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1US GA: Marijuana: Easing Laws Not So EasySun, 23 Apr 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Atlanta wants to join a growing number of U.S. cities that are lowering the penalties for small amounts of marijuana use.

But leaders learned last week that getting there won't be easy.

The City Council sent legislation meant to lower fines and eliminate jail time for possession of an ounce or less of pot back to a committee last week after members had a host of questions. Chief among their concerns was whether there was buy-in from the Atlanta Police Department and city courts, two groups whose backing would be crucial to making such a plan work. Elected officials also fear that being too lenient would take away the deterrent of marijuana use.

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2 US: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Roll Me A JointSun, 23 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hyman, Dan Area:United States Lines:144 Added:04/26/2017

"Isn't it cute?" said Molly Peckler, holding a delicate gold-chain necklace adorned with a cannabis-leaf charm away from her neck. "It's a perfect representation of my approach to cannabis."

With sunlight pouring in through a sliding-glass door in the apartment she shares with her husband, Marc Peckler, a software salesman, Ms. Peckler explained how she believed a shared love of cannabis could be the spark in a relationship.

"Cannabis is almost an analogy for being authentic," said Ms. Peckler, 32, the founder of Highly Devoted in Los Angeles, an online matchmaker that connects cannabis-using singles. "If this is a part of your life, then you should be open and honest about that, especially if you're trying to start a romantic relationship with someone."

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

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

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

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4 US: Winemakers Find A Companion In MarijuanaWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Asimov, Eric Area:United States Lines:167 Added:04/22/2017

Legal intoxication is big business and getting bigger. More states have legalized marijuana, leading some in the alcohol industry to regard it as a threat to their profit margin.

Those concerns are warranted in some cases. In Colorado, Oregon and Washington, where recreational use has been legal for several years, beer sales are down, mostly among mass-market brews. The liquor industry opposed several marijuana legalization initiatives last year, and has expressed fears for its bottom line.

The fine wine industry, however, has not panicked. Despite occasional efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, many in the wine business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can coexist in harmony.

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5 US CA: Growers Split As Pot Farms Go IndustrialSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:194 Added:04/21/2017

SALINAS, Calif. - This vast and fertile valley is often called the salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing across its floor. Now California's marijuana industry is laying claim to a new slogan for the valley: America's cannabis bucket.

After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.

Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes.

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6US GA: City Puts Off Vote To Ease Pot PenaltyTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Stafford, Leon Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/21/2017

After more than 90 minutes of debate and no consensus, the Atlanta City Council on Monday put off a vote on a measure that would have eliminated jail time for those caught with small quantities of marijuana.

Advocates of the Atlanta legislation said the move is necessary to address the disproportionate number of black Americans incarcerated because of pot possession.

The proposal, which also would reduce the fine for possession of an ounce or less to a maximum of $75, mirrors actions taken in cities across the nation, including Dallas, Kansas City and St. Louis. In DeKalb County, Clarkson also has reduced penalties.

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7 US: Pot Is Supposed To Stay On The Ground, Even Where It's Legal ToTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weed, Julie Area:United States Lines:139 Added:04/15/2017

People in 29 states can legally use medical marijuana for a variety of problems, including the relief of pain, anxiety or stress. But what if they want to travel with it?

Secure airport areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints are under federal control, and the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 (most harmful) substance, even in states where it is legal for adults to consume it.

The laws conflict, but federal law trumps state law, making it illegal to fly with marijuana in carry-on or checked luggage. It is also illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if both states have legalized it.

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

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

Ethics is a hazy argument when it comes to marijuana.

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

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

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9 US: A Real Estate Boom, Powered By PotSun, 02 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Gelles, David Area:United States Lines:305 Added:04/02/2017

QUINCY, Mass. - At the edge of an industrial park in this suburb south of Boston, past a used-car auction lot and a defunct cheese factory, is an unmarked warehouse bristling with security cameras and bustling with activity. Until recently, the cinder-block structure was home to a wholesale florist, a granite cutter and a screen printer. Today, it is home to just one tenant: a medical marijuana operation called Ermont.

Legalized marijuana has already upset societal norms, created a large legal gray area and generated a lucrative source of tax revenue. Now it is upending the real estate market, too.

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

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

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

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

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11 US TX: Officers Killed In Murder Or Self-Defense?Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Sack, Kevin Area:Texas Lines:762 Added:03/24/2017

With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85 miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.

SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.

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12 US CA: Pot Brand For The A-ListSun, 19 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Williams, Alex Area:California Lines:112 Added:03/24/2017

Recreational cannabis may be legal in California, but buying the actual stuff still makes Scott Campbell, a celebrity tattoo artist and fine artist, feel like a class-cutting teenage stoner.

"You go in to buy weed, and it's like visiting your parole officer," said Mr. Campbell, who lives in Los Angeles. "You get buzzed through three metal gates." Inside, cannabis products are often packaged with loopy Deadhead-style graphics and goofy dorm-humor strain names like Gorilla Glue and Purple Urkle.

