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101 US AZ: Column: Dead LettersThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:93 Added:08/12/2017

Sessions' correspondence to marijuana states is full of smoke and mirror

While certain federal administration officials take to Twitter to air their grievances, those stuck in last century use more traditional means for their loosely-supported rants.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to governors of states with legal recreational marijuana in response to an April 3 letter from the governors of Alaska, Washington and Oregon urging him to uphold Obama-era pot policy.

However, the points raised in Sessions' letter may not be as watertight as he thinks.

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102 US OH: Marijuana Cultivation Warehouse Approved For North Toledo -Fri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Reiter, Mark Area:Ohio Lines:79 Added:08/12/2017

The site of the proposed warehouse is vacant land at Jason Street and Cassandra Drive.

A Cleveland-based company that has applied for a state license to grow medical marijuana won approval Thursday from the Toledo Plan Commission to build a 60,000-square-foot cultivation warehouse near Alexis Road and Suder Avenue.

Les Hollis, a consultant for Lake Erie Compassion Care, said the proposed facility would employ as many as 60 people, generating a $2.5 million to $3 million annual payroll.

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103US FL: Column: Lane: On Medical Pot, Public Way Ahead Of LeadersSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL) Author:Lane, Mark Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

On medical marijuana, the public is way ahead of officialdom.

Statewide, 71 percent of Florida voters voted in favor of the medical marijuana amendment last November. In Flagler County, the margin was the same. In Volusia County, 73 percent voted to approve.

Overwhelming support. Particularly in a state like Florida which is known sharp political divisions on most issues. Even so, the Legislature was so reluctant to pass legislation putting the amendment into effect that nothing was approved during the regular spring session.

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104US FL: Column: Romano: The 'Morally Irresponsible'' Strategy To FightSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Romano, John Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

The girls knew the rules, and especially the consequences. Their father would never raise a hand to them, but he was an aficionado of understated punishments.

Grab a pen and paper, he would tell his two daughters, and come sit at the kitchen table. Write down what you did wrong, and how you plan on correcting it. Sign it, date it and make sure you spelled everything correctly.

Frank Vazquez fretted enough about Cylea and Leliana that he wouldn't let them spend the night with friends because of all of the things that might go on in other homes. And he was like a doorman at a fancy high-rise when it came to who got past the threshold to visit his girls.

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105US CA: Column: Realities Behind The Epidemic Of Alcohol And DrugSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Rosen, Mitchell Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Shortly after becoming licensed as a family therapist, I was hired to facilitate group therapy on a chemical dependency unit. I did this every day for about 10 years. I also coordinated family group for the spouses and relatives of those who were recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. There were a lot of "take aways" from this experience.

Despite my education, I held many prejudices and myths toward those who abused alcohol and drugs. These men and women taught me a great deal.

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106 US: Trump's Effort To Blame Obama For The Opioid EpidemicFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Kessler, Glenn Area:United States Lines:98 Added:08/11/2017

"Federal drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years. We're going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly. At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer than in 2011. So they looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we're not letting it go by."

President Trump -- who two days after this briefing said he would declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency -- not so subtly tried to pin the blame on the Obama administration. "They looked at this scourge and they let it go by," the president said, citing statistics that federal drug prosecutions have declined 23 percent since 2011.

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107 US NY: Oped: Another Voice: Legalized Marijuana Is Here To StayFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Shifman, Neal Area:New York Lines:72 Added:08/11/2017

Whether you love it or hate it, it's a fact that 29 states so far have some form of marijuana decriminalization or legalization, with more considering the possibility. People have strong opinions about the legalization of marijuana -- but how often are those opinions based on science and an understanding of evolving best practices?

It's high time we have a national conversation that is rational, science-based and open-minded around the many public health implications. Substance use disorders, youth prevention, drugged driving, health effects, pesticides -- the list is long, and these questions make it a complex process for states working to translate policy and legislation into reasonable regulation.

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108US AR: No Applications To Grow, Dispense Arkansas Medical MarijuanaFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Mukunyadzi, Tafi Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas is low as the state reaches the halfway point for the application period.

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press Friday morning that the agency had received no applications to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

"We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete," Hardin said earlier in the week. "Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications."

