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151 US FL: Company Files Lawsuit Challenging Orlando's Medical MarijuanaMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Gillespie, Ryan Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:03/31/2018

A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such businesses, alleging it violates state law.

Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable." Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while the court rules.

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152 US PA: Are There Risks From Secondhand Marijuana Smoke? Early ScienceMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ortega-Welch, Marissa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:169 Added:03/31/2018

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco.

"People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up," said Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San Francisco. "And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, 'Hey, they can't smoke in AT&T Park! I'm sure that's not allowed.' And then I realized that it was all marijuana."

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153 US MO: Medical Marijuana Narrowly Rejected By Kansas HouseMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Marso, Andy Area:Missouri Lines:105 Added:03/31/2018

The Kansas House of Representatives rejected medical marijuana legalization Monday.

But the closeness of the 54-69 vote and the hour of emotional testimony that preceded it made advocates more confident that Kansas is now closer to joining the 30 states that allow marijuana by prescription.

"Today was the most legislative discussion we have ever had in three years of the Kansas Safe Access Act," said Lisa Sublett, the founder and president of Bleeding Kansas Advocates.

Sublett noted the bipartisan nature of the vote on the medical marijuana amendment, which came up during debate on a bill to update the state's controlled substances listings.

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154 US NJ: Gov. Murphy Greatly Expands New Jersey's Medical MarijuanaTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:106 Added:03/31/2018

Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.

The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers - -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.

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155 US KY: Sen. McConnell On hemp: 'Make This A Legal Crop'Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Schreiner, Bruce Area:Kentucky Lines:136 Added:03/31/2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The U.S. Senate's top leader said Monday he wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the controlled substances list that now associates it with its cousin – marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told hemp advocates in his home state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation to legalize the crop as an agricultural commodity. The versatile crop has been grown on an experimental basis in a number of states in recent years.

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156 US FL: Rope, Not Dope: UF To Tackle Hemp ResearchTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Strange, Deborah Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:03/31/2018

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida could start growing industrial hemp as soon as the fall.

But the project still has to pass some hurdles before planting begins, said Rob Gilbert, chairman of the UF/IFAS agronomy department.

The university's board of trustees approved the project Friday, and now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must approve importing industrial hemp seeds. Then the project needs to secure the $1.3 million it needs and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must approve a planting permit.

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157 US HI: Cure Oahu Begins Cannabis SalesTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:45 Added:03/31/2018

Cure Oahu, backed by a local private investment group, opened with 10 strains, including top sellers Master Kush, Da Glue, Sour Chem and Sunset Mango. The dispensary in the former Bank of Hawaii branch building at 727 Kapahulu Ave. said there was heavy demand for indica, sativa and hybrid flower strains as well as tinctures and lozenges, which sold out shortly after opening.

The 5,434-square-foot building has had a major makeover with a high-tech, 2,400-square-foot open lobby and dispensing area with two private consultation booths and large electronic tablet stations where customers can browse through information and choose from a variety of strains. Patients are also able to register and order products online before coming into the dispensary.

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158US LA: Metairie Medical Marijuana Pharmacy Up For State ApprovalMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Bacon-Blood, Littice Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:03/31/2018

A Metairie business could obtain permission Tuesday to operate one of the state's first medical marijuana pharmacies. The Louisiana Pharmacy Board is meeting in Baton Rouge for two days to discuss, and possibly give final approval, to companies seeking to obtain one of the state's operating permits.

According to the board's agenda, 44 applicants have applied for permits, although some of those companies have withdrawn from consideration.

The Rx Greenhouse announced in February its plans to open an office building at 3131 North Causeway Boulevard in Metairie after gaining preliminary approval from a state subcommittee. If approved it would open by September, the pharmacy owners have said.

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159 US PA: Safe Injection Site To Get Airing In Philly Neighborhood MostWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:107 Added:03/28/2018

In Kensington, this much is clear: No other neighborhood in Philadelphia has seen more overdose deaths, or more visible suffering amid a city opioid epidemic that claimed an estimated 1,200 lives in 2017. Along with neighboring Fairhill, it occupies less than 2 percent of Philadelphia's land area, but 18 percent of all city overdoses occurred in that small space, according to an Inquirer analysis of city data.

