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1US MN: Marijuana Legalization Seems Headed To Minnesota, But It'sSun, 09 Dec 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Coolican, J. Patrick Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2018

Legalizing marijuana is looming as a next big political showdown at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Fully legalizing marijuana in Minnesota is looming as a next big political showdown at the Capitol, as a growing number of states are ending bans on recreational cannabis.

Gov.-elect Tim Walz, who favors ending marijuana prohibition, will replace Gov. Mark Dayton, who doesn't. A new Democratic House majority will debate proposals to legalize next year and will likely take votes on the issue as soon as 2019 or 2020. And, not one but two legal pot parties -- the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party and Legal Marijuana Now Party -- emerged with 5 percent of the vote in statewide elections, giving them "major party status," which means automatic ballot access and the chance for campaign subsidies.

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2 US HI: Marijuana Found To Reverse Heart Failure, University Of HawaiiThu, 29 Nov 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:36 Added:11/29/2018

University of Hawaii researchers have discovered that the use of marijuana may reverse heart failure.

A recent study shows that drugs can protect and reverse damage to the heart from the stress that progresses the disease. Heart failure can be caused by heart attacks, leaky valves, hypertension and other illnesses.

Alexander Stokes, assistant professor in cell and molecular biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, said the potential medical benefits of cannabis to treat heart disease is promising.

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3 US NJ: N.J. Lawmakers Unveil Legislation Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 21 Nov 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)          Area:New Jersey Lines:30 Added:11/21/2018

TRENTON -- New Jersey lawmakers have unveiled their latest proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use for people 21 and over. A joint Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committee is expected to discuss the package Monday.

One bill provides for legalizing an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older, setting up a five-person cannabis commission, and taxing the sale of the substance at 12 percent.

That rate includes the 6.625 percent sales tax. The draft also permits local governments to apply up to a 2 percent tax on cannabis. An earlier measure called for gradually increasing tax rates.

The legislation also calls for expediting expungements for people with marijuana-related criminal backgrounds.

Gov. Murphy supports marijuana legalization. His office did not comment on the new legislation Wednesday.

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4 US CA: Kindergartner Can Take Cannabis Drug To School, Judge SaysSat, 22 Sep 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:55 Added:09/27/2018

A kindergartner can keep bringing a cannabis-based drug used for emergency treatment of a rare form of epilepsy to her public school, a judge ruled Friday.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that a judge sided with the family of 5-year-old Brooke Adams.

The Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa sought to ban the ointment from school grounds because it contains the active ingredient in marijuana.

Authorities argued that allowing Brooke to use the drug at school violated state and federal laws barring medical marijuana on school grounds.

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5 US: Canadian Marijuana Firm Tilray Gets Rare DEA Approval ForTue, 18 Sep 2018
Source:Burlington County Times (NJ) Author:Wood, Sam Area:United States Lines:49 Added:09/18/2018

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency on Tuesday granted approval to Tilray, Inc. to import research-grade marijuana products from Canada for a clinical trial at the University of California San Diego.

Tilray, Inc.'s shares spiked more than 16 percent Tuesday morning on the news that it will provide a cannabinoids for a study on essential tremor (ET), a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary and rhythmic shaking. The clinical trial, which will start in 2019, will be conducted at the university's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). According to the CMCR, current drugs to treat essential tremor (originally developed for high blood pressure or seizures) are ineffective for many patients.

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6 US: House Candidate David Shapiro Wants Legal Cannabis For VeteransTue, 18 Sep 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Cox, Billy Area:United States Lines:131 Added:09/18/2018

Removing marijuana's federal schedule 1 status is a campaign issue in the 16th Congressional District race.

SARASOTA -- Candidates for the District 16 congressional race are staking out divergent positions on the question of whether marijuana should be removed from Schedule 1 status to afford military veterans another potentially potent option for dealing with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, something explored recently by the Herald-Tribune and supported by a growing field of veterans and national veterans organizations in the face of an epidemic of military suicides.

