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51 US: PUB LTE: Black Parents Can't IndulgeSat, 10 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Coles, Tehra Area:United States Lines:38 Added:10/10/2020

Re "Parents' Little Helpers" (Sunday Styles, Oct. 4):

To be a Black mother is to be in a constant state of alertness when it comes to protecting your family from the government. As a Black woman, mother and lawyer, I am no different in that regard.

Most Black mothers wouldn't publicly label themselves a "wine mom" or admit to smoking pot. No one remotely aware of the government's racist practice of separating Black families for such behavior through the so-called child welfare system would.

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52 US NJ: Marijuana Is On The Ballot In New Jersey. Who Knew?Tue, 06 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Tully, Tracey Area:New Jersey Lines:204 Added:10/06/2020

For two years, New Jersey lawmakers had failed to mobilize enough support to pass a bill to fully legalize marijuana. Instead, they agreed in December to put the question directly to voters: "Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'?"

Then March roared in, and the world turned upside down.

The coronavirus took a firm hold in the United States and Black Lives Matter protesters filled streets from coast to coast.

More than 16,000 New Jersey residents have since died from the virus. Unemployment has soared. Ballots for November's election, which is being conducted almost entirely by mail, have already begun to arrive at voters' homes.

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53 US: Parents' Little HelpersSun, 04 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grose, Jessica Area:United States Lines:231 Added:10/04/2020

7:51 p.m.: It's exactly 125 days tomorrow. I am pretg drink.

7:52 p.m.: Drunk.

7:52 p.m. I can tell. :-)

I have a years-long WhatsApp message group with a handful of fellow mothers of small children from across the United States and Canada. Since the pandemic began, what I refer to as "mom chats after dark" start at around 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. That's when the children are asleep, and a wave of inebriation begins on the shores of the Atlantic and crashes across the continent. The above message was from July, when we hit 125 days of lockdown.

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54 New Zealand: Ardern Admits To Inhaling, Kiwis ShrugFri, 02 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Cave, Damien Area:New Zealand Lines:138 Added:10/02/2020

SYDNEY, Australia - The question from the debate moderator in New Zealand was simple and to the point: "Jacinda Ardern, have you ever used cannabis?"

"Yes I did," said Ms. Ardern, the country's popular prime minister, "a long time ago."

The moderator paused, looking surprised. Then the audience applauded.

Ms. Ardern later declined to say whether she supported the legalization of marijuana, which New Zealanders will decide in a referendum with the national election on Oct. 17. But by that point in the debate on Wednesday, she had already won another smiley-face emoji from the global left, while reminding voters that she hadn't always been so earnest.

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55 Canada: Oped: Canada Faces Its Own Opioid Crisis. It ShouldTue, 15 Sep 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Moscrop, David Area:Canada Lines:102 Added:09/15/2020

In July, the Canadian province of British Columbia experienced its fifth straight month with more than 100 overdose deaths - and its third above 170 lives lost.

Globally, the World Health Organization reports approximately 500,000 deaths from drugs, over 70 percent of them tied to opioids. In Canada, from January 2016 through December 2019, more than 15,000 people died from apparent opioid-related causes. In 2019 alone, there were over 21,000 "suspected opioid-related overdoses" across nine provinces and territories, excluding Quebec (for which data wasn't provided). The opioid crisis clearly persists at home and abroad.

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56 Costa Rica: Psychedelic Therapy In The Jungle Soothes The Pain ForSun, 30 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Londono, Ernesto Area:Costa Rica Lines:333 Added:08/30/2020

GIGANTE, Costa Rica - There was a ghostlike quality to Rudy Gonsior, an American former Special Forces sniper, on the morning he arrived at a jungle retreat to see if a vomit-inducing psychedelic brew could undo the damage years of combat had done to his mind.

Glassy-eyed and withdrawn, he barely spoke above a whisper and was much quieter than the six other veterans who had come to dredge up painful memories of comrades fallen in battle, thoughts of suicide and the scar that taking a life leaves on the psyche.

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57US GA: Disagreement On DecriminalizationFri, 28 Aug 2020
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Murchison, Adrianne Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2020

Johns Creek officials disagreed on decriminalization of marijuana during a Monday meeting. City Council members opposed to a reduced penalty for simple possession said they were concerned that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs.

