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151 US MA: Northboro Seeks To Ban Medical Marijuana Other Towns Eye OnlyFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:151 Added:04/11/2018

Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana establishments and ways to regulate them.

Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana establishments.

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152US OH: Former U.S. House Speaker To Promote Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Sewell, Dan Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

CINCINNATI -- Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization.

Known as an avid cigarette smoker, the Ohio Republican has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a multistate cannabis company. The company also announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has joined its advisory board.

Boehner says in a statement his position "has evolved" from opposition to legalizing marijuana. He says he believes legalizing marijuana can be helpful to the nation's veterans and as a way to help fight the U.S. opioid drug crisis. He wants to see federally funded research done and to allow Veterans Affairs to offer marijuana as a treatment option.

Boehner also says the move would curtail federal-state conflict on marijuana policies.

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153 US MD: Maryland Medical Examiner's Office Corrects Contracting IssuesWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cohn, Meredith Area:Maryland Lines:45 Added:04/11/2018

The state medical examiner's office, which has been stretched by the opioid overdose epidemic, let some compliance issues slip in recent years, potentially costing the state extra money, according to a routine review by state auditors.

The audit, spanning three and a half years and ending in September, found that the office didn't not follow required competitive bidding processes in purchasing some medical supplies, wasn't properly monitoring mileage charged by vendors to transport bodies and was not properly restricting employee access to the office's payment system.

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154 US: Opioid Addiction Treatment With Medicine Works Best. Why Don'tTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:United States Lines:250 Added:04/10/2018

"By the time I was 17, 18," Nelson Abbott said, "I graduated to heroin."

He tried to stop many times, both by going cold-turkey and tapering off the drugs, but he hated the withdrawal pains and he wasn't really ready to quit. Therapy didn't work out, either. But then his best friend overdosed and died. When Abbott's parents checked him into the Caron Treatment Center in Berks County, he didn't fight.

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155 US OH: Training Teaches Case Workers How To Find Drug ParaphernaliaTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Mester, Alexandra Area:Ohio Lines:98 Added:04/10/2018

Books, CDs, tennis balls, and a box of candy are just some of the places in which drugs, drug paraphernalia, and sexually-explicit photographs are hidden in this scene.

A permanent marker, a hair brush, a tennis ball, a decorative wooden plaque bearing the word "faith." All are seemingly innocuous items in a teenage girl's bedroom.

But each was hiding a secret during the "Hidden in Plain Sight" training offered by Lucas County Children Services and the Drug Abuse Response Team of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office. Dozens of attendees, most of them employees with children services, rifled through the simulated bedroom Tuesday to search for more than 50 hidden items indicative of risky behavior like drug use and sexual activity.

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156US RI: Healing Church Believers Flout Federal Law As They SmokeTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Ellis, Rebecca Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Anne Armstrong, 58, knows exactly how many joints she has smoked at Providence's Roger Williams National Memorial -- 153, all rolled with "kosher" marijuana harvested in the backyard of her West Greenwich home.

As "deaconess" to The Healing Church, a cannabis-centered Catholic sect that boasts about a dozen members, Armstrong believes smoking in the park is a religious obligation, the equivalent to a sip of wine at Communion.

Anointing members with hashish-infused oil and blowing a shofar so it billows marijuana smoke are, likewise, ceremonial duties. (It should be noted that Armstrong refuses to use the word marijuana, which she calls racist slang. She prefers to refer to the plant as cannabis, spice, or hemp.)

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157 US CT: Fourth Legislative Committee Holds Recreational Pot HearingMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:99 Added:04/06/2018

On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be legalized.

The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized, though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the measure.

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158 US PA: Oped: Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed One Foot From PhillyTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Sacks, Andrew B. Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:04/06/2018

As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and helping the sick get relief.

However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.

The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care location.

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159 US PA: A Vancouver Cop Tells Philadelphia Why He Changed His Mind OnTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:108 Added:04/06/2018

At the height of a heroin epidemic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Inspector Bill Spearn -- then a rookie cop -- was assigned to a beat in the heart of the crisis.

