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US NY: Legalize Pot In New York? A State Panel Says Yes

June 18, 2018 - 3:00am
Buffalo News, 18 Jun 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.

CN MB: Manitoba Seeking Assurance From Feds On Banning Homegrown Pot

June 1, 2018 - 3:00am
Winnipeg Sun, 01 Jun 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."

US PA: Drugged Driving Deaths Spike With Spread Of Legal Marijuana

May 31, 2018 - 3:00am
Philadelphia Daily News, 31 May 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.

Canada: Medicinal Cannabis Use Can Help Mitigate Symptoms Of PTSD

May 31, 2018 - 3:00am
Globe and Mail, 31 May 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.

US FL: Sarasota County Moves To Ban Recreational Marijuana

May 30, 2018 - 3:00am
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 30 May 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.

Canada: Column: The Cannabis Experience From The U.S. Tells Us The

May 29, 2018 - 3:00am
Globe and Mail, 29 May 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?

US IL: Oped: Let's Not Forget How Wrong Our Crime Data Are

May 25, 2018 - 3:00am
Chicago Tribune, 25 May 2018 - Legalizing marijuana makes sense for a lot of reasons, but there's one valuable thing we'll lose when police stop arresting people for smoking pot: A sense of just how misleading our crime data are. Data on arrests and reported crime play a big role in public policy and law enforcement. Politicians employ them to gauge their success in making neighborhoods and the entire country safe. Police departments use them to determine where to deploy more officers to look for more crime. They are fed into recidivism-risk algorithms, which help judges and parole boards make decisions on sentencing and release.

US: Security Troops On U.S. Nuclear Missile Base Took LSD

May 25, 2018 - 3:00am
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 25 May 2018 - WASHINGTON - One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, "I absolutely just loved altering my mind." Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America's arsenal. Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman deserted to Mexico.

US NC: Proposed Bill Raises Amount Of Pot Leading To Charges

May 25, 2018 - 3:00am
Charlotte Observer, 25 May 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.

CN ON: Looking North Of The Border To Limit Heroin Deaths

May 24, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 24 May 2018 - TORONTO - An aging construction worker arrived quietly in the building's basement, took his seat alongside three other men and struck his lighter below a cooker of synthetic heroin. A woman, trained to intervene in case of an overdose, placed a mask over her face as his drug cooked and diluted beneath a jumping flame. He injected himself, grew still and then told of the loss of his wife who died alone in her room upstairs - an overdose that came just a few months before this social service nonprofit opened its doors for supervised injections.

US: OPED: America's 150-Year Opioid Epidemic

May 20, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 20 May 2018 - After the death of her father, a prominent hotel owner in Seattle, Ella Henderson started taking morphine to ease her grief. She was 33 years old, educated and intelligent, and she frequented the upper reaches of Seattle society. But her "thirst for morphine" soon "dragged her down to the verge of debauchery," according to a newspaper article in 1877 titled "A Beautiful Opium Eater." After years of addiction, she died of an overdose. In researching opium addiction in late-19th-century America, I've come across countless stories like Henderson's. What is striking is how, aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they feel so familiar to a 21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.

US: Cannabis Start-Ups Pay Taxes The Hard Way

May 20, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 20 May 2018 - Charity Gates phones her contact each month to make an appointment. When the time comes, she and a colleague drive around Denver, collecting stacks of $20 bills she has stored in various safes since the last delivery. She counts the cash and places it in small duffel or sling bags, carrying up to $20,000 at a time. She then drives to a gray two-story office building downtown and parks on the street or in a pay lot nearby. Ms. Gates fears being robbed, so the two dress simply to avoid attention and use different vehicles and delivery days to vary their routine. "We hold our breath every time we go," Ms. Gates said.

US: U.S. Oped: Attorney: Moving Forward On Marijuana

May 18, 2018 - 3:00am
The Hillsboro Argus, 18 May 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.

CN BC: Craft Cannabis Growers In B.C. Sound Alarm Over Survival Of

May 18, 2018 - 3:00am
Nelson Star, 18 May 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.

US PA: Now That Marijuana Is Legal, Could Magic Mushrooms Be Next?

May 16, 2018 - 3:00am
Philadelphia Daily News, 16 May 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.

US NY: Deblasio Directs Police Dept. To End 'unnecessary' Marijuana

May 16, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 16 May 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.

US NY: Editorial: Stop-And-Frisk's Legacy In Marijuana Arrests

May 15, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 15 May 2018 - The New York Police Department has claimed that more black and Latino people are arrested for petty marijuana offenses because complaints are more voluminous in neighborhoods where black and Latino people predominantly live. That excuse was blown apart this weekend by a Times investigation showing that the complaints about marijuana use do not fully account for the racial arrest gap - and that, when complaints were held constant, "the police almost always made arrests at a higher rate in the area with more black citizens." These findings reflect the extent to which marijuana use has been informally legalized for white, middle-class citizens even as it has remained punishable under the law for black and Latino New Yorkers.

US NY: Marijuana Policy Change Is Said To Be Considered

May 15, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 15 May 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.

US: Column: Exploring A World That Turns Psychedelic

May 15, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 15 May 2018 - Microdosing is hot. If you haven't heard - but you probably have, from reports of its use at Silicon Valley workplaces, from Ayelet Waldman's memoir "A Really Good Day," from dozens of news stories - to microdose is to take small amounts of LSD, which generate "subperceptual" effects that can improve mood, productivity and creativity. Michael Pollan's new book, "How to Change Your Mind," is not about that. It's about macro-dosing. It's about taking enough LSD or psilocybin (mushrooms) to feel the colors and smell the sounds, to let the magic happen, to chase the juju. And it's about how mainstream science ceded the ground of psychedelics decades ago, and how it's trying to get it back.

US NY: Making Sense Of Marijuana Arrests

May 14, 2018 - 3:00am
New York Times, 14 May 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.

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