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1 US TX: Cautious Texas Among Last States To OK Medical MarijuanaFri, 15 Dec 2017
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Weber, Paul J. Area:Texas Lines:116 Added:12/18/2017

MANCHACA, Texas -- When California rings in the new year with the sale of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive that doubts swirl over who will even use it.

Texas is the last big state to allow some form of medical marijuana, albeit an oil extract so low in the psychoactive component, THC, that it couldn't get a person high. Though it might seem that Texas policymakers have softened their attitude toward the drug, bringing them more in line with the U.S. population as a whole, they have not. A joint could still land you in jail in Texas, and the state's embrace of medical marijuana comes with a heavy dose of caution.

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2 US TX: Editorial: Get The Ball Rolling To Expand Medical Marijuana InFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Christopher, Jared L. Area:Texas Lines:81 Added:12/06/2017

Within weeks an estimated 150,000 Texas patients suffering from untreatable epilepsy will have a new means of relief.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a form of medical marijuana, will finally be delivered to patients who qualify under the state's very strict guidelines. The CBD reduces or halts convulsive epileptic seizures but doesn't get the patients stoned.

Right now, the treatment will be available only for certain epilepsy patients, and it's highly controlled.

We believe availability should be expanded for treatment of other conditions when there's evidence those patients can be helped. We urge state lawmakers to begin work through the political and medical hurdles now so they can make that happen when they meet in 13 months.

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3 US TX: Medical Marijuana Will Be Sold In Texas Before End Of 2017Fri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Tinsley, Anna M. Area:Texas Lines:95 Added:11/28/2017

In just a few weeks, medical marijuana will legally be sold in Texas.

The plants are nearly finished growing in South-Central Texas, which means workers will soon harvest and cultivate them, drying them out and preparing to extract low-level cannibidiol.

Once that medicine is in a liquid form, and packaged in drops, the first sales of medical marijuana -- geared to help Texans with intractable epilepsy -- will occur before the end of this year.

"It's very, very exciting," said Jose Hidalgo, chief executive officer of Cansortium Holdings, the Florida-based parent company of Cansortium Texas. "Nothing in life ever goes as planned.

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4 US TX: Medical Marijuana To Start Growing In South TexasFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Tinsley, Anna M. Area:Texas Lines:171 Added:09/12/2017

Any day now, medical marijuana will legally start to grow in the state of Texas.

It will be planted, grown and processed on a 10-acre parcel of land in Schulenburg, a small community east of San Antonio, now that the company that owns the property -- Cansortium Texas -- has received the state's first license to do so.

The low-level cannabidiol will be sold, under a 2015 law, to help Texans with intractable epilepsy if federally approved medication hasn't helped.

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5 US TX: Texans May Be Able To Buy Medical Cannabis Oil By JanuaryThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Samuels, Alex Area:Texas Lines:123 Added:08/14/2017

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the first bill allowing any growing or sale of marijuana in Texas. The Texas Compassionate Use Act legalized the selling of a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.

Two years later, Texans still can't legally buy cannabis oil, but a handful of companies believe they are weeks away from receiving the official go-ahead to become the state's first sellers.

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6US TX: Young Texas 'Medical Marijuana Refugee' Sues Sessions OverWed, 26 Jul 2017
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Brezosky, Lynn Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/26/2017

A Texas girl whose family moved to Colorado to use medical marijuana to treat her intractable epilepsy is among those suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the federal cannabis prohibition.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the federal government should be able to prosecute marijuana use and distribution in states that have declared it legal.

An 11-year-old Texas cannabis "refugee" has joined a retired NFL football player, an Iraq War veteran and two others in a lawsuit challenging beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the federal government's stance on medical marijuana.

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7US TX: Baker Institute Gets $3m For Drug Policy ResearchWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Deam, Jenny Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy has received a $3 million donation to endow a fellow in drug policy to provide objective scientific research in the highly charged political arena of drug addiction, university officials announced Wednesday.

Katharine Neill Harris, who currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship in drug policy at the Baker Institute, will become the Alfred C. Glassell III Fellow in Drug Policy.

