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1 US TX: PUB LTE: Asset Forfeiture CorruptsWed, 30 Dec 2014
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Wills, Suzanne Area:Texas Lines:47 Added:12/30/2015

Re: "Apply due process to forfeiture - Powerful tool has become another government idea gone awry, says David Simpson," Dec. 23, Viewpoints.

Thanks to Rep. David Simpson for calling attention to the most corrupting influence in law enforcement: civil asset forfeiture. According to an analysis of 43,000 state and local reports submitted to the Justice Department Equitable Sharing Program, nearly $2.5 billion was seized. In up to 81 percent of the cases, no indictment was ever filed.

Civil forfeiture laws presume seized property to be tainted. Property owners must prove in court that their money or property was acquired legally in order to get it back. This is almost always more expensive than giving up the legally acquired property.

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2 US CA: Column: The Year In WeedTue, 01 Jan 2015
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Scott-Goforth, Grant Area:California Lines:97 Added:12/01/2015

A year into legal, recreational (or as advocates would have us say, "adult use") pot sales in Colorado - and six months into Washington sales - the sky still hasn't fallen. That's a relatively short period of time on which to base any long-term predictions, but here's one that's nearly certain: Legalization will continue to spread. The smooth (but not without hiccups, unfulfilled expectations and uncertainties) rollout of legal weed means a cascade of states will follow. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. legalized pot in 2014 (looks like Congress will kill the capitol's buzz, though).

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3 US HI: OPED: It's Time to Legalize Marijuana and Reap Its ManyThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Ryan, Tracy Area:Hawaii Lines:71 Added:01/29/2015

Hawaii should not wait any longer to join the list of states that have legalized marijuana. There is simply too much at stake for us to allow our Legislature to peck away at this for five or 10 years without taking real action.

Hawaii was once an important exporting state. Many of us remember the period before the Green Harvest eradication program and other measures that ruined this business here. Law enforcement turned us into a net importer from California and paved the way for our meth-amphetamine problems. Public opinion has finally caught up to common sense on marijuana issues with political pressure applied to end the enforcement efforts on the Big Island.

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4 US CA: Column: Better Off DryWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:SF Weekly (CA) Author:Roberts, Chris Area:California Lines:122 Added:01/29/2015

Summertime in Northern California is long, hot, and dry. The ideal atmosphere for a float down the Russian River is also the perfect climate for growing the things you'd want to bring along on that river trip. Hops, good wine grapes, and world-class cannabis all thrive in the heat.

As America finally cottons to the notion of cannabis as a legitimate industry, growing marijuana is proving itself a viable career. The average farmworker in America takes home a little more than $30,000 a year. California fruit pickers and animal stewards make slightly more money, but some farmworkers in the state can take home as much as $41,800 annually. That's the average wage for a farmworker on a marijuana patch, according to the Emerald Growers Association, a trade group for outdoor farmers. And if you own the plot of land where pot is grown, you can clear an average of about $100,000 a year, according to a survey of 50 pot farmers in nine counties.

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5 US CO: Column: Wyoming Keeps Cannabis Possession CriminalThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Rucker, Leland Area:Colorado Lines:112 Added:01/29/2015

Even if they don't support legalization, more and more states are changing or considering changing marijuana possession laws from criminal to ticket offenses.

But not all state legislators are ready to make that move. In a floor vote last week, the Wyoming house killed Bill 49. Sponsor Jim Byrd, a Cheyenne Democrat, wanted the state to turn cannabis possession cases into civil offenses: Fine anybody with up to a half ounce $50 and anybody with a half ounce to an ounce $100.

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6 US AZ: Column: No MedicineThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Herreras, Mari Area:Arizona Lines:70 Added:01/29/2015

A Tucson Man Finds Himself in the Hospital Unable to Take the MMJ He Needs

When James Ball went to St. Mary's Hospital he assumed he would be able to consume some medical marijuana edibles he had with him to help control the pain.

He has a medical marijuana patient card, issued by the state, so he figured it wouldn't be a problem. However, he was told the only thing he could take for pain would be what they'd prescribe, and he didn't want to take pain killers.

