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1US TN: Harwell 'Open' To Medical Marijuana Law In TennesseeSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Schelzig, Erik Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The treatment of her sister's back injury has caused Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell to reevaluate Tennessee's ban on medical marijuana.

Harwell, who is speaker of the state House of Representatives, told a Republican gathering earlier this month that allowing medical marijuana has come up as part of a discussion about how to tackle the state's opioid crisis.

The longtime Nashville representative said her sister was recently prescribed opioids after breaking her back.

"She was in a yoga class and came down out of a shoulder stand the wrong way," Harwell said. "And she was, of course, in a great deal of pain."

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2US: Editorial: Opioids A National Problem -- And So Is TrumpFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Taking a break from his provocative tweets on North Korea, President Trump on Thursday declared the opioid addiction epidemic a national emergency, heeding Gov. Chris Christie's suggestion as part of Christie's work with a special presidential commission on opioid abuse.

It was a welcome step by Trump, albeit a bit unexpected; as recently as Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Trump would not make the emergency declaration because it was unnecessary. But as is so often the case with Trump, even sensible policy is layered with impulsiveness, hypocrisy and a general sense of cluelessness.

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3 US TN: Opioid-Related Hospitalizations More Than Triple For TennesseeSun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Author:Wadhwani, Anita Area:Tennessee Lines:165 Added:08/15/2017

The rate of hospitalizations for Tennesseans 65 years and older due to painkillers has more than tripled in a decade.

Older adults are being hospitalized for reasons that range from falls and auto accidents after taking pain pills to unintentional overdoses, interactions with other medications and weakened kidney or liver functions in aging bodies that fail to metabolize the drug in the same way as younger people.

Experts say physicians and family members are more likely to overlook addiction in senior citizens -- even after opioids require a trip to the hospital.

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4 US: Marijuana States Try To Curb Smuggling, Avert Us CrackdownMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Selsky, Andrew Area:United States Lines:146 Added:08/15/2017

In response, pot-legal states are trying to clamp down on "diversion" even as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions presses for enforcement of federal laws against marijuana.

Tracking legal weed from the fields and greenhouses where it's grown to the shops where it's sold under names like Blueberry Kush and Chernobyl is their so far main protective measure.

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown recently signed into law a requirement that state regulators track from seed to store all marijuana grown for sale in Oregon's legal market. So far, only recreational marijuana has been comprehensively tracked. Tina Kotek, speaker of the Oregon House, said lawmakers wanted to ensure "we're protecting the new industry that we're supporting here."

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5 US TX: Texans May Be Able To Buy Medical Cannabis Oil By JanuaryThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Samuels, Alex Area:Texas Lines:123 Added:08/14/2017

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the first bill allowing any growing or sale of marijuana in Texas. The Texas Compassionate Use Act legalized the selling of a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.

Two years later, Texans still can't legally buy cannabis oil, but a handful of companies believe they are weeks away from receiving the official go-ahead to become the state's first sellers.

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6US WA: As Opioid Deaths Spike, New Push To Save Overdosing UsersFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Cohen, Stephen Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Public health officials are promoting the use of the drug naloxone to help save people from opioid overdoses.

Seattle's opioid crisis is a complicated medical, political and emotional issue, but state leaders are attempting to tackle one of the most immediate concerns facing those on the front line of the fight: Keeping users alive during an overdose.

The Seattle Police Department implemented a nasal naloxone (also known Narcan) program in March 2016, training 60 bike officers to administer the drug to anyone they believed to be suffering from an opioid overdose. The program has been a modest success, with officers reviving 20 people thus far according to Officer Steve Redmond, and there are hopes the program can be expanded department wide.

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7 US AZ: PUB LTE: Overhaul TimeMon, 07 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Arizona Lines:36 Added:08/12/2017

Editor:

Thanks for publishing Rita Shyrocka'™s outstanding letter: "€œCrisis€™ is on government'€™s shoulders"€ (7-19-17).

I'€™d like to add that in 1972, when President Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs, the federal budget for the drug war was $101 million. Last year, the federal budget for the drug was over $25 billion - a 250-fold increase.

In 1972, fewer than 5,000 Americans died from illegal drugs. Last year more than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses.

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8 US AZ: Column: Dead LettersThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:93 Added:08/12/2017

Sessions' correspondence to marijuana states is full of smoke and mirror

While certain federal administration officials take to Twitter to air their grievances, those stuck in last century use more traditional means for their loosely-supported rants.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to governors of states with legal recreational marijuana in response to an April 3 letter from the governors of Alaska, Washington and Oregon urging him to uphold Obama-era pot policy.

