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151 US PA: Pa. Regulators Reverse Course Medical Marijuana Won't StopFri, 12 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:77 Added:01/12/2018

Pennsylvania will no longer provide the names of medical marijuana patients to law enforcement agencies.

The state Department of Health made the announcement late Friday afternoon in the wake of an Inquirer and Daily News story that called attention to the fact that marijuana patients would not be able to buy firearms.

The department also called for the federal government to reclassify marijuana, essentially demanding that it legalize cannabis on a national level. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration considers all forms of the plant to be "without any accepted medical use," "highly addictive," and on par with LSD and heroin. Last week U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed Obama-era policies and said federal prosecutors had the discretion to crack down on participants in state-legal marijuana programs.

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152US CA: Sacramento Leads State In Number Of Retail Marijuana ShopsThu, 11 Jan 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/11/2018

Sacramento has more retail cannabis shops than any other city in California, which is the largest retail marijuana market in the country.

According to recent records from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, Sacramento has 15 dispensaries licensed to sell recreational weed to adults 21 and over, followed by San Diego with 13, San Francisco with nine and Cathedral City with eight.

These figures will change as the bureau continues to process license applications. Dispensaries in some places, notably Los Angeles and San Francisco, lagged in the application process because local officials did not approve their own regulations as early as Sacramento and other cities.

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153 US IL: Parents File Suit To Allow Daughter To Use Medical MarijuanaThu, 11 Jan 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Robert Area:Illinois Lines:122 Added:01/11/2018

In a case that could have far-reaching implications, parents of an elementary school student who has leukemia are suing a Schaumburg-based school district and the state of Illinois for the right for her to take medical marijuana at school.

Plaintiffs identified only as J.S. and M.S., parents of A.S., filed suit Wednesday claiming that the state's ban on taking the drug at school is unconstitutional because it denies the right to due process and violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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154 US: Study: Legal Marijuana Could Generate More Than $132b In FederalWed, 10 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Zezima, Katie Area:United States Lines:102 Added:01/10/2018

Legalizing marijuana nationwide would create at least $132 billion in tax revenue and more than a million new jobs across the United States in the next decade, according to a new study.

New Frontier Data, a data analytics firm focused on the cannabis industry, forecasts that if legalized on the federal level, the marijuana industry could create an entirely new tax revenue stream for the government, generating millions of dollars in sales tax and payroll deductions.

''When there are budget deficits and the like, everybody wants to know where is there an additional revenue stream, and one of the most logical places is to go after cannabis and cannabis taxes,'' said Beau Whitney, a senior economist at New Frontier Data.

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155 US CA: LTE: California Will Regret Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Burnham, Ellen L. Area:California Lines:46 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: The commercial interests driving the rapid legalization of marijuana in California call to mind the playbook of Big Tobacco. ("For marijuana users, it's high times as California makes recreational use legal," Jan. 2)

Decades passed and millions of lives were harmed before the adverse impact of cigarettes was acknowledged. During that time, Big Tobacco stifled government investigation of tobacco's potential harm while manipulating their product's addictive properties and marketing to children.

Since the liberalization of marijuana laws in Colorado, more people use marijuana than ever before, and many have or will become addicted. Use of healthcare resources for marijuana-associated illnesses has also increased here.

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156 US CA: PUB LTE: Cannabis Concerns Apply Equally To AlcoholWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Bigelow, Bert Area:California Lines:36 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: The three letters you published in "California moves into its marijuana future on Jan. 1. Some readers are not eager to make the leap" stated the following concerns about marijuana use, most of which apply equally to alcohol.

Law enforcement does not have adequate test criteria for driving under the influence. While there is no blood-alcohol test for pot, police have many other field sobriety tests, including "walking the line," reciting the alphabet backward and the "eye and penlight test." A driver may pass the 0.08% blood alcohol content test and still be arrested for DUI if he or she drives erratically or exhibits slurred speech or other cognitive difficulties.

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157 US CA: PUB LTE: Criminal Justice Reform Is Long OverdueWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Veenhuizen, Melissa Area:California Lines:28 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: For far too long, our poor, working class and communities of color have been suffering due to unjust criminal persecution for minor offenses like possession of marijuana.

