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101US CA: Marijuana Is Part Of Its Religion, Says Jurupa Valley ChurchWed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:|, David Downey Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

An Inland church that uses marijuana to worship is embroiled in a bitter dispute with Jurupa Valley, which alleges the Vault Church of Open Faith is primarily a pot store and has been trying to shut it down for more than a year.

An association representing the church and about 15 others like it fired back Friday, April 13, filing a claim against the city seeking $1.2 million in damages and alleging harassment and discrimination. Church leaders say they smoke marijuana or eat edibles as part of spiritual meditation as a religious sacrament, but city officials say they're using religion as a front for selling pot.

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102US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.

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103 US MO: Deadly Shootings Result From Low-Level Marijuana Drug DealsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Rice, Glenn E. Area:Missouri Lines:170 Added:04/18/2018

Timothy Durden Jr. made it a habit to throw his arms around his grandmother, plant a big kiss on her cheek and proclaim, "I love you, Grannie."

The former Park Hill High School basketball and football player had a passion for joking, dancing, lifting weights.

But the 18-year-old also enjoyed "smoking his weed," family wrote in his obituary, and that habit cost him his life when he allegedly tried to rob the teenager who was selling him 2 ounces of marijuana in the Northland.

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104US CA: Experts Push For Opioid Treatment, Against Medical MarijuanaSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Blakinger, Keri Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

SAN DIEGO - Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for Addiction Medicine conference this week in California.

Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use.

"It's not a matter of ideology," said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark. "It's a matter of the facts show a person's risk of dying is higher when they don't take medication."

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105 US SC: LTE: SC Medical Marijuana Bill Is Critically FlawedMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Keely, David F. Area:South Carolina Lines:66 Added:04/18/2018

As a family medicine and public-health physician practicing in South Carolina for the past 40 years, I see the proposed system for making marijuana available for evidence-based medical treatments as severely flawed.

S.212 provides for a wholly unnecessary system of marijuana cultivation centers, processing sites and dispensaries. The Federal Drug Administration is already working with the federal Drug Enforcement Authority to increase legitimate research on marijuana products for medical use, and the DEA has a well-established system to handle prescription narcotics.

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106 US FL: Have You Changed Your Mind On Marijuana Like These PoliticiansTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:74 Added:04/18/2018

It didn't get much notice because it happened the same day Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement, but former House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he's joining the board of Acreage Holdings, an investment company concentrating on the marijuana industry. In doing so, he added that his own position on legal marijuana had changed as public opinion had come around on the subject.

And Boehner is far from the only previously anti-pot politician to turn into an advocate.

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107 US: Mitch Mcconnell Is A Major Champion Of Legalizing The Use Of HempWed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Clark, Lesley Area:United States Lines:160 Added:04/18/2018

WASHINGTON - Embracing the hemp industry was a savvy political move for Kentucky Rep. James Comer, the only Republican to win statewide in 2011 during an otherwise tough year for his party.

The political message got through. Now taking up the charge to make it easier -- and completely legal -- for U.S. farmers to grow and market hemp products, including trendy cannabidiol or CBD oil: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell, R-Ky., who pledges to give the legalization effort "everything we've got," is expediting the legislation and lining up key support from across the aisle as backers seek to convince otherwise tough-on-drugs Republicans to come along.

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108 US: Column: We Scorned Black Addicts But Support White Addicts. Why?Wed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Dvorak, Petula Area:United States Lines:142 Added:04/18/2018

We have been here before -- a raging epidemic of addiction that destroys lives, families and communities.

Who was on the front line in the 1990s, when the drug was crack and the addicts were mostly black? Drug czar William Bennett. His weapons were prosecution and prison.

Today, when the drugs are opioids and the addicts are mostly white? U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, a doctor, is out there, telling the country, "We need to see addiction as a chronic disease and not a moral failing."

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109 US OH: Two Toledo-Area Doctors Get Ok To Recommend Medical PotSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:66 Added:04/17/2018

The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.

Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of Temperance.

Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.

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110 US: 'El Chapo' evidence: Killings, Prison Breaks And 7 Tons OfThu, 12 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:United States Lines:45 Added:04/17/2018

U.S. prosecutors say their evidence against notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman includes killings, torture, kidnappings, prison breaks and even an attempt to smuggle seven tons of cocaine in cans of jalapenos.

