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151 US: Trump Officials Study Death Penalty For Drug Dealers In OpioidFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Zezima, Katie Area:United States Lines:127 Added:03/09/2018

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is studying new policy that could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers, according to people with knowledge of the discussions, a sign that the White House wants to make a strong statement in addressing the opioid crisis.

President Donald Trump last week suggested executing drug dealers as a way to make a dent in opioid addiction. Opioids killed nearly 64,000 people in 2016, and the crisis is straining local health and emergency services.

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152 US CA: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Kratom Hits San Diego AreaSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Sisson, Paul Area:California Lines:115 Added:03/08/2018

A San Diego County resident is among 40 people nationwide to become infected with salmonella bacteria linked to kratom, the controversial tropical herb that many have begun using to treat opioid addiction despite an import ban from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, a 44-year-old, whose gender and city of residence were not released, became ill in January.

Testing performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that symptoms were caused by the same subspecies of the salmonella bacteria that has now produced cases in 27 states.

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153 US: Oped: Balance On Cannabis May Lead To Answers On OpioidsSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Hill, Kevin P. Area:United States Lines:89 Added:03/08/2018

The United States is the midst of an opioid crisis. Ninety Americans die each day from opioid overdoses on prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl, and Massachusetts has not been spared. Many states are using the best available tools to battle the crisis, with an eye on developing better science and policy to put an end to the crisis. As more states implement either medical or legalized recreational cannabis policies, they should consider whether cannabis can play a role in the opioid crisis.

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154 US PA: Your Taxes Pale Beside What Marijuana Businesses PaySat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:135 Added:03/08/2018

You think your taxes are high?

For medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, they can be stratospheric. Cannabis retailers face an effective tax rate of up to 85 percent, and that won't be reduced by the new tax law.

Most mainstream businesses pay effective tax rates of about 15 percent to 30 percent.

"It's a burden," said Chris Visco, co-owner of TerraVida Holistic Centers, which opened one of Pennsylvania's first medicinal cannabis shops on Feb. 17 in Sellersville. "People think that we're getting rich. It's really not the case. The profit margins are going to be really narrow after taxes. And you have to still pay local and state taxes."

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155 US RI: Proposed Law Could Define Drug-Induced Homicide As MurderFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Rhode Island Lines:30 Added:03/05/2018

PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced legislation that could have drug dealers who sell substances that lead to a fatal overdose facing life in prison.

Current law states any person convicted in the sale, delivery, or distribution of a controlled substance to a minor who overdoses could face a life sentence.

The new proposal introduced by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, and Senator Hanna Gallo would include victims of any age.

If passed, the legislation would be named ''Kristen's Law,'' in honor of Kristen Coutu. The 29-year-old was found dead in her car after overdosing on fentanyl in 2014.

Aaron Andrade allegedly sold the drug to Coutu, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 to serve.

[end]

156 US PA: Growing Pains for Pa. Marijuana ProgramFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:68 Added:03/05/2018

Too much demand. Not enough supply.

Less than two weeks after it launched, Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is a victim of its own success.

The two open marijuana dispensaries in the Philadelphia region reported Friday they had sold out of most medicines and might not be restocked until after March 15.

"We have no inventory," said Chris Visco, co-owner of the TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville, Bucks County. "We took a shipment on Wednesday. On Thursday we had the biggest sales day we've ever had. By this morning, all we had left were a handful of disposable vape pens," a type of electronic cigarette loaded with hash oil.

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157 US IL: Bipartisan Effort Pushing To Legalize Recreational MarijuanaFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Griffin, Jake Area:Illinois Lines:63 Added:03/05/2018

Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use throughout the state is being revised to gain more bipartisan support in an effort to secure a veto-proof majority.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy and state Sen. Heather Steans introduced the bills last year, but the Chicago Democrats are rewriting some aspects to make the legislation more attractive to Republican counterparts.

