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1US LA: Guns Or Marijuana? Some Patients Will Have To Make The ChoiceFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2018

As Louisiana's medical marijuana program takes shape some patients might have to make a difficult choice: keep their gun ownership rights or participate in the program.

Louisiana is one of 30 states that have approved medical marijuana laws in some form. Although the state's nine dispensaries won't open until later this year, patients who qualify for medical marijuana under Louisiana law may be surprised to learn that federal law restricts their ability to purchase a gun if they use marijuana.

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2 US PA: A 'Game-Changer' For Pa. Medical Marijuana Flower Goes On SaleFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:112 Added:07/31/2018

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are bracing for a surge in new customers when vaporizable "flower" -- the most popular and recognizable form of cannabis -- goes on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

"We're expecting 300 to 400 patients at our Abington store the first day," said Chris Visco, co-founder of TerraVida Holistic Centers. "People will likely be in line at 8 a.m. We're hiring an extra security guard and an extra valet parking person. This is a game-changer."

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3 US Editorial: Only Congress Can Keep Jeff Sessions' Reefer Madness InFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)                 Lines:81 Added:07/31/2018

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' decision to withdraw an Obama-era directive discouraging the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized pot shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with Sessions' views on drug laws.

The attorney general has every right to enforce federal drug laws as vigorously as he sees fit. But just because he can doesn't mean he should. The truth is that resuming the discredited war on marijuana would be neither a smart step nor welcome policy, and just the threat of it is a reminder of the shortsightedness of the federal government's approach to drugs.

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4 US: Editorial: Repeal Prohibition, AgainFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/28/2018

The federal government should follow the growing movement in the states and repeal the ban on marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflictingA great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

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5 US: Public Faith In Marijuana Outpaces Medical Research, Study FindsWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Haydon, Ian Area:United States Lines:119 Added:07/25/2018

Despite limited evidence, Americans have an increasingly positive view of the health benefits of marijuana. Nearly two-thirds believe pot can reduce pain, while close to half say it improves symptoms of anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, according to a new online survey of 9,003 adults.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the 30 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, that have legalized medical marijuana. But scientists say hard data on the health effects of pot -- both positive and negative -- are largely missing. Because marijuana is considered an illicit drug by the federal government, research has been scant, though there are efforts underway in Pennsylvania and nationally to remedy that.

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6 US NJ: Editorial: Like Jersey City, Murphy's AG Takes The High GroundWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:81 Added:07/25/2018

Jersey City's mayor is planting himself at the forefront of a national movement to stop destroying people's lives for having a little marijuana.

Steven Fulop is firmly on the right side of this issue, and Gov. Phil Murphy's attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, is not fighting him on it -- once again demonstrating that he is not just concerned with law and order, but justice.

Grewal has been receptive to reform efforts in general, creating a statewide team to investigate wrongful convictions, for instance, after a bungled murder case in Passaic County.

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7 US NJ: Report: New Jersey Puts Temporary Hold On Marijuana CasesTue, 24 Jul 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Shipkowski, Bruce Area:New Jersey Lines:60 Added:07/24/2018

New Jersey's attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September.

The decision was included in a letter state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent Tuesday to municipal prosecutors in the state. It asked them to seek an adjournment until September 4 -- or later -- of any matter "involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court," a move that will allow the attorney general's office time to develop "appropriate guidance" for prosecutors.

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8 US PA: Pa. report: Legalizing Marijuana Could Generate $580 MillionThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:72 Added:07/19/2018

Legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use in Pennsylvania could generate more than $580 million in tax revenue for the state, said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in a report issued Thursday morning.

"Pennsylvania's budget challenges are now a consistent factor in all state policy decisions," said DePasquale. "Taxing marijuana offers a rare glimmer of fiscal hope, providing a way to refocus the state budget process away from filling its own gaps."

Last year, the state faced a shortfall of more than $2 billion.

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9 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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10 US: Oped: The CDC Director's Deeply Personal Reason For FightingWed, 18 Jul 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Bever, Lindsey Area:United States Lines:109 Added:07/18/2018

One of the nation's top public-health officials has explained why the fight against the opioid epidemic is so personal to him.

At a conference in New Orleans, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield Jr. opened up about his family's experience with opioids, saying that one of his adult children nearly died of an overdose of cocaine mixed with fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, according to the Associated Press.

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11 US NJ: New Jersey, Feeling Marijuana's Pull, Frets Over LegalizationTue, 17 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Corsiniti, Nick Area:New Jersey Lines:168 Added:07/17/2018

SECAUCUS, N.J. - Tucked inside a nondescript commercial warehouse here sits a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation. A custom filtration system feeds a proprietary cocktail of nutrients into a hydroponic, two-level farming system. Two pallets of crops are harvested every day, and the 15,000 square feet will eventually yield two tons of marijuana per year.

And it's all legal.