The money to fund her new position comes from the Glassell Family Foundation led by Houston philanthropist Alfred C. Glassell III.

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8 US TX: Teen Kidnapped And Murdered Over Marijuana Theft: CopsTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:New York Post (NY) Author:Salo, Jackie Area:Texas Lines:47 Added:07/05/2017

A 13-year-old girl found dead over the weekend in Texas was abducted as ransom for stolen marijuana, according to authorities.

Police said Shavon Randle was kidnapped Wednesday from a Lancaster home after the boyfriend of one of her relatives stole about 22 pounds of pot, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Soon after she was abducted, suspects allegedly called a relative from a private number and told them, "Give us our sh-t back or we are going to kill her."

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9 US TX: Officers Killed In Murder Or Self-Defense?Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sack, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:762 Added:03/24/2017

With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85 miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.

SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.

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10 US TX: Obama Commutes Prison Sentence Of California HealthcareThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Doyle, Michael Area:Texas Lines:50 Added:01/19/2017

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the 20-year prison sentenced imposed on Richard Ruiz Montes, convicted in 2008 for his role in the Modesto's pot-dealing California Healthcare Collective.

In one of his final presidential acts, Obama used his executive authority to cut Montes' sentence by more than half. Now held at a federal facility in Atwater, according to the Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator, the 36-year-old Montes will be released May 19.

He is identified as Richard by the White House and Bureau of Prisons, but has also been known as Ricardo. The White House listed his hometown as Escalon.

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11 US TX: Pew Research Center Poll Finds Two-thirds Of Cops ThinkThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:Texas Lines:72 Added:01/12/2017

A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use.

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. Another 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.

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12 US TX: Arlington Officer Allows Teen To Do Pushups Instead Of JailWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:43 Added:01/04/2017

An Arlington police officer is popular on social media Thursday because of a video that shows he gave a teenager caught smoking marijuana in a movie theater parking lot an unorthodox alternative to being arrested: pushups.

Officer Eric Ball was working off-duty Monday night at the theater in Arlington when someone told him that a teenager was smoking marijuana outside, WFAA-TV reported. Ball went outside to find the teen finishing a cigarette and discarding it, and Ball smelled marijuana when he approached him.

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13US TX: DEA Maps Show Where Mexican Drug Cartels Hold Sway In TexasWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Perera, John-Henry Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:01/04/2017

An unclassified document from the Drug Enforcement Agency shows the areas of influence generated by Mexico's major criminal organizations.

The "intelligence report," dated July 2015, includes three maps that show the various DEA offices around the country and the cartel-related cases they deal with; potential markets that drug cartels will exploit due to population density; and heroin deaths by state.

In Texas, the many offices appear to have their time spent dealing with cases involving the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juarez, the Knights Templar, Beltran-Levya, Jalisco and the Zetas.

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14US TX: Feds: Colorado's New Pot Laws A Haven For Texas Drug RunnersSun, 25 Sep 2016
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Schiller, Dane Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2016

Texas traffickers hide in plain sight in Colorado with its lax pot laws

Tien Nguyen, 35, is charged in Smith County, Texas with money laundering after allegedly being stopped with $71,900 in cash in a rental car on Interstate 20. Handout

Tien Nguyen, 35, is charged in Smith County, Texas with money...

Three packages were mailed one after another, each shipped from the same Colorado post office to the same Houston business in the name of the same fictitious person.

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15US TX: Pushing Ahead On Medical CannabisMon, 15 Aug 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Farmer, Liz Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2016

Businessman Has N. Texas Town in Sights for Facility to Produce Oil to Treat Epilepsy

GUNTER - A cotton gin that sat empty for decades in this small North Texas town could be filled next year with the first cannabis plants legally grown in the state. Jae S. Lee/Staff Photographer Patrick Moran, president and co-founder of the Texas Cannabis Industry Association, aims to plant Texas' first legal cannabis plants in Gunter. A statute enacted last year paves the way for cultivation of non-psychoactive cannabis to produce CBD oil for treating people with severe epilepsy.

