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1 US KY: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Medical Marijuana For KentuckyWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:88 Added:09/23/2017

Amy Stalker says she had more control over her own health when she lived in Colorado, where marijuana can be legally prescribed as medicine. Stalker now lives in Kentucky, where medical use of marijuana is banned.

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday against Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear that called for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky.

In his opinion, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate wrote that the Kentucky Supreme Court clearly established in a 2000 decision involving actor and hemp activist Woody Harrelson that the General Assembly has the sole discretion under the state Constitution to regulate the use of cannabis in the state. The courts do not have the authority to intervene, Wingate wrote.

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2 US KY: Former Sheriff Who Was Approved To Grow Hemp Arrested OnFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Estep, Bill Area:Kentucky Lines:111 Added:09/12/2017

He was licensed to grow hemp in Kentucky. Police say they found marijuana instead.

Kentucky officials are reviewing a case that could result in a former sheriff being kicked out of the state's pilot program to grow industrial hemp after he was charged with cultivating marijuana.

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman is thought to the first participant in the hemp program to be arrested for allegedly growing marijuana, hemp's psychoactive cousin.

Peyman has been approved to grow hemp since 2015, the year after he lost reelection and left office, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

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3 US KY: Former Jackson County Sheriff Arrested On MarijuanaThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Estep, Bill Area:Kentucky Lines:86 Added:09/09/2017

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman was involved in a marijuana-growing operation and possessed enough anabolic steroids to indicate he was trafficking in the drug, Kentucky State Police have charged.

A detective for the state police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit for the eastern half of the state arrested Peyman at his farm south of McKee Wednesday at 4:44 p.m. after serving a search warrant, according to the citation.

The citation said the warrant was the culmination of an investigation in which 61 marijuana plants had been found earlier growing at Peyman's farm.

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4 US KY: Judge Questions Kentucky's Marijuana BanTue, 22 Aug 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:105 Added:08/25/2017

Other states allow medical marijuana. Judge asks why Kentucky shouldn't join them.

A Franklin Circuit Court judge on Tuesday asked attorneys for the state why Kentucky should not make medical marijuana available to patients who believe it might help them, given that "we've pretty much decriminalized" the drug around much of the nation and even in parts of the state.

Judge Thomas Wingate is considering motions by Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear to dismiss a lawsuit filed in June by three Kentuckians who want the legal right to use marijuana as medicine in the state where they live. Wingate said he expects to hand down a decision on the motion in the near future.

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5 US KY: Oped: Ky.'s New Opioid Law Will Only Result In More DeathSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Bloom, Josh Area:Kentucky Lines:92 Added:07/19/2017

As the death toll from opioid overdoses in Kentucky and the rest of the Midwest continues to soar, it's truly disconcerting to see that policymakers are taking steps that are not only devoid of medical and common sense, but virtually guaranteed to make matters worse.

The recent passage of the ill-conceived House Bill 333, which imposes a three-day limit (with certain exceptions) on opioid prescribing, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons behind the addiction epidemic.

All this new law will accomplish is to make matters worse for both pain patients and addicts. The former will suffer needlessly; the latter will die in even greater numbers.

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6 US KY: Bevin And Beshear Ask Judge To Dismiss Medical MarijuanaThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Cheves, John Area:Kentucky Lines:89 Added:07/14/2017

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear want a Frankfort judge to dismiss a lawsuit calling for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky.

In a motion filed Monday in Franklin Circuit Court, Bevin's attorneys said medical marijuana is a "political question" that should be decided by the General Assembly, not a judge.

"Since at least 2014, the legislature has debated bills advocating for the lawful use of medicinal marijuana in every legislative session," attorney Barry Dunn wrote for the governor's office. "The General Assembly will consider legalizing medicinal marijuana again in the 2018 session. It is solely within the General Assembly's constitutional powers to determine whether to make medicinal marijuana lawful."

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7US KY: Allow Medical Marijuana For Terminally Ill, Lawmaker SaysWed, 21 Jun 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Yetter, Deborah Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:06/21/2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Saying its time has come, state Sen. Morgan McGarvey on Wednesday called on the legislature to consider legalizing medical marijuana to relieve pain and suffering of terminally ill people.

"It's 2017," McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, told members of the joint House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee. "I think it's time we had a conversation about medical marijuana without snickering."

Members of the committee took no action on legislation McGarvey is proposing for the 2018 legislative session but no one spoke against the proposal and some committee members spoke in favor of the measure that went nowhere in the past two legislative sessions.

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8US KY: 'Dreamland' Author Sam Quinones Talks Kentuckiana OpioidThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Winer, Madeleine Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2017

Like most of small town America, Southern Indiana was unprepared for the opioid crisis.

