1/1/2019 - 31/12/2020
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151 US NY: Push To Legalize Marijuana Falls Short At The Last MinuteThu, 20 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Wang, Vivian Area:New York Lines:138 Added:06/20/2019

ALBANY - New York's plan to legalize marijuana this year collapsed on Wednesday, dashing hopes for a potential billion-dollar industry that supporters said would create jobs in minority communities and end decades of racially disproportionate policing.

Democratic lawmakers had been in a headlong race to finalize an agreement before the end of the legislative session this week. But persistent disagreement about how to regulate the industry, as well as hesitation from moderate lawmakers, proved insurmountable.

"It is clear now that M.R.T.A. is not going to pass this session," Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan said in a statement on Wednesday morning, using an acronym for the legalization bill she had sponsored. "We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time."

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152 China: Ancient Mourners Turned On And Tuned InFri, 14 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hoffman, Jan Area:China Lines:150 Added:06/14/2019

An association between weed and the dead turns out to have been established long before the 1960s and far beyond a certain ur-band's stomping grounds in San Francisco.

Researchers have identified strains of cannabis burned in mortuary rituals as early as 500 B.C., deep in the Pamir mountains in western China, according to a new study published Wednesday. The residue had chemical signatures indicating high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant's most psychoactive, or mood-altering, compound.

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153 US: The Highs And Lows Of LSD LiteratureFri, 14 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Bowles, Nellie Area:United States Lines:187 Added:06/14/2019

It can seem as though everyone in Silicon Valley is either heading to or coming back from a psychedelic trip, and it is probably Michael Pollan's fault.

He did after all write a best seller, "How to Change Your Mind," about how healthful psychedelics can be. His neighbor Ayelet Waldman, whose memoir "A Really Good Day" recounts how taking acid helped her mood and marriage, has something to do with it, too. And now, inspired by Pollan, the writer T.C. Boyle has a new novel, "Outside Looking In," about Timothy Leary, the charismatic Harvard professor turned psychedelics pied piper of the 1960s.

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154US: Medical Pot Laws No Answer For Us Opioid Deaths, Study FindsMon, 10 Jun 2019
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Johnson, Carla K. Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:06/13/2019

A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can prevent opioid overdose deaths, challenging a favorite talking point of legal pot advocates.

Researchers repeated an analysis that sparked excitement years ago. The previous work linked medical marijuana laws to slower than expected increases in state prescription opioid death rates from 1999 to 2010. The original authors speculated patients might be substituting marijuana for painkillers, but they warned against drawing conclusions.

Still, states ravaged by painkiller overdose deaths began to rethink marijuana, leading several to legalize pot for medical use.

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155 US OH: A Curriculum To Anchor Young Lives Caught Up In A Drug CrisisThu, 13 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Levin, Dan Area:Ohio Lines:245 Added:06/13/2019

MINFORD, Ohio - Inside an elementary school classroom decorated with colorful floor mats, art supplies and building blocks, a little boy named Riley talked quietly with a teacher about how he had watched his mother take "knockout pills" and had seen his father shoot up "a thousand times."

Riley, who is 9 years old, described how he had often been left alone to care for his baby brother while his parents were somewhere else getting high. Beginning when he was about 5, he would heat up meals of fries, chicken nuggets and spaghetti rings in the microwave for himself and his brother, he said. "That was all I knew how to make," Riley said.

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156US CA: Disneyland Of Marijuana Dispensaries Coming To Santa AnaWed, 12 Jun 2019
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/12/2019

Planet 13 in Las Vegas has attracted international attention since it opened perhaps the world's biggest marijuana store last fall, with 3,000 people shopping each day for newly legal cannabis products while surrounded by light shows and interactive art displays that feel natural a few miles off The Strip.

Now Planet 13 has announced that its second location - and likely the largest cannabis shop in California - will open early next year. And since it's being billed as the "Disneyland of dispensaries," it's fitting that it's opening just six miles from the theme park, in an industrial stretch of Santa Ana.

