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1 US MA: Docs Pioneer Pot As An Opioid SubstituteSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Villani, Chris Area:Massachusetts Lines:177 Added:10/04/2015

Lobel: Medical Marijuana Saved Me From Addiction

Boston sportscasting icon Bob Lobel is one of the hundreds of patients in Massachusetts who say they have found an effective substitute for opioids by using medicinal marijuana.

The 71-year-old longtime television reporter and anchor has dealt with chronic pain for years, the result of numerous surgeries: He's had two knee replacements, two rotator cuff surgeries, four back surgeries and, in separate accidents, fractured the tops of both femurs.

"That was brutal," Lobel told the Herald, referencing the femur breaks. The constant pain left him taking a variety of opioids.

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2US OH: Experts Weigh InSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:News Herald (Willoughby, OH) Author:Read, Tracey Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2015

Marijuana Legalization at Work Addressed

The leader of one of the nation's largest metropolitan chambers of commerce is urging local businesses to come out against a ballot issue that would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana.

But legal experts and proponents of Issue 3 say employers need not fear if marijuana is legalized in Ohio.

On Nov. 3, Ohio residents will be asked to vote on both Issue 3 and Issue 2, the Ohio Initiated Monopolies Amendment put on by lawmakers in response to ResponsibleOhio's campaign to legalize marijuana here. Issue 3, or the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, would create 10 facilities with exclusive rights to commercially grow the drug.

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3US OH: Editorial: Schools Must Continue Fighting Drugs, AlcoholSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:News Herald (Willoughby, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2015

Although school districts have a primary mission of educating students, district leaders also need to monitor social trends and issues that can affect the atmosphere and learning environment in schools.

That's why we found it interesting to read the first story in a three-part series by The News-Herald looking at how area school districts go about drawing up policies that regulate personal and social behavior.

Part one of the series dealt with prevention, intervention and testing for drugs and alcohol in schools.

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4 US CA: New Rules For Big Pot Grows In Central ValleySun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)          Area:California Lines:33 Added:10/04/2015

REDDING (TNS) The board that governs the Central Valley Region's water policy voted 4-0 to enact new restrictions and regulations on outdoor medical marijuana grows at its meeting in Redding on Friday.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the regulations, talked about water theft and touched on marijuana legalization.

The rules received near universal praise. They include three tiers of annual fees, the largest of which is $10,000 and apply only to grows larger than 1,000 square feet.

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5 US OH: OPED: Issue 3 - Marijuana: Why We're Saying YesSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Repository, The (Canton, OH) Author:James, Ian Area:Ohio Lines:82 Added:10/04/2015

For Far Too Long, Ohio Has Trailed the Nation Instead of Leading the Way.

For far too long, Ohio has trailed the nation instead of leading the way. This November, Ohioans have the opportunity to make Ohio a leader again by passing Issue 3 and enacting a proposal that a majority of Ohioans agree on - the legalization of marijuana.

Marijuana prohibition has failed and Ohioans want reform. But Ohio lawmakers refuse to act at the Statehouse. So the voters have a choice during early voting and on Election Day. And our decision will either propel us into being the first state in the Midwest to reap the many benefits of marijuana legalization or we will be once again shaking our heads and asking ourselves, "Why is Ohio always last? Always trailing the nation?"

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6 US OH: OPED: Issue 3 - Marijuana: Why We're Saying NoSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Repository, The (Canton, OH) Author:Doehrel, Andrew Area:Ohio Lines:128 Added:10/04/2015

Put Simply, This Arrangement Amounts to a Full-Scale Drug Cartel.

Since 1893, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has waved the banner of free enterprise by actively championing policies that promote economic competitiveness and growth. The 8,000 businesses we represent range from large international companies to small family-owned businesses. Together we share a collective desire to see all Ohioans prosper, not just a few. Unfortunately, the deep-pocketed investors supporting state Issue 3 are not working toward the same goal. For the sake of Ohio's economic health and the safety of our workplaces, the chamber's board of virectors has voted to oppose Issue 3.

