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21 US CA: Laguna Beach 'church' Was Really An Illegal MarijuanaTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Fry, Hannah Area:California Lines:55 Added:01/23/2018

Laguna Beach police this month shut down what they allege was a marijuana dispensary posing as a church, the department said Monday.

Officers seized more than 20 pounds of marijuana and more than $3,000 in cash, according to police Sgt. Jim Cota.

Officers responded to Divine Church of Gardens at 910 Glenneyre St. at about 4:40 p.m. Jan. 12 after a passerby reported a potent marijuana smell emanating from the property and people leaving with white bags, Cota said.

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22US CA: Many Obstacles For Small Cannabis Businesses To HurdleTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Taylor, Otis R. Jr. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/23/2018

As a teen in the '70s, Alexis Bronson sold joints to his Berkeley High School classmates in front of the school cafeteria.

Bronson lived in hotels with his father and two brothers and made enough money selling weed to eat and to buy clothes. He figured he could probably make enough to keep a roof over his head, too.

In 1980, two years after he graduated from high school, Bronson began cultivating cannabis, planting the seeds for his future business. After California voters passed Proposition 215 to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in 1996, Bronson began selling his cannabis flowers to a dispensary in San Francisco.

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23 US FL: Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban Challenged In CourtTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:01/23/2018

A judge is deciding whether Floridians should be allowed to consume medical marijuana by smoking it.

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers heard arguments Thursday on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on smoking.

The medical marijuana constitutional amendment voters approved in 2016 allowed the Legislature to prohibit smoking in public areas. But the law passed in 2017 to implement the amendment banned smoking entirely.

Medical marijuana patients must vape the product, or else use patches, oils, edibles -- any other means but the most traditional way of using the drug.

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24 US PA: Column: With Safe Injection Sites, Philadelphia Demonstrates ATue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Newall, Mike Area:Pennsylvania Lines:106 Added:01/23/2018

When I think about the people I've met in Kensington over the last eight months, the people who've opened up to me about their addiction, about their lives, talking to me from the cardboard mattresses and train bridges and alleyways and library lawns where they live, I think about the ones I haven't seen in a while.

No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'

Could City Council block Kenney's proposed safe injection sites?

I think about how many of them by now are dead.

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25 US VT: Marijuana To Become Legal In Vermont As Governor Signs BillMon, 22 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ring, Wilson Area:Vermont Lines:81 Added:01/22/2018

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott on Monday privately signed Vermont's marijuana bill into law, making the state the first in the country to authorize the recreational use of the substance by an act of a state legislature.

The law, which goes into effect July 1, allows adults to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, two mature and four immature plants.

Vermont will become the ninth state in the country, along with Washington, D.C, to approve the recreational use of marijuana. The other states and Washington authorized the recreational use of marijuana through a vote of residents. Vermont law contains no mechanism that allows for a citizen referendum.

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26US: Trump's 24-Year-Old Drug Policy Appointee Was Let Go At Law FirmSat, 20 Jan 2018
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:O'HarrowJr., Robert Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2018

President Donald Trump speaks after signing into law the bipartisan Interdict Act, during a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

Reince Priebus resigned on July 28 and was replaced by John F. Kelly.

K.T. McFarland was asked to resign on April 9 but became the U.S. ambassador to Singapore.

James Comey was fired on May 9, amid his investigation of Trump's campaign and if it had ties to Russia's meddling.

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27 US PA: Dwight Evans First Pa. Congress Member To Cosponsor EndingFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Goldstein, Chris Area:Pennsylvania Lines:62 Added:01/19/2018

When it comes to legalizing marijuana Congressman Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) is "one thousand percent on board."

When it comes to legalizing marijuana U.S Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) is "one thousand percent on board," he told me by phone on Thursday afternoon.

Evans officially signed on to HR 1227 Wednesday, a bill that would remove cannabis and hemp from federal drug scheduling completely.

"This is what the people want in the state," said Evans.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a rising Democrat from Hawaii, and Rep. Tom Garrett, a more libertarian-styled Republican from Virginia.