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109 US: The Cost Of Treating Opioid Overdose Victims Is Rising FastFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ross, Casey Area:United States Lines:88 Added:08/11/2017

The cost of treating opioid overdose victims in hospital intensive care units jumped 58 percent in a seven-year span, according to a new study that concludes increasingly sick patients are placing a greater strain on an overmatched health care system.

Between 2009 and 2015, the average cost of care per opioid admission increased from $58,500 to $92,400 in the 162 academic hospitals included in the study, which was led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. That rapid escalation far outpaced the overall medical inflation rate in the United States, which was about 19 percent during the period covered by the study.

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110 US NJ: Energy-Drink Consumption May Lead To Cocaine Use, Study SaysFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:71 Added:08/11/2017

Energy drinks could be a gateway to cocaine use, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health found that young adults who said they'd consumed energy drinks yearly between ages 21 and 24 were at greater risk for subsequently doing cocaine, using prescription stimulants for non-medical uses and problem drinking.

The 1,099 study participants were recruited as 18-year-old college students.

Those who didn't consume energy drinks as they got older were less likely to develop substance-abuse problems.

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111US WI: Column: Mills: It's Time To End The War On DrugsFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Mills, Emily Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

I grew up in the 1980s, back when the "Just Say No" campaign was in full swing. I remember being prepared to fend off relentless peer pressure to do drugs, evil strangers offering what was not actually candy, and so forth. Then I grew up, and almost none of the scenarios I'd been taught in D.A.R.E. ever really came to pass.

I still avoided drugs, mostly because of a combination of a good home life and an over-analytical brain. It wasn't as if drugs weren't around, though. I watched too many of my friends experiment with everything from speed to acid. No one ever pressured me to try it. It was simply there if you wanted to dive in.

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112 US HI: Medicinal Marijuana Users Thrill To 'Historic Day' On OahuThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:85 Added:08/10/2017

Dozens of patients anxiously stood in line - one as early as the night before - to be the first on Oahu to buy products such as Chocolope and Lemon Drop, medical marijuana strains that went on sale Wednesday.

"It's like a candy store," said Kimbreley Timulty, 45, who was among the first to purchase pot at Aloha Green LLC. "It was overwhelming because you walk in there and that's the only thing that you smell."

Timulty, who uses marijuana for insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and her 47-year-old husband, Joseph, from Makiki, said they have been waiting 17 years for medicinal pot to be readily available in Hawaii.

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113US CA: Ex-NFL Player Ryan O'Callaghan: Marijuana Is A Godsend For NFLThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

REDDING, Calif. - Ryan O'Callaghan, who said he developed an addiction to painkillers that helped him deal with injuries during his NFL career, told USA TODAY Sports he now uses marijuana to treat the pain and that the NFL should change its policy prohibiting players from using the drug.

"For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don't want to take these pills,'' said O'Callaghan, 33. "Marijuana is not addicting. People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive personality. It's not addictive.''

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114US NY: Medical Marijuana: Lozenges, Lotions Coming To New YorkThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Campbel, Jon Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

ALBANY - New York will allow ointments, lozenges and chewable tablets as part of its medical marijuana program while the state's training program for doctors will be cut in half, the Department of Health announced Thursday.

Health regulators on Thursday proposed a new set of regulations that would further expand the state's medical marijuana program, which the state has tried to broaden as it faced criticism from patient advocates and marijuana companies for its restrictiveness.

The new rules, which can take effect as soon as late September, ease the state's restrictions on the type of marijuana products available to certified patients by allowing lotions, ointments, patches, certain chewables and lozenges.

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115US TN: Lawmaker To Push Bounty Hunting Crackdown After FatalThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ingersoll, Stephanie Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A state lawmaker said he will propose legislation in January to tighten laws governing bounty hunters and bonding agents in the wake of a fatal shooting in Clarksville.

On Wednesday, Rep. Joe Pitts held a meeting with representatives from the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley and Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, among others.

Pitts said the meeting was sparked by a series of articles by The Leaf-Chronicle that examined laws pertaining to bounty hunters and bonding agents. In some cases, the laws are unclear. In others, the laws are simply being ignored.

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116 US NJ: Editorial: Opioid Addiction Is A National EmergencyWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:83 Added:08/09/2017

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Cabinet members and senior staff at his golf club in Bedminster to discuss the opioid crisis. Missing at the meeting was Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the president's commission charged with studying the national rise of heroin and opioid addiction. Christie is on vacation. While the governor missed the meeting, the president is missing the message Christie has been sending for several years: treatment over incarceration will save lives.

