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1US FL: Pill Mill Owners Turn Snitch To Cut Jail TimeSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Silvestrini, Elaine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2015

TAMPA - Not so long ago, they ran what authorities described as the most active pill mill in the United States, and now they are getting out from under long prison sentences by helping prosecutors jail other pill pushers.

In the process, they're pulling back the curtain, showing jurors what it was like at what has been called ground zero for pill mills, the prescription narcotic equivalent to the "cocaine cowboy" days in South Florida.

The Tampa Bay Wellness Centre was so popular, according to court testimony, and was drawing so many patients that parking had become a serious issue.

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2US: Marijuana Use Now Legal in Nation's CapitalFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2015

The District of Columbia has joined an exclusive American club: Residents of the nation's capital can now legally grow and consume recreational marijuana in their homes.

Some members of Congress are threatening to intervene. But as of Thursday the District had joined Colorado, Alaska and Washington state in permitting the general public to use marijuana. While Colorado and Washington are reaping the tax benefits of a regulated industry with hundreds of retail stores, D.C. residents must either grow their own or get it for free.

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3US AK: Column: Is It Illegal to Consume Cannabis in AlaskaTue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Woodham, Scott Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2015

"Park Ranger" (not an actual park ranger) wonders about herb and the great outdoors: "What's the regulation or position for state parks and pot? I ask this question because I live right at the door of Chugach State Park. So if public consumption and sales are illegal in Anchorage, whoever smokes or eats brownies can just go for a hike around Flattop and such? Or does Alaska State Parks have some regulations now?"

To answer this question, first we'll need a bit of definition.

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4 US AK: LTE: Local Pot Control ParamountTue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Neal, Don Area:Alaska Lines:33 Added:03/03/2015

The letter by Ms. Coltellaro (ADN, March 2) is admirable for its belligerent defense of her interpretation of the Ballot Measure 2 law regarding legal marijuana use. However, she must have skipped Section 17.38.110 of that measure, the section entitled "Local Control." This section sets forth the steps that local governments may take to adapt the marijuana laws to their own situations or preferences. I admire Wasilla for immediately taking the initiative and enacting its own controls - and I deplore the fact that so few other local governments have done so. The attempt to do so by one Anchorage Assembly member was instantly shot down by others with dollar signs blinding their foresight.

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5 US AK: PUB LTE: Pot Prohibition Is OverTue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:White, Stan Area:Alaska Lines:33 Added:03/03/2015

Kevin Coe's point is well taken ("Sorry, high rollers," ADN, Feb. 27). However, with hundreds of regulated stores selling cannabis in Colorado, we're talking mere technicalities.

Although Uncle Sam couldn't care less what Colorado's (Washington, Oregon and Alaska included) constitution reads, in reality Colorado, and the entire nation more strongly, could care less what Uncle Sam believes.

Further and more important, God indicates He created all the seed-bearing plants saying they're all good on literally the very first page of the Bible and God's law trumps U.S. Constitution law. Technically, then, cannabis has never been illegal.

American's level of contempt for the discredited prohibition of cannabis renders the federal government insignificant. Cannabis prohibition is over.

- - Stan White Dillon, Colo.

[end]

6 US AK: Panel to Consider Limiting Alaska Households to 12Tue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:Alaska Lines:49 Added:03/03/2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A House committee is trying to determine how much pot can be grown at one house.

The House Community and Regional Affairs Committee will consider a 12-plant limit for each house as part of its bill addressing municipalities' role in regulating marijuana.

The voter initiative allows an individual to possess up to six plants, three of which can be mature.

An aide to Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, chair of that committee, said municipalities have raised concerns about how many plants can be grown at a household with multiple people, and the limit was meant to provide clarity.

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7 US WA: Pot Charges 'Overzealous,' Federal Jury Told DuringTue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) Author:Hill, Kip Area:Washington Lines:104 Added:03/03/2015

The fate of three people accused of growing and dealing marijuana out of their rural Stevens County home will soon be in the hands of a federal jury.

