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1 US FL: Editorial: Our View On The Proposed ConstitutionalSat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:133 Added:10/20/2014

Constitutional amendments should be rare. They should be saved for issues that the regular political process is unable or unwilling to handle.

That is the reason that 60 percent is needed for amending the Florida Constitution. Direct democracy ought to be the exception in this republic.

In this general election, voters will get a break. There are just three proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot as opposed to the 11 in 2012.

YES ON AMENDMENT 1

Protecting water in the Sunshine State is likely to be the natural resource issue of the next generation, not only drinking water but the water that intersects the state like a blood system.

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2 US NY: LTE: The Buying And Selling Of Mexican PoliceMon, 20 Oct 2014
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Zinsmeister, Jeffrey Area:New York Lines:41 Added:10/20/2014

To the Editor:

Re "Mexico's Cartel Government," by Ioan Grillo (Op-Ed, Oct. 10):

As a former State Department official who covered narcotics issues in Mexico from 2012 to this year, I saw "state capture" - the taking over of chunks of government apparatus, in this case, local police and municipal authorities - up close.

Beyond making atrocities like the suspected massacre in Iguala possible, the buying and selling of Mexican police officers also warns us against well-intentioned but dangerous efforts to legalize the cultivation of drugs there.

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3 US CA: PUB LTE: Prop. 47 Will Spend Where We Need It MostMon, 20 Oct 2014
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Rivera, Raymond Area:California Lines:30 Added:10/20/2014

Regarding "Prop. 47: Right, right, right - wrong" (Oct. 16): I am a certified chemical dependency counselor working with this population for more than 20 years. Here's the truth: Treatment is more cost-effective than prison.

Prop 47 will change sentences for only the lowest-level drug and property offenses. In the first five years $1 billion would go to K-12 education, mental health, drug treatment and services for crime victims.

We've been locking people up with a chemical dependency problem and it's costing us $60,000 a year per person. We could instead spend that on teachers, counselors and even police officers and save.

Raymond Rivera

San Diego

[end]

4US CA: Editorial: A Pot Shop Mess of the City Council's OwnMon, 20 Oct 2014
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2014

San Diego's first legal medical marijuana dispensary has been approved by City Hall. It could still be appealed, but it's likely the dispensary will be in operation in Otay Mesa before the year is out. A few more are expected to follow soon afterward in other city neighborhoods.

A lawyer for the new dispensary called it "a great day for the city of San Diego and its residents who need medical marijuana."

Hardly.

It is not as though patients cannot now get marijuana. There is another legal dispensary already operating just outside El Cajon. And take a look at certain alternative publications. The back pages are full of ads for pot shops throughout the city. They're all operating illegally, more than 100 of them. These joints sprout up faster than the city can shut them down.

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5 US OK: PUB LTE: Decriminalize PotSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Wares, Daivd Area:Oklahoma Lines:47 Added:10/20/2014

"Considerable downside to decriminalization of pot" (Our Views, Oct. 13) criticized state Sen. Connie Johnson for advocating decriminalizing marijuana use. Yet any thinking person has to recognize the wisdom of Johnson's position. Pot shouldn't be categorized as a Schedule I drug. It's not addictive like opiates or amphetamines. Despite the claims of law enforcement officials, it's not a "gateway drug."

Enforcement of laws against marijuana possession, use and sale result in racial inequities in arrest and prosecution of perpetrators. A New York Times editorial on Oct. 11 noted that an equal percentage of blacks and whites use illegal drugs, but blacks are arrested three times as often. A Seattle study found that 16 percent of observed drug dealers of the five most dangerous drugs were black, but they represented 64 percent of arrests for dealing those drugs.

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6 Canada: PUB LTE: Make It Harder To GetMon, 20 Oct 2014
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Mallea, Paula Area:Canada Lines:23 Added:10/20/2014

Re Your Kids Brain On Pot (Life & Arts, Oct. 17): The point of legalization is to make it much harder for children to obtain pot. Gangsters don't care who buys their product, whether it's pot or heroin. We need to legalize and apply strict regulations, allowing public health officials - not the prison system - to deal with the negative consequences of drug use.

Paula Mallea, author, The War on Drugs; Gore Bay, Ont.

