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1 CN BC: PUB LTE: Pot Legalization Will Enable More ResearchSun, 10 Jun 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:British Columbia Lines:39 Added:06/12/2018

The costs and benefits of cannabis and cannabis policies are difficult to calculate, but cannabis legalization will remove many impediments to research.

A recent study finding an association between chronic cannabis use by young people and diminished life outcomes acknowledged "while we controlled for multiple potential confounds, it is possible that there are other explanatory mechanisms that have not been accounted for ... in the current study."

Oddly, one of the confounds the study neglected to control for is the self-medication of emotional and psychological problems such as ADHD and PTSD, which typically stem from childhood trauma: abuse, neglect, abandonment or, in some cases perhaps, an emotionally unavailable father.

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2 Canada: Column: The Cannabis Experience From The U.S. Tells Us TheTue, 29 May 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:109 Added:06/01/2018

In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing cannabis was operating.

As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the western United States?

The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on children and teens is largely unwarranted.

Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have smoked pot in the previous month.

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3 CN MB: Manitoba Seeking Assurance From Feds On Banning Homegrown PotFri, 01 Jun 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pursaga, Joyanne Area:Manitoba Lines:69 Added:06/01/2018

Manitoba's Justice Minister is calling for federal legislation to confirm that provinces can ban the home growth of marijuana plants.

"I think that is clear that is provincial jurisdiction to make that decision. (But) I believe the federal (Justice) Minister made some comments that were a little concerning, so we wanted clarification on that," said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, following a speech to Manitoba Chambers of Commerce members on cannabis legislation Thursday. "We've called (for) some clarification from the federal government. If they could put it specifically in legislation, that would be best."

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4 US PA: Drugged Driving Deaths Spike With Spread Of Legal MarijuanaThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bergal, Jenni Area:Pennsylvania Lines:148 Added:05/31/2018

As legal marijuana spreads and the opioid epidemic rages on, the number of drugged drivers killed in car crashes is rising dramatically, according to a report released today.

Forty-four percent of fatally injured drivers tested for drugs had positive results in 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association found, up more than 50 percent compared with a decade ago. More than half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two.

"These are big-deal drugs. They are used a lot," said Jim Hedlund, an Ithaca, New York-based traffic safety consultant who conducted the highway safety group's study. "People should not be driving while they're impaired by anything and these two drugs can impair you."

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5 US FL: Sarasota County Moves To Ban Recreational MarijuanaWed, 30 May 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:53 Added:05/30/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in Florida.

The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent for the vote.

The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.

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6 US IL: Oped: Let's Not Forget How Wrong Our Crime Data AreFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:O'Neil, Cathy Area:Illinois Lines:91 Added:05/25/2018

Legalizing marijuana makes sense for a lot of reasons, but there's one valuable thing we'll lose when police stop arresting people for smoking pot: A sense of just how misleading our crime data are.

Data on arrests and reported crime play a big role in public policy and law enforcement. Politicians employ them to gauge their success in making neighborhoods and the entire country safe. Police departments use them to determine where to deploy more officers to look for more crime. They are fed into recidivism-risk algorithms, which help judges and parole boards make decisions on sentencing and release.

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7 US NC: Proposed Bill Raises Amount Of Pot Leading To ChargesFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Ward, Myah Area:North Carolina Lines:49 Added:05/25/2018

State Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, introduced a bill this week that would significantly increase the amount of marijuana a person could have in his or her possession for personal use before being charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Under Alexander's bill, a person would not be charged with a misdemeanor unless he or she had more than 4 ounces of marijuana. Under current law, possession of more than a half-ounce is a misdemeanor. A person would have to have more than 16 ounces -- more than 10 times the current limit -- to be charged with a felony.

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8Canada: Senators Vote To Remove Random Roadside Alcohol Testing FromThu, 24 May 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Platt, Brian Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2018

The government's leader in the Senate, Peter Harder, slammed the committee's removal of the provision

OTTAWA - In a controversial move that may set up another showdown with the House of Commons, a Senate committee voted on Wednesday night to remove random alcohol testing from the government's impaired driving legislation.

The provision would allow police to demand a breathalyzer test from any driver regardless of whether police had reasonable grounds to believe the driver had consumed alcohol. Currently police need that reasonable suspicion to make the breathalyzer demand, which drivers are punished for refusing.

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9 CN BC: Craft Cannabis Growers In B.C. Sound Alarm Over Survival OfFri, 18 May 2018
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Kane, Laura Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:05/23/2018

Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and her B.C. counterpart David Eby

Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.

Villano doesn't want that to change when marijuana is legalized later this year, and she's among the proponents of local craft cannabis who are pushing the federal and provincial governments to ensure its survival.

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10 US: Cannabis Start-Ups Pay Taxes The Hard WaySun, 20 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weed, Julie Area:United States Lines:137 Added:05/20/2018

Charity Gates phones her contact each month to make an appointment. When the time comes, she and a colleague drive around Denver, collecting stacks of $20 bills she has stored in various safes since the last delivery. She counts the cash and places it in small duffel or sling bags, carrying up to $20,000 at a time.

