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1 US OR: PUB LTE: Oregon Abandons Its Youth With New LawThu, 03 Dec 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Sykes, J. Charles Area:Oregon Lines:30 Added:12/03/2020

It's disingenuous of Seamus R. Fallon ("Oregon Drug Law Change Can Help Families," Letters, Nov. 24) to insist that two grams of cocaine is one-third the amount a drug dealer would typically carry. What is the source for such a statement? Based on my experience as a high-school teacher, few of the drug users in their teen years are "drug dealers." They are constant consumers, many on a daily basis, of stimulants of any kind. Two grams of cocaine is easily quartered for four classmates to afford a half-gram each, plenty to get amped up, behind some brewskis, especially for diminutive teen girls. None of the group is "a dealer" in the sense Mr. Fallon proffers his straw man; they are end-users for the dealers.

Oregon's abandonment of its youth to the drug subculture, in looming years of turmoil and despair, will show in time that: "As the twig is bent, so is the tree is inclined." Can Oregon not see the forest for the trees?

J. Charles Sykes

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2 US OR: PUB LTE: Let's See What HappensThu, 03 Dec 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Stauffer, Clyde Area:Oregon Lines:26 Added:12/03/2020

Mr. Fallon's letter highlights one of the unappreciated strengths of our federal republic when compared with most other countries:

Individual states can run innovative political experiments without central government interference. When the success or failure of the experiment is evaluated, other states can follow (or avoid) the example as they wish. The trial by Oregon should be monitored and compared with similar results with a placebo (e.g., Washington state). Hard facts, not soft opinions, should guide the country as we deal with drug and overdose problems.

Clyde Stauffer

Cincinnati

[end]

3 Mexico: Drugs, Guns and Cash: "This Is Cartel Tiktok"Sun, 29 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Lopez, Oscar Area:Mexico Lines:157 Added:11/29/2020

MEXICO CITY - Tiger cubs and semiautomatic weapons. Piles of cash and armored cars. Fields of poppies watered to the sound of ballads glorifying Mexican drug cartel culture.

This is the world of Cartel TikTok, a genre of videos depicting drug trafficking groups and their activities that is racking up hundreds of thousands of views on the popular social media platform.

But behind the narco bling and dancing gang members lies an ominous reality: With Mexico set to again shatter murder records this year, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

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4 US WA: Cannabis Farms Hope To Weather Wildfire SeasonSun, 29 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stine, Alison Area:Washington Lines:148 Added:11/29/2020

In 2013, Joy Hollingsworth moved with her family from Seattle out to the country with a plan to build a cannabis business.

Washington State had recently legalized recreational marijuana, and Barack Obama had just been re-elected. For Ms. Hollingsworth, a former basketball player, and her brother, Raft Hollingsworth III, a former University of Washington student who had been growing medical marijuana, it seemed like as good a time as any to buy a farm and turn a profit.

So began the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company, a Black-owned family business in what has become a very white and increasingly corporate-dominated industry.

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5 US: Oped: Tales Of The High LifeFri, 27 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Anderson, John Area:United States Lines:69 Added:11/27/2020

In approaching Errol Morris's "My Psychedelic Love Story," it doesn't hurt to have some familiarity with "Wormwood," the 2017 Netflix docudrama miniseries. In it, the fabled documentarian told the story of Frank Olson, a CIA employee who mysteriously fell to his death in 1953 nine days after being slipped LSD as part of an agency experiment. Was he pushed or did he jump? Was hippie socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith being used as a CIA tool when her boyfriend, Timothy Leary, became a government informant in the mid-'70s? And what in the world is the connection?

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6 US: Review: Acid And RomanceFri, 27 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kenny, Glenn Area:United States Lines:83 Added:11/27/2020

To induce dread in a paranoiac, one need only invoke two acronyms: C.I.A. and LSD Along with a third and a fourth - U.F.O. and J.F.K. - these were key ingredients in the alphabet soup of conspiracy theory for more than half a century.

But. You don't have to be a paranoiac, because sometimes dread-inducing combinations and schemes do yield horrific results. The 2017 Errol Morris-directed mini-series, "Wormwood," to which "My Psychedelic Love Story" is a sequel of sorts, went into detail about the C.I.A. and LSD. It showed that the cloak-and-dagger organization and the hallucinogenic drug met up earlier than most might have guessed.