On Tuesday night, when city health officials arrive in the neighborhood for a community meeting on the epidemic, they'll come armed with dire statistics and information on the city's 18-point plan to fight the crisis. But they won't have an answer to the question that's roiled the neighborhood since the plan was announced in January: Will Kensington host the first safe-injection site in the city, and possibly the nation?

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160US CA: Riverside City Council Moves Toward Banning MarijuanaWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Hagen, Ryan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/28/2018

The Riverside City Council voted Tuesday, March 27, to have staff members prepare an expansive ban on marijuana-related activities.

The ban, which must be approved as a city ordinance before it takes effect, would replace Riverside's current moratorium that temporarily bans most marijuana business.

Councilman Chuck Conder proposed the ban, which would prohibit the retail and commercial sale, commercial cultivation, distribution, and outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana plants. He did so after a delegation of city officials who traveled to Denver, including Conder himself, gave a three-hour presentation on the effects of marijuana legalization there.

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161 US PA: Number Of Pennsylvania Infants Going Through Drug WithdrawalWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Huang, Binghui Area:Pennsylvania Lines:53 Added:03/28/2018

The number of Pennsylvanian babies born with drug withdrawal symptoms increased 10-fold in the past decade and a half, a symptom of an increasingly deadly opioid epidemic plaguing the country, according to a new state report.

In fiscal year 2017,15 in 1,000 Pennsylvanian newborns were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a dramatic increase from fiscal 2001 when only 1.2 in 1,000 newborns had the diagnosis, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council said in the report, which was released Wednesday.

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162 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.

In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to AIDS.

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163US LA: NOPD Marijuana Arrests Plunged To 1 Percent After OrdinanceWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Litten, Kevin Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:03/28/2018

People arrested and held on simple marijuana possession became nearly non-existent in New Orleans in the year since the City Council passed an ordinance that allowed police to issue summons instead of using a custodial arrest.

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry shared data on Tuesday (March 27) showing that just 1 percent of encounters between police and someone accused of possessing marijuana resulted in an arrest between June 2016 and May 2017. A year before, 15 percent of people were arrested for simple possession.

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164 US CT: Third Recreational Marijuana Bill Up For Hearing IncludesWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:107 Added:03/28/2018

A third committee held a public hearing on a third recreational marijuana bill Wednesday, despite a separate bill on the controversial issue facing bipartisan opposition last week.

The legislation up for hearing in the appropriations committee Wednesday, H.B. 5394, calls for developing a plan for the legalization and regulation of cannabis. Unlike the two prior bills, the third seeks to provide substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness programs.

The bill would require the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to work with the chief state's attorney and the commissioners of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Consumer Protection and Revenue Services to develop the legalization and regulation plan in "the most cost effective means."

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165US CA: Marijuana Business Threatened By Taxes, Black MarketWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2018

Three months into the start of California's recreational marijuana market, industry leaders are voicing concerns that sales are not meeting projections, and that high taxes, complicated regulations and a thriving black market are having deleterious effects.

The leaders pressed government officials to make changes during Tuesday's gathering of an estimated 600 people at the California Cannabis Industry Association conference at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento.

"This is an industry in crisis," said Kristi Knoblich, president of the association's board and co-founder of Kiva Confections, a manufacturer of edible cannabis products. "This is me sounding the alarm."

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166US CA: Moreno Valley Approves Comprehensive Recreational MarijuanaTue, 20 Mar 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Downey, David Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2018

Moreno Valley officials have set the stage for a range of legal marijuana businesses to open in Riverside County's second-largest city while limiting the number of commercial pot enterprises to 27 -- eight of them dispensaries.

The widely anticipated move, approved Tuesday, March 20, comes as the city is working to shut down illegal pot stores.

City Attorney Martin Koczanowicz said that since last summer the city has discovered 20 dispensaries operating illegally in Moreno Valley and closed 15. It's now working to eliminate the other five.

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167 US IL: In The Era Of Legalization, How Do You Discuss Marijuana WithWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Schoenberg, Nara Area:Illinois Lines:122 Added:03/25/2018

"My uncle is prescribed marijuana."