Cassidy and Skillicorn met Friday with the Daily Herald editorial board to discuss the legislation.

Cassidy said having Republican support for the legislation would help get the law implemented this year since Gov. Bruce Rauner has signaled he would veto such a bill. Democrats have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but would need at least five Republicans in the House to override a gubernatorial veto even if every Democrat supported the bill.

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158 US OH: Addiction Center Director Sentenced To Seven Years ForThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Futty, John Area:Ohio Lines:57 Added:03/05/2018

A Whitehall man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $25,000 in restitution for a series of crimes related to his proposal to create a residential treatment center for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts on the Near East Side of Columbus.

Johnny R. Marcum, 47, of Pierce Avenue, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of identity fraud, four counts of passing bad checks, one count of forgery, two counts of theft and one count of tampering with records.

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159 US FL: Ex-DEA Chief Blasts White-Collar PushersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Cox, Billy Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:03/05/2018

SARASOTA - When the Drug Enforcement Administration was formed in 1973, roughly 2,000 Americans were dying from overdoses each week, largely from heroin injections. In 2016 alone, thanks to a deregulated pharmaceutical industry, fatal overdoses -- 80 percent opioid related - -- claimed 63,000 lives.

Or, as Peter Bensinger pointed out Thursday morning, opium-derived drugs have exacted a higher death toll in a single year than nearly two decades of fighting in the Vietnam War.

Appointed by President Ford in 1976 to become the nation's second DEA director, Bensinger detailed the history of America's relationship with the poppy to a Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning crowd gathered at First United Methodist Church. As the leading cause of death for U.S. residents under 50, the toll from opioids and its synthetic counterparts today would've been unimaginable to Bensinger when he was the nation's top drug cop.

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160 US MA: Trafficking Will Disqualify Potential Pot Industry WorkersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:119 Added:03/05/2018

The state Cannabis Control Commission split 3-2 Wednesday over whether to automatically disqualify people with trafficking convictions from working with legal marijuana.

People with a prior conviction for trafficking in drugs other than marijuana will be barred from working in jobs that include access to the plant in the newly legal marijuana industry, a decision made after about an hour of tense debate among state pot regulators.

The Cannabis Control Commission split 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon over whether to automatically disqualify people with trafficking convictions from working with marijuana, adding those convictions to a list of automatically disqualifying issues like being registered as a sex offender, open or unresolved criminal proceedings, violent felony convictions, and felony convictions involving drugs other than marijuana.

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161 US MD: No Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Harford YetThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Anderson, David Area:Maryland Lines:189 Added:03/05/2018

No medical marijuana dispensaries have come to Harford County yet, but two companies have applied for county government approval to open their respective businesses in Joppa and Street, plus a dispensary has already opened just across the Susquehanna River in Perryville.

Dispensaries must have a state license before they open and two dispensaries are allowed in each of Maryland's 47 state Senate districts.

"Certainly any business that comes to Harford County has to meet all of our local requirements, and these businesses will be held to that standard, as any other," county government spokesperson Cindy Mumby said in a recent interview.

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162 US IL: Republicans Signing On To Bills To Legalize RecreationalFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Griffin, Jake Area:Illinois Lines:73 Added:03/02/2018

East Dundee Republican state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, left, has co-sponsored a bill introduced by Chicago Democratic state Rep. Kelly Cassidy to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state.

Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use throughout the state is being revised to gain more bipartisan support in an effort to secure a veto-proof majority.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy and state Sen. Heather Steans introduced the bills last year, but the Chicago Democrats are rewriting some aspects to make the legislation more attractive to Republican counterparts.

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163 US IL: Legal Marijuana Question A Step Closer To Being On NovemberThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Garcia, Monique Area:Illinois Lines:63 Added:03/01/2018

The state Senate on Thursday voted to ask on the November ballot whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized and taxed in Illinois.

The ballot question would be only advisory, so even if voters approve, lawmakers still would have to act.