[end]

7US FL: OPED: So You Think You Want To Legalize Marijuana?Sun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Pensacola News Journal (FL) Author:Williamson, Bob Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2014

When I was younger, I probably would have supported legalizing marijuana as well, but due to some personal trials and tribulations that I went through, Amendment 2 is something that I absolutely cannot support. And, hopefully by telling my story, I can show you, and everyone else in Florida, why this amendment is bad news, plain and simple.

Rewind to my formative years; I was far-above-average in school and a gifted athlete. But, as a child, I had endured some abuse, and subsequently, became disillusioned and ended up taking some wrong turns and making some bad decisions. I had started hanging around with the wrong crowd, began drinking alcohol, and graduated to marijuana and pills.

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8US FL: Amendment 2 Fight Gets Into Rhetorical WeedsSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Stockfisch, Jerome R. Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2014

Those For And Against Ballot Initiative Are Busy Parsing Its Language

TAMPA -On Nov. 4, voters will determine whether Florida becomes the 24th state and the first in the South to approve a comprehensive medical marijuana program.

After failing to get the state Legislature to place the measure on the ballot, advocates for medical pot took to the streets, exceeding the 683,000 petition signatures needed to put the issue to voters and, if approved, write it into the Florida Constitution.

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9US FL: OPED: Why Parents Should Be Alarmed About Amendment 2Sun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Gee, David Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2014

By now we've all heard the arguments for and against the legalization of 'medical' marijuana under Amendment 2. The amount of inaccurate and confusing information about the legalization of 'medical' marijuana can overwhelm parents.

Some of the information we hear about cannabis is conflicting, making it hard to understand the ways it may affect our children. Is it addictive? Does it cause psychosis? Is it really a medicine? What will happen if my child uses it? What should I tell - or not tell - my child about it?

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10CN BC: Suspicious Transactions at Casinos Worth MillionsSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Zacharias, Yvonne Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2014

VANCOUVER - Gamblers flocked into four Vancouver-area casinos over a recent three-month period hauling bags of $20 bills that added up to millions of dollars in suspicious transactions, according to information provided by the provincial Finance Ministry in response to a freedom of information request from the CBC.

The Edgewater Casino in the Plaza of Nations in Vancouver alone reported $5,242,090 in unusual transactions from March 20 to June 21.

CBC reported that $2.5 million in suspicious transactions occurred at New Westminster's Starlight Casino, while $24 million was flagged at Richmond's River Rock Casino.

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11 US CA: PUB LTE: Drug Dogs Do Not Belong In Our SchoolsSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Trout, Gary Area:California Lines:29 Added:10/20/2014

Once again, we have the San Diego Unified School District police sending a negative message ("Drug-sniffing dog has increased presence on campuses," Oct. 8) to the students of our educational institutions: A police officer walking the halls of education with a German shepherd to detect illegal drugs.

What could be more negative?

This sort of nonsense needs to stop. School Police Chief Rueben Littlejohn is sending a message of fear and intimidation and is not in touch with an educational atmosphere.c

Gary Trout

San Diego

[end]

12 US CA: PUB LTE: Just Legalize Marijuana and Get It Over WithSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Chico Enterprise-Record (CA) Author:Bergstrom, Jay Area:California Lines:36 Added:10/20/2014

Anything that helps move the ball down the field toward the goal of total re-legalization of cannabis will have my vote - and in this case that means voting no on A and yes on B.

As our previous experiences with drunk waterfowl and exploding stills clearly taught, our ills will not depart until cannabis prohibition is six feet under, with a stake through its heart and maybe a couple of silver bullets for insurance.

The price supports for cannabis provided by the prohibition will disappear. It will be only as profitable to grow as say almonds, rice, grapes or walnuts. A bit of regulation would help as well.

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13 US CA: LTE: Two Letter Writers Ignore Realities About PotSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Chico Enterprise-Record (CA) Author:Mathison, Beckee Area:California Lines:46 Added:10/20/2014

Addressing two recent letters, it appears Garry Cooper must have smoked a few bowls before looking into his crystal ball in predicting outrageous windfalls Butte County will reap from pot profiteering. What a joke.