A government memo filed Tuesday also says there's evidence that Guzman was involved in a 1992 drug-gang shootout at a Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, nightclub that left six people dead.

Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, said he was reviewing the memo and would "respond in due course."

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111 US KY: Mcconnell Bill Would Legalize Hemp Farming, Help KentuckyFri, 13 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Eblen, Tom Area:Kentucky Lines:109 Added:04/17/2018

Hemp, which was Kentucky's biggest cash crop for a century before tobacco, is poised for a comeback thanks to bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday in Congress. It's about time.

Regular hemp cultivation in this country was banned in 1937. That's when federal law enforcement officials, who feared the repeal of Prohibition would leave them nothing to do, launched the first war on drugs.

With a lot of "reefer madness" hype, the government banned marijuana. Also swept up in that ban was industrial hemp, a botanical cousin in the cannabis family that looks similar to pot but can't make you high no matter how much you smoke.

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112US MN: U Researchers 'Getting Closer' To Trials Of Vaccine For OpioidSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Olson, Jeremy Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are getting closer to clinical trials of a vaccine for opioid addiction.

Three studies published in the past six months show incremental success, including one in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that demonstrated that a vaccine could prevent oxycodone and heroin opioid molecules from reaching the brain.

"We are getting closer," said Marco Pravetoni, the lead researcher who has been studying a vaccine to treat addiction for 10 years.

A vaccine to confront addiction might sound unusual, but it would work like any vaccine by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies. Instead of targeting influenza or poliovirus, the antibodies would be coaxed to bind to opioid molecules and prevent them from crossing the bloodstream barrier to the brain.

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113 US UT: Medical Marijuana Push Spreads To Utah, OklahomaTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Mccombs, Brady Area:Utah Lines:120 Added:04/17/2018

SALT LAKE CITY -- The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country, further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing in the United States.

If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.

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114 US NY: Nixon: Support For Legalizing Marijuana Use A Racial IssueWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Carola, Chris Area:New York Lines:79 Added:04/16/2018

A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based, Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that it's now foremost a racial justice issue for her.

The "Sex and the City" star posted a 90-second video on YouTube in which she stated that it's time New York joined eight other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

"There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity," Nixon said.

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115 US: Trump Weighs Plan To Allow States To Require Drug Testing ForWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Linderman, Juliet Area:United States Lines:153 Added:04/16/2018

The Trump administration is considering a plan that would allow states to require certain food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing, handing a win to conservatives who've long sought ways to curb the safety net program.

The proposal under review would be narrowly targeted, applying mostly to people who are able-bodied, without dependents and applying for some specialized jobs, according to an administration official briefed on the plan. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said roughly 5 percent of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could be affected.

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116 US FL: Judge Says Florida Man Can Grow His Own Medical MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:04/16/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that a Tampa man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers said on Wednesday that Joseph Redner is entitled under state law to grow and use marijuana for juicing. The 77-year old Redner is in remission for lung cancer and is one of more than 95,000 state residents who is registered as a medical marijuana patient.

The ruling applies only to Redner but could open the door for others who have said the state should allow whole-plant use.

The state's Department of Health immediately filed an appeal after the ruling. Gievers also said in her ruling that the state continues to be non-compliant in the implementation of Amendment 2. The amendment, which passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Florida.

[end]

117 US CA: More Medical Marijuana Is Coming To Sarasota CountyWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:California Lines:41 Added:04/16/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- More medical marijuana is coming to the county after the Sarasota County Commission on Wednesday approved the second dispensary application in two days.

The County Commission voted 4-1 to allow Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza -- making it the second approved dispensary in unincorporated county. Commissioner Mike Moran, who has concerns medical dispensaries could be the gateway to legalizing recreational marijuana in the state, cast the dissenting vote.

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118US FL: Judge: Joe Redner Can Legally Grow His Own MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2018

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner has the right to grow his own marijuana.

The ruling, released Wednesday morning, applies only to Redner, 77.

The Florida Department of Health had said Floridians are barred under state rules from growing cannabis for their personal use, including those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.

