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1US CA: Coachella Council Members Apologize For Mulling MedicalSun, 18 Dec 2011
Source:Desert Sun, The (Palm Springs, CA) Author:Felci, Erica Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2011

The two Coachella council members who were part of "Team Coachella" have apologized for entertaining the idea of making their city a hub for medical marijuana cultivation and distribution.

Their remarks came after a resident, Lupe Rodriguez, got up at the City Council meeting last week and called Mayor Eduardo Garcia and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Hernandez "Cheech and Chong," saying their involvement in the pot discussions embarrassed the city.

The Wednesday meeting was the first council session since the Nov. 20 Desert Sun report on the meetings that Garcia and Hernandez had with Rancho Mirage Councilman Scott Hines, who is also a public policy consultant.

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2 US IL: Blue Ridge Schools Eyeing Random Drug Tests For StudentsTue, 13 Dec 2011
Source:Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) Author:Coulter, Phyllis Area:Illinois Lines:48 Added:12/18/2011

FARMER CITY -- The Blue Ridge school board will consider implementing random drug testing as a way to keep students from making "unhealthy choices."

A policy could be adopted as soon as Jan. 18. The board meets at 6 Wednesday night to discuss proposed building construction; the regular meeting follows at 7 at the high school library, 411 N. John St.

The drug test option arose after discussion about use and misuse of legal and illegal drugs in the area.

"The behaviors were alarming enough, it was clear that some students were making unhealthy choices, and it had to be addressed," said Superintendent Susan Wilson.

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3 US ID: OPED: Students Deserve Honest Debate Over Drug UseWed, 14 Dec 2011
Source:Idaho Mountain Express (ID) Author:Spencer, Mark Area:Idaho Lines:69 Added:12/18/2011

We must turn away from panic and fear.

What a terrible notion that we would decide as a community to haul our youth into school and force them to urinate in a cup to test for substances that may or may not be causing them harm. The idea that further tightening the straightjacket around our kids will control their behavior and set them on the right course is patently false and rife with logical fallacy. Studies such as a 2003 University of Michigan "Monitoring the Future" survey have shown that there is little statistical difference between student drug use at schools where testing is conducted and those where it is not.

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4US CO: Editorial: Making Medical Marijuana LegitSun, 18 Dec 2011
Source:Denver Post (CO)          Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2011

A State Crackdown on Fraudulent Pot Referrals Will Lead to a Cleaner System and Less Federal Attention.

We're glad to see the state's health department probing medical marijuana referrals to see whether they are on the up and up.

Ensuring Colorado has a clean system will help ward off federal enforcement action that has been so controversial.

And despite what those who favor broader legalization of marijuana might think, a closely regulated system probably would help their cause with voters who are on the fence about making pot legal.

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5 US OR: Legalize Pot: It'll Dry Up Drug Cartels' Market, SaveSun, 18 Dec 2011
Source:Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR) Author:Barble, Bill Area:Oregon Lines:119 Added:12/18/2011

Sheriff Mike Winters frowned as he showed a reporter a stack of photographs documenting Mexican drug cartels' marijuana-growing operations on federal land in Southern Oregon. The photos showed filthy camps, nitrogen-loaded chemical fertilizers, garbage tumbling into a stream.

"These grow sites are a disaster for the public," Winters said. "You can't believe what you see until you get into one."

It was the first time in memory a Republican has fretted so about the environment.

Of course, there is a sure-fire way to end the reach of drug gangs into Oregon's forests: End pot prohibition. Just declare defeat in the pot theater of the War on Drugs and move on.

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6US CO: Medical-Pot Lawsuit Tossed OutSun, 18 Dec 2011
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Rochat, Scott Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2011

A judge said a Longmont ban on dispensaries was not an illegal "taking" of property.

Three medical-marijuana dispensaries have lost their fight against the city of Longmont.

Boulder District Judge Ingrid Bakke on Friday dismissed the dispensaries' lawsuit against the city in a ruling that mirrored her Aug. 19 decision to not block the city's ban of marijuana-related businesses.

Bakke ruled the ban neither violated constitutional rights nor constituted an illegal "taking" of property.

"The court concludes that there is no state constitutional right to dispense medical marijuana," Bakke wrote in her decision. "In addition, there is no federal constitutional right to operate a medical-marijuana facility or to dispense medical marijuana."

