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1CN ON: Cannabis Education Campaigns Move From 'Just Say No' To JustSat, 21 Apr 2018
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2018

Heather D'Alessio remembers drug education in high school that consisted mainly of dire warnings about the consequences of using any of them.

She was smoking pot by Grade 9, so she disregarded the advice.

"Most of the time, they would give us these fact sheets on cannabis. Then we'd all take it out to the corner and get high and laugh at it because we thought it was stupid."

Who uses cannabis?

Governments and public health advocates are now launching new education campaigns to warn young people about the health risks of marijuana, which will soon be legal across Canada.

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2 CN BC: UBCO Students To Get Bud CoveredFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Peacock, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:69 Added:02/26/2018

Medical marijuana added to health-insurance plan

Medical marijuana will soon be part of health insurance for students at UBC Okanagan.

The one-year pilot program will begin in September. University of Waterloo began a similar plan in 2014.

The idea was initiated by Michelle Thiessen, chairwoman of the Okanagan chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and a UBCO graduate student.

Without coverage for medical marijuana, students are left covering 100 per cent of the costs while still paying into the student health insurance plan, she said.

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3 CN ON: Edu: The Mind On MushroomsThu, 28 Sep 2017
Source:Varsity, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Mohan, Govind Area:Ontario Lines:94 Added:09/28/2017

Conference showcases findings of the psychedelic research renaissance

Contrary to the prevailing Nixonian portrayal of drugs as the last century's public enemy number one, this decade has seen a massive increase in the public acceptance of drugs as therapeutic agents.

This can be largely attributed to groundbreaking research coming out of neuroscience and psychiatry which seem to suggest an immense therapeutic potential for these drugs beyond previous estimation. The rise of national and international groups that aim to promote these findings have also contributed to this increasingly widespread acceptance.

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4 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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5CN ON: OPED: Marijuana Bill Wispy On Essential DetailsFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Valleriani, Jenna Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Jenna Valleriani wonders about equal access and people already convicted of minor crimes.

Thursday, the federal government tabled its long-awaited legislation for the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis. Almost four years have passed since Justin Trudeau first announced the Liberal party's intention to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis. Canada hasn't seen a shift like this since the end of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. While the tabled legislation represents a great first step, there is still a lot left up in the air - responsibility that falls predominantly on the provinces and territories. This also underscores concern over equal access to cannabis for adults across Canada.

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6 CN ON: Edu: Students Weigh In On Minimum Age For MarijuanaThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Charlatan, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Macfarlane, Sarah Area:Ontario Lines:127 Added:02/10/2017

Carleton students shared their opinions on upcoming pot regulations, Sarah Macfarlane wrote.

The federal government is on track to legalize marijuana later this year, which has some people debating the minimum age one should be able to use and possess the drug legally.

A task force appointed by the government to investigate cannabis legalization released a list of recommendations from its final report in December, suggesting that cannabis should only be sold to people who are 18 or older.

While some believe the drug is comparable to alcohol and should be given similar rules, others are concerned about the effects of marijuana on the brains of users under the age of 25.

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7 Canada: Pot Legalization Report Due This WeekMon, 28 Nov 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Cryderman, Kelly Area:Canada Lines:114 Added:12/01/2016

Chair of task force producing analysis for Ottawa says study will 'engender a lot of interest,' but stresses importance of moving slowly

Ottawa's march toward a controlled market for legal marijuana in Canada takes a major step forward this week with the delivery of a task force report that includes advice on a minimum age, product warnings and measures to prevent drug-impaired driving.

The report on pot legalization will be delivered to cabinet by Wednesday, said task force chair Anne McLellan, a lawyer and former federal cabinet minister in the Chretien and Martin governments.

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8 Canada: CMA Pushes 21 As Minimum Age For Purchasing MarijuanaFri, 09 Sep 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Grant, Kelly Area:Canada Lines:76 Added:09/13/2016

Marijuana should not be sold to Canadians under the age of 21 because their brains are still maturing, Canada's doctors say.

The Canadian Medical Association is urging the federal government to take a slew of measures to keep legal pot out of the hands of teenagers and young twenty-somethings, including restricting the amount and potency of the marijuana available to Canadians younger than 25.