Council members Chris Coughlin, Erin Elwood and Stephanie Endres proposed that a person in possession of less than one ounce of cannabis face no jail time and a fine of not more than $75.

The current fine for simple possession is up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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58 US: Portrait Of A Drug Czar Without The BlemishesTue, 11 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Moynihan, Colin Area:United States Lines:156 Added:08/11/2020

Harry J. Anslinger's pioneering work as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics has largely been unsung, though experts see him as the founding father of America's war on drugs.

In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration raised his profile with a symposium that focused on the decades he spent creating national drug policy, starting in the 1930s. Following that, in 2015, the agency's museum opened an exhibition: "A Life of Service: Harry Jacob Anslinger, 1892-1975."

When that closed in 2017, the D.E.A. Museum & Visitors Center created a virtual version, which is displayed on its website.

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59 US: Law To Cut Drug Sentences Is No Help For Some InmatesSun, 02 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuchs, Hailey Area:United States Lines:198 Added:08/02/2020

WASHINGTON - Lazelle Maxwell, 48, is nearly 12 years into a 30-year sentence for a nonviolent crack cocaine charge, a penalty exacerbated by previous run-ins with law enforcement that led to his designation as a career offender.

Three years into remission after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, Mr. Maxwell has no major disciplinary infractions on his prison record. He spends most of his days behind bars caring for an elderly, partly paralyzed inmate at a low-security federal penitentiary in Butner, N.C.

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60 US AZ: Lawsuit Seeks To Keep Recreational Marijuana Off AZ BallotWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ) Author:Fischer, Howard Area:Arizona Lines:126 Added:07/25/2020

PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in Arizona are trying to keep the issue from going to voters in November.

Legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contend the legally required 100-word description misled people into signing the petition to put the issue on the ballot. Issues range from the definition of "marijuana" to how the law would affect driving while impaired.

The lawsuit comes as a new survey Tuesday finds widespread support for the proposal a=80" with more than 6 out of every 10 likely voters saying they will support it if it is on the ballot. Pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that just 32% say they're definitely opposed.

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61 CN AB: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Still An Effective StrategyWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:45 Added:07/25/2020

Like myself, I suspect many citizens of Lethbridge were alarmed by the finding of misappropriated funds within ARCHES, and the subsequent withdrawal of provincial funding to their supervised consumption site (SCS). As an RN who has worked for a number of years in harm reduction, I am reeling for our clients and their families in terms of how this will impact them.

One thing is clear - the inappropriate management of funds within one agency does not refute decades of empirical research behind the effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions in mitigating drug-related health and social issues. This financial audit was not intended to evaluate the effectiveness of harm-reduction services provided to people who use drugs. To conflate findings of financial mismanagement with lack of effectiveness in harm reduction would only further exacerbate drug-related health issues.

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62CN SK: Criminalization Of Simple Drug Possession Has Had 'DevastatingWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:James, Thia        Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2020

Criminalization of simple drug possession has had 'devastating effect,' says AIDS Saskatoon director

A Saskatoon police spokeswoman said city police generally lay drug possession charges as a result of an investigation into something else.

Criminalization of possession of illicit drugs for personal use has had a "devastating effect," says the AIDS Saskatoon's executive director.

Jason Mercredi said he fully supports a call by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police on the federal government to decriminalize simple possession of illicit drugs for personal use. The CACP made the call last week after issuing its findings in a report.

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63 US CA: When California Declared War On Cannabis GrowersWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Niekerken, Bill Van Area:California Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

As state law enforcement played whack-a-mole with illegal marijuana fields, local communities protested the "invading army."

Driving through Humboldt County last winter, I heard radio ads for help harvesting and selling cannabis crops, as well as for products geared toward commercial cultivation. But less than 40 years ago, the same area was one of the main battlefields of California's war on pot growers.

By the late 1960s, the three counties of the Emerald Triangle had developed a reputation for growing a high-quality product. Demand grew rapidly, and prices skyrocketed, fueling greater production. In 1983, after several unsuccessful attempts to cut down production, the state started the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP.

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64 New Zealand: Oped: Opinion As Well As Science Informs Policy AdviceThu, 23 Jul 2020
Source:Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) Author:Boden, Joe Area:New Zealand Lines:109 Added:07/25/2020

Prof Joe Boden, of the University of Otago, provides a view from inside the expert panel on cannabis ahead of this year's cannabis referendum.