But Redner and other critics across the state say the health department continues to create barriers for more than 95,000 registered patients in Florida that could benefit from marijuana. Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer survivor and a registered medical marijuana patient.

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119 US: John Boehner Was A Longtime Opponent Of Marijuana Reform. Here'sWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Horton, Alex Area:United States Lines:114 Added:04/16/2018

Former GOP House speaker John A. Boehner, a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, is joining a company that grows and sells cannabis, he announced Wednesday.

He has been appointed to the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, which operates in 11 states, Boehner said in a statement.

Acreage Holdings was formerly known as High Street Capital Partners. The company is a financial backer of Prime Wellness, which owns a permit to cultivate medical marijuana in South Heidelberg near Reading.

"I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do research and allow [the Department of Veterans Affairs] to offer it as a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities," Boehner said.

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120US CA: A Nasty -- And Really Severe -- Marijuana Side Effect IsSun, 08 Apr 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Rabin, Roni Caryn Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting that left him incapacitated every few weeks, he had been to the emergency room dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and gallbladder removed.

The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot shower.

He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time. When the hot water ran out, "the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my stomach out like a washcloth," said Hodorowski, 28, a production and shipping assistant who lives outside Chicago.

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121US CA: Marijuana Laws For Every City And County?Mon, 09 Apr 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

CALIFORNIA SLOW TO ACCEPT PROP. 64

Recreational marijuana is legal in California, but it probably isn't legal to buy in your city. Fewer than one in three cities in California have approved any kind of cannabis industry, and only a sliver of cities allow recreational pot shops. The Southern California News Group has tracked the rules for every city and county in California, to show the patchwork of rules governing a product that became street legal four months ago. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

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122US CA: Analyst: California's Cannabis-Revenue Projections HighTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

In the first two months of cannabis legalization, consumers bought an estimated $339 million worth of marijuana products from retailers in California, 50 percent less than state projections, according to a leading analytics firm.

The state has estimated that retail cannabis sales for the year would be $3.4 billion, or $570 million every two months.

BDS Analytics of Boulder, Colorado, provided the firm's data to The Bee. Greg Shoenfeld, vice president for operations, said the company collects sales data from dispensaries and uses statistical modeling to project statewide sales. BDS Analytics also collects and analyzes such data in the three other states with recreational marijuana: Oregon, Washington and Colorado.

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123 US MO: Poisoned Synthetic Marijuana In Missouri, Other StatesTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Schwers, Kaitlyn Area:Missouri Lines:63 Added:04/11/2018

More than 100 people in five states, including Missouri, have been treated in the past month for "serious unexplained bleeding" believed to be linked to inhaling fake marijuana laced with rat poison, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Illinois alone has reported 107 cases, and three people have died, the state's Department of Public Health said Monday. People have been hospitalized for coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose and bleeding gums.

Elsewhere, two people have been hospitalized in Indiana, one in Maryland, one in Wisconsin and one in Missouri.

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124 US IL: Why Synthetic Marijuana Might Not Be IllegalFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:89 Added:04/11/2018

Severe bleeding linked to consumption of synthetic cannabinoids has resulted in at least two deaths and injury to nearly 90 others, according to state health officials.

Illinois legislators approved an amendment to the state's controlled substances act last spring in an attempt to curb the sale and use of synthetic drugs.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law a few months later.

Less than a year after that, an outbreak of severe bleeding and at least two deaths are being linked to the ingestion of these materials, many of which are found for sale at tobacco shops, convenience stores and other retail sites throughout the state.

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125 US OH: Ohio Health Officials: Synthetic Marijuana Laced With RatFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Neese, Alissa Widman Area:Ohio Lines:64 Added:04/11/2018

State health officials issued a public warning Friday about a severe bleeding outbreak in the Midwest that has been linked to synthetic marijuana contaminated with a rat poison ingredient.

No cases have been reported in Ohio as of Friday.

A total of 94 people have exhibited symptoms in the past month in other states.

Most were in Illinois, which has reported 89 cases, including two deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases also have been reported in Missouri, Wisconsin and Maryland, and there is a suspected case in Pennsylvania.

