of the state's high school students have tried heroin at least once, 5 percent have tried methamphetamines and 3.9 percent have used a needle to inject these and other drugs.

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15 US DC: OPED: A Justice System That's Fair To AllSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Holder, Eric H. Jr. Area:District of Columbia Lines:97 Added:03/01/2015

Today, a rare consensus has emerged in favor of reforming our federal drug sentencing laws. This presents a historic opportunity to improve the fairness of our criminal justice system. But unless we act quickly, we risk letting the moment pass.

The Justice Department has sought to be an early innovator on this front. A year and a half ago, I launched the Smart on Crime initiative- a comprehensive effort to reorient the federal government's approach to criminal justice. It focused on reducing the use of draconian mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses and deepening our investment in rehabilitation and reentry programs that can reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

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16 US DC: Budding Pot Moguls Cruise D.C.'s First ExpoSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Cox, John Woodrow Area:District of Columbia Lines:176 Added:03/01/2015

In a chandeliered banquet hall not far from the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, a man with a Duke MBA and a Wall Street background offered the same sort of tips often given to aspiring entrepreneurs in places like this one: Develop a clear business plan; raise enough capital to weather setbacks; find a niche and own it.

Listening were 150 or so people packed into rows of cushioned red-and-gold chairs at the District's first "Cannabis Academy," an event perfectly timed to capitalize on the rush from the city's newly legalized marijuana-growing marketplace. Butthe stereotypical images of stoner culture-leaf-adorned-Bob Marley flags and smoky photos of piled-high pot-were, by design, nowhere in sight at the Holiday Inn. The crowd, more grayhaired than long-haired, sipped coffee and thumbed through 100-plus page workbooks with categories such as "Legal" and "Accounting & Merchant Services."

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17 US WA: 75 Tribes Study Up On Pot LegalizationSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM)          Area:Washington Lines:30 Added:03/01/2015

TULALIP, Wash. - The Justice Department's December announcement that it would allow the nation's Indian tribes to legalize and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution - if not silence or opposition - from many tribes.

They were reluctant to consider it given the substance abuse problems that already plague many reservations.

But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early indication of just how many might be weighing it.

Representatives of about 75 tribes from around the country converged on the Tulalip Indian Tribe's resort and casino for a $605-a-head seminar on the regulatory, legal and social issues related to pot legalization.

That's a small fraction of the nation's 566 recognized tribes, and many of the attendees were from smaller tribes looking for a potential economic edge.

[end]

18 US DC: Column: The Right Fight, But The Wrong ReasonSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:King, Colbert I. Area:District of Columbia Lines:104 Added:03/01/2015

Sometimes it's hard to choose your poison, especially when all the options are horrible. That's what it's like when the District decides to take on Congress over an issue of self-government.

The District's chances of winning such contests are small because of that pesky Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to "exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over . . . the Seat of the Government of the United States." The "Seat" is us. Still, there are times when the District simply has to mix it up with Congress. The principle of self-government - the right of citizens to determine their own destiny - is too precious to forfeit out of fear that our overseers might take umbrage.

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19 US AK: Editorial: Local Marijuana Clarity Welcome: DespiteSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:Alaska Lines:77 Added:03/01/2015

It took a couple days post-legalization, but Interior municipal governments appear to be on the same page with local marijuana rules. That's no small feat. With little time to collaborate on rules in Fairbanks, North Pole and the borough at large, the potential existed for serious conflicts between how marijuana could be possessed and used in each of our local communities. Such an outcome would have been a headache for legal professionals to sort out and would have had impacts on local residents confused about the overlaps and discrepancies in municipal rules.

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20US CA: Record Pot Haul Seized At Otay Mesa CrossingSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Shroder, Susan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2015

15 Tons on Big Rig Port's Largest Cache, Second in the Nation

Record Otay Pot Bust: 15 Tons, $19m Value; Second Largest Ever at a U.S. Border Crossing

In what was described as a "very risky" drug-smuggling attempt, more than 15 tons of marijuana stacked in bundles was seized from a tractor-trailer at the Otay Mesa border crossing. Federal officials said Friday it was the largest seizure ever at the port and the second-largest at any crossing in the country.

