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51 US: OPED: How Legal Weed Shops Feed The Vaping CrisisTue, 21 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Sabet, Kevin Area:United States Lines:80 Added:01/21/2020

State-sanctioned marijuana shops are contributing to the rise in lung illnesses and deaths at a higher rate than previously believed.

Proponents of the marijuana industry have dismissed the "pot vaping crisis," with its deaths and lung injuries, as an aberration of the illicit market. Legal pot, they say, is regulated and thus not to blame for the recent spate of problems. Victims and families who came forward to warn about purchases made at state-licensed shops were lambasted by legalization advocates. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against using all marijuana vaping products, industry insiders questioned their motives and called the warnings conspiracy theories.

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52US CA: Marijuana On The Job: Some New Twists In Drug TestingFri, 17 Jan 2020
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Phomicinda, Watchara Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2020

Three years after recreational marijuana was legalized in California, it still casts a cloud over most job applicants.

Many employers in the state still require drug screening as a prerequisite for hiring someone, experts in the hiring field say. And while recreational use and possession are allowed for people 21 and older, failing a drug test can still prompt an employer to toss a resume into the reject pile.

But with 11 states now legalizing recreational marijuana use, there are new perspectives that might be giving workers something of a break.

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53US MN: Minnesota Study Links Pot Use In Pregnancy To Infant HealthFri, 10 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Olson, Jeremy Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:01/13/2020

Researchers hope the findings counter recent trends of mothers using marijuana for pregnancy-related nausea symptoms.

Researchers in Minnesota and Iowa have found greater risks of social and emotional problems in infants whose mothers consumed marijuana during pregnancy.

Using results of a developmental screening tool for 1-year-olds, the researchers found that 9.1% of babies from marijuana users were at risk, compared to 3.6% of babies whose mothers didn't consume the drug while pregnant.

Researchers said the size of that gap was surprising, along with screening results showing that 8% of mothers tested positive during pregnancy for the presence of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, lead researcher of the study from the HealthPartners Institute in Bloomington, Minn. Researchers from the universities of Minnesota and Iowa co-authored the study, which was published in the Journal of Perinatology.

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54US: Marijuana Psychosis Treatment Tough To Find For Young PeopleTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2020

When Garrett Rigg moved from a "transitional living program" facility near Chicago last month into a group home, it was a major milestone for the 27-year-old, who traveled 1,000 miles from his home in Denver to get treatment after a cannabis-induced psychotic break five years ago.

Rigg had to leave his hometown because it lacked suitable long-term treatment, according to his mother, Connie Kabrick. The three marijuana dispensaries at the intersection a half block from her home are the reason why she says he can't move

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55 US: LTE: The Harms Of Marijuana Are IgnoredTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Madejski, Thomas J. Area:United States Lines:33 Added:01/07/2020

Regarding your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26): Tobacco, marijuana and vaping companies mislead the public on the clear harms associated with wider use of today's higher-THC-content marijuana and inhaling substances other than clean air. Opponents of expansion of marijuana availability acknowledge concerns about disparate enforcement of drug laws. But the costs to society from legitimizing the addiction industry far outweigh the benefits.

Meanwhile, proponents of recreational marijuana push the false narrative of a tax windfall for governments and improved safety for users while ignoring the harms: mental-health issues, addiction, acute and chronic lung disease, domestic violence and more.

Dr. Madejski was president of the Medical Society of the State of New York from 2018 to 2019.

[end]

56 US: PUB LTE: The Gateway Theory Is A JokeTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Nostrand, David Allan Van Area:United States Lines:23 Added:01/07/2020

"Is Marijuana Fueling a Public-Health Crisis?"

The statistic from your editorial, that "95% of heroin and cocaine users report first using pot," doesn't prove much. Remember, 99% of criminal motorcycle-gang members started by riding bicycles.

David Allan Van Nostrand

Boca Raton, Fla.

