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Marijuana

US AR: Arkansas Attorney General Approves Pot Ballot Wording

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Commercial Appeal, 05 Jun 2014 - The Arkansas Attorney General's Office has certified the wording of a ballot proposal that would legalize marijuana in Arkansas. The Wednesday opinion opens the way for the measure's sponsor, Robert L. Reed, to begin gathering petition signatures in hope of placing the measure on the ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Cops In Texas Seize Millions By 'Policing For Profit'

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Forbes Magazine, 05 Jun 2014 - Texas law enforcement are continuing to enrich themselves using a little-known legal doctrine known as civil forfeiture, according to a new series of investigative reports. Under civil forfeiture, property can be forfeited even if its owner has never been charged with a crime. In these proceedings, accused criminals have more rights than innocent owners and the government sues the property, not its owner. These cases can be so baffling, one Texas Supreme Court Justice recently compared civil forfeiture to Alice in Wonderland and the works of Franz Kafka. But civil forfeiture isn't just a quirky curiosity-it's a powerful incentive for law enforcement to take millions. Last month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the District Attorney's Office in Tarrant County, Texas seized $3.5 million, plus almost 250 cars and 440 computers in fiscal year 2013, roughly equal to about 10 percent of its budget. Of the property seized, almost $845,000 was spent on salaries for 16 employees at the office. By comparison, only $53,000 went to "six nonprofits that benefit victims or prosecution efforts." The county's narcotics unit spent an even greater proportion of forfeiture funds on salaries. Last year, the unit seized $666,427 in cash and used $426,058 to pay salaries. Policing for Profit
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: Column: Scary Pot Overdose Points To Need For Packaging

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 05 Jun 2014 - The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child. Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more. I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January, the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Medical Weed Users Are Not Stoners: Doctor

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 05 Jun 2014 - Health Professional Turns to Skype to Help Patients Fill Pot Prescriptions As Colleagues Fear Career Consequences Canadian doctors who prescribe medical marijuana are feeling a chill, as health officials apply pressure on them to stop prescribing a drug they know little about.
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US CA: Column: California Dreaming

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 05 Jun 2014 - Is the Golden State's example proof that a lack of regulation can work? Almost two dozen California lawmakers stood by silently as yet another chance to regulate medical marijuana in the state died silently in the state assembly, but California's Senate passed a bill that would do some of the same things, albeit with much more stringent restrictions. It's indicative of what's happening around the nation.
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US CA: Editorial: Election Proves Marijuana Issue Isn't Going

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 05 Jun 2014 - So, what did we learn from Tuesday's primary election? Well, first, it pays to be an incumbent. Challengers talk about the need for getting rid of dead wood, and voters seem receptive to that message. Then on election day, they seem to indicate they are pretty happy with the way things are going by putting incumbents back in office. It happened with two Butte County supervisor seats, the clerk-recorder, a Superior Court judge's race and the state Legislature. Voters even gave majorities to Doug LaMalfa and John Garamendi, the north state's two representatives on what polls say is the Congress with the lowest approval ratings since polling began. Still, the outcome showed that LaMalfa and Garamendi will actually need to try in November. We didn't see much effort, particularly on LaMalfa's part, in the primary.
Categories: Marijuana

New Zealand: Workers At Mill Win Case Over Drug Tests

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
The Nelson Mail, 05 Jun 2014 - Workers at Carter Holt Harvey's Eves Valley mill have won their case against mass drug testing. Almost 200 employees at the sawmill near Nelson were forced to have their urine tested after two cannabis plants were found growing on the site.
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US CO: Column: Are There Studies On Using MMJ For PMS?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 05 Jun 2014 - Dear Stoner: Have there been any studies conducted on the benefits of using cannabis to help treat PMS? I'm Mean Once a Month Dear Mean: I hear you (sassy finger snaps). No, seriously, I know that PMS isn't all about being a stereotypical raging bitch to the random barista who happens to fuck up your caffe latte with a quarter-teaspoon too much milk. It's a serious condition for many, many women that can cause the type of cramping, anxiety and pain that would qualify pretty much anyone for a medical cannabis card. And for those reasons (and as you probably already know), medical marijuana can most certainly help treat the symptoms of PMS.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: A Historic Congressional Cannabis Vote ... Or Not?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 05 Jun 2014 - The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to the 2015 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill (HR 4660) passed Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives. It would prohibit the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Department of Justice from using taxpayer money to interfere with medical cannabis in states where it is legal and would bar federal agencies from prosecuting hemp production in states where it is legal. It would not keep the DEA from arresting people unconnected to medical use. The bipartisan measure was co-sponsored by Democrats Sam Farr, Jared Polis, Barbara Lee, Steve Cohen and Earl Blumenauer and Republicans Dana Rohrabacher, Don Young, Tom McClintock, Paul Broun and Steve Stockman.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:20