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16 US TX: PUB LTE: Marijuana, Casino GamingFri, 29 Jul 2016
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Gratzer, G. Area:Texas Lines:27 Added:07/29/2016

Regarding "Dangerous drugs" (Page A14, Thursday), the editorial takes note of illogical marijuana laws in our state, while those laws sidestep kush, which is actually a more dangerous substance. Four states have already legalized the use of marijuana, and all is well.

Texas needs to move forward on this issue as well as the issue of casino gambling. Other states are enjoying the freedoms related to both of these issues, which should be individual choices.

We are stuck in an outdated mode, based on falsehoods and overly conservative and religious mores. We need to focus our laws and enforcement efforts on things that really matter.

G. Gratzer, Sargent


17 US TX: Study: Medical Marijuana Cuts Medicare SpendingSun, 24 Jul 2016
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Eaton, Tim Area:Texas Lines:82 Added:07/24/2016

Legislators who want to expand the use of medical marijuana in Texas - - as well as the green-seeking entrepreneurs who could benefit financially from more state-approved, pot-derived treatments for what ails Texans - might be able to lean on a new study to bolster their argument when the Legislature convenes in January.

State senators and Texas House members undoubtedly will be looking for ways to save money next session, especially since the price of oil has dropped into an abyss, taking with it much of the state's oil-based tax revenue. They'll cut programs. They always do. But they also will search for savings.

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18US TX: Woman Settles Suit Over Cavity Search At BorderFri, 22 Jul 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/23/2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will pay $475,000 to a New Mexico woman who accused agents in Texas of forcing her to undergo illegal body-cavity probes.

The woman was at an El Paso port of entry when a drug-sniffing dog jumped on her, according to court filings.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Texas and New Mexico announced the settlement Thursday. Customs and Border Protection officers will also be required to undergo additional training.

A lawsuit filed in 2013 said the woman - a 54-year-old U.S. citizen referred to only as Jane Doe - was "brutally" searched by customs agents in December 2012.

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19 US TX: LTE: Take Hard Steps Toward ChangeMon, 18 Jul 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Bogart, Betty Area:Texas Lines:38 Added:07/18/2016

Messages of peace and love are briefly comforting after tragedies like those our country and city have recently experienced. But society needs to face harsh realities, beginning with stemming drug use.

Through people I know well, I've seen marijuana become a gateway drug for some and a substance that can change personalities over many years. Legalizing recreational marijuana usage is absurd since most ingest it for one reason: to alter mood/ thoughts. That doesn't put anyone in a good mind-set to interact with law officers, ever.

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20US TX: City Says Pot Reform Fest Shut Down Over PermitsTue, 12 Jul 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Brumfield, Loyd Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/12/2016

Group Hosting 'Lake and Bake' Event Questions Need to Close the Entire Park

The shutting down of an event hosted by marijuana legalization advocates Sunday at Lake Grapevine had nothing to do with the group's beliefs, Grapevine city officials said.

The third annual Lake and Bake was shut down because DFW NORML didn't acquire a special events permit needed to host a gathering of that size, Grapevine Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Mitchell said.

"Who they are had no bearing on why the event was closed off. They could be pushing beef jerky for all I know," Mitchell said. "It has nothing to do with who they are or what they represent. None of that is relevant."

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21US TX: Column: Softer Marijuana Laws Are 'sensible'?Wed, 06 Jul 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Davis, Mark Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/06/2016

Mark Davis: Those Pushing for This Don't Know What It Does to Neighborhoods

Looks like this is my year for congratulating the Dallas City Council, although I do not pretend that the horseshoe is bending toward my worldview.

First they found a way to reject the absurdity that there was a First Amendment obligation to host a porn convention on city property. Now, at least for the moment, they are resisting widespread urgings to loosen marijuana laws.

As some state-level experiments plod forward with outright pot legalization, the Dallas issue involved ratcheting pot-possession penalties down from a jailable offense to a mere ticket.