However, the points raised in Sessions' letter may not be as watertight as he thinks.

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9 US OH: Marijuana Cultivation Warehouse Approved For North Toledo -Fri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Reiter, Mark Area:Ohio Lines:79 Added:08/12/2017

The site of the proposed warehouse is vacant land at Jason Street and Cassandra Drive.

A Cleveland-based company that has applied for a state license to grow medical marijuana won approval Thursday from the Toledo Plan Commission to build a 60,000-square-foot cultivation warehouse near Alexis Road and Suder Avenue.

Les Hollis, a consultant for Lake Erie Compassion Care, said the proposed facility would employ as many as 60 people, generating a $2.5 million to $3 million annual payroll.

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10 US: Trump's Effort To Blame Obama For The Opioid EpidemicFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Kessler, Glenn Area:United States Lines:98 Added:08/11/2017

"Federal drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years. We're going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly. At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer than in 2011. So they looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we're not letting it go by."

President Trump -- who two days after this briefing said he would declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency -- not so subtly tried to pin the blame on the Obama administration. "They looked at this scourge and they let it go by," the president said, citing statistics that federal drug prosecutions have declined 23 percent since 2011.

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11 US NY: Oped: Another Voice: Legalized Marijuana Is Here To StayFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Shifman, Neal Area:New York Lines:72 Added:08/11/2017

Whether you love it or hate it, it's a fact that 29 states so far have some form of marijuana decriminalization or legalization, with more considering the possibility. People have strong opinions about the legalization of marijuana -- but how often are those opinions based on science and an understanding of evolving best practices?

It's high time we have a national conversation that is rational, science-based and open-minded around the many public health implications. Substance use disorders, youth prevention, drugged driving, health effects, pesticides -- the list is long, and these questions make it a complex process for states working to translate policy and legislation into reasonable regulation.

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12US AR: No Applications To Grow, Dispense Arkansas Medical MarijuanaFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Mukunyadzi, Tafi Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas is low as the state reaches the halfway point for the application period.

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press Friday morning that the agency had received no applications to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

"We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete," Hardin said earlier in the week. "Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications."

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13 US: The Cost Of Treating Opioid Overdose Victims Is Rising FastFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ross, Casey Area:United States Lines:88 Added:08/11/2017

The cost of treating opioid overdose victims in hospital intensive care units jumped 58 percent in a seven-year span, according to a new study that concludes increasingly sick patients are placing a greater strain on an overmatched health care system.

Between 2009 and 2015, the average cost of care per opioid admission increased from $58,500 to $92,400 in the 162 academic hospitals included in the study, which was led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. That rapid escalation far outpaced the overall medical inflation rate in the United States, which was about 19 percent during the period covered by the study.

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14 US HI: Medicinal Marijuana Users Thrill To 'Historic Day' On OahuThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:85 Added:08/10/2017

Dozens of patients anxiously stood in line - one as early as the night before - to be the first on Oahu to buy products such as Chocolope and Lemon Drop, medical marijuana strains that went on sale Wednesday.

"It's like a candy store," said Kimbreley Timulty, 45, who was among the first to purchase pot at Aloha Green LLC. "It was overwhelming because you walk in there and that's the only thing that you smell."

Timulty, who uses marijuana for insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and her 47-year-old husband, Joseph, from Makiki, said they have been waiting 17 years for medicinal pot to be readily available in Hawaii.

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15US CA: Ex-NFL Player Ryan O'Callaghan: Marijuana Is A Godsend For NFLThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

REDDING, Calif. - Ryan O'Callaghan, who said he developed an addiction to painkillers that helped him deal with injuries during his NFL career, told USA TODAY Sports he now uses marijuana to treat the pain and that the NFL should change its policy prohibiting players from using the drug.

"For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don't want to take these pills,'' said O'Callaghan, 33. "Marijuana is not addicting. People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive personality. It's not addictive.''

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16US NY: Medical Marijuana: Lozenges, Lotions Coming To New YorkThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Campbel, Jon Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

ALBANY - New York will allow ointments, lozenges and chewable tablets as part of its medical marijuana program while the state's training program for doctors will be cut in half, the Department of Health announced Thursday.