A year ago several New Zealand academics, me included, were invited to join the expert panel on cannabis by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser, Prof Juliet Gerrard.

With the referendum on the legalisation of cannabis planned for this year, the Prime Minister had asked Prof Gerrard to assemble the panel in order to present research on cannabis, cannabis-related harm and cannabis law reform to New Zealanders in an accessible manner.

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65 CN BC: Are More B.C. Tokers Finally Looking To Legal Cannabis OverFri, 24 Jul 2020
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wadhwani, Ashley Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:07/25/2020

A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying all product legally

B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the battle over bud.

A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That's an 18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.

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66 Canada: Oped: Tough-On-Crime Anti-Drug Moralizing Does A DisserviceSat, 25 Jul 2020
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Schultz, William Area:Canada Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

If the idea of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of illicit drugs once sounded radical, the coalition of people who now espouse the idea would certainly seem to be strange bedfellows.

On July 9, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police called on the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illicit drugs; B.C. Premier John Horgan asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do the same in a Jul. 20 letter. Benjamin Perrin, the top criminal justice adviser in Stephen Harper's "tough-on-crime" administration, recently wrote a book in support of decriminalization, and major publications, including The Globe and Mail, have published editorials urging the same.

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67 US CA: California Weighs Steep New Fines To Combat Illegal CannabisMon, 20 Jul 2020
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:141 Added:07/25/2020

SACRAMENTO - Alarmed that unlicensed cannabis sellers continue to dominate California's pot market, state lawmakers are moving toward imposing steep new fines on businesses that provide building space, advertising platforms and other aid to illicit operations.

Those who provide assistance to illegal pot sellers would face civil fines of up to $30,000 per day under legislation approved unanimously by the state Assembly that is now pending in the Senate. A final vote on the proposal is expected sometime after lawmakers return to Sacramento this month.

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68Canada: Editorial: National Post View: Listen To The PoliceWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:National Post (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2020

Listen to the police

Let's talk about decriminalizing all drugs

We're having a national conversation about policing and criminal justice. Examining our drug laws is a natural extension of this debate

More than nine years ago, writing about the war on drugs, this editorial board encouraged the government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper to get bolder with decriminalizing cannabis.

"By any reasonably broad metric," we wrote then, the war on drugs "has been an abysmal failure. According to estimates by the UN - by no means a liberal organization when it comes to drug policy - worldwide consumption of opiates rose 34.5 per cent from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27 per cent, and cannabis by 8.5 per cent. In achieving that abject failure, tens of thousands of people have been killed."

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69 US: Getting By With A Little Help From Their EdiblesThu, 16 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stine, Alison Area:United States Lines:163 Added:07/16/2020

Ben Emerson had never tried cannabis edibles before his birthday in April. He was raised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which he left five years ago, and marijuana was "this thing that I had never really even thought that I was allowed to do," he said.

"And then I'm like, 'Wait, I can actually make up my own mind about this.'"

For his first foray, Mr. Emerson, 38, chose strawberry-flavored gummies, which he ordered online and picked up curbside at a dispensary near his home in Portland, Ore. "I'm not super-interested in smoking anything," he said. "But as soon as I decided I wanted to try cannabis, I wanted to try something edible."

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70 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:190 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

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71 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:189 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

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72 US: The Word Of God In The Age Of WeedMon, 29 Jun 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jordan, Mike Area:United States Lines:157 Added:06/29/2020

Sue Taylor never would have let one of her students slide 20 years ago if she had caught one with marijuana.

But the former Catholic school principal has found a new mission with senior citizens: providing them with information and access to cannabis through her California dispensary, Farmacy Berkeley. It opened in the Bay Area in February.

Like many of her former colleagues at the top of religious institutions, she once saw marijuana as a plague on her African-American community. "I was just like them until I saw the healing, and I could not turn my back on that, spiritually," Ms. Taylor, 72, says.

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73 US: The Word Of God In The Age Of WeedMon, 29 Jun 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jordan, Mike Area:United States Lines:157 Added:06/29/2020

Sue Taylor never would have let one of her students slide 20 years ago if she had caught one with marijuana.