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21US AK: OPED: Sorry, High Rollers: Marijuana Is Nowhere LegalSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Coe, Kevin Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2015

I hate to be the party pooper but I feel there is a need to point out that the possession, transportation, processing and use of marijuana is still illegal.

It is not legal in Alaska, nor Colorado, nor Washington, nor Oregon. It's not legal in your house, nor in a car, or on a train, or in a plane.

No Charlo Green I am; it's not legal to grow pot in this here land.

There is this thing called the Controlled Substances Act. You can find it in Title 21, Section 800 or so of the U.S. Code. Section 812 lists marihuana (with an h) as a schedule I substance.

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22 Australia: Australia's Drug Scourge Growing, Crime Data ShowsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Straits Times (Singapore) Author:Pearlman, Jonathan Area:Australia Lines:103 Added:03/01/2015

Drug Seizures and Arrests Hit Highest Levels in 2013; Spike in the Use of Ice

The imminent execution in Indonesia of two Australians caught there for trafficking drugs comes as Australia faces its own worsening narcotics problem. PHOTO: REUTERS Mr Suhandro Putro, representative of The Javanese Christian Church funeral home, says they usually receive orders for caskets when executions are carried out on Nusakambangan, an island off Java.

The extent of the problem can be seen from the Australian Crime Commission's most recent report on illegal drugs, released last April.

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23 Indonesia: Caskets Readied Ahead Of ExecutionSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Straits Times (Singapore)          Area:Indonesia Lines:47 Added:03/01/2015

Jakarta (AFP) - An Indonesian funeral home has reportedly prepared at least 10 caskets for police ahead of the planned execution of death-row convicts, including two Australian drug smugglers whose sentences have strained the country's relations with Canberra.

The report came as Indonesia announced yesterday that it had on Friday night deported Ms Candace Sutton, a reporter for Australia's Daily Mail, as she had interviewed without a proper visa a relative of one of the Australian convicts in the coastal town of Cilacap.

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24 UK: Police Will Be On High Alert At 'Cannabis Celebration'Sat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Evening Times (UK) Author:Swindon, Peter Area:United Kingdom Lines:85 Added:03/01/2015

George Square Event Criticised by Politicians

DRUG users are planning to stage a "cannabis celebration" in Glasgow's George Square.

The annual '420 event' sees campaigners gather in a public place on April 20 to call for the legalisation of the Class B drug.

Last year Glasgow Cannabis Social Club held a gathering of 150 people at Glasgow Green and five were reported to the procurator fiscal for flouting the law by lighting up in full view of police.

The maximum penalty for possession of cannabis is five years in prison.

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25US MI: OPED: Time To Legalize MarijuanaSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Siebold, Steve Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2015

The debate over the side effects of marijuana vs. alcohol, along with the lingering question of whether or not marijuana should be legal, has been long running and probably won't end anytime soon. But according to new research published in the journal Scientific Reports, that looked at things people take to get high or drunk, weed is the least fatal. And guess what the deadliest was? Alcohol.

Not only was weed the least lethal, it was roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors. Put science aside, and most anyone who has smoked pot will tell you it has a softer effect than alcohol. If alcohol and marijuana were animals, alcohol would be an anaconda and pot would be a housecat. Yet pot will land you in jail but you can drink alcohol in the White House.

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26 US NJ: OPED: Members of Congress Threaten DC Officials WithSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:63 Added:03/01/2015

Amid all the uncertainties surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia, a few things are clear. Among them is that Congress has better things to do than meddle in the purely local affairs of the District. When it does interfere, it ends up making a mess of matters. Apparently, however, there are no bounds to the grandstanding of opportunistic politicians on Capitol Hill.

