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1 US NV: Nevada Still Plans To Issue Pot Licenses July 1Mon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:Nevada Lines:121 Added:06/21/2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- The Latest on the legal battle of the launch of Nevada's recreational pot sales

The deputy director of Nevada's Department of Taxation says state regulators still intend to have the necessary licenses in place July 1 to start selling marijuana for recreational use despite an ongoing lawsuit over the regulations.

Anna Thornley testified in Carson City District Court on Monday that the state has planned since February to have the "early start" program up and running by July to start bringing in tax revenue before a permanent system must be adopted on Jan. 1, 2018.

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2 US CA: California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra Announces Probe OfMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:39 Added:06/21/2017

Citing an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths across the country, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Friday that California is joining with more than 26 other states to investigate whether drugmakers have used illegal marketing and sales practices.

Becerra said the probe would focus on whether drug manufacturers have played a role in creating or extending the opioid problem.

Makers of opioids have been under heat in recent years as the addiction crisis has intensified. A 2016 Times investigation revealed that Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, knew its drug's painkilling effects might not last as long as long as marketed, which could potentially promote addiction. The investigation also found Purdue Pharma collected extensive evidence of criminal trafficking of its drug but in many cases did not alert law enforcement.

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3 US AZ: Marijuana Benefits Abound As New Policy LoomsThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:99 Added:06/19/2017

Despite the upheaval of the current presidential administration, some things just haven't changed, like acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg's Obama-era insistence last month that "marijuana is not medicine."

Though he also stated that he'd "be the last person to stand in the way" if medical uses of marijuana rise through the FDA process. (Here's where we count on Sue Sisley's research in Phoenix.)

But Rosenberg doesn't seem to pay attention to what happens in Phoenix. If he did, he might hear about a small clinic using marijuana to treat opioid addiction.

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4 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Could Solve Many State ProblemsFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:47 Added:06/13/2017

Thanks for the June 2 editorial, "Possession penalties are too harsh."

While any discussion about reforming Wisconsin's draconian marijuana laws is certainly welcome, decriminalization is an old idea that still leaves out a legal source for pot.

As your editorial noted, eight states have already legalized pot for adult use. More states are currently in the process. Our neighbors Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, which already have medical marijuana, are all exploring legalizing adult use.

Wisconsin is ready, too. The July 2016 Marquette Law School Poll found 59 percent favoring legal pot for adults. Wisconsinites also have long supported medical use by even higher margins. Yet failure to "get it done" has cost Wisconsin at lot.

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5US GA: Student In Drug Search Felt 'violated'Sun, 11 Jun 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Schrade, Brad Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/11/2017

A federal civil rights lawsuit filed last week against a south Georgia sheriff offers new details of the bizarre school-wide search of hundreds of students where deputies allegedly touched girls' breasts, vaginal areas and groped boys in their groins.

One of the nine Worth County High School students who filed the lawsuit, identified as K.P., told the AJC that the April 14 search was "very, very scary." She said the incident was stuck in her memory and it colored the rest of her senior year.

The day of the search, she said, students didn't know what was happening when an announcement was made early in the day that the school was on lock-down.

[end]

6 US: Drug Trade Rises In Dark Corners Of The InternetSun, 11 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Popper, Nathaniel Area:United States Lines:232 Added:06/11/2017

Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail

Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite dozens of arrests, new merchants - many based in Asia - quickly pop up.

As the nation's opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.

The internet.

In a growing number of arrests and overdoses, law enforcement officials say, the drugs are being bought online. Internet sales have allowed powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl - the fastest-growing cause of overdoses nationwide - to reach living rooms in nearly every region of the country, as they arrive in small packages in the mail.

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7 US CA: Hills Like Home In Laos. And Now A Crop, Too.Sun, 04 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:181 Added:06/09/2017

HAYFORK, Calif. - The red and purple opium poppies that his family grew on a mountainside half a world away were filled with an intoxicating, sticky sap that his mother traded for silver coins to feed her children and pay for their escape.

Adam Lee smiles at the memory of a childhood in war-torn Laos and voyage to America, where he spent decades adapting to life in big cities.

Now 47 years old, Mr. Lee has returned to the mountains - the Trinity Alps of Northern California - and to a career farming a different mind-altering crop for his livelihood: marijuana.