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7 US: Coca-Cola Is Eyeing The Cannabis MarketMon, 17 Sep 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Skerritt, Jen Area:United States Lines:85 Added:09/17/2018

Employees inspect cannabis plants at the CannTrust Holdings Inc. Niagara Perpetual Harvest facility in Pelham, Ontario, Canada.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. led pot stocks higher after Coca-Cola Co. said it's eyeing the cannabis drinks market, becoming the latest beverage company to tap into surging demand for marijuana products as traditional sales slow.

Coca-Cola says it's monitoring the nascent industry and is interested in drinks infused with CBD -- the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that treats pain but doesn't get you high. The Atlanta-based soft drinks maker is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop the beverages, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television.

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8US CA: Riverside County Marijuana Task Force Raids 3 Churches, FindsSat, 15 Sep 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Hagen, Ryan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/15/2018

Riverside County's cannabis task force says it seized more than 100 pounds of cannabis and an estimated $75,000 to $100,000 in cash Friday, Sept. 14, from three sites where The Vault Church says it uses marijuana as a religious sacrament.

The task force, led by the District Attorney's Office, served search warrants at three locations operated by The Vault: 291 N. Yale St., Hemet; 5298 Mission Blvd., Jurupa Valley; and 5024 Etiwanda Ave., Jurupa Valley. At the Etiwanda location, they also found two indoor grows, seized 200 to 300 plants in various stages of harvest and found what they believe to be the remnants of a butane honey oil lab, according to a news release.

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9 US TX: Dallas Police Shooting: Search For Marijuana In Victim's HomeFri, 14 Sep 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Flynn, Meagan Area:Texas Lines:119 Added:09/14/2018

The family of Botham Jean, the unarmed black man who authorities say was fatally shot by a Dallas police officer inside his own apartment, spent Thursday celebrating his life. Hundreds of people filed into the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas, to pay their respects at Jean's funeral service, remembering the 26-year-old businessman as, what his friend Pastor Michael Griffin described him, "the light in a dark room."

But then around 5 p.m., the family's lawyers were alerted to some apparent breaking news in the investigation into Jean's death.

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10 US OH: Medical Marijuana Roll-Out "sloppy," State Auditor SaysThu, 13 Sep 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:72 Added:09/13/2018

Auditor Dave Yost characterized the Department of Commerce's roll-out of its share of the fledgling program as "sloppy" with dozens of errors and inconsistencies. The program was supposed to be fully operational Sept. 8, but the state is months behind in having legal product on the shelves for purchase.

"The department didn't do a very good job launching this program," Mr. Yost said. "It did not exercise due diligence to make sure Ohioans could have complete confidence in the process. The department's work was sloppy. Ohioans deserved better."

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

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

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

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

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12US CA: This Man Will Spend Life In Prison For A Marijuana ConvictionMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/10/2018

Barbara Tillis isn't sure when she'll get to see her son, Corvain Cooper, again.

Every few months for the past four years, Tillis, has driven five hours with her husband, daughter and Cooper's oldest daughter, making the trip from Rialto to the federal prison in Atwater, near Merced. They'd spend the day visiting and chatting, and guards would let each family member give Cooper exactly one hug. When the visit was over, they'd reluctantly pile into the car and drive home.

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13 US CA: L.A. Launches Crackdown On Unlicensed Marijuana BusinessesFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Serna, Joseph Area:California Lines:66 Added:09/07/2018

A police crackdown on local unlicensed marijuana businesses has ended with misdemeanor charges against more than 500 people in Los Angeles, the city attorney's office said.

In 120 criminal cases filed since May, City Atty. Mike Feuer has charged 515 people in connection with 105 illegal marijuana businesses, grow sites, extraction labs and delivery companies located throughout the city, his office announced Friday.

All of the defendants were charged with unlicensed commercial cannabis activity within the city, which carries a potential sentence of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Local judges have been hearing the cases since May with arraignments scheduled through the end of October, Feuer's office said.