Sponsoring Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said it is important to poll the public because some lawmakers are already working to legalize recreational marijuana use for people over 21. He noted that in most states that allow recreational use, it was done by voters expressing support in the ballot box.

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164 US MA: State Shuts Down Retail Sales At Medical Marijuana Shops InTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:McGuinness, Dylan Area:Massachusetts Lines:58 Added:03/01/2018

The state Department of Public Health has suspended retail sales of medical marijuana products at Healthy Pharms Inc. until further notice after a sample tested positive for a pesticide, officials said Monday.

The company, which has retail locations in Cambridge and Georgetown, notified the state on Friday that a sample batch of marijuana was found to contain bifenthrin, a pesticide commonly used in food products, the Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Registered marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts are prohibited from using pesticides on marijuana grown in their facilities, officials said. Healthy Pharms said none of the marijuana from the contaminated batch was sold to the public.

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165 US MA: Marijuana Regulators Strike Licensing CompromiseTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:133 Added:03/01/2018

State regulators voted Monday to limit the roll-out of recreational marijuana sales in July, postponing licensing of home delivery services and pot lounges while allowing retail pot shops and their suppliers to open in July as scheduled.

The Cannabis Control Commission had been under pressure to delay delivery and "social consumption" operations from Governor Charlie Baker and other political figures, law enforcement officials, and medical marijuana business interests, who had argued the nascent agency was trying to do too much at the outset and would struggle to oversee so many different types of operations.

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166 US PA: Hemp Farming To Expand Exponentially In Pa.Mon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:31 Added:03/01/2018

The amount of industrial hemp cultivated in Pennsylvania is about to grow significantly.

The Department of Agriculture this month approved 39 research projects that will allow cultivation of about 1,000 acres of marijuana's non-psychoactive cousin. Last year, 14 growers produced a total of 36 acres of hemp statewide.

In the southeastern region of the state, permission to grow hemp was granted to farmers in Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, and Montgomery Counties. Those cultivators will be required to pay a $2,000 permit fee. After the paperwork has cleared, the state Bureau of Plant Industry will submit orders for hemp seed to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency which must approve importation of the seed into the U.S.

Industrial hemp is grown for fiber and seed. It must maintain a concentration of the psychoactive compound THC below the 0.3 percent legal threshold.

[end]

167 US PA: Pa. Medical Marijuana Debuts With High Prices And Lots OfMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:88 Added:02/28/2018

Limited quantities, sticker shock, and some mislabeled product.

The first week of medical marijuana sales in Pennsylvania was marked by these birthing pains. On the whole, retailers and the Department of Health said the launch of the nascent industry - expected to grow into one of the nation's largest markets - had largely gone "as hoped."

"We've been working to get medicines to patients as quickly as we can," said department spokeswoman April Hutcheson. "To see that come to fruition is a big win for the moms with sick children and all the patients who needed this medication."

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168 US PA: Millennials Bear The Brunt Of Pa. Marijuana ArrestsMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Goldstein, Chris Area:Pennsylvania Lines:103 Added:02/28/2018

Philadelphia is evolving into a safe haven for cannabis consumers even as arrests increase across Pennsylvania. Newly-elected District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Thursday that he would drop any marijuana possession cases brought to the court by police.

A 2014 decriminalization ordinance allowing tickets caused common weed arrests to decline by more than 85 percent. Still, I reported last year that hundreds of racially disparate cases were still being brought to Philly courts each year for less than 30 grams of buds.

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169 US MD: Legalizing Marijuana, Other Pot Proposals Await Action InMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Dresser, Michael Area:Maryland Lines:131 Added:02/28/2018

Pot is hot for Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis this year.

The General Assembly is considering more than two dozen bills on marijuana -- or cannabis, as the substance is called when used as a medicine.