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8 US: Drug Deaths In America Are Rising Faster Than EverTue, 06 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Katz, Josh Area:United States Lines:218 Added:06/09/2017

New data compiled from hundreds of health agencies reveals the extent of the drug overdose epidemic last year.

AKRON, Ohio - Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times.

The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

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9 US: PUB LTE: Small-Time Dealers Get Long Sentences TooSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Angelos, Weldon Area:United States Lines:33 Added:06/03/2017

In Heather Mac Donald's "Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire" (op-ed, May 26) about mandatory minimum sentences (MMS), she writes that 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentences are only given to large-scale traffickers. In 2004 I was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for selling $1,000 worth of marijuana while possessing a firearm. The judge who sentenced me called my punishment "unjust, cruel and even irrational" and compared it to the much shorter federal sentences given to repeat child rapists, murderers and even some terrorists.

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10 US: PUB LTE: Mandatory Sentences Often Hit The MinnowsSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ring, Kevin Area:United States Lines:39 Added:06/03/2017

Under federal law, anyone convicted of selling just five grams of methamphetamine-the weight of a nickel-is subject to a mandatory five-year prison term. Get caught buying or selling a second time, no matter how many years after your first offense, and you will be subject to a 10-year mandatory prison sentence.

Ms. Mac Donald may pretend that mandatory sentences are reserved for the likes of El Chapo, but the truth is mandatory sentences are more often used against low-level offenders. Ninety-three percent of people who receive federal mandatory minimums played no leadership role in their crimes. There are lots of minnows and few sharks.

There are simply no studies that show mandatory sentences reduce drug crime. Every dollar wasted on mandatory minimums is one that would be better invested in proven anticrime strategies like hiring more police officers and expanding substance abuse treatment.

Kevin Ring

President

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Washington

[end]

11 US: PUB LTE: The Accused Don't Want To Take The RiskSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McBride, Bob Area:United States Lines:34 Added:06/03/2017

The fear conjured up by MMS is a prime motivator in the accused accepting a plea bargain. Even with a person who believes he is innocent, the downside is too great. There is something not right about destroying accepted historical precedent of the evaluation by a judge and jury, who have heard all the evidence and witnessed the character, arguments and demeanor of the prosecution and the accused, in favor of the wisdom of remote legislators stroked by the DAs looking for a bailout for their inability to earn a conviction on the merits.

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12 US: PUB LTE: Jail Has Solved NothingSat, 03 Jun 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Keleti, Daniel Area:United States Lines:34 Added:06/03/2017

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, but this hasn't solved our problems. There were a record 33,000 opioid deaths in the U.S. in 2015. Our homicide rate is seven times the average of 21 Western developed nations, plus Japan.

Politicians are making jail the answer to addressing issues dealing with drug addiction, mental illness and violent crime. Yet jail doesn't seem to properly address these issues and often worsens the problems associated with them.

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13 US: High Times Is Sold For $70 Million To A Group That Includes SonFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Victor, Daniel Area:United States Lines:75 Added:06/02/2017

High Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business, said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.

The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand the publication's audience and its events business.

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14 US: Editorial: Gov. Walker Would Drug Test The PoorWed, 31 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:52 Added:05/31/2017

As he prepares to run for a third term, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, ever the devotee of low-road, right-wing politicking, is hoping the Trump administration will allow his state to be the first in the nation to mandate the drug screening of childless individuals who apply for Medicaid help.

"It borders on immoral," Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator, warned, accusing Mr. Walker of indulging in a "meaningless contest to see how cruel and discriminatory we can be to the poor."

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15 US MI: Detroit Shuts Down 167 Pot Shops, More Closures On The WayTue, 30 May 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:110 Added:05/30/2017

Detroit's crackdown on illegally operating medical marijuana dispensaries has shuttered 167 shops since the city's regulation efforts began last year and dozens more are expected.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that 283 dispensaries were identified last year, all of which were operating illegally.

"None of them were operating lawfully," Hollowell said. "At the time I sent a letter to each one of them indicating that unless you have a fully licensed facility, you are operating at your own risk."

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16 US: Older Women And Cannabis: A Growth IndustrySun, 28 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ellin, Abby Area:United States Lines:148 Added:05/28/2017

Jeanine Moss never expected to get into the cannabis industry. But that was before her hip-replacement surgery.