But the former Catholic school principal has found a new mission with senior citizens: providing them with information and access to cannabis through her California dispensary, Farmacy Berkeley. It opened in the Bay Area in February.

Like many of her former colleagues at the top of religious institutions, she once saw marijuana as a plague on her African-American community. "I was just like them until I saw the healing, and I could not turn my back on that, spiritually," Ms. Taylor, 72, says.

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74 US: Ooh That SmellFri, 08 May 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:DeCarlo, Beth Area:United States Lines:151 Added:05/08/2020

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, some neighbors and neighborhoods are divided over pot's particularly pungent odor. That divide will likely grow as many residents continue to stay at home to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In Augusta, Maine, adjacent condo owners are currently locked in a battle between one owner who uses marijuana for a medical condition and another owner who says the secondhand smoke aggravates her medical condition.

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75 US CA: Many California Pot Businesses Risk FailureSun, 19 Apr 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Albergotti, Reed Area:California Lines:188 Added:04/19/2020

SAN FRANCISCO - As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries have experienced quite as many highs and lows as California's cannabis industr= y.

Just a month ago, it looked like California's weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot "essential," and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans.

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76 US CA: Many California Pot Businesses Risk FailureSun, 19 Apr 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Albergotti, Reed Area:California Lines:180 Added:04/19/2020

SAN FRANCISCO - As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries have experienced quite as many highs and lows as California's cannabis industr= y.

Just a month ago, it looked like California's weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot "essential," and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans.

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77 US: The N.F.L. Relaxes Restrictions On Marijuana Use As Part Of NewMon, 13 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Belson, Ken Area:United States Lines:153 Added:04/13/2020

The 10-year labor agreement between the N.F.L. and players union that was ratified on March 15 is filled with dozens of incremental changes, most notably the one-percentage-point increase in the share of league revenue that the players will receive.

One of the biggest overhauls in the agreement, though, was a change the league had long resisted: loosening the rules governing players' use of marijuana.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana - needed to trigger a positive test will be raised fourfold.

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78 US: NFL Relaxes Restrictions On Marijuana Use As Part Of New LaborMon, 13 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Belson, Ken Area:United States Lines:154 Added:04/13/2020

The 10-year labor agreement between the N.F.L. and players union that was ratified on March 15 is filled with dozens of incremental changes, most notably the one-percentage-point increase in the share of league revenue that the players will receive.

One of the biggest overhauls in the agreement, though, was a change the league had long resisted: loosening the rules governing players' use of marijuana.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana - - needed to trigger a positive test will be raised fourfold.

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79 US: Decoding CannabisSun, 05 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times Magazine (NY) Author:Greenberg, Gary Area:United States Lines:451 Added:04/05/2020

The retail showroom of INSA, a farm-to-bong cannabis company in western Massachusetts, is a clean industrial space on the first floor of a four-story brick building in the old mill town Easthampton. When I visited recently, before the coronavirus shut down recreational sales and forbade crowds, the crew of eight behind the glass display cases looked a lot like the staff you'd see dispensing lattes at Starbucks or troubleshooting iPads at the Genius Bar: young, racially diverse, smiling. They were all wearing black T-shirts with the INSA motto, "Uncommon Cannabis." Standing in line with me were a white-haired couple leaning on canes; a 40-something woman in a black pantsuit, who complained that the wait would be longer than her lunch break; a bald man in a tweed jacket; and a pair of women in perms and polyester discussing the virtues of a strain called Green Crack. We were all waiting at a discreet distance from the counter, as you would at the bank, for the next available "! budtender."

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80 US: Decoding CannabisSun, 05 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Greenburg, Gary Area:United States Lines:444 Added:04/05/2020

The retail showroom of INSA, a farm-to-bong cannabis company in western Massachusetts, is a clean industrial space on the first floor of a four-story brick building in the old mill town Easthampton. When I visited recently, before the coronavirus shut down recreational sales and forbade crowds, the crew of eight behind the glass display cases looked a lot like the staff you'd see dispensing lattes at Starbucks or troubleshooting iPads at the Genius Bar: young, racially diverse, smiling. They were all wearing black T-shirts with the INSA motto, "Uncommon Cannabis." Standing in line with me were a white-haired couple leaning on canes; a 40-something woman in a black pantsuit, who complained that the wait would be longer than her lunch break; a bald man in a tweed jacket; and a pair of women in perms and polyester discussing the virtues of a strain called Green Crack. We were all waiting at a discreet distance from the counter, as you would at the bank, for the next available "! budtender."

