WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a
western Kansas woman against the state and several agencies after her son
was removed from her home in 2015 when he told school officials she used
Shona Banda, of Garden City, alleged in the lawsuit filed in March that
the defendants denied her civil rights by refusing to allow her to use
medical marijuana to treat her Crohn's disease, interfered with her
parenting and questioned her son without her permission. Medical marijuana
is not legal in Kansas.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday,
agreeing with the defendants' contention that Banda had no right to use
marijuana and the agencies had some immunity.
Banda says she intends to pursue the case after she recovers from a recent
McCOOK -- A Holbrook attorney is trying to launch a ballot initiative
to legalize marijuana in Nebraska.
Frank Shoemaker submitted petition language to the Nebraska secretary
of state earlier this month.
Shoemaker is listed as the sole sponsor of the Nebraska Marijuana
Legalization Initiative. The petition seeks to amend the state
Constitution to remove all laws that regulate the private,
non-commercial use of cannabis, and to regulate all commercial uses.
It seeks to place the question on the November 2012 ballot.
Shoemaker, an unsuccessful candidate for Legislature in 2006, would
need to collect valid signatures from 10 percent of the state's
registered voters. In 2008, that number was more than 112,000 signatures.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A group that wants to allow the use of
marijuana for medical purposes has turned in nearly 500,000
signatures to put the issue on the November 2008 ballot.
The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care says the 496,000
signatures it handed over to the secretary of state's office should
easily contain 304,101 valid signatures, the minimum required.
If approved by voters, the initiative would allow qualified,
seriously ill patients to use and grow a limited amount of marijuana
for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a doctor.
Twelve states and five Michigan cities have passed laws allowing the
medical use of marijuana. Marijuana is illegal under federal law
under all circumstances.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court tightened limits on student
speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his
14-foot-long "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.
Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as
advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court
in a 5-4 ruling.
Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in
2002, as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en
route to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
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WASHINGTON -- Leah Fyten believes every family on her South Dakota
reservation has been affected by methamphetamine use. The drug has
torn apart these families, led to increases in crime and bumped
mortality rates. And now, the director of the Flandreau Santee Sioux
Housing Authority says, it's affecting the reservation's already
desperate housing situation.
Housing is not only ruined by meth labs, which are highly poisonous
and often difficult to spot, but also by the destructive habits that
often accompany drug use. The housing authority on the Flandreau
reservation has spent countless dollars fixing up holes in the walls,
broken windows, ruined appliances and other damage wrought by the
violent habits of drug users, Fyten said.
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Afghanistan -- The worst three weeks of violence since the fall of
the Taliban have left more than 500 people dead, the U.S.-led
coalition said Saturday.
Fighting on Saturday killed six insurgents and three police,
officials said. Late Friday, a top Afghan intelligence agent narrowly
survived a bomb attack on his convoy that killed three other people
near the capital, Kabul.
Much of the recent Taliban fighting is believed funded by the
country's $2.8 billion trade in opium and heroin -- about 90 percent
of the world's supply.
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Pediatricians should speak out in support of needle exchange programs
to reduce the spread of HIV among injection drug users, the American
Academy of Pediatrics says in a toughened policy statement.
Doctors also should discuss HIV risk with their teenage patients
"with a nonjudgmental approach" and offer confidential help if local
laws allow, the group says in the statement appearing Monday in the
"If we can help young people avoid a chronic illness that we have no
cure for, I would hope people would embrace that idea," said the lead
author, Dr. Lisa Henry-Reid of Chicago's John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.
[continues 277 words]
PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Rhode Island on Tuesday became the 11th state to
legalize medical marijuana and the first since the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled in June that patients who use the drug can still be prosecuted
under federal law.
House lawmakers voted 59-13 to override a veto by Gov. Don Carcieri,
allowing people with illnesses such as cancer and AIDS to grow up to
12 marijuana plants or buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana to relieve their
symptoms. The law requires them to register with the state and get a
photo identification card.
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BOSTON --For John Halpern to study the effects of peyote on American
Indians who use the hallucinogenic cactus in religious ceremonies,
observing from a distance was not an option.
Halpern lived on the Navajo Nation reservation for months at a time
and participated in prayer ceremonies. Earning their trust and
cooperation would have been impossible if he refused to ingest peyote,
"It never would have happened if I hadn't done that. It's one of the
ways they take the measure of a man," said Halpern, a psychiatrist at
the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Belmont, just outside of
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Melissa Etheridge says she smoked medicinal marijuana to
help with the side effects of chemotherapy during her treatment for breast
The 44-year-old singer, who was diagnosed over a year ago, is now cancer-free.