That District officials and employees have been threatened with jail, by no less than the chairman of a powerful congressional committee, for their goodfaith efforts to follow a voter mandate is utterly inexcusable. Such a spectacle - and the fact that the District is under congressional attack for undertaking virtually the same steps as its counterparts in Colorado, Washington and, most recently, Alaska - should bring home to the rest of the country the need to redress the historic injustice of the city's limited political powers.

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27 CN NF: An Affront To The CourtThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:Western Star, The (CN NF) Author:Kean, Gary Area:Newfoundland Lines:114 Added:02/28/2015

Supreme Court Justice Admonishes RCMP for Handling of Roadside Drug Bust

Four months after being involved in a court decision that took note of how the police had violated a man's Charter rights during a drug bust, one of the officers breached the rights of two more men in a similar roadside investigation.

This time, though, it is likely the case will be tossed out of court.

Const. Leon Sheppard of the RCMP Traffic Services West was one of two officers who pulled over Philip Jordy Blanchard in 2008.

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28 CN NS: Court OKs Patients' Class Action in Strip-Search CaseFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Chronicle Herald (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:89 Added:02/28/2015

Mark Jason Murray claims being strip-searched when he was a psychiatric patient at East Coast Forensic Hospital was degrading and violated his charter rights.

"It was very shocking, to say the least," said Murray, 40. "It was very traumatizing, and it was also very confusing and disorienting."

The Halifax man is the representative plaintiff in a class action against Capital district health authority on behalf of 33 patients who allege their rights were violated when they were all strip-searched at East Coast Forensic Hospital on Oct. 16, 2012.

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29 CN BC: Port Moody to Weigh Dispensary's RequestFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Tri-Cities Now, The (CN BC) Author:Deutsch, Jeremy Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:02/28/2015

In the next few weeks, the group hoping to open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Port Moody will learn the fate of its plan.

Representatives of CannaLifeMD were in front of council Tuesday formally requesting a bylaw amendment that would allow them to open what they call a "medical wellness centre" at 3131 St. Johns St.

The company originally appeared in front of council last fall, but didn't make a specific request at that time.

Council asked staff to come back with recommendations for an upcoming meeting on how to proceed with the issue.

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30 US HI: Column: It Won't Be Easy to Reform Overly Harsh PenalSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Sullum, Jacob Area:Hawaii Lines:92 Added:02/28/2015

Last week the newly created Coalition for Public Safety, a bipartisan, transideological campaign to reform the criminal justice system, made a big splash by bringing together political adversaries such as Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress.

Notably absent from celebrations of this strange-bedfellows alliance: any mention of actual policy changes the coalition plans to pursue.

The lack of specifics was understandable but telling. While there seems to be broad agreement within the coalition about what should be done to "make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer and more cost effective," the current Congress may settle for little more than lip service to those goals.

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31 US HI: Editorial: World Won't End If Pot DecriminalizedSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:25 Added:02/28/2015

According to the national group NORML, 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, at a minimum.

Typically, according to its website, that means "no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption" - essentially treating offenses like a minor traffic violation.

A legislative bill that would make Hawaii the 19th such state has advanced. Passing it would make sense. Even some of those who look askance at marijuana legalization don't want to see small-time users criminalized and public money spent on prosecuting them.

[end]

32US CA: Order Up A Farm-fresh Medicinal Pot VarietySat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Kaul, Greta Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2015

When San Franciscans awoke Friday morning, those with medical marijuana cards were able to make high-grade, sun-grown cannabis appear on their doorsteps within an hour.

Flow Kana, the startup behind it, celebrated its new farm-to-table - or farm-to-bowl - service by passing joints at a Berkeley hills launch party Thursday night.

About 125 guests were ferried by a fleet of vans to the party at a posh ecofriendly house overlooking the bay. As guests traveled up the spindly drive, the voice of Flow Kana CEO Michael Steinmetz came through the speakers, dubbed over music from "Interstellar."