It was 1996, and though he had been responding to overdose after overdose in Downtown Eastside, one of Canada's poorest postal codes, Spearn wanted no part of the harm-reduction measures the city was considering to save the lives of people in addiction.

A safe injection site, where drugs could be used under medical supervision, was out of the question: "I thought it would be a big magnet," he told a crowd at Temple University Medical School on Monday night. "I thought it would empower people to use drugs." A few years later, with the debate still raging, he left the neighborhood for another position in the police department.

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160US OR: State Of Oregon Sued To Restrict Commercial MarijuanaWed, 04 Apr 2018
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

SALEM -- Officials in an Oregon county who have tried to restrict commercial marijuana growing are suing the state in federal court, asserting that while pot is legal in Oregon it remains illegal under federal law, which has supremacy.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Medford, escalates a battle between the Josephine County Board of Commissioners and the state over regulating marijuana grows in rural residential areas.

The county had tried to ban commercial pot farming on parcels of 5 acres or less, but the state Land Use Board of Appeals ruled last month on the side of the growers, and put the restrictions on hold.

Now, the county officials are saying the state can't do that because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

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161US LA: Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain, PTSDThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.

HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for people with chronic medical conditions.

A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain and PTSD to the list.

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162 US SC: Ex-Us Attorney Calls For Medical Marijuana ReferendumThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:36 Added:04/05/2018

Former U.S. attorney for South Carolina Bill Nettles is calling for a public referendum on medical marijuana.

Nettles heads Palmetto Medical Cannabis LLC, a group advocating for the legalization of medical cannabis in South Carolina.

"I think it is important that our state Democratic and Republican parties allow primary voters to be heard on the important issue of legalization of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in our state," he said.

Nettles cited polling data showing 78 percent of South Carolinians support the legalized use of marijuana.

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163 US PA: Marijuana Advocate Gets Probation For Pot-Smoking PartyThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:29 Added:04/05/2018

A marijuana advocate who invited hundreds of people to his pot-smoking party at a Philadelphia warehouse has been fined, ordered to perform community service and sentenced to four years' probation.

Philly.com reports that Richard Tamaccio Jr. was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in January to felony drug charges. His lawyer described him as a "true crusader" for marijuana legalization.

Prosecutors say Tamaccio was charged for facilitating the sale of marijuana at the party last April and for possessing about nine pounds of marijuana plants and products at his home.

The city in 2014 made possession of small amounts of the drug punishable only by a citation and a fine, but marijuana sales weren't decriminalized.

Twenty-one other people were also arrested at the party.

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164 US MA: Mass. Pot Business Applications Strong On First Day OfTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:04/03/2018

In just the first day of accepting preliminary applications, the Cannabis Control Commission said 23 companies and entrepreneurs had submitted requests for expedited licensing, and another 167 were in the process after the agency launched its online licensing system Monday.

"Yesterday was a seminal day in the thus-far-brief history of the commission," said Steve Hoffman, the agency's chairman. "There were probably a large number of people that didn't think we'd be ready on April 2 to start accepting applications," but the agency's regulations were in place on time last month and its system worked smoothly, he added.

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165 US AK: Alaska Marijuana Testing Lab Closes, Leaving Only 2 In StateSun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:Alaska Lines:62 Added:04/03/2018

One of only three marijuana testing labs in Alaska has shut down, leaving the state's cannabis growers with only two options for state-mandated testing.

Steep Hill Alaska, of Anchorage, declared in an Instagram post Thursday that the lab is "suspending cannabis testing operations on March 31," the Juneau Empire reported .

The lab said it has to relocate after "Wells Fargo called in the loan on our building." The bank will foreclose on the space if the lab does not move out, according to the post.

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166 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Licensing To Begin MondaySun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:113 Added:04/03/2018

On Monday at noon, decades of debate all come down to this: a click of a computer mouse by a state technology contractor.

With that, the Massachusetts state government's system for legal pot use will blink to life, and businesses can begin applying for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis to adults 21 and older.

The behind-the-scenes milestone will not have an immediate impact on consumers. But it does mark the beginning of a process that regulators expect will lead to the debut of recreational pot sales in July.

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167US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.

Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.

Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.

