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1 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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2 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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3 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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4 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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5 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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6 US CA: L.A. To Dismiss 66,000 Pot CasesFri, 14 Feb 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Mai-Duc, Christine Area:California Lines:92 Added:02/14/2020

Largest such move in California comes amid nationwide push for criminal-justice reform and relaxing drug laws

Los Angeles County will vacate nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions dating back to the 1960s, part of a growing national effort to reduce drug convictions.

The move, announced Thursday by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, will dismiss convictions for tens of thousands of individuals, the majority of whom are black or Latino.

"As a result of our actions, these convictions should no longer burden those who have struggled to find a job or a place to live because of their criminal record," Ms. Lacey said in a press conference Thursday.

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7US: Pot Makes Its Mark On Presidential BallotTue, 10 Sep 2019
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:09/10/2019

DENVER - Once a politically dangerous subject, legal marijuana has become something of a de facto platform plank for the 2020 Democratic candidates: All support either legalizing or decriminalizing its use, and the differences lie in how far the candidates are willing to take it.

Those differences - particularly former Vice President Joe Biden's reluctance to embrace full federal legalization and the lack of enthusiasm that increasingly organized young marijuana activists have for him - may play a role in determining who faces President Donald Trump next fall, experts said.

"People from both parties are just thinking, 'Duh, we should be legalizing this at the federal level,' " said Rachel Gillette, a Denver-based cannabis activist and attorney. "It would be great if they could focus on this. It's time."

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8 US OK: Side effects: Politicians And Marijuana Activists Look AheadThu, 15 Aug 2019
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Forman, Carmen Area:Oklahoma Lines:129 Added:08/15/2019

A year after medical marijuana became legal in Oklahoma, state lawmakers and marijuana advocates seem to have found a balance in implementing State Question 788 and moving the industry forward into the near future.

Sweeping legislation -- the result of a major compromise between legislators and cannabis advocates -- to regulate the medical marijuana industry will go into effect later this month.

Meanwhile, there are whispers of an initiative petition to put the question of legalizing recreational marijuana to a statewide vote, which could shake up Oklahoma's fledgling marijuana industry and the new regulatory framework.

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9 US: Where Legal, Pot Still Closes Doors To HiringSat, 27 Jul 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hyman, Dan Area:United States Lines:196 Added:07/30/2019

Smoking pot cost Kimberly Cue her job.

Ms. Cue, a 44-year-old chemical engineer from Silicon Valley, received an offer this year from a medical device manufacturer only to have it rescinded when the company found out that she smoked prescription marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

"My email was set up with the company," she said. "My business cards were printed." But after a pre-employment drug test came back positive for marijuana, a human resources representative told her the job was no longer hers.

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10 US CO: Colorado's Marijuana Experiment, After 5 YearsMon, 01 Jul 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Healy, Jack Area:Colorado Lines:309 Added:07/01/2019

DENVER - Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of Colorado's many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. "Good business," Serenity said.

But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high school student, David Perez, against the warehouselike marijuana cultivations now clustered around his neighborhood. He said their skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front door.

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11US IL: Illinois Becomes 11th State To Allow Recreational MarijuanaTue, 25 Jun 2019
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)          Area:Illinois Lines:Excerpt Added:06/25/2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois' new governor delivered on a top campaign promise Tuesday by signing legislation making the state the 11th to approve marijuana for recreational use in a program offering legal remedies and economic benefits to minorities whose lives critics say were damaged by a wayward war on drugs.

Legalization in Illinois also means that nearly 800,000 people with criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers and interest groups demanded. It also gives cannabis-vendor preference to minority owners and promises 25% of tax revenue from marijuana sales to redevelop impoverished communities.

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12 US IL: Legal Recreational Pot Bill Passes Illinois House, On Way ToFri, 31 May 2019
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Sfondeles, Tina Area:Illinois Lines:137 Added:05/31/2019

Once Gov. Pritzker signs the bill into law, Illinois will become the first state to approve cannabis sales through the Legislature, instead of a ballot measure.

