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1 Canada: Column: The Cannabis Experience From The U.S. Tells Us TheTue, 29 May 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:109 Added:06/01/2018

In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing cannabis was operating.

As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the western United States?

The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on children and teens is largely unwarranted.

Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have smoked pot in the previous month.

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2 CN MB: Manitoba Seeking Assurance From Feds On Banning Homegrown PotFri, 01 Jun 2018
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pursaga, Joyanne Area:Manitoba Lines:69 Added:06/01/2018

Manitoba's Justice Minister is calling for federal legislation to confirm that provinces can ban the home growth of marijuana plants.

"I think that is clear that is provincial jurisdiction to make that decision. (But) I believe the federal (Justice) Minister made some comments that were a little concerning, so we wanted clarification on that," said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, following a speech to Manitoba Chambers of Commerce members on cannabis legislation Thursday. "We've called (for) some clarification from the federal government. If they could put it specifically in legislation, that would be best."

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3 US PA: Drugged Driving Deaths Spike With Spread Of Legal MarijuanaThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bergal, Jenni Area:Pennsylvania Lines:148 Added:05/31/2018

As legal marijuana spreads and the opioid epidemic rages on, the number of drugged drivers killed in car crashes is rising dramatically, according to a report released today.

Forty-four percent of fatally injured drivers tested for drugs had positive results in 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association found, up more than 50 percent compared with a decade ago. More than half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two.

"These are big-deal drugs. They are used a lot," said Jim Hedlund, an Ithaca, New York-based traffic safety consultant who conducted the highway safety group's study. "People should not be driving while they're impaired by anything and these two drugs can impair you."

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4 Canada: Medicinal Cannabis Use Can Help Mitigate Symptoms Of PTSDThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leeder, Jessica Area:Canada Lines:84 Added:05/31/2018

People who have post-traumatic stress disorder but do not medicate with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and have suicidal thoughts than those who use marijuana, new national research says.

Based on cross-country data from Statistics Canada, the observational study by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Substance Use shows that Canadians with PTSD who use medicinal cannabis are 60 per cent to 65 per cent less likely to have major depressive episodes or thoughts of suicide compared with those who do not treat their symptoms with medical marijuana. The study is the first national-scale indication of the effectiveness of cannabis at mitigating the hallmark symptoms of PTSD. It was presented on Thursday at the annual conference of the Canadian Public Health Association in Montreal.

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5US CA: California Bill To Slash Marijuana Taxes Suffers SetbackFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Bollag, Sophia Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/25/2018

Efforts to lower marijuana taxes to help the transition to California's new legal market have suffered a setback.

A bill that would have slashed taxes on legal pot for three years to entice people away from the black market failed to advance out of a key legislative committee Friday.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey co-authored the bill and said the setback is a win for the black market. The Los Angeles-area Republican says he hopes the policy can still be passed this year. He says opponents of the bill in the Assembly had argued it is too soon to slash the taxes without further evidence they are driving people to the black market.

Growers and sellers of marijuana in California have complained the taxes are too high.

[end]

6 US NC: Proposed Bill Raises Amount Of Pot Leading To ChargesFri, 25 May 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Ward, Myah Area:North Carolina Lines:49 Added:05/25/2018

State Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, introduced a bill this week that would significantly increase the amount of marijuana a person could have in his or her possession for personal use before being charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Under Alexander's bill, a person would not be charged with a misdemeanor unless he or she had more than 4 ounces of marijuana. Under current law, possession of more than a half-ounce is a misdemeanor. A person would have to have more than 16 ounces -- more than 10 times the current limit -- to be charged with a felony.

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7 US: U.S. Oped: Attorney: Moving Forward On MarijuanaFri, 18 May 2018
Source:Hillsboro Argus, The (OR) Author:Williams, Billy J. Area:United States Lines:102 Added:05/23/2018

After U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued his memorandum on marijuana in January, I committed to taking a methodical and thoughtful approach to developing an enforcement strategy for Oregon. In early February, our marijuana summit brought together more than 130 people from 70 organizations representing a wide range of interests, values, and perspectives.

Among those in attendance were Gov, Kate Brown, representatives from 14 U.S. Attorney's offices, Oregon congressional delegation staff, and members of the Oregon Legislature. The summit featured presentations by state officials, policymakers, federal and state law enforcement agencies, industry representatives, adversely affected landowners, public health organizations, banking executives and tribal leaders.

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8 CN BC: Craft Cannabis Growers In B.C. Sound Alarm Over Survival OfFri, 18 May 2018
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Kane, Laura Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:05/23/2018

Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and her B.C. counterpart David Eby

Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.

Villano doesn't want that to change when marijuana is legalized later this year, and she's among the proponents of local craft cannabis who are pushing the federal and provincial governments to ensure its survival.

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9 US NY: Marijuana Policy Change Is Said To Be ConsideredTue, 15 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:223 Added:05/19/2018

The district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are weighing plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on marijuana charges, potentially curbing the consequences of a law that in New York City is enforced most heavily against black and Hispanic people.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office, which in 2014 decided to stop prosecuting many low-level marijuana cases, is considering expanding its policy so that more people currently subject to arrest on marijuana charges, including those who smoke outside without creating a public nuisance, would not be prosecuted, one official familiar with the discussions said.

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10 US NY: Making Sense Of Marijuana ArrestsMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:103 Added:05/19/2018

If you've walked around New York City lately, there's a good chance you've smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park.

White people largely don't get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races smoke at similar rates.

So after a senior police official recently testified to the City Council that there was a simple justification - he said more people call 911 and 311 to complain about marijuana smoke in black and Hispanic neighborhoods - we decided to dig into the numbers the New York Police Department gave lawmakers to support that claim.

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11 US NY: Deblasio Directs Police Dept. To End 'unnecessary' MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:142 Added:05/19/2018

After years of halting steps, top prosecutors and elected officials in New York City on Tuesday made a sudden dash toward ending many of the marijuana arrests that for decades have entangled mostly black and Hispanic people.

The plans, still unwritten and under negotiation, will rise or fall on the type of conduct involving marijuana that officials decide should still warrant arrest and prosecution. The changes appear likely to create a patchwork of prosecution policies across the city's five boroughs, and are unlikely to restrict police officers from stopping and searching people on suspicion of possessing a drug that is now legal in a number of states.