"Instead of taking five or six of the prescriptions, I decided to go a
natural route and smoke marijuana," Etheridge says in an interview to air
Sunday on "Dateline NBC" (7 p.m. EDT).
When asked how her doctors reacted, Etheridge says, "Every single one was,
'Oh, yeah. That's the best help for the effects of chemotherapy.'"
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Citing uncertainty prompted by a recent U.S. Supreme
Court ruling, California health officials suspended a program on Friday
that had begun providing patients who smoke marijuana for medicinal reasons
with state-issued identification cards. State Health Director Sandra Shewry
has asked the state Attorney General's office to review the court ruling to
determine whether the ID program would put patients and state employees at
risk of federal prosecution.
"I am concerned about unintended potential consequences of issuing medical
marijuana ID cards that could affect medical marijuana users, their
families and staff of the California Department of Health Services," Shewry
said. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer did not immediately
return a call seeking comment.
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WASHINGTON -- Yes, the government can make a federal case out of medical
marijuana use, the House said Wednesday.
Less than a week ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the government can
medical marijuana users, even when state laws permit doctor-prescribed use
of the drug. In response, the House rejected a bid by advocates to undercut
By a 264-161 vote, the House turned down an amendment that would have
blocked the Justice Department from prosecuting people in the 10 states
where the practice is legal.
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WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot
on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state
medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.
The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had
successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various
Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress
could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.
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On May 17, the Worcester City Council voted 8-3 to oppose a state Senate
bill that would mandate needle-exchange programs across Massachusetts. The
council passed a separate resolution explaining it was against the bill
because it would remove local legislative control from the decisions
involved in setting up the exchanges.
"Local control is something that is so important to our democracy, but
sometimes the folks at the state level in Boston take it for granted," said
Councilor-at-Large Juan A. Gomez. "We don't need a big brother telling us
what to do. We know better than the state as to what is better for our
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Columbia, S.C. -- People convicted of possession or distribution of powder
and crack cocaine would draw the same penalties under a bill that cleared
the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The legislation ends years of stiffer penalties for the potent but less
expensive rock form of cocaine. People arrested on cocaine charges,
however, would face more prison time.
A handful of legislators for years have said it makes little sense for one
form of an addictive drug to have less harsh penalties to than the other.
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SEATTLE -- A group of Washington doctors, religious leaders and lawyers has
offered an "exit strategy" for the war on drugs - a proposal that would aim
to dry up the black market for heroin, marijuana and other substances by
having the state regulate their distribution.
"How we respond to drug abuse should not be more costly and cause more
problems than the drugs themselves," said John Cary, president of the King
County Bar Association, which is leading the effort. "We've got to find
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NEW YORK -- Although today's parents were more likely to use drugs than
their predecessors, they are less likely to speak with their children about
the issue and see less risk in drug experimentation, according to a new
survey released Tuesday.
The study of parental attitudes toward teen drug use and drugs, conducted
by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, found that barely half of the
parents would be upset if their children experimented with marijuana.
The number of parents who have never spoken with their children about drugs
was 12 percent, double what it was just six years ago, the 17th annual
Partnership survey found.
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WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court asked federal courts Monday to reconsider
sentences for hundreds of defendants who contend they were wrongly punished
under a sentencing system the court declared unconstitutional earlier this
Justices instructed the lower courts to review more than 400 appeals from
defendants sentenced for crimes ranging from drug possession to theft and
securities fraud. They had argued that judges had improperly boosted their
sentences based on factors that had not come before the jury during trial.
The Supreme Court ruled Jan. 12 that the federal guidelines violated a
defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial because the 18-year-old
guidelines required judges to make factual decisions that affect prison
time, such as the amount of drugs involved in a crime or amount of money
involved in fraud.
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SACRAMENTO - The Department of Motor Vehicles postponed a driver's license
test for a medical marijuana user with a case before the Supreme Court
after her lawyer claimed she was being unfairly targeted for review without
any driving violations.
Diane Monson received notice from the DMV earlier this month that she
needed to appear at a re-examination hearing Thursday or would lose her
license. The notice did not say why she was selected, but she said with the
exception of a speeding ticket 15 years ago she had spotless record.
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LAS VEGAS -- A group seeking to legalize small amounts of marijuana in
Nevada filed paperwork Tuesday that would compel state lawmakers to
take up the issue during next year's legislative session.
The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana has filed
84,665 signatures in five counties. They need a minimum of 51,337
signatures of registered voters to qualify.
"The marijuana regulation initiative makes sense because it
gives society control over marijuana, while our current prohibition
policies keep marijuana completely uncontrolled," Rob Kampia,
executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington,
D.C., said in a statement.
[continues 323 words]