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1 US NY: New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Tying Move ToThu, 01 Apr 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ferre-Sadurni, Luis Area:New York Lines:207 Added:04/01/2021

After years of stalled attempts, New York State has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, enacting a robust program that will reinvest millions of dollars of tax revenues from cannabis in minority communities ravaged by the decades-long war on drugs.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the cannabis legislation on Wednesday, a day after the State Legislature passed the bill following hours of debate among lawmakers in Albany.

New York became the 15th state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, positioning itself to quickly become one of the largest markets of legal cannabis in the nation and one of the few states where legalization is directly tied to economic and racial equity.

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2 Mexico: Oped: End The War On Drugs NowFri, 20 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grillo, Ioan Area:Mexico Lines:128 Added:11/20/2020

MEXICO CITY - On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood in front of the White House press corps and made his historic declaration of a new type of war. "Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse," he said. "In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it's necessary to wage a new all-out offensive."

It would be a government-wide effort, and rally the United States's power abroad to stem the supply of drugs. Among the countries targeted was Mexico, which was home to abundant marijuana production and had been resistant to aerial crop spraying.

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3US: 4 States Ready To Roll With Recreational PotThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Cannon, Jay Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:11/05/2020

Americans were still waiting for clarity on the presidential race Wednesday morning. Perhaps lost in the frantic haze of election night was the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states.

Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana all passed legislation Tuesday permitting the possession of weed by adults, which means 15 states have legalized recreational weed or voted to legalize it.

South Dakota and Mississippi passed initiatives to allow medical marijuana, which means 36 states permit the legal distribution of medical weed, according to a tally by NORML, a nonprofit marijuana public advocacy group.

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4Canada: Canadian Study Finds A Link Between Starting Medical CannabisThu, 29 Oct 2020
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Stelmakowich, Angela Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2020

43.5 per cent of study participants who used marijuana as a substitute for alcohol decreased the frequency of their drinking.

Authorized medical marijuana patients who began using cannabis to help reduce their drinking report experiencing a reduction or even discontinuation of alcohol use, notes new research out of the University of Victoria.

The finding reflects feedback from 2,102 patients registered with Tilray, a medical cannabis research and production company in Canada. The input was received as part of the Canadian Cannabis Patient Survey 2019, which gathered details on patient demographics, patterns of weed use and self-reported use of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs before and after starting medical cannabis.

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5 US: State Ballots Show A Shifting Debate On Legalizing DrugsTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Johnson, Kirk Area:United States Lines:160 Added:10/27/2020

Oregon has an addiction problem. Pockets of rural poverty, chronic homelessness and cities with lots of young people have given the state one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. It is also, because there is so little money allocated to it, one of the toughest places to get treatment.

A proposed solution on the ballot next week would be one of the most radical drug-law overhauls in the nation's history, eliminating criminal penalties entirely for personal use amounts of drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Tax revenues from drug sales would be channeled toward drug treatment.

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6 US AZ: Lawsuit Seeks To Keep Recreational Marijuana Off AZ BallotWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ) Author:Fischer, Howard Area:Arizona Lines:126 Added:07/25/2020

PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in Arizona are trying to keep the issue from going to voters in November.

Legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contend the legally required 100-word description misled people into signing the petition to put the issue on the ballot. Issues range from the definition of "marijuana" to how the law would affect driving while impaired.

The lawsuit comes as a new survey Tuesday finds widespread support for the proposal a=80" with more than 6 out of every 10 likely voters saying they will support it if it is on the ballot. Pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that just 32% say they're definitely opposed.

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7 US: The Word Of God In The Age Of WeedMon, 29 Jun 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jordan, Mike Area:United States Lines:157 Added:06/29/2020

Sue Taylor never would have let one of her students slide 20 years ago if she had caught one with marijuana.

But the former Catholic school principal has found a new mission with senior citizens: providing them with information and access to cannabis through her California dispensary, Farmacy Berkeley. It opened in the Bay Area in February.

Like many of her former colleagues at the top of religious institutions, she once saw marijuana as a plague on her African-American community. "I was just like them until I saw the healing, and I could not turn my back on that, spiritually," Ms. Taylor, 72, says.