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7US OH: Ohio Report: State Will Make at Least $133m Off LegalFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) Author:Saker, Anne Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2015

The State Estimates Far Less in Tax Revenue Than Responsibleohio, but It Adds a Lot of Ifs About Its Own Calculations

The state issued a rough estimate Friday of how much tax revenue a legal marijuana market in Ohio would raise, predicting that a full year of operation could bring in between $133 million and $293.3 million.

Those figures are far lower than the $553 million estimated by ResponsibleOhio, the private investor group backing the legalization initiative, called Issue 3.

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8US OH: Editorial: Reject Issue 3. Promoters Will Benefit. OhioSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2015

There may come a time when Ohioans will vote on a pot legalization measure that fits the state. It won't happen this year. Ballot Issue 3 is a bad idea for Ohio.

Issue 3 would alter the state constitution to legalize marijuana. But the measure comes with serious additional baggage. It would award the commanding heights of this new sector of the economy the manufacturing of Ohio-legal pot to those investors who spent millions on their campaign to put the issue on the ballot. It would shield their rich reward by constitutionally enshrining their right to the market and fixing in place the tax rate they would pay.

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9 US OH: PUB LTE: End The Suffering, Support Measure 3Sat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Pardee, John Area:Ohio Lines:58 Added:10/04/2015

Life is precious and a healthy life is a gift. This is a gift we can give to ailing Ohioans who need our help.

At this very moment, a child in Lorain might be having a seizure and a cancer patient in Amherst is undoubtedly in the fight of her life. A military veteran in Elyria, in the throes of depression brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder, might be thinking the unthinkable .. which is why we need to support State Issue 3 on Nov. 3.

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10US CO: Factors Muddied The PotSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Migoya, David Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2015

Industry Pressure and Feds' Lack of Guidance Had Regulators Be Less Strict on Pesticides

State regulators have known since 2012 that marijuana was grown with potentially dangerous pesticides, but pressure from the industry and lack of guidance from federal authorities delayed their efforts to enact regulations, and they ultimately landed on a less restrictive approach than originally envisioned.

Three years of e-mails and records obtained by The Denver Post and dozens of interviews show state regulators struggled with the issue while the cannabis industry protested that proposed limits on pesticides would leave their valuable crops vulnerable to devastating disease.

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11 US NJ: This Is Where Heroin Almost Killed HerSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Fisher, Marc Area:New Jersey Lines:336 Added:10/04/2015

Despite Soaring Rates of Addiction, Treatment Remains Hard to Access and Prohibitively Expensive

Ashley Gibbons had been holding it together, or so she told herself. Sure, she had sold off her electronics, stolen money from her mother and slept with guys who gave her money. But it wasn't as if she was an actual prostitute: "I didn't go and find random people. I knew them," she said.

She had tried heroin for the first time at 21, four years ago, and for a long while, it remained an occasional thing. But she needed more and more to get high, and, though she held onto her job, pretty soon everything else was falling apart.

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12 US DC: OPED: Baltimore's Assembly-line JusticeSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Hines, Debbie Area:District of Columbia Lines:88 Added:10/04/2015

My parents taught my brother and me to respect the police. We once lived on the same West Baltimore street where riots broke out after the death of Freddie Gray, whowas injured in police custody on April 12. Gray was unconscious when a police van transporting him for booking arrived at the police station. He died one week later from spinal cord injuries. Gray's death sparked protests in Baltimore and other cities.

After getting a law degree, I returned to Baltimore and became an assistant state's attorney, a black female prosecutor among many white male prosecutors. That's when I began work on the assembly line that is the United States' criminal justice system, in the same office that later charged six officers in Gray's death.

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13 US OR: Editorial: Employers Take Hard Line On PotThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:73 Added:10/04/2015

Today, Oregon's experiment with legalizing recreational marijuana marks another milestone a green-letter day, if you will: Today is the first day that people over 21 can buy recreational marijuana.

Well, not in Albany, or in Linn County, where governmental entities have opted against allowing the early sales of recreational pot by medical marijuana dispensaries.

But the curious should be able to travel across the Willamette River to a dispensary in Corvallis that will be more than willing to sell them recreational pot. (Don't light up until you get back home, though.)