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12 US NY: Marijuana Cases In New York City Reveal Race GapMon, 14 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mueller, Benjamin Area:New York Lines:235 Added:05/19/2018

They sit in courtroom pews, almost all of them young black men, waiting their turn before a New York City judge to face a charge that no longer exists in some states: possessing marijuana. They tell of smoking in a housing project hallway, or of being in a car with a friend who was smoking, or of lighting up a Black & Mild cigar the police mistake for a blunt.

There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York: The primary targets are black and Hispanic people.

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13 US PA: Now That Marijuana Is Legal, Could Magic Mushrooms Be Next?Wed, 16 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ostrov, Barbara Feder Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:05/16/2018

In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."

Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.

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14CN BC: Column: Pot-Law Logic Disappears At The BorderThu, 10 May 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne=09, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/11/2018

Some time this summer, marijuana will be legal in Canada. It's already legal in Washington state and has been for four years.

But Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth warned this week that there's a significant problem looming at the border crossing, because it's still going to be illegal there.

It makes no sense whatsoever, but the U.S. federal government controls the border crossing, and marijuana is still nominally illegal in the U.S. federally.

"People [meaning, cannabis users] are going to naturally assume, on either side of the border, that they cross back and forth because it's legal in each jurisdiction,a" told the house. "But the reality is it will not be legal at that federal border crossing."

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15 US: Sessions Further Complicates Medical Marijuana ResearchFri, 11 May 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Irby, Kate Area:United States Lines:121 Added:05/11/2018

Amid budding efforts to research the medical benefits of marijuana, a simple problem has emerged -- how do you research marijuana if no one can produce it under federal law?

Despite a solution proposed in mid-2016, which allowed the Drug Enforcement Administration to approve marijuana manufacturers, only the University of Mississippi has been approved, despite dozens of applications to do so. And there's no sign the DEA intends to approve others anytime soon.

Advocates seem to blame one person for the delays: Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Ian Prior, spokesman for the Department of Justice, declined to comment on the issue.

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16 US PA: Pa. Lawmaker Asks To Erase Marijuana Convictions For PatientsTue, 08 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:37 Added:05/11/2018

A Pennsylvania legislator introduced a bill Monday that would give medical marijuana patients a chance of expunging a conviction of marijuana possession if the charge resulted from their use of cannabis for medical purposes.

The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and does not have any support yet from Republicans who control the legislature. To be expunged, patients would have to prove they had a doctor's diagnosis for one of the 21 approved serious health conditions at the time of the conviction. The patient would also have to provide evidence they were using cannabis to treat the condition.

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17 US MA: Can The Mass. Marijuana Industry Help Heal CommunitiesSat, 05 May 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:05/05/2018

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, industries across America are struggling to redress decades of discrimination and boost the ranks of minorities and the disenfranchised in their workforces.

But what if you could design an industry from scratch? Could you somehow bake in diversity and fairness?

We're about to find out.

Last month, Massachusetts rolled out the country's first statewide marijuana industry "equity" program, giving preferential treatment to people who are typically marginalized by the business world.

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18 US HI: State Seeks Farmers To Grow Hemp As CropSun, 29 Apr 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Gomes, Andrew Area:Hawaii Lines:105 Added:05/04/2018

Hawaii is another step closer to finding out whether industrial hemp could be a major crop.

The state Department of Agriculture announced earlier this month that it is accepting applications for state licenses to grow hemp.

This comes nearly two years after the state enacted a law to establish a pilot program for commercial production.

"Many believe that industrial hemp can be an important crop in Hawaii," Gov. David Ige said in a statement. "This pilot program is a strong and prudent step in helping to determine the viability of this crop in Hawaii."

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19 US PA: Temple U. Researchers Take A Leading Role In Medical MarijuanaMon, 30 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:116 Added:05/04/2018

Pennsylvania is gearing up to become a global center for cannabis research. Yet for more than a decade, Philadelphia has been on the forefront of investigations into the medicinal uses of marijuana.

Sara Jane Ward has built a reputation exploring marijuana's effects on pain and addiction using animals at Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Ward and her colleague Ronald Tuma, a professor of physiology and neurosurgery, lead a team of 10 researchers at Temple's Center for Substance Abuse in North Philadelphia.

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20 US SC: Hemp Growing Program To Include More SC Farmers Growing MoreTue, 01 May 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Feit, Noah Area:South Carolina Lines:93 Added:05/04/2018

The number of hemp farmers in SC is growing fast. How high will it get?

Less than a year into the program, the number of farmers growing hemp in South Carolina could double.

That's because the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is making more permits available for farmers looking to participate in the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

The SCDA will select up to 40 farmers to receive permits to grow industrial hemp. That's twice the amount of the 20 farmers chosen in the inaugural year of the program.

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21 CN MB: Editorial: Cannabis Sales Won't Balance BudgetTue, 01 May 2018
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:97 Added:05/04/2018

Cannabis sales likely won't prove a financial bonanza.

Those counting on help from cannabis sales to balance the provincial budget are in for a disappointment.

As far as Statistics Canada can tell, cannabis prices in this country have been dropping for the past three years, perhaps the past dozen years. Since weed-market watchers in the United States have found roughly the same thing, it's probably true.

Canada's provincial treasurers, along with private investors in the cannabis trade, may still be able to turn a profit, but the bonanza that used to beckon has probably evaporated already.

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22 Canada: Marijuana Legalization Should Be Put Off Until First NationsTue, 01 May 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rabson, Mia Area:Canada Lines:65 Added:05/04/2018

OTTAWA - A Senate committee says Ottawa should put off legalizing marijuana for a year until Canada and First Nations can negotiate tax sharing, produce culturally appropriate education materials and ensure First Nations are able to regulate for themselves whether they want pot to be legal in their communities or not.

The Senate Aboriginal Peoples committee released a report Tuesday after studying the impact the government's legalizing pot bill could have on Indigenous communities.

While Ottawa plans to make pot legal sometime this summer, the committee says Indigenous

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23 Canada: CREA Calls For Moratorium On Homegrown MarijuanaMon, 30 Apr 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Ligaya, Armina Area:Canada Lines:102 Added:05/04/2018

Canada'€™s real estate industry organization is calling for a moratorium on growing recreational marijuana at home until the government sets out nationwide regulations for the practice.

