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1 US CA: LTE: Unhappy With EditingTue, 14 Jan 2016
Source:Chico News & Review, The (CA) Author:Esplanade, Nathan Area:California Lines:51 Added:06/14/2016

Re "Undermining the public's trust" (Guest comment, by Nathan Esplanade, Jan. 7):

Apparently to undermine my anti-alcohol and -marijuana guest comment last week, the CN&R changed and deleted some of my words and made others insensible, and completely omitted my conclusion.

In the same issue, the CN&R published more propaganda arguing legalizing pot would enable pain relief for the poor and enrich local governments. In so doing, it once again ignored the elephant in the room: Patients with a prescription can already acquire affordable medication via the Internet.

[continues 150 words]

2 US VT: PUB LTE: Strict Controls On MarijuanaFri, 19 Feb 2016
Source:Rutland Herald (VT) Author:Generess, Kenneth Area:Vermont Lines:32 Added:02/19/2016

I have read about much of the conversation regarding the legalization of marijuana. We should err on the side of caution when accepting and legalizing any bill that does not adhere to certain conditions. First, I personally would like to see the creation of a state-run marijuana exchange. Any persons or industry that chooses to grow marijuana for sale would be required to sell their crop at this exchange. Growers would be given fair market value for their produce. The state marijuana market would be supplied solely through this process. At the exchange produce will be broken down for distribution. Each crop will have a batch number. Every package will have a tracking number. Every ounce will be accounted for. Residency requirements should be in place for growers. Individuals who grow whether for personal use or sale would be required a permit. Individual restrictions will apply. Industrial growers will require a pre-existing Vermont farmers license.

Rutland

[end]

3 US CA: Column: Let It BurnThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Scott-Goforth, Grant Area:California Lines:83 Added:02/11/2016

So many hash labs are blowing up around these parts that Humboldt Bay Fire, which services the greater Eureka area, recently declared it won't go into the burning aftermath of the explosions.

The new policy comes on the heels of several hash lab fires in the area, the most recent of which (on Jan. 20) sent a resident to the University of California Davis burn center and left "obvious signs that the explosion moved the roof off the walls," according to a press release.

[continues 517 words]

4US CO: Drug Overdose Deaths Hit Record Levels in Rural ColoradoThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Olinger, David Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

Drug overdose deaths are reaching record levels in a surprising corner of Colorado: the windswept southern counties where ranchers graze cattle and farmers raise corn.

In eight counties stretching from Baca west to Rio Grande, yearly overdose deaths have reached the highest level measured by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Denver and Adams counties have hit the same level- 20 or more deaths per 100,000 residents - along with two other Colorado counties.

Altogether, every one of Colorado's 64 counties except Mineral, a sparsely populated county in the mountains, has experienced a rising drug death rate in the last 12 years.

[continues 472 words]

5 US: Senator: Sentencing Reform Bill Isn't StalledThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Horwitz, Sari Area:United States Lines:85 Added:02/11/2016

Despite Recent Setbacks, Utah Republican Says Legislation Has Traction

The co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation to reduce some mandatory minimum drug and gun sentences said Wednesday that he is hopeful Congress can still pass the bill despite recent setbacks.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said issues have arisen that have slowed the legislation - considered by advocates of sentencing reform to be the most significant in decades. But "I don't believe it's stalled," he said at "Out of Jail, Into Society," a Washington Post Live event about prison reform.

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6US MI: OPED: Drug Task Forces That Lose Money Will Lose TeethThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Lerner, Richard Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

The administration has opined that our country incarcerates too many people for nonviolent drug offenses. It recently decided to address that problem. However, the only people who are going to be happy about the solution are drug dealers.

In December, the federal government quietly cut almost half of the funding for Drug Enforcement Agency task forces across the country. Police chiefs across the country received a letter from the Department of Justice entitled "Deferral of Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Payments." It explained that drug forfeiture funds, which local agencies receive for working with DEA, would be "deferred" until further notice. DOJ referred to this as a $1.2 billion "rescission" needed to balance its budget.

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7 US CA: Column: Tommy Chong's Last LaughThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:SF Weekly (CA) Author:Roberts, Chris Area:California Lines:118 Added:02/11/2016

It was in a low-rent town in flyover country, playing a gig in front of a crowd of squares and straights in the Ronald Reagan '80s - the dark days of Just Say No, compulsory D.A.R.E. classes for children, and the crack-cocaine epidemic, all the things that led to our country's current drug-fueled incarceration crisis - when Tommy Chong really blew his audience's minds.