SPRINGFIELD - A recreational marijuana legalization bill will soon land on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk after the Illinois House on Friday voted to pass the comprehensive measure.

The Illinois House voted 66-47 after more than three hours of debate. The Illinois Senate on Wednesday cleared the measure. The governor issued a statement applauding the bill's passage and pledging to sign it.

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13 US CO: Denver Voters Support 'Magic' MushroomsThu, 09 May 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mazzei, Patricia Area:Colorado Lines:108 Added:05/09/2019

Voters in Denver, a city at the forefront of the widening national debate over legalizing marijuana, have become the first in the nation to effectively decriminalize another recreational drug: hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The local ballot measure did not quite legalize the mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. State and federal regulations would have to change to accomplish that.

But the measure made the possession, use or cultivation of the mushrooms by people aged 21 or older the lowest-priority crime for law enforcement in the city of Denver and Denver County. Arrests and prosecutions, already fairly rare, would all but disappear.

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14 US CA: Californians Voted For Legal Cannabis, But Good Luck GettingThu, 03 Jan 2019
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:181 Added:01/03/2019

SAN FRANCISCO - A billion dollars of tax revenue, the taming of the black market, the convenience of retail cannabis stores throughout the state - these were some of the promises made by proponents of marijuana legalization in California.

One year after the start of recreational sales, they are still just promises.

California's experiment in legalization is mired by debates over regulation and hamstrung by cities and towns that do not want cannabis businesses on their streets.

California was the sixth state to introduce the sale of recreational marijuana - Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington paved the way - but the enormous size of the market led to predictions of soaring legal cannabis sales.

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15US MN: Marijuana Legalization Seems Headed To Minnesota, But It'sSun, 09 Dec 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Coolican, J. Patrick Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2018

Legalizing marijuana is looming as a next big political showdown at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Fully legalizing marijuana in Minnesota is looming as a next big political showdown at the Capitol, as a growing number of states are ending bans on recreational cannabis.

Gov.-elect Tim Walz, who favors ending marijuana prohibition, will replace Gov. Mark Dayton, who doesn't. A new Democratic House majority will debate proposals to legalize next year and will likely take votes on the issue as soon as 2019 or 2020. And, not one but two legal pot parties -- the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party and Legal Marijuana Now Party -- emerged with 5 percent of the vote in statewide elections, giving them "major party status," which means automatic ballot access and the chance for campaign subsidies.

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16 US MA: Northboro And Bellingham Now Told They Cannot Prohibit MedicalMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:143 Added:09/10/2018

Six days after confirming approval of medical marijuana dispensary bans in Northboro and Bellingham, Attorney General Maura Healey's office reversed its decision.

In an Aug. 25 Telegram & Gazette story, a spokesperson for the AG's office confirmed that the office in June approved bylaws passed in the two towns that ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The 2012 Medical Marijuana law originally prohibited any municipality from banning medical marijuana dispensaries. An AG spokeswoman said at the time the approval was based on Section 56 (subsection d) of Chapter 55 Acts of 2017.

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17 US: 'Marijuana Is A Gift From God'Sun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:United States Lines:218 Added:07/29/2018

An LDS missionary passes by the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Voters this fall in Utah will cast ballots on a measure that would allow medical marijuana. (Isaac Hale / For The Times)

Brian Stoll faced a dilemma as his wedding day approached. For more than a year, he had been smoking marijuana to treat severe back pain, but to remain in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and get married in the temple, he had to stop using pot.

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18 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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19 US CA: Illegal Marijuana Market Still Thrives In Los AngelesThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:California Lines:142 Added:07/05/2018

LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by bars.

Suddenly, police swooped in.

"Sheriff's department! Search warrant!" a Los Angeles County deputy shouted as the team thundered through the front door and began hauling out people in handcuffs.

The Compton 20 Cap Collective just south of Los Angeles that was raided earlier this spring is one of hundreds of illegal marijuana stores operating in LA County, where marijuana is legal for anyone 21 and over and retailers must be licensed to sell to them.

