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151 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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152 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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153US 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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154US 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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155 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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156 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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157US 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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158 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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159 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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160US 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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161 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

[end]

162 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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163US 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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164US 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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165 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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166 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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167 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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168 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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169 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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170 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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171US: Ga. Lawmaker Wants To Drug Test The UnemployedFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Hallerman, Tamar Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is reviving a fight over drug testing that could have major implications in Georgia.

The Pooler Republican introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on Thursday that would let states screen unemployment insurance applicants for drug use if they so choose.

"Unemployment Insurance recipients should be drug-free and ready to reenter the workforce and my legislation works to make that happen," Carter said in a statement.

Under Carter's legislation, an applicant would be denied unemployment benefits for 30 days if they test positive for drug use. A second positive test would bar people from receiving the federal perk for the rest of the year.

[end]

172 US: Justice Dept. Revives A Policy On The Seizure Of AssetsThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ruiz, Rebecca R. Area:United States Lines:104 Added:07/20/2017

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department revived a widely criticized practice on Wednesday that allows state and local law enforcement officials to use federal law to seize the cash, cars or other personal property of people suspected of crimes but not charged.

The department issued new guidance expanding the federal government's use of so-called civil asset forfeiture, labeling it a necessary tool to fight crime. But civil rights advocates say it can be abused by law enforcement officials and deprive people who have done nothing wrong of their right to due process, a charge that Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, contested.

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173 US: Justice Department To Resume Asset Seizures With PoliceThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Viswanatha, Aruna Area:United States Lines:96 Added:07/20/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered the Justice Department to resume participating in asset seizures by local police, one of several Obama-era policies the agency has reversed.

Officials said the move was part of an effort to combat recent increases in drug abuse and violent crime. The Justice Department in 2015 largely ended the property-seizure program after critics said it allowed local law-enforcement officials to take cash and other assets from individuals without proving they had done anything wrong.

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174US GA: Georgia Welcomes Forfeiture Rule ReinstatementThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Ondieki, Anastaciah Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/20/2017

Georgia law enforcement agencies lost access to millions of dollars in potential funding when the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 all but shut down a practice criticized as encouraging policing for profit.

Now state law enforcement leaders are welcoming U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Wednesday announcement that the department is reinstating "adoptive forfeiture." Effective immediately, the federal government will help state and local police agencies keep cash or other assets they have seized on suspicion of ties to state crimes. Agencies can keep such property permanently even if no one is ever convicted.

New safeguards will help prevent abuses, the department said in a directive to U.S. attorneys and other Justice Department officials announcing the new policy.

[end]

175 US MD: Body Camera Footage Shows Officer Planting Drugs, PublicThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Fenton, Justin Area:Maryland Lines:207 Added:07/20/2017

Police and prosecutors in Baltimore have launched investigations after being alerted to body camera footage that the public defender's office says shows an officer planting drugs.

One officer has been suspended and two others have been placed on administrative duty, police said. Police said they have not reached any conclusions as to the conduct depicted in the video. Other cases in which the officers are involved are now under review as well, police and prosecutors said.

The public defender's office, which released the footage, said it was recorded by an officer during a drug arrest in January. It shows the officer placing a soup can, which holds a plastic bag, into a trash-strewn lot.

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176 US KY: Oped: Ky.'s New Opioid Law Will Only Result In More DeathSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Bloom, Josh Area:Kentucky Lines:92 Added:07/19/2017

As the death toll from opioid overdoses in Kentucky and the rest of the Midwest continues to soar, it's truly disconcerting to see that policymakers are taking steps that are not only devoid of medical and common sense, but virtually guaranteed to make matters worse.

The recent passage of the ill-conceived House Bill 333, which imposes a three-day limit (with certain exceptions) on opioid prescribing, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons behind the addiction epidemic.

All this new law will accomplish is to make matters worse for both pain patients and addicts. The former will suffer needlessly; the latter will die in even greater numbers.

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177 US NY: As States Keep Saying Yes To Marijuana, Attorney General SaysSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:New York Lines:113 Added:07/19/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has compared cannabis to heroin.

NEW YORK - In a national vote widely viewed as a victory for conservatives, last year's elections also yielded a win for liberals in eight states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

But the growing industry is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin.

A task force Sessions appointed to, in part, review links between violent crimes and marijuana is scheduled to release its findings by the end of the month. But he has already asked Senate leaders to roll back rules that block the Justice Department from bypassing state laws to enforce a federal ban on medical marijuana.

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178 US MA: Boston Startup Dives Into Marijuana Industry With High-TechSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:108 Added:07/19/2017

The compact mass spectrometer shows precisely what's in marijuana.

The compact, high-tech chemical sensors made by the Boston startup 908 Devices are used by emergency responders to scan for toxins after industrial accidents, and by researchers in the pharmaceutical and energy industries to profile the composition of drugs and petroleum products.