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22 US TX: Texas May Be Ready to Expand Medical Use of MarijuanaSun, 19 Jun 2016
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Eaton, Tim Area:Texas Lines:225 Added:06/19/2016

Within GOP, Sentiment Appears to Be Growing to Allow More Remedies.

Is Texas ready to embrace expanding medical treatments from marijuana?

Some state elected officials - along with some eager entrepreneurs - would like to see more allowable uses of the controversial plant when the 2017 legislative session comes around.

Last session, many Capitol observers were stunned when both chambers passedSenate Bill 339 and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law. The law - which was authored by now-departing state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, and sponsored by state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth - allows patients who suffer from a rare form of epilepsy to be treated legally with cannabidiol, or CBD as it is better known.

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23 US TX: Justices: Obtaining Evidence Illegally Doesn't BarSat, 11 Jun 2016
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Lindell, Chuck Area:Texas Lines:79 Added:06/12/2016

High Court: Civil-Asset Forfeiture Is Not Subject to Criminal Court Rules.

Law enforcement can seize private property that was used in the commission of a crime, even if evidence of wrongdoing was illegally obtained by police, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Because the process of seizing property takes place in civil court, property owners aren't protected by criminal court rules that call for evidence to be tossed out if it was obtained in an unconstitutional search or seizure, the unanimous court ruling said.

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24US TX: An Old Cotton Gin Soon Could Help Produce LegalMon, 06 Jun 2016
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:O'Hare, Peggy Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2016

Ceo Expects Texas to Be Major Center for a Strain of Cannabis That Can Ease Epilepsy Without Getting Patients High

About 60 miles north of Dallas, amid green fields in the town of Gunter, population 1,486, Texas Cannabis CEO Patrick Moran has optioned to buy a former cotton gin, where he plans to grow the Cannabis sativa plant, known more commonly as marijuana.

The businessman and attorney is positioning himself at the forefront of what he estimates will be a $900 million a year industry in Texas - - the recently legalized market for treating intractable epilepsy with a strain of marijuana that eases seizures without getting patients high.

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25 US TX: Column: 'Opioid Epidemic' MythsWed, 25 May 2016
Source:Odessa American (TX) Author:Sullum, Jacob Area:Texas Lines:94 Added:05/28/2016

Last week, the House of Representatives approved what The New York Times described as "a mountain of bills addressing the nation's opioid abuse crisis." The 18 bills passed "by huge bipartisan margins."

A flurry of legislative activity like this usually materializes when the drug problem it targets is already receding. That seems to be the case with the so-called opioid epidemic, notwithstanding the fresh attention attracted by the recent death of Prince, which may have involved prescription painkillers.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nonmedical use of opioid analgesics such as oxycodone and hydrocodone peaked in 2012 and has since dropped below the rate in 2002. Although the recent decline in prescription painkiller use was accompanied by an increase in heroin use, total opioid use was still lower in 2014 than in 2012.

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26 US TX: OPED: Felon Disenfranchisement an Obstacle to DemocracyFri, 20 May 2016
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Mauer, Marc Area:Texas Lines:102 Added:05/20/2016

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently restored the right to vote for 206,000 citizens in his state, many of whom had completed their sentences decades ago. One of them, Terry Garrett, had struggled with homelessness and drug addiction, receiving multiple felony convictions, before turning her life around. She's now sober, a grandmother, and helps people facing addiction. Told that she could now vote, she said, "Finally, someone sees past what we did."

As the 2016 presidential race heats up, it's clear that the outcome will affect the course of the nation for some time to come. Yet nearly 6 million Americans will not be at the polls this November. It's not that they don't care about the outcome of the election, but rather, they're prohibited from voting due to a current or previous felony conviction.

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27US TX: OPED: What's 'Medical' About Pot? It Varies by StateFri, 20 May 2016
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Leonard, Kenneth E. Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2016

Forty-one states have legislation that permits medical marijuana in some form. However, the law in Texas is not considered functional because it requires a physician to prescribe marijuana. Since marijuana is illegal under federal law, doctors can't prescribe it. They can only recommend it to patients.

