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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.


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


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."


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.


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


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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