The time for criminal justice reform is long overdue. We ought to divert money from prisons into education and drug recovery programs.

What happened in Portugal after it decriminalized drugs compared with the U.S. when Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton fought their war on drugs is incredibly telling. We need to change our way of thinking and get back to helping our communities, our brothers and sisters, succeed and thrive in this country.

Melissa Veenhuizen, Long Beach


158 US CA: For Marijuana Users, It's High Times As California MakesTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Gerber, Marisa Area:California Lines:173 Added:01/07/2018

"Groove on! Groove on!" blared from speakers outside a gray warehouse in Santa Ana. Inside, a line of 60 people snaked through the shop, waiting to be helped by a budtender.

"We were bombarded!" said Robert Taft Jr., founder of the marijuana dispensary 420 Central.

When the shop opened at 7 a.m. Monday -- Day 1 of legal recreational pot sales in California -- a handful of people had already lined up. Within two hours, more than 100 customers, some still nursing holiday hangovers, had made purchases. As they walked out, Taft shouted, "Enjoy your new freedom!"

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159 US CA: State Pot Bureau Ready To Enforce California's New MarijuanaTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:43 Added:01/07/2018

The state has issued 104 licenses for retail stores to sell marijuana for recreational use in California and 239 other applications for those permits are pending, officials said Tuesday.

An official with the state Bureau of Cannabis Control added that the agency is prepared to begin taking enforcement action against pot shops that are not properly licensed.

"The bureau's enforcement team is ready to respond to any complaints it receives and start doing compliance checks and site visits at any time," said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the bureau.

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160US NY: Medical Marijuana Companies Sue NY Health Department OnTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Robinson, David Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2018

The five medical marijuana companies in New York have filed a lawsuit to block new cannabis businesses, claiming the growth threatens to kill the fledgling industry that has struggled to sell the drug to critically ill patients.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the state Department of Health from allowing five new companies to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York. The companies in the legal fight include Vireo Health and Etain, which are selling cannabis-based drugs at dispensaries in downtown White Plains and Yonkers, The Journal News/lohud has learned from court records. There is also a dispensary in Kingston, Ulster County.

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161 US: Trump Administration Targets Recreational PotThu, 04 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Halper, Evan Area:United States Lines:258 Added:01/07/2018

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions ended an Obama-era federal policy that provided legal shelter for marijuana sales in California and five other states that have allowed recreational pot, placing at risk thousands of marijuana businesses operating legally under state laws.

The Justice Department move on Thursday plunged California's fledgling recreational pot market into further uncertainty, and was met with a bipartisan backlash from lawmakers in states where marijuana is now sold legally to any adult who wants to buy it.

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162 US CA: Recreational Pot Sales Roll Out In California, WithMon, 01 Jan 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Jennings, Angel Area:California Lines:164 Added:01/06/2018

Legal sale of recreational marijuana began in California on Monday with fanfare, and some anxiety.

Companies began selling pot in a relatively small number of businesses Monday, with more expected to join in the coming days and weeks.

The state has issued dozens of permits for retailers to begin recreational sales this week, expanding a market that is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020. Several of those retailers are in West Hollywood, but they won't open until Tuesday at the city's request. That makes Santa Ana's licensed stores the closest option for Angelenos who want to buy recreational marijuana on New Year's Day. Buyers could also trek to San Diego or the Palm Springs area to purchase pot.

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163 US CA: Recreational Marijuana Is Legal. But Smoking In Public AndTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mather, Kate Area:California Lines:127 Added:01/04/2018

As Los Angeles moves toward allowing the sale of recreational marijuana, joining cities across the state in the newly legal enterprise, police here offered a stern word of caution.

Yes, recreational pot will be legal to sell (and buy, and consume, and cultivate). But there are limits. And the Los Angeles Police Department will help enforce them.

"Let me be clear," Assistant Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. "The use of marijuana needs to be done in a responsible manner that's consistent with the law."

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164 US PA: Interested In Growing Industrial Hemp? Here's What You Need ToWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:125 Added:01/03/2018

The second coming of industrial hemp in Pennsylvania is entering its second year, with greater opportunities available to interested farmers, researchers and entrepreneurs thanks to the expanded scope of the Department of Agriculture's pilot program.