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81 North Macedonia: A Cannabis Superpower Awaits The Green LightSun, 29 Mar 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Segal, David Area:Macedonia Lines:209 Added:03/29/2020

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - In a desolate industrial zone of this capital city, a cannabis grow house is under construction that, when finished, will span 178,000 square feet, about the size of a Walmart superstore. At full capacity, 17 tons of marijuana a year, worth about $50 million, will be harvested. Among the planned offerings is an American strain known as Herijuana, a portmanteau of "heroin" and "marijuana," which has received some rhapsodic online reviews.

"I feel blown to the dome omg," wrote a fan on Leafly, a cannabis review site. "It also gave me the ability to rap."

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82 North Macedonia: A Cannabis Superpower Awaits The Green LightSun, 29 Mar 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Segal, David Area:Macedonia Lines:210 Added:03/29/2020

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - In a desolate industrial zone of this capital city, a cannabis grow house is under construction that, when finished, will span 178,000 square feet, about the size of a Walmart superstore. At full capacity, 17 tons of marijuana a year, worth about $50 million, will be harvested. Among the planned offerings is an American strain known as Herijuana, a portmanteau of "heroin" and "marijuana," which has received some rhapsodic online reviews.

"I feel blown to the dome omg," wrote a fan on Leafly, a cannabis review site. "It also gave me the ability to rap."

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83 US CA: L.A. To Dismiss 66,000 Pot CasesFri, 14 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Mai-Duc, Christine Area:California Lines:92 Added:02/14/2020

Largest such move in California comes amid nationwide push for criminal-justice reform and relaxing drug laws

Los Angeles County will vacate nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions dating back to the 1960s, part of a growing national effort to reduce drug convictions.

The move, announced Thursday by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, will dismiss convictions for tens of thousands of individuals, the majority of whom are black or Latino.

"As a result of our actions, these convictions should no longer burden those who have struggled to find a job or a place to live because of their criminal record," Ms. Lacey said in a press conference Thursday.

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84 US: PUB LTE: Give Marijuana Tax Revenues To The HarmedThu, 13 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Papillion, Natalie Area:United States Lines:38 Added:02/13/2020

Using cannabis tax revenues to plug local budget holes has been an effective talking point in advancing marijuana-legalization proposals across the country ("Cities Look to Marijuana Taxes for Help," U.S. News, Feb. 5). However, it is vital that lawmakers also use these cannabis tax revenues to fund programs that serve the individuals whose lives and communities have been destroyed by the misguided, racially biased policies of America's war on drugs. Decriminalization and expungement bills don't go far enough.

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85 US: PUB LTE: Cities Want To Use Pot As A Cure-AllThu, 13 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Anderson, Byron Area:United States Lines:24 Added:02/13/2020

Give Marijuana Tax Revenues to the Harmed We have a moral imperative to try to right the wrongs of the war on drugs. We should start by investing in the very communities it harmed.

It is a sad day when cities and states use pot to entice residents from states that haven't legalized it to help pay for their irresponsibly designed and funded pensions and fixing their pot holes.

Byron Anderson

Saratoga, Calif.

[end]

86 US: Cities Look To Marijuana Taxes For HelpWed, 05 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Gillers, Heather Area:United States Lines:127 Added:02/05/2020

South Beloit, Ill., faces steep bills to fund its firefighter and police pensions and repave its cracked streets. Now, Mayor Ted Rehl has a plan to help cover the shortfall: marijuana.

South Beloit, less than a mile from the Wisconsin state border, will welcome its first cannabis dispensary later this year. Recreational cannabis became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1 but remains illegal in Wisconsin. The Illinois town hopes to collect roughly $1 million a year in taxes on marijuana purchases, mostly by Wisconsinites.

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87 US: PUB LTE: No Vape Disease From Legal Marijuana In CaliforniaMon, 27 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Gieringer, Dale Area:United States Lines:39 Added:01/27/2020

Kevin Sabet has it backward in "How Legal Weed Shops Feed the Vaping Crisis" (op-ed, Jan 21). Here in California, not a single case of vape disease has been traced to a legal, state-regulated source, according to the state Bureau of Cannabis Control. Rather, the source of the problem is illicit manufacturers of contaminated goods on the underground market.

