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Marijuana

US VA: Legislators Push To Decriminalize Two Forms Of Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 23 Jan 2015 - RICHMOND - State Sen. Adam P. Ebbin wants Virginia to join more than a dozen states that have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. The lawmaker is pushing a bill that would downgrade the offense from a criminal charge to a civil one with a fine of up to $100.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Baker Staunch In Opposition To Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 23 Jan 2015 - But Governor Still Sees Value in Review by State Senate With marijuana legalization advocates considering a ballot measure campaign in Massachusetts in 2016, Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday that he is "going to always be opposed to legalizing" recreational use of the drug.
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: North Pole Grapples With Marijuana Laws at City Council

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 23 Jan 2015 - NORTH POLE - The City Council is divided over whether to allow marijuana to be sold here. The panel agreed at a workshop on Thursday to deal with personal use of pot first. "I think the first thing is public consumption, defining that, narrowing it down," North Pole Mayor Bryce Ward said.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: VA Forfeiture Reform, Jamaica to Decriminalize, Supreme Court Drug Dog Case, More (1/22/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 21:19

There's medical marijuana action in the states, the Supreme Court hears a case about drug dogs, Jamaica is about to decriminalize ganja, an asset forfeiture reform bill is moving in Virginia, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Washington State "Comprehensive Marijuana Reform Act" Filed. State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) is filing this week legislation designed to bring the state's existing medical and recreational marijuana systems into agreement. "The main intent of my bill is to simplify and unify the two systems so that complex gray areas and dangerous illicit markets will eventually cease to exist," she said. The bill would eliminate unregulated dispensaries and collective gardens, but it would also direct the state Liquor Control Board to increase the number of retail outlets by adopting a competitive, merit- and experience-based licensing application system.

Medical Marijuana

Kansas Parents Get Senate Hearing on Medical Marijuana Bill. The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee heard Wednesday from parents of chronically ill children were speaking in support of pending medical marijuana legislation, SB 9, introduced by Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City). Click on the title link for hearing details.

Maine Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana in Hospitals. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Auburn) has filed LD 35, which would allow registered patients to use medical marijuana in hospitals. It does so by adding hospitals to list of eligible primary caregivers, the list of places where patients can store and use medical marijuana, and barring hospitals from prohibiting the use of smokeless marijuana by patients.

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. State Sen. Tommy Garrett (D-Bellevue) has filed LB 643, a full-blown medical marijuana bill that allows patients or caregivers to grow up to 12 plants and possess up to six ounces, envisions a dispensary system, and allows the plant to be used for a specified list of diseases and conditions.

Opiates

New Jersey Legislators Tackle Package of Heroin and Pain Pill Bills. State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodridge), chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, announced Wednesday that legislators from both parties had introduced a package of 21 bills aimed at confronting widespread heroin and prescription pill use. The bills are designed to increase access to treatment and recovery. Click on the link for more details.

Asset Forfeiture

Virginia House Panel Approves Bill Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture. A bill that would require a criminal conviction before asset forfeiture could take place has passed the Criminal Law Subcommittee of the House Committee for Courts of Justice. HB 1287, sponsored by Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania) now heads for a full committee vote.

Criminal Justice

Vera Institute for Justice DC Event Next Week Features Sen. Cory Booker. The Vera Institute is hosting "Justice in Focus: The Path Forward," in Washington, DC, next Tuesday. The event will feature a keynote interview with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), as well as panels with other major figures in criminal justice reform. Click on either link for more information and event details.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor Moving Forward With Public Benefits Drug Testing Scheme. Republican Gov. Scott Walker today announced more details of his plan to require drug screening and testing of people seeking public benefits, including food stamps and unemployment benefits. He said that those who fail the drug test would get a chance for free drug treatment and receive job training. More details will come when he unveils his budget proposal on February 3.

Search and Seizure

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Roadside Detentions While Awaiting Drug Dogs. How long can a police officer detain you on the side of the highway while waiting for a drug-sniffing dog to come sniff your vehicle? That was the question before the Supreme Court Wednesday. The case is that of a man pulled over in Nebraska. He was issued a warning ticket and asked to consent to a search of his vehicle. He refused, but rather than allow him to go on his way, the officer detained him for eight more minutes until a drug dog arrived. From their questions, it doesn't appear the justices are inclined to side with the defendant; click the link to get the flavor of their comments. The case is Rodriguez v. US.

