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1 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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2 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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3 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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4 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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5 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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6 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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7US 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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8 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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9 US MA: Colo. Pot Problem Solver Seen As Possible Mass. RegulatorWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:McCrimmon, Cyrus Area:Massachusetts Lines:174 Added:12/28/2016

Andrew Freedman is Colorado's director of marijuana coordination.

DENVER - Marijuana legalization brought unexpected challenges to Colorado, and it was rarely clear what part of state government was supposed to solve them, or how.

Businesses were selling marijuana-infused, animal-shaped candy attractive to children. Residents growing pot at home were selling it illegally in other states. Growers were applying pesticides to cannabis plants even though none was specifically approved by the federal government for such use.

Enter Andrew Freedman, Colorado's pot czar, who is bringing together the state's bureaucracy, marijuana industry, law enforcement community, and public health advocates to fix problems no other state had faced.

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10CN QU: U.S. Pot Fugitive Held Pending DeportationSat, 24 Dec 2016
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Cherry, Paul Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

An American fugitive who was dubbed the Godfather of Grass because of run-ins with the law involving the large-scale production of marijuana will be detained in Montreal for at least another week while authorities decide when he will be deported.

John Robert Boone, 73, was arrested by Montreal police Thursday afternoon at a shopping centre, at the corner of Ste-Catherine St. W. and Atwater Ave., putting an end to a police search that lasted eight years. He had been sought by the Kentucky State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service since 2008. He was detained at the Riviere-des-Prairies Detention Centre where he had a hearing Friday afternoon before an adjudicator with Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board.

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11 Philippines: Predawn Services And The Pall Of The Drug War MarkSat, 24 Dec 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Kaiman, Jonathan Area:Philippines Lines:140 Added:12/25/2016

At 4:50 a.m., the stragglers dashed through Manila's darkened streets, hoping for a spot in the pews.

But they were too late. Hundreds of worshipers had already packed the Sto. Nino de Paz Community Greenbelt Chapel, a low, white dome in a sprawling outdoor shopping complex, for Friday's Simbang Gabi Christmas Mass.

So at least 100 more crowded on the pavement outside, singing "Glory to God" beneath a crisp crescent moon.

Christmas in the Philippines is a long, spirited and, to many, exhausting affair. About 90% of Filipinos are Christian, and they take the holiday seriously. Stores start playing Christmas music as early as September and don't stop until early January. Christmas trees spring up in malls and public parks. Carolers go door to door singing "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night" and "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit", a lively Tagalog tune celebrating Jesus' birth. The holiday delicacy is lechon - -- whole suckling pig, a Filipino delicacy.

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12Canada: The Fame GameWed, 19 Oct 2016
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Ryan, Denise Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2016

Why the celebrity licensing model is not just the gold standard for a cannabis brand, it's a necessity

Cedella Marley's voice has a comforting, familiar lilt, the sound of the Jamaican heritage she shares with her late father. Some 35 years after Bob Marley's death, the Marley family has moved into the cannabis business with Seattle-based Privateer Holdings to launch Marley Natural, a line of hemp body products, elegant black walnut accessories and smartly packaged smokeables.

Their biggest target market? Canada - once the recreational market opens up.

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13 CN BC: LTE: SheepleFri, 09 Sep 2016
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Loth, Rolf Area:British Columbia Lines:46 Added:09/13/2016

I cannot think of anything more insane as this issue of providing clean needles to the dope addicts.

Why not provide sophisticated tools to car thieves, so they can break into cars without damaging the door?

Whoever takes dope must know the consequences and those peddling dope know also what they are doing, so victim and perpetrator alike should be held responsible, and if you are a parent and don't know what your kids are up to, then don't cry to the public for help.

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14 Indonesia: Alcohol Ban Is Promoted In IndonesiaSat, 03 Sep 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Cochrane, Joe Area:Indonesia Lines:166 Added:09/03/2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia - I.B. Agung Partha foresees an apocalypse, as he put it, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

The threat is not a plague of locusts, nor one of Bali's dormant volcanos springing to life. It is in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital several hundred miles away, where Parliament is debating legislation that would ban beer, wine and spirits across the thousands of islands that make up this country.

