1/1/2020 - 31/12/2021
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1 US AZ: Forget Arizona's Cactuses, It's Now About The WeedThu, 01 Apr 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Safronova, Valeriya Area:Arizona Lines:175 Added:04/01/2021

PHOENIX - When Arizonans voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November, it seemed plausible that sales would begin sometime in the spring.

But on Jan. 22, less than three months after the vote, the Arizona Department of Health Services started quickly approving applications, allowing dispensaries to sell cannabis to adults 21 and older immediately.

"It was kind of like ripping a Band-Aid off," said Jennifer Matarese, the president of a management company that runs Local Joint in Phoenix. Like many other dispensaries in Arizona, Local Joint has been serving medical patients for years; the legalization of recreational cannabis has led to a rapid rise in demand.

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2 US NY: With Marijuana Deal, New York Could Create $4 Billion IndustryFri, 26 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ferre-Sadurni, Luis Area:New York Lines:201 Added:03/26/2021

State lawmakers finalized a deal on Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country.

Following several failed attempts, lawmakers in Albany struck an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people.

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3 US: Senior Happy Hour Goes Up In SmokeTue, 23 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Span, Paula Area:United States Lines:184 Added:03/23/2021

For years, Harry B. Lebowitz spent the cocktail hour at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., sitting in his backyard overlooking a lake and smoking a joint while his partner relaxed with her vodka and club soda.

Mr. Lebowitz, 69, a mostly retired businessman, qualified for a state medical marijuana card because he suffered from anxiety, sleep apnea and back pain. He credits cannabis with helping to wean him off several prescription drugs.

Then came Covid-19, heightening both his anxiety and his boredom. "It was like the world stopped," Mr. Lebowitz said. "We're all suffering from some form of PTSD, all of us."

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4 US: Column: Can Magic Mushrooms Heal Us?Sun, 21 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Klein, Ezra Area:United States Lines:251 Added:03/21/2021

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Why does Oregon need an official board to offer advice about the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, you ask? Because Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. Whoa.

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5 US DC: White House Shifts Rules For Past Use Of MarijuanaSat, 20 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Rogers, Katie Area:District of Columbia Lines:139 Added:03/20/2021

WASHINGTON - In February, the Biden administration signaled that past marijuana use would not necessarily disqualify a person from employment by relaxing longstanding policies that have barred some past users of the drug from working in the White House.

The change was seen as a way to open the door for younger talent from parts of the country where marijuana has been legalized, but it took only a few weeks for the new guidelines to be publicly tested.

On Friday, responding to a news report in The Daily Beast that said dozens of young staff members had been pushed to resign or had been reassigned to remote work based on their past marijuana use, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, confirmed that some employees had been sidelined but said that it applied to fewer people.

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6 Mexico: Economic Impact Of A Legal Cannabis Market Remains UnclearSat, 13 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Lopez, Oscar Area:Mexico Lines:152 Added:03/13/2021

MEXICO CITY - Mexico, a country carved up by cartels for decades, is poised to take a major step in drug policy. This week, the lower house of Congress approved a landmark bill to legalize recreational marijuana, which would make it the world's largest legal market for the drug.

With legalization considered all but certain to win Senate and presidential approval, many in the business world are predicting a Mexican green boom: a newly legal industry providing tens of thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in profit for savvy entrepreneurs and welcome tax revenue for the government.

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7 US: Few Regulations For This MedicineTue, 09 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brody, Jane E. Area:United States Lines:149 Added:03/09/2021

Dan Shapiro was the first person I knew to use medical marijuana. As a junior at Vassar College in 1987, he was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma with potent chemotherapy that caused severe nausea and vomiting. When Dan's mother learned that smoking marijuana could relieve the distressing side effect, to help her son, this otherwise law-abiding woman planted a garden full of the illegal weed in her Connecticut back yard.

Decades later, marijuana as medicine has become a national phenomenon, widely accepted by the public. Although the chemical-rich plant botanically known as Cannabis sativa remains a federally controlled substance, its therapeutic use is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

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8 US: Not Quite Pot, This High Slips Past Most BansMon, 01 Mar 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Richtel, Matt Area:United States Lines:163 Added:03/01/2021

Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, with sales allowed only by prescription for a handful of conditions.

That hasn't stopped Lukas Gilkey, chief executive of Hometown Hero CBD, based in Austin, Texas. His company sells joints, blunts, gummy bears, vaping devices and tinctures that offer a recreational high. In fact, business is booming online as well, where he sells to many people in other states with strict marijuana laws.