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8 North Macedonia: A Cannabis Superpower Awaits The Green LightSun, 29 Mar 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Segal, David Area:Macedonia Lines:210 Added:03/29/2020

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - In a desolate industrial zone of this capital city, a cannabis grow house is under construction that, when finished, will span 178,000 square feet, about the size of a Walmart superstore. At full capacity, 17 tons of marijuana a year, worth about $50 million, will be harvested. Among the planned offerings is an American strain known as Herijuana, a portmanteau of "heroin" and "marijuana," which has received some rhapsodic online reviews.

"I feel blown to the dome omg," wrote a fan on Leafly, a cannabis review site. "It also gave me the ability to rap."

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9US CA: Marijuana On The Job: Some New Twists In Drug TestingFri, 17 Jan 2020
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Phomicinda, Watchara Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2020

Three years after recreational marijuana was legalized in California, it still casts a cloud over most job applicants.

Many employers in the state still require drug screening as a prerequisite for hiring someone, experts in the hiring field say. And while recreational use and possession are allowed for people 21 and older, failing a drug test can still prompt an employer to toss a resume into the reject pile.

But with 11 states now legalizing recreational marijuana use, there are new perspectives that might be giving workers something of a break.

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10US MN: Minnesota Study Links Pot Use In Pregnancy To Infant HealthFri, 10 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Olson, Jeremy Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:01/13/2020

Researchers hope the findings counter recent trends of mothers using marijuana for pregnancy-related nausea symptoms.

Researchers in Minnesota and Iowa have found greater risks of social and emotional problems in infants whose mothers consumed marijuana during pregnancy.

Using results of a developmental screening tool for 1-year-olds, the researchers found that 9.1% of babies from marijuana users were at risk, compared to 3.6% of babies whose mothers didn't consume the drug while pregnant.

Researchers said the size of that gap was surprising, along with screening results showing that 8% of mothers tested positive during pregnancy for the presence of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, lead researcher of the study from the HealthPartners Institute in Bloomington, Minn. Researchers from the universities of Minnesota and Iowa co-authored the study, which was published in the Journal of Perinatology.

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11US: The Human Cost Of Marijuana Is So HighMon, 06 Jan 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Donnell, Jayne O' Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2020

I've covered things that injure, sicken and kill kids and adults for more than 30 years. From auto safety to medical errors, I've competed to break stories on the latest deadly defect or health policy change, most recently on electronic cigarettes.

In late August, I added vaping-related lung illnesses to the beat. Last month, I added marijuana, psychosis and other mental illness.

It's a pretty solitary place to be.

We reporters covered the heck out of vaping lung illnesses starting in August. Once it became clear the culprit was THC and not nicotine, however, the news media seemed to lose interest, said former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb at a breakfast event I attended in early November.

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12 US IL: Legal Weed In IlinoisThu, 02 Jan 2020
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:McCoppin, Robert Area:Illinois Lines:701 Added:01/02/2020

Illinois started off the new decade by embarking into the world of recreational marijuana, where people can buy the intoxicating plant legally and without a prescription.

Across the Chicago area, thousands lined up - some before dawn - for a chance to buy marijuana legally for the first time. The day featured long lines, a few glitches - and lots of happy customers.

"It's history, so it's worth the wait," Damien Smith of Maywood said as he left MedMen dispensary in Oak Park with a bag of cannabis products after waiting in line for about four hours.

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13US IL: Illinois Sees First Legal Sales Of Recreational MarijuanaWed, 01 Jan 2020
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)          Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:01/01/2020

CHICAGO - The sale of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal Wednesday in Illinois to the delight of pot fans - many who began lining up hours early at dispensaries.

About 500 people were outside Dispensary 33 in Chicago. Renzo Mejia made the first legal purchase in the shop shortly after 6 a.m., the earliest that Illinois' new law allowed such sales.

"To be able to have (recreational marijuana) here is just mind-boggling," Mejia told the Chicago Sun-Times after buying an eighth of an ounce called "Motorbreath."