Long before his approval rating tanked at 15 percent, Christie used his then sizable political capital to focus on treatment and rehabilitation. He did it when he pushed for drug courts. He did it when he eloquently spoke of a law student friend who died because of addiction. And during his presidential bid, Christie resonated most effectively with voters when talking about drug addiction.

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117 US FL: Nazi Gang Members Arrested After Raid On Florida Trailer NetsWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Theisen, Tiffini Area:Florida Lines:38 Added:08/09/2017

Authorities found an exhaustive list of weapons, drug paraphernalia and Nazi propaganda when they raided a trailer Tuesday morning in a rural pocket of west central Florida, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Five felons, two of whom authorities described as documented gang members, were arrested after deputies and a SWAT team served a search warrant on the suburban New Port Richey mobile home, WFLA-Channel 8 reported.

Inside the trailer, which is partially obscured by thick vegetation along a wooded street, were four firearms, ammunition, "hundreds of pages" of miscellaneous bank account and personal identification information, credit cards, veterans' ID cards, insurance cards, vehicle titles, "hundreds of pages of American Nazi Family propaganda (rules, hierarchy, oaths, etc)," opiates, meth, and drug paraphernalia including needles and scales, deputies said.

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118 US MA: Driving While Stoned? State Officials Urge Caution OnWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Feiner, Lauren Area:Massachusetts Lines:48 Added:08/09/2017

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, federal, and state officials are launching a new campaign to remind users that driving while high remains illegal.

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, federal, and state officials are launching a new campaign to remind users that driving while high remains illegal.

With a motto of "Drive high? The crash is on you," the campaign will feature billboards, radio, and TV ads targeted at drivers between the ages of 18 and 49, but is particularly aimed at younger people, officials from Massachusetts and federal transportation and safety agencies said Tuesday.

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119 US CA: Sessions Says He Has 'serious Concerns' About Legal MarijuanaWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:181 Added:08/09/2017

Sessions says he has 'serious concerns' about legal marijuana. Now states wonder what's next

Sessions warned four governors in letters released last week that he had "serious concerns" about the effects of legalization and suggested the states' drug detente with the Justice Department was at risk.

Sessions warned four governors in letters released last week that he had "serious concerns" about the effects of legalization and suggested the states' drug detente with the Justice Department was at risk.

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120 US NY: Report Reveals 'Safe House' Where Heroin Users Shoot Up UnderTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:92 Added:08/08/2017

NEW YORK -- A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

None were known to exist in the US until the disclosure in a medical journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish these so-called supervised injection sites, where users can shoot up under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.

In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they've been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the facility -- which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal -- or the social service agency running it.

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121 US HI: State's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens On MauiTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:59 Added:08/08/2017

Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical marijuana.

Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at 11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands. The company was the first to pass a final Health Department inspection Monday, beating at least one other dispensary, Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu, to be the first to open.

It is a significant milestone for the industry that has struggled to get off the ground since the law establishing dispensaries was passed in 2015. The first dispensaries were allowed to open as early as July 2016, but were delayed for more than a year, frustrating medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

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122 US CA: Former Kern Co. Sheriff's Deputies Avoid Prison For SellingTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Rocha, Veronica Area:California Lines:106 Added:08/08/2017

Two former Kern County Sheriff's deputies avoided prison time Monday for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts.

Logan August and Derrick Penney were sentenced Monday to three years' probation for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney office in Fresno.

August, a 30-year-old Bakersfield resident, was also ordered to serve 1,500 hours of community service and forfeit $16,500 earned in the trafficking operation, federal authorities said.

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123 US: Trump Emphasizes Tough Law Enforcement In Comments On OpioidTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Bierman, Noah Area:United States Lines:121 Added:08/08/2017

President Trump emphasized the need for stepped-up law enforcement to combat the nation's opioid problem Tuesday, an approach that is at odds with a report released last week by the special commission he appointed to address abuse.

"Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society," Trump told reporters from the clubhouse of his golf club here.

"I have had the opportunity to hear from many on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and I'm confidant that by working with our healthcare and law enforcement experts we will fight this deadly epidemic and the United States will win."

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124 US NJ: Editorial: Adding One More Needed Medical Marijuana DispensaryTue, 01 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:68 Added:08/05/2017

When it comes to the state's medical marijuana law, progress has come in increments rather than great strides. New Jersey's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, state law since 2010, has been implemented ever so slowly under Gov. Chris Christie, who has never hidden his disdain for the law.

