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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.

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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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