Boston Globe, 28 Aug 2015 - Consider this counterintuitive fact: One reason overdose deaths in Massachusetts have shot up 50 percent in the past few years is that the crackdown on prescription opioids has worked extremely well. It has become a lot harder for users to get those drugs but that doesn't mean they all sought treatment or were suddenly freed of their addiction. Rather, the evidence suggests that many turned to heroin, which is even deadlier.
The Bulletin, 28 Aug 2015 - Crook County's Share Would Have Been Minimal for First Year Five Oregon counties and 11 cities have opted to ban marijuana businesses and by doing so have been cut off from state tax revenue that will be collected from recreational pot sales.
Tulsa World, 28 Aug 2015 - Efforts to Legalize Medical Marijuana Move Ahead in State. OKLAHOMA CITY - Supporters of an effort to legalize medical marijuana hope to begin gathering signatures in early September. Last week, members of Green the Vote filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office indicating their intent.
Dayton Daily News, 28 Aug 2015 - ResponsibleOhio Objects to Ballot Board Summary on Issue 3. COLUMBUS - The latest round in a high-stakes fight over marijuana legalization landed in the Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday when ResponsibleOhio accused the Ballot Board of deliberately crafting a summary of State Issue 3 to "mislead, deceive or defraud the voters."
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 Aug 2015 - DALY CITY, Calif. - The smell of cannabis impregnated the air. Hundreds of people crowded around a makeshift stage, where men in head-to-toe marijuana print threw cannabis caviar, joints, and dollar bills at onlookers. "Best weekend ever!" screamed a man dressed in a joint costume.
The controversial ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative continues to make news, a Florida legalization initiative kicks-off tomorrow, the Dark Web's biggest drug marketplace is shutting down -- at least temporarily -- and more.
[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy
Florida Legalization Initiative Rolls Out Tomorrow. An initiative campaign to legalize marijuana in the Sunshine State will begin with a news conference in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow morning. The Sensible Florida PAC will announce a signature-gathering drive for a constitutional amendment to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Some 683,000 valid voter signatures will be needed, and since this is a constitutional amendment, it will need 60% of the vote to pass.
Ohio Legalizers Roll Out "Buddie" Mascot, Get Flak From Child Advocates. The folks behind the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative have introduced their mascot, "Buddie," a cape-wearing superhero with a green marijuana bud for a head and a "B" logo over a picture of a pot leaf. Some child advocates grumbled that the mascot would lead kids to believe that pot is OK. ResponsibleOhio said Buddie will only visit college campuses filled with voting age college students.
Ohio Legalizers Go to State Supreme Court Over Ballot Language. ResponsibleOhio asked the Supreme Court today to reject the state Ballot Board's wording of its initiative. In a 40-page complaint, the group claimed the board used prejudicial language, deliberate omissions, and outright falsehoods by Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) and his staff, and that the resulting language is "fatal to the validity of the ballot."
Maine Governor to Call Out National Guard to Fight Drugs. Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday the state would ramp up police efforts to fight drugs in the state, including deploying the National Guard to support the struggle against drug trafficking. He also renewed his pleas for more funding for more cops and prosecutors, a stance that leaves him at odds with the state legislature. LePage's remarks come a day after drug czar Michael Botticelli told a Maine roundtable the state needs more drug treatment facilities.
Dark Web's Largest Drug Marketplace Closing Its Doors -- For Now. Agora, the reigning champion among Dark Web drug sellers, is shutting down at least temporarily to heighten its defenses against intruders who may be seeking to identify and bust the site's operators and servers. The site's anonymous administrators said they had detected "suspicious activity" they thought was aimed at breaking the anonymity software Tor browser, which could reveal not only administrators, but customers. "At this point, while we don't have a solution ready it would be unsafe to keep our users using the service, since they would be in jeopardy," Agora said. "Thus, and to our great sadness we have to take the market offline for a while, until we can develop a better solution. This is the best course of action for everyone involved."
NOW Magazine, 27 Aug 2015 - When asked about doobies during his VanCity whistle stop, the NDP leader didn't bring up legalization, but Toronto candidates assure that it's party policy Thomas Mulcair has promised to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana "the minute we form government." He made the announcement during a campaign stop in Vancouver on August 20.
The Telegram, 27 Aug 2015 - Desperate mom trying to get son, 15, into addiction rehab program What do you argue with your 15-year-old about? Grades? Curfew? Dating? Mary would love to have your problems. She spends nights wondering where her 15-year-old is staying and how much cocaine, alcohol and marijuana he has going through his system.