But Mr. Gilkey says that he is no outlaw, and that he's not selling marijuana, just a close relation. He's offering products with a chemical compound - Delta-8-THC - extracted from hemp. It is only slightly chemically different from Delta 9, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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9 US NY: Cuomo To Amend Proposal For Marijuana In New YorkWed, 17 Feb 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Vielkind, Jimmy Area:New York Lines:68 Added:02/17/2021

ALBANY, N.Y.-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he would amend his proposal to regulate and tax recreational marijuana in hopes that the drug could be legalized as part of the state budget due by April 1.

The amended proposal would allow for delivery services and reduce the penalty for people who unlawfully sell marijuana to a person under the age of 21. It would also add specificity to a social-equity fund that the Democratic governor said would help revitalize communities that have been most harmed by the war on drugs. He said the amendments reflected conversations with lawmakers.

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10 US: State Cannabis Approvals Expected To Spark BoomWed, 17 Feb 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Grant, Peter Area:United States Lines:101 Added:02/17/2021

Voters in four states last year approved the recreational use of marijuana. That is likely to launch a land rush there for warehouses and retail properties.

Similar measures in other states have sparked heated competition for these types of real estate. Owners have been able to charge as much as three times market rates when selling or renting to businesses involved in the cultivation, distribution, processing or sale of cannabis, according to brokers, landlords and cannabis industry executives.

Landlords can charge this pot premium because properties typically have to meet a range of local restrictions to qualify, such as being a certain distance from churches or schools.

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11US: Time Right For Nba To Abolish Pot TestsTue, 09 Feb 2021
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Zillgitt, Jeff Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2021

No more than five players have been suspended for violating the NBA's and National Basketball Players Association's marijuana policy in the past four seasons.

The issue isn't if NBA players do or don't use marijuana. It's just that players don't have serious issues with violating the policy.

After not conducting random testing for marijuana to finish the 2019-20 season inside the bubble near Orlando, Florida, the league is not doing random testing for marijuana this season.

It's time the NBA and NPBA permanently altered their policy on marijuana and stopped penalizing players for using it.

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12 US: LTE: Don't Trifle With Hard DrugsMon, 01 Feb 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Jones, Levi Area:United States Lines:38 Added:02/01/2021

Regarding Sally Satel's review of "Drug Use For Grown-Ups" by Carl L. Hart, neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Columbia University (Bookshelf, Jan. 14): I'm a 44-year-old male who is 15 years into a 25-year sentence for shooting a man four times in a cocaine deal that went sideways. I've been selling and using drugs since I was 12 years old. All three of my uncles are dead from opiate-related deaths. My childhood best friend overdosed from heroin in 2017. Setting aside the arguments that include freedom of choice and putting a dent in the profits of drug cartels, I attempt to look at drugs in a more nuanced way.

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13 US: Some Hope Cannabis Industry Can Grow Into Being Agent Of SocialSun, 31 Jan 2021
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Owens, Donna M. Area:United States Lines:112 Added:01/31/2021

Jason White has created dazzling advertising and marketing campaigns for Nike and Disney, the World Cup and Olympic Games, to name a few. But when the Georgetown alumnus told his parents he was exiting Apple-owned Beats by Dre for the cannabis industry, the announcement landed with a thud. "What they heard was, 'You're going to sell weed,' " the 44-year-old said, laughing.

White is now chief marketing officer at Curaleaf Holdings Inc., which says it is the world's largest provider (by revenue) of legal medical and recreational cannabis. While some liken legal pot to a gold rush, White - who is African American and Cuban - talks of repairing communities harmed by the war on drugs. "Some are very wary of cannabis, having seen people arrested and their voting rights taken away," he says. "But as cannabis has become more mainstream, others don't see harm, but opportunity. I want to use this platform to help improve society."

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14 US: Nitrous NationSun, 31 Jan 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Klein, Ezra Area:United States Lines:220 Added:01/31/2021

For decades, nitrous oxide has been widespread at raves and music festivals, used as a quick buzz. The drug doesn't have the death toll of the opiate disaster or the widespread popularity of marijuana, but it's widely sold - legally - all over the country, though its consumption outside medical facilities is illegal in many states.

But the inhalant's use and misuse seems to be on the rise, fueled by the stress and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic. It's also in the spotlight this week after the death of Tony Hsieh at 46, the former chief executive of the online shoe empire Zappos, in a house fire in November.

