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1 US MA: Massachusetts Marijuana Retailers May Soon Get Final Go-AheadSun, 09 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:95 Added:09/12/2018

BOSTON - A handful of the marijuana businesses granted provisional licenses have informed the Cannabis Control Commission they are ready to be inspected, one of the final steps before retail sales of marijuana, approved by voters almost two years ago, can begin.

CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said late last week the agency is working to schedule inspections for two or three provisionally licensed businesses. Hoffman said the inspections are expected to take place "over the next week, plus or minus."

He said it's possible the CCC could vote at its next meeting, Sept. 20, to issue a final license if a business passes its inspection and fulfills other requirements by then.

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2US LA: Guns Or Marijuana? Some Patients Will Have To Make The ChoiceFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2018

As Louisiana's medical marijuana program takes shape some patients might have to make a difficult choice: keep their gun ownership rights or participate in the program.

Louisiana is one of 30 states that have approved medical marijuana laws in some form. Although the state's nine dispensaries won't open until later this year, patients who qualify for medical marijuana under Louisiana law may be surprised to learn that federal law restricts their ability to purchase a gun if they use marijuana.

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3 US PA: A 'Game-Changer' For Pa. Medical Marijuana Flower Goes On SaleFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:112 Added:07/31/2018

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are bracing for a surge in new customers when vaporizable "flower" -- the most popular and recognizable form of cannabis -- goes on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

"We're expecting 300 to 400 patients at our Abington store the first day," said Chris Visco, co-founder of TerraVida Holistic Centers. "People will likely be in line at 8 a.m. We're hiring an extra security guard and an extra valet parking person. This is a game-changer."

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4 US: 'Marijuana Is A Gift From God'Sun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:United States Lines:218 Added:07/29/2018

An LDS missionary passes by the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Voters this fall in Utah will cast ballots on a measure that would allow medical marijuana. (Isaac Hale / For The Times)

Brian Stoll faced a dilemma as his wedding day approached. For more than a year, he had been smoking marijuana to treat severe back pain, but to remain in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and get married in the temple, he had to stop using pot.

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5 US NJ: Oped: Pressing Pause On Pot ConvictionsSun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fulop, Steven M. Area:New Jersey Lines:111 Added:07/29/2018

JERSEY CITY - Every city in America knows that it's a bad idea to prosecute low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses. It wastes scarce municipal resources and does nothing to enhance public safety. What's more, even though whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates, blacks are more harshly punished for it.

That's why, on July 19, marijuana offenses were effectively decriminalized in Jersey City, New Jersey's second most populous city.

Prosecutors treated every marijuana case that day as a violation instead of a misdemeanor, unless driving under the influence was involved. We told our prosecutors to ask for no more than a $50 fine, or just five hours of community service if the defendant couldn't pay that fee. Instances like the absence of any public nuisance or a low likelihood of re-offense would warrant outright dismissal. We also stressed the importance of diverting people with an obvious drug addiction toward social services.

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6 US: Editorial: Repeal Prohibition, AgainFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/28/2018

The federal government should follow the growing movement in the states and repeal the ban on marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflictingA great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

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7 US: Public Faith In Marijuana Outpaces Medical Research, Study FindsWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Haydon, Ian Area:United States Lines:119 Added:07/25/2018

Despite limited evidence, Americans have an increasingly positive view of the health benefits of marijuana. Nearly two-thirds believe pot can reduce pain, while close to half say it improves symptoms of anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, according to a new online survey of 9,003 adults.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the 30 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, that have legalized medical marijuana. But scientists say hard data on the health effects of pot -- both positive and negative -- are largely missing. Because marijuana is considered an illicit drug by the federal government, research has been scant, though there are efforts underway in Pennsylvania and nationally to remedy that.

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8 US NJ: Editorial: Like Jersey City, Murphy's AG Takes The High GroundWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:81 Added:07/25/2018

Jersey City's mayor is planting himself at the forefront of a national movement to stop destroying people's lives for having a little marijuana.

Steven Fulop is firmly on the right side of this issue, and Gov. Phil Murphy's attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, is not fighting him on it -- once again demonstrating that he is not just concerned with law and order, but justice.

Grewal has been receptive to reform efforts in general, creating a statewide team to investigate wrongful convictions, for instance, after a bungled murder case in Passaic County.

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9 US NJ: Report: New Jersey Puts Temporary Hold On Marijuana CasesTue, 24 Jul 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Shipkowski, Bruce Area:New Jersey Lines:60 Added:07/24/2018

New Jersey's attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September.

The decision was included in a letter state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent Tuesday to municipal prosecutors in the state. It asked them to seek an adjournment until September 4 -- or later -- of any matter "involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court," a move that will allow the attorney general's office time to develop "appropriate guidance" for prosecutors.

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10 US: Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social JusticeThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:207 Added:07/19/2018

State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war on drugs.

The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot advocates say, as it's become clear that such issues should be addressed and that doing so won't alienate voters -- most of whom, polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.

