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51US TN: Senator Expects Panel Will Help Educate Public, TennesseeSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ebert, Joel Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:09/03/2017

Educating lawmakers and the general public will be a key component of the recently formed legislative committee tasked with tackling medical marijuana, according to one of the legislators heading up the panel.

"I think one of the goals is to make sure that the people and the advocates and the patients are aware of what we're doing and make sure that they give feedback to their elected officials," said Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, who along with Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, are heading up a legislative committee to study the issue.

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52 US CA: Olivia Newton-John Cannabis Treatment: She Uses Marijuana InSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Darby, Adam Area:California Lines:54 Added:09/03/2017

Singer Olivia Newton-John has used medicinal marijuana during her battle with breast cancer and plans to promote the drug this week to raise money for her wellness and research center.

"I will do what I can to encourage it. It's an important part of treatment, and it should be available," Newton-John, who announced a second battle with breast cancer in May, told News Corp. Australia.

"I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing," she said. "It's a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal."

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53 US: Christie to Trump: 'It's Time' For Opioid DeclarationTue, 29 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Pugliese, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:81 Added:09/01/2017

Gov. Chris Christie is growing impatient with the Trump administration over its delay in declaring the opioid epidemic a national emergency.

Christie said during an interview with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes on Tuesday night that too many lives are being lost to drug overdoses for a formal declaration to wait any longer.

"I think it's time for the president and White House staff to get on this and for the president to demand that they get the papers in front of him so he can sign it," Christie said.

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54 US AZ: Huffed And Puffed AG Sessions' Marijuana Crackdown FizzlesThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:93 Added:09/01/2017

It looks like Attorney General Jeff Sessions has run into some problems in his crusade against the marijuana. While the new Department of Justice administration has long been mounting pressure against the marijuana industry, the latest suggestion from the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety is to, well, do nothing.

The subcommittee was announced months ago and tasked with developing a legal avenue for Session's marijuana crackdown. However, the Associated Press reported the group "has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general's aggressively anti-marijuana views."

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55 US: Sessions: Drug Overdoses Are 'The Top Lethal Issue' In The U.S.Tue, 29 Aug 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Moreno, Ivan Area:United States Lines:43 Added:09/01/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called drug overdose deaths "the top lethal issue" in the U.S. and urged law enforcement and social workers to "create and foster a culture that's hostile to drug use."

Sessions spoke to the annual conference of the National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children. He said preliminary data show nearly 60,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2016, the highest ever.

"Our current drug epidemic is indeed the deadliest in American history. We've seen nothing like it," said Sessions.

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56 US OH: Ohio Records 4,050 Drug Deaths Last Year, Up 33 Percent OverWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Johnson, Alan Area:Ohio Lines:43 Added:09/01/2017

More state spending, legislation and debate on Ohio's drug crisis don't appear to have made a dent as the statewide death toll from accidental drug overdoses soared last year to 4,050, a 33-percent jump over 2015.

Fentanyl, the deadly opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin, is increasingly to blame for overdose deaths, with fentanyl and its derivatives accounting for 58.2 percent of the deaths, up from 37.9 percent in 2015. There were 3,050 overdose deaths in 2015.

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57 US MA: A Year After Lawsuit, Marijuana Rally On Boston Common Set ToTue, 29 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:83 Added:09/01/2017

Attendees of the annual marijuana "Freedom Rally" on Boston Common laughed during last year's event.

For more stories on the marijuana industry, sign up for our newsletter, This Week in Weed.

The administration of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is expected to green-light the 28th annual marijuana "Freedom Rally" on Boston Common in September, a year after organizers of the smoky, weekend-long bash had to sue the city to get a permit.

This year's incarnation of the long-running celebration of cannabis culture, which draws thousands of marijuana enthusiasts, is scheduled to begin Sept. 15. It will be the first to take place since voters legalized recreational use of the drug last November.

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58 US MA: Question 4 Opponents Will Have Majority On Cannabis CommissionFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:115 Added:09/01/2017

BOSTON -- Marijuana legalization opponents will outnumber supporters four to one on the new commission that will spearhead the state's efforts to get a legal marijuana industry up and running by next summer and then regulate the newly legal market.

Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday appointed Britte McBride, a lawyer with experience working for the attorney general's office, the state Senate and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, to the newly minted Cannabis Control Commission, and joined Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg in agreeing on two picks to round out the five-person panel.