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28 US PA: Pa. Has Approved All But Two Of 12 Marijuana GrowersFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:50 Added:01/19/2018

A 10th medical marijuana grower has been approved to begin cultivation in Pennsylvania, according to the state Department of Health. Holistic Farms LLC was granted permission Friday to plant its first cannabis crop in Lawrence County, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

That leaves only two of the 12 companies with permits yet to be approved. AES Compassionate Care plans to open in Chambersburg in the south-central part of the state; AgriMed Industries of Pennsylvania is expected to operate in Carmichaels, 20 miles south of Pittsburgh. It was unclear why they have yet to receive approval. Grow houses must undergo several inspections and be plugged into the state seed-to-sale tracking system. Representatives of the companies could not be reached for comment.

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29 US MA: Town Will Decide On Recreational Marijuana SalesFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:27 Added:01/19/2018

A public hearing on Whitman's proposed ban of recreational marijuana sales will be held before the Planning Board on Feb. 12.

To take effect, the ban requires approval at a special town election, which has been set for March 17, and approval at a special Town Meeting. A date for the Town Meeting has not yet been set, according to Town Administrator Frank Lynam.

The town voted in favor of the 2016 statewide ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana, but Lynam said these votes test the will of residents on whether they want non-medical retail sales within the town.

"This is the community's opportunity to say yes or no here," he said.

[end]

30 US: Governors Urge Trump, Congress To Do More To Solve Opioid CrisisThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Mulvihill, Geoff Area:United States Lines:98 Added:01/18/2018

Less than three months after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency, the nation's governors are calling on his administration and Congress to provide more money and coordination for the fight against the drugs, which are killing more than 90 Americans a day.

The list of more than two dozen recommendations made Thursday by the National Governors Association is the first coordinated, bipartisan response from the nation's governors since Trump's October declaration.

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31 US MA: Cannabis Commission Picks Firms To Track Marijuana Plants AndThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:53 Added:01/18/2018

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is plowing ahead with its preparations for the debut of recreational pot sales in July, despite a recent change in federal law enforcement policy that has put a cloud of uncertainty over the marijuana industry.

The commission has voted to negotiate a contract with Franwell Inc., a Florida-based software firm whose "Metrc" product tracks all the marijuana sold legally in Colorado and most other states with recreational markets.

The system, for which about $750,000 has been budgeted, is a vital piece of regulatory infrastructure meant to prevent marijuana that's grown, processed, and sold in state-licensed facilities from being diverted to the illicit market.

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32US NM: Officials: 5th Grader Mistakenly Gave Pot Candy In SchoolThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:New Mexico Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Officials at an Albuquerque charter school say a fifth-grader mistook her parents' medicinal marijuana for candy and passed it out to other students.

KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, reports the Albuquerque School of Excellence student handed out the pot edibles last week before teachers noticed her acting strangely.

Kristy Del Curto, Dean of Elementary Students, says that student also complained she couldn't see.

Del Curto says three students ate one gummy and the student who passed out the candy ate three or four pieces.

Pot gummies can be two to 100 times more potent than traditional marijuana.

Del Curto says school officials called 911 and paramedics monitored all the students to make sure they were not having dangerous reactions.

[end]

33 US NM: New Mexico 5th Graders Accidentally Ate Marijuana Edibles AtThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Gilmour, Jared Area:New Mexico Lines:73 Added:01/18/2018

5th-graders thought they ate ordinary gummies. But then the room started spinning.

One student passed out.

Another fifth-grader said she couldn't see.

A third started to feel extremely dizzy.

"I felt like the room was going to flip to the side," a 9-year-old student at Albuquerque School of Excellence in New Mexico told KRQE.

It didn't take the 8- and 9-year-olds -- or the principal of the school, for that matter -- long to figure out why the students were reeling last

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34 US NY: Cuomo Considers Legalizing Recreational MarijuanaWed, 17 Jan 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Besecker, Aaron Area:New York Lines:58 Added:01/17/2018

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday called for the creation of a state panel to advise him on whether New York should legalize recreational marijuana.

Cuomo did not specifically embrace a legalization effort, and said the advisory group, which will include State Police representation, is meant to get to the "facts" of the issue.