Yet those disappointed by the snail's pace of the law, and the establishment of new medical marijuana centers, have new reason to take heart.

As Staff Writer Lindy Washburn reported, North Jersey will soon be welcoming the state's largest dispensary of medical marijuana yet -- at a 10,000-square-foot facility on Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus. Once it opens, the dispensary plans to serve up to 4,000 patients a month with a variety of strains of cannabis. The Christie administration has issued a permit to grow medical marijuana to Harmony Foundation and will consider issuing a permit to dispense marijuana after the crop is tested later this year.

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125 US CA: OPED: Race Case For Reefer ReparationsThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Price, Neil Area:California Lines:143 Added:08/03/2017

Time to redress the harm done to thousands of Black youth who have life-limiting criminal records because of pot

The war on drugs has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on racialized groups, particularly young Black men.

While research has shown that Black people partake in recreational pot at the same rates as their white counterparts, it's Black people who have endured the heavy hand of justice. Black people are twice as likely to be taken to a police station after being charged for simple possession of marijuana. They are also twice as likely to be held overnight for a bail hearing.

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126 US: PUB LTE: Marijuana Could Help Curb Opioid EpidemicThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:United States Lines:30 Added:08/03/2017

New approaches are definitely needed to battle the opioid epidemic. More drug war is not the answer. The rise in heroin overdose deaths is a result of a federal crackdown on prescription opioids.

Criminalization of users increases the risk of overdose deaths and creates barriers to cost-effective drug treatment. The only winners in the war on drugs are drug cartels.

The opioid commission created by President Trump failed to mention the potential role of marijuana in reducing overdose deaths. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that states with legal medical marijuana access have a 25% lower opioid overdose death rate. The phrase "€œif it saves one life"€ has been used to justify drug-war abuses. Legal marijuana access to ease pain has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy; Washington, D.C.

[end]

127 US: Survey: Nearly Half Of People Who Use Cannabidiol Products StopWed, 02 Aug 2017
Source:Forbes Magazine (US) Author:Borchardt, Debra Area:United States Lines:86 Added:08/02/2017

The largest survey on cannabidiol or CBD usage to date found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medicine. A new survey from Brightfield Group and HelloMD covered 2,400 of HelloMDa€™s community of 150,000 members and did a deep dive into the usage of CBD products and their effectiveness. HelloMD is an online community that brings together doctors and cannabis patients.

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128 US KS: We'll Never Be The SameSat, 29 Jul 2017
Source:Ada Evening News, The (OK) Author:Swenson, Kyle Area:Kansas Lines:82 Added:08/01/2017

Hydroponic Tomato Garden Inspired Police To Raid Family's Home

WASHINGTON - The police report would claim it all kicked off at 7:38 a.m., but Bob Harte later thought it had to be earlier.

His 7:20 a.m. alarm had just yanked him awake. Got to get the kids - a boy in seventh grade, a girl in kindergarten - ready for school. Then he heard, like a starter's pistol setting everything into motion, the first pounding on the front door of his home in Leawood, Kansas, a bedroom suburb south of Kansas City. It was thunderous. It didn't stop. Should I get up? Bob thought. Should I not? Sounded like the house was coming down, he would recall later.

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129 US NJ: Sen. Booker Introduces Bill To Legalize MarijuanaTue, 01 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Pugliese, Nicholas Area:New Jersey Lines:114 Added:08/01/2017

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill Tuesday to make marijuana legal at the federal level, marking the first time the New Jersey Democrat has come out in favor of full legalization and further stoking tensions with a Trump administration that has sought to roll back the clock on federal drug policy.

The Marijuana Justice Act, as Booker is calling his bill, would also allow people serving time for marijuana-related offenses to be resentenced and automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes. States whose marijuana laws disproportionately affect minorities or poor people would lose federal funding for law enforcement and prison construction, among other funds.

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130 US NJ: 4 Things To Know About The Legalization Of Marijuana In NJMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Smith, Morgan Area:New Jersey Lines:44 Added:07/31/2017

The call to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has been loud and clear, lately. Legalization rallies have occurred in groups in Trenton, and front-runners from both parties of the gubernational primary elections have been vocal in their support of legalization. What is there to know about the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey?