Ms. Moss, 62, of Marina Del Ray, Calif., had quit her job as a marketing consultant before she had her hip done in 2014. As she left the hospital, her doctors handed her a "shopping bag filled with opiates," she said. The drugs made her disoriented and woozy.

So she switched to medical marijuana, which is legal in California and was familiar to her, having grown up in the nearby Venice section of Los Angeles. Within a week, she had tossed away her pharmaceuticals.

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17 US: OPED: Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your IreFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:MacDonald, Heather Area:United States Lines:110 Added:05/26/2017

Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire Jeff Sessions's policy won't lock up harmless stoners, but it will help dismantle drug-trafficking networks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being tarred as a racist-again-for bringing the law fully to bear on illegal drug traffickers. Mr. Sessions has instructed federal prosecutors to disclose in court the actual amount of drugs that trafficking defendants possessed at the time of arrest. That disclosure will trigger the mandatory penalties set by Congress for large-scale dealers.

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18 US VT: Vermont Pot Bill Vetoed As Changes SoughtThu, 25 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Kamp, Jon Area:Vermont Lines:73 Added:05/25/2017

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he is vetoing a bill that would have made the state the first to legalize marijuana through legislation rather than a ballot measure, but he also left the door open for legalization.

The bill, passed by the Vermont House and Senate, would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited amount starting in mid-2018. The bill also called for a commission to propose yet-more legislation that could have created a taxed, regulated market later on.

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19 US: Questions For The DEA After Three Fatal ShootingsThu, 25 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Savage, Charlie Area:United States Lines:151 Added:05/25/2017

WASHINGTON - The Drug Enforcement Administration misled the public, Congress and the Justice Department about a 2012 operation in which commando-style squads of American agents sent to Honduras to disrupt drug smuggling became involved in three deadly shootings, two inspectors general said Wednesday.

The D.E.A. said in response that it had shut down the program, the Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team.

Under the program, known as FAST, squads received military-style training to combat Taliban-linked opium traffickers in the Afghanistan war zone. It was expanded to Latin America in 2008 to help fight transnational drug smugglers, leading to the series of violent encounters in Honduras in 2012.

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20US: 'Great job': Trump Hails Philippine Leader For Drug WarThu, 25 May 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Stanglin, Doug Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:05/25/2017

President Trump, in a recent phone call, congratulated Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte for a "great job" in his crackdown on drugs, which human rights groups and the United Nations have condemned as a vigilante-style campaign that has left thousands of suspected drug dealers and users dead.

The exchange is found in a leaked transcript of a April 29 conversation between the two leaders published by The Washington Post and reported on by The New York Times.

"I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem," Trump says, according to the transcript. "Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that."

[end]

21 US: Editorial: Lurching Backward On Justice ReformMon, 22 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:67 Added:05/22/2017

When it comes to criminal justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a man out of time - stuck defiantly in the 1980s, when crime in America was high and politicians scrambled to out-tough one another by passing breathtakingly severe sentencing laws. This mind-set was bad enough when Mr. Sessions was a senator from Alabama working to thwart sentencing reforms in Congress. Now that he is the nation's top law enforcement officer, he's trying to drag the country backward with him, even as most states are moving toward more enlightened policies.

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22 US: Unity Was Emerging On Sentencing, Then Came SessionsMon, 15 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hulse, Carl Area:United States Lines:128 Added:05/20/2017

WASHINGTON - As a senator, Jeff Sessions was such a conservative outlier on criminal justice issues that he pushed other Republicans to the forefront of his campaign to block a sentencing overhaul, figuring they would be taken more seriously.

Now Mr. Sessions is attorney general and need not take a back seat to anyone when it comes to imposing his ultratough-on-crime views. The effect of his transition from being just one of 535 in Congress to being top dog at the Justice Department was underscored on Friday when he ordered federal prosecutors to make sure they threw the book at criminal defendants and pursued the toughest penalties possible.

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23 US: Mixed Grades For A Scrapped Drug PolicyMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Reinhard, Beth Area:United States Lines:117 Added:05/20/2017

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week jettisoned an Obama administration policy that had been aimed at sparing less-serious drug offenders from harsh sentences, he called his new, more aggressive approach "moral and just."

