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1 CN ON: Cop Gets 64 Hours Of Unpaid Work For Attending CannabisThu, 09 Mar 2017
Source:Bracebridge Examiner (CN ON) Author:Cooper, Brent Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:03/09/2017

BRACEBRIDGE - A Bracebridge resident and OPP police officer found guilty of violating orders from his superiors not to attend a conference that discussed the legalization of marijuana has received his punishment.

Sgt. Dan Mulligan, who is a member of the Ontario Provincial Police's Aviation Services Section/Helicopter Unit, faced one count of discreditable conduct and two counts of insubordination during a Police Services Act tribunal in late November at the OPP's general headquarters in Orillia.

Adjudicator Superintendent Greg Walton last week found Mulligan guilty of discreditable conduct and one count of insubordination, but not guilty on the second count of insubordination.

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2 CN ON: OPP Veteran Found GuiltyFri, 27 Jan 2017
Source:Packet & Times (CN ON) Author:Bales, Patrick Area:Ontario Lines:122 Added:01/27/2017

Sgt. Dan Mulligan fought charges of discreditable conduct, insubordination

An OPP sergeant who stood before two professional standards bureau tribunals in the fall has found out his fate in both cases.

Sgt. Dan Mulligan, a 30-year veteran of the OPP, has been found guilty of two counts of discreditable conduct, one count of breach of confidence and one count of insubordination stemming from the two hearings. He was found not guilty on a second count of insubordination.

Supt. Greg Walton heard the case for one count of discreditable conduct and two counts of insubordination, Nov. 28 and 29 in Orillia. Walton issued his ruling Monday.

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3 US: Survey: Two-Thirds Of Cops Say Marijuana Laws Should Be RelaxedWed, 11 Jan 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:United States Lines:72 Added:01/13/2017

A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use.

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. An additional 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.

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4 US NC: Pew Research Center Poll Finds Two-thirds Of Cops ThinkThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:North Carolina Lines:72 Added:01/12/2017

A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use.

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. Another 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.

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5 US TX: Pew Research Center Poll Finds Two-thirds Of Cops ThinkThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:Texas Lines:72 Added:01/12/2017

A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use.

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. Another 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.

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6 US SC: Pew Research Center Poll Finds Two-thirds Of Cops ThinkThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:South Carolina Lines:72 Added:01/12/2017

A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use.

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. Another 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.

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7 US: It's Clear Why Support For Legalizing Marijuana Is At An All-TimeSat, 22 Oct 2016
Source:Business Insider (U.S.) Author:Berke, Jeremy Area:United States Lines:148 Added:10/22/2016

Support for weed legalization in the US recently hit an all-time high, but looking at the industry, it's been a long time coming.

Sixty-percent of Americans - up from 35% in 2005 - now support legalization, according to a Gallup poll from Wednesday.

In addition, legal marijuana is on the ballot in five states in November, support among likely voters is well above 50% in in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada. Arizona, the fifth state with recreational marijuana appearing on the ballot, is polling at around 50% in support of legalizing.

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8 UK: OPED: Why I, As an Undercover Cop, Believe It's Time toSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:Mail on Sunday, The (UK) Author:Woods, Neil Area:United Kingdom Lines:206 Added:08/29/2016

THE narcotics trade provides the financial basis for almost every other form of organised criminality in this country and abroad. The scale is staggering: the global drugs market is worth UKP375 billion every year, and an estimated UKP7 billion a year in Britain alone. Britain spends a further UKP7 billion policing the drugs problem - and that's without the associated costs of imprisonment and public health and everything else.

It might not seem visible to the majority of ordinary, law abiding citizens, yet drugs and the gangsters who deal in them blight our towns and cities and dominate our criminal system. More than half the inmates in British prisons are there for drug-related offences.

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9US CA: Pot Foes Hoping Credibility Counters CashSun, 31 Jul 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/01/2016

A growing number of Southern California law enforcement organizations and leaders are voicing objections to a state ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana, saying it would make the state less safe.

"I'm vehemently opposed to it," Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said. "I think that it would be a terrible move for California to make."