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7US CO: Prison Black Market A Steal: Correctional Officers GetSun, 18 Dec 2011
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Ingold, John Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2011

Matthew Amos has wide, boxcar shoulders and steam-engine arms. On Friday he stood before a federal judge in Denver pleading for his life.

If he went to prison, Amos told the judge, he would have to pay fellow inmates for protection. Or he would be "whored out." Or worse.

It's what happens to former prison guards who end up behind bars.

"There's no way I would be able to stay out on that yard without providing some kind of service," Amos said, voice unsteady. "To be asked to go into that system will be asking me to be something I don't want to be."

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8 US CO: PUB LTE: Paraprofessionals Should Be Able To PrescribeFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Kulp, Cynthia Area:Colorado Lines:36 Added:12/18/2011

Re: "Making medical marijuana legit," Dec. 13 editorial.

The problem with Colorado's medical marijuana laws is that they don't conform to modern medical practice. Not everyone sees a doctor each time they go in for an appointment - patients are also treated by paraprofessionals like physician's assistants and nurse practitioners. This is especially true in busy primary care practices. Since paraprofessionals practice under the supervision of a licensed physician, they should be able to certify the need for medical marijuana - and that is not fraudulent, as the police are trying to assert.

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9 US CO: Colorado Pot Legalization Petition Nearing EndSat, 17 Dec 2011
Source:Summit Daily News (CO) Author:Wyatt, Kristen Area:Colorado Lines:114 Added:12/18/2011

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - Marijuana isn't the kind of thing one expects to be asked about on a trip to a county administrative building. But folks outside an Arapahoe County building on a recent afternoon were surprisingly receptive to two men gathering signatures to petition a pot question onto ballots next year.

The petition, circulating for months, asks whether Colorado should be the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Activists backing the measure say they've far cleared the 86,000 signature threshold to make ballots, and could have petitions to state officials for approval by the end of the year.

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10 US CO: PUB LTE: Substance Abuse A Valid Topic In Summit CountySat, 17 Dec 2011
Source:Summit Daily News (CO) Author:Kelley, Tara Area:Colorado Lines:51 Added:12/17/2011

Re: "Use vs. abuse" by Jeff McAbee, opinion, Dec. 9

Summit County is a great place, I am proud to be a Summit High School alum as well as a Summit County native. Unfortunately, being proud of my hometown doesn't mean everything is perfect. Mr. McAbee was absolutely right in talking about the drug and alcohol abuse taking place at the high school, and the importance of doing something.

Shame on those of you who are upset with him. He was very clear in stating abuse is not happening with every student. He also made it very clear that there is a difference between abuse and use, and students need to know the difference.

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11 US WA: PUB LTE: K-9 Sweeps: 'Are Our Kids Really In SuchWed, 14 Dec 2011
Source:Bothell Reporter (WA) Author:Lowell-Forker, Tolli Area:Washington Lines:46 Added:12/17/2011

I really think the school lockdown and K-9 sweeps at our Northshore School District junior highs in October was overkill. Are we trying to indoctrinate our students to accept having their civil liberties tested, if not violated (I know that there have been conflicting rulings in the courts regarding "suspicion-less sniffs")? I must say as a professional who has worked at First Security Bank, IBM, Washington Mutual, JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft, we have NEVER had our areas swept by K-9 units (and this would be allowed since these are private, not government institutions, as are the public schools).

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12 US WA: PUB LTE: Farmers Victim Of 'War On Drugs'Fri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Washington Lines:44 Added:12/17/2011

Regarding the editorial, "Industrial hemp: A better way to make paper": The United States is one of the few countries in the world that denies farmers the right to grow industrial hemp. Apparently drug war bureaucrats can't tell the difference between a tall hemp stalk and a squat marijuana bush. Prior to passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, few Americans had even heard of marijuana, despite widespread cultivation of industrial hemp.

The first anti-marijuana laws were a racist reaction to Mexican immigration during the early 1900s. White Americans did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched federal bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda. Decades later, marijuana use is now mainstream.

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13 US WI: Preventing Drug Use By Children A Community EffortFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Daily Citizen (WI) Author:Pruett, Trista Area:Wisconsin Lines:142 Added:12/17/2011

According to the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than 20 percent of high school students in Wisconsin had been offered, given or sold illegal drugs on school property in the span of a year.