Independent, 27 Aug 2015 - A US Ultimatum Demanding That Mexico Ban Previously Legal Narcotics 'Forced Addicts and Producers to Take Up Arms' Mexico's drug trade is synonymous with violence, corruption and cartel bosses battling for territory. But it could have been so different, it's claimed in a new book, had the US not issued an ultimatum 75years ago which ignited the war on drugs - leading to death and destruction on both sides of the border.
Orlando Sentinel, 27 Aug 2015 - When I was 13 years old, I decided to never touch drugs or alcohol due to my family's history of addiction. And I stuck to it. But if I trust author Johann Hari's recent TED Talk, "Everything you know about addiction is wrong," I should feel free to experiment. In the talk, Hari argues that the sole root of and cure for addiction is human connection, but there are some dangerous flaws in his argument.
Garden Island, 27 Aug 2015 - Steve was guest-hosting "The Diane Rehm Show" on NPR recently, and the topic was the nationwide upsurge in heroin addiction. The first caller was Stacy from New Albany, Indiana. "It's funny," she said. "I'm listening to this show and I have a syringe of heroin in my hand."
Prince George Citizen, 27 Aug 2015 - To tax or not to tax - that is the unanswered question now that Vancouver City Council has decided to regulate its marijuana dispensaries. Various levels of government are finding themselves in an awkward situation as they determine whether to impose taxation on the businesses - and thereby confer further legitimacy on a commercial activity related to cannabis. According to Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, cannabis possession remains a federal offence unless it is for medicinal use and the user has a doctor's prescription.
Sacramento News & Review, 27 Aug 2015 - You failed to mention the devastating impact many cannabis grow-sites have on California's natural environment. Cultivation of cannabis on public or private land can and should be done with the utmost respect for the surrounding environment, and without harming the wildlife, native vegetation or limited water resources in the state. In the last year alone, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found 340,000 pounds of trash and close to 70 gallons of chemicals and fertilizers dumped at cannabis grow-sites, along with more than 135 diversions in rivers and streams that equated to close to 5 million gallons in stolen water.
North Coast Journal, 27 Aug 2015 - In another portent of the gentrification of marijuana, cannabis activists have tapped into the fitness industrial complex to create the 420 Games, a series of sporting events that claims it is "destigmatizing millions of responsible, positive cannabis users through athletic achievement." In mid-August, several hundred runners lined up to run a 4.20 (yes, math whiz, that zero is unnecessary) course through San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
SF Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - The Drug Trade Is Entrenched in the Tenderloin, the Only Place in S.F. Where Drug Users Have Some Political Power They're outside on the corner when John Lorenz leaves his girlfriend's Tenderloin apartment in the morning; they're there when he returns. Sometimes he catches them on a shift change - like union workers clocking out after their eight hours, they're punctual. "Regular as clockwork," he told me recently.
SF Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - U.S. DRUG COPS EASE UP ON POT As America's multibillion dollar cannabis industry continues to expand, the nation's drug cops are seizing less weed. In 2009, the first summer of Barack Obama's presidency, a record 10.4 million marijuana plants were eliminated in America, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Boston Globe, 27 Aug 2015 - Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders recently pledged that "no president will fight harder to end institutional racism." But he doesn't have to wait for the White House to do it. He could start right now, in his own backyard. Thanks to a lawsuit filed in Rutland, Vt., the world is about to get a rare, behind-the-dashcam look at police culture in a rural Vermont town. It ain't pretty.
Boston Globe, 27 Aug 2015 - DENVER (AP) - A Colorado county may create the world's first public college scholarship program funded with marijuana money. Pueblo County, south of Colorado Springs, is considering a 5 percent excise tax on marijuana growers, with half the proceeds designated to a scholarship fund that boosters say would be the first of its kind.
Tucson Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - With a federal ban on marijuana, states are left to craft their own medical pot rules-whether they work or not After waiting in line for hours at a booth during a medical marijuana convention in San Francisco, Jeff Harrington needed only a two-minute consultation and a written recommendation to become a medical marijuana patient in California. He now can legally purchase and possess marijuana from any one of thousands of marijuana businesses in the state.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 Aug 2015 - INCONSISTENT ROAD RULES Marijuana Legalization Outpaces Changes in Driving Impairment Definitions. SEATTLE - As states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, each has varying limits determining whether a driver is impaired by use of marijuana.