Louisiana's law had the same flaw, but the state's House of Representatives just voted on new legislation that should correct this problem.

In April, Pennsylvania became the latest state to pass medical marijuana legislation, which will take effect this month. And recently, Ohio's House of Representatives passed a plan to permit medical marijuana in the state.

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28US TX: Demonstrators March to Downtown San Antonio, DemandSun, 08 May 2016
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:Kuz, Martin Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:05/08/2016

Some 100 people marched in San Antonio's second annual "marijuana march" to build support for grass-roots efforts to ease Texas marijuana laws and decriminalize pot use.

The event was hosted by the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Jesus Ramirez marched with a sign emblazoned with a cannabis plant and the words "Don't Fight. Make It Right. Legalize."

"I'm here because I think we need more compassion for people who are suffering," said Ramirez, 44, a former glazier who also uses cannabis to reduce pain from a neck injury that forced him to retire five years ago. "Marijuana helps people cope. Why would anyone be against that?"

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29 US TX: PUB LTE: Abolish Civil Asset ForfeitureSun, 01 May 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Wills, Suzanne Area:Texas Lines:48 Added:05/02/2016

Re: =93Texas tops in use of civil asset forfeiture =AD And it's likely to get worse, Audrey Redford says,=94 Monday Viewpoints.

Thanks to Redford for her excellent column and to The News for continuing to call attention to the most corrupting influence in law enforcement =AD civil asset forfeiture.

The injustice of police taking property without due process has not gone unnoticed.

Right on Crime, a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Prison Fellowship, has given a series of seminars on the subject. It says civil forfeiture endangers individual rights and the integrity of law enforcement.

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30US TX: Texas Tops In Use Of Civil Asset ForfeitureMon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/27/2016

In just over a decade, Texas law enforcement collected more than half a billion dollars, $540.7 million, in cash and personal property from Texans suspected of breaking the law. Known as civil asset forfeiture, this legal practice leaves average Texans vulnerable to having their assets seized by police, no trial or proof of guilt necessary.

Texas is among the worst states in the nation for civil asset forfeiture abuse. The Institute for Justice's "Policing for Profit" report gave Texas a D+ and said the state leads the nation in average annual forfeiture proceeds, at roughly $41.6 million.

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31 US TX: OPED: Nixon's War on Drugs Built Today's RuinousMon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Hermosura, Lorna Area:Texas Lines:101 Added:04/25/2016

As we prepare to vote for the next president of the United States, it is important for voters to carefully consider the character of the candidates. Why? Because although a presidential term only lasts for four years, a president's policies and legacy can cause devastation for decades.

Case in point: President Richard Nixon and the "War on Drugs."

Nixon's drug policies that began in the 1970s seeped into our nation's education policy 20 years later; today it funnels hundreds of thousands of youths from schools into prison.

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32US TX: Deadly DealFri, 15 Apr 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Corchado, Alfredo Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2016

Kingpin's Plea With U.S. Triggered Years of Bloodshed Reaching All the Way to Southlake Zetas Saw Gulf Cartel Leader As Traitor, Declared a War That Has Killed Thousands of People

A plea agreement between a Mexican drug kingpin and the U.S. government helped generate a violent split between two drug cartels that led to the deaths of thousands of people in Mexico and along the Texas border, a Dallas Morning News investigation has found.

A masked gunman fired multiple times at Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa with a 9 mm handgun through the passenger window of his Range Rover at Southlake Town Square in May 2013. Three Mexican citizens were arrested more than a year later and charged with stalking, and aiding and abetting in the hit.

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33US TX: OPED: Words Used As Weapons Cause Social DamageSat, 09 Apr 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Short, Robyn Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/10/2016

War on Drugs, for Example, Was an Assault on Black People, Robyn Short Says

Whoever said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" must have been on the receiving end of a very kind-speaking stick thrower. Words matter. Too often in American politics, words are used as weapons that can cause social damage that takes far longer to repair than any broken bone.