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14 US KY: PUB LTE: No CredibilityFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:State Journal, The (KY) Author:Vance, Thomas Area:Kentucky Lines:63 Added:10/04/2015

Seventy seven years after marijuana prohibition began with the claim it would turn people into violent murderers, remember "'Reefer Madness" and little Timmy killing Grandma with a skillet, pretty much all the claims about the harms of marijuana use have been proven to be false. Not one of the predicted outcomes cited by prohibitionists have happened.

Ohio is currently in a battle for legalization and the Cincinnati Enquirer has been following and reporting on it. In a column titled, "Who are the opponents of issue 3, which will legalize marijuana and is on the ballot this fall, the paper reports what the reasons for opposing legalization are. It seems to come down to 3 items.

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15 CN ON: What Are The Consequences If Marijuana Is Legalized?Fri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Peterborough This Week (CN ON) Author:Vandonk, Todd Area:Ontario Lines:141 Added:10/04/2015

The Conservatives Have Set Minimum Sentences but Others Advocate for Tickets Instead of Jail Time

Plead guilty or go to jail.

Those were Kim Hale's options after police raided his rural property and found 30 marijuana plants hanging in a barn nearly a year ago. After multiple court visits, rather than go to trial and risk jail time, the 56-year-old pleaded guilty to production of marijuana in August. He was hit with a sentence of 18 months probation and a $9,100 fine.

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16Canada: Suddenly, Marijuana Is Off The RadarFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Lindsay, Bethany Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2015

Even Supporters of Legalization Put Economy, Health Care, Environment First

It was a full two months before this election was called that the Conservatives introduced marijuana as a campaign issue, unveiling an ad that attacked Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's pledge to legalize weed.

"Legalizing marijuana - is that the biggest problem we have to solve?" the Tory ad scoffed.

Apparently not. All three major federal parties agree drug laws are not the biggest problem we have, and the issue has essentially fallen off the radar in favour of debate about the economy, jobs, refugees, and the clothing choices of Muslim women.

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17 US CA: Pot Seizures Turning Up Huge GrowsSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA) Author:Vaughan, Monica Area:California Lines:56 Added:10/04/2015

In the midst of harvest season, it's not uncommon to hear the phrase "a large amount of marijuana" on police radios.

While deputies work around the calendar to bust illegal grows, peak harvest season is also peak seizure season as the size and odor of marijuana plants draws the attention of complaining neighbors and surveying deputies, according to Yuba County sheriff's Lt. Shaun Smith.

Law enforcement officers working overtime to search gardens and seize this year's bounty are finding more grows on smaller residential properties instead of wildlands, and they're finding much bigger plants.

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18 US CA: Pot Growers Receive Water WarningSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mohan, Geoffrey Area:California Lines:46 Added:10/04/2015

Central Valley Agency Sets Best-Management Practices for Marijuana Cultivation.

Pot growers have been put on notice by state regulators that they will have to follow the same rules as the rest of agriculture in protecting the state's droughtstricken water supply.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued an order Friday that will require medicinal marijuana cultivators to obtain permits to divert or store water. It also pushes them to use drip irrigation and other conservation measures, and avoid vegetation-clearing activities and other practices that add sediment and fertilizer to local waterways.

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19 US OH: DeWine Rejects Medical-Pot Ballot Language AgainSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Johnson, Alan Area:Ohio Lines:35 Added:10/04/2015

Ballot language for a new medical-marijuana issue was rejected for a second time on Friday by Attorney General Mike DeWine.

DeWine cited "a number of discrepancies" between the ballot summary and the full constitutional amendment submitted by backers of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment. DeWine, who provides legal signoff on the ballot language summary of proposed amendments, turned down a previous version of the proposal on July 29.

DeWine said in a letter to Sandra Kay Riggs of Brice, Ohio, representing Ohio Medical Cannabis Care, that there were several discrepancies in the wording resubmitted on Sept. 24.

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20 US OR: PUB LTE: Marijuana Is Here, Despite County BansSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) Author:Delaney, Patrick J. Area:Oregon Lines:46 Added:10/04/2015

I see that the small-minded, hopelessly out of touch people calling the shots in Umatilla and Morrow counties have done everything possible to prevent "reefer madness" from infecting our community. Thursday was the first day that it was legal to buy and sell marijuana in Oregon for recreational purposes. But our leaders have done everything they can to make sure this scourge does not reach us, especially our children.