The state's medical marijuana program added 5,000 participants last year, and total enrollment now exceeds 10,000, according to the state's Health Department. There are five state-licensed dispensaries, also known as alternative treatment centers, and Secaucus just got approval to open its own dispensary.

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131 US NJ: LTE: Legalizing Marijuana Is 'Beyond Stupid'Mon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Lanzalotto, Lisa Area:New Jersey Lines:48 Added:07/31/2017

Regarding "Marijuana should be legalized" (Your Views, June 6):

The points the writer raises regarding legalizing cannabis are ignorant and obviously not factual. They are clearly just his uneducated opinion. Just how will legalization reduce street drug markets? Issues of increased tax revenue, economic boost to retail and job creation, and not contributing to homelessness and violence are irrelevant.

Do you want to be driving your car at 70 miles an hour on the Turnpike with your kid in the back, next to someone who is high because he just finished smoking a recreational joint?

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132US: Marijuana's Legalization Fuels Black Market In Other StatesMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2017

Marijuana smugglers are growing and shipping vast quantities of illicit cannabis across the USA.

They're mailing it, driving it and, in at least one case, flying it around in skydiving planes. They're hiding it in truck beds and trunks and vacuum-sealing it to hide the smell as they pass police officers patrolling the interstates.

Many are starting in states where growing marijuana is legal, such as Colorado, and sending the drug elsewhere.

In June, Colorado prosecutors said they busted a 74-person operation producing 100 pounds of marijuana per month -- enough to generate $200,000 monthly, tax free, for more than four years.

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133 US NJ: PUB LTE: Let's Recognize The Benefits Of CannabisMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Sutton, Roy Area:New Jersey Lines:30 Added:07/31/2017

Regarding "Opioid crisis continues to grow" (Editorial, July 22):

Most of the efforts on overdosing of opioids in Governor Christie's programs have to do with treating the addict. We need more to be done to prevent the addiction from happening in the first place. And at the same time, we should not shame people who want to use soft drugs.

When we have a legal drug, alcohol, which causes far more harm than cannabis does, there is something wrong. We need to acknowledge that some people have a need to benefit from cannabis, and we gain nothing by censuring them. The "stigma" hasn't really worked very well. People have found benefit from this plant. We would be better off accepting this rather than putting them through arrests and worse.

Roy Sutton

Rahway, July 25

[end]

134 US NY: What Drug-Dealing 'Darknet' Sites Have In Common With EbaySun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Jesdanun, Anick Area:New York Lines:95 Added:07/28/2017

NEW YORK (AP) - AlphaBay, the now-shuttered online marketplace that authorities say traded in illegal drugs, firearms and counterfeit goods, wasn't all that different from any other e-commerce site, court documents show.

Not only did it work hard to match buyers and sellers and to stamp out fraud, it offered dispute-resolution services when things went awry and kept a public-relations manager to promote the site to new users.

This screen grab provided by the U.S. Department of Justice shows a hidden website that has been seized as part of a law enforcement operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and European law enforcement agencies acting through Europol. On Thursday, July 20, 2017, authorities announced that two of the world's most notorious "darknet" marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, have been knocked out in a one-two punch that officials say yielded a trove of new intelligence about drugs and weapons merchants that operate from hidden corners of the internet. (U.S. Department of Justice via AP)

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135 US: OPED: Striking The Right Balance On Asset SeizuresThu, 27 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Terwilliger, George J. Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/27/2017

A critical way of ensuring crime doesn't pay is for law enforcement to seize the proceeds of drug deals or other illegal activity. This process, called asset forfeiture, is a valued part of a comprehensive criminal-justice program, but proper oversight is needed to prevent abuse.

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions restarted the longstanding practice, suspended by the Obama administration in 2015, of allowing state authorities to use federal forfeiture procedures. Mr. Sessions also introduced important safeguards to protect innocent people.

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136US TX: Young Texas 'Medical Marijuana Refugee' Sues Sessions OverWed, 26 Jul 2017
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Brezosky, Lynn Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/26/2017

A Texas girl whose family moved to Colorado to use medical marijuana to treat her intractable epilepsy is among those suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the federal cannabis prohibition.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the federal government should be able to prosecute marijuana use and distribution in states that have declared it legal.

An 11-year-old Texas cannabis "refugee" has joined a retired NFL football player, an Iraq War veteran and two others in a lawsuit challenging beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the federal government's stance on medical marijuana.