But the verdict among law-enforcement and legal professionals is more mixed. Government data, along with interviews with former U.S. attorneys who advised the Justice Department under President Barack Obama, suggest the previous policy achieved several, though not all, of its goals.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced the policy that was to be embodied in what became known as the "Holder memo" in a 2013 speech to the American Bar Association. Mr. Holder pledged that federal prosecutors would focus on more dangerous drug traffickers and avoid charging less-serious offenders with crimes that required long, mandatory-minimum sentences. Mandatory-minimum sentences, he said, had led to bloated, costly prisons and disproportionately ravaged minority communities.

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24 US: Tests Show More American Workers Using DrugsWed, 17 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Weber, Lauren Area:United States Lines:84 Added:05/20/2017

More U.S. workers are testing positive for illicit drugs than at any time in the last 12 years, according to data coming out today from Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest workplace-testing labs in the nation.

The number of workers who tested positive for marijuana rose by 4%, while positive results for other drugs also rose. The increases come against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an apparent resurgence in the use of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.

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25 US: Drug Lenience Of Obama Era May Be EndingWed, 10 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ruiz, Rebecca R. Area:United States Lines:114 Added:05/15/2017

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to soon toughen rules on prosecuting drug crimes, according to people familiar with internal deliberations, in what would be a major rollback of Obama-era policies that would put his first big stamp on a Justice Department he has criticized as soft on crime.

Mr. Sessions has been reviewing a pair of memos issued by his predecessor, Eric H. Holder Jr., who encouraged federal prosecutors to use their discretion in what criminal charges they filed, particularly when those charges carried mandatory minimum penalties.

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26 US: Nicholas Sand, Prolific LSD Chemist, Dies At 75Sun, 14 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grimes, William Area:United States Lines:190 Added:05/14/2017

One day in 1964, Nicholas Sand, a Brooklyn-born son of a spy for the Soviet Union, took his first acid trip. He had been fascinated by psychedelic drugs since reading about them as a student at Brooklyn College and had experimented with mescaline and peyote. Now, at a retreat run by friends in Putnam County, N.Y., he took his first dose of LSD, still legal at the time.

Sitting naked in the lotus position, before a crackling fire, he surrendered to the experience. A sensation of peace and joy washed over him. Then he felt himself transported to the far reaches of the cosmos.

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27US GA: Georgia, Feds Diverge On Policy For SentencingSat, 13 May 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Bluestein, Greg Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/13/2017

Even as Gov. Nathan Deal was signing the latest batch of state laws designed to keep lower-level offenders out of prison, the Trump administration was preparing a crackdown seeking the toughest possible charges against offenders convicted of nonviolent drug violations.

The U.S. Justice Department released directives Friday that call for more mandatory minimum sentences and direct prosecutors to pursue the strictest punishments available. It was a sweeping shift in criminal justice policy, reversing Obama-era policies to reduce penalties for some nonviolent offenses.

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28 US: Sessions Tells Prosecutors To Seek Harsher PenaltiesSat, 13 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ruiz, Rebecca R. Area:United States Lines:135 Added:05/13/2017

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered federal prosecutors to pursue the toughest possible charges and sentences against crime suspects, he announced Friday, reversing Obama administration efforts to ease penalties for some nonviolent drug violations.

The drastic shift in criminal justice policy, foreshadowed during recent weeks, is Mr. Sessions's first major stamp on the Justice Department, and it highlights several of his top targets: drug dealing, gun crime and gang violence.

In an eight-paragraph memo, Mr. Sessions returned to the guidance of President George W. Bush's administration by calling for more uniform punishments - including mandatory minimum sentences - and instructing prosecutors to pursue the harshest possible charges. Mr. Sessions's policy is broader than that of the Bush administration, however, and how it is carried out will depend more heavily on the judgments of United States attorneys and assistant attorneys general as they bring charges.

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29 US: Sessions Toughens Policy For Drug CasesSat, 13 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Reinhard, Beth Area:United States Lines:122 Added:05/13/2017

In a move expected to swell federal prisons, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scuttling an Obama administration policy to avoid charging nonviolent, less-serious drug offenders with long, mandatory-minimum sentences.

Mr. Sessions's new guidelines revive a policy created under President George W. Bush that tasked federal prosecutors with charging "the most serious readily provable offense."