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14 US CA: California Attempts To Revive Compassionate Cannabis ProgramsWed, 01 Jan 2020
Source:San Francisco Examiner (CA) Author:Kreidler, Mark Area:California Lines:153 Added:01/01/2020

For years, Richard Manning knew what he needed to cope with his physical pain, rage and PTSD - much of which he traced to a career-ending knee injury he suffered while on a domestic security detail with the Marines.

Cannabis may not have been a cure-all, but it was the closest thing he'd ever had to one.

Manning, a resident of Elk Grove, Calif., didn't have enough money to buy the daily amount of cannabis he needed, but he was able to get it through a network of charitable donors spawned by the Compassionate Use Act, a 1996 California law that allowed marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

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15US CA: Marijuana: 6 Things To Watch For In California In 2020Mon, 30 Dec 2019
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Agro, Nick Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2019

As California enters its third year of legal recreational cannabis sales, many expect upcoming new laws, high-profile court cases and major criminal justice reforms to shake up the industry.

Marijuana advocates are wary after a challenging second year, but most also are hopeful that changes in 2020 will put them in a better position a year from now.

"We always knew it would be an uphill battle," said Robert Flannery of Dr. Robb Farms, a cannabis cultivation company based in Desert Hot Springs. "But there are very few people who are not generally optimistic about the cannabis industry."

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16 Canada: Pot in Canada: Legal, But Not ProfitableMon, 16 Dec 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Austin, Ian Area:Canada Lines:196 Added:12/20/2019

SMITHS FALLS, Ontario - When Canada became the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana, visions of billions of dollars in profits inspired growers, retailers and investors, sending the stock market soaring in a so-called green rush.

A year later, the euphoria has vanished.

"No one wants to invest in it now," said John-Kurt Pliniussen, a professor of marketing at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

That is because those who have invested have generally lost money. During the first year after legalization, the value of shares in Canada's six largest marijuana companies tumbled by an average of 56 percent, according to stock price data.

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17 US CA: Passing The Plate, And The PotSun, 24 Nov 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:John, Arit Area:California Lines:295 Added:11/24/2019

LOS ANGELES - Every Sunday, about two dozen people gather at a green cabin along the main drag of Big Bear, Calif., a small mountain town known for its namesake lake. They go there for Jah Healing Church services, where joints are passed around.

April Mancini, a founder of the church, said she was drawn to the idea of cannabis as a religious sacrament back in 2013, after she met a Rastafarian who was running the place as an unlicensed medicinal dispensary.

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18 US MI: When Can We Finally Buy Recreational Marijuana In Michigan?Tue, 22 Oct 2019
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:119 Added:10/23/2019

Last year, after the vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Michigan was certified, people lined up outside provisioning centers with the expectation that they would be allowed to buy some in those locations - - only to find that a state medical certification was still required.

Nearly a year later, folks are still wondering when they'll be able to walk into a store and buy some weed.

The conventional answer to that question is probably sometime early in 2020. That's based on the Marijuana Regulatory Agency's stated plan to start taking applications from businesses that already have medical marijuana business licenses this fall. MRA people have said that they will process these applications with dispatch. And since these already medically licensed businesses have already gone through the rigorous licensing process, it should be quicker and easier than the first time around.

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19 US FL: Miami Beach Officially Bans Public Smoking Of Marijuana AndTue, 22 Oct 2019
Source:Miami New Times (FL) Author:Lipscomb, Jessica Area:Florida Lines:54 Added:10/23/2019

For the past three and a half months, marijuana has essentially been decriminalized in Miami. After Florida legalized hemp July 1, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it would no longer prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is virtually indistinguishable from hemp.

Nevertheless, the City of Miami Beach has passed a municipal ordinance to discourage people from smoking weed in public. At a meeting last week, city commissioners unanimously voted to outlaw public smoking of marijuana and hemp.

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20 US CA: After Governor Bans Pot Use In Limos, And For HospitalSun, 20 Oct 2019
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McCreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:139 Added:10/23/2019

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines.

Newsom took the action on tour buses and hospitals as he signed several other bills in the last few weeks that will ease pot restrictions, including measures waiving taxes on cannabis provided for free by charities to people with serious health problems and allowing parents to provide medical marijuana products such as oils, creams and pills to their sick children on K-12 school campuses.

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