But you still need approval from the state to grow hemp, and the Jan. 19 application deadline is fast approaching. Here's what prospective applicants need to know:

How to apply: Here's the agriculture department's industrial hemp landing page, and here's a direct link to the application.

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165US CA: On the Road: Marijuana Smoking, Consumption Now Illegal InSun, 31 Dec 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Bentley, Amy Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2017

Each new year brings new driving or transportation-related laws in California and 2018 is no exception. We'd like to share these new laws with readers in the next few columns.

Marijuana and edible cannabis use in vehicles, Senate Bill 65: Recreational marijuana/cannabis is now legal to be purchased and consumed in certain places, but that doesn't mean you can light up a joint on your daily commute.

Consuming cannabis while driving or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle in California is illegal. This new law is similar to the "open container" laws that outlaw drinking alcohol while driving, though having some alcohol in your system while driving isn't outlawed.

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166 US CA: California Pot Shops Roll Out Hoopla As Recreational Sales SetThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Spagat, Elliot Area:California Lines:118 Added:12/28/2017

Marijuana legalization arrives Monday in California with lots of hoopla, but only a handful of cities will initially have retail outlets ready to sell recreational pot.

By Thursday afternoon, California had issued only 42 retail licenses. Another 150 applications were pending and regulators planned to work a second straight weekend to review them.

Los Angeles and San Francisco were late to approve local regulations, meaning no recreational pot shops there will open their doors Monday.

The lucky few outlets with licenses -- mainly in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Palm Springs area and Santa Cruz -- think they have an edge being first out of the gate.

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167 US MA: Auburn Man Featured In High Times Faces Drug ChargesFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Barnes, George Area:Massachusetts Lines:41 Added:12/27/2017

SPRINGFIELD - Two Central Massachusetts men were charged in federal court in Springfield Friday with commercial growing of marijuana.

Federal agents learned of their operation when one of them was featured in a magazine article talking about his business. Mr. Vallee was featured in an article in High Times published in February.

In the article, Eric Vallee, 38, of Auburn, spoke of regularly harvesting 10 pounds of marijuana per month. Based on that number, federal agents determined that he was harvesting a substantial amount of marijuana per year. The article also noted he worked with Peter Molle, 35, of Holland.

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168 US CA: Federal Agents Can Still Seize Marijuana At CaliforniaWed, 27 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:140 Added:12/27/2017

California legalizes marijuana for recreational use Monday, but that won't stop federal agents from seizing the drug -- even in tiny amounts -- on busy freeways and backcountry highways.

Marijuana possession still will be prohibited at eight Border Patrol checkpoints in California, a reminder that state and federal laws collide when it comes to pot. The U.S. government classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.

"Prior to Jan. 1, it's going to be the same after Jan. 1, because nothing changed on our end," said Ryan Yamasaki, an assistant chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. "If you're a federal law enforcement agency, you uphold federal laws."

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169 US CA: Editorial: The Lack Of Health Research Into Marijuana Makes ItWed, 27 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:95 Added:12/27/2017

In advance of the legalization of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, there have been lots of debates over the details of the cannabis business. How many feet should pot shops be from schools or daycare centers? How many acres may a marijuana farmer cultivate? Who should be eligible for a license to sell and who shouldn't?

But there's been much less discussion over an equally important question raised by the end of prohibition in California: What is the right public health message to send to adults who can now legally buy and use marijuana? Voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 64 last year and polls continue to show broad support for legalization. But just because marijuana is legal doesn't mean it is risk-free.

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170US CA: Legal Pot In California Brings Host Of Environmental RulesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Knickmeyer, Ellen Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - At a state briefing on environmental rules that await growers entering California's soon-to-be-legal marijuana trade, organic farmers Ulysses Anthony, Tracy Sullivan and Adam Mernit listened intently, eager to make their humble cannabis plot a model of sustainable agriculture in a notoriously destructive industry dominated by the black market.

