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1US GA: OPED: Becoming One Of 'Those People' After Addiction StruckSun, 01 Oct 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Boccia, Kate Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

I am a pretty quintessential middle-class American woman. My ancestry is Danish and English-maybe some Scottish somewhere. I'm just enough of a WASP to have some ancestors who fought in the Revolution. But I certainly didn't feel superior to the blue-collar Italian and Irish kids in the lower-middle-class neighborhood where I grew up - in fact, I would have laughed at the notion that, merely as white people, any of us were privileged. I reserved that term for the rich kids living in big houses across town. In my book, privilege meant you had a lot more than my family had.

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2US GA: Police Chief: New Law Doesn't Legalize PotWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

You might want to think twice before you light up that joint in Piedmont Park or anywhere else in the city of Atlanta.

The drug is still illegal, despite Monday's move by the Atlanta City Council to eliminate jail time and reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana, Atlanta Police Chief Erica Shields said Tuesday.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Shields said some media and advocates of cannabis decriminalization are confusing the public by suggesting the Council's action gives Atlanta residents permission to use pot without consequence.

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3US GA: Atlanta: No Jail For Pot PossessionTue, 03 Oct 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

The Atlanta City Council on Monday unanimously passed legislation eliminating jail time and reducing penalties on possession of small amounts of marijuana, but not before mayoral candidates got into heated debates and backers of the bill became rowdy.

The legislation, which was resurrected in September after spending months in committees because of concerns it might send the wrong message, brings Atlanta closer to other large cities across the nation that are either lessening penalties on pot or decriminalizing it altogether as Americans' opinions on the drug evolve.

It will reduce the financial penalty for possession of one ounce or less from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75. Jail time, currently six months for possession, would be eliminated for an ounce or less.

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4 US CA: Hundreds Applied To Be On California's Pot Advisory CommitteeThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:37 Added:10/05/2017

With just three months left to draft new rules for marijuana sales in California, the state on Wednesday appointed a panel of industry members, health experts, law enforcement officials and union leaders to provide advice during the effort.

The 22-member Cannabis Advisory Committee will help the Bureau of Cannabis Control develop regulations on the cultivation, transport, testing and sale of medical and recreational marijuana, with state licenses scheduled to be issued starting Jan. 2.

"These individuals represent the diverse backgrounds of California and the cannabis industry and have the necessary experience to make the committee successful," said Dean R. Grafilo, director of the state Department of Consumer Affairs. He said hundreds of people applied for the panel.

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5 US MA: Cannabis Exposition Comes To Boston And No, That Smell Is NotThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Finucane, Martin Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:10/05/2017

Organizers of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition say they expect more than 2,000 people at the event Thursday and Friday at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

It's the first time this particular exposition has come to town. The organizers also held events this year in New York and Los Angeles.

"We are planting our flag here," said Dan Humiston, an organizer of the show.

"We anticipate the New England area is going to be the next big market for the industry. All the tea leaves say this part of the country will take off."

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6US CA: California Marijuana Grow Houses Account For 75 Percent OfWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2017

If you are 21, you can grow marijuana in California. But the rules vary by city. Here is what's legal in Sacramento if you want to grow pot.

California's illegally grown marijuana, once largely produced in national forests and other outdoor locations, is increasingly found indoors, federal statistics show.

In 2016, authorities seized 313,000 plants from indoor operations in California, which made up 75 percent of all indoor plants taken nationwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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7 US CA: San Diego Legalizes Supply Chain For Marijuana OperationsWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Garrick, David Area:California Lines:69 Added:10/04/2017

Making indoor pot farms and manufacturing sites for edible products legal will boost the economy, create jobs and improve the quality and safety of local marijuana, City Council members said before approving the legislation in a 6-3 vote. (Oct. 4, 2017)

Making indoor pot farms and manufacturing sites for edible products legal will boost the economy, create jobs and improve the quality and safety of local marijuana, City Council members said before approving the legislation in a 6-3 vote. (Oct. 4, 2017)

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8 US MA: Mass. Marijuana Commission Working On Budget, RevenueWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:89 Added:10/04/2017

BOSTON - As he prepares an immediate budget request for this fiscal year and his agency's budget request for its first full year in existence, the chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission has been meeting with lawmakers and expects to have an estimate of the CCC's fiscal needs within two weeks.

