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1 US: House Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana As GOP Resists NationalFri, 04 Dec 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Debonis, Mike Area:United States Lines:205 Added:12/04/2020

The House endorsed a landmark retreat in the nation's decades-long war on drugs Friday, voting to remove marijuana from the federal schedule of controlled substances and provide for the regulation and taxation of legal cannabis sales.

The vote was 228 to 164 and was the first time either chamber of Congress has voted on the issue of federally decriminalizing cannabis.

The measure is not expected to pass into law, and, because of political skittishness, it was voted on only after the November election and more than a year after it emerged from committee. But the House took a stand at a moment of increasing momentum, with voters last month opting to liberalize marijuana laws in five states - including three that President Trump won handily.

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2 US OR: PUB LTE: Oregon Abandons Its Youth With New LawThu, 03 Dec 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Sykes, J. Charles Area:Oregon Lines:30 Added:12/03/2020

It's disingenuous of Seamus R. Fallon ("Oregon Drug Law Change Can Help Families," Letters, Nov. 24) to insist that two grams of cocaine is one-third the amount a drug dealer would typically carry. What is the source for such a statement? Based on my experience as a high-school teacher, few of the drug users in their teen years are "drug dealers." They are constant consumers, many on a daily basis, of stimulants of any kind. Two grams of cocaine is easily quartered for four classmates to afford a half-gram each, plenty to get amped up, behind some brewskis, especially for diminutive teen girls. None of the group is "a dealer" in the sense Mr. Fallon proffers his straw man; they are end-users for the dealers.

Oregon's abandonment of its youth to the drug subculture, in looming years of turmoil and despair, will show in time that: "As the twig is bent, so is the tree is inclined." Can Oregon not see the forest for the trees?

J. Charles Sykes

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3 US OR: PUB LTE: Let's See What HappensThu, 03 Dec 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Stauffer, Clyde Area:Oregon Lines:26 Added:12/03/2020

Mr. Fallon's letter highlights one of the unappreciated strengths of our federal republic when compared with most other countries:

Individual states can run innovative political experiments without central government interference. When the success or failure of the experiment is evaluated, other states can follow (or avoid) the example as they wish. The trial by Oregon should be monitored and compared with similar results with a placebo (e.g., Washington state). Hard facts, not soft opinions, should guide the country as we deal with drug and overdose problems.

Clyde Stauffer

Cincinnati

[end]

4 US WA: Cannabis Farms Hope To Weather Wildfire SeasonSun, 29 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stine, Alison Area:Washington Lines:148 Added:11/29/2020

In 2013, Joy Hollingsworth moved with her family from Seattle out to the country with a plan to build a cannabis business.

Washington State had recently legalized recreational marijuana, and Barack Obama had just been re-elected. For Ms. Hollingsworth, a former basketball player, and her brother, Raft Hollingsworth III, a former University of Washington student who had been growing medical marijuana, it seemed like as good a time as any to buy a farm and turn a profit.

So began the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company, a Black-owned family business in what has become a very white and increasingly corporate-dominated industry.

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5 US: Oped: Tales Of The High LifeFri, 27 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Anderson, John Area:United States Lines:69 Added:11/27/2020

In approaching Errol Morris's "My Psychedelic Love Story," it doesn't hurt to have some familiarity with "Wormwood," the 2017 Netflix docudrama miniseries. In it, the fabled documentarian told the story of Frank Olson, a CIA employee who mysteriously fell to his death in 1953 nine days after being slipped LSD as part of an agency experiment. Was he pushed or did he jump? Was hippie socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith being used as a CIA tool when her boyfriend, Timothy Leary, became a government informant in the mid-'70s? And what in the world is the connection?

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6 US: Review: Acid And RomanceFri, 27 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kenny, Glenn Area:United States Lines:83 Added:11/27/2020

To induce dread in a paranoiac, one need only invoke two acronyms: C.I.A. and LSD Along with a third and a fourth - U.F.O. and J.F.K. - these were key ingredients in the alphabet soup of conspiracy theory for more than half a century.