[end]

57 US: LTE: We Still Need To Learn More About CannabisTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Cobert, Barton Area:United States Lines:33 Added:01/07/2020

As a physician specializing in drug safety, I agree that "pot is more dangerous than people realize, and Americans should pause on the rush to legalize until we understand how much medical and social harm it is doing."

The safety profile of cannabis is largely unknown. The states and localities that have legalized marijuana have focused on the quality of marijuana products, but haven't required anyone to systematically report side effects. That needs to change. Since today's marijuana products are four to five times more potent than past products, old data understates the safety issues.

I fear that the marijuana story is a slow-moving train wreck. We're witnessing widespread use of largely unregulated and untested products which may be toxic in themselves as well as adulterated or counterfeited.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

[end]

58 US: PUB LTE: The Majority Agree With Policy ReformTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Armentano, Paul Area:United States Lines:37 Added:01/07/2020

One in five Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens reside some place where the medical use of cannabis is legally authorized. Many of these latter programs have been in place for the better part of two decades.

Were the societal impacts of these policies not preferable to those associated with criminal prohibition, or as dire to public health as some critics suggest, then support for marijuana policy reform would be rapidly declining. Instead, the opposite is true.

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59US: The Human Cost Of Marijuana Is So HighMon, 06 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2020

I've covered things that injure, sicken and kill kids and adults for more than 30 years. From auto safety to medical errors, I've competed to break stories on the latest deadly defect or health policy change, most recently on electronic cigarettes.

In late August, I added vaping-related lung illnesses to the beat. Last month, I added marijuana, psychosis and other mental illness.

It's a pretty solitary place to be.

We reporters covered the heck out of vaping lung illnesses starting in August. Once it became clear the culprit was THC and not nicotine, however, the news media seemed to lose interest, said former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb at a breakfast event I attended in early November.

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60 Bolivia: Coca Growers Face New HostilityFri, 03 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Otts, John Area:Bolivia Lines:131 Added:01/03/2020

SHINAHOTA, Bolivia-During nearly 14 years as president, Evo Morales pampered the Chapare, the coca leaf-growing jungle region of central Bolivia where he got his start in politics.

Mr. Morales expelled U.S. antidrug agents and promoted the health benefits of the coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, which is legal and chewed by many indigenous people. His socialist government built a paper mill, an airport, and a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in the region. In turn, the farmers gave Mr. Morales, the head of a federation of coca growers, their fervent support.

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61US Il: Legal Weed Sales Begin In IllinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hauck, Grace Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:01/02/2020

It's a new year and, for Illinois, a new era of recreational marijuana.

Weed dispensaries across the state opened their doors before sunrise Wednesday, welcoming long lines of customers - some who had been waiting since 4 a.m.

"Cheers to lighting up the start of 2020!" one dispensary, Sunnyside, wrote on its Facebook page.

Under Illinois law, anyone over 21 with a valid state ID or driver's license can purchase recreational marijuana from licensed retailers.

[end]

62 US IL: Legal Weed In IlinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Robert Area:Illinois Lines:701 Added:01/02/2020

Illinois started off the new decade by embarking into the world of recreational marijuana, where people can buy the intoxicating plant legally and without a prescription.

Across the Chicago area, thousands lined up - some before dawn - for a chance to buy marijuana legally for the first time. The day featured long lines, a few glitches - and lots of happy customers.

"It's history, so it's worth the wait," Damien Smith of Maywood said as he left MedMen dispensary in Oak Park with a bag of cannabis products after waiting in line for about four hours.

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63 US: LTE: The Consequences Of LegalizationThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Bensinger, Peter Area:United States Lines:40 Added:01/02/2020

Your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26) is a wake-up call for parents and politicians. Marijuana isn't harmless. Nor is it legal under federal law, and for good reason. It contains more than 460 different chemicals and, as the editorial board points out, it's four to five times more powerful than the marijuana of the 1970s, '80s or '90s.

Extensive scientific research has documented serious harm to brain development for teenage regular users, major consequences for pregnant and nursing mothers and significant impairment for drivers and others performing sensitive tasks. Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana, leads the nation in use by 12-to-17-year-olds. Meanwhile, the gangs and drug dealers are cheering because their sales have skyrocketed, selling to minors and others at lower prices than dispensaries can offer.