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33 US WA: Marijuana Conference Draws Tribes From 25 States toSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Bush, Evan Area:Washington Lines:111 Added:02/28/2015

First Such Gathering

Event Offered Debate and Education on Merits of Legalization

Hundreds of tribal leaders, lawyers and marijuana-industry representatives gathered in Tulalip on Friday for the nation's first tribal marijuana conference, an event that served as much as a policy debate on the merits of legalization as it did an educational session.

More than 60 tribes from at least 25 states were represented, said Erica Curnutte, who organized the event.

Publicly, tribes have been wary of entering the marijuana market after the Department of Justice released a policy memo saying tribes could grow and sell marijuana.

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34US CO: First Pot SummarySat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Baca, Ricardo Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2015

Marijuana Edibles Take Top Slot in Recreational Sales in Annual Report

Nearly 5 million marijuana-infused edibles and almost 150,000 pounds of cannabis flower were purchased in legal Colorado stores and dispensaries in 2014, yet only 67 of Colorado's 321 total jurisdictions allow the sale of medical and recreational pot, according to an encompassing and unprecedented new report from the state.

The Marijuana Enforcement Division's first annual report, issued Friday, is one of the most important documents to date in Colorado's marijuana experiment because it's the first to give complete, state- sanctioned statistics on what marijuana looked like in its first full year of recreational sales.

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35US CO: Denver Firm Behind Jamaican EffortSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Raabe, Steve Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2015

On the heels of Jamaica decriminalizing marijuana, Denver-based United Cannabis Corp. is proposing to create a "Ganja Cooperative" to help Jamaican farmers grow pot.

Marijuana is a cultural icon of the Caribbean island, and farmers have been growing it-successfully-for decades. But under the United Cannabis proposal, growers will have access to high-tech genetics and training in cultivation practices to produce standardized crops.

Jamaica's Parliament earlier this week passed a law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis - known colloquially in Jamaica as ganja - and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a medical marijuana industry.

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36 US AK: Fairbanks North Star Borough Says Pot OK Outdoors onFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) Author:Bohman, Amanda Area:Alaska Lines:62 Added:02/28/2015

FAIRBANKS - Borough residents may use marijuana anywhere on private property under an ordinance approved unanimously by the assembly Thursday.

"I am strongly of the opinion that if you can drink a beer on your front lawn, you should be able to use cannabis on your front lawn," Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman Christopher Quist said.

The voters last November approved more permissive marijuana laws in Alaska but kept it illegal in public. Various governments have been defining public place for the purposes of enforcing the new law.

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37 US DC: DC Leaders Legalize Pot Despite Threats From CongressFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:District of Columbia Lines:90 Added:02/28/2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defying threats from Congress, the District of Columbia legalized possession of marijuana for recreational purposes on Thursday, becoming the first place east of the Mississippi River with legal pot.

The new law took effect at 12:01 a.m., despite last-minute maneuvers by Republican leaders in Congress and threats that city leaders could face prison time. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, who took office in January, said it was her duty to implement the initiative city voters approved overwhelmingly in November.

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38 US AK: Alaska Regulators Propose Permanent Definition ofFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:Alaska Lines:30 Added:02/28/2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state board wants to make permanent the emergency regulation passed this week defining public places where marijuana can't be smoked.

When voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in November, they prohibited smoking in public but did not define what a public place was.

The state's alcohol board, which is in charge of regulating marijuana for now, met the first day of legalization to enact an emergency regulation that defines public places as anywhere generally accessible to the public, including schools, parks and roads.

The emergency regulation expires June 23. The agency is taking comments on whether to make it permanent.

Some communities have created their own definitions, which can only enforced by local police. Alaska State Troopers can only enforce state statutes, spokeswoman Megan Peters said by email.

[end]

39US DC: Pot Fight Heating Up In CapitalFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:District of Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The new mayor of the nation's capital was hoping to get along fine with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Instead, they've threatened her with prison and she has accused them of acting like bullies in a showdown over legal pot that could end up costing District of Columbia residents dearly.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser defied threats from Congress by implementing a voter-approved initiative on Thursday, making the city the only place east of the Mississippi River where people can legally grow and share marijuana in private.