"My parents use it, and they're doing fine."

As a drug prevention specialist who does in-school presentations in the U.S., as well as internationally, Zach Levin has seen the problem firsthand: Teens know that recreational use is legal in states such as Colorado and that medical use is on the rise, and they're using that information to support the old argument that a little weed never hurt anyone.

And starting today, Illinois teens have one more argument: In a symbolic win for legalization forces that did not change local laws, Cook County residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana use by a wide margin Tuesday, with 68 percent in favor and 32 percent against.

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168 US MA: There's More To That Dartmouth Study Trump Mentioned In HisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Annear, Steve Area:Massachusetts Lines:88 Added:03/25/2018

When President Trump took the stage in New Hampshire on Monday and delivered a fiery speech about how the White House plans to tackle the nationwide opioid problem, he leaned heavily on the idea that the Massachusetts city of Lawrence was largely to blame for the scourge of addiction in the Granite State.

Citing a 2017 study by researchers at Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine, the president said the "sanctuary city" of Lawrence, a community that restricts its cooperation with federal immigration officials, is one of "the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties."

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169 US SC: Medical Marijuana Slowly Gaining Acceptances In SC This YearWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:158 Added:03/25/2018

When Mack Hudson of Lexington was 16 years old, he was paralyzed when he fractured his skull, broke his neck and shattered a key vertebrae in a car wreck.

Over the past 10 years, he's been prescribed increasing doses of opioids -- Percocet and Roxycodone to alleviate the pain.

"It messes with my head," he said. "I can't think straight. I can't function straight. I'm just not myself."

So Hudson traveled to California and Colorado to experiment with marijuana.

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170 US OH: Editorial: There Is No Magic Solution For The Opioid CrisisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:72 Added:03/25/2018

President Trump's proposal to invoke the death penalty for drug traffickers is an idea that is, in the practical scheme of things, unworkable. It is also probably unconstitutional and obviously simplistic. It is a gimmick, not a policy.

We need a policy.

The president likes dramatic gestures for difficult problems - a ban on all potential terrorists, a big wall next to Mexico, a 25-percent tariff on steel. This is not an altogether bad instinct. We need strong, decisive leaders and criminals need to fear punishment.

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171 US PA: Pa. Medical Marijuana Program To About To Double In SizeFri, 23 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:87 Added:03/23/2018

Pennsylvania's commercial medical marijuana program is set to more than double in size.

State officials Thursday announced the program was entering its second phase, expanding from 12 to 25 cannabis producers and adding 23 more dispensary operators.

The state also is launching a unique research effort that will run in parallel to the established commercial program, conducting clinical investigations into marijuana and selling to the public.

"From what I've seen and heard, there seems to be a high interest in doing research around pain management and as a replacement for opioids," John Collins, director of the state marijuana program, said in a phone conference with reporters.

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172US FL: Editorial: Fighting Meth's Killer ComebackFri, 23 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2018

While opioids hold center stage in the nation's drug war, methamphetamine is making a destructive comeback. Though meth has largely fallen off the public's radar, seizures and arrests are up, and more people are dying from the drug. Its evolution is a reminder of the durability of the illegal drug supply, the impermanence of any single enforcement tactic and the need for a comprehensive approach to fighting and treating addiction.

Potent, addictive and deadly, meth bears many of the pernicious traits of opioids. It became popular in the early 2000s, easily produced in small batches using the decongestant in over-the-counter cold medicine. In rural parts of Tampa Bay, especially eastern Hillsborough and Pasco counties and throughout Polk County, exploding "meth labs" routinely drew law enforcement's attention. Congress responded in 2005 with a law putting pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limiting the amount individuals could purchase and creating a tracking system pharmacies were required to use. Meth became much harder to make and faded from notice, overtaken by a new drug of choice: opioids.

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173 US PA: Safe Injection Site Stirs Tensions At Northeast Philly MeetingMon, 19 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:102 Added:03/22/2018

Midway through a community meeting in Northeast Philadelphia on the opioid crisis Monday, a man stood up at the back of the room and yelled out a question to city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley: "Doctor, where do you live? Can we put a safe injection site next door to you?"