It is the latest and most significant step by the new administration toward dismantling President Barack Obama's criminal justice legacy. And it defies a trend in state capitals-including several led by conservative Republicans-toward recalibrating or abandoning the mandatory-minimum sentences popularized during the "war on drugs" of the 1980s and 1990s.

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30US CO: Keeping Candies Away From KidsSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kane, Laura Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

Colorado's edible pot industry goes from public enemy to public-health leader, and wants Canada to take note

BOULDER, Colorado - A tray of tempting pastel-coloured candies sits on a countertop inside AmeriCanna's production facility. Although shaped like pot leaves and stamped with Colorado's universal symbol for the mind-altering ingredient in cannabis - a diamond containing the letters "THC" - the gummies would only provide a sugar high at this point.

Working with precision and speed, the kitchen supervisor uses a device to soak each candy with marijuana extract, so that each piece contains exactly 10 milligrams of THC, a single dose under the state's regulations.

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31 US NY: States Medical Marijuana Licensing Panel Found To Have LittleThu, 04 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McKinley, Jesse Area:New York Lines:134 Added:05/08/2017

ALBANY - When the State of New York approved the use of medical marijuana in 2014, the applicants to dispense the drug were vetted and reviewed by a panel of experts said to have deep backgrounds in several fields.

The identities of the panel's members had been a mystery since. By July 2015, the panel had chosen five companies that would receive exclusive statewide medical marijuana licenses, a potentially lucrative award in a state with nearly 20 million residents and hundreds of thousands of potential patients.

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32US GA: Column: Atlanta's Pot Laws DiscriminateMon, 08 May 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Torpy, Bill Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2017

The Atlanta City Council is considering making the penalty for getting caught with pot similar to finding a parking ticket flapping on your windshield.

The effort is based on the idea that black residents are overwhelmingly the target of marijuana enforcement in the city, staining them with jail time, fines and arrest records that follow them in life.

The effort was put forward by Councilman Kwanza Hall, a mayoral candidate who has tried to carve out his place in the crowded mayor's race by pushing to do away with some quality-of-life offenses such as spitting, jay walking, idling and loitering - things one often does while smoking weed.

[end]

33 US: Column: Big Labor Looks At Californi's Marijuana Market And SeesSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Finley, Allysia Area:United States Lines:105 Added:05/06/2017

When California voted 57% to 43% last November to legalize recreational marijuana-the eighth state to do so-it fertilized a national market whose value by some estimates could top $20 billion by 2020. The ballot initiative was backed by a phalanx of progressives-Napster founder Sean Parker provided the seed funding-and liberal interest groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. But now as state lawmakers debate how to regulate the industry, one worry is that the Teamsters will hijack the process and corner the pot market.

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34 US MD: How Much Marijuana Is Too Much For A Police Recruit?Wed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Calvert, Scott Area:Maryland Lines:112 Added:05/01/2017

BALTIMORE - As more states relax their approach to marijuana, police departments are rethinking how many hits are too many for aspiring officers.

Maryland just passed a new standard, set to take effect in the state June 1, that bars applicants if they smoked pot in the past three years, the same policy used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The longstanding, previous policy had ruled out those who had used marijuana at least 20 times or at least five times since age 21.

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35US GA: Marijuana: Easing Laws Not So EasySun, 23 Apr 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Atlanta wants to join a growing number of U.S. cities that are lowering the penalties for small amounts of marijuana use.

But leaders learned last week that getting there won't be easy.

The City Council sent legislation meant to lower fines and eliminate jail time for possession of an ounce or less of pot back to a committee last week after members had a host of questions. Chief among their concerns was whether there was buy-in from the Atlanta Police Department and city courts, two groups whose backing would be crucial to making such a plan work. Elected officials also fear that being too lenient would take away the deterrent of marijuana use.

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36 US: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Roll Me A JointSun, 23 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hyman, Dan Area:United States Lines:144 Added:04/26/2017

"Isn't it cute?" said Molly Peckler, holding a delicate gold-chain necklace adorned with a cannabis-leaf charm away from her neck. "It's a perfect representation of my approach to cannabis."

With sunlight pouring in through a sliding-glass door in the apartment she shares with her husband, Marc Peckler, a software salesman, Ms. Peckler explained how she believed a shared love of cannabis could be the spark in a relationship.