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137 US FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Taking Root In South FloridaWed, 26 Jul 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Randle, Caitlin Area:Florida Lines:105 Added:07/26/2017

What's legal, what's not, and what we're waiting on in this time between the passage of a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and a July deadline for the Department of Health to institute rules and regulations.

What's legal, what's not, and what we're waiting on in this time between the passage of a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and a July deadline for the Department of Health to institute rules and regulations.

During the past six months, the number of doctors in Florida who can recommend marijuana to patients has more than doubled from 374 to 819 as of June 2, according to state records. In Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, the number also more than doubled from 130 to 303.

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138 US NJ: Editorial: Opioid Crisis Continues To GrowFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:74 Added:07/25/2017

The national opioid crisis is spreading. Despite increased awareness of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the numbers of fatalities and overdoses continue to rise. That is too true in Bergen County.

As Staff Writer Steve Janoski reports, despite the efforts of Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, the county appears on track to surpass last year's totals of 320 overdoses; 259 of which were opioid related. Ninety-eight people died. That's an 11 percent increase in overdoses from 2015 and a 12.6 percent increase in fatalities.

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139 US OH: Toledo Residents Ambivalent On Marijuana Greenhouse Near TheirSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Yaffe-Bellany, David Area:Ohio Lines:164 Added:07/25/2017

Kevin Jones lives at 700 Spencer St. He says he sees pros and cons to using the dilapidated factory across the street to grow marijuana: jobs and crime.

In 1910, Toledo businessman William Bunting opened a cavernous brass factory on Spencer Street, just a short distance from the zoo.

Eighty years later, arson badly damaged the building. And today, the vacant warehouse is a neighborhood eyesore, its facade pockmarked with broken windows and crumbling bricks.

But soon this once-formidable, now-dilapidated industrial edifice could take on an unlikely new identity: a greenhouse for medical marijuana.

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140 US MA: Legislators Send Pot Overhaul To GovernorSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:114 Added:07/25/2017

The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the legislation.

The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.

Baker is expected to sign the measure, which would raise cannabis taxes from what the ballot question envisioned, merge oversight of recreational and medical marijuana, and change how cities and towns can ban pot shops.

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141 US CA: Editorial: L.A. Voters Want To Legalize Marijuana, So WhySat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:104 Added:07/25/2017

Los Angeles voters want to legalize marijuana, and they don't seem particularly concerned that it remains illegal under federal law. In November nearly two out of three voters in the city of L.A. supported Proposition 64, a statewide initiative to let adults grow, buy and use recreational marijuana. A few months later, voters overwhelmingly backed Measure M to create a city permitting system for marijuana businesses.

City Hall has a clear mandate to legalize, regulate and tax pot.

[continues 744 words]

142US CA: Riverside Could Say No To Recreational Marijuana BusinessesSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Robinson, Alicia Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Riverside has long prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries. Now officials may add recreational pot businesses to the ban -- at least temporarily.

Since November, when California voters legalized adult use of marijuana, the Riverside City Council has not decided whether to allow, tax and regulate pot cultivation, manufacturing and sales.

On Tuesday, July 25, council members will consider saying no to pot businesses until they have more information on how state regulations will look and what other Inland and Southern California communities are doing.

[continues 469 words]

143US CA: Editorial: Sacramento Cannabis Industry Should Be FairTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

If there was any doubt that Sacramento was square in the path of California's "green rush," a recent tally showing the city could end up with more marijuana growing operations than it has Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants should serve as a wake-up call.

More than 100 companies have applied to open grow rooms, The Bee's Ryan Lillis reported last week, and most are for industrial sites in already troubled, low-income neighborhoods in North Sacramento and off Power Inn Road.

[continues 741 words]

144 US PA: Conrail Not Ready Yet On Cleanup Of Heroin GulchTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Terruso, Julia Area:Pennsylvania Lines:44 Added:07/25/2017

Cleanup of the Gurney Street railroad gulch in Fairhill, a campground for heroin users and a dumping site for needles and garbage, didn't start Monday as was initially planned.

The city came to an agreement with Conrail last month to fence and clean up the property. A contract calls for work to start by July 31, but Conrail planned to start work Monday.

Jocelyn Hill, a spokeswoman for Conrail, said that fabricating the fencing that will secure the area took longer than anticipated and that the company had hired a second contractor to speed things up. She said the work still will begin before July 31.