For marijuana enthusiasts, full legalization for recreational purposes is at the top of the wish list. Bills in both the House and the Senate would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to replace prohibition with a system of regulated sales and taxation.

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170 US PA: Busiest Medical Marijuana Dispensary In N.J. Is In TinyFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:101 Added:02/28/2018

The medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Camden County in September 2015 is the busiest of the five that have opened in New Jersey since the program began seven years ago, according to a Department of Health annual report.

Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center, in an industrial park in tiny Bellmawr, served 2,762 patients and sold nearly 885 pounds of cannabis in 2016, the report said. The state had nearly 10,800 registered patients as of the end of last year.

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171 US KY: Medical Marijuana In Kentucky: Lexington Council Taking AMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Musgrave, Beth Area:Kentucky Lines:114 Added:02/28/2018

Lexington's city council will likely take its first vote Tuesday on a resolution supporting state legislation that would make medical marijuana legal in Kentucky.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council began debate on the issue during a Thursday council meeting after half a dozen people who support making marijuana legal for those with a prescription spoke at the meeting. The council will likely debate the issue during a Tuesday work session and may take its first vote during a specially-called council meeting at 5 p.m.

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172 US CT: Medicinal Marijuana Urged To Help Combat Deadly OpioidMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Hladky, Gregory B. Area:Connecticut Lines:92 Added:02/28/2018

People who were addicted to opioids and those who lost loved ones to opioid overdoses offered emotional testimony Monday urging state officials to approve medical marijuana as an alternative painkiller that could help halt Connecticut's deadly opioid epidemic.

"My passion and drive to achieve this is fueled by my personal experience battling pharmaceutical drug addiction solely with the use of cannabis," Cody Roberts of Seymour told the state Board of Physicians, which is charged with approving conditions for the state's medical marijuana program. Roberts testified he's lost eight friends in the past year to opioid overdoses, and has been addicted himself.

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173 US MA: Worcester Zoning Regs Proposed For Marijuana EstablishmentsSun, 25 Feb 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Kotsopoulos, Nick Area:Massachusetts Lines:123 Added:02/27/2018

WORCESTER - City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. wants to ban recreational marijuana retail stores, cultivators, manufacturers and related establishments from all residential-zoned areas and preclude them from being located within 500 feet of schools, public parks, playgrounds, licensed day care centers and public libraries.

Under zoning amendments being recommended by Mr. Augustus, recreational marijuana establishments would only be allowed by special permit in areas zoned for manufacturing and business uses, as well as in Institutional-Hospital zones and in the Airport zone, which includes the industrial park next to Worcester Regional Airport.

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174 US MD: Editorial: It's Not Whether Maryland Will Legalize MarijuanaTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:96 Added:02/27/2018

There isn't a better reader of the tea lives in Annapolis than Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. He's been saying for a couple of years now that legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland -- something that seemed like a far-out idea when former Del. Heather Mizeur made it a central plank of her 2014 gubernatorial campaign -- is inevitable. We're inclined to believe him. Public attitudes on the drug have shifted rapidly in recent years, and it is now legal for recreational use in nine states and (sort of) Washington, D.C. The most recent polls on the issue report that about 60 percent of Maryland voters support legalization. At least four of the seven Democrats running to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan have voiced support for some form of it. But legalization still may not happen as fast as proponents might like.

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175 US PA: Rothman Institute In Philly Will Study Medical Marijuana ForThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:93 Added:02/26/2018

The Rothman Institute at Jefferson, one of the nation's largest orthopedic practices, announced Thursday it would collaborate on a study to investigate the benefits of medical marijuana for patients suffering from chronic and acute pain.

Rothman will work with Franklin BioScience, a Colorado-based cannabis grower and retailer. Franklin BioScience expects to open a medical marijuana dispensary in late-March called Beyond Hello in Bristol Township, Bucks County.