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157 US: Editorial: Justice For Wronged Drug OffendersWed, 12 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:75 Added:06/12/2019

New data about the effects of the First Step Act, a bipartisan prison reform bill that President Trump signed into law in December, is showing that past injustices can be corrected, even in the most politically polarized of times.

Last week, the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency that advises federal judges on carrying out changes to sentencing policy, reported that in the four months after the law went into effect, more than 1,000 federal inmates were granted a sentence reduction for offenses involving crack cocaine. In 2010, Congress passed legislation to address these racially unjust sentences, but that change wasn't retroactive.

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158 UK: 'They Broke My Mental Shackles': Could Magic Mushrooms Be TheMon, 10 Jun 2019
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:Jacobs, Josh Area:United Kingdom Lines:258 Added:06/10/2019

New trials have shown the drug psilocybin to be highly effective in treating depression, with Oakland the latest US city to in effect decriminalise it last week. Some researchers say it could become 'indefensible' to ignore the evidence - but how would it work as a reliable treatment?

Lying on a bed in London's Hammersmith hospital ingesting capsules of psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, Michael had little idea what would happen next. The 56-year-old part-time website developer from County Durham in northern England had battled depression for 30 years and had tried talking therapies and many types of antidepressant with no success. His mother's death from cancer, followed by a friend's suicide, had left him at one of his lowest points yet. Searching online to see if mushrooms sprouting in his yard were the hallucinogenic variety, he had come across a pioneering medical trial at Imperial College London.

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159US CA: Oakland Decriminalizes Shrooms And Other Natural PsychedelicsWed, 05 Jun 2019
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Ravani, Sarah Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/10/2019

The Oakland City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night that decriminalizes certain natural psychedelics, including mushrooms, a move that makes Oakland the second city in the nation to do so.

The resolution instructs law enforcement to stop investigating and prosecuting people using the drugs. It applies to psychedelics that come from plants or fungi, not synthetic drugs like LSD or MDMA, also known as ecstasy.

After the vote, nearly 100 supporters rose from their chairs, clapped and cheered loudly.

"I don't have words, I could cry," said Nicolle Greenheart, the co-founder of Decriminalize Nature Oakland. "I'm thrilled. I'm glad that our communities will now have access to the healing medicines and we can start working on healing our communities."

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160US NY Pioneering Psychedelic Rocker Roky Erickson Dies At 71Sat, 01 Jun 2019
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)                 Lines:Excerpt Added:06/04/2019

NEW YORK - Roky Erickson, the blue-eyed, dark-haired Texan who headed the Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators, a pioneering psychedelic rock band in the 1960s that scored with "You're Gonna Miss Me," has died. He was 71.

Erickson's sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn't turn him into a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician's musician. Fans included everyone from Lenny Kaye and the Swedish metal group Ghost - who covered his "If You Have Ghosts" - to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.

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161US CA: Psychedelics, Long Ignored By Scientists, Seeing Resurgence InSat, 01 Jun 2019
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Allday, Erin Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/04/2019

UCSF psychiatrist Brian Anderson is studying an experimental therapy to help long-term AIDS survivors - people who were infected with HIV in the 1980s and never expected to live this long - who are feeling sad and demoralized.

In a clinic outfitted with a comfortable couch, soft lighting, throw pillows and blankets, the participants of his study are given psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms. They lie down for a few hours, a mask over their eyes and soothing music playing in the background, and experience a psychedelic trip.

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162CN AB: Oped: Drug Users Will Die Without Supervised Consumption SitesTue, 04 Jun 2019
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Gagnon, Marilou Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/04/2019

The 2011 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Vancouver's Insite clinic clearly established 1) that supervised consumption sites are part of health-care services that should be made accessible to people who use drugs, 2) that these sites contribute to reducing the harms associated with drug use, and 3) that denying access to these sites increases the risk of death and disease.

