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101US CA: California Marijuana Purveyors Go Mainstream, Except For TheMon, 29 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Fimrite, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/01/2018

Bay Area marijuana retailers who went fully mainstream this month were forced to act like gangsters anyway as they rumbled down freeways and across bridges in sport utility vehicles and sedans and, in at least one case, a Tesla, bearing cash piled in shopping bags and suitcases.

The money was headed for the collectors at the San Francisco and Oakland offices of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, which are handling tax payments under the 2016 state law that legalized recreational cannabis.

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102US CA: Dennis Peron, Activist Who Helped Legalize Medical MarijuanaSat, 27 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Johnson, Lizzie Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/01/2018

Dennis Peron, an activist who helped legalize medical marijuana in California, died Saturday afternoon in a San Francisco hospital. He was 71.

Peron was a force behind a San Francisco ordinance allowing medical marijuana, a win that later helped propel the 1996 passage of Prop. 215, which legalized medical use for the entire state. A Vietnam War veteran, Peron spent some of the last years his life on a 20-acre farm in the rolling hills of Lake County, growing and giving away what he once sold: medical marijuana.

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103 US: Federal Prosecutor Unlikely To Pursue Low-Level Marijuana CrimesSat, 27 Jan 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Fairbanks, Phil Area:United States Lines:159 Added:02/01/2018

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions did away with the Obama-era, hands-off approach to recreational marijuana, he left the door open to a new federal crackdown on the drug.

He also left the discretion for any stepped-up enforcement in the laps of his local prosecutors.

In Western New York, where the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal, Sessions' high-profile actions raised the question: Will there be changes in the type of marijuana cases prosecuted here?

Three weeks later, there are no dramatic signs of a crackdown on pot and, to the contrary, there's an expectation that little will change.

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104US CA: What Are The Benefits, Risks Of Marijuana Use? Experts AreFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

During his 25 years of researching cannabis, Dr. Daniele Piomelli has received hundreds of emails from people desperately wanting to know whether the plant can help them with medical problems. He recalls the one he received from the father of a girl with autism who was desperate for help.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, I have to say, 'We just don't know,' " said Piomelli, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. "It's heartbreaking."

While Piomelli and other marijuana researchers acknowledge a shortage of research on the benefits and risks of the drug, they also said they feel the need to spread what is known about cannabis as California and seven other states move forward with legalized, recreational weed for adults. Piomelli was one of several public health experts who spoke Thursday during a legislative briefing at the state Capitol on the health effects of cannabis.

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105US CA: State Pulls Drugged Driving Ad In Response To Complaints ThatFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

Critics said this ad promoted drug use. Now the state of California has pulled it

Video: The campaign, released ahead of California legalizing marijuana on Jan. 1, stirred controversy with viewers over its descriptions of the drug. California Office of Traffic Safety

The California Office of Traffic Safety has pulled a public service advertisement that was intended to stop stoned driving but critics said promoted marijuana use.

The office joined with law enforcement leaders last week to announce a marketing campaign called "DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze," which included the controversial advertisement. The campaign was timed to coincide with the start of recreational weed sales in California on Jan. 1.

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106 US FL: Florida Judge Dismisses Part Of Medical Marijuana LawsuitFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:01/26/2018

A Florida judge has ruled that a lawsuit against the state's decision to ban smokable forms of medical marijuana can proceed but without one of the key parties.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers ruled on Friday that three patients suing the state can proceed because their claims that the ban impacts them are sufficient. Gievers dismissed the motion by People United for Medical Marijuana, which is the committee formed by Orlando attorney John Morgan, because it lacks sufficient grounds. The organization has 10 days to file an amended lawsuit.

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107US CA: Editorial: Time To End Federal Marijuana ProhibitionFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

This month, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, introduced legislation to change the spelling of "marihuana" in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act to "marijuana" - and then to drop the word altogether from the federal list of "controlled substances" - that is, illegal drugs. Removing the marijuana prohibition from federal law is just the warm-up act to the bill's primary goal: to end a counterproductive war on drugs. It's past time to reform drug laws that have ruined lives and devastated communities.

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108 US PA: Safe Injection Site Uproar Reminds Rendell Of Needle ExchangeThu, 25 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:132 Added:01/25/2018

It was an idea born in the middle of a devastating epidemic with an ever-rising death rate. It drew the ire of state officials, threats to arrest those who operated it, and fears that it would encourage drug use and addiction.

No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'

It was a needle exchange to prevent reusing hypodermic needles, and the year was 1991.

Twenty-seven years later, those involved in the struggle to open Prevention Point - still Philadelphia's only needle exchange - say the parallels are clear between that fight and the city's decision to encourage the opening of safe injection sites, where people in addiction can inject drugs under medical supervision and access treatment.