She then drives to a gray two-story office building downtown and parks on the street or in a pay lot nearby. Ms. Gates fears being robbed, so the two dress simply to avoid attention and use different vehicles and delivery days to vary their routine. "We hold our breath every time we go," Ms. Gates said.

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11 US NY: Marijuana Policy Change Is Said To Be ConsideredTue, 15 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:223 Added:05/19/2018

The district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are weighing plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on marijuana charges, potentially curbing the consequences of a law that in New York City is enforced most heavily against black and Hispanic people.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office, which in 2014 decided to stop prosecuting many low-level marijuana cases, is considering expanding its policy so that more people currently subject to arrest on marijuana charges, including those who smoke outside without creating a public nuisance, would not be prosecuted, one official familiar with the discussions said.

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12 US NY: Making Sense Of Marijuana ArrestsMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:103 Added:05/19/2018

If you've walked around New York City lately, there's a good chance you've smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park.

White people largely don't get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races smoke at similar rates.

So after a senior police official recently testified to the City Council that there was a simple justification - he said more people call 911 and 311 to complain about marijuana smoke in black and Hispanic neighborhoods - we decided to dig into the numbers the New York Police Department gave lawmakers to support that claim.

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13 US NY: Deblasio Directs Police Dept. To End 'unnecessary' MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:142 Added:05/19/2018

After years of halting steps, top prosecutors and elected officials in New York City on Tuesday made a sudden dash toward ending many of the marijuana arrests that for decades have entangled mostly black and Hispanic people.

The plans, still unwritten and under negotiation, will rise or fall on the type of conduct involving marijuana that officials decide should still warrant arrest and prosecution. The changes appear likely to create a patchwork of prosecution policies across the city's five boroughs, and are unlikely to restrict police officers from stopping and searching people on suspicion of possessing a drug that is now legal in a number of states.

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14 US NY: Marijuana Cases In New York City Reveal Race GapMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:235 Added:05/19/2018

They sit in courtroom pews, almost all of them young black men, waiting their turn before a New York City judge to face a charge that no longer exists in some states: possessing marijuana. They tell of smoking in a housing project hallway, or of being in a car with a friend who was smoking, or of lighting up a Black & Mild cigar the police mistake for a blunt.

There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York: The primary targets are black and Hispanic people.

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15CN AB: Edmonton Police Spending New Money On Devices For RoadsideThu, 17 May 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/17/2018

Edmonton police will need about $1.4 million in ongoing and one-time funding to prepare for marijuana legalization this summer, a report to the police commission states.

Cannabis is set to become legal in Canada this summer and with it comes higher policing costs, the Edmonton Police Commission heard Thursday.

Police officials outlined a laundry list of new technology and training needed to enforce legal weed laws. Last month, the city approved $1.4 million in one-time and ongoing funding to help the police service deal with the impact of legal weed.

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16 US FL: Judge Weighs Ban On Patients Smoking Medical MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:111 Added:05/16/2018

Cathy Jordan credits pot with helping her defeat the odds in the battle against Lou Gehrig's disease she's waged for more than 30 years.

And although she can now legally obtain the cannabis treatment she's relied on for decades, Jordan is prohibited from what she and her doctors swear is the best way for her to consume her medicine -- smoking joints.

Jordan is among the plaintiffs challenging a state law that bans smoking pot as a route of administration for the hundreds of thousands of patients who are eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Florida.

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17 US PA: Now That Marijuana Is Legal, Could Magic Mushrooms Be Next?Wed, 16 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ostrov, Barbara Feder Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:05/16/2018

In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."

Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.

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18 US NY: Editorial: Stop-And-Frisk's Legacy In Marijuana ArrestsTue, 15 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:78 Added:05/15/2018

The New York Police Department has claimed that more black and Latino people are arrested for petty marijuana offenses because complaints are more voluminous in neighborhoods where black and Latino people predominantly live. That excuse was blown apart this weekend by a Times investigation showing that the complaints about marijuana use do not fully account for the racial arrest gap - and that, when complaints were held constant, "the police almost always made arrests at a higher rate in the area with more black citizens."

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19 US: Marijuana Request Denial Has Career In LimboSun, 13 May 2018
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Maese, Rick Area:United States Lines:169 Added:05/13/2018

Running back Mike James hurts all over. He experiences chronic pain every day, a natural byproduct of his chosen profession. Still, he's not yet ready to walk away from his NFL career, and says he knows the key to continuing: marijuana.

James, an NFL free agent, applied for a marijuana therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) from the league this offseason, which he hoped would allow him to treat his pain without fear of violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The league denied his request last week, which James said jeopardizes his ability to sign with a team and continue his career.

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20CN BC: Column: Pot-Law Logic Disappears At The BorderThu, 10 May 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne=09, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/11/2018

Some time this summer, marijuana will be legal in Canada. It's already legal in Washington state and has been for four years.

But Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth warned this week that there's a significant problem looming at the border crossing, because it's still going to be illegal there.

It makes no sense whatsoever, but the U.S. federal government controls the border crossing, and marijuana is still nominally illegal in the U.S. federally.

"People [meaning, cannabis users] are going to naturally assume, on either side of the border, that they cross back and forth because it's legal in each jurisdiction,a" told the house. "But the reality is it will not be legal at that federal border crossing."

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