Now, the firm has unveiled a new sensor intended to give it a foothold in a less conventional but fast-growing industry: commercial marijuana.

The sensor, dubbed the G908, is a countertop "push-button" mass spectrometer designed to identify cannabis compounds. Its designers say the device approaches the accuracy of traditional "gold standard" lab equipment but is far smaller, faster, cheaper, and easier to use.

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179 US MI: Proposal Would Let Detroit Pot Shops Open Near Liquor StoresSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:143 Added:07/19/2017

An initiative to amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to operate near liquor stores, child-care centers and parks could appear on the November ballot, after a group behind the effort submitted thousands of signatures backing the measure.

Citizens for Sensible Cannabis spokesman Jonathan Barlow confirmed his group submitted petitions late last month seeking to amend Chapter 24 of the city's code.

Elections Director Daniel Baxter said the group met the threshold of required signatures and his department has since turned the initiative over to the Detroit City Council, which is expected to consider it Tuesday.

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180 US MI: Oped: In Easing Chronic Pain, Marijuana May Be A Better ChoiceSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Clauw, Daniel Area:Michigan Lines:112 Added:07/19/2017

Chronic pain is a tremendous public health problem. The Institute of Medicine estimates chronic pain affects 100 million Americans at an estimated annual cost of $600 billion. But the rampant use of opioids to treat chronic pain stands out as the least-defensible and most-harmful of our maltreatments. Many U.S. physicians remain resistant to this, though I would argue other options should be considered.

More than 14,000 Americans died in 2014 from unintentional overdose of prescription opioids, making this the leading cause of death among younger individuals in many states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Countless others continue to take opioids not because they have meaningful pain and functional improvement, but because they enjoy feeling numbed, or simply have not been presented with more appropriate and helpful therapeutic options.

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181 US MD: With Opioid Antidote Now Required In All Schools, MoreSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Chappell, Emily Area:Maryland Lines:81 Added:07/19/2017

After a year of having an opioid antidote in middle and high schools in Carroll County, a new state law requires that the medicine be available at the elementary school level, too.

The Start Talking Maryland Act, which lays out now-required opioid education at least once at all schooling levels, also requires all schools to carry naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote.

Filipa Gomes, supervisor of Health Services for Carroll County Public Schools, said in addition to the extra naloxone, Carroll County Public Schools staff are training more people how to administer the antidote.

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182 US FL: Opioid Use Increasing Number Of Foster Children InFri, 14 Jul 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL) Author:Williamson, Amanda Area:Florida Lines:290 Added:07/19/2017

The blond toddler pounced from the floor without warning and reached for a toy deep within Savannah Woods' entertainment center.

She remained on the plush, beige carpet, her eyes following the toddler through the room. In attempt to rein in the child's energy, Woods called him back to her side and asked him to name a smiling woman in the picture she held.

"Momma," the two-year-old said. The photograph captured Woods and her wife, Carly.

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183US CA: Oped: Fresno Did The Right Thing With Its Marijuana BanSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Bredefeld, Garry Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/19/2017

Proposition 64, also known as the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, not surprisingly passed statewide in November 2016 but wisely failed in Fresno County with 54 percent of the people voting against legalization. The district I represent strongly opposed Prop. 64.

It now allows individuals 21 years or older to legally smoke marijuana and to grow up to six plants in their home, even if they are next to elementary schools. What many people don't know is that Prop. 64 also allows recreational marijuana dispensaries or businesses to be opened throughout the state unless a municipality officially prohibits or bans them, which a majority of the Fresno City Council and mayor wisely did last month.

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184 US OH: Police Find 400 Pounds Of Marijuana In Cars Made In MexicoSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:31 Added:07/19/2017

WARREN, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say more than 400 pounds (181 kilograms) of marijuana has been found in 15 new cars made in Mexico and shipped to Ohio and Pennsylvania to sell.

A drug task force in Ohio's Portage County was called to a Ford dealership this week after a service department employee found a package of pressed marijuana in a spare tire compartment during a vehicle inspection.

Investigators then went to a rail yard near Warren and found more packages in the trunks of Ford Fusions pressed into the shape of a spare tire. Additional packages were found at other northeast Ohio dealerships and one in Pennsylvania.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent tells The Vindicator that marijuana was found in April in new cars shipped from Mexico to Minnesota.

Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.

[end]

185 US IL: 30 People Shot, 3 Fatally, In 18 Hours In ChicagoSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Malagon, Elvia Area:Illinois Lines:290 Added:07/19/2017

Thirty people were shot, three fatally, during a violent 18-hour period from Saturday to Sunday in Chicago, which included a police-involved shooting and an attack outside Mount Sinai Hospital.

In the Lawndale neighborhood, a woman's voice echoed as she voiced her frustration at the scene of a double shooting that left a 31-year-old man dead and another man wounded.