The crowd of 150 in the Fox Chase community center applauded and burst into shouts in a display that vividly showed the tough sales job the city is facing as it tries to fulfill a promise to allow a place where people in addiction can use drugs under medical supervision. As heroin has been adulterated with the deadlier opioid fentanyl, often without the user's knowledge, the overdose death rate has soared. Quick administration of a reversal medicine can save lives.

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174 US: Death Penalty For Drug Dealers Is Not A New IdeaWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Linskey, Annie Area:United States Lines:151 Added:03/22/2018

WASHINGTON - President Trump's plan to use the death penalty on drug dealers has all the hallmarks of his favorite policies: It could fit on the front of a baseball cap. It is a proven applause line. It appeals to a conservative base.

But, like so many of Trump's slogans-turned-policy, it's dredged from a bygone era and lacks clear evidence showing it would be effective.

Using an obscure federal provision to bring capital cases against dealers, the concept that Trump enthusiastically backed during a visit to New Hampshire this week, fits within the framework of some of his other cornerstone ideas: Build the wall, Launch trade wars, Arm teachers. To some critics in the mainstream, though, the ideas are impractical, imprecise, or just dangerous.

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175 US IL: Oped: The Opioid Epidemic And 'Do No Harm'Mon, 19 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Robb, William Area:Illinois Lines:82 Added:03/22/2018

Historically opioid medications were used cautiously by physicians for selected patients to reduce pain associated with acute injury or illness, and for those suffering from life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

This caution was based upon recognition that improper use of opioids could result in patient harm. However, in 1996, the American Pain Society, supported by opioid pharmaceutical manufacturers, promoted acknowledgment and expanded treatment of pain as the 'fifth vital sign" by physicians in hospitals. In 2001, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations introduced new pain standards recognizing the under-assessment and treatment of pain, which then expanded the use of opioids. In the two decades that followed opioid use and abuse has exploded, with nearly 80 percent of the world's opioid medications now being consumed in the U.S.

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176 US: Trump Calls For Death Penalty To 'get Tough' On Drug PushersMon, 19 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Superville, Darlene Area:United States Lines:130 Added:03/22/2018

Unveiling a long-awaited plan to combat the national scourge of opioid drug addiction, President Donald Trump called Monday for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including embracing a tactic employed by some of the global strongmen he admires: the death penalty.

"Toughness is the thing that they most fear," Trump said.

The president traveled to New Hampshire, a state ravaged by opioids and which is also an early marker for the re-election campaign he has already announced. The president called for broadening awareness about drug addiction while expanding access to proven treatment and recovery efforts, but the backbone of his plan is to toughen the punishment for those caught trafficking highly addictive drugs.

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177 US SC: SC Senators Kill Proposal To Study Cannabis Oil On InmatesTue, 20 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Schechter, Maayan Area:South Carolina Lines:48 Added:03/22/2018

An S.C. Senate panel quickly killed a proposal Tuesday that would have created a study committee to research the effects of cannabidiol oil - -- an active ingredient found in marijuana -- on prison inmates with physical and mental illnesses.

The oil -- used sometimes in place of prescription drugs -- can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from epilepsy, schizophrenia and seizures, supporters say.

Originally suggested as a pilot program by state Rep. Mike Pitts, S.C. House budget writers adopted the proviso -- or one-year rule -- as part of the House's 2018-'19 budget proposal in March.

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178 US CA: Pot and Justice: Stark Contrasts In 2 CitiesSun, 18 Mar 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:207 Added:03/22/2018

OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a month in jail.

A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.

Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions. But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to ban marijuana businesses from city limits.

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179 US NJ: Doctors -- Not Politicians -- Should Decide Who Gets MedicalThu, 22 Mar 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ) Author:Livio, Susan K. Area:New Jersey Lines:87 Added:03/22/2018

Doctors would decide which patients should use marijuana as medicine instead of being limited by a narrow list of eligible diseases set by law, under a sweeping medical marijuana overhaul approved by a state Assembly panel Thursday.

The measure that cleared the Assembly Health Committee would also allow registered patients to buy up to four ounces of cannabis, or twice as much as they are permitted to obtain now.

The dispensaries and cultivators would be divided evenly in the northern, central and southern regions of the state, including the six who are already licensed to grow and sell.

