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1 US: Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social JusticeThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:207 Added:07/19/2018

State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war on drugs.

The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot advocates say, as it's become clear that such issues should be addressed and that doing so won't alienate voters -- most of whom, polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.

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2 US: Medical Milestone: U.S. OKs Marijuana-Based Drug For SeizuresMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Perrone, Matthew Area:United States Lines:148 Added:06/27/2018

U.S. health regulators on Monday approved the first prescription drug made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing legalization for recreational and medical use.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy that begin in childhood. But it's not quite medical marijuana.

The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of a chemical ingredient found in the cannabis plant -- but not the one that gets users high. It's not yet clear why the ingredient, called cannabidiol, or CBD, reduces seizures in some people with epilepsy.

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3 US FL: Some Parents Of Epileptic Kids Wary Of Pot-Based MedicationWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Foody, Kathleen Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:06/20/2018

A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are feeling more cautious than celebratory.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.

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4 US KY: Laura Freeman's Winchester Hemp Farm Open Saturday For ToursWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Patton, Janet Area:Kentucky Lines:43 Added:06/20/2018

If you'd like to know more about what modern hemp farming looks like, the Mount Holly Farm owned by Laura Freeman will have an open-house party on Saturday.

From 1 to 4 p.m., you can see the newly planted hemp crop, which is grown for grain, and see the CBD hemp crop as well. The CBD crop provides cannabidiol oil used in a variety of products.

The farm store, Laura's Mercantile, will be open, with Laura's Hemp Chocolates available for purchase. The party also will have samples of the chocolates as well as hemp beer -- New Belgium's new Hemperor IPA - -- and Kentucky Hemp Dawgs.

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5 US KY: KY Farmers Hail Hemp Day After Legalization Put In Farm BillSun, 10 Jun 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Patton, Janet Area:Kentucky Lines:116 Added:06/10/2018

Kentucky agriculture commissioner: 'It's time to legalize the crop'

Kentucky is again king of hemp, according to officials who spoke at the first Kentucky Hemp Days event on Saturday.

Held in Cynthiana, the festival will be an annual celebration of the crop's revival, which began after Kentucky lawmakers cleared a path for legal cultivation beginning with the General Assembly in 2013 and in Congress in 2014.

On Saturday, as a crowd turned out to hear the latest developments a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., inserted language in the federal farm bill that will remove hemp from the controlled substance list, distancing it from marijuana.

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6 US KS: Compound In Marijuana Now Legal In Kansas With CaveatSat, 09 Jun 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:Kansas Lines:45 Added:06/09/2018

Cannabidiol products are coming back to Kansas after lawmakers approved to bring back the marijuana extract often used as alternative medicine.

Lawmakers voted in April to exclude cannabidiol, or CBD, from the state's definition of marijuana as long as the oil contains no THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. The vote effectively makes CBD an unrestricted substance, the Kansas City Star reported .

The state's decision came after Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a January opinion saying any form of marijuana is against the law in Kansas.

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7 US HI: State Seeks Farmers To Grow Hemp As CropSun, 29 Apr 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Gomes, Andrew Area:Hawaii Lines:105 Added:05/04/2018

Hawaii is another step closer to finding out whether industrial hemp could be a major crop.

The state Department of Agriculture announced earlier this month that it is accepting applications for state licenses to grow hemp.

This comes nearly two years after the state enacted a law to establish a pilot program for commercial production.

"Many believe that industrial hemp can be an important crop in Hawaii," Gov. David Ige said in a statement. "This pilot program is a strong and prudent step in helping to determine the viability of this crop in Hawaii."

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8 US SC: Hemp Growing Program To Include More SC Farmers Growing MoreTue, 01 May 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Feit, Noah Area:South Carolina Lines:93 Added:05/04/2018

The number of hemp farmers in SC is growing fast. How high will it get?

Less than a year into the program, the number of farmers growing hemp in South Carolina could double.

That's because the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is making more permits available for farmers looking to participate in the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

The SCDA will select up to 40 farmers to receive permits to grow industrial hemp. That's twice the amount of the 20 farmers chosen in the inaugural year of the program.

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9 US: Hemp, Not Food, Pushing Senate To Consider Sweeping Farm BillFri, 27 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Clark, Lesley Area:United States Lines:96 Added:05/01/2018

WASHINGTON - The massive farm bill that helps determine what farmers grow and Americans eat is poised to get some major momentum thanks to a not-yet-legal crop: Hemp.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has pushed hard to make hemp a legal product in the United States, is asking for his hemp legalization bill to be included in the sweeping farm bill. That would help give the farm bill, whose prospects have been considered iffy, more support in the Senate.

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10 US: Senate Minority Leader Schumer Introduces Measure ToFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Weigel, David Area:United States Lines:89 Added:04/25/2018

The Senate's top Democrat announced Friday that he is introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana, the first time that a leader of either party in Congress has endorsed a rollback of one of the country's oldest drug laws.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement called the move "simply the right thing to do."

"The time has come to decriminalize marijuana," Schumer said. "My thinking - as well as the general population's views - on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there's no better time than the present to get this done. It's simply the right thing to do."

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11 US MO: Editorial: Missouri Lawmakers Should Support Proposal ToFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:Missouri Lines:85 Added:04/24/2018

State Rep. Jim Neely's bill that would legalize medical marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses has been criticized as too restrictive and narrow.

