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1 US: Legalize It AllFri, 01 Apr 2016
Source:Harper's Magazine (US) Author:Baum, Dan Area:United States Lines:832 Added:04/01/2016

How to Win the War on Drugs

In 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Watergate co-conspirator, unlocked for me one of the great mysteries of modern American history: How did the United States entangle itself in a policy of drug prohibition that has yielded so much misery and so few good results?

Americans have been criminalizing psychoactive substances since San Francisco's anti-opium law of 1875, but it was Ehrlichman's boss, Richard Nixon, who declared the first "war on drugs" and set the country on the wildly punitive and counterproductive path it still pursues.

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2 US NY: Medical Sales Of Marijuana Start Off SlowFri, 08 Jan 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McKinley, Jesse Area:New York Lines:127 Added:01/09/2016

ALBANY - New York joined the ranks of nearly half the states on Thursday in allowing the use of medical marijuana with the opening of eight dispensaries statewide, serving a variety of tinctures, concentrates, vapors and other forms of the drug.

How many patients actually received medicine from those dispensaries, however, was uncertain; several locations around the state had customers who entered, but it was not clear if any actually bought the drug, or were qualified to do so under the state's strict guidelines. On Thursday, officials at the state's Department of Health said that only 51 patients had been certified for the program thus far, though that process only began on Dec. 23 and requires the approval of a physician who has registered with the state.

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3 US NC: OPED: We Know How To Win The War On DrugsSun, 03 Jan 2016
Source:News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:North Carolina Lines:133 Added:01/06/2016

Contrast what has happened since 1964 with tobacco, on the one hand, and marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other banned substances, on the other

We can compare the effects of choosing a public-health paradigm or a criminalization paradigm for dealing with addictive substances

The progress against smoking has been steady and impressive, but ita??s an altogether different tale with banned substances

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In January 1964, the Beatles first broke onto the Billboard chart with a??I Wantto Hold Your Hand.a?? By June, Ringo Starr had collapsed from tonsillitis and pharyngitis. In January, the surgeon general announced that scientists had found conclusive evidence linking smoking to cancer and launched our highly successful 50-year public-health fight against tobacco. In August, the North Vietnamese fired on a U.S. naval ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the public phase of the Vietnam War. Alongside an accelerating deployment of conventional troops would come their widespread use of marijuana and heroin. By 1971, cigarette ads had been banned from radio and television, the surgeon general had called for regulation of tobacco, and cigarette smoking had begun its long decline. The impact of drug use among troops and returning veterans provoked President Richard M. Nixon to declare a war on drugs.

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4 US CT: Column: We Already Know How To Win The War On DrugsSat, 02 Jan 2016
Source:Register Citizen (CT) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:Connecticut Lines:114 Added:01/04/2016

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In January 1964, the Beatles first broke onto the Billboard chart with "I Want to Hold Your Hand;" by June, Ringo Starr had collapsed from tonsillitis and pharyngitis. In January, the surgeon general announced that scientists had found conclusive evidence linking smoking to cancer and thus launched our highly successful 50-year public-health fight against tobacco. In August, the North Vietnamese fired on a U.S. naval ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the public phase of the Vietnam War. Alongside an accelerating deployment of conventional troops would come their widespread use of marijuana and heroin.

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5 US: Review: Harlem's Drug WarriorsFri, 01 Jan 2016
Source:Reason Magazine (US) Author:Mayeux, Sara Area:United States Lines:305 Added:01/01/2016

Was the Drug War Imposed on Black America, or Did Black America Demand It?

Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment, by Michael Javen Fortner, Harvard University Press, 368 pages, $29.95

We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire, by Suzanna Reiss, University of California Press, 328 pages, $29.95

In 1973 New York's blue-blood governor, Nelson Rockefeller, declared drug treatment programs a failure and called for a newer, tougher approach, including mandatory life in prison for selling any amount of "hard drugs." Later that year, New York lawmakers enacted legislation that, while slightly more lenient than Rockefeller's initial bill, prescribed harsh punishments for drug crimes, including prison terms of 15 years to life for low-level drug sales and possession. In 1973, the state had fewer than 1,500 prisoners doing time for drugs; by 1999, that figure had ballooned to over 20,000.

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6 US DC: Column: We Already Know How To Win The War On DrugsWed, 30 Dec 2015
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:District of Columbia Lines:131 Added:12/30/2015

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In January 1964, the Beatles first broke onto the Billboard chart with "I Want to Hold Your Hand"; by June, Ringo Starr had collapsed from tonsillitis and pharyngitis. In January, the surgeon general announced that scientists had found conclusive evidence linking smoking to cancer and thus launched our highly successful 50-year public-health fight against tobacco. In August, the North Vietnamese fired on a U.S. naval ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the public phase of the Vietnam War. Alongside an accelerating deployment of conventional troops would come their widespread use of marijuana and heroin.