Contrary to Mr. Sabet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention never examined the safety of state-regulated vapes. Rather, it attributed 16% of vape disease cases to so-called "commercial" sources, loosely defined to include all "dispensaries, vape or smoke shops, stores and pop-up shops" regardless of their legality. In California, illicit pot outlets outnumber legal ones by over 2 to 1, no thanks to burdensome taxes, regulations and local and federal bans on legal outlets.

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88US: Weed At WorkTue, 21 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Jones, Charisse Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/21/2020

From makeup and oils to capsules for stress relief, cannabis-based goods are flowing into the marketplace. But while they may not get you high, they can still cause you problems at work.

Cannabidiol or CBD has been showing up in a widening array of goods. That's because federal legislation in 2018 deemed that hemp - one of its sources - was not an illegal controlled substance.

But your job could be in jeopardy if one of those products, which are largely unregulated, contains THC, the same compound that causes marijuana users to get high.

[end]

89 US: OPED: How Legal Weed Shops Feed The Vaping CrisisTue, 21 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Sabet, Kevin Area:United States Lines:80 Added:01/21/2020

State-sanctioned marijuana shops are contributing to the rise in lung illnesses and deaths at a higher rate than previously believed.

Proponents of the marijuana industry have dismissed the "pot vaping crisis," with its deaths and lung injuries, as an aberration of the illicit market. Legal pot, they say, is regulated and thus not to blame for the recent spate of problems. Victims and families who came forward to warn about purchases made at state-licensed shops were lambasted by legalization advocates. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against using all marijuana vaping products, industry insiders questioned their motives and called the warnings conspiracy theories.

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90US CA: Marijuana On The Job: Some New Twists In Drug TestingFri, 17 Jan 2020
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Phomicinda, Watchara Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2020

Three years after recreational marijuana was legalized in California, it still casts a cloud over most job applicants.

Many employers in the state still require drug screening as a prerequisite for hiring someone, experts in the hiring field say. And while recreational use and possession are allowed for people 21 and older, failing a drug test can still prompt an employer to toss a resume into the reject pile.

But with 11 states now legalizing recreational marijuana use, there are new perspectives that might be giving workers something of a break.

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91US MN: Minnesota Study Links Pot Use In Pregnancy To Infant HealthFri, 10 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Olson, Jeremy Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:01/13/2020

Researchers hope the findings counter recent trends of mothers using marijuana for pregnancy-related nausea symptoms.

Researchers in Minnesota and Iowa have found greater risks of social and emotional problems in infants whose mothers consumed marijuana during pregnancy.

Using results of a developmental screening tool for 1-year-olds, the researchers found that 9.1% of babies from marijuana users were at risk, compared to 3.6% of babies whose mothers didn't consume the drug while pregnant.

Researchers said the size of that gap was surprising, along with screening results showing that 8% of mothers tested positive during pregnancy for the presence of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, lead researcher of the study from the HealthPartners Institute in Bloomington, Minn. Researchers from the universities of Minnesota and Iowa co-authored the study, which was published in the Journal of Perinatology.

[continues 286 words]

92US: Marijuana Psychosis Treatment Tough To Find For Young PeopleTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2020

When Garrett Rigg moved from a "transitional living program" facility near Chicago last month into a group home, it was a major milestone for the 27-year-old, who traveled 1,000 miles from his home in Denver to get treatment after a cannabis-induced psychotic break five years ago.

Rigg had to leave his hometown because it lacked suitable long-term treatment, according to his mother, Connie Kabrick. The three marijuana dispensaries at the intersection a half block from her home are the reason why she says he can't move

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93 US: LTE: The Harms Of Marijuana Are IgnoredTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Madejski, Thomas J. Area:United States Lines:33 Added:01/07/2020

Regarding your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26): Tobacco, marijuana and vaping companies mislead the public on the clear harms associated with wider use of today's higher-THC-content marijuana and inhaling substances other than clean air. Opponents of expansion of marijuana availability acknowledge concerns about disparate enforcement of drug laws. But the costs to society from legitimizing the addiction industry far outweigh the benefits.

