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1US WA: Report: Opioid Overdoses Kill Two In Washington Every DayTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Connelly, Joel Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:11/23/2017

Opioid overdoses are killing two people in Washington each day, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday urged legislation that will limit new legal opioid prescriptions and monitor those receiving the drug.

The extent of the state's opioid epidemic was outline in a report released by the AG's office, the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, detailing its legal and illegal roots.

It urges action on prescription opioids, "often the source of initial exposure to opioids."

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2US WA: Column: Lawsuit Seeks To Block King County Vote On SafeMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Connelly, Joel Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/25/2017

US: Connelly: Lawsuit seeks to block King County vote on safe injection sites -

Found: Tue Aug 22 14:21:02 2017 PDT Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Copyright: 2017 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Website: Details: Author: Joel Connelly

A lawsuit was filed Monday, challenging and seeking to block a public vote on Initiative 27, which seeks to outlaw the opening of supervised consumption spaces, health facilities where people use drugs in a safe environment with access to treatment.

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3US WA: Another King County City May Vote To Ban Safe Injection SitesTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

The growing movement against allowing so-called safe drug injection sites is moving to another city.

The Kent City Council will vote Tuesday night on a proposed moratorium on "community health engagement locations," also called supervised injection facilities.

Renton, Federal Way, Auburn and Bellevue have already passed ordinances banning such sites. The ordinance going before Kent's City Council says there's no evidence that these sites reduce drug addiction.

The Seattle-King County Health Department says someone dies from a heroin or opioid drug overdose every 36 hours in King County. That's more than auto crashes and ranks as the No. 1 cause of preventable death.

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4US WA: As Opioid Deaths Spike, New Push To Save Overdosing UsersFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Cohen, Stephen Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Public health officials are promoting the use of the drug naloxone to help save people from opioid overdoses.

Seattle's opioid crisis is a complicated medical, political and emotional issue, but state leaders are attempting to tackle one of the most immediate concerns facing those on the front line of the fight: Keeping users alive during an overdose.

The Seattle Police Department implemented a nasal naloxone (also known Narcan) program in March 2016, training 60 bike officers to administer the drug to anyone they believed to be suffering from an opioid overdose. The program has been a modest success, with officers reviving 20 people thus far according to Officer Steve Redmond, and there are hopes the program can be expanded department wide.

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5US WA: Tacoma Mom Says Baby Accidentally Ate Marijuana Candy OffersWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Pham, Suzanne Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Last year, there were 49 cases of kids under the age of 5 accidentally eating treats with marijuana in them.

TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma mother says her 14-month-old daughter got sick after eating candy with marijuana in it. And now, she wants to warn other parents.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, said the toddler found the candy at a relative's home without anyone knowing. When she went to pick up her daughter, the girl started acting strangely.

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6US WA: State Senate Bill Makes It Easier For Pot Businesses To PayWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2017

[photo] Cannabis from Stagecoach Ranch is seen on display during an event at Harvest, a medical marijuana dispensary in the Inner Richmond District, in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers want to make it easier for marijuana dispensaries to pay their taxes, saying many cash-only businesses are forced to drive long distances with thousands of dollars to make an in-person payment.

That's clearly not safe, said state Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who introduced a bill Tuesday to increase the number of places where tax and fee payments can be made in California.

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7US WA: Bill Introduced To Allow Marijuana Grown At HomeThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Millman, Zosha Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:01/12/2017

A bill has been introduced in the state Legislature that would allow marijuana users to grow their own supply at home.

Washington is the only state that allows for retail, recreational marijuana but doesn't also permit cannabis to be grown at home unless by registered medical patients. The new legislation, HB 1092, introduced Wednesday by state Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, would change that.

If enacted, all adults (21 and over) would be able to grow up to six plants on their private premises so long as the yield is no greater than 24 ounces. Homes with more than one adult would be permitted 12 plants for up to 48 ounces of usable marijuana.