"There's a link between access to cannabis and reduced opioid overdoses," said physician Ari Greis, a Rothman pain management specialist who will oversee the research. "We're all being cautiously optimistic that it could be helpful to some of our patients. Because we're leaders in orthopedic medicine, we feel this is an opportunity we can't pass up."

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176 US IL: Illinois Voters Could Be Asked In November About LegalizingThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Lukitsch, Bill Area:Illinois Lines:67 Added:02/26/2018

Illinois voters could get a say whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana if lawmakers decide to put the question on November ballots.

A state Senate committee advanced the idea on Wednesday, but a ballot question would be non-binding. That means it would work like a statewide public opinion poll and wouldn't legalize marijuana even if a majority of voters approve. Lawmakers who want to legalize the drug could get a political boost, though, if voters favor it.

State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said putting the matter to a vote would "bring the public into the debate" and "give them an opportunity to register their opinion" as lawmakers debate the idea in Springfield.

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177 US MA: Top Cannabis Regulator: Massachusetts Should ConsiderThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:153 Added:02/26/2018

Massachusetts should consider creating a state-run bank to serve recreational marijuana companies, the state's top cannabis official suggested Wednesday, warning that an all-cash industry would create security risks and regulatory headaches.

With recreational pot sales scheduled to begin in July, Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steve Hoffman said no local banks or credit unions have committed to providing financial services to recreational marijuana shops and other licensed cannabis operations, wary they will run afoul of federal restrictions.

"There's a high degree of urgency, so it's something we need to start talking about," Hoffman said in an interview. "Unfortunately, it's a real possibility" that the recreational industry won't have access to any banking services, he said. "We're working as hard as we can to preempt that, but we can't force any bank or credit union to service this industry."

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178US LA: One Of Louisiana's 1st Medical Marijuana Pharmacies Plans ToWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Bacon-Blood, Littice Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

The Rx Greenhouse, one of the state's first marijuana pharmacy is looking to open in Metairie. This rendering is a picture of the pharmacy's waiting area.

One of the state's first marijuana pharmacies is looking to open in Metairie nearly two years after Louisiana lawmakers authorized the use of medical marijuana for certain conditions.

The Rx Greenhouse last month got preliminary approval from the state Pharmacy Board and plans to be operational by Sept. 1, according to CEO Dr. Sajal Roy, who is also a pharmacist.

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179 US SC: SC Lawmaker Proposes Cannabis Oil For Some InmatesWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Schechter, Maayan Area:South Carolina Lines:46 Added:02/23/2018

South Carolina could allow prison inmates with physical or mental-health issues to be treated with cannabidiol oil, an active ingredient found in marijuana plants.

The S.C. House budget-writing committee OK'd an amendment Tuesday that would authorize the S.C. Department of Corrections to start a pilot program to study the effects of cannabidiol oil use on inmates.

South Carolina already has a law -- Julian's Law -- that allows patients with certain forms of epilepsy to use cannabidiol oil.

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180US CA: Auditor: Continue Marijuana Program Despite 'Multiple' FlawsWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

The state auditor says Ohio should continue its medical marijuana program despite "multiple" flaws in selecting grower applicants.

Republican Auditor David Yost says the program's flaws should be handled by administrative appeals or lawsuits.

At issue is the Department of Commerce's admission last week that a scoring error led to a company's inadvertent exclusion from the proposed list of the dozen big marijuana growers in Ohio's new program.

The agency says it identified the mistake after Yost expressed concern that two employees had complete access to the scoring data.

The agency offered to put the program on hold. Yost said in Wednesday's letter it's too late for that. He urged the agency to get advice from the Ohio Attorney General.

[end]

181 US TX: Pete Sessions At Opioid Addiction Summit Talks MarijuanaTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Caplan, Jeff Area:Texas Lines:148 Added:02/23/2018

Congressman Pete Sessions used a speech to a group of doctors and other healthcare providers at an opioid epidemic summit Tuesday to suggest that marijuana is the gateway to addiction and as a campaign against the medical and recreational legalization movement.

