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21US: Recreational Weed Is Taking HoldMon, 02 Dec 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hauck, Grace Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:12/02/2019

Two Midwestern states are breaking into the recreational marijuana market, and dispensaries are expecting huge crowds.

Legal weed sales began Sunday in Michigan, where a handful of dispensaries in Ann Arbor planned to be open for business. The landmark moment in the state's cannabis industry comes amid a temporary ban on the sale of vaping devices in Michigan as health officials investigate the causes of vaping-related lung illnesses nationwide.

In Illinois, where officials are grappling with a lack of racial equity in the cannabis industry, sales are expected to begin New Year's Day.

The states are the 10th and 11th nationwide to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Thirty-three states allow the sale of marijuana for medical use, which Michigan legalized in 2008, followed by Illinois in 2013.

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22 UK: Glasgow Tries To Fight Drug Abuse By Prescribing HeroinFri, 29 Nov 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Schaverien, Anna Area:United Kingdom Lines:131 Added:11/29/2019

LONDON - Homeless drug users in Scotland will be allowed to inject pharmaceutical-grade heroin twice a day under the supervision of medical officials as part of a new program intended to reduce drug deaths and H.I.V. infection.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, a $1.5 million facility in Glasgow that opened on Tuesday will allow a handful of drug users to receive doses of the drug alongside other treatment for their physical and psychological health, according to Glasgow City Council.

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23 US CA: Passing The Plate, And The PotSun, 24 Nov 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:John, Arit Area:California Lines:295 Added:11/24/2019

LOS ANGELES - Every Sunday, about two dozen people gather at a green cabin along the main drag of Big Bear, Calif., a small mountain town known for its namesake lake. They go there for Jah Healing Church services, where joints are passed around.

April Mancini, a founder of the church, said she was drawn to the idea of cannabis as a religious sacrament back in 2013, after she met a Rastafarian who was running the place as an unlicensed medicinal dispensary.

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24 US OH: Ohio School To Drug Test All Its StudentsSun, 17 Nov 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Taylor, Derrick Bryson Area:Ohio Lines:100 Added:11/17/2019

In an effort to discourage drug use and vaping, a Catholic high school in Ohio has announced plans to begin testing its students for drugs and nicotine, joining what education professionals are calling a growing trend.

Administrators at Stephen T. Badin High School in Hamilton, Ohio, said in a letter to parents this week that the drug-testing program, which they said had been shaped over the course of two years with help from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, would go into effect in January.

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25 China: China Says No To Marijuana But It Lets Cannabis BloomWed, 13 Nov 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Yang, Stephanie Area:China Lines:127 Added:11/13/2019

QUJING, China-In China, marijuana is seen as a dangerous narcotic, and possession is strictly punished. That hasn't stopped the country from trying to become a powerhouse in the fast-growing industry for cannabis products.

China has grown hemp, a strain of cannabis, for thousands of years to use in clothing and traditional medicine and is one of the world's largest hemp producers. The country is using that foothold to churn out cannabidiol, or CBD, a loosely regulated chemical related to marijuana that is finding its way into products as diverse as bath bombs and pet food.

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26 UK: Cannabis-Based Medicines Approved For Treatment In England AndTue, 12 Nov 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Magra, Iliana Area:United Kingdom Lines:109 Added:11/12/2019

LONDON - Cannabis-based medicines were approved on Monday for use by the National Health Service in England and Wales, a milestone decision that could change the lives of thousands of patients.

Three treatments using medicinal cannabis were authorized by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a public body that provides guidance on health care practices. The decision comes a year after Sajid Javid, then the British home secretary, said that some doctors could legally prescribe the drug in special cases.

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27 US: Drug Arrests Are Increasing, Even As Opinion Shifts In Favor OfFri, 08 Nov 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stellin, Susan Area:United States Lines:146 Added:11/08/2019

Despite bipartisan calls to treat drug addiction as a public health issue rather than as a crime - and despite the legalization of marijuana in more states - arrests for drugs increased again last year.

According to estimated crime statistics released by the F.B.I. in September, there were 1,654,282 arrests for drugs in 2018, a number that has increased every year since 2015, after declining over the previous decade. Meanwhile, arrests for violent crime and property crime have continued to trend downward.