For Bali, whose beaches, lush landscapes and cultural attractions drew four million visitors last year, the effect would be something like the end of the world, said Mr. Partha, the chairman of the Bali Tourism Board.

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15 US NV: PUB LTE: Pot Got Colorado $1 Billion; Why Not AllThu, 01 Sep 2016
Source:Reno Gazette-Journal (NV) Author:Cox-Elander, Christian Area:Nevada Lines:19 Added:09/02/2016

Just in the last year alone, Colorado has brought in $1 billion from the distribution of recreational marijuana. It is generally boosting the economy's revenue. Why wouldn't all states legalize recreational use of weed when it benefited Colorado so much?

Christian Cox-Elander, Reno

[end]

16 US MD: Companies Selected to Grow, Process Medical Pot inTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Gregg, Aaron Area:Maryland Lines:150 Added:08/16/2016

Of the 15 companies cleared for cultivation, at least eight have ties to marijuana industries in other states.

From page A1 Thirty businesses have won approval to grow and process medical marijuana in Maryland, regulators announced Monday, putting life into the industry more than three years after lawmakers legalized the drug for medical use.

Several of the winning applicants have political ties - with major donors or high-ranking officials on their teams - including a company that hired the Maryland lawmaker who was the driving force behind the tightly regulated program.

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17 US MD: Will Cecil Go Green? Rx Pot Licenses Issued TodayMon, 15 Aug 2016
Source:Cecil Whig (MD) Author:Owens, Jacob Area:Maryland Lines:136 Added:08/16/2016

Former Sheriff Janney Has Stake in Application

BALTIMORE - Today marks the day when Cecil County will find out whether its future will be green, benefitting economically from the development of potential medical marijuana growing and processing facilities.

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, under the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which was formed by 2014 legislation to develop policies, procedures and regulations to implement the state's medical marijuana program, voted on its stage one license pre-approvals for 15 growers and the first 15 processors on Aug. 5.

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18 Thailand: A Failing Drug War Triggers New Approach in ThailandSat, 06 Aug 2016
Source:Straits Times (Singapore) Author:Yee, Tan Hui Area:Thailand Lines:203 Added:08/06/2016

BANGKOK In a backroom heavy with sawdust, Mr Akkarin Puri, 33, carefully examines the veneer of a half-finished guitar.

There was a time when the craftsman's attention was more focused on inhaling the vapours from a pill of yaba - a methamphetamine - heated over a flame.

In fact, by the age of 21, his drug habit had landed him in juvenile detention at least six times and a military lock-up for 18 months.

There, he tried to rob a fellow addict to fund his next fix and landed himself in jail for another eight years. It was while doing time in a particularly notorious prison, in Pathum Thani province next to Bangkok, that he saw up close one of the gravest consequences of the kingdom's long-running "war on drugs".

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19 US MD: Pot-law Sponsor Could ProfitSun, 17 Jul 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Nirappil, Fenit Area:Maryland Lines:158 Added:07/17/2016

MD. Delegate Did Not Disclose His Connection to Dispensary Applicant

The state lawmaker who led the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland is part of a company trying to sell and profit off the drug - a position he never disclosed as he pushed bills and regulations to help cannabis businesses.

Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) is the clinical director for Doctor's Orders, according to a portion of a dispensary licensing application obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request.

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20 South Africa: Forbidden Drug Is A 'Miracle'Sat, 16 Jul 2016
Source:Star, The (South Africa) Author:Bega, Sheree Area:South Africa Lines:169 Added:07/16/2016

Severely Ill Patients Vouch for Medicinal Benefits of Dagga Oil

AS A mother, Veronica Ellis would do anything to help her eight-year-old child, even if it meant the unthinkable: giving her a small daily dose of a forbidden drug. But she could no longer watch her once-radiant daughter, now a hollow skeleton, slipping away.

"What convinced me was looking at Bayleigh, lying all day on a mattress here in front of the TV," says Ellis, a small-framed, resolute mother of three. "She was so tired, she just didn't want to get up. Her face was white, she had black rings under her eyes. She wouldn't eat anything. She lost 1kg in a week."

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