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64 US: LTE: The Marijuana Experiment Is A FailureThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Luti, William Area:United States Lines:47 Added:01/02/2020

The editorial board is right to take a stand and tell the truth about marijuana. The grand marijuana human experiment in the "legal" states, abetted by an addiction-for-profit industry and politicians hungry for tax revenue, has taken a cruel toll.

By any objective benchmark, the experiments have failed: emergency-room visits, driving fatalities, calls to poison control, youth use and suicidal ideation have increased since legalization. Overproduction and black-market sales have collapsed the legal revenue streams, which are insufficient to cover the societal harms caused by high-potency THC.

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65 US: PUB LTE: Prohibition Is The Problem, Not MarijuanaThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Singer, Jeffrey A. Area:United States Lines:45 Added:01/02/2020

It is difficult to keep track of the fallacies and straw men in your reefer madness rant. Start with the obvious: The federal ban on cannabis makes it impossible for legal, federally regulated e-cigarette makers to develop and market safe THC cartridges for vaping. Consequently, most THC cartridges are dangerous bootleg products sold on the black market. Federal legalization would lead to improved product safety for which manufacturers would be held accountable.

The reason unlicensed dispensaries are flourishing in California relates to the state's exorbitant taxes and burdensome regulations. This isn't the case in Colorado and Washington, where an oversupply of legal cannabis outlets has driven prices down so much that state-based growers turn to California's black market in search of profits.

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66US IL: Illinois Sees First Legal Sales Of Recreational MarijuanaWed, 01 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)          Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:01/01/2020

CHICAGO - The sale of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal Wednesday in Illinois to the delight of pot fans - many who began lining up hours early at dispensaries.

About 500 people were outside Dispensary 33 in Chicago. Renzo Mejia made the first legal purchase in the shop shortly after 6 a.m., the earliest that Illinois' new law allowed such sales.

"To be able to have (recreational marijuana) here is just mind-boggling," Mejia told the Chicago Sun-Times after buying an eighth of an ounce called "Motorbreath."

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67 US CA: California Attempts To Revive Compassionate Cannabis ProgramsWed, 01 Jan 2020
Source:San Francisco Examiner (CA) Author:Kreidler, Mark Area:California Lines:153 Added:01/01/2020

For years, Richard Manning knew what he needed to cope with his physical pain, rage and PTSD - much of which he traced to a career-ending knee injury he suffered while on a domestic security detail with the Marines.

Cannabis may not have been a cure-all, but it was the closest thing he'd ever had to one.

Manning, a resident of Elk Grove, Calif., didn't have enough money to buy the daily amount of cannabis he needed, but he was able to get it through a network of charitable donors spawned by the Compassionate Use Act, a 1996 California law that allowed marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

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68US CA: Marijuana: 6 Things To Watch For In California In 2020Mon, 30 Dec 2019
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Agro, Nick Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2019

As California enters its third year of legal recreational cannabis sales, many expect upcoming new laws, high-profile court cases and major criminal justice reforms to shake up the industry.

Marijuana advocates are wary after a challenging second year, but most also are hopeful that changes in 2020 will put them in a better position a year from now.

"We always knew it would be an uphill battle," said Robert Flannery of Dr. Robb Farms, a cannabis cultivation company based in Desert Hot Springs. "But there are very few people who are not generally optimistic about the cannabis industry."

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69 Italy: Growing A Little Marijuana At Home Is Not Against The LawSat, 28 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Momigliano, Anna Area:Italy Lines:100 Added:12/28/2019

ROME - Growing small amounts of marijuana at home for private use is not a crime, Italy's top court has ruled, putting an end to a years-long legal dispute and adding Italy to the short list of countries to allow cultivation of recreational cannabis.

A 1990s law prohibits the cultivation and sale of marijuana in Italy, but conflicting court decisions, and a 2016 amendment that opened a loophole in the law, created confusion over how it should be interpreted.