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7 US OR: After Oregon Eases Drug Laws, A Race For TreatmentsWed, 25 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:101 Added:11/25/2020

Now that Oregon voters have agreed to end nearly all criminal penalties for drug possession, state officials have just over two months to set up a new recovery-focused system, a task that is particularly complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measure 110, which goes into effect Feb. 1, allows a maximum fine of $100 for possession of drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines along with a mandatory health assessment. The first statewide law of its kind in the nation passed with support of 58% of voters this month. It also mandates new recovery centers, paid for by marijuana taxes and savings from less incarceration.

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8 US: PUB LTE: Oregon Drug Law Change Can Help FamiliesTue, 24 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Fallon, Seamus R. Area:United States Lines:44 Added:11/24/2020

Naomi Schaefer Riley and John Walters state that Oregon decriminalized "small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine" ("Legal Drugs Are Fashionable-and Treacherous for Children," op-ed, Nov. 19) and that the passage of Measure 110 in Oregon "lower[s] the risk and cost of doing business for drug dealers." It's an erroneous claim. Measure 110 says that possession of less than one gram of heroin, various low amounts of amphetamines and less than two grams of cocaine is decriminalized. No drug dealer would carry anything less than three times the amounts in the measure.

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9 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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10 US: Oped: 50 Years After The Start Of The War On Drugs, AmericansMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:Hill, The (US DC) Author:Ofer, Udi Area:United States Lines:109 Added:11/20/2020

Next year will mark 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared drugs "public enemy number one," launching a new war on drugs that has pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into law enforcement, led to the incarceration of millions of people - disproportionately Black - and has done nothing to prevent drug overdoses. In spite of the widespread, growing opposition to this failed war, made clear yet again on Election Day, punitive policies and responses to drug use and possession persist. As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office, it is abundantly clear that they have a mandate from the electorate to tackle this issue.

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11US PA: Oped: Philadelphia Case Could Clear The Way For Safe InjectionMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Boudin, Chesa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:Excerpt Added:11/18/2020

All eyes were on Philadelphia this month, as the outcome of the election rested in poll workers' hands. It's not surprising that the citizens of Philly were ready for change - they've faced a disproportionately heavy toll as a result of the current administration's ineffective coronavirus policies. And that toll has tragically included an increased rate of deadly opioid overdoses.

But Philly isn't alone - overdoses tragically have increased in communities across the nation, from San Francisco to Burlington, Vt.

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12 US: Oped: Pass The EdiblesWed, 11 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Frenkel, Sheera Area:United States Lines:146 Added:11/11/2020

OAKLAND, Calif. - In the weeks leading up to November, Iashia Kilian felt her anxiety deepen.

She knew her vote in the swing state of Michigan could help decide who the next president would be. She had done everything she could to help campaign for her candidate of choice. Now, all she could do was sit back, wait and make sure she had her favorite marijuana edibles at hand.

"The panic, the anxious feelings, it has all been too much. I knew I was only going to get through it with some help," said Ms. Kilian, 43, who lives in Center Line. "I used to be the kind of person who would judge someone, especially a mother like me, taking edibles. But you know what? Everything happening here in this country is just too much. The people need some help."

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13 US: Column: Republicans and Democrats Agree: End The War On DrugsSun, 08 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:107 Added:11/08/2020

One of America's greatest mistakes over the last century was the war on drugs, so it's thrilling to see voters in red and blue states alike moving to unwind it.

The most important step is coming in Oregon, where voters easily passed a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, while helping users get treatment for addiction. The idea is to address drug use as a public health crisis more than as a criminal justice issue.

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14US: 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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15 US OR: Oregon Votes To Decriminalize All Drugs, Allow Psilocybin ForThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:100 Added:11/05/2020

Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession of all illegal drugs and also legalize the use of psilocybin-the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms-for mental health treatment, after voters passed a pair of ballot measures this week.

Both are the first of their kind in any U.S. state and represent the next frontier in the relaxation of drug laws beyond marijuana.

With results from 76% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, 59% of Oregonians approved Measure 110, the drug decriminalization referendum, and 56% voted for Measure 109 on psilocybin therapy, according to the Associated Press.

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16Canada: 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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17 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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18 US: Marijuana May Trip Up The HeartTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brody, Jane E. Area:United States Lines:156 Added:10/27/2020

Do you have the heart to safely smoke pot? Maybe not, a growing body of medical reports suggests.

