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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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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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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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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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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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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Cannabis 101: Here's what you need to know about recreational
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
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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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
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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For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the
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
[continues 283 words]
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.
[continues 287 words]
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
[continues 323 words]
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.
[continues 1023 words]
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.
[continues 725 words]
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
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.
[continues 580 words]
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
[continues 1017 words]
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.
[continues 990 words]
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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Beantown Greentown is trying to build a 100-foot-long joint this
weekend at a marijuana expo event in Worcester. This is a practice
Keith Laham and his friends have been practicing for the past few
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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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?
[continues 644 words]
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Charles Grugan's drug addiction took a toll on
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
His heart, liver and kidneys were successfully transplanted into three
"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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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.
[continues 683 words]
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.
[continues 515 words]
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.
[continues 394 words]
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
[continues 705 words]
"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."
[continues 344 words]
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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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
[continues 551 words]
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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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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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
People can buy kratom online and at head shops, vape shops and more
recently at kava bars that serve herbal drinks.
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
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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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."
[continues 60 words]
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
[continues 146 words]
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
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
Stuart Collins is a PhD student in the neurosciences and neurological
disorders at the University of Toledo college of medicine.
[continues 559 words]
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."
[continues 452 words]
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.
[continues 697 words]
Last March, I wrote Congressman Seth Moulton asking him to become a
co-sponsor of H.R. 975, the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act." He
responded that, "The federal government ought to respect the will of
the voters in states like Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington that
have approved marijuana legalization."
Yet, instead of signing on as a co-sponsor, he chooses to leave
federal enforcement up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions
understands the proper roles of Congress and his office. He stated at
his confirmation hearing, "I think one obvious concern is that the
United States Congress made the possession of marijuana in every state
and the distribution of it an illegal act. If that's something that's
not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule.
It is not the attorney general's job to decide what laws to enforce.
We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we are able."
By "able," he is referring to budgetary constraints of attempting to
enforce federal prohibition of a plant that grows in every state.
Mr. Moulton, leaders lead. Get off the fence and sponsor the
Steven S. Epstein
West Street Georgetown
When a rising Chinese American power broker became a partner in a
proposed cannabis dispensary in San Francisco's Outer Sunset, he knew
it would hit resistance.
But David Ho sees himself as the perfect emissary to the mostly older
Chinese residents and merchants who are deeply skeptical of the pot
"I'm the working-class, westside Asian American story," said Ho, who
is a co-owner of the Barbary Coast medical cannabis dispensary that
has applied to open at 2161 Irving St., on a block lined with grocery
stores, dry cleaning shops and banks.
[continues 957 words]
A DeLand police officer was fired, another suspended without pay and a
third reprimanded this month after they lost methamphetamine collected
as evidence at a home over the summer, Internal Affairs documents show.
Officers Michael Mirino, John Rutherford and Thomas Gillan responded
to a home on July 14 to stand by as members of Probation and Parole
searched the Lazy River Lane home of Cameron Rando, 19, who was on
probation for grand theft and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling
according to reports released this week.
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For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of
violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet
for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.
"I've screamed out for death," said Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego.
"I've cried out for my mom who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not
realizing she can't come to me."
Queen lost a modeling job after being mistaken for an alcoholic. She
racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and her
nausea interrupted her sex life. Towards the end of her illness,
Queen, who stands 5-foot-9, weighed in at a frail 109 pounds.
[continues 985 words]
NEW YORK -- It was a telling setting for a decision on whether
post-traumatic stress disorder patients could use medical marijuana.
Against the backdrop of the nation's largest Veterans Day parade,
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this month he'd sign
legislation making New York the latest in a fast-rising tide of states
to OK therapeutic pot as a PTSD treatment, though it's illegal under
federal law and doesn't boast extensive, conclusive medical research.
Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia now include PTSD in
their medical marijuana programs, a tally that has more than doubled
in the last two years, according to data compiled by the
pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. A 29th state, Alaska,
doesn't incorporate PTSD in its medical marijuana program but allows
everyone over 20 to buy pot legally.
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There's hardly a more receptive or captive audience for marketing an
intoxicant than the beleaguered commuters crowded onto a rush-hour
Muni bus (except perhaps the ones packed onto a rush-hour BART train).