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8US WA: Will Taxes On Marijuana Help Pay High Cost Of K-12 EducationFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Connelly, Joel Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2017

Marijuana is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. But Washington voters in 2012 legalized the cultivation, sale and taxation of recreational marijuana. California voted in November 2016 to do likewise.

Will taxes on marijuana help pay high cost of K-12 education funding?

The state's Republican lawmakers have been as slippery as a pig on ice when it comes to finding dollars to pay for state Supreme Court-ordered full funding of K-12 education in Washington, a pattern seen Thursday at The Associated Press' legislative forum.

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9US WA: What Happened In Washington State After Voters LegalizedThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Bellingham Herald (WA) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2016

A study of Washington high school students out Tuesday examining marijuana use among students in the state two years before and after the vote to legalize in 2012 finds that marijuana use increased by about 3 percent among 8th- and 10th-graders over that period.

Conventional wisdom, based on results since marijuana was legalized three years ago in Colorado, is that availability of legal weed is having little or no effect on teen's use of the drug.

However, a study of Washington high school students out Tuesday flies somewhat in the face of prevailing opinion. Examining marijuana use among students in the state two years before and after the vote to legalize in 2012, it finds that marijuana use increased by about 3 percent among 8th- and 10th-graders over that period.

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10 US WA: Cannabis And ConservationFri, 25 Nov 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Cardwell, Diane Area:Washington Lines:183 Added:11/29/2016

TUMWATER, Wash. - Behind the covered windows of a nondescript two-story building near the Olympia Regional Airport, hundreds of marijuana plants were flowering recently in the purple haze of 40 LED lights.

It was part of a high-stakes experiment in energy conservation - an undertaking subsidized by the local electric company. With cannabis cultivation poised to become a big business in some parts of the country, power companies and government officials hope it will grow into a green industry.

The plants here, destined for sale in the form of dried flowers, joints or edible items, were just a few weeks from harvest and exuding the potent aroma of a stash room for the Grateful Dead. But the energy-efficient LED lights were the focus of attention.

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11 US WA: Why the State Should Have Licensed More DispensariesWed, 20 Jul 2016
Source:Stranger, The (Seattle, WA) Author:Coughlin-Bogue, Tobias Area:Washington Lines:120 Added:07/21/2016

Last week, I wrote about how the new medical marijuana system created under the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) shut out many of Washington State's medical marijuana dispensaries. The law required that dispensaries obtain a recreational license to continue operation, but a loophole in the application process created a black market for dispensary employee pay stubs, allowing new actors to game the system. I also mentioned that the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) blindsided applicants by announcing a cap of 222 new licenses late in the application process.

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12 US WA: How Washington State Screwed Over Its Medical MarijuanaWed, 13 Jul 2016
Source:Stranger, The (Seattle, WA) Author:Coughlin-Bogue, Tobias Area:Washington Lines:119 Added:07/14/2016

A Loophole in the Recreational License Application Process Created a Black Market for Dispensary Employee Pay Stubs and Left Longtime Dispensary Operators in the Dust

A loophole allowed applicants with no background in medical marijuana to be treated as if they were law-abiding, taxpaying veterans of the industry.

On July 1, when the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) took effect, all dispensaries without an I-502 license were forced to shut down, sending many of the state's medical marijuana patients into a panic. Patients worry that the recreational market doesn't have enough medicinal cannabis for their needs and that what is available is not affordable. Many point to the fact that the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued only 222 new retail licenses to replace more than 1,500 medical marijuana dispensaries.

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13 US WA: Canna-BustWed, 06 Jul 2016
Source:Seattle Weekly (WA) Author:Jaywork, Casey Area:Washington Lines:98 Added:07/06/2016

Little Drama, Lots of Doubts as Washington's Medical Marijuana Industry Goes Dark

It's not yet clear how many patients will switch to licensed stores, versus going underground.

Today is the first day on which authorities have vowed to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries which lack government-issued cannabis licenses. Our cover story this week unpacks the history of that vow. By all appearances, the day has come and gone without any major drama.