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109 US FL: In Florida, A 2016 Spike In Babies Born To Opioid-AddictedThu, 25 Jan 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:68 Added:01/25/2018

Health advocates are hopeful the 2017 numbers will show a decline.

Across Florida the number of babies born to opioid-addicted mothers spiked in 2016.

According to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, 1,903 infants at Florida hospitals suffered from neonatal abstinence syndrome in 2014. That number climbed to 2,487 in 2015 and to 4,215 in 2016.

At Sarasota Memorial Hospital, babies suffering from opioid addiction withdrawal numbered 67 in 2014, jumped to 110 in 2015 and peaked at 114 in 2016.

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110 US IN: Indiana House Calls For Study Of Medical MarijuanaThu, 25 Jan 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:Indiana Lines:33 Added:01/25/2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana House has passed a resolution calling for a study of the benefits of medical marijuana.

The resolution was approved Thursday without opposition and comes as 29 other states have passed laws allowing medical marijuana in some form.

Republican majority leader Matt Lehman of Berne says it's time for a legislative study committee to conduct its own research.

The measure is backed by Rep. Jim Lucas, a Libertarian-leaning Republican from Seymour is an outspoken advocate for legalizing medical marijuana.

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111 US FL: Legislature May Expand Miami Needle ExchangeWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Sexton, Christine Area:Florida Lines:56 Added:01/24/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- Two years after lawmakers approved a needle-and-syringe exchange program in Miami-Dade County, the House and Senate are considering taking it statewide and expanding the types of providers who can offer the services.

House and Senate health care-panels on Wednesday approved bills that would allow hospitals, clinics, medical schools and substance-abuse treatment programs to begin offering needle-and-syringe exchange programs to try to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated cost nearly $380,000 to treat over a lifetime.

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112 US CA: Compton Voters Reject Marijuana Sales In CityWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:31 Added:01/24/2018

Compton voters Tuesday soundly rejected two competing proposals for regulating cannabis businesses in the city, where marijuana dispensaries and other pot-related operations are now banned.

The city's proposal, known as Measure C, would have allowed marijuana sales while imposing a 10% business tax and banning commercial cultivation of marijuana. It was rejected 76% to 23%. The competing initiative, Measure I, included many of the same provisions as Measure C, but called for a 5% business tax and would have allowed indoor marijuana-cultivation businesses. It was rejected 77% to 23%.

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113US CA: Growers Association Sues State Over Large-Scale MarijuanaWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/24/2018

Recreational weed is now legal in California. So what does that mean?

In January 2018, state and local authorities will begin issuing licenses for the sale of legal recreational marijuana. But what do you need to know before you rush to the dispensary? Information courtesy of

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has defied the will of voters by allowing large-scale marijuana farms, a group representing growers alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

At issue is a dispute that has divided the industry over whether the state should prohibit sizable cultivation facilities for the first five years of legalized retail marijuana sales, which started Jan. 1 of this year.

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114 US PA: Would Safe Injection Sites Be Good For Philly? Readers WeighWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:47 Added:01/24/2018

On Tuesday, Philadelphia officials took a bold step in addressing the opioid crisis that has increasingly plagued the region, by supporting the creation of medically supervised facilities where heroin users can safely inject drugs.

While other cities, including Seattle and Baltimore, are also moving toward the safe site model, no city in the United States yet has an operating, sanctioned injection facility. The policy is controversial and polarizing, raising questions by public officials and citizens about legality, morality, and how to address a public health crisis - not to mention the logistical details of where and how such sites would operate.

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115 US: Trump's 24-Year-Old Drug Policy Appointee Quits Amid ControversyWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:O'HarrowJr., Robert Area:United States Lines:54 Added:01/24/2018

A 24-year-old former Trump campaign worker who rose rapidly to a senior post in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will step down by the end of the month because of controversy surrounding his appointment, the White House said late Wednesday.

Taylor Weyeneth, who graduated from college in May 2016, was named a White House liaison to the drug office in March and then promoted to deputy chief of staff in July, at age 23. His only professional experience after college and before becoming a political appointee was working on the Trump presidential campaign.

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116 US PA: Editorial: Philadelphia safe injection sites: The Right MoveTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:72 Added:01/23/2018

Safe injection sites where addicts can shoot up in a supervised setting could be a hard concept for many to grasp as anything but an invitation for users to inject poison into themselves with the city's blessing.

To believe that, though, would be a mistake. Philadelphia announced Tuesday it would support the idea of sites that would not only provide medical supervision to addicts but give them access to treatment and other services. Such a move won't solve the deadly opioid crisis, but is intended to be damage control ... literally. Such sites may control the fatal damage that drugs are inflicting, in a crisis that has laid waste to thousands of lives and families.