Ottawa'€™s proposed marijuana legalization regulations allow Canadians to grow up to four marijuana plants at their residences. Medical users are already allowed to grow at home after a federal court ruled in 2016 that the government cannot ban patients from growing their own cannabis.

However, the Canadian Real Estate Association said the ban it is requesting applies to home cultivation for recreational users when marijuana legalized later this year.

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24 US CA: Pot To Treat Autism? UC San Diego Scientists To Conduct StudyThu, 26 Apr 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Magness, Josh Area:California Lines:105 Added:05/01/2018

It's already used to treat epilepsy in some children -- and now researchers are examining whether a marijuana compound could also be helpful for those with autism.

The University of California San Diego announced in a news release that it will be conducting a test on children with "severe" autism to see if cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, can help treat some of their symptoms.

The research, which will involve 30 children, was made possible thanks to a $4.7 million donation from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation in Lindon, Utah, according to The San Diego Tribune. The goal is to see if CBD can lessen seizures, anxiety and self-harming.

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25 US NY: CNN's Gupta Urges Sessions To Back Medical MarijuanaThu, 26 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:New York Lines:27 Added:05/01/2018

NEW YORK -- CNN's medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has taken the unusual step of publicly urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his opposition to medical marijuana, particularly as a way to fight the opioid epidemic.

Gupta wrote a public letter to Sessions, saying that he had changed his mind on the use of medical marijuana, and he's certain Sessions can, too. Research and talking to people who say marijuana has eased pain and weaned them off opioids convinced him.

It's an unusual step for a journalist to move into advocacy, by sending a letter to the attorney general. But Gupta says he believes this falls into the category of telling truth to power.

[end]

26 US: Hemp, Not Food, Pushing Senate To Consider Sweeping Farm BillFri, 27 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Clark, Lesley Area:United States Lines:96 Added:05/01/2018

WASHINGTON - The massive farm bill that helps determine what farmers grow and Americans eat is poised to get some major momentum thanks to a not-yet-legal crop: Hemp.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has pushed hard to make hemp a legal product in the United States, is asking for his hemp legalization bill to be included in the sweeping farm bill. That would help give the farm bill, whose prospects have been considered iffy, more support in the Senate.

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27 US FL: Florida's Young Medical Marijuana Industry Takes OffSat, 28 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Arnold, Kyle Area:Florida Lines:133 Added:04/28/2018

Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry rage on.

Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry rage on.

Rosa Howard spent 30 minutes in line Tuesday at a Trulieve medical marijuana dispensary in Orlando, packed into a waiting room with mothers, babies and seniors as the distinct smell of cannabis hung in the air.

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28 US NC: Charlotte Area Family Pushes To Legalize Medical MarijuanaFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Cope, Cassie Area:North Carolina Lines:178 Added:04/25/2018

Her son was supposed to die 13 years ago. She'll never stop fighting for him.

Doctors predicted Jackson Helms would die by the time he was 6.

Now 19, Jackson has lived longer than expected and gained relief from his severe epilepsy because of cannabidiol, or CBD, says his mom Kelly Helms.

CBD has essentially no THC, which is the psychoactive element in marijuana that causes a high.

The full legalization of medical marijuana could help Jackson, his mom says. Medical experts in North Carolina support more research on medical marijuana.

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29CN ON: Cannabis Education Campaigns Move From 'Just Say No' To JustSat, 21 Apr 2018
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2018

Heather D'Alessio remembers drug education in high school that consisted mainly of dire warnings about the consequences of using any of them.

She was smoking pot by Grade 9, so she disregarded the advice.

"Most of the time, they would give us these fact sheets on cannabis. Then we'd all take it out to the corner and get high and laugh at it because we thought it was stupid."

Who uses cannabis?

Governments and public health advocates are now launching new education campaigns to warn young people about the health risks of marijuana, which will soon be legal across Canada.

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30 US PA: Marijuana Growers Seek To Extinguish Pennsylvania's CannabisFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:114 Added:04/25/2018

Calling it "disruptive" and "unlawful," a group of Pennsylvania marijuana growers and retailers wants to snuff out the state's pioneering research program before it is launched.

The first of its kind in the nation, the research program would allow eight of the state's teaching hospitals to contract with a cannabis producer. Each contract is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars. The agreements grant the producers a "super-permit" to operate an indoor grow facility and to open six retail dispensaries that can sell medical marijuana to any approved patient.

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31 US CA: Some California Cities Want Amsterdam-Style Pot Lounges, PushFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Parvini, Sarah Area:California Lines:153 Added:04/25/2018

For decades, it has embraced its gay and lesbian bars and the rock 'n' roll debauchery of the Sunset Strip. It runs a free nightlife trolley called The PickUp, with a jar of free condoms by the door.

Now, it's embracing a different type of social scene: pot lounges.

The city is poised to allow cannabis lounges where people can consume the once-taboo product in a social setting. West Hollywood will join San Francisco, Oakland and South Lake Tahoe, which earlier this year became some of the first cities in California to open the consumption lounges modeled after those in Amsterdam. Communities in the Coachella Valley are also joining the ranks.

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32 US FL: Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Fed Limits On Research HinderWed, 25 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Taylor, Marisa Area:Florida Lines:251 Added:04/25/2018

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.

For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

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33 US FL: Oped: Doobie-Ous choice: Americans Ignore Marijuana-ImpairedThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Gordon, Robert Area:Florida Lines:102 Added:04/24/2018

Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host 420-themed parties.

Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host 420-themed parties.

Glorifying marijuana use is now a staple across pop culture, music and Hollywood, where getting high is celebrated with nary a mention of the public safety risks involved. But if you smoke, vape, or enjoy edibles and get behind the wheel of a car while impaired, not only are you breaking the law, you are putting your life and the lives of others on the road in great danger.

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34 US: Democratic Leader Announces New Acceptance Of MarijuanaFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Freking, Kevin Area:United States Lines:49 Added:04/24/2018

WASHINGTON -- The top Senate Democrat is using marijuana's informal holiday to announce a change of heart about the drug, another sign of the growing political acceptance of pot.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Friday he'll introduce a bill taking marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances - in effect decriminalizing its use.

Instead, his bill would let states decide how to treat marijuana possession. Under the measure, the federal government would still enforce laws against moving pot into states where it's illegal and would still regulate advertising so it isn't aimed at children.

