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1 US MA: State Pot Commission Aims To Have First Draft Of Rules Set ByTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:74 Added:11/23/2017

Pot sales are expected to begin around July 1 in Massachusetts.

The Cannabis Control Commission is pushing to write a first draft of new rules permitting the legal sale of marijuana in Massachusetts by the end of the year, setting up a frenetic month that will shape the recreational pot industry.

The commission announced Tuesday that it plans to file initial regulations by Dec. 29. Among numerous details, they will spell out the criteria for winning dispensary licenses, rules for marijuana consumption bars, and a plan for ensuring diversity in the industry.

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2 US NJ: Editorial: Opioid Crisis Outlook Grows More BleakTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:71 Added:11/23/2017

In this divided nation, we should be able to at least find common cause in the fight to stop and treat opioid addiction, a scourge that knows no single identity, and that does not respect geographic boundaries or common socio-economic factors. This is a fight we must all take up, arm in arm, because in one way or another it affects all Americans.

Indeed, the more we know about this menace to our national health, the worse it seems. According to a new analysis released by the Trump White House, the opioid addiction crisis may already be much worse than previously thought. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the true cost of the crisis, as of 2015, stands at $504 billion, a figure more than six times the most recent estimate.

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3US WA: Report: Opioid Overdoses Kill Two In Washington Every DayTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Connelly, Joel Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:11/23/2017

Opioid overdoses are killing two people in Washington each day, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday urged legislation that will limit new legal opioid prescriptions and monitor those receiving the drug.

The extent of the state's opioid epidemic was outline in a report released by the AG's office, the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, detailing its legal and illegal roots.

It urges action on prescription opioids, "often the source of initial exposure to opioids."

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4 US MA: Mass. Marijuana Board Moving Toward First Draft Of RegsTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:116 Added:11/23/2017

BOSTON - Genuine debate on marijuana policy and how the legal pot industry should look in Massachusetts is likely coming from the Cannabis Control Commission during the middle two weeks of December, which are shaping up to be the CCC's busiest yet as the agency tries to file the first draft of its regulations by Dec. 29.

The CCC has tentatively penciled in public meetings for policy discussion and debate on the draft regulations each day of the week of Dec. 11, chairman Steven Hoffman said Tuesday. The following week will begin with three days of private stakeholder meetings and then at least one public meeting for the CCC to vote on acceptance of the draft regulations.

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5CN AB: Column: When It Comes To Regulating Legal Pot, Alberta Gets ItTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/23/2017

Occasionally, Alberta's NDP government manages to demonstrate that it is capable of balance and pragmatism.

Unfortunately, that also underscores the frustration of so frequently seeing them do the opposite.

In preparing for legalized cannabis, the NDP must have been awfully tempted to follow the advice of their friends in the labour movement and build a network of government-built and government-operated retail outlets.

But other than a pre-existing ideological bent, there really wasn't a case to be made for such an approach. The costs would be considerable, and there would not necessarily be any corresponding payoff in terms of better outcomes. Moreover, it would simply delay the rollout of legalized cannabis and prove to be a gift to the black market.

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6 CN AB: LTE: Why The Rush To Legalize Marijuana?Tue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:50 Added:11/23/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass its marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions and so few answers?

Just last week, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said that the legislation is coming too fast, stating that, "There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety." The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned that it will be "impossible" to be ready for the government's target of legalizing marijuana by July 2018. Do these things not matter?

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7 CN BC: Column: Smoking Pot Hard On HealthTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Whitcombe, Todd Area:British Columbia Lines:110 Added:11/23/2017

On a flight home last week, I was having a conversation about the introduction of Bill C-45 or the "Cannabis Act." The person I was talking to is working with local governments to sort out the multitude of bylaws and regulations which will be necessitated by the legislation. Different municipalities are taking varying approaches and have disparate points of view on the whole issue.

After all, not everyone is in favour of legalizing marijuana nor sure what exactly that means.

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8 CN AB: LTE: Why The Rush To Legalize Pot?Tue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:37 Added:11/23/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions? The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said the legislation is coming too fast, stating, "there is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety."

Do these things not matter?

Why is government not listening to its own department of health which warned youth under the age of 25, whose brains are still developing, should not be smoking marijuana? Why are they ignoring evidence that says more youth will smoke marijuana and car crashes due to impairment will increase significantly?

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9 Canada: Column: Which Provincial Pot Approach Is Best?Tue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:113 Added:11/23/2017

Alberta and Quebec recently unveiled their strategies for the commercialization of legal marijuana

The socialist NDP is embracing the free market, while the freemarket Liberals seem to prefer the old-style state monopoly.

That is just one of the quirky realities as the provinces and territories slowly and unsurely unveil their strategies for the commercialization of legal marijuana.

Currently, only "medical" cannabis is legal. It must be prescribed and purchased from one of 74 licensed producers. More than 200,000 Canadians have availed themselves of this privilege.

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10CN AB: Pot Investors Warned Of U.S. ComplicationsTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Southwick, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/23/2017

A Vancouver cannabis firm with holdings in Alberta and a greenhouse under construction in California expects to debut its shares on a Canadian stock exchange in the coming weeks - with big warnings to investors.

Sunniva Inc. will be the first pot stock to hold an initial public offering after securities regulators set out new rules for companies with assets in the United States, where cannabis remains federally illegal.