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13 US MA: PUB LTE: Pot Winning FansTue, 14 Mar 2017
Source:Boston Herald (MA) Author:Epstein, Steven S. Area:Massachusetts Lines:26 Added:03/17/2017

President Trump is ill advised to expend resources to shutdown state legal marijuana businesses ("€œPot plans moving forward despite toughtalk from Trump,"€ Feb. 27).

As Jacob Sullum points out in his column: "€œAccording to a recent Quinnipiac University survey, 59 percent of Americans think marijuana ˜should be made legal in the United States,"€™ while 71 percent "€˜oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana."€™ Among Republicans, only 35 percent favored legalization, but 55 percent opposed federal interference with it."€

Steven S. Epstein, Georgetown

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14US GA: Compromise Reached On Medical PotFri, 17 Mar 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Torres, Kristina Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2017

Lawmakers appear to have reached a compromise Thursday that would expand Georgia's medical marijuana law.

The agreement over Senate Bill 16 would add six illnesses and conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana in Georgia to include Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette's syndrome. It would additionally allow use for patients in hospice care, according to both state Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, and state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon.

It would also keep the maximum allowable THC percentage in the form of cannabis oil allowed here at 5 percent.

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15 US HI: OPED: It's Time To Move On Marijuana BillsSun, 26 Feb 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Tippens, Michelle Area:Hawaii Lines:79 Added:02/26/2017

Since 2000, the state of Hawaii has had a medical-use-of-marijuana program to provide patients with chronic illness a safe and effective treatment option. As we progress through 2017 and in anticipation of opening dispensaries, it is now the appropriate time to remove the inconsistent treatment of cannabis as an illegal substance from Hawaii law. It would seem the state Legislature agrees, as there are over 10 bills seeking to decriminalize marijuana; over 10 bills expanding the current dispensary program (even though dispensaries haven't opened yet); over five bills trying to open the state in some way to industrial hemp; and several bills claiming portions of the tax revenue from still unopened dispensaries - all alongside two or three bills with a more "boogeyman" and much less science-based approach. For example, House Bill 922 points out that 90 percent of the state's medical marijuana certifications are issued by just 10 doctors, then asserts this is due to some abuse ! of the system instead of the fact that most doctors feel their license will be in danger if they issue marijuana certifications, or the fact that many people choose to seek marijuana certifications from doctors who specialize in cannabis rather than their regular doctor.

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16 US: When Pot Eases The Way Through PregnancyTue, 21 Feb 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Louis, Catherine Saint Area:United States Lines:224 Added:02/25/2017

The New York Times reported this month that expectant mothers are taking up marijuana in increasing numbers. We asked women who used marijuana during pregnancy to share their stories.

Hundreds of readers wrote in; most had smoked, while a few vaped or ate marijuana-laced edibles. Roughly half said they had used pot for a medical reason. Most felt marijuana use had not affected their children, or were not sure; just a handful worried the children might have suffered cognitive deficits.

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17 US: When Older Age Comes With Daily Doses Of Medical MarijuanaMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hu, Winnie Area:United States Lines:193 Added:02/25/2017

Ruth Brunn finally said yes to marijuana. She is 98.

She pops a green pill filled with cannabis oil into her mouth with a sip of vitamin water. Then Ms. Brunn, who has neuropathy, settles back in her wheelchair and waits for the jabbing pain in her shoulders, arms and hands to ebb.

"I don't feel high or stoned," she said. "All I know is I feel better when I take this."

Ms. Brunn will soon have company. The nursing home in New York City where she lives, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is taking the unusual step of helping its residents use medical marijuana under a new program to treat various illnesses with an alternative to prescription drugs. While the staff will not store or administer pot, residents are allowed to buy it from a dispensary, keep it in locked boxes in their rooms and take it on their own.

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18 US: OPED: LSD To Cure Depression?Mon, 13 Feb 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Friedman, Richard Area:United States Lines:107 Added:02/16/2017

Psychedelics, the fabled enlightenment drugs of the '60s, are making a comeback - this time as medical treatment.

A recent study claimed that psilocybin, a mushroom-derived hallucinogenic, relieves anxiety and depression in people with life-threatening cancer. Anecdotal reports have said similar things about so-called microdoses of LSD.

The allure is understandable, given the limits of our treatments for depression and anxiety. About a third of patients with major depression don't get better, even after several trials of different antidepressants. But I fear that in our desire to combat suffering, we will ignore the potential risks of these drugs, or be seduced by preliminary research that seems promising.

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19US GA: Cannabis Oil Backers Fight Cut In PotencyWed, 15 Feb 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Torrres, Kristina Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2017

Jim "J-Bo" Wages and his wife, Lisa, made the decision a few years ago to wean their daughter off of pharmaceutical drugs, becoming one of the first families in 2015 to qualify for Georgia's then-new medical marijuana registry.

Since then, they've seen Sydney blossom. She's eating more, has better awareness of what is going on around her. Last week, they caught her laughing as her older sister tickled her stomach before bedtime - a reaction neither had seen in years.

The 13-year-old, who has autism and suffers from intractable seizures, has benefited from the state's medical marijuana law, her parents said. But they are afraid others won't.

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

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

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

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

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

Gary Storck, Madison

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