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7 US CO: Column: Can I Substitute Pot For Pain Meds?Thu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Westword (Denver, CO) Author:Breathes, William Area:Colorado Lines:65 Added:01/29/2015

Dear Stoner: I was just released from the hospital with an aneurysm in my groin. They gave me Oxycodone, but it's too strong for me. I was wondering if smoking a little pot would relieve me in terms of pain and my appetite.

Vegas Jimmy

Dear Jimmy: Pain meds are no joke; they can cause as much discomfort as they help mask. I was given Percocet after surgery a few months ago and found myself in the same boat: too high from the pills and no appetite. Pot helped, though for me it doesn't so much kill the pain as it does allow me to ignore it. But that's all pain pills seem to do, too - and pot is much more comfortable and manageable. I relied on some heavy Kush varieties like Skywalker OG and Bubba Kush to help manage the pain without sending my head into the stratosphere. For appetite, sativas usually work best for me; mixing in a bowl of Sour Diesel or 707 Headband every now and then got me hungry enough to put back some of the pounds I'd lost during surgery. But don't ignore your pain or suffer needlessly: If the pot doesn't work out, ask your doctor to prescribe a pain med that isn't as strong (or addictive) as Oxycodone.

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8 US CA: Column: Up Sproul CreekThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Scott-Goforth, Grant Area:California Lines:90 Added:01/29/2015

SoHum residents got their first taste of a new enforcement regimen targeting the environmental impacts of marijuana grows last week.

It was hardly jackboots and black helicopters, according to State Water Board enforcer Cris Carrigan, who developed the pilot enforcement program with other state and local agencies (See "A Big Stick," Oct. 23, 2014).

Representatives from Fish and Wildlife, the California Water Board, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and a county code inspector obtained administrative warrants for 14 properties in the Sproul Creek watershed, and visited them over the course of three days.

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9 US CA: Will a Divided Marijuana Community JeopardizeThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:131 Added:01/29/2015

California Marijuana Legalization in 2016 Looks Anything but Certain

California marijuana legalization in 2016 looks anything but certain after a major January meeting where leading activists showed how divided they remain. The possibility of ending nearly a century of cannabis prohibition within the next 650 or so days has increased factionalism within the reform movement.

In a small hotel banquet room on the waterfront of Oakland's Jack London Square, luminaries of pot-law reform rehashed grievances and honed new disputes over future initiative language, as well as campaign funding and control.

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10 US CA: Column: A High For Down LowThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:71 Added:01/29/2015

What's this I hear about a cannabis-infused sex lube? Does it work?

- -Delores Poussey

Yes. It exists. The most popular brand, called Foria, is a mix of coconut oil and cannabis. All of the reviews I have seen have been positive, with most users reporting pleasant, tingly sensations in their nether regions. Sounds like fun to me. I am a fan of mixing weed and sex. Who doesn't like to do the smokey-pokey? It's a bit pricey (the small bottle will set you back about 44 bones), but whatever floats your man-in-the-boat. Have fun.

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11 US AK: PUB LTE: Grow What People WantWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Gasparetti, Arnie Area:Alaska Lines:21 Added:01/29/2015

Two dividends a year? Why don't we as a state grow and sell what the people want? The state controls everything. From the seed to the pipe. Everything is so simple sometimes.

- -- Arnie Gasparetti

Wasilla

[end]

12US AK: Legislators Send Marijuana Crime Bill Back to DrawingThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Caldwell, Suzanna Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux said Wednesday she would postpone meetings of the state House and Senate judiciary committees on a bill that would define Alaska's criminal marijuana laws until drafters complete a version of the law that better reflects "the will of the people."

The decision in Wednesday's joint Judiciary Committee meeting came after backlash from both legislators and supporters of Ballot Measure 2 who expressed concern and confusion over provisions in Senate Bill 30 on how to address use and possession of recreational marijuana.