While several U.S. states have liberalized cannabis laws, securities watchdogs in Canada say there are risks with investing in cannabis stocks that have American assets, including that the companies face potential asset seizures and prosecution by federal U.S. authorities.

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11 US PA: Hibiscus Mistaken For Marijuana, Pennsylvania Couple Who WereMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Gutierrez, Lisa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:102 Added:11/23/2017

Police in Buffalo Township, Penn., were looking for marijuana when they raided a home on Oct. 7, taking the female homeowner out of the house without pants after she answered the door.

But there was a hitch. The homeowners weren't growing pot. They grow hibiscus plants in their backyard.

Edward and Audrey Cramer filed a civil lawsuit last week against the police and Nationwide Insurance Co.

Among their allegations: false arrest, excessive force, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy.

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12 US MI: Marijuana Industry High On Prospect Of Michigan's CannabisMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI)          Area:Michigan Lines:160 Added:11/23/2017

LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her back to the Great Lakes State.

For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has her looking for partners in Michigan.

For the two women and many other entrepreneurs attending the MJ Biz Conference in Las Vegas last week -- the pre-eminent conference where 18,500 professionals looking to get into the cannabis industry gathered -- the common thread was Michigan's soon-to-explode marijuana business.

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13 CN ON: Column: Ex-Cops Cashing In On New Pot Laws Upholds Old PowersMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Toronto, CN ON) Author:Mochama, Vicky Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:11/23/2017

Known for his mishandling of Veterans A airs, corruption scandals within his constabulary and, shall we say, colourful comments on race and marijuana, former Toronto and Ontario police chief Julian Fantino is launching a pot business with a former RCMP senior leader. It has rightly been met with outcry.

It exposes not only his personal hypocrisies but also those of the pot legalization process.

A focus on criminalizing personal use rather than public health concerns (i.e., accessibility to children, mental health issues) has contributed to the circumstances that make young Black and Indigenous people known to police. Along with carding, illegality of marijuana has introduced more young racialized, especially Black, people to the criminal justice system than is patently fair.

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14 CN ON: Obstacles Are Hindering First Nation's Drug FightMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Northern News (CN ON) Author:Meldrum, Emma Area:Ontario Lines:127 Added:11/23/2017

The chief of Attawapiskat First Nation has solutions for the illegal drug trade in his community - but he's coming up against "frustrating " roadblocks.

Ignace Gull said Thursday that Attawapiskat is dealing with Canada Post, the Northwest Company and the Ministry of Transport (which owns the airport) to stop the flow of drugs.

"We're trying to do our own way of making sure that those drugs don't flow through our community," said Gull. "One of the things that costs us is with these prescriptions drugs, they're destroying young people, destroying families."

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15 CN MB: LTE: Dangers Of Pot ForgottenMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Sutherland, James Area:Manitoba Lines:35 Added:11/23/2017

There seems to be a general euphoria with the upcoming legalization of marijuana while, at the same time, there is silence from the majority who oppose legalization.

Perhaps one should look at why marijuana was made illegal in the first place. For many, it was a case of "We have enough problems with alcohol. If marijuana is legalized, we'll have twice as many drug problems."

Others didn't want to live in a nation of zombies, where people are walking around stoned all day.

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16 CN AB: LTE: Feds Need To Chill On Cannabis LawsMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Nelson, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:50 Added:11/23/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass its marijuana legalization when there are still so many questions and so few answers?

Just this week, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said the legislation is coming too fast, stating, "There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety."

The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned it will be "impossible" to be ready for the government's target of legalizing marijuana by July 1, 2018. Do these things not matter?

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17 US PA: Pa. Marijuana Growers And Doctors Get Creative With No BudgetTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:11/23/2017

Patient response to Pa. marijuana program 'extremely positive'

What if Pennsylvania had a medical marijuana program but few people knew about it?

With hundreds of millions of dollars invested in cannabis growing facilities and dispensaries -- and the health of thousands of prospective patients on the line -- alerting state residents to the program should be a priority. But there's effectively a gag order on nearly all players involved.

The state Department of Health, responsible for the program's roll-out, has no budget to pay for advertising. Marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries are prohibited by law from actively promoting their wares. And doctors who write recommendations for medical cannabis are forbidden from publicizing that they're participating.

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18 US: In These States, Past Marijuana Crimes Can Go AwayMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:172 Added:11/23/2017

Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small amounts of the drug.

"We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war on drugs," says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.

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19CN QU: Police Not Ready To Test Drivers For Pot: UnionsSat, 18 Nov 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

Few Quebec police officers are trained to determine whether drivers are under the influence of marijuana, a federation of cop unions says.

"Police services are simply not ready" for cannabis legalization, Robin Cote, president of the 4,500-member Federation des policiers et policieres municipaux du Quebec (FPMQ), said on Friday.

The FPMQ issued a plea for more training a day after the provincial government presented its pot-legalization bill.

Under Quebec's plan, there would be zero-tolerance for driving under the influence of marijuana.

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20 CN ON: Reefer Madness?Sat, 18 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:104 Added:11/22/2017

Judge blasts Ottawa cops for arresting 'budtenders' while pot shops flourish

An Ottawa judge has blasted the police force for failing to shut down the city's illegal marijuana dispensaries.

Justice Norman Boxall said Friday he cannot understand why it's so difficult to close shops that operate openly on major streets.

"I just don't understand how the police cannot shut down a dispensary where the person has a big sign up, as I drive down Rideau St', that says 'marijuana dispensary.' They brag about it on the Internet that they are selling it.

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