Growers predicted the same wealth for Colorado and Washington. Are they seeing the wealth in taxes pouring in? No. A large percentage of pot is still being sold on the black market. The only ones making bank are the growers and dealers.

Just pick up a local newspaper the past four weeks and read about people from other states/counties coming into California or neighboring counties to grow, only to be smuggled out of state. Where's the money? Certainly not in California's pocket.

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14 US FL: PUB LTE: Catering To Criminals Instead Of PatientsSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Westgate, Margaret Area:Florida Lines:41 Added:10/20/2014

I just love the thinking of those in charge of deciding where dispensaries for medical marijuana should be sited. Let's by all means place them where criminals are more likely to be comfortable than patients who are disabled and/or in serious pain.

Many of these patients will be frail and older or, in some cases, children.

Let's be realistic: People who want illegal drugs will get them. All that has happened so far in the latest "war against drugs" is to make life more difficult for patients who need the relief. The headlines may look good, but the real story is seldom told.

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15 US FL: Editorial: Medicinal Pot Deserves 'Yes'Sat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Palm Beach Post, The (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:89 Added:10/20/2014

It's not difficult to understand the recent erosion of support for Amendment 2, the ballot initiative that would expand the use of marijuana in Florida by patients suffering from debilitating illnesses.

Indeed, after polling as high as 80 percent among likely voters in the spring, most polls now have it barely hitting the 60 percent threshold needed for passage.

Opponents hammer away at loopholes in the amendment language that they say open the door to abuse - by patients, caregivers and doctors alike. There is also the underlying fear that that door will usher in legalization of recreational use.

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16US AK: OPED: Legislature Should Weigh Pot Laws, Not VotersSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Jenkins, Paul Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2014

When it comes to legalizing marijuana in Alaska, what exactly is the advantage of abandoning the status quo?

The initiative process in Alaska is a playground for Outside bamboozlers and monied special interests that want, even need, to dodge the give and take -- the vetting, the debate, the political free-for-all of the legislative process to get their way.

Despite the progressive malarkey and populist romanticism of having the people rise up against "The Man," initiatives are, as the late Washington Post columnist David Broder pointed out, "alien to the spirit of the Constitution."

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17 US NH: LTE: The Drug BattleSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Concord Monitor (NH) Author:Giunta, Joseph Area:New Hampshire Lines:43 Added:10/20/2014

Each year in October, the Elks honor the memory of slain DEA Special Agent Enrique S. Camerena with a Red Ribbon Campaign.

Camerena was kidnapped, tortured and killed because he was successfully investigating one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.

The Elks Drug Awareness Program has launched a national campaign to ask our leaders in Washington to uphold our nation's drug laws and to remind everyone, especially our youth, of the dangers of using any illicit drug.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America has the largest all-volunteer drug awareness program in the country.

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18 US OR: LTE: Oregon, Heed Warning From Colorado Governor; Don'tThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Corvallis Gazette-Times (OR) Author:Nelson, Jean Area:Oregon Lines:54 Added:10/20/2014

Oregonians, listen to Colorado's governor, Democrat John Hickenlooper, who was in office when voters legalized marijuana by changing Colorado's constitution in November 2012.

On Oct. 6, Hickenlooper said Coloradans were "reckless" for voting to become the first state to legalize pot for adult recreational use. Marijuana becomes more easily available to youth when adults in the home are users, and doctors and researchers are concerned about marijuana's effects on youth.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is addictive and delays brain development in adolescents.

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19 US FL: PUB LTE: Science WinsMon, 20 Oct 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Byrne, Al Area:Florida Lines:44 Added:10/20/2014

Regarding 'Don't let the 'Colorado Calamity' invade Florida' (Brad King, Other Views, Oct. 16): I will not argue the statistics as to how many dispensaries now operate in Colorado, but because law enforcement has failed to protect legal businesses is hardly the fault of cannabis or dispensary ownership. In Colorado, all violent crime is down. DUIs are down. Death by suicide and pharmaceutical overdose is down. Only burglary remains steady. Apparently, burglars do not use cannabis.