Chong and his partner Cheech Marin had been plying their brand of stoner humor for almost two decades, their comedy LPs and films on the Hi-Fis and Betamaxes of cannabis users around the world. (And the pair would separate soon after, when Marin tried to make a break from the THC-fueled typecast and go for a straight-laced acting career.) But on this night and in this town - some nameless "right-wing Christian" place Chong cannot recall - the still-bearded longhairs were not playing to their audience. Still, the crewcuts paid to see these freaks, leftovers from the '60s, in action. And they were curious.

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8 US CA: Sen. Mike McGuire Floats Bill to Increase Sales Tax onThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Kovner, Guy Area:California Lines:81 Added:02/11/2016

State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, introduced legislation Wednesday that would establish a 15 percent statewide sales tax on medical marijuana, a move he said was needed to help cover local government costs to control the booming cannabis industry.

The tax would be in addition to the existing sales tax - roughly 8 percent on goods and services - and is expected to generate more than $100 million a year, with a 30 percent share available to cities and counties for costs associated with medical cannabis.

[continues 488 words]

9 US AZ: Column: Social Media Hates On WeedThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Taracena, Maria Ines Area:Arizona Lines:75 Added:02/11/2016

Last week, dispensary owners in Arizona, and other states, woke up to news their Facebook pages were deleted

At least a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries in Tucson realized their Facebook pages had been deleted on Thursday, Feb. 4 by the social media site, according to the Daily Haze.

Facebook claimed they had banned the pages because the company does not allow any material that "condones drug use."

The Haze spoke to Tucson's Earth's Healing's marketing director, Florence Hijazi, who told the online publication that not having a Facebook page damages the dispensary's business, because their patients check their page on a daily basis for different specials and other updates. Hijazi also told the Haze that, in response to being kicked out of Facebook, Earth's Healing plans to focus more on their Twitter account and their phone app.

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10 US CO: Column: Dear Stoner: Does Marijuana Help WithThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Westword (Denver, CO) Author:Fuego, Herbert Area:Colorado Lines:59 Added:02/11/2016

Dear Stoner: Does marijuana help with depression?

Searching

Dear Searching: Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. There's such a wide range of studies on the subject that trying to wrap your head around it can make your hair fall out - or leave you more depressed. A survey of 4,400 adults that was funded by the Marijuana Policy Project indicated that regular and occasional marijuana users had more positive moods and fewer somatic complaints than non-users, but it also found medical users to be more depressed than recreational users. Other published studies have shown marijuana smokers to be diagnosed with depression more often and to be more at risk for schizophrenia or psychosis than non-smokers, but doctors don't agree on whether marijuana is the cause of a patient's depression or just that patient's preferred method of self-medication.

[continues 269 words]

11 US OR: Column: How To Ruin Valentine's Day-with Weed!Thu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:Portland Mercury (OR) Author:Jardine, Josh Area:Oregon Lines:80 Added:02/11/2016

IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY, which can be difficult for single people. (Who are only alone because something is wrong with them. WHAT? I'm right. You know I'm right. Think of all your single friends, and name two who aren't that way because of a deep, twisted, untreatable inner flaw. Yikes.)

But even for those of us who are happily coupled-and don't hate-there are expectations forced upon us that this has to be the most romantic, multi-orgasmic holiday of the year, right after Arbor Day or when a new dispensary opens down the block.

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12 Thailand: Editorial: Grasp Drug Policy NettleWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Bangkok Post (Thailand)          Area:Thailand Lines:74 Added:02/11/2016

The United Nations is aiming to set a new macro policy on recreational drugs worldwide, starting today. It has taken almost a generation even to get to this point, which is the token beginning of a UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs. There are strong feelings emerging that the UN itself might even take a stand leaning towards legalisation of such drugs. A kickoff meeting this evening in New York will hear testimony, mostly from the pro-enforcement side.

This is, essentially, Thailand's time to stand up for this country's policies on illegal drugs - or to call for changes. It is certain that after today's "interactive panel discussions" on the subject that a handful of Latin American countries and most of the 279 NGOs registered to attend will be lobbying hard on the legalisation side. Thailand and Thais are not prepared to go that far. Yet changes must be made.

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13 UK: OPED: Drug CasualtiesWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Independent (UK) Author:Grillo, Ioan Area:United Kingdom Lines:263 Added:02/11/2016

Billionaire warlords, who started as small-time weed smugglers, have swathes of Latin America under their bloody rule, and the chaos is creeping north. But, says IOAN GRILLO, they owe their power to white-collar crooks from the States, who first set up their deadly networks

A chain of crime wars is currently strangling Latin America and the Caribbean, drenching it in blood. And the first link in the chain is found in the US. Specifically, in a Barnes and Noble bookshop in a mall in El Paso, Texas.

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14 Australia: Medicinal Cannabis Growers SchemeWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)          Area:Australia Lines:33 Added:02/11/2016

The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers.