Chairman Steven Hoffman said he's already held about a half-dozen meetings with state lawmakers and expects to hold another six or seven. The topic of funding for the fledgling CCC, which was not a hot topic of debate in the Legislature during debate on pot taxes, comes up "every single time," he said.

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9US RI: Preliminary Injunction Prevents Smithfield From RestrictingWed, 27 Sep 2017
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Mooney, Tom Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday preventing the town of Smithfield from enforcing a recent amendment to its zoning ordinance that restricted the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana.

In his decision, Superior Court Associate Justice Richard A. Licht questioned whether local communities had the power to regulate "small-scale" medical marijuana cultivation under its zoning authority, which traditionally has been used to determine land use.

In April, the Smithfield Town Council passed an ordinance that limits licensed medical marijuana patients to two mature plants and two seedlings, and only at a patient's primary residence. Rhode Island law specifically allows for the cultivation of 12 mature plants and outlines where medical marijuana can be grown.

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10US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Won't Start In January In SFTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2017

People eager to start buying recreational marijuana from shops in San Francisco when sales become legal throughout the state in January are going to have to wait a little longer.

The city won't issue permits to sell recreational marijuana until it passes new laws to regulate the industry and creates an equity program to help low-income entrepreneurs, people of color, and former drug offenders break into the market.

According to Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who introduced an ordinance with proposed regulations at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, city officials still have no idea what that program will look like or how it will operate.

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11 US MI: Michigan Lawmakers Want Reprieve For Medical MarijuanaWed, 27 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:80 Added:09/28/2017

Medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to stay open while the state decides who will get a license for the lucrative cannabis business under a pair of bills to be introduced in the state Legislature.

Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, and Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, will introduce the bills in the Senate and House this week to counteract an advisory by the state to dispensaries that they should close before Dec. 15 or risk their chances at getting a license.

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12 US CA: Months Before California Allows The Sale Of Marijuana ForThu, 28 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:69 Added:09/28/2017

Months before California allows the sale of marijuana for recreational use, the state has launched an education campaign about the drug, including highlighting the potential harms of cannabis for minors and pregnant women.

The state is scheduled to issue licenses starting Jan. 2 for growing and selling marijuana for recreational use, expanding a program that currently allows cannabis use for medical purposes.

In response, the California Department of Public Health has created a website to educate Californians about the drug and its impacts, including how to purchase and safely store cannabis.

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13 US AZ: Column: Out With A WhimperThu, 28 Sep 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:99 Added:09/28/2017

Maricopa County Attorney loses legal battle with tail between his legs

Earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state's medical marijuana industry by quashing a long-standing legal assault by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Montgomery constantly rails against imaginary dangers of marijuana, likely borne from knowing little to nothing about the plant, and based on flawed data. He was a major player in the fight against Proposition 205 along with Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk.

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14 US: Column: How To Win A War On DrugsSun, 24 Sep 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:252 Added:09/27/2017

Portugal treats addiction as a disease, not a crime.

LISBON - On a broken-down set of steps, a 37-year-old fisherman named Mario mixed heroin and cocaine and carefully prepared a hypodermic needle. "It's hard to find a vein," he said, but he finally found one in his forearm and injected himself with the brown liquid. Blood trickled from his arm and pooled on the step, but he was oblivious.

"Are you O.K.?" Rita Lopes, a psychologist working for an outreach program called Crescer, asked him. "You're not taking too much?" Lopes monitors Portuguese heroin users like Mario, gently encourages them to try to quit and gives them clean hypodermics to prevent the spread of AIDS.

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15 US CT: Police: Shootings That Left 2 Dead Were Drug-RelatedMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:McWilliams, Kathleen Area:Connecticut Lines:96 Added:09/27/2017

Two men were killed in Hartford in a few-hour span Friday into Saturday.

Six people were shot, two fatally, in separate narcotics-related shootings in Hartford Friday night and Saturday morning, police said.

As of Sunday morning, victim identifications were being withheld, but Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said at least one of the victims was from out of state.