The CMA, which speaks for 83,000 doctors across the country, made the recommendations in a written submission to the federal task force in charge of designing a new system for selling recreational pot in Canada. The nine-member panel is expected to report to the Liberal government - which has promised to legalize marijuana - in November.

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9 CN NF: Out Of TouchTue, 30 Aug 2016
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Sweet, Barb Area:Newfoundland Lines:104 Added:09/03/2016

Arguing national back-to-school "don't do drugs" campaigns are out of touch with reality, some local groups are planning to take to Confederation Building Wednesday to mark International Overdose Awareness Day with a rally.

"What we want people to be more aware of is some of those kids are going to chose to use drugs," said Tree Walsh, harm reduction manager for St. John's with the Aids Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The goal then is to warn drug users of the dangers of overdosing.

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10 Canada: OPED: Ban Pot For Young Canadians? Time For A Reality HitMon, 04 Jul 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Valleriani, Jenna Area:Canada Lines:92 Added:07/07/2016

The federal government has announced that it will create a task force to handle marijuana legalization. Led by former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, the task force will feature nine individuals with varying expertise.

In the announcement last Thursday, Health Minister Jane Philpott declared the legalization of cannabis will be "comprehensive and evidence-based," and yet in the same breath, reminded Canadians that "marijuana has negative effects on young brains and brain development in adolescence."

What Dr. Philpott didn't acknowledge is that this body of scientific evidence is still being debated in the scientific literature: It's incomplete and has never actually established that marijuana is the cause in these outcomes of cognitive deficiency. We have also never established what the actual duration of that impairment may be.

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11 US CA: Edu: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Advocates MarijuanaThu, 23 Jun 2016
Source:Daily Californian, The (UC Berkeley, CA Edu) Author:Hussain, Suhauna Area:California Lines:76 Added:06/24/2016

OAKLAND - In a speech Tuesday morning, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom urged cannabis industry members to put their best efforts into passing marijuana legalization legislation on November's ballot.

Newsom addressed cannabis business leaders and activists at the Cannabis Business Summit in Oakland on Tuesday morning. Newsom criticized other Democrats holding elected offices for not publicly taking strong pro-legalization stances and touted himself as one of the few that advocate legalization.

"(The campaign is) not done by any stretch of the imagination. If you think this thing is done in California, you couldn't be more wrong," Newsom said at the conference. "So don't just think because this is a universal state and pluralism is our middle name ... that this is going to be easy."

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12 CN QU: Edu: The Highs And Lows Of LegalizationTue, 15 Mar 2016
Source:Concordian, The (CN QU Edu) Author:Stein, Jessie Area:Quebec Lines:121 Added:03/16/2016

Gonzo Nieto and the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy Aim to Change Global Drug Policy

"I experienced my own death," said Gonzo Nieto.

It was the summer before he was leaving for university. Taking his parents car and picking up a few friends, they went to the local head shop and bought a bong, a torch flame lighter and a bag of Salvia.

Salvia Divinorum, is a plant that when smoked leaves a person in a haze of hallucinations. It's often the choice for people experimenting because until recently, it was been legal to buy from head shops.

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13 CN ON: Edu: The New War On DrugsMon, 08 Feb 2016
Source:Varsity, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Musulan, Andreea Area:Ontario Lines:120 Added:02/08/2016

Students advocate for drug reform in Canada

From April 19-20, the United Nations will be holding a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) to discuss global drug policy for the first time since 1998. U of T students from the Canadian chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) hope to be in attendance.

The Canadian chapter of the CSSDP focuses on harm reduction and a scientific approach to drug policy, say Daniel Grieg, a leader within the organization, and Kyle Lumsden, a dedicated member.

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14 CN QU: Edu: Student Group Tackles Misconceptions SurroundingTue, 02 Feb 2016
Source:McGill Tribune (CN QU Edu) Author:Rautionmaa, Sofia Area:Quebec Lines:92 Added:02/04/2016

Focuses on addiction and economic impacts

On Jan. 27, students discussed cannabis legalization at an open forum held at the Yellow Door, led by the McGill chapter of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP). Their goal as an organization, according to their website, is to discuss the negative impacts of drug policies on individuals and communities.