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20 US: Neighbors Flinch At Pot ShopsThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Prevost, Lisa Area:United States Lines:162 Added:07/05/2018

Finding a place to house a medical marijuana dispensary is rarely an easy task, but MariMed Advisors, which specializes in developing cannabis businesses, encountered especially aggressive pushback working for a client in Annapolis, Md., last year.

The company reviewed several hundred potential locations for the client's proposed dispensary before finally finding one that met nearly every one of the strict requirements demanded by officials of Anne Arundel County. It had the proper zoning classification and the necessary road access. It was not within 1,000 feet of a school. And, as an added plus, the storefront was discreet, located below ground level and behind another building.

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21 US OK: Oklahoma Medical Pot Question Hinges On Conservative SupportSat, 23 Jun 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Oklahoma Lines:109 Added:06/27/2018

LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every political issue.

The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway drug.

But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting from the use of cannabis.

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22 US PA: Now That Marijuana Is Legal, Could Magic Mushrooms Be Next?Wed, 16 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ostrov, Barbara Feder Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:05/16/2018

In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."

Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.

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23US CA: Dianne Feinstein Drops Hard Opposition To Recreational PotTue, 01 May 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Irby, Kate Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/01/2018

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime opponent of legalizing recreational marijuana, now says the federal government should not interfere in California's legal marijuana market.

In comments to McClatchy Tuesday -- in the middle of a 2018 campaign for her seat in a state that has settled into the legal pot market -- the California Democrat said she was open to considering federal protection for state-legalized marijuana.

Feinstein's office said her views changed after meetings with constituents, particularly those with young children who have benefited from medical marijuana use.

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24 US: Americans Reflect On Pros, Cons Of Legal Pot Ahead Of 420Thu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:United States Lines:318 Added:04/24/2018

America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group.

Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.

Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many opponents.

Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the state of marijuana in the U.S. today:

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25 US MO Supporters Pushing For Missouri To Legalize Medical MarijuanaTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Weinberg, Tessa Area:Missouri Lines:181 Added:04/18/2018

Rep. Jim Neely has seen firsthand how a terminal illness like cancer ravages the body.

His own daughter died from cancer three years ago. With a background in health care working as a physician and managing a hospice agency, Neely, R-Cameron, knows the importance of patients receiving comfort.

That's why he's sponsoring a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses.

"It's for people who are terminal to gain access for comfort," Neely said. "This seems to me aE& as a good way to get started and seeing if there are some benefits."

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26US CA: Marijuana Is Part Of Its Religion, Says Jurupa Valley ChurchWed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:|, David Downey Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

An Inland church that uses marijuana to worship is embroiled in a bitter dispute with Jurupa Valley, which alleges the Vault Church of Open Faith is primarily a pot store and has been trying to shut it down for more than a year.

An association representing the church and about 15 others like it fired back Friday, April 13, filing a claim against the city seeking $1.2 million in damages and alleging harassment and discrimination. Church leaders say they smoke marijuana or eat edibles as part of spiritual meditation as a religious sacrament, but city officials say they're using religion as a front for selling pot.

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27 US UT: Medical Marijuana Push Spreads To Utah, OklahomaTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Mccombs, Brady Area:Utah Lines:120 Added:04/17/2018

SALT LAKE CITY -- The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country, further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing in the United States.

If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.

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28 US MA: Northboro Seeks To Ban Medical Marijuana Other Towns Eye OnlyFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:151 Added:04/11/2018

Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana establishments and ways to regulate them.

Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana establishments.

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29 US CT: Fourth Legislative Committee Holds Recreational Pot HearingMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:99 Added:04/06/2018

On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be legalized.

The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized, though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the measure.

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30US CA: Riverside City Council Moves Toward Banning MarijuanaWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Hagen, Ryan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/28/2018

The Riverside City Council voted Tuesday, March 27, to have staff members prepare an expansive ban on marijuana-related activities.

The ban, which must be approved as a city ordinance before it takes effect, would replace Riverside's current moratorium that temporarily bans most marijuana business.

Councilman Chuck Conder proposed the ban, which would prohibit the retail and commercial sale, commercial cultivation, distribution, and outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana plants. He did so after a delegation of city officials who traveled to Denver, including Conder himself, gave a three-hour presentation on the effects of marijuana legalization there.

