Associated Press _Wire_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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1 US IL: Wire: Lawsuit Filed By Kansas Mom Over Medical Pot UseTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:Illinois Lines:27 Added:12/28/2016

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 marijuana.

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 surgery.


2 US NE: Nebraska Lawyer Pushes For Marijuana Ballot InitiativeTue, 28 Jun 2011
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:Nebraska Lines:25 Added:06/29/2011

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.


3 US MI: Wire: Signatures Turned in to Put Medical Marijuana Issue on BallotTue, 20 Nov 2007
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:Michigan Lines:31 Added:11/20/2007

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.


4 US: Wire: Student Free-Speech Rights LimitedMon, 25 Jun 2007
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:United States Lines:61 Added:06/25/2007

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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5 US: Wire: Meth Takes A Toll On Indian ReservationsSun, 11 Jun 2006
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Jalonick, Mary Clare Area:United States Lines:127 Added:06/13/2006

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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6 Afghanistan: Wire: Afghan Violence Kills More Than 500Sat, 10 Jun 2006
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Coone, Daniel Area:Afghanistan Lines:62 Added:06/11/2006

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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7 US: Wire: Pediatricians Group Backs Needle ExchangesMon, 06 Feb 2006
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Johnson, Carla K. Area:United States Lines:65 Added:02/06/2006

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 journal Pediatrics.

"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.

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8 US RI: Wire: House Overrides Carcieri's Medical Marijuana VetoTue, 03 Jan 2006
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Johnson, M. L. Area:Rhode Island Lines:91 Added:01/03/2006

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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9 US: Wire: Study: Religious Use of Peyote Not Harmful to American IndiansFri, 04 Nov 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Kunzelman, Michael Area:United States Lines:117 Added:11/05/2005

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, he said.

"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 Boston.

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10 US: Wire: Etheridge: I Used Medical MarijuanaFri, 14 Oct 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:United States Lines:35 Added:10/15/2005

NEW YORK (AP) -- Melissa Etheridge says she smoked medicinal marijuana to help with the side effects of chemotherapy during her treatment for breast cancer.

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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11 US CA: Wire: California Suspends Medical Pot Card ProgramFri, 08 Jul 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Leff, Lisa Area:California Lines:53 Added:07/08/2005

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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12 US: Wire: House: Medical Marijuana a Federal CaseWed, 15 Jun 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Taylor, Andrew Area:United States Lines:56 Added:06/15/2005

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 the decision.

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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13 US: Wire: Court Rules Against Pot for Sick PeopleMon, 06 Jun 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Holland, Gina Area:United States Lines:63 Added:06/06/2005

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 illnesses.

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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14 US NJ: Wire: City Council Opposes State-Mandated NeedleWed, 18 May 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:New Jersey Lines:32 Added:05/24/2005

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 community."

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15 US SC: Wire: Senate Judiciary Equalizes Penalties For CocaineWed, 13 Apr 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:South Carolina Lines:49 Added:04/14/2005

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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16 US WA: Wire: Washington State Groups Offer 'Exit Strategy' For the War on DrugsFri, 04 Mar 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:119 Added:03/04/2005

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 another way."

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17 US: Wire: Parental Attitudes Toward Drugs Increasingly MellowTue, 22 Feb 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:McShane, Larry Area:United States Lines:54 Added:02/22/2005

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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18 US: Wire: High Court Orders Review of SentencingsMon, 24 Jan 2005
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Yen, Hope Area:United States Lines:60 Added:01/24/2005

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 month.

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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19 US CA: Wire: Medical Marijuana User Tries To Stop DMV From Taking Her LicenseWed, 22 Dec 2004
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Melley, Brian Area:California Lines:95 Added:12/23/2004

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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20 US NV: Wire: Group Hopes To Compel Nevada Lawmakers To Deal With Marijuana IssueTue, 09 Nov 2004
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Almeida, Christina Area:Nevada Lines:74 Added:11/11/2004

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.

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