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13 US AK: Alaska Marijuana Bills Put On Hold For RewriteThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:Alaska Lines:57 Added:01/29/2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Bills that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana have been put on hold while lawmakers wait for a new draft that better reflects the intent of voters.

During a joint session of the House and Senate Judiciary committees Wednesday, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, said the bills, versions of which were introduced in both the House and Senate, are being rewritten. The bills were intended to legalize 1 ounce or less of marijuana for adults 21 and older.

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14US CA: Column: Federal Rule Won't Keep State's Cops FromThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Greenhut, Steven Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Sacramento - In 2008, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms received bad publicity after it handed out to employees pocketknives engraved with "ATF" spelled out: Always Think Forfeiture. The agency was, in essence, caught encouraging its employees to seize as much property as possible under controversial civil asset-forfeiture programs.

ATF stopped giving out the pocketknives, but federal, state and local agencies have come to depend increasingly on seized assets to bolster their budgets. Many new "toys" departments buy - fancy new vehicles, military-style equipment, weaponry and gadgets - are funded this way.

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15 US AK: Critics of Failed Marijuana Bills Say the MeasuresThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) Author:Buxton, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:85 Added:01/29/2015

JUNEAU - After a disastrous first hearing on a bill dealing with legalized marijuana, lawmakers didn't mince their words Wednesday to say the bill, as drafted, was dead.

"I want to announce that it's not this committee's intention to move either of these bills," said House Judiciary Chairwoman Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux of two bills critics said undermined the voter initiative legalizing marijuana. "We're not going to do anything more on these bills ... until these bills come back from legislative drafting in a form that we feel reflects the will of the people."

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16 US AK: Fairbanks Pot Panel Convenes, Cites Concerns About NewThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) Author:Bohman, Amanda Area:Alaska Lines:90 Added:01/29/2015

FAIRBANKS - Brandon Emmett, executive director of Citizens for Responsible Cannabis Legislation, held up a package that once held marijuana-laced cookies.

The black package with a red dot and white lettering required a knife or scissors in order to be opened, Emmett said.

"A child is not going to see this and say, 'Hey, there is candy in there,'" he told a roundtable of the heads of most of the major institutions in Fairbanks.

The group gathered Wednesday at the invitation of Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins to begin discussing local marijuana regulations, such as if and where marijuana will be allowed to be grown, processed, packaged and sold.

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17Canada: Fledgling Medical Marijuana Industry Hit By Series OfWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Quan, Douglas Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Federal Court to Hear Complaints From Patients

Almost a year after the federal government revamped the way medical marijuana is produced and distributed in Canada - moving from home-based operations to large-scale commercial ones - the fledgling industry continues to encounter growing pains.

A trial set to begin next month in Federal Court will hear patients argue that the price of marijuana charged by commercial producers is too high, depriving them of medicine to treat serious ailments. Until a decision is made, individuals who previously held licences to possess and grow their own marijuana have been allowed to continue doing so.

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18 CN SN: PUB LTE: Stick To EducationWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:McKay, Bill Area:Saskatchewan Lines:41 Added:01/29/2015

I am concerned about the article Student banned from using medical marijuana at school (SP, Jan 17).

Surely there is more to this story. If not, the ruling is a most astonishing example of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy gone mad by functionaries unqualified to make it. It would be laughable if they were not possibly destroying a young man's future.

In addition, the ruling is tinged with hostility by the superintendent's emotionladen use of the phrase, "under the influence," and her conflation of a prescribed medical treatment with being "under the influence of alcohol or drugs."

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19Canada: Medical Marijuana Industry LanguishingWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Quan, Douglas Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

VANCOUVER - Almost a year after the federal government revamped the way medical marijuana is produced and distributed in Canada - moving from home-based operations to large-scale commercial ones - the fledgling industry continues to encounter growing pains.

A trial is set to begin next month in Federal Court that will hear patients argue that the price of marijuana charged by commercial producers is too high, depriving them of medicine to treat serious ailments. Until a decision is made, individuals who previously held licences to possess and grow their own marijuana have been allowed to continue doing so.