That's what Sam Quinones said, who is an expert on the roots of America's heroin and prescription drug crisis.

"It's bad all over the country, but I would say it's probably particularly unkempt in areas such as Southern Indiana," he said.

Smaller towns "never had to deal with the issues that come along with opiate addiction like how hard it is to kick, all the ancillary effects of having an addict in the family, aE& the lying, the destruction of family savings."

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9US KY: Needle Exchanges Spread In Heroin-riddled Ky.Tue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Watkins, Morgan Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/24/2017

One woman relied on old needles used by her friend's diabetic husband. Another settled for whatever syringes she could find.

But for the first time since they started using drugs several years ago, both women have access to fresh syringes. They are getting them through a needle exchange in Frankfort.

"If you can have a new one every time, why wouldn't you?" asked the younger of the two women, who both spoke to the CJ on condition of anonymity for fear of being stigmatized or getting fired. "I think it's awesome that they're doing this.

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10 US KY: Eastern Kentucky Gets Federal Grant For Hal Rogers Program ToFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Tate, Curtis Area:Kentucky Lines:41 Added:01/20/2017

A partnership that's working to fight drug addiction in eastern Kentucky has received a $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Republican Rep. Hal Rogers announced Thursday.

Operation UNITE, which operates in 32 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky, was founded in 2003 by Rogers to deal with what was at the time primarily an epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers.

Kentucky's Appalachian counties have since seen a surge in overdoses from heroin, as well as opioid painkillers. The competitive grant includes $50,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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11 US KY: I've Seen Opioid Crisis As A Cop. Living It As A Patient IsTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Selby, Nick Area:Kentucky Lines:94 Added:01/18/2017

A year ago, I woke in the night with pain so severe I was crying before I was fully aware what was going on. A 50-year-old cop sobbed like a child in the dark. It was a ruptured disc and related nerve damage. Within a couple of months, it became so severe that I could no longer walk or stand. An MRI later, my surgeon soothingly told me it would all be OK. A nurse practitioner handed me a prescription for painkillers -- 180 tablets, 90 each of oxycodone and hydrocodone.

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12US KY: Ky. Has Twice U.S. Rate Of Drug-dependent BabiesSat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Ungar, Laura Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/17/2017

The days-old newborn shook and screamed, his tiny chest fluttering with rapid breaths. Even his mother's arms couldn't soothe him.

Withdrawal from heroin was Jordan Barkley's first experience of the world.

His mom, Amy Kalber, shot up every day for most of her pregnancy. The drugs coursing through her body sickened Jordan, who spent seven weeks in neonatal intensive care, suffering from diarrhea and tremors, sucking on morphine as he weaned off the heroin.

"It breaks my heart. It really does," said Kalber, 33, who is now in recovery. "I just couldn't stop. With heroin, you have to do it. You have to get it. It doesn't stop."

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13 US KY: Mother Fighting To Save Daughter Through Medical MarijuanaSat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)          Area:Kentucky Lines:77 Added:01/15/2017

Tiffany Wigginton Carnal is in the fight of her life to save her daughter.

Lyndi Carnal, 17, has Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Lyndi was diagnosed when she was 14. Since that time, she and her mother have spent three Christmases, three New Year's Days and countless other days at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

The medications Lyndi has taken to control the Crohn's and subsequent pain have negatively impacted her heart, kidneys and liver. Lyndi has also had her colon and rectum removed. The medications to control the pain keep Lyndi sedated and unable to function. One of her medications, Dilaudid, is a strong opiate that can be addictive.

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14 US KY: Pounds Of Meth Hidden In Snail Statue Found In CincinnatiThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)          Area:Kentucky Lines:28 Added:01/12/2017

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say officers in Cincinnati intercepted more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine that was concealed inside a statue of a snail.

Authorities say the package, which came from Mexico and was labeled "Mexican stone crafts," contained a decorative snail statue that exhibited "interior anomalies" during an X-ray inspection on Dec. 30.

Customs officers drilled a hole into the statue and found 53 pounds of a white crystalline powder that tested positive for meth.

Richard Gillespie, CBP's Cincinnati Port Director, says the agency's officers excel at preventing dangerous packages from reaching innocent citizens.

The snail's intended destination was Lawrenceville, Georgia.


15 US KY: Nine Heroin Overdoses Reported In 24 Hours In JessamineTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)          Area:Kentucky Lines:45 Added:01/11/2017

'It's A Mess.'

Nicholasville experienced a surge in heroin overdoses Monday and Tuesday, said Aaron Stamper, chief of Jessamine County Emergency Services.

"It's a mess right now," Stamper said shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. "We've had five overdoses in the last eight hours, and I think in the last 24 hours, we've had nine overdoses."

