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1 Canada: Column: The Cannabis Experience From The U.S. Tells Us TheTue, 29 May 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:109 Added:06/01/2018

In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing cannabis was operating.

As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the western United States?

The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on children and teens is largely unwarranted.

Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have smoked pot in the previous month.

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2 US: OPED: America's 150-Year Opioid EpidemicSun, 20 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Lawson, Clinton Area:United States Lines:129 Added:05/20/2018

After the death of her father, a prominent hotel owner in Seattle, Ella Henderson started taking morphine to ease her grief. She was 33 years old, educated and intelligent, and she frequented the upper reaches of Seattle society. But her "thirst for morphine" soon "dragged her down to the verge of debauchery," according to a newspaper article in 1877 titled "A Beautiful Opium Eater." After years of addiction, she died of an overdose.

In researching opium addiction in late-19th-century America, I've come across countless stories like Henderson's. What is striking is how, aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they feel so familiar to a 21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.

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3 US: Marijuana Request Denial Has Career In LimboSun, 13 May 2018
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Maese, Rick Area:United States Lines:169 Added:05/13/2018

Running back Mike James hurts all over. He experiences chronic pain every day, a natural byproduct of his chosen profession. Still, he's not yet ready to walk away from his NFL career, and says he knows the key to continuing: marijuana.

James, an NFL free agent, applied for a marijuana therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) from the league this offseason, which he hoped would allow him to treat his pain without fear of violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The league denied his request last week, which James said jeopardizes his ability to sign with a team and continue his career.

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4 US: Sessions Further Complicates Medical Marijuana ResearchFri, 11 May 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Irby, Kate Area:United States Lines:121 Added:05/11/2018

Amid budding efforts to research the medical benefits of marijuana, a simple problem has emerged -- how do you research marijuana if no one can produce it under federal law?

Despite a solution proposed in mid-2016, which allowed the Drug Enforcement Administration to approve marijuana manufacturers, only the University of Mississippi has been approved, despite dozens of applications to do so. And there's no sign the DEA intends to approve others anytime soon.

Advocates seem to blame one person for the delays: Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Ian Prior, spokesman for the Department of Justice, declined to comment on the issue.

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5 US PA: Temple U. Researchers Take A Leading Role In Medical MarijuanaMon, 30 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:116 Added:05/04/2018

Pennsylvania is gearing up to become a global center for cannabis research. Yet for more than a decade, Philadelphia has been on the forefront of investigations into the medicinal uses of marijuana.

Sara Jane Ward has built a reputation exploring marijuana's effects on pain and addiction using animals at Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Ward and her colleague Ronald Tuma, a professor of physiology and neurosurgery, lead a team of 10 researchers at Temple's Center for Substance Abuse in North Philadelphia.

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6 US: Director Of Drug Abuse Institute Offers Words Of Caution OnFri, 04 May 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Freyer, Felice J. Area:United States Lines:92 Added:05/04/2018

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was in Boston on Thursday to speak at a symposium sponsored by Boston University's Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction. Before her talk, she sat down with the Globe to talk about marijuana legalization and the opioid crisis. Here are edited excerpts:

* Dispensaries that sell legal marijuana will soon open in Massachusetts. What are your thoughts on pot legalization?

The greatest mortality from drugs comes from legal drugs. The moment you make a drug legal, you're going to increase the number of people who get exposed to it, and therefore you increase the negative consequences from its use. When you legalize, you create an industry whose purpose is to make money selling those drugs. And how do you sell it? Mostly by enticing people to take them and entice them to take high quantities.

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7US CA: Cannabis Cup: Sacramento Hosts First Marijuana Festival InFri, 04 May 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Harvey, Barbara Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/04/2018

A cloud of smoke hung over Cal Expo Friday afternoon as thousands gathered for the High Times Cannabis Cup, the first permitted event in California to allow recreational use of marijuana.

Organizers expected upwards of 15,000 people over the course of the two-day festival, which boasts musical performances from acclaimed artists, including Lauryn Hill, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Rich The Kid, Cypress Hill, Rick Ross and Ludacris.

The event was at risk of becoming a music-only festival until the Sacramento City Council approved a license for on-site consumption and sales in a 6-2 vote Tuesday. Weeks earlier, a similar High Times event had its permit denied by the San Bernardino City Council just before it was scheduled to take place.

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8US LA: Medical Marijuana Bills Clear Another Hurdle, Head To TheWed, 02 May 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:05/02/2018

A group of Louisiana parents of children with severe autism had cause for celebration Wednesday (May 2) as a bill (HB 627) that expands medical marijuana as a treatment option for the condition cleared another hurdle through the legislature.

It was one of two medical marijuana medicals aimed at expanding the patient base in Louisiana that passed through the Senate Health and Welfare committee. The other bill (HB 579) authored by Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, adds glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and Parkinson's Disease to the roster of conditions already approved for treatment with medical marijuana. Both bills will head to the Senate for a full vote.

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9US LA: Medical Marijuana Is Coming To Louisiana. But Will Any DoctorsFri, 27 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/27/2018

Louisiana's nine future medical marijuana dispensaries have been selected. The two grow sites, managed by LSU and Southern University, are preparing to start growing and processing the drug by next February at the latest.

Legislators have been focused on the issue, too. Two bills are making their way through the Legislature that would potentially expand the number of medical marijuana patients.

But after all these preparations are made, will there be doctors for medical marijuana patients to go to?

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10 US FL: Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Fed Limits On Research HinderWed, 25 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Taylor, Marisa Area:Florida Lines:251 Added:04/25/2018

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.

For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

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11US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.

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12US CA: Experts Push For Opioid Treatment, Against Medical MarijuanaSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Blakinger, Keri Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

SAN DIEGO - Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for Addiction Medicine conference this week in California.

Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use.

"It's not a matter of ideology," said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark. "It's a matter of the facts show a person's risk of dying is higher when they don't take medication."

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13 US OH: Two Toledo-Area Doctors Get Ok To Recommend Medical PotSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:66 Added:04/17/2018

The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.

Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of Temperance.

Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.

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14 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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15US CA: A Nasty -- And Really Severe -- Marijuana Side Effect IsSun, 08 Apr 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Rabin, Roni Caryn Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting that left him incapacitated every few weeks, he had been to the emergency room dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and gallbladder removed.

The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot shower.

He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time. When the hot water ran out, "the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my stomach out like a washcloth," said Hodorowski, 28, a production and shipping assistant who lives outside Chicago.

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16US LA: Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain, PTSDThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.

HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for people with chronic medical conditions.

A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain and PTSD to the list.

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17US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.

Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.

Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.

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18 US: Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid PrescriptionsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Ritter, Malcolm Area:United States Lines:81 Added:04/03/2018

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.

The new studies don't directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids. Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.

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19 US NJ: Gov. Murphy Greatly Expands New Jersey's Medical MarijuanaTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:106 Added:03/31/2018

Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.

The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers - -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.

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20 US HI: Cure Oahu Begins Cannabis SalesTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:45 Added:03/31/2018

Cure Oahu, backed by a local private investment group, opened with 10 strains, including top sellers Master Kush, Da Glue, Sour Chem and Sunset Mango. The dispensary in the former Bank of Hawaii branch building at 727 Kapahulu Ave. said there was heavy demand for indica, sativa and hybrid flower strains as well as tinctures and lozenges, which sold out shortly after opening.

The 5,434-square-foot building has had a major makeover with a high-tech, 2,400-square-foot open lobby and dispensing area with two private consultation booths and large electronic tablet stations where customers can browse through information and choose from a variety of strains. Patients are also able to register and order products online before coming into the dispensary.

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