The country's highest court appears to have settled at least part of the question, writing in a one-page statement of its findings that "at home, small-scale cultivation activities are to be considered excluded from the application of the penal code."

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70 US: Canada Banker Is Pot's Money ManMon, 23 Dec 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Monga, Vipal Area:United States Lines:251 Added:12/27/2019

Graham Saunders is a man in high demand.

When U.S. cannabis companies need financing they can't find elsewhere, they turn to this Toronto banker who operates far from Wall Street. Since the spring of 2016, Mr. Saunders's team at Canadian boutique firm Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has helped finance more than half of all pot deals in the global equity markets, raising more than $5 billion from investors, according to Dealogic.

The king of pot financing presents himself in business meetings as a banker from another era, sporting pinstripe suits, monogrammed cuff links and slicked-back hair. He drives a Bentley, has a collection of expensive watches, and answers to his high-school nickname, "Sudsy." Mr. Saunders, 51, has become so identified with cannabis that he has a jacket with marijuana leaves printed on it.

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71 US: Editorial: The Vaping-Marijuana NexusThu, 26 Dec 2019
Source:Wall Street Journal (US)          Area:United States Lines:96 Added:12/26/2019

A surge in vaping related lung illnesses this year caught the medical community by surprise, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting more than 2,500 lung illnesses and 54 deaths. Politicians are targeting e-cigarettes, but the CDC reported last week that marijuana is so far the greatest common denominator.

This is another reminder that America is undertaking a risky social experiment by legalizing and especially destigmatizing cannabis, and the potential effects are hard to foresee or control. The same political culture that is in a fury over legal opioids, and is trying to bankrupt drug companies as compensation, seems to have no problem celebrating a drug that may be damaging young brains for a lifetime.

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72 US: Baba Ram Dass, Proponent Of LSD Turned New Age Guru, Dies At 88Tue, 24 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Martin, Douglas Area:United States Lines:198 Added:12/24/2019

Baba Ram Dass, who epitomized the 1960s of legend by popularizing psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary, a fellow Harvard academic, before finding spiritual inspiration in India, died on Sunday at his home on Maui, Hawaii. He was 88.

His death was announced on his official Instagram account.

Having returned from India as a bushy-bearded, barefoot, white-robed guru, Ram Dass, who was born Richard Alpert, became a peripatetic lecturer on New Age possibilities and a popular author of more than a dozen inspirational books.

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73 US CO: Denver, Colorado Springs Pot Lounges First To Apply For StateSat, 21 Dec 2019
Source:Westword (Denver, CO) Author:Petrovic, Nina Area:Colorado Lines:67 Added:12/21/2019

The Coffee Joint, the first establishment to hold a cannabis consumption license in Denver, is now the second pot lounge business to apply for a state social consumption license.

Colorado Springs social lounge Studio A64 successfully applied for a social consumption license at the state Marijuana Enforcement Division office three hours before Coffee Joint owners Rita Tsalyuk and Kirill Merkulov could beat them to it.

Studio A64 could not be reached for comment, but Tsalyuk and Merkulov say the opportunity to apply for a state license is a big step for all cannabis businesses. "This is bigger than us. It's just a bigger step in the industry," Tsalyuk explains. "It opens the door to do something different and plan ahead for the next year."

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74US: Pot, Psychosis Link Real, Doctors WarnMon, 16 Dec 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2019

Early one morning in March, Madison McIntosh showed up on his day off at the Scottsdale, Arizona, driving range and restaurant where he worked. The 24-year-old sat in his car until the place opened, then wandered around all day, alternating between gibberish and talk of suicide as co-workers tried to keep him away from customers.

When he was still there 12 hours later, the manager contacted McIntosh's father in Las Vegas, who called police and rallied other family members states away to converge at the young man's side.