Currently, increased smoking of marijuana in public, even in cities like New York where recreational use remains illegal (though no longer prosecuted), has reinforced a popular belief that this practice is safe, even health-promoting.

"Many people think that they have a free pass to smoke marijuana," Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told me. "I even heard a suggestion on public radio that tobacco companies should switch to marijuana because then they'd be selling life instead of selling death."

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19 US: Pot Stocks Stage A Muted Election RallyWed, 21 Oct 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ryan, Carol Area:United States Lines:66 Added:10/21/2020

A victory for the Democratic Party in next month's presidential election would be a game changer for the cannabis industry. Despite their reputation for overexuberance, pot investors are reacting with level heads.

Since mid-August, the 10 largest North American pot stocks by market value are up 20%, according to Viridian Capital Advisors. This is relatively muted compared with the 83% rally seen in the three months before the 2016 election.

Americans have been buying a lot of pot during the Covid-19 pandemic, which may also explain why stocks are rising. Sales in seven large states where cannabis is legal, tracked by research company Headset, were up 51% from January through September compared with the same period of 2019. Consumers have had more leisure time at home and federal stimulus money to spend. Alcohol companies have enjoyed similar tailwinds.

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20 Lebanon: Crisis Erases Farmers' Income From Reliable Crop: HashishMon, 19 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hubbard, Ben Area:Lebanon Lines:167 Added:10/19/2020

YAMOUNEH, Lebanon - In a Lebanese farming village of rocky soil and stone villas, cannabis grows everywhere.

It fills the fields that surround the village and lines nearby roads where the army operates checkpoints. It sprouts in the weedy patches between homes and is mixed with other colorful blooms in flower beds.

There is a cannabis crop near the mosque, and down the road from a giant yellow flag for Hezbollah, the militant group and political party whose leaders forbid its use on religious grounds.

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21 New Zealand: Oped: Canada's Legalisation ExperienceThu, 15 Oct 2020
Source:Gisborne Herald (New Zealand) Author:Elrod, Matthew Area:New Zealand Lines:83 Added:10/15/2020

It's been fascinating to watch the debate over cannabis law reform in New Zealand from Canada, especially the arguments based on how well or how poorly legal regulation has been playing out in my country. It's also interesting - and amusing - to read the sometimes apocalyptic or pollyannaish predictions about what will happen in New Zealand if voters endorse the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill (CLCB), with no regard for evidence from overseas.

It might have appeared out of the blue when Canada legalised cannabis almost two years ago, but we were finally following the unanimous recommendations of a non-partisan senate committee from 2002.

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22 US: PUB LTE: Black Parents Can't IndulgeSat, 10 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Coles, Tehra Area:United States Lines:38 Added:10/10/2020

Re "Parents' Little Helpers" (Sunday Styles, Oct. 4):

To be a Black mother is to be in a constant state of alertness when it comes to protecting your family from the government. As a Black woman, mother and lawyer, I am no different in that regard.

Most Black mothers wouldn't publicly label themselves a "wine mom" or admit to smoking pot. No one remotely aware of the government's racist practice of separating Black families for such behavior through the so-called child welfare system would.

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23 US NJ: Marijuana Is On The Ballot In New Jersey. Who Knew?Tue, 06 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Tully, Tracey Area:New Jersey Lines:204 Added:10/06/2020

For two years, New Jersey lawmakers had failed to mobilize enough support to pass a bill to fully legalize marijuana. Instead, they agreed in December to put the question directly to voters: "Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'?"

Then March roared in, and the world turned upside down.

The coronavirus took a firm hold in the United States and Black Lives Matter protesters filled streets from coast to coast.

More than 16,000 New Jersey residents have since died from the virus. Unemployment has soared. Ballots for November's election, which is being conducted almost entirely by mail, have already begun to arrive at voters' homes.

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24 US: Parents' Little HelpersSun, 04 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grose, Jessica Area:United States Lines:231 Added:10/04/2020

7:51 p.m.: It's exactly 125 days tomorrow. I am pretg drink.

7:52 p.m.: Drunk.

7:52 p.m. I can tell. :-)

I have a years-long WhatsApp message group with a handful of fellow mothers of small children from across the United States and Canada. Since the pandemic began, what I refer to as "mom chats after dark" start at around 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. That's when the children are asleep, and a wave of inebriation begins on the shores of the Atlantic and crashes across the continent. The above message was from July, when we hit 125 days of lockdown.