But patients are still upset about reduced access to their medince. Ryan Day, who uses cannabis to treat his son's epilepsy, says that licensed stores lack the kind of cannabis products his son needs. "The recreational stores aren't carrying the product we need," he says. "The supply chain is just not there."

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14 US WA: Forced Into The Black MarketWed, 06 Jul 2016
Source:Stranger, The (Seattle, WA) Author:Coughlin-Bogue, Tobias Area:Washington Lines:181 Added:07/06/2016

On July 1, Washington State's medical marijuana market disappeared. Here's why the most needy patients will likely suffer.

On July 1, Washington State's medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives officially closed, leaving only state-licensed recreational stores to serve patients.

This is a result of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052), which is perhaps the most egregious bit of doublespeak ever. The law does not protect patients. In fact, evidence suggests that it will put the state's most vulnerable patients at risk.

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15 US WA: The Fall Of Mmj A Drama In Three ActsWed, 29 Jun 2016
Source:Seattle Weekly (WA) Author:Jaywork, Casey Area:Washington Lines:440 Added:06/29/2016

This Week, Hundreds of Marijuana Dispensaries Will Be Shuttered.

How did that happen?

The evening of November 6, 2012, will live long in the memories of many progressive Seattleites. It was a night of raucous celebration in the heart of Seattle as a singular mass of bodies danced at the corner of Pike Street and 10th Avenue.

In the tide of humanity, a middle-aged man with a gray beard and a plaid blue shirt sprayed the crowd around him with champagne.

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16 US WA: Yakima At The Forefront Of New Hemp Growing ProgramSun, 19 Jun 2016
Source:Yakima Herald-Republic (WA) Author:Morey, Mark Area:Washington Lines:139 Added:06/19/2016

YAKIMA, Wash. - As a cousin to marijuana, hemp has long been banned despite a huge potential for use in a wide range of products, including clothing, building materials and even shampoo.

But Yakima will soon be at the forefront of the state's efforts to develop a research program that could lead to a commercial hemp industry.

The state Department of Agriculture plans to hire a Yakima-based program specialist to help draft and adopt rules needed to create the program, which is expected to launch in time for the 2017 growing season.

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17 US WA: Unlicensed Pot Shops Warned to Close As Deadline LoomsThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:93 Added:06/17/2016

SEATTLE (AP) - With a deadline looming for the merging of Washington's recreational and medical marijuana markets, cities around the state are warning unlicensed pot dispensaries to close up shop.

July 1 marks the date when, after nearly two decades of confusion about the status of medical marijuana, the industry becomes regulated for the first time. Hundreds of pot shop workers are being certified as medical marijuana consultants, the Department of Health is preparing a voluntary registry of patients, and the Liquor and Cannabis Board has been granting endorsements enabling recreational marijuana stores to sell for medical use.

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18 US WA: Proposal to Allow Bans on Pot Shops in Alcohol ImpactWed, 25 May 2016
Source:Stranger, The (Seattle, WA) Author:Coughlin-Bogue, Tobias Area:Washington Lines:124 Added:05/25/2016

Plus, the WSLCB Finally Sets Rules for Acceptable Pesticide Levels

Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) recently added another bill to his already impressive list of idiotic, regressive policy ideas: allowing cities to ban pot businesses in places based on preexisting alcohol impact areas (AIA).

The AIA program, for those who missed that dark chapter of our state's history, was cooked up in 1999 as a way to fight chronic street inebriation. Administered by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB), it bans the sale of certain types of booze that are especially popular with chronic street drunks.

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19 US WA: Editorial: Unmet Promises to Fund Marijuana MitigationWed, 18 May 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:85 Added:05/18/2016

MARIJUANA legalization in Washington state has, by some measures, been an immediate success. Criminal charges for marijuana possession have all but vanished. The once-thriving black market is being daylighted. And recreational users' wink-and-a-nod exploitation of the medical-marijuana system is gone.

And legal marijuana is producing gobs of tax revenue to pay for important state services. The state budget is expected to bank an eye-popping $1.1 billion in cannabis revenue through 2018.