In line with a 2017 study that found marijuana grows are more damaging, plot for plot, than commercial logging in Northern California forests, Anthony said he has seen too many destructive grows. Trash-strewn clearings. Growers heaping fertilizer at the foot of a centuries-old sequoia tree, needlessly endangering it. Wild streams diverted for irrigation.

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171US CA: A Beginner's Guide To Buying Recreational Marijuana InTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2017

Cannabis 101: Here's what you need to know about recreational marijuana

With recreational marijuana becoming available for sale on New Year's Day, you may be asking yourself: Do I want to try this stuff?

If you have never used cannabis, or if it has been a long time since you have, you need to know that pot isn't just consumed through joints and bongs anymore. Consumers also use vape pens, edibles and other products.

And marijuana has higher amounts of THC -- pot's psychoactive ingredient -- than it once did. In the early 1990s, the average amount of THC in confiscated marijuana samples was roughly 3.7 percent, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Now, many retail strains test in the high 20s and some even top 30 percent.

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172US CA: Legalized Marijuana Will Be A Bit Different From Version ThatSun, 24 Dec 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Rosenhall, Laurel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2017

Some details of legalized recreational marijuana have changed since California voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016.

California is days away from launching a legal marketplace for adults to buy and sell recreational marijuana. On Jan. 1, the state will carry through on a vision voters endorsed by passing Proposition 64 last year.

Yet as legal cannabis moves from campaign pitch to reality - amid lots of lobbying by industry groups along the way - some details of the plan have changed. State regulators approved the official rules last month and will update them in about a year.

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173US CA: Jack In The Box Tests Munchie Meals For California Pot SmokersFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Giammona, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/22/2017

For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the air.

As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain to explicitly embrace the drug.

The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code by potheads.

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174US VT: Several Doctors, Others Warn Vermont Not To Legalize PotFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Rathke, Lisa Area:Vermont Lines:Excerpt Added:12/22/2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - With the state Legislature expected to take up legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the upcoming session, several doctors and other marijuana opponents on Friday urged the state not to legalize it.

The move would normalize the use of marijuana, leading to more people using it and in turn to more intoxicated people and more automobile crashes, said Dr. John Hughes, a University of Vermont psychiatrist and professor, at a Statehouse press conference on Friday.

"To me, we got it right with decriminalization," according to Hughes, who added that legalization and describing it as recreational use would send the wrong message.

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175US CA: Marijuana Activist Since 1960s Facing California Pot ChargesThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A marijuana activist whose advocacy dates to the 1960s counterculture has been arrested in California toting 22 pounds of illegal marijuana, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Irvin Dana Beal, 70, of New York, was arrested Saturday in far Northern California after prosecutors said his rental car was spotted weaving across the road and driving 20 miles below the speed limit. James Statzer, 51, of Michigan, also was arrested.

The arrest occurred along a well-traveled highway in California's famed Emerald Triangle area, known for its high-grade pot. A police dog smelled marijuana during the stop and 22 pounds of the drug was found.

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176US CA: How Oakland Is Including Black, Brown People In MarijuanaThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Taylor, Otis R. Jr. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

In a dark room, Jahful Price slowly worked a row of pungent plants guided by his headlamp.

He wore a white biohazard suit, methodically picking up cannabis plants by their stems and hanging them upside down on a rack with plastic clothes hangers.

Price, a 31-year-old Oakland resident who is black, is getting hands-on experience in cannabis cultivating that he hopes will help him run his own business one day.

Since July, he's had a paid internship at NUG, a cannabis business owned by Bloom Innovations, a horticulture consulting and management firm in Oakland. NUG chose Nine Mile Tribe, a business owned by Price's family, as one of its equity partners.

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177 US: Soaring Overdose Deaths Cut Us Life Expectancy For 2nd YearThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Stobbe, Mike Area:United States Lines:114 Added:12/21/2017

A runaway teen to mother: 'I'll be fine mommy. I love you.' Hours later she and two others were dead

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed 21 percent last year, and for the second straight year dragged down how long Americans are expected to live.

The government figures released Thursday put drug deaths at 63,600, up from about 52,000 in 2015. For the first time, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.