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7 US HI: Hawaii Hui To Apply For Pot DispensaryWed, 09 Dec 2015
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:43 Added:12/09/2015

A group composed of Hawaii farmers, a naturopath and a University of Hawaii bioengineering researcher is preparing to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license in January.

The group, led by Dr. Ryan Ferchoff, founder of Medical Medicinals LLC, and Maui business consultant Steven Bronstein, issued a news release Tuesday announcing its intentions to vie for one of eight dispensary licenses next year.

Bronstein has represented some of Hawaii's largest medical groups, educators and local businesses for more than 15 years, and was the founder of Cushman & Wakefield's retail division, previously owned by the Rockefellers.

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8 US VA: Column: Bernie Sanders Is Right, But Not EnoughWed, 04 Nov 2015
Source:Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) Author:Hinkle, A. Barton Area:Virginia Lines:109 Added:11/07/2015

While it's hard to pinpoint accurately, estimates place the current number of Americans in Alcoholics Anonymous at more than 1.2 million. AA members meet often; today alone there will be more than 50 AA meetings within a 50-mile radius of downtown Richmond. Attend just about any of them and you likely will hear personal testimonies about the shocking degree of human misery alcohol can inflict.

If you prefer data to anecdotes, consider this: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 2006 to 2010, "excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths ... shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion."

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9 US NY: Ex-Con Turns His Life Into Work Of ArtFri, 17 Jul 2015
Source:New York Post (NY) Author:Fredericks, Bob Area:New York Lines:55 Added:07/18/2015

Tony Papa is living proof that a drug offender slapped with a harsh sentence for a nonviolent crime can turn his life around if given a second chance.

Since he was sprung by then-Gov. George Pataki in 1996 after serving 12 years of a mandatory 15-years-to-life sentence under New York's Rockefeller drug laws, he has had a successful career as a painter, author and advocate for a truce in the country's War on Drugs.

"I think it's great. It's putting a spotlight on the issue of mass incarceration, that people were put in prison at alarming rates for nonviolent drug crimes," Papa told The Post Thursday of President Obama's push for sentencing reform.

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10 US NY: Speaker: Drug Users Need Treatment, Not JailSun, 22 Mar 2015
Source:Oneida Daily Dispatch (NY) Author:Cleaver, Jolene Area:New York Lines:63 Added:03/22/2015

CAZENOVIA - On ideas about future drug policy, a speaker Friday night in Cazenovia talked grassroots action and called for politicians to do more.

The program, "War on Drugs: Charting the past, present and future of drug policy in the United States, "was part of the 2015 Cazenovia forum, and was held in Caz College's Catherine Cummings Theater.

Speaking was Gabriel Sayegh, the managing director of policy and campaigns at the New York State Office of Drug Policy Alliance.

Sayegh told the crowd how he grew up in a small farming community in Northern California, and how a lack of community support and services lead to him using methamphetamines.

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11 US NY: PUB LTE: A Drug-Law WinSun, 08 Feb 2015
Source:New York Post (NY) Author:Lipton, Bill Area:New York Lines:29 Added:02/09/2015

In Michael Goodwin's recent column, "Sheldon Silver's Downfall Exposes Corruption in Albany," (Jan. 27), he hides behind an anonymous source to invent a bizarre alternate reality in which Albany County DA David Soares was elected in 2004 as part of a scheme to protect Albany insiders from scrutiny. It's untrue and self-serving for Goodwin to say so.

The Working Families Party helped David Soares win his come-from-behind victory by telling the truth about the harmful Rockefeller drug laws and the wrong-headed and destructive "War on Drugs" attitude of the incumbent, who supported them. That's the message Albany County voters were sending, and indeed the message was heard: Six weeks later, the Legislature approved the first reforms of the drug laws since they were implemented.

Bill Lipton, Director, Working Families Party, Brooklyn

[end]

12 US CA: Column: Zimmerman's Victory LapseWed, 04 Feb 2015
Source:Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Author:Gardner, Fred Area:California Lines:394 Added:02/05/2015

Professional reformers, longtime activists, and stakeholders in the marijuana industry attended an invitation-only meeting at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland January 9 to discuss plans for a marijuana 'legalization' initiative to be on the ballot in California in 2016.

The invitations came from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), a group led by Dale Sky Jones that was formed after the defeat of a legalization measure in 2010, and the Drug Policy Alliance, represented by lobbyist Jim Gonzales

The keynote speaker was Bill Zimmerman, a Los Angeles campaign consultant who is widely credited with masterminding the 1996 Proposition 215 campaign, which legalized marijuana for medical use in California.

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13 US WA: PUB LTE: A New Drug WarWed, 07 Jan 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Pluckhahn, Charles Area:Washington Lines:41 Added:01/07/2015

I chuckle at City Attorney Pete Holmes' "path forward": the city's and state's plan to create their own marijuana cartel to be enforced by the police, the courts and the prisons ["City Attorney Pete Holmes: 'Clearly commercial' medical pot shops not legal," The Evergreen, Jan. 5].