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said the initiative to legalize marijuana "will do nothing to curb black-market activity in California." He is one of several police officials who is actively opposing the measure, a group that includes the Riverside Sheriffs' Association, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and the California Police Chiefs Association.

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10US CA: OPED: Adult Use of Marijuana Act Will Increase PublicFri, 08 Jul 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Goldstein, Diane Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/08/2016

Last week, the secretary of state announced that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will qualify for the November ballot. I spent over 20 years as a police officer, so I know how important it is to bring clarity to our marijuana laws. Law enforcement associations opposed to the measure continue to be on the wrong side of public opinion, citing mistaken concerns about motorist safety and the illegal market.

Since 1996 and the passage of Proposition 215, which legalized medicial marijuana, our roadways have seen a decrease in the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled from 1.32 to .92. These accident rates continue to be lower than the national average including states where marijuana is only available in the illicit market. This is despite law enforcement's characterization of California as having "de-facto marijuana legalization."

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11 US MD: PUB LTE: Padlocking Won't HelpSun, 26 Jun 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Franklin, Neill Area:Maryland Lines:37 Added:06/26/2016

Padlocking stores and punishing small business owners who are fearful of drug dealer retaliation is not the solution to reducing crime ("Police close BP gas station," June 22). This is about drug prohibition, and here is another reason added to the long list of reasons for ending drug prohibition laws which are counter productive to public safety.

In the same manner that Al Capone and his gun toting cronies intimidated businesses and communities as they managed their illegal alcohol businesses, today's drug dealers literally commandeer gas stations and convenience stores while peddling drugs within poor city communities.

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12 US MD: They All Want to Profit From Medical Marijuana inSun, 26 Jun 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Nirappil, Fenit Area:Maryland Lines:358 Added:06/26/2016

The people lining up to profit from Maryland's legal medical-marijuana market include former sheriffs and state lawmakers, wealthy business executives and well-connected political donors, according to previously undisclosed public records obtained by The Washington Post.

Nearly 150 businesses are competing for up to 15 cultivation licenses that will be awarded starting this summer, the first footholds in an emerging industry that is already worth billions nationally.

Very few applicants have publicly discussed their plans. But through a public-records request and database searches, The Post identified more than 950 people working for or investing in prospective growing operations in Maryland. Among them: former Drug Enforcement Administration agents; the leader of a Maryland statewide police union; former heads of the Department of Natural Resources police; a former U.S. Capitol Police chief; and Eugene Monroe, the recently released tackle for the Baltimore Ravens who is the foremost advocate of medical marijuana in the National Football League.

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13US MA: OPED: Legalize Marijuana And Improve Public SafetySat, 11 Jun 2016
Source:Lowell Sun (MA) Author:Heintz, Patrick Area:Massachusetts Lines:Excerpt Added:06/12/2016

I'm a retired corrections officer and substance abuse counselor, and I'm tired of hearing the same reasons as to why we shouldn't legalize marijuana that we've been hearing for the past 40 years. Massachusetts has a special opportunity to improve public safety and limit marijuana access to the young and at-risk. Marijuana is not harmless, and given my background in substance abuse counseling, I am firmly against any kind of substance abuse.

However, marijuana prohibition and its consequences on individuals, families, and communities are far worse than using the drug.

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14 US NJ: Series: Marijuana And Criminal Justice In New JerseyTue, 07 Jun 2016
Source:New Jersey Herald (NJ) Author:Danzis, David Area:New Jersey Lines:240 Added:06/09/2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Legalizing recreational marijuana is being considered in New Jersey.

The most recent Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows public support for legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey is 58 percent - the highest it's ever been - with 39 percent opposed.

Although Gov. Chris Christie has said he would not sign a bill legalizing recreational marijuana, both the state Senate and Assembly are working on legislation.

This is the third in a three-part series that will explore the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana and its potential effects on Sussex County and the surrounding area. The series looks at the economic, public health and criminal justice impact legalization could have. All three parts can be viewed at www.njherald.com.