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11 US PA: Could Marijuana Help Treat Opioid Addiction? Pennsylvania MayFri, 06 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:Pennsylvania Lines:179 Added:07/11/2018

As bad as getting off opioids the first time was, nothing prepared Briana Kline for trying to come back from relapse. She was in deep, past the Percocets and other pills. This time it was heroin, even a close brush with fentanyl. But the medicine that so helped slay her cravings before didn't seem to be cutting it.

"The Suboxone didn't make me feel the way it usually does," said Kline, 26, of Lancaster County. "I was struggling a lot with cravings. I'd go a couple of days, be OK. Then I'd go use again."

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12 US FL: Federal Law? State Law? Which Takes Precedence When You WantMon, 09 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Hamm, Catharine Area:Florida Lines:129 Added:07/11/2018

You can't take it with you. Actually, you can. But it's not a good idea when you're traveling, especially for the risk-averse.

We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade before that.

Legal, it should be noted, in California. Not legal according to federal law, although President Trump has signaled his willingness to support legislation that, according to an L.A. Times article, would "end the federal ban on marijuana."

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13US: Column: Hey Bud, Is That Marijuana, Pot Or Just Your Shoes?Wed, 11 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Morris, Tim Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2018

That old New Orleans con of, "I betcha I can tell you where you got them shoes," just took on a whole different meaning.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration's just released list of "Drug Slang Code Words," for 2018, "shoes" is one of 353 terms the cool kids are using for cannabis these days. (I bet you thought there would be 420.) So, offering to tell the tourists where they obtained their footwear could spark a panic.

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14 US MA: What To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales InThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:190 Added:07/10/2018

July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other day since December 15, 2016, when it became legal in Massachusetts to possess, grow and give away small quantities of cannabis.

But in the intervening year-and-a-half, no retailers have begun selling the drug. Advocates of its recreational use have grown frustrated at the retail rollout's plodding pace.

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15 US MA: PUB LTE: Marijuana No Barrier To Safe DrivingSun, 08 Jul 2018
Source:Salem News (MA) Author:Epstein, Steven S. Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:07/08/2018

To the editor:

Your June 28 editorial, "Marijuana-impaired drivers a growing danger," lacks a rational basis for crying wolf. In fact, marijuana consumption's negligible impact on driving ability pales next to alcohol and distraction by smartphone use.

While no one expects an editorial board to research extensively law enforcement claims on this subject, as a reader I do expect you to do some research in the scientific journals and not popular press.

Had you done so, you would have found the growing consensus that the motor vehicle accident odds ratio following marijuana consumption and driving is an order of magnitude smaller than a blood alcohol level over .05.

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16 US CA: Illegal Marijuana Market Still Thrives In Los AngelesThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:California Lines:142 Added:07/05/2018

LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by bars.

Suddenly, police swooped in.

"Sheriff's department! Search warrant!" a Los Angeles County deputy shouted as the team thundered through the front door and began hauling out people in handcuffs.

The Compton 20 Cap Collective just south of Los Angeles that was raided earlier this spring is one of hundreds of illegal marijuana stores operating in LA County, where marijuana is legal for anyone 21 and over and retailers must be licensed to sell to them.

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17 US: Neighbors Flinch At Pot ShopsThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Prevost, Lisa Area:United States Lines:162 Added:07/05/2018

Finding a place to house a medical marijuana dispensary is rarely an easy task, but MariMed Advisors, which specializes in developing cannabis businesses, encountered especially aggressive pushback working for a client in Annapolis, Md., last year.

The company reviewed several hundred potential locations for the client's proposed dispensary before finally finding one that met nearly every one of the strict requirements demanded by officials of Anne Arundel County. It had the proper zoning classification and the necessary road access. It was not within 1,000 feet of a school. And, as an added plus, the storefront was discreet, located below ground level and behind another building.

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18 US FL: Smokable Medical Pot Case Stays On HoldTue, 03 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:79 Added:07/03/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- Chiding a judge who sided with sick patients and saying plaintiffs likely won't win on the merits of the case, an appellate court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a legal fight continues to play out.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal came in a lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking their treatment runs afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

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19US GA: Reunited Family Heartens Critics Of State's War On PotTue, 03 Jul 2018
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Boone, Christian Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/03/2018

JEFFERSONVILLE, GA. - When Georgia authorities found out that smoking marijuana was ridding 15-year-old David Ray of seizures that had plagued him through childhood, the consequences were swift and severe.

His mother and stepfather - Suzeanna and Matthew Brill - were arrested and jailed for six days. David, no longer able to medicate with pot, was hospitalized for a week after suffering what his mother called "the worst seizure of his life." He was then discharged to strangers and sent to a Division of Family and Children Services group home after his parents were stripped of custody - another example of "how the war on drugs breaks up families," said Lauren Deal, Suzeanna Brill's attorney.

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20 US OK: Oklahoma Medical Pot Question Hinges On Conservative SupportSat, 23 Jun 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Oklahoma Lines:109 Added:06/27/2018

LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every political issue.

The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway drug.

But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting from the use of cannabis.

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