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117 US IL: Madigan Joins Attorneys General Pushing To Allow More Banks ToTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:126 Added:01/23/2018

As the legal marijuana industry navigates uncertainty on the federal level, state attorneys general are asking Congress to pass a law allowing banks to work with cannabis companies.

Along with Illinois, 28 other states, Washington, D.C., and several U.S. territories have legalized medicinal cannabis, and eight states and the District of Columbia allow recreational use. But in the eyes of federal law, weed is still illegal, and the cash earned selling it is drug money.

Illinois' highly regulated medical cannabis industry, operating under a state pilot program, has been fighting to expand. Earlier this week, a judge ordered the state to add intractable pain -- pain that's resistant to treatment -- to the list of 41 conditions that qualify patients to use medical marijuana.

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

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

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

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

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119US CA: Many Obstacles For Small Cannabis Businesses To HurdleTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Taylor, Otis R. Jr. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/23/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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123US: Trump's 24-Year-Old Drug Policy Appointee Was Let Go At Law FirmSat, 20 Jan 2018
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:O'HarrowJr., Robert Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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129US NM: Officials: 5th Grader Mistakenly Gave Pot Candy In SchoolThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:New Mexico Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

One student passed out.

Another fifth-grader said she couldn't see.

A third started to feel extremely dizzy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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132US GA: Poll Shows Support For Georgia Medical Marijuana DispensariesWed, 17 Jan 2018
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Niesse, Mark Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/17/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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138US: Meet The 24-Year-Old Leading The Trump Drug Policy OfficeSun, 14 Jan 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/14/2018

In May 2016, Taylor Weyeneth was an undergraduate at St. John's University in New York, a legal studies student and fraternity member who organized a golf tournament and other events to raise money for veterans and their families.

Less than a year later, at 23, Weyeneth, was a political appointee and rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the White House office responsible for coordinating the federal government's multibillion dollar anti-drug initiatives and supporting President Donald Trump's efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. Weyeneth would soon become deputy chief of staff.

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139 US IL: AG: Girl Can Use Medical Marijuana At SchoolFri, 12 Jan 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:62 Added:01/12/2018

CHICAGO -- The Latest on lawsuit to allow 11-year-old to receive marijuana treatment while at school.

The Illinois attorney general's office has told a federal court it will allow a suburban Chicago school district to administer medical marijuana to an 11-year-old leukemia patient to treat her for seizure disorders.

The commitment made to Judge John Blakey on Friday came two days after the student's parents sued Schaumburg-based District 54 and the state for the girl's right to take medical marijuana at school. Illinois' medical cannabis law prohibits possessing or using marijuana on school grounds or buses.

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140 US PA: Pa. Regulators Reverse Course Medical Marijuana Won't StopFri, 12 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:77 Added:01/12/2018

Pennsylvania will no longer provide the names of medical marijuana patients to law enforcement agencies.

The state Department of Health made the announcement late Friday afternoon in the wake of an Inquirer and Daily News story that called attention to the fact that marijuana patients would not be able to buy firearms.

The department also called for the federal government to reclassify marijuana, essentially demanding that it legalize cannabis on a national level. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration considers all forms of the plant to be "without any accepted medical use," "highly addictive," and on par with LSD and heroin. Last week U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed Obama-era policies and said federal prosecutors had the discretion to crack down on participants in state-legal marijuana programs.

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141US CA: Sacramento Leads State In Number Of Retail Marijuana ShopsThu, 11 Jan 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/11/2018

Sacramento has more retail cannabis shops than any other city in California, which is the largest retail marijuana market in the country.

According to recent records from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, Sacramento has 15 dispensaries licensed to sell recreational weed to adults 21 and over, followed by San Diego with 13, San Francisco with nine and Cathedral City with eight.

These figures will change as the bureau continues to process license applications. Dispensaries in some places, notably Los Angeles and San Francisco, lagged in the application process because local officials did not approve their own regulations as early as Sacramento and other cities.

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142 US IL: Parents File Suit To Allow Daughter To Use Medical MarijuanaThu, 11 Jan 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Robert Area:Illinois Lines:122 Added:01/11/2018

In a case that could have far-reaching implications, parents of an elementary school student who has leukemia are suing a Schaumburg-based school district and the state of Illinois for the right for her to take medical marijuana at school.

Plaintiffs identified only as J.S. and M.S., parents of A.S., filed suit Wednesday claiming that the state's ban on taking the drug at school is unconstitutional because it denies the right to due process and violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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143 US: Study: Legal Marijuana Could Generate More Than $132b In FederalWed, 10 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Zezima, Katie Area:United States Lines:102 Added:01/10/2018

Legalizing marijuana nationwide would create at least $132 billion in tax revenue and more than a million new jobs across the United States in the next decade, according to a new study.

