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1 US CA: Kindergartner Can Take Cannabis Drug To School, Judge SaysSat, 22 Sep 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:55 Added:09/27/2018

A kindergartner can keep bringing a cannabis-based drug used for emergency treatment of a rare form of epilepsy to her public school, a judge ruled Friday.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that a judge sided with the family of 5-year-old Brooke Adams.

The Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa sought to ban the ointment from school grounds because it contains the active ingredient in marijuana.

Authorities argued that allowing Brooke to use the drug at school violated state and federal laws barring medical marijuana on school grounds.

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2 US FL: Dozens Of Political Candidates Could Lose Bank Accounts OverFri, 21 Sep 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:207 Added:09/21/2018

More than 80 state legislative or statewide campaigns and campaign committees have accepted some $800,000 from the medical marijuana industry during the 2018 election cycle, according to a review of campaign finance records by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

That could mean the closure of accounts and a scramble to find a place to deposit campaign funds. Wells Fargo decided to close the campaign account of Democratic Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried after she accepted industry money. She then opened an account with BB&T, which also promptly closed it. She now banks with Florida Community Bank.

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3 US: Canadian Marijuana Firm Tilray Gets Rare DEA Approval ForTue, 18 Sep 2018
Source:Burlington County Times (NJ) Author:Wood, Sam Area:United States Lines:49 Added:09/18/2018

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency on Tuesday granted approval to Tilray, Inc. to import research-grade marijuana products from Canada for a clinical trial at the University of California San Diego.

Tilray, Inc.'s shares spiked more than 16 percent Tuesday morning on the news that it will provide a cannabinoids for a study on essential tremor (ET), a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary and rhythmic shaking. The clinical trial, which will start in 2019, will be conducted at the university's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). According to the CMCR, current drugs to treat essential tremor (originally developed for high blood pressure or seizures) are ineffective for many patients.

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4 US: House Candidate David Shapiro Wants Legal Cannabis For VeteransTue, 18 Sep 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Cox, Billy Area:United States Lines:131 Added:09/18/2018

Removing marijuana's federal schedule 1 status is a campaign issue in the 16th Congressional District race.

SARASOTA -- Candidates for the District 16 congressional race are staking out divergent positions on the question of whether marijuana should be removed from Schedule 1 status to afford military veterans another potentially potent option for dealing with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, something explored recently by the Herald-Tribune and supported by a growing field of veterans and national veterans organizations in the face of an epidemic of military suicides.

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5US: 2 Million US Teens Are Vaping MarijuanaMon, 17 Sep 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Johnson, Carla K. Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:09/17/2018

A school-based survey shows nearly 1 in 11 U.S. students have used marijuana in electronic cigarettes, heightening health concerns about the new popularity of vaping among teens.

E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, but many of the battery-powered devices can vaporize other substances, including marijuana. Results published Monday mean 2.1 million middle and high school students have used them to get high.

Vaping is generally considered less dangerous than smoking, because burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to lungs. But there is little research on e-cigarettes' long-term effects, including whether they help smokers quit.

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6 US: Coca-Cola Is Eyeing The Cannabis MarketMon, 17 Sep 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Skerritt, Jen Area:United States Lines:85 Added:09/17/2018

Employees inspect cannabis plants at the CannTrust Holdings Inc. Niagara Perpetual Harvest facility in Pelham, Ontario, Canada.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. led pot stocks higher after Coca-Cola Co. said it's eyeing the cannabis drinks market, becoming the latest beverage company to tap into surging demand for marijuana products as traditional sales slow.

Coca-Cola says it's monitoring the nascent industry and is interested in drinks infused with CBD -- the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that treats pain but doesn't get you high. The Atlanta-based soft drinks maker is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop the beverages, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television.

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7US CA: Riverside County Marijuana Task Force Raids 3 Churches, FindsSat, 15 Sep 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Hagen, Ryan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/15/2018

Riverside County's cannabis task force says it seized more than 100 pounds of cannabis and an estimated $75,000 to $100,000 in cash Friday, Sept. 14, from three sites where The Vault Church says it uses marijuana as a religious sacrament.