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31 US CA: Pot and Justice: Stark Contrasts In 2 CitiesSun, 18 Mar 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:207 Added:03/22/2018

OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a month in jail.

A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.

Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions. But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to ban marijuana businesses from city limits.

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32US FL: Joe Redner Hopes To Be Allowed To Grow His Own Cannabis AsWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/21/2018

Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit court judge on Wednesday.

Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.

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33 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Companies Face Bans, Moratoriums InFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:03/20/2018

Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, a Globe review has found, the latest indication that there will be fewer pot stores in the early going than many consumers expected.

At least 189 of the state's 351 municipalities have barred retail marijuana stores and, in most cases, cultivation facilities and other cannabis operations, too, according to local news reports, municipal records, and data collected by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey.

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34 US KY: Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Shelved By House CommitteeWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Brammer, Jack Area:Kentucky Lines:69 Added:03/10/2018

FRANKFORT -- Kentucky lawmakers shelved Wednesday a controversial bill to legalize medical marijuana, but supporters of the measure pledged to continue their fight.

Some backers of House Bill 166 were in tears after the House Judiciary Committee voted 14-4 to "pass over" the measure. That's a procedure to put off voting on the bill until a later date.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, said it's doubtful the proposal will be revisited in this year's legislative session but "anything is possible."

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35 US IL: Legal Marijuana Question A Step Closer To Being On NovemberThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Garcia, Monique Area:Illinois Lines:63 Added:03/01/2018

The state Senate on Thursday voted to ask on the November ballot whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized and taxed in Illinois.

The ballot question would be only advisory, so even if voters approve, lawmakers still would have to act.

Sponsoring Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said it is important to poll the public because some lawmakers are already working to legalize recreational marijuana use for people over 21. He noted that in most states that allow recreational use, it was done by voters expressing support in the ballot box.

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36 US MD: Legalizing Marijuana, Other Pot Proposals Await Action InMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Dresser, Michael Area:Maryland Lines:131 Added:02/28/2018

Pot is hot for Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis this year.

The General Assembly is considering more than two dozen bills on marijuana -- or cannabis, as the substance is called when used as a medicine.

For marijuana enthusiasts, full legalization for recreational purposes is at the top of the wish list. Bills in both the House and the Senate would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to replace prohibition with a system of regulated sales and taxation.

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37 US MD: Editorial: It's Not Whether Maryland Will Legalize MarijuanaTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:96 Added:02/27/2018

There isn't a better reader of the tea lives in Annapolis than Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. He's been saying for a couple of years now that legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland -- something that seemed like a far-out idea when former Del. Heather Mizeur made it a central plank of her 2014 gubernatorial campaign -- is inevitable. We're inclined to believe him. Public attitudes on the drug have shifted rapidly in recent years, and it is now legal for recreational use in nine states and (sort of) Washington, D.C. The most recent polls on the issue report that about 60 percent of Maryland voters support legalization. At least four of the seven Democrats running to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan have voiced support for some form of it. But legalization still may not happen as fast as proponents might like.

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38 US IL: Illinois Voters Could Be Asked In November About LegalizingThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Lukitsch, Bill Area:Illinois Lines:67 Added:02/26/2018

Illinois voters could get a say whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana if lawmakers decide to put the question on November ballots.

A state Senate committee advanced the idea on Wednesday, but a ballot question would be non-binding. That means it would work like a statewide public opinion poll and wouldn't legalize marijuana even if a majority of voters approve. Lawmakers who want to legalize the drug could get a political boost, though, if voters favor it.

State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said putting the matter to a vote would "bring the public into the debate" and "give them an opportunity to register their opinion" as lawmakers debate the idea in Springfield.

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39 US MA: Healey, Legislators Pile On Cannabis CommissionThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:82 Added:02/15/2018

Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this summer.

In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.

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40 US CA: Berkeley Declares Itself A Sanctuary City For RecreationalWed, 14 Feb 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Parvini, Sarah Area:California Lines:74 Added:02/14/2018

Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of its kind.

