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1CN AB: Police Say City School Pals Built International Drug RingFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Passifiume, Bryan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Alleged local international crime cartel had United States, Mexican connections

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 parking lot.

Calgary police say the group now faces dozens of charges, from drug importation to money-laundering to murder.

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2CN AB: Police To Reveal Details Of Crime Cartelas Deadly ReignThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Naylor, Dale Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

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.

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3CN MB: First Nations Big Winners In Manitoba Cannabis PlanSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Rendell, Mark Area:Manitoba Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

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.

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4US FL: Medical Marijuana May Be Legal, But Patients Still Go WithoutSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Koh, Elizabeth Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2018

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.

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5CN BC: The Rise Of Vancouver's Deadly Gang WarThu, 18 Jan 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Brean, Joseph Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2018

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.

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

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

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

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7 CN MB: Legal Pot Dealers Lining Up At Government DoorWed, 08 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pursaga, Joyanne Area:Manitoba Lines:61 Added:11/11/2017

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 said.

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8CN BC: Column: When It Comes To Pot Sales, Chill Out And Get It RightTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Knox, Jack Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2017

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.

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9 US FL: Florida Moves Toward More Medical Marijuana LicensesWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:09/23/2017

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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10 US PA: Pennsbury School Board OKs Aggressive Antidrug ProgramTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Boccella, Kathy Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:09/19/2017

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.

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11CN BC: Grow-Op Charges Thrown Out Over 'Meandering' Court DelaysWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fraser, Keith Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

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.

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12 CN ON: PUB LTE: Banning Drugs Only Makes Them More DangerousTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Randell, Alan Area:Ontario Lines:35 Added:08/08/2017

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.

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13 Canada: Column: What Was Justin Smoking?Tue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Wente, Margaret Area:Canada Lines:94 Added:04/19/2017

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.

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

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

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

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15 US: OPED: Trump Should Be Appalled By Police Asset ForfeitureMon, 06 Mar 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McGrath, Lee Area:United States Lines:108 Added:03/09/2017

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 rooms.

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16 CN ON: Pot Raid Rattles ResidentsThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Packet & Times (CN ON) Author:Philips, Andrew Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:01/28/2017

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.

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17 US FL: Marijuana Laws Flummox DoctorsSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:75 Added:01/16/2017

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.

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18 Canada: CBC's 'Pure' - A Drug-Smuggling Tale In Mennonite CountryFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Brioux, Bill Area:Canada Lines:87 Added:01/07/2017

DARTMOUTH, N.S. - What if Walter White was a Mennonite?

"Pure," which premieres Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC-TV, is based on actual accounts of Mennonites acting as drug mules. Various reports suggest some members were smuggling cocaine and marijuana into Canada all the way from Mexico by hiding drugs in hollowed-out car batteries and wheels of cheese.

Series writer and creator Michael Amo ("The Listener") optioned one such magazine article nearly a decade ago but had a hard time selling networks on a Christian sect version of "Breaking Bad."

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19US FL: What To Know As Amendment 2 Goes Into Effect On TuesdaySun, 01 Jan 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Dr. Joseph Dorn has had a unique vantage point when it comes to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in Florida.

Dorn was the medical director of Surterra Therapeutics, which is one of the six dispensing organizations licensed to grow and distribute medical cannabis in the state. He resigned from that position two months ago and has opened a medical marijuana treatment center as Amendment 2 takes effect on Tuesday.

The constitutional amendment, which was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters, allows higher-strength marijuana to be used for a wider list of medical ailments. However, the true measure of what the amendment means won't be immediately seen until a new set of rules are adopted and implemented by the Florida Legislature and the Department of Health.

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20 Canada: The First Lady Of Reefer MadnessSun, 01 Jan 2017
Source:Walrus, The (Canada) Author:Green, Melvyn Area:Canada Lines:451 Added:01/02/2017

How a renowned Canadian feminist popularized our racist war on drugs

Detective Joe Ricci and his partner, Alex Sinclair, were out on a routine bust in Vancouver's Chinatown. It was 1916, and Ricci and Sinclair were front-line officers in the war on opium. The drug had been criminalized in Canada eight years earlier through the introduction of the Western world's earliest drug prohibition law, and the Vancouver police department had been chasing down traffickers ever since. Ricci was a familiar sight in the neighbourhood. He had made such a big arrest in 1913 that for days after, the Vancouver Daily World reported, "not a light [was] to be seen and the ringing noise of the chuck-a-luck dice [had] stopped." But the gamblers and the opium smokers were soon back, and Ricci was out patrolling the streets again.

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