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1 Mexico: Vigilantes Won't Give Up Fight Against Drug CartelTue, 14 Jan 2014
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Fausset, Richard Area:Mexico Lines:132 Added:01/14/2014

MEXICO CITY - Federal authorities rushed Monday to head off a mini-civil war in the "hot land" of Mexico's Michoacan state, urging rural vigilantes to lay down their arms and go home rather than attempt to seize a city of 90,000 that has become a stronghold of a drug cartel calling itself the Knights Templar.

The armed peasant groups emerged last year to fight off the cartel, which had metastasized throughout the southwestern state, coordinating the lucrative methamphetamine trade and extortion rackets and wielding significant control over the major container port of Lazaro Cardenas. Until recently, the self-defense groups had been largely tolerated, if not encouraged, by President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration, which had allowed them to staff some roadblocks alongside federal police and soldiers.

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2US TX: Retired DEA Head Talks Days Of Chasing KingpinsSun, 12 Jan 2014
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Schiller, Dane Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:01/14/2014

Javier Pena, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Houston Division, retired Saturday after a 30-year career. The Texas native recently spoke with Houston Chronicle reporter Dane Schiller. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation:

Q: What do you make of legalizing pot in Colorado?

A: We see the effects it has on people. I'm against legalization. Some states aren't, and that is a political fight. Will Texas ever? I hope not.

Q: Does it make you angry?

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3 US NY: PUB LTE: Weed The PeopleMon, 13 Jan 2014
Source:New York Daily News (NY) Author:Ghaney, Tom Area:New York Lines:26 Added:01/14/2014

While I commend Gov. Cuomo for his efforts to legalize medical marijuana in New York, I don't think he goes far enough. Everyone who needs it should have access to pot, not just those who can get past the hurdle of a committee to decide who gets it or not. We could be raising millions in revenue by taxing it like cigarettes and alcohol, both of which it's no worse than! Since our Legislature has proven itself incapable of making a decision, why not put it on the ballot and let the people decide? Isn't that what democracy is all about?

Tom Ghaney

Brooklyn

[end]

4 US CO: Banks Turn Away Stacks Of Cash From Legal PotMon, 13 Jan 2014
Source:Washington Times (DC) Author:Richardson, Valerie Area:Colorado Lines:127 Added:01/14/2014

Federal Laws Trip Booming Business

DENVER - A week after Colorado's ballyhooed retail marijuana launch, the line at Evergreen Apothecary is still out the door. That comes as both good and bad news for co-owner Tim Cullen.

His business may be booming, but his banking situation remains sketchy. Federal rules prohibit banks from opening accounts for illegal drug enterprises, and recreational and medical marijuana sales are still outlawed under federal law.

Mr. Cullen has a business bank account, but only because he belongs to a business-management service that has allowed him to open an account under a different name. Even so, because of the merchandise on his shelves, he can't get a small-business loan to keep up with his rapidly expanding footprint.

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5 US: Federal Laws Force Legal Pot Shops Into Furtive BankingSun, 12 Jan 2014
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Kovaleski, Serge F. Area:United States Lines:90 Added:01/14/2014

SEATTLE - In his secondfloor office above a hair salon in northern Seattle, Ryan Kunkel is seated on a couch placing $1,000 bricks of cash - dozens of them - in a rumpled brown paper bag. When he finishes, he stashes the money in the trunk of his BMW and sets off on an adrenalized drive downtown, darting through traffic and nervously checking to see if anyone is following him.

Despite the air of criminality, there is nothing illicit in what Kunkel is doing. He co-owns five legal medical marijuana dispensaries, and on this day he is heading to the Washington state Department of Revenue to commit the ultimate in law-abiding acts: paying taxes. After about 25 minutes at the agency, Kunkel emerges with a receipt for $51,321.

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6 US NY: Governor Takes Careful Step On Medical PotMon, 13 Jan 2014
Source:Saratogian, The (NY) Author:Peltz, Jennifer Area:New York Lines:85 Added:01/14/2014

NEW YORK (AP)- Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a political splash by introducing his medical marijuana plan in the State of the State speech, but his cautious approach has met muted cheers from pot advocates who question how meaningful it really is.

While nearly two dozen states have OK'd marijuana for medical purposes and Colorado and Washington have legalized its use for pleasure, Cuomo is tapping a 1980 state law to allow as many as 20 hospitals to dispense the drug to people with certain severe illnesses as an experimental research project.

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7 US TN: PUB LTE: Follow Colorado's LeadTue, 14 Jan 2014
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Grauer, Gail Area:Tennessee Lines:41 Added:01/14/2014

You may have seen news reports regarding a new medical marijuana bill (HB 1385) that state Rep. Sherry Jones is introducing in the Tennessee General Assembly. It is a very strictly written law that gives relief to severely ill persons whose regular medications/drugs provide no relief to their pain and suffering. In the news reports children with seizures are used to support this bill - children with many conditions whose seizures are not controlled with any of the many life-threatening seizure drugs.

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8 US MA: Joint AgreementTue, 14 Jan 2014
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Chabot, Hillary Area:Massachusetts Lines:69 Added:01/14/2014

Gov Hopefuls Say They Won't Push Full Legalization

It's a question of toke as I say, not as I did for the majority of the candidates for Massachusetts governor.

While four of the candidates vying for the state's top job - including Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Steve Grossman - admitted to previously inhaling yesterday, none of them would support a push to fully legalize marijuana in the Bay State.

"Legalizing marijuana is not a priority of mine," said Democratic candidate Juliette Kayyem yesterday during an in-studio interview on Herald Radio. She went on to admit she has smoked marijuana.

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9 US MA: Column: Like It or Not, Recreational Pot Will Blow intoTue, 14 Jan 2014
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Eagan, Margery Area:Massachusetts Lines:67 Added:01/14/2014

I'm thrilled that Charlie Baker, Juliette Kayyem, Don Berwick and yes, Steve Grossman, were once little stoners. Clearly the evil weed hasn't shut down their big brains, diminished their ambition or quashed their quest for big bucks.

How fun to imagine a long-haired Stevie Grossman toking up in his tie-dye shirt, ear pressed against an old, huge stereo speaker blasting "Purple Haze." I can almost hear Little Stevie belting out, "'scuse me while I kiss the sky!!!"

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10 US IL: PUB LTE: Murder TollSun, 12 Jan 2014
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Wooldridge, Howard Area:Illinois Lines:23 Added:01/14/2014

Speaking as a retired detective, I was astounded that your lament over the murder rate did not mention the massive role that drug prohibition plays in the carnage ("Choosing Chicago's murder toll; Defy the odds; Push the body count lower in 2014 and beyond," Editorial, Dec. 29). Per experts testifying in the U.S. House, gang violence would be cut in half if the gangs had no drugs to sell. You do your readers a disservice not mentioning the biggest driver of felony crime in Chicago.

- - Howard Wooldridge, Washington

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