Foley said the two shootings immediately appeared to be narcotics related, with heroin, cocaine and other drugs found at the scene. Police said they believed multiple guns were involved and at least one of the shootings was described as a "gunfight."

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16 US CA: L.A. Is Set To Be A Hot Market For Marijuana SalesMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Reyes, Emily Alpert Area:California Lines:182 Added:09/27/2017

The idea of alarms critics of the marijuana industry, who argue that such venues would become a nuisance and drag down property values.

The idea of alarms critics of the marijuana industry, who argue that such venues would become a nuisance and drag down property values.

Los Angeles lawmakers are laying the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the hottest markets for marijuana in the country, one that could bring more than $50 million in taxes to city coffers next year.

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17 US MD: The Opioid Crisis Spills Into The WorkplaceMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Saraiva, Catarina Area:Maryland Lines:151 Added:09/27/2017

At Philip Tulkoff's food-processing plant in Baltimore, machines grind tough horseradish roots into puree. "If you put your arm in the wrong place," the owner says, "and you're not paying attention, it's going to pull you in." It's not a good place to be intoxicated.

Drug abuse in the workforce is a growing challenge for American business. While economists have paid more attention to the opioid epidemic's role in keeping people out of work, about two-thirds of those who report misusing pain-relievers are on the payroll. In the factory or office, such employees can be a drag on productivity, one of the U.S. economy's sore spots. In the worst case, they can endanger themselves and their colleagues.

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18 US OR: Marijuana Complaint From Portland Day Care Workers Slow ToSun, 24 Sep 2017
Source:Hillsboro Argus, The (OR) Author:Schmidt, Brad Area:Oregon Lines:63 Added:09/27/2017

Oregon officials twice neglected to deliver key documents when The Oregonian/OregonLive sought to learn about a state-licensed day care operating in the home of a Portland marijuana entrepreneur.

The search started July 10 with a public records request to the state Office of Child Care. It asked for documents including anything submitted by Step by Step's employees, operators or owners.

Agency officials provided records between July 15 and Aug. 2.

But missing from the documents were forms that Step by Step's top employees, Bre Murphy and Shai King, each submitted when they closed the business June 20.

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19 US: More People Were Arrested Last Year Over Pot Than For All CrimesTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:United States Lines:79 Added:09/27/2017

In 2016 more people were arrested for marijuana possession than for all crimes the FBI classifies as violent, according to 2016 crime data released by the agency on Monday.

Marijuana possession arrests edged up slightly in 2016, a year in which voters in four states approved recreational marijuana initiatives and voters in three others approved medical marijuana measures.

These figures should be regarded as estimates, because not all law enforcement agencies provide detailed arrest information to the FBI. But they do show that the annual number of marijuana arrests is down from their peak in the mid-2000s and stands at levels last seen in the mid 1990s. Marijuana use, particularly among adults, rose during this time.

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20US CA: More Cannabis Businesses Could Be Coming To San JacintoSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Shultz, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/26/2017

When more cannabis businesses begin operating in San Jacinto, Councilman Andrew Kotyuk said residents don't need to be struck with a case of reefer madness.

"This is not Cheech and Chong," Kotyuk said. "This is a biotech doctorate and masters who work with highly trained technicians in a medical environment."

The City Council voted last week to increase the number of cannabis businesses from six to 16.

San Jacinto already has given preliminary approval to three license requests for outdoor cultivation and three more for indoor, which had been the limit. Those have gone to five companies, one that applied for both indoor and outdoor operations.

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21 US MO: 77-Year-Old Sentenced To 10 Years For Growing MarijuanaFri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Bologna, Giacomo Area:Missouri Lines:159 Added:09/26/2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Two plainclothes detectives were driving a white unmarked pickup truck through a heavily forested road in Polk County on an overcast day in March 2012.

A woman had called the sheriff's office in December. Her identity had been stolen, she said, and new credit cards were being sent to an address in Polk County.

The detectives couldn't find the home in the rural area 45 miles north of Springfield, so instead they stopped at the next closest address -- the home of Charles Frederick White.

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22 US OR: Portland Case Reveals Gap In Rules To Separate Day CareSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:Hillsboro Argus, The (OR) Author:Schmidt, Brad Area:Oregon Lines:349 Added:09/26/2017

State regulators allowed a Portland man to have a childcare business in his home while owning a storefront dispensary selling marijuana.

