JEFFERSONVILLE, GA. - When Georgia authorities found out that smoking
marijuana was ridding 15-year-old David Ray of seizures that had plagued
him through childhood, the consequences were swift and severe.
His mother and stepfather - Suzeanna and Matthew Brill - were arrested
and jailed for six days. David, no longer able to medicate with pot,
was hospitalized for a week after suffering what his mother called
"the worst seizure of his life." He was then discharged to strangers
and sent to a Division of Family and Children Services group home
after his parents were stripped of custody - another example of "how
the war on drugs breaks up families," said Lauren Deal, Suzeanna
[continues 106 words]
LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural
Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every
The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President
Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who
owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed
in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway
But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into
hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting
from the use of cannabis.
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A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on
whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug
derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used
cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are
feeling more cautious than celebratory.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end
of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a
purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't
get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in
kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.
[continues 1024 words]
Alleged local international crime cartel had United States, Mexican
Calgary school buddies came together to form their own drug
trafficking gang, with links to murder, money laundering and vicious
Mexican cartels, say city police.
The group was allegedly responsible for millions of dollars in
international drug imports and exports, and has been tied to a brazen
Calgary shooting that left two dead in a south Calgary Superstore
Calgary police say the group now faces dozens of charges, from drug
importation to money-laundering to murder.
[continues 826 words]
Calgary police will reveal details Thursday about how they smashed a
city-based crime cartel involved in murder, massive importation of
drugs and money laundering.
Tentacles of the gang spread as far as Mexico, and Postmedia sources
say they had connections with notorious drug cartels there.
Postmedia has also learned the group has been tied to a brazen
daylight shooting May 21 that left two men dead in a southeast Calgary
Superstore parking lot.
Sources say the bust is so significant that members of the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) will be on hand when police reveal
details at a news conference Thursday morning.
[continues 343 words]
A group of First Nations looks set to win big in the Manitoba cannabis
market, thanks to partnerships with several cannabis companies chosen
to run the province's private marijuana retail system.
On Friday, Manitoba announced that it had "conditionally accepted"
proposals from four groups - chosen from a pool of more than 100
applicants - to run dispensaries in the province. Canopy Growth Corp.
in partnership with Winnipeg-based Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., took home
one conditional letter; another went to upscale retail brand Tokyo
Smoke, a subsidiary of Hiku Brands Ltd.
[continues 746 words]
Seth and Danielle Hyman with their daughter Rebecca 8, of Weston, are
seeking to have a strain of marijuana legalized to help prevent
seizures in their daughter, Rebecca, in 2014. Despite the legalization
of medical marijuana, Seth Hyman said the drug is still difficult to
get for is daughter. [Miami Herald]
When Seth Hyman first began to buy medical marijuana in Florida for
his 12-year-old daughter last year, he hoped it would be the answer to
fixing her life-threatening seizures.
[continues 902 words]
Homicide rate rising to levels not seen in years
The Vancouver shooting death of an innocent teenage boy caught in the
crossfire of a drug gang shootout has revived fears of gang war in
British Columbia's Lower Mainland.
"We are targeting gangs as we speak," said Adam Palmer, chief of the
Vancouver Police Department, as he announced the death of two people,
including one of the gunmen, in a wild shootout just after 9 p. m. on
a busy city street last Saturday.
[continues 678 words]
MANCHACA, Texas -- When California rings in the new year with the sale
of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into
its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive
that doubts swirl over who will even use it.
Texas is the last big state to allow some form of medical marijuana,
albeit an oil extract so low in the psychoactive component, THC, that
it couldn't get a person high. Though it might seem that Texas
policymakers have softened their attitude toward the drug, bringing
them more in line with the U.S. population as a whole, they have not.
A joint could still land you in jail in Texas, and the state's embrace
of medical marijuana comes with a heavy dose of caution.
[continues 796 words]
There's plenty of interest in selling legal pot in Manitoba. The
province notes an expression of interest on the subject attracted more
than 60 responses.
Premier Brian Pallister said that bodes well for his government's goal
to ensure official marijuana stores are accessible enough to undermine
the black market.
Pallister said the province aims to ensure access to marijuana sales
within a 30-minute drive for 90% of Manitobans to meet that goal.
"We wish to see broad coverage, broad availability," he
[continues 204 words]
They say B.C.'s pot laws have taken so long to sort out because May's
provincial election delayed the process.
Either that, or our guys were hot-boxing a van behind the legislature
and simply forgot to get it done.
In any case, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth left more questions
than answers Monday when, rather than unveiling the regulations many
expected, he merely announced a public consultation process.