International

Jamaica is About to Decriminalize Ganja. The island nation most closely associated with marijuana is about to decriminalize it. The Jamaican cabinet Monday approved a bill that would do just that, as well as allow for the creation of medical marijuana and hemp industries. The bill, the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act of 2015, goes to the Senate tomorrow and will be debated there next Friday. It would decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of ganja; allow its use for religious, medical, scientific, and therapeutic purposes; prohibit smoking it in public places; and provide for the granting of licenses for the development of a legal hemp and medical marijuana industry.

Categories: Marijuana

Jamaica is About to Decriminalize Ganja

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 18:22

This article was published in collaboration with AlterNet.

The island nation most closely associated with marijuana is about to decriminalize it. The Jamaican cabinet Monday approved a bill that would do just that, as well as allow for the creation of medical marijuana and hemp industries.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]The bill, the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act of 2015, goes to the Senate tomorrow and will be debated there next Friday.

It would decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of ganja; allow its use for religious, medical, scientific, and therapeutic purposes; prohibit smoking it in public places; and provide for the granting of licenses for the development of a legal hemp and medical marijuana industry.

While Jamaica is home to the Rastafarian religion, whose sacrament is marijuana, and has high usage rates (9.8% of the adult population, ranking it 10th worldwide, according to the UN), it has been slow to move forward on marijuana law reform.

It's been 14 years since a government-appointed National Commission on Ganja recommended decriminalization. At the time, Jamaican politicians were able to point to baleful threats coming from Washington as a reason not to move forward.

But things have changed. The United States is no longer wielding international drug control treaties as clubs with which to beat down reform efforts and, in fact, is moving unevenly toward marijuana legalization itself. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized it, and 14 more have decriminalized it.

The situation in the hemisphere is similar. Uruguay has already legalized it, while Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico have decriminalized the possession of small amounts. The land of the legendary Lamb's Bread pot strain and the home of ganja icon Bob Marley is in danger of being left behind when it comes to bringing marijuana laws into the 21st Century.

Groups such as the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, and the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force have been urging the government to loosen the island's pot laws not only for the sake of social justice, but also for fear that failure to act will hurt Jamaica's competitiveness in what is foreseen to be an emerging international legal marijuana market.

Now, while they're not getting full legalization, they are getting decriminalization and the opportunity to lay the groundwork for a legal marijuana industry.

"The development is long overdue and comes after years, and, in recent times, heavy pressure from what is now a diverse and broadening group of stakeholders on human rights, social, economic, scientific and medical grounds," cannabis taskforce director Delano Seiveright said in a statement.

For Justice Minister Michael Golding, it's less about social justice than economics. Marijuana law reform could boost the island's already significant tourist industry, he said.

"We need to position ourselves to take advantage of the significant economic opportunities offered by this emerging industry," Golding said.

Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Town Working On Zoning Rules For Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
Innisfil Journal, 22 Jan 2015 - Council could approve a town-wide policy outlining rules to build medical marijuana facilities in Innisfil as early as March 4 But first residents will have a chance to ask questions and offer their ideas during a public open house at the town hall Jan. 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Vancouver Marijuana Users Embrace The Super Highs Of Dabbing

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 22 Jan 2015 - THE AVERAGE MARIJUANA bud one finds on the streets of Vancouver has a THC concentration in the neighbourhood of 25 percent. That's a lot stronger than what people were smoking back in the '60s, but it's got nothing on the high that "dabbing" can deliver. Dabbing, an old technique that's seeing a surge in popularity, involves smoking cannabis products with THC concentrations above 90 percent.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Why Is The State Attacking Caregivers?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
Westword, 22 Jan 2015 - Dear Stoner: My caregiver says he's going to stop being a caregiver by the summer and that the state is probably going to make it hard to be one, anyway. Sick Sally Dear Sick Sally: He's right. The state is trying to set strict limits on the number of patients that caregivers can serve; it might also force them to reveal where caregivers grow their herb.
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US AZ: Column: To Pot Or Not