Those 12 people may also decide the future of federal prosecutions targeting marijuana growers.

A Washington, D.C., civil rights attorney representing Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, Rolland Gregg and Michelle Gregg made an impassioned plea to jurors Monday afternoon to throw out what he called an "overzealous, overreaching" case built by federal prosecutors.

"They roped in this innocent family," said Phil Tefleyan, who has taken the lead in the trial of the so-called "Kettle Falls Five," which is now down to three. They face drug and firearms charges that carry mandatory prison sentences of more than a decade.

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8 US MI: PUB LTE: Pot No 'Gateway'Tue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Hackett, Daniel Area:Michigan Lines:19 Added:03/03/2015

If marijuana is a gateway drug what is baby aspirin? If marijuana was truly being treated like a medicine, where are the privacy protections that come with all drugs? Do you need a state sponsored card to eat your anti depressants? Your sleeping pills?

Daniel Hackett, Marysville

[end]

9 US MI: PUB LTE: War on 'Spirit of Truth'Tue, 03 Mar 2015
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:White, Stan Area:Michigan Lines:20 Added:03/03/2015

Steve Siebold's point is well taken ("Time To Legalize Marijuana," Feb. 28), however, the problem isn't the war on drugs but rather the war on a relatively safe God-given plant... More specifically a war against the "spirit of truth."

Stan White, Dillon, Colorado

[end]

10 US DC: Future Is Smokin'Mon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Times (DC) Author:Noble, Andrea Area:District of Columbia Lines:122 Added:03/03/2015

Marijuana Convention in D.C. Helps Put Growers in Business Legally

Part patchouli, part power suit, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts gathered over the weekend for the District's first cannabis convention since the city legalized recreational marijuana - offering a glimpse of the emerging markets that could take hold in the nation's capital.

Although the faint smell of marijuana hung over the Southwest D.C. hotel's exhibition hall - where attendees could get tips on how to grow it, buy products to smoke it and speak with consultants on how to market it - nowhere could it be found.

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11 US RI: The Art, and Science, Behind Growing Medical MarijuanaMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Lazar, Kay Area:Rhode Island Lines:170 Added:03/03/2015

R.I. Growers Can Attest to Perils of New Market

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. - A tiny spider mite is all it could take to cripple Seth Bock's business.

Bock grows marijuana, legally, for a living, and the peril presented by just one small insect illustrates how difficult it can be to establish a thriving dispensary.

His is one of three medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island, and his experience provides vital lessons for companies in Massachusetts that have won licenses to grow and sell marijuana. The first is expected to open in April.

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12US AK: As Marijuana Becomes Legal, Unalaska Passes RestrictiveMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Paulin, Jim Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2015

Marijuana legalization took effect Tuesday in Alaska, and a last week the Unalaska City Council voted to amend city ordinances to reflect the new reality, though with tight restrictions on public use.

The council voted 6-0 in a special meeting Friday morning, Feb. 20, to have the new rules in effect when legalization arrived a few days later. The new rules set $100 fines for smoking pot in public and for consumption by persons under 21 years of age.

Former City Councilor Dennis Robinson said the council should respect local voters' 57 percent approval of Ballot Measure 2 allowing the possession of 1 ounce of marijuana in November. That's when they disregarded the city council's dire warnings. In a Oct. 28 resolution, the city council opposed legalization as an "extreme measure" and "a step backward."

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13 US AK: PUB LTE: Majority Rules, WasillaMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Coltellaro, Susan Area:Alaska Lines:27 Added:03/03/2015

In regard to Wasilla enacting strict new marijuana rules: Will that town be micromanaging gun laws as well? America. Home of the opinionated. If you really want to do something impressive, Wasilla dear, why don't you close your bars? By the way, what's your take on the gay marriage thing? Would my sister and her wife be allowed to walk on your streets? When the majority passes a law, you are just as bound to it as anyone. It seems incredibly illegal of you to think you can simply circumvent the majority rule. I, for one, am most assuredly speaking out.