Ontario might already have its pot plans in place, but here in the
birthplace of B.C. Bud, we prefer a more relaxed approach: We'll
gather information from stakeholders and the public, or maybe listen
to a little Allman Brothers, until Nov. 1.
[continues 634 words]
TALLAHASSEE -- Seemingly learning from past mistakes, state health
officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application
process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses
in two weeks.
The new rule, published Wednesday and going into effect immediately,
outsources the evaluation of the applications to "subject
matter experts," requires "blind testing" of the
applications, and includes a detailed application form --- all
departures from the Department of Health's previous medical-marijuana
regulations that spawned a series of legal and administrative challenges.
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Just six days after her 28-year-old son died from a heroin overdose,
the president of the Pennsbury school board wept as she thanked her
colleagues for unanimously approving an ambitious new $149,000
antidrug program aimed at fighting an opioid epidemic that has ravaged
young grads in their Lower Bucks County community.
"Thank you all for doing this - now more than ever it means the world
to me," a tearful Jacqueline Redner said immediately after the vote.
After a decadelong battle with addiction, her son Josh was found dead
in a motel room on Sept. 13.
[continues 690 words]
A Vancouver Island man whose marijuana grow-op was busted has had
trafficking charges stayed because his case took too long to get to
trial, the latest in a series of such cases in B.C.
Nicholas Christian Boehme, 51, was arrested on May 25, 2012 after
police searched his home in Youbou and his office in Victoria.
The residence was the site of two valid licenses to grow medical
marijuana issued by Health Canada, one of them issued to Boehme to
grow 205 plants and store 9,225 grams of dried marijuana.
[continues 448 words]
Re Think twice before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7
I couldn't disagree more with Rosie Dimanno. Nearly all the harm done
to users and non-users alike by illegal drugs is because the drugs are
prohibited. Thousands were poisoned by adulterated booze during
Prohibition and thousands more are dying today because of adulterated
drugs, an aspect of government policy my wife and I became well
acquainted with when our 19-year-old son, Peter, died shortly after
ingesting some street heroin in 1993.
[continues 77 words]
Legalizing pot is trickier than it looks, and the Prime Minister might
soon be wondering if the hassle is worth the price
Justin Trudeau's vow to legalize marijuana - made without much
thinking, one suspects - was one of his signature campaign promises.
It was intended to brand his party as progressive, youthful and
enlightened. And the time seemed right. Most Canadians agree that it's
time to make it legal.
But when the government unveiled its long-awaited legislation - on the
eve of a long weekend - our hip Prime Minister was nowhere in sight.
He left the job to a bunch of hatchet-faced ministers, who grimly
assured us that this was going to be all about law and order and harm
reduction, not fun. Clearly, the government hoped that everyone would
get distracted by the holiday and move on.
[continues 641 words]
With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk
of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85
miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.
SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the
Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with
Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for
violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless
interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on
the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his
gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.
[continues 6445 words]
America's sheriffs have given President Trump a woefully inaccurate
view of civil asset forfeiture-the process through which police seize,
and prosecutors literally sue, cash, cars and real estate that they
suspect may be connected to a crime. "People want to say we're taking
money and without due process. That's not true," a Kentucky sheriff
told the president last month at a White House meeting. Critics of
forfeiture, the sheriff added, simply "make up stories."
In fact, thousands of Americans have had their assets taken without
ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted. Russ Caswell
almost lost his Massachusetts motel, which had been run by his family
for more than 50 years, because of 15 "drug-related incidents" there
from 1994-2008, a period through which he rented out nearly 200,000
[continues 725 words]
Two Oro-Medonte men were arrested this week for growing marijuana,
despite having a licence to grow
Angered over an "unjust" police raid over medicinal marijuana, two
Oro-Medonte men feel victimized after being arrested at their home and
taken away in handcuffs.
"We're two sick and injured people who were taken to jail," Christian
Gadsden, 36, said Wednesday outside the Orillia OPP detachment, a day
after police raided the Line 13 home he shares with Larry Parisien.
"It was scary, incredibly scary," said the 62-year-old Parisien,
adding he suffers from a range of ailments including fibromyalgia and
has been prescribed medicinal marijuana for close to seven years.
[continues 411 words]
TALLAHASSEE -- Even as the state prepares to carry out a constitutional
amendment authorizing medical marijuana, a lack of guidance from health
officials could create a "very murky and dangerous legal area" for
patients and doctors.
Authors of the amendment, industry insiders and legislative leaders have
called on the Department of Health to clarify what doctors and dispensing
organizations can legally do under existing state laws and the
voter-approved amendment that went into effect Tuesday.
To date, the health agency has remained mum, referring only to the
language of the constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters
in November and to state laws approved in 2014 and 2016.
[continues 347 words]