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14 US FL: In Sarasota, Panelists Insist Cannabis Can Reduce AddictiveFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:09/07/2018

SARASOTA -- Several panelists made their cases in a Thursday forum for why marijuana should no longer be classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug as dangerous as heroin.

The program focused on the Herald-Tribune project "Warriors Rise Up," which found a gaping rift between what many combat veterans want to treat their post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries and what they can legally get.

Rather than a cocktail of painkillers, many veterans prefer the relief they receive from marijuana. Because of marijuana's Schedule 1 designation under federal law, however, the VA has not considered it an option -- even in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.

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15 US IL: Medical Marijuana Sellers See New Law As A Win ForThu, 06 Sep 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Berkowitz, Karen Area:Illinois Lines:140 Added:09/06/2018

Medical pot sellers in the north suburbs are lauding a new Illinois law that will eventually allow patients who might be prescribed an opioid-based painkiller to qualify for medical marijuana as an alternative.

The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program has the potential to expand marijuana access to patients who have been, or could be prescribed medications such as Oxycontin, Percocet or Vicodin, even if they don't have one of the medical conditions the state otherwise requires for eligibility. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the law on Aug. 28.

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16 US NJ: N.J. To Resume Minor Marijuana Prosecutions, But AG Asks ForWed, 29 Aug 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:New Jersey Lines:73 Added:08/29/2018

Prosecutors in New Jersey cannot unilaterally decriminalize marijuana possession in their jurisdictions, the state attorney general announced Wednesday, but they are being encouraged to use their discretion with people charged with low-level cannabis crimes.

State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a guidance memo to the Garden State's prosecutors, asking them to carefully consider the repercussions of a marijuana conviction on the lives of people charged with simple possession.

He asked prosecutors to weigh the "collateral consequences" a conviction might have on a defendant's ability to find work, remain in school, and receive government loans, housing, and licensing. Grewal also requested prosecutors to take into account age, circumstances of arrest, immigration consequences, and adverse familial consequences.

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17US LA: Guns Or Marijuana? Some Patients Will Have To Make The ChoiceFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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23 US PA: Pa. report: Legalizing Marijuana Could Generate $580 MillionThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:72 Added:07/19/2018

Legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use in Pennsylvania could generate more than $580 million in tax revenue for the state, said Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in a report issued Thursday morning.

"Pennsylvania's budget challenges are now a consistent factor in all state policy decisions," said DePasquale. "Taxing marijuana offers a rare glimmer of fiscal hope, providing a way to refocus the state budget process away from filling its own gaps."

Last year, the state faced a shortfall of more than $2 billion.

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

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

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

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25 US NJ: New Jersey, Feeling Marijuana's Pull, Frets Over LegalizationTue, 17 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Corsiniti, Nick Area:New Jersey Lines:168 Added:07/17/2018

SECAUCUS, N.J. - Tucked inside a nondescript commercial warehouse here sits a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation. A custom filtration system feeds a proprietary cocktail of nutrients into a hydroponic, two-level farming system. Two pallets of crops are harvested every day, and the 15,000 square feet will eventually yield two tons of marijuana per year.

And it's all legal.

Opened just a few weeks ago, Harmony Dispensary is the latest site in New Jersey to provide marijuana for medical use, a program that has expanded greatly since Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, was sworn in. More than 10,000 patients have enrolled since he took office in January, bringing the total to about 25,000. And on Monday, Mr. Murphy's office announced it was seeking up to six new applicants for medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

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26 US FL: Marijuana Advocates Promote Education Amidst GrowingSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Santana, Marco Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:07/14/2018

A budding medical marijuana industry has slowly been gaining acceptance in Central Florida as lawmakers consider regulations and the number of approved dispensaries grow.

But as medicinal solutions land most of the support, advocates say it's only a matter of time before full legalization lands on the table.

At the Orlando Marijuana Expo, a workshop and advocacy event Saturday at UCF, attorney Carrie McClain said the piecemeal approach to legalization would not be effective but has helped build some momentum.