But the experiment with legalization has other consequences. Last week, a police investigation into the death of Hamza Warsame, a smart, ambitious 16-year-old Seattle Central College student, concluded he likely jumped from a balcony in a panic after smoking pot for the first time.

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20 US WA: Pot-Related Fatal Crashes in Washington Spiked AfterMon, 16 May 2016
Source:Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) Author:Prager, Mike Area:Washington Lines:76 Added:05/16/2016

Pot-Related Fatal Crashes in Washington Spiked Upward After Marijuana Was Voted Legal in the Fall of 2012.

For years, the percentage of fatal accidents in which a driver was high on pot stood at about 8 percent.

But from 2013 to 2014, the number of marijuana-related crashes doubled, according to a study by the AAA Foundation of the AAA auto club.

The increase occurred even before pot was available legally in retail pot shops in Washington in July 2014, said Jennifer Cook, a spokeswoman for AAA in Seattle.

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21 US WA: Legalized Pot Is Becoming Very InexpensiveSun, 08 May 2016
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Humphreys, Keith Area:Washington Lines:58 Added:05/08/2016

Two years ago, Washington State began an unprecedented policy experiment by allowing large-scale production and sale of recreational marijuana to the public. The effects on public health and safety and on the relationship of law enforcement to minority communities will take years to manifest fully, but one impact has become abundantly clear: Legalized marijuana is getting very cheap very quickly.

Marijuana price data from Washington's Liquor and Cannabis Board was aggregated by Steve Davenport of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. After a transitory rise in the first few months, which Davenport attributes to supply shortages as the system came online, both retail prices and wholesale prices have plummeted. Davenport said that prices "are now steadily falling at about 2 percent per month. If that trend holds, prices may fall 25 percent each year going forward."

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22 US WA: New Rules For Testing PotSat, 23 Apr 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:King, Rikki Area:Washington Lines:77 Added:04/25/2016

After Legalization, the Law Now Requires That Any Sample Used As Evidence in an Adult Case Be Tested for THC Levels.

EVERETT - Sure, marijuana is legal now, for the most part.

However, enough criminal cases still involve the drug that the Washington State Patrol has increased the number of scientists with special training needed to analyze its chemical compounds, from one to seven. None of them work at the lab in Snohomish County.

Before legalization, any Snohomish County police department could do a quick field test to scientifically confirm that seized plant materials were, in fact, marijuana. That step is required for prosecution. That so-called "leaf test" was standard since the 1970s, said George Johnston, a manager for the state crime laboratory.

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23 US WA: Bank Woes Easing For Legal Pot BusinessesSun, 24 Apr 2016
Source:Columbian, The (WA) Author:Hansen, Kristena Area:Washington Lines:122 Added:04/24/2016

Number of Financial Institutions Willing to Handle Pot Money Rise

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - In a once-empty office in Oregon's Department of Revenue headquarters, officials have created a mini-fortress.

Recently hired workers sit behind bulletproof glass at a window inaccessible to the public. Police officers brought out of retirement roam the building with handguns on their hips. Security cameras monitor the hallways.

The changes, paid for with a $3.5 million budget and prompted by the state's newly legal marijuana industry, are similar to those that Colorado and Washington made for accepting huge cash payments of pot taxes from businesses historically blocked from banking.

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24 US WA: Pot Sales Top Wine, Bread, Milk In Spokane CountyTue, 12 Apr 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Hill, Kip Area:Washington Lines:88 Added:04/13/2016

Hit $5 Million in March

But Beer Sales Still Come Out on Top

Legal marijuana sales in Spokane County topped retail sales of wine and kitchen staples such as bread and milk last year.

That's according to sales numbers from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board and a survey of household expenses by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Not all marijuana sold in Spokane County is consumed by county residents. State law allows the 17 state-licensed pot shops in the area to sell to anyone older than 21, regardless of where they live.

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25 US WA: Big Money Spent On Pot In SpokaneTue, 12 Apr 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA)          Area:Washington Lines:62 Added:04/13/2016

SPOKANE (AP) - The amount of money spent on legal marijuana sales in Spokane County last year was larger than the retail sales of wine, bread or milk.