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20CN BC: Grieving Vancouver Mothers Speak Out About Gang LifeWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bolan, Kim Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Video Campaign Created to Help End the Bloodshed

Two Metro Vancouver mothers who lost their children to gang violence six years ago say they hope a new anti-gang video campaign will help steer youth away from the deadly lifestyle.

Brianna Kinnear's mother Carol is featured in a video campaign aimed at steering youth away from gang violence. In the videos, she talks about Brianna, who was shot dead at 22 in 2009.

Carol Kinnear, who's featured in six videos created by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and Odd Squad Productions, says she wants to spare other parents from the devastating pain that has rocked her family.

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21Canada: Fledgling Industry Hit By Series Of SetbacksWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Quan, Douglas Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Constitutional challenge, advertising restrictions, product recalls have all had an impact

Almost a year after the federal government revamped the way medical marijuana is produced and distributed in Canada - moving from home-based operations to large-scale commercial ones - the fledgling industry continues to encounter growing pains.

A trial set to begin next month in Federal Court will hear patients argue that the price of marijuana charged by commercial producers is too high, depriving them of medicine to treat serious ailments. Until a decision is made, individuals who previously held licences to possess and grow their own marijuana have been allowed to continue doing so.

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22Canada: Fledgling Medical Pot Industry Hit By SetbacksWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Quan, Douglas Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Almost a year after the federal government revamped the way medical marijuana is produced and distributed in Canada - moving from home-based operations to large-scale commercial ones - the fledgling industry continues to encounter growing pains.

A trial set to begin next month in Federal Court will hear patients argue that the price of marijuana charged by commercial producers is too high, depriving them of medicine to treat serious ailments. Until a decision is made, individuals who previously held licences to possess and grow their own marijuana have been allowed to continue doing so.

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23 US MA: PUB LTE: With One Ballot After Another, Voters HaveThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Pillsbury, Jim Area:Massachusetts Lines:36 Added:01/29/2015

Our new governor should be reminded that the voters in this state have overwhelmingly approved all ballot questions relating to medicinal use and decriminalization of marijuana since 2000 ("Baker staunch in opposition to legalizing marijuana"). Regardless of what the federal government has to say about the issue, citizens across the country have voted for legalization for many reasons, not the least of which is the tax revenue generated by the emerging industry.

Governor Charlie Baker and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg should also keep in mind that the Justice Department has given a slightly green light to Native American Tribes to grow and sell marijuana, despite the federal laws against it. As Dylan so aptly put it: "The times they are a-changin'."

The war over this plant and on hemp has drowned under the weight of its own propaganda and misinformation, and Massachusetts voters know it. We will have the last word in this 50-year-long "Reefer Madness" movie, one way or another.

Jim Pillsbury

Framingham

[end]

24 US MA: PUB LTE: Our Elected Leaders May Just Come to See theThu, 29 Jan 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Epstein, Steven S. Area:Massachusetts Lines:40 Added:01/29/2015

It is interesting news that the Senate president, not known as a friend of the initiative process, created a special Senate committee on marijuana, and that Governor Baker, despite saying he is "going to always be opposed to legalizing" recreational use, also is curious about the experiments with legalization in other parts of the country ("Baker staunch in opposition to legalizing marijuana," Metro, Jan. 23).

Perhaps this indicates that the Legislature will attempt, before the printing of the 2016 ballots, to do what activists will surely accomplish with an initiative. For it is long past time to end an ineffectual, unreasonable, and unwholesome policy of prohibition and replace it with reasonable regulation and low rates of taxation.

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25US VT: Shumlin on Marijuana: 'Been There, Done That'Wed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Burlington Free Press (VT) Author:Burbank, April Area:Vermont Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin says his days of smoking marijuana are over, even if the Vermont Legislature votes to legalize the drug.

Shumlin stopped using marijuana as he grew into adulthood, he recounted during a news conference at the Statehouse.

"Been there, done that," Shumlin said. "My guess is that a lot of Vermonters of my generation feel like I do about marijuana, which is, it is something we smoked when we were young. ... As I took on more responsibility or I don't know what in my late 20s, I just found that it wasn't much fun anymore.