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59 US: OPED Make Pot Legal For Veterans With Traumatic Brain InjuryFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brennan, Thomas James Area:United States Lines:109 Added:09/01/2017

The explosion that wounded me during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan in 2010 left me with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. In 2012 I was medically retired from the Marine Corps because of debilitating migraines, vertigo and crippling depression. After a nine-year career, I sought care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

At first, I didn't object to the pills that arrived by mail: antidepressants, sedatives, amphetamines and mood stabilizers. Stuff to wake me up. Stuff to put me down. Stuff to keep me calm. Stuff to rile me up. Stuff to numb me from the effects of my wars as an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stuff to numb me from the world all around.

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60 US PA: Pa. Must Reveal Names Of Secret Marijuana PanelistsFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:53 Added:09/01/2017

In a decision that could change the way future medical marijuana permits are awarded in Pennsylvania, the state has ordered the Pa. Department of Health to reveal the identities of the panelists who determined the winners to grow and distribute cannabis products.

The Pa. Department of Health in June awarded 12 permits to grow and process marijuana and 27 permits to distribute the medicines in a process that many of the unsuccessful applicants criticized as unnecessarily opaque.

A secret panel, comprised of about a dozen Pennsylvania state employees, reviewed and scored hundreds of lengthy applications for the potentially lucrative business permits, following a model originally set by New Jersey. Other states have followed different selection processes. Ohio, for example, hired an Atlanta-based consultant to determine its winners, according to Cleveland.com.

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61 US: Trump Taps Pennsylvania Congressman To Be Drug CzarFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Thomas, Ken Area:United States Lines:30 Added:09/01/2017

The Trump administration announced Friday that the president has tapped Rep. Tom Marino to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In Congress, Marino has worked to expand access to treatment for people struggling with opioid addiction.

The 64-year-old Republican congressman lives outside Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and is a former county prosecutor who served as U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania's Middle District under President George W. Bush.

Marino was an early supporter of the president and the first Pennsylvania congressman to endorse Trump in the presidential primary contest. He had previously withdrawn his name from consideration in May, citing a family illness.

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62 US CA: Ten Bills Regulating Pot In California Are Sidelined For TheFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:65 Added:09/01/2017

Ten bills aimed at regulating marijuana were shelved Friday by state lawmakers, giving California's new Bureau of Cannabis Control time to finish its own rules before lawmakers pile on with additional restrictions.

The bills held by the Senate Appropriations Committee without comment would have further regulated where pot can be used, how marijuana is marketed, the trademarking of products and would have required the state to produce a consumer guide.

The actions come as the state Bureau of Cannabis Control is preparing to begin issuing licenses and regulations for the growth, transport and sale of marijuana for medical and recreational use starting Jan. 2.

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63US FL: One Florida Bank Is Willing To Risk It All On Cannabis WhenThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

Opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Florida naturally comes with a lot of red tape.

Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance at the federal level, despite the 29 states that have legalized it for recreational or medicinal use in recent years. That makes it nearly impossible for banks to fund marijuana distributing companies, which in turn makes it hard for those companies to sign a lease for a store or warehouse or even get insurance.

But one Orlando area community bank is willing to take on the risk.

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64 US MA: Former Bain Consultant Named Top Marijuana RegulatorThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:71 Added:08/31/2017

Steven Hoffman, a veteran corporate executive and consultant, was named the chair of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, the newly created agency that will usher in an era of legal marijuana use.

The appointment Thursday by state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg makes Hoffman, a 63-year-old Lincoln resident, the state's top marijuana regulator. He will hire the commission's executive director and other staff, and oversee the writing of new rules to govern marijuana cultivators, processors, and both medical and recreational dispensaries.

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65 US MA: A Church's Sign Campaign Captures Opioids' TollThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Eppolito, Sophia Area:Massachusetts Lines:61 Added:08/31/2017

A Wrentham church has launched an unusual campaign to raise awareness of the toll opioid abuse has taken in Massachusetts.

Signs marked "#2069" - the number of opioid-related deaths reported statewide for 2016 - have shown up in yards around the region thanks to the efforts of Trinity Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Ron Tibbetts said he was the first to admit "we at Trinity Church were unaware of the crisis." Then, the church's outreach committee met with the S.A.F.E. Coalition, a Franklin-based group that deals with substance abuse issues.