New Frontier Data, a data analytics firm focused on the cannabis industry, forecasts that if legalized on the federal level, the marijuana industry could create an entirely new tax revenue stream for the government, generating millions of dollars in sales tax and payroll deductions.

''When there are budget deficits and the like, everybody wants to know where is there an additional revenue stream, and one of the most logical places is to go after cannabis and cannabis taxes,'' said Beau Whitney, a senior economist at New Frontier Data.

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144 US CA: LTE: California Will Regret Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Burnham, Ellen L. Area:California Lines:46 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: The commercial interests driving the rapid legalization of marijuana in California call to mind the playbook of Big Tobacco. ("For marijuana users, it's high times as California makes recreational use legal," Jan. 2)

Decades passed and millions of lives were harmed before the adverse impact of cigarettes was acknowledged. During that time, Big Tobacco stifled government investigation of tobacco's potential harm while manipulating their product's addictive properties and marketing to children.

Since the liberalization of marijuana laws in Colorado, more people use marijuana than ever before, and many have or will become addicted. Use of healthcare resources for marijuana-associated illnesses has also increased here.

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145 US CA: PUB LTE: Cannabis Concerns Apply Equally To AlcoholWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Bigelow, Bert Area:California Lines:36 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: The three letters you published in "California moves into its marijuana future on Jan. 1. Some readers are not eager to make the leap" stated the following concerns about marijuana use, most of which apply equally to alcohol.

Law enforcement does not have adequate test criteria for driving under the influence. While there is no blood-alcohol test for pot, police have many other field sobriety tests, including "walking the line," reciting the alphabet backward and the "eye and penlight test." A driver may pass the 0.08% blood alcohol content test and still be arrested for DUI if he or she drives erratically or exhibits slurred speech or other cognitive difficulties.

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146 US CA: PUB LTE: Criminal Justice Reform Is Long OverdueWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Veenhuizen, Melissa Area:California Lines:28 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: For far too long, our poor, working class and communities of color have been suffering due to unjust criminal persecution for minor offenses like possession of marijuana.

The time for criminal justice reform is long overdue. We ought to divert money from prisons into education and drug recovery programs.

What happened in Portugal after it decriminalized drugs compared with the U.S. when Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton fought their war on drugs is incredibly telling. We need to change our way of thinking and get back to helping our communities, our brothers and sisters, succeed and thrive in this country.

Melissa Veenhuizen, Long Beach


147 US CA: For Marijuana Users, It's High Times As California MakesTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Gerber, Marisa Area:California Lines:173 Added:01/07/2018

"Groove on! Groove on!" blared from speakers outside a gray warehouse in Santa Ana. Inside, a line of 60 people snaked through the shop, waiting to be helped by a budtender.

"We were bombarded!" said Robert Taft Jr., founder of the marijuana dispensary 420 Central.

When the shop opened at 7 a.m. Monday -- Day 1 of legal recreational pot sales in California -- a handful of people had already lined up. Within two hours, more than 100 customers, some still nursing holiday hangovers, had made purchases. As they walked out, Taft shouted, "Enjoy your new freedom!"

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148 US CA: State Pot Bureau Ready To Enforce California's New MarijuanaTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:43 Added:01/07/2018

The state has issued 104 licenses for retail stores to sell marijuana for recreational use in California and 239 other applications for those permits are pending, officials said Tuesday.

An official with the state Bureau of Cannabis Control added that the agency is prepared to begin taking enforcement action against pot shops that are not properly licensed.

"The bureau's enforcement team is ready to respond to any complaints it receives and start doing compliance checks and site visits at any time," said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the bureau.

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149US NY: Medical Marijuana Companies Sue NY Health Department OnTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Robinson, David Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2018

The five medical marijuana companies in New York have filed a lawsuit to block new cannabis businesses, claiming the growth threatens to kill the fledgling industry that has struggled to sell the drug to critically ill patients.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the state Department of Health from allowing five new companies to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York. The companies in the legal fight include Vireo Health and Etain, which are selling cannabis-based drugs at dispensaries in downtown White Plains and Yonkers, The Journal News/lohud has learned from court records. There is also a dispensary in Kingston, Ulster County.

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150 US: Trump Administration Targets Recreational PotThu, 04 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Halper, Evan Area:United States Lines:258 Added:01/07/2018

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions ended an Obama-era federal policy that provided legal shelter for marijuana sales in California and five other states that have allowed recreational pot, placing at risk thousands of marijuana businesses operating legally under state laws.

The Justice Department move on Thursday plunged California's fledgling recreational pot market into further uncertainty, and was met with a bipartisan backlash from lawmakers in states where marijuana is now sold legally to any adult who wants to buy it.

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