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61 US ME: Dozens Pick Up Trash, With Pot Giveaway As IncentiveMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME) Author:Edwards, Keith Area:Maine Lines:116 Added:07/24/2017

A Gardiner medical marijuana caregiver says dozens of people took part in a cleanup Saturday in which he and other growers provided a gram of marijuana for every bag of trash collected on city streets by participants.

Dennis Meehan, who runs Summit Medical Marijuana with other members of his family in downtown Gardiner, said "several dozen" participants filled more than 100 trash bags - every bag they had on hand.

While he said he isn't sure how much marijuana he gave away, the trash bin was filled beyond the top, and overflowing.

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62 US: OPED: The Female Victims Of The War On DrugsSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ritchie, Andrea J. Area:United States Lines:145 Added:07/23/2017

As debate raged around health care and Russia-gate last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quietly held a "national summit" of law enforcement representatives to discuss the future of policing.

Vice President Mike Pence predicted that the summit, which was largely held behind closed doors, would "impact this country for years to come." Its purpose was to influence the recommendations - due out next week - of the Department of Justice Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, created in response to one of President Trump's executive orders. Drugs featured prominently on the agenda.

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63US CA: Want A Permit To Grow Pot? Fee Will Be $16,500 In San JacintoWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Shultz, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2017

San Jacinto has set permit fees for those who wish to operate commercial marijuana businesses in the city.

Anyone wanting a permit to operate a commercial marijuana cultivation business in San Jacinto better have some cash.

The City Council set the permit fee at $16,500 during its meeting Tuesday, July 18. Annual permit renewals will cost $6,000 and there also will be a $10,000 fee to transfer a permit.

The money covers the cost of staff time required to review and process the applications, according to the city.

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64US CA: SF Supervisors Create Office To Handle Coming CannabisWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2017

San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy sponsored legislation to create the city's Office of Cannabis.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday created a new "one-stop shop" to handle policies for marijuana businesses once recreational cannabis becomes legal.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy sponsored the ordinance to set up the Office of Cannabis, which will open for business by the end of this year. It will set up an application system for marijuana licenses, resolve complaints, be a conduit to state regulators, and serve as a centralized information source for the public.

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65 US CA: California Is Working To Avoid A Shortage Of LegalizedWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:56 Added:07/22/2017

California hopes to avoid the same shortage of legalized marijuana that now faces Nevada when sales begin here in January. (File photo | Los Angeles Times)

With Nevada suffering a shortage of legalized marijuana, California's state pot czar said Wednesday that efforts are being made in her state to make sure sufficient licenses go to farmers, testers and distributors to supply retailers.

Providing temporary, four-month licenses to support some businesses including growers as early as November is planned "so we don't have a break in the supply chain," Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said in testimony at a legislative hearing.

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66 US MA: Legislature Moves Forward On Marijuana Law OverhaulWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:71 Added:07/22/2017

The legislation proposed in Massachusetts wouldn't change the basic marijuana rights of adults that the ballot question put in place.

The Massachusetts Legislature is advancing an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law Wednesday, when both chambers are expected to accept a House-Senate compromise bill in the afternoon.

A final Senate vote, which would send the bill to the governor, is scheduled for Thursday.

The legislation would change the legalization law passed by 1.8 million voters in November.

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67US CA: Could Cannabis Be Coming To Your County Fair? It Depends OnWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Holland, John Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

California's county fairs -- those wholesome showcases of agricultural bounty -- could become places to score some pot.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a bill that details how to carry out the November 2016 ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana as of January 2018. Tucked deep in the text is an option for county fairs to allow sampling and sales for people 21 and older in designated spots.

The Stanislaus County Fair has had "minor discussions" among the board and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cranford about the issue, spokeswoman Adrenna Alkhas said by email.

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68 US FL: Oviedo To Soon Allow Medical Marijuana DispensariesWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Comas, Martin E. Area:Florida Lines:58 Added:07/21/2017

Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality to allow such businesses.

Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the same zoning regulations as pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Oviedo are allowed to operate only in certain office and commercial zoning districts, which are mostly located along major thoroughfares. Council members are expected to vote on a new ordinance in the coming weeks to allow pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries to operate only in certain commercial zoning districts, but not in zoning districts for offices.

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69 US NY: Task Force On Heroin, Opioid Addiction To Meet On Long IslandTue, 18 Jul 2017
Source:Newsday (NY) Author:Irizarry, Lisa Area:New York Lines:44 Added:07/21/2017

A special legislative task force formed to examine the effect of the opioid addiction scourge on Long Island and elsewhere throughout the state is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Mineola.

The State Senate's Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the NYU Winthrop Hospital Research and Academic Center in Mineola, a hospital spokesman said.

Similar meetings have been held around the state as the task force seeks to understand how the increase in overdoses and addiction connected to heroin and other opioids is impacting communities.

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70US CA: More Than 100 Businesses Seek To Grow Marijuana In SacramentoWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Lillis, Ryan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

More marijuana growers than Starbucks stores? That could be Sacramento's future.

Someday soon, more businesses could grow marijuana in the city of Sacramento than there are Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants combined.

More than 100 businesses are seeking special permits from the city to run indoor marijuana growing operations. From North Sacramento to South Land Park, and from downtown to the warehouse district near Power Inn Road, the flood of applications touches many corners of the city.

For now, the applications technically cover marijuana for medicinal purposes, and some companies are already growing pot for that purpose under previously approved guidelines. However, commercial production and the sale of recreational pot will be allowed in California beginning Jan. 1, 2018 and city officials expect many of the new businesses will seek to enter that business.