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66 US: FDA Calls Ecstasy A 'Breakthrough' Drug In Treating PTSDThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:United States Lines:32 Added:08/31/2017

The Food and Drug Administration has determined that illicit drug ecstasy is a "breakthrough therapy" for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly referred to as ecstasy, could now have a faster pathway to pharmaceutical approval in the US, reports Science Alert.

The goal of these trials is to determine how effectively the drug treatment can be for those suffering from PTSD.

The PSTD research trials will include 200 to 300 participants, and the first trial will begin to accept subjects in 2018.

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67 US PA: Pa.'s Once Vast Hemp Harvest Reemerges From The WeedsThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:129 Added:08/31/2017

Not one of the growers had any prior experience cultivating the plant, which grows so quickly it's nicknamed "weed." So some problems were to be expected. However, nobody anticipated one complication.

"We had some projects that really did everything right, but were completely overrun by weeds," -- real weeds, said Russell Redding, the state's Secretary of Agriculture. "You'd have fields that were beautifully green, but overwhelmed by unwanted species."

Sometimes knowledge is hard-won, even in a state with a long history of cultivation dating back to the colonial era and more than a dozen school districts named "Hempfield."

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68US CA: Legal Marijuana: Fresno City Council Passes Ban On PotThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

When it comes to buying pot for pleasure, Fresno won't be on the recreational map

Retail marijuana dispensaries and other businesses related to recreational use of marijuana will be barred from setting up shop in Fresno after the City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit such establishments.

Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2016, legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana. It also legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use starting Jan. 1, 2018 -- but gave cities and counties the authority to regulate or prohibit commercial cannabis operations in their jurisdictions.

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69 US MI: Police Suspect Marijuana Lab In Redford House ExplosionThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Allen, Robert Area:Michigan Lines:37 Added:08/31/2017

An explosion in a house Wednesday night in Redford Township seriously injured three people, and police suspect it involved an explosive marijuana processing operation.

The three people in the house when the explosion occurred, at 8:15 p.m. on the 20100 block of Woodworth, were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, according to a news release from Redford Police Department.

A neighbor told the station she saw three men run out of the house and "their clothes were melted off of them" after the explosion, according to a report from Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK-TV). .

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70 US TN: PUB LTE: Beth Harwell's Changing Marijuana StanceThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Levy, Jeffrey H. Area:Tennessee Lines:38 Added:08/31/2017

I was truly amazed when I heard that Beth Harwell, erstwhile gubernatorial candidate and reefer madness maven, said she was "open" to medicinal cannabis here in Tennessee.

This is a major reversal of policy for Ms. Harwell.

What changed her mind? She says her sister's positive experience with state legal medicinal cannabis products in Colorado while recovering from a broken back made her rethink the issue.

Thousands of Tennesseans have, for years now, been asking Ms. Harwell and her fellow Republicans for a medical cannabis program, as can be found in 29 other states so far, to treat illnesses such as my wife's multiple sclerosis. For years now, our pleas have fallen on deaf Republican ears.

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71 US: High Returns Wither For Marijuana GrowersThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Bunge, Jacob Area:United States Lines:130 Added:08/31/2017

After decades of dodging law enforcement and fighting for legalization, U.S. marijuana growers face a new challenge: low prices.

From Washington to Colorado, wholesale cannabis prices have tumbled as dozens of states legalized the drug for recreational and medicinal uses, seeding a boom in marijuana production.

The market is still tiny compared with the U.S. tobacco industry's $119 billion in annual retail sales, but the nascent cannabis business has grown to more than $6 billion a year at retail, according to data from Euromonitor International Ltd. and Cowen & Co..

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72 US MA: Baker Proposes Manslaughter Charge For Drug DealersWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ransom, Jan Area:Massachusetts Lines:138 Added:08/30/2017

Seeking to crack down on the suppliers behind the state's lethal opioid crisis, Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday filed a broad legislative package that would create a new manslaughter charge for drug dealers whose product causes a death.

Under Baker's plan, dealers would face a mandatory minimum of five years for selling any drugs that result in a fatality.

"When illegal drug distribution causes a death, laws that were designed to punish the act are inadequate to recognize the seriousness of the resulting harm," Baker wrote in a letter to state lawmakers in support of the legislation. "In order to ensure that accountability, this legislation establishes enhanced penalties that directly target those who cause death by illegally selling drugs."