In addition to saving lives every day, these sites act as an essential point of contact for people to access much-needed health-care services that have been proven effective to reduce overdoses, blood-borne infections (hepatitis C and HIV), infections (i.e., skin, soft tissue, heart and blood infections) and other medical complications. They also help connect people who use drugs with social services and support to address housing and food insecurity, mental health issues, trauma and isolation.

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163 US NY: James Ketchum, Who Led LSD Experiments For The Army, Dies AtTue, 04 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McFadden, Robert D. Area:New York Lines:196 Added:06/04/2019

Dr. James S. Ketchum, an Army psychiatrist who in the 1960s conducted experiments with LSD and other powerful hallucinogens using volunteer soldiers as test subjects in secret research on chemical agents that might incapacitate the minds of battlefield adversaries, died on May 27 at his home in Peoria, Ariz. He was 87.

His wife, Judy Ketchum, confirmed the death on Monday, adding that the cause had not been determined.

Decades before a convention eventually signed by more than 190 nations outlawed chemical weapons, Dr. Ketchum argued that recreational drugs favored by the counterculture could be used humanely to befuddle small units of enemy troops, and that a psychedelic "cloud of confusion" could stupefy whole battlefield regiments more ethically than the lethal explosions and flying steel of conventional weapons.

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164 US: John Boehner: From Speaker Of The House To Cannabis PitchmanMon, 03 Jun 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Williamson, Elizabeth Area:United States Lines:162 Added:06/03/2019

WASHINGTON - John A. Boehner, the former speaker of the House, once stood second in line for the presidency and staunchly against legalized marijuana. Now you can find the longtime Republican standing before a wall-size photo of the Capitol, making an online infomercial pitch for the cannabis industry.

"This is one of the most exciting opportunities you'll ever be part of," Mr. Boehner says in an endlessly streaming video for the National Institute for Cannabis Investors. "Frankly, we can help you make a potential fortune."

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165 US IL: Legal Recreational Pot Bill Passes Illinois House, On Way ToFri, 31 May 2019
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Sfondeles, Tina Area:Illinois Lines:137 Added:05/31/2019

Once Gov. Pritzker signs the bill into law, Illinois will become the first state to approve cannabis sales through the Legislature, instead of a ballot measure.

SPRINGFIELD - A recreational marijuana legalization bill will soon land on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk after the Illinois House on Friday voted to pass the comprehensive measure.

The Illinois House voted 66-47 after more than three hours of debate. The Illinois Senate on Wednesday cleared the measure. The governor issued a statement applauding the bill's passage and pledging to sign it.

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166 US: Editorial: Treating Overdose Deaths Like Murder Will Only DeterThu, 30 May 2019
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)          Area:United States Lines:73 Added:05/30/2019

On Wednesday, 24-year-old Emma Semler was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for her frienda=80=99s overdose death. The Inquirera=80=99 s Jeremy Roebuck and Aubrey Whelan reported that in 2014, Emma met up with Jennifer Rose Werstler, a friend she had met in rehab. The two used heroin together in a bathroom of a restaurant in West Philadelphia. Jennifer overdosed and died. Emma, who brought the drugs and left the scene, was later charged by federal prosecutors and convicted of heroin distribution -- which has a mandatory minimum of 20 years if it involves a death.

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167US GA: Seized 'Drug Houses' To Be RefurbishedTue, 28 May 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Habersham, Raisa Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/28/2019

By day, Dill Avenue is a relatively quiet street: a few residents walk their dogs or ride a bike and mostly keep to themselves. It wasn't always this way.

Fulton County officials have seized a "notorious drug house" with the plan to renovate it and eventually sell it to a low-income family.

For the past six years, the house at 730 Dill Avenue, located in the Capitol View community, has been the site of drug use and violent crime, including a stabbing and a killing, according to online police records. Atlanta police have received numerous complaints about the derelict property, some of which resulted in nine search warrants.

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168US: Column: Exhale: No Quick Action By NFL Coming On Medicinal PotThu, 23 May 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Bell, Jarrett Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:05/23/2019

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - Don't hold your breath if you're thinking the NFL is on the brink of giving players the green light to smoke their pain away with marijuana.