The task force, led by the District Attorney's Office, served search warrants at three locations operated by The Vault: 291 N. Yale St., Hemet; 5298 Mission Blvd., Jurupa Valley; and 5024 Etiwanda Ave., Jurupa Valley. At the Etiwanda location, they also found two indoor grows, seized 200 to 300 plants in various stages of harvest and found what they believe to be the remnants of a butane honey oil lab, according to a news release.

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8 US TX: Dallas Police Shooting: Search For Marijuana In Victim's HomeFri, 14 Sep 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Flynn, Meagan Area:Texas Lines:119 Added:09/14/2018

The family of Botham Jean, the unarmed black man who authorities say was fatally shot by a Dallas police officer inside his own apartment, spent Thursday celebrating his life. Hundreds of people filed into the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas, to pay their respects at Jean's funeral service, remembering the 26-year-old businessman as, what his friend Pastor Michael Griffin described him, "the light in a dark room."

But then around 5 p.m., the family's lawyers were alerted to some apparent breaking news in the investigation into Jean's death.

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9 US OH: Medical Marijuana Roll-Out "sloppy," State Auditor SaysThu, 13 Sep 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:72 Added:09/13/2018

Auditor Dave Yost characterized the Department of Commerce's roll-out of its share of the fledgling program as "sloppy" with dozens of errors and inconsistencies. The program was supposed to be fully operational Sept. 8, but the state is months behind in having legal product on the shelves for purchase.

"The department didn't do a very good job launching this program," Mr. Yost said. "It did not exercise due diligence to make sure Ohioans could have complete confidence in the process. The department's work was sloppy. Ohioans deserved better."

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10 US MA: Massachusetts Marijuana Retailers May Soon Get Final Go-AheadSun, 09 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:95 Added:09/12/2018

BOSTON - A handful of the marijuana businesses granted provisional licenses have informed the Cannabis Control Commission they are ready to be inspected, one of the final steps before retail sales of marijuana, approved by voters almost two years ago, can begin.

CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said late last week the agency is working to schedule inspections for two or three provisionally licensed businesses. Hoffman said the inspections are expected to take place "over the next week, plus or minus."

He said it's possible the CCC could vote at its next meeting, Sept. 20, to issue a final license if a business passes its inspection and fulfills other requirements by then.

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11US CA: This Man Will Spend Life In Prison For A Marijuana ConvictionMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/10/2018

Barbara Tillis isn't sure when she'll get to see her son, Corvain Cooper, again.

Every few months for the past four years, Tillis, has driven five hours with her husband, daughter and Cooper's oldest daughter, making the trip from Rialto to the federal prison in Atwater, near Merced. They'd spend the day visiting and chatting, and guards would let each family member give Cooper exactly one hug. When the visit was over, they'd reluctantly pile into the car and drive home.

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12 US MA: Northboro And Bellingham Now Told They Cannot Prohibit MedicalMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:143 Added:09/10/2018

Six days after confirming approval of medical marijuana dispensary bans in Northboro and Bellingham, Attorney General Maura Healey's office reversed its decision.

In an Aug. 25 Telegram & Gazette story, a spokesperson for the AG's office confirmed that the office in June approved bylaws passed in the two towns that ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The 2012 Medical Marijuana law originally prohibited any municipality from banning medical marijuana dispensaries. An AG spokeswoman said at the time the approval was based on Section 56 (subsection d) of Chapter 55 Acts of 2017.

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13 US OH: Dewine Challenges Drug Sentencing Ballot IssueMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:102 Added:09/10/2018

COLUMBUS - Mike DeWine, Ohio's attorney general and Republican candidate for governor, on Monday denounced as "irresponsible and dangerous" a proposed constitutional amendment to downgrade low-level, non-violent drug felonies to misdemeanors.

He stood with prosecutors, judges, treatment center operators, and addicts to argue that Issue 1 would remove the stick that gets addicts into treatment as an alternative to prison time.

"This threat, carefully used by our judges, has saved thousands and thousands of lives," Mr. DeWine said. "Issue 1 would take that away, and thousands would remain in the grips of opioids by not getting the treatment they need to recover. Because the truth is that some people just don't go into treatment unless they are pushed to do it. There's nothing humane about Issue 1."

