1/1/2014 - 31/12/2014
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1 US: Richard Lake: 1940 - 2014Sun, 21 Dec 2014
Source:DrugSense Weekly (Web) Author:Young, Steve Area:United States Lines:72 Added:12/21/2014

As drug policy reform continues to spread today, Richard Lake should be remembered as a pioneer who mastered the craft of using information as a weapon for peace.

When I knew him, Richard was a big presence, both in person and on the internet.

I first perceived Richard as a seemingly sleepless distributor of digital information. He was Senior Editor of the Media Awareness Project when I began doing volunteer work for the online organization in the late 1990s. I admired MAP and shared its goal of drug policy reform. Shortly after I began helping, Richard reached out to me to compliment my work. That led to more volunteering, and eventually a place on the paid staff of the organization. It would be a few years before I met Richard in person, but right from the start he was a mentor to me, as he was with others who showed interest in the movement.

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2 US: Reform Hero Richard Lake PassesSun, 21 Dec 2014
Source:DrugSense Weekly (Web) Author:Greer, Mark Area:United States Lines:54 Added:12/21/2014

Friends:

It is with regret that I inform you of the passing of a dedicated and long standing reform mainstay. Our friend and co-worker Richard Lake passed away on December 7, 2014. Richard has spent decades, and untold hours, working to help bring about more sensible drug policies.

Perhaps his most significant achievement, in the drug policy arena, was his incredible dedication to the Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. Richard spent countless hours, days, and years helping to archive what is, to this day, one of the largest and most valuable archives of drug policy related material ever assembled. More than 250,000 drug policy related news articles, all fully searchable on any topic of interest can be viewed or researched at: http://www.mapinc.org/

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3 US: Lawsuit Shows Resistance To Legalization Of PotSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) Author:Ricciardi, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:59 Added:12/21/2014

DENVER (AP) - Despite growing public support for legalizing marijuana, a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma shows that at least two segments of American society are prepared to fight the idea before the nation's highest court - social conservatives and law enforcement.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn Colorado's experiment in legalized recreational pot, alleging that the two conservative states are being overrun with Colorado marijuana that is making it harder for them to enforce their own drug laws.

Nebraska Attorney General Jim Bruning framed it as a public-safety issue, though the complaint provides little data to support its claim that Colorado pot is pouring into neighboring states.

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4 US: Lawsuit Reveals Staunchest Opponents Of Legalized PotSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Palm Beach Post, The (FL) Author:Riccardi, Nicolas Area:United States Lines:72 Added:12/21/2014

Social Conservatives, Law Enforcement Ready for Court Fight.

DENVER - Despite growing public support for legalizing marijuana, a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma shows that at least two segments of American society are prepared to fight the idea before the nation's highest court - social conservatives and law enforcement.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn Colorado's experiment in legalized recreational pot, alleging that the two conservative states are being overrun with Colorado marijuana that is making it harder for them to enforce their own drug laws.

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5 CN BC: Column: NDP's Dissenting Report on MarijuanaThu, 18 Dec 2014
Source:Trail Times (CN BC) Author:Atamanenko, Alex Area:British Columbia Lines:108 Added:12/21/2014

Parliamentary committees undertake studies dealing with various topics and then write a report. If Opposition members on a particular committee do not agree with the report, they usually put together what is called a Dissenting Minority Report.

The House of Commons Health Committee recently did a study on all aspects of marijuana policy and use in Canada. The NDP believes that this study was unbalanced and was designed to focus on the harms of marijuana policy and use in Canada.

According to our Health critic, Libby Davies and other NDP members of the committee, the study and resulting report did not allow for an unbiased assessment of both harms and potential medical benefits.

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6 US CA: Defendant Rolls The Dice On Pot PenaltySun, 21 Dec 2014
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mozingo, Joe Area:California Lines:161 Added:12/21/2014

After His Conviction on Six Felony Counts Related to Marijuana Distribution, a Father Agonizes Over Strategy.

Noah Kleinman faced his moment of reckoning: Should he tell a federal judge his marijuana dispensaries were just a front to distribute bulk marijuana and make hundreds of thousands of dollars? Or stick to his claim of innocence?

Kleinman, a 39-year-old salesman from Studio City, had been convicted of six felony counts related to marijuana distribution in June.

Now at his sentencing at the downtown federal courthouse, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright said he was inclined to go with the prosecutors' recommendation of 17 1/2 years in federal prison- devastating news for a father of two young children.