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15 US NJ: Series: Public Health Effects Of Legalized Mariuana InMon, 06 Jun 2016
Source:New Jersey Herald (NJ) Author:Danzis, David Area:New Jersey Lines:346 Added:06/07/2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Legalizing recreational marijuana is being seriously considered in New Jersey.

The most recent Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows public support for legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey is 58 percent -- the highest it's ever been -- with 39 percent opposed.

Although Gov. Chris Christie has said he would not sign a bill legalizing recreational marijuana, both the state Senate and Assembly are working on legislation.

This is the second in a three-part series that will explore the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana and its potential effects on Sussex County and the surrounding area. The series will look at the economic, public health and criminal justice impact legalization could have.

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16 US MI: Column: Marijuana On The RoadWed, 11 May 2016
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:165 Added:05/11/2016

One of the burning questions about cannabis use is: How high is too high when operating a motor vehicle? It's befuddling to the legal system, as driving law is not moving as quickly as marijuana law.

Many want to establish a "per se" level of THC in someone's blood that indicates being under the influence. That comes from loosely equating alcohol and marijuana intoxication. In Michigan, the per se blood alcohol content for driving under the influence is .08. Regardless of a person's behavior, if his or her blood alcohol level is .08 or above, they are legally under the influence. With marijuana, it's not clear what that level is.

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17 CN BC: Pro-Legalization Officer Thinks Others Hold SimilarMon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Newton, Rosemary Area:British Columbia Lines:89 Added:04/28/2016

A Victoria police officer who won a human-rights complaint against the force says "on the ground" experience led him to support drug legalization - and he says he doesn't think he's alone on the force.

Constable David Bratzer was awarded $ 20,000 last week after the B. C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled the Victoria Police Department violated his rights by preventing him from advocating for legalization.

A civil-liberties group describes the ruling as precedent-setting.

Constable Bratzer filed the complaint after the force barred him from participating in the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which advocates for regulated legalization of illicit drugs. He was also banned from speaking at a panel discussing harm reduction in Victoria.

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18CN BC: Editorial: Rights Case Wasted MoneyTue, 26 Apr 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/28/2016

Police officers have rights, too. It's unfortunate that it has taken so long for the bureaucracy to figure that out. Const. David Bratzer of the Victoria police department has been awarded $20,000 in a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision. He had been seeking $65,000 because of the department's longstanding efforts to keep him quiet.

Bratzer's transgression? While off duty, he advocated for drug legalization and changes to drug laws. VicPD said, however, he could not speak publicly or personally as a member of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

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19 CN BC: Editorial: Money's No Object When Taxpayers Foot TheWed, 27 Apr 2016
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:92 Added:04/28/2016

Police officers have rights, too. It's unfortunate it has taken so long for the bureaucracy to figure that out.

Const. David Bratzer of the Victoria police department has been awarded $20,000 in a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision. He had been seeking $65,000 because of the department's longstanding efforts to keep him quiet.

Bratzer's transgression? While off duty, he advocated for drug legalization and changes to drug laws.

The Victoria police department said, however, he could not speak publicly or personally as a member of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

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20CN BC: Officer Who Lobbied For Legalizing Pot Gets $20,000Fri, 22 Apr 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Harnett, Cindy E. Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2016

A Victoria police officer who advocated for drug legalization while off duty and claimed discrimination by the Victoria Police Department has been awarded $20,000 in a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision.

Const. David Bratzer filed a human rights complaint in February 2013, saying the department effectively muzzled him by limiting his right to speak personally and publicly as a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition while off duty.

LEAP is an international non-profit organization, headquartered in the United States and composed of current and former law-enforcement officials. It advocates for the legalization and regulation, with age restrictions, of all illicit drugs.

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21 CN BC: Pro-Harm Reduction Victoria Cop Awarded $20,000Mon, 25 Apr 2016
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Mui, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:04/25/2016

A Victoria police officer who was repeatedly told by management to limit his public views on drug policy has been awarded $20,000 by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Const. David Bratzer's run-ins with senior officers in his department began after he joined The Law Enforcement Against Prohibition advocacy group in 2007.

The group advocates harm reduction, which sees drug abuse as a "health problem" and not a "law enforcement matter" - views that evidence showed were in contrast with the beliefs of senior management.