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26 US VT: Shumlin: 'Responsibility' Ended His Use of PotWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Rutland Herald (VT) Author:Goswami, Neal P. Area:Vermont Lines:74 Added:01/29/2015

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin said Tuesday he has no plans to partake in legal marijuana if the state moves to allow it.

"No," Shumlin said, when asked by Seven Days reporter Terri Hallenbeck if he would smoke legal weed. "Been there, done that."

Shumlin appeared caught off guard when asked when he last smoked marijuana.

"Oh, my God," Shumlin said. "It was a while ago. I'm old."

During an open-ended press conference Tuesday, the 58-year-old governor then clarified that he last smoked pot in his late 20s, but gave it up as his responsibilities grew.

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27 US FL: Florida Bill Expands Medical Use Of PotTue, 27 Jan 2015
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:94 Added:01/29/2015

Measure Also Tackles Flaws In 2014 Initiative

Although a proposed medical marijuana amendment failed in the 2014 election, medical use of the plant could come to Florida as soon as July 1, 2016.

That's the date by which Florida would have to begin issuing marijuana patient ID cards under a bill filed Monday by State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. The bill would allow patients with certain medical conditions to obtain marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. It also addresses several of the criticisms levied at the unsuccessful constitutional amendment ballot initiative.

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28CN AB: Shooting Sends Man To HospitalMon, 26 Jan 2015
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Stark, Erika Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2015

Resident says northeast gas station now a hot spot for gangs and drugs

A man was shot near a northeast liquor store in Calgary on Saturday night.

Police and EMS workers received reports of gunfire at about 8: 15 p.m. on the 5300 block of Rundlehorn Drive N. E., near the Rundle liquor store.

Emergency crews transported a 30-year-old man with potentially life- threatening injuries to Foothills Hospital. Police said Sunday the man's condition remains serious, but he's expected to survive.

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29 US WA: Legal Pot In Blaine A Short Walk From B.C.Tue, 27 Jan 2015
Source:Surrey Leader (CN BC) Author:Nagel, Jeff Area:Washington Lines:82 Added:01/29/2015

Marijuana stores have been sprouting all over Washington State since retail trade in the drug was legalized in a referendum, but the first one has now opened within walking distance of the B.C. border.

Evergreen Cannabis is aimed squarely at the Canadian market and its Blaine storefront at 922 Peace Portal Drive - with a sign that reads "recreational marijuana store" - is within sight of both the Peace Arch and White Rock.

"I know I am controversial because I am close to the border," owner Jake Lamont, a Birch Bay resident, told Black Press this week.

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30 US WA: U.S. Marijuana Sold With A WarningTue, 27 Jan 2015
Source:Peace Arch News (CN BC) Author:Nagel, Jeff Area:Washington Lines:82 Added:01/29/2015

Marijuana stores have been sprouting all over Washington State since retail trade in the drug was legalized in a referendum, but the first one has now opened within walking distance of the B.C. border.

Evergreen Cannabis is aimed squarely at the Canadian market and its Blaine storefront at 922 Peace Portal Drive - with a sign that reads "recreational marijuana store" - is within sight of both the Peace Arch and White Rock.

"I know I am controversial because I am close to the border," owner Jake Lamont, a Birch Bay resident, told Black Press this week.

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31 CN BC: PUB LTE: Community Should Support PhoenixTue, 27 Jan 2015
Source:Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC) Author:Pahl, Cory Area:British Columbia Lines:64 Added:01/29/2015

I hope the community will support Phoenix Pain Management Society.

There are people in our community who are suffering and dying of diseases that cannabis medicines are being shown to treat or cure in the scientific literature (MS, Parkinson's, epilepsy, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's, hypertension, IBS, Crohn's, anxiety, depression...).

This medicine has been in use for millennia and it's impossible to overdose on cannabis (the parts of your brain that control breathing and heart rate are the only areas in the body that have no receptors for cannabis compounds).