The forum began with a video showing an interview with two professors from McGill University, Dr. Mark Ware, a director of clinical research at McGill University Health Centre and Dr. Ken Lester, a professor of Finance in the Desautels Faculty of Management. Ware started the video by disproving the widely held assumption that the effects of cannabis are worse than tobacco.

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15US: Business Mavericks See Green In Legal MarijuanaSun, 03 Jan 2016
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2016

Silicon Valley Financiers Investing in Marijuana Apps, Services

Venture Capitalists Get Behind Efforts to Legalize Recreational Pot Use

Cannabis Startups Attracting Top Talent From Technology, Finance Sectors

Henderson, Nev. - Isaac Dietrich was smoking marijuana at his best friend's college apartment a few years ago when an entrepreneurial vision burst forth as heady as the most potent strains of Head Cheese or Ghost Train Haze.

"We had an epiphany," he said. "Grandma doesn't want to see me taking bong rips on Facebook. So we decided we needed a place where people could post about it."

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16US AL: Authorities Use College Students in Alabama As DrugFri, 01 Jan 2016
Source:Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) Author:Sheets, Connor Area:Alabama Lines:Excerpt Added:01/01/2016

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Ryan never imagined he would one day be a snitch.

The soft-spoken University of Alabama student was watching a movie with a couple of friends at his off-campus house in Tuscaloosa one evening in late 2012 when a team of plainclothes West Alabama Narcotics Task Force officers knocked on his door.

They were there to serve a warrant to search his home, as he had been outed as a drug dealer by a friend and fellow UA student the task force had "turned" and used as a confidential informant. Little did Ryan know, he would soon be turning on his own friends at the university.

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17US AZ: The Legislature, A Student, And High CrimeMon, 14 Dec 2015
Source:Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) Author:White, Kaila Area:Arizona Lines:Excerpt Added:12/14/2015

An Arizona State University student is asking an appeals court to overturn the law that makes it illegal for him to have physician-recommended medical marijuana in his dorm room.

Andre Maestas, 20, an ASU junior and medical-marijuana cardholder, was arrested in 2014 and charged with a felony for having 0.6 grams of weed in his room on campus, roughly the equivalent of one joint.

He is the first to challenge a 2012 statute banning medical marijuana on state university campuses, which the Legislature passed two years after Arizona voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana.

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18 US MO: Local Petition Seeks to Decriminalize Growing Up to SixSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Columbia Missourian (MO) Author:Iftekhar, Anadil Area:Missouri Lines:62 Added:10/05/2015

COLUMBIA - Initiative petitions have begun circulating that would revive a proposal for the decriminalization of growing up to six marijuana plants in Columbia.

The petition would limit cultivation to a person's home in locked area indoors inaccessible to children. It would make cultivation a municipal offense with a fine of $250 or community service or counseling. The petition also states that medical marijuana may be obtained, possessed and cultivated by seriously ill patients.

Under the proposal, cultivation and/or possession of up to six or fewer plants would not result in arrest, loss of driver's license, detention, incarceration or require the posting of a bond. Punishment would be limited to a city summons and a fine of up to $250. In 2004, 62 percent of Columbia voters approved an ordinance that made posession of up to 35 grams of marijuana a municipal offense with a fine of no more than $250.

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19 US NM: ABQ Council Oks Reducing Pot PenaltiesTue, 22 Sep 2015
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM) Author:McKay, Dan Area:New Mexico Lines:104 Added:09/23/2015

Mayor Plans to Veto Legislation, Citing State, Federal Law Conflict

Albuquerque city councilors don't want people going to jail simply for possessing small amounts of marijuana. But they may not get to decide. The council late Monday voted 5-4 along party lines in favor of making it a civil offense - not a criminal violation - under city law to possess an ounce or less of marijuana.

The council also adopted a resolution declaring marijuana a low law enforcement priority for city police.

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20 CN ON: Revealing The Healing Magic Of MushroomsThu, 17 Sep 2015
Source:Metro (Toronto, CN ON) Author:Smith, Jessica Area:Ontario Lines:57 Added:09/19/2015

Fungi Chemical Psilocybin Can Help Elderly With Anxiety

Drug advocates and medical experts will be gathering in Toronto to discuss the potential health benefits of magic mushrooms.