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15 Canada: 2 Years After Legalizing Cannabis, Has Canada Kept ItsSun, 24 Jan 2021
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Austen, Ian Area:Canada Lines:284 Added:01/24/2021

OTTAWA - When Robert was 18, he was arrested by Montreal's police for possession of a small amount of hashish, an event that would upend his young life.

The charge brought him 30 days in jail, and the conviction ended his part-time job as a translator.

"Back then, you smoke a joint, you would get arrested," said Robert, who asked that only his first name be used because of the continuing stigma of his criminal record. "Then the cops would put you in a car, then pull over and give you a couple of shots in the head. You get slapped around just because of smoking."

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16 US: Review: Drug Use for Grown-Ups Review: A Dose Of DissentThu, 14 Jan 2021
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Satel, Sally Area:United States Lines:115 Added:01/14/2021

In a referendum in November, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD. The move was inspired by a 2001 law in Portugal that removed incarceration as a penalty for drug possession. To judge by "Drug Use for Grown-Ups," Carl Hart welcomed this news, which came too late for him to mention in his provocative and enlightening book. He opens with the announcement: "I am an unapologetic drug user."

Mr. Hart, a professor of psychology and a neuroscientist at Columbia University, asserts that "recreational drugs can be used safely to enhance many vital human activities." He bases his claim on decades of research on the behavioral and physiological effects of drugs in humans, coupled with his personal use. Thanks to drugs, he says, "I am a happier and better person." He asks that we think about drugs in a more nuanced way, even at a time when opioid abuse is still headline news. Thus his book represents a calculated risk-namely, that by portraying drug use as so potentially rewarding for responsible users, it may inadvertently seduce non-grown-ups into hazardous use.

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17 Mexico: Hit Hard By The Pandemic, Mexico's Drug Cartels Got CreativeWed, 30 Dec 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fisher, Steve Area:Mexico Lines:209 Added:12/30/2020

CULIACAN, Mexico - Like a lot of businesses, the Sinaloa Cartel was knocked back on its heels as the coronavirus swept the globe and travel ground to a near halt.

Government measures to contain the virus had fouled up its operations, interrupting the supply of chemicals for manufacturing synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine and cutting off trafficking routes across international borders.

But the cartel is not just any business. It established itself as one of the world's most powerful drug trafficking groups with a trademark mix of business acumen, ingenuity and lawlessness.

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18 Afghanistan: Village Of Widows Scrapes By In Shadow Of Afghan OpiumMon, 28 Dec 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Zucchino, David Area:Afghanistan Lines:164 Added:12/28/2020

MIR ALI, Afghanistan - On the barren high plains of western Afghanistan, along a roadway south of Herat city, is a collection of sturdy earthen huts known as Qala-e-Biwaha, or "village of widows."

Most of the village's men have disappeared - killed while trying to smuggle opium across the desolate frontier into neighboring Iran. The widows have been left to fend for themselves and their children, some of whom have also died while transporting drugs over the border from Herat Province's rugged Adraskan district.

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19 Scotland: Battling Scotland's Drug Crisis From The Back Of A VanTue, 22 Dec 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McCann, Allison Area:Scotland Lines:194 Added:12/22/2020

GLASGOW - Every Friday for the past two months, Peter Krykant has parked his white van on Parnie Street in central Glasgow, around the corner from a games shop and several art galleries, and waited for people to come by and inject illegal drugs.

Inside the van are two seats and two tables, each with a stainless steel tray and hypodermic needles, as well as several biohazard trash cans. The van is also equipped with naloxone, the medication used to reverse an opioid overdose, and a defibrillator. (There are Covid-19 safety precautions, too: hand sanitizer and a box of masks.)

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20 US: House Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana As GOP Resists NationalFri, 04 Dec 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Debonis, Mike Area:United States Lines:205 Added:12/04/2020

The House endorsed a landmark retreat in the nation's decades-long war on drugs Friday, voting to remove marijuana from the federal schedule of controlled substances and provide for the regulation and taxation of legal cannabis sales.

The vote was 228 to 164 and was the first time either chamber of Congress has voted on the issue of federally decriminalizing cannabis.

The measure is not expected to pass into law, and, because of political skittishness, it was voted on only after the November election and more than a year after it emerged from committee. But the House took a stand at a moment of increasing momentum, with voters last month opting to liberalize marijuana laws in five states - including three that President Trump won handily.

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