Although medicinal cannabis is available for particular patient groups and clinical trials, it is now illegal to grow and import most medicinal cannabis products, leading some patients to buy them from the black market and run the risk of prosecution for drug use and possession. Health Minister Sussan Ley hoped for bipartisan support for legal changes that she said would help chronically ill patients in allowing therapeutic products to be grown on a larger scale to meet patient demand. She was confident a single cultivation scheme rather than state- and territory-based schemes, would hasten regulation and patients' access to medicinal cannabis. "A national regulator will also allow the government to closely track the development of cannabis products for medicinal use from cultivation to supply and curtail any attempts by criminals to get involved," she said. It is unclear whether the scheme will gain enough Senate support, because it differs from a separate Greens-led bill for a national regulator that would oversee growth, manufacture and distribution of medicinal cannabis. This model, introduced into the Senate in 2014, has support from both Liberal and Labor senators.

[end]

15US CA: Police Will Help Addicts RecoverWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Marroquin, Art Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

ANAHEIM Drug addicts who are ready to kick their habit soon will be urged to seek out help from an unconventional new ally: the Police Department.

Mayor Tom Tait on Tuesday announced what he calls "Drug Free Anaheim," aimed at encouraging chronic drug users to walk into a police station in Orange County's most populous city and ask for help in exchange for a free ride to a rehabilitation center.

Anaheim appears to be the first California city to adopt the tactic, which Tait said puts the city's focus on helping users recover - rather than jailing them - while allowing police to enforce drug laws.

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16US AK: Anchorage Assembly Sets Buffer Zones for PotWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Kelly, Devin Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

When pot businesses can legally open in Anchorage later this year, they'll have to be at least 500 feet from schools in most parts of the city, the Anchorage Assembly decided Tuesday night.

The Assembly also narrowly voted against a proposal to allow on-site consumption in retail stores, at least for now. That question was referred back to the Assembly's committee on marijuana regulation. Assembly members said the city should wait for the outcome of still-evolving state regulations before adopting local rules on marijuana bars or cafes -- but left undisturbed laws for private social clubs, where customers can bring their own pot to consume.

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17 US OR: Editorial: Study Cannabis In Oregon, But Not YetWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:56 Added:02/11/2016

A state task force has recommended that Oregon create an independent institute for research into the medical uses of marijuana. The reasons for doing so are sound, and lawmakers should follow the recommendation. But not right away.

The task force, created by the 2015 Legislature under the auspices of the Oregon Health Authority, issued its report Monday. The report recommends creating the Oregon Institute for Cannabis Research. The institute would conduct studies both within the university system and outside it, and would raise private funds as well as relying on a dedicate source of state funding.

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18CN SN: Police in 'Grey Zone' Awaiting Feds' Legislation ofWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Hamilton, Charles Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

Saskatoon's police chief says the Liberal government needs to clarify Canada's marijuana laws to combat serious misunderstandings about the legality of the drug.

"The police aren't anti-marijuana," Chief Clive Weighill said. "But we are in a situation right now that is a very grey zone."

Weighill said despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election promise that pot will be legalized for personal use, smoking, growing and selling weed in Canada is still against the law.

Weighill, who is also president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said the government needs to offer clarity to people - especially those who believe that because of the election promise, the drug is already legal.

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19 US CA: LTE: Treat AddictionsThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Kahn, Lauren Area:California Lines:24 Added:02/11/2016

Regarding "$1 billion prescription for treating addictions" (Open Forum, Feb. 8): A big thank you to President Obama for his proposal to allocate $1.1 billion in new funding to stop the opioid overdose epidemic.

The use of prescription drugs is so prolific in our country that precious Super Bowl 50 ad space was used for a product that relieves opioid-induced constipation. I am heartened to know that the president is dedicating more resources to stave off this health crisis of epidemic proportions and to help save precious lives.

Lauren Kahn, San Francisco

[end]

20US CA: Senator Backs State Sales Tax On Medical PotThu, 11 Feb 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Gutierrez, Melody Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/11/2016

SACRAMENTO - California would levy a new 15 percent tax on medical marijuana sales to enforce new regulations and pay for state programs, rehabilitation and parks under a bill introduced Wednesday.

The Marijuana Value Tax Act could bring the state more than $100 million in new revenue. The tax was anticipated after the state passed historic regulations last year that require state and local licenses for medical marijuana businesses under the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations.

"Now that there is a long overdue regulatory framework put into place, it's time to help fund the areas that are most affected by the cultivation - those communities that have long been paying the price of the negative effects of cultivation brought on by the 'bad actors' who destroy the environment and bring in crime," state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who authored SB987 and parts of last year's marijuana regulations, said in a statement.

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