The event, slated for Sunday at the Centre for Social Innovation, is part of a worldwide day of action organized by the 920 Coalition. The Toronto event is being organized by Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

CSSDP co-chair Gonzo Nieto said the event is meant to bring attention to the medicinal and spiritual effects of psilocybin mushrooms and counteract stigma around their use.

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21CN QU: 'Sensible' Drug Policies DemandedWed, 12 Aug 2015
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Kovac, Adam Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2015

Mcgill and Concordia Students Join Lobby Group Seeking Reforms

When students at McGill and Concordia return to classes for the fall semester there will be new chapters of a club that gives new meaning to higher education.

The university campuses are set to become the only homes in Montreal for the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a nationwide group that lobbies for reforms at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

The group advocates treating drug usage as a health issue rather than a criminal justice one, with activities revolving around policy points such as supporting the legalization of marijuana, rallying against minimum sentences for drug-related offences and advocating for harm-reduction programs, including safe needle exchanges.

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22 US: Marijuana Reform Activists Push For Change With DEA HeadWed, 22 Apr 2015
Source:Time Magazine (US) Author:Rhodan, Maya Area:United States Lines:105 Added:04/25/2015

And the resignation of Chief of Administration Michele Leonhart offers the chance for change

Marijuana legalization advocates are excited about the departure of Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, whom they long considered an obstruction in their goal of reforming the nation's drug laws.

"We are happy to see her go," says Dan Riffle, the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. "She's a career drug warrior at a time when we've decided the `War on Drugs' is an abject failure."

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23 CN ON: Cannabis Culture Blows Up In The Big SmokeThu, 16 Apr 2015
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Mernagh, Matt Area:Ontario Lines:149 Added:04/17/2015

Another 420 is around the corner, and T.O.'s profile as a hotbed of weed culture continues to grow, but prohibition keeps us from putting up plaques at historic sites

Denver doesn't have one. And pot is legal there. Ditto Portlandia. The Toronto Hash Mob's ninth annual 420 marijuana legalization rally, slated for Yonge-Dundas Square on Monday, April 20, has made T.O. the epicentre of cannabis culture activism in North America. Cannabis culture thrives in the big smoke - and always has - despite a harsh political environment. We have a largely forgotten and fascinating cannabis history, though prohibition prevents the erection of historical markers to mark its sites.

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24 CN ON: Edu: Dealing With DopeMon, 23 Mar 2015
Source:Varsity, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Mullin, Malone Area:Ontario Lines:277 Added:03/25/2015

Perspectives on Student Marijuana Use

Ruben's* apartment looks a lot like mine. Unframed posters adorn his walls and empty beer cans litter the countertop - it's a typical student living space. But one thing's patently different: on Ruben's coffee table sits a twenty-inch water bong, stained with resin from the countless tokes that Ruben and his friends have taken from it.

Ruben reaches for the bong as I sit down to talk about his marijuana use. He's a U of T student on hiatus: his active student status was suspended for poor academic performance last summer. And, yes, he says, his weed habit did have a lot to do with it.

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25 US NY: Students Protest Award Recognizing SUNY Police DrugSun, 15 Mar 2015
Source:Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY)          Area:New York Lines:68 Added:03/17/2015

SUNY New Paltz students and community activists, led by Students for a Sensible Drug Policy and New York Students Rising (NYSR), held a protest outside of a Police Benevolence Association (PBA) award ceremony recognizing the New Paltz University Police Department's drug arrests for 2013.

The ceremony, held Friday at the New Paltz campus, awarded the college's police department for having the most drug-related arrests. Protesting students and community activists were concerned that there may be over policing on the campus.

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26 US NM: Ex-Prosecutor: Drug War Has FailedThu, 26 Feb 2015
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM) Author:Bush, Mike Area:New Mexico Lines:65 Added:02/28/2015

A former Bernalillo County prosecutor told a group of UNM law students Wednesday that the decades-old war on drugs "has failed in every respect and exacerbated every problem it was called on to fix."