The first problem is that they are about 50 years late. When I was in high school in Hermiston in the late 1960s, kids were smoking dope. The second problem is that while they think they are protecting the people they represent, the opposite is actually true. Pot is out there, they just want to keep it something that's sold by the more unsavory members of our society rather than by people who are subject to state licensing rules and regulations.

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21 US OR: Medford Ends Ban On Pot SalesSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR) Author:Mann, Damian Area:Oregon Lines:100 Added:10/04/2015

Councilor Clay Bearnson Plans to Open Cannabis Store

A 17-month moratorium on medical marijuana sales will end Dec. 1 in Medford, the City Council decided Thursday night.

The ban on cannabis dispensaries will be lifted, but recreational sales will not begin until sometime in 2016 when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission develops its rules and regulations. Ballot Measure 91, passed by voters last November, legalized pot for anyone age 21 or older.

Councilor Daniel Bunn supported the ordinance, which will require a second reading before taking effect, but expressed concern about allowing pot sales in the city.

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22 US WA: How Oregon's Pot Law Compares With Washington'sSat, 03 Oct 2015
Source:Columbian, The (WA) Author:Bush, Evan Area:Washington Lines:92 Added:10/04/2015

With Voodoo doughnuts in hand, some Portlanders got their first taste of legal, recreational, purchased-in-Oregon weed early Thursday morning.

With cheaper taxes, legal home grow and a regulated medical marijuana system, some in the Washington pot industry worry the state will struggle to compete once Oregon's market gets running at full speed.

Here's how Oregon's law compares:


In Washington, people 21 and older can possess up to an ounce of marijuana. An ounce is the equivalent of about 60 average-size joints.

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23 US OH: Column: Prison Problem Knottier Than Its UsualFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Dayton Daily News (OH) Author:Brooks, David Area:Ohio Lines:78 Added:10/03/2015

Pretty much everybody from Barack Obama to Carly Fiorina seems to agree that far too many Americans are stuck behind bars. And pretty much everybody seems to have the same explanation for how this destructive era of mass incarceration came about.

First, the war on drugs got out of control, meaning that many nonviolent people wound up in prison. Second, mandatoryminimum sentencing laws led to a throw-away-thekey culture, with long and pointlessly destructive prison terms.

It's true that mass incarceration is a horrific problem. Back in the 1970s the increase in incarceration did help reduce the crime

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24 US OR: OPED: Medical And Recreational Pot Aren't The SameFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Register-Guard, The (OR) Author:Evans, David Guy Area:Oregon Lines:105 Added:10/03/2015

A Sept. 28 Register-Guard editorial concerning the retail cannabis sales that began Thursday included two assertions that need to be addressed.

The 25 percent tax mentioned in the editorial is not applicable to interim adult recreational cannabis sales, according to the Oregon Health Authority website. The tax is applicable only beginning Jan. 4.

Next, the editorial asserts that those current Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patients most likely to drop the program in favor of recreational access never needed cannabis therapeutically, but managed to obtain patient status until recreational access became a reality. I believe the editors have fallen into the same trap as many uninformed persons who believe that many medical cannabis patients are using the OMMP as a dodge, rather than to address bona fide health care needs.

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25US OR: Retail Marijuana Sales Begin In SalemFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Statesman Journal (Salem, OR) Author:Yoo, Saerom Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:10/03/2015

A group of about 12 people milled around the locked door of Canna Medicine, a medical marijuana dispensary in South Salem. It was a sunny Thursday morning just before 10 a.m., the first day Oregonians age 21 and up could legally purchase recreational marijuana.

More than 250 stores statewide that were already selling medical marijuana opened to the general public to sell to recreational users.

Portland dispensaries could start selling retail marijuana starting at midnight, but Salem stores began selling at 10 a.m.

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26US OR: OPED: Marijuana Emerges From Oregon's Shadows TodayThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Statesman Journal (Salem, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:10/03/2015

[Today] medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon that choose to do so can begin selling dried pot leaves and flowers to people other than the patients they've been serving the past 18 months. The Oregon Health Authority - which oversees the medical marijuana program - will allow dispensaries to sell it for non-medicinal use through Dec. 31, 2016, a couple of months after state-approved rules for selling recreational marijuana are due to go into effect.