But the measure could jump-start the push to make Missouri the 30th state to allow medical marijuana.

More than 20 lawmakers, including three Democrats, have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. It passed out of committee this week and awaits consideration in the full House.

The legislation would permit the use of hemp extract for terminally ill patients. The state's current "Right to Try" law allows patients with terminal illnesses to try experimental drugs without approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It doesn't include marijuana.

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12US: US Experts Back Marijuana-Based Drug For Childhood SeizuresThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2018

WASHINGTON -- A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy.

If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group's recommendation, GW Pharmaceuticals' syrup would become the first drug derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the U.S.

The 13-member FDA panel voted unanimously in favor of the experimental medication made from a chemical found in cannabis -- one that does not get users high. The panelists backed the drug based on three studies showing that it significantly reduced seizures in children with two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.

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13 US NM: Marijuana Debate Stirs Up Governor's Race In New MexicoThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Bryan, Susan Montoya Area:New Mexico Lines:93 Added:04/24/2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca on Thursday called for the expansion of New Mexico's medical marijuana program and for legalization of recreational use, saying the poverty-stricken state is missing out on millions of dollars in tax revenues and jobs that could be spurred by the industry.

Apodaca released his plan solidifying his position as a supporter of legalization as the race for governor heats up.

Apodaca pointed to New Mexico's history as the first state to allow for research and experimentation with marijuana as a therapeutic drug. It was his father, then-Gov. Jerry Apodaca, who signed that legislation in 1978.

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14 US: Americans Reflect On Pros, Cons Of Legal Pot Ahead Of 420Thu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:United States Lines:318 Added:04/24/2018

America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group.

Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.

Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many opponents.

Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the state of marijuana in the U.S. today:

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15 US: Mitch Mcconnell Is A Major Champion Of Legalizing The Use Of HempWed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Clark, Lesley Area:United States Lines:160 Added:04/18/2018

WASHINGTON - Embracing the hemp industry was a savvy political move for Kentucky Rep. James Comer, the only Republican to win statewide in 2011 during an otherwise tough year for his party.

The political message got through. Now taking up the charge to make it easier -- and completely legal -- for U.S. farmers to grow and market hemp products, including trendy cannabidiol or CBD oil: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell, R-Ky., who pledges to give the legalization effort "everything we've got," is expediting the legislation and lining up key support from across the aisle as backers seek to convince otherwise tough-on-drugs Republicans to come along.

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16 US KY: Mcconnell Bill Would Legalize Hemp Farming, Help KentuckyFri, 13 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Eblen, Tom Area:Kentucky Lines:109 Added:04/17/2018

Hemp, which was Kentucky's biggest cash crop for a century before tobacco, is poised for a comeback thanks to bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday in Congress. It's about time.

Regular hemp cultivation in this country was banned in 1937. That's when federal law enforcement officials, who feared the repeal of Prohibition would leave them nothing to do, launched the first war on drugs.

With a lot of "reefer madness" hype, the government banned marijuana. Also swept up in that ban was industrial hemp, a botanical cousin in the cannabis family that looks similar to pot but can't make you high no matter how much you smoke.

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17US RI: Healing Church Believers Flout Federal Law As They SmokeTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Ellis, Rebecca Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Anne Armstrong, 58, knows exactly how many joints she has smoked at Providence's Roger Williams National Memorial -- 153, all rolled with "kosher" marijuana harvested in the backyard of her West Greenwich home.

As "deaconess" to The Healing Church, a cannabis-centered Catholic sect that boasts about a dozen members, Armstrong believes smoking in the park is a religious obligation, the equivalent to a sip of wine at Communion.

Anointing members with hashish-infused oil and blowing a shofar so it billows marijuana smoke are, likewise, ceremonial duties. (It should be noted that Armstrong refuses to use the word marijuana, which she calls racist slang. She prefers to refer to the plant as cannabis, spice, or hemp.)

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18 US PA: Oped: Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed One Foot From PhillyTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Sacks, Andrew B. Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:04/06/2018

As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and helping the sick get relief.

However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.

The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care location.

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19 CN BC: Vet Can't Imagine Practising Today Without CBDSun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Richmond News (CN BC) Author:Thomas, Sandra Area:British Columbia Lines:66 Added:04/03/2018

Veterinarian Katherine Kramer remembers an 18-year-old cat she recommended be put on hemp-based cannabidoil (CBD).

"It had heart disease and pancreatitis so painful the traditional amount of pain medication knocked him out and he had no quality of life," says Kramer, a veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Wellness Clinic. "So, I contacted the [medicinal marijuana] Compassion Club."

Kramer says with not much to lose, the owner agreed to work together and very soon the cat was eating and playing again.

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20 US SC: Opioid Alternative Or Gateway To Legal Pot?Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:121 Added:04/03/2018

Medical marijuana cleared a key committee on Thursday and headed to the floor of the S.C. Senate.

But the 8-6 vote by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee came as enforcement leaders are hardening their opposition, saying it is another step toward legalized recreational marijuana in the Palmetto State.

"That's what we've seen in every state," State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel told The State after the committee vote. "There's not a state that hasn't (gone) in steps. And we've seen our state go through the same steps. From CDB oil to hemp to medical marijuana to recreational marijuana. And that's what we've seen in every state . So I have no reason to think its going to be any different in ours."

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