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1US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.

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2CN AB: Editorial: Correct Call On MarijuanaSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

The decision isn't without controversy, but city council was wise to ban the use of marijuana in public places.

When the federal government legalizes cannabis later this summer, Calgarians won't be able to smoke, vape or eat products made with the substance in public spaces, unless they're a medical marijuana user.

That's led critics of the decision to complain that people who live in multi-family dwellings may not be able to use the drug.

"It's not an insignificant group of people - 36 per cent of Calgarians are renters," Coun. Evan Woolley said when the restriction was being discussed by council. "And effectively, we are saying there is no space for you to consume cannabis, and that's a problem for me."

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3 US PA: Oped: Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed One Foot From PhillyTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Sacks, Andrew B. Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:04/06/2018

As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and helping the sick get relief.

However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.

The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care location.

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4Canada: Column: Trudeau Ignoring Huge Pot Problems In Rush To FulfilMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Martinuk, Susan Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

When Justin Trudeau promised to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, he no doubt felt it would be one of his easiest and most rewarding tasks as Canada's new and uber-cool prime minister. He vowed to make it a priority and change the laws within two years.

Fast-forward to last month, almost 2 1/2 years later, and Bill C-45, to legalize cannabis, faced an unexpected pushback from a Senate that threatened to send it packing. Trudeau took this chance to warn his supposedly independent senators that their job description didn't call for them to defeat bills proposed by the very government that had bestowed upon them their most honourable appointments.

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5Caanda: Oped: Drug Prohibition Is The Radical Policy, Not LegalMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Shane, Caitlin        Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

This April, the federal Liberals will consider a policy resolution that could result in the decriminalization of low-level drug possession across Canada - something that people who use drugs, medical professionals, and increasingly, members of government have been pushing for.

For Conservatives and other prohibitionists, decriminalization has been fiercely contested on the presumption that it makes a radical 'Wild West' of the drug market. They argue that a tough-on-crime agenda is the only answer to an opioid crisis that has killed thousands - but fail to acknowledge that under absolute prohibition we relinquish control over every echelon of the drug chain to a black market that no amount of law enforcement will get under control.

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6 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.

In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to AIDS.

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7 US OH: Editorial: There Is No Magic Solution For The Opioid CrisisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:72 Added:03/25/2018

President Trump's proposal to invoke the death penalty for drug traffickers is an idea that is, in the practical scheme of things, unworkable. It is also probably unconstitutional and obviously simplistic. It is a gimmick, not a policy.

We need a policy.

The president likes dramatic gestures for difficult problems - a ban on all potential terrorists, a big wall next to Mexico, a 25-percent tariff on steel. This is not an altogether bad instinct. We need strong, decisive leaders and criminals need to fear punishment.

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8US FL: Editorial: Fighting Meth's Killer ComebackFri, 23 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2018

While opioids hold center stage in the nation's drug war, methamphetamine is making a destructive comeback. Though meth has largely fallen off the public's radar, seizures and arrests are up, and more people are dying from the drug. Its evolution is a reminder of the durability of the illegal drug supply, the impermanence of any single enforcement tactic and the need for a comprehensive approach to fighting and treating addiction.

Potent, addictive and deadly, meth bears many of the pernicious traits of opioids. It became popular in the early 2000s, easily produced in small batches using the decongestant in over-the-counter cold medicine. In rural parts of Tampa Bay, especially eastern Hillsborough and Pasco counties and throughout Polk County, exploding "meth labs" routinely drew law enforcement's attention. Congress responded in 2005 with a law putting pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limiting the amount individuals could purchase and creating a tracking system pharmacies were required to use. Meth became much harder to make and faded from notice, overtaken by a new drug of choice: opioids.

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9 US IL: Oped: The Opioid Epidemic And 'Do No Harm'Mon, 19 Mar 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Robb, William Area:Illinois Lines:82 Added:03/22/2018

Historically opioid medications were used cautiously by physicians for selected patients to reduce pain associated with acute injury or illness, and for those suffering from life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

This caution was based upon recognition that improper use of opioids could result in patient harm. However, in 1996, the American Pain Society, supported by opioid pharmaceutical manufacturers, promoted acknowledgment and expanded treatment of pain as the 'fifth vital sign" by physicians in hospitals. In 2001, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations introduced new pain standards recognizing the under-assessment and treatment of pain, which then expanded the use of opioids. In the two decades that followed opioid use and abuse has exploded, with nearly 80 percent of the world's opioid medications now being consumed in the U.S.

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10 US MA: Editorial: Executing Drug Dealers Is A Bad IdeaWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:70 Added:03/21/2018

President Trump made big news in New Hampshire this week with his call for applying the death penalty to big drug dealers - and that only goes to show that bad policy makes for easy headlines.

The best explanation of why that's a thoroughly wrong-headed approach is also the simplest: Western societies don't execute people for those kinds of crimes. Nor should we start.

Without using names, Trump cited conversations with international leaders who supposedly told him their countries have no drug problems because they have the death penalty for drug traffickers. Only a handful of nations routinely execute drug smugglers or traffickers. Among them: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia. That's hardly an honor roll of nations that respect human rights and liberties or the process of law; their leaders are not the people Trump should be consulting on criminal justice policy.

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11 CN MB: Column: Drug Smuggling Has Become A Problem For Canada'sTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Flora, Surjit Singh Area:Manitoba Lines:83 Added:03/17/2018

The drugs have started eating away at our Punjabi youth.

This disease has spread throughout North America. The desire to earn quick money without any hard work has pushed many Punjabi youth into drug trafficking.