The suggestion that cannabis in mother's milk is bad is a glaring example of medical cannabis ignorance. Melanie Dreher, RN, Ph.D, spent over 30 years in Jamaica studying pregnant moms for the U.S. government. She found that cannabis greatly relieved or eliminated morning sickness, with no ill effects to mom or fetus. The children born to these moms equaled or exceeded in intellect and social skills non-cannabis-using moms.

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20 US FL: Column: Pain Clinic Owner Makes Case for PotSat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Lyons, Tom Area:Florida Lines:94 Added:10/20/2014

Paul Sloan's crusade has him paying for billboards and writing letters to the editor, hoping there is time to overcome what he sees as a misguided but effective disinformation campaign.

Big names in law enforcement statewide are deeply involved, and not on his side.

What cause has him so willing to reach into his wallet?

Well, Sloan is a local pain clinic owner who helped lobby for and crafted clinic regulations. But, the odd thing is, he isn't thrilled with the drugs prescribed at his business., and he does not mind saying so.

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21 US FL: PUB LTE: A New VoterSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Ocho, Diego Area:Florida Lines:23 Added:10/20/2014

I am a student at Sarasota High School. I am 18 years old and will be voting in my first election this November.

I'm voting for Amendment 2. I think it's a good idea for medical marijuana to be legalized because it is helping others (including kids with cancer) with their health problems.

Diego Ocho

Sarasota

[end]

22 US MA: Editorial: Drugs And The CourtsSat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Boston Herald (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:41 Added:10/20/2014

In his first major public address, the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court called for the repeal of mandatory minimum drug sentences.

The case put forth Thursday by Ralph Gants, a former federal prosecutor for more than eight years, is a compelling one.

He noted the "disparate impact" of mandatory minimum drug sentences on racial and ethnic minorities. In fiscal 2013, 450 defendants got such mandatory minimums. And while minorities represented 32 percent of all convicted offenders, they represented 75 percent of those convicted of mandatory drug offenses.

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23 CN ON: PUB LTE: Canada's Antiquated National Drug StrategyFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Burlington Post (CN ON) Author:Jeppesen, Von Area:Ontario Lines:42 Added:10/20/2014

Public health departments freely hand out condoms to promote safe sex yet when it comes to drug use you're effectively on your own. In the case of heroin and MDMA (ecstasy), it will be of little help to the victims that the drugs will be analyzed after the fact. The misrepresentation of drugs on the black market is perhaps the biggest threat to a user because they can't easily answer such questions as What's the purity? Has it been cut (diluted) with a toxic substance? Is it even what was paid for?

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24 US NJ: March To Legalize Marijuana Comes To New JerseySun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ) Author:Ketterer, Scott Area:New Jersey Lines:62 Added:10/20/2014

TRENTON - Several hundred people gathered in front of the New Jersey statehouse on Saturday to push for the legalization of marijuana. The event would be the second major gathering near the statehouse where the crowd would light up in defiance of the law. The last occurred in April on Easter. No arrests appear to have been made at the event which went off without much complication, despite one individual passing out around the beginning of the event. A relative told organizers that his brother suffers from anxiety and was overcome, he was transported to an area hospital by EMT's for evaluation.

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25 CN MB: Manitoba Embraces Harm Reduction Principles In PoliciesThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Thompson Citizen (CN MB) Author:Craig, Tyler Area:Manitoba Lines:84 Added:10/19/2014

There is a growing recognition that harm reduction policies are more effective than abstinence-based policies as Manitoba organizations embrace harm reduction principles. During the Manitoba Harm Reduction Conference, held in Thompson Sept. 29- Oct. 1, representatives from various community organizations, First Nations communities, the five regional health authorities, and government departments addressed how their organizations are evolving to incorporate harm reduction. Provincial representation covered as far south as Steinbach and as far north as Churchill. Dr. Michael Ellery, clinical specialist of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba shared how client-centred care, an integral component of the harm reduction model has been proven to be more effective at treating addictions. All five regional health authorities, including the Northern Health Region, are at various stages of recognizing harm reduction as part of its patient care model.

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26 Canada: Pot and the Teenage Brain: Understanding the ScienceFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Barton, Adriana Area:Canada Lines:58 Added:10/19/2014

Because their brains are still developing, adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of marijuana.