"They know it's a drug house," she yelled out at the police and crowd that had gathered. "They don't give a (expletive). I do. I'm tired of this (expletive)."

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186 US: As Opioid Overdoses Exact A Higher Price, Communities Ponder WhoSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:United States Lines:223 Added:07/17/2017

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- The coroner here in the outer suburbs of Cincinnati gets the call almost every day.

Man "slumped over the dining room table." Woman "found in the garage." Man "found face down on the kitchen floor of his sister's residence." Man "on his bedroom floor -- there was a syringe beneath the body." Coroner Lisa K. Mannix chronicles them all in autopsy reports.

With 96 fatal overdoses in just the first four months of this year, Mannix said the opioid epidemic ravaging western Ohio and scores of other communities along the Appalachian Mountains and the rivers that flow from it continues to worsen. Hospitals are overwhelmed with overdoses, small-town morgues are running out space for the bodies, and local officials from Kentucky to Maine are struggling to pay for attempting to revive, rehabilitate or bury the victims.

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187 US: Column: The Crisis In Americaas Crime LabsSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Malkin, Michelle Area:United States Lines:105 Added:07/17/2017

Junk science endangers lives. Forensic junk science in the hands of overzealous prosecutors, ignorant police detectives and reckless experts threatens liberty.

There is a crisis in America's government-run crime labs - and it's not just the result of a few rogue operators. The problem is long-festering and systemic.

In April, Massachusetts state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan made national headlines after investigations and lawsuits over her misconduct prompted the state's Supreme Judicial Court to order the largest dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

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188US AK: Facebook Takes Down Pages Of Some Legal Alaska Pot ShopsThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Bohrer, Becky Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:07/17/2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Facebook has shut down pages set up by several businesses licensed to legally sell marijuana in Alaska, severing what some shop owners consider a critical link to their customers.

The social media giant said its standards describe what users can post, and content promoting marijuana sales isn't allowed. The issue has popped up over the last few years in states that have legalized recreational and medical pot, often coming in waves, industry officials said.

Cary Carrigan, executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, said the industry has been forced to fight the same battles repeatedly as marijuana gains broader acceptance nationally.

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189 US MI: A Marijuana Activist Group Is Money And Brains BehindSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Laitner, Bill Area:Michigan Lines:157 Added:07/15/2017

Marijuana ballot campaign's donors include "Big Tobacco," say critics. But supporters say smoke-store chain in Michigan is not typical donor.

A campaign to once again try to fully legalize marijuana in Michigan is getting big support from a Washington D.C. nonprofit activist group and from a tobacco store company that has talked of opening a chain of marijuana shops in the state.

The donor list, revealed in the latest campaign finance statements filed by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, alarmed critics who have long contended that marijuana's nationwide march toward legalization is being funded not by the idealistic stoners and medical-marijuana users long linked to the politics of cannabis but instead by a pack of profit-minded investors and corporate types said to be similar to Big Tobacco -- the nation's cigarette and cigar industry.

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190 US OH: Heroin, Cocaine Are Cheap, Potent And Widely AvailableThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Johnson, Alan Area:Ohio Lines:71 Added:07/14/2017

Heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs remain widely available throughout Ohio, often at bargain prices, a new state report reveals.

If that isn't bad enough, the quality of the drugs is "is really good, too good. We've lost 12 friends in the past year (to overdoses)," said one respondent in the just-released Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network Report. The semi-annual statewide report of drug availability trends is done by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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191 US KY: Bevin And Beshear Ask Judge To Dismiss Medical MarijuanaThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:89 Added:07/14/2017

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear want a Frankfort judge to dismiss a lawsuit calling for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky.

In a motion filed Monday in Franklin Circuit Court, Bevin's attorneys said medical marijuana is a "political question" that should be decided by the General Assembly, not a judge.

"Since at least 2014, the legislature has debated bills advocating for the lawful use of medicinal marijuana in every legislative session," attorney Barry Dunn wrote for the governor's office. "The General Assembly will consider legalizing medicinal marijuana again in the 2018 session. It is solely within the General Assembly's constitutional powers to determine whether to make medicinal marijuana lawful."

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192 US PA: Audit: Pennsylvania Isn't Evaluating Addiction ProgramsThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:65 Added:07/14/2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania state government is not measuring the effectiveness of many of its addiction treatment programs that can be helpful in the fight against the epidemic of heroin and prescription drug overdoses, auditors said Thursday.

The audit launched last year by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recommends that three state agencies -- the departments of Human Services, Corrections and Drug and Alcohol Programs -- do more to assess whether their addiction treatment programs are successful in curing people. It also warns that more money is needed to fund the effort.