Those potentially dueling interests didn't surface until this summer, after two childcare employees quit and contacted the state. They accused the day care owner, Samuel Watson, of keeping large amounts of marijuana inside his Alameda home and said he was putting children at risk. Watson categorically denies the allegations, and state officials have not found him at fault.

Without key employees, Watson in June was forced to shut down his in-home day care and a second location in Concordia.

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23 US: America's Opioid Problem Is So Bad It's Cutting Into U.S. LifeThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Swenson, Kyle Area:United States Lines:68 Added:09/26/2017

Prosecutors in New York announced this week that an August drug raid yielded 140 pounds of fentanyl, the most in the city's history and enough to kill 32 million people, they told New York 4.

Those numbers underscore the dizzying size of the current opioid crisis, and the report of the New York bust comes the same week as another shocking piece of evidence that America's pill problem has reached a critical milestone: On Tuesday, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an analysis showing the crisis has actually negatively impacted life expectancy in the United States.

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24 US NJ: Paterson: Inside Needle Exchange, Clients Defend The ProgramFri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Rumley, Ed Area:New Jersey Lines:129 Added:09/26/2017

PATERSON -- About a dozen men and women sat on hard plastic chairs early Wednesday morning inside a conference room at the Well of Hope Drop-In Center on Broadway, where a flat screen television broadcast sports highlights on ESPN.

Some came for the free coffee. A sign said the limit was one cup per hour. Others were there to use the showers and toilet facilities. A 57-year-old man who would only give his name as "Julius" was waiting to see a nurse about a blister on his foot.

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25 US PA: Medical Marijuana Appeals Expose Flaws In Application ScoringSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:286 Added:09/26/2017

More than 130 administrative appeals have been filed against the state Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana over a secret evaluation committee's handling of applications to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

More than 130 administrative appeals have been filed against the state Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana over a secret evaluation committee's handling of applications to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. (HARRY FISHER / THE MORNING CALL)

The competition for 39 permits to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania was bound to leave many applicants speed-dialing their lawyers to complain about unfair evaluations.

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26 US MI: State Says Growers, Processers, Sellers Of Pot Can Be In SameThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:83 Added:09/26/2017

The medical marijuana business is expected to explode next year when the state begins to hand out licenses, and rules released Thursday by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could prove to be even more profitable for some budding marijuana entrepreneurs.

LARA said in an advisory that one person could apply for three of the licenses -- grower, processor and dispensary -- and locate all of those businesses in one facility.

Read more:

"It's something that we've had a lot of inquiries about," said David Harns, spokesman for LARA, as people looking to get involved in the medical pot business get ready for Dec. 15, when applications for licenses will become available from the state.

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27US NY: Who Wants To Grow NY Hemp?Fri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Vaughn, Natasha Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:09/26/2017

ALBANY -- New York is looking for industrial hemp growers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that an application period is open to participate in the state's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program.

The program is open to researchers, farmers and businesses who wish to research, grow, manufacture and produce industrial hemp in New York.

"By expanding industrial hemp research, we are opening the doors to innovative ideas that could provide a major boost to our farms and communities, creating new jobs, and laying the foundation for future economic growth," Cuomo said in a statement.

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28 US AZ: High Time Hold UpThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:82 Added:09/23/2017

Your meds are safe for a little while longer.

Congressional lawmakers bought a little more time for the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment by extending the current federal budget with a disaster relief bill signed by President Donald Trump earlier this month. The clause is set to expire with the rest of the bill on Dec. 8.

The bill itself caught a lot of press due to the shocking ease with which Trump sided with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling. Of the 90 "no" votes in the House of Representatives, all were Republican. (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Washington Post the vote indicated House Republicans "have a philosophical problem with governance.")

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29 US KY: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Medical Marijuana For KentuckyWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:88 Added:09/23/2017

Amy Stalker says she had more control over her own health when she lived in Colorado, where marijuana can be legally prescribed as medicine. Stalker now lives in Kentucky, where medical use of marijuana is banned.

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday against Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear that called for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky.

