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."
[continues 1283 words]
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.
[continues 1565 words]
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
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."
[continues 810 words]
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.
[continues 1210 words]
LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of
customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by
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.
[continues 897 words]
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.
[continues 1146 words]
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.
[continues 470 words]
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
[continues 106 words]
LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural
Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every
The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President
Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who
owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed
in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway
But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into
hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting
from the use of cannabis.
[continues 687 words]
U.S. health regulators on Monday approved the first prescription drug
made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a
drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing
legalization for recreational and medical use.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called
Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy that begin in
childhood. But it's not quite medical marijuana.
The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of a chemical
ingredient found in the cannabis plant -- but not the one that gets
users high. It's not yet clear why the ingredient, called cannabidiol,
or CBD, reduces seizures in some people with epilepsy.
[continues 902 words]
A convicted Colombian drug cartel leader who went undercover to inform
on Mexican kingpin "El Chapo" and other major traffickers has been
sentenced to 31 years in prison.
The Miami Herald reports that 48-year-old Henry De Jesus Lopez
Londono, who was arrested in Argentina and extradited to Miami in
2016, was sentenced on Monday for drug trafficking conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Donald Graham previously rejected a plea deal that
included 17 years behind bars. Lopez Londono could have received a
Officials say Lopez Londono was involved in the smuggling of some
60,000 kilograms of cocaine between 2007 and 2012.
Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who this week joined a crowded
slate of Democrats seeking to replace Gov. Rick Scott, shared his
thoughts about marijuana with Truth or Dara during a lengthy interview
that included some chit-chat about Willie Nelson and air pods.
(Spoiler alert: He's a fan of both the musician and the technology).
On medical marijuana, Greene's got the same take as his competitors,
who've all come out in support of allowing patients to smoke their
[continues 615 words]
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The political rise of Colorado's cannabis industry
is, in essence, the story of Garrett Hause's alfalfa farm.
Mr. Hause, a broad-shouldered, 25-year-old horticulturist who tills
his family's land in the shadow of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains,
said he was never particularly interested in politics - that is, until
voters legalized cannabis in 2012. He started familiarizing himself
with the stringent state regulations that govern the industry. He and
a friend then created Elation Cannabis Company, which uses a section
of the family's soil to grow hemp.
[continues 1295 words]
WASHINGTON - Tyson Timbs would like his Land Rover back.
The State of Indiana took it, using a law that lets it seize vehicles
used to transport illegal drugs. Last week, the Supreme Court agreed
to decide whether the Constitution has anything to say about such
civil forfeiture laws, which allow states and localities to take and
keep private property used to commit crimes.
Mr. Timbs bought the Land Rover after his father died. The life
insurance money amounted to around $73,000, and he spent $42,000 of it
on the vehicle. He blew most of the rest on drugs.
[continues 848 words]
You could be in luck: Florida's Medical Marijuana Industry Is Beginning
To Take Off
Medical marijuana dispensary hiring in Florida is beginning to
germinate, as existing operators prepare to open new stores and other
companies enter the market.
In South Florida, legal growers operate only a handful of
dispensaries. But those dispensaries -- including Knox Medical,
Curaleaf and Trulieve -- are laying the groundwork for new locations
in the tricounty region and across the state. And California-based
MedMen is getting ready to enter the market, which could heat up
[continues 1289 words]
A few years ago when I served on the board of the co-op building where
I live in Brooklyn Heights - a fact suggesting a degree of squareness
so profound it should discredit my authority to go on - my next-door
neighbor came to me with recurring complaints that her apartment, at
various points, but mostly in the evenings, reeked of pot (that,
children, is what we of the Atari generation call it) so intensely
that it seemed as if someone had come in and lit up right on her sofa.
That her oldest daughter began to worry that she was getting a contact
high while she was doing her homework made me despair for a generation
and suggested that perhaps a certain unwarranted hysteria had taken
hold. Then one night, at a moment of extreme fragrancy, my neighbor
texted and asked me to come over and take a sniff for myself, and it
seemed as if I had walked into a commune in the Redwoods sometime
between the Tet offensive and the presidency of Gerald Ford.
[continues 772 words]
New York City's Police Department suffered a major embarrassment this
spring when a New York Times investigation demolished the department's
claim that people of color were more likely than others to be arrested
on petty marijuana charges, because citizens in their communities
complained more about pot smoking. The investigation found that even
when complaints were factored in, the police nearly always arrested
people at a higher rate in black areas.
A new policy Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday will lead to
fewer people being arrested for smoking marijuana in public. But the
new approach - in which officers would usually issue summonses instead
of hauling people off to jail - does not address the core problem of
racial inequality and poses new dangers.
[continues 466 words]
The authors suffer from the same confirmation bias and first-order
thinking that begot the demonstrably unsuccessful war on drugs and has
sustained it, to tragic effect, for nearly 50 years. Despite enormous
expense and countless American lives lost to street violence and
incarceration, access to and abuse of marijuana and other drugs
remains as prevalent as ever. Why, then, do intelligent people refuse
to accept that the goals of the antidrug crusade haven't been, and
cannot be, achieved by prohibition?
[continues 196 words]
In 1994 as a NYPD narcotics detective, I did a study of prisoners
arrested for drug crimes for a statistics class I was taking at night.
Nine of 10 users stated they started with marijuana, 70% started using
between ages 10-15, and 92% before the age of 21. Society must educate
our youth before the ravages of drugs become irremediable.
[continues 3 words]
What's understated is the potential major negative health effects,
particularly in connection with developing brains (into the middle
20s), such as permanently impairing brain functioning and cognition
and increasing the likelihood of serious psychotic disorders like
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and paranoia. Is severely damaging the
health of our nation's youth and causing major injury to society worth
tax revenue and income to the self-serving marijuana industry?