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193 US TN: DA: 'Modern-Day Opium Den' Closed In West KnoxvilleWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:32 Added:07/14/2017

Authorities on Wednesday closed a West Knoxville apartment that the Knox County District Attorney General's Office called "a modern-day opium den."

Apartment 3 at 2818 Dayton St. has been the scene of several overdoses - -- one resulting in death -- over the past five months, according to a statement from the District Attorney General's Office.

In the fatal overdose, police believe one of the apartment's residents, Cassandra Deann Canupp, supplied the victim with drugs, according to the statement. The victim died of fentanyl and cocaine intoxication.

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194 US PA: How I Loved And Lost My Fiance - A Heroin AddictWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bellomia, Corin Area:Pennsylvania Lines:109 Added:07/14/2017

Chris and I were texting Dec. 11, 2016, when at 3:50 p.m. he went silent.

I assumed it was because we were arguing. We were always arguing, ever since his addiction had taken over his life. The signs were there: The man who would write beautiful songs on his guitar became sluggish and angry. He wouldn't spend time with the people who lifted him up and instead sneaked out to see those who enabled his addiction. He stopped going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and group therapy.

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195 US NV: Nevada Has A Drug Problem: Shops Are Running Out Of MarijuanaTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:Nevada Lines:141 Added:07/14/2017

Nevada officials have declared a state of emergency over marijuana: There's not enough of it.

Since recreational pot became legal two weeks ago, retail dispensaries have struggled to keep their shelves stocked and say they will soon run out if nothing is done to fix a broken supply chain.

"We didn't know the demand would be this intense," Al Fasano, cofounder of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said Tuesday. "All of a sudden you have like a thousand people at the door.aE&We have to tell people we're limited in our products."

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196US WA: Tacoma Mom Says Baby Accidentally Ate Marijuana Candy OffersWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Pham, Suzanne Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Last year, there were 49 cases of kids under the age of 5 accidentally eating treats with marijuana in them.

TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma mother says her 14-month-old daughter got sick after eating candy with marijuana in it. And now, she wants to warn other parents.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, said the toddler found the candy at a relative's home without anyone knowing. When she went to pick up her daughter, the girl started acting strangely.

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197US TX: Baker Institute Gets $3m For Drug Policy ResearchWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Deam, Jenny Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy has received a $3 million donation to endow a fellow in drug policy to provide objective scientific research in the highly charged political arena of drug addiction, university officials announced Wednesday.

Katharine Neill Harris, who currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship in drug policy at the Baker Institute, will become the Alfred C. Glassell III Fellow in Drug Policy.

The money to fund her new position comes from the Glassell Family Foundation led by Houston philanthropist Alfred C. Glassell III.

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198 US MA: Marijuana Billboard In South Boston Causes StirWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Conti, Katheleen Area:Massachusetts Lines:130 Added:07/14/2017

Marijuana billboard in South Boston called 'insensitive'

The advertisement was from Weedmaps, a California-based company that runs an online marijuana dispensary rating service and sells inventory software to pot shops.

While waiting at a stoplight on East Broadway in South Boston last week, Sheila Greene looked up at a billboard and was stunned. In white letters against a black background, a message read: "States that legalized marijuana had 25% fewer opioid-related deaths."

Greene was bothered by the fact that the advertisement - from Weedmaps, a California-based company that runs an online marijuana dispensary rating service and sells inventory software to pot shops - was placed in a neighborhood hard hit by opioid abuse. "I couldn't believe it was being advertised," she said.

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199 US MD: On Drug Treatment In BaltimoreMon, 10 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Duncan, Ian Area:Maryland Lines:156 Added:07/14/2017

When talking about fighting drug addiction, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh likes to pose a question: "If you had a child who was on drugs, would you treat them in the neighborhood in which they were drug addicted?"

Then she answers, as she did at a news conference last week: "I would think that your answer would be 'no,' you'd put them on a plane to Timbuktu or somewhere."

Pugh has publicly used the formulation twice in recent weeks as she calls for the city to rethink how it works to treat the estimated 7,000 of its 24,000 opioid users who are not currently getting help. She says she agrees with the growing consensus that addiction should be viewed as a health problem rather than a criminal one. But she argues treatment needs to be shifted away from neighborhoods -- where, she says, patients have a worse chance of getting better, and where clinics become magnets for drug dealers.

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200US NV: Nevada Marijuana Stores Are Running Out Of WeedMon, 10 Jul 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Rodriguez, Robert Area:Nevada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Nevada's recreational marijuana supply is drying up.

A lesson there for California?

Nevada is running out of weed -- the legal kind.

About a week after the state legalized the use of recreational pot, the state's 47 licensed marijuana stores are nearly depleted. The unexpected shortage was caused by a bottleneck in granting distribution licenses and legal challenges.

California officials better be watching carefully. Its voters legalized recreational marijuana use in November and come next Jan. 1 you will be legally allowed to buy marijuana in cities where it's allowed.

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