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73US CA: Perris Gets The Inland Empire's First Licensed MedicalWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

The Inland Empire has its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary, with Green America now open for business in Perris.

"This is the first time that patients will be able to purchase their products from a permitted dispensary," said Mark Douglas, chief executive of the nonprofit that runs Green America. "This is a historic day not just for Green America Inc., but for the city of Perris and all of the Inland Empire."

The move comes after more than 77 percent of Perris voters in November approved Measure K, an initiative put on the ballot by the Perris City Council to remove the city's ban on marijuana businesses. The measure permits dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, with strict rules on record keeping, buffers from schools and more.

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74US: Top 10 States Where Drug Dealers Get Longest Average PrisonWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

Drug dealers convicted on federal trafficking charges received the stiffest sentences from federal court judges last year in the Midwest and the Southeast.

But the longer sentences are more driven by the type of drugs common in different states rather than judges in one region being tougher on drugs than counterparts elsewhere.

In many states with longer average sentences, methamphetamines were the most prevalent drugs in these federal cases, according to a USA Today Network analysis of U.S. Sentencing Commission data.

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75 US MD: Baltimore City Council Weighs Concerns About CannabisWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:92 Added:08/30/2017

Hampden and Wyman Park residents took their concerns about a proposed medical cannabis dispensary to City Hall on Wednesday, as Baltimore City Council members weigh whether to put zoning restrictions on the businesses.

In Baltimore -- as well as other jurisdictions -- some residents have been surprised to learn about proposals for the dispensaries. Just one dispensary in the state has earned a final state license, but dozens more across the state have preliminary licenses they hope to finalize in the coming months.

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76 US MI: Communities Dilemma: Yes Or No To Medical Marijuana BusinessesMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:183 Added:08/25/2017

To weed or not to weed? That is the question for Michigan's communities.

As the state board that will regulate Michigan's new medical marijuana law begins to craft the rules that will govern the multimillion dollar industry, the state's cities, townships and villages must decide whether they want in or out.

As they are making their decisions, local officials are being bombarded with phone calls from people who want to gain a foothold in the medical marijuana business and are promising untold riches for the communities that let them in.

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77 US PA: Norco Drug Forfeiture Program Netted $132k Last YearMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Yates, Riley Area:Pennsylvania Lines:86 Added:08/25/2017

Northampton County's drug forfeiture program netted $132,000 last year, the district attorney's office announced.

Northampton County's drug forfeiture program seized more than $132,000 in the past year, on par with other years despite heightened scrutiny of the practice nationwide.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, the program brought in $122,000 in cash, plus $9,900 from the sale of forfeited vehicles, District Attorney John Morganelli announced.

The proceeds represented an increase from the $112,000 averaged in the four previous years. But they were well short of the program's record in fiscal 2011, when $283,000 was seized.

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78US MI: Michigan Regulator: Shut Down Medical Pot ShopsMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Gerstein, Michael Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:08/25/2017

Lansing - A member of a state board charged with creating new rules for the virtually unregulated medical marijuana industry on Monday called for all existing dispensaries to be shuttered until official licenses can be doled out.

But the board tabled the issue until the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and the office of Attorney General Bill Schuette can weigh in after retired State Police sergeant David Bailey raised the idea.

Anxiety quickly rippled through the boarda€™s second public hearing as people lined up to express fear and anger that they would have to resort to the black market to find medical marijuana.

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79US WA: Column: Lawsuit Seeks To Block King County Vote On SafeMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Connelly, Joel Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/25/2017

US: Connelly: Lawsuit seeks to block King County vote on safe injection sites - seattlepi.com

Found: Tue Aug 22 14:21:02 2017 PDT Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Copyright: 2017 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Website: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/408 Author: Joel Connelly

A lawsuit was filed Monday, challenging and seeking to block a public vote on Initiative 27, which seeks to outlaw the opening of supervised consumption spaces, health facilities where people use drugs in a safe environment with access to treatment.

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80 US KY: Judge Questions Kentucky's Marijuana BanTue, 22 Aug 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:105 Added:08/25/2017

Other states allow medical marijuana. Judge asks why Kentucky shouldn't join them.

A Franklin Circuit Court judge on Tuesday asked attorneys for the state why Kentucky should not make medical marijuana available to patients who believe it might help them, given that "we've pretty much decriminalized" the drug around much of the nation and even in parts of the state.