"Cannabis is almost an analogy for being authentic," said Ms. Peckler, 32, the founder of Highly Devoted in Los Angeles, an online matchmaker that connects cannabis-using singles. "If this is a part of your life, then you should be open and honest about that, especially if you're trying to start a romantic relationship with someone."

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37 US: Marijuana Advocates Vow To Smoke On Steps Of U.S. CapitolThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Davis, Aaron C. Area:United States Lines:100 Added:04/22/2017

Dozens of activists, including some military veterans, plan to light joints Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol - federal land where committing the offense could draw a sentence of up to a year in jail - as part of an effort to urge a reluctant Congress to support marijuana legalization.

"Monday @ High Noon" reads a flier for the event, calling on Congress to also remove marijuana from the nation's list of most-dangerous drugs. "Mass Civil Disobedience @ 4:20p - East Side of the US Capitol."

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38 US: Winemakers Find A Companion In MarijuanaWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Asimov, Eric Area:United States Lines:167 Added:04/22/2017

Legal intoxication is big business and getting bigger. More states have legalized marijuana, leading some in the alcohol industry to regard it as a threat to their profit margin.

Those concerns are warranted in some cases. In Colorado, Oregon and Washington, where recreational use has been legal for several years, beer sales are down, mostly among mass-market brews. The liquor industry opposed several marijuana legalization initiatives last year, and has expressed fears for its bottom line.

The fine wine industry, however, has not panicked. Despite occasional efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, many in the wine business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can coexist in harmony.

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39 US CA: Growers Split As Pot Farms Go IndustrialSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:194 Added:04/21/2017

SALINAS, Calif. - This vast and fertile valley is often called the salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing across its floor. Now California's marijuana industry is laying claim to a new slogan for the valley: America's cannabis bucket.

After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.

Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes.

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40US GA: City Puts Off Vote To Ease Pot PenaltyTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/21/2017

After more than 90 minutes of debate and no consensus, the Atlanta City Council on Monday put off a vote on a measure that would have eliminated jail time for those caught with small quantities of marijuana.

Advocates of the Atlanta legislation said the move is necessary to address the disproportionate number of black Americans incarcerated because of pot possession.

The proposal, which also would reduce the fine for possession of an ounce or less to a maximum of $75, mirrors actions taken in cities across the nation, including Dallas, Kansas City and St. Louis. In DeKalb County, Clarkson also has reduced penalties.

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41 US: Pot Is Supposed To Stay On The Ground, Even Where It's Legal ToTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weed, Julie Area:United States Lines:139 Added:04/15/2017

People in 29 states can legally use medical marijuana for a variety of problems, including the relief of pain, anxiety or stress. But what if they want to travel with it?

Secure airport areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints are under federal control, and the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 (most harmful) substance, even in states where it is legal for adults to consume it.

The laws conflict, but federal law trumps state law, making it illegal to fly with marijuana in carry-on or checked luggage. It is also illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if both states have legalized it.

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42 US FL: A Florida Sheriff Catches Attention, And Some Heat, With AnWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fortin, Jacey Area:Florida Lines:138 Added:04/15/2017

Maybe it was the ski masks that did it.

Or it could have been the steely look in the eyes of Lake County, Fla., Sheriff Peyton Grinnell as he deadpanned: "We are coming for you. Run."

Perhaps it was the muted background music: an eerie melody that wouldn't have been out of place in a Batman movie.

In the end, what could have been an unremarkable public service announcement about opioid abuse in Lake County spread widely on the internet, garnering about a million views on the Facebook page of the sheriff's office, where it was first posted Friday. It sparked concerns about police militarization and drew more than a few comparisons to Islamic State recruitment videos.

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43 US AZ: Sinister SubstitutesThu, 06 Apr 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:91 Added:04/06/2017

Major anti-pot campaign funder lands DEA approval of THC drug amidst flurry of lawsuits

Ethics is a hazy argument when it comes to marijuana.

On one hand, opponents of legalization argue that the plant is harmful to society and individuals, and therefore should not be used. "Good people don't smoke marijuana," remember?

On the other, little evidence exists to show that marijuana was even made illegal on ethical grounds, and thousands of individuals' lives are affected by simple possession of a joint, regardless of context.