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7 US HI: Growing PainsSun, 21 Dec 2014
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Nakaso, Dan Area:Hawaii Lines:170 Added:12/21/2014

Years After Hawaii's Landmark Medical Marijuana Law, Patients Still Struggle to Get the Drug Legally

After allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes in 2000, Hawaii was widely envisioned to be the first state that would legalize marijuana in America.

Instead, 14 years later, there's no legal way for patients to obtain marijuana without growing it themselves. The law is silent on how the state's 13,000 patients can get seeds for the seven plants they are allowed to grow.

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8 US: Suit Shows Resistance To Legalized MarijuanaSun, 21 Dec 2014
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM) Author:Riccardi, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:86 Added:12/21/2014

Nebraska, Oklahoma Say Trafficking Up Since Colorado Allowed Sales

DENVER (AP) - Despite growing public support for legalizing marijuana, a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma shows that at least two segments of American society are prepared to fight the idea before the nation's highest court - social conservatives and law enforcement.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn Colorado's experiment in legalized recreational pot, alleging that the two conservative states are being overrun with Colorado marijuana that is making it harder for them to enforce their own drug laws.

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9 US DC: PUB LTE: Congressmen Who Moved to Block D.C. MarijuanaSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Percival, Robert V. Area:District of Columbia Lines:39 Added:12/20/2014

How courageous of Republican Reps. Andy Harris (Md.) and Joe Pitts (Pa.) to answer "head-on" charges that it is hypocritical for proponents of self-government and democracy to overrule the District's marijuana initiative ["Congress's duty trumps D.C.'s vote," op-ed, Dec. 14]. The enormous flaw in their argument that federal interests should trump the will of District residents is that, unlike Mr. Harris and Mr. Pitts's constituents in Maryland and Pennsylvania, D.C. residents have no voice in defining those federal interests because we have no voting representation in Congress.

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10 US DC: PUB LTE: Congressmen Who Moved to Block D.C. MarijuanaSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Laupus, Otts Area:District of Columbia Lines:36 Added:12/20/2014

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), in expounding his rationale to negate the District's vote to legalize the possession of marijuana, wrote with his co-author that "Many studies have shown that use of marijuana can have a wide range of negative effects. . . . Marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found to be a factor in car accidents, including fatal ones."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 the licit drug alcohol was a factor in one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. Illicit drugs such as cocaine and marijuana were involved in 18 percent of all fatal accidents, but these drugs were often used in combination with alcohol. There is no clear-cut study available to date of marijuana alone causing traffic fatalities.

It is interesting to note that, in his last election, Mr. Harris received $5,000 from the National Beer Wholesalers Association, more than $3,000 from Diageo, a liquor manufacturer and distributor, and $1,000 from the Distilled Spirits Council.

Otts Laupus, Ellicott City

[end]

11 US DC: PUB LTE: Congressmen Who Moved to Block D.C. MarijuanaSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Perry, Kimberly Area:District of Columbia Lines:39 Added:12/20/2014

Colbert I. King's Dec. 13 op-ed column, "The threat to D.C. home rule can't be ignored," asserted that the District was caught "flat-footed" by the language in the federal spending bill that blocked voter Initiative 71.

Influential members of both parties who could have protected democracy in the District knew about this rider for months. Since the summer, activists, drug-policy reform experts and our elected leaders have urged members and staff to protect the will of D.C. voters.

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12US AK: Walker Exploring Whether Marijuana Regulation TimelineSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Andrews, Laurel Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2014

Gov. Bill Walker is reviewing whether the state can extend its timeline for crafting marijuana regulations, spokesperson Grace Jang said Friday.

Extending the deadline could aid in crafting better regulations, Jang said. But marijuana industry advocates fear the delay could negatively influence the Legislature, which can repeal the initiative legalizing recreational marijuana two years after its effective date.

"The initiative creates a new industry that will require regulatory infrastructure that Alaska has to create from scratch and within a very short period of time. It's no easy task," Jang said.

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13US AK: New Assembly Committee Will Look at Legal MarijuanaSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Caldwell, Suzanna Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2014

The Anchorage Assembly has formed a committee whose sole focus is to consider the implementation of marijuana sales.

Assembly Chair Dick Traini announced Friday that the committee will look at regulation and taxation of the cultivation, manufacture and commercial sale of marijuana in Anchorage. Assemblyman Ernie Hall will chair the committee, which also includes Assembly members Pete Petersen, Amy Demboski and Paul Honeman.

It's the latest move by the city in response to Ballot Measure 2, the initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in Alaska. Creation of the committee comes days after the Assembly heard four hours of public testimony on an ordinance that would have banned commercial marijuana in the municipality. The measure, introduced by Demboski and co-sponsored by Honeman and Traini, was defeated 9-2.

