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1 US CA: LTE: California Will Regret Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Burnham, Ellen L. Area:California Lines:46 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: The commercial interests driving the rapid legalization of marijuana in California call to mind the playbook of Big Tobacco. ("For marijuana users, it's high times as California makes recreational use legal," Jan. 2)

Decades passed and millions of lives were harmed before the adverse impact of cigarettes was acknowledged. During that time, Big Tobacco stifled government investigation of tobacco's potential harm while manipulating their product's addictive properties and marketing to children.

Since the liberalization of marijuana laws in Colorado, more people use marijuana than ever before, and many have or will become addicted. Use of healthcare resources for marijuana-associated illnesses has also increased here.

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2 US CA: PUB LTE: Cannabis Concerns Apply Equally To AlcoholWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Bigelow, Bert Area:California Lines:36 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: The three letters you published in "California moves into its marijuana future on Jan. 1. Some readers are not eager to make the leap" stated the following concerns about marijuana use, most of which apply equally to alcohol.

Law enforcement does not have adequate test criteria for driving under the influence. While there is no blood-alcohol test for pot, police have many other field sobriety tests, including "walking the line," reciting the alphabet backward and the "eye and penlight test." A driver may pass the 0.08% blood alcohol content test and still be arrested for DUI if he or she drives erratically or exhibits slurred speech or other cognitive difficulties.

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3 US CA: PUB LTE: Criminal Justice Reform Is Long OverdueWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Veenhuizen, Melissa Area:California Lines:28 Added:01/07/2018

To the editor: For far too long, our poor, working class and communities of color have been suffering due to unjust criminal persecution for minor offenses like possession of marijuana.

The time for criminal justice reform is long overdue. We ought to divert money from prisons into education and drug recovery programs.

What happened in Portugal after it decriminalized drugs compared with the U.S. when Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton fought their war on drugs is incredibly telling. We need to change our way of thinking and get back to helping our communities, our brothers and sisters, succeed and thrive in this country.

Melissa Veenhuizen, Long Beach

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4 US CA: For Marijuana Users, It's High Times As California MakesTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Gerber, Marisa Area:California Lines:173 Added:01/07/2018

"Groove on! Groove on!" blared from speakers outside a gray warehouse in Santa Ana. Inside, a line of 60 people snaked through the shop, waiting to be helped by a budtender.

"We were bombarded!" said Robert Taft Jr., founder of the marijuana dispensary 420 Central.

When the shop opened at 7 a.m. Monday -- Day 1 of legal recreational pot sales in California -- a handful of people had already lined up. Within two hours, more than 100 customers, some still nursing holiday hangovers, had made purchases. As they walked out, Taft shouted, "Enjoy your new freedom!"

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5 US CA: State Pot Bureau Ready To Enforce California's New MarijuanaTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:43 Added:01/07/2018

The state has issued 104 licenses for retail stores to sell marijuana for recreational use in California and 239 other applications for those permits are pending, officials said Tuesday.

An official with the state Bureau of Cannabis Control added that the agency is prepared to begin taking enforcement action against pot shops that are not properly licensed.

"The bureau's enforcement team is ready to respond to any complaints it receives and start doing compliance checks and site visits at any time," said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the bureau.

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6 US CA: Recreational Pot Sales Roll Out In California, WithMon, 01 Jan 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Jennings, Angel Area:California Lines:164 Added:01/06/2018

Legal sale of recreational marijuana began in California on Monday with fanfare, and some anxiety.

Companies began selling pot in a relatively small number of businesses Monday, with more expected to join in the coming days and weeks.

The state has issued dozens of permits for retailers to begin recreational sales this week, expanding a market that is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020. Several of those retailers are in West Hollywood, but they won't open until Tuesday at the city's request. That makes Santa Ana's licensed stores the closest option for Angelenos who want to buy recreational marijuana on New Year's Day. Buyers could also trek to San Diego or the Palm Springs area to purchase pot.

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7 US CA: Recreational Marijuana Is Legal. But Smoking In Public AndTue, 02 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mather, Kate Area:California Lines:127 Added:01/04/2018

As Los Angeles moves toward allowing the sale of recreational marijuana, joining cities across the state in the newly legal enterprise, police here offered a stern word of caution.

Yes, recreational pot will be legal to sell (and buy, and consume, and cultivate). But there are limits. And the Los Angeles Police Department will help enforce them.

"Let me be clear," Assistant Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. "The use of marijuana needs to be done in a responsible manner that's consistent with the law."

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