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1US MS: Ole Miss Grows Marijuana For ResearchSun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) Author:Senseman, Jared Robert Area:Mississippi Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012

OXFORD, Miss. - The only reason 73-year-old Elvy Musikka still has her sight, she says, is she's been smoking pot for 30 years.

"In 1975, my doctor told me if I didn't start using marijuana, I'd go blind," said Musikka. "Shortly thereafter I found out that, indeed, it was the only thing that would help me with my glaucoma."

Musikka is one of four people still enrolled in the federal government's Investigational New Drug program, which allows a small number of patients to use medical marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi. The program stopped accepting new participants in 1992. Those already in the program are allowed to continue receiving their prescriptions. At its peak, the program provided pot for 30 patients.

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2US OH: Not High On Pot LegalizationSun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:News Herald (Willoughby, OH) Author:Reinhart, Max Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012

Area Experts Weigh in on Marijuana Debate

If you could entirely get rid of one drug, which would it be?

This question was posed to a law enforcement officer with more than 30 years of experience at a recent drug prevention conference in Columbus. Mentor Municipal Court Judge John Trebets, who runs the Lake County drug court, was in attendance.

"In my head, I'm yelling out 'Heroin!' " Trebets said. "Then he looks out and says if he could get rid of one drug it would be marijuana."

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3US CA: 'Pot' Growers Find National Forests RoomySun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR) Author:Mozingo, Joe Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012


WELDON, Calif. - A few minutes after 4 a.m., agents in camouflage cluster in a dusty California field in Kern County. "Movement needs to be slow, deliberate and quiet," the team leader whispers. "Lock and load now."

They check their ammunition and assault rifles, not exactly sure who they might meet in the dark: heavily armed Mexican drug traffickers, or just poorly paid field workers camping miserably in the brush.

Twenty minutes later, after a lights-off drive for a mile, the agents climb out of two pickups and sift into the high desert brush.

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4US WI: Local Officials To Keep Tabs On Pot Legalization In TwoSun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:Marshfield News-Herald, The (WI) Author:Madden, Karen Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012

Central Wisconsin political observers say the vote to legalize marijuana in two states could eventually affect Wisconsin.

Lawmakers will be watching to see what happens in Colorado and Washington, where residents voted to lift long-standing bans on recreational marijuana use, said state Rep. Scott Krug, R-Rome, who represents Wisconsin's 72nd Assembly District, and changes in this state might be possible.

Krug, who previously served as the Wood County Drug Court administrator, said Wisconsin should put more of a focus on drug addiction treatment than the current legal system does.

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5 US FL: South Miami Mayor: Police Chief Wrongly SpentFri, 28 Dec 2012
Source:Miami Herald (FL) Author:Torres, Andrea Area:Florida Lines:122 Added:12/30/2012

Police Chief Orlando Martinez De Castro Said Mayor Philip Stoddard Doesn't Understand The Rules For The Money, Which Comes From Seizing The Assets Of Alleged Criminals.

South Miami's mayor is accusing the police chief of using money meant for crime-prevention to pay for an awards dinner. But the chief says he followed the law just as he has been doing during his long career in law enforcement.

Every month, around 100 guests, sometimes more - mostly police brass from different departments in Miami-Dade County - meet to recognize an officer of the month. The departments take turns covering the costs. Some dinners have been known to cost about $4,000, and some have been held at places like the Rusty Pelican in Virginia Key.

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6US CO: Much Is Yet To Be Determined About StoresSun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Raabe, Steve Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012

Marijuana is poised to make a big splash in Colorado business after the passage of Amendment 64, allowing its legal sale and consumption.

A series of events in 2013 will determine just how big the industry may become.

Before retail stores open, state officials will apply licensing standards and excise-tax rates. Local governments also will decide whether they will impose sales taxes or prohibit retail sales in their jurisdictions.

The industry's financial impact could be significant, based on early projections.

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7US TX: A Young Life Nearly LostSun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Pantazi, Andrew Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012

Student's Addiction Came Early; Escape Almost Elusive

In a cramped bathroom stall at Edward Cary Middle School, Mariela and her crew passed around a binder and a school badge to divide the lines of powder. Jeff Lautenberger/staff Photographer Mariela, who has shared her experiences on television, has replaced drugs with education. She is pursuing an associate of applied science degree at Eastfield College in Mesquite in hopes of becoming a substance abuse counselor. She expects to graduate in May.