Democrats and Republicans both use language to dehumanize, vilify and separate the people of this nation. By doing so, they indirectly foster a culture that permits harmful actions against "the other," and even deems such action morally correct.

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34 US TX: PUB LTE: City Council Missed BoatSun, 03 Apr 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Dominguez, William Area:Texas Lines:31 Added:04/03/2016

If the Dallas City Council is unhappy with the recent crime spike, perhaps voting for the cite-and-release marijuana policy that failed last week could help keep officers on the streets working on eliminating violent crime.

In 2014, 700,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana law violations and 620,000 of those violations were possession. Why are we putting resources to arrest individuals for a crime that is nonviolent?

Dallas City Council had its chance to be proactive toward reducing violent crime by reducing the penalties for a nonviolent one. Now the council members who voted "nay" on the cite-and-release policy would rather blame Dallas Police Chief David Brown for an issue they could have helped solve.

William Dominguez,



35 US TX: PUB LTE: Tough Love Can Add To SufferingSun, 27 Mar 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Wills, Suzanne Area:Texas Lines:40 Added:03/28/2016

Re: "Straight talk about heroin - We've got the epidemic all wrong, Maia Szalavitz says," March 20 Points.

All of the dangerous myths about heroin that Szalavitz points out are important. The drug war is built on lies and misconceptions. It is most important to discredit the myth that "Tough love is the only thing that works. Programs that distribute clean needles and overdose-reversal drugs prolong addiction."

Addition is most often an adaption to overwhelming trauma. The majority of injection drug users were abused as children. This can cause lifelong self-hatred. Even the man who started drug prohibition, Harry Anslinger, admitted it: Addicts often "grow up in homes that are not homes, with parents that are not parents, [so] they seek escape. Girl or boy, this is a familiar pattern."

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36US TX: Editorial: Dallas City Council Snuffs Out a Chance toSat, 26 Mar 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:03/27/2016

The Dallas City Council made a mistake in snuffing out Dallas County's cite-and-release pilot plan to ticket low-level marijuana possession offenders rather than haul them off to jail. As Police Chief David Brown once conceded - although he ultimately opposed the plan - the idea was "just so damn practical." It would reduce crowding in the Dallas County Jail and allow police to focus on more serious crimes, such as burglaries and assaults, and address concerns such as downtown panhandling. But council members waded into the weeds and failed to navigate issues of collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions and whether to give officers discretion to arrest some offenders. It's disappointing that they lacked creativity or the will to work through these questions.

We hope they' ll try again.


37US TX: Pot Citation Plan Goes Up In SmokeThu, 24 Mar 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Hallman, Tristan Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2016

Misdemeanor marijuana possession will still mean jail time in Dallas. Misdemeanor marijuana possession will still mean jail time in Dallas after City Council members spurned a much-discussed plan to instead issue citations to those caught with small amounts of pot.

Council members on Wednesday got into the weeds of the proposed Dallas County pilot program and possible discrimination concerns before they rejected the so-called cite-and-release plan. Opposition from council member Sandy Greyson and Police Chief David Brown prevailed.

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38 US TX: Editorial: Treat Addiction As Disease, Not CrimeSun, 20 Mar 2016
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:66 Added:03/20/2016

Grapevine Police Join Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative

Nonprofit Organization Works With Local Police and Opioid Addicts

Treatment Centers Are Better Than Jail

We all learned about the effects of illegal drugs in health class, from TV and parents.

We've watched fictional drug addicts on anything from Orange is the New Black to Elementary.

We all know that drugs are bad, and drug dealers are even worse. We want both off the streets and away from kids.

In those worst-case scenarios, a teenager becomes addicted to drugs. He or she gets arrested for drug possession and then has a criminal record.

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39US TX: OPED: Straight Talk About HeroinSun, 20 Mar 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Szalavitz, Maia Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:03/20/2016

We've Got the Epidemic All Wrong, Maia Szalavitz Says

America's epidemic of heroin and prescription pain reliever addiction has become a major issue in the 2016 elections. It's worse than ever: Deaths from overdoses of opioids - the drug category that includes heroin and prescription analgesics such as Vicodin - reached a high in 2014, rising 14 percent in a single year.