Possession and use of recreational marijuana became legal in Oregon in July. One of the reasons Oregonians voted to legalize recreational use last November was to try to kill off the black market for the drug. Fearing it would get a boost once recreational use became legal, officials agreed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to also sell their product for recreational use until a recreational sales program is in place.

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27 UK: Clegg Launches Campaign to Persuade EU Leaders to BackFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Morris, Nigel Area:United Kingdom Lines:82 Added:10/03/2015

Former Lib Dem Leader Hopes to Build Support for New Approach at 2016 UN Meeting

Nick Clegg launches a campaign today to persuade EU leaders to back global reform of drugs laws, warning that the current punitive approach has failed to curb the multibillion trade in illicit substances and has criminalised millions of young people.

Writing in The Independent, the former Deputy Prime Minister says: "We are, without doubt, losing the war on drugs." Mr Clegg is to urge European leaders to make the case for a new global approach to drug abuse at a United Nations meeting next year. Many of them have switched tactics in recent years, tackling it as a health issue rather than a law and order problem.

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28 UK: OPED: EU Needs To Unite On Reform Of Drug PolicyFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Clegg, Nick Area:United Kingdom Lines:53 Added:10/03/2015

We are losing the war on drugs. But there are reasons to be hopeful. In recent years, a global movement for reform has been building. Led in particular by the governments of countries in Latin America that have suffered most, politicians and policymakers around the globe have started to question the status quo.

This isn't a headlong rush to legalisation, but a patient, rational debate about alternative approaches which might reduce overall harm. In the United States, zero tolerance and mass imprisonment has given way to a willingness to allow states to experiment with alternative regulatory models as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and others are doing with cannabis - and a growing disquiet at the injustice and social impacts of imprisoning hundreds of thousands of young, mainly black, men for drug offences.

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29 UK: Column: Recreational Marijuana? 'Some Day Walmart WillFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:McGreal, Chris Area:United Kingdom Lines:95 Added:10/03/2015

The three young men climbing into the pickup close to the Oregon border cheerfully acknowledged they were about to break federal law. Anthony, Daniel and Chris had just bustled out of a marijuana shop in Vancouver, Washington, clutching bags of marijuana as they headed home a short drive over the bridge to Portland, Oregon.

Crossing state lines with drugs is a federal offence not that it has discouraged the steady stream of customers from Portland taking advantage of Washington's legalisation of recreational marijuana sales last year. As of yesterday, Oregon joined Washington and Colorado to become the third US state to permit the sale for anyone over 21. "I've been coming across since they legalised it here," said Anthony. "But it'll be closer and it's going to be much cheaper in Portland. And I won't haveh to cross the bridge. Not that I've ever seen the cops lining up to catch us." The open sale of recreational mar marijuana has come more swiftly to Portland than many expected. Legalisation was only approved in a ballot measure last November whereas Washington state took 18 months to open its first shops.

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30 US WA: 'Kettle Falls Five' Members Get Prison Time in FederalFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) Author:Hill, Kip Area:Washington Lines:129 Added:10/03/2015

The marijuana grow that netted jail time for four members of a self-proclaimed medicinal farming family out of Stevens County may have started with good intentions, but ended as a "distribution center," said the federal judge who handed down their sentences Friday.

"Maybe that was a byproduct of being so successful," said U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice, ruling the members of the so-called Kettle Falls Five grew more than 150 pounds of marijuana in the hills of Stevens County between 2011 and 2012.

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31US CO: Pot Proposal Creates ConcernFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Olinger, David Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2015

Advocates Of medical Marijuana Fear Such a Policy Would Threaten the Industry.

Medical marijuana advocates fear a proposed policy from the Colorado Medical Board will send their industry up in smoke.

Among other things, the policy suggests that doctors who recommend marijuana become competent in the area of pain treatment, keep extensive records on their patients and advise them of the risks, including death.

It also suggests that "pregnancy testing during the initial evaluation should be considered for all women of child-bearing age."