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32 CN BC: Fighting PhoenixTue, 27 Jan 2015
Source:Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC) Author:Ruvinsky, Auren Area:British Columbia Lines:131 Added:01/29/2015

Marijuana dispensary still open, but that may change

A controversial compassion club in downtown Parksville is one of the RCMP's priorities, but operators vow to keep serving local members.

While the operator says he is not distributing pot out of this location currently, the RCMP have called the Phoenix Pain Management Society, which says it helps people get medical marijuana, "completely illegal," and Cpl. Jesse Foreman confirmed Friday "we'll do what we have to do," in terms of shutting it down if RCMP deem there are illegal activities going on at this downtown Parksville location.

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33 US CO: Column: National Group Lobbies for Pot, PediatriciansWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Colorado Springs Independent (CO) Author:Crawford, Bryce Area:Colorado Lines:73 Added:01/28/2015

New national voice

The mainstreaming of marijuana continues with the creation of the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (nationalcannabischamberofcommerce.com), a week-old organization that will both lobby Washington and host your next industry meet-and-greet, says Brenda Sandoval, the southern Colorado director of sales.

"Of course, we'll have dispensaries and growers, but we want to find people that provide things for these people: car dealers, carpet layers, roofers," she says. "Everything that these people might have go wrong in their home or need, they're going to go the people that are supporting their industry and putting that money into the community.

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34 CN QU: Edu: Head & Hands Reinstates Street Work ProgramMon, 26 Jan 2015
Source:McGill Daily, The (CN QU Edu) Author:Kaur, Jasreet Area:Quebec Lines:96 Added:01/28/2015

Youth Outreach Project Doubles Capacity With New Hire

Last November, Head & Hands hired a second employee for its Street Work program, restoring the program to the capacity it had before budget cuts forced its discontinuation in 2011. The program was partially reinstated in 2013 with the hiring of a single street worker after substantial fundraising.

Head & Hands is an organization that caters to the needs of youth between the ages of 12 to 25 in Montreal who may not have access to certain resources, ranging from counselling to legal services to free condoms to clean needles.

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35US: Pediatricians Call On Feds To Reclassify PotWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) Author:Crombie, Noelle Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

The American Academy of Pediatrics this week weighed in on the classification of marijuana, urging the federal government to reclassify the drug to facilitate research.

The organization released a policy statement on marijuana, reaffirming its opposition to legalizing cannabis and expressing concern about the drug's harmful affects on young people. But the group also urged the government to move marijuana from its Schedule I status, where it's grouped with heroin and LSD, to Schedule 2, also considered dangerous but more accessible to researchers.

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36US VT: Lawmakers May Be Ones To OK PotWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:Vermont Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

Vermont lawmakers are considering whether to become the first state Legislature to legalize marijuana.

Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis, but in each of those cases, it was voters at the ballot box, not lawmakers, who changed the law. Vermont could become the first state in history where elected officials directly legalize pot, and Gov. Peter Shumlin said he "continues to support" efforts to legalize marijuana.

Vermont's Constitution prohibits ballot referendums and initiatives, meaning any decision on marijuana would have to come from lawmakers.

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37CN BC: Politics Beckons For Retiring Chief ChuSun, 25 Jan 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Cooper, Sam Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

Speculation underway over future of progressive Vancouver police boss and his possible successor

After Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu announced a surprising early retirement Friday, speculation immediately turned to his potential as a star political candidate and who would succeed him as chief.

Chu is only in his mid-50s, so by passing up about $600,000 remaining in his 10-year contract, it's pretty safe to assume he has a second career in mind.

Chu didn't discourage speculation at a news conference Friday when reporters pressed him on rumours he is being sought by either the federal Conservatives or Liberals to run in the 2015 election.

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38 CN SN PUB LTE: No PTSD ReliefTue, 27 Jan 2015
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Crowe, Chris        Lines:44 Added:01/28/2015

I am frustrated with doctors in Saskatoon.

I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to a very traumatic event five years ago, and I'm also a former army service member. I have seen almost every doctor in Saskatoon at every clinic, trying to get prescribed medical marijuana for my PTSD.

