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Medical Marijuana

US: Study: Medical Pot May Help Opiate Abuse

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 31 Aug 2014 - Painkiller