- -- Susan Coltellaro

Fairbanks

[end]

14US WA: Pot Trial Tests State, Federal LawsMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2015

SPOKANE - Federal prosecutors in Spokane are trying to convince a jury that a cancerstricken man and his family were illegally growing and distributing marijuana on their northeastern Washington property despite claims by the "Kettle Falls Five" that they were instead raising legal medical cannabis for their personal use.

The case against Larry Harvey's family has become a cause celebre among the marijuana community, which sees it as a disconnect between state and federal marijuana laws. Washington state last summer allowed legal recreational sales, although the raid on the Harvey home happened in August 2012. And Congress late last year effectively barred the Justice Department from interfering with states that have medical marijuana systems.

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15 US CT: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Can Improve Quality of LifeMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:New Haven Register (CT) Author:Battista, Arianna Area:Connecticut Lines:36 Added:03/03/2015

I am fully supportive of the proposed House Bill 5892. I think it is important that Connecticut legislators be aware of the positive changes that could potentially take place for many families, should this bill be passed. Unfortunately, I know of many ill children who could benefit from the use of medical marijuana if it were legal.

It is extremely disheartening that many families have to be displaced and act as "refugees" in order to properly care for their ill loved ones. The use of medical marijuana has been extremely effective for many children just like Cyndimae Meehan, in ways that traditional anti-epileptic drugs have not.

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16 US CT: OPED: D.C. Pot GamesMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Day, The (New London,CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:56 Added:03/03/2015

Amid all the uncertainties surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia, a few things are clear. Among them is that Congress has better things to do than meddle in the purely local affairs of the District.

That District officials and employees have been threatened with jail, by no less than the chairman of a powerful congressional committee, for their good-faith efforts to follow a voter mandate, is utterly inexcusable. Such a spectacle - and the fact that the District is under congressional attack for undertaking virtually the same steps as its counterparts in Colorado, Washington and, most recently, Alaska - should bring home to the rest of the country the need to redress the historic injustice of the city's limited political powers.

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17 US PA: Sen. Leach, Pushes For Medical CannabisMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Times Herald, The (Norristown, PA) Author:Scala, Kristina Area:Pennsylvania Lines:110 Added:03/03/2015

Bill to Allow Nonsmoking Use Wins Bipartisan Support

A Delaware County Democratic senator continues the push to legalize medical marijuana, but dual-party support might not be enough to push along the legislation.

The bill, Senate Bill 3, was presented by Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, and Republican Sen. Mike Folmer, R-48, of Lebanon, at the Senate Government Committee hearing Wednesday. It garnered bipartisan support in the Senate for the second time.

"Today's hearing made it clear that we can create a medical cannabis protocol in the commonwealth that is among the best in the country," Leach said in a prepared statement after the hearing.

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18 UK: Expert Wants Scots Cannabis CafesMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Scotsman (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:26 Added:03/03/2015

A FORMER UK Government adviser has said Scots should go Dutch and open cannabis cafes.

Professor David Nutt, who has advised the Department of Health, said it could be "very good" for the economy. Prof Nutt sacked by the UK Government in 2009 for saying horse riding was more dangerous than ecstasy also blasted plans to ban legal highs.

Speaking ahead of a talk in Edinburgh, Prof Nutt said: "If Scotland had a sensible medical cannabis policy you'd get a lot of health tourists and that would be very good for your economy. People could have a cuppa in cafes in Edinburgh and Glasgow and have a spliff as they do in Amsterdam."

[end]

19 US ID: Young Girl's Story May Lead Idaho To Ok Pot OilMon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Kruesi, Kimberlee Area:Idaho Lines:98 Added:03/03/2015

10-Year-Old Suffers Rare Kind of Epilepsy

Family Says Extract Could Ease Her Seizures

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disease causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child seize up will pass or turn fatal.

