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1 US: LTE: Wokeness And U.S. Demand For Illegal DrugsFri, 09 Apr 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Healey, Tim Area:United States Lines:37 Added:04/09/2021

Once again, we are reminded of the unintended consequences created by the demand for illegal drugs in this country and the destruction it has caused to democracy and good government in Central and South America ("Rewriting History in Bolivia-and Mexico," by Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Americas, March 29).

The demand for illegal drugs in this country fuels drug trafficking, human trafficking, drug wars, murders, official corruption, electoral fraud and finances the repression of democracy.

While the "woke" in this country lay blame on previous generations for societal ills and offer to atone for perceived transgressions from the pursuit of capitalism, they risk hypocrisy by neglecting criticism and blame toward those in this country who have created the demand for illegal drugs and the resulting mayhem south of our border and in our own country.

The hard-core user, the recreational user, the experimental user and the onetime user contribute to the demand. The user is found in every strata of our society, in every profession and, yes, even among the "woke."

Tim Healey St. Louis

[end]

2US: Teens Most Vulnerable To Marijuana AddictionFri, 02 Apr 2021
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Rodriguez, Adrianna Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:04/02/2021

Teenagers are more likely than young adults to become addicted to marijuana or prescription drugs within a year after trying them for the first time, according to a new study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The new report, published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA pediatrics, adds to mounting evidence showing adolescents are more vulnerable to substance use disorders than young adults, increasing the need for early screening and drug prevention education, health experts say.

"We know that young people are more vulnerable to developing substance use disorders," said Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA director and lead author of the study analysis. "Though not everybody who uses a drug will develop addiction, adolescents may develop addiction faster than adults."

Researchers at the NIDA, a part of the National Institutes of Health, analyzed data from the nationally representative National Surveys on Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services from 2015 to 2018.

[end]

3 US AZ: Forget Arizona's Cactuses, It's Now About The WeedThu, 01 Apr 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Safronova, Valeriya Area:Arizona Lines:175 Added:04/01/2021

PHOENIX - When Arizonans voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November, it seemed plausible that sales would begin sometime in the spring.

But on Jan. 22, less than three months after the vote, the Arizona Department of Health Services started quickly approving applications, allowing dispensaries to sell cannabis to adults 21 and older immediately.

"It was kind of like ripping a Band-Aid off," said Jennifer Matarese, the president of a management company that runs Local Joint in Phoenix. Like many other dispensaries in Arizona, Local Joint has been serving medical patients for years; the legalization of recreational cannabis has led to a rapid rise in demand.

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4 US NY: New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Tying Move ToThu, 01 Apr 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ferre-Sadurni, Luis Area:New York Lines:207 Added:04/01/2021

After years of stalled attempts, New York State has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, enacting a robust program that will reinvest millions of dollars of tax revenues from cannabis in minority communities ravaged by the decades-long war on drugs.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the cannabis legislation on Wednesday, a day after the State Legislature passed the bill following hours of debate among lawmakers in Albany.

New York became the 15th state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, positioning itself to quickly become one of the largest markets of legal cannabis in the nation and one of the few states where legalization is directly tied to economic and racial equity.

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5 US NY: With Marijuana Deal, New York Could Create $4 Billion IndustryFri, 26 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ferre-Sadurni, Luis Area:New York Lines:201 Added:03/26/2021

State lawmakers finalized a deal on Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country.

Following several failed attempts, lawmakers in Albany struck an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people.

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6 US: Senior Happy Hour Goes Up In SmokeTue, 23 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Span, Paula Area:United States Lines:184 Added:03/23/2021

For years, Harry B. Lebowitz spent the cocktail hour at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., sitting in his backyard overlooking a lake and smoking a joint while his partner relaxed with her vodka and club soda.

Mr. Lebowitz, 69, a mostly retired businessman, qualified for a state medical marijuana card because he suffered from anxiety, sleep apnea and back pain. He credits cannabis with helping to wean him off several prescription drugs.

Then came Covid-19, heightening both his anxiety and his boredom. "It was like the world stopped," Mr. Lebowitz said. "We're all suffering from some form of PTSD, all of us."

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7 US: Column: Can Magic Mushrooms Heal Us?Sun, 21 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Klein, Ezra Area:United States Lines:251 Added:03/21/2021

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Why does Oregon need an official board to offer advice about the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, you ask? Because Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. Whoa.