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180US FL: Joe Redner Hopes To Be Allowed To Grow His Own Cannabis AsWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/21/2018

Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit court judge on Wednesday.

Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.

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181 US MA: Editorial: Executing Drug Dealers Is A Bad IdeaWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:70 Added:03/21/2018

President Trump made big news in New Hampshire this week with his call for applying the death penalty to big drug dealers - and that only goes to show that bad policy makes for easy headlines.

The best explanation of why that's a thoroughly wrong-headed approach is also the simplest: Western societies don't execute people for those kinds of crimes. Nor should we start.

Without using names, Trump cited conversations with international leaders who supposedly told him their countries have no drug problems because they have the death penalty for drug traffickers. Only a handful of nations routinely execute drug smugglers or traffickers. Among them: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia. That's hardly an honor roll of nations that respect human rights and liberties or the process of law; their leaders are not the people Trump should be consulting on criminal justice policy.

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182 US PA: How A Federal Judge In Philly Could Blow Up The MarijuanaFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:124 Added:03/20/2018

Is a marijuana dispensary an "unlawful" business? A federal judge in Philadelphia will decide.

This arcane dispute over language in the deed of a marijuana dispensary in Northeast Philadelphia could carry outsized implications: A ruling by U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter could affirm the superiority of federal law, which considers marijuana illegal, over state law, where in Pennsylvania and 29 other states, it is not.

Pratter's decision came Thursday in a strongly-worded memo that described the case as "a fundamental clash between state and federal law."

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183 US PA: Pennsylvania Issues Regulations For Medical Marijuana ClinicalFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:64 Added:03/20/2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued new regulations for medical marijuana clinical research programs.

The regulations, released Friday, outline the process for an accredited medical school with an acute care hospital to become an approved "Academic Clinical Research Center" that can engage in medical marijuana-related research projects with "clinical registrants," an entity that can grow, process and dispense medical marijuana.

The regulations also detail the application process for prospective clinical registrants, how research studies are reviewed and approved and how researchers may interact with the commercial medical marijuana market. The health department will approve a maximum of eight clinical registrants.

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184 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Companies Face Bans, Moratoriums InFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:03/20/2018

Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, a Globe review has found, the latest indication that there will be fewer pot stores in the early going than many consumers expected.

At least 189 of the state's 351 municipalities have barred retail marijuana stores and, in most cases, cultivation facilities and other cannabis operations, too, according to local news reports, municipal records, and data collected by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey.

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185 US MA: DARE Officers, Their Ranks Thinned, Face Legal Pot And OpioidTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Contrera, Jessica Area:Massachusetts Lines:218 Added:03/16/2018

WEST BRIDGEWATER - The class had covered bullying, Internet safety, and good decision-making, and by February, Officer Kenneth Thaxter could see that the sixth-graders were ready.

The lights went off, and the projector went on.

"Today," the DARE officer said, "we're going to talk about marijuana."

For 16 years, every elementary school student in this small town has learned about drugs from Thaxter. But this year, his lesson needed to change, and he was about to find out whether the students knew why.

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186US CA: Weedmaps to California's Bureau of Cannabis Control: You Don'tTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2018

A popular marijuana website has told the state's cannabis czar that she lacks the authority to make the company stop running advertisements for unlicensed pot retailers.

In a letter sent Monday to Lori Ajax of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Doug Francis and Chris Beals of Weedmaps.com said the company is not licensed by the bureau and therefore not subject to its enforcement.

They also said Weedmaps is protected from such action because the company is an "interactive computer service" covered under the federal Communications Decency Act. The law states that such a service shall not be treated as the publisher of information provided by a third party.

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187US CA: Are You Getting Marijuana Delivered To You? If So, It'sFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2018

Unlicensed marijuana delivery companies are operating across Sacramento County, drawing the ire of legal pot retailers and warnings from state and local regulators.

Regulators cite concerns about the delivery companies not paying fees and taxes and selling weed that hasn't been tested for pesticides or other possible toxins. They say the companies are threatening the financial viability of legal retailers who must pay those costs in a new legal marijuana market that started in California on Jan. 1.

