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1 US CO: Plan Would Ban Medical Pot Shops Fort CollinsThu, 19 May 2011
Source:Loveland Connection (CO) Author:Duggan, Kevin Area:Colorado Lines:122 Added:05/20/2011

Sheriff, Former Mayor ADD Elbow Grease to Petition Drive

Medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations would be banned from Fort Collins under an ordinance proposed by a group of city residents that includes Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith.

Supporters of the ban are expected to start collecting signatures for petitions backing the proposal as soon as Friday, city officials say.

Proponents would have 60 days to gather the signatures of 4,214 registered Fort Collins voters to get the proposed ordinance before the City Council. If the petitions are picked up Friday from the city clerk's office, the deadline would be July 19.

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2 US CO: Windsor's Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Close DoorsTue, 17 May 2011
Source:Windsor Beacon (CO) Author:Keesis-Wood, Ashley Area:Colorado Lines:48 Added:05/20/2011

The medical marijuana era in Windsor is over.

Both of the town's dispensaries, In Harmony Wellness Center and A New Dawn Wellness Clinic, closed their doors for good on Sunday, in keeping with an ordinance passed by the town board in January.

"We checked for compliance this morning and both businesses did comply," said Windsor Police Chief John Michaels.

Medical marijuana first became an issue in December 2009 when the town board learned that in addition to In Harmony Wellness Center, which had opened in June 2009, and A New Dawn Wellness Clinic, which opened earlier that December, there were six other dispensaries in the process of opening in Windsor.

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3 Canada: LTE: Does Doing Time Reduce Crime?Thu, 19 May 2011
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Calvert, Thomas Area:Canada Lines:30 Added:05/20/2011

I seriously doubt that any attempt at "prison reform" will accomplish anything. Canadians have no stomach for punishment of criminals preferring "rehabilitation." We have a drug problem in Canada and the United States because we tolerate it. Singapore on the other hand does not.

I used to travel frequently to Singapore. The arrival card made out by every passenger clearly stated that the penalty for drug trafficking was death -that was not a joke. Upon conviction, punishment is swift, severe and certain. Singapore has shown that this policy is very effective at almost eliminating crime. Our drug and crime problems will continue as long as we continue to tolerate them.

Thomas Calvert

Oakville, Ont.

[end]

4 Canada: PUB LTE: Addiction Is...Wed, 18 May 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:26 Added:05/20/2011

I'm not sure I understand Margaret Wente's point (Is Addiction Really A Disease? - May 17). If most hard drug addicts eventually find the resolve to kick their habit, thus rendering Insite, as she suggests, useful only for "the hardest of the hard cases" (those with additional psychiatric disorders and few meaningful alternatives), and if it's also true (as both sides in the debate acknowledge) that the facility's services have significantly reduced fatal overdoses among this core group of users, shouldn't that fact alone be reason enough to keep it open?

Michael Lennick

Bala, Ont.

[end]

5 Canada: PUB LTE: Controlling AddictionsThu, 19 May 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:McGrath, Michael M. J. Area:Canada Lines:27 Added:05/20/2011

Re Is Addiction Really a Disease? (May 17): Margaret Wente's analogy of addiction and cancer is incorrect. She makes reference to the high "recovery rates" of doctors and pilots. As one of these physicians, I would like to point out I am not recovered but in recovery. The disease is chronic and all too often fatal. It requires continuing treatment, most commonly in the form of regular attendance at 12-step meetings. To suggest that this is not a disease begs the question as to whether Ms. Wente believes the cure for anorexia is to simply eat more or if getting over depression involves just thinking happy thoughts.

Queen's University, Kingston

[end]

6 CN QU: High LifeThu, 19 May 2011
Source:Mirror (CN QU) Author:Barry, Chris Area:Quebec Lines:79 Added:05/20/2011

Head Shop Owner Says He Was Born to Sell Salvia, Marijuana Paraphernalia and Psychedelic Party Clothing

Name: Andre Levert

Age: 33

Occupation: Proprietor of Psychonaut (154 Prince Arthur E.)

Bio: This jolly Vieux Longueuil family man has been enthralled by the wonderful world of reefer ever since he was a child growing up in small town southern Ontario. "I was 13, riding in the car with my dad listening to this report on Radio-Canada that was really exaggerating the negatives about pot, when I went, 'Hey, this is something I need to try soon.'" Discovering "the effects to be quite inter-esting," young Andre started researching the devil's weed something fierce, delving into "the whole conspiracy behind its prohibition, its history, its different effects etc" and today credits his youthful marijuana fixation for keeping him "out of all sorts of trouble. It brought me to this peaceful culture when I so easily could've been drawn to darker things." Although he studied to become and eventually did labour for a brief period as a health care attendant, Andre says his heart and soul have always belonged to the "marijuana counter-culture," so in 2003, after managing another area head shop for several years, he decided to go whole hog and open his own clothing/paraphernalia outlet, the inimitable Psychonaut at 154 Prince Arthur E. He drives a pragmatic 2006 Toyota Corolla.

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7 Canada: PUB LTE: Mexico's SoulWed, 18 May 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Naylor, L. W. Area:Canada Lines:36 Added:05/20/2011

Whether Mexico's impending socio-political collapse has less or more to do with its President is a moot point (The Soul Of Mexico - editorial, May 16). Mexico's probable destiny is to become a failed state and so, a state without any soul at all.

One would think Mexico's neighbours might recall the lessons of their own Prohibition era and adjust their outlook accordingly. As Canada and the U.S. struggled for their souls in the 1930s, commodities once deemed socially corroding were properly understood as merchandise more in need of better distribution-management than ever-more-robust law enforcement. It took only a change of outlook, and then policy, to make gangsters gentlemen as their children became bankers, politicians and movie moguls.

