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1 US MD: OPED: Just Say No to Marijuana ConvictionsWed, 28 Dec 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Newman, Tony Area:Maryland Lines:91 Added:12/28/2011

Should juries vote "not guilty" on low-level marijuana charges to send a message about our country's insane marijuana arrest policy?

Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but who don't deserve punishment. As Paul Butler wrote recently in The New York Times, juries have the right and power to use jury nullification to protest unjust laws.

Mr. Butler points out that nullification was credited with ending our country's disastrous alcohol Prohibition as more and more jurors refused to send their neighbors to jail for a law they didn't believe in. He says we need to do the same with today's marijuana arrests.

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2 US MD: High-Grade Pot More PrevalentSat, 24 Dec 2011
Source:Daily Times, The (MD) Author:Boykin, Sharahn D. Area:Maryland Lines:117 Added:12/26/2011

Marijuana With Higher THC More Frequently Found On Shore

SALISBURY -- High-grade marijuana use on the Eastern Shore is one the rise, according to local authorities.

While marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the country, marijuana with higher concentrations of THC, the psychoactive chemical in the drug, started cropping up on the Shore between 2004 and 2005.

"The big one we started to see is B.C. (British Columbia) bud," said Sgt. Jason King of the Salisbury Police Department.

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3 US MD: Medical Marijuana Issue May Rise AgainSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Daily Times, The (MD) Author:Shutt, Jennifer Area:Maryland Lines:98 Added:12/11/2011

SALISBURY -- After debate during this year's General Assembly session failed to garner enough votes to pass medical marijuana legislation, it is unclear where the issue will fall during the upcoming 2012 session.

While debate was passionate this year, actions during the past eight months including a federal crackdown on dispensaries, inconsistencies in federal versus state's rights and Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to focus on accumulating enough votes for legislation he considers key could impact the upcoming medical marijuana debates.

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4 US MD: Edu: Students Submit Policy ExtensionSun, 27 Nov 2011
Source:Diamondback, The (U of MD Edu) Author:Abutaleb, Yasmeen Area:Maryland Lines:88 Added:11/30/2011

Advocates Hope U. Senate Will Extend Good Samaritan Policy To Include Drug Overdoses

For many student activists, winning the four-year fight to implement a Good Samaritan policy in March was only the first half of the battle -- they have officially begun the second round to extend the policy to include drug use.

Undergraduate senators officially submitted a policy to the University Senate Nov. 18 to extend the Good Samaritan policy -- which protects dangerously drunk students from university sanctions if they call 911 for themselves or a friend -- so students are also protected if they overdose on drugs. Although students pushed for an all-inclusive policy when they first began lobbying for Good Samaritan legislation four years ago, they ultimately focused on only getting an alcohol-related policy passed first. With a formal extension proposal now in hand, they are setting their sights again on establishing the policy they had once envisioned.

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5 US MD: PUB LTE: Obama Administration Hasn't Learned From ProhibitionTue, 11 Oct 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Reed, Dan Area:Maryland Lines:69 Added:10/12/2011

In response to Kevin A. Sabet's recent opinion piece ("Drug legalization: Wrong lesson of Prohibition," Oct. 9), I don't know which is more abhorrent - that a Baltimore newspaper would run an op- ed championing Prohibition as "not as bad as you remember" or that the piece was penned by a former senior adviser in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

A city that gave birth to the fictional place known as Hampsterdam, and all the benefits it provided, ought to know better. Mr. Sabet's argument (if we are to call it this) is built on such delicate and flimsy points ("nuanced" in his parlance) that one might conclude that he's trying to damn the position with faint praise. He states that under Prohibition, less people drank alcohol, less people were arrested for public intoxication and cirrhosis of the liver fell. Well, if the country were to outlaw driving, we'd see a drastic drop in traffic fatalities. There'd be less speeding tickets. And there would be less people who suffer from fingers being slammed in car doors. All would be benefits to society, freeing up a tremendous amount of resources and drastically easing the burden on our health care system. So why not make driving illegal?

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6 US MD: Drug legalization: Wrong Lesson Of ProhibitionSun, 09 Oct 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Sabet, Kevin A. Area:Maryland Lines:113 Added:10/12/2011

But a closer look at what resulted from alcohol prohibition and its relevance to today's anti-drug effort reveals a far more nuanced picture than the legalization lobby might like to admit.

As argued by Harvard's Mark Moore and other astute policy observers, alcohol prohibition had beneficial effects along with the negative ones. Alcohol use plummeted among the general population. Cirrhosis of the liver fell by 66 percent among men. Arrests for public drunkenness declined by half.

Yes, organized crime was emboldened, but the mob was already powerful before Prohibition, and it continued to be long after.

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7 US MD: Edu: SSDP Moves To Expand Good SamWed, 28 Sep 2011
Source:Diamondback, The (U of MD Edu) Author:Romas, Maria Area:Maryland Lines:79 Added:10/01/2011

Group Hopes Policy Will Extend Coverage to Drugs

Members of Students for Sensible Drug Policy are gearing up for a familiar fight this semester -- pushing for a Good Samaritan policy that applies to those under the influence of drugs.