Opened just a few weeks ago, Harmony Dispensary is the latest site in New Jersey to provide marijuana for medical use, a program that has expanded greatly since Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, was sworn in. More than 10,000 patients have enrolled since he took office in January, bringing the total to about 25,000. And on Monday, Mr. Murphy's office announced it was seeking up to six new applicants for medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

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12 US MA: Worcester Banks On Potential Revenue From Adult-Use, MedicalSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Kotsopoulos, Nick Area:Massachusetts Lines:225 Added:07/14/2018

WORCESTER - Moments after the Board of Health unanimously voted Monday night to issue the city's first license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary, many of those in attendance began to applaud.

It was a modest celebration of sorts - for the representatives of Good Chemistry of Massachusetts Inc., which was awarded the first license, public health officials and members of the Board of Health - as it culminated what was a long process that began more than 5= years ago.

Soon after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum question in 2012 to legalize marijuana for medical use, Good Chemistry began scoping out potential sites for a dispensary in the city.

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13 US FL: Marijuana Advocates Promote Education Amidst GrowingSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Santana, Marco Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:07/14/2018

A budding medical marijuana industry has slowly been gaining acceptance in Central Florida as lawmakers consider regulations and the number of approved dispensaries grow.

But as medicinal solutions land most of the support, advocates say it's only a matter of time before full legalization lands on the table.

At the Orlando Marijuana Expo, a workshop and advocacy event Saturday at UCF, attorney Carrie McClain said the piecemeal approach to legalization would not be effective but has helped build some momentum.

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14 US HI: Dispensary Sales May Climb With Medical Marijuana Law ChangesThu, 12 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Domai, Sarah Area:Hawaii Lines:98 Added:07/12/2018

Sales at Hawaii's six medical marijuana dispensaries totaled $6.7 million in the past 10 months, and their earnings are likely to grow with two changes to the state's cannabis law.

Medical cannabis dispensaries can now sell "safe pulmonary administration products" - essentially cannabis oil vapes.

Sales at Hawaii's six medical marijuana dispensaries totaled $6.7 million in the past 10 months, and their earnings are likely to grow with two changes to the state's cannabis law.

Dispensaries last week began selling a type of vape cartridge for cannabis oil and are now allowed to sell pot to tourists who obtain a medical marijuana card.

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15 US PA: Could Marijuana Help Treat Opioid Addiction? Pennsylvania MayFri, 06 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:Pennsylvania Lines:179 Added:07/11/2018

As bad as getting off opioids the first time was, nothing prepared Briana Kline for trying to come back from relapse. She was in deep, past the Percocets and other pills. This time it was heroin, even a close brush with fentanyl. But the medicine that so helped slay her cravings before didn't seem to be cutting it.

"The Suboxone didn't make me feel the way it usually does," said Kline, 26, of Lancaster County. "I was struggling a lot with cravings. I'd go a couple of days, be OK. Then I'd go use again."

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16 US IL: Giving Addicted Inmates Opioid Meds Behind Bars Can ReduceFri, 06 Jul 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Keilman, John Area:Illinois Lines:222 Added:07/11/2018

Why don't more jails use them?

After Neila Rivera began using heroin as a teenager, she fell into a predictable and depressing pattern. She'd get locked up and go through detox, only to return to drugs as soon as she got out.

It's a routine that has become more dangerous as heroin, now commonly mixed with powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl, has become more unpredictably potent: Studies show that people released from incarceration, their drug tolerance lowered from abstinence, are far more likely than others to overdose.

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17 US FL: Federal Law? State Law? Which Takes Precedence When You WantMon, 09 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Hamm, Catharine Area:Florida Lines:129 Added:07/11/2018

You can't take it with you. Actually, you can. But it's not a good idea when you're traveling, especially for the risk-averse.

We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade before that.

Legal, it should be noted, in California. Not legal according to federal law, although President Trump has signaled his willingness to support legislation that, according to an L.A. Times article, would "end the federal ban on marijuana."

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18US: Column: Hey Bud, Is That Marijuana, Pot Or Just Your Shoes?Wed, 11 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Morris, Tim Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2018

That old New Orleans con of, "I betcha I can tell you where you got them shoes," just took on a whole different meaning.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration's just released list of "Drug Slang Code Words," for 2018, "shoes" is one of 353 terms the cool kids are using for cannabis these days. (I bet you thought there would be 420.) So, offering to tell the tourists where they obtained their footwear could spark a panic.

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19 US MA: What To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales InThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:190 Added:07/10/2018

July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other day since December 15, 2016, when it became legal in Massachusetts to possess, grow and give away small quantities of cannabis.

But in the intervening year-and-a-half, no retailers have begun selling the drug. Advocates of its recreational use have grown frustrated at the retail rollout's plodding pace.

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20 U.S. Attorney In Massachusetts Says Opioids, Not Cannabis, A PriorityTue, 10 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:92 Added:07/10/2018

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana.

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)

The top federal law enforcement official in Massachusetts signaled Tuesday he would not aggressively prosecute people for using and selling marijuana -- a federal, if not state crime -- saying that while he could not "effectively immunize" residents from federal laws criminalizing the drug, his office was turning its attention to the state's opioid problem.

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