Health regulators on Thursday proposed a new set of regulations that would further expand the state's medical marijuana program, which the state has tried to broaden as it faced criticism from patient advocates and marijuana companies for its restrictiveness.

The new rules, which can take effect as soon as late September, ease the state's restrictions on the type of marijuana products available to certified patients by allowing lotions, ointments, patches, certain chewables and lozenges.

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17US TN: Lawmaker To Push Bounty Hunting Crackdown After FatalThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ingersoll, Stephanie Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A state lawmaker said he will propose legislation in January to tighten laws governing bounty hunters and bonding agents in the wake of a fatal shooting in Clarksville.

On Wednesday, Rep. Joe Pitts held a meeting with representatives from the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley and Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, among others.

Pitts said the meeting was sparked by a series of articles by The Leaf-Chronicle that examined laws pertaining to bounty hunters and bonding agents. In some cases, the laws are unclear. In others, the laws are simply being ignored.

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18 US NJ: Editorial: Opioid Addiction Is A National EmergencyWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:83 Added:08/09/2017

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Cabinet members and senior staff at his golf club in Bedminster to discuss the opioid crisis. Missing at the meeting was Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the president's commission charged with studying the national rise of heroin and opioid addiction. Christie is on vacation. While the governor missed the meeting, the president is missing the message Christie has been sending for several years: treatment over incarceration will save lives.

Long before his approval rating tanked at 15 percent, Christie used his then sizable political capital to focus on treatment and rehabilitation. He did it when he pushed for drug courts. He did it when he eloquently spoke of a law student friend who died because of addiction. And during his presidential bid, Christie resonated most effectively with voters when talking about drug addiction.

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19 US FL: Nazi Gang Members Arrested After Raid On Florida Trailer NetsWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Theisen, Tiffini Area:Florida Lines:38 Added:08/09/2017

Authorities found an exhaustive list of weapons, drug paraphernalia and Nazi propaganda when they raided a trailer Tuesday morning in a rural pocket of west central Florida, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Five felons, two of whom authorities described as documented gang members, were arrested after deputies and a SWAT team served a search warrant on the suburban New Port Richey mobile home, WFLA-Channel 8 reported.

Inside the trailer, which is partially obscured by thick vegetation along a wooded street, were four firearms, ammunition, "hundreds of pages" of miscellaneous bank account and personal identification information, credit cards, veterans' ID cards, insurance cards, vehicle titles, "hundreds of pages of American Nazi Family propaganda (rules, hierarchy, oaths, etc)," opiates, meth, and drug paraphernalia including needles and scales, deputies said.

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20 US MA: Driving While Stoned? State Officials Urge Caution OnWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Feiner, Lauren Area:Massachusetts Lines:48 Added:08/09/2017

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, federal, and state officials are launching a new campaign to remind users that driving while high remains illegal.

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, federal, and state officials are launching a new campaign to remind users that driving while high remains illegal.

With a motto of "Drive high? The crash is on you," the campaign will feature billboards, radio, and TV ads targeted at drivers between the ages of 18 and 49, but is particularly aimed at younger people, officials from Massachusetts and federal transportation and safety agencies said Tuesday.

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21 US NY: Report Reveals 'Safe House' Where Heroin Users Shoot Up UnderTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:92 Added:08/08/2017

NEW YORK -- A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

None were known to exist in the US until the disclosure in a medical journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish these so-called supervised injection sites, where users can shoot up under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.

In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they've been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the facility -- which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal -- or the social service agency running it.

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22 US HI: State's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens On MauiTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:59 Added:08/08/2017

Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical marijuana.

Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at 11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands. The company was the first to pass a final Health Department inspection Monday, beating at least one other dispensary, Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu, to be the first to open.

It is a significant milestone for the industry that has struggled to get off the ground since the law establishing dispensaries was passed in 2015. The first dispensaries were allowed to open as early as July 2016, but were delayed for more than a year, frustrating medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

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23 US CA: Former Kern Co. Sheriff's Deputies Avoid Prison For SellingTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Rocha, Veronica Area:California Lines:106 Added:08/08/2017

Two former Kern County Sheriff's deputies avoided prison time Monday for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts.

Logan August and Derrick Penney were sentenced Monday to three years' probation for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney office in Fresno.

August, a 30-year-old Bakersfield resident, was also ordered to serve 1,500 hours of community service and forfeit $16,500 earned in the trafficking operation, federal authorities said.