During this crucial period, brain connections are strengthened through myelination - growth of fatty insulation around the neurons - as well as a "pruning" of inefficient neural connections. It's a lengthy process, stretching past the postsecondary years to at least 25.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted in recent decades to determine how cannabis affects youth.

While not all research has shown harms, study after study - including a large review released Oct. 7 in the journal Addiction - has linked regular pot use in adolescence to detrimental effects ranging from worse education outcomes to cognitive impairments and losses in IQ.

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27 CN BC: Less Drug, Alcohol and Sexual Activity With VancouverFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Deacon, Jane Area:British Columbia Lines:50 Added:10/19/2014

Survey Finds Reductions in Some Risky Behaviours Over the Last Decade, While Mental Health Concerns Grow

Fewer Vancouver teens are drinking and doing drugs than they were a decade ago, shows a survey of over 2,000 local students. The percentage of Vancouver youth who have tried alcohol decreased from 45% to 33%, while those who have tried marijuana dropped 7% in the last decade, says a McCreary Centre Society survey of adolescent health.

In collaboration with the provincial government and the public health system, the centre has conducted the survey every five years since 1992 - polling over 130,000 Grade 7 to 12 students across the province.

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28 CN BC: LTE: No SympathyFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Smith, Shane Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:10/19/2014

I don't feel bad that there is bad "heroin" out there (actually the police confirm it is fentanyl.)

Most addicts choose that life and take the risk of having a bad dose.

I have been working on the new Powell Street overpass and have to watch out for needles and anything else that may harm me from these people. A few less addicts will not hurt this world.

I would like to come home to my family and not have to decontaminate myself before I walk in the door just because I had a job to do. These addicts chose this and they get what they get - just like me with my actual job!

Shane Smith, Chilliwack

[end]

29 US FL: PUB LTE: Objections OverblownSat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Tampa Bay Times (FL) Author:Chase, John G. Area:Florida Lines:43 Added:10/19/2014

Re: Hopes for pot start to wilt Oct. 16

Opponents of Amendment 2 claim that it casts details in concrete. They also claim it is not sufficiently detailed. Both claims ignore political reality.

The amendment's word 'certification' is used only because a 'prescription' for marijuana would violate federal law. And the opponents' claim that Amendment 2 protects a 'certifying' doctor from a malpractice suit is laughable. Ask any malpractice lawyer.

The open-ended list of treatable diseases simply recognizes today's reality. According to WebMD, 'More than one in five outpatient prescriptions written in the U.S. is for off-label therapies. The term 'off-label' means the medication is being used in a manner not specified in the FDA's approved packaging label.' Opponents express their concern that a felon can become a caretaker and that patients will resell their pot. Not likely. Both must have a marijuana related ID issued by the Department of Health, and nothing in the amendment blocks legislators from demanding tighter restrictions.

All of these, and the claims that children are not protected, will be dealt with when the Department of Health writes the regulations, watched closely by Florida's conservative Republican-led Legislature. This is the reality of Amendment 2.

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor

[end]

30 US FL: Editorial: Pot Amendment: Vote NoSat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:88 Added:10/19/2014

The stories are heart wrenching. There's the heroic lifeguard who dove into disaster trying to rescue a swimmer. Now, brief respites from relentless pain and ruthless spasms come only through pot-infused edibles.

Then there's the 60-ish wheelchair-user who grows her own cannabis to combat the indelicate drooling, face-numbing, and other withering dysfunction of deadly ALS. And there's the lawbreaker-turned-lawmaker. He procured pot for a dying friend who longed to stomach his last meals. The obliging friend - current Republican Senate President Don Gaetz - granted his friend a dying wish and dignity, scoring the illicit drug in obedience of a higher law - compassion.

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31 US MA: Reading Group Pushes To Legalize Marijuana For RecreationalThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Reading Advocate, The (MA) Author:Hartley, Ethan Area:Massachusetts Lines:106 Added:10/19/2014

A Reading-based advocacy grouped is seeking to get a question on the ballot for a 2016 vote that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Massachusetts.

Bill Downing, leader of Bay State Repeal, has been advocating for the positive opportunities brought by legalizing marijuana since 1989. He thinks that the time is fast approaching where the drug will be accepted and taxed like other mind-altering substances, namely alcohol and tobacco.