Ethan Simon, an assistant district attorney from 2008 to 2011, spoke on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of police officers and former officers who oppose the prohibition on drugs. He was invited to the University of New Mexico School of Law by Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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27 US WA: Local Representatives Support Bill Removing DrugFri, 09 Jan 2015
Source:Bothell Reporter (WA) Author:Isaacs, Deanna Area:Washington Lines:97 Added:01/10/2015

Rep. Luis Moscoso of the 1st District and Rep. Jessyn Farrell of the 46th District have announced their support for a proposed House Bill to remove drug possession as a felony. The bill was filed on Dec. 8 by Rep. Sherry Appleton.

The bill would remove any felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances and reduce the charges to a misdemeanor if passed by legislature.

The intention is that the state could save a significant amount of money each year, from the approximate 9,000 non-violent drug felony arrests to freeing up space within the prison system.

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28 US MO: Talks On Marijuana Legalization In Missouri To Be HeldThu, 13 Nov 2014
Source:Missourian (MO) Author:Ilagan, Karol Area:Missouri Lines:64 Added:11/14/2014

COLUMBIA - A civil liberties expert and a former drug law enforcement officer will weigh in on marijuana legalization during two talks at MU on Thursday.

The events will take place a week after marijuana law reform advocates filed an initiative petition to the Missouri Secretary of State for the 2016 ballot. Both events are free and open to the public.

The first presentation will be by Neill Franklin, national executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Room 2-07 of the MU Agriculture Building. Franklin is also a former law enforcement officer who oversaw drug task forces with the Maryland State Police.

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29 US FL: Researcher: Veterans With PTSD Need Med Pot StudyWed, 29 Oct 2014
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Powers, Scott Area:Florida Lines:116 Added:10/28/2014

Arizona doctor says veterans need research with medical marijuana and PTSD but study is stymied.

Are people waiting for controlled, scientific research to determine whether marijuana has legitimate medical effects for various illnesses, notably post traumatic stress disorder suffered by countless military veterans?

So is Dr. Suzanne Sisley, an Phoenix-based clinical psychologist and internist who got FDA approval to conduct such a study in 2011. More than three years later, she still is waiting for federal red tape to end so the government might provide her with research marijuana to run the actual clinical trials, she told students at the University of Central Florida Monday.

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30 US MA: Edu: Tufts SSDP Hosts Speaker Highlighting Problems inFri, 24 Oct 2014
Source:Tufts Daily (MA Edu) Author:Dasinger, Sophie Area:Massachusetts Lines:136 Added:10/25/2014

In 1970, the United States government passed a federal law entitled the "Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act." This piece of legislation marked the beginning of an aggressive, multiple decade-long effort to regulate drug use. Many advocates for changing the drug policy in the United States, however, argue that the laws currently in place are vastly ineffective and often detrimental to society.

One such group of advocates is Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). According to its website, SSDP is an international student organization that seeks to stimulate honest discussion of drugs and drug policy. The Tufts chapter was established in 2011 and since then has been expanding its outreach within the Tufts community to contribute to the movement against the War on Drugs.

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31US GA: Law Officials Express Cautious Support For Medical MarijuanaThu, 02 Oct 2014
Source:Times, The (Gainesville, GA) Author:Silavent, Joshua Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/02/2014

While expressing support for limited use of medical marijuana, law enforcement officials from across the state Wednesday warned of a slippery slope leading to legalized recreational use.

Their warning came during a hearing at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville of the Joint Study Committee on Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions.

State lawmakers are considering allowing the use of cannabis oil - which contains anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety cannibidiols but is free of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets people high - to treat children with seizure disorders.

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32 US DC: PUB LTE: Legalizing Marijuana For A Just SocietySat, 20 Sep 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Tracy, Sam Area:District of Columbia Lines:40 Added:09/21/2014

While I disagree with the Sept. 15 editorial "Just say no" for a number of reasons, I was most disappointed to see the editorial board perpetuating the long-disproved myth that marijuana is a "gateway to more dangerous drugs."

This myth originated decades ago, with surveys showing that most users of hard drugs such as heroin had previously tried marijuana. But this connection, widely publicized by politicians trying to drum up support for the failed "War on Drugs," is meaningless - most users also consumed milk before trying heroin.