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28 US: OPED: Why The U.K. Isn't Having Problems With VapingSat, 26 Oct 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ridley, Matt Area:United States Lines:156 Added:10/26/2019

The Volstead Act prohibiting intoxicating beverages became law on October 28, 1919-a century ago this week-and came into force a few months later. Most people now agree that Prohibition was a failure, driving the alcohol industry underground, where its products became unsafe, its profits lucrative and tax-free, and its methods violent. Most countries have since taken the view that it is better to legalize, regulate and tax drink than to ban it.

Today, there is a similar debate over vaping, a popular new practice prohibited or heavily restricted in many countries. Electronic cigarettes, which use heating elements to vaporize liquids usually containing nicotine, were invented in China in the early 2000s by Hon Lik, a chemist looking for a way to satisfy his nicotine addiction without dying of lung cancer as his father had. Nicotine itself is far less harmful to smokers than the other chemicals created during combustion. Heavyweight studies confirm that there are much lower levels of dangerous chemicals in e-cigarette vapor than in smoke and fewer biomarkers of harm in the bodies of vapers than smokers.

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29 US MI: When Can We Finally Buy Recreational Marijuana In Michigan?Tue, 22 Oct 2019
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:119 Added:10/23/2019

Last year, after the vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Michigan was certified, people lined up outside provisioning centers with the expectation that they would be allowed to buy some in those locations - - only to find that a state medical certification was still required.

Nearly a year later, folks are still wondering when they'll be able to walk into a store and buy some weed.

The conventional answer to that question is probably sometime early in 2020. That's based on the Marijuana Regulatory Agency's stated plan to start taking applications from businesses that already have medical marijuana business licenses this fall. MRA people have said that they will process these applications with dispatch. And since these already medically licensed businesses have already gone through the rigorous licensing process, it should be quicker and easier than the first time around.

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30 US: U.S. Governing Body Embraces Cannabis Products ThroughMon, 21 Oct 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Futterman, Matthew Area:United States Lines:134 Added:10/23/2019

The sports industry's embrace of cannabis products is continuing to evolve as U.S.A. Triathlon has become the first national governing body of an American sport to make a sponsorship deal with a company that sells products containing cannabidiol, or CBD.

CBD is a nonintoxicating compound that, like the intoxicating compound THC, is found in varying amounts in hemp, a legal cannabis plant. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances. THC and scores of other cannabinoids remain on the banned list, but by removing CBD, WADA opened the door for elite athletes to use and endorse CBD products.

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31 US FL: Miami Beach Officially Bans Public Smoking Of Marijuana AndTue, 22 Oct 2019
Source:Miami New Times (FL) Author:Lipscomb, Jessica Area:Florida Lines:54 Added:10/23/2019

For the past three and a half months, marijuana has essentially been decriminalized in Miami. After Florida legalized hemp July 1, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it would no longer prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is virtually indistinguishable from hemp.

Nevertheless, the City of Miami Beach has passed a municipal ordinance to discourage people from smoking weed in public. At a meeting last week, city commissioners unanimously voted to outlaw public smoking of marijuana and hemp.

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32 US CA: After Governor Bans Pot Use In Limos, And For HospitalSun, 20 Oct 2019
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McCreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:139 Added:10/23/2019

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines.

Newsom took the action on tour buses and hospitals as he signed several other bills in the last few weeks that will ease pot restrictions, including measures waiving taxes on cannabis provided for free by charities to people with serious health problems and allowing parents to provide medical marijuana products such as oils, creams and pills to their sick children on K-12 school campuses.

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33 US: Cannabis oil and Vaping: Hazy HazardsMon, 21 Oct 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Richtel, Matt Area:United States Lines:261 Added:10/23/2019

SAN FRANCISCO - For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly growing, with scant notice from public health officials.

Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their business. Teenagers, millennials and baby boomers alike have been drawn to the technology - no ash, a faint smell, easy to hide - and the potentially dangerous consequences are only now becoming evident.

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34 US IL: Medical Marijuana Popularity Surging In Illinois As RevisionsSat, 19 Oct 2019
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Rober Area:Illinois Lines:149 Added:10/23/2019

The medical marijuana program in Illinois is seeing record growth since changes in the law greatly expanded the program and made it easier for patients to participate.