Her Boise, Idaho, family learned that oil extracted from marijuana had helped other children and wanted to see if it would help Alexis, too.

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20 CN ON: Trials Of Tough LoveSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Barrie Examiner (CN ON) Author:Browne, Cheryl Area:Ontario Lines:137 Added:03/03/2015

Trying to find help for a child who doesn't want it tough for parents

Tough love can hurt. Susan (not her real name) says she did everything she could to get help for her young son who was suffering from mental health problems and drug addiction.

None of it worked and the last time she saw her 17-year-old son was on Dec. 7, when he left home to live in Youth Haven, a shelter in Barrie for teens in crisis.

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21 CN BC: Agony Vs. EcstasySun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Vancouver Magazine (CN BC) Author:Wood, Daniel Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:03/03/2015

A psychedelic response to post-traumatic stress

In an extraordinary project, local research scientists and therapists, specializing in newly resurgent psychedelic medicine, are seeking to confirm what others elsewhere have recently discovered. It appears that highly illegal ecstasy-MDMA- helps people overcome the living hell of treatment-resistant PTSD. In two studies done in Switzerland and the U.S., it has been shown that pure MDMA, plus intensive psychotherapy, can cure people whose lives have been shattered by horrific traumas, ones that-even after years-keep returning in flashbacks and nightmares.

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22 US SD: PUB LTE: Legalizing 'Mind-Altering' Drugs Bad IdeaSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD) Author:Lyso, Janet Area:South Dakota Lines:37 Added:03/03/2015

Good for the North Dakota House defeating legalizing medicinal use of marijuana (aka 'pot'). The legislator who introduced the bill made the uneducated argument that "this is not a drug issue but a quality of life issue for the people of North Dakota." Oh, really.

In a western state where now pot is legally obtainable, my grandson, at age 11, was introduced to pot on his school campus. Last year, at 171/2 years of age, he entered a youth rehabilitation facility for 45 days at the parent's expense.

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23 US OH: PUB LTE: Don't Create Marijuana Cartel In OhioThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:McKnight, Shellie Area:Ohio Lines:41 Added:03/03/2015

Your Feb. 15 editorial "No cartel" is spot on, and Ohio voters should pay close attention.

Legalization of marijuana in Ohio for whatever use is inevitable. But if ResponsibleOhio's ballot initiative succeeds, Ohio's constitution would be amended to establish a monopoly of growers, testers, and distributors.

My first objection when I heard of the proposed 11 investors was: Who picked these people, and why them? Why was this opportunity not open to any potential investor willing to abide by state regulations?

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24 US CA: Editorial: Don't Reverse Course On Prop. 47Mon, 02 Mar 2015
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:94 Added:03/03/2015

A proposal to collect DNA from people convicted of some misdemeanors is a bad idea.

Less than three months ago, California voters adopted Proposition 47, an initiative that reduced six felonies to misdemeanors. By far, most of the affected crimes are for drug possession.

It's not always easy to glean a clear statement from such a vote beyond the basic fact of it: Voters wanted those crimes to be treated as misdemeanors instead of felonies. Still, it's a fairly safe assumption that voters wanted their criminal justice resources to be focused less on crimes they considered less serious, especially drug possession.

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25 International: Despite UN Treaties, War Against Drugs a LosingSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Sunday Times, The (Sri Lanka) Author:Deen, Thalif        Lines:123 Added:03/03/2015

Drug Crop Eradication Devastates the Environment and Forces Producers Underground, Often to Areas With Fragile Ecosystems.

UNITED NATIONS, (IPS) - As the call for the decriminalisation of drugs steadily picks up steam worldwide, a new study by a British charity concludes there has been no significant reduction in the global use of illicit drugs since the creation of three key UN anti-drug conventions, the first of which came into force over half a century ago.

