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1 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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2 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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3 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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4 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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5 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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6 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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7 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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8US 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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9 US OK: Oklahoma Medical Pot Question Hinges On Conservative SupportSat, 23 Jun 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Oklahoma Lines:109 Added:06/27/2018

LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every political issue.

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 drug.

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.

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10 US: Medical Milestone: U.S. OKs Marijuana-Based Drug For SeizuresMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Perrone, Matthew Area:United States Lines:148 Added:06/27/2018

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.

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11 US FL: Colombian Drug Kingpin Caught In Argentina Gets 31 YearsFri, 22 Jun 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:25 Added:06/26/2018

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 life sentence.

Officials say Lopez Londono was involved in the smuggling of some 60,000 kilograms of cocaine between 2007 and 2012.

[end]

12US FL: Florida's Newest Governor Candidate On Ganja: Are The KidsThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/26/2018

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 treatment.

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13 US CO: Cannabis Consumers Emerge As Voting Bloc In Colorado CampaignsTue, 26 Jun 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Herndon, Astead W. Area:Colorado Lines:171 Added:06/26/2018

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.

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14 US: Indiana Seized His $42,000 Car Over A $225 Drug DealTue, 26 Jun 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Liptak, Adam Area:United States Lines:130 Added:06/26/2018

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.

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15 US FL: Want A Job Selling Pot Legally? You Could Be In LuckMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Pounds, Marcia Heroux Area:Florida Lines:199 Added:06/25/2018

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 competition.

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16 US NY: Column: A Real Live Skunk Smells Just As SweetSun, 24 Jun 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Bellafante, Ginia Area:New York Lines:101 Added:06/24/2018

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.

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17 US NY: Editorial: New York's Small Step On Pot Isn't EnoughThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:73 Added:06/21/2018

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.

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18 US: PUB LTE: Prohibitionists Never LearnThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Liddell, James Area:United States Lines:45 Added:06/21/2018

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?

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19 US: LTE: Marijuana Is The Gateway DrugThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Schille, Al Area:United States Lines:21 Added:06/21/2018

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.

Al Schille

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20 US: LTE: Marijuana Dangerous To Mental HealthThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Cook, Stanley A. Area:United States Lines:23 Added:06/21/2018

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?

McLean, Va.

[end]

21 US: PUB LTE: Opiates Are Far More Harmful Than MarijuanaThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ryan, Matt Area:United States Lines:20 Added:06/21/2018

It makes sense to make marijuana readily available as a less harmful alternative to truly harmful drugs such as opiates. Why would a drug pusher carry marijuana in his inventory when you can buy it over the counter? Messrs. Kennedy and Sabet are behind the times.

Matt Ryan

Bremerton, Wash.

[end]

22 US: LTE: Legal Marijuana Increases Fatal CrashesThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Searle, Ryan Area:United States Lines:25 Added:06/21/2018

In Colorado the number testing positive for marijuana in fatal crashes has risen each year from 2013 (47) to 2016 (115), more than doubling (145%) in those four years. Of the 547 traffic fatalities in 2015, 99 were due to marijuana, 187 to alcohol and 35 to both. The most common drug in all fatal crashes is marijuana.

There are also other health-related issues to consider. The cardiovascular and cancer risks inherent in smoking tobacco also apply to marijuana. While cigarette smokers inhale more smoke, marijuana smokers hold it longer in their lungs. Marijuana can also demotivate individuals. They lose their ambition and competitiveness.

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23 US: LTE: Employers Should Want Pot To Remain IllegalThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Hikade, Nanette Rutka Area:United States Lines:40 Added:06/21/2018

Patrick Kennedy and Kevin Sabet's "This Is No Time To Go to Pot" (op-ed, June 15), at long last, takes on several key deceptions about marijuana, and these men have the credentials to speak.

