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101 US KY: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Medical Marijuana For KentuckyWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:88 Added:09/23/2017

Amy Stalker says she had more control over her own health when she lived in Colorado, where marijuana can be legally prescribed as medicine. Stalker now lives in Kentucky, where medical use of marijuana is banned.

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday against Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear that called for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky.

In his opinion, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate wrote that the Kentucky Supreme Court clearly established in a 2000 decision involving actor and hemp activist Woody Harrelson that the General Assembly has the sole discretion under the state Constitution to regulate the use of cannabis in the state. The courts do not have the authority to intervene, Wingate wrote.

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102 US PA: Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Law May Be Drifting IntoTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Esack, Steve Area:Pennsylvania Lines:122 Added:09/23/2017

Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery -- who temporarily moonlighted as a medical marijuana lawyer -- held a news conference in the state Capitol in which he accused a Bethlehem company of threatening to destroy the law with a lawsuit.

Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery -- who temporarily moonlighted as a medical marijuana lawyer -- held a news conference in the state Capitol in which he accused a Bethlehem company of threatening to destroy the law with a lawsuit. (Steve Esack)

Prior to passage of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, politicians and advocates spoke with compassion about how it would provide alternative care to the sick and infirm.

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103 US FL: Florida Moves Toward More Medical Marijuana LicensesWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:09/23/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Seemingly learning from past mistakes, state health officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses in two weeks.

The new rule, published Wednesday and going into effect immediately, outsources the evaluation of the applications to "subject matter experts," requires "blind testing" of the applications, and includes a detailed application form --- all departures from the Department of Health's previous medical-marijuana regulations that spawned a series of legal and administrative challenges.

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104US CA: Editorial: Governments Wisely Moving To Regulate MarijuanaTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.

Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as opposed to simply banning marijuana.

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105 US MA: Mass. High Court Says Sobriety Tests Aren't Evidence For PotTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:116 Added:09/20/2017

Members of the Mass. State Police performed a sobriety test on a driver in Chicopee in 2011.

The state's highest court on Tuesday limited which evidence can be used in court to prosecute drivers suspected of operating under the influence of marijuana, handing a victory to civil rights advocates in a closely-watched case.

Under a unanimous ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts police officers can no longer cite their subjective on-scene observations or sobriety tests to conclude in court testimony that a driver was under the influence of marijuana.

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106US RI: Federal Drug Agency Asks R.I. For Medical Marijuana PatientSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Bogdan, Jennifer Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A federal anti-drug program has asked Rhode Island - -- and more than two dozen other states where medical marijuana is legal -- to turn over data about patients in the program.

The move has alarmed some who question why the federal government, which has at times appeared to be antagonistic towards the drug, is interested in the information.

The National Marijuana Initiative, an arm of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, which reports to the White House, contacted the Rhode Island Department of Health in August seeking data from 2012 to 2016 on the number of patients in the program, as well as patients' age, gender and a breakdown of the medical conditions under which they qualified.

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107 US MA: Marijuana Rally On Boston Common Features Vendors, Music, AndSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Carozza, Jacob Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:09/19/2017

The Boston Freedom Rally was on Boston Common on Saturday.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Boston Common this weekend for the 28th annual Boston Freedom Rally - the first time the marijuana festival has been held since voters approved a ballot referendum last November legalizing the drug for recreational use.

As of Saturday morning, about 7,400 people indicated on Facebook that they plan to go to the rally, organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.

The festival, which began Friday, is scheduled to be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday according to its Facebook page.

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108 US PA: Patients Lose As Cannabis Industry Barters For Zoning InThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Goldstein, Chris Area:Pennsylvania Lines:113 Added:09/19/2017

A pay-to-play system has developed between state-licensed cannabis operators and municipal governments across the country for local zoning. The same model has quickly materialized in Pennsylvania, and now one town has gone too far.

Muhlenberg Township in Berks County was trying to squeeze a dispensary - - Franklin Bioscience LLC - for 5 percent of its annual profits.

The issue was revealed when the Pennsylvania Department of Health released a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer from medical-marijuana program director John Collins to the company's CEO, Andrew Weiss, allowing the dispensary to relocate after getting pressured for the cash. Collins wrote:

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109 US CA: Pot Edibles That Look Like Gummy Bears Should Be Illegal ToThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:31 Added:09/19/2017

California companies would be prohibited from selling marijuana edibles made in the shape of a person, animal, insect or fruit under a measure given final legislative approval Thursday and sent to the governor for consideration.

"We are trying to protect children," said Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), who authored AB 350.