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25 New Zealand: Ardern Admits To Inhaling, Kiwis ShrugFri, 02 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Cave, Damien Area:New Zealand Lines:138 Added:10/02/2020

SYDNEY, Australia - The question from the debate moderator in New Zealand was simple and to the point: "Jacinda Ardern, have you ever used cannabis?"

"Yes I did," said Ms. Ardern, the country's popular prime minister, "a long time ago."

The moderator paused, looking surprised. Then the audience applauded.

Ms. Ardern later declined to say whether she supported the legalization of marijuana, which New Zealanders will decide in a referendum with the national election on Oct. 17. But by that point in the debate on Wednesday, she had already won another smiley-face emoji from the global left, while reminding voters that she hadn't always been so earnest.

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26 Canada: Oped: Canada Faces Its Own Opioid Crisis. It ShouldTue, 15 Sep 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Moscrop, David Area:Canada Lines:102 Added:09/15/2020

In July, the Canadian province of British Columbia experienced its fifth straight month with more than 100 overdose deaths - and its third above 170 lives lost.

Globally, the World Health Organization reports approximately 500,000 deaths from drugs, over 70 percent of them tied to opioids. In Canada, from January 2016 through December 2019, more than 15,000 people died from apparent opioid-related causes. In 2019 alone, there were over 21,000 "suspected opioid-related overdoses" across nine provinces and territories, excluding Quebec (for which data wasn't provided). The opioid crisis clearly persists at home and abroad.

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27 Costa Rica: Psychedelic Therapy In The Jungle Soothes The Pain ForSun, 30 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Londono, Ernesto Area:Costa Rica Lines:333 Added:08/30/2020

GIGANTE, Costa Rica - There was a ghostlike quality to Rudy Gonsior, an American former Special Forces sniper, on the morning he arrived at a jungle retreat to see if a vomit-inducing psychedelic brew could undo the damage years of combat had done to his mind.

Glassy-eyed and withdrawn, he barely spoke above a whisper and was much quieter than the six other veterans who had come to dredge up painful memories of comrades fallen in battle, thoughts of suicide and the scar that taking a life leaves on the psyche.

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28US GA: Disagreement On DecriminalizationFri, 28 Aug 2020
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Murchison, Adrianne Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2020

Johns Creek officials disagreed on decriminalization of marijuana during a Monday meeting. City Council members opposed to a reduced penalty for simple possession said they were concerned that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs.

Council members Chris Coughlin, Erin Elwood and Stephanie Endres proposed that a person in possession of less than one ounce of cannabis face no jail time and a fine of not more than $75.

The current fine for simple possession is up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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29 US: Portrait Of A Drug Czar Without The BlemishesTue, 11 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Moynihan, Colin Area:United States Lines:156 Added:08/11/2020

Harry J. Anslinger's pioneering work as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics has largely been unsung, though experts see him as the founding father of America's war on drugs.

In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration raised his profile with a symposium that focused on the decades he spent creating national drug policy, starting in the 1930s. Following that, in 2015, the agency's museum opened an exhibition: "A Life of Service: Harry Jacob Anslinger, 1892-1975."

When that closed in 2017, the D.E.A. Museum & Visitors Center created a virtual version, which is displayed on its website.

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30 US: Law To Cut Drug Sentences Is No Help For Some InmatesSun, 02 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuchs, Hailey Area:United States Lines:198 Added:08/02/2020

WASHINGTON - Lazelle Maxwell, 48, is nearly 12 years into a 30-year sentence for a nonviolent crack cocaine charge, a penalty exacerbated by previous run-ins with law enforcement that led to his designation as a career offender.

Three years into remission after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, Mr. Maxwell has no major disciplinary infractions on his prison record. He spends most of his days behind bars caring for an elderly, partly paralyzed inmate at a low-security federal penitentiary in Butner, N.C.

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31 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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32 CN AB: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Still An Effective StrategyWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:45 Added:07/25/2020

Like myself, I suspect many citizens of Lethbridge were alarmed by the finding of misappropriated funds within ARCHES, and the subsequent withdrawal of provincial funding to their supervised consumption site (SCS). As an RN who has worked for a number of years in harm reduction, I am reeling for our clients and their families in terms of how this will impact them.

