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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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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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
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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
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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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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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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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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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New Jersey's attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment
of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least
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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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
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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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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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
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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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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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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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
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LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of
customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by
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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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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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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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
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LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural
Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every
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
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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