In an historic vote, the House tells the DEA and Justice Department to butt out of medical marijuana states, limited CBD medical marijuana bills are signed into law in Iowa and South Carolina, Minnesota becomes the 22nd medical marijuana state, one bill to regulate medical marijuana in California is still alive, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last Thursday, the US House voted to bar the DEA and Justice Department from interfering with medical marijuana in states where it is legal. The House voted 219-189 to approve an amendment to 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill to cut off funds for the Justice Department and its agencies, including the DEA, to interfere in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs. If the Senate doesn't come up with similar language, the provision will have to be fought for in conference committee.

California

Last Wednesday, the state Senate approved a medical marijuana regulation bill. The state Senate approved Senate Bill 1262, sponsored by Sen. Lou Correa (D-Anaheim). It is supported by cities and law enforcement, and would impose tighter controls on dispensaries, cultivation, and recommending.

Last Thursday, the state Assembly defeated a medical marijuana regulation bill. Assembly Bill 1894, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) was defeated in the Assembly in a vote that appeared to be as much about political animosities as about regulating medical marijuana. That means that if California is going to regulate medical marijuana this year, Senate Bill 1262 is the only remaining vehicle.

On Tuesday, the San Jose city council again deadlocked on its proposed dispensary and cultivation regulation ordinance. That means the ordinance remains alive. One of the issues dividing the council is whether dispensaries should be forced to grow their own marijuana in San Jose. Another is how restrictive to make zoning. Patients, activists, and dispensaries organized as Safer San Jose are waiting on the sidelines with a plan of their own if they don't like what the council ends up doing. They already have 38,000 signatures ready to turn in to put an initiative on the November ballot.

Also on Tuesday, Tulare County supervisors ordered staff to draft an ordinance banning marijuana cultivation anywhere in unincorporated parts of the county. The board had considered allowing patients and caregivers -- but not collectives and dispensaries -- to grow their own, but in the end, chose to go for the total ban.

Also on Tuesday, Lake County voters approved Measure N, which means the county's ordinance banning grows on parcels of less than one acre will go into effect in 30 day. The ordinance was passed last December. The measure passed with 53% of the vote in a low turnout election.

Illinois

Last Friday, the state Senate approved medical marijuana for minors and people with epilepsy. The legislation is Senate Bill 2636. It has already passed the House and now goes to the desk of Gov. Pat Flynn (D).

Iowa

Last Friday, Governor Terry Branstad (R) signed a limited CBD medical marijuana bill. The legislation is Senate File 2360, which will allow people suffering seizure disorders to use high-CBD cannabis oil with a neurologist's recommendation.

Minnesota

Last Wednesday, Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) signed a medical marijuana bill. The bill allows for eight distribution centers across the state to by supplied by two medical marijuana manufacturers. The bill does not allow for the smoking of medical marijuana; but it can be vaped or eaten. Some medical marijuana groups are calling the law "overly restrictive."

New York

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a deal for CBD trials. He announced that his administration has signed a deal with GW Pharmaceuticals to do a trial of its high-CBD, no-THC seizure drug Epidiolex. But medical marijuana advocates said the plan is too limited and will take too long, and Cuomo should be backing the Compassionate Use Act, a full-blown medical marijuana bill, instead of trying to blunt efforts to pass it by enacting half-measures.