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168 US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Are Brisk, Problems Are Few InMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Robbins, Gary Area:California Lines:119 Added:04/03/2018

Three months after recreational marijuana went on sale in California, San Diego retailers say business has been brisk and the customer base diverse, including older people who use a private shuttle bus to reach one dispensary.

"There's been a change in the culture," said Will Senn, who operates two Urbn Leaf marijuana stores in San Diego and is about to open a third.

"Cannabis is becoming more accepted. Now that adult-use marijuana is legal, people are giving it a try. The average age of our customers has gone from about 40 to about 50."

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169 US MD: CBD Is Cannabis That Won't Get You High. So Why Are So ManyFri, 30 Mar 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Ramanathan, Lavanya Area:Maryland Lines:162 Added:04/03/2018

In a lowlit room at Joy's Spa in Washington, Dawn Franklin is smoothing a creamy white mask onto Jessica Osorio's face. The mask, she says, is infused with chamomile and sage and aloe vera, plus one ingredient that she still has to explain to her clients: CBD.

An aesthetician, Franklin started working with an Oregon chemist last year to make CBD products for the skin, believing that a little of it swiped onto the face could help repair the ravages of age.

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170 US IL: Synthetic Pot Leaves 2 Dead And Dozens Hospitalized In ChicagoMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Malagon, Elvia Area:Illinois Lines:96 Added:04/03/2018

Two people have died and 56 sickened in the Chicago area and central Illinois after using synthetic pot, popularly known as K2 and Spice, state officials said on Monday.

Over the weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that one person had died after using synthetic cannabinoid products, but on Monday the state agency announced that a second person had also perished. Generally, those sickened by the drug have been hospitalized for internal bleeding as well as blood coming from the ears, eyes and mouth.

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171 US: Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid PrescriptionsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Ritter, Malcolm Area:United States Lines:81 Added:04/03/2018

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.

The new studies don't directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids. Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.

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172US CA: Cheech And Chong Discuss 40-Year-Old Marijuana MovieSun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

What makes a 40-year-old marijuana movie relevant? Cheech and Chong have an answer.

When Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their groundbreaking movie "Up in Smoke" 40 years ago, marijuana and the culture surrounding it were much different. People smoked "Mexican brick weed," and often had to search high and low to "score a lid" because it was illegal.

Nowadays, consumers vape, eat and smoke cannabis, which is much stronger and comes in so many strains that someone mimicked the periodic table to keep track of them all. And, of course, cannabis is legal in some form in much of the country.

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173 US SC: Opioid Alternative Or Gateway To Legal Pot?Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:121 Added:04/03/2018

Medical marijuana cleared a key committee on Thursday and headed to the floor of the S.C. Senate.

But the 8-6 vote by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee came as enforcement leaders are hardening their opposition, saying it is another step toward legalized recreational marijuana in the Palmetto State.

"That's what we've seen in every state," State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel told The State after the committee vote. "There's not a state that hasn't (gone) in steps. And we've seen our state go through the same steps. From CDB oil to hemp to medical marijuana to recreational marijuana. And that's what we've seen in every state . So I have no reason to think its going to be any different in ours."

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174 US IL: 3 Arrested For Selling Synthetic Marijuana Linked To DeathsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:33 Added:04/02/2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The owner of a Chicago convenience store and two employees have been charged with selling synthetic marijuana that has been linked to two deaths.

Federal prosecutors have charged 48-year-old Fouad Masoud and 44-year-old Jad Allah, both of suburban Justice, and 44-year-old Adil Khan Mohammed of Chicago with conspiring to distribute and sell a controlled substance. Federal prosecutors say U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents made undercover buys of the synthetic cannabinoids at Masoud's West Side Chicago store.

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175 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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176 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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177 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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178 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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179 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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180 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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181 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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182US 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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183 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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184US 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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185 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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186 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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187US 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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188 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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189US 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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190US 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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191 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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192 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."

[continues 502 words]

193 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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194 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.

[continues 438 words]

195 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.

[continues 411 words]

196US 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.

[continues 417 words]

197 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.

[continues 678 words]

198 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.

[continues 1074 words]

199 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.

[continues 426 words]

200 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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