I suffer from this daily, and I am unable to work or find help with my symptoms. For years I tried pharmacy medications prescribed by doctors, but these all had side-effects that greatly outweigh the positives in treating my PTSD.

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39 CN ON: Board Endorses Drug StrategyMon, 26 Jan 2015
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Moodie, Jim Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:01/28/2015

Multi-sector team tackles substance problems

Greater Sudbury Police and the Sudbury and District Health Unit are issuing a collective Call To Action on substance misuse.

That's the subtitle of a new Community Drug Strategy for the City of Greater Sudbury endorsed at a recent meeting of the police services board.

Developed over a period of years by 50-plus partners in the health, social service, education and crime prevention fields, the newly released document will now be presented to city council for their approval and used as blueprint going forward to address substance-related problems in the city.

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40 US AK: Officials Look Outside for Help With PotentialWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) Author:Chomicz, Dorothy Area:Alaska Lines:175 Added:01/28/2015

FAIRBANKS - Local and state agencies are looking to Colorado for help in preparing to deal with the slew of changes that will be encountered when marijuana possession becomes legal in Alaska next month.

Several people from the Fairbanks area attended a three-day training conference earlier this month presented by the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police in Lone Tree, Colorado, to discuss the lessons learned in the first year of marijuana legalization there. Legal recreational marijuana retail stores have been open in Colorado since Jan. 1, 2014, and medical marijuana use has been in place for more than a decade. Officials there shared their knowledge with their counterparts in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia in the hopes those jurisdictions could avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls inherent with legalization.

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41US CA: Investors With High HopesWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Garfoli, Joe Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

Ex-Techies Head for the Next Innovative Sector - Cannabis

Seibo Shen made a lot of money in tech - he was an early employee at four startups that were acquired or went public. But for his latest venture, he didn't just want to "add another zero to my bank account."

He wanted to rekindle that startup thrill while selling a product he truly cared about.

So the 38-year-old San Franciscan raised $500,000 to get into the cannabis business. Now, instead of working accounts for months to sell software to businesses, Shen is hawking $650 marijuana vaporizers for his new company, VapeXhale.

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42 US AK: Fairbanks Borough Mayor's Pot Panel to Meet About NewWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) Author:Bohman, Amanda Area:Alaska Lines:59 Added:01/28/2015

FAIRBANKS - A panel to discuss local marijuana regulations convenes Wednesday at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Administrative Center at 10 a.m.

Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins invited about 20 people to sit on the panel, which will advise him on local issues surrounding marijuana, such as where it can be used or sold.

Hopkins plans to eventually sponsor an ordinance and hold an open house so the community can examine his ideas about what direction the borough should take when it comes to marijuana.

[continues 286 words]

43 US AK: Alaska Marijuana Activist Plans to Open Medical PotWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:Alaska Lines:59 Added:01/28/2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A marijuana activist is planning to open a medical pot dispensary in Anchorage next month on the day recreational marijuana becomes legalized in Alaska under a ballot initiative approved by voters in November.

Alaska Cannabis Club owner Charlo Greene has scheduled the opening for Feb. 24, the Alaska Dispatch News (http://is.gd/1iFeUY) reported.

The sale of marijuana remains illegal, with the state not accepting business applications until February 2016.

Ballot Measure 2 decriminalizes the possession, use and nonsale transfer of up to an ounce of marijuana when the new law takes effect next month. The initiative also set in motion the legalization and permitting of marijuana sales.

[continues 220 words]

44 US CA: Column: The 2016 Election Is Closer Than You ThinkWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:East Bay Express (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:120 Added:01/28/2015

Plus, Why Voter Apathy Saved Reformers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars.

California activists are hoping to reverse 97 years of cannabis prohibition in the Golden State within the next 650 days. But that's not very much time.

With a statewide vote to legalize marijuana likely to make the November 2016 ballot, key deadlines are looming for writing and filing a proposed law; collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures; submitting those signatures to get on the ballot; and then running a winning campaign.