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8 US NY: Spotlight On AddictionFri, 20 May 2011
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Wieczner, Jen Area:New York Lines:41 Added:05/20/2011

Galas often feature inspiring testimonials from beneficiaries right before guests are asked to open their checkbooks. When a fund-raiser benefits a drug rehabilitation program, dinner sometimes resembles an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Speakers at Caron Treatment Centers' annual gala Wednesday introduced themselves thus: "Hi, I'm so-and-so, and I'm an alcoholic." Cue crowd: "Hi, so-and-so."

The gala at Cipriani 42nd Street raised funds for scholarships to Caron with a special focus on supporting musicians with addiction.

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9 US HI: PUB LTE: Correcting The FactsWed, 18 May 2011
Source:Honolulu Weekly (HI) Author:Taxedtodeath, Area:Hawaii Lines:66 Added:05/20/2011

Roger Christie is a political prisoner. Rapist, murders, thieves and all manner of violent criminals get bail. Christie has no criminal record, has served his country honorably in the army, and has operated openly, inviting the police in any time they wanted. After over two years of wire taps, surveillance and video by 13 agencies, there is not a bit of evidence that backs up the slander Iolani posted [May 18: "A Closer Look"].

If any of that were true why didn't the government charge him with endangering minors? Where is her evidence? The police were monitoring the THC ministry 24/7 for years, and she is saying the police saw minors regularly getting marijuana and did nothing. Does any reasonable person believe that? The police have many faults, but if minors were involved they would have acted much sooner. I have been to the ministry several times and known Christie for 20 years, and I can say what Iolani posted is not true.

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10US RI: Editorial: A Problem With PotWed, 18 May 2011
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI)          Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2011

Perhaps it is a sign of the weakness of the local economy, but businesspeople young and old are eyeing the Rhode Island marijuana business as potentially very lucrative perhaps more so than, say, liquor stores!

But the rush to open these "compassion centers," at least officially to be marketed to sick people who seek the pain-relieving qualities of marijuana, has been considerably faster than federal officials' acceptance. The latest sign of their skepticism came a couple of weeks ago, when U.S. Atty. Peter Neronha said rather ominously that he considered that the three pot dispensaries so far tentatively approved by the Rhode Island Health Department would be large-scale, for-profit pot production centers in violation of federal law. One of them, Summit Medical Compassion Center, in Warwick, plans to be serving 8,000 patients and taking in $25 million in revenue by 2013.

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11 US IL: PUB LTE: We Should Adopt Swiss Drug PolicyThu, 19 May 2011
Source:Journal Standard, The (Freeport, IL) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Illinois Lines:51 Added:05/20/2011

Mesa, Ariz. -- I'm writing about a recent Journal-Standard article (Police beat: Freeporter charged with drug possession) which ran in the May 16 edition.

I am wondering who is the victim? It was less than 15 grams of cocaine, and was probably for his own use.

Even if he intended to sell some or all of it, there was still no victim. In a drug transaction there are willing buyers and willing sellers. Both walk away happy unless one or both get arrested.

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12 Canada: PUB LTE: Addiction Is ...Wed, 18 May 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Kendall, Perry Area:Canada Lines:35 Added:05/20/2011

This matter is far more complex than Margaret Wente makes out. Indeed, the logic she uses to de-medicalize addiction could be used to position adult-onset diabetes as a matter of choice (lifestyle) and not an illness.

As the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse states: "Addiction is ... considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain - they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviours seen in people who abuse drugs."

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13 Canada: PUB LTE: Addiction Is ...Wed, 18 May 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Campbell, Angus Area:Canada Lines:19 Added:05/20/2011

I've often wondered if Margaret Wente's predilection to writing controversial columns is an addiction or a condition within her "power to control"?

Angus Campbell, Halifax

[end]

14 US CT PUB LTE: Drug War Is Foolish, Expensive PracticeFri, 20 May 2011
Source:Norwich Bulletin (CT) Author:Sharpe, Robert        Lines:37 Added:05/20/2011

With regard to Roberta Helming's May 6 column, the drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers. In 2009, there were 858,405 marijuana arrests in the United States, almost 90 percent for simple possession. At a time when state and local governments are laying off police, firefighters and teachers, this country continues to spend enormous public resources criminalizing Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis. The end result of this ongoing culture war is not necessarily lower rates of use.

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15 Canada: PUB LTE: Does Doing Time Reduce Crime?Thu, 19 May 2011
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:McLean, Ricky L. Area:Canada Lines:22 Added:05/20/2011

American prisons are bursting with harmless pot smokers serving life sentences. Our PM has openly stated that he would privatize Corrections Canada, and has vowed to pour money into the institution with his new majority mandate, taking money away from education and health care. No one has ever smoked a joint and done a drive-by shooting, or smoked a joint and then raped their daughter. To imprison anyone for smoking a joint is despotic - no pun intended.

Ricky L. McLean, Strathroy, Ont.

[end]

16 Canada: PUB LTE: Controlling AddictionsThu, 19 May 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Bader, Pearl Area:Canada Lines:37 Added:05/20/2011

Margaret Wente provides not only a simplistic view of a complex issue, but an irrelevant argument in the debate about whether or not Vancouver's supervised drug injection site, Insite, should exist. Enlightened public discourse on addictions needs to incorporate both the complexity of the problem and multiple channels through which behaviour change occurs.

As Ms. Wente asserts, many people are able to quit drugs and quit smoking (some "cold turkey," others through counselling or nicotine-replacement therapies), just as some people are able to mitigate the effects of diabetes and heart disease through diet and exercise.

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