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1US 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.

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2US 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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3 US MI: You Can Be Fired For Medical Marijuana. Advocates Want That ToMon, 13 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Lehr, Sarah Area:Michigan Lines:203 Added:11/14/2017

Can you be fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana?

Joseph Casias injured his knee at the Battle Creek Wal-Mart where he worked in 2009.

Per company policy, he took a drug test. It came back positive.

Casias had been using marijuana at home to treat pain from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf for wrongful discharge in violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

A U.S. District Judge sided with the company. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld the ruling.

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4 US MI: Editorial: Vote No On 2 Detroit Medical Marijuana BallotThu, 02 Nov 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI)          Area:Michigan Lines:105 Added:11/06/2017

Nine years after Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that permits doctors to prescribe marijuana for therapeutic purposes, state and local lawmakers are still struggling to design a regulatory scheme that balances the interests of patients, providers and residents.

Earlier this year, Michigan legislators finally adopted a new regime that establishes distinct licensing criteria for growing, processing, testing, transporting and distributing the drug, which is still forbidden by federal law, and dividing the tax revenues generated by those activities between the state and local governments.

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5 US MA: Cannabis Exposition Comes To Boston And No, That Smell Is NotThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Finucane, Martin Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:10/05/2017

Organizers of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition say they expect more than 2,000 people at the event Thursday and Friday at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

It's the first time this particular exposition has come to town. The organizers also held events this year in New York and Los Angeles.

"We are planting our flag here," said Dan Humiston, an organizer of the show.

"We anticipate the New England area is going to be the next big market for the industry. All the tea leaves say this part of the country will take off."

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6US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Won't Start In January In SFTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2017

People eager to start buying recreational marijuana from shops in San Francisco when sales become legal throughout the state in January are going to have to wait a little longer.

The city won't issue permits to sell recreational marijuana until it passes new laws to regulate the industry and creates an equity program to help low-income entrepreneurs, people of color, and former drug offenders break into the market.

According to Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who introduced an ordinance with proposed regulations at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, city officials still have no idea what that program will look like or how it will operate.

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7 US MI: State Says Growers, Processers, Sellers Of Pot Can Be In SameThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:83 Added:09/26/2017

The medical marijuana business is expected to explode next year when the state begins to hand out licenses, and rules released Thursday by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could prove to be even more profitable for some budding marijuana entrepreneurs.

LARA said in an advisory that one person could apply for three of the licenses -- grower, processor and dispensary -- and locate all of those businesses in one facility.

Read more:

"It's something that we've had a lot of inquiries about," said David Harns, spokesman for LARA, as people looking to get involved in the medical pot business get ready for Dec. 15, when applications for licenses will become available from the state.

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8US CA: Editorial: Governments Wisely Moving To Regulate MarijuanaTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.

Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as opposed to simply banning marijuana.

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9 US MA: Marijuana Rally On Boston Common Features Vendors, Music, AndSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Carozza, Jacob Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:09/19/2017

The Boston Freedom Rally was on Boston Common on Saturday.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Boston Common this weekend for the 28th annual Boston Freedom Rally - the first time the marijuana festival has been held since voters approved a ballot referendum last November legalizing the drug for recreational use.

As of Saturday morning, about 7,400 people indicated on Facebook that they plan to go to the rally, organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.

The festival, which began Friday, is scheduled to be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday according to its Facebook page.

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10 US MI: Detroit Voters To Decide On 2 Marijuana Proposals In NovemberFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:144 Added:09/19/2017

Two initiatives that would amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne County circuit judge's ruling earlier this week.

If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a wide-reaching impact on the city's budding marijuana industry.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact zoning regulations.

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11 US MA: Question 4 Opponents Will Have Majority On Cannabis CommissionFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:115 Added:09/01/2017

BOSTON -- Marijuana legalization opponents will outnumber supporters four to one on the new commission that will spearhead the state's efforts to get a legal marijuana industry up and running by next summer and then regulate the newly legal market.

Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday appointed Britte McBride, a lawyer with experience working for the attorney general's office, the state Senate and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, to the newly minted Cannabis Control Commission, and joined Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg in agreeing on two picks to round out the five-person panel.

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12US CA: Legal Marijuana: Fresno City Council Passes Ban On PotThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

When it comes to buying pot for pleasure, Fresno won't be on the recreational map

Retail marijuana dispensaries and other businesses related to recreational use of marijuana will be barred from setting up shop in Fresno after the City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit such establishments.

Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2016, legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana. It also legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use starting Jan. 1, 2018 -- but gave cities and counties the authority to regulate or prohibit commercial cannabis operations in their jurisdictions.

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13US CA: Perris Gets The Inland Empire's First Licensed MedicalWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

The Inland Empire has its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary, with Green America now open for business in Perris.

"This is the first time that patients will be able to purchase their products from a permitted dispensary," said Mark Douglas, chief executive of the nonprofit that runs Green America. "This is a historic day not just for Green America Inc., but for the city of Perris and all of the Inland Empire."

The move comes after more than 77 percent of Perris voters in November approved Measure K, an initiative put on the ballot by the Perris City Council to remove the city's ban on marijuana businesses. The measure permits dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, with strict rules on record keeping, buffers from schools and more.

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14 US MI: Communities Dilemma: Yes Or No To Medical Marijuana BusinessesMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Gray, Kathleen Area:Michigan Lines:183 Added:08/25/2017

To weed or not to weed? That is the question for Michigan's communities.

As the state board that will regulate Michigan's new medical marijuana law begins to craft the rules that will govern the multimillion dollar industry, the state's cities, townships and villages must decide whether they want in or out.

As they are making their decisions, local officials are being bombarded with phone calls from people who want to gain a foothold in the medical marijuana business and are promising untold riches for the communities that let them in.

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15 US MA: White House Anti-Drug Office Asks Massachusetts For MedicalFri, 25 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:139 Added:08/25/2017

An arm of the White House's anti-drug office has asked Massachusetts and several other states where medical marijuana is legal to turn over information about their registered patients, triggering a debate over privacy rights and whether state officials should cooperate with a federal administration that appears hostile to the drug.

Dale Quigley, deputy coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, or NMI, has asked Massachusetts health officials for demographic data on the age, gender, and medical condition of the state's approximately 40,000 registered medical marijuana patients. Quigley is a former police officer in Colorado with a long history of speaking out against legalization.

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16 US MI: New Petition To Legalize Marijuana In Michigan Gets OKThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Egan, Paul Area:Michigan Lines:78 Added:08/22/2017

LANSING -- The Board of State Canvassers gave approval Thursday to a new proposed ballot effort to amend the state constitution to fully legalize recreational use of marijuana without taxing the drug.

The proposal from Abrogate Prohibition Michigan of Midland would nullify all laws prohibiting or regulating the use of marijuana and impose no fines, taxes or penalties on its use.

"I call it the Second Amendment of cannabis," sponsor Timothy Locke told the Free Press, comparing it to the U.S. constitutional provision granting the right to bear arms.

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17 US MA: Legislators Send Pot Overhaul To GovernorSun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:114 Added:07/25/2017

The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the legislation.

The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.

Baker is expected to sign the measure, which would raise cannabis taxes from what the ballot question envisioned, merge oversight of recreational and medical marijuana, and change how cities and towns can ban pot shops.

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18 US MA: Legislature Moves Forward On Marijuana Law OverhaulWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:71 Added:07/22/2017

The legislation proposed in Massachusetts wouldn't change the basic marijuana rights of adults that the ballot question put in place.

The Massachusetts Legislature is advancing an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law Wednesday, when both chambers are expected to accept a House-Senate compromise bill in the afternoon.

A final Senate vote, which would send the bill to the governor, is scheduled for Thursday.

The legislation would change the legalization law passed by 1.8 million voters in November.

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19US CA: Could Cannabis Be Coming To Your County Fair? It Depends OnWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Holland, John Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

California's county fairs -- those wholesome showcases of agricultural bounty -- could become places to score some pot.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a bill that details how to carry out the November 2016 ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana as of January 2018. Tucked deep in the text is an option for county fairs to allow sampling and sales for people 21 and older in designated spots.

The Stanislaus County Fair has had "minor discussions" among the board and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cranford about the issue, spokeswoman Adrenna Alkhas said by email.

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20 US FL: Oviedo To Soon Allow Medical Marijuana DispensariesWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Comas, Martin E. Area:Florida Lines:58 Added:07/21/2017

Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality to allow such businesses.

Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the same zoning regulations as pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Oviedo are allowed to operate only in certain office and commercial zoning districts, which are mostly located along major thoroughfares. Council members are expected to vote on a new ordinance in the coming weeks to allow pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries to operate only in certain commercial zoning districts, but not in zoning districts for offices.