Judge Thomas Wingate is considering motions by Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear to dismiss a lawsuit filed in June by three Kentuckians who want the legal right to use marijuana as medicine in the state where they live. Wingate said he expects to hand down a decision on the motion in the near future.

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81 US MA: White House Anti-Drug Office Asks Massachusetts For MedicalFri, 25 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:139 Added:08/25/2017

An arm of the White House's anti-drug office has asked Massachusetts and several other states where medical marijuana is legal to turn over information about their registered patients, triggering a debate over privacy rights and whether state officials should cooperate with a federal administration that appears hostile to the drug.

Dale Quigley, deputy coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, or NMI, has asked Massachusetts health officials for demographic data on the age, gender, and medical condition of the state's approximately 40,000 registered medical marijuana patients. Quigley is a former police officer in Colorado with a long history of speaking out against legalization.

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82 US AR: Giant Marijuana Bundle Launched Over U.S.-Mexico Border FenceFri, 25 Aug 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Arkansas Lines:75 Added:08/25/2017

PHOENIX - Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona have seized a nearly 100-pound bundle of marijuana after spotting it flying over the border fence.

Surveillance video on Wednesday captured the large package launching through the air over the fence from Mexico to the U.S. Agents on the ground found a large, plastic-wrapped bundle worth about $48,000.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Dixon said drug smugglers are increasingly launching massive bundles of pot over the border fence, posing a danger to nearby residents and businesses because of their weight. She said she knew of one incident in which a bundle went through the roof of a dog house.

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83 US CA: California Lawmakers Ask Gov. Jerry Brown To Bar The MarketingThu, 24 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:37 Added:08/24/2017

Just months before shops can begin selling marijuana for recreational use, state lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill aimed at preventing the drug from being marketed to minors.

The measure approved by the state Senate prohibits packaging and labeling of marijuana products that show "pot edibles" such as cookies and candy bars. The bill by Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Chico) also bars packaging that mimics the name or packaging of non-marijuana candies, snacks and drinks.

"Studies have shown the dangers that accidental marijuana ingestion poses to young children," Nielsen said in a statement. "This measure will prevent marijuana from being packaged to attract children."

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84 US MI: New Petition To Legalize Marijuana In Michigan Gets OKThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Egan, Paul Area:Michigan Lines:78 Added:08/22/2017

LANSING -- The Board of State Canvassers gave approval Thursday to a new proposed ballot effort to amend the state constitution to fully legalize recreational use of marijuana without taxing the drug.

The proposal from Abrogate Prohibition Michigan of Midland would nullify all laws prohibiting or regulating the use of marijuana and impose no fines, taxes or penalties on its use.

"I call it the Second Amendment of cannabis," sponsor Timothy Locke told the Free Press, comparing it to the U.S. constitutional provision granting the right to bear arms.

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85US CA: Editorial: California Rushes To Prepare For Legal MarijuanaFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/18/2017

You can buy legal marijuana in four months. But is California ready to sell it?

With four months left until full legalization, the apparatus to regulate commercial cannabis sales in California is being built on the fly.

Up to 82 people must be hired. Software must be written to accept applications of thousands of entrepreneurs hoping to legally sell marijuana. Regulations governing sales aren't fully cooked.

Welcome to Lori Ajax's world. She is the director of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (formerly the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation aka BMCR or, colloquially, "Bummer"), having worked 22 years at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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86US TN: Harwell 'Open' To Medical Marijuana Law In TennesseeSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Schelzig, Erik Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The treatment of her sister's back injury has caused Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell to reevaluate Tennessee's ban on medical marijuana.

Harwell, who is speaker of the state House of Representatives, told a Republican gathering earlier this month that allowing medical marijuana has come up as part of a discussion about how to tackle the state's opioid crisis.

The longtime Nashville representative said her sister was recently prescribed opioids after breaking her back.

"She was in a yoga class and came down out of a shoulder stand the wrong way," Harwell said. "And she was, of course, in a great deal of pain."

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87US NV: Nevada Judge Clears Way For Expanded Marijuana DistributionThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Sonner, Scott Area:Nevada Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A judge cleared the way Thursday for Nevada to allow more businesses to move marijuana from growers to stores in an effort to keep up with overwhelming demand since recreational pot sales began last month.