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71 US CA: PUB LTE: Bredefeld's Moral Crusade Against Evil WeedMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Schmale, Steve Area:California Lines:22 Added:07/21/2017

Just when I thought Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld couldn't appear more ignorant and stupid, he proves me wrong with his half-page, anti-marijuana diatribe in Sunday's Bee.

It's full of nonsense, half-truths and other easily contested points in support of his argument to try and buffer his moral crusade against the evil weed. Sorry, I underestimated Mr. Bredefeld.

Steve Schmale, Fresno

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72 US HI: Big Island Still Has Most Medical Marijuana UsersMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:61 Added:07/21/2017

Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on the Big Island.

Recently released data by the state Department of Health indicates the trend of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii is changing.

Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on Hawaii Island, according to the data released Friday. That's down from 40 percent in March and 42 percent in December.

Meanwhile, the percentage of patients hailing from Oahu has jumped from 25 percent in December to 29 percent last month, a more than 1,300-patient increase. The Big Island's patient count increased by about 300 people in that same time, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

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73US WI: Gov. Scott Walker Signs Bills Fighting Spread Of OpiatesMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

MADISON -- Gov. Scott Walker signed seven bills Monday to combat the spread of opiates and was set to approve four more.

The 11 measures, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, would funnel more money into fighting opiates, tighten the ability to get some drugs from pharmacies and give doctors more guidance on treating addiction. They were passed in a special session the Republican governor called in January.

"We've taken serious steps to combat this issue, including creating the Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse, but we won't stop until there are zero opioid overdoses in Wisconsin," Walker said in a statement.

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74US WI: Oped: Crowley: Legalize Marijuana To Combat Growing OpioidSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Crowley, David Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

America's opioid epidemic is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. From 2000 to 2015, over half-a-million Americans died of opioid abuse and overdose. Ninety-one Americans die every single day for the same reasons.

While illegal drugs like heroin have contributed greatly to this epidemic, prescription opioids are the leading cause of overdose and death for Americans suffering from opioid addiction.

Since 1999, the amount of prescribed opioids in the United States has nearly quadrupled without a meaningful change in the actual amount of pain that Americans report to their doctors. In Wisconsin, the rate of opioid-related deaths has nearly doubled between 2006 and 2015, from 5.9 deaths per 100,000 residents to 10.7 deaths per 100,000.

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75 US PA: Editorial: Stop Opioids From Being Delivered By The U.s PostalMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:73 Added:07/21/2017

Within the murky online corners of the so-called Dark Net, drug dealers emphasize the best way to send their goods across the United States is not via FedEx, UPS, or another private mail carrier, but through the U.S Postal Service.

Last year, up to 59,000 opioid-related deaths occurred, making those narcotics the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Many of the deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids, which have flooded the market through mail orders from China using USPS.

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76 US: US Heroin Crisis Is So Bad, It's 'Raining Needles'Mon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:United States Lines:106 Added:07/21/2017

LOWELL, Mass. -- They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere.

In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more than 13,000 syringes, compared with only about 2,900 in the same month in 2016.

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77 US MA: SJC Rules Mass. Companies Can't Fire Workers Just Because TheyMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:117 Added:07/21/2017

Massachusetts companies cannot fire employees who have a prescription for medical marijuana simply because they use the drug, the state's highest court ruled Monday, rejecting arguments from employers that they could summarily enforce strict no-drug policies against such patients.

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants said a California sales and marketing firm discriminated against an employee in its Foxborough office who uses marijuana to treat Crohn's disease when it fired her for flunking a drug test without first trying to reach an accommodation with her.

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78 US MA: Mass. Lawmakers Unveil Proposed Overhaul Of Marijuana LawMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:157 Added:07/21/2017

Representative Ronald Mariano, a Quincy Democrat and the majority leader, spoke about the revisions to the marijuana law on Monday at the State House.

The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to approve a broad overhaul of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week after House and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill Monday that would hike marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops.

But the compromise immediately raised the specter of a serious legal challenge, and the bill drew a rebuke from the top lobbyist for cities and towns who said, should it pass, most municipalities would have trouble implementing the law.

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79 US MA: Activists Cheer Pot Bill Provision Allowing PreviouslyFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Parker, Claire Area:Massachusetts Lines:140 Added:07/21/2017

Tax rates and questions of local control have dominated the conversation surrounding the Legislature's rewrite of the voter-approved marijuana law. But for former firefighter Sean Berte, who spent eight months in federal prison for cultivating marijuana, the bill spells out something else entirely: a second chance.

Berte initially swore off the drug that he says cost him his job, his life savings, and his freedom. But now, he sees an opportunity in the green-leafed plant - this time, on the right side of the law.

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80 US: Editorial The Other Sessions IssueFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US)          Area:United States Lines:59 Added:07/21/2017

In today's polarized Washington, Jeff Sessions has managed the feat of uniting folks on the left and right. We're referring to the Attorney General's decision this week to revive an asset forfeiture program whose overreach proved too much even for the Obama Administration.

Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement officers to seize property such as homes and cars and cash thought to be paid for or generated by criminal activity. In 2015 then Attorney General Eric Holder restricted the practice. But before an audience of law-enforcement officials on Wednesday, Mr. Sessions revived it as a "key tool" to "hit organized crime in the wallet." That's the theory. But it has many problems.

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