In his opinion, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate wrote that the Kentucky Supreme Court clearly established in a 2000 decision involving actor and hemp activist Woody Harrelson that the General Assembly has the sole discretion under the state Constitution to regulate the use of cannabis in the state. The courts do not have the authority to intervene, Wingate wrote.

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30 US PA: Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Law May Be Drifting IntoTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Esack, Steve Area:Pennsylvania Lines:122 Added:09/23/2017

Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery -- who temporarily moonlighted as a medical marijuana lawyer -- held a news conference in the state Capitol in which he accused a Bethlehem company of threatening to destroy the law with a lawsuit.

Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery -- who temporarily moonlighted as a medical marijuana lawyer -- held a news conference in the state Capitol in which he accused a Bethlehem company of threatening to destroy the law with a lawsuit. (Steve Esack)

Prior to passage of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, politicians and advocates spoke with compassion about how it would provide alternative care to the sick and infirm.

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31 US FL: Florida Moves Toward More Medical Marijuana LicensesWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:09/23/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Seemingly learning from past mistakes, state health officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses in two weeks.

The new rule, published Wednesday and going into effect immediately, outsources the evaluation of the applications to "subject matter experts," requires "blind testing" of the applications, and includes a detailed application form --- all departures from the Department of Health's previous medical-marijuana regulations that spawned a series of legal and administrative challenges.

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32US CA: Editorial: Governments Wisely Moving To Regulate MarijuanaTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.

Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as opposed to simply banning marijuana.

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33 US MA: Mass. High Court Says Sobriety Tests Aren't Evidence For PotTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:116 Added:09/20/2017

Members of the Mass. State Police performed a sobriety test on a driver in Chicopee in 2011.

The state's highest court on Tuesday limited which evidence can be used in court to prosecute drivers suspected of operating under the influence of marijuana, handing a victory to civil rights advocates in a closely-watched case.

Under a unanimous ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts police officers can no longer cite their subjective on-scene observations or sobriety tests to conclude in court testimony that a driver was under the influence of marijuana.

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34US RI: Federal Drug Agency Asks R.I. For Medical Marijuana PatientSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Bogdan, Jennifer Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A federal anti-drug program has asked Rhode Island - -- and more than two dozen other states where medical marijuana is legal -- to turn over data about patients in the program.

The move has alarmed some who question why the federal government, which has at times appeared to be antagonistic towards the drug, is interested in the information.

The National Marijuana Initiative, an arm of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, which reports to the White House, contacted the Rhode Island Department of Health in August seeking data from 2012 to 2016 on the number of patients in the program, as well as patients' age, gender and a breakdown of the medical conditions under which they qualified.

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35 US MA: Marijuana Rally On Boston Common Features Vendors, Music, AndSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Carozza, Jacob Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:09/19/2017

The Boston Freedom Rally was on Boston Common on Saturday.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Boston Common this weekend for the 28th annual Boston Freedom Rally - the first time the marijuana festival has been held since voters approved a ballot referendum last November legalizing the drug for recreational use.

As of Saturday morning, about 7,400 people indicated on Facebook that they plan to go to the rally, organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.

The festival, which began Friday, is scheduled to be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday according to its Facebook page.

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36 US PA: Patients Lose As Cannabis Industry Barters For Zoning InThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Goldstein, Chris Area:Pennsylvania Lines:113 Added:09/19/2017

A pay-to-play system has developed between state-licensed cannabis operators and municipal governments across the country for local zoning. The same model has quickly materialized in Pennsylvania, and now one town has gone too far.

Muhlenberg Township in Berks County was trying to squeeze a dispensary - - Franklin Bioscience LLC - for 5 percent of its annual profits.

The issue was revealed when the Pennsylvania Department of Health released a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer from medical-marijuana program director John Collins to the company's CEO, Andrew Weiss, allowing the dispensary to relocate after getting pressured for the cash. Collins wrote:

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37 US CA: Pot Edibles That Look Like Gummy Bears Should Be Illegal ToThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:31 Added:09/19/2017

California companies would be prohibited from selling marijuana edibles made in the shape of a person, animal, insect or fruit under a measure given final legislative approval Thursday and sent to the governor for consideration.