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178 US: Report: 'Substantial' Hepatitis C Infection Increase Tied ToThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:United States Lines:98 Added:12/21/2017

The United States' overall rate of hepatitis C infection more than doubled from 2004 to 2014 -- and among people under 40, it increased by 300 to 400 percent.

The reason for the jump? Transmission through injecting opioid drugs, said a report published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

Lead author Jon Zibbell, senior public health analyst in the Behavioral and Urban Health program of North Carolina-based RTI International, said public health officials have long presumed the link, but the research, performed in conjunction with a number of other agencies, provides data to back it up.

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179 US CA: This Colorado City Declined To Allow Pot Sales. Now It'sThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:California Lines:164 Added:12/18/2017

At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.

Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the state legalized recreational marijuana.

But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.

When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales. Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities across Colorado.

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180US CA: Fresno Starts Process To Change Laws For Medical MarijuanaThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2017

Medical marijuana dispensaries and other portions of the medicinal cannabis supply chain could be legal in Fresno as the result of a unanimous vote Thursday by the City Council.

The 7-0 vote begins the process of rewriting the city's complete ban on commercial marijuana operations that was adopted earlier this year. It will likely be several months, however, before drafts emerge for ordinances and rules that will govern where and how businesses that cultivate, process, manufacture, distribute or sell medical marijuana can operate within the city.

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181 US TX: Cautious Texas Among Last States To OK Medical MarijuanaFri, 15 Dec 2017
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Weber, Paul J. Area:Texas Lines:116 Added:12/18/2017

MANCHACA, Texas -- When California rings in the new year with the sale of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive that doubts swirl over who will even use it.

Texas is the last big state to allow some form of medical marijuana, albeit an oil extract so low in the psychoactive component, THC, that it couldn't get a person high. Though it might seem that Texas policymakers have softened their attitude toward the drug, bringing them more in line with the U.S. population as a whole, they have not. A joint could still land you in jail in Texas, and the state's embrace of medical marijuana comes with a heavy dose of caution.

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182 US MA: High ambitions: Pot Advocacy Group To Attempt To BuildFri, 15 Dec 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Annear, Steve Area:Massachusetts Lines:107 Added:12/18/2017

Beantown Greentown is trying to build a 100-foot-long joint this weekend at a marijuana expo event in Worcester. This is a practice run.

Keith Laham and his friends have been practicing for the past few months.

They have gathered in his cellar, in other people's cellars - you name it, the 42-year-old West Roxbury native said.

But this weekend will mark the true attempt, and Laham, cofounder of Beantown Greentown, a medical marijuana advocacy group, lifestyle brand, and cannabis club, has high ambitions for it.

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183 US MD: Kratom: An Old Plant Sparks A New ChallengeSat, 16 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Davis, Phil Area:Maryland Lines:109 Added:12/18/2017

When Anne Arundel police seized 158 grams of kratom, a plant from Southeast Asia used medicinally for centuries, it was the first time it was seized in a county investigation, according to police.

Officers arrested Michaela Elizabeth Gran, 21, and Chase Seven Gran, 23, both of Glen Burnie, on Tuesday after they said the two were found with small amounts of narcotics as well as the 158 grams of kratom. Its seizure caused some confusion, as the drug is legal in Maryland and can be bought for $1 for a pill-sized capsule in local smoke shops. That, and how many people have ever heard of kratom?

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184 US PA: Organ Donations From Fatal Drug Overdoses DoubleSat, 16 Dec 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Baldrige, Susan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:12/18/2017

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Charles Grugan's drug addiction took a toll on his family.

They tried to help him, but on Oct. 12, 2011, Grugan 33, overdosed on heroin. He never recovered.

While on life support in a regional hospital, doctors approached his family and showed them his driver's license.

Grugan had made the decision to be an organ donor when he was 18 years old.

His heart, liver and kidneys were successfully transplanted into three people.

"It was a silver lining for us," Grugan's' mother, Eileen Grugan, said. "Donating Charles' organs to others was the thing that kept our family together and pulled us through this grief.

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185 US MA: Pot Growers, Enthusiasts Gather In Worcester For First-EverSat, 16 Dec 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:108 Added:12/16/2017

WORCESTER - Thousands of people gathered at a convention hall Saturday for the first-ever Harvest Cup, a friendly if spirited competition among home-growers of marijuana that doubled as a convention for the burgeoning cannabis industry and its consumers.