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14 US DC: LTE: Congressmen Who Moved to Block D.C. MarijuanaSat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Lawrence, Malcolm Area:District of Columbia Lines:36 Added:12/20/2014

I agree with Reps. Andy Harris and Joe Pitts. A ballot initiative on marijuana is not the way to change the law. Marijuana remains a harmful drug, and its legal status should be determined by scientific research and findings. For 40 years, drug lobbies and pro-drug enthusiasts have pushed for marijuana decriminalization and legalization as a way to open the door to ending the drug war and freeing up other harmful substances. Why? Because those drugs make the users feel good - despite their harmful effects - and the users want to continue to feel good at lower prices.

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15CN ON: OPED: Criminals Prey On Vulnerable CommunitiesThu, 18 Dec 2014
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Denley, Randall Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2014

Current Social-Housing Policy Is Doomed to Fail

It's such a familiar story. People are shot or killed in Ottawa's social-housing neighbourhoods. Police step up enforcement. People are arrested, and guns and drugs seized. Community meetings are held. Multiple social agencies introduce new programs. Pause. Repeat.

The recent shootings in the west end have produced another of those periodic spasms of media, public, police and social-agency attention. They follow hard on the heels of similar shootings in similar neighbourhoods in the city's south end.

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16 US ME: Medical Marijuana Users Rent Downtown Bangor Space toMon, 15 Dec 2014
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Ricker, Nok-Noi Area:Maine Lines:148 Added:12/20/2014

BANGOR, Maine - A local group of medical marijuana patients is renting a space downtown where they can smoke or ingest their medicine.

A group calling itself the 13 Owls Club is renting on an hourly basis the VIP smoking area above the recently expanded hookah lounge run by the Herbal Tea & Tobacco shop in the heart of the city, Herbal Tea owner Christopher Ruhlin said during a recent interview.

"We have doctors, lawyers and architects, and these people depend on a discreet, professional environment," said Ruhlin, adding that he is a medical marijuana patient advocate and a member of the club.

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17 US: 2 Neighbors Of Colorado Sue Over Marijuana LawFri, 19 Dec 2014
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Healy, Jack Area:United States Lines:110 Added:12/20/2014

DENVER - Two heartland states filed the first major court challenge to marijuana legalization on Thursday, saying that Colorado's growing array of state-regulated recreational marijuana shops was piping marijuana into neighboring states and should be shut down.

The lawsuit was brought by attorneys general in Nebraska and Oklahoma, and asks the United States Supreme Court to strike down key parts of a 2012 voter-approved measure that legalized marijuana in Colorado for adult use and created a new system of stores, taxes and regulations surrounding retail marijuana.

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18 US OK: Oklahoma Seeks To Snuff Out Colorado Marijuana SalesFri, 19 Dec 2014
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Kemp, Adam Area:Oklahoma Lines:87 Added:12/20/2014

Oklahoma on Thursday joined with Nebraska in filing a lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deem Colorado's recreational marijuana law unconstitutional.

The states argue that Colorado's Amendment 64 runs counter to federal law, has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system and places an undue burden on neighboring states that have seen an increase in the amount of Colorado marijuana flooding across their borders.

"Federal law classifies marijuana as an illegal drug," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a written statement announcing the lawsuit. "The health and safety risks posed by marijuana, especially to children and teens, are well documented."

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19US CO: Editorial: A Meddling Lawsuit On Amendment 64Sat, 20 Dec 2014
Source:Denver Post (CO)          Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2014

No one has ever doubted the federal government has the power to shut down Colorado's commercial marijuana outlets, as well as its manufacturing and growing facilities.

Federal agents could close every medical marijuana facility, too. But they have chosen not to, wisely deferring to the popular will in Colorado and other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal use.

Yet that decision obviously rankles the attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma, who seem to have a lot of time on their hands. They've filed a lawsuit whose goal seems to be to prod the federal government into a crackdown on Colorado's commercial pot businesses, or at least prompt a court order against continued implementation of Amendment 64.

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20US CA: City Fines Pot Shop Landlord $250kFri, 19 Dec 2014
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Garrick, David Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2014

Planners Postpone Hearing for Approval of First Legal Store

SAN DIEGO - San Diego's efforts to shut down illegal pot shops continued on Thursday with a court ruling that a landlord must pay $250,000 in fines for repeatedly renting to illegal dispensaries.

Meanwhile, a final approval hearing for the city's first legal dispensary was postponed from Thursday to Jan. 29 by the Planning Commission because scheduling conflicts would have forced three of the commission's seven members to miss Thursday's hearing.

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