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22 US MA: PUB LTE: Note to Baker, Walsh, Deleo: Legalization HasSat, 23 Apr 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Amabile, John Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:04/23/2016

Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo aligning against the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana ("KEY players join forces against marijuana") is another instance of politicians refusing, to the bitter end, to acknowledge the utter failure of criminal regulation. Their arguments are absurd and hypocritical.

Legalization will not increase teens' access to marijuana, since right now any child can readily obtain the product on the illegal market - a market regulated by gangsters. Marijuana has nothing to do with the opioid epidemic.

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23 US MA: PUB LTE: Note to Baker, Walsh, DeLeo: Legalization HasSat, 23 Apr 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Amabile, John Area:Massachusetts Lines:43 Added:04/23/2016

APRIL 23, 2016 GOVERNOR CHARLIE Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo aligning against the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana ("Key players join forces against marijuana" ) is another instance of politicians refusing, to the bitter end, to acknowledge the utter failure of criminal regulation. Their arguments are absurd and hypocritical.

Legalization will not increase teens "access to marijuana, since right now any child can readily obtain the product on the illegal market" a market regulated by gangsters. Marijuana has nothing to do with the opioid epidemic.

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24US CA: OPED: Let's Stop Policing Motivated By ProfitSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Goldstein, Diane Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2016

An article in Harper's Magazine recently shined light on the sordid history of our country's war on drugs, revealing that it was really a war on people.

The article quotes John Ehrlichman, President Nixon's domestic policy adviser, admitting that the Nixon White House knew they could not "make it illegal to be either against the [Vietnam] war or black" but that "by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily" they could disrupt communities. "Did we know we were lying about the drugs?" he said, "Of course we did."

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25US AZ: OPED: Why Ex-DEA Agent Backs Legalization of MarijuanaFri, 25 Mar 2016
Source:Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) Author:Selander, Finn Area:Arizona Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2016

I was a warrior in the war on drugs.

I spent 20 years fighting the flow of drugs into America, including 18 years as a DEA special agent. As a special agent, I helped spearhead the Drug Enforcement Administration's marijuana efforts in Florida and New Mexico before retiring.

I spent a lifetime's work in law enforcement, mostly centered on stanching the flow drugs into America, and have come to one conclusion: I don't believe marijuana should be illegal.

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26 US NJ: Column: Utilize Police Discretion Regarding PotSat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ) Author:Forchion, Edward Area:New Jersey Lines:163 Added:03/19/2016

I'm passing this special JOINT to the Trenton Police Officers.

Dear Trenton Police Officers.

I am not your enemy, none of you should be mad at me for ignoring the marijuana laws. In fact I think you should ignore them as well. They do in the suburbs. You know the potheads are a peaceful bunch. You know arresting someone for marijuana ruins his/ her life more than marijuana use ever could. Some of your spouses, siblings, offspring and parents are potheads. But you continue to arrest non-family potheads here in Trenton.

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27 US IL: OPED: Learn From Mistakes Of ProhibitionWed, 16 Mar 2016
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Franklin, Neill Area:Illinois Lines:87 Added:03/17/2016

When you create an underground market for anything, you create a profit incentive for people to break the law. Once they do, many of society's laws cease to apply.

As the rest of the country moves toward more sensible criminal justice policies by legalizing marijuana and reducing overly punitive sentences, the Chicago City Council seems headed in the other direction. The Council is considering anti-tobacco legislation that would increases taxes on cigarettes and double fines and impose jail sentences for those avoiding taxes by selling loose cigarettes ( loosies).

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28 US: U.S. Legalized Pot Industry Poised For Major ExpansionWed, 02 Mar 2016
Source:Daily Star, The (Lebanon) Author:Mazein, Elodie Area:United States Lines:126 Added:03/02/2016

WASHINGTON - Legal marijuana is becoming more and more entrenched in the United States each year, and 2016 looks to be no exception.

In fact, some observers say it could be a "tipping point" for an ever-growing industry already worth billions of dollars.

By the end of the year, nearly a dozen states will decide whether to legalize pot - with seven to determine whether they will allow recreational use.