Backed financially by the Marijuana Policy Project, which has pledged $1.8 million for a campaign to draw up a piece of legislation to give to the attorney general, Bay State Repeal hopes to raise enough money and awareness of its own to make a major impact in just two years.

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32 US CO: Colorado Politicians Mostly Silent On PotSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Wyatt, Kristen Area:Colorado Lines:72 Added:10/19/2014

DENVER (AP) - Colorado has seen feisty debates this fall, with candidates in close races for governor, Senate and the U.S. House arguing over abortion rights, energy policy and the death penalty. Just don't expect any of them to talk much about the biggest news of the year: legal pot.

While the state's 10month-old marijuana retail experiment has received worldwide attention and sales of recreational and medical pot have generated more than $45 million for state coffers, most voters have collectively shrugged. Predictions that they would go scrambling back to the polls to repeal the legal-pot law they passed in 2012 haven't yet materialized.

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33 US WA: Washington Puts Pot Sales, Fines Online For BanksSat, 18 Oct 2014
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:98 Added:10/19/2014

Banks Need Updates to Rate Client Risk

2 of State's Top-Selling Shops Are in Vancouver

Banking remains a thorny issue for legal marijuana businesses, but regulators in Washington state are trying to make it easier for financial institutions to track their pot-related customers.

In the last few days, the state's Liquor Control Board has started posting the sales activity of licensed marijuana growers, sellers and processors online - along with any warnings or fines issued to businesses caught out of compliance. The data show that two of state's top-selling pot shops are in Vancouver, just across the Columbia River from Portland.

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34 US NM: Pot Question Has The Interest Of Early VotersSun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM) Author:Boetel, Ryan Area:New Mexico Lines:70 Added:10/19/2014

A non-binding question about pot seems to be growing interest in Bernalillo County ballots.

Eighteen early voting centers opened throughout the county on Saturday, the first day early voting was available at numerous locations.

Several people who cast a ballot on Saturday afternoon at the Glenwood Village shopping center near Tramway and Montgomery in Albuquerque said the pot question was one of the issues that they felt most strongly about this year. The governor's race was the another question on several voters' minds.

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35US CA: Is Punishment Needed For Minor Drug Crimes?Sun, 19 Oct 2014
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Davis, Kristina Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/19/2014

Prop. 47 would ease sentences in most possession cases; critics say it removes incentive to get clean

A hypothetical: One methamphetamine addict is ordered by a judge to complete drug treatment or face time in prison. Another is offered the chance to enter treatment voluntarily. Which one has a better chance of success?

That's the central question in the debate over Proposition 47 on the Nov. 4 ballot. It asks voters to lower six nonviolent crimes - including simple drug possession - to misdemeanors, which are punishable by no more than a year in jail.

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36US GA: Feds Eye Officers In Botched Drug Raid, But Challenges RemainWed, 15 Oct 2014
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Boone, Christian Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/18/2014

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday indicated they were disappointed criminal charges were not brought against any of the officers involved in the botched drug raid that left a toddler disfigured.

But remedying that decision won't be easy for U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, who faces a much higher threshold than that required on the state and local level.

"You have to show the person knowingly or willfully did what they did," said former assistant U.S. Attorney Buddy Parker. "You'd essentially have to develop evidence that these were rogue cops at work."

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37 Canada: Your Kid's Brain on PotFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Barton, Adriana Area:Canada Lines:243 Added:10/18/2014

As the debate over legalization heats up, Adriana Barton examines the effects of marijuana on the developing brains of teenagers - our nation's most prolific users - and finds there is no such thing as a harmless habit

Like it or not, your kids will probably try marijuana. So will their friends. Canadian teens are more than twice as likely as adults to smoke pot - and have the highest rate of cannabis use in the developed world. Marijuana has become as much a part of Canada's youth culture as hockey or Katy Perry.

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38CN BC: OPED: Pot Prohibition Benefits the Wrong PeopleThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Lyon, David N. Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/17/2014

Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Alcohol prohibition was a dismal failure. We have not fared any better with marijuana prohibition. This has now been acknowledged by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It is regrettable, but not surprising, that the current government has chosen to reject the CAMH position.

There is no question that alcohol is far more harmful that marijuana.