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33 US MA: In Halls Of Academia, Medical Marijuana An UnwelcomeSun, 17 Aug 2014
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Rocheleau, Matt Area:Massachusetts Lines:155 Added:08/20/2014

Colleges, Mindful of Federal Rules, Draw Ire by Keeping Stiff Bans

Thomas Burke Jr., a 25-year-old US combat veteran and Yale University grad student, has a physician's permission to use medical marijuana in Connecticut to treat PTSD symptoms.

Although medical marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts for nearly two years, many local colleges are putting out the message to students as the fall semester nears: You still can't use it on campus, even if a doctor says it's medicinal.

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34 US MA: PUB LTE: Lighten Up On PotMon, 21 Jul 2014
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Tracy, Sam Area:Massachusetts Lines:37 Added:07/23/2014

I am very glad the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the will of Massachusetts voters by ruling that the smell of unburnt marijuana can no longer justify searches ("Court marijuana ruling can't pass sniff test, police say," July 10). But I was disappointed in the fearmongering by critics of the ruling.

Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, said the searches forbidden by the ruling are no different than "stopping somebody with the smell of alcohol on their breath." As the article says, however, the court already ruled in 2011 that the smell of burnt marijuana - a much closer equivalent to alcohol-scented breath, as it signifies recent use - cannot justify a search.

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35 US: The War on Drugs Destroys Lives-Here Are 6 Things You CanFri, 16 May 2014
Source:Yes! (US) Author:Call, Wendy Area:United States Lines:124 Added:05/16/2014

The movement to end the violence through the decriminalization of drugs has never had so much momentum. And it's never been easier to get involved.

On Saturday, May 10, the third annual "National Dignity March" converged in Mexico City, with hundreds of marchers having walked for a full month from cities and towns all over Mexico. Most of the marchers had lost family members or friends in drug-trafficking violence.

They were marching for justice in the country's drug war-calling for the deaths and disappearances to be fully investigated. They also demand that the Mexican government's response to drug trafficking include economic and public health initiatives rather than military action, which has escalated since 2006. (For more information on the movement's history and goals, see my in-depth article on this topic.)

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36 US LA: Weeding Out Pot ReformTue, 06 May 2014
Source:Gambit Weekly (LA) Author:Woodward, Alex Area:Louisiana Lines:81 Added:05/07/2014

Medical Marijuana Bill Dies in the Senate

Medical marijuana has been legal in Louisiana since 1991, allowing doctors to prescribe pot to certain patients. But sometimes-conflicting federal law and no state infrastructure for dispensing and regulating marijuana have effectively neutered that law, though it remains on the books.

On April 30, the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare voted to defer Senate Bill 541 from state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Breaux Bridge. That bill deletes the current law and replaces it with a comprehensive means of regulating the prescription of marijuana, including creating a Therapeutic Marijuana Utilization Review Board and coordinating authority with the state's Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. The committee voted 6-2 against the bill.

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37 US CO: Colorado Springs City Council Gives Green Light toThu, 24 Apr 2014
Source:Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO) Author:Mendoza, Monica Area:Colorado Lines:108 Added:04/28/2014

City Hall chambers erupted with cheers and about 30 supporters hugged and congratulated each other Tuesday when the Colorado Springs City Council allowed a private downtown club for marijuana smokers to remain open.

The city administration had sought to close the club - Studio A64 at the corner of Colorado and Wahsatch avenues - but the council denied the move in a 5-3 vote. The council said the club not only meets the definition of a civic organization, it also meets the city's zoning codes and has done no harm to the city. Further, the council directed the city staff - the very staffers who appealed the club - to write regulations that better define private pot clubs for future applicants.

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38 US PA: Edu: Sterling Speaks On Cannabis LawFri, 04 Apr 2014
Source:Triangle, The (Drexel U, PA Edu) Author:Starr, Allison Area:Pennsylvania Lines:92 Added:04/07/2014

Eric Sterling, president and co-founder of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, came to speak at Drexel Law School March 24 about the complicated and contradictory legislation behind marijuana.