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8 US CA: PUB LTE: Going To PotSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Woflburg, Amy Area:California Lines:38 Added:12/30/2012

Re "Pot farms take dirty toll," Dec. 23

Some years back I purchased a copy of biologist George Wuerthner's guide "California's Wilderness Areas: Mountains and coastal ranges." As a Southern California native, I was not familiar with geographic locales outside my immediate area, so reading the volume and looking at the beautiful color photos instilled an incredible sense of fascination with California's far north and its incredibly rich biodiversity and unspoiled splendor. It made me realize that pristine areas of the state, untouched by humans, still exist.

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9US FL: Locking Up More, But At What Price?Sun, 30 Dec 2012
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Tierney, John Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2012

Mass Incarceration Has Gone Too Far and Helped Little, Critics Say

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Stephanie George and Judge Roger Vinson had quite different opinions about the lockbox seized by police from her home in Pensacola, Fla. She insisted she had no idea that a former boyfriend had hidden it in her attic. Vinson considered the lockbox, containing a half-kilogram of cocaine, to be evidence of her guilt.

But the defendant and the judge fully agreed about the fairness of the sentence he imposed in federal court.

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10US CO: Planting The SeedsSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Ingold, John Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:12/29/2012

Legalization Strategy In Colorado Paves The Way For Pot In Other States

Just days after guiding a Colorado marijuana-legalization initiative to an unprecedented victory, longtime Denver marijuana activist Mason Tvert scored another win: a new job.

Tvert is now the communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the national lobbying group that is the parent organization for Tvert's SAFER Colorado and was the main funder for Colorado's Amendment 64.

"I'm simply in a new role there, where I will be able to work on these issues around the nation," Tvert said.

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11 US MA: OPED: Toward A Responsible Medical Marijuana ProgramSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:Patriot Ledger, The (Quincy, MA) Author:Keenan, John Area:Massachusetts Lines:100 Added:12/29/2012

Over the past several weeks, I have spoken with hundreds of voters regarding the issue of medical marijuana, many of whom voted "Yes" on Question 3, all of whom now believe the law is vague and subject to exploitation.

They worry that marijuana will become readily available to those without legitimate medical needs, yet not comfortably accessible by those who may benefit from its medical use. All have expressed a desire to ease the suffering of those with debilitating conditions, but want to do so in a responsible, rational manner.

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12 US MA: Worcester To Allow Recovering Addicts In Public HousingSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Kush, Bronislaus B. Area:Massachusetts Lines:107 Added:12/29/2012

WORCESTER - The Worcester Housing Authority - through a pilot program expected to begin early next year - will ease its rules to allow some recovering substance abusers with lengthy criminal records to obtain local public housing.

WHA officials said the program, "New Beginnings," will initially provide four men working to turn their lives around with a chance at stable housing.

"Each day, we balance the need to keep our (WHA) communities safe and secure with the need to give people a second chance," WHA Executive Director Raymond V. Mariano said.

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13 US: Web: Is Marijuana An 'Exit Drug'?Wed, 26 Dec 2012
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Armentano, Paul Area:United States Lines:76 Added:12/29/2012

Study Suggests Some Are Taking It as a Substitute for Prescription Drugs and Alcohol

Three quarters of medical cannabis consumers report using it as a substitute for prescription drugs, alcohol, or some other illicit substance, according to survey data [2] published in the journal Addiction Research and Theory.

An international team of investigators from Canada and the United States assessed the subjective impact of marijuana on the use of licit and illicit substances via self-report in a cohort of 404 medical cannabis patients recruited from four dispensaries in British Columbia, Canada.

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14 US MA: Editorial: A New Classification For MarijuanaWed, 26 Dec 2012
Source:Metrowest Daily News (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:67 Added:12/29/2012

Last month, Massachusetts joined 17 other states in legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, acting on a large body of evidence scientific and anecdotal that it is useful in treating a wide range of illnesses. Even some who led the opposition to the ballot question agreed marijuana has legitimate medical applications.

That puts the state not only in opposition to federal law, which considers possession of marijuana for any purpose a criminal offense, it presents a conflict on a matter of fact. For 40 years, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, which is defined as having no medical application.