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35US CA: Buzz Kill? Sacramento's Pot Czar To Make ComplianceThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Gardens, Ohana Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2018

State and local regulators are warning dispensary owners against holding off-site parties or allowing on-site cannabis consumption Friday during the annual celebration known as 4/20.

A number of Sacramento-area dispensaries are advertising special events for the day, but most are scheduled for on-site and make no mention of on-site consumption.

One exception is the second annual "Hella 420," billed as "Sacramento's only 4/20 recreational cannabis event." It is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at midtown Sacramento's Exhale Smoke Shop and is sponsored by Ohana Gardens, a licensed dispensary.

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36 US MA: Region's Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens In OxfordThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Moulton, Cyrus Area:Massachusetts Lines:63 Added:04/24/2018

OXFORD - The brand-new computers, minimalist modern decor and iPad check-in seem more akin to an Apple Store. But the security guard and the very slight sickly-sweet smell upon entering reveal the true nature of the new business on Main Street: It's the region's second marijuana dispensary and it celebrated its grand opening Wednesday.

Curaleaf operates a dispensary in Hanover and a state-of-the-art grow facility in Webster. It plans to open a third dispensary in Provincetown at the end of the summer. It opened its roughly 2,000-square-foot dispensary in Oxford on Saturday and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.

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37 US PA: Israeli Marijuana Giant Partners With Pa. Medical GrowerThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:68 Added:04/24/2018

A Pennsylvania marijuana producer is partnering with an Israeli cannabis pioneer to cultivate and sell proprietary strains of the plant in the Keystone State.

Ilera Healthcare operates a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Waterfall, Fulton County. Ilera plans to open its first state-permitted dispensary in Plymouth Meeting on May 4.

Tikun Olam -- the name means "Repair the World" in Hebrew -- is a powerhouse in cannabis research. And in Israel, it dominates the medical marijuana market. The Tel Aviv-based company has developed dozens of proprietary genetic strains, some of which are designed to alleviate anxiety, depression, nausea, pain associated with cancer, and other ailments, a spokesman said.

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38US: US Experts Back Marijuana-Based Drug For Childhood SeizuresThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2018

WASHINGTON -- A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy.

If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group's recommendation, GW Pharmaceuticals' syrup would become the first drug derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the U.S.

The 13-member FDA panel voted unanimously in favor of the experimental medication made from a chemical found in cannabis -- one that does not get users high. The panelists backed the drug based on three studies showing that it significantly reduced seizures in children with two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.

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39 US NM: Marijuana Debate Stirs Up Governor's Race In New MexicoThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Bryan, Susan Montoya Area:New Mexico Lines:93 Added:04/24/2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca on Thursday called for the expansion of New Mexico's medical marijuana program and for legalization of recreational use, saying the poverty-stricken state is missing out on millions of dollars in tax revenues and jobs that could be spurred by the industry.

Apodaca released his plan solidifying his position as a supporter of legalization as the race for governor heats up.

Apodaca pointed to New Mexico's history as the first state to allow for research and experimentation with marijuana as a therapeutic drug. It was his father, then-Gov. Jerry Apodaca, who signed that legislation in 1978.

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40 US: Americans Reflect On Pros, Cons Of Legal Pot Ahead Of 420Thu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO)          Area:United States Lines:318 Added:04/24/2018

America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group.

Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.

Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many opponents.

Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the state of marijuana in the U.S. today:

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41 CN ON: Homegrown Pot Will Be Biggest Municipal Headache, Guide SaysSun, 22 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Yuen, Jenny Area:Ontario Lines:66 Added:04/22/2018

Toronto's municipal licensing and standards department is reviewing city bylaws to see if changes are needed to deal with the "potential impacts" that people growing legal marijuana may have on neighbouring tenants or properties.

Mark Sraga, director of investigation services for the licensing department, said he doesn't anticipate cannabis home-grow operations to have a significant impact on municipal bylaws when the law permits people to grow the drug this summer.

"Under Health Canada rules, people are allowed to grow medicinal marijuana in their houses," he said. "I don't see how growing four plants necessarily having any impact considering the fact I've seen some personal designation grow licences for hundreds of plants."

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42 US MO Supporters Pushing For Missouri To Legalize Medical MarijuanaTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Weinberg, Tessa Area:Missouri Lines:181 Added:04/18/2018

Rep. Jim Neely has seen firsthand how a terminal illness like cancer ravages the body.

His own daughter died from cancer three years ago. With a background in health care working as a physician and managing a hospice agency, Neely, R-Cameron, knows the importance of patients receiving comfort.

That's why he's sponsoring a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses.

"It's for people who are terminal to gain access for comfort," Neely said. "This seems to me aE& as a good way to get started and seeing if there are some benefits."

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43US CA: Marijuana Is Part Of Its Religion, Says Jurupa Valley ChurchWed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:|, David Downey Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

An Inland church that uses marijuana to worship is embroiled in a bitter dispute with Jurupa Valley, which alleges the Vault Church of Open Faith is primarily a pot store and has been trying to shut it down for more than a year.

An association representing the church and about 15 others like it fired back Friday, April 13, filing a claim against the city seeking $1.2 million in damages and alleging harassment and discrimination. Church leaders say they smoke marijuana or eat edibles as part of spiritual meditation as a religious sacrament, but city officials say they're using religion as a front for selling pot.

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44 Canada: Cannabis Debate: Legal Pot Is Far Safer For Youth ThanMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:Canada Lines:108 Added:04/18/2018

Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term, heavy use.

Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24 represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from criminals.

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45US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.

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46 US MO: Deadly Shootings Result From Low-Level Marijuana Drug DealsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Rice, Glenn E. Area:Missouri Lines:170 Added:04/18/2018

Timothy Durden Jr. made it a habit to throw his arms around his grandmother, plant a big kiss on her cheek and proclaim, "I love you, Grannie."

The former Park Hill High School basketball and football player had a passion for joking, dancing, lifting weights.

But the 18-year-old also enjoyed "smoking his weed," family wrote in his obituary, and that habit cost him his life when he allegedly tried to rob the teenager who was selling him 2 ounces of marijuana in the Northland.

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47US CA: Experts Push For Opioid Treatment, Against Medical MarijuanaSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Blakinger, Keri Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

SAN DIEGO - Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for Addiction Medicine conference this week in California.

Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use.

"It's not a matter of ideology," said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark. "It's a matter of the facts show a person's risk of dying is higher when they don't take medication."

