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1 US CO: Colorado Pot Legalization Petition Nearing EndSat, 17 Dec 2011
Source:Summit Daily News (CO) Author:Wyatt, Kristen Area:Colorado Lines:114 Added:12/18/2011

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - Marijuana isn't the kind of thing one expects to be asked about on a trip to a county administrative building. But folks outside an Arapahoe County building on a recent afternoon were surprisingly receptive to two men gathering signatures to petition a pot question onto ballots next year.

The petition, circulating for months, asks whether Colorado should be the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Activists backing the measure say they've far cleared the 86,000 signature threshold to make ballots, and could have petitions to state officials for approval by the end of the year.

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2 US NY: Edu: Column: Second Amendment Up In SmokeSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Pipe Dream (NY Edu) Author:Kalin, Justin Area:New York Lines:89 Added:12/12/2011

On Sept. 21, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded to confusion in the federal firearms licensing community about whether medical marijuana patients can apply for gun ownership.

Its letter refers to the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. An unlawful user or addict to controlled substances is prohibited from purchasing firearms or ammunition. Furthermore, presenting a medical marijuana card is "reasonable cause to believe" that the transferee is an unlawful user or addict.

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3 US MD: Medical Marijuana Issue May Rise AgainSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Daily Times, The (MD) Author:Shutt, Jennifer Area:Maryland Lines:98 Added:12/11/2011

SALISBURY -- After debate during this year's General Assembly session failed to garner enough votes to pass medical marijuana legislation, it is unclear where the issue will fall during the upcoming 2012 session.

While debate was passionate this year, actions during the past eight months including a federal crackdown on dispensaries, inconsistencies in federal versus state's rights and Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to focus on accumulating enough votes for legislation he considers key could impact the upcoming medical marijuana debates.

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4 US MO: Edu: New Bill To Legalize Marijuana Could Be On MO 2012Tue, 15 Nov 2011
Source:Maneater, The (Uof Missouri - Columbia, MO Edu) Author:Sherman, Ellen Area:Missouri Lines:128 Added:11/16/2011

The Government Spends Roughly $14 Billion Per Year On Prohibition

Legalizing the illegal substance marijuana has been a hot topic for the past decade. A synthetic weed, K2, drug cartels and an increase in potency have put pressure on the government to construct a plan for legalization. Conversely, negative health associations and some law enforcement groups have put pressure on the government to continue the criminalization.

Today it is the top cash crop in the world, worth $35 billion, beating out such staples as wheat and corn combined, according to an article on abc.com. In 2007, 14.4 million Americans ages 12 and older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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5 US WA: Pro-Pot Campaign Gets Big Names, Deep PocketsSat, 05 Nov 2011
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Martin, Jonathan Area:Washington Lines:170 Added:11/05/2011

A new marijuana-legalization campaign with deep pockets and prominent supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the issue or send it to the 2012 ballot.

Marijuana legalization in Washington has been an activist's pipe dream for decades, but a new campaign with deep pockets and prominent supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the issue or send it to the 2012 presidential ballot.

The group, New Approach Washington, is the strongest mainstream campaign to date. Since former federal prosecutor John McKay backed the campaign this summer, supporters with impressive resumes emerged, from wealthy investment analysts and businessmen to white-shoe attorneys and, this week, philanthropist Harriet Bullitt.

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6 US MI: High StakesWed, 02 Nov 2011
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Guyette, Curt Area:Michigan Lines:694 Added:11/02/2011

Now Three Years Old, Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law Is Still Getting Sorted Out

Marijuana has twice played a role in bringing significant changes to the life of Barb Agro.

The first time was a blessing.

A former police dispatcher, the 71-year-old great-grandmother from Lake Orion suffers from arthritis in both of her knees.

"It's really bad," she says.

Because she's allergic to aspirin, she used Tylenol to ease the pain for years. "But the amount I had to take was so much," she says. "I worried about it damaging my kidneys."

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7 US IL: Edu: Tisdahl Proposes No Jail Time For MarijuanaTue, 04 Oct 2011
Source:Daily Northwestern (IL Edu) Author:Cohen, Marshall Area:Illinois Lines:87 Added:10/05/2011

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl officially asked the city's legal department Friday to create an ordinance that would eliminate the possibility of jail time for anyone caught possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana.

The current law states that anyone found to possess between 2.5 and 10 grams of marijuana could be ticketed, fined up to $1,500 and jailed for potentially as long as six months.

"I do not want young people in Evanston who do not have access to high-powered attorneys to have arrest records for possessing less than 10 grams," Tisdahl said in an email to the Chicago Tribune. "I want them to have jobs. A ticket and a fine will suffice."