But where are the others? The neurologists? The pediatric psychiatrists? The Business Roundtable groups and chambers of commerce which also are competent and which should have a passionate professional interest in maintaining drug-free workplaces and safeguarding our youth? It is high time they joined in allocating resources to stop this juggernaut.

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24 US: PUB LTE: What Failure?Thu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Kuhn, Paul Area:United States Lines:21 Added:06/21/2018

According to Messrs. Kennedy and Sabet, cannabis legalization is "a failed experiment." But in Washington state, which like Colorado legalized in 2012, support has increased from 56% to an astounding 78%. Some failure!

Paul Kuhn

Nashville, Tenn.

[end]

25 US: Marijuana-Based Seizure Treatment Gets Positive Review From FDAWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Perrone, Matthew Area:United States Lines:102 Added:06/20/2018

A closely watched medicine made from the marijuana plant reduces seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy and warrants approval in the United States, health officials said Tuesday.

British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals is seeking permission to sell its purified form of an ingredient found in cannabis -- one that doesn't get users high -- as a medication for rare, hard-to-treat seizures in children. If successful, the company's liquid formula would be the first government-approved drug derived from the cannabis plant in the U.S.

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26US CA: Biker Dies After Collision With Driver High On Weed, PoliceWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Cutler-Tietjen, Jordan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/20/2018

Police demonstrate the Alere DDS2, a saliva swab test some authorities are using to determine marijuana impairment, in May at the Capitol in Sacramento.

Police demonstrate the Alere DDS2, a saliva swab test some authorities are using to determine marijuana impairment, in May at the Capitol in Sacramento.

A bicyclist has died after colliding with a vehicle driven by a man under the influence of marijuana, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

The cyclist, Amar Askhra, 41, struck the vehicle on Truxel Road near the South Natomas Community Center at noon on Saturday. The driver had the right of way, police spokeswoman Linda Matthew said.

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27 US FL: Some Parents Of Epileptic Kids Wary Of Pot-Based MedicationWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Foody, Kathleen Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:06/20/2018

A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are feeling more cautious than celebratory.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.

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28 US OK: Marijuana Activist Forced Out Of Oklahoma Forum By SheriffWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Alanis, Kaitlyn Area:Oklahoma Lines:101 Added:06/20/2018

A medical marijuana activist in Oklahoma says the county sheriff forcibly escorted him out of a forum, but the sheriff says he thinks the scuffle was an "orchestrated" deal with an attempt to rattle law enforcement.

Chip Paul, co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, said he was attending a forum about the proposed legislation for legalizing medical marijuana when he was forced out by Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. The organization is the official proponent of legalizing medical cannabis in Oklahoma through State Question 788.

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29 US KY: Laura Freeman's Winchester Hemp Farm Open Saturday For ToursWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Patton, Janet Area:Kentucky Lines:43 Added:06/20/2018

If you'd like to know more about what modern hemp farming looks like, the Mount Holly Farm owned by Laura Freeman will have an open-house party on Saturday.

From 1 to 4 p.m., you can see the newly planted hemp crop, which is grown for grain, and see the CBD hemp crop as well. The CBD crop provides cannabidiol oil used in a variety of products.

The farm store, Laura's Mercantile, will be open, with Laura's Hemp Chocolates available for purchase. The party also will have samples of the chocolates as well as hemp beer -- New Belgium's new Hemperor IPA - -- and Kentucky Hemp Dawgs.

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30 US PA: Pennsylvania House Moves To Reinstate Medical MarijuanaTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Scolforo, Mark Area:Pennsylvania Lines:64 Added:06/19/2018

State lawmakers moved Tuesday to reinstate the research provision of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, a month after a court decision left it in limbo.

The House voted 167-31 to change the law by laying out more explicitly the goal of its provisions allowing medical schools to partner with companies that grow the drug and provide it to patients.

"We worked very hard so that indeed real research not only will have the opportunity to occur, but it's going to be required to occur," said Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, who sponsored the amendment.