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126 US PA: Even Where It's Legal To Sell Marijuana, It's Hard ToFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Siegel, Rachel Area:Pennsylvania Lines:105 Added:04/11/2018

As the cannabis industry grows, generating an estimated $10 billion in annual sales, states are increasingly approving medical marijuana programs and passing adult-use laws.

But for marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles.

Online platforms with prime advertising space like Facebook and Google do not allow drug, or drug-related promotions on their sites, leaving a large share of marijuana advertising to blogs and podcasts, newsletters and print media. And while experts say Facebook and Google - -- which control the lion's share of digital advertising in the country -- are unlikely to change their policies until pot is legalized at the federal level, and television and radio come with their own sets of rules, industry members are left to navigate a complex web of state-by-state regulations.

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127 US MA: Northboro Seeks To Ban Medical Marijuana Other Towns Eye OnlyFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:151 Added:04/11/2018

Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana establishments and ways to regulate them.

Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana establishments.

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128US OH: Former U.S. House Speaker To Promote Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Sewell, Dan Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

CINCINNATI -- Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization.

Known as an avid cigarette smoker, the Ohio Republican has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a multistate cannabis company. The company also announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has joined its advisory board.

Boehner says in a statement his position "has evolved" from opposition to legalizing marijuana. He says he believes legalizing marijuana can be helpful to the nation's veterans and as a way to help fight the U.S. opioid drug crisis. He wants to see federally funded research done and to allow Veterans Affairs to offer marijuana as a treatment option.

Boehner also says the move would curtail federal-state conflict on marijuana policies.

[end]

129 US MD: Maryland Medical Examiner's Office Corrects Contracting IssuesWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cohn, Meredith Area:Maryland Lines:45 Added:04/11/2018

The state medical examiner's office, which has been stretched by the opioid overdose epidemic, let some compliance issues slip in recent years, potentially costing the state extra money, according to a routine review by state auditors.

The audit, spanning three and a half years and ending in September, found that the office didn't not follow required competitive bidding processes in purchasing some medical supplies, wasn't properly monitoring mileage charged by vendors to transport bodies and was not properly restricting employee access to the office's payment system.

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130 US: Opioid Addiction Treatment With Medicine Works Best. Why Don'tTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:United States Lines:250 Added:04/10/2018

"By the time I was 17, 18," Nelson Abbott said, "I graduated to heroin."

He tried to stop many times, both by going cold-turkey and tapering off the drugs, but he hated the withdrawal pains and he wasn't really ready to quit. Therapy didn't work out, either. But then his best friend overdosed and died. When Abbott's parents checked him into the Caron Treatment Center in Berks County, he didn't fight.

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131 US OH: Training Teaches Case Workers How To Find Drug ParaphernaliaTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Mester, Alexandra Area:Ohio Lines:98 Added:04/10/2018

Books, CDs, tennis balls, and a box of candy are just some of the places in which drugs, drug paraphernalia, and sexually-explicit photographs are hidden in this scene.

A permanent marker, a hair brush, a tennis ball, a decorative wooden plaque bearing the word "faith." All are seemingly innocuous items in a teenage girl's bedroom.

But each was hiding a secret during the "Hidden in Plain Sight" training offered by Lucas County Children Services and the Drug Abuse Response Team of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office. Dozens of attendees, most of them employees with children services, rifled through the simulated bedroom Tuesday to search for more than 50 hidden items indicative of risky behavior like drug use and sexual activity.

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132US RI: Healing Church Believers Flout Federal Law As They SmokeTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Ellis, Rebecca Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Anne Armstrong, 58, knows exactly how many joints she has smoked at Providence's Roger Williams National Memorial -- 153, all rolled with "kosher" marijuana harvested in the backyard of her West Greenwich home.

As "deaconess" to The Healing Church, a cannabis-centered Catholic sect that boasts about a dozen members, Armstrong believes smoking in the park is a religious obligation, the equivalent to a sip of wine at Communion.

Anointing members with hashish-infused oil and blowing a shofar so it billows marijuana smoke are, likewise, ceremonial duties. (It should be noted that Armstrong refuses to use the word marijuana, which she calls racist slang. She prefers to refer to the plant as cannabis, spice, or hemp.)

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133 US CT: Fourth Legislative Committee Holds Recreational Pot HearingMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:99 Added:04/06/2018

On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be legalized.