Go ahead, exhale. This is still going to take a while.

Sure, the league has put a progressive foot forward in striking an agreement this week with the NFL Players Association in the name of holistic health and wellness. There's a joint committee coming - not joint as in blunt, but joint in that medical experts will be appointed by the league and union - that is charged to study data on several alternative methods of pain management and make recommendations.

[end]

169 US MD: Heroin Is Vanishing As Fentanyl Swamps StreetsSun, 19 May 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Goodnough, Abby Area:Maryland Lines:195 Added:05/19/2019

BALTIMORE - Heroin has ravaged this city since the early 1960s, fueling desperation and crime that remain endemic in many neighborhoods. But lately, despite heroin's long, deep history here, users say it has become nearly impossible to find.

Heroin's presence is fading up and down the Eastern Seaboard, from New England mill towns to rural Appalachia, and in parts of the Midwest that were overwhelmed by it a few years back. It remains prevalent in many Western states, but even New York City, the nation's biggest distribution hub for the drug, has seen less of it this year.

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170 US: OPED: Not So Fast On Magic MushroomsSat, 11 May 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Pollan, Michael Area:United States Lines:122 Added:05/11/2019

Only a few days ago, millions of American probably had never heard of psilocybin, the active agent in psychedelic mushrooms, but thanks to Denver, it is about to get its moment in the political sun. On Tuesday, the city's voters surprised everyone by narrowly approving a ballot initiative that effectively decriminalizes psilocybin, making its possession, use or personal cultivation a low-priority crime.

The move is largely symbolic - only 11 psilocybin cases have been prosecuted in Denver in the last three years, and state and federal police may still make arrests - but it is not without significance. Psilocybin decriminalization will be on the ballot in Oregon in 2020 and a petition drive is underway in California to put it on the ballot there. For the first time since psychedelics were broadly banned under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, we're about to have a national debate about the place of psilocybin in our society. Debate is always a good thing, but I worry that we're not quite ready for this one.

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171 US CO: Denver Voters Support 'Magic' MushroomsThu, 09 May 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mazzei, Patricia Area:Colorado Lines:108 Added:05/09/2019

Voters in Denver, a city at the forefront of the widening national debate over legalizing marijuana, have become the first in the nation to effectively decriminalize another recreational drug: hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The local ballot measure did not quite legalize the mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. State and federal regulations would have to change to accomplish that.

But the measure made the possession, use or cultivation of the mushrooms by people aged 21 or older the lowest-priority crime for law enforcement in the city of Denver and Denver County. Arrests and prosecutions, already fairly rare, would all but disappear.

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172 China: China Cashes In On Cannabis, The Nonintoxicating KindSun, 05 May 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Myers, Steven Lee Area:China Lines:171 Added:05/05/2019

SHANCHONG, China - China has made your iPhone, your Nikes and, chances are, the lights on your Christmas tree. Now, it wants to grow your cannabis.

Two of China's 34 regions are quietly leading a boom in cultivating cannabis to produce cannabidiol, or CBD, the nonintoxicating compound that has become a consumer health and beauty craze in the United States and beyond.

They are doing so even though cannabidiol has not been authorized for consumption in China, a country with some of the strictest drug-enforcement policies in the world.

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173 US CA: A Marijuana Brand Cultivates Its Own LookThu, 02 May 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Williams, Alex Area:California Lines:99 Added:05/02/2019

To his die-hard fans, Mr. Sherbinski is a storied name in marijuana.

A celebrated California cultivator, he helped create the Gelato and Sunset Sherbert strains that have been name-checked in more than 200 hip-hop songs, including "First Off" by Future and "Bosses Don't Speak" by Migos.

At the Business of Fashion's Voices conference in London last year, his brand, Sherbinskis, was introduced as "the Supreme of marijuana."

And when Sherbinskis released its first sneaker design last year at ComplexCon, a two-day festival of hip-hop and fashion in Long Beach, Calif., the limited-edition Nike Air Force 1 model sold out in two hours. (There is a pair currently on eBay asking more than $1,000.)