Sterling, whose past activist involvement includes the anti-Vietnam War movement, believes that the United States' current drug policy is counterproductive. A graduate of Haverford College and Villanova University School of Law, he has been an adviser for Students for Sensible Drug Policy since 2000 and the chair of the Alcohol and Other Drug Advisory Council in Montgomery County, Md.

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39US GA: Medical Amnesty Bill Awaits Governor's SignatureMon, 24 Mar 2014
Source:Times, The (Gainesville, GA) Author:Witman, Emma Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2014

Public health advocates say addressing the fear of legal repercussions after dialing 911 will save overdose victims in a medical crisis after Georgia's "medical amnesty" bill passed the legislature Tuesday.

"There was a lot of emotion in this bill because there's a lot of people who have been and are going to be affected by this situation," said Jeremy Sharp, a student at the University of North Georgia and founder of UNG's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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40 US GA: Edu: Editorial: Medical Amnesty Promotes Safety Over LegalityThu, 20 Mar 2014
Source:Red and Black, The (U of Georgia, GA Edu) Author:Brown, Cy Area:Georgia Lines:58 Added:03/22/2014

When students drink and do drugs they normally have two fears: the fear of getting in trouble and the fear of someone getting hurt. And the former almost always trumps the latter with college students. The choice between the two has left too many dead in the past.

But Georgia House Bill 965 - or the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law - would grant amnesty from small drug charges to those who call for help in the case of drug overdoses. It overwhelmingly passed through the House and Senate and now awaits Gov. Nathan Deal.

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41US GA: Gainesville Drug Testing Policy Draws ScrutinyWed, 26 Feb 2014
Source:Times, The (Gainesville, GA) Author:Silavent, Joshua Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/28/2014

Gainesville will implement a zero-tolerance drug-testing policy beginning Saturday for public safety workers, with termination of employment the penalty for a single failed test.

But substance abuse specialists have concerns about how effective the policy will be in curbing drug addiction and whether firing workers will only lead to further abuse.

The city currently administers random drug tests for transit workers and other jobs that require a commercial driver's license. The new policy would be extended to include testing of police officers, firefighters, plant and equipment operators, lifeguards and other employees who operate city vehicles.

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42 US CA: Column: Banking CannabisThu, 20 Feb 2014
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:81 Added:02/21/2014

How does one get involved in the legalization lobby? Are Marijuana Policy Project and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws the only options, or are there groups?

- -T.H. Cee

I applaud you for wanting to get involved. There are so many organizations working for weed that it's almost funny. Sometimes I think it's like the scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian: There's the Judean People's Front, The People's Front of Judea, and on and on.

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43 US CT: PUB LTE: Drug-free School Zone Reform In 2014Wed, 25 Dec 2013
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Tracy, Sam Area:Connecticut Lines:42 Added:12/26/2013

Letter to the editor

I was happy to read that the Connecticut Sentencing Commission unanimously recommended shrinking drug-free zones from 1,500 to 200 feet from public school property [Dec. 20, Page 1, "Drug-Free School Zones Could Shrink"].

When I was student body president at UConn, I saw the impact of our current laws first-hand. Since E.O. Smith High School is right next to campus, its drug-free zone includes many UConn dorms and apartments. If caught with drugs, the more than 2,700 students living in the zone were at risk of astronomically higher penalties than their peers living right across the street.

[continues 132 words]

44 US MO: National Drug Law Reform Advocates Speak At MUThu, 14 Nov 2013
Source:Missourian (MO) Author:Gordon, James Area:Missouri Lines:78 Added:11/16/2013

COLUMBIA - About 70 people showed up to Stewart Hall at MU on Thursday to hear two prominent drug law reform advocates recount reasons to legalize drugs, such as marijuana, and how to run a successful campaign in favor of the issue.

Maj. Neill Franklin is a 33-year veteran of the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department. In the 1980s, he worked as an undercover narcotics officer in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where most of the arrests he made were for non-violent drug crimes, usually related to marijuana, he said.

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45 US UT: Safety InjectionThu, 12 Sep 2013
Source:Salt Lake City Weekly (UT) Author:Peterson, Eric S. Area:Utah Lines:138 Added:09/16/2013

New Program Aims to Help Prevent Drug Users From Spreading Disease

For decades, the message about drugs has been to just say no. But some advocates are taking the approach that people make bad choices, and when they do, there's often no one to tell them the safest way to do something wrong, like shooting heroin or crack.