The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized, though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the measure.

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134 US PA: Oped: Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed One Foot From PhillyTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Sacks, Andrew B. Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:04/06/2018

As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and helping the sick get relief.

However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.

The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care location.

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135 US PA: A Vancouver Cop Tells Philadelphia Why He Changed His Mind OnTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:108 Added:04/06/2018

At the height of a heroin epidemic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Inspector Bill Spearn -- then a rookie cop -- was assigned to a beat in the heart of the crisis.

It was 1996, and though he had been responding to overdose after overdose in Downtown Eastside, one of Canada's poorest postal codes, Spearn wanted no part of the harm-reduction measures the city was considering to save the lives of people in addiction.

A safe injection site, where drugs could be used under medical supervision, was out of the question: "I thought it would be a big magnet," he told a crowd at Temple University Medical School on Monday night. "I thought it would empower people to use drugs." A few years later, with the debate still raging, he left the neighborhood for another position in the police department.

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136US OR: State Of Oregon Sued To Restrict Commercial MarijuanaWed, 04 Apr 2018
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

SALEM -- Officials in an Oregon county who have tried to restrict commercial marijuana growing are suing the state in federal court, asserting that while pot is legal in Oregon it remains illegal under federal law, which has supremacy.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Medford, escalates a battle between the Josephine County Board of Commissioners and the state over regulating marijuana grows in rural residential areas.

The county had tried to ban commercial pot farming on parcels of 5 acres or less, but the state Land Use Board of Appeals ruled last month on the side of the growers, and put the restrictions on hold.

Now, the county officials are saying the state can't do that because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

[end]

137US LA: Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain, PTSDThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.

HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for people with chronic medical conditions.

A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain and PTSD to the list.

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138 US SC: Ex-Us Attorney Calls For Medical Marijuana ReferendumThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:36 Added:04/05/2018

Former U.S. attorney for South Carolina Bill Nettles is calling for a public referendum on medical marijuana.

Nettles heads Palmetto Medical Cannabis LLC, a group advocating for the legalization of medical cannabis in South Carolina.

"I think it is important that our state Democratic and Republican parties allow primary voters to be heard on the important issue of legalization of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in our state," he said.

Nettles cited polling data showing 78 percent of South Carolinians support the legalized use of marijuana.

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139 US PA: Marijuana Advocate Gets Probation For Pot-Smoking PartyThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:29 Added:04/05/2018

A marijuana advocate who invited hundreds of people to his pot-smoking party at a Philadelphia warehouse has been fined, ordered to perform community service and sentenced to four years' probation.

Philly.com reports that Richard Tamaccio Jr. was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in January to felony drug charges. His lawyer described him as a "true crusader" for marijuana legalization.

Prosecutors say Tamaccio was charged for facilitating the sale of marijuana at the party last April and for possessing about nine pounds of marijuana plants and products at his home.

The city in 2014 made possession of small amounts of the drug punishable only by a citation and a fine, but marijuana sales weren't decriminalized.

Twenty-one other people were also arrested at the party.

[end]

140 US MA: Mass. Pot Business Applications Strong On First Day OfTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:04/03/2018

In just the first day of accepting preliminary applications, the Cannabis Control Commission said 23 companies and entrepreneurs had submitted requests for expedited licensing, and another 167 were in the process after the agency launched its online licensing system Monday.

"Yesterday was a seminal day in the thus-far-brief history of the commission," said Steve Hoffman, the agency's chairman. "There were probably a large number of people that didn't think we'd be ready on April 2 to start accepting applications," but the agency's regulations were in place on time last month and its system worked smoothly, he added.

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141 US AK: Alaska Marijuana Testing Lab Closes, Leaving Only 2 In StateSun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:Alaska Lines:62 Added:04/03/2018

One of only three marijuana testing labs in Alaska has shut down, leaving the state's cannabis growers with only two options for state-mandated testing.

Steep Hill Alaska, of Anchorage, declared in an Instagram post Thursday that the lab is "suspending cannabis testing operations on March 31," the Juneau Empire reported .

The lab said it has to relocate after "Wells Fargo called in the loan on our building." The bank will foreclose on the space if the lab does not move out, according to the post.