The event, taking place this weekend at the DCU Center, came the same week that marijuana regulators began drafting rules for the scheduled July start of recreational sales in Massachusetts. Many participants Saturday were overheard debating various policies and what they will mean for the small-scale cultivators at the heart of the Harvest Cup once millions of dollars of investment funds pour into the state.

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186US NJ: NJ Marijuana Legalization: When Will Weed Be Legal?Fri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ) Author:Davis, Mike Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:12/08/2017

The grass is looking greener for New Jersey marijuana users.

The idea of legal pot was once a pipe dream for those who so indulged. Not anymore. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has pledged to sign legislation legalizing pot within 100 days of his Jan. 16 inauguration, prompting speculation on what that hazy world would look like.

Among the particulars that have been largely agreed upon: New Jerseyans would be permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use, and previous convictions for such possession would be eligible for expungement.

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187US TN: He Got 17 Years For Selling Drugs Near SchoolFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Tamburin, Adam Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:12/08/2017

Because the crime took place within 1,000 feet of a school, state law mandated a longer sentence, one that the council members noted "was more severe than the sentence he would have received for committing a violent crime such as rape or second-degree murder."

Twelve Metro Council members have signed a letter urging a criminal court judge to give relief to a Nashville man serving a 17-year sentence on a nonviolent drug conviction.

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188 US FL: This City OK'd Marijuana Dispensaries. Now It's Having SecondFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Geggis, Anne Area:Florida Lines:127 Added:12/08/2017

Have they opened Pandora's box? Some Deerfield Beach city leaders worry that's what they might've done by allowing marijuana dispensaries in the city.

They're now trying to stop medical dispensaries from clustering citywide by keeping them out of commercial areas that also have homes, as well as setting rules to stop them from opening next to one another.

Mayor Bill Ganz said he doesn't want the city to become known as the place to buy pot, even if it's just the medical kind that doesn't get you high.

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189 US HI: HPD In Error Over Cannabis Patients With Guns, Chief SaysThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:79 Added:12/07/2017

"Merely having a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you're using marijuana. We can't prove you're using marijuana. Our practice of having them turn in their firearms was incorrect," Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said of her department's controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns.

Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said her department's controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns was wrong.

"It is not illegal to possess the ones you already have," Ballard told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday. "Merely having a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you're using marijuana. We can't prove you're using marijuana. Our practice of having them turn in their firearms was incorrect."

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190 US MD: FAQ: What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana In MarylandThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:196 Added:12/07/2017

Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland. Here's what you need to know about it.

Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland, more than four years after the General Assembly passed a law legalizing it.

Standing up the industry -- with growers, processors, dispensaries and doctors -- took longer than expected. The law needed to be tweaked, rules needed to be written and legal battles needed to be fought over who won licenses.

Here's what prospective users need to know about medical marijuana.

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191 US HI: HPD Reviewing Policy On Marijuana And GunsFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:94 Added:12/06/2017

The Honolulu Police Department is reviewing a controversial policy that requires legal marijuana patients to turn in their firearms.

The reconsideration follows community backlash since the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported earlier this week that HPD has sent letters to at least 30 medical cannabis users who are permitted gun owners telling them to surrender their firearms.

The new police chief, Susan Ballard, hasn't said what her position is on the issue. HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said Ballard is reviewing the policy.

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192 US OH: Lawsuit Threatens Medical Marijuana TimelineFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:98 Added:12/06/2017

COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works.

Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

"Whether we end up with a license or we don't end up with a license, that's not what this is about..." said Jimmy Gould, chairman and chief executive of CannAscend Ohio. "I care that this process is broken. I care that there should have been better oversight over this process, and I care where this ends up....

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193 US TX: Editorial: Get The Ball Rolling To Expand Medical Marijuana InFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Christopher, Jared L. Area:Texas Lines:81 Added:12/06/2017

Within weeks an estimated 150,000 Texas patients suffering from untreatable epilepsy will have a new means of relief.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a form of medical marijuana, will finally be delivered to patients who qualify under the state's very strict guidelines. The CBD reduces or halts convulsive epileptic seizures but doesn't get the patients stoned.