"We are trying to protect children," said Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), who authored AB 350.

Lawmakers said marijuana edibles have been made in the past to look like gummy bears or miniature pineapples. In April, some middle school students in San Diego got sick after a classmate sold them marijuana-laced gummy bears.

The state plans to begin issuing licenses for the sale of recreational marijuana to people 21 and older in January, so lawmakers have introduced several bills aimed at preventing pot from being marketed to minors.

[end]

38 US PA: DA Candidate Endorses Safe Injection Sites For HeroinThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:134 Added:09/19/2017

Democrat Larry Krasner, the front-runner to become Philadelphia's next district attorney, says he supports city-sanctioned spaces where people addicted to heroin can inject drugs under medical supervision and access treatment, a move advocates see as a promising step toward making the city the first in the U.S. to open such a site.

His Republican opponent, Beth Grossman, says she's open to discussions on the matter.

For those on the front lines of the heroin crisis in Philadelphia, both are encouraging stances in a political arena where the idea can still be dismissed out of hand. But recently, cities across the country have begun to consider the possibility of instituting supervised injection sites; several nations, including Canada, have used the approach for years.

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39 US MI: Detroit Voters To Decide On 2 Marijuana Proposals In NovemberFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:144 Added:09/19/2017

Two initiatives that would amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne County circuit judge's ruling earlier this week.

If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a wide-reaching impact on the city's budding marijuana industry.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact zoning regulations.

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40 US PA: Pennsbury School Board OKs Aggressive Antidrug ProgramTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Boccella, Kathy Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:09/19/2017

Just six days after her 28-year-old son died from a heroin overdose, the president of the Pennsbury school board wept as she thanked her colleagues for unanimously approving an ambitious new $149,000 antidrug program aimed at fighting an opioid epidemic that has ravaged young grads in their Lower Bucks County community.

"Thank you all for doing this - now more than ever it means the world to me," a tearful Jacqueline Redner said immediately after the vote. After a decadelong battle with addiction, her son Josh was found dead in a motel room on Sept. 13.

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41 US KY: Former Sheriff Who Was Approved To Grow Hemp Arrested OnFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Estep, Bill Area:Kentucky Lines:111 Added:09/12/2017

He was licensed to grow hemp in Kentucky. Police say they found marijuana instead.

Kentucky officials are reviewing a case that could result in a former sheriff being kicked out of the state's pilot program to grow industrial hemp after he was charged with cultivating marijuana.

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman is thought to the first participant in the hemp program to be arrested for allegedly growing marijuana, hemp's psychoactive cousin.

Peyman has been approved to grow hemp since 2015, the year after he lost reelection and left office, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

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42 US PA: Gov. Wolf: Crackdown On Medical Marijuana Will 'Force MoreThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:70 Added:09/12/2017

Federal interference with Pennsylvania's medical-marijuana program would "force more suffering on some of our most vulnerable constituents," Gov. Wolf said in a letter to Rep. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee.

Wolf is alarmed that Congress could eliminate a provision in an appropriations bill that for four years has prohibited federal agencies from cracking down on the implementation of state-approved medical-cannabis programs.

The states considered the provision, known as the Rohrabacher amendment, as tacit protection that gave them permission to launch their cannabis programs.

[continues 349 words]

43 US PA: OPED: Auditor General DePasquale: Legalize Marijuana In Pa. ToThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:DePasquale, Eugene Area:Pennsylvania Lines:117 Added:09/12/2017

With Pennsylvania teetering on the edge of another budget cliff, it is immensely clear to me that we must get creative in finding long-term revenue solutions to prevent total financial collapse.

Last month, as a short-term fix to the state's cash-flow woes, I cosigned a $750 million loan from Treasury's Short Term Investment Pool. That loan cost the state $141,000 in interest.

What's more, Treasurer Joe Torsella is forecasting the state's general fund balance will hit negative $1.6 billion by mid-September. This is disturbing.

[continues 722 words]

44 US TX: Medical Marijuana To Start Growing In South TexasFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Tinsley, Anna M. Area:Texas Lines:171 Added:09/12/2017

Any day now, medical marijuana will legally start to grow in the state of Texas.