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31 US PA: Medical Marijuana Patients, Legally Banned From Driving, MayTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:55 Added:06/19/2018

All marijuana users are forbidden from operating a car, truck, boat, or an airplane under Pennsylvania statute. That poses a conundrum for medical marijuana patients who need to drive and want to stay within the bounds of law.

Pa. Rep. Sheryl M. Delozier (R., Cumberland) says she aims to fix that.

Delozier last week announced she'll introduce legislation that will exempt medical marijuana patients as long as they are not driving while impaired.

Driving under the influence is a crime in every state. But knowing when a driver is too high to drive is nearly impossible to tell with a test. Unlike with alcohol, there is nothing like a Breathalyzer devise for cannabis that police can use. If an officer suspects a driver is impaired, he can order a blood tests. But chemical compounds from marijuana can remain in the blood for 15 days or more after use and deliver an incriminating positive result.

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32 US NY: NYPD Will Start Using Summonses, Not Arrests, For MarijuanaTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Sisak, Michael R. Area:New York Lines:91 Added:06/19/2018

A marijuana user poses a joint over some ground marijuana Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona voters were literally split evenly on the issue of allowing marijuana use for medical purposes, leaving the proposition far too close to call.

A marijuana user poses a joint over some ground marijuana Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona voters were literally split evenly on the issue of allowing marijuana use for medical purposes, leaving the proposition far too close to call. (Matt York / AP)

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33 US NY: Legalize Pot In New York? A State Panel Says YesMon, 18 Jun 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Precious, Tom Area:New York Lines:145 Added:06/18/2018

ALBANY -- A Cuomo administration panel will recommend New York State legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state's health commissioner said Monday.

But the long-awaited report by the group has still not been released as the State Legislature looks to end its 2018 session on Wednesday -- leaving action for this year on the matter all but impossible.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's top health regulator, said public health, law enforcement and others inside and outside government, have been examining the issue of marijuana legalization since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asked for a study on the issue in January.

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34 US KY: KY Farmers Hail Hemp Day After Legalization Put In Farm BillSun, 10 Jun 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Patton, Janet Area:Kentucky Lines:116 Added:06/10/2018

Kentucky agriculture commissioner: 'It's time to legalize the crop'

Kentucky is again king of hemp, according to officials who spoke at the first Kentucky Hemp Days event on Saturday.

Held in Cynthiana, the festival will be an annual celebration of the crop's revival, which began after Kentucky lawmakers cleared a path for legal cultivation beginning with the General Assembly in 2013 and in Congress in 2014.

On Saturday, as a crowd turned out to hear the latest developments a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., inserted language in the federal farm bill that will remove hemp from the controlled substance list, distancing it from marijuana.

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35 US KS: Compound In Marijuana Now Legal In Kansas With CaveatSat, 09 Jun 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:Kansas Lines:45 Added:06/09/2018

Cannabidiol products are coming back to Kansas after lawmakers approved to bring back the marijuana extract often used as alternative medicine.

Lawmakers voted in April to exclude cannabidiol, or CBD, from the state's definition of marijuana as long as the oil contains no THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. The vote effectively makes CBD an unrestricted substance, the Kansas City Star reported .

The state's decision came after Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a January opinion saying any form of marijuana is against the law in Kansas.

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36 US: Trump Signals Support For Legislation Easing US Ban On PotFri, 08 Jun 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Blood, Michael R. Area:United States Lines:72 Added:06/08/2018

President Donald Trump said Friday that he's inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation's legal landscape for pot users and businesses.

The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with more than two dozen states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system where cannabis can be both legal and not.

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37 US CA: PUB LTE: Beer Sold At Fresno State Games. How About Pot?Fri, 01 Jun 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Barnett, Stephen Area:California Lines:27 Added:06/01/2018

Beer sales worked at Fresno State games, so how about pot at campus poetry readings?