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 22 Jan 2015 - A Primer on Two Marijuana Bills Making Their Way Through State Legislature State Rep. Mark Cardenas, a second-term Democrat from the Phoenix area, introduced legislation to legalize recreational pot and another to decriminalize by reducing penalties for possession.
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US CA: Column: Traveling Stinks

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 22 Jan 2015 - Hey, I heard you've been on the road again. Any news? - -Juan DeRer
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Jodie Emery to Keep Fighting for Liberals Despite Being

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 22 Jan 2015 - JODIE EMERY SAYS she remains a supporter of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals after the party dropped her from its nomination race in Vancouver East. "This doesn't change anything for me," the advocate for marijuana reform told the Straight. "There are a lot of people who feel this is backtracking by the party, but most people understand that this is a high-stakes election and any sort of distraction could do a disservice."
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US CO: Column: Creating a National Cannabis Brand Might Be

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
Boulder Weekly, 22 Jan 2015 - I ran across several stories about Bethenny Frankel, a reality show personality, who, after apparently being spotted coming out of an Aspen dispensary and tweeting her delight at the experience, is rumored to be wanting to cash in on the cannabis business. Frankel developed the Skinnygirl ready-to-drink cocktail line, and "insiders" say she wants to sell a special strain that would not induce the munchies. This is hardly news. Google "munchies and pot" and you'll find recommendations for strains that don't necessarily force the unsuspecting into wolfing an entire giant bag of jalapeno potato chips in 15 minutes. Recent studies are indicating that cannabis opens olfactory receptors, which then helps activate appetite. But really, "the munchies" concept seems little more than a marketing device, developed and perfected from the 1970s, when pot was highly illegal yet flourishing and depicted in a long parade of stoner movies and advertising, from Cheech and Chong and Animal House to Jeff Spicola in Fast Times at Ridgemont High up through Seth Rogen's Pineapple Express.
Categories: Marijuana

US NJ: Column: 'Selma' Was a Great Film, but More Work Is

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
The Trentonian, 22 Jan 2015 - I went to see Selma on Monday, "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day." I smoked two joints on the way and after seeing it, I gave it a 420 on the NJWeedman movie scale. A 500 means it's right on the money, but a 420 is as close as you can get in my THC-enhanced movie evaluations. Other movies that I gave a 420 to were Half Baked, Soul Plane, Friday, How High, and of course Cheech & Chong's Next Movie. I'm a history and news buff; I love to read history and current news events worldwide, and this movie Selma is a historical example of a worldwide news event.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: What's Up, Doc?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 22 Jan 2015 - I got my 215 card on a drippy early afternoon. It took about an hour and a half, but a good portion of that was spent in the waiting room - - even though I had an appointment. The whole business felt doctory and friendly - if a little rougher around the edges than your average clinic visit. Let's back up. I, like many people who grew up in Humboldt County, started experimenting with marijuana for fun in my teens. That continued through my early 20s until I realized that getting high just wasn't for me - it brought on, or at least exacerbated, anxiety and a general young-adult malaise.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Bill Aims To Simplify Taxes On Pot Firms

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 22 Jan 2015 - Legislature 2015 Store Owners Cite Federal Levy As Particularly Onerous At Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver, a bottle of marijuana-infused drink additive comes with three pipes.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 22:45

California localities continue to deal with medical marijuana, bills are showing up in the states, the Kettle Falls Five want their prosecutions ended, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Federal

On Monday, a member of the Kettle Falls Five sought dismissal of his federal marijuana case. The widely watched case out of Washington state has been proceeding despite passage of the "CRomnibus" appropriations bill barring the use of federal funds to pursue medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. Now, Larry Harvey, 71, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges, with his attorney arguing that "federal prosecutions take away Washington's authority to determine for itself whether someone is in compliance with its laws or not."

California

On Monday, Berkeley began accepting applications for a fourth dispensary. The deadline for applications is March 20. Click on the link for more details.

On Tuesday, the San Diego city council tightened dispensary rules. The council approved requiring employee background checks and testing of products for mold and pesticides, but didn't move to regulate deliveries or create stricter rules for edibles or concentrates. The rules come as the city's first permitted dispensary is supposed to open in the spring. Numerous un-permitted ones exist, but the city has been trying to shut them down.

Also on Tuesday, the Rancho Cordova city council approved a ban on outdoor grows and indoor grows if children are present. The measure was approved 5-0 and will take effect in 30 days.