One thing is clear - the inappropriate management of funds within one agency does not refute decades of empirical research behind the effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions in mitigating drug-related health and social issues. This financial audit was not intended to evaluate the effectiveness of harm-reduction services provided to people who use drugs. To conflate findings of financial mismanagement with lack of effectiveness in harm reduction would only further exacerbate drug-related health issues.

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33CN SK: Criminalization Of Simple Drug Possession Has Had 'DevastatingWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:James, Thia        Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2020

Criminalization of simple drug possession has had 'devastating effect,' says AIDS Saskatoon director

A Saskatoon police spokeswoman said city police generally lay drug possession charges as a result of an investigation into something else.

Criminalization of possession of illicit drugs for personal use has had a "devastating effect," says the AIDS Saskatoon's executive director.

Jason Mercredi said he fully supports a call by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police on the federal government to decriminalize simple possession of illicit drugs for personal use. The CACP made the call last week after issuing its findings in a report.

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34 US CA: When California Declared War On Cannabis GrowersWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Niekerken, Bill Van Area:California Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

As state law enforcement played whack-a-mole with illegal marijuana fields, local communities protested the "invading army."

Driving through Humboldt County last winter, I heard radio ads for help harvesting and selling cannabis crops, as well as for products geared toward commercial cultivation. But less than 40 years ago, the same area was one of the main battlefields of California's war on pot growers.

By the late 1960s, the three counties of the Emerald Triangle had developed a reputation for growing a high-quality product. Demand grew rapidly, and prices skyrocketed, fueling greater production. In 1983, after several unsuccessful attempts to cut down production, the state started the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP.

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35 New Zealand: Oped: Opinion As Well As Science Informs Policy AdviceThu, 23 Jul 2020
Source:Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) Author:Boden, Joe Area:New Zealand Lines:109 Added:07/25/2020

Prof Joe Boden, of the University of Otago, provides a view from inside the expert panel on cannabis ahead of this year's cannabis referendum.

A year ago several New Zealand academics, me included, were invited to join the expert panel on cannabis by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser, Prof Juliet Gerrard.

With the referendum on the legalisation of cannabis planned for this year, the Prime Minister had asked Prof Gerrard to assemble the panel in order to present research on cannabis, cannabis-related harm and cannabis law reform to New Zealanders in an accessible manner.

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36 CN BC: Are More B.C. Tokers Finally Looking To Legal Cannabis OverFri, 24 Jul 2020
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wadhwani, Ashley Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:07/25/2020

A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying all product legally

B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the battle over bud.

A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That's an 18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.

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37 Canada: Oped: Tough-On-Crime Anti-Drug Moralizing Does A DisserviceSat, 25 Jul 2020
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Schultz, William Area:Canada Lines:118 Added:07/25/2020

If the idea of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of illicit drugs once sounded radical, the coalition of people who now espouse the idea would certainly seem to be strange bedfellows.

On July 9, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police called on the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illicit drugs; B.C. Premier John Horgan asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do the same in a Jul. 20 letter. Benjamin Perrin, the top criminal justice adviser in Stephen Harper's "tough-on-crime" administration, recently wrote a book in support of decriminalization, and major publications, including The Globe and Mail, have published editorials urging the same.

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38 US CA: California Weighs Steep New Fines To Combat Illegal CannabisMon, 20 Jul 2020
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:141 Added:07/25/2020

SACRAMENTO - Alarmed that unlicensed cannabis sellers continue to dominate California's pot market, state lawmakers are moving toward imposing steep new fines on businesses that provide building space, advertising platforms and other aid to illicit operations.

Those who provide assistance to illegal pot sellers would face civil fines of up to $30,000 per day under legislation approved unanimously by the state Assembly that is now pending in the Senate. A final vote on the proposal is expected sometime after lawmakers return to Sacramento this month.

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39Canada: Editorial: National Post View: Listen To The PoliceWed, 22 Jul 2020
Source:National Post (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2020

Listen to the police

Let's talk about decriminalizing all drugs

We're having a national conversation about policing and criminal justice. Examining our drug laws is a natural extension of this debate

More than nine years ago, writing about the war on drugs, this editorial board encouraged the government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper to get bolder with decriminalizing cannabis.

"By any reasonably broad metric," we wrote then, the war on drugs "has been an abysmal failure. According to estimates by the UN - by no means a liberal organization when it comes to drug policy - worldwide consumption of opiates rose 34.5 per cent from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27 per cent, and cannabis by 8.5 per cent. In achieving that abject failure, tens of thousands of people have been killed."