More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since stores opened in November 2015 - including a spike of almost 37,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, a 93% increase, according to state records. The surge of new patients exceeds the number signed up in any previous fiscal year, based on the latest annual report on medical cannabis by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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35 US: Psychedelics In The Golden YearsThu, 17 Oct 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Schwartz, Casey Area:United States Lines:234 Added:10/22/2019

At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1956, has had great professional success as the co-founder of Walden Venture Capital. He lives in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, in a large house with an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

And yet something was always lacking. Mr. Sarlo's father had disappeared from their Budapest home in 1942. He had been drafted in a forced labor battalion, an experience he did not survive. At age 4, George had told himself that it was because he was "a bad boy" that his father had left that day, early in the morning, without saying goodbye. He believes that he never recovered from that early loss.

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36 Canada: The Verdict Is In, And Year One Of Legalized Cannabis InFri, 18 Oct 2019
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Berkow, Jameson Area:Canada Lines:276 Added:10/18/2019

There's no getting around it: Year one of legalized cannabis in Canada was a dud.

It was an unmitigated disaster for many investors. The bubble burst, and the shares of most large Canadian marijuana producers dropped by at least 50 per cent. The public markets are largely closed to the industry; at the moment, there's simply no appetite for more pot stocks.

The Trudeau government's goal wasn't to make shareholders or investment banks rich, though. It was to whittle down the black- market marijuana business. Giving cannabis users a place to buy regulated marijuana would generate new tax revenue, open up new business opportunities and reduce the burden on police and the courts.

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37 US: PUB LTE: Legal, Regulated Pot Is The Answer To Vaping DeathsTue, 15 Oct 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Stewart, Harv Area:United States Lines:23 Added:10/15/2019

I'm sorry to say that Dr. Scott Gottlieb has it completely backward ("Pot Legalization Makes Vaping Deadly," op-ed, Oct. 11). The correct way to fix the problem of poisonous THC vaping is to legalize and regulate it.

His article goes on and on citing the consequences of not doing so. I'm sure he doesn't realize it, but he is simply underscoring the reasons why some states have stepped forward to protect their citizens by bringing marijuana into the legal and regulated arena.

Harv Stewart

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38US: Vaping Crisis Hits Juul's Pot CompanyMon, 14 Oct 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Bomey, Nathan Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:10/14/2019

When Juul Labs and Pax Labs split from one company into two in 2017, they seemed destined to reach new heights.

Juul would conquer the e-cigarette industry. Pax would dominate the marijuana vaping business.

Their fortunes, however, quickly diverged. Juul found itself under fire for its alleged role in getting kids hooked on nicotine after pitching itself as a safe alternative to cigarettes; Pax largely escaped scrutiny as the burgeoning cannabis market made the company irresistible to investors.

But that honeymoon period might be ending for Pax.

[end]

39US GA: Lower Penalties For Pot A Growing MovementSun, 13 Oct 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2019

A shot glass emblazoned with a marijuana leaf is up for sale. Jackpot prizes include pure hemp rolling paper. Nearby, groups of people enjoy drinks and dinner while chatting about why weed should be decriminalized and legalized in Georgia.

Thaddeus Willis, a Gwinnett County resident and Air Force veteran, has heard about the push to lessen the penalty for possessing small amounts of weed in Georgia.

"That's the first step," said Willis, enjoying chicken Parmesan and a soda at the monthly meeting for Peachtree NORML, a pro-marijuana advocacy group. Eventually, he said, "It needs to be made legal here."

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40US GA: Charging Dealers In OD's FeasibleSun, 13 Oct 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2019

There may be some hurdles, but there is legal standing for the murder prosecution of a DeKalb County man who allegedly sold drugs to a 22-year-old who later fatally overdosed, local experts said.

The case against Antoin Thornton, 28, is believed to be the first of its kind for DeKalb. Thornton allegedly sold heroin to Alexander Whitehead, who was found dead at a Dunwoody apartment complex in March. Police said the drugs, laced with the potent opioid fentanyl, caused the overdose.

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