Also on Tuesday, two key legislators met to seek a compromise on medical marijuana. Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) met yesterday in an effort to find a compromise between their two bills that could lead to passage of a bill before the session ends in two weeks. The Assembly has already approved Gottfried's bill, but the Senate has yet to act on Savino's. Being able to actually smoke marijuana may be an item for discussion.

South Carolina

On Tuesday, Governor Nikki Haley (R) signed a limited CBD medical marijuana bill into law. The measure, Senate Bill 1035 will allow for the use of high-CBD cannabis oil to treat seizures in children with epilepsy. The new law calls for a clinical trial at the Medical University of South Carolina, as well as a committee to study the feasibility of growing new strains in the state.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- June 4, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 20:36

Legendary chemist Alexander Shulgin has died, the fight for medical marijuana in New York continues, Chicago sues Big Pharma over prescription opiates, Britain's black police association wants a look at legalization in the US, pot politics continues to get big play in Bermuda, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Compromise Could Be Coming on New York Medical Marijuana Bill. Two key players in the New York legislature, Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) met yesterday in an effort to find a compromise between their two bills that could lead to passage of a bill before the session ends in two weeks. The Assembly has already approved Gottfried's bill, but the Senate has yet to act on Savino's. Being able to actually smoke marijuana may be an item for discussion.

Ecstasy

Legendary Chemist Alexander Shulgin, "Godfather of Ecstasy" Dead at 88. Alexander Shulgin, the Berkeley-based research chemist who turned the psychotherapeutic community on to MDMA (Ecstasy) died Monday at his Northern California home. In addition to his work with MDMA, Shulgin also created more than 200 other psychedelic compounds. His life's work is distilled in two books PIKHAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved): A Chemical Love Story and TIKHAL (Triptamines I Have Known and Loved): The Continuation. The DEA considers those books handbooks for illicit psychoactive chemistry.

Prescription Drugs

Chicago Sues Pharmaceutical Companies; Claims They Contributed to Prescription Drug Surge. The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against five drug companies -- Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions and Actavis -- charging they deceived the public about the risks and benefits of highly potent and effective opiate pain relievers. "For years, Big Pharma has deceived the public about the true risks and benefits of highly potent and highly addictive painkillers in order to expand their customer base and increase their bottom line, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. The lawsuit claims the companies violated city laws against consumer fraud and misleading advertising. The city is seeking cash damages in an unspecified amount, but said it is not seeking to ban the medications.

Sentencing

US Sentencing Commission to Hold Public Hearing Next Week on Retroactivity for New Drug Quantity Sentencing Tables. On Tuesday, June 10, the US Sentencing Commission will hold a public hearing to gather testimony from invited witnesses on the issue of whether the amendment to the drug quantity table sent to Congress in April should be applied retroactively. The Commission will not be voting on the issue of retroactivity at this hearing, and that issue is open for public comment until July 7. A tentative hearing agenda is available here​.

More Than a Thousand Religious Leaders Call for Federal Drug Sentencing Reform. Some 1,100 religious leaders representing 40 different faith groups have signed onto a letter to Congress supporting passage of the Smarter Sentencing Act (S1410/HR 3382), which would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug offenses. The sign-on was sponsored by the Faith in Action Criminal Justice Reform Working Group.

Law Enforcement

Sarasota, Florida, Cops' Reverse Sting on Nickel Bag Marijuana Buyers Raises Eyebrows, Civil Liberties Concerns. Police in Sarasota, Florida, went undercover to sell nickel bags of weed to unsuspecting customers in a city park and then charged them with "purchase of marijuana," a felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. The operation has critics calling foul and questioning whether the operation was a good use of police sources, whether it violated the civil rights of some defendants (including a mentally ill man), and why it targeted users instead of dealers.

International

British Black Police Group Call for Government to Examine US States' Marijuana Legalization. Britain's National Black Police Association wants the British government to examine marijuana legalization in US states, with an eye toward moving in the same direction in the UK. "We've had our current approach to drug laws for 20 years. If we can learn anything from the US I think we should to see whether we can get some better outcomes," said Nick Glynn, vice-president of the group. "There about a million stop and searches carried out in England and Wales every year. Around half of those are focused on street possession of cannabis so there's a lot of time spent dealing with that very low level offense. In the US they've done it in separate areas instead of across the whole country so maybe that's something we can replicate here."