But because drug policy has long been a political and cultural football, myths about opioid addiction abound. Here are some of the most dangerous myths, and how they do harm.

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40US TX: A New Road To RecoveryThu, 03 Mar 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Solis, Dianne Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2016

City's Police Joining Efforts to Treat Addicts Instead of Jailing Them

GRAPEVINE - Imagine a drug user walking into a police station and handing over his drugs and paraphernalia. But instead of police putting the addict behind bars, the would-be criminal is taken to a treatment facility to get help - without any charges being filed.

That's the essence of a new nationwide initiative coming soon to at least one North Texas police department.

Grapevine officials, stung by some drug-related deaths in recent years, said Wednesday that they will soon begin participating in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, or PAARI. The program takes a more compassionate approach toward drug users by treating addiction as a disease rather than simply a crime.

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41US TX: No Grass At Cannabis Conference, But AttendeesSun, 28 Feb 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Ramirez, Marc Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:02/29/2016

Legalization's Coming, They Say, and So Are the Potential Opportunities

FORT WORTH - There was a day when you'd have been considered under the influence to think that Texas might ever legalize marijuana. Lawrence Jenkins/Special Contributor "the 'Green rush' is going to happen," said San Antonio lawyer Daniel Mehler, who stood out in a pot-leaf-patterned suit at the cannabis expo in Fort Worth.

But this weekend, an event dedicated to that very notion drifted into the Fort Worth Convention Center.

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42US TX: Column: Chief 's Offer to Addicts Is Saving Lives andSun, 14 Feb 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Burns, Scott Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:02/14/2016

GLOUCESTER, Mass. - Leonard Campanello leans forward. "There's no incentive or coercion that will stop an addict," he says. "This is the only long-term illness on the planet where if the disease presents itself, they kick you out" of treatment.

I met Campanello at the Sugar Magnolias breakfast place on Main Street in downtown Gloucester, where he told me about his amazing offer to drug addicts. It's an offer that will change drug treatment in America, reduce crime, decrease drug-related deaths, drop incarceration and destigmatize substance abuse while restoring the community role of the police. It will save lives and money at the same time. This is a sea change. Before you get the wrong idea, let me assure you that Campanello, the chief of police in this city of 28,000, isn't a reformer. He doesn't look like a reformer. He's a cop, a fact-and-evidence guy. He speaks without hyperbole in a boots-on-the-ground Boston accent. You can't listen to him without having a sense that he is absolutely right. So what was that amazing offer? Last year, on March 5, after a string of fatal overdoses in Gloucester, Campanello made this declaration on the department's Facebook page:

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43 US TX: Editorial: Stop Making A Misdemeanor A High CrimeTue, 09 Feb 2016
Source:Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:76 Added:02/09/2016

We anticipate an interesting discussion Tuesday when the City Council considers whether police should be allowed or encouraged to "cite and release" folks whose only apparent offense is possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.

Our opinion: It's high time!

Sorry, we couldn't let that one pass. But don't confuse our partaking of the low-hanging fruit as a case of the munchies. It's a clear-eyed reality check.

Somebody besides the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) needs to say it: The police have more important things to do, the jail is an expensive, finite resource, and the worst, most dangerous thing about possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use is its illegality.

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44US TX: OPED: Just Say Yes To Ticketing Pot OffendersTue, 19 Jan 2016
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Kelly, William R. Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2016

Citing and releasing those caught with small amounts is a good idea, William R. Kelly writes

As someone who studies the effectiveness of criminal justice policies, I rarely can applaud a specific policy in Texas. But I could do just that for a new pilot program taking shape in Dallas.

The Dallas City Council is considering a program of ticketing rather than arresting individuals caught in possession of 4 ounces or less of marijuana. The procedure, known as cite and release, involves the police issuing a ticket to the offender, much like the procedure used for traffic violations. The ticket is a promise to appear in court on a particular date and time.