I was pleased to read that the (Fresno State) athletic department benefited financially from beer sales at their games. We all know beer and sports go nicely together. Perhaps the other departments at Fresno State should take their cues from this, but instead of serving beer, sell cannabis. It's legal (semi) now and probably just as profitable.

It may best be suited for events like poetry fests, art shows, and musical productions. More money, mellow crowds, and a dandy reputation for keeping everyone happy (and stoned) at Fresno State!

Stephen Barnett, Clovis

[end]

38 US PA: Drugged Driving Deaths Spike With Spread Of Legal MarijuanaThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bergal, Jenni Area:Pennsylvania Lines:148 Added:05/31/2018

As legal marijuana spreads and the opioid epidemic rages on, the number of drugged drivers killed in car crashes is rising dramatically, according to a report released today.

Forty-four percent of fatally injured drivers tested for drugs had positive results in 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association found, up more than 50 percent compared with a decade ago. More than half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two.

"These are big-deal drugs. They are used a lot," said Jim Hedlund, an Ithaca, New York-based traffic safety consultant who conducted the highway safety group's study. "People should not be driving while they're impaired by anything and these two drugs can impair you."

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39US CA: Largest Opium Poppy Bust In Ca History Is In Monterey CountyThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Ferreira, Gabby Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/31/2018

In mid-May, authorities discovered an acre of poppy fields in Monterey County.

By the end of the month, they carried out the largest known opium poppy bust in California history, according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

"We know it's the biggest grow in California history and we believe it could be the biggest in the nation," sheriff's spokesman Cmdr. John Thornburg told the Monterey County Herald.

In a Facebook post, the agency announced that, in addition to the acre found at Moss Landing, they found seven more fields of the flowers in a span of three days. Five of the fields were in Royal Oaks and two were in Aromas.

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40 US FL: Sarasota County Moves To Ban Recreational MarijuanaWed, 30 May 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:53 Added:05/30/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in Florida.

The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent for the vote.

The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.

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41US CA: California Bill To Slash Marijuana Taxes Suffers SetbackFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Bollag, Sophia Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/25/2018

Efforts to lower marijuana taxes to help the transition to California's new legal market have suffered a setback.

A bill that would have slashed taxes on legal pot for three years to entice people away from the black market failed to advance out of a key legislative committee Friday.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey co-authored the bill and said the setback is a win for the black market. The Los Angeles-area Republican says he hopes the policy can still be passed this year. He says opponents of the bill in the Assembly had argued it is too soon to slash the taxes without further evidence they are driving people to the black market.

Growers and sellers of marijuana in California have complained the taxes are too high.

[end]

42 US IL: Oped: Let's Not Forget How Wrong Our Crime Data AreFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:O'Neil, Cathy Area:Illinois Lines:91 Added:05/25/2018

Legalizing marijuana makes sense for a lot of reasons, but there's one valuable thing we'll lose when police stop arresting people for smoking pot: A sense of just how misleading our crime data are.

Data on arrests and reported crime play a big role in public policy and law enforcement. Politicians employ them to gauge their success in making neighborhoods and the entire country safe. Police departments use them to determine where to deploy more officers to look for more crime. They are fed into recidivism-risk algorithms, which help judges and parole boards make decisions on sentencing and release.

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43 US: Security Troops On U.S. Nuclear Missile Base Took LSDFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:United States Lines:116 Added:05/25/2018

WASHINGTON - One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, "I absolutely just loved altering my mind."

Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America's arsenal. Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman deserted to Mexico.

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44 US NC: Proposed Bill Raises Amount Of Pot Leading To ChargesFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Ward, Myah Area:North Carolina Lines:49 Added:05/25/2018

State Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, introduced a bill this week that would significantly increase the amount of marijuana a person could have in his or her possession for personal use before being charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Under Alexander's bill, a person would not be charged with a misdemeanor unless he or she had more than 4 ounces of marijuana. Under current law, possession of more than a half-ounce is a misdemeanor. A person would have to have more than 16 ounces -- more than 10 times the current limit -- to be charged with a felony.