"I think we should fund (Department of Health) to do a study, let them work with the State Police, other agencies, look at the health impact, the economic impact, the state of the law. If it was legalized in Jersey and it was legal in Massachusetts and the federal government allowed it to go ahead, what would that do to New York because it's right in the middle?" Cuomo said.

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35US GA: Poll Shows Support For Georgia Medical Marijuana DispensariesWed, 17 Jan 2018
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Niesse, Mark Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/17/2018

More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia's medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year's AJC poll showed that 77 percent want greater access to medical marijuana, compared with 71 percent last year and 73 percent in 2016.

Meanwhile, approval of marijuana legalization for recreational use also reached new heights, with 50 percent of respondents backing legalization, compared with 46 percent last year.

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36 US CA: L.a. County Sheriff's Deputy Charged With Selling DrugsTue, 16 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Rubin, Joel Area:California Lines:136 Added:01/16/2018

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been charged with operating a large-scale drug trafficking operation in which he boasted that he hired other law enforcement officers to provide security to drug dealers and could assault people for his clients, according to court records.

Kenneth Collins, a deputy assigned to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and two other men were arrested by FBI agents Tuesday morning in a sting operation when they arrived to what they thought was a drug deal, according to records unsealed following the arrest.

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37 US MA: Hingham police: Students Allegedly Ate 'Cookies ContainingTue, 16 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Annear, Steve Area:Massachusetts Lines:59 Added:01/16/2018

Police in Hingham are investigating after a student at the South Shore Educational Collaborative School allegedly supplied classmates with cookies that were laced with marijuana, officials said Monday.

According to a public notice posted to the department's website, police were called to the school Thursday, after the student, who wasn't named in the report, had distributed the cookies to at least five other people.

Police said the students who ate the cookies, who were between the ages of 16 and 17, were "evaluated by a school nurse who believed the students were under the influence of marijuana."

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38 US MA: Using Marijuana To Fight The Opioid CrisisMon, 15 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Eagan, Margery Area:Massachusetts Lines:94 Added:01/15/2018

IN WASHINGTON, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed Obama administration policies and freed US attorneys to prosecute the marijuana business, even where it's legal.

In Boston, US Attorney Andrew Lelling has given no assurances that he won't.

Meanwhile, in a nondescript Natick strip mall, in a physician's office above a pizza joint and dance school, and down the hall from the Ebenezer Assembly of God ministry, Dr. Uma Dhanabalan helps patients use marijuana to wean themselves from an actual drug menace. That would be opioids, legally prescribed, government approved, a drug that's made billions for the politically wired pharmaceutical industry and now kills nearly 100 Americans every day.

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39 US MO: Oped: It's Time For A Rational Debate About Marijuana InMon, 15 Jan 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Grissom, Barry Area:Missouri Lines:86 Added:01/15/2018

Earlier this month, Kansas state Rep. Steve Alford embarrassed himself by mistakenly repeating racist rhetoric that was originally used by Henry Anslinger, an avowed racist from the late 1920s, when referring to use of marijuana by people of color.

I do not believe Alford is a racist. But I do believe, like so many others, he is misinformed when it comes to the facts and issues related to marijuana and the history of marijuana prohibition.

Presently marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug under the federal government's Controlled Substances Act -- right next to heroin. I think most of us would agree marijuana is not the equivalent of heroin. Nevertheless, it remains as a classified drug for the purposes of federal prosecution.

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40 US NY: Giambra Sees Legalized Pot As Transit Funding SourceMon, 15 Jan 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:McCarthy, Robert J. Area:New York Lines:73 Added:01/15/2018

Just a few weeks ago, Joel A. Giambra the lobbyist was working the State Capitol's hallways advocating the legalization of marijuana.

Now he works a different Capitol angle as a Republican hopeful for governor, proposing that legalized and tightly regulated marijuana sales represent the best way to address the state's massive infrastructure and mass transit needs.

"I'm saying raising taxes is not the solution," he said during a Monday press conference on Niagara Street. "My job would be to convince the Legislature that this is the most appropriate way to deal with this particular problem of infrastructure."

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