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32US CA: Editorial: A Big Step Forward For Sane SentencingFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2015

Given politicians' predilection to appear tough on crime, a bipartisan compromise to possibly reduce draconian sentences for nonviolent drug offenders is a big deal.

The long-awaited agreement, announced Thursday by eight key U.S. senators, would put into legislation some of the criminal justice reforms that President Barack Obama seeks to leave as a legacy. The bill deserves to move forward in Congress.

Among other changes, the measure would shorten mandatory federal sentences for repeat drug criminals; give federal judges more discretion to make sure that low-level dealers don't get the same punishment as drug kingpins; and bring 6,000 inmates under a 2010 law that reduced the racially skewed disparity between sentences for crack and powder cocaine.

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33US CA: Mendocino County BOE Representative Studying ColoradoFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2015

Fiona Ma, the District 2 California State Board of Equalization member, and local representative of Mendocino County, led a fact-finding tour to Colorado last week to study Colorado's effort to establish a comprehensive regulatory and taxation system for cannabis.

The tour included meeting with government agencies like the Office of Marijuana Coordination, banks, tours of grow operations, manufactures of cannabis-infused products and live demonstrations of tracking systems used to record, report and enforce Colorado restrictions on transportation and distribution of cannabis in-state.

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34US OR: Oregon's Legal Pot Sales Robust but Violations WorryFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) Author:Crombie, Noelle Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2015

Oregon opened its recreational market Thursday to festive and orderly crowds eager to make their first legal purchase of pot.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority gave 245 medical marijuana dispensaries the go-ahead to sell cannabis to anyone 21 and older, though the agency does not know how many stores actually sold the drug on Thursday.

The sheer number of marijuana outlets meant most shoppers didn't endure extra long wait times that marked the opening days of regulated marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington, the only other places where pot is sold in state-regulated stores.

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35US: Lawmakers Unveil Criminal Justice ReformsFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2015

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of Senate leaders on Thursday announced a joint effort to ease unduly long prison sentences and enact other criminal justice reforms, but chances that Congress will actually act on the issues are slim, given that lawmakers in the House are developing separate proposals.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., top leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for shorter prison terms for drug felons and eliminates the so-called "three strikes" rule mandating life sentences. It also seeks to end mass long-term incarceration of prisoners that has led to severe prison overcrowding and skyrocketing costs.

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36 US NY: PUB LTE: It's Time To Legalize Recreational DrugsFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Burke, Ralph Area:New York Lines:30 Added:10/02/2015

The Sept. 22 News carried an article regarding a U.S. district judge's comment about the harshness of the mandatory sentencing time for drug violators. But she maintained she hasn't a choice and gave the accused 20 years.

Eventually there will be legalization of many of the recreational drugs now in use. Movies and TV portray hundreds of incidental drug users. These fictional illustrations are magnified thousands of times in real life. Yet we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the consequences falling upon those unfortunate enough to pay a horrendous penalty. Many go to jail, many have their futures shot. Legalize these drugs. If not that, then decriminalize their use. Remember alcohol was once illegal.

Ralph Burke



37 CN BC: City To Shut Down Medical Pot ShopsWed, 30 Sep 2015
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC) Author:Rodgers, Laura Area:British Columbia Lines:71 Added:10/02/2015

Mayor Not Satisfied With How Long Process Will Take

The City of Abbotsford is taking steps to shut down two medical marijuana dispensaries.

Two outlets - Mary Jane's Glass and Gifts on George Ferguson Way, and a similar shop on South Fraser Way - have opened in Abbotsford in recent months. "We don't want to see them in Abbotsford, and we will move to have them removed," said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

Both are co-run by Weeds Glass and Gifts Limited, a Vancouver-based medical marijuana group.They sell dried marijuana, concentrated resins, marijuana-infused food products, and pills and tinctures containing marijuana-based ingredients, as well as smoking and vaporizing equipment.

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38 CN BC: Candidates Tangle At Kimberley DebateThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Kimberley Daily Bulletin (CN BC) Author:Rocca, Taylor Area:British Columbia Lines:204 Added:10/02/2015

With the 42nd federal election fast approaching, residents of Kimberley were given an opportunity to listen in on major election issues and the stances of all four candidates in the riding of Kootenay-Columbia on Wednesday as the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce hosted an all-candidates forum at Centre 64.