Zach Baker, head of Salt Lake Community College's Students for Sensible Drug Policy, is preparing to launch the Harm Reduction Project, an organization that, besides offering literature to addicts on healthier ways to get high, will also serve as the state's first-ever clean-needle-distribution program. While some of Baker's literature, like Getting Off Right: A Safety Manual for Injection Users, will likely be criticized for encouraging bad behavior, Baker says the reality is that addicts who don't share needles don't spread disease and therefore are less of a medical burden to the state.

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46 US IL: PUB LTE: Light At The End Of Drug War TunnelThu, 15 Aug 2013
Source:Regional News (IL) Author:Gierach, James E. Area:Illinois Lines:61 Added:08/19/2013

Dear Editor:

Finally, the criminal justice pendulum starts to swing back toward the middle.

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced in a speech before the American Bar Association that the hallmarks and cornerstones of injustice - racial discrimination, contracting civil liberties, the tying of the hands of federal judges in the sentencing process, and the imposition of three-time-loser laws and mandatory-minimum sentencing for non-violent criminals and non-violent drug offenders with reckless abandon as if Americans were made of money to waste on prisons - are about to end.

[continues 298 words]

47 US DC: Students For Sensible Drug Policy Lobby For Reforming DrugTue, 18 Jun 2013
Source:Michigan Daily (U of MI, Edu) Author:Greenberg, Will Area:District of Columbia Lines:85 Added:06/20/2013

As the topic of marijuana legalization burns up national forums, the Students for Sensible Drug Policy are lobbying in Washington, D.C. for new drug laws.

SSDP members from around the country -- including one representative from the University's chapter -- met yesterday to hear speakers and later visited the Hill to talk with various congressmen in support of current bills that would alter federal drug enforcement.

The bill being lobbied for is HR 499, a proposal that would prevent federal drug enforcement from interfering in states where marijuana is legal either medically or recreationally.

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48 US DC: PUB LTE: Support That Won't Just Blow AwayFri, 12 Apr 2013
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Tracy, Sam Area:District of Columbia Lines:48 Added:04/12/2013

In his April 5 Washington Forum commentary, "Republicans should just say no," Peter Wehner advised the Republican Party to base its comeback on opposition to marijuana reform. If the GOP has any desire to regain control of the White House, it should take the opposite approach.

Public support for marijuana legalization has increased dramatically in the past decade, and a Pew Research Center poll released last week showed for the first time a majority of Americans favoring legalization. In all likelihood, this trend is only going to continue, perhaps even accelerating once the public sees that the sky doesn't fall in Colorado and Washington state.

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49 US GA EDU: Pro-Marijuana Advocates Hold Legalization ConferenceTue, 19 Mar 2013
Source:Red and Black, The (U of Georgia, GA Edu) Author:Mannion, Brad        Lines:83 Added:03/21/2013

ATLANTA - It looks like lobbyists and activists are pushing for higher expectations when it comes to marijuana legalization.

Friday marked the beginning of the Southern Cannabis Reform Conference, where more than 50 advocates from across the nation came to Atlanta to "unite organizations working for the reform of marijuana laws." A joint effort between organizations such as the NORML Women's Alliance, Peachtree NORML, Moms for Marijuana and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition joined together for the two-day conference to promote advocacy and encourage citizens to get the message out to local legislators.

[continues 523 words]

50 US OH: Edu: Police Discuss Drug PolicyThu, 14 Feb 2013
Source:News Record, The (U of Cincinnati, OH Edu)          Area:Ohio Lines:54 Added:02/15/2013

Police Officials Discuss Legalization of Drugs With UC Students

Two retired police officers spoke to University of Cincinnati students Tuesday about the potential benefits to legalizing all forms of drugs.

The Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UC invited officers from the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition group to speak at Zimmer Hall, where approximately 20 students participated in a question and answer session.

Peter Christ, a retired police captain from Buffalo and co-founder of LEAP, said there are both active and inactive police officers who believe law enforcement isn't the best way to combat drug usage in America, and if anything, it exacerbates the problem.

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