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1 US AZ: Lawsuit Seeks To Keep Recreational Marijuana Off AZ BallotWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ) Author:Fischer, Howard Area:Arizona Lines:126 Added:07/25/2020

PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in Arizona are trying to keep the issue from going to voters in November.

Legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contend the legally required 100-word description misled people into signing the petition to put the issue on the ballot. Issues range from the definition of "marijuana" to how the law would affect driving while impaired.

The lawsuit comes as a new survey Tuesday finds widespread support for the proposal a=80" with more than 6 out of every 10 likely voters saying they will support it if it is on the ballot. Pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that just 32% say they're definitely opposed.

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2 CN AB: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Still An Effective StrategyWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:45 Added:07/25/2020

Like myself, I suspect many citizens of Lethbridge were alarmed by the finding of misappropriated funds within ARCHES, and the subsequent withdrawal of provincial funding to their supervised consumption site (SCS). As an RN who has worked for a number of years in harm reduction, I am reeling for our clients and their families in terms of how this will impact them.

One thing is clear - the inappropriate management of funds within one agency does not refute decades of empirical research behind the effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions in mitigating drug-related health and social issues. This financial audit was not intended to evaluate the effectiveness of harm-reduction services provided to people who use drugs. To conflate findings of financial mismanagement with lack of effectiveness in harm reduction would only further exacerbate drug-related health issues.

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3CN SK: Criminalization Of Simple Drug Possession Has Had 'DevastatingWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:James, Thia        Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2020

Criminalization of simple drug possession has had 'devastating effect,' says AIDS Saskatoon director

A Saskatoon police spokeswoman said city police generally lay drug possession charges as a result of an investigation into something else.

Criminalization of possession of illicit drugs for personal use has had a "devastating effect," says the AIDS Saskatoon's executive director.

Jason Mercredi said he fully supports a call by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police on the federal government to decriminalize simple possession of illicit drugs for personal use. The CACP made the call last week after issuing its findings in a report.

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4 US CA: When California Declared War On Cannabis GrowersWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Niekerken, Bill Van Area:California Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

As state law enforcement played whack-a-mole with illegal marijuana fields, local communities protested the "invading army."

Driving through Humboldt County last winter, I heard radio ads for help harvesting and selling cannabis crops, as well as for products geared toward commercial cultivation. But less than 40 years ago, the same area was one of the main battlefields of California's war on pot growers.

By the late 1960s, the three counties of the Emerald Triangle had developed a reputation for growing a high-quality product. Demand grew rapidly, and prices skyrocketed, fueling greater production. In 1983, after several unsuccessful attempts to cut down production, the state started the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP.

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5 New Zealand: Oped: Opinion As Well As Science Informs Policy AdviceThu, 23 Jul 2020
Source:Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) Author:Boden, Joe Area:New Zealand Lines:109 Added:07/25/2020

Prof Joe Boden, of the University of Otago, provides a view from inside the expert panel on cannabis ahead of this year's cannabis referendum.

A year ago several New Zealand academics, me included, were invited to join the expert panel on cannabis by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser, Prof Juliet Gerrard.

With the referendum on the legalisation of cannabis planned for this year, the Prime Minister had asked Prof Gerrard to assemble the panel in order to present research on cannabis, cannabis-related harm and cannabis law reform to New Zealanders in an accessible manner.

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6 CN BC: Are More B.C. Tokers Finally Looking To Legal Cannabis OverFri, 24 Jul 2020
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wadhwani, Ashley Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:07/25/2020

A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying all product legally

B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the battle over bud.

A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That's an 18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.

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7 Canada: Oped: Tough-On-Crime Anti-Drug Moralizing Does A DisserviceSat, 25 Jul 2020
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Schultz, William Area:Canada Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

If the idea of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of illicit drugs once sounded radical, the coalition of people who now espouse the idea would certainly seem to be strange bedfellows.