Already 23 out of 50 states, plus the nation's capital, allow pot in some form, whether for medical or recreational purposes.

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29 US MD: Lawmaker Calls for State to Exit Drug War, Focus onSun, 07 Feb 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Hicks, Josh Area:Maryland Lines:98 Added:02/07/2016

Maryland Del. Dan K. Morhaim on Friday proposed four bills that would radically change the state's approach to dealing with drug problems, in part by removing criminal penalties for low-level possession and adding an emphasis on addiction treatment.

One measure would create "safe spaces" for drug use, with facilities that provide sterile injection equipment, medical care and connections to social services.

Another bill would establish a pilot program to test the effectiveness of treating addicts with the supervised use of free, pharmaceutical-grade opioids, such as heroin and hydromorphone, with the goal of weaning users off their addictions.

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30CN PI: OPED: Legalization: Good Drug PolicyTue, 02 Feb 2016
Source:Guardian, The (CN PI) Author:Barbour, Rose Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:Excerpt Added:02/03/2016

I am writing in response to the recent article about the petition to stop the legalization of marijuana (also known as cannabis). Mitch Reid states that he is very concerned about legalization, which he believes will make things worse when it comes to addiction in our society. Cannabis is not a benign substance so Mr. Reid is right to be concerned about how it is handled.

In an effort to raise awareness on this important topic, and to perhaps put Mr. Reid's mind at ease, I will share the views of a few respected organizations that are in support of legalization, starting with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and one of the world's leading research centres in its field.

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31 US MD: OPED: Override Md.'s Marijuana VetoFri, 15 Jan 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Maddox, Leigh Area:Maryland Lines:111 Added:01/15/2016

It's alarming that those calling for legislation specifically making it illegal to use marijuana behind the wheel don't understand the driver impairment laws already on the books.

Impaired driving, whether from alcohol, marijuana or any other drug, is already illegal. We don't need a separate law to spell it out. Current law states, "A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while he is so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that he cannot drive a vehicle safely."

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32 CN BC: Women Encouraged To Become Cannabis EntrepreneursMon, 11 Jan 2016
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:153 Added:01/13/2016

The Kootenay chapter of Women Grow held an educational evening to 'connect, educate, and inspire the next generation of cannabis industry leaders'

The Kootenay chapter of Women Grow, a cannabis advocacy organization already established in Vancouver and Toronto, hosted a well-attended educational evening at the Hume Hotel last week, aiming to "connect, educate,inspire and empower the next generation of cannabis industry leaders."

"The war on drugs is ridiculous," keynote speaker Jim Leslie of the Kootenays Medicine Tree dispensary in Nelson told the crowd, which consisted of approximately 150 people. A ten-year veteran of Canada Border Services, he was on the frontlines of drug enforcement and was disillusioned by his time there.

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33 US MD: The Economics Of HeroinSun, 20 Dec 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Marbella, Jean Area:Maryland Lines:509 Added:12/20/2015

For Anthony Miles, Feb. 15, 2013, was a busy day of juggling calls, setting up meetings and touting a high-quality shipment he was expecting soon. Still, he found time to put air in the tires of his Mercedes and to note how well the day was going. Raising a large stack of bills in both hands, he bragged to a companion: I just made $20,000 in one hour.

Just three days later, Miles was less euphoric. He grumbled he was making "chump change" while an associate was clearing $150,000 a day "with his eyes closed."

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34 US CA: Column: A Taxing ProposalThu, 17 Dec 2015
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:61 Added:12/18/2015

So is this Facebook dude's new marijuana initiative gaining traction or what?

- -Jah Q. Public

It is picking up steam. However you feel about the initiative itself, it would seem that the people pushing it through are savvy operators.

For those of you not up to speed, here is a quick recap: Sean Parker, Facebook billionaire, has decided to sponsor an initiative to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis sales in California. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has been building alliances and picking up supporters (Gavin Newsom is a fan, as are a bunch of folks at Reform CA, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, The Drug Policy Alliance, Tim Blake from the Emerald Cup-I could go on but you get the drift). Parker has the money and he has the support of many of the big names, but I still have some misgivings.