That's according to sales numbers from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board and a survey of household expenses conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Monthly sales of pot topped $5 million in Spokane County for the first time in March, which is on track to top receipts at area bookstores, museums and live music venues, according to figures released by the Washington Department of Revenue.

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26 US WA: PUB LTE: Cannabis Treats Chronic PainWed, 06 Apr 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:White, Stan Area:Washington Lines:26 Added:04/07/2016

Regarding the guest commentary, "Treatment, not punishment, will limit opioid problems": States that end cannabis (marijuana) prohibition are in a better position to help lower opioid addiction and death rates compared to states that perpetuate cannabis prohibition. Citizens may use opiates for chronic pain, which may lead to various addiction scenarios. Cannabis has shown to treat chronic pain, and in states where cannabis has been completely re-legalized, citizens may purchase the plant over the counter without a doctor's permission slip. It's a potential win-win situation that should be promoted.

Truthfully, Stan White Dillon, Colorado


27 US WA: Seattle Ponders Safe Haven for Heroin, Other Drug UseTue, 05 Apr 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Beekman, Daniel Area:Washington Lines:189 Added:04/05/2016

Safety Push

Local officials are showing interest in making Seattle the first U.S. city to offer a medically supervised site for drug use, which advocates say could reduce overdose deaths, disease transmission and discarded needles on the ground.

Seattle could become the first city in the U.S. with a public site where users can inject and smoke hard drugs under medical supervision.

One local group plans to open a bare-bones safe-consumption site on a shoestring budget as soon as possible, while another group has launched an awareness campaign to build support among politicians and communities.

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28 US WA: OPED: Treatment, Not Punishment, Will Limit OpioidSun, 03 Apr 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Peterson, Strom Area:Washington Lines:107 Added:04/03/2016

President Obama did something remarkable this week. For the first time, a president talked about drug addiction in America without talking about prosecution, mandatory minimums or a war on drugs.

For the first time, a president talked about a new approach to addiction - an approach rooted in being smart on treatment instead of just tough on crime. His plan would invest $1.1 billion to provide treatment and fight the national opioid epidemic, which he said is affecting everybody.

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29 US WA: Editorial: Is Decrease in Pot Grows Important? Yes, ItTue, 29 Mar 2016
Source:Yakima Herald-Republic (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:61 Added:03/31/2016

The news seemed almost anachronistic in this era of relaxed ordinances and attitudes about marijuana. Last week, law enforcement officials announced that illegal marijuana production in Washington state has plummeted - even though large numbers of plants still flourish on the state's public lands.

But the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana are legal in this state, right? So why does it matter? It matters because not-so-savory elements are involved in the state's massive illegal grows, It also matters to maintain the structure of the state's marijuana legalization - given the flaws of a law that expands the availability of an intoxicating substance and runs afoul of federal law.

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30 US WA: Editorial: It's Time to Start Talking About LegalizingWed, 30 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Weekly (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:104 Added:03/30/2016

In August 1988, a middle-aged drug counselor named David Purchase started handing out needles to junkies in Tacoma. He thus began the first needle exchange program in the U.S.-and became a criminal, since distributing drug paraphernalia was a misdemeanor under state law.

As needle exchanges caught on, critics, including the first President Bush, objected that the program tacitly condoned illicit drug use. Purchase didn't care. AIDS deaths in the U.S. alone numbered in the tens of thousands. "We're going to keep doing what we do," he told The New York Times. "Our goal is to save lives," he said, even if that meant jail time.

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31 US WA: Editorial: More Help To Fight Opioid Health CrisisMon, 28 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:68 Added:03/28/2016

AMERICA is in the grip of a prescription-drug-abuse crisis. More than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

That number equals more than 165,000 opioid-overdose deaths since 1999, a baseline year that marks the quadrupling of opioids prescribed and sold to date. Or as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes in its statistics, in 2013 alone enough prescriptions were written for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.