Consider the following:

Alcohol can, and does, cause serious health problems.

Alcohol has a devastating impact on innocent third parties. Drinking and driving kills people. That is not open to debate. Estimates will vary, but the annual toll in Canada is somewhere in the thousands, and in the U.S., it is in the tens of thousands. Most of us have first-hand experience of the way in which alcohol impacts our ability to drive, either through personal experience or having seen others.

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39 CN ON: PUB LTE: War on Drugs a FailureThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:McIlwham, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:32 Added:10/17/2014

Pot should be legalized, addiction centre says - Oct. 9

What do the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, NORML Canada and more than half of Canadian citizens have in common?

All call for the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana.

The war on drugs is a war against our friends, our families, our children, and in very large numbers, against ourselves. It is a costly, abject failure. It's time to do what is right, and if Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government can't see that, we will elect those who do.

Jim McIlwham

Waterloo

[end]

40 CN BC: Overdoses Underscore Need for OutreachThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hume, Mark Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:10/17/2014

A flood of drug overdoses at Vancouver's supervised injection site is being blamed on fentanyl, a highly dangerous substance that looks like heroin and which is increasingly being sold on the streets.

The flurry of nearly 40 incidents since Sunday is underscoring for health officials the need not only for controlled injection sites such as Insite, but also for outreach programs that can deliver naloxone to users, wherever they are. Naloxone is a rapidly acting antidote for opioid drug overdose that users and other volunteers are being trained to administer in a pilot program run by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

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41 CN ON: Review: Marc Emery Documentary Doesn't Pull Any PunchesThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:10/17/2014

CitizenMarc is no pot puff piece.

The documentary on marijuana activist Marc Emery, written and produced by Canadian filmmaking couple Roger Evan Larry and Sandra Tomc, is being released Friday in 13 Canadian cities, including London at Landmark Cinemas.

While Emery is known for his public crusade to legalize marijuana, don't write this documentary off as a made-for-stoners special.

The well-researched film traces Emery's activism roots back to his days operating City Lights Bookshop on Richmond St. in London.

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42 US FL: LTE: Lessons From California on PotFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Tampa Bay Times (FL) Author:Martin, Lynda Area:Florida Lines:44 Added:10/17/2014

Re: On The Road For Medical Marijuana Oct. 12

A year ago we moved from Southern California to Florida in pursuit of a better quality of life. We had lived in California for 35 years but had seen the state steadily decline in every area. When California legalized the use of medical marijuana, control of the dispensaries became almost impossible. In our city of San Bernardino, illegal dispensaries became a blight to the city and crime increased.

Our once-beautiful city became seedy and then bankrupt, but dispensaries continued to thrive. Just last week the City Council imposed a total ban on land-use for these businesses and will incorporate additional and more aggressive methods of enforcement to rid the city of these illegal dispensaries. The overburdened police department will be stretched even thinner to combat the crime, vagrancy and lowered propA-erty values that these businesses bring.

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43 US CA: Federal Official Urges State to Tighten MedicalFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Phelps, Timothy M. Area:California Lines:58 Added:10/17/2014

California should strengthen its regulation of the medical marijuana industry if the state wants to avoid federal intervention, U.S. Deputy Atty. Gen. James M. Cole said in an interview with The Times.

Cole, who announced Thursday that he is leaving the No. 2 job at the Justice Department, said he was proud of his efforts to take a softer approach to enforcing federal marijuana laws. A year ago, Cole sent a memo to all U.S. attorneys, including several in California who had aggressively targeted medical marijuana facilities, telling them to ease up on marijuana prosecutions in states where it was legal.

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44US CO: Pot-edibles Firm, Hershey Settle SuitFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Migoya, David Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:10/17/2014

The small Colorado Springs-based producer of marijuana edibles, sued in June by candy giant The Hershey Company for allegedly breaching a number of design and name patents, quietly settled the dispute.

In a settlement penned in late September, TinctureBelle agreed to recall and destroy all edibles it sold that looked like the famed chocolate company's products, or with names that played on their brands.

Although the edibles company said it had stopped making products that appeared like those produced byHershey-including well-known names such as Reese's, Almond Joy andHeath-long before the federal lawsuitwas filed in June inU.S. District Court in Denver, the settlement makes sure it won't happen again.