Lawmakers said marijuana edibles have been made in the past to look like gummy bears or miniature pineapples. In April, some middle school students in San Diego got sick after a classmate sold them marijuana-laced gummy bears.

The state plans to begin issuing licenses for the sale of recreational marijuana to people 21 and older in January, so lawmakers have introduced several bills aimed at preventing pot from being marketed to minors.

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110 US PA: DA Candidate Endorses Safe Injection Sites For HeroinThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:134 Added:09/19/2017

Democrat Larry Krasner, the front-runner to become Philadelphia's next district attorney, says he supports city-sanctioned spaces where people addicted to heroin can inject drugs under medical supervision and access treatment, a move advocates see as a promising step toward making the city the first in the U.S. to open such a site.

His Republican opponent, Beth Grossman, says she's open to discussions on the matter.

For those on the front lines of the heroin crisis in Philadelphia, both are encouraging stances in a political arena where the idea can still be dismissed out of hand. But recently, cities across the country have begun to consider the possibility of instituting supervised injection sites; several nations, including Canada, have used the approach for years.

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111 US MI: Detroit Voters To Decide On 2 Marijuana Proposals In NovemberFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:144 Added:09/19/2017

Two initiatives that would amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne County circuit judge's ruling earlier this week.

If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a wide-reaching impact on the city's budding marijuana industry.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact zoning regulations.

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112 US PA: Pennsbury School Board OKs Aggressive Antidrug ProgramTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Boccella, Kathy Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:09/19/2017

Just six days after her 28-year-old son died from a heroin overdose, the president of the Pennsbury school board wept as she thanked her colleagues for unanimously approving an ambitious new $149,000 antidrug program aimed at fighting an opioid epidemic that has ravaged young grads in their Lower Bucks County community.

"Thank you all for doing this - now more than ever it means the world to me," a tearful Jacqueline Redner said immediately after the vote. After a decadelong battle with addiction, her son Josh was found dead in a motel room on Sept. 13.

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113 US KY: Former Sheriff Who Was Approved To Grow Hemp Arrested OnFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Estep, Bill Area:Kentucky Lines:111 Added:09/12/2017

He was licensed to grow hemp in Kentucky. Police say they found marijuana instead.

Kentucky officials are reviewing a case that could result in a former sheriff being kicked out of the state's pilot program to grow industrial hemp after he was charged with cultivating marijuana.

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman is thought to the first participant in the hemp program to be arrested for allegedly growing marijuana, hemp's psychoactive cousin.

Peyman has been approved to grow hemp since 2015, the year after he lost reelection and left office, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

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114 US PA: Gov. Wolf: Crackdown On Medical Marijuana Will 'Force MoreThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:70 Added:09/12/2017

Federal interference with Pennsylvania's medical-marijuana program would "force more suffering on some of our most vulnerable constituents," Gov. Wolf said in a letter to Rep. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee.

Wolf is alarmed that Congress could eliminate a provision in an appropriations bill that for four years has prohibited federal agencies from cracking down on the implementation of state-approved medical-cannabis programs.

The states considered the provision, known as the Rohrabacher amendment, as tacit protection that gave them permission to launch their cannabis programs.

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115 US PA: OPED: Auditor General DePasquale: Legalize Marijuana In Pa. ToThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:DePasquale, Eugene Area:Pennsylvania Lines:117 Added:09/12/2017

With Pennsylvania teetering on the edge of another budget cliff, it is immensely clear to me that we must get creative in finding long-term revenue solutions to prevent total financial collapse.

Last month, as a short-term fix to the state's cash-flow woes, I cosigned a $750 million loan from Treasury's Short Term Investment Pool. That loan cost the state $141,000 in interest.

What's more, Treasurer Joe Torsella is forecasting the state's general fund balance will hit negative $1.6 billion by mid-September. This is disturbing.

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116 US TX: Medical Marijuana To Start Growing In South TexasFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Tinsley, Anna M. Area:Texas Lines:171 Added:09/12/2017

Any day now, medical marijuana will legally start to grow in the state of Texas.

It will be planted, grown and processed on a 10-acre parcel of land in Schulenburg, a small community east of San Antonio, now that the company that owns the property -- Cansortium Texas -- has received the state's first license to do so.

The low-level cannabidiol will be sold, under a 2015 law, to help Texans with intractable epilepsy if federally approved medication hasn't helped.