He's upset that medical "dispensaries" are engaging in "commercial" activities. This is "illegal," he says. The Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts didn't like competition either, but not even they had the direct power to throw rivals in jail.

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14 US WA: Input Sought On Rules For Rural PotTue, 16 Dec 2014
Source:Herald, The (Everett, WA) Author:Nile, Amy Area:Washington Lines:128 Added:12/18/2014

The Planning Commission Will Hold a Hearing Today As It Seeks Recommendations for the County Council on Marijuana Businesses in Unincorporated Areas.

EVERETT - Marijuana-enterprise owners are expected to plead for their businesses at a public hearing before the Snohomish County Planning Commission on Tuesday.

Neighbors who oppose pot operations also plan to weigh in before the commission makes a recommendation to the County Council.

The council asked for recommendations as it considers amending the rules for marijuana businesses in the spring. In October, the council imposed a temporary moratorium on new pot operations in some of the county's rural areas after some neighbors voiced opposition.

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15 US MO: OPED: Should We Legalize Marijuana?Sun, 14 Dec 2014
Source:Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) Author:Roper, Bob Area:Missouri Lines:134 Added:12/16/2014

On Nov. 4, voters in Oregon and Alaska passed initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana. This, of course, follows Colorado and Washington state, whose voters did the same not long ago. The trend is obvious - and hardly surprising considering in a recent poll Americans said, by 56 percent to 44 percent, that marijuana should be legalized provided it is appropriately regulated, as with alcohol.

There is a great irony here. Just as the legalization trend accelerates, maybe to the point of being unstoppable, the accumulated medical and scientific evidence proving marijuana is in fact a dangerous drug is overwhelming. Here are some of the studies and useful facts:

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16 US NY: Editorial: Drug War MilestoneMon, 28 Jul 2014
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:New York Lines:74 Added:07/28/2014

Reform of Overly Harsh Prison Sentences Is Both a Just and Practical Step Forward

Few would argue at this point that the nation's decades-old war on drugs has been anything but a wretched failure. It has cost uncounted millions of dollars, sent tens of thousands of people to prison (disproportionately African-American) and helped give this country the world's largest incarceration rate - and all without putting a dent in drug use.

Slowly, the country is uncoiling itself from this death grip. New York State has relaxed its Rockefeller drug laws, among the nation's harshest, and now Washington is backing away from mandatory minimum sentences, adopted and clung to since the crack cocaine epidemic hit in the 1980s.

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17 US CT: OPED: When Heroin Hit The SuburbsTue, 20 May 2014
Source:Register Citizen (CT) Author:Lerner, Stephen Area:Connecticut Lines:99 Added:05/20/2014

Last month, NBC News ran a series of stories about the United States' "growing heroin epidemic." Last month, NBC News ran a series of stories about the United States' "growing heroin epidemic." Two things stand out in the reports: One is their sympathetic tone; the other is that almost everyone depicted is white.

Drug users and their families aren't vilified; there is no panicked call for police enforcement. Instead, and appropriately, there is a call for treatment and rehabilitation. Parents of drug addicts express love for their children, and everyone agrees they need support to get clean.

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18 US DC: OPED: When Heroin Hit The SuburbsSun, 18 May 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Lerner, Stephen Area:District of Columbia Lines:98 Added:05/18/2014

Last month, NBC News ran a series of stories about the United States' "growing heroin epidemic." Two things stand out in the reports: One is their sympathetic tone; the other is that almost everyone depicted is white.

Drug users and their families aren't vilified; there is no panicked call for police enforcement. Instead, and appropriately, there is a call for treatment and rehabilitation. Parents of drug addicts express love for their children, and everyone agrees they need support to get clean.

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19 US NY: War On WeedWed, 16 Apr 2014
Source:Village Voice (NY) Author:Stuart, Tessa Area:New York Lines:187 Added:04/18/2014

Despite Andrew Cuomo's Promises, the End Might Not Be Near

A U.S. map that shows where pot is legal looks a lot like recent electoral college maps, except instead of blue, the liberal states are rendered in green: the entire West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada), progressive mountain and Midwest states (Colorado, New Mexico; Michigan, Illinois), all of New England, plus New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing medical marijuana; in two of them, recreational weed is all good, too.

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20US: Testing Pot As Remedy For PTSDMon, 24 Mar 2014
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Finz, Stacy Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2014

FDA Approves Research on Afflicted Military Vets

After three years, a small Santa Cruz nonprofit has won a battle with the federal government to test marijuana on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, but the organization's founder says his work is far from done.

Rick Doblin's ultimate goal is for his Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies to become a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, selling marijuana and other currently illegal substances such as MDMA - - also known as Ecstasy - to pharmacies across the nation. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved two MDMA studies funded by the organization.

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