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174US: OPED: Modern Marijuana Took My Son's LifeMon, 29 Apr 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Schindel, Sally Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:04/29/2019

As attorneys argued over a section of Arizona law that differentiates between marijuana and cannabis, the state's Supreme Court justices joked about baking pot brownies in their kitchens.

They clearly do not understand how the marijuana industry has irresponsibly manipulated pot into dangerously high levels of potency.

My son could explain it to them. Or he could if he was still with us.

"I want to die," he wrote before hanging himself at the age of 31. "My soul is already dead. Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain."

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175 US: Cannabis Industry Produces Sweet Fruit: JobsSun, 28 Apr 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Dougherty, Conor Area:United States Lines:173 Added:04/28/2019

SAN FRANCISCO - David Dancer is a 48-year-old marketing executive who has worked for big brands like Charles Schwab and Teleflora. A year ago, he got a call from a recruiter for a different kind of company: MedMen, a cannabis retailer that has been called "the Apple Store of weed." The opening was for a chief marketing officer. He took it.

One of Mr. Dancer's early projects was a slick two-minute video by the director Spike Jonze that begins with an anecdote about George Washington as a hemp grower, a staple of dorm-room conversation. It concludes with a suburban couple coming home with a bright red bag of legally purchased pot, symbolizing "the new normal" - an ending that, like his own career twist, seemed improbable not long ago.

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176 US CA: Illicit Pot Sales Boom In California Despite LegalizationSun, 28 Apr 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:195 Added:04/28/2019

COSTA MESA, Calif. - In the forests of Northern California, raids by law enforcement officials continue to uncover illicit marijuana farms. In Southern California, hundreds of illegal delivery services and pot dispensaries, some of them registered as churches, serve a steady stream of customers. And in Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, the sheriff's office recently raided an illegal cannabis production facility that was processing 500 pounds of marijuana a day.

It's been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana - the largest such experiment in the United States - but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded.

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177US GA: A Complete Failure Of The SystemWed, 02 Jan 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Sharpe, Joshua Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/04/2019

Dasha Fincher said she was borrowing a friend's car when she noticed a half-eaten bag of blue cotton candy in the floorboard. It was the kind kids like to buy from gas stations near her Macon home. She thought little of it until a few minutes later when it became the biggest problem in her life.

On New Year's Eve 2016, Monroe County deputies pulled the car over for a suspected window-tint violation and spotted the bag. They used a quick roadside test kit on the blue stuff and got a positive result for methamphetamine. Fincher ended up charged with trafficking meth and held in jail for three months on a breathtaking $1 million cash bond before a lab test found the "meth" was really just cotton candy, according to a lawsuit.

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178 US CA: Californians Voted For Legal Cannabis, But Good Luck GettingThu, 03 Jan 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:181 Added:01/03/2019

SAN FRANCISCO - A billion dollars of tax revenue, the taming of the black market, the convenience of retail cannabis stores throughout the state - these were some of the promises made by proponents of marijuana legalization in California.

One year after the start of recreational sales, they are still just promises.

California's experiment in legalization is mired by debates over regulation and hamstrung by cities and towns that do not want cannabis businesses on their streets.

California was the sixth state to introduce the sale of recreational marijuana - Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington paved the way - but the enormous size of the market led to predictions of soaring legal cannabis sales.

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179 US: Test Lets Drug Users Indentify FentanylThu, 03 Jan 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Campos-Flores, Arian Area:United States Lines:101 Added:01/03/2019

There is a new tool to help battle the opioid epidemic that works like a pregnancy test to detect fentanyl, the potent substance behind the escalating number of deaths roiling communities around the country.

The test strip, originally designed for the medical profession to test urine, can also be used off-label by heroin and cocaine users who fear their drugs have been adulterated with the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The strips are dipped in water containing a minute amount of a drug and generally provide a result within a minute-with one line indicating positive for fentanyl, and two lines negative.

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