It will be planted, grown and processed on a 10-acre parcel of land in Schulenburg, a small community east of San Antonio, now that the company that owns the property -- Cansortium Texas -- has received the state's first license to do so.

The low-level cannabidiol will be sold, under a 2015 law, to help Texans with intractable epilepsy if federally approved medication hasn't helped.

[continues 1020 words]

45 US KY: Former Jackson County Sheriff Arrested On MarijuanaThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Estep, Bill Area:Kentucky Lines:86 Added:09/09/2017

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman was involved in a marijuana-growing operation and possessed enough anabolic steroids to indicate he was trafficking in the drug, Kentucky State Police have charged.

A detective for the state police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit for the eastern half of the state arrested Peyman at his farm south of McKee Wednesday at 4:44 p.m. after serving a search warrant, according to the citation.

The citation said the warrant was the culmination of an investigation in which 61 marijuana plants had been found earlier growing at Peyman's farm.

[continues 353 words]

46US TN: Candidates For Tennessee Governor Split On Medical MarijuanaThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ebert, Joel Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:09/09/2017

As Tennessee lawmakers begin discussions about possibly allowing medical marijuana in Tennessee, the top-tier candidates seeking to replace Gov. Bill Haslam have vastly different opinions.

While legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee has been brought up in the legislature several times in recent years, House Speaker Beth Harwell, who announced her run for governor in July, made headlines when she said she was open to the idea.

Last month, Harwell said a treatment using marijuana for her sister's back injury caused her to reconsider whether the Volunteer State should embrace medical cannabis, the Associated Press reported.

[continues 606 words]

47US MN: DFL Candidates For Governor Line Up Behind Pot LegalizationThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Coolican, J. Patrick Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:09/09/2017

A sleeper issue has emerged among DFL candidates in the 2018 governor's race: Marijuana.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, state Reps. Erin Murphy, Tina Liebling and Paul Thissen, and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz all support legalizing marijuana for recreational and not just medical use. Among the major DFL candidates, only State Auditor Rebecca Otto declined to do so.

"When you confront the reality of the cost of criminalization vs. the benefits of legalization, I think the benefits outweigh the costs," said Coleman, whose campaign approached the Star Tribune to discuss the issue.

[continues 675 words]

48 US: Opioid Use Responsible For 20 Percent Of Drop In American MenThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Phillip, Angel Area:United States Lines:52 Added:09/09/2017

Opioid use by American men may account for one-fifth of the decline in their participation in the U.S. labor force, according to a study by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger.

"The opioid crisis and depressed labor-force participation are now intertwined in many parts of the U.S.," Krueger, who was chief economist at the Treasury Department in the Obama administration, wrote in the study released Thursday at a Brookings Institution conference in Washington.

Krueger's study linked county prescription rates to labor force data from the past 15 years, concluding that regional differences in prescription rates were due to variations in medical practices, not health conditions. In previous research, he found that nearly half of men in their prime worker ages not in the labor force take prescription painkillers daily.

[continues 189 words]

49 US: Teen Marijuana Use Falls To 20-Year Low, Defying LegalizationThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:United States Lines:62 Added:09/09/2017

In 2016, rates of marijuana use among the nation's 12- to 17-year-oldsA dropped to their lowest level inA more than two decades, according to federal survey data released this week.

Last year, 6.5 percent of adolescents used marijuana on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That represents a statistically significant drop from 2014,A when the nation's first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado.

The last time monthly teen marijuana use was this low was 1994, according to the survey.

[continues 289 words]

50 US: OPED: My Fellow Conservatives Should Protect Medical MarijuanaWed, 06 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Rohrabacher, Dana Area:United States Lines:119 Added:09/06/2017

Not long ago, a supporter of mine visiting from California dropped by my Capitol office. A retired military officer and staunch conservative, he and I spent much of our conversation discussing the Republican agenda.

Finally, I drew a breath and asked him about an issue I feared might divide us: the liberalization of our marijuana laws, specifically medical marijuana reform, on which for years I had been leading the charge. What did he think about that controversial position?

"Dana," he replied, "there are some things about me you don't know." He told me about his three sons, all of whom enlisted after 9/11.

[continues 730 words]


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