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1US CA: On the Road: Marijuana Smoking, Consumption Now Illegal InSun, 31 Dec 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Bentley, Amy Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2017

Each new year brings new driving or transportation-related laws in California and 2018 is no exception. We'd like to share these new laws with readers in the next few columns.

Marijuana and edible cannabis use in vehicles, Senate Bill 65: Recreational marijuana/cannabis is now legal to be purchased and consumed in certain places, but that doesn't mean you can light up a joint on your daily commute.

Consuming cannabis while driving or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle in California is illegal. This new law is similar to the "open container" laws that outlaw drinking alcohol while driving, though having some alcohol in your system while driving isn't outlawed.

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2 US CA: California Pot Shops Roll Out Hoopla As Recreational Sales SetThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Spagat, Elliot Area:California Lines:118 Added:12/28/2017

Marijuana legalization arrives Monday in California with lots of hoopla, but only a handful of cities will initially have retail outlets ready to sell recreational pot.

By Thursday afternoon, California had issued only 42 retail licenses. Another 150 applications were pending and regulators planned to work a second straight weekend to review them.

Los Angeles and San Francisco were late to approve local regulations, meaning no recreational pot shops there will open their doors Monday.

The lucky few outlets with licenses -- mainly in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Palm Springs area and Santa Cruz -- think they have an edge being first out of the gate.

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3 US CA: Federal Agents Can Still Seize Marijuana At CaliforniaWed, 27 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:140 Added:12/27/2017

California legalizes marijuana for recreational use Monday, but that won't stop federal agents from seizing the drug -- even in tiny amounts -- on busy freeways and backcountry highways.

Marijuana possession still will be prohibited at eight Border Patrol checkpoints in California, a reminder that state and federal laws collide when it comes to pot. The U.S. government classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.

"Prior to Jan. 1, it's going to be the same after Jan. 1, because nothing changed on our end," said Ryan Yamasaki, an assistant chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. "If you're a federal law enforcement agency, you uphold federal laws."

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4 US CA: Editorial: The Lack Of Health Research Into Marijuana Makes ItWed, 27 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:95 Added:12/27/2017

In advance of the legalization of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, there have been lots of debates over the details of the cannabis business. How many feet should pot shops be from schools or daycare centers? How many acres may a marijuana farmer cultivate? Who should be eligible for a license to sell and who shouldn't?

But there's been much less discussion over an equally important question raised by the end of prohibition in California: What is the right public health message to send to adults who can now legally buy and use marijuana? Voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 64 last year and polls continue to show broad support for legalization. But just because marijuana is legal doesn't mean it is risk-free.

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5US CA: Legal Pot In California Brings Host Of Environmental RulesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Knickmeyer, Ellen Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - At a state briefing on environmental rules that await growers entering California's soon-to-be-legal marijuana trade, organic farmers Ulysses Anthony, Tracy Sullivan and Adam Mernit listened intently, eager to make their humble cannabis plot a model of sustainable agriculture in a notoriously destructive industry dominated by the black market.

In line with a 2017 study that found marijuana grows are more damaging, plot for plot, than commercial logging in Northern California forests, Anthony said he has seen too many destructive grows. Trash-strewn clearings. Growers heaping fertilizer at the foot of a centuries-old sequoia tree, needlessly endangering it. Wild streams diverted for irrigation.

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6US CA: A Beginner's Guide To Buying Recreational Marijuana InTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2017

Cannabis 101: Here's what you need to know about recreational marijuana

With recreational marijuana becoming available for sale on New Year's Day, you may be asking yourself: Do I want to try this stuff?

If you have never used cannabis, or if it has been a long time since you have, you need to know that pot isn't just consumed through joints and bongs anymore. Consumers also use vape pens, edibles and other products.

And marijuana has higher amounts of THC -- pot's psychoactive ingredient -- than it once did. In the early 1990s, the average amount of THC in confiscated marijuana samples was roughly 3.7 percent, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Now, many retail strains test in the high 20s and some even top 30 percent.

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7US CA: Legalized Marijuana Will Be A Bit Different From Version ThatSun, 24 Dec 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Rosenhall, Laurel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2017

Some details of legalized recreational marijuana have changed since California voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016.

California is days away from launching a legal marketplace for adults to buy and sell recreational marijuana. On Jan. 1, the state will carry through on a vision voters endorsed by passing Proposition 64 last year.

Yet as legal cannabis moves from campaign pitch to reality - amid lots of lobbying by industry groups along the way - some details of the plan have changed. State regulators approved the official rules last month and will update them in about a year.

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8US CA: Jack In The Box Tests Munchie Meals For California Pot SmokersFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Giammona, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/22/2017

For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the air.

As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain to explicitly embrace the drug.

The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code by potheads.

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9US CA: Marijuana Activist Since 1960s Facing California Pot ChargesThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A marijuana activist whose advocacy dates to the 1960s counterculture has been arrested in California toting 22 pounds of illegal marijuana, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Irvin Dana Beal, 70, of New York, was arrested Saturday in far Northern California after prosecutors said his rental car was spotted weaving across the road and driving 20 miles below the speed limit. James Statzer, 51, of Michigan, also was arrested.

The arrest occurred along a well-traveled highway in California's famed Emerald Triangle area, known for its high-grade pot. A police dog smelled marijuana during the stop and 22 pounds of the drug was found.

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10US CA: How Oakland Is Including Black, Brown People In MarijuanaThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Taylor, Otis R. Jr. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

In a dark room, Jahful Price slowly worked a row of pungent plants guided by his headlamp.

He wore a white biohazard suit, methodically picking up cannabis plants by their stems and hanging them upside down on a rack with plastic clothes hangers.