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14 US CA: L.A. Launches Crackdown On Unlicensed Marijuana BusinessesFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Serna, Joseph Area:California Lines:66 Added:09/07/2018

A police crackdown on local unlicensed marijuana businesses has ended with misdemeanor charges against more than 500 people in Los Angeles, the city attorney's office said.

In 120 criminal cases filed since May, City Atty. Mike Feuer has charged 515 people in connection with 105 illegal marijuana businesses, grow sites, extraction labs and delivery companies located throughout the city, his office announced Friday.

All of the defendants were charged with unlicensed commercial cannabis activity within the city, which carries a potential sentence of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Local judges have been hearing the cases since May with arraignments scheduled through the end of October, Feuer's office said.

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15 US NY: Brooklyn Prosecutor's Plan Could Wipe Out 20,000 PotFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Peltz, Jennifer Area:New York Lines:91 Added:09/07/2018

Tens of thousands of low-level marijuana convictions could be erased with the OK of Brooklyn's top prosecutor, under a new plan for wiping records clean of offenses no longer being prosecuted in parts of the nation's biggest city.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Friday he is inviting people to request conviction dismissals. He expects prosecutors will consent in the great majority of a potential 20,000 cases since 1990 and an unknown number of older ones.

To Gonzalez, whose office has stopped prosecuting most cases involving people accused of having small amounts of pot, it's only right to nix convictions that wouldn't be pursued now.

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16 US FL: In Sarasota, Panelists Insist Cannabis Can Reduce AddictiveFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:09/07/2018

SARASOTA -- Several panelists made their cases in a Thursday forum for why marijuana should no longer be classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug as dangerous as heroin.

The program focused on the Herald-Tribune project "Warriors Rise Up," which found a gaping rift between what many combat veterans want to treat their post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries and what they can legally get.

Rather than a cocktail of painkillers, many veterans prefer the relief they receive from marijuana. Because of marijuana's Schedule 1 designation under federal law, however, the VA has not considered it an option -- even in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.

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17 US MD: Maryland's Medical Cannabis Program Technically Bans FoodThu, 06 Sep 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Meehan, Sarah Area:Maryland Lines:210 Added:09/06/2018

Maryland has banned food from its medical cannabis program but it still provides ways for patients to ingest the drug.

Dave hadn't slept for more than three hours straight after a series of botched surgeries 18 years ago left him with chronic pain so intense it kept him awake at night. Relief was hard to come by -- until he made a tray of marijuana-infused brownies. Half of a small fudgy square was enough to put him to sleep for 14 hours.

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18 US IL: Medical Marijuana Sellers See New Law As A Win ForThu, 06 Sep 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Berkowitz, Karen Area:Illinois Lines:140 Added:09/06/2018

Medical pot sellers in the north suburbs are lauding a new Illinois law that will eventually allow patients who might be prescribed an opioid-based painkiller to qualify for medical marijuana as an alternative.

The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program has the potential to expand marijuana access to patients who have been, or could be prescribed medications such as Oxycontin, Percocet or Vicodin, even if they don't have one of the medical conditions the state otherwise requires for eligibility. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the law on Aug. 28.

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19 US PA: Big Alcohol Hype Lifts Marijuana Stocks HigherWed, 05 Sep 2018
Source:Burlington County Times (NJ) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:46 Added:09/05/2018

Constellation Brands Inc. -- the $40 billion brewer of Corona beer, vintner of Mondavi wines, and distiller of Black Velvet whiskey -- helped drive select marijuana stocks higher on Wednesday after Constellation's chief operating officer trumpeted that the legal cannabis industry was well on its way to becoming a global force, according to Bloomberg News.

"We think this is going to be a big business worldwide," said Constellation's Bill Newlands, Bloomberg reported. "This is not going to be limited to Canada. This will undoubtedly be a market that develops in the United States. It's developing around the world in places like Germany and Australia and other markets."

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20 US NJ: N.J. To Resume Minor Marijuana Prosecutions, But AG Asks ForWed, 29 Aug 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:New Jersey Lines:73 Added:08/29/2018

Prosecutors in New Jersey cannot unilaterally decriminalize marijuana possession in their jurisdictions, the state attorney general announced Wednesday, but they are being encouraged to use their discretion with people charged with low-level cannabis crimes.