Bill Green (Green Party), Don Johnston (Liberal Party), Wayne Stetski (NDP) and incumbent David Wilks (Conservative Party of Canada) were all in attendance Wednesday night, fielding 13 questions in a forum moderated by Tom Ross.

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39 US OR: Rogue Valley Customers Line Up for First Day ofFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR) Author:Morgan, Nick Area:Oregon Lines:127 Added:10/02/2015

Local Dispensaries See Steady Business on First Day of Recreational Pot Sales

Thursday morning just about 10 a.m., baby boomers, generation X-ers and millennials lined up about 10 at a time at Green Valley Wellness in Talent for their first opportunity to purchase legal recreational marijuana.

"Here we are, folks, this is it," Green Valley CEO Michael Monarch told the crowd. "Whoo!"

The medical marijuana dispensary normally opens at 10, but potential customers arrived as early as 8 a.m. By 9 a.m., Monarch said he had second thoughts about turning eager buyers away.

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40 CN BC: Pot Could Be 'Exit Drug,' Study SaysThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Jackson, Emily Area:British Columbia Lines:42 Added:10/02/2015

Your Essential Daily News Research Shows Cannabis Stands in for Harsher Substances

Marijuana's label as a gateway drug could go up in smoke, at least according to a study published this month by University of Victoria and University of British Columbia researchers.

The study published in Drug and Alcohol Review indicates medical marijuana could be an "exit drug" since many people choose to use it instead of prescription opiates, alcohol and other illicit drugs.

The study used UBC data from more than 400 medical cannabis users collected between 2011 and 2012.

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41 US WA: Oregon Now A Competitor For State On Pot SalesFri, 02 Oct 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Bernton, Hal Area:Washington Lines:116 Added:10/02/2015

PORTLAND - At 10 a.m. Thursday, the doors of the Pure Green dispensary opened for the first time to recreational sales, with staff ushering in customers waiting outside who could choose from two dozens strains of pot, and receive a free joint along with their first purchase.

Pure Green is one of 119 medical dispensaries scattered across Portland that as of Oct. 1 can sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. These dispensaries turn the city into a recreational pot mecca, where such outlets outnumber those that sell hard liquor, according to state regulatory agencies.

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42 US CO: Column: Denver Murder Suspect Says the Pot Made Him DoThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Rucker, Leland Area:Colorado Lines:96 Added:10/02/2015

A week ago Friday, lawyers for Richard Kirk, a Denver man who is charged with the murder of his wife after eating a cannabis edible during a domestic disturbance in April 2014, changed his original plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity.

The pot made him do it. Had he not ingested a marijuana edible, he wouldn't have murdered his wife, Kristine, who was on the phone with 911 when she was shot.

It's a horrible story. Police reports indicate that the incident took place at home while their three sons were present. According to a police affidavit for a search warrant, Richard Kirk bought a Bubba Kush joint and a 100-milligram piece of Karma Kandy Orange Ginger taffy at a store on South Colorado Boulevard. He apparently ate some or all of the candy, came home, began arguing with his wife and acting irrationally, cutting his legs on broken glass, before unlocking the gun safe and shooting his wife in the head.

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43US OR: Recreational Pot Users Score Bags of Bud at Oregon ShopsThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Olympian, The (WA) Author:Cooper, Jonathan J. Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Excited shoppers looking to score some of the first recreational marijuana sold legally in Oregon bought up baggies of bud early Thursday, taking advantage of door-buster prices and other deals.

Some of the more than 250 dispensaries that already offer medical marijuana in the state welcomed recreational users soon after midnight - just moments after it became legal to sell to anyone who is at least 21.

At Shango Premium Cannabis in Portland, co-founder Shane McKee said the first sale came about a minute after midnight and many others quickly followed.

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44 US CA: PUB LTE: Solutions For The Marijuana MessThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Allen, Hezekiah Area:California Lines:37 Added:10/02/2015

Re "Cleaning up after pot farmers," Editorial, Sept. 23

As representatives of craft and artisanal cannabis farmers in California, we applaud The Times' editorial, which addressed environmental damage caused by unregulated and illegal cannabis growers.