"Illicit drugs are now purer, cheaper, and more widely used than ever," says the report, titled Casualties of War: How the War on Drugs is Harming the World's Poorest, released Thursday by the London-based Health Poverty Action.

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26 US AR: PUB LTE: Wasted On FailuresSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR) Author:Campbell, Denele Area:Arkansas Lines:45 Added:03/03/2015

How many more prisons will we build before we wake up? Intoxication is intoxication. Alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, cocaine-there is no difference. People choose to alter their consciousness. Get over it.

Forty years of a war on drugs hasn't reduced the use or abuse of anything. It's time to look past the moralizing and accept reality. Getting high is not a criminal act. What we fear, the force behind prohibition, is the fear that an intoxicated person will harm others.

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27 US: Young Republicans Liberal On PotSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Schwarz, Hunter Area:United States Lines:50 Added:03/03/2015

When it comes to marijuana, the majority of young Republicans are far closer to the Democratic view than they are to older members of their own party.

Pew poll data shows 63 percent of Millennial Republicans - those born between 1981 and 1996 - support legalized marijuana. That's a higher percentage than Generation X and Silent Generation Democrats.

Boomer Democrats still have young Republicans beat, and the gap of support between Boomer Democrats and Republicans is the largest of any age group at 28 points. Overall, Republicans are not supportive of legalization. As of October, only 31 percent of all Republicans supported it.

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28CN PI: Editorial: No Excuse For Strip-Searching High SchoolerThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:Guardian, The (CN PI)          Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2015

(An editorial from the Toronto Star distributed by The Canadian Press.)

Quebec's education minister has stepped back from defending the strip-searching of a 15-year-old girl at school. Provincial officials now say they'll review rules that were used to justify taking such an extreme measure.

But what's there to review? Young people should not be strip-searched by school officials. Period.

Rather than acknowledging the obvious, however, and admitting that staff at a high school in the Quebec City area had gone too far, Education Minister Yves Bolduc initially cited security concerns in an attempt to justify the search.

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29 CN MB: OPED: Shelters Can't Be Run Like PrisonsThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Perras, Floyd Area:Manitoba Lines:85 Added:03/03/2015

How would you feel if your daughter was ordered to strip naked by her teachers and wrongfully accused of selling drugs?

When news broke that a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Quebec City was forced to remove her clothing to prove she was not carrying drugs I couldn't help but think of my daughter when she was that age.

The girl was accused of dealing pot after a teacher confiscated her phone and went through her text messages, in one of which she had joked about selling marijuana.

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30 CN MB: Freeman To Stay Free Following ConvictionFri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:McIntyre, Mike Area:Manitoba Lines:61 Added:03/03/2015

Conditional sentence for pot grow-op

A so-called Freeman on the Land will not have to plant his roots in jail following a conviction for running a marijuana grow operation.

Scott Peters was given a 13-month conditional sentence Thursday that allows him to remain free in the community. He was placed on daily house arrest and must perform 100 hours of community-service work.

The Crown was seeking up to six months behind bars for Peters, who was convicted by a jury last month following a bizarre, three-day trial.

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31 US DC: Column: D.C., The Country's Capital For Pot-smokersSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Wilson, Reid Area:District of Columbia Lines:59 Added:03/01/2015

The mind-altering-substance market got a little more crowded in Washington this past week when the District joined three states in allowing residents to possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes.

And despite the objections of some congressional Republicans, initially led by Rep. Andy Harris (Md.), who's quite keen to tell D.C. voters that he knows better than they do, the District is actually the best place in America for marijuana aficionados - in part because of Harris's efforts to block the will of the voters.

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32 US MD: Hogan Wades Into Md.'s Ongoing Heroin BattleSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Duncan, Ian Area:Maryland Lines:182 Added:03/01/2015

Governor Creates Panels to Focus More on Prevention and Treatment of Addiction

"We're not just reacting to the sudden surge of overdoses and overdoses deaths. We're taking a holistic approach."