On July 9, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police called on the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illicit drugs; B.C. Premier John Horgan asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do the same in a Jul. 20 letter. Benjamin Perrin, the top criminal justice adviser in Stephen Harper's "tough-on-crime" administration, recently wrote a book in support of decriminalization, and major publications, including The Globe and Mail, have published editorials urging the same.

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8 US CA: California Weighs Steep New Fines To Combat Illegal CannabisMon, 20 Jul 2020
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:141 Added:07/25/2020

SACRAMENTO - Alarmed that unlicensed cannabis sellers continue to dominate California's pot market, state lawmakers are moving toward imposing steep new fines on businesses that provide building space, advertising platforms and other aid to illicit operations.

Those who provide assistance to illegal pot sellers would face civil fines of up to $30,000 per day under legislation approved unanimously by the state Assembly that is now pending in the Senate. A final vote on the proposal is expected sometime after lawmakers return to Sacramento this month.

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9Canada: Editorial: National Post View: Listen To The PoliceWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:National Post (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2020

Listen to the police

Let's talk about decriminalizing all drugs

We're having a national conversation about policing and criminal justice. Examining our drug laws is a natural extension of this debate

More than nine years ago, writing about the war on drugs, this editorial board encouraged the government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper to get bolder with decriminalizing cannabis.

"By any reasonably broad metric," we wrote then, the war on drugs "has been an abysmal failure. According to estimates by the UN - by no means a liberal organization when it comes to drug policy - worldwide consumption of opiates rose 34.5 per cent from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27 per cent, and cannabis by 8.5 per cent. In achieving that abject failure, tens of thousands of people have been killed."

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10 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:190 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

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11 US CA: Many California Pot Businesses Risk FailureSun, 19 Apr 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Albergotti, Reed Area:California Lines:188 Added:04/19/2020

SAN FRANCISCO - As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries have experienced quite as many highs and lows as California's cannabis industr= y.

Just a month ago, it looked like California's weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot "essential," and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans.

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12 US: The N.F.L. Relaxes Restrictions On Marijuana Use As Part Of NewMon, 13 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Belson, Ken Area:United States Lines:153 Added:04/13/2020

The 10-year labor agreement between the N.F.L. and players union that was ratified on March 15 is filled with dozens of incremental changes, most notably the one-percentage-point increase in the share of league revenue that the players will receive.

One of the biggest overhauls in the agreement, though, was a change the league had long resisted: loosening the rules governing players' use of marijuana.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana - needed to trigger a positive test will be raised fourfold.

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13 US: Decoding CannabisSun, 05 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times Magazine (NY) Author:Greenberg, Gary Area:United States Lines:451 Added:04/05/2020

The retail showroom of INSA, a farm-to-bong cannabis company in western Massachusetts, is a clean industrial space on the first floor of a four-story brick building in the old mill town Easthampton. When I visited recently, before the coronavirus shut down recreational sales and forbade crowds, the crew of eight behind the glass display cases looked a lot like the staff you'd see dispensing lattes at Starbucks or troubleshooting iPads at the Genius Bar: young, racially diverse, smiling. They were all wearing black T-shirts with the INSA motto, "Uncommon Cannabis." Standing in line with me were a white-haired couple leaning on canes; a 40-something woman in a black pantsuit, who complained that the wait would be longer than her lunch break; a bald man in a tweed jacket; and a pair of women in perms and polyester discussing the virtues of a strain called Green Crack. We were all waiting at a discreet distance from the counter, as you would at the bank, for the next available "! budtender."

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14 North Macedonia: A Cannabis Superpower Awaits The Green LightSun, 29 Mar 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Segal, David Area:Macedonia Lines:209 Added:03/29/2020

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - In a desolate industrial zone of this capital city, a cannabis grow house is under construction that, when finished, will span 178,000 square feet, about the size of a Walmart superstore. At full capacity, 17 tons of marijuana a year, worth about $50 million, will be harvested. Among the planned offerings is an American strain known as Herijuana, a portmanteau of "heroin" and "marijuana," which has received some rhapsodic online reviews.