Many Americans suffer from pain, but the use and abuse of prescription opioids have soared past those receiving active cancer, palliative and end-of-life care.

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32 US WA: OPED: State Must Enforce Safe Standards for PesticideMon, 28 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Kohl-Welles, Jeanne Area:Washington Lines:87 Added:03/28/2016

AS parents, it's our absolute worst fear. For Lisa, it began when her 6-month-old daughter Cynthia was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

Her child's small body would spend the next five-plus years racked daily by punishing, life-threatening seizures - until Lisa discovered that a cannabis tincture could control the neurological disease that would otherwise cause her daughter's death. Today, Cynthia is 9 and is an energetic and vivacious little girl.

When Washingtonians legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012, consumers were assured safe products. But as The Seattle Times recently reported, fines are now being levied by the Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board (LCB) against two major cannabis producers for using illegal pesticides. I was distressed to learn one of the businesses in violation markets cannabis medicines for children just like Cynthia.

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33 US WA: Pot Is Primed To Grow Into Big BusinessFri, 25 Mar 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Anderson, Rick Area:Washington Lines:163 Added:03/25/2016

New Rules in 2 States Could Attract Major Outside Investors.

SEATTLE - When the legal pot industry began to boom in Washington state, big-money investors predicted the cannabis trade in the Northwest would soon be the darling of corporate America.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox appeared at a Seattle news conference in 2013 along with pot entrepreneur Jamen Shively, who laid out plans to create the first national brand of marijuana and promised Big Tobacco-like growth.

"Yes," he said, "we are Big Marijuana."

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34 US WA: LTE: Addiction Touches EveryoneSat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Harwood, Richard Area:Washington Lines:45 Added:03/20/2016

Our family has been touched, some may say fractured, by heroin.

We have a 23-year-old grandson who is in a sober living house after several treatment attempts, and a granddaughter, age 20, who is in rehab for the fifth time. We also have a nephew, age 49, who is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison for transporting heroin across state lines while possessing a firearm.

Their stories are more complicated than outlined above, but heroin has had a traumatic effect on our family and on the relationships between the nonaddicted family members.

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35 US WA: LTE: Chronic-pain Sufferers IgnoredSat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Walker, Joy Area:Washington Lines:36 Added:03/20/2016

I have suffered from chronic pain for 24 years.

I use opiates to help control the pain so I can have some quality of life, so that I can be married, care for my father and friends, volunteer and do my work. The fact that people abuse opioids has made it more difficult for people who need them, like me, to get them. It makes me angry that there is so much attention on the addicts and so little on others who need these meds but are shamed and denied.

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36 US WA: PUB LTE: 'Hiding Our Heads In The Sand'Sat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Dwyer, C. A. Area:Washington Lines:37 Added:03/19/2016

My brother, Michael, suffered a lot of pain from a back injury related to a car accident in his 30s. His was prescribed opioids, which quickly became an addiction that ruled his adult life. He was in denial and refused help. He never had a problem finding drugs, and I don't mean illegally.

His doctors were more than happy to fill his requests for more. Due partially to his addiction, he lost his home, his business and some friends along the way. He became a bit of a hermit, and we often lost contact with him. Michael died two years ago. He was only 59. The damage to his body that caused his death was mostly due to his opioid addiction.

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37 US WA: Editorial: How Has Opioid Addiction Affected You?Sat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:22 Added:03/19/2016

This week, the federal government published the first national standards for prescription painkillers, recommending that doctors try pain relievers like ibuprofen before prescribing the highly addictive pills. The Seattle Times recently asked readers to share their stories about heroin and opioid addiction, and also weigh in on safe-injection sites and other possible solutions.

Have opioids touched you or your family? Share your thoughts here.


38 US WA: Everett Limits Number Of Pot RetailersFri, 18 Mar 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Winters, Chris Area:Washington Lines:105 Added:03/18/2016

EVERETT - The Everett City Council has said "no more" to would-be marijuana retailers.

On Wednesday the council imposed a cap on the number of shops operating in the city, limiting the number to the five shops already open. The cap will last a minimum of two years.