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21 US MA: SJC Rules Mass. Companies Can't Fire Workers Just Because TheyMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:117 Added:07/21/2017

Massachusetts companies cannot fire employees who have a prescription for medical marijuana simply because they use the drug, the state's highest court ruled Monday, rejecting arguments from employers that they could summarily enforce strict no-drug policies against such patients.

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants said a California sales and marketing firm discriminated against an employee in its Foxborough office who uses marijuana to treat Crohn's disease when it fired her for flunking a drug test without first trying to reach an accommodation with her.

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22 US MA: Mass. Lawmakers Unveil Proposed Overhaul Of Marijuana LawMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:157 Added:07/21/2017

Representative Ronald Mariano, a Quincy Democrat and the majority leader, spoke about the revisions to the marijuana law on Monday at the State House.

The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to approve a broad overhaul of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week after House and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill Monday that would hike marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops.

But the compromise immediately raised the specter of a serious legal challenge, and the bill drew a rebuke from the top lobbyist for cities and towns who said, should it pass, most municipalities would have trouble implementing the law.

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23 US MA: Activists Cheer Pot Bill Provision Allowing PreviouslyFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Parker, Claire Area:Massachusetts Lines:140 Added:07/21/2017

Tax rates and questions of local control have dominated the conversation surrounding the Legislature's rewrite of the voter-approved marijuana law. But for former firefighter Sean Berte, who spent eight months in federal prison for cultivating marijuana, the bill spells out something else entirely: a second chance.

Berte initially swore off the drug that he says cost him his job, his life savings, and his freedom. But now, he sees an opportunity in the green-leafed plant - this time, on the right side of the law.

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24 US MI: Proposal Would Let Detroit Pot Shops Open Near Liquor StoresSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:143 Added:07/19/2017

An initiative to amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to operate near liquor stores, child-care centers and parks could appear on the November ballot, after a group behind the effort submitted thousands of signatures backing the measure.

Citizens for Sensible Cannabis spokesman Jonathan Barlow confirmed his group submitted petitions late last month seeking to amend Chapter 24 of the city's code.

Elections Director Daniel Baxter said the group met the threshold of required signatures and his department has since turned the initiative over to the Detroit City Council, which is expected to consider it Tuesday.

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25 US NV: Nevada Has A Drug Problem: Shops Are Running Out Of MarijuanaTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:Nevada Lines:141 Added:07/14/2017

Nevada officials have declared a state of emergency over marijuana: There's not enough of it.

Since recreational pot became legal two weeks ago, retail dispensaries have struggled to keep their shelves stocked and say they will soon run out if nothing is done to fix a broken supply chain.

"We didn't know the demand would be this intense," Al Fasano, cofounder of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said Tuesday. "All of a sudden you have like a thousand people at the door.aE&We have to tell people we're limited in our products."

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26US CA: Coalinga Legalizes Medical Marijuana OperationFri, 07 Jul 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2017

The Coalinga City Council voted 4-1 on Thursday to immediately allow commercial marijuana cultivation within city limits.

Councilman Ron Lander cast the lone no vote. The ordinances required a four-fifths majority to pass.

The council also approved the sale of the city's dormant prison, Claremont Custody Center, to Ocean Grown Extracts for $4.1 million. Ocean Grown will transform the prison into a medical cannabis oil extraction plant.

This sale will immediately bring Coalinga's general fund into the black. City Manager Marissa Trejo said Coalinga was $3.3 million to $3.8 million in debt.

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27 US MA: Mass. Towns Balking At Pot Shops As Beacon Hill Weighs TighterSat, 08 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Rocheleau, Matt Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:07/11/2017

At least 103 cities and towns - nearly one-third of all Massachusetts communities - have placed outright bans or other restrictions on marijuana businesses since voters legalized the drug for recreational use in November, according to a Globe analysis.

And another 47 municipalities are actively considering restrictions, the review found, as local elected officials express unease about the state's venture into legalized recreational marijuana.

Most of the restrictions are temporary, intended to allow local officials time to consider where marijuana shops should be allowed to operate in their communities - if at all.

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28US NV: Some Nevada Pot Retailers 'Running On Fumes'Tue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Sonner, Scott Area:Nevada Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2017

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Most of Nevada's recreational marijuana retailers are optimistic an emergency regulation that state officials are expected to approve will help keep them from running out of pot supplies, but some are "running on fumes," an industry official said Tuesday.