But. You don't have to be a paranoiac, because sometimes dread-inducing combinations and schemes do yield horrific results. The 2017 Errol Morris-directed mini-series, "Wormwood," to which "My Psychedelic Love Story" is a sequel of sorts, went into detail about the C.I.A. and LSD. It showed that the cloak-and-dagger organization and the hallucinogenic drug met up earlier than most might have guessed.

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7 US OR: After Oregon Eases Drug Laws, A Race For TreatmentsWed, 25 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:101 Added:11/25/2020

Now that Oregon voters have agreed to end nearly all criminal penalties for drug possession, state officials have just over two months to set up a new recovery-focused system, a task that is particularly complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measure 110, which goes into effect Feb. 1, allows a maximum fine of $100 for possession of drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines along with a mandatory health assessment. The first statewide law of its kind in the nation passed with support of 58% of voters this month. It also mandates new recovery centers, paid for by marijuana taxes and savings from less incarceration.

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8 US: PUB LTE: Oregon Drug Law Change Can Help FamiliesTue, 24 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Fallon, Seamus R. Area:United States Lines:44 Added:11/24/2020

Naomi Schaefer Riley and John Walters state that Oregon decriminalized "small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine" ("Legal Drugs Are Fashionable-and Treacherous for Children," op-ed, Nov. 19) and that the passage of Measure 110 in Oregon "lower[s] the risk and cost of doing business for drug dealers." It's an erroneous claim. Measure 110 says that possession of less than one gram of heroin, various low amounts of amphetamines and less than two grams of cocaine is decriminalized. No drug dealer would carry anything less than three times the amounts in the measure.

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9 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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10 US: OPED: Legal Drugs Are Fashionableand Treacherous For ChildrenThu, 19 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Riley, Naomi Schaefer Area:United States Lines:87 Added:11/19/2020

The U.S. election didn't produce a blue wave or a red wave, but some are celebrating a green wave as voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota approved the legalization of recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, Oregonians decriminalized the possession of small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. "Drugs, once thought to be the scourge of a healthy society, are getting public recognition as a part of American life," the New York Times gushed.

In reality, drugs are very much a scourge, particularly in the lives of young children. In 2019 parental substance abuse was listed as a cause for a child's removal to foster care 38% of the time, a share that has risen steadily in the past decade. Experts suggest this is an underestimate and the real number may be up to 80%.

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11US 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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12 US GA: PUB LTE: Drug War Puts Brave Police Officers In Dangerous SpotSun, 15 Nov 2020
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Cox, L. O. Area:Georgia Lines:26 Added:11/15/2020

The drug war needs to end. If the AJC investigated, it would likely find most of the violence is drug war-related. The police are doing the job they were given. You may not like the way they do it, but do not blame them for doing their highly dangerous job. Either make drugs legal, or let the government compete with the drug lords by taking confiscated drugs and giving them free to drug addicts in a special recovery program. If drugs are free or legal, there is no reason for drug lords to exist. They cannot compete with free. This is the way to end most of the violence and social injustice. Not all of it, I am sorry to say, but it would be a start.

L.O. COX, CONYERS

[end]

13 US: Oped: Pass The EdiblesWed, 11 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Frenkel, Sheera Area:United States Lines:146 Added:11/11/2020

OAKLAND, Calif. - In the weeks leading up to November, Iashia Kilian felt her anxiety deepen.

She knew her vote in the swing state of Michigan could help decide who the next president would be. She had done everything she could to help campaign for her candidate of choice. Now, all she could do was sit back, wait and make sure she had her favorite marijuana edibles at hand.

"The panic, the anxious feelings, it has all been too much. I knew I was only going to get through it with some help," said Ms. Kilian, 43, who lives in Center Line. "I used to be the kind of person who would judge someone, especially a mother like me, taking edibles. But you know what? Everything happening here in this country is just too much. The people need some help."

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14 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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15US: 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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16 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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17 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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18 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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19 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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20 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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