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8 US MI: Column: Time to RallyWed, 31 Aug 2011
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Guyette, Curt Area:Michigan Lines:206 Added:09/01/2011

Medicinal Pot Ruling Rocks Dispensary Community; Mass Meeting in Lansing Planned

The Michigan Court of Appeals last week delivered an opinion that rocked the state's medical marijuana community.

In a 3-0 ruling, the court decreed that patient-to-patient sales are illegal. Period.

That decision, for the time being at least, effectively annihilates the foundation used by many of the estimated 300 to 400 businesses that have been providing pot to registered patients, putting dispensary owners and their employees in immediate jeopardy.

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9 US MD: Work Begins On Model Medical Marijuana ProgramThu, 18 Aug 2011
Source:Prince George's Gazette (MD) Author:Leaderman, Daniel Area:Maryland Lines:61 Added:08/22/2011

A team of lawmakers, doctors, law enforcement officials and patient advocates will spend the next few months creating a plan and drafting state legislation for medical marijuana to be legalized for use by seriously ill patients.

The work group, which began meeting Wednesday and is chaired by Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, state secretary of health and mental hygiene, was created by legislation passed during the 2011 General Assembly session to develop a model program for medical marijuana use in the state.

Under legislation proposed earlier this year to legalize medicinal use of the drug, physicians could prescribe marijuana to long-term patients -- such as those suffering from cancer -- for whom conventional treatments haven't worked, and the state health department would have regulated and licensed producers and dispensaries. Sharfstein opposed those provisions in favor of further study, arguing in March that more specific rules were needed on which doctors could prescribe the drug and under what conditions.

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10 US IN: Future Of Legalized Marijuana In Indiana UncertainSun, 31 Jul 2011
Source:Evansville Courier & Press (IN) Author:Banta, Megan Area:Indiana Lines:85 Added:08/01/2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lawmakers didn't say whether they will proceed with legislation to legalize marijuana after advocates for such law dominated a four-hour Statehouse hearing last week.

Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, who proposed a study of the issue this year, told the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Committee that she had no agenda other than to "start talking about this."

She said the idea for the study came from her "experience sitting in court as an attorney" and "looking at young kids pleading to minor possession charges."

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11 US IN: Edu: State Revisits Marijuana PolicyFri, 29 Jul 2011
Source:Exponent, The (Purdue U, IN Edu) Author:Gibson, Kirsten Area:Indiana Lines:72 Added:07/30/2011

Indiana, though thoroughly conservative, might see changes in its marijuana policy if Thursday's presentation on decriminalizing and legalizing medical marijuana had any effect on legislatures.

On Thursday, the legislature's Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study committee heard numerous testimonies from policy and medical experts as to the benefits of marijuana and the negatives of complete prohibition. The hearing was streamed live on the Indiana government website for public viewing and The Exponent watched.

Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, prompted the committee hearing, and began with a short presentation on her concerns with Indiana's "draconian" marijuana laws. Her concerns ranged from the industrial use of hemp to the legalization of medicinal marijuana. She questioned the impact of legal repercussions that come with prohibiting marijuana.

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12US IN: Panel Urged To Reform State Marijuana LawThu, 28 Jul 2011
Source:Journal and Courier (IN) Author:Voravong, Sophia Area:Indiana Lines:Excerpt Added:07/30/2011

When a first-time offender is caught in West Lafayette with a small amount of marijuana, he is given a citation and a court date. Though technically arrested, rarely is the person booked into the Tippecanoe County Jail, police Chief Jason Dombkowski said.

Last year, in Tippecanoe County courts, marijuana accounted for only 4 percent of higher-felony drug cases -- 8 out of 156, Prosecutor Pat Harrington noted.

"There's this urban street myth that people in the Department of Correction, the only thing they've done is smoked a joint," Harrington said. "It's more fiction than reality.

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13 US: Marijuana May Be Studied For Combat DisorderTue, 19 Jul 2011
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Frosch, Dan Area:United States Lines:118 Added:07/19/2011

DENVER - For years now, some veterans groups and marijuana advocates have argued that the therapeutic benefits of the drug can help soothe the psychological wounds of battle. But with only anecdotal evidence as support, their claims have yet to gain widespread acceptance in medical circles.

Now, however, researchers are seeking federal approval for what is believed to be the first study to examine the effects of marijuana on veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

The proposal, from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a researcher at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, would look at the potential benefits of cannabis by examining 50 combat veterans who suffer from the condition and have not responded to other treatment.