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40US AK: Column: Why Does Alaska Count 6 Pot Plants PerFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Woodham, Scott Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2015

"Anonymoose" wonders about a seeming contradiction in the implementation of the cultivation portion of the new laws allowing Alaskans over 21 to possess, use and grow cannabis.

The ballot initiative that became AS17.38 seems to say that each individual can have up to six plants (three flowering) for home cultivation, but the state is interpreting it as per household, not per individual.

"It seems unfair and illogical -- going against the spirit of the law," Anonymoose says, "to limit an adult couple living together from combining their 'adult over 21 quota' of six plants to 12. The measure didn't say 'six plants per dwelling if shared by multiple over 21's,' but this is clearly how it's being seen by regulators."

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41 US AK: PUB LTE: Prohibition To Minors Causes AbuseFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Russell, Daniel N. Area:Alaska Lines:37 Added:02/28/2015

The problem with making alcohol, THC, etc. verboten to people under 21 or even 18 years old is that it causes our youths to obtain these goods illegally, consume them in secret, and abuse them irresponsibly to excess. In Argentina, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, and every other country in which I have lived, children are given half a glass of wine or beer with meals under supervision by their parents. In this way they learn how to enjoy alcohol responsibly with moderation, and they do not have the huge social addiction problems that Alaska has. Many Alaska villages have made their social addiction problems even worse by creating dry districts where alcohol is not allowed to be sold at all. We call all see the results of that mistake on the streets and shelters in all of our cities in Alaska. Think of how much money and how many lives go to waste due to our ignorance.

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42US OR: Portland Mayor Charlie Hales Requests $440,000 forFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) Author:Theen, Andrew Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2015

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales requested $440,000 for a marijuana permitting program, according to budget documents.

Hales, who oversees the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, authored a memo outlining the funding request in the upcoming 2015-16 fiscal year.

The mayor's marijuana program represents a small slice of some $58 million in proposals submitted by city bureaus as they compete for roughly $14 million in one-time general fund dollars expected to be available come July.

More than half of the $58 million in one-time requests are from the Bureau of Transportation, The Oregonian/OregonLive previously reported.

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43 US NY: Republicans Warn Washington to Think Twice AboutThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Steinhauer, Jennifer Area:New York Lines:81 Added:02/28/2015

WASHINGTON - Some Congressional Republicans said Thursday that they would increase their efforts to prevent residents here from possessing small amounts of marijuana, which became legal in Washington at midnight, and warned that the city would face numerous investigations and hearings should the mayor continue her practice of telling them to please find something else to worry about.

"We say move forward at your own peril," said Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, echoing a letter he and Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, sent to city officials this week, warning of legal action and ordering the district to turn over documentation on any employees involved with putting the law into effect.

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44 CN BC: PUB LTE: It's Time To Legalize MarijuanaThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:Langley Times (CN BC) Author:Beharrel, Celeste Area:British Columbia Lines:44 Added:02/28/2015

Editor: The marijuana industry brings in around $7 billion a year. That money goes to criminals and drug dealers.

Meanwhile, the B.C. government is $63 billion in debt.

Ending cannabis prohibition would save a lot in the courts and on law enforcement, and restore the civil liberties that have been lost in the drug war.

Regulated sales would earn tax revenue, and transparency would ensure that there is public safety. In reality, tobacco and alcohol are proven to cause more bodily harm than marijuana, yet it is the illegal substance.

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45 US CA: Mendocino Growers To Launch Marketing Co-OpFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Willits News (CA) Author:Baumann, Adrian Area:California Lines:47 Added:02/28/2015

With at least six bills currently in legislature, and the deadline for new bills fast approaching, the Emerald Growers Association (EGA) is pushing for the North Coast's state senator, Mike McGuire, to introduce legislature that would classify marijuana as an "agricultural product." And the organization is no longer just focusing on political action; they are spinning off, or starting up depending on your point of view, a separate strictly economic entity called the Emerald Grown Marketing Co-op.