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8 US DC: White House Shifts Rules For Past Use Of MarijuanaSat, 20 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Rogers, Katie Area:District of Columbia Lines:139 Added:03/20/2021

WASHINGTON - In February, the Biden administration signaled that past marijuana use would not necessarily disqualify a person from employment by relaxing longstanding policies that have barred some past users of the drug from working in the White House.

The change was seen as a way to open the door for younger talent from parts of the country where marijuana has been legalized, but it took only a few weeks for the new guidelines to be publicly tested.

On Friday, responding to a news report in The Daily Beast that said dozens of young staff members had been pushed to resign or had been reassigned to remote work based on their past marijuana use, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, confirmed that some employees had been sidelined but said that it applied to fewer people.

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9 US: Few Regulations For This MedicineTue, 09 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brody, Jane E. Area:United States Lines:149 Added:03/09/2021

Dan Shapiro was the first person I knew to use medical marijuana. As a junior at Vassar College in 1987, he was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma with potent chemotherapy that caused severe nausea and vomiting. When Dan's mother learned that smoking marijuana could relieve the distressing side effect, to help her son, this otherwise law-abiding woman planted a garden full of the illegal weed in her Connecticut back yard.

Decades later, marijuana as medicine has become a national phenomenon, widely accepted by the public. Although the chemical-rich plant botanically known as Cannabis sativa remains a federally controlled substance, its therapeutic use is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

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10 US: Not Quite Pot, This High Slips Past Most BansMon, 01 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Richtel, Matt Area:United States Lines:163 Added:03/01/2021

Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, with sales allowed only by prescription for a handful of conditions.

That hasn't stopped Lukas Gilkey, chief executive of Hometown Hero CBD, based in Austin, Texas. His company sells joints, blunts, gummy bears, vaping devices and tinctures that offer a recreational high. In fact, business is booming online as well, where he sells to many people in other states with strict marijuana laws.

But Mr. Gilkey says that he is no outlaw, and that he's not selling marijuana, just a close relation. He's offering products with a chemical compound - Delta-8-THC - extracted from hemp. It is only slightly chemically different from Delta 9, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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11 US NY: Cuomo To Amend Proposal For Marijuana In New YorkWed, 17 Feb 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Vielkind, Jimmy Area:New York Lines:68 Added:02/17/2021

ALBANY, N.Y.-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he would amend his proposal to regulate and tax recreational marijuana in hopes that the drug could be legalized as part of the state budget due by April 1.

The amended proposal would allow for delivery services and reduce the penalty for people who unlawfully sell marijuana to a person under the age of 21. It would also add specificity to a social-equity fund that the Democratic governor said would help revitalize communities that have been most harmed by the war on drugs. He said the amendments reflected conversations with lawmakers.

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12 US: State Cannabis Approvals Expected To Spark BoomWed, 17 Feb 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Grant, Peter Area:United States Lines:101 Added:02/17/2021

Voters in four states last year approved the recreational use of marijuana. That is likely to launch a land rush there for warehouses and retail properties.

Similar measures in other states have sparked heated competition for these types of real estate. Owners have been able to charge as much as three times market rates when selling or renting to businesses involved in the cultivation, distribution, processing or sale of cannabis, according to brokers, landlords and cannabis industry executives.

Landlords can charge this pot premium because properties typically have to meet a range of local restrictions to qualify, such as being a certain distance from churches or schools.

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13US: Time Right For Nba To Abolish Pot TestsTue, 09 Feb 2021
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Zillgitt, Jeff Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2021

No more than five players have been suspended for violating the NBA's and National Basketball Players Association's marijuana policy in the past four seasons.

The issue isn't if NBA players do or don't use marijuana. It's just that players don't have serious issues with violating the policy.

After not conducting random testing for marijuana to finish the 2019-20 season inside the bubble near Orlando, Florida, the league is not doing random testing for marijuana this season.

It's time the NBA and NPBA permanently altered their policy on marijuana and stopped penalizing players for using it.

[end]

14 US: LTE: Don't Trifle With Hard DrugsMon, 01 Feb 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jones, Levi Area:United States Lines:38 Added:02/01/2021

Regarding Sally Satel's review of "Drug Use For Grown-Ups" by Carl L. Hart, neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Columbia University (Bookshelf, Jan. 14): I'm a 44-year-old male who is 15 years into a 25-year sentence for shooting a man four times in a cocaine deal that went sideways. I've been selling and using drugs since I was 12 years old. All three of my uncles are dead from opiate-related deaths. My childhood best friend overdosed from heroin in 2017. Setting aside the arguments that include freedom of choice and putting a dent in the profits of drug cartels, I attempt to look at drugs in a more nuanced way.