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40 US: Getting By With A Little Help From Their EdiblesThu, 16 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stine, Alison Area:United States Lines:163 Added:07/16/2020

Ben Emerson had never tried cannabis edibles before his birthday in April. He was raised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which he left five years ago, and marijuana was "this thing that I had never really even thought that I was allowed to do," he said.

"And then I'm like, 'Wait, I can actually make up my own mind about this.'"

For his first foray, Mr. Emerson, 38, chose strawberry-flavored gummies, which he ordered online and picked up curbside at a dispensary near his home in Portland, Ore. "I'm not super-interested in smoking anything," he said. "But as soon as I decided I wanted to try cannabis, I wanted to try something edible."

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41 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:190 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

[continues 1364 words]

42 US: Lester Grinspoon, Influential Marijuana Scholar, Dies At 92Sat, 04 Jul 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sandomir, Richard Area:United States Lines:189 Added:07/04/2020

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25 at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.

His son David confirmed the death.

Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan, a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.

[continues 1364 words]

43 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.

[continues 1131 words]

44 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.

[continues 1128 words]

45 US: Ooh That SmellFri, 08 May 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:DeCarlo, Beth Area:United States Lines:151 Added:05/08/2020

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, some neighbors and neighborhoods are divided over pot's particularly pungent odor. That divide will likely grow as many residents continue to stay at home to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In Augusta, Maine, adjacent condo owners are currently locked in a battle between one owner who uses marijuana for a medical condition and another owner who says the secondhand smoke aggravates her medical condition.

[continues 1080 words]

46 US CA: Many California Pot Businesses Risk FailureSun, 19 Apr 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Albergotti, Reed Area:California Lines:188 Added:04/19/2020

SAN FRANCISCO - As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries have experienced quite as many highs and lows as California's cannabis industr= y.

Just a month ago, it looked like California's weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot "essential," and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans.

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47 US CA: Many California Pot Businesses Risk FailureSun, 19 Apr 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Albergotti, Reed Area:California Lines:180 Added:04/19/2020

SAN FRANCISCO - As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries have experienced quite as many highs and lows as California's cannabis industr= y.

Just a month ago, it looked like California's weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot "essential," and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans.

[continues 1350 words]

48 US: The N.F.L. Relaxes Restrictions On Marijuana Use As Part Of NewMon, 13 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Belson, Ken Area:United States Lines:153 Added:04/13/2020

The 10-year labor agreement between the N.F.L. and players union that was ratified on March 15 is filled with dozens of incremental changes, most notably the one-percentage-point increase in the share of league revenue that the players will receive.

One of the biggest overhauls in the agreement, though, was a change the league had long resisted: loosening the rules governing players' use of marijuana.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana - needed to trigger a positive test will be raised fourfold.

[continues 1131 words]

49 US: NFL Relaxes Restrictions On Marijuana Use As Part Of New LaborMon, 13 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Belson, Ken Area:United States Lines:154 Added:04/13/2020

The 10-year labor agreement between the N.F.L. and players union that was ratified on March 15 is filled with dozens of incremental changes, most notably the one-percentage-point increase in the share of league revenue that the players will receive.

One of the biggest overhauls in the agreement, though, was a change the league had long resisted: loosening the rules governing players' use of marijuana.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana - - needed to trigger a positive test will be raised fourfold.

[continues 1135 words]

50 US: Decoding CannabisSun, 05 Apr 2020
Source:New York Times Magazine (NY) Author:Greenberg, Gary Area:United States Lines:451 Added:04/05/2020

The retail showroom of INSA, a farm-to-bong cannabis company in western Massachusetts, is a clean industrial space on the first floor of a four-story brick building in the old mill town Easthampton. When I visited recently, before the coronavirus shut down recreational sales and forbade crowds, the crew of eight behind the glass display cases looked a lot like the staff you'd see dispensing lattes at Starbucks or troubleshooting iPads at the Genius Bar: young, racially diverse, smiling. They were all wearing black T-shirts with the INSA motto, "Uncommon Cannabis." Standing in line with me were a white-haired couple leaning on canes; a 40-something woman in a black pantsuit, who complained that the wait would be longer than her lunch break; a bald man in a tweed jacket; and a pair of women in perms and polyester discussing the virtues of a strain called Green Crack. We were all waiting at a discreet distance from the counter, as you would at the bank, for the next available "! budtender."

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