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142 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Licensing To Begin MondaySun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:113 Added:04/03/2018

On Monday at noon, decades of debate all come down to this: a click of a computer mouse by a state technology contractor.

With that, the Massachusetts state government's system for legal pot use will blink to life, and businesses can begin applying for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis to adults 21 and older.

The behind-the-scenes milestone will not have an immediate impact on consumers. But it does mark the beginning of a process that regulators expect will lead to the debut of recreational pot sales in July.

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143US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.

Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.

Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.

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144 US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Are Brisk, Problems Are Few InMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Robbins, Gary Area:California Lines:119 Added:04/03/2018

Three months after recreational marijuana went on sale in California, San Diego retailers say business has been brisk and the customer base diverse, including older people who use a private shuttle bus to reach one dispensary.

"There's been a change in the culture," said Will Senn, who operates two Urbn Leaf marijuana stores in San Diego and is about to open a third.

"Cannabis is becoming more accepted. Now that adult-use marijuana is legal, people are giving it a try. The average age of our customers has gone from about 40 to about 50."

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145 US MD: CBD Is Cannabis That Won't Get You High. So Why Are So ManyFri, 30 Mar 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Ramanathan, Lavanya Area:Maryland Lines:162 Added:04/03/2018

In a lowlit room at Joy's Spa in Washington, Dawn Franklin is smoothing a creamy white mask onto Jessica Osorio's face. The mask, she says, is infused with chamomile and sage and aloe vera, plus one ingredient that she still has to explain to her clients: CBD.

An aesthetician, Franklin started working with an Oregon chemist last year to make CBD products for the skin, believing that a little of it swiped onto the face could help repair the ravages of age.

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146 US IL: Synthetic Pot Leaves 2 Dead And Dozens Hospitalized In ChicagoMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Malagon, Elvia Area:Illinois Lines:96 Added:04/03/2018

Two people have died and 56 sickened in the Chicago area and central Illinois after using synthetic pot, popularly known as K2 and Spice, state officials said on Monday.

Over the weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that one person had died after using synthetic cannabinoid products, but on Monday the state agency announced that a second person had also perished. Generally, those sickened by the drug have been hospitalized for internal bleeding as well as blood coming from the ears, eyes and mouth.

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147 US: Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid PrescriptionsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Ritter, Malcolm Area:United States Lines:81 Added:04/03/2018

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.

The new studies don't directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids. Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.

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148US CA: Cheech And Chong Discuss 40-Year-Old Marijuana MovieSun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

What makes a 40-year-old marijuana movie relevant? Cheech and Chong have an answer.

When Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their groundbreaking movie "Up in Smoke" 40 years ago, marijuana and the culture surrounding it were much different. People smoked "Mexican brick weed," and often had to search high and low to "score a lid" because it was illegal.

Nowadays, consumers vape, eat and smoke cannabis, which is much stronger and comes in so many strains that someone mimicked the periodic table to keep track of them all. And, of course, cannabis is legal in some form in much of the country.

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149 US SC: Opioid Alternative Or Gateway To Legal Pot?Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:121 Added:04/03/2018

Medical marijuana cleared a key committee on Thursday and headed to the floor of the S.C. Senate.

But the 8-6 vote by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee came as enforcement leaders are hardening their opposition, saying it is another step toward legalized recreational marijuana in the Palmetto State.

"That's what we've seen in every state," State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel told The State after the committee vote. "There's not a state that hasn't (gone) in steps. And we've seen our state go through the same steps. From CDB oil to hemp to medical marijuana to recreational marijuana. And that's what we've seen in every state . So I have no reason to think its going to be any different in ours."

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150 US IL: 3 Arrested For Selling Synthetic Marijuana Linked To DeathsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:33 Added:04/02/2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The owner of a Chicago convenience store and two employees have been charged with selling synthetic marijuana that has been linked to two deaths.

Federal prosecutors have charged 48-year-old Fouad Masoud and 44-year-old Jad Allah, both of suburban Justice, and 44-year-old Adil Khan Mohammed of Chicago with conspiring to distribute and sell a controlled substance. Federal prosecutors say U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents made undercover buys of the synthetic cannabinoids at Masoud's West Side Chicago store.

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