State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a guidance memo to the Garden State's prosecutors, asking them to carefully consider the repercussions of a marijuana conviction on the lives of people charged with simple possession.

He asked prosecutors to weigh the "collateral consequences" a conviction might have on a defendant's ability to find work, remain in school, and receive government loans, housing, and licensing. Grewal also requested prosecutors to take into account age, circumstances of arrest, immigration consequences, and adverse familial consequences.

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21 US FL: Fake Weed Seen As A Public Health DangerTue, 21 Aug 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Stobbe, Mike Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:08/21/2018

A decade after first appearing in the United States, fake weed is seen as a growing health danger.

Some marijuana smokers turned to it because it is relatively cheap and not detected in routine drug testing. Dozens of people in New Haven, Conn., went to the hospital this week after overdosing on a batch of synthetic marijuana.

A look at the issue:

While states have moved to legalize traditional marijuana, fake pot has become a public health threat. Synthetic marijuana is a mind-altering drug made by taking plant material and spraying it with chemicals that can mimic the high from marijuana. It is sold under names like K2, AK47, Spice, Kush, Kronic, and Scooby Snax.

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22 US IL: Chicago Cops Pointed Guns At Children While Raiding The WrongWed, 15 Aug 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Briscoe, Tony Area:Illinois Lines:121 Added:08/15/2018

Chicago police officers pointed their guns at two young children while executing a search warrant at the wrong address, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court.

Gilbert Mendez is suing the city, saying police used excessive force when officers rammed their way through the front door of his McKinley Park apartment last November, according to court documents. The officers had intended to raid the apartment of Mendez's upstairs neighbor, who was suspected of drug possession. But Mendez, his wife, Hester, and two children Jack, 5, and Peter, 9, were alarmed when police officers barged in with guns drawn, the suit says.

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23US LA: Guns Or Marijuana? Some Patients Will Have To Make The ChoiceFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2018

As Louisiana's medical marijuana program takes shape some patients might have to make a difficult choice: keep their gun ownership rights or participate in the program.

Louisiana is one of 30 states that have approved medical marijuana laws in some form. Although the state's nine dispensaries won't open until later this year, patients who qualify for medical marijuana under Louisiana law may be surprised to learn that federal law restricts their ability to purchase a gun if they use marijuana.

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24 US PA: A 'Game-Changer' For Pa. Medical Marijuana Flower Goes On SaleFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:112 Added:07/31/2018

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are bracing for a surge in new customers when vaporizable "flower" -- the most popular and recognizable form of cannabis -- goes on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

"We're expecting 300 to 400 patients at our Abington store the first day," said Chris Visco, co-founder of TerraVida Holistic Centers. "People will likely be in line at 8 a.m. We're hiring an extra security guard and an extra valet parking person. This is a game-changer."

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25 US: 'Marijuana Is A Gift From God'Sun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:United States Lines:218 Added:07/29/2018

An LDS missionary passes by the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Voters this fall in Utah will cast ballots on a measure that would allow medical marijuana. (Isaac Hale / For The Times)

Brian Stoll faced a dilemma as his wedding day approached. For more than a year, he had been smoking marijuana to treat severe back pain, but to remain in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and get married in the temple, he had to stop using pot.

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26 US NJ: Oped: Pressing Pause On Pot ConvictionsSun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fulop, Steven M. Area:New Jersey Lines:111 Added:07/29/2018

JERSEY CITY - Every city in America knows that it's a bad idea to prosecute low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses. It wastes scarce municipal resources and does nothing to enhance public safety. What's more, even though whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates, blacks are more harshly punished for it.

That's why, on July 19, marijuana offenses were effectively decriminalized in Jersey City, New Jersey's second most populous city.

Prosecutors treated every marijuana case that day as a violation instead of a misdemeanor, unless driving under the influence was involved. We told our prosecutors to ask for no more than a $50 fine, or just five hours of community service if the defendant couldn't pay that fee. Instances like the absence of any public nuisance or a low likelihood of re-offense would warrant outright dismissal. We also stressed the importance of diverting people with an obvious drug addiction toward social services.