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24 US: Trump Emphasizes Tough Law Enforcement In Comments On OpioidTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Bierman, Noah Area:United States Lines:121 Added:08/08/2017

President Trump emphasized the need for stepped-up law enforcement to combat the nation's opioid problem Tuesday, an approach that is at odds with a report released last week by the special commission he appointed to address abuse.

"Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society," Trump told reporters from the clubhouse of his golf club here.

"I have had the opportunity to hear from many on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and I'm confidant that by working with our healthcare and law enforcement experts we will fight this deadly epidemic and the United States will win."

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25 US NJ: Editorial: Adding One More Needed Medical Marijuana DispensaryTue, 01 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:68 Added:08/05/2017

When it comes to the state's medical marijuana law, progress has come in increments rather than great strides. New Jersey's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, state law since 2010, has been implemented ever so slowly under Gov. Chris Christie, who has never hidden his disdain for the law.

Yet those disappointed by the snail's pace of the law, and the establishment of new medical marijuana centers, have new reason to take heart.

As Staff Writer Lindy Washburn reported, North Jersey will soon be welcoming the state's largest dispensary of medical marijuana yet -- at a 10,000-square-foot facility on Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus. Once it opens, the dispensary plans to serve up to 4,000 patients a month with a variety of strains of cannabis. The Christie administration has issued a permit to grow medical marijuana to Harmony Foundation and will consider issuing a permit to dispense marijuana after the crop is tested later this year.

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26 US CA: OPED: Race Case For Reefer ReparationsThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Price, Neil Area:California Lines:143 Added:08/03/2017

Time to redress the harm done to thousands of Black youth who have life-limiting criminal records because of pot

The war on drugs has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on racialized groups, particularly young Black men.

While research has shown that Black people partake in recreational pot at the same rates as their white counterparts, it's Black people who have endured the heavy hand of justice. Black people are twice as likely to be taken to a police station after being charged for simple possession of marijuana. They are also twice as likely to be held overnight for a bail hearing.

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27 US: PUB LTE: Marijuana Could Help Curb Opioid EpidemicThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:United States Lines:30 Added:08/03/2017

New approaches are definitely needed to battle the opioid epidemic. More drug war is not the answer. The rise in heroin overdose deaths is a result of a federal crackdown on prescription opioids.

Criminalization of users increases the risk of overdose deaths and creates barriers to cost-effective drug treatment. The only winners in the war on drugs are drug cartels.

The opioid commission created by President Trump failed to mention the potential role of marijuana in reducing overdose deaths. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that states with legal medical marijuana access have a 25% lower opioid overdose death rate. The phrase "€œif it saves one life"€ has been used to justify drug-war abuses. Legal marijuana access to ease pain has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy; Washington, D.C.

[end]

28 US: Survey: Nearly Half Of People Who Use Cannabidiol Products StopWed, 02 Aug 2017
Source:Forbes Magazine (US) Author:Borchardt, Debra Area:United States Lines:86 Added:08/02/2017

The largest survey on cannabidiol or CBD usage to date found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medicine. A new survey from Brightfield Group and HelloMD covered 2,400 of HelloMDa€™s community of 150,000 members and did a deep dive into the usage of CBD products and their effectiveness. HelloMD is an online community that brings together doctors and cannabis patients.

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29 US KS: We'll Never Be The SameSat, 29 Jul 2017
Source:Ada Evening News, The (OK) Author:Swenson, Kyle Area:Kansas Lines:82 Added:08/01/2017

Hydroponic Tomato Garden Inspired Police To Raid Family's Home

WASHINGTON - The police report would claim it all kicked off at 7:38 a.m., but Bob Harte later thought it had to be earlier.

His 7:20 a.m. alarm had just yanked him awake. Got to get the kids - a boy in seventh grade, a girl in kindergarten - ready for school. Then he heard, like a starter's pistol setting everything into motion, the first pounding on the front door of his home in Leawood, Kansas, a bedroom suburb south of Kansas City. It was thunderous. It didn't stop. Should I get up? Bob thought. Should I not? Sounded like the house was coming down, he would recall later.

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30 US NJ: Sen. Booker Introduces Bill To Legalize MarijuanaTue, 01 Aug 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Pugliese, Nicholas Area:New Jersey Lines:114 Added:08/01/2017

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill Tuesday to make marijuana legal at the federal level, marking the first time the New Jersey Democrat has come out in favor of full legalization and further stoking tensions with a Trump administration that has sought to roll back the clock on federal drug policy.