Also on Tuesday, the Redding city council decided not to try to prohibit outdoor grows. Councilmembers said they wanted to wait for the state and the federal government to figure out their medical marijuana policies first.

Florida

On Monday, the state chose its medical marijuana rulemakers. The state Office of Compassionate Use has selected a 12-member panel to craft rules for growing and distributing low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana under a state law passed last year. The panel will meet during the first week of February to set up a regulatory structure for five nurseries that will be selected to grow, process, and distribute the medicine.

Georgia

Last Friday, a CBD medical marijuana bill died. Rep. Allen Peake's House Bill 1, which would have allowed for the use of high-CBD cannabis oil to treat seizures in children, has died before even being introduced. The bill died after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) announced his support for another CBD bill, which is yet to be written.

Hawaii

On Wednesday, the Health Department took over the medical marijuana program. A 2013 law transferring control of the state's medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health is now in effect. Although the program officially became part of the Health Department on January 1, it took until now for the transfer to be complete. For more detail on other program changes, as well as times for public hearings on new regulations, click on the link.

Kansas

Last Friday, medical marijuana supporters rallied in Topeka. Several dozen medical marijuana supporters were joined by a pair of Democratic lawmakers at a statehouse rally to call for legalizing the medicinal use of the herb. The two legislators, Rep. Gail Finney (D-Wichita) and Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City), filed medical marijuana bills prior to the start of this year's legislative session. Similar measures have been filed since 2009, but none of them have made it to the discussion stage in committee.

Minnesota

Last Thursday, a Minnesota Indian tribe okayed a study on medical marijuana. The tribal council for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians has approved a study what economic benefits could accrue to the tribe by allowing the production of medical marijuana and hemp. Tribal leaders weren't interested in recreational marijuana, but saw job growth and economic development opportunities in producing medical marijuana or hemp. The federal government cleared the way for Indian reservations to participate in marijuana business last month, but so far, only one tribe, the Pinole Pomos in Northern California, has announced plans to move forward.

Rhode Island

On Saturday, the state's first vapor lounge opened. Rhode Island patients can now have a place where they can gather and enjoy their medicine together. The Elevated vapor lounge opened in Providence Saturday.

Virginia

As of Wednesday, there were at least three medical marijuana or CBD bills before the legislature. There are at two new bills aiming to make the use of high-CBD, low-THC medical marijuana legal in the Old Dominion. Filed by Sen. David Marsden (D-Fairfax), Senate Bill 1235 would legalize CBD cannabis oil and THC-A oil. Delegate David Albo (R-Fairfax) has filed House Bill 1445, which would also legalize CDB cannabis oil. A third bill, House Bill 1605, filed by Delegate Kenneth Plum (D-Reston) would legalize marijuana.

Washington

Last Monday, a state law banning medical marijuana advertising was ruled unconstitutional. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin has ruled unconstitutional a state law that prohibits the advertising of medical uses of marijuana. The law was both vague and overly broad, she ruled, concluding that it violated both the state and federal constitutions. The case is Havsy v. Department of Health.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

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Chronicle AM: DEA Settles Facebook Suit, WY Decrim Bill Advances, More (1/21/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 21:17

The DEA will pay for using a woman's identity (and photos) to make a fake Facebook page, a Wyoming decrim bill is moving, Virginia is seeing CBD and medical marijuana bills, there's a hemp bill in Florida, the Vera Institute releases a report on New York sentencing reforms, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Wyoming Decriminalization Bill Wins Committee Vote. The House Judiciary Committee has approved House Bill 29, which would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of pot. Fines would be $250 for less than a half ounce and $500 for more. The bill now awaits a House floor vote.

Medical Marijuana

Kettle Falls Five Defendant Seeks Dismissal in Federal Medical Marijuana Case. The widely watched case out of Washington state has been proceeding despite passage of the "cromnibus" appropriations bill barring the use of federal funds to pursue medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. Now, Larry Harvey, 71, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges, with his attorney arguing that "federal prosecutions take away Washington's authority to determine for itself whether someone is in compliance with its laws or not."

Hawaii Health Department Takes Charges of Medical Marijuana Program. A 2013 law transferring control of the state's medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health is now in effect. Although the program officially became part of the Health Department on January 1, it took until now for the transfer to be complete. For more detail on other program changes, as well as times for public hearings on new regulations, click on the link.