Carson City District Judge James Russell lifted an order blocking regulators from issuing pot distribution licenses to anyone other than alcohol wholesalers. Nevada's voter-approved law is unique among pot states in providing liquor wholesalers exclusive rights to distribute marijuana unless they could not keep up with demand.

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88 US NY: Canadian Trucker Who Transported $120 Million In Cocaine GetsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Fairbanks, Phil Area:New York Lines:73 Added:08/16/2017

Prosecutors say the false compartments in Harinder Dhaliwal's tractor trailers was the innovation that allowed more than 3 tons of cocaine to move through Buffalo.

By Dhaliwal's own admission, the 6,600 pounds of cocaine he and others smuggled into Canada had a street value of $120 million.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the 47-year old Brampton, Ont., man to 20 years in prison.

"There is no other case like this," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch. "We've never seen this amount of drugs before."

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89 US MA: When It Comes To Marijuana Foods, Regulation Drives InnovationWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:171 Added:08/16/2017

DENVER - Many college students will tell you that making pot brownies is easy - just sprinkle a little marijuana into a pan of melting butter, then follow the instructions on the back of the Duncan Hines box.

But marijuana entrepreneurs in this center of cannabis innovation face a much higher bar. They have no trouble dreaming up creative treats and concoctions infused with psychoactive THC, but meeting hundreds of pages of health and safety regulations means their imagination is handcuffed. And for good reason: the rules demand precise dosing, uniform potency, and warning symbols imprinted on the food itself.

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90US: Editorial: Opioids A National Problem -- And So Is TrumpFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Taking a break from his provocative tweets on North Korea, President Trump on Thursday declared the opioid addiction epidemic a national emergency, heeding Gov. Chris Christie's suggestion as part of Christie's work with a special presidential commission on opioid abuse.

It was a welcome step by Trump, albeit a bit unexpected; as recently as Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Trump would not make the emergency declaration because it was unnecessary. But as is so often the case with Trump, even sensible policy is layered with impulsiveness, hypocrisy and a general sense of cluelessness.

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91 US TN: Opioid-Related Hospitalizations More Than Triple For TennesseeSun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Author:Wadhwani, Anita Area:Tennessee Lines:165 Added:08/15/2017

The rate of hospitalizations for Tennesseans 65 years and older due to painkillers has more than tripled in a decade.

Older adults are being hospitalized for reasons that range from falls and auto accidents after taking pain pills to unintentional overdoses, interactions with other medications and weakened kidney or liver functions in aging bodies that fail to metabolize the drug in the same way as younger people.

Experts say physicians and family members are more likely to overlook addiction in senior citizens -- even after opioids require a trip to the hospital.

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92 US: Marijuana States Try To Curb Smuggling, Avert Us CrackdownMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Selsky, Andrew Area:United States Lines:146 Added:08/15/2017

In response, pot-legal states are trying to clamp down on "diversion" even as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions presses for enforcement of federal laws against marijuana.

Tracking legal weed from the fields and greenhouses where it's grown to the shops where it's sold under names like Blueberry Kush and Chernobyl is their so far main protective measure.

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown recently signed into law a requirement that state regulators track from seed to store all marijuana grown for sale in Oregon's legal market. So far, only recreational marijuana has been comprehensively tracked. Tina Kotek, speaker of the Oregon House, said lawmakers wanted to ensure "we're protecting the new industry that we're supporting here."

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93US WA: Another King County City May Vote To Ban Safe Injection SitesTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

The growing movement against allowing so-called safe drug injection sites is moving to another city.

The Kent City Council will vote Tuesday night on a proposed moratorium on "community health engagement locations," also called supervised injection facilities.

Renton, Federal Way, Auburn and Bellevue have already passed ordinances banning such sites. The ordinance going before Kent's City Council says there's no evidence that these sites reduce drug addiction.

The Seattle-King County Health Department says someone dies from a heroin or opioid drug overdose every 36 hours in King County. That's more than auto crashes and ranks as the No. 1 cause of preventable death.

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94 US: Editorial: President's Declaration Offers A Chance To Bring FocusTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:United States Lines:80 Added:08/15/2017

President Trump's declaration of a national opioid crisis creates an opportunity to bring greater focus and more resources to a scourge that is killing an average of almost 150 people a day. (Getty Images)

President Trump's recent declaration recognizing the opioid crisis acknowledges something people have been saying for years. It remains to be seen whether this new development opens up more resources.