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45US TX: Appeals Court To Hear Lawsuit Against DEAWed, 30 Dec 2015
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Schiller, Dane Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2015

A federal appeals court has agreed to hear oral arguments in the case of a Texan suing the Drug Enforcement Administration for using his 18-wheeler without permission for a drug cartel sting that ended in Houston with an informant fatally shot while driving the truck.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, is scheduled to take the case in February.

Lawyers for Craig Patty are hoping the court will reverse a decision by U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal that Patty should get nothing from the DEA for secretly using his truck, which was shot with bullets, including those that killed Lawrence Chapa, who was behind the wheel.

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46 US TX: PUB LTE: A Better Alternative?Fri, 25 Dec 2015
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Wills, Suzanne Area:Texas Lines:37 Added:12/26/2015

Re: "A Smarter Use of Time" Dallas should try citations over jail for pot," Dec.14 Editorials. According to FBI figures, national crime clearance rates in 2013 were abysmally low. In several cases in Dallas County in recent years, there were tragic consequences because officers did not respond quickly enough to calls.

Police officers lose several hours of availability while transporting and booking suspects for nonviolent crimes. Suspects spend an average of 10 days in jail at a cost of about $60 per day. Only three Texas counties have adopted the cite-and-summons option since 2007: Travis, Hays and Midland. In all three, authorities encourage officers to use it.

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47US TX: Editorial: A Smarter Use Of TimeMon, 14 Dec 2015
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/14/2015

Dallas Should Try Citations Over Jail for Pot

David Brown is Dallas' police chief and, as such, admits he has mixed feelings when the question is whether his officers should write citations instead of booking into jail those arrested for small amounts of marijuana. You can see how this might be.

The cop in Brown sees minor busts as one more tool to develop informants or just information that might lead to bigger busts. Every arrest is potential leverage over a suspect, even if it's just an ounce or two of weed.

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48 US TX: PUB LTE: Civil Asset Forfeiture Without a Conviction IsSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Victoria Advocate (TX) Author:Bankston, Carl Area:Texas Lines:60 Added:11/16/2015

Editor, the Advocate:

The Nov. 8 Advocate story about civil asset forfeiture is disturbing. Stephen Tyler is involved with the legalized theft of money, cars and other valuables owned by people who are only suspected of a crime but have not been convicted at trial.

I was taught in my high school civics classes that, in America, a basic tenent of justice is that a person is presumed innocent until proved guilty in a trial or he pleads guilty. This isn't happening with civil asset forfeiture. People are being punished by having their property confiscated by government without being convicted of a crime. Why? The answer is in the sixth paragraph: "District Attorney Stephen Tyler uses civil asset forfeiture to pad his budget." Tyler should wait until after he gets a conviction to confiscate property.

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49 US TX: Refugio Mayor Reported Arrested On Drug ChargesSun, 15 Nov 2015
Source:Victoria Advocate (TX) Author:Druzin, Rye Area:Texas Lines:35 Added:11/16/2015

The mayor of Refugio was arrested on multiple drug charges, Refugio County Sheriff Robert Bolcik said Saturday.

Bolcik said Mayor Joey Heard was arrested by the Refugio Police Department at 4:30 p.m. Friday on three charges: misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug and third-degree felony possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility. Heard was out on a $29,000 bond Saturday, according to Bolcik.

Refugio Police Chief Andy Lopez Jr. declined to comment on Heard's case beyond saying Heard had been arrested. Lopez said the case was part of a pending investigation.

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50 US TX: Baby Steps For Legalizing MarijuanaFri, 13 Nov 2015
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:62 Added:11/15/2015

Twenty Three States Allow Medicinal Use of Marijuana.

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy launched a campaign Wednesday hoping to bring awareness to veterans' need for responsible marijuana use for service-related injuries.

The campaign, named "Operation Trapped," aims to "collect a single used prescription bottle from every state veteran who wants a safer alternative" and present the collection of bottles at a news conference on Veterans Day 2016 in Austin.

The coalition includes multiple chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and other groups.

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