The State Tax Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on an emergency measure Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed late last week in an effort to allow the state to issue pot distribution licenses currently banned by a court order.

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29 US MI: Michigan's Marijuana Legalization Drive Hits SignatureTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Laitner, Bill Area:Michigan Lines:97 Added:07/11/2017

Could Michigan be next to legalize marijuana? The stars are aligning, say fans of legal cannabis.

After a flubbed effort last year, supporters of marijuana legalization in Michigan can celebrate reaching a milestone at a posh $250-a-plate fund-raiser Thursday night.

Their new petition drive has gathered 100,000 signatures in just six weeks, putting the campaign well ahead of schedule and giving leaders reason to believe that this year's petition drive will manage to put the legalization question on Michigan ballots, spokesman Josh Hovey said.

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30US FL: John Morgan Sues State For Blocking The Smoking Of MedicalThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Klas, Mary Ellen Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/07/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Arguing that Florida legislators violated voters' intent when they prohibited smoking for the medical use of marijuana, the author of the state's medical marijuana amendment sued the state on Thursday to throw out the implementing law.

John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who spearheaded and financed the successful campaign to make medical access to cannabis a constitutional right, filed the lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court Thursday morning, asking the court to declare the law implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment unenforceable.

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31 US MA: Marijuana Do's And Don'ts For The Fourth Of JulyTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:116 Added:07/05/2017

Independence Day is a celebration of freedom. But on this July Fourth, for the first time in more than a century, our freedoms in Massachusetts include the ability to legally buy, possess, and use marijuana.

These privileges took effect in December, after voters approved a ballot question on recreational pot use. And that measure remains the law of the land, despite state legislators' ongoing debate over a rewrite of the rules.

But it's worth remembering that this freedom is heavily qualified. So, after consulting with law enforcement experts and studying guidance issued by state officials, here are some recreational marijuana do's and don'ts.

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32 US NV: Las Vegas Adds A New Lure To Its Repertoire With Legalized PotSat, 01 Jul 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:Nevada Lines:71 Added:07/04/2017

They arrived -- by the hundreds, on foot, in party buses and Uber rides -- at a strip mall marijuana dispensary, and the merchandise started flying off the shelf: Snake Eyes OG, double chocolate chunk brownie bites.

"What we're experiencing right here and now is history," Ross Goodman, co-owner of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said early Saturday as he stood behind a glass counter at the pot shop watching staff shuffle patrons in and out. "This is the future and we're a part of ending prohibition."

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33 US MA: Behind Closed Doors, Lawmakers Hash Out Plan To Rewrite PotMon, 26 Jun 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:119 Added:07/01/2017

The fate of marijuana legalization, enshrined in law by about 1.8 million Massachusetts voters, is now in the hands of a half-dozen lawmakers meeting in secret.

Those legislators' first action on Monday was to kick out members of the news media, close the door, and begin their deliberations to reconcile fundamentally different Senate and House rewrites of the ballot question that legalized adult recreational marijuana's use and sale.

"We're going to ask the press to leave," said Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, the Senate's point person on pot policy.

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34 US MA: Sorting Out The Cannabis ConundrumSat, 24 Jun 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Salsberg, Bob Area:Massachusetts Lines:106 Added:06/24/2017

BOSTON -- After a week of sharp divisions and heated rhetoric over the future of the state's recreational marijuana law, it's now up to a conference committee of six legislators to try and sort everything out.

On one hand, there's a House bill that infuriated pro-marijuana activists by proposing a major overhaul of the voter-approved law. On the other, a more restrained Senate bill won praise from the groups behind the November ballot question.

Democratic Rep. Mark Cusack, the House bill's lead author, suggested before the votes that the two chambers were in about 80 percent agreement on their respective approaches.

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35 US OH: Cases Proceeding Against Marijuana Petition CirculatorsFri, 23 Jun 2017
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Lane, Mary Beth Area:Ohio Lines:49 Added:06/23/2017

Criminal charges filed against petition circulators accused of falsifying signatures on petitions for the marijuana-legalization ballot issue in 2015 show that people must be careful, Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said.

"It serves as a cautionary note that people circulating petitions need to be very careful and follow the law when they are gathering signatures," O'Brien said. "People need to be careful to only sign their own names."