Dodge County school administrators and police say they are working to decrease those numbers locally.

"We take really seriously students and their learning and their education," said Dodgeland administrator Annette Thompson. "We are fortunate that we are a small school. Most teachers know the students by name. We've got excellent counselors that are building these trusting relationships with students."

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14 US NY: Following Drug-Related Arrest, Highway Superintendent'sFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Saratogian, The (NY) Author:Donohue, Emily Area:New York Lines:63 Added:12/17/2011

MILTON - Supervisor Frank Thompson said he'll confer with Town Board members this weekend to decide whether to seek Highway Superintendent [name redacted]resignation.

[name redacted], 43, of Lee Street in Ballston Spa, was one of 12 people charged Thursday with drug trafficking following a five-month investigation by Saratoga Springs Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

"We can ask for his resignation, but he doesn't have to do it," Thompson said. "I've been talking to them (board members). I haven't gotten a good consensus yet."

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15 US WA: PUB LTE: Reclassifying MarijuanaWed, 14 Dec 2011
Source:Daily News, The (Longview, WA) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Washington Lines:28 Added:12/16/2011

Major kudos for your outstanding editorial: "Federal reclassification of marijuana a smart move" (Dec. 11). Is there any legitimate reason that a natural herb that has never killed anybody should be classified the same as heroin? I think not.

I know from personal experience that marijuana is a substitute for potentially deadly painkillers like Vicodin and is also a substitute for alcohol. The pharmaceutical industry knows this and so does the alcohol industry. And this is probably why marijuana remains a criminalized substance.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.

[end]

16 US CA: Redding Medical Marijuana Advocate Benno LosesFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Record Searchlight (Redding, CA) Author:Schultz, Jim Area:California Lines:73 Added:12/16/2011

The director of the local chapter of a nonprofit organization seeking to reform California's marijuana laws has been booted for his angry outburst during Tuesday's meeting of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors after they banned medical marijuana dispensaries in the county's unincorporated areas.

Russ Belville, the Portland-based outreach coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said in an apology issued to the supervisors that James Benno of Redding is no longer a representative of NORML.

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17 US CA: Pot Dispensary Ban Going Back to Butte SupervisorsFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Chico Enterprise-Record (CA) Author:Aylworth, Roger H. Area:California Lines:59 Added:12/16/2011

OROVILLE -- Almost two years to the day after they first voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in Butte County, county supervisors will find the topic back on the agenda for their Jan. 10, 2012 meeting.

On Jan. 12, 2010, the supervisors voted in favor of a temporary ban on dispensaries that was later extended. This Oct. 25, the board voted to make the ban permanent.

Almost immediately afterward, opponents began a petition drive seeking to have it removed from the county code.

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18US CA: Editorial: Confronting Teen Drug UseFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2011

The rest of the nation appears to be catching up to Santa Cruz County in one unfortunate aspect: marijuana use among teens.

According to a new government report released this week, one in 15 high school students in the U.S. smokes pot on a near-daily basis.

Near daily.

Not only is that a startling figure, it also reflects what appears to be the highest use since the druggy 1970s, and goes against other substance abuse trends showing use of alcohol, cocaine and even cigarettes declining in the same population.

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19 US FL: Undercover Drug Sting Continues With More StudentSat, 17 Dec 2011
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Freeman, Marc Area:Florida Lines:91 Added:12/16/2011

It was a typical Thursday morning at Lake Worth High School until police burst onto the scene and arrested three students in an undercover drug sting.

"They knew who they were coming after," Principal George Lockhart said a few hours later. "They grabbed the kids and they were gone."

The action - which coincided with nine arrests at Boynton Beach High School - was the latest milestone in a long-term investigation called "Operation D-Minus," Palm Beach County School District Police Chief Jim Kelly said.

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20US CO: Boulder Jury Convicts Marijuana Activist OfFri, 16 Dec 2011
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Ingold, John Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2011

BOULDER - A marijuana activist with a knack for controversy was convicted Thursday in a case stemming from a dust-up with supporters of a marijuana-legalization initiative.

A six-person jury convicted the activist, Corey Donahue, of trespassing and using fighting words after an all-day trial in Boulder Municipal Court.

The case began last summer, when Donahue refused to leave a meeting at the Boulder Public Library that was held by a campaign working to put a measure for limited marijuana legalization on the 2012 ballot.

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