This Sunday, March 1, at Harwood Hall in Laytonville, the organization will be formally launched as a farmer-owned "marketing co-op," basically an association of farmers who agree to pay into a central pool of money to share the costs marketing and other infrastructure-think of a grain-elevator co-op in the Mid-West.

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46 US DC: Pot Dispensaries Report Struggle To Meet DemandFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Hendrix, Steve Area:District of Columbia Lines:121 Added:02/28/2015

Shortage Could Ease in D.C., As More Firms Have Registered to Be Growers

Even as the nation's capital enters an uncertain new age of legal marijuana, the 2,500 District residents permitted to buy medical cannabis are facing a blunt truth of their own: There isn't enough pot to go around.

For months, many of the marijuana-using patients registered with the D.C. Department of Health have been frustrated by a chronic shortage in the system's very limited supply chain. Since last summer, when the D.C. Council relaxed the rules for obtaining a doctor's prescription for cannabis, the number of medical users has soared past the ability of the city's three official growers to meet it.

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47 US DC: Column: Waiting To InhaleFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Higgins, Adrian Area:District of Columbia Lines:159 Added:02/28/2015

With Sales of Pot Still Illegal in D.C. and a Clear Grow-Your-Own Message From Police, You'll Need Patience Before You Have a Supply

The District's marijuana initiative offers many pitfalls for the cannabis connoisseur, with strict limits on how much you can have and where you can smoke it. JEFF CHIU/ASSOCIATED PRESS

But the hardest part may be growing the stuff.

Because marijuana sales remain illegal - unlike in states that have legalized recreational or medical use - the District's initiative is based on people growing their own. Or in the mantra of Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier: "Home use. Home grown."

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48 US DC: Column: Soccer Mom in Minivan Asks: Where's The Party?Fri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Dvorak, Petula Area:District of Columbia Lines:206 Added:02/28/2015

If marijuana is going to be as mainstream as chardonnay in our country's capital, it shouldn't be tough for a minivan-driving mother of two to find a pot party, right? Especially not if the city's stoners are lighting up in the wee hours Thursday to celebrate legalization. I tried a tweet. "So where's the pot party in D.C. tonight?" I asked, a few hours before the new law took effect. Nothing. I tried Facebook. "Well, I would [tell you where the party is], but since the law allows me to smoke it, but not to actually purchase it, it's a challenge," responded one of my Mommyland friends.

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49 US MD: PUB LTE: Heroin Treatment Requires Legal ReformFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:DiPaula, Bethany Area:Maryland Lines:54 Added:02/28/2015

Opioid overdose and dependence are enormous public health problems in the U.S. As The Sun reported this week, Gov. Larry Hogan has rolled out a strategy to fight heroin ("Hogan unveils plan to fight heroin," Feb. 24). A Baltimore task force is considering the city's heroin-related treatment needs. And City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has written recently in The Sun that naloxone is the key to preventing overdose deaths. Studies show that medications like Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, can reduce opioid overdoses, drug use, disease transmission and criminal activity while increasing the number of patients who remain in treatment. Still, there continues to be a limited number of physicians offering buprenorphine treatment. We believe pharmacists could play a key role in providing patients access to life-saving treatment.

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50 US MD: OPED: Reversing The Overdose EpidemicFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Weber, Ellen Area:Maryland Lines:109 Added:02/28/2015

We commend Maryland officials for highlighting the serious health crisis that heroin use poses for all Marylanders and promising immediate action to respond to our state's overdose epidemic.

Now is the time to invest wisely in the health care strategies that will prevent and treat opiate and other substance use disorders, even in a time of budget constraints.

While the state's investment in substance use treatment has never met the need for care, Maryland is building a solid public health and health care financing system that can be mobilized to address our overdose epidemic.

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