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75 Canada: Pot in Canada: Legal, But Not ProfitableMon, 16 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Austin, Ian Area:Canada Lines:196 Added:12/20/2019

SMITHS FALLS, Ontario - When Canada became the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana, visions of billions of dollars in profits inspired growers, retailers and investors, sending the stock market soaring in a so-called green rush.

A year later, the euphoria has vanished.

"No one wants to invest in it now," said John-Kurt Pliniussen, a professor of marketing at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

That is because those who have invested have generally lost money. During the first year after legalization, the value of shares in Canada's six largest marijuana companies tumbled by an average of 56 percent, according to stock price data.

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76US GA: Mayor Wants To Restrict Access To Pot RecordsTue, 17 Dec 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Kass, Arielle Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2019

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wants to restrict public access to people's criminal records for convictions of less than an ounce of marijuana - an executive action announced Monday that she said was "in keeping with our commitment to meaningful criminal justice reform."

The administrative order requires city officials - specifically the chief operating officer, city attorney, solicitor and chief judge of the Municipal Court - to establish a standard process by which people can apply to have those court records made off-limits to everyone except law enforcement by Feb. 1.

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77 US OK: A Call To Action As Deaths Rise From Meth UseWed, 18 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Goodnough, Abby Area:Oklahoma Lines:204 Added:12/18/2019

TULSA, Okla. - The teenager had pink cheeks from the cold and a matter-of-fact tone as she explained why she had started using methamphetamine after becoming homeless last year.

"Having nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat - that's where meth comes into play," said the girl, 17, who asked to be identified by her nickname, Rose. "Those things aren't a problem if you're using."

She stopped two months ago, she said, after smoking so much meth over a 24-hour period that she hallucinated and nearly jumped off a bridge. Deaths associated with meth use are climbing here in Oklahoma and in many other states, an alarming trend for a nation battered by the opioid epidemic, and one that public health officials are struggling to fully explain.

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78 US TN: Drug Crisis Ravages Rural America And Fills Its JailsSat, 14 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Oppel, Richard A. Area:Tennessee Lines:197 Added:12/14/2019

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - The Hamblen County Jail has been described as a dangerously overcrowded "cesspool of a dungeon," with inmates sleeping on mats in the hallways, lawyers forced to meet their clients in a supply closet and the people inside subjected to "horrible conditions" every day.

And that's the county sheriff talking.

Jail populations used to be concentrated in big cities. But since 2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties such as Hamblen has skyrocketed, driven by the nation's drug crisis.

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79US: Crack vs Heroin: 2 Races, 2 ResultsFri, 13 Dec 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Mullen, Shannon Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:12/13/2019

Dannis Billups' addiction nightmare began with an actual nightmare when he was about 4 years old. His daddy sat him on his knee and gave him a half-can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer to soothe him.

In the 1980s, he joined the "family trade," a young black man peddling crack cocaine on the streets of Newark, New Jersey, profiting from other people's addiction and pain.

Within a few years, he became his best customer. His life became a never-ending ride on the criminal justice carousel: arrests, jail, probation and then back in the system for another spin, some two dozen times, on and off the ride he went.

"They would never offer you treatment," said Billups, now 53. "They would just lock you away and forget about you."

[end]

80US: Kratom Is Widely Available In Gas Stations, Despite Experts'Sat, 07 Dec 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Robinson, Kevin Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:12/07/2019

There's not much solid data about how widespread the use of a psychoactive plant called kratom is in the U.S.

But if what Dr. Marvin Seppala is seeing in addiction treatment centers all over the country is any indication, use of kratom isn't just on the rise; it's becoming normalized.

"What we're seeing is regular use of it, especially in adolescents and young adults," said Seppala, chief medical officer at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and a 2018 CivicCon speaker. "It really fits in with alcohol, marijuana and tobacco. It's legal, so it's really easy for kids to get a hold of, and they'll try it to see what it does to them."

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81US: 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.

[end]

82 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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83 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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84 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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85 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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86 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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87 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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88 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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89 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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90 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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91 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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92 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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93 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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94 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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95 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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96 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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97 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

[end]

98US: 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]

99US 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."

[end]

100US 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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