The Republican from Dallas called the rising number of deaths from opioid overdose a "national crisis" and implored those on the front lines of the fight, the scientific and medical communities, he said, to provide solutions he can bring to Congress, saying he will get the appropriate funding added to next month's budget bill.

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182 US MD: Column: Rodricks: Baltimore Should Call Off The War On DrugsTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Rodricks, Dan Area:Maryland Lines:122 Added:02/23/2018

Would Baltimore be better off if we called off the war on drugs? Yes. There would almost certainly be less violence here. The downside: Barring a sudden and significant change in the city's economic base that could lead to more jobs for men who have been involved in the illegal narcotics trade, we would still have too many neighborhoods with open-air drug markets.

But first things first. Let's deal with the violence.

The violence remains Baltimore's most immediate and pressing problem; we are internationally known for it.

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183 US PA: Tears Of Joy At Opening Of Bucks County Medical MarijuanaSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Terruso, Julia Area:Pennsylvania Lines:128 Added:02/22/2018

Robert Consulmagno walked into TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and left half an hour later feeling hopeful for the first time in a while.

"Help is on the way," Consulmagno said, lifting his purchase – a vape pen and cartridge of 500 mg of "Keystone Kush" – to applause from dispensary staff. "I've been waiting a long time for this."

Consulmagno, a disabled Marine veteran who suffers from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, was the first person to buy medical marijuana from TerraVida, one of two dispensaries to open in the Philadelphia area Saturday. The other, Keystone Shops, is in Devon. Pennsylvania's first dispensary opened Thursday in Butler, followed by others in Pittsburgh, Bethlehem, and Enola on Friday.

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184US MN: Minnesota's Marijuana Moment: Why To Legalize, By Someone WhoSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Scott, Paul John Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

With decriminalization advancing coast to coast, legalized pot appears on its way, and Minnesota will light up the debate this year. Change is overdue.

I don't smoke marijuana. There are secret purchases required, plus the learning of code, dealer etiquette, dosing expertise, exotic strains, the latest artisanal delivery systems, and it all sounds way too complicated.

Also, because it's easy to forget this detail, pot is illegal.

But even if pot were decriminalized tomorrow - a proposal on the table at the State Capitol - the chances of my racing out to score some "Chronicles of Narnia" and then heading home to roll up a fatty are, well, slim. Unlike Bill Clinton, the one time I did blaze up, over 20 years ago, I inhaled quite deeply enough to find the effect unpleasant. Some of us have all the feelings of alienation and existential weirdness you could ask for, thank you very much.

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185 US AZ: PUB LTE: A Real SolutionSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:East Valley Tribune (AZ) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Arizona Lines:26 Added:02/22/2018

Thanks for publishing Kathy Inman's outstanding letter: "Marijuana Solution" (Feb. 11). I'd like to add that about seven years ago before and after my hip-replacement surgery, I was taking about six Vicodin tablets every day.Now, thanks to medical marijuana, I take no pain pills.

Vicodin can and does kill thousands of people every year. Cannabis, on the other hand, has never killed anyone. For those who oppose cannabis use don't buy it. Don't buy it. Don't grow it and don't use it. Period.

Kirk Muse

Mesa

[end]

186 US HI: Illegal Marijuana Sales Alleged At ExpoSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:118 Added:02/22/2018

The state Narcotics Enforcement Division is investigating allegations of illegal activity at last weekend's Hawaii Cannabis Expo, where some vendors openly distributed cannabis seeds and other products.

Most of the more than 100 vendors, including all three of Oahu's legal medical marijuana dispensaries, were not distributing products illegally. But some were straddling the line of recreational use - including a number of exhibitors "giving away" seeds by donation.