Meanwhile, proponents of recreational marijuana push the false narrative of a tax windfall for governments and improved safety for users while ignoring the harms: mental-health issues, addiction, acute and chronic lung disease, domestic violence and more.

Dr. Madejski was president of the Medical Society of the State of New York from 2018 to 2019.

[end]

94 US: PUB LTE: The Gateway Theory Is A JokeTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Nostrand, David Allan Van Area:United States Lines:23 Added:01/07/2020

"Is Marijuana Fueling a Public-Health Crisis?"

The statistic from your editorial, that "95% of heroin and cocaine users report first using pot," doesn't prove much. Remember, 99% of criminal motorcycle-gang members started by riding bicycles.

David Allan Van Nostrand

Boca Raton, Fla.

[end]

95 US: LTE: We Still Need To Learn More About CannabisTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Cobert, Barton Area:United States Lines:33 Added:01/07/2020

As a physician specializing in drug safety, I agree that "pot is more dangerous than people realize, and Americans should pause on the rush to legalize until we understand how much medical and social harm it is doing."

The safety profile of cannabis is largely unknown. The states and localities that have legalized marijuana have focused on the quality of marijuana products, but haven't required anyone to systematically report side effects. That needs to change. Since today's marijuana products are four to five times more potent than past products, old data understates the safety issues.

I fear that the marijuana story is a slow-moving train wreck. We're witnessing widespread use of largely unregulated and untested products which may be toxic in themselves as well as adulterated or counterfeited.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

[end]

96 US: PUB LTE: The Majority Agree With Policy ReformTue, 07 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Armentano, Paul Area:United States Lines:37 Added:01/07/2020

One in five Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens reside some place where the medical use of cannabis is legally authorized. Many of these latter programs have been in place for the better part of two decades.

Were the societal impacts of these policies not preferable to those associated with criminal prohibition, or as dire to public health as some critics suggest, then support for marijuana policy reform would be rapidly declining. Instead, the opposite is true.

[continues 69 words]

97US: The Human Cost Of Marijuana Is So HighMon, 06 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2020

I've covered things that injure, sicken and kill kids and adults for more than 30 years. From auto safety to medical errors, I've competed to break stories on the latest deadly defect or health policy change, most recently on electronic cigarettes.

In late August, I added vaping-related lung illnesses to the beat. Last month, I added marijuana, psychosis and other mental illness.

It's a pretty solitary place to be.

We reporters covered the heck out of vaping lung illnesses starting in August. Once it became clear the culprit was THC and not nicotine, however, the news media seemed to lose interest, said former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb at a breakfast event I attended in early November.

[continues 784 words]

98 Bolivia: Coca Growers Face New HostilityFri, 03 Jan 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Otts, John Area:Bolivia Lines:131 Added:01/03/2020

SHINAHOTA, Bolivia-During nearly 14 years as president, Evo Morales pampered the Chapare, the coca leaf-growing jungle region of central Bolivia where he got his start in politics.

Mr. Morales expelled U.S. antidrug agents and promoted the health benefits of the coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, which is legal and chewed by many indigenous people. His socialist government built a paper mill, an airport, and a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in the region. In turn, the farmers gave Mr. Morales, the head of a federation of coca growers, their fervent support.

[continues 902 words]

99US Il: Legal Weed Sales Begin In IllinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hauck, Grace Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:01/02/2020

It's a new year and, for Illinois, a new era of recreational marijuana.

Weed dispensaries across the state opened their doors before sunrise Wednesday, welcoming long lines of customers - some who had been waiting since 4 a.m.

"Cheers to lighting up the start of 2020!" one dispensary, Sunnyside, wrote on its Facebook page.

Under Illinois law, anyone over 21 with a valid state ID or driver's license can purchase recreational marijuana from licensed retailers.

[end]

100 US IL: Legal Weed In IlinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Robert Area:Illinois Lines:701 Added:01/02/2020

Illinois started off the new decade by embarking into the world of recreational marijuana, where people can buy the intoxicating plant legally and without a prescription.

Across the Chicago area, thousands lined up - some before dawn - for a chance to buy marijuana legally for the first time. The day featured long lines, a few glitches - and lots of happy customers.

"It's history, so it's worth the wait," Damien Smith of Maywood said as he left MedMen dispensary in Oak Park with a bag of cannabis products after waiting in line for about four hours.

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