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35 US MI: Make The Right Choice: Support MIlegalizeWed, 25 Nov 2015
Source:Seattle Weekly (WA) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:161 Added:11/27/2015

We're heading into the final rounds of the petition drives to legalize recreational marijuana here in Michigan. The MILegalize petition drive is expected to round things up by the end of December. The competing petition circulated by the Michigan Cannabis Coalition (MCC) is expected to finish up in January.

In case you were wondering, the MILegalize petition is clearly the one you should support and the law you should vote for when the time comes.

The MILegalize campaign comes from the Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee, which is mainly made up of the activists who have been fighting to change the marijuana laws in Michigan for many years. These are the people who have stood with the many municipal initiatives to legalize marijuana in cities across the state. These are the people who have rallied to support those who have been unjustly prosecuted in spite of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). They have fundraised, and stood on the state Capitol steps, and lobbied in the legislature. Michigan NORML, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and the Michigan Green Party have endorsed MILegalize.

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36 US MI: Column: Make the Right Choice: Support MILegalizeWed, 25 Nov 2015
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Gabriel, Larry Area:Michigan Lines:164 Added:11/26/2015

We're heading into the final rounds of the petition drives to legalize recreational marijuana here in Michigan. The MILegalize petition drive is expected to round things up by the end of December. The competing petition circulated by the Michigan Cannabis Coalition (MCC) is expected to finish up in January.

In case you were wondering, the MILegalize petition is clearly the one you should support and the law you should vote for when the time comes.

The MILegalize campaign comes from the Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee, which is mainly made up of the activists who have been fighting to change the marijuana laws in Michigan for many years. These are the people who have stood with the many municipal initiatives to legalize marijuana in cities across the state. These are the people who have rallied to support those who have been unjustly prosecuted in spite of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). They have fundraised, and stood on the state Capitol steps, and lobbied in the legislature. Michigan NORML, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and the Michigan Green Party have endorsed MILegalize.

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37 US NJ: Column: Free All Pot Prisoners First As Step TowardFri, 20 Nov 2015
Source:Trentonian, The (NJ) Author:Forchion, Ed Area:New Jersey Lines:148 Added:11/20/2015

This past week has been a memorable week for me for several reasons, but talk of legalizing the substance I enjoy and which has caused the government to ruin me tops the list.

Senator Scutari held a public hearing at the state capitol to explore the issue of marijuana legalization, a precursor to his sponsored legalization bill. Scutari, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the hearing and explained its purpose as "the first step" to introducing his bill (S1896) and "this is the natural next step - to talk about the benefits of legalization and the negative impact prohibition has had."

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38 US WA: Column: The Lone ReeferWed, 18 Nov 2015
Source:Seattle Weekly (WA) Author:Stusser, Michael A. Area:Washington Lines:128 Added:11/19/2015

Our King County Sheriff is outspoken in his support for legalization.

The sky has not fallen because we have legalized marijuana in Washington. Is it going to work long-term? I don't know; we'll have to wait and see. But clearly, what we were doing before-the War on Drugs-did not work, so it was time to try something new. The citizens suggested legalizing marijuana-and I support it."

It's a reasonable-enough statement, but somewhat surprising in that it comes from our own King County Sheriff, John Urquhart. "I still think it was a good decision for the citizens of Washington," Urquhart told me in an interview last week. "The initiative [I-502] passed statewide with 56 percent supporting it, and 63 percent in King County, so that's clearly what the citizens wanted."

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39 UK: Decrimialising Drugs: Scotland Must Start the Debate, SaySun, 08 Nov 2015
Source:Sunday Herald, The (UK) Author:Duffy, Judith Area:United Kingdom Lines:292 Added:11/08/2015

SCOTLAND must start the debate on decriminalising drugs, campaigners, MSPs and former government advisers have said.

The call follows an announcement by the Irish government that it plans a "radical culture shift" which will see possession of drugs decriminalised in ordered to focus on offering helping to addicts and users rather than punishing them with criminal convictions and prison.

As the call came, the Scottish Government also told the Sunday Herald that it was reaffirming its wish for Holyrood to take responsibility over drug laws, which are currently reserved to Westminster.