The Marijuana Justice Act, as Booker is calling his bill, would also allow people serving time for marijuana-related offenses to be resentenced and automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes. States whose marijuana laws disproportionately affect minorities or poor people would lose federal funding for law enforcement and prison construction, among other funds.

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31 US NJ: 4 Things To Know About The Legalization Of Marijuana In NJMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Smith, Morgan Area:New Jersey Lines:44 Added:07/31/2017

The call to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has been loud and clear, lately. Legalization rallies have occurred in groups in Trenton, and front-runners from both parties of the gubernational primary elections have been vocal in their support of legalization. What is there to know about the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey?

The state's medical marijuana program added 5,000 participants last year, and total enrollment now exceeds 10,000, according to the state's Health Department. There are five state-licensed dispensaries, also known as alternative treatment centers, and Secaucus just got approval to open its own dispensary.

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32 US NJ: LTE: Legalizing Marijuana Is 'Beyond Stupid'Mon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Lanzalotto, Lisa Area:New Jersey Lines:48 Added:07/31/2017

Regarding "Marijuana should be legalized" (Your Views, June 6):

The points the writer raises regarding legalizing cannabis are ignorant and obviously not factual. They are clearly just his uneducated opinion. Just how will legalization reduce street drug markets? Issues of increased tax revenue, economic boost to retail and job creation, and not contributing to homelessness and violence are irrelevant.

Do you want to be driving your car at 70 miles an hour on the Turnpike with your kid in the back, next to someone who is high because he just finished smoking a recreational joint?

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33US: Marijuana's Legalization Fuels Black Market In Other StatesMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2017

Marijuana smugglers are growing and shipping vast quantities of illicit cannabis across the USA.

They're mailing it, driving it and, in at least one case, flying it around in skydiving planes. They're hiding it in truck beds and trunks and vacuum-sealing it to hide the smell as they pass police officers patrolling the interstates.

Many are starting in states where growing marijuana is legal, such as Colorado, and sending the drug elsewhere.

In June, Colorado prosecutors said they busted a 74-person operation producing 100 pounds of marijuana per month -- enough to generate $200,000 monthly, tax free, for more than four years.

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34 US NJ: PUB LTE: Let's Recognize The Benefits Of CannabisMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Sutton, Roy Area:New Jersey Lines:30 Added:07/31/2017

Regarding "Opioid crisis continues to grow" (Editorial, July 22):

Most of the efforts on overdosing of opioids in Governor Christie's programs have to do with treating the addict. We need more to be done to prevent the addiction from happening in the first place. And at the same time, we should not shame people who want to use soft drugs.

When we have a legal drug, alcohol, which causes far more harm than cannabis does, there is something wrong. We need to acknowledge that some people have a need to benefit from cannabis, and we gain nothing by censuring them. The "stigma" hasn't really worked very well. People have found benefit from this plant. We would be better off accepting this rather than putting them through arrests and worse.

Roy Sutton

Rahway, July 25

[end]

35 US NY: What Drug-Dealing 'Darknet' Sites Have In Common With EbaySun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Jesdanun, Anick Area:New York Lines:95 Added:07/28/2017

NEW YORK (AP) - AlphaBay, the now-shuttered online marketplace that authorities say traded in illegal drugs, firearms and counterfeit goods, wasn't all that different from any other e-commerce site, court documents show.

Not only did it work hard to match buyers and sellers and to stamp out fraud, it offered dispute-resolution services when things went awry and kept a public-relations manager to promote the site to new users.

This screen grab provided by the U.S. Department of Justice shows a hidden website that has been seized as part of a law enforcement operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and European law enforcement agencies acting through Europol. On Thursday, July 20, 2017, authorities announced that two of the world's most notorious "darknet" marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, have been knocked out in a one-two punch that officials say yielded a trove of new intelligence about drugs and weapons merchants that operate from hidden corners of the internet. (U.S. Department of Justice via AP)

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36 US: OPED: Striking The Right Balance On Asset SeizuresThu, 27 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Terwilliger, George J. Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/27/2017

A critical way of ensuring crime doesn't pay is for law enforcement to seize the proceeds of drug deals or other illegal activity. This process, called asset forfeiture, is a valued part of a comprehensive criminal-justice program, but proper oversight is needed to prevent abuse.