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15 US KY: Industrial Hemp Debate ReturnsSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:Glasgow Daily Times (KY) Author:Mason, Chuck Area:Kentucky Lines:172 Added:12/29/2012

A crop harvested by the Chinese 8,500 years ago has provoked contemporary debate. Legalization of industrial hemp is being touted as a economic shot in the arm for Kentucky and elsewhere in America. At the same time, industrial hemp is being criticized by law enforcement as a way to hide illegal marijuana.

Meanwhile, local lawmakers and local law enforcement officials have no desire to see Kentucky allow medical marijuana, the subject of a pre-filed bill in the Kentucky General Assembly, which begins Jan. 8, meets for four days, then comes back into session in February for a 30-day session.

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16 US NC: OPED: Saving Lives, Protecting Good SamaritansSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) Author:Glasser, Allison Area:North Carolina Lines:104 Added:12/29/2012

Seven years ago, Durham resident Chad Sanders lost his sister, Shelly, to drug overdose. Shelly had been using drugs with a friend in her dorm room when she became unresponsive. Her friend, recently released from jail on parole, did not call 911 for fear that he could be arrested for drug possession.

Shelly didn't make it through the night.

Unfortunately, Shelly's story is far too common. Drug overdose deaths have surpassed automobile deaths as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In North Carolina, antiquated laws and practices lead to over 1,000 preventable overdose deaths each year. It's time we do something about it.

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17 US PA: Senator Plans To Decriminalize Medical MarijuanaSat, 29 Dec 2012
Source:Times Herald, The (Norristown, PA) Author:Lynch, Danielle Area:Pennsylvania Lines:118 Added:12/29/2012

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, has plans to resurrect a bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Pennsylvania.

Some advocates of repealing or relaxing Pennsylvania's anti-marijuana laws recently told the Associated Press they were encouraged by referendum votes to legalize recreational use of the drug in Colorado and Washington state.

Leach, who sponsored one of two medical-marijuana bills that died in committee during the just-ended legislative session, said the referendums results will help pave the way for similar measures in other states. Leach said he intends to resurrect his bill to allow marijuana use for medical purposes and will also sponsor a bill to decriminalize the drug.

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18 US IL: LTE: Medical Groups Don't Back PotFri, 28 Dec 2012
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Bensinger, Peter Area:Illinois Lines:59 Added:12/29/2012

The Rev. Al Sharp's Saturday oped on why patients deserve medical marijuana flies in the face of science and the official opinions of the very associations that represent the patients identified. Marijuana is not medicine.

The Food and Drug Administration decides what is safe and effective medicine and has determined marijuana is neither safe nor effective.

The World Health Organization, American Society of Addiction Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse all oppose making marijuana available as medicine.

Mr. Sharp mentioned two patients with multiple sclerosis, but the Society for Multiple Sclerosis opposes marijuana as medicine, and so does the American Cancer Society. Marijuana has 60 percent more cancercausing agents than a cigarette.

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19US CA: Editorial: Congress Needs To Clarify Marijuana LawsFri, 28 Dec 2012
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/29/2012

California, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have placed their residents in legal jeopardy over the sale and possession of marijuana for medical purposes. Now two of those states - Washington and Colorado - have done the same for recreational use. It's time for Congress to either adopt a more federalist approach to marijuana laws, or to reiterate that the plant is an illegal controlled substance.

Washington and Colorado voters approved pot-possession initiatives in last month's elections. But the marijuana story that created the most election buzz this year was the endorsement of Mitt Romney by the creator of the comic strip "Dilbert," Scott Adams. It was a "firing offense," Adams wrote, for President Obama to put "an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law."

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20 US FL: Pain Pills' Littlest VictimsFri, 28 Dec 2012
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Campo-Flores, Arian Area:Florida Lines:150 Added:12/29/2012

Mothers On Oxycodone Give Birth To Drug-Dependent Babies; 'It's Heartbreaking

SARASOTA, Fla.: Hospitals around the country are confronting an unsettling consequence of the prescription-pain-pill epidemic: a surge in the number of babies born dependent on drugs such as oxycodone.

One recent morning a 12-day-old girl lay writhing in the neonatal intensive-care unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Erin Weatherwax, a nurse, tried to console the newborn by holding her against her chest and patting the baby's back. She placed the girl in a motorized swing that made cricket sounds. But the infant continued to squirm, unable to sleep more than a few minutes at a time.

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