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48 US FL: Have You Changed Your Mind On Marijuana Like These PoliticiansTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:74 Added:04/18/2018

It didn't get much notice because it happened the same day Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement, but former House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he's joining the board of Acreage Holdings, an investment company concentrating on the marijuana industry. In doing so, he added that his own position on legal marijuana had changed as public opinion had come around on the subject.

And Boehner is far from the only previously anti-pot politician to turn into an advocate.

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49 CN ON: How Will The Province Keep Pot Shops Away From Schools?Wed, 18 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Gibson, Victoria Area:Ontario Lines:190 Added:04/18/2018

Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered that school boards be given a say in where provincial marijuana stores are located, noting that boards are likely to know "where their kids go at lunchtime (and) where they go after school."

Her demand came after the announcement that Toronto's first outlet of the Ontario Cannabis Store would be located in Scarborough, 450 metres from Blantyre Public School. The Toronto District School Board said it had asked to be consulted about the location, but never was. Concerned Blantyre parents discussed the news at a school council meeting last week.

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50 US OH: Two Toledo-Area Doctors Get Ok To Recommend Medical PotSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:66 Added:04/17/2018

The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.

Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of Temperance.

Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.

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51CN AB: Ahs Doctor Worries More Kids Will Self-Medicate With Pot OnceMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Ferguson, Eva Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

Doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the legalization of marijuana.

With universities and schools providing few details around strategies for marijuana legalization, doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the inevitable increase in use and the impending impacts of what can be a dangerous drug.

Dr. Chris Wilkes, Alberta Health Services head of child and adolescent psychiatry, said educators "need to ramp it up" in terms of creating environments to ensure safety and informing youths about the health effects of marijuana.

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52CN AB: Editorial: Correct Call On MarijuanaSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

The decision isn't without controversy, but city council was wise to ban the use of marijuana in public places.

When the federal government legalizes cannabis later this summer, Calgarians won't be able to smoke, vape or eat products made with the substance in public spaces, unless they're a medical marijuana user.

That's led critics of the decision to complain that people who live in multi-family dwellings may not be able to use the drug.

"It's not an insignificant group of people - 36 per cent of Calgarians are renters," Coun. Evan Woolley said when the restriction was being discussed by council. "And effectively, we are saying there is no space for you to consume cannabis, and that's a problem for me."

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53 Canada: Some Cities Try To Put Brakes On Rush To MarijuanaSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Woods, Allan Area:Canada Lines:143 Added:04/17/2018

MONTREAL-In the rush to marijuana legalization, cities across the country are harnessing their limited powers to delay the opening of retail pot stores, dictate where they can operate or ban them outright-at least temporarily.

There was uproar from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto District School Board after finding out the city's first retail cannabis store would open just 450 metres from a school, in a strip mall where students often eat lunch.

But it's the scenario many local politicians are fighting to prevent.

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54 Canada: Cannabis Debate: Not Enough Is Being Planned To Protect YouthMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Dowie, Vaughan Area:Canada Lines:105 Added:04/17/2018

Canada is moving closer to the legalization of recreational Cannabis this summer. Federal legislation is awaiting Senate approval and all the provinces have developed their implementation approach. Governments across the country rarely agree on anything. But as we embark on this change, they have been unanimous in agreeing that their top policy objective is the protection of youth.

We know what the approaches and commitments have been from various governments, so we are in a good position to know whether their actions reflect their words. So far, the simple answer is no.

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55 US KY: Mcconnell Bill Would Legalize Hemp Farming, Help KentuckyFri, 13 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Eblen, Tom Area:Kentucky Lines:109 Added:04/17/2018

Hemp, which was Kentucky's biggest cash crop for a century before tobacco, is poised for a comeback thanks to bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday in Congress. It's about time.

Regular hemp cultivation in this country was banned in 1937. That's when federal law enforcement officials, who feared the repeal of Prohibition would leave them nothing to do, launched the first war on drugs.

With a lot of "reefer madness" hype, the government banned marijuana. Also swept up in that ban was industrial hemp, a botanical cousin in the cannabis family that looks similar to pot but can't make you high no matter how much you smoke.

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56 CN ON: Editorial: Theres No Need To Panic Over Pot Shop LocationsTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:91 Added:04/17/2018

Two very different things, both related to marijuana, happened in Toronto last week. One mattered, and pointed to some of the challenges still ahead with the legalization of marijuana later this year. The other was the proverbial tempest in a teapot.

Allegations that workers were smoking pot on the job, forcing Metrolinx to shut down work on a section of the $5.3-billion Crosstown LRT project, was a serious matter.

But the uproar over the Toronto location for one of Ontario's first government-run pot shops, which continued this week with comments from Premier Kathleen Wynne, is way out of proportion.

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57 CN BC: Reasons Unclear For Ban On Mixing Caffeine And CannabisTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Grauer, Perrin Area:British Columbia Lines:100 Added:04/17/2018

VANCOUVER - A government prohibition against mixing cannabis and caffeine makes little sense, say some research scientists. There is only speculation that the combination might pose a risk.

The practice, so common in the legendary pot capital of Amsterdam that cannabis dispensaries are called "coffee shops," appears unlikely to be coming to Canada anytime soon.

"It seems like the overriding philosophy for a lot of this is: ban anything that might be a concern," said M-J Milloy, research scientist with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use. "Then it's easier to un-ban … rather than trying to do it the other way around."

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58 CN BC: 4/19 Pot Panel Wants To Clear The Air Regarding Cannabis AndTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Richmond News (CN BC) Author:Beairsto, Bronwyn Area:British Columbia Lines:81 Added:04/17/2018

On the eve of 4/20, CBC is hosting a panel to give kids and parents the information they need before anyone tokes up.

Titled 4/19, the free evening event at Vancouver Technical secondary hosted by CBC's Gloria Macarenko is aimed at informing teenagers and their parents about the medical, social and legal impacts of cannabis use for youth, with legalization in sight.

Experts range from youth workers and police officers to lawyers and scientists, covering all aspects of this hazy issue.

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59 CN BC: Vancouver Park Board Reiterates Opposition To 4/20 CannabisTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:49 Added:04/17/2018

"The 4/20 marijuana event will take place again this year in Sunset Beach Park, against the wishes of the elected park board commissioners. The board continues to have significant concerns about the event's impact on residents, the park and facilities that serve our community.