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44 US: A Real Estate Boom, Powered By PotSun, 02 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Gelles, David Area:United States Lines:305 Added:04/02/2017

QUINCY, Mass. - At the edge of an industrial park in this suburb south of Boston, past a used-car auction lot and a defunct cheese factory, is an unmarked warehouse bristling with security cameras and bustling with activity. Until recently, the cinder-block structure was home to a wholesale florist, a granite cutter and a screen printer. Today, it is home to just one tenant: a medical marijuana operation called Ermont.

Legalized marijuana has already upset societal norms, created a large legal gray area and generated a lucrative source of tax revenue. Now it is upending the real estate market, too.

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45 US: DOJ Watchdog: Many DEA Asset Seizures Don't Help InvestigationsThu, 30 Mar 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Viswanatha, Aruna Area:United States Lines:86 Added:03/30/2017

The Drug Enforcement Administration regularly seizes money or goods it believes are related to criminal activity, but in a recent sample of 100 such cases, more than half didn't aid investigations or produce arrests or prosecutions, an internal Justice Department watchdog said Wednesday.

The report, by the Justice Department's inspector general, could provide fuel to critics who say law enforcement authorities have too much latitude, and an improper financial incentive, to seize property suspected of ties to criminal activity. Such "asset forfeiture" has long been a contentious subject among criminal justice experts and professionals.

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46 US NY: In School Nurses Room: Tylenol, Bandages And An Antidote ToWed, 29 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Harris, Elizabeth A. Area:New York Lines:152 Added:03/29/2017

At every school in New Rochelle, just north of the Bronx, in Westchester, there is a locked medicine cabinet in the nurse's office, stocked with things like EpiPens for allergic reactions, inhalers for asthma, Tylenol for aches and pains.

Now, those cabinets also include naloxone, an antidote for people who are overdosing on opioids like heroin. Given as an injection or a nasal spray, naloxone can quickly revive someone who is not breathing. The city keeps it in every nurse's office, including in its elementary schools.

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47 US CA: Pot To Pair With Wines? Sonoma Embraces PossibilitiesSun, 19 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:136 Added:03/24/2017

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - In the heart of Northern California's wine country, a civil engineer turned marijuana entrepreneur is adding a new dimension to the art of matching fine wines with gourmet food: cannabis and wine pairing dinners.

Sam Edwards, co-founder of the Sonoma Cannabis Company, charges diners $100 to $150 for a meal that experiments with everything from marijuana-leaf pesto sauce to sniffs of cannabis flowers paired with sips of a crisp Russian River chardonnay.

"It accentuates the intensity of your palate," Mr. Edwards, 30, said of the dinners, one of which was held recently at a winery with sweeping views of the Sonoma vineyards. "We are seeing what works and what flavors are coming out."

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48 US OH: PUB LTE: A Family Tragedy, And An Unwinnable Drug WarMon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brautigam, Michael G. Area:Ohio Lines:41 Added:03/24/2017

Re "As Heroin Infests Farms, a Grieving Parent Fears for the Future" (front page, March 13):

The view of Roger D. Winemiller, who lost two children to drug overdoses, that the solution to the drug epidemic is tougher penalties, while understandable, is misguided.

As a former prosecutor, including time as a narcotics prosecutor, I can only conclude that the war on drugs is unwinnable. What good did tough narcotics laws do the Winemiller children? Would the results be better if sometimes draconian laws were made even more draconian?

[continues 127 words]

49 US TX: Officers Killed In Murder Or Self-Defense?Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sack, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:762 Added:03/24/2017

With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85 miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.

SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.

[continues 6445 words]

50 US CA: Pot Brand For The A-ListSun, 19 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Williams, Alex Area:California Lines:112 Added:03/24/2017

Recreational cannabis may be legal in California, but buying the actual stuff still makes Scott Campbell, a celebrity tattoo artist and fine artist, feel like a class-cutting teenage stoner.

"You go in to buy weed, and it's like visiting your parole officer," said Mr. Campbell, who lives in Los Angeles. "You get buzzed through three metal gates." Inside, cannabis products are often packaged with loopy Deadhead-style graphics and goofy dorm-humor strain names like Gorilla Glue and Purple Urkle.

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