The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.

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41 US MA: Baker To Cannabis Commission: Keep Pot Legalization SimpleWed, 07 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:145 Added:02/09/2018

The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.

The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.

In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission dated Monday , the governor's office warned the independent agency that it had reached beyond the core mandate of the state's marijuana legalization law by proposing the licensure of businesses not seen in other states' recreational markets: sit-and-get-high cafes, pot delivery services not tied to dispensaries, and even movie theaters that want to offer patrons cannabis-laced snacks.

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42 US MA: Town Will Decide On Recreational Marijuana SalesFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:27 Added:01/19/2018

A public hearing on Whitman's proposed ban of recreational marijuana sales will be held before the Planning Board on Feb. 12.

To take effect, the ban requires approval at a special town election, which has been set for March 17, and approval at a special Town Meeting. A date for the Town Meeting has not yet been set, according to Town Administrator Frank Lynam.

The town voted in favor of the 2016 statewide ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana, but Lynam said these votes test the will of residents on whether they want non-medical retail sales within the town.

"This is the community's opportunity to say yes or no here," he said.

[end]

43US CA: Jack In The Box Tests Munchie Meals For California Pot SmokersFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Giammona, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/22/2017

For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the air.

As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain to explicitly embrace the drug.

The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code by potheads.

[continues 283 words]

44 US CA: This Colorado City Declined To Allow Pot Sales. Now It'sThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:California Lines:164 Added:12/18/2017

At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.

Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the state legalized recreational marijuana.

But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.

When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales. Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities across Colorado.

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45 US OH: Lawsuit Threatens Medical Marijuana TimelineFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:98 Added:12/06/2017

COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works.

Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

"Whether we end up with a license or we don't end up with a license, that's not what this is about..." said Jimmy Gould, chairman and chief executive of CannAscend Ohio. "I care that this process is broken. I care that there should have been better oversight over this process, and I care where this ends up....

[continues 578 words]

46US NJ: Legal Marijuana Could Be Coming Soon To New JerseyFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ) Author:Nash, James Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.

Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally in the governor's office.

Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.

[continues 990 words]

47 US MI: Marijuana Industry High On Prospect Of Michigan's CannabisMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI)          Area:Michigan Lines:160 Added:11/23/2017

LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her back to the Great Lakes State.

For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has her looking for partners in Michigan.

For the two women and many other entrepreneurs attending the MJ Biz Conference in Las Vegas last week -- the pre-eminent conference where 18,500 professionals looking to get into the cannabis industry gathered -- the common thread was Michigan's soon-to-explode marijuana business.

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48 US: In These States, Past Marijuana Crimes Can Go AwayMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:172 Added:11/23/2017

Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small amounts of the drug.

"We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war on drugs," says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.

[continues 1219 words]

49US CA: Editorial: California Cities' Reefer ReluctanceFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

Demonized for decades, marijuana remains controversial even on the brink of its statewide legalization - and even in pot-friendly strongholds such as San Francisco. The city is one of many still debating local regulations that will either embrace an overdue retreat from the drug war or effectively prolong the failed policy at the neighborhood level.

For vacillating municipal officials, some context is in order. This week alone, New Jersey and Virginia voters resoundingly elected gubernatorial candidates promising to liberalize marijuana policy; Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 seller of many popular wine and beer brands, was reported to have bought a nearly $200 million stake in a Canadian cannabis company; and California's attorney general approved signature-gathering for a ballot measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms.

[continues 272 words]

50US CA: Colton Group Petitioning To Put Citizen-Backed MarijuanaSun, 12 Nov 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Whitehead, Brian Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

A citizens committee in Colton has launched an initiative to regulate and tax local cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in order to generate millions of dollars in revenue for law enforcement, schools and public safety programs.

The Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools recently filed its proposed marijuana ordinance with the city and will soon begin gathering signatures for placement on the 2018 ballot.

Meanwhile, the Colton City Council awaits a drafted ordinance of potential regulations recommended by a committee of city leaders and other representatives.

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