"The park board does not believe this event is an appropriate use of park space because it violates our no smoking by-laws and has negative consequences for park users and infrastructure. The Board has declined to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria for issuing a special event permit.

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60 US NY: Nixon: Support For Legalizing Marijuana Use A Racial IssueWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Carola, Chris Area:New York Lines:79 Added:04/16/2018

A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based, Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that it's now foremost a racial justice issue for her.

The "Sex and the City" star posted a 90-second video on YouTube in which she stated that it's time New York joined eight other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

"There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity," Nixon said.

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61 US FL: Judge Says Florida Man Can Grow His Own Medical MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:04/16/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that a Tampa man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers said on Wednesday that Joseph Redner is entitled under state law to grow and use marijuana for juicing. The 77-year old Redner is in remission for lung cancer and is one of more than 95,000 state residents who is registered as a medical marijuana patient.

The ruling applies only to Redner but could open the door for others who have said the state should allow whole-plant use.

The state's Department of Health immediately filed an appeal after the ruling. Gievers also said in her ruling that the state continues to be non-compliant in the implementation of Amendment 2. The amendment, which passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Florida.

[end]

62 US CA: More Medical Marijuana Is Coming To Sarasota CountyWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:California Lines:41 Added:04/16/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- More medical marijuana is coming to the county after the Sarasota County Commission on Wednesday approved the second dispensary application in two days.

The County Commission voted 4-1 to allow Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza -- making it the second approved dispensary in unincorporated county. Commissioner Mike Moran, who has concerns medical dispensaries could be the gateway to legalizing recreational marijuana in the state, cast the dissenting vote.

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63US FL: Judge: Joe Redner Can Legally Grow His Own MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2018

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner has the right to grow his own marijuana.

The ruling, released Wednesday morning, applies only to Redner, 77.

The Florida Department of Health had said Floridians are barred under state rules from growing cannabis for their personal use, including those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.

But Redner and other critics across the state say the health department continues to create barriers for more than 95,000 registered patients in Florida that could benefit from marijuana. Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer survivor and a registered medical marijuana patient.

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64 US: John Boehner Was A Longtime Opponent Of Marijuana Reform. Here'sWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Horton, Alex Area:United States Lines:114 Added:04/16/2018

Former GOP House speaker John A. Boehner, a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, is joining a company that grows and sells cannabis, he announced Wednesday.

He has been appointed to the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, which operates in 11 states, Boehner said in a statement.

Acreage Holdings was formerly known as High Street Capital Partners. The company is a financial backer of Prime Wellness, which owns a permit to cultivate medical marijuana in South Heidelberg near Reading.

"I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do research and allow [the Department of Veterans Affairs] to offer it as a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities," Boehner said.

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65US CA: A Nasty -- And Really Severe -- Marijuana Side Effect IsSun, 08 Apr 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Rabin, Roni Caryn Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting that left him incapacitated every few weeks, he had been to the emergency room dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and gallbladder removed.

The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot shower.

He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time. When the hot water ran out, "the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my stomach out like a washcloth," said Hodorowski, 28, a production and shipping assistant who lives outside Chicago.

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66US CA: Marijuana Laws For Every City And County?Mon, 09 Apr 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

CALIFORNIA SLOW TO ACCEPT PROP. 64

Recreational marijuana is legal in California, but it probably isn't legal to buy in your city. Fewer than one in three cities in California have approved any kind of cannabis industry, and only a sliver of cities allow recreational pot shops. The Southern California News Group has tracked the rules for every city and county in California, to show the patchwork of rules governing a product that became street legal four months ago. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

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67US CA: Analyst: California's Cannabis-Revenue Projections HighTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

In the first two months of cannabis legalization, consumers bought an estimated $339 million worth of marijuana products from retailers in California, 50 percent less than state projections, according to a leading analytics firm.

The state has estimated that retail cannabis sales for the year would be $3.4 billion, or $570 million every two months.

BDS Analytics of Boulder, Colorado, provided the firm's data to The Bee. Greg Shoenfeld, vice president for operations, said the company collects sales data from dispensaries and uses statistical modeling to project statewide sales. BDS Analytics also collects and analyzes such data in the three other states with recreational marijuana: Oregon, Washington and Colorado.

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68 US MO: Poisoned Synthetic Marijuana In Missouri, Other StatesTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Schwers, Kaitlyn Area:Missouri Lines:63 Added:04/11/2018

More than 100 people in five states, including Missouri, have been treated in the past month for "serious unexplained bleeding" believed to be linked to inhaling fake marijuana laced with rat poison, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Illinois alone has reported 107 cases, and three people have died, the state's Department of Public Health said Monday. People have been hospitalized for coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose and bleeding gums.

Elsewhere, two people have been hospitalized in Indiana, one in Maryland, one in Wisconsin and one in Missouri.

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69 US IL: Why Synthetic Marijuana Might Not Be IllegalFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)          Area:Illinois Lines:89 Added:04/11/2018

Severe bleeding linked to consumption of synthetic cannabinoids has resulted in at least two deaths and injury to nearly 90 others, according to state health officials.

Illinois legislators approved an amendment to the state's controlled substances act last spring in an attempt to curb the sale and use of synthetic drugs.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law a few months later.

Less than a year after that, an outbreak of severe bleeding and at least two deaths are being linked to the ingestion of these materials, many of which are found for sale at tobacco shops, convenience stores and other retail sites throughout the state.

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70 US OH: Ohio Health Officials: Synthetic Marijuana Laced With RatFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Neese, Alissa Widman Area:Ohio Lines:64 Added:04/11/2018

State health officials issued a public warning Friday about a severe bleeding outbreak in the Midwest that has been linked to synthetic marijuana contaminated with a rat poison ingredient.

No cases have been reported in Ohio as of Friday.

A total of 94 people have exhibited symptoms in the past month in other states.

Most were in Illinois, which has reported 89 cases, including two deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases also have been reported in Missouri, Wisconsin and Maryland, and there is a suspected case in Pennsylvania.

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71 US PA: Even Where It's Legal To Sell Marijuana, It's Hard ToFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Siegel, Rachel Area:Pennsylvania Lines:105 Added:04/11/2018

As the cannabis industry grows, generating an estimated $10 billion in annual sales, states are increasingly approving medical marijuana programs and passing adult-use laws.

But for marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles.