The 4-2 vote came after weeks of debate that was thought to have been put to rest after the city adopted its "permanent" ordinance last July.

What changed since then was the state Liquor and Cannabis Board's decision to double the number of retail shops allowed in each municipality, an attempt to compensate for the fact that most medical marijuana dispensaries across the state are being shut down mid-year.

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39 US WA: 5k Run Canceled Because Of Pot-Use ConcernsFri, 11 Mar 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Nile, Amy Area:Washington Lines:80 Added:03/11/2016

MONROE - Pot smokers won't get to prove they're no couch potatoes, at least not for now. A 5K run aimed at having those involved in marijuana businesses, users and people who don't partake, huffing along together Saturday has been called off.

The Farewell to Prohibition 5K at the Evergreen Speedway was to include live music and information booths about the pot industry as part of the after-race festivities.

Former beauty-pageant queen Crystal Newton, of Monroe, said she spent thousands of dollars and many hours putting together the festival. But her efforts went up in smoke Wednesday.

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40 US WA: Column: Why Seattle Needs Safe-Injection Sites forTue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Martin, Jonathan Area:Washington Lines:107 Added:03/09/2016

The next new idea in drug policy reform is a good idea, writes columnist Jonathan Martin

The Seattle area is the nation's incubator for the anti-war on drugs.

Well before pot became legal, the nation's first needle exchange opened in these parts in 1988. The 1811 Eastlake housing project, which allows alcoholics to keep drinking, helped make Seattle's "Housing First" model official federal policy. And a Seattle police social-services diversion for low-level drug dealers is being copied around the country.

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41 US WA: Editorial: It's Time to Face the Region's OpioidTue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:74 Added:03/09/2016

As a new task force convenes to address the region's heroin epidemic, King County residents should prepare to support numerous options for treating a growing number of addicts.

THE horrendous effects of heroin addiction can be felt everywhere, from homeless encampments under bridges and on the streets of glittering downtown Seattle to rural communities throughout the state.

Maintaining the status quo is not an option. Nor is simply blaming people who are dealing with addiction. The only way to address this public health crisis - and to end the death spiral for some - is to acknowledge the scope of the problem and to be open to exploring new approaches to treatment.

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42 US WA: Penny Legate On Daughter's Heroin DeathTue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Brodeur, Nicole Area:Washington Lines:70 Added:03/09/2016

There was a time when Penny LeGate couldn't bear to hear her own daughter's name.

And yet, there she was last week, glued to her computer screen, watching as Sen. Patty Murray stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and cited LeGate's girl, Marah Williams - and her death at 19 from a heroin overdose in 2012 - in urging the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

The legislation, if passed, would tackle prescription-drug abuse and heroin addiction by cutting down the "inappropriate" use of pain medication that leads to addiction. It also would make it easier for people to safely dispose of medication and would give police access to naloxone, which can counteract the effects of an overdose.

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43 US WA: Column: The Weed Delivery Bill in Olympia IsWed, 02 Mar 2016
Source:Stranger, The (Seattle, WA) Author:Coughlin-Bogue, Tobias Area:Washington Lines:112 Added:03/02/2016

And Other Marijuana News

Don't Expect to See Legal Pot Delivered to Your Doorstep Anytime Soon

The bill from Representative Chris Hurst (D-Enumclaw) that would have set up a pilot program allowing for delivery service by state-licensed cannabis retailers failed to meet the house's February 26 voting cutoff on policy bills.

According to Hurst, it wasn't popular with certain parts of Seattle's pot industry, which didn't trust the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to implement it fairly. Despite these woes, Hurst told me, the bill could still make it, as it has a fiscal component and could be voted on as part of the budget process.

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44 US WA: PUB LTE: Pot Bill Doesn't Foster Illicit SalesMon, 22 Feb 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Nordhorn, Justin Area:Washington Lines:44 Added:02/22/2016

The Jan. 22 letter, "Bill creates new pot black market," takes issue with Senate bill 6207, which exempts from public disclosure some information contained within marijuana licensing records. As chief of enforcement for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, I would like to clarify that the intent of the legislation would protect only a small amount of information from being released publicly.

