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1 US: Oped: 50 Years After The Start Of The War On Drugs, AmericansMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:Hill, The (US DC) Author:Ofer, Udi Area:United States Lines:109 Added:11/20/2020

Next year will mark 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared drugs "public enemy number one," launching a new war on drugs that has pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into law enforcement, led to the incarceration of millions of people - disproportionately Black - and has done nothing to prevent drug overdoses. In spite of the widespread, growing opposition to this failed war, made clear yet again on Election Day, punitive policies and responses to drug use and possession persist. As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office, it is abundantly clear that they have a mandate from the electorate to tackle this issue.

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2US PA: Oped: Philadelphia Case Could Clear The Way For Safe InjectionMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Boudin, Chesa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:Excerpt Added:11/18/2020

All eyes were on Philadelphia this month, as the outcome of the election rested in poll workers' hands. It's not surprising that the citizens of Philly were ready for change - they've faced a disproportionately heavy toll as a result of the current administration's ineffective coronavirus policies. And that toll has tragically included an increased rate of deadly opioid overdoses.

But Philly isn't alone - overdoses tragically have increased in communities across the nation, from San Francisco to Burlington, Vt.

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3 US: Column: Republicans and Democrats Agree: End The War On DrugsSun, 08 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:107 Added:11/08/2020

One of America's greatest mistakes over the last century was the war on drugs, so it's thrilling to see voters in red and blue states alike moving to unwind it.

The most important step is coming in Oregon, where voters easily passed a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, while helping users get treatment for addiction. The idea is to address drug use as a public health crisis more than as a criminal justice issue.

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4US: 4 States Ready To Roll With Recreational PotThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Cannon, Jay Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:11/05/2020

Americans were still waiting for clarity on the presidential race Wednesday morning. Perhaps lost in the frantic haze of election night was the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states.

Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana all passed legislation Tuesday permitting the possession of weed by adults, which means 15 states have legalized recreational weed or voted to legalize it.

South Dakota and Mississippi passed initiatives to allow medical marijuana, which means 36 states permit the legal distribution of medical weed, according to a tally by NORML, a nonprofit marijuana public advocacy group.

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5 US OR: Oregon Votes To Decriminalize All Drugs, Allow Psilocybin ForThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:100 Added:11/05/2020

Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession of all illegal drugs and also legalize the use of psilocybin-the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms-for mental health treatment, after voters passed a pair of ballot measures this week.

Both are the first of their kind in any U.S. state and represent the next frontier in the relaxation of drug laws beyond marijuana.

With results from 76% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, 59% of Oregonians approved Measure 110, the drug decriminalization referendum, and 56% voted for Measure 109 on psilocybin therapy, according to the Associated Press.

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6 US: State Ballots Show A Shifting Debate On Legalizing DrugsTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Johnson, Kirk Area:United States Lines:160 Added:10/27/2020

Oregon has an addiction problem. Pockets of rural poverty, chronic homelessness and cities with lots of young people have given the state one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. It is also, because there is so little money allocated to it, one of the toughest places to get treatment.

A proposed solution on the ballot next week would be one of the most radical drug-law overhauls in the nation's history, eliminating criminal penalties entirely for personal use amounts of drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Tax revenues from drug sales would be channeled toward drug treatment.

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7 US: Marijuana May Trip Up The HeartTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brody, Jane E. Area:United States Lines:156 Added:10/27/2020

Do you have the heart to safely smoke pot? Maybe not, a growing body of medical reports suggests.

Currently, increased smoking of marijuana in public, even in cities like New York where recreational use remains illegal (though no longer prosecuted), has reinforced a popular belief that this practice is safe, even health-promoting.

"Many people think that they have a free pass to smoke marijuana," Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told me. "I even heard a suggestion on public radio that tobacco companies should switch to marijuana because then they'd be selling life instead of selling death."

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8 US: Pot Stocks Stage A Muted Election RallyWed, 21 Oct 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ryan, Carol Area:United States Lines:66 Added:10/21/2020

A victory for the Democratic Party in next month's presidential election would be a game changer for the cannabis industry. Despite their reputation for overexuberance, pot investors are reacting with level heads.

Since mid-August, the 10 largest North American pot stocks by market value are up 20%, according to Viridian Capital Advisors. This is relatively muted compared with the 83% rally seen in the three months before the 2016 election.

Americans have been buying a lot of pot during the Covid-19 pandemic, which may also explain why stocks are rising. Sales in seven large states where cannabis is legal, tracked by research company Headset, were up 51% from January through September compared with the same period of 2019. Consumers have had more leisure time at home and federal stimulus money to spend. Alcohol companies have enjoyed similar tailwinds.

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9 US: PUB LTE: Black Parents Can't IndulgeSat, 10 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Coles, Tehra Area:United States Lines:38 Added:10/10/2020

Re "Parents' Little Helpers" (Sunday Styles, Oct. 4):

To be a Black mother is to be in a constant state of alertness when it comes to protecting your family from the government. As a Black woman, mother and lawyer, I am no different in that regard.

Most Black mothers wouldn't publicly label themselves a "wine mom" or admit to smoking pot. No one remotely aware of the government's racist practice of separating Black families for such behavior through the so-called child welfare system would.

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10 US NJ: Marijuana Is On The Ballot In New Jersey. Who Knew?Tue, 06 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Tully, Tracey Area:New Jersey Lines:204 Added:10/06/2020

For two years, New Jersey lawmakers had failed to mobilize enough support to pass a bill to fully legalize marijuana. Instead, they agreed in December to put the question directly to voters: "Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'?"