With the creation of two panels devoted to combating heroin use, Gov. Larry Hogan has waded into a worsening crisis - one that has defied solutions for decades.

It once looked as if Maryland had brought some measure of control to its long-standing battle against the drug, driving down fatal overdose rates for years. In Baltimore, for example, overdose deaths plunged from more than 300 in 1999 to around 100 in 2010.

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33 US MD: PUB LTE: War On Heroin Starts With TeensSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Mathis, Don Area:Maryland Lines:38 Added:03/01/2015

Gov. Larry Hogan's focus on addressing the heroin epidemic ("Hogan creates two panels for fight against heroin," Feb. 25) is a testimony that the scourge of heroin and other substance addictions has garnered bipartisan concern. The next public policy strategy should translate this realization in to greater access to treatment, more targeted public awareness campaigns and increased cooperation between law enforcement, health care and mental health care providers and community leaders.

The efforts by Governor Hogan and others need to focus on teens and young adults. The Maryland Addiction Recovery Center's December, 2014 analysis shows that heroin is now one of the top five drugs abused by teens.

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34 US MD: PUB LTE: Another Study Waiting To Be IgnoredSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Smith, William Area:Maryland Lines:49 Added:03/01/2015

I find it amusing that the Hogan administration is proposing a "study" to combat heroin addiction in Maryland ("The new face of Md.'s fight against heroin," Feb. 26).

Presumably it will complement the other "study" recently completed by the O'Malley administration. I'm sure the two of them will make lovely bookends in an office somewhere, where they will sit, gather dust and be ignored just like every other "study" the government has commissioned in its futile "war on drugs."

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35 US MD: OPED: A Viable Alternative To Drug ArrestsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Bernstein, Gregg Area:Maryland Lines:118 Added:03/01/2015

In Baltimore City, approximately 20,000 people were arrested for drug-related offenses annually in 2012 and 2013; nearly three quarters for simple possession. And while there has been a great deal of discussion over the last few years regarding the incarceration of individuals for drug crimes, particularly in minority communities, the fact is that most drug cases in Baltimore do not result in confinement, except for those unfortunate enough not to have the funds to post bail while awaiting trial.

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36 US FL: For Florida Pot Smoker, Feds Are No Drag; They're HisSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Halper, Evan Area:Florida Lines:91 Added:03/01/2015

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Even in this city full of absent-minded drivers, it's a wonder Irvin Rosenfeld doesn't stand out as a menace.

The interior of his Toyota 4-Runner reeks of marijuana. A canister stuffed with hundreds of joints lies in the trunk, and a bag full of them is in the door pocket. On a recent weekday, the 62year-old stopped at a red light and took a drag so deep his exhale filled the cabin with smoke. It was his fourth joint that day. It wasn't yet lunchtime.

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37 US: Cellular Tracking Device Sparks Privacy ConcernsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Nakashima, Ellen Area:United States Lines:65 Added:03/01/2015

TALLAHASSEE - The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time marijuana dealer of $130 worth of pot using a BB gun. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.

But before trial, his defense team found investigators had used a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device - a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay - to McKenzie's attorneys.

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38 US WA: Tribes Discuss Legal MarijuanaSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:107 Added:03/01/2015

Representatives Attend Forum on Regulatory, Social Issues

TULALIP, Wash. (AP) - The Justice Department's announcement in December that it would allow the nation's Indian tribes to legalize and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution if not silence or opposition from many tribes.

They were reluctant given the substance-abuse problems that already plague many reservations.

But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early indication of just how many might be weighing it, even if a thicket of potential legal issues remain.

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39 US: Decriminalization, Even Legalization Of Pot SpreadsSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Chokshi, Niraj Area:United States Lines:83 Added:03/01/2015

It officially became legal to consume and grow marijuana in Alaska on Tuesday.