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117 US KY: Former Jackson County Sheriff Arrested On MarijuanaThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Estep, Bill Area:Kentucky Lines:86 Added:09/09/2017

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman was involved in a marijuana-growing operation and possessed enough anabolic steroids to indicate he was trafficking in the drug, Kentucky State Police have charged.

A detective for the state police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit for the eastern half of the state arrested Peyman at his farm south of McKee Wednesday at 4:44 p.m. after serving a search warrant, according to the citation.

The citation said the warrant was the culmination of an investigation in which 61 marijuana plants had been found earlier growing at Peyman's farm.

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118US TN: Candidates For Tennessee Governor Split On Medical MarijuanaThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ebert, Joel Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:09/09/2017

As Tennessee lawmakers begin discussions about possibly allowing medical marijuana in Tennessee, the top-tier candidates seeking to replace Gov. Bill Haslam have vastly different opinions.

While legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee has been brought up in the legislature several times in recent years, House Speaker Beth Harwell, who announced her run for governor in July, made headlines when she said she was open to the idea.

Last month, Harwell said a treatment using marijuana for her sister's back injury caused her to reconsider whether the Volunteer State should embrace medical cannabis, the Associated Press reported.

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119US MN: DFL Candidates For Governor Line Up Behind Pot LegalizationThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Coolican, J. Patrick Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:09/09/2017

A sleeper issue has emerged among DFL candidates in the 2018 governor's race: Marijuana.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, state Reps. Erin Murphy, Tina Liebling and Paul Thissen, and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz all support legalizing marijuana for recreational and not just medical use. Among the major DFL candidates, only State Auditor Rebecca Otto declined to do so.

"When you confront the reality of the cost of criminalization vs. the benefits of legalization, I think the benefits outweigh the costs," said Coleman, whose campaign approached the Star Tribune to discuss the issue.

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120 US: Opioid Use Responsible For 20 Percent Of Drop In American MenThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Phillip, Angel Area:United States Lines:52 Added:09/09/2017

Opioid use by American men may account for one-fifth of the decline in their participation in the U.S. labor force, according to a study by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger.

"The opioid crisis and depressed labor-force participation are now intertwined in many parts of the U.S.," Krueger, who was chief economist at the Treasury Department in the Obama administration, wrote in the study released Thursday at a Brookings Institution conference in Washington.

Krueger's study linked county prescription rates to labor force data from the past 15 years, concluding that regional differences in prescription rates were due to variations in medical practices, not health conditions. In previous research, he found that nearly half of men in their prime worker ages not in the labor force take prescription painkillers daily.

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121 US: Teen Marijuana Use Falls To 20-Year Low, Defying LegalizationThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:United States Lines:62 Added:09/09/2017

In 2016, rates of marijuana use among the nation's 12- to 17-year-oldsA dropped to their lowest level inA more than two decades, according to federal survey data released this week.

Last year, 6.5 percent of adolescents used marijuana on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That represents a statistically significant drop from 2014,A when the nation's first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado.

The last time monthly teen marijuana use was this low was 1994, according to the survey.

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122 US: OPED: My Fellow Conservatives Should Protect Medical MarijuanaWed, 06 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Rohrabacher, Dana Area:United States Lines:119 Added:09/06/2017

Not long ago, a supporter of mine visiting from California dropped by my Capitol office. A retired military officer and staunch conservative, he and I spent much of our conversation discussing the Republican agenda.

Finally, I drew a breath and asked him about an issue I feared might divide us: the liberalization of our marijuana laws, specifically medical marijuana reform, on which for years I had been leading the charge. What did he think about that controversial position?

"Dana," he replied, "there are some things about me you don't know." He told me about his three sons, all of whom enlisted after 9/11.

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123US TN: Senator Expects Panel Will Help Educate Public, TennesseeSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ebert, Joel Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:09/03/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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135US FL: One Florida Bank Is Willing To Risk It All On Cannabis WhenThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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140US CA: Legal Marijuana: Fresno City Council Passes Ban On PotThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[continues 71 words]

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

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

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

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

[continues 851 words]

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

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

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

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

[continues 832 words]

145US CA: Perris Gets The Inland Empire's First Licensed MedicalWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

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

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

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

[continues 958 words]

146US: Top 10 States Where Drug Dealers Get Longest Average PrisonWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

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

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

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

[continues 438 words]

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

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

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

[continues 476 words]

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

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

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

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

[continues 1338 words]

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

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

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

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

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

[continues 453 words]

150US MI: Michigan Regulator: Shut Down Medical Pot ShopsMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Gerstein, Michael Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:08/25/2017

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

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

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

[continues 187 words]


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