In Sacramento County, about 200 marijuana delivery services were advertising Friday on the website Weedmaps.com. Only one jurisdiction in the county, the city of Sacramento, has plans to allow cannabis delivery services, and it has yet to issue permits. In the interim, city pot czar Joe Devlin has told delivery companies to register with city, and eight have done so.

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188 US PA: Ex-Pennsylvania Narcotics Agent To Plead Guilty In MoneyTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:74 Added:03/16/2018

A former Pennsylvania narcotics agent will plead guilty to conspiring to launder money from a seizure of nearly $1.8 million in illicit drug proceeds in 2014, federal court records show.

By pleading guilty Timothy B. Riley, a retired state attorney general's office agent, could be sent to prison for up to 20 years and fined up to $500,000, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

Federal authorities charged Riley, 48, of Philadelphia, on Feb. 23 with accepting three cash payments totaling $48,000, which he knew was stolen from a drug dealer. Riley then deposited the money and used it in financial transactions, according to David Freed, U.S. attorney of Pennsylvania's Middle District.

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189 US HI: Heroin Use Skyrockets On Kauai After Prescription CrackdownMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:60 Added:03/16/2018

LIHUE - Kauai police have seen an increase in the use of black tar heroin over the last two years.

The Kauai Police Department seized less than a gram of black tar heroin in 2015. But in 2017, the department seized a total of 526 grams, the Garden Island reported Sunday.

The department has already amassed 80.8 grams this year, said Bryson Ponce, Kauai Police Department's Investigative Services Bureau assistant chief.

Ponce said the increase is a serious concern because heroin use is linked to violent crime.

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190 US MD: Editorial: Untangling The Knot Of Md. Medical PotMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:137 Added:03/16/2018

A bill in the Maryland General Assembly had sought to add more black firms to the state's regulated medical marijuana industry.

Instead it might end up favoring existing players -- nearly all of whom are white-owned companies.

A bill in the Maryland General Assembly had sought to add more black firms to the state's regulated medical marijuana industry.

Instead it might end up favoring existing players -- nearly all of whom are white-owned companies.

Given how much the Legislative Black Caucus has complained about the lack of minority-owned firms among Maryland's medical marijuana growers and processors, it may seem crazy that the legislation designed to address the issue that just passed overwhelmingly in the House could lead to more white men getting licenses.

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191 US PA: How Marijuana Patients Could Lose Their Jobs In PhillyWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:95 Added:03/14/2018

Pennsylvania's recently launched medical marijuana program may have unintentionally created a minefield that employers and patients across the state have only begun to navigate:

Patients who use marijuana could end up losing their jobs as a result.

At a fact-finding hearing in Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday, a panel of lawyers, business interests, and medical professionals hashed over the murkier employment issues stirred up by the law.

The upshot: Patients currently have few -- if any -- workplace protections. And until a lawsuit is filed, it's unlikely that patients will know how strong those protections might be.

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192 US PA: Legalized Pot In New Jersey - Not So FastFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:156 Added:03/13/2018

When New Jersey State Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced a 62-page bill and primer on how to legalize marijuana almost one year ago, he chuckled when asked if it had a prayer of passing.

The legal sale of recreational marijuana had not yet begun in any other East Coast state, and yes, Chris Christie, the Republican governor at the time, had threatened a veto.

The bill, Scutari insisted, would give lawmakers time to digest and debate the issue so that a palatable package would be "ready for the next governor."

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193 US: Is This The End Of The Pre-Employment Drug Test?Sun, 11 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Greenfield, Rebecca Area:United States Lines:112 Added:03/13/2018

Employers are struggling to hire workers in tightening U.S. job market. Marijuana is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., meaning more than one in five American adults can eat, drink, smoke or vape as they please. The result is the slow decline of pre-employment drug tests, which for decades had been a requirement for new recruits in industries ranging from manufacturing to finance.

As of the beginning of 2018, Excellence Health Inc., a Las Vegas-based health care company with around 6,000 employees, no longer drug tests people coming to work for the pharmaceutical side of the business. The company stopped testing for marijuana two years ago. "We don't care what people do in their free time," said Liam Meyer, a company spokesperson. "We want to help these people, instead of saying: 'Hey, you can't work for us because you used a substance,'" he added. The company also added a hotline for any workers who might be struggling with drug use.