[continues 741 words]

45 US CA: PUB LTE: We Need A Unified Effort For 2016Wed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:East Bay Express (CA) Author:Soares, Susan Area:California Lines:21 Added:01/28/2015

WE NEED A UNIFIED EFFORT FOR 2016

The groups that have failed over and over need to put their egos and agendas aside and work with a unified effort. DPA is poised to do this in a professional and progressive way.

Susan Soares, Los Angeles

[end]

46 US MI: Column: Detroit Dispensary DebateWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:121 Added:01/28/2015

"This is not going away, every community organization that I'm aware of in this city is looking for the same thing, and it's to not have Detroit become the Wild West city in the state of Michigan for medical marijuana," says Jim Ward, president of the Green Acres radio patrol (GWCRP), a community watch group.

Ward has been attending meetings with other Detroiters concerned with what they see as the over-proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Maybe, just as the creation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was, this is a case of citizens stepping in where the state has failed to perform.

[continues 858 words]

47US AK: Ordinance to Ban Public Marijuana Consumption inWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Caldwell, Suzanna Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

With legal possession of recreational marijuana only four weeks away, the Anchorage Assembly unanimously approved an ordinance making it illegal to consume it in a public place.

The ordinance Tuesday established rules on consuming the substance in a public place, a provision outlined in Ballot Measure 2 which made such an act strictly illegal and subject to fines.

The ordinance -- a blend of the city's alcohol and tobacco prohibitions -- made clear the definition of a public place and stipulated the fines associated with violating the law. Those caught consuming marijuana in public will face a fine of $100 under the ordinance, the same fee outlined in Ballot Measure 2. Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew noted that the fee was a civil, not criminal citation, similar to a traffic ticket.

[continues 525 words]

48 US: PUB LTE: The Other Feds And The Use Of MarijuanaSat, 24 Jan 2015
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Scardina, Mike Area:United States Lines:48 Added:01/28/2015

Elliott J. Millenson seems intent on starting a hunt for all the bad that legal use of marijuana brings (Letters, Jan. 20). Perhaps the CDC and FDA haven't put out any "reefer madness" guidelines because their long-term "compassionate use" studies confirm a general lack of harm from marijuana use.

Efforts to combat the obvious negative effects of alcohol and tobacco use are all good programs, doing good work to minimize death and destruction. Law enforcement may be champing at the bit to raise awareness to the dangers of stoned driving, but prospective campaigns lack a concrete example of horror comparable to MADD campaigns of the past. Major brawls in the street at closing time, or line-ups of the homeless to greet store openings seem to be missing from the recreational and medical marijuana stores. Getting edibles switched from medical to recreation dosages and continued protections for children are important issues for our society going forward, but tax revenue has proved significant and can be easily used to finance efforts. Besides, issues like youth hunger, education and opportunity deserve our attention, and perhaps those would be a better use for the congressional hearings Mr. Millenson is so keen on seeing.

[continues 71 words]

49US TX: Editorial: Benefits Of CannabisWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

Bills Would Free Use of Extract to Control Seizures

Bills filed last week by two Republican state lawmakers might open a door for Texans desperate for a therapy to control severe epilepsy. The proposal would legalize use of a cannabis extract for treatment of debilitating seizures, under a doctor's supervision.

The two bill authors, Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler and Rep. Stephanie Klick of Fort Worth, deserve credit for sticking their necks out with their proposal, an idea more commonly associated with Democrats. They might leave themselves vulnerable to charges of going soft on use of the marijuana plant, but that accusation would miss the point.

[continues 532 words]

50US: Far-Reaching DEA Program Tracks VehiclesWed, 28 Jan 2015
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Carey, Pete Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2015

FOIA Documents Reveal License Plate Readers Capturing Americans' Travel

In a little-known surveillance effort, the Drug Enforcement Administration is operating a massive national license plate reader program and has collected hundreds of millions of records of drivers on U.S. highways, according to the ACLU.

Documents released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union describe a burgeoning DEA effort, begun in 2008, to take digital snapshots of automobiles, their occupants and their license plates as they pass by high-tech cameras in at least eight states, including California, to catch criminals smuggling money and contraband into Mexico.

[continues 757 words]


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