Last year a Punjabi husband and wife were caught by the RCMP with cocaine worth $8.4 million. It was a large consignment of drugs being taken from the United States to Calgary. The couple, identified as Gurminder Singh Toor, 31, and Kirandeep Kaur Toor, 26, were arrested in connection with the cocaine.

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12 N MB: Column: Let's Embrace Cannabis As Emerging Medical BreakthroughTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Oliver, Joe        Lines:99 Added:03/17/2018

This summer, millennials, their anxious parents and users from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to Bay Street will get what they long believed was their right - the opportunity to toke up legally.

That will be a seminal societal event (pun intended). However, what is attracting less attention than it should are breakthrough discoveries about how non-psychoactive cannabis extracts can alleviate suffering and treat diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Legalization of a substance for recreational purposes and medical studies should be unrelated issues. But since they are based on the same plant, legal prohibitions and social stigma have held back research, thereby prolonging the suffering of patients and costing lives.

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13 CN ON: Column: Opioid crisis in Peterborough: Overdose PreventionTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Salvaterra, Rosana Area:Ontario Lines:95 Added:03/16/2018

In 2018 we find ourselves battling an opioid crisis that has been years in the making. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain and were originally derived from opium but now also include synthetic preparations.

In the mid-1990s, their use by physicians was heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical industry, leading to greater prescribing for both acute and chronic pain. Patients using opioids can develop a dependency or addiction.

There are two sources of opioids: those that are produced by the pharmaceutical industry and those that are illicitly produced. Recently, the illicit supply has become so contaminated with fentanyl (a very powerful opioid) or fentanyl-like substances that many people are at risk of an unintended acute and potentially fatal poisoning.

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14CN BC: Column: As Legal Pot Looms, First Nations Seek A Piece Of TheSun, 11 Mar 2018
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Smyth, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2018

Near the historic native village of Kitwancool in northern B.C., the hereditary chief of the Gitanyow frog clan has his eye on an old logging site that could be the perfect place to grow a new cash crop.

"It's already serviced with a power supply," said Will Marsden. "We see an opportunity for our people to be employed in sustainable jobs in our traditional territories."

Those jobs would be in the legal marijuana trade, coming soon to British Columbia and the rest of Canada.

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15 CN AB: Column: Getting Drugs Off Streets Requires A Team EffortMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:93 Added:03/16/2018

Last week there were two rallies organized to address the opioid crisis - one in the city and the other on the Blood Reserve. On Monday night, I attended the Community in Crisis March that started at City Hall and ended with a candlelight vigil at Galt Gardens. Several very touching speeches were given by citizens who have been impacted by the opioid crisis and are determined to fight back.

Our Mayor and local MLA Maria Fitzpatrick also provided remarks echoing the sentiment that this crisis sees no boundaries - it does not discriminate. They also reaffirmed we must continue with harm reduction efforts and band together as communities.

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16 US MD: Editorial: Untangling The Knot Of Md. Medical PotMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:137 Added:03/16/2018

A bill in the Maryland General Assembly had sought to add more black firms to the state's regulated medical marijuana industry.

Instead it might end up favoring existing players -- nearly all of whom are white-owned companies.

A bill in the Maryland General Assembly had sought to add more black firms to the state's regulated medical marijuana industry.

Instead it might end up favoring existing players -- nearly all of whom are white-owned companies.

Given how much the Legislative Black Caucus has complained about the lack of minority-owned firms among Maryland's medical marijuana growers and processors, it may seem crazy that the legislation designed to address the issue that just passed overwhelmingly in the House could lead to more white men getting licenses.

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17 CN ON: Editorial: Banning Pot From Apartments Has Whiff Of HypocrisyFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:68 Added:03/13/2018

There's no buzzkill like bureaucracy. A new proposal by Ottawa Public Health to ban marijuana - once it's legal - from condos and apartments, seems like overreach to us.

As the Sun's Andrew Duffy reports today, Ottawa's acting medical officer of health has recommended that the province extend its proposed ban on pot smoking in common areas of condos, apartment buildings and university residences. Dr. Vera Etches said the province should prohibit smoking cannabis, e-liquids and herbal shisha products in condos, apartment buildings, university residences, hotels and their balconies.

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18 CN ON: Column: First Nations Want Part Of The PotFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:105 Added:03/13/2018

Same tribe, different mindsets.

On Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on the shores of Lake Ontario, dead centre between Toronto and Montreal, there are more than 20 pot dispensaries and at least 30 smoke shacks selling cheap cigarettes.

The population of Tyendinaga is 2,124.

Do the math.

At the Six Nations Mohawk Territory, however, the largest First Nations reserve in Canada with a population of 12,000-plus living on the reserve, there is a huge sign on the main highway indicating zero tolerance to illicit drugs.

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19Canada: Oped: How Pot Shops Can Drive Up House PricesThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Haider, Murtaza Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:03/13/2018

Studies show legal cannabis can boost values

As Canada moves closer to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, many are speculating on how the decision will affect society and the economy. While some are concerned about health and safety effects, others are optimistic about potential new tax revenues and the prospect of bringing the sale and distribution of marijuana out of the criminal sphere.

One area that few are talking about, however, is how legal marijuana will affect residential property markets.

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20 US IL: Editorial: An FBI fable: The Case Of The Cannabis CandidateThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:61 Added:03/10/2018

There's a lot of truth-bending in political campaigns. Remember then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's false assertion in 2015 that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks? Or how about Hillary Clinton's tall tale in her 2008 campaign that on a trip to Bosnia, "I remember landing under sniper fire. aE& We just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." That, too, didn't happen.

Benjamin Thomas Wolf's Pinocchio moment is also a doozy.

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