That means the state is the third to legalize the drug in as many years, but it is hardly the last. Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., have also approved legalization, and advocates plan to take advantage of shifting public opinion to target other states this year and next.

Here's a look at how the patchwork of existing laws compare, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, which played pivotal roles in passing some of the legalization laws.

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40 CN MB: House Arrest for 'Freeman'Fri, 27 Feb 2015
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pritchard, Dean Area:Manitoba Lines:62 Added:03/01/2015

A so-called "freeman" who claimed justice officials had no right to prosecute him for running a marijuana grow operation in his basement has been sentenced to 13 months house arrest.

Scott David Peters, 45, argued he is not bound by Canadian law, but by a natural law "to do no harm."

"There is a big difference between a person thinking that a particular law is wrong and a person who actually disregards that law," Justice Robert Dewar told Peters.

"This sentence is intended to reinforce the notion that a person is not entitled to pick and choose which laws to obey - they must all be obeyed," Dewar said. "Consider this sentence an encouragement to start acting like a responsible citizen and govern yourself accordingly."

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41 US CA: LTE: Cherry-Picked CausesSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Grant, Julian Area:California Lines:36 Added:03/01/2015

"State Republican advocates for Oakland pot dispenser" (Insight, Feb. 22) and "GOP's crusader for legal pot calls it conservative cause" (Feb. 22) have both put a spotlight on the efforts of Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to get the Justice Department to refrain from trying to shut down dispensaries in states where voters have approved the use of medical marijuana. They have also noted Rohrabacher's advocacy for the legalization of recreational marijuana use is part of his strong "civil libertarian streak."

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42 US WA: Tripping On TourismSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Bush, Evan Area:Washington Lines:219 Added:03/01/2015

Wine Approach

Some in the Pot Industry Dream of Vineyard-Like Tours, but Some See Limits to That Comparison.

Jill Lane, master grower at Sky High Gardens on Seattle's Harbor Island, uncaps jar after jar of golf-ball-size marijuana buds and allows her guests sniffs of Bubblicious, Super Silver Goo and Green Crack.

"What kind of high is that?" asks Louise Avery, gesturing to one of the jars.

"This is for daytime: taking a hike. Beach volleyball," explains Lane to the group of visitors with Kush Tourism, a Seattle-based cannabis company. Lane continues describing strains as if the visitors surrounding the table were middle-age women in a Yankee Candle store.

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43US CA: Providing High Level Of ConfidenceSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Krieger, Lisa M. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2015

Labs Can Tell You What's In Your Pot, From THC to Contaminants

Cannabis used to be what moonshine is to alcohol, its content as murky as a cloud of smoke lingering over a Phish concert.

Now a cadre of Bay Area laboratories can tell you exactly what you're getting for your money - creating reliability, safety and standardization in a business that long relied on the casual assurances of a skanky friend from Stonerville.

Gone are the days of being ripped off with a nickel bag of dusty oregano. Or eating a cookie that delivers manic euphoria, when all you wanted was to ease a little nausea.

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44 US DC: PUB LTE: Hope Amid A Heroin CrisisSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Mathis, Don Area:District of Columbia Lines:34 Added:03/01/2015

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) emotional disclosure that his cousin died of a heroin overdose shows that the tragedy of addiction is not restricted to any income class, ethnic group or geographic area ["For Hogan, the heroin crisis hit in the heart," Metro, Feb. 25]. Addiction afflicts individuals and families from all walks of life, in Maryland and across the United States.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2013 Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that 4.9 percent of the state's high school students have tried heroin at least once, 5 percent have tried methamphetamines and 3.9 percent have used a needle to inject these and other drugs.

[continues 61 words]

45 US DC: OPED: A Justice System That's Fair To AllSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Holder, Eric H. Jr. Area:District of Columbia Lines:97 Added:03/01/2015

Today, a rare consensus has emerged in favor of reforming our federal drug sentencing laws. This presents a historic opportunity to improve the fairness of our criminal justice system. But unless we act quickly, we risk letting the moment pass.