The state Department of Health notified the attorney general's office and law enforcement about possible illegal sales at the event and is "concerned about the allegations," DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

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187 US CA: California Police Are Watching Volunteers Get High OnFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Hill, Crystal Area:California Lines:77 Added:02/16/2018

Now that marijuana is legal in California, people don't have to hide their marijuana use -- in fact, some are smoking it right in officers' faces.

But these pot smokers aren't being brazen. They're actually helping police better detect impaired drivers on the road, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Glendale police Officer Bryan Duncan told the news station that about 75 percent of the DUI arrests he makes these days are drug impaired -- "more cannabis than alcohol."

A group of smokers recently gathered at a hotel where they were first given field sobriety tests, and then allowed to start smoking marijuana, Inside Edition reported. They later took sobriety tests for a second time to judge how the drug affected their mental and motor skill, the news outlet said.

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188 US CT: Public Hearing On Legalizing Recreational MarijuanaFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:70 Added:02/16/2018

In a change from the past, the legislature's general law committee will hold a public hearing on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana.

In a change from the past, the legislature's general law committee will hold a public hearing on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana. (Getty Images)

In a switch from the past, the legislature's general law committee will hold a public hearing on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana.

Traditionally, committees such as public health and judiciary have had jurisdiction over the issue. But this year, legislators said the issue is being routed through the general law committee under its new House co-chairman, Rep. Michael D'Agostino, a Democrat who is running for attorney general.

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189 US PA: Column: Does Anyone Care That 'Safe Injection Sites' AreFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bykofsky, Stu Area:Pennsylvania Lines:91 Added:02/16/2018

Thank you, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, for giving me cover so I don't wind up being painted as the "worst person in the world," the label Keith Olbermann used on his TV show to hang on people he didn't like.

I have been silent as the opioid epidemic raged because I had no clear-cut solution. The debate currently swirls around the idea of city-approved "safe injection sites," more formally known as CUES -- comprehensive user engagement sites.

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190US FL: Medical Marijuana May Be Legal, But Patients Still Go WithoutSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Koh, Elizabeth Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2018

Seth and Danielle Hyman with their daughter Rebecca 8, of Weston, are seeking to have a strain of marijuana legalized to help prevent seizures in their daughter, Rebecca, in 2014. Despite the legalization of medical marijuana, Seth Hyman said the drug is still difficult to get for is daughter. [Miami Herald]

When Seth Hyman first began to buy medical marijuana in Florida for his 12-year-old daughter last year, he hoped it would be the answer to fixing her life-threatening seizures.

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191 US HI: Hawaii Cannabis Expo Vendors Capitalize On Budding PotSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:115 Added:02/15/2018

Hydroponic systems to grow your own pot, an on-site bud trimming school and hand-blown glass pipe demonstrations are among the mix of exhibitors at this weekend's Hawaii Cannabis Expo.

Drew Gennuso, owner of Trim Ready Hawaii, showed Ari Medina how to trim legal hemp, which looks like cannabis, Friday at the Hawaii Cannabis Expo at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.

Hydroponic systems to grow your own pot, an on-site bud trimming school and hand-blown glass pipe demonstrations are among the mix of exhibitors at this weekend's Hawaii Cannabis Expo.

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192 US DE: Marijuana Legalization In Delaware Facing Staunch OppositionThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Chaseae, Randall Area:Delaware Lines:87 Added:02/15/2018

DOVER, Del. -- A task force studying issues surrounding marijuana legalization in Delaware is wrapping up its work, but it remains unclear whether there is enough support among state lawmakers to legalize recreational pot use.

The task force issued a draft report Wednesday and plans to present a final report Feb. 28.

Rep. Helene Keeley, a Wilmington Democrat who is co-chair of the task force and chief sponsor of a stalled legalization bill, said the bill would be amended to address some of the concerns raised during task-force meetings. The panel has discussed a variety of issues, including law-enforcement concerns, taxation and banking, consumer safety, and local authority and control.