There was one suspected drug overdose death Saturday, but the overdoses that happened Monday and Tuesday did not result in death, said Jessamine County Coroner Mike Hughes.

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16 US KY: Pot Groups Say Vote On Attorney General Nominee Sen. JeffMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Hotakainen, Rob Area:Kentucky Lines:122 Added:01/09/2017

Backers of marijuana legalization on Monday stepped up their pressure on the U.S. Senate to block the confirmation of Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general.

Sessions, a staunch opponent of legalization, angered proponents in April when he called pot "dangerous" and said that "good people don't smoke marijuana."

Marijuana backers want the issue aired Tuesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee begins Sessions' confirmation hearing.

"It's a national thing: This hearing is make or break for the marijuana folks," said Adam Eidinger, who heads a pro-legalization group in Washington, D.C., called DCMJ.

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17US KY: In Southern Indiana, Heroin Fight Gets PersonalFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Winer, Madeleine Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2017

Growing up, Evan Blessett was as an avid soccer player and honor roll student. He loved skateboarding and played the drums later in his teen years.

But one role that his dad, Doug, never thought his son would play was one of a recovering drug addict.

"The thing that gets me is he got past us," Doug Blessett said about his 29-year-old son, who is a counselor at The Healing Place, an addiction recovery center in Louisville. "When my son went through this, I took it personally. You think you would see it, and I didn't."

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18US KY: Event To Celebrate Recovery From AddictionTue, 03 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Warren, Beth Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/03/2017

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali didn't back down from a fight and also stood up for underdogs. So it's fitting that his center will house this year's annual event focused on battling drug addiction.

Recovery from heroin and other drug addiction can take years and many stints in rehab, but it is possible - the central message of hope is the theme of Recovery Rally 2016, a free event from noon-2:30 p.m., Saturday at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. 6th St.

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19US KY: A Doctor's Day: Treat Pain, Watch For AddictsTue, 03 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Warren, Beth Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/03/2017

Dr. James Patrick Murphy, a nationally-recognized pain medicine specialist, balances guidelines meant to lessen the risks of addiction with a patient's need for pain relief, examines Marta D. Thomas of Old Louisville. Thomas is a volunteer at Kosair Pediatric Convalescent Center and receives radiofrequency lesioning (which melts the covers off nerves so they don't transmit pain for 4-6 months.) 27 October 2016(Photo: David R. Lutman/Special to The C)

Cattle farmer Marquis Smith is in pain, but he doesn't get sick leave.

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20US KY: Heroin Addict Goes From Homeless To CollegeFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Watkins, Morgan Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2016

Tara Moseley was in her early 20s, homeless and addicted to opioids for nearly a year when she walked into The Healing Place in Louisville.

Her drinking had escalated after high school and she had stopped going to class two weeks into college. A broken leg led to a five-month opioid prescription and that led to a physical dependence on pain pills. When pills became scarce on the street, she switched to heroin.

She needed a bed the day she showed up at The Healing Place and agreed to go through detox. After that, when the staff suggested she try their residential recovery program, she said yes.

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21US KY: Feds: Louisville Drug Boss Dodged DeportationSun, 25 Dec 2016
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Warren, Beth Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

Ismael Gonzalez-Gonzalez was supposed to be deported nine years ago, but Cuba wouldn't take him.

Instead, he wound up in Louisville and, police say, emerged as a local boss directing the flow of drugs in the Louisville area and beyond for a Mexican cartel.

It's unclear how Gonzalez, a convicted felon who was arrested in a surprise drug raid last summer, first entered the United States before he ended up in Louisville, where he settled into a house in Jeffersontown. Many details about his case remain hidden in sealed federal court records.

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22US KY: Clark County Sets Needle-Exchange Launch DayTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Winer, Madeleine Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2016

After over a year of waiting for a needle exchange, the Clark County Health Department will open its syringe exchange at the end of January.

The needle exchange, located at 1301 Akers Ave. in Jeffersonville, will start Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and be open each Thursday from then on. Dr. Kevin Burke, the Clark County health commissioner, said he hopes the program will eventually provide services two days a week and operate the needle exchange at other locations.

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23 US KY: Editorial: The Question Of Medical Marijuana Deserves ATue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Richmond Register (KY)          Area:Kentucky Lines:97 Added:12/27/2016

Clouded by controversies surrounding the recreational use of pot and a common view that it is a gateway to more serious drug abuse and addiction, medical applications of marijuana are not clearly understood.

Based on the reams of disclaimers included with every prescription, all forms of medicine have some unwanted -- and potentially harmful -- side effects. Certainly, marijuana will not be the exception.