Virginia Legislature Sees CBD, Medical Marijuana Bills. There are at two new bills aiming to make the use of high-CBD, low-THC medical marijuana legal in the Old Dominion. Filed by Sen. David Marsden (D-Fairfax), Senate Bill 1235 would legalize CBD cannabis oil and THC-A oil. Delegate David Albo (R-Fairfax) has filed House Bill 1445, which would also legalize CDB cannabis oil. A third bill, House Bill 1605, filed by Delegate Kenneth Plum (D-Reston) would legalize marijuana.

Washington State Law Banning Medical Marijuana Advertising Unconstitutional, Court Rules. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin has ruled unconstitutional a state law that prohibits the advertising of medical uses of marijuana. The law was both vague and overly broad, she ruled, concluding that it violated both the state and federal constitutions. The case is Havsy v. Department of Health.

Hemp

Florida Hemp Bill Filed. Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasalinda (D-Tallahassee) has introduced a bill that would legalize hemp production in the state. The bill is House Bill 363. Activists with the Florida Cannabis Action Network (CAN) are seeking a Senate sponsor.

Sentencing

Vera Institute of Justice Report on New York Sentencing Reforms. The report examines 2009 reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws that removed mandatory minimums for some drug offenses and expanded eligibility for treatment instead of incarceration. The report found a 35% percent increase in the rate of diversion to treatment; lower rates of re-arrest in such cases; which was associated with lower rates of rearrest, and fewer defendants sentenced to jail, time served, or "split sentence" -- a combination of jail and probation. However, most drug arrests still did not lead to diversion, and implementation varied widely across boroughs.

Law Enforcement

DEA Will Pay $134,000 to Woman It Used in Fake Facebook Page. The Justice Department has settled a civil suit brought against the DEA by a Watertown, New York, woman whose identity and photos were used by a DEA agent to create a fake Facebook page in her name to catch drug fugitives. Sondra Arquiett's phone had by seized by the Agenty Tim Sinnigen during a 2010 drug arrest, and the agent posed as her on Facebook without her consent. "The photographs used by Sinnigen included revealing and/or suggestive photographs of (Arquiett), including photographs of (her) in her bra and panties. Sinnigen also posted photographs of (Arquiett's) minor child and her minor niece to the Facebook page." The Justice Department will pay $134,000 to make this go away.

International

Vietnam Sentences Eight to Death for Heroin Trafficking. Eight people have been sentenced to die for trafficking 416 pounds of heroin in Vietnam. The trial in People's Court in Ho Binh province ended Monday. Six other defendants were sentenced to life in prison, and 17 others jailed for terms ranging from six to 20 years. Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws.

Stratfor's Mexico Cartel Map. The private, Austin-based intelligence concern has released its latest map of Mexican cartel activity. Despite constant changes in the organized crime scene, Stratfor says, cartel activity remains based in three geographic locations: Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and the Tierra Caliente in Michoacan and Guerrero. Click on the link for more.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: All Pot Is Political

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 21 Jan 2015 - ALL POT IS POLITICAL The world is changing around Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is proving as immovable as a glacier. On Jan. 6, California's senior U.S. senator sent official letters to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State John Kerry issuing a warning and demanding answers. America's standing in the world is being eroded, she wrote, and the culprit is marijuana legalization.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: Getting Straight On Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan 2015 - A Federal judge has done what Congress and the Obama administration have failed to do - open a discussion on whether marijuana should continue to be listed as a Schedule 1 drug, a classification that is supposed to be used only for the most dangerous, addictive drugs, such as heroin and LSD. As part of a criminal trial involving alleged marijuana growers in Northern California, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller held a five-day hearing late last year to evaluate the current scientific research on marijuana use and to determine whether the Schedule 1 designation is unconstitutional, as the defendants contend. Final arguments are scheduled for next month.
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US WA: Bipartisan Vow to Reconcile Medical, Recreational Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 21 Jan 2015 - Plans Introduced Lawmakers Confident of Working Together on a Solution OLYMPIA -- Democratic and Republican state lawmakers can approach issues -- like taxes, minimum wage and global warming -- with wildly conflicting views.
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