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27 US: Editorial: Repeal Prohibition, AgainFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/28/2018

The federal government should follow the growing movement in the states and repeal the ban on marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflictingA great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

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28 US: How To Help Babies Born To Opioid-Addicted Mothers? Keep ThemFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Bowen, Alison Area:United States Lines:142 Added:07/27/2018

Jessica King's daughter was in the intensive care unit. The newborn was twitching, and doctors were monitoring her for symptoms such as vomiting and sweating.

King, 35, felt devastated to see her daughter this way. She was also gutted by guilt that her actions had put her there.

"I just remember thinking, 'I'm either going to let this consume me, the guilt and the shame, or I'm going to move on, and I'm going to keep trying to do the next right thing,'" said King, who battles with opioid addiction, which can include heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain relievers like oxycodone.

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29 US: Public Faith In Marijuana Outpaces Medical Research, Study FindsWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Haydon, Ian Area:United States Lines:119 Added:07/25/2018

Despite limited evidence, Americans have an increasingly positive view of the health benefits of marijuana. Nearly two-thirds believe pot can reduce pain, while close to half say it improves symptoms of anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, according to a new online survey of 9,003 adults.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the 30 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, that have legalized medical marijuana. But scientists say hard data on the health effects of pot -- both positive and negative -- are largely missing. Because marijuana is considered an illicit drug by the federal government, research has been scant, though there are efforts underway in Pennsylvania and nationally to remedy that.

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30 US NJ: Editorial: Like Jersey City, Murphy's AG Takes The High GroundWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:81 Added:07/25/2018

Jersey City's mayor is planting himself at the forefront of a national movement to stop destroying people's lives for having a little marijuana.

Steven Fulop is firmly on the right side of this issue, and Gov. Phil Murphy's attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, is not fighting him on it -- once again demonstrating that he is not just concerned with law and order, but justice.

Grewal has been receptive to reform efforts in general, creating a statewide team to investigate wrongful convictions, for instance, after a bungled murder case in Passaic County.

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31 US NJ: Report: New Jersey Puts Temporary Hold On Marijuana CasesTue, 24 Jul 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Shipkowski, Bruce Area:New Jersey Lines:60 Added:07/24/2018

New Jersey's attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September.

The decision was included in a letter state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent Tuesday to municipal prosecutors in the state. It asked them to seek an adjournment until September 4 -- or later -- of any matter "involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court," a move that will allow the attorney general's office time to develop "appropriate guidance" for prosecutors.

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32 US PA: Pa. report: Legalizing Marijuana Could Generate $580 MillionThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:72 Added:07/19/2018

Legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use in Pennsylvania could generate more than $580 million in tax revenue for the state, said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in a report issued Thursday morning.

"Pennsylvania's budget challenges are now a consistent factor in all state policy decisions," said DePasquale. "Taxing marijuana offers a rare glimmer of fiscal hope, providing a way to refocus the state budget process away from filling its own gaps."

Last year, the state faced a shortfall of more than $2 billion.

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33 US: Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social JusticeThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:207 Added:07/19/2018

State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war on drugs.

The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot advocates say, as it's become clear that such issues should be addressed and that doing so won't alienate voters -- most of whom, polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.

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34 US NJ: Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social JusticeThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:New Jersey Lines:213 Added:07/19/2018

Chris Alexander, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, advocates for marijuana legislation at the state Capitol in Albany, New York. Supporters say the bill would promote social justice and equity.

State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war on drugs.

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35 US: Oped: The CDC Director's Deeply Personal Reason For FightingWed, 18 Jul 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Bever, Lindsey Area:United States Lines:109 Added:07/18/2018

One of the nation's top public-health officials has explained why the fight against the opioid epidemic is so personal to him.

At a conference in New Orleans, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield Jr. opened up about his family's experience with opioids, saying that one of his adult children nearly died of an overdose of cocaine mixed with fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, according to the Associated Press.

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36 US NJ: New Jersey, Feeling Marijuana's Pull, Frets Over LegalizationTue, 17 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Corsiniti, Nick Area:New Jersey Lines:168 Added:07/17/2018

SECAUCUS, N.J. - Tucked inside a nondescript commercial warehouse here sits a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation. A custom filtration system feeds a proprietary cocktail of nutrients into a hydroponic, two-level farming system. Two pallets of crops are harvested every day, and the 15,000 square feet will eventually yield two tons of marijuana per year.