Online platforms with prime advertising space like Facebook and Google do not allow drug, or drug-related promotions on their sites, leaving a large share of marijuana advertising to blogs and podcasts, newsletters and print media. And while experts say Facebook and Google - -- which control the lion's share of digital advertising in the country -- are unlikely to change their policies until pot is legalized at the federal level, and television and radio come with their own sets of rules, industry members are left to navigate a complex web of state-by-state regulations.

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72 US MA: Northboro Seeks To Ban Medical Marijuana Other Towns Eye OnlyFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:151 Added:04/11/2018

Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana establishments and ways to regulate them.

Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana establishments.

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73 US CT: Fourth Legislative Committee Holds Recreational Pot HearingMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:99 Added:04/06/2018

On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be legalized.

The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized, though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the measure.

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74 US PA: Oped: Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed One Foot From PhillyTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Sacks, Andrew B. Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:04/06/2018

As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and helping the sick get relief.

However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.

The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care location.

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75 CN BC: Researchers Look At Cannabis And Prescription Heroin To TackleWed, 04 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Lakic, Sasa Area:British Columbia Lines:112 Added:04/06/2018

Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street drugs

As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.

An analysis of opioid prescriptions in the U.S.published on Monday by the American Medical Association showed a significant decrease in opioid prescriptions in states that have adopted some sort of cannabis legislation. Using data from 2010 to 2015, the analysis counted 3.7 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed in states that allow weed dispensaries, while states that allow only home cultivation saw a decrease of 1.8 million daily prescribed doses.

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76US LA: Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain, PTSDThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.

HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for people with chronic medical conditions.

A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain and PTSD to the list.

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77 US SC: Ex-Us Attorney Calls For Medical Marijuana ReferendumThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:36 Added:04/05/2018

Former U.S. attorney for South Carolina Bill Nettles is calling for a public referendum on medical marijuana.

Nettles heads Palmetto Medical Cannabis LLC, a group advocating for the legalization of medical cannabis in South Carolina.

"I think it is important that our state Democratic and Republican parties allow primary voters to be heard on the important issue of legalization of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in our state," he said.

Nettles cited polling data showing 78 percent of South Carolinians support the legalized use of marijuana.

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78 CN ON: Marijuana-Dispensary Raid Charges Not Sticking In CourtTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:131 Added:04/03/2018

More than half the charges laid against London marijuana dispensary staffers and operators swept up in a series of raids on the illegal businesses in the past two years have been withdrawn, court records examined by The Free Press show.

London police have launched seven raids in three separate crackdowns on city pot shops since August 2016, resulting in 49 charges against 15 people.

But court records show 25 of those charges - mostly for possession for the purposes of trafficking - were later withdrawn and resolved through peace bonds, a non-plea order requiring the person to be on good behaviour for a set period of time.

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79 US MA: Mass. Pot Business Applications Strong On First Day OfTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:04/03/2018

In just the first day of accepting preliminary applications, the Cannabis Control Commission said 23 companies and entrepreneurs had submitted requests for expedited licensing, and another 167 were in the process after the agency launched its online licensing system Monday.

"Yesterday was a seminal day in the thus-far-brief history of the commission," said Steve Hoffman, the agency's chairman. "There were probably a large number of people that didn't think we'd be ready on April 2 to start accepting applications," but the agency's regulations were in place on time last month and its system worked smoothly, he added.

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80 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Licensing To Begin MondaySun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:113 Added:04/03/2018

On Monday at noon, decades of debate all come down to this: a click of a computer mouse by a state technology contractor.

With that, the Massachusetts state government's system for legal pot use will blink to life, and businesses can begin applying for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis to adults 21 and older.

The behind-the-scenes milestone will not have an immediate impact on consumers. But it does mark the beginning of a process that regulators expect will lead to the debut of recreational pot sales in July.

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81US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.

Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.

Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.

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82 US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Are Brisk, Problems Are Few InMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Robbins, Gary Area:California Lines:119 Added:04/03/2018

Three months after recreational marijuana went on sale in California, San Diego retailers say business has been brisk and the customer base diverse, including older people who use a private shuttle bus to reach one dispensary.

"There's been a change in the culture," said Will Senn, who operates two Urbn Leaf marijuana stores in San Diego and is about to open a third.

"Cannabis is becoming more accepted. Now that adult-use marijuana is legal, people are giving it a try. The average age of our customers has gone from about 40 to about 50."

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83Canada: Column: Trudeau Ignoring Huge Pot Problems In Rush To FulfilMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Martinuk, Susan Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

When Justin Trudeau promised to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, he no doubt felt it would be one of his easiest and most rewarding tasks as Canada's new and uber-cool prime minister. He vowed to make it a priority and change the laws within two years.

Fast-forward to last month, almost 2 1/2 years later, and Bill C-45, to legalize cannabis, faced an unexpected pushback from a Senate that threatened to send it packing. Trudeau took this chance to warn his supposedly independent senators that their job description didn't call for them to defeat bills proposed by the very government that had bestowed upon them their most honourable appointments.

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84 US MD: CBD Is Cannabis That Won't Get You High. So Why Are So ManyFri, 30 Mar 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Ramanathan, Lavanya Area:Maryland Lines:162 Added:04/03/2018

In a lowlit room at Joy's Spa in Washington, Dawn Franklin is smoothing a creamy white mask onto Jessica Osorio's face. The mask, she says, is infused with chamomile and sage and aloe vera, plus one ingredient that she still has to explain to her clients: CBD.

An aesthetician, Franklin started working with an Oregon chemist last year to make CBD products for the skin, believing that a little of it swiped onto the face could help repair the ravages of age.

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85 US IL: Synthetic Pot Leaves 2 Dead And Dozens Hospitalized In ChicagoMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Malagon, Elvia Area:Illinois Lines:96 Added:04/03/2018

Two people have died and 56 sickened in the Chicago area and central Illinois after using synthetic pot, popularly known as K2 and Spice, state officials said on Monday.

Over the weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that one person had died after using synthetic cannabinoid products, but on Monday the state agency announced that a second person had also perished. Generally, those sickened by the drug have been hospitalized for internal bleeding as well as blood coming from the ears, eyes and mouth.

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86 US: Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid PrescriptionsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Ritter, Malcolm Area:United States Lines:81 Added:04/03/2018

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.

The new studies don't directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids. Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.