O'Brien commented Friday as four cases continued to move through Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

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36 US MA: Central Mass. Has Mixed Views On Marijuana Law ChangesThu, 22 Jun 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Lee, Brian Area:Massachusetts Lines:148 Added:06/22/2017

On the heels of a House rewrite Wednesday of the state's adult-use recreational marijuana law, approved by voters in November, local reaction has been mixed.

Increasing the tax rate on marijuana sales from 12 percent to 28 percent and allowing local governing boards to ban or limit pot stores without asking local voters are among the more significant changes in the House bill.

On Thursday, the debate over reshaping the law shifted to the state Senate, where a more modest set of revisions to existing law appeared headed for passage.

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37 US NJ: Legislators Begin Marijuana Legalization Effort As They LookMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Racioppi, Dustin Area:New Jersey Lines:100 Added:06/19/2017

Looking beyond Gov. Chris Christie and seeing a more socially liberal future, Democratic lawmakers opened their campaign to legalize marijuana in New Jersey with a lengthy legislative hearing Monday.

Although no vote was planned on the bill that was introduced last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing formally set in motion a campaign to make New Jersey among the first states in the Northeast to legalize marijuana. Voters in eight other states and Washington, D.C., have approved marijuana legalization, but New Jersey would be the first to do so through legislation.

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38 US: High Times Is Sold For $70 Million To A Group That Includes SonFri, 02 Jun 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Victor, Daniel Area:United States Lines:75 Added:06/02/2017

High Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business, said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.

The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand the publication's audience and its events business.

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39 US MI: Detroit Shuts Down 167 Pot Shops, More Closures On The WayTue, 30 May 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Stafford, Katrease Area:Michigan Lines:110 Added:05/30/2017

Detroit's crackdown on illegally operating medical marijuana dispensaries has shuttered 167 shops since the city's regulation efforts began last year and dozens more are expected.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that 283 dispensaries were identified last year, all of which were operating illegally.

"None of them were operating lawfully," Hollowell said. "At the time I sent a letter to each one of them indicating that unless you have a fully licensed facility, you are operating at your own risk."

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40 US VT: Vermont Pot Bill Vetoed As Changes SoughtThu, 25 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Kamp, Jon Area:Vermont Lines:73 Added:05/25/2017

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he is vetoing a bill that would have made the state the first to legalize marijuana through legislation rather than a ballot measure, but he also left the door open for legalization.

The bill, passed by the Vermont House and Senate, would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited amount starting in mid-2018. The bill also called for a commission to propose yet-more legislation that could have created a taxed, regulated market later on.

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41 US: Column: Big Labor Looks At Californi's Marijuana Market And SeesSat, 06 May 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Finley, Allysia Area:United States Lines:105 Added:05/06/2017

When California voted 57% to 43% last November to legalize recreational marijuana-the eighth state to do so-it fertilized a national market whose value by some estimates could top $20 billion by 2020. The ballot initiative was backed by a phalanx of progressives-Napster founder Sean Parker provided the seed funding-and liberal interest groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. But now as state lawmakers debate how to regulate the industry, one worry is that the Teamsters will hijack the process and corner the pot market.

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42 US MD: How Much Marijuana Is Too Much For A Police Recruit?Wed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Calvert, Scott Area:Maryland Lines:112 Added:05/01/2017

BALTIMORE - As more states relax their approach to marijuana, police departments are rethinking how many hits are too many for aspiring officers.

Maryland just passed a new standard, set to take effect in the state June 1, that bars applicants if they smoked pot in the past three years, the same policy used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The longstanding, previous policy had ruled out those who had used marijuana at least 20 times or at least five times since age 21.

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43 US: Marijuana Advocates Vow To Smoke On Steps Of U.S. CapitolThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Davis, Aaron C. Area:United States Lines:100 Added:04/22/2017

Dozens of activists, including some military veterans, plan to light joints Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol - federal land where committing the offense could draw a sentence of up to a year in jail - as part of an effort to urge a reluctant Congress to support marijuana legalization.

"Monday @ High Noon" reads a flier for the event, calling on Congress to also remove marijuana from the nation's list of most-dangerous drugs. "Mass Civil Disobedience @ 4:20p - East Side of the US Capitol."

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44 US AZ: Sinister SubstitutesThu, 06 Apr 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:91 Added:04/06/2017

Major anti-pot campaign funder lands DEA approval of THC drug amidst flurry of lawsuits

Ethics is a hazy argument when it comes to marijuana.

On one hand, opponents of legalization argue that the plant is harmful to society and individuals, and therefore should not be used. "Good people don't smoke marijuana," remember?