Georgia Prime Minister Denies Rumors He Plans to Legalize Marijuana, But.... Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili today denied rumors he plans to free the weed, but he did say that punishments for "soft drugs" may be reevaluated. Under current Georgian law, possession of marijuana can get you seven to 14 years in prison, although the state seems more interested in revenues from fines than in actually imprisoning people.

Bermuda Opposition Leader Stands By His Backing of Medical Marijuana; He Gave It to His Asthmatic Daughter. Opposition leader Marc Bean said Tuesday that he "absolutely" stands by his remarks last week supporting marijuana as a medicine and that he used it to treat his young daughter for asthma. He originally spoke out last week as the House of Assembly debated the findings of the Cannabis Reform Collective, which is calling for medical marijuana, decriminalization, and eventual legalization He also said he had smoked the stuff himself. "I was a Rastaman, full fledged -- I lit the chalice," Bean said.

Bermuda Parliamentary Select Committee Recommends Drug Testing for Legislators. A parliamentary joint select committee has issued a report recommending random, suspicionless drug testing of legislators because they are "guardians of public morality" and any drug use by them "calls into question their ability to uphold the principles of public morality and the rule of law and to lead by example. They might want to speak to Marc Bean first.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Lumby Set For Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
The Morning Star, 04 Jun 2014 - Medical marijuana can now be legally grown in Lumby. Council adopted a bylaw Monday that would allow medical marijuana production facilities to apply for a business license from the village. "It was a housekeeping issue, there were no issues with it," said Mayor Kevin Acton.
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CN BC: Judge Sides With Amacon

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
Burnaby Newsleader, 04 Jun 2014 - The owner of a masonry company thought it was business as usual after selling off its Burnaby industrial property to a developer and leasing it back for two years. And it was, for a few weeks, until a representative of the new property owner found a marijuana grow-operation in the building.
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US WA: Wenatchee Suit Could Make Or Break Pot Law In State

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 04 Jun 2014 - Spurned Retailer's Case Being Closely Watched Asks Whether Federal Law Can Trump State's I-502 A lawsuit against the city of Wenatchee could have sweeping implications for legal pot's future in Washington and other states.
Categories: Marijuana

US NV: Horsford Introduces Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
Nevada Appeal, 04 Jun 2014 - Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., has introduced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. He said the proposal would turn the decision whether pot use and possession is legal over to the states.
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US MD: Editorial: Fact Checking The Debate

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 04 Jun 2014 - For today's edition of the Democratic gubernatorial debate fact-check, we'll focus on a recurring point of contention between Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, and on the one aspect of Del. Heather Mizeur's platform that generated disagreement among the candidates. Is Virginia 'cleaning our clock'?
Categories: Marijuana

US NY: Column: Don't Harsh Our Mellow, Dude

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 04 Jun 2014 - The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child. Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more. I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January, the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Column: The Myth Of The Mellow Pothead

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 04 Jun 2014 - Correlation Between Marijuana Use and Cutting Crime Is Cloudy Do you think there's a correlation between marijuana legalization and lower crime levels? I certainly don't. However, some individuals and groups are attempting to creatively connect the dots using some local data collected in Denver.
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US WA: Medical-Marijuana Patients Don't Always Know What

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 04 Jun 2014 - Testing Shows That Some Marijuana Strains Aren't What They Purport to Be. That's Particularly Worrisome for Patients Who Don't Want to Be Stoned at Work or Behind the Wheel. Jessica Tonani, a Seattle biotech executive, has what she calls a "broken stomach." Put politely, she doesn't digest food properly, which can cause vomiting, nausea and severe weight loss.
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Chronicle AM -- June 3, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 20:33

That Georgia drug raid last week that left a toddler seriously burned and in a medically-induced coma continues to spark outrage, the DC pot possession and cultivation legalization initiative is halfway there, New York's governor signs a deal for CBD medical marijuana trials that critics say isn't nearly enough, a former Brooklyn DA is in hot water over misusing seized drug money, and more. Let's get to it:

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

DC Initiative Halfway There on Signature Count. The Washington, DC, initiative to legalize the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana has collected some 30,000 signatures, of which it says some 12,500 are actually valid. It has until July 7 to come up with the 22,500 valid signatures needed to make the November ballot. Signature-gathering is in full swing; campaign head Adam Eidinger said he expected another 10,000 raw signatures by early next week.