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87US CA: Cheech And Chong Discuss 40-Year-Old Marijuana MovieSun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

What makes a 40-year-old marijuana movie relevant? Cheech and Chong have an answer.

When Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their groundbreaking movie "Up in Smoke" 40 years ago, marijuana and the culture surrounding it were much different. People smoked "Mexican brick weed," and often had to search high and low to "score a lid" because it was illegal.

Nowadays, consumers vape, eat and smoke cannabis, which is much stronger and comes in so many strains that someone mimicked the periodic table to keep track of them all. And, of course, cannabis is legal in some form in much of the country.

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88 US SC: Opioid Alternative Or Gateway To Legal Pot?Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:121 Added:04/03/2018

Medical marijuana cleared a key committee on Thursday and headed to the floor of the S.C. Senate.

But the 8-6 vote by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee came as enforcement leaders are hardening their opposition, saying it is another step toward legalized recreational marijuana in the Palmetto State.

"That's what we've seen in every state," State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel told The State after the committee vote. "There's not a state that hasn't (gone) in steps. And we've seen our state go through the same steps. From CDB oil to hemp to medical marijuana to recreational marijuana. And that's what we've seen in every state . So I have no reason to think its going to be any different in ours."

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89 US FL: Company Files Lawsuit Challenging Orlando's Medical MarijuanaMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Gillespie, Ryan Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:03/31/2018

A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such businesses, alleging it violates state law.

Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable." Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while the court rules.

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90 US PA: Are There Risks From Secondhand Marijuana Smoke? Early ScienceMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ortega-Welch, Marissa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:169 Added:03/31/2018

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco.

"People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up," said Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San Francisco. "And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, 'Hey, they can't smoke in AT&T Park! I'm sure that's not allowed.' And then I realized that it was all marijuana."

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91 US MO: Medical Marijuana Narrowly Rejected By Kansas HouseMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Marso, Andy Area:Missouri Lines:105 Added:03/31/2018

The Kansas House of Representatives rejected medical marijuana legalization Monday.

But the closeness of the 54-69 vote and the hour of emotional testimony that preceded it made advocates more confident that Kansas is now closer to joining the 30 states that allow marijuana by prescription.

"Today was the most legislative discussion we have ever had in three years of the Kansas Safe Access Act," said Lisa Sublett, the founder and president of Bleeding Kansas Advocates.

Sublett noted the bipartisan nature of the vote on the medical marijuana amendment, which came up during debate on a bill to update the state's controlled substances listings.

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92 US NJ: Gov. Murphy Greatly Expands New Jersey's Medical MarijuanaTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:106 Added:03/31/2018

Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.

The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers - -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.

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93 US KY: Sen. McConnell On hemp: 'Make This A Legal Crop'Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Schreiner, Bruce Area:Kentucky Lines:136 Added:03/31/2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The U.S. Senate's top leader said Monday he wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the controlled substances list that now associates it with its cousin – marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told hemp advocates in his home state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation to legalize the crop as an agricultural commodity. The versatile crop has been grown on an experimental basis in a number of states in recent years.

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94 US FL: Rope, Not Dope: UF To Tackle Hemp ResearchTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Strange, Deborah Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:03/31/2018

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida could start growing industrial hemp as soon as the fall.

But the project still has to pass some hurdles before planting begins, said Rob Gilbert, chairman of the UF/IFAS agronomy department.

The university's board of trustees approved the project Friday, and now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must approve importing industrial hemp seeds. Then the project needs to secure the $1.3 million it needs and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must approve a planting permit.

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95 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.

In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to AIDS.

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96 US IL: In The Era Of Legalization, How Do You Discuss Marijuana WithWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Schoenberg, Nara Area:Illinois Lines:122 Added:03/25/2018

"My uncle is prescribed marijuana."

"My parents use it, and they're doing fine."

As a drug prevention specialist who does in-school presentations in the U.S., as well as internationally, Zach Levin has seen the problem firsthand: Teens know that recreational use is legal in states such as Colorado and that medical use is on the rise, and they're using that information to support the old argument that a little weed never hurt anyone.

And starting today, Illinois teens have one more argument: In a symbolic win for legalization forces that did not change local laws, Cook County residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana use by a wide margin Tuesday, with 68 percent in favor and 32 percent against.

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97 US SC: Medical Marijuana Slowly Gaining Acceptances In SC This YearWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:158 Added:03/25/2018

When Mack Hudson of Lexington was 16 years old, he was paralyzed when he fractured his skull, broke his neck and shattered a key vertebrae in a car wreck.

Over the past 10 years, he's been prescribed increasing doses of opioids -- Percocet and Roxycodone to alleviate the pain.

"It messes with my head," he said. "I can't think straight. I can't function straight. I'm just not myself."

So Hudson traveled to California and Colorado to experiment with marijuana.

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98 US CA: Pot and Justice: Stark Contrasts In 2 CitiesSun, 18 Mar 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:207 Added:03/22/2018

OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a month in jail.

A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.

Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions. But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to ban marijuana businesses from city limits.

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99 CN BC: Oliver To 'Hash Out' Use Of Recreational MarijuanaWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Boyd, Dale Area:British Columbia Lines:68 Added:03/17/2018

The Town of Oliver is setting aside a hearing to "hash out" some details in local bylaws prior to the legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana.

Council on Monday "decimated," as Coun. Larry Schwartzenberger put it, a staff recommendation to restrict cannabis sales via zoning bylaws in Oliver, as well as a $15,000 ask to hire a consultant to determine the wishes of the community.

"We will be able to approve or disapprove an application. If something is in the commercial zone that's too close to a park or school, we will just not approve it," Schwartzenberger said.

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100 CN NS: Marijuana Outlet Crackdown Makes No Sense, Says CriminologistWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Truro Daily News (CN NS) Author:McPhee, John Area:Nova Scotia Lines:72 Added:03/17/2018

The legalization of pot may be looming but that doesn't mean police are backing off their crackdown on the "grey" marijuana market.

Most recently, RCMP in Colchester County raided the Community Compassion Centre in Bible Hill. They seized cash, marijuana, marijuana derivatives and drug paraphernalia, and charged Ricky Joseph Leclerc, 51, of Upper Kennetcook.

He's scheduled to appear in Nova Scotia provincial court Friday.

"The RCMP will continue to work within the existing legislation under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said Monday in an email. "If we determine that there is a violation of the legislation, we will take appropriate action."

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