After a three-year push from members of the university community -- including many in SSDP -- the University Senate approved an official Good Samaritan policy in March, which protects dangerously intoxicated students from university sanction if they call for help for themselves or a friend. While this is the first full semester it will be enforced, members of SSDP said they are already mobilizing different on-campus groups to extend the policy to students on drugs.

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8 US MD: Work Begins On Model Medical Marijuana ProgramThu, 18 Aug 2011
Source:Prince George's Gazette (MD) Author:Leaderman, Daniel Area:Maryland Lines:61 Added:08/22/2011

A team of lawmakers, doctors, law enforcement officials and patient advocates will spend the next few months creating a plan and drafting state legislation for medical marijuana to be legalized for use by seriously ill patients.

The work group, which began meeting Wednesday and is chaired by Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, state secretary of health and mental hygiene, was created by legislation passed during the 2011 General Assembly session to develop a model program for medical marijuana use in the state.

Under legislation proposed earlier this year to legalize medicinal use of the drug, physicians could prescribe marijuana to long-term patients -- such as those suffering from cancer -- for whom conventional treatments haven't worked, and the state health department would have regulated and licensed producers and dispensaries. Sharfstein opposed those provisions in favor of further study, arguing in March that more specific rules were needed on which doctors could prescribe the drug and under what conditions.

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9 US MD: PUB LTE: Time To End Failed War On DrugsWed, 03 Aug 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard Area:Maryland Lines:26 Added:08/03/2011

Speaking as a retired police detective and member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), I heartily concur with the NAACP that it is past time to terminate our failed war on drugs also known as the war on people -- mostly of color ("The NAACP is calling for an end to the drug war; what about you?" July 31). My profession, which is shrinking all over America, must return to its true mission of public safety.

If you have a drug problem, see an addiction clinic.

Howard Wooldridge,

Washington, D.C.

[end]

10 US MD: Column: NAACP Says It's Time To End The Drug War WhatSun, 31 Jul 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Pitts, Leonard Area:Maryland Lines:87 Added:08/01/2011

The Nation's Oldest - and Most Institutionally Conservative - Civil Rights Organization Recognizes the Failure of Treating Addiction As a Law Enforcement Issue

There was a quake last week, but you likely didn't feel it.

See, this particular quake was not of the Earth, involved no shifting of the planetary crust. No, what shifted was a paradigm, and the implications are hopeful and profound.

On Tuesday, you see, the NAACP passed a resolution calling for an end to the war on drugs.

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11 US MD: Baltimore Pastor To Open On-Demand Methadone ClinicThu, 23 Jun 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cohn, Meredith Area:Maryland Lines:177 Added:06/26/2011

Center Plans to Give Addicts a Dose Within 15 Minutes

Tired of the heroin and crime surrounding his Northeast Baltimore church and treatment center, the Rev. Milton Williams said Thursday that he plans to open the city's first "open access" clinic, which will hand out methadone within 15 minutes to any addict who walks through the door.

Williams said defiantly that he will open the doors of his Turning Point clinic on North Avenue on July 5 to possibly 100-150 addicts a night -- though he still lacks approval from state and federal regulators.

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12 US MD: Editorial: Medical MJ Cop-OutSun, 17 Apr 2011
Source:Frederick News Post (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:61 Added:04/17/2011

The state has flaked once again in creating a robust system that would allow medical marijuana users to legally seek relief from sometimes devastating symptoms.

Instead, lawmakers changed the law only incrementally so legitimate users can avoid prosecution with a doctor's note. And instead of comprehensive reform, the bill will create a study committee.

It's a shame. The legalization of medical marijuana had enormous support this year, and should have passed. Whether lawmakers will muster the same ardor over the next three years to really address this issue remains to be seen.

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13 US MD: Medical Marijuana Bill Moves ForwardSun, 10 Apr 2011
Source:Frederick News Post (MD) Author:Tully, Meg Area:Maryland Lines:101 Added:04/10/2011

ANNAPOLIS -- Frederick County Sen. David Brinkley may succeed this year in his nine-year quest to reduce criminal penalties for medical marijuana use.

Brinkley, a Republican, is one of the lead sponsors of a bill that would allow medical marijuana users to be found not guilty on criminal possession charges and would establish a study at a research university regarding the use of medical marijuana in general.

The House of Delegates gave the bill a preliminary OK on Saturday. If the House acts -- as scheduled -- to pass it on Monday, then Brinkley said he thought the bill would become law.

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14 US MD: PUB LTE: Legalize Marijuana and Be Done With ItWed, 30 Mar 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Beller, Joel Area:Maryland Lines:46 Added:03/30/2011

So the new legislation "that would allow those caught with small amounts of marijuana to avoid punishment altogether if they can convince a judge that they used the drug out of medical necessity" is supposed to be a "middle ground on marijuana?" Get real. This is yet another excuse to put off what should have been done long ago: legalization, not just for medicinal use, but for all citizens.