And it's all legal.

Opened just a few weeks ago, Harmony Dispensary is the latest site in New Jersey to provide marijuana for medical use, a program that has expanded greatly since Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, was sworn in. More than 10,000 patients have enrolled since he took office in January, bringing the total to about 25,000. And on Monday, Mr. Murphy's office announced it was seeking up to six new applicants for medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

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37 US MA: Worcester Banks On Potential Revenue From Adult-Use, MedicalSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Kotsopoulos, Nick Area:Massachusetts Lines:225 Added:07/14/2018

WORCESTER - Moments after the Board of Health unanimously voted Monday night to issue the city's first license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary, many of those in attendance began to applaud.

It was a modest celebration of sorts - for the representatives of Good Chemistry of Massachusetts Inc., which was awarded the first license, public health officials and members of the Board of Health - as it culminated what was a long process that began more than 5= years ago.

Soon after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum question in 2012 to legalize marijuana for medical use, Good Chemistry began scoping out potential sites for a dispensary in the city.

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38 US FL: Marijuana Advocates Promote Education Amidst GrowingSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Santana, Marco Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:07/14/2018

A budding medical marijuana industry has slowly been gaining acceptance in Central Florida as lawmakers consider regulations and the number of approved dispensaries grow.

But as medicinal solutions land most of the support, advocates say it's only a matter of time before full legalization lands on the table.

At the Orlando Marijuana Expo, a workshop and advocacy event Saturday at UCF, attorney Carrie McClain said the piecemeal approach to legalization would not be effective but has helped build some momentum.

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39 US HI: Dispensary Sales May Climb With Medical Marijuana Law ChangesThu, 12 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Domai, Sarah Area:Hawaii Lines:98 Added:07/12/2018

Sales at Hawaii's six medical marijuana dispensaries totaled $6.7 million in the past 10 months, and their earnings are likely to grow with two changes to the state's cannabis law.

Medical cannabis dispensaries can now sell "safe pulmonary administration products" - essentially cannabis oil vapes.

Sales at Hawaii's six medical marijuana dispensaries totaled $6.7 million in the past 10 months, and their earnings are likely to grow with two changes to the state's cannabis law.

Dispensaries last week began selling a type of vape cartridge for cannabis oil and are now allowed to sell pot to tourists who obtain a medical marijuana card.

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40 US PA: Could Marijuana Help Treat Opioid Addiction? Pennsylvania MayFri, 06 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:Pennsylvania Lines:179 Added:07/11/2018

As bad as getting off opioids the first time was, nothing prepared Briana Kline for trying to come back from relapse. She was in deep, past the Percocets and other pills. This time it was heroin, even a close brush with fentanyl. But the medicine that so helped slay her cravings before didn't seem to be cutting it.

"The Suboxone didn't make me feel the way it usually does," said Kline, 26, of Lancaster County. "I was struggling a lot with cravings. I'd go a couple of days, be OK. Then I'd go use again."

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41 US IL: Giving Addicted Inmates Opioid Meds Behind Bars Can ReduceFri, 06 Jul 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Keilman, John Area:Illinois Lines:222 Added:07/11/2018

Why don't more jails use them?

After Neila Rivera began using heroin as a teenager, she fell into a predictable and depressing pattern. She'd get locked up and go through detox, only to return to drugs as soon as she got out.

It's a routine that has become more dangerous as heroin, now commonly mixed with powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl, has become more unpredictably potent: Studies show that people released from incarceration, their drug tolerance lowered from abstinence, are far more likely than others to overdose.

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42 US FL: Federal Law? State Law? Which Takes Precedence When You WantMon, 09 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Hamm, Catharine Area:Florida Lines:129 Added:07/11/2018

You can't take it with you. Actually, you can. But it's not a good idea when you're traveling, especially for the risk-averse.

We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade before that.

Legal, it should be noted, in California. Not legal according to federal law, although President Trump has signaled his willingness to support legislation that, according to an L.A. Times article, would "end the federal ban on marijuana."