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40 US NY EDU: Bernie Sanders The Millennial ManThu, 05 Nov 2015
Source:Spectrum, The (SUNY At Buffalo, NY Edu) Author:Perlman, Michael        Lines:79 Added:11/08/2015

Likely increase in supporters after Sanders' recent marijuana bill

When The Spectrum asked UB students who they're voting for in the 2016 presidential election, many of them said Bernie Sanders.

Although Sanders is 74 years old, a large number of his supporters are between the ages of 18 and 29, also known as Millennials.

Sanders' platform includes everything from climate change to racial justice. He is also a supporter of LGBT and women's rights. Sanders is very ambitious, but knows he is telling the people what they want to hear. Although Sanders' plan to get rid of college tuition may seem like a far reach, it's music to people's ears and it's what the "generation of debt" is looking for.

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41CN BC: Time To Legalize Marijuana?Wed, 28 Oct 2015
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Author:Bellaart, Darrell Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2015

Change of Government Brings Issue Back to the Forefront

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper sparked considerable debate following an election campaign stop in Montreal where he described cannabis as "infinitely worse" than tobacco.

Many media organizations were quick to find experts willing to discredit the claim. Critics said it was out of step in a climate where a growing number of U.S. states are now legalizing the drug, while cashing in on the resulting tax windfall, and slashing police and prison costs. Some countries in Latin America are going the same way. And the new Liberal government successfully campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana.

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42US CA: Column: O.C. Overdue for a Needle-Exchange ProgramWed, 28 Oct 2015
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Rodriguez, Sal Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/28/2015

Needle-exchange programs are an effective means of preventing the spread of HIV, connecting individuals in need with social services and even preventing the improper disposal of drug paraphernalia.

According to the latest figures from the California Department of Public Health, Orange County reported 972 Hepatitis C cases and 502 of Hepatitis B in 2011. As of June 30, 2014, the county also had the fourth-highest number of HIV cases in the state. Injection drug use is a significant risk factor for all of them and a known factor in the majority of Hepatitis C cases and roughly 10 percent of HIV infections.

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43 US KS: Editorial: LEAP Of FaithFri, 23 Oct 2015
Source:Hutchinson News, The (KS) Author:Probst, Jason Area:Kansas Lines:91 Added:10/26/2015

It is time to re-examine the war on drugs because it has failed

The idea of legalizing drugs as a method to combat drug abuse and drug-related crimes seems, at first blush, counterintuitive.

How could legalizing something as destructive as drugs serve to improve a persistent and growing problem? After decades of instilling in children the message that drug use is dangerous, how can we now change course with legalization?

Last week, attorney Brian Leininger, a former Wyandotte County prosecutor and former attorney for the Kansas Highway Patrol, explained the position of his group -- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition -- to the Hutchinson Drug Impact Task Force.

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44 US KS: Hutchinson Drug Task Force Hears From Law EnforcementFri, 16 Oct 2015
Source:Hutchinson News, The (KS) Author:Stewart, Adam Area:Kansas Lines:91 Added:10/17/2015

Attorney Brian Leininger disagrees with the assessment that the war on drugs has been a failure.

"Saying it's a failure probably gives it too much credit," he told the Hutchinson Drug Impact Task Force on Thursday.

Leininger, a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said the drug war has been counterproductive and harmful, with stratospheric costs while never accomplishing its goals.

"It's not hard to get whatever drug you want right now," he said.

In addition to its financial cost, the war on drugs has put huge numbers of nonviolent people in prison and created a violent and profitable black market, Leininger said. In contrast to drugs, people don't sell beer or liquor on street corners because it isn't profitable, he said.

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45 Australia: OPED: The War on Drugs Is Long Lost, So Why Are WeSun, 11 Oct 2015
Source:Age, The (Australia) Author:Denham, Greg Area:Australia Lines:108 Added:10/11/2015

Most wars end. One of the longest in history, the Hundred Years War, finally ended in 1453. However, a war that has been fought internationally for nearly as long, the "war on drugs", continues almost unabated, causing havoc and misery for many people in our community.