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45 US MD: PUB LTE: Baltimore Doesn't Need Another Heroin TaskFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Gimbel, Mike Area:Maryland Lines:44 Added:10/17/2014

Baltimore City does not need another task force to address the current heroin epidemic affecting the city; it needs more affordable residential treatment ("Mayor appoints task force to study heroin, substance abuse," Oct. 14).

The mayor, local county executives and the governor need to work together and turn the state's empty and closed psychiatric hospitals into affordable, long-term residential treatment centers for all the addicts who cannot find help. I know this will work because I did this in Baltimore County by opening several treatment programs on the grounds of Rosewood State Hospital. This will get the addicts off the street and away from their drug environment, thus reducing crime, street violence and the spreading of HIV and Hepatitis C, which is often associated with drug addiction. At the same time we could provide addicts with goodquality treatment, job-training services, GED classes and family support programs for the thousands of addicts who need help. This can be done by a public/private partnership, thus costing the taxpayers much less than we currently pay to put addicts in prison.

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46 US CA: LTE: Vote Yes On A To Stop Commercial Pot GrowingFri, 17 Oct 2014
Source:Chico Enterprise-Record (CA) Author:Reniff, Perry L. Area:California Lines:45 Added:10/17/2014

Your editorial on Sept. 20 was right on target, the supporters of Measure B are being deceiful with their ads.

Measure A is about limiting large commercial marijuana farms that have sprouted up all over Butte County. Yes on Measure A will still allow granny to grow a few plants for her own medicinal use as under Proposition 215.

The "Yes on Measure B" group wants no limits on the amount of marijuana they can farm in our neighborhoods. They talk about property rights. What they want is the right to contaminate our neighborhood. And make a lot of money in the process.

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47 US TX: Deal Made In Brownie CaseThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Osborn, Claire Area:Texas Lines:70 Added:10/17/2014

Man Who Had Faced Possible Life Sentence Takes 7 Years Probation.

GEORGETOWN - A man whose case made national news when he was facing up to life in prison for possessing pot brownies in Williamson County has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Jacob Lavoro, 20, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the second-degree felony of possession of tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, said his lawyer, Jack Holmes. Lavoro agreed to the plea in exchange for a sentence of seven years' probation, Holmes said.

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48 US NJ: Column: Legalize Marijuana March to Happen Saturday inThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ) Author:Forchion, Edward Area:New Jersey Lines:104 Added:10/17/2014

I consider myself a peaceful, proud, patriotic pothead, and I've always been a civil disobedience aficionado. "F the law, smoke it anyway" has been my rallying cry for a couple of decades now. In my opinion this nation's War on Drugs is built upon a foundation of unjust laws that have infringed upon the freedoms of all Americans, especially people of color. I have come to understand that one of the most pivotal duties of a patriot is to question the government.

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49 US AZ: Column: Customer ConcentrationThu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Flora, Chris Area:Arizona Lines:82 Added:10/16/2014

The Apothecary Has Evolved Along With Its Industry

If the customer is always right, then The Apothecary, recently ranked in a patient survey as Tucson's number one medical marijuana dispensary, has a lot going for it.

Immediately noticeable upon entering, The Apothecary has a spacious, well-lit lobby, reminiscent of a doctor's office, where patients are buzzed in before being led to a showroom. There, a vast array of medical marijuana products are displayed-from the 14 different strains of THC and CBD concentrates to dozens of edible options like cookies, peanut butter bars, chocolates, tea, coffee, and gummies.

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50 US CA: Column: Cannabis and Nerve Pain: Does It Work?Thu, 16 Oct 2014
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:68 Added:10/16/2014

Also, What's Up With Law Enforcement Attacking Grows in Mendocino?

My primary doctor told me that marijuana would probably relieve my peripheral neuropathy pain. I looked at all the ads in the SN&R issue. Problem is that I can't tell who is the most reputable doctor I should go to for an evaluation. Can you suggest someone who really looks at my medical information and steers me to the right dispensary. I am 88 years old and haven't used since the old "love in" days. Today's scene is a mystery to me, so please help this old man with your knowledge and sage advice.

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