Cannabis cultivation can produce undeniable consequences for the environment. The inability to address these consequences is directly linked to prohibition.

For generations, a culture of fear has surrounded cannabis farming, preventing farmers from seeking advice and professional counsel. Historically, our police regulators have not been collaborative with us.

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45 Canada: Editorial: A Minimum Amount Of Common SenseWed, 30 Sep 2015
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:59 Added:10/02/2015

Mandatory minimum sentences should be reserved for maximally grave crimes - murder, for example. Parliament should shape criminal law as a matter of well-proportioned policy, and minimums should be unusual.

Even so, the courts - not least the Supreme Court of Canada - should give Parliament some leeway to craft laws that sometimes include mandatory minimum sentences.

This month, an Ontario Superior Court judge had to decide whether to apply a six-month mandatory sentence for Duc Vu, a participant in a major marijuana grow-op.

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46 CN MB: Councillors Push For Pot RegulationsThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Santin, Aldo Area:Manitoba Lines:137 Added:10/02/2015

City 'should be ready' for potential decriminalization of drug: Eadie

TWO Winnipeg city councillors want zoning regulations in place to restrict where marijuana and related products can be sold should the drug be legalized or decriminalized.

But while local advocates applaud the move - and Vancouver continues to push ahead with its decision to create zoning regulations for medical marijuana-related businesses - a national advocate against legalizing marijuana says city councillors should mind their own business.

Couns. Ross Eadie (Mynarski) and Matt Allard (St. Boniface) brought a motion to city council Wednesday asking administration to look at how other Canadian municipalities are regulating marijuana and what may work in Winnipeg.

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47 CN BC: Editorial: Misplaced OppositionThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:100 Added:10/02/2015

Full marks to city councillors Jillian Merrick and Terri McConnachie for supporting the application by a local company to distribute medical marijuana to area patients with a prescription. Sadly, the rest of their council colleagues didn't have the courage to follow their lead.

The company sought a temporary use permit to store the legal, Health Canada-approved pain relief medication in a building on Nicholson Street. Instead of the storefront model that has cropped up across Vancouver, no customers would visit the site because orders would only be taken over the phone and online, with the product being delivered by courier.

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48 CN MB: Regulate ItThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pursaga, Joyanne Area:Manitoba Lines:98 Added:10/02/2015

Councillors Want Medical-Pot Rules in Place Locally Before National Legalization

Two Winnipeg city councillors want to explore how the city could regulate marijuana-related businesses.

Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski)'s motion calls on city staff to report on possible rules and restrictions for medical marijuana dispensaries, head shops and others selling pot-related products before the drug is potentially legalized under federal law.

If elected, the federal Liberals vowed Wednesday to begin legalizing marijuana "right away."

"Society is changing. It's very clear. So let's get on top of this," said Eadie. "The majority of the people in this country believe that cannabis is harmless."

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49 US WA: Lawyers Challenge City's Move On PotThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:40 Added:10/01/2015

Several Seattle lawyers have joined in a lawsuit challenging the city's clampdown on medical-marijuana dispensaries.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in King County Superior Court contends the city's regulations aimed at shutting down dispensaries exceed its authority. Because marijuana remains federally illegal, the lawsuit claims the city lacks the power to regulate and tax the drug and shutter businesses who sell it.

The defendant in the case is Columbia City Holistic Health, a dispensary. Because of the federal ban on pot, turning over dispensary business records demanded by the city would amount to self-incrimination, the suit says.

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50US: Study Shows Hike In Drivers High On DrugsThu, 01 Oct 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:10/01/2015

Police said Ronald Hayes was high on drugs and alcohol and desperate to escape officers in Maryland, when he ran a red light and smashed into the side of a minivan filled with women and children, killing two of them.

Kendall Owens admitted to police that he was high on PCP and marijuana when he caused a multicar crash that killed one driver and injured six others on Long Island, N.Y. And Adrianna Young tested positive for marijuana after her car careened off an Ohio road, crashing into a house and killing a woman sitting on her couch.

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