But it's hard to collect facts when research is not being conducted.

The federal Food and Drug Administration requires scientific clinical trials involving thousands of patients to determine the benefits and risks of any possible medication. So far, researchers have not conducted enough large-scale clinical trials to determine if the benefits of the marijuana plant outweigh its risks in patients it is meant to treat, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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24US KY: Covington Heroin Dealer Faces 38 Year SentenceFri, 23 Dec 2016
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Knight, Cameron Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2016

A Kenton County jury recommended a 38-year sentence last week for a Covington man who sold heroin five times to a confidential informant with the Covington Police Department, according to the prosecutor's office.

Donte Little will be 72 years old when he's released if he serves the full sentence. The 33-year-old was convicted of four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of complicity to trafficking in a controlled substance.

The Covington Police Department's narcotics unit, known as the "D Team," purchased more than 14 grams of heroin from Little on five different days during the fall of 2014, prosecutors said. Investigators testified video and audio recordings were made of the transactions, which totaled more than $2,300.

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25 US KY: PUB LTE: Recreational Cannabis? Maybe Next YearSat, 30 Apr 2016
Source:State Journal, The (KY) Author:Vance, Thomas Area:Kentucky Lines:70 Added:05/01/2016

And so another session of the Kentucky Assembly comes to an end without passage of a comprehensive cannabis bill. State Senator John Schickel assured the 75 percent of our citizens who are supporters of cannabis law reform that there would be hearings in the interim and something might get done next year. That's interesting because it's the same thing they have been told for the last five years!

One wonders, with 23 states and the District of Columbia having medical cannabis laws, and four states and D.C. having passed recreational cannabis laws, exactly what could possibly be learned from hearings in the interim that haven't already been brought forward? There have been dozens of hearings right here in Kentucky over the last five years. I doubt if our legislators will find anything new on this subject.

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26 US KY: OPED: Medical Marijuana Not Benign It Can PoisonFri, 22 Jan 2016
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Neltner, Matthew Area:Kentucky Lines:87 Added:01/26/2016

Recently I read a national article about a medical team that looked the other way while a patient was smoking marijuana in the bathroom. On a closer reading of the article, the medical case was from over 20 years ago. First mistake: not doing the math (we'll get to this in a minute). Second mistake: concluding that the answer is "medical" marijuana.

Did you know that the two major compounds that are medicinal in marijuana are already 100 percent legal here in Kentucky?

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27 US KY: OPED: 'Big Marijuana' Not As Dangerous As 'War on Drugs'Fri, 22 Jan 2016
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Griffith, Christopher Area:Kentucky Lines:99 Added:01/26/2016

In a recent op-ed piece, Frank Rapier, the director of the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area based in London, made a few statements that I think a great deal of Kentucky residents should take issue with.

Rapier begins his column by claiming that the push for marijuana is propagated by corporations that make money off its sale.

I would say that is completely true; but to view that in a negative light is overtly hypocritical.

Both our state and federal governments are heavily influenced by special-interest monies. Rapier's job is to help aid the state in the government's war on drugs. A war that, in 2014, led to the arrest of seven times the number of people for possession of marijuana than for distribution or trafficking.

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28 US KY: OPED: Don't Fall For The Lies From Big MarijuanaFri, 15 Jan 2016
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Rapier, Frank Area:Kentucky Lines:75 Added:01/15/2016

Big Business, Not Public Safety, Is the Goal

In Colorado, Teen Pot Use Has Increased

Only a Fraction of Prisoners Convicted for Possession

In response to the column, "Stop waste of money, lives in criminalizing pot," let me say that I agree with Sen. Perry B. Clark on one point: America is being bamboozled.

We are being bamboozled by Big Marijuana.

For several years now, we have witnessed a highly financed, deceptive campaign to legalize marijuana. It started with the premise that marijuana is medicine. Marijuana may contain medical components, but so does opium. We don't smoke opium to get the pain-killing effects of morphine. How could you dose smoked marijuana?

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29US KY: Ky's Drug Efforts Turn Back To SyntheticsFri, 01 Jan 2016
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Wynn, Mike Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/01/2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky's evolving battle with drug abuse will continue into the 2016 General Assembly as lawmakers intensify efforts against synthetic drugs that can slip into communities via the Internet, wreaking sudden havoc.

The legislature has enacted at least four bills targeting synthetics since 2010 and is seeking to amp up penalties for traffickers next year following an outbreak in Lewis County of the toxic synthetic drug called "flakka."

"They are no less dangerous than anything else out there, and in many cases, more dangerous," said Van Ingram, head of the state Office of Drug Control Policy. "It seems to pop up in a certain community and makes a run for a short time. Then it fizzles out there and shows up somewhere else."

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