"I feel blown to the dome omg," wrote a fan on Leafly, a cannabis review site. "It also gave me the ability to rap."

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15 US CA: L.A. To Dismiss 66,000 Pot CasesFri, 14 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Mai-Duc, Christine Area:California Lines:92 Added:02/14/2020

Largest such move in California comes amid nationwide push for criminal-justice reform and relaxing drug laws

Los Angeles County will vacate nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions dating back to the 1960s, part of a growing national effort to reduce drug convictions.

The move, announced Thursday by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, will dismiss convictions for tens of thousands of individuals, the majority of whom are black or Latino.

"As a result of our actions, these convictions should no longer burden those who have struggled to find a job or a place to live because of their criminal record," Ms. Lacey said in a press conference Thursday.

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16 US: PUB LTE: Give Marijuana Tax Revenues To The HarmedThu, 13 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Papillion, Natalie Area:United States Lines:38 Added:02/13/2020

Using cannabis tax revenues to plug local budget holes has been an effective talking point in advancing marijuana-legalization proposals across the country ("Cities Look to Marijuana Taxes for Help," U.S. News, Feb. 5). However, it is vital that lawmakers also use these cannabis tax revenues to fund programs that serve the individuals whose lives and communities have been destroyed by the misguided, racially biased policies of America's war on drugs. Decriminalization and expungement bills don't go far enough.

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17 US: PUB LTE: Cities Want To Use Pot As A Cure-AllThu, 13 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Anderson, Byron Area:United States Lines:24 Added:02/13/2020

Give Marijuana Tax Revenues to the Harmed We have a moral imperative to try to right the wrongs of the war on drugs. We should start by investing in the very communities it harmed.

It is a sad day when cities and states use pot to entice residents from states that haven't legalized it to help pay for their irresponsibly designed and funded pensions and fixing their pot holes.

Byron Anderson

Saratoga, Calif.

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18 US: Cities Look To Marijuana Taxes For HelpWed, 05 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Gillers, Heather Area:United States Lines:127 Added:02/05/2020

South Beloit, Ill., faces steep bills to fund its firefighter and police pensions and repave its cracked streets. Now, Mayor Ted Rehl has a plan to help cover the shortfall: marijuana.

South Beloit, less than a mile from the Wisconsin state border, will welcome its first cannabis dispensary later this year. Recreational cannabis became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1 but remains illegal in Wisconsin. The Illinois town hopes to collect roughly $1 million a year in taxes on marijuana purchases, mostly by Wisconsinites.

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19 US: PUB LTE: No Vape Disease From Legal Marijuana In CaliforniaMon, 27 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Gieringer, Dale Area:United States Lines:39 Added:01/27/2020

Kevin Sabet has it backward in "How Legal Weed Shops Feed the Vaping Crisis" (op-ed, Jan 21). Here in California, not a single case of vape disease has been traced to a legal, state-regulated source, according to the state Bureau of Cannabis Control. Rather, the source of the problem is illicit manufacturers of contaminated goods on the underground market.

Contrary to Mr. Sabet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention never examined the safety of state-regulated vapes. Rather, it attributed 16% of vape disease cases to so-called "commercial" sources, loosely defined to include all "dispensaries, vape or smoke shops, stores and pop-up shops" regardless of their legality. In California, illicit pot outlets outnumber legal ones by over 2 to 1, no thanks to burdensome taxes, regulations and local and federal bans on legal outlets.

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20US: Weed At WorkTue, 21 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Jones, Charisse Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/21/2020

From makeup and oils to capsules for stress relief, cannabis-based goods are flowing into the marketplace. But while they may not get you high, they can still cause you problems at work.

Cannabidiol or CBD has been showing up in a widening array of goods. That's because federal legislation in 2018 deemed that hemp - one of its sources - was not an illegal controlled substance.

But your job could be in jeopardy if one of those products, which are largely unregulated, contains THC, the same compound that causes marijuana users to get high.

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