[continues 167 words]

145US: Oped: Donald Trump's Drug Czar: President 'Committed' To BattlingTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Baum, Richard Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Re: "Why the United States needs a national drug policy," by Dr. Stephen Patrick.

As the acting director of National Drug Control Policy, I felt compelled to respond to the well-intentioned but inaccurate op-ed the Tennessean ran on July 11.

Dr. Stephen Patrick. assistant professor of pediatrics and health policy at Vanderbilt University, wrote a passionate defense of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the federal government's work to address drug use and substance use disorder.

[continues 565 words]

146 US: OPED: Cops And Robbers, All Rolled Into OneTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Lima, Tony Area:United States Lines:99 Added:07/25/2017

There aren't many things government can claim to do more efficiently than the private sector. Taking people's property is one. In 2014 the federal government seized about $4.5 billion from people who hadn't been charged with crimes. That exceeds the private-sector equivalent, burglary. According to an analysis by Armstrong Economics, perpetrators absconded with only $3.9 billion that year.

Since 2007 the Drug Enforcement Administration alone has seized more than $3 billion in currency from individuals in civil actions under which legal protections for criminal charges do not apply. Criminal asset forfeiture requires an indictment against both an individual and the property in question. With civil asset forfeiture only the property is charged before being seized.

[continues 658 words]

147US: Column: Forget Russia, Fire Sessions Over ForfeitureTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Reynolds, Glenn Harlan Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to steal from you.

Oh, he doesn't call it that. He calls it "civil forfeiture." But what it is, is theft by law enforcement. Sessions should be ashamed. If I were president, he'd be fired.

Under "civil forfeiture," law enforcement can take property from people under the legal fiction that the property itself is guilty of a crime. ("Legal fiction" sounds better than "lie," but in this case the two terms are near synonyms.) It was originally sold as a tool for going after the assets of drug kingpins, but nowadays it seems to be used against a lot of ordinary Americans who just have things that law enforcement wants. It's also a way for law enforcement agencies to maintain off-budget slush funds, thus escaping scrutiny.

[end]

148US ME: Marijuana Business Offers Weed For Weeds On Cleanup DayMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:07/24/2017

GARDINER, Maine (AP) -- A medical marijuana businessman in Maine is offering weed for weeds in a program to encourage Gardiner residents to clean up their city.

WCSH-TV reports (http://on.wcsh6.com/2eEAtNL ) that Dennis Meehan, owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, offered residents who collected trash Saturday free marijuana. The businessman says anyone who was over 21 was offered free marijuana if they presented a bag of trash that was collected in town.

Meehan's company advertised the cleanup effort on Facebook, and he says he hopes to expand what he calls "the day of service" program to the entire state. Mehan says the program is about bringing awareness to the "life-changing" nature of cannabis as well.

Gifting marijuana is legal in Maine.

Meehan says he got the idea for the swap from a Colorado town's similar program.

[end]

149 US UT: Couple Arrested After Drugging Heroin-Addicted Newborn To HideMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Utah Lines:144 Added:07/24/2017

Colby Wilde and Lacey Christenson welcomed their third child into the world on April 9 at Utah Valley Hospital.

The doctors, nurses and medical staff eventually cleared out of the room, giving the parents a few moments alone with their new daughter. Unlike most new parents, they did not hold the newborn child, overcome with emotion.

Instead, Wilde quickly crushed pills of Suboxone, an FDA-approved drug used to treat heroin addiction and withdrawal, police say.

He moistened his finger and dipped it in the resulting powder. Then he stuck his finger in his daughter's mouth, smearing it along her tiny, tender gums. Though she had been in the world less than half a day, the baby, like thousands others in the United States, was already addicted to opioids.

[continues 907 words]

150 US FL: Orange Park Town Council To Consider Allowing MedicalMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:07/24/2017

ORANGE PARK - Town Council soon will take up whether to lift Orange Park's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, and if so, where such establishments may open up shop within the town limits.

The Orange Park Planning and Zoning Board voting 3-1 with one member absent July 13 recommended the council allow such dispensaries provided they comply with certain conditions. The board's recommendation is non-binding.

Under Florida law, medical marijuana dispensaries are treated as pharmacies for zoning purposes. That means wherever a regular pharmacy is allowed to operate, so is a medical marijuana dispensary.

[continues 398 words]


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