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193US CO: Booze More Likely To Damage Brain Than Pot: StudyThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Magness, Josh Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2018

It's a common stereotype that people who smoke weed are a bit foggy-headed and missing a few brain cells.

But a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that alcohol is much more damaging to your brain than marijuana. In fact, the study - which was published in the journal Addiction - suggests that weed use doesn't seem to alter the structure of a person's brain at all.

Kent Hutchison, a co-author of the study, told Medical News Today that he wanted to examine what effect pot has on a person's brain because there isn't a conclusive answer to the question.

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194 US MA: Healey, Legislators Pile On Cannabis CommissionThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:82 Added:02/15/2018

Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this summer.

In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.

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195 US CT: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Would Be Costly To State AndThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:86 Added:02/15/2018

Opponents of recreational marijuana legalization in Connecticut argued Thursday it would cost the state more than it would collect in tax revenue.

Legalization would cost the state $216 million in 2020, "far outweighing even the rosiest tax projections," a report released Thursday by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a group dedicated to stopping the legalization of marijuana, says.

"Legislators are scrambling to find additional revenue," Bo Huhn, a legalization opponent, said during a Thursday morning press conference at the state Capitol complex. "But if you look at all the costs, you will find not only will we not make much, but that you lose money on the deal.''

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196 US CA: Berkeley Declares Itself A Sanctuary City For RecreationalWed, 14 Feb 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Parvini, Sarah Area:California Lines:74 Added:02/14/2018

Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of its kind.

The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.

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197US MN: Minnesota State Patrol Making More Large Pot BustsTue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Harlow, Tim Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:02/13/2018

Latest stops in northwestern Minnesota show surge of drug traffic into the state.

It seemed like an innocuous driving violation: A woman was motoring through Otter Tail County in northwestern Minnesota with an obstructed license plate. Then the observant state trooper discovered she was sitting on packages of marijuana.

Troopers seized more than 300 pounds of the weed during the stop last Friday, the latest of several large pot busts the State Patrol has made in the past few weeks and a sign that the surge of large quantities of pot and illegal drugs into Minnesota is continuing.

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198 US MD: Baltimore Police Corruption Trial Reveals Deep Reach Of City'sTue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Marbella, Jean Area:Maryland Lines:219 Added:02/13/2018

One target drove a Mercedes and lived in a waterfront condo on Boston Street; another was homeless, essentially living out of a storage unit where he kept his money balled up in a sock. One lived with his extended family in a house he bought with a lead poisoning settlement; yet another had a half-million-dollar home on two acres of land in Westminster.

The circumstances of the people who were targeted for robbery by the Baltimore Police's Gun Trace Task Force ranged widely, according to witnesses in the federal trial of two of its former members. The sums allegedly taken went from three figures up to six.

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199 US FL: Medical Marijuana Is Legal. But How Should Schools Handle It?Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Travis, Scott Area:Florida Lines:43 Added:02/13/2018

Broward County Schools are hashing out plans for dealing with medical marijuana on campus.

Under a proposed policy, students wouldn't be allowed to carry pot and it could not be stored on campus. But a student's parent or caregiver could bring it to school and administer it if the child has the proper medical approval.

School staff would be not be allowed to handle it.

Pot use has long been banned on school campuses, but Florida voters legalized it for medical purposes in 2016. The state Legislature last year required schools to come up with a policy on dealing with it.

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200 US PA: Column: Time For The Hard Sell On Safe Injection SitesTue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Newall, Mike Area:Pennsylvania Lines:116 Added:02/13/2018

Three weeks ago, after Philadelphia announced that it would encourage the opening of a safe injection site, I praised the decision as a bold kind of leadership. It showed that the city was stepping on the national stage in the middle of a life-and-death catastrophe.

I still think that. Now the city has to sell it.

Sure, it's only been three weeks. But in the absence of an immediate city PR strategy for saving lives - it feels funny even writing that - you can feel myths proliferating. The city cannot simply react to the discourse. It must help lead it.

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