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15 US: Some Hope Cannabis Industry Can Grow Into Being Agent Of SocialSun, 31 Jan 2021
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Owens, Donna M. Area:United States Lines:112 Added:01/31/2021

Jason White has created dazzling advertising and marketing campaigns for Nike and Disney, the World Cup and Olympic Games, to name a few. But when the Georgetown alumnus told his parents he was exiting Apple-owned Beats by Dre for the cannabis industry, the announcement landed with a thud. "What they heard was, 'You're going to sell weed,' " the 44-year-old said, laughing.

White is now chief marketing officer at Curaleaf Holdings Inc., which says it is the world's largest provider (by revenue) of legal medical and recreational cannabis. While some liken legal pot to a gold rush, White - who is African American and Cuban - talks of repairing communities harmed by the war on drugs. "Some are very wary of cannabis, having seen people arrested and their voting rights taken away," he says. "But as cannabis has become more mainstream, others don't see harm, but opportunity. I want to use this platform to help improve society."

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16 US: Nitrous NationSun, 31 Jan 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Klein, Ezra Area:United States Lines:220 Added:01/31/2021

For decades, nitrous oxide has been widespread at raves and music festivals, used as a quick buzz. The drug doesn't have the death toll of the opiate disaster or the widespread popularity of marijuana, but it's widely sold - legally - all over the country, though its consumption outside medical facilities is illegal in many states.

But the inhalant's use and misuse seems to be on the rise, fueled by the stress and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic. It's also in the spotlight this week after the death of Tony Hsieh at 46, the former chief executive of the online shoe empire Zappos, in a house fire in November.

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17 US: Review: Drug Use for Grown-Ups Review: A Dose Of DissentThu, 14 Jan 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Satel, Sally Area:United States Lines:115 Added:01/14/2021

In a referendum in November, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD. The move was inspired by a 2001 law in Portugal that removed incarceration as a penalty for drug possession. To judge by "Drug Use for Grown-Ups," Carl Hart welcomed this news, which came too late for him to mention in his provocative and enlightening book. He opens with the announcement: "I am an unapologetic drug user."

Mr. Hart, a professor of psychology and a neuroscientist at Columbia University, asserts that "recreational drugs can be used safely to enhance many vital human activities." He bases his claim on decades of research on the behavioral and physiological effects of drugs in humans, coupled with his personal use. Thanks to drugs, he says, "I am a happier and better person." He asks that we think about drugs in a more nuanced way, even at a time when opioid abuse is still headline news. Thus his book represents a calculated risk-namely, that by portraying drug use as so potentially rewarding for responsible users, it may inadvertently seduce non-grown-ups into hazardous use.

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18 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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19 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

[end]

20 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]

21 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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22 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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23 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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24 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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25 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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26 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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27 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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28US 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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29 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]

30 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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31 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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32US: 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.

[end]

33 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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34 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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35 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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36 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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37 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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38 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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39 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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40US 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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41 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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42 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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43 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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44 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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45 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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46 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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47 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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48 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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49 US: The Word Of God In The Age Of WeedMon, 29 Jun 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jordan, Mike Area:United States Lines:157 Added:06/29/2020

Sue Taylor never would have let one of her students slide 20 years ago if she had caught one with marijuana.

But the former Catholic school principal has found a new mission with senior citizens: providing them with information and access to cannabis through her California dispensary, Farmacy Berkeley. It opened in the Bay Area in February.

Like many of her former colleagues at the top of religious institutions, she once saw marijuana as a plague on her African-American community. "I was just like them until I saw the healing, and I could not turn my back on that, spiritually," Ms. Taylor, 72, says.

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50 US: The Word Of God In The Age Of WeedMon, 29 Jun 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jordan, Mike Area:United States Lines:157 Added:06/29/2020

Sue Taylor never would have let one of her students slide 20 years ago if she had caught one with marijuana.

But the former Catholic school principal has found a new mission with senior citizens: providing them with information and access to cannabis through her California dispensary, Farmacy Berkeley. It opened in the Bay Area in February.

Like many of her former colleagues at the top of religious institutions, she once saw marijuana as a plague on her African-American community. "I was just like them until I saw the healing, and I could not turn my back on that, spiritually," Ms. Taylor, 72, says.

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