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27 US HI: Dispensary Sales May Climb With Medical Marijuana Law ChangesThu, 12 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Domai, Sarah Area:Hawaii Lines:98 Added:07/12/2018

Sales at Hawaii's six medical marijuana dispensaries totaled $6.7 million in the past 10 months, and their earnings are likely to grow with two changes to the state's cannabis law.

Medical cannabis dispensaries can now sell "safe pulmonary administration products" - essentially cannabis oil vapes.

Sales at Hawaii's six medical marijuana dispensaries totaled $6.7 million in the past 10 months, and their earnings are likely to grow with two changes to the state's cannabis law.

Dispensaries last week began selling a type of vape cartridge for cannabis oil and are now allowed to sell pot to tourists who obtain a medical marijuana card.

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

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

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

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29US: Column: Hey Bud, Is That Marijuana, Pot Or Just Your Shoes?Wed, 11 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Morris, Tim Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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31 U.S. Attorney In Massachusetts Says Opioids, Not Cannabis, A PriorityTue, 10 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:92 Added:07/10/2018

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana.

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)

The top federal law enforcement official in Massachusetts signaled Tuesday he would not aggressively prosecute people for using and selling marijuana -- a federal, if not state crime -- saying that while he could not "effectively immunize" residents from federal laws criminalizing the drug, his office was turning its attention to the state's opioid problem.

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

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

Suddenly, police swooped in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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36 US: Medical Milestone: U.S. OKs Marijuana-Based Drug For SeizuresMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Perrone, Matthew Area:United States Lines:148 Added:06/27/2018

U.S. health regulators on Monday approved the first prescription drug made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing legalization for recreational and medical use.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy that begin in childhood. But it's not quite medical marijuana.

The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of a chemical ingredient found in the cannabis plant -- but not the one that gets users high. It's not yet clear why the ingredient, called cannabidiol, or CBD, reduces seizures in some people with epilepsy.

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37Canada: Cannabis Dispensaries Get Real Oct. 17, 2018 MunicipalFri, 22 Jun 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Meissner, Dirk Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:06/27/2018

VICTORIA - On the day Canadians can legally buy and use recreational marijuana, the clock will start ticking for cannabis dispensaries already open across the country, say politicians and pot industry insiders.

On Oct. 17, provincial licensing, monitoring and approval regulations on legal marijuana retail standards will become law and the cannabis business will get real for marijuana shops currently operating outside the rules.

"These are the same people who cried for legalization," said Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang. "Now they've got it, and they have to play by the rules."

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38 CN AB: Experts Watch Calgary's Public Marijuana Policy As CouncilMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Smith, Madeline Area:Alberta Lines:42 Added:06/27/2018

CALGARY - A report presented to city council on Monday recommends allowing marijuana consumption in designated spaces at festivals and events.

The report, which council had yet to address as of press time, says making an exception will help to move second-hand smoke away from people who don't want to partake, while responding to "the current realities of cannabis consumption at festivals and events.

Earlier in June, when council floated the possibility of modifying bylaws to allow space for event attendees to smoke marijuana, Calgary Folk Music Festival executive director Sara Leishman raised concerns about the additional expense that events would have to take on "with no opportunity to recoup costs through sales of sponsorship."

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39US FL: Florida's Newest Governor Candidate On Ganja: Are The KidsThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/26/2018

Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who this week joined a crowded slate of Democrats seeking to replace Gov. Rick Scott, shared his thoughts about marijuana with Truth or Dara during a lengthy interview that included some chit-chat about Willie Nelson and air pods.

(Spoiler alert: He's a fan of both the musician and the technology).

On medical marijuana, Greene's got the same take as his competitors, who've all come out in support of allowing patients to smoke their treatment.

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40 CN AB: Calgary City Council Green-Lights Public Marijuana ConsumptionTue, 26 Jun 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Smith, Madeline Area:Alberta Lines:37 Added:06/26/2018

CALGARY - City council approved changes on Monday to allow areas in Calgary where people can smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in public.