The Justice Department has sought to be an early innovator on this front. A year and a half ago, I launched the Smart on Crime initiative- a comprehensive effort to reorient the federal government's approach to criminal justice. It focused on reducing the use of draconian mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses and deepening our investment in rehabilitation and reentry programs that can reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

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46 US DC: Budding Pot Moguls Cruise D.C.'s First ExpoSun, 01 Mar 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Cox, John Woodrow Area:District of Columbia Lines:176 Added:03/01/2015

In a chandeliered banquet hall not far from the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, a man with a Duke MBA and a Wall Street background offered the same sort of tips often given to aspiring entrepreneurs in places like this one: Develop a clear business plan; raise enough capital to weather setbacks; find a niche and own it.

Listening were 150 or so people packed into rows of cushioned red-and-gold chairs at the District's first "Cannabis Academy," an event perfectly timed to capitalize on the rush from the city's newly legalized marijuana-growing marketplace. Butthe stereotypical images of stoner culture-leaf-adorned-Bob Marley flags and smoky photos of piled-high pot-were, by design, nowhere in sight at the Holiday Inn. The crowd, more grayhaired than long-haired, sipped coffee and thumbed through 100-plus page workbooks with categories such as "Legal" and "Accounting & Merchant Services."

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47 US WA: 75 Tribes Study Up On Pot LegalizationSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM)          Area:Washington Lines:30 Added:03/01/2015

TULALIP, Wash. - The Justice Department's December announcement that it would allow the nation's Indian tribes to legalize and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution - if not silence or opposition - from many tribes.

They were reluctant to consider it given the substance abuse problems that already plague many reservations.

But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early indication of just how many might be weighing it.

Representatives of about 75 tribes from around the country converged on the Tulalip Indian Tribe's resort and casino for a $605-a-head seminar on the regulatory, legal and social issues related to pot legalization.

That's a small fraction of the nation's 566 recognized tribes, and many of the attendees were from smaller tribes looking for a potential economic edge.

[end]

48 US DC: Column: The Right Fight, But The Wrong ReasonSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:King, Colbert I. Area:District of Columbia Lines:104 Added:03/01/2015

Sometimes it's hard to choose your poison, especially when all the options are horrible. That's what it's like when the District decides to take on Congress over an issue of self-government.

The District's chances of winning such contests are small because of that pesky Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to "exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over . . . the Seat of the Government of the United States." The "Seat" is us. Still, there are times when the District simply has to mix it up with Congress. The principle of self-government - the right of citizens to determine their own destiny - is too precious to forfeit out of fear that our overseers might take umbrage.

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49 US AK: Editorial: Local Marijuana Clarity Welcome: DespiteSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)          Area:Alaska Lines:77 Added:03/01/2015

It took a couple days post-legalization, but Interior municipal governments appear to be on the same page with local marijuana rules. That's no small feat. With little time to collaborate on rules in Fairbanks, North Pole and the borough at large, the potential existed for serious conflicts between how marijuana could be possessed and used in each of our local communities. Such an outcome would have been a headache for legal professionals to sort out and would have had impacts on local residents confused about the overlaps and discrepancies in municipal rules.

[continues 478 words]

50US CA: Record Pot Haul Seized At Otay Mesa CrossingSat, 28 Feb 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Shroder, Susan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2015

15 Tons on Big Rig Port's Largest Cache, Second in the Nation

Record Otay Pot Bust: 15 Tons, $19m Value; Second Largest Ever at a U.S. Border Crossing

In what was described as a "very risky" drug-smuggling attempt, more than 15 tons of marijuana stacked in bundles was seized from a tractor-trailer at the Otay Mesa border crossing. Federal officials said Friday it was the largest seizure ever at the port and the second-largest at any crossing in the country.

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