Winston Churchill once said: "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." Rarely do we look closely at the effectiveness of drug prohibition and the war on drugs.

A close analysis, however, shows that globally over the past four decades more than a $US 1 trillion has been spent on a strategy that has led to the incarceration of millions worldwide solely based on their drug choice, thousands have been put to death as a "deterrent" (including two Australians in Indonesia this year), families have been destroyed because of overdoses and HIV, young lives ruined because of a criminal record, law enforcement and public officials have been corrupted, and criminal gangs have reaped the rewards of a policy that has failed to curb demand. Yet illicit drugs are cheaper, and more available and accessible than ever before.

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46US CA: Column: Fear, Misinformation Prevail Over ReformThu, 17 Sep 2015
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Rodriguez, Sal Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/17/2015

As a result of a concerted effort by law enforcement, the California Assembly last week voted down common-sense civil asset forfeiture reforms.

Senate Bill 443, by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, would have significantly reinforced the notion that property rights and constitutional rights still matter in this day and age. The bill, among other provisions, would have required a conviction before seizing someone's assets, barring state and local law enforcement agencies from receiving revenue in cases involving joint efforts with federal law enforcement agencies until there is a conviction.

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47US CA: Column: 'Historic' Pot Bill Spotlights Legislature'sThu, 17 Sep 2015
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Greenhut, Steven Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/17/2015

Sacramento - It's commonplace for legislators and commentators to criticize the "excesses" of direct democracy and propose reforms that limit the ability of voters to enact laws - or at least insert lawmakers more deeply into the initiative process. Yet a recently passed bill, approved in the final moments of the recently concluded legislative session, showcases why voters continue to take important matters into their own hands.

The issue is medical marijuana. After struggling to put together regulations dealing with this quasi-legal industry, a bipartisan group of legislators - with last-minute negotiating from the governor's office - passed a package of bills. The most significant is AB 266, which "establishes a comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution, and sale of medical marijuana ... ."

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48 US: The Former Top Cop Who Wants To Legalize DrugsThu, 10 Sep 2015
Source:Newsweek (US) Author:Bekiempis, Victoria Area:United States Lines:192 Added:09/12/2015

Major Neill Franklin was one of Maryland's top cops when he retired in 2010 after 34 years in law enforcement. Over the course of those three-plus decades, he went from being an active supporter of the war on drugs to a staunch opponent.

Franklin spent most of his career working for the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department, starting with road patrol for the state police and later working in narcotics. With the state police, he rose to the position of commander of the Education and Training Division and of the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement, creating and supervising the "very first" Domestic Violence Investigative Units. He joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2000 to overhaul and command its Education and Training Section. After the BPD, he worked for the Maryland Transit Administration Police Force from 2004 to 2010.

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49 US MD: OPED: Heroin Arrests Won't Solve Drug ProblemMon, 07 Sep 2015
Source:Capital, The (MD) Author:Cooke, William Area:Maryland Lines:94 Added:09/08/2015

Instead of arresting street level dealers, Maryland should focus on treating heroin addiction Recently The Capital reported on the arrest of 25 people in Annapolis for selling heroin. Our political leaders celebrated this as a significant victory in the drug war.

Yet we have seen countless headlines about drug busts in the 40-plus years since Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs, and the drug trade continues unabated. Does anyone believe the recent arrests will accomplish anything, beyond saddling the arrestees with convictions that will haunt them the rest of their lives? As long as there is a demand for the drugs, the trade will continue.

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50CN BC: Voicing Of Pot Views Riled Ex-ChiefFri, 28 Aug 2015
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/29/2015

It was embarrassing for the Victoria Police Department to have an officer publicly supporting the legalization of drugs, former police chief Jamie Graham told a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Graham, who retired in 2013, said the force has to be seen as neutral and it's inappropriate for a constable to be making comments that might undermine his duty to enforce the law.

Const. David Bratzer, an advocate for drug legalization, filed the human rights complaint because he said the department effectively muzzled him by limiting his right to speak publicly as a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition while off duty. LEAP is an international organization of current and former law-enforcement officials pushing for full legalization and regulation of drugs.

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