The city's Cannabis Consumption Bylaw prohibits public consumption in all forms, even after marijuana becomes legal in October. Changes to the bylaw will allow designated consumption areas both around the city and at festivals and events.

The city says there are currently no proposed designated cannabis consumption areas for Calgary's public spaces, but councillors can now begin identifying potential sites.

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41US CA: Biker Dies After Collision With Driver High On Weed, PoliceWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Cutler-Tietjen, Jordan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/20/2018

Police demonstrate the Alere DDS2, a saliva swab test some authorities are using to determine marijuana impairment, in May at the Capitol in Sacramento.

Police demonstrate the Alere DDS2, a saliva swab test some authorities are using to determine marijuana impairment, in May at the Capitol in Sacramento.

A bicyclist has died after colliding with a vehicle driven by a man under the influence of marijuana, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

The cyclist, Amar Askhra, 41, struck the vehicle on Truxel Road near the South Natomas Community Center at noon on Saturday. The driver had the right of way, police spokeswoman Linda Matthew said.

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42 US FL: Some Parents Of Epileptic Kids Wary Of Pot-Based MedicationWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Foody, Kathleen Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:06/20/2018

A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are feeling more cautious than celebratory.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.

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43 US PA: Pennsylvania House Moves To Reinstate Medical MarijuanaTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Scolforo, Mark Area:Pennsylvania Lines:64 Added:06/19/2018

State lawmakers moved Tuesday to reinstate the research provision of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, a month after a court decision left it in limbo.

The House voted 167-31 to change the law by laying out more explicitly the goal of its provisions allowing medical schools to partner with companies that grow the drug and provide it to patients.

"We worked very hard so that indeed real research not only will have the opportunity to occur, but it's going to be required to occur," said Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, who sponsored the amendment.

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44 US PA: Medical Marijuana Patients, Legally Banned From Driving, MayTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:55 Added:06/19/2018

All marijuana users are forbidden from operating a car, truck, boat, or an airplane under Pennsylvania statute. That poses a conundrum for medical marijuana patients who need to drive and want to stay within the bounds of law.

Pa. Rep. Sheryl M. Delozier (R., Cumberland) says she aims to fix that.

Delozier last week announced she'll introduce legislation that will exempt medical marijuana patients as long as they are not driving while impaired.

Driving under the influence is a crime in every state. But knowing when a driver is too high to drive is nearly impossible to tell with a test. Unlike with alcohol, there is nothing like a Breathalyzer devise for cannabis that police can use. If an officer suspects a driver is impaired, he can order a blood tests. But chemical compounds from marijuana can remain in the blood for 15 days or more after use and deliver an incriminating positive result.

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45 US NY: Legalize Pot In New York? A State Panel Says YesMon, 18 Jun 2018
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Precious, Tom Area:New York Lines:145 Added:06/18/2018

ALBANY -- A Cuomo administration panel will recommend New York State legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state's health commissioner said Monday.

But the long-awaited report by the group has still not been released as the State Legislature looks to end its 2018 session on Wednesday -- leaving action for this year on the matter all but impossible.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's top health regulator, said public health, law enforcement and others inside and outside government, have been examining the issue of marijuana legalization since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asked for a study on the issue in January.

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46 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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47 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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48 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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49 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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50 US FL: Sarasota County Moves To Ban Recreational MarijuanaWed, 30 May 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:53 Added:05/30/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in Florida.

The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent for the vote.

The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.

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51US 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.

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52 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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53 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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54 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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55 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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56 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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57 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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58 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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59 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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60 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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61 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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62 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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63 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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64 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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65 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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66 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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67CN 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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68 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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69 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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70 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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71 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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72US 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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73 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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74 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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75 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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76US 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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77 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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78US 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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79 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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80US 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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81 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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82 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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83CN 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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84CN 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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85 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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86 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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87 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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88 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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89 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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90 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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91US 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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92US 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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93 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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94 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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95 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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96 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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97 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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98 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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99 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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100 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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