Then March roared in, and the world turned upside down.

The coronavirus took a firm hold in the United States and Black Lives Matter protesters filled streets from coast to coast.

More than 16,000 New Jersey residents have since died from the virus. Unemployment has soared. Ballots for November's election, which is being conducted almost entirely by mail, have already begun to arrive at voters' homes.

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11 US: Parents' Little HelpersSun, 04 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grose, Jessica Area:United States Lines:231 Added:10/04/2020

7:51 p.m.: It's exactly 125 days tomorrow. I am pretg drink.

7:52 p.m.: Drunk.

7:52 p.m. I can tell. :-)

I have a years-long WhatsApp message group with a handful of fellow mothers of small children from across the United States and Canada. Since the pandemic began, what I refer to as "mom chats after dark" start at around 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. That's when the children are asleep, and a wave of inebriation begins on the shores of the Atlantic and crashes across the continent. The above message was from July, when we hit 125 days of lockdown.

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12US GA: Disagreement On DecriminalizationFri, 28 Aug 2020
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Murchison, Adrianne Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2020

Johns Creek officials disagreed on decriminalization of marijuana during a Monday meeting. City Council members opposed to a reduced penalty for simple possession said they were concerned that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs.

Council members Chris Coughlin, Erin Elwood and Stephanie Endres proposed that a person in possession of less than one ounce of cannabis face no jail time and a fine of not more than $75.

The current fine for simple possession is up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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13 US: Portrait Of A Drug Czar Without The BlemishesTue, 11 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Moynihan, Colin Area:United States Lines:156 Added:08/11/2020

Harry J. Anslinger's pioneering work as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics has largely been unsung, though experts see him as the founding father of America's war on drugs.

In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration raised his profile with a symposium that focused on the decades he spent creating national drug policy, starting in the 1930s. Following that, in 2015, the agency's museum opened an exhibition: "A Life of Service: Harry Jacob Anslinger, 1892-1975."

When that closed in 2017, the D.E.A. Museum & Visitors Center created a virtual version, which is displayed on its website.

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14 US: Law To Cut Drug Sentences Is No Help For Some InmatesSun, 02 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuchs, Hailey Area:United States Lines:198 Added:08/02/2020

WASHINGTON - Lazelle Maxwell, 48, is nearly 12 years into a 30-year sentence for a nonviolent crack cocaine charge, a penalty exacerbated by previous run-ins with law enforcement that led to his designation as a career offender.

Three years into remission after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, Mr. Maxwell has no major disciplinary infractions on his prison record. He spends most of his days behind bars caring for an elderly, partly paralyzed inmate at a low-security federal penitentiary in Butner, N.C.

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15 US AZ: Lawsuit Seeks To Keep Recreational Marijuana Off AZ BallotWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ) Author:Fischer, Howard Area:Arizona Lines:126 Added:07/25/2020

PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in Arizona are trying to keep the issue from going to voters in November.

Legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contend the legally required 100-word description misled people into signing the petition to put the issue on the ballot. Issues range from the definition of "marijuana" to how the law would affect driving while impaired.

The lawsuit comes as a new survey Tuesday finds widespread support for the proposal a=80" with more than 6 out of every 10 likely voters saying they will support it if it is on the ballot. Pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that just 32% say they're definitely opposed.

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16 US CA: When California Declared War On Cannabis GrowersWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Niekerken, Bill Van Area:California Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

As state law enforcement played whack-a-mole with illegal marijuana fields, local communities protested the "invading army."

Driving through Humboldt County last winter, I heard radio ads for help harvesting and selling cannabis crops, as well as for products geared toward commercial cultivation. But less than 40 years ago, the same area was one of the main battlefields of California's war on pot growers.

By the late 1960s, the three counties of the Emerald Triangle had developed a reputation for growing a high-quality product. Demand grew rapidly, and prices skyrocketed, fueling greater production. In 1983, after several unsuccessful attempts to cut down production, the state started the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP.

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17 US CA: California Weighs Steep New Fines To Combat Illegal CannabisMon, 20 Jul 2020
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:141 Added:07/25/2020

SACRAMENTO - Alarmed that unlicensed cannabis sellers continue to dominate California's pot market, state lawmakers are moving toward imposing steep new fines on businesses that provide building space, advertising platforms and other aid to illicit operations.

Those who provide assistance to illegal pot sellers would face civil fines of up to $30,000 per day under legislation approved unanimously by the state Assembly that is now pending in the Senate. A final vote on the proposal is expected sometime after lawmakers return to Sacramento this month.

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18 US: Getting By With A Little Help From Their EdiblesThu, 16 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stine, Alison Area:United States Lines:163 Added:07/16/2020

Ben Emerson had never tried cannabis edibles before his birthday in April. He was raised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which he left five years ago, and marijuana was "this thing that I had never really even thought that I was allowed to do," he said.

"And then I'm like, 'Wait, I can actually make up my own mind about this.'"

For his first foray, Mr. Emerson, 38, chose strawberry-flavored gummies, which he ordered online and picked up curbside at a dispensary near his home in Portland, Ore. "I'm not super-interested in smoking anything," he said. "But as soon as I decided I wanted to try cannabis, I wanted to try something edible."

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19 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:190 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

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20 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:189 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

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