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14 US AZ: Medical Marijuana Is Under Attack in Arizona Again --Fri, 15 Jul 2011
Source:Phoenix New Times (AZ) Author:Stern, Ray Area:Arizona Lines:787 Added:07/15/2011

One of the defining moments of the latest war on medical marijuana in Arizona came last month when Gilbert SWAT officers raided the home of a patient suspected of having a single ounce of weed.

Ross Taylor's not only a bona fide, card-holding patient under the law, he also is the owner of the Cannabis Screening Centers, a business that hooks up people with doctors willing to recommend the use of marijuana.

He's a marijuana advocate, and he's a professional in what, since November, has been a legal industry. In April, he spoke about his business before the Gilbert Planning and Zoning Department. On June 9, he was in the process of moving into his new home in south Gilbert, near Higley and Riggs roads. He'd taken title to the home a day earlier; online records show that it was sold on June 8 for $262,200.

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15 US CA: Column: Oakland's Mardi GrassWed, 13 Jul 2011
Source:East Bay Express (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:118 Added:07/13/2011

Downtown Will Host a Huge, Open-Air Cannabis Expo on Labor Day Weekend.

Organizers expect up to 30,000 cannabis fans to flood into Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall on September 3-4 for the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo 2011. Tickets for the event just went on sale for $18, and if everything goes as planned, will include access to three entertainment stages, three hundred to four hundred industry vendors, dozens of food trucks, guest celebrities, experts, and politicians from the movement.

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16US CO: OPED: Voters Deserve Facts, Not FictionSat, 09 Jul 2011
Source:Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO) Author:Ackerman, Steve Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:07/10/2011

In his Coloradoan July 2 Soapbox, Ray Martinez made many disparaging claims about medical marijuana centers in order to bolster his attempt to ban MMCs from Fort Collins. Too bad that none of his assertions are supported by facts.

Acting police Chief Jerry Schiager reported no medical marijuana business "surge in crime," and no increase in 911 calls (1). The ordinance regulating MMCs, passed by Fort Collins' City Council, is stricter than the state requires (2) In fact, state regulators track every gram of medicine produced by MMCs "from seed to sale" preventing any diversion to "the new black market" (3) as Martinez claims.

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17 US MA: US Rep Barney Frank Looking To End Federal Pot PenaltiesTue, 28 Jun 2011
Source:Taunton Daily Gazette (MA) Author:Larocque, Marc Area:Massachusetts Lines:119 Added:06/28/2011

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Newton whose district includes Taunton, has partnered with a Republican congressman from Texas to introduce legislation that would make marijuana criminalization the business of state governments.

Frank and Libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul introduced HR 2306 on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The bill doesn't necessarily legalize marijuana but takes it off a list of federally controlled substances and lets states decide how to regulate it.

The bill would also eliminate federally provided marijuana-specific penalties in the Controlled Substances Act.

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18 US: 4 Hopeful Signs In The Fight Against Disastrous Drug WarFri, 24 Jun 2011
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Seltzer, Sarah Area:United States Lines:136 Added:06/24/2011

Although This New Bill Is Largely Symbolic, the Fact That It's Being Introduced, and Other Small Victories of Late, Bode Well for a Change in Tone on This Discussion.

It's been forty years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs." And we're not winning.

In local communities, Black and Latino men are being singled out unfairly and fed into the prison system for minor drug offenses; in Mexico, an unspeakably brutal drug war continues with no signs of cessation; sick people continue to be denied legal access to medical marijuana that could ease their pain.

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19 US WA: Initiative To Legalize Marijuana In Washington FiledThu, 23 Jun 2011
Source:Columbian, The (WA) Author:Johnson, Gene Area:Washington Lines:99 Added:06/24/2011

Adults Could Buy Up to an Ounce of Pot

SEATTLE -- A new push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Washington is carefully calibrated to what voters will support -- and to what will keep state workers from getting into trouble with federal agents, activists said Wednesday after filing the initiative.

The measure, backed by former Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel-guide entrepreneur Rick Steves, calls for legalizing up to an ounce of pot to be sold and taxed at state-licensed stores.

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20 US: Barney Frank And Ron Paul Team Up To Legalize MarijuanaWed, 22 Jun 2011
Source:Salon (US Web) Author:Pareene, Alex Area:United States Lines:30 Added:06/23/2011

The Expensive, Unjust War on Drugs Brings a House Liberal and Libertarian Together

Ron Paul and Barney Frank have teamed up again (after their successful joint HuffPo editorial of 2010) to introduce legislation legalizing marijuana. Not decriminalizing it, but actually totally legalizing it. Wouldn't that be wild?

It is being billed as "bipartisan legislation" but obviously Ron Paul is the only Republican co-sponsor. According to the Marijuana Policy Project: "The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition."

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