The opioid epidemic is ravaging a generation of mostly young people, although older people are not immune. There are an estimated 2.6 million opioid addicts in the United States.

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95 US TX: Texans May Be Able To Buy Medical Cannabis Oil By JanuaryThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Samuels, Alex Area:Texas Lines:123 Added:08/14/2017

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the first bill allowing any growing or sale of marijuana in Texas. The Texas Compassionate Use Act legalized the selling of a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.

Two years later, Texans still can't legally buy cannabis oil, but a handful of companies believe they are weeks away from receiving the official go-ahead to become the state's first sellers.

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96 US MD: Maryland Regulators Approve Eight New Medical MarijuanaMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cox, Erin Area:Maryland Lines:115 Added:08/14/2017

Maryland's medical marijuana regulators approved final licenses for eight growing companies on Monday, allowing them to start cultivating the drug.

Several companies said they are ready to begin growing immediately, while others say they will take weeks to get started.

"Now, we have a real industry," said Cary Millstein, CEO of newly licensed grower Freestate Wellness in Howard County.

Until Monday, just one of the 15 selected firms had received final permission to start cultivating medical marijuana, which was first legalized in the state in 2013. Even at full capacity, one firm could not produce nearly enough to support 102 planned dispensaries.

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97 US PA: Politicians Line Up Against Proposed Philly MarijuanaMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:65 Added:08/14/2017

Political opposition could derail a medical marijuana dispensary slated to open early next year in Philadelphia's East Mount Airy neighborhood.

A zoning hearing Tuesday morning attracted a sizable crowd, including people from eight neighborhood churches among others aiming to force East Mount Airy's TerraVida Holistic Centers dispensary to fold before it opens.

In March, the city granted a zoning permit to TerraVida to operate on the 8300 block of Stenton Avenue at Allens Lane. In June, the state Department of Health awarded the company a highly coveted license to sell cannabis-derived oils, tinctures and lotions at the former bank building, which sits on a commercial corridor that includes a small strip mall, two gas stations, and a Rite Aid pharmacy. Only four dispensary permits were slated for the state's most populous city, though more could be added.

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98 US IL: Can Marijuana Rescue Coal Country?Sun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Ferguson, Mark Lynn Area:Illinois Lines:537 Added:08/13/2017

Johnsie Gooslin spent Jan. 16, 2015, tending his babies -- that's what he called his marijuana plants.

More than 70 of them were growing in a hydroponic system of his own design.

Sometimes, he'd stay in his barn for 16 hours straight, perfecting his technique.

That night, he left around 8 o'clock to head home. The moon was waning, down to a sliver, which left the sky as dark as the ridges that lined it. As he pulled away, the lights from his late-model Kia swept across his childhood hollow and his parents' trailer, which stood just up the road from the barn. He turned onto West Virginia Route 65. Crossing Mingo County, he passed the Delbarton Mine, where he had worked on and off for 14 years before his back gave out. Though Johnsie was built like a linebacker, falling once from a coal truck and twice from end loaders had taken a toll. At 36, his disks were a mess, and sciatica sometimes shot pain to his knees.

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99US WA: As Opioid Deaths Spike, New Push To Save Overdosing UsersFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Cohen, Stephen Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Public health officials are promoting the use of the drug naloxone to help save people from opioid overdoses.

Seattle's opioid crisis is a complicated medical, political and emotional issue, but state leaders are attempting to tackle one of the most immediate concerns facing those on the front line of the fight: Keeping users alive during an overdose.

The Seattle Police Department implemented a nasal naloxone (also known Narcan) program in March 2016, training 60 bike officers to administer the drug to anyone they believed to be suffering from an opioid overdose. The program has been a modest success, with officers reviving 20 people thus far according to Officer Steve Redmond, and there are hopes the program can be expanded department wide.

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100 US AZ: PUB LTE: Overhaul TimeMon, 07 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Arizona Lines:36 Added:08/12/2017

Editor:

Thanks for publishing Rita Shyrocka'™s outstanding letter: "€œCrisis€™ is on government'€™s shoulders"€ (7-19-17).

I'€™d like to add that in 1972, when President Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs, the federal budget for the drug war was $101 million. Last year, the federal budget for the drug was over $25 billion - a 250-fold increase.

In 1972, fewer than 5,000 Americans died from illegal drugs. Last year more than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses.

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