Price, a 31-year-old Oakland resident who is black, is getting hands-on experience in cannabis cultivating that he hopes will help him run his own business one day.

Since July, he's had a paid internship at NUG, a cannabis business owned by Bloom Innovations, a horticulture consulting and management firm in Oakland. NUG chose Nine Mile Tribe, a business owned by Price's family, as one of its equity partners.

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11 US CA: This Colorado City Declined To Allow Pot Sales. Now It'sThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:California Lines:164 Added:12/18/2017

At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.

Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the state legalized recreational marijuana.

But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.

When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales. Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities across Colorado.

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12US CA: Fresno Starts Process To Change Laws For Medical MarijuanaThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2017

Medical marijuana dispensaries and other portions of the medicinal cannabis supply chain could be legal in Fresno as the result of a unanimous vote Thursday by the City Council.

The 7-0 vote begins the process of rewriting the city's complete ban on commercial marijuana operations that was adopted earlier this year. It will likely be several months, however, before drafts emerge for ordinances and rules that will govern where and how businesses that cultivate, process, manufacture, distribute or sell medical marijuana can operate within the city.

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13 US CA: Lawmakers Say California's Proposed Marijuana Rules Will HurtTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:43 Added:12/05/2017

Two legislators called Tuesday for changes to regulations for growing marijuana in California to better protect small family farmers from being driven out of business by big corporate cultivators.

Initial proposals to cap licensed marijuana farms at one to four acres were discarded by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, which has since proposed new rules without any cap, according to a letter of complaint to the agency by State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-San Rafael) and Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). McGuire and Wood support a one-acre cap.

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14US CA: Power Broker's Involvement In S.f. Pot Club Hits ResistanceTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2017

When a rising Chinese American power broker became a partner in a proposed cannabis dispensary in San Francisco's Outer Sunset, he knew it would hit resistance.

But David Ho sees himself as the perfect emissary to the mostly older Chinese residents and merchants who are deeply skeptical of the pot trade.

"I'm the working-class, westside Asian American story," said Ho, who is a co-owner of the Barbary Coast medical cannabis dispensary that has applied to open at 2161 Irving St., on a block lined with grocery stores, dry cleaning shops and banks.

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15 US CA: Extreme Marijuana Use Linked To Vomiting SyndromeTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Bartolone, Pauline Area:California Lines:143 Added:11/29/2017

For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.

"I've screamed out for death," said Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego. "I've cried out for my mom who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not realizing she can't come to me."

Queen lost a modeling job after being mistaken for an alcoholic. She racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and her nausea interrupted her sex life. Towards the end of her illness, Queen, who stands 5-foot-9, weighed in at a frail 109 pounds.

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16US CA: Editorial: A Marijuana Prohibition That Makes SenseSun, 26 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2017

There's hardly a more receptive or captive audience for marketing an intoxicant than the beleaguered commuters crowded onto a rush-hour Muni bus (except perhaps the ones packed onto a rush-hour BART train). But unlike many of the dopey regulations proliferating ahead of California's legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018, Muni's decision to ban cannabis advertising makes sense.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board voted Tuesday to ban recreational marijuana advertising and stop accepting medical marijuana ads once current contracts expire. The policy is in keeping with Muni's refusal of alcohol, tobacco and firearms advertising in light of the number of children who ride city buses and trains. It's also in line with statewide regulations that prohibit cannabis advertising that targets children or reaches audiences with large numbers of young people.

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17US CA: Deputies Seize More Than 3,400 Pot Plants In High Desert RaidsSun, 19 Nov 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Steinberg, Jim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

VICTORVILLE - San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputies seized 3,475 marijuana plants after serving search warrants at four High Desert locations Friday, the agency announced Saturday.

All of the marijuana grows were not in compliance with the California medical marijuana law or other ordinances, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

At three of the four locations investigators found that the illegal growers had tampered with the main power lines at residences to bypass the electrical meters installed by the utility company, allowing the theft of electricity needed to operate equipment used to grow marijuana.

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18US CA: Wiener Hopes To Head Off Marijuana Mega-FarmsWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Matier, Phil Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who has adopted the cannabis industry as one of his major concerns, is taking aim at new state regulations for recreational marijuana that will allow for big growing operations in California.

"By not limiting the amount of land that can be cultivated by any one operation, we are basically inviting mega industrial-scale operations into the state," the San Francisco Democrat said. "It will squeeze out the small farmers that have been at the forefront of the industry for many, many years."

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19US CA: Sacramento City Council Approves Funding To Crack Down OnWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved funding sources for increased law enforcement against illegal indoor pot grows, following a two-month pilot program that led to the closure of 614 pot houses.

The city expects to spend between $700,000 and $1.1 million on police efforts to stop the approximately 1,000 illegal grows in Sacramento houses in the fiscal year ending June 30.

The city will pay those costs with tax revenue collected from legal marijuana businesses, which are expected to start operating sometime after Jan. 1, when adults can purchase pot for recreational use statewide. The city plans to supplement that tax revenue with administrative fines collected from illegal pot growers.

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20US CA: Editorial: California Cities' Reefer ReluctanceFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

Demonized for decades, marijuana remains controversial even on the brink of its statewide legalization - and even in pot-friendly strongholds such as San Francisco. The city is one of many still debating local regulations that will either embrace an overdue retreat from the drug war or effectively prolong the failed policy at the neighborhood level.

For vacillating municipal officials, some context is in order. This week alone, New Jersey and Virginia voters resoundingly elected gubernatorial candidates promising to liberalize marijuana policy; Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 seller of many popular wine and beer brands, was reported to have bought a nearly $200 million stake in a Canadian cannabis company; and California's attorney general approved signature-gathering for a ballot measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms.

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