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194 US: Federal Prosecutors Won't Take On Small-Time Pot CasesSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:United States Lines:55 Added:03/13/2018

WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors won't take on small-time marijuana cases, despite the Justice Department's decision to lift an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said today.

Federal law enforcement lacks the resources to take on "routine cases" and will continue to focus on drug gangs and larger conspiracies, Sessions said. The comments come after the Trump administration in January threw the burgeoning marijuana legalization movement into uncertainty by reversing the largely hands-off approach that prevailed during the Obama administration, saying federal prosecutors should instead handle marijuana cases however they see fit.

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195 US CT: Legislative Committee Will Consider Bill Legalizing MarijuanaTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Connecticut Lines:105 Added:03/13/2018

The idea's been floated before, but recreational marijuana's backers have so far been unable to convince the Land of Steady Habits to legalize a new one.

The legislature's General Law Committee will weigh a new bill legalizing the retail sale of marijuana at a public hearing. The hearing, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed until Thursday because of the snowstorm.

The bill, No. 5458, would allow people 21 or older to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from a retailer or "marijuana lounge," where customers would smoke or consume their purchase on-site. Anyone 21 or older would also be allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use.

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196 US IL: Editorial: An FBI fable: The Case Of The Cannabis CandidateThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:61 Added:03/10/2018

There's a lot of truth-bending in political campaigns. Remember then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's false assertion in 2015 that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks? Or how about Hillary Clinton's tall tale in her 2008 campaign that on a trip to Bosnia, "I remember landing under sniper fire. aE& We just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." That, too, didn't happen.

Benjamin Thomas Wolf's Pinocchio moment is also a doozy.

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197 US KY: Kentucky Lawmakers Urged To Say No To Medical Marijuana BillTue, 06 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Brammer, Jack Area:Kentucky Lines:83 Added:03/10/2018

FRANKFORT -- Four law enforcement officials and a doctor urged state lawmakers Tuesday to say no to a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.

For more than an hour, opponents of House Bill 166 told members of the House Judiciary Committee the ills they see in it.

Their predictions about passage of the measure included an increase in crime, creation of trafficking problems along the state's borders, an enhancement of economic and social costs, temptations of children to use marijuana and uncertain physical outcomes over long-term usage.

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198 US NJ: New Jersey Lawmakers Weigh Legalizing MarijuanaMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:97 Added:03/10/2018

TRENTON -- The first New Jersey legislative hearing on the legalization of marijuana held since Gov. Murphy took office -- after he promised his support -- unfolded Monday before more than 100 people.

More than a dozen experts traveled from as far as Colorado and Massachusetts to office advice on legalization, a topic gaining traction after Murphy, a Democrat, replaced Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican adamantly opposed to it, in January.

Several lawmakers are working on legalization bills, but none has come up for a vote and some legislators say they are trying to get a consensus.

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199 US KY: Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Shelved By House CommitteeWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Brammer, Jack Area:Kentucky Lines:69 Added:03/10/2018

FRANKFORT -- Kentucky lawmakers shelved Wednesday a controversial bill to legalize medical marijuana, but supporters of the measure pledged to continue their fight.

Some backers of House Bill 166 were in tears after the House Judiciary Committee voted 14-4 to "pass over" the measure. That's a procedure to put off voting on the bill until a later date.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, said it's doubtful the proposal will be revisited in this year's legislative session but "anything is possible."

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200 US KY: Oped: It's Time To Legalize Medical Marijuana In KentuckyWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Lundergan, Alison Area:Kentucky Lines:115 Added:03/10/2018

For years, Kentucky veterans have approached us with a question that has no good answer: "Why are my comrades in other states able to treat PTSD and pain with medical cannabis while I cannot?"

Frustrated and confused, these men and women struggle daily with the effects of post-traumatic stress triggered by the horrors of war and chronic pain from injuries suffered in combat.

One is Eric Pollack whose PTSD became so unbearable that he nearly became part of a depressing statistic. In Kentucky, the veteran suicide rate is 10 percent higher than the national average.

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