On the other, little evidence exists to show that marijuana was even made illegal on ethical grounds, and thousands of individuals' lives are affected by simple possession of a joint, regardless of context.

[continues 511 words]

45 US CA: Pot To Pair With Wines? Sonoma Embraces PossibilitiesSun, 19 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:136 Added:03/24/2017

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - In the heart of Northern California's wine country, a civil engineer turned marijuana entrepreneur is adding a new dimension to the art of matching fine wines with gourmet food: cannabis and wine pairing dinners.

Sam Edwards, co-founder of the Sonoma Cannabis Company, charges diners $100 to $150 for a meal that experiments with everything from marijuana-leaf pesto sauce to sniffs of cannabis flowers paired with sips of a crisp Russian River chardonnay.

"It accentuates the intensity of your palate," Mr. Edwards, 30, said of the dinners, one of which was held recently at a winery with sweeping views of the Sonoma vineyards. "We are seeing what works and what flavors are coming out."

[continues 827 words]

46 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Referendum Should Be WelcomedMon, 30 Jan 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:33 Added:02/04/2017

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, recently introduced legislation that would place an advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot asking state voters if they support legalizing medical cannabis.

In 2012, after Washington and Colorado voters passed initiatives legalizing cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press published an article looking at potential legalization in other states.

Wisconsin was included: "Republican Gov. Scott Walker said ... he's not interested in legalizing marijuana. The only way he sees it happening is if state residents approve the idea in a referendum similar to Colorado and Washington."

Walker has not weighed in on the advisory referendum proposal since it was introduced, but his 2012 comments to the AP certainly suggest he should welcome Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor's proposal to let voters decide.

Gary Storck, Madison

[end]

47 US MA: Mass. Legal Marijuana Law As We Know It May ChangeWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:149 Added:01/18/2017

Will lawmakers gut key parts of marijuana law?

A marijuana joint was rolled.

Marijuana legalization advocates fear the Massachusetts Legislature, which has already delayed the opening of pot shops, will now gut several key parts of the law approved by 1.8 million voters in November.

Public comments from Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg about potential changes are setting off alarm bells among backers.

Rosenberg has raised the prospect of lawmakers sharply increasing the marijuana tax rate, lowering the 12-plant-per-household limit on homegrowing pot, and even raising the legal age for purchase, possession, and use up from 21.

[continues 1067 words]

48 US MA: Marijuana Legalization, Opioid Crisis Come To An AwkwardSat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Pindell, James Area:Massachusetts Lines:101 Added:01/15/2017

[photo] A marijuana bud.

Across New England, two issues appear to be driving legislatures this year - - and they both have to do with drugs.

States are grappling with the emergence of marijuana legalization. But the region is also the epicenter of the opioid crisis, with overdose rates in New Hampshire among the highest in the country.

These two debates - separate, but not unrelated - transcend party. Marijuana legalization efforts have been supported by Democrats and Republicans, but none of the region's six governors fully support recreational use of the drug. On the opioid crisis as well, there is bipartisan consensus about the importance of the issue - as well as the fact there's no silver bullet to solve the problem.

[continues 611 words]

49 US MA: Holyoke Mayor Sees Future In PotFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:160 Added:01/13/2017

Holyoke has a number of old mill buildings that Mayor Alex B. Morse believes would make an excellent location for the industry.

HOLYOKE - Vacant mill buildings along a series of canals serve as constant reminders of this impoverished city's halcyon days as the Paper City of the World. But the mayor has a distinctly 21st-century plan for the old factories.

Alex B. Morse imagines marijuana growing in them.

Morse, the 27-year-old wunderkind who has been in office for more than five years , believes his hometown is on the upswing, with the lowest rates of crime and unemployment in many years. But the city, with a poverty rate almost three times the state average, requires an infusion of industry. And the state's nascent recreational marijuana business, he says, would be a perfect fit.

[continues 1136 words]

50 US MD: Experts Have Only A Hazy Idea Of Marijuana's Myriad HealthFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Healy, Melissa Area:Maryland Lines:166 Added:01/13/2017

Marijuana's health effects

A new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on its users remain something of a mystery. (Jan. 13, 2017)

More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it's now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year.

Yet for all its ubiquity, a comprehensive new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on those who use it remain something of a mystery -- and the federal government continues to erect major barriers to research that would provide much-needed answers.

[continues 1147 words]


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