But unlike many of the dopey regulations proliferating ahead of
California's legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in
2018, Muni's decision to ban cannabis advertising makes sense.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board voted
Tuesday to ban recreational marijuana advertising and stop accepting
medical marijuana ads once current contracts expire. The policy is in
keeping with Muni's refusal of alcohol, tobacco and firearms
advertising in light of the number of children who ride city buses and
trains. It's also in line with statewide regulations that prohibit
cannabis advertising that targets children or reaches audiences with
large numbers of young people.
[continues 166 words]
The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.
Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the
aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating
no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally
in the governor's office.
Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of
staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The
governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the
growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.
[continues 990 words]
In just a few weeks, medical marijuana will legally be sold in
The plants are nearly finished growing in South-Central Texas, which
means workers will soon harvest and cultivate them, drying them out
and preparing to extract low-level cannibidiol.
Once that medicine is in a liquid form, and packaged in drops, the
first sales of medical marijuana -- geared to help Texans with
intractable epilepsy -- will occur before the end of this year.
"It's very, very exciting," said Jose Hidalgo, chief executive officer
of Cansortium Holdings, the Florida-based parent company of Cansortium
Texas. "Nothing in life ever goes as planned.
[continues 501 words]
An Indiana high school teacher was arrested on drug charges Wednesday
after her students said they saw her using cocaine in her classroom.
Lake Central High School junior Will Rogers told WGN9 he shot video of
the incident through a classroom window.
"She's in the corner, hiding with a chair and a book and what appears
to be cocaine, putting it into lines," Rogers told the TV station.
"When I actually watched the footage again and again and I just
realized that my english teacher just did cocaine."
[continues 117 words]
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Michigan judge has thrown out a case against
two former corrections officers who lost their jobs after being
arrested and charged with possession of marijuana-infused butter.
Michael Frederick and Todd VanDoorne were charged in 2014 following an
early-morning, warrant-less search of their homes. Both were
registered under the state's medical marijuana law to use the butter
to control pain. Police allege they didn't comply with the law. They
subsequently lost their jobs in Kent County.
[continues 186 words]
Pot sales are expected to begin around July 1 in Massachusetts.
The Cannabis Control Commission is pushing to write a first draft of
new rules permitting the legal sale of marijuana in Massachusetts by
the end of the year, setting up a frenetic month that will shape the
recreational pot industry.
The commission announced Tuesday that it plans to file initial
regulations by Dec. 29. Among numerous details, they will spell out
the criteria for winning dispensary licenses, rules for marijuana
consumption bars, and a plan for ensuring diversity in the industry.
[continues 379 words]
In this divided nation, we should be able to at least find common
cause in the fight to stop and treat opioid addiction, a scourge that
knows no single identity, and that does not respect geographic
boundaries or common socio-economic factors. This is a fight we must
all take up, arm in arm, because in one way or another it affects all
Indeed, the more we know about this menace to our national health, the
worse it seems. According to a new analysis released by the Trump
White House, the opioid addiction crisis may already be much worse
than previously thought. According to the White House Council of
Economic Advisers, the true cost of the crisis, as of 2015, stands at
$504 billion, a figure more than six times the most recent estimate.
[continues 405 words]
Opioid overdoses are killing two people in Washington each day, and
Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday urged legislation that will
limit new legal opioid prescriptions and monitor those receiving the
The extent of the state's opioid epidemic was outline in a report
released by the AG's office, the Washington State Patrol and the
Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, detailing its legal
and illegal roots.
It urges action on prescription opioids, "often the source of initial
exposure to opioids."
[continues 235 words]
BOSTON - Genuine debate on marijuana policy and how the legal pot
industry should look in Massachusetts is likely coming from the
Cannabis Control Commission during the middle two weeks of December,
which are shaping up to be the CCC's busiest yet as the agency tries
to file the first draft of its regulations by Dec. 29.
The CCC has tentatively penciled in public meetings for policy
discussion and debate on the draft regulations each day of the week of
Dec. 11, chairman Steven Hoffman said Tuesday. The following week will
begin with three days of private stakeholder meetings and then at
least one public meeting for the CCC to vote on acceptance of the
[continues 834 words]