Rhode Island Legalization Bill Gets Hearing Today. The state Senate Judiciary Committee was set to hold a hearing today on Senate Bill 2379, the Marijuana Regulation, Control and Tax Act. It would allow adults to possess up to one ounce and grow one plant, and create a regulated and taxed system of marijuana commerce.

Medical Marijuana

New York Governor Signs Deal for CBD Trials; Medical Marijuana Say That's Not Good Enough. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced today that his administration has signed a deal with GW Pharmaceuticals to do a trial of its high-CBD, no-THC seizure drug Epidiolex. But medical marijuana advocates said the plan is too limited and will take too long, and Cuomo should be backing the Compassionate Use Act, a full-blown medical marijuana bill, instead of trying to blunt efforts to pass it by enacting half-measures.

South Carolina Governor Signs Limited CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) yesterday signed into law Senate Bill 1035, which will allow for the use of high-CBD cannabis oil to treat seizures in children with epilepsy. The new law calls for a clinical trial at the Medical University of South Carolina, as well as a committee to study the feasibility of growing new strains in the state.

Asset Forfeiture

Ex-Brooklyn DA Accused of Using Seized Funds to Finance Reelection Campaign. Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes may have used drug money seized from dealers to pay a campaign political consultant more than $200,000, according to a report from New York City's Department of Investigations. The money didn't help; Hynes was defeated in his bid for reelection. Now, he could face larceny charges.

Law Enforcement

Georgia Governor Wants to See Results of Investigation into SWAT Drug Raid That Left Toddler Badly Burned. Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said Monday he was awaiting the results of an investigation into a drug raid last week in which a SWAT team threw a flash-bang grenade into a residence. That grenade landed in a crib when a 19-month-toddler, Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, was sleeping, burning his face and chest and leaving him in a medically-induced coma at a local hospital. No drugs were found in the raid, no guns were found in the raid, and the person sought by police wasn't there. "Any time you have bad facts like this one, it does give you cause for concern," Deal said. "It's one of those things that require a thorough investigation… to know what if anything we can learn from it." Deal's comments came as public outrage over the incident is growing. Attorneys for the Phonesvanh family are calling for state and federal investigations into the raid.

In Winona County, Minnesota, the Drug War Dominates the Court Docket. Here are the latest results from the Winona County Circuit Court in Winona, Minnesota: Drug charges accounted for 50% of the 10 cases charged this week. There were two people charged with meth possession, one with meth possession and trafficking marijuana, one with trafficking amphetamines, and one for "felony second-count marijuana possession." The other charges were one DUI, one child sex assault, one domestic battery, one carrying a concealed weapon (and drug paraphernalia), and one burglary. Winona County butts up against the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota.

International

Southeast Asia's Tough Anti-Drug Policies Actually Exacerbating Opium Production, Report Says. A new report from the Transnational Institute, Bouncing Back -- Relapse in the Golden Triangle, finds that tough anti-opium cultivation policies by governments in Southeast Asia, especially Myanmar, have had a balloon effect, pushing production into areas outside the control of central governments. Instead of aiming to be drug-free by 2015, which is the current goal of the ASEAN nations, regional governments should rethink their policies and find "least harmful ways" to manage the issue.

Georgia's Drug Policies Remain Regressive, Repressive. A lengthy article from Eurasianet.org examines drug policies in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and finds them largely stuck in the dark ages. A few grams of marijuana can still earn someone years in prison, while treatment and prevention don't get much emphasis. Suspected drug users can be forced to submit urine samples for drug testing, then arrested and jailed or fined if they test positive. The fines are a lucrative income stream for the Georgian government. Click on the link to read the whole thing.

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