The bill specifically targets information such as the licensee's personal financial and retirement statements, shipment information for licensed deliveries, including vehicle identification, and building security information. Releasing this information to the public could potentially increase the risk for theft, fraud and the illegal diversion of marijuana.

[continues 143 words]

45 US WA: Everett Giving Pot Rules A Second LookSat, 20 Feb 2016
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Winters, Chris Area:Washington Lines:74 Added:02/20/2016

EVERETT - The Everett City Council has reopened debate on its marijuana ordinance and is sending it back to the city's planning commission for a second look.

After Initiative 502 legalized recreational pot businesses in Washington in late 2012, Everett passed a series of six month emergency ordinances to govern where retail shops were located while the city's staff and city council could study and debate the issue.

The city adopted its permanent ordinance in July 2015, but given the latest actions, "permanent" turned out to mean seven months.

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46 US WA: Review: Colorado Legal-Pot Documentary Is Fun, Just NotFri, 19 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Bush, Evan Area:Washington Lines:60 Added:02/19/2016

It's easy to forget Washington was the first state to legalize marijuana, because Colorado was quicker to actually open pot shops.

Media hordes descended on the story in the summer of 2014, with hometown paper The Denver Post leading the way.

Now, Colorado gets more special attention on the silver screen. The documentary "Rolling Papers" looks at the state's legalization experience through the eyes and ears of Denver Post reporters and editors.

The film barrels through about a year of the newspaper's marijuana coverage and wonders: Could covering pot save the failing newspaper business?

[continues 255 words]

47 US WA: Yakima Police Chief: Pot Sales Not Worth RiskMon, 15 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Meyers, Donald W. Area:Washington Lines:121 Added:02/16/2016

Opposes Marijuana Shops in City

Says Problems Not Worth Tax Revenue

YAKIMA - Even though marijuana can be legally bought just down the road, Yakima's top cop wants to keep marijuana shops out of his city.

"I don't see anything positive coming out of it," police Chief Dominic Rizzi Jr. said of a proposal to allow retail sales of marijuana in Yakima.

Rizzi sees any financial benefits to the city outweighed by increases in crime and other problems related to addiction.

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48 US WA: Pesticides In PotSat, 13 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Young, Bob Area:Washington Lines:174 Added:02/14/2016

After a Spate of Recalls in Denver, Should Users Be Worried? It's Hard to Say. Because Marijuana Is Still Illegal in Most Places, There's No Official "Safe Level" of Pesticides.

Despite fining two marijuana growers and suspending the licenses of two others for using unapproved pesticides, Washington state hasn't recalled any products for pesticides during the 18 months that legal pot sales have been allowed.

The city of Denver, by comparison, recently recalled 19 pot products for pesticides in 19 weeks.

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49 US WA: Editorial: Use Available Tools to Fight Opioid DrugFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:68 Added:02/13/2016

AMERICA is suffering from a pernicious and growing addiction to a category of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin.

Opioid abuse and overdoses take a lethal toll in Washington and across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the U.S. death count at 28,648 for 2014.

President Obama's welcome, if belated, response to this crisis would direct $460 million toward states to dramatically expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse.

As the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute noted in a 2015 online briefing, medication-assisted treatment "can be a lifesaving and cost-saving intervention for those with opioid use disorder."

[continues 310 words]

50 US WA: Seattle's Brash King Of PotMon, 08 Feb 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Young, Bob Area:Washington Lines:291 Added:02/08/2016

Just after Uncle Ike's Pot Shop opened in Seattle's Central District, it boasted in an ad, "Our weed cures Ebola."

Knowing that merchants in the new industry weren't allowed to make any medical claims about pot, the fine print disclaimer winked: "If you believe this ad, you are a (expletive) moron."

That in-your-face Vern Fonk-on-weed sensibility has helped make Uncle Ike's the state's top-selling pot store, with $1.4 million in monthly sales.

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