Right now, the treatment will be available only for certain epilepsy patients, and it's highly controlled.

We believe availability should be expanded for treatment of other conditions when there's evidence those patients can be helped. We urge state lawmakers to begin work through the political and medical hurdles now so they can make that happen when they meet in 13 months.

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194 US FL: What Is Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)?Fri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:29 Added:12/06/2017

Kratom is an herb from Southeast Asia related to the coffee family.

For centuries, people have used the kratom plant as a traditional medicine for energy, alertness and pain relief.

It's typically either chewed or dried, ground and ingested in capsule, smoked or served as tea.

The key psychoactive compounds that produce a "kratom high" are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

A low kratom dosage produces stimulant effects making people more talkative, alert and energetic, according to a DEA fact sheet. At high doses, kratom users can experience the drug's sedative effects, the report shows.

People can buy kratom online and at head shops, vape shops and more recently at kava bars that serve herbal drinks.


195 US: Smoked Pot? Want To Go To War? No ProblemSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)          Area:United States Lines:107 Added:12/06/2017

As more states lessen or eliminate marijuana penalties, the Army is granting hundreds of waivers to enlist people who used the drug in their youth - as long as they realize they can't do so again in the military.

The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted. The big increase is just one way officials are dealing with orders to expand the Army's size.

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196 US HI: HPD Won't Take Guns From Medical Marijuana UsersWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:33 Added:12/06/2017

The Honolulu Police Department will not enforce a controversial policy requiring legal marijuana patients to turn in their guns.

The department issued a notice Tuesday, saying it is consulting with other governmental agencies, as well as reviewing recent court rulings regarding the issue. HPD said it will, however, continue to deny new firearm permits to applicants with medical marijuana cards.

"This is a new area of concern for cities across the country, and we in Honolulu want to develop a policy that's legally sound and serves our community," HPD Chief Susan Ballard said in a news release. "Formulating the policy will take time, but we want to do it right."

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197 US CA: Lawmakers Say California's Proposed Marijuana Rules Will HurtTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:43 Added:12/05/2017

Two legislators called Tuesday for changes to regulations for growing marijuana in California to better protect small family farmers from being driven out of business by big corporate cultivators.

Initial proposals to cap licensed marijuana farms at one to four acres were discarded by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, which has since proposed new rules without any cap, according to a letter of complaint to the agency by State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-San Rafael) and Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). McGuire and Wood support a one-acre cap.

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198 US OH: UT Researchers Study Effects Of Ecstasy On The BrainMon, 04 Dec 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Collins, Stuart Area:Ohio Lines:93 Added:12/04/2017

For someone caught up in the heat of the moment at a local dance club or rave scene, taking ecstasy may not seem like a life-changing event. But as studies have shown, this decision may indeed be life-altering.

A frequent consequence of taking ecstasy is a trip to the hospital. This is because the short-term effects of ecstasy can produce life-threatening increases in temperature and heart rate, and hallucinations.

Stuart Collins is a PhD student in the neurosciences and neurological disorders at the University of Toledo college of medicine.

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199 US MD: Maryland, After Delays, Begins The Sale Of Medical MarijuanaFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:78 Added:12/01/2017

Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana to residents in pain on Friday, ending years of delays by embarking on a program that features some of the most liberal policies in the nation on who can qualify for the prescribed cannabis.

Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary in Montgomery County, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon.

"You can tell there's a buzz, and we're excited for so many reasons," Askinazi said. "We're giving care to people who need it."

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200 US NJ: Legislation Calls For 'drugged Drivers' Test If MarijuanaFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Westhoven, William Area:New Jersey Lines:105 Added:12/01/2017

Two Republicans representing Morris County in Trenton want to 'put breaks' on legalization of marijuana by governor-elect.

Two Republicans representing Morris County in Trenton are pushing back against the promise by Governor-elect Phil Murphy to sign a bill legalizing marijuana in the first 100 days of his administration.

Murphy and the Democratic majorities in the Senate and Assembly have said they want marijuana legalized in early 2018, which could generate up to $300 million in annual taxes to the state.

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