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45 US: U.S. Oped: Attorney: Moving Forward On MarijuanaFri, 18 May 2018
Source:Hillsboro Argus, The (OR) Author:Williams, Billy J. Area:United States Lines:102 Added:05/23/2018

After U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued his memorandum on marijuana in January, I committed to taking a methodical and thoughtful approach to developing an enforcement strategy for Oregon. In early February, our marijuana summit brought together more than 130 people from 70 organizations representing a wide range of interests, values, and perspectives.

Among those in attendance were Gov, Kate Brown, representatives from 14 U.S. Attorney's offices, Oregon congressional delegation staff, and members of the Oregon Legislature. The summit featured presentations by state officials, policymakers, federal and state law enforcement agencies, industry representatives, adversely affected landowners, public health organizations, banking executives and tribal leaders.

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46 US: OPED: America's 150-Year Opioid EpidemicSun, 20 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Lawson, Clinton Area:United States Lines:129 Added:05/20/2018

After the death of her father, a prominent hotel owner in Seattle, Ella Henderson started taking morphine to ease her grief. She was 33 years old, educated and intelligent, and she frequented the upper reaches of Seattle society. But her "thirst for morphine" soon "dragged her down to the verge of debauchery," according to a newspaper article in 1877 titled "A Beautiful Opium Eater." After years of addiction, she died of an overdose.

In researching opium addiction in late-19th-century America, I've come across countless stories like Henderson's. What is striking is how, aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they feel so familiar to a 21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.

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47 US: Cannabis Start-Ups Pay Taxes The Hard WaySun, 20 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weed, Julie Area:United States Lines:137 Added:05/20/2018

Charity Gates phones her contact each month to make an appointment. When the time comes, she and a colleague drive around Denver, collecting stacks of $20 bills she has stored in various safes since the last delivery. She counts the cash and places it in small duffel or sling bags, carrying up to $20,000 at a time.

She then drives to a gray two-story office building downtown and parks on the street or in a pay lot nearby. Ms. Gates fears being robbed, so the two dress simply to avoid attention and use different vehicles and delivery days to vary their routine. "We hold our breath every time we go," Ms. Gates said.

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48 US NY: Marijuana Policy Change Is Said To Be ConsideredTue, 15 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:223 Added:05/19/2018

The district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are weighing plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on marijuana charges, potentially curbing the consequences of a law that in New York City is enforced most heavily against black and Hispanic people.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office, which in 2014 decided to stop prosecuting many low-level marijuana cases, is considering expanding its policy so that more people currently subject to arrest on marijuana charges, including those who smoke outside without creating a public nuisance, would not be prosecuted, one official familiar with the discussions said.

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49 US NY: Making Sense Of Marijuana ArrestsMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:103 Added:05/19/2018

If you've walked around New York City lately, there's a good chance you've smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park.

White people largely don't get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races smoke at similar rates.

So after a senior police official recently testified to the City Council that there was a simple justification - he said more people call 911 and 311 to complain about marijuana smoke in black and Hispanic neighborhoods - we decided to dig into the numbers the New York Police Department gave lawmakers to support that claim.

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50 US NY: Deblasio Directs Police Dept. To End 'unnecessary' MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:142 Added:05/19/2018

After years of halting steps, top prosecutors and elected officials in New York City on Tuesday made a sudden dash toward ending many of the marijuana arrests that for decades have entangled mostly black and Hispanic people.

The plans, still unwritten and under negotiation, will rise or fall on the type of conduct involving marijuana that officials decide should still warrant arrest and prosecution. The changes appear likely to create a patchwork of prosecution policies across the city's five boroughs, and are unlikely to restrict police officers from stopping and searching people on suspicion of possessing a drug that is now legal in a number of states.

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