The fact of the matter is that marijuana is safer than alcohol or tobacco, yet its use can cause one to lose their job, be expelled from schools and universities, and even land in jail. We spend an enormous amount of money to enforce marijuana laws, as evidenced by the 759,593 arrests for possession alone in 2009. That translates to huge sums of money spent on unnecessary law enforcement and a prison population filled with people who are hardly criminals (and are forced to survive in a system that only creates more criminals). Regulation would also bring in a new source of tax revenue, as well as taking a huge cash crop away from drug cartels that terrorize Mexico and other parts of the world.

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15 US MD: Senate Looks to Amend Medical Marijuana BillWed, 23 Mar 2011
Source:Frederick News Post (MD) Author:Tully, Meg Area:Maryland Lines:78 Added:03/23/2011

ANNAPOLIS -- The Maryland Senate is making major changes to a medical marijuana bill proposed by Frederick County Sen. David Brinkley.

The Senate is expected to take up final approval of the measure this week, after giving a preliminary OK on Tuesday to the bill and amendments proposed by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

The bill will now allow people charged with use or possession of marijuana to argue before a judge that they did so out of medical necessity. If a judge agrees, the person would be found not guilty of the charge.

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16 US MD: PUB LTE: End America's Dysfunctional Drug WarTue, 08 Mar 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard Area:Maryland Lines:30 Added:03/09/2011

As a retired detective, I heartily agree with the Neill Franklin that the "war on drugs" has been a dysfunctional, disastrous policy without benefit ("Save a cop: End the drug war," March 7).

Worse, because my colleagues spend so much time chasing drug offenders, we are missing the animals who hurt women and children. Detectives flying around in helicopters are not arresting the pedophiles in Internet chat rooms. Officers searching a car for pot miss the deadly drunk drivers who sail past those stops.

If you have a drug problem, from alcohol to cocaine, see a doctor. Will we ever be as wise as our grandparents and repeal this modern prohibition?

Howard Wooldridge

Adamstown

[end]

17 US MD: OPED: Save a Cop's Life: End the Drug WarMon, 07 Mar 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Franklin, Neill Area:Maryland Lines:108 Added:03/07/2011

How Can You Ask an Officer to Be the Last Officer to Die for a Mistake?

Several thousand miles, and a comparable cultural divide, separate Elkins, W.Va., from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. But recently, they became sister cities of a grim sort when law enforcement professionals lost their lives fighting America's longest, most costly and least winnable war: the so-called "war on drugs."

On Highway 57, halfway between Monterrey and Mexico City, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata died when cartel gunmen ambushed the car carrying him and a colleague, who was wounded.

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18 US MD: Maryland's Medical Marijuana Law Suffers SetbackWed, 02 Mar 2011
Source:Washington Times (DC) Author:Hill, David Area:Maryland Lines:74 Added:03/02/2011

A Maryland lawmaker is attempting to salvage a bill that would legalize medical marijuana after the state's top health official testified that provisions regulating the drug's use and distribution were inadequate.

Delegate Dan K. Morhaim, Baltimore County Democrat and the bill's co-sponsor, said he is working to address concerns raised Monday by Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, secretary of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

Dr. Sharfstein testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that although he thinks the state eventually could make marijuana available to residents with many severe illnesses, it first needs to determine how to fund and supervise such a program.

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19 US MD: Eighth Midshipman Expelled For Having Synthetic MarijuanaMon, 28 Feb 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Dresser, Michael Area:Maryland Lines:61 Added:03/01/2011

Naval Academy Continues Investigation into 'Spice,' Which Is Banned by the Navy

An eighth midshipman was expelled from the Naval Academy last week as a result of an investigation into the use of the banned substance known as spice, the superintendent's office announced Monday.

Also on Monday, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration filed a final notice that will outlaw the sale of the five chemicals used in herbal blends to make synthetic marijuana, including spice. The chemicals will be banned for sale for at least a year.

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20 US MD: LTE: As Dangers Become Clear, States Shy Away From Medical MarijuanaSat, 12 Feb 2011
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Gimbel, Mike Area:Maryland Lines:48 Added:02/12/2011

Now that the smoke has cleared, the state of Montana voted Thursday to repeal the state's six year old medical marijuana law. According to Montana's House Speaker Mike Milburn, "we were duped" and "the law has been a pretext for encouraging recreational use and creating a path to full legalization of marijuana."

In addition, two new reports out this week clearly show that marijuana is not the safe and harmless drug that most people believe it to be. A new study published in the Achieves of General Psychiatry shows that using marijuana may cause psychosis to develop sooner in patients already predisposed to developing it, and in other patients the drug may even cause psychosis. Not one medical marijuana program in the country does a mental health evaluation before giving a prescription for medical marijuana. How will we ever know the mental status of those attempting to get medical marijuana?

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