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43US: Column: Hey Bud, Is That Marijuana, Pot Or Just Your Shoes?Wed, 11 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Morris, Tim Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2018

That old New Orleans con of, "I betcha I can tell you where you got them shoes," just took on a whole different meaning.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration's just released list of "Drug Slang Code Words," for 2018, "shoes" is one of 353 terms the cool kids are using for cannabis these days. (I bet you thought there would be 420.) So, offering to tell the tourists where they obtained their footwear could spark a panic.

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44 US MA: What To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales InThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:190 Added:07/10/2018

July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other day since December 15, 2016, when it became legal in Massachusetts to possess, grow and give away small quantities of cannabis.

But in the intervening year-and-a-half, no retailers have begun selling the drug. Advocates of its recreational use have grown frustrated at the retail rollout's plodding pace.

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45 U.S. Attorney In Massachusetts Says Opioids, Not Cannabis, A PriorityTue, 10 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:92 Added:07/10/2018

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana.

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)

The top federal law enforcement official in Massachusetts signaled Tuesday he would not aggressively prosecute people for using and selling marijuana -- a federal, if not state crime -- saying that while he could not "effectively immunize" residents from federal laws criminalizing the drug, his office was turning its attention to the state's opioid problem.

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46 US MA: PUB LTE: Marijuana No Barrier To Safe DrivingSun, 08 Jul 2018
Source:Salem News (MA) Author:Epstein, Steven S. Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:07/08/2018

To the editor:

Your June 28 editorial, "Marijuana-impaired drivers a growing danger," lacks a rational basis for crying wolf. In fact, marijuana consumption's negligible impact on driving ability pales next to alcohol and distraction by smartphone use.

While no one expects an editorial board to research extensively law enforcement claims on this subject, as a reader I do expect you to do some research in the scientific journals and not popular press.

Had you done so, you would have found the growing consensus that the motor vehicle accident odds ratio following marijuana consumption and driving is an order of magnitude smaller than a blood alcohol level over .05.

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47 US CA: Illegal Marijuana Market Still Thrives In Los AngelesThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:California Lines:142 Added:07/05/2018

LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by bars.

Suddenly, police swooped in.

"Sheriff's department! Search warrant!" a Los Angeles County deputy shouted as the team thundered through the front door and began hauling out people in handcuffs.

The Compton 20 Cap Collective just south of Los Angeles that was raided earlier this spring is one of hundreds of illegal marijuana stores operating in LA County, where marijuana is legal for anyone 21 and over and retailers must be licensed to sell to them.

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48 US: Neighbors Flinch At Pot ShopsThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Prevost, Lisa Area:United States Lines:162 Added:07/05/2018

Finding a place to house a medical marijuana dispensary is rarely an easy task, but MariMed Advisors, which specializes in developing cannabis businesses, encountered especially aggressive pushback working for a client in Annapolis, Md., last year.

The company reviewed several hundred potential locations for the client's proposed dispensary before finally finding one that met nearly every one of the strict requirements demanded by officials of Anne Arundel County. It had the proper zoning classification and the necessary road access. It was not within 1,000 feet of a school. And, as an added plus, the storefront was discreet, located below ground level and behind another building.

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49 US FL: Smokable Medical Pot Case Stays On HoldTue, 03 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:79 Added:07/03/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- Chiding a judge who sided with sick patients and saying plaintiffs likely won't win on the merits of the case, an appellate court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a legal fight continues to play out.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal came in a lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking their treatment runs afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

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50US GA: Reunited Family Heartens Critics Of State's War On PotTue, 03 Jul 2018
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Boone, Christian Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/03/2018

JEFFERSONVILLE, GA. - When Georgia authorities found out that smoking marijuana was ridding 15-year-old David Ray of seizures that had plagued him through childhood, the consequences were swift and severe.

His mother and stepfather - Suzeanna and Matthew Brill - were arrested and jailed for six days. David, no longer able to medicate with pot, was hospitalized for a week after suffering what his mother called "the worst seizure of his life." He was then discharged to strangers and sent to a Division of Family and Children Services group home after his parents were stripped of custody - another example of "how the war on drugs breaks up families," said Lauren Deal, Suzeanna Brill's attorney.

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