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions restarted the longstanding practice, suspended by the Obama administration in 2015, of allowing state authorities to use federal forfeiture procedures. Mr. Sessions also introduced important safeguards to protect innocent people.

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37US TX: Young Texas 'Medical Marijuana Refugee' Sues Sessions OverWed, 26 Jul 2017
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Brezosky, Lynn Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/26/2017

A Texas girl whose family moved to Colorado to use medical marijuana to treat her intractable epilepsy is among those suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the federal cannabis prohibition.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the federal government should be able to prosecute marijuana use and distribution in states that have declared it legal.

An 11-year-old Texas cannabis "refugee" has joined a retired NFL football player, an Iraq War veteran and two others in a lawsuit challenging beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the federal government's stance on medical marijuana.

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38 US FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Taking Root In South FloridaWed, 26 Jul 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Randle, Caitlin Area:Florida Lines:105 Added:07/26/2017

What's legal, what's not, and what we're waiting on in this time between the passage of a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and a July deadline for the Department of Health to institute rules and regulations.

What's legal, what's not, and what we're waiting on in this time between the passage of a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and a July deadline for the Department of Health to institute rules and regulations.

During the past six months, the number of doctors in Florida who can recommend marijuana to patients has more than doubled from 374 to 819 as of June 2, according to state records. In Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, the number also more than doubled from 130 to 303.

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39 US NJ: Editorial: Opioid Crisis Continues To GrowFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:74 Added:07/25/2017

The national opioid crisis is spreading. Despite increased awareness of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the numbers of fatalities and overdoses continue to rise. That is too true in Bergen County.

As Staff Writer Steve Janoski reports, despite the efforts of Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, the county appears on track to surpass last year's totals of 320 overdoses; 259 of which were opioid related. Ninety-eight people died. That's an 11 percent increase in overdoses from 2015 and a 12.6 percent increase in fatalities.

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40 US OH: Toledo Residents Ambivalent On Marijuana Greenhouse Near TheirSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Yaffe-Bellany, David Area:Ohio Lines:164 Added:07/25/2017

Kevin Jones lives at 700 Spencer St. He says he sees pros and cons to using the dilapidated factory across the street to grow marijuana: jobs and crime.

In 1910, Toledo businessman William Bunting opened a cavernous brass factory on Spencer Street, just a short distance from the zoo.

Eighty years later, arson badly damaged the building. And today, the vacant warehouse is a neighborhood eyesore, its facade pockmarked with broken windows and crumbling bricks.

But soon this once-formidable, now-dilapidated industrial edifice could take on an unlikely new identity: a greenhouse for medical marijuana.

[continues 1086 words]

41 US MA: Legislators Send Pot Overhaul To GovernorSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:114 Added:07/25/2017

The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the legislation.

The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.

Baker is expected to sign the measure, which would raise cannabis taxes from what the ballot question envisioned, merge oversight of recreational and medical marijuana, and change how cities and towns can ban pot shops.

[continues 675 words]

42 US CA: Editorial: L.A. Voters Want To Legalize Marijuana, So WhySat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:104 Added:07/25/2017

Los Angeles voters want to legalize marijuana, and they don't seem particularly concerned that it remains illegal under federal law. In November nearly two out of three voters in the city of L.A. supported Proposition 64, a statewide initiative to let adults grow, buy and use recreational marijuana. A few months later, voters overwhelmingly backed Measure M to create a city permitting system for marijuana businesses.

City Hall has a clear mandate to legalize, regulate and tax pot.

[continues 744 words]

43US CA: Riverside Could Say No To Recreational Marijuana BusinessesSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Robinson, Alicia Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Riverside has long prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries. Now officials may add recreational pot businesses to the ban -- at least temporarily.

Since November, when California voters legalized adult use of marijuana, the Riverside City Council has not decided whether to allow, tax and regulate pot cultivation, manufacturing and sales.

On Tuesday, July 25, council members will consider saying no to pot businesses until they have more information on how state regulations will look and what other Inland and Southern California communities are doing.

[continues 469 words]

44US CA: Editorial: Sacramento Cannabis Industry Should Be FairTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

If there was any doubt that Sacramento was square in the path of California's "green rush," a recent tally showing the city could end up with more marijuana growing operations than it has Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants should serve as a wake-up call.

More than 100 companies have applied to open grow rooms, The Bee's Ryan Lillis reported last week, and most are for industrial sites in already troubled, low-income neighborhoods in North Sacramento and off Power Inn Road.

[continues 741 words]

45 US PA: Conrail Not Ready Yet On Cleanup Of Heroin GulchTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Terruso, Julia Area:Pennsylvania Lines:44 Added:07/25/2017

Cleanup of the Gurney Street railroad gulch in Fairhill, a campground for heroin users and a dumping site for needles and garbage, didn't start Monday as was initially planned.

The city came to an agreement with Conrail last month to fence and clean up the property. A contract calls for work to start by July 31, but Conrail planned to start work Monday.

Jocelyn Hill, a spokeswoman for Conrail, said that fabricating the fencing that will secure the area took longer than anticipated and that the company had hired a second contractor to speed things up. She said the work still will begin before July 31.

[continues 167 words]

46US: Oped: Donald Trump's Drug Czar: President 'Committed' To BattlingTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Baum, Richard Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Re: "Why the United States needs a national drug policy," by Dr. Stephen Patrick.

As the acting director of National Drug Control Policy, I felt compelled to respond to the well-intentioned but inaccurate op-ed the Tennessean ran on July 11.

Dr. Stephen Patrick. assistant professor of pediatrics and health policy at Vanderbilt University, wrote a passionate defense of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the federal government's work to address drug use and substance use disorder.

[continues 565 words]

47 US: OPED: Cops And Robbers, All Rolled Into OneTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Lima, Tony Area:United States Lines:99 Added:07/25/2017

There aren't many things government can claim to do more efficiently than the private sector. Taking people's property is one. In 2014 the federal government seized about $4.5 billion from people who hadn't been charged with crimes. That exceeds the private-sector equivalent, burglary. According to an analysis by Armstrong Economics, perpetrators absconded with only $3.9 billion that year.

Since 2007 the Drug Enforcement Administration alone has seized more than $3 billion in currency from individuals in civil actions under which legal protections for criminal charges do not apply. Criminal asset forfeiture requires an indictment against both an individual and the property in question. With civil asset forfeiture only the property is charged before being seized.

[continues 658 words]

48US: Column: Forget Russia, Fire Sessions Over ForfeitureTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Reynolds, Glenn Harlan Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to steal from you.

Oh, he doesn't call it that. He calls it "civil forfeiture." But what it is, is theft by law enforcement. Sessions should be ashamed. If I were president, he'd be fired.

Under "civil forfeiture," law enforcement can take property from people under the legal fiction that the property itself is guilty of a crime. ("Legal fiction" sounds better than "lie," but in this case the two terms are near synonyms.) It was originally sold as a tool for going after the assets of drug kingpins, but nowadays it seems to be used against a lot of ordinary Americans who just have things that law enforcement wants. It's also a way for law enforcement agencies to maintain off-budget slush funds, thus escaping scrutiny.

[end]

49US ME: Marijuana Business Offers Weed For Weeds On Cleanup DayMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:07/24/2017

GARDINER, Maine (AP) -- A medical marijuana businessman in Maine is offering weed for weeds in a program to encourage Gardiner residents to clean up their city.

WCSH-TV reports (http://on.wcsh6.com/2eEAtNL ) that Dennis Meehan, owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, offered residents who collected trash Saturday free marijuana. The businessman says anyone who was over 21 was offered free marijuana if they presented a bag of trash that was collected in town.

Meehan's company advertised the cleanup effort on Facebook, and he says he hopes to expand what he calls "the day of service" program to the entire state. Mehan says the program is about bringing awareness to the "life-changing" nature of cannabis as well.

Gifting marijuana is legal in Maine.

Meehan says he got the idea for the swap from a Colorado town's similar program.

[end]

50 US UT: Couple Arrested After Drugging Heroin-Addicted Newborn To HideMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Utah Lines:144 Added:07/24/2017

Colby Wilde and Lacey Christenson welcomed their third child into the world on April 9 at Utah Valley Hospital.

The doctors, nurses and medical staff eventually cleared out of the room, giving the parents a few moments alone with their new daughter. Unlike most new parents, they did not hold the newborn child, overcome with emotion.

Instead, Wilde quickly crushed pills of Suboxone, an FDA-approved drug used to treat heroin addiction and withdrawal, police say.

He moistened his finger and dipped it in the resulting powder. Then he stuck his finger in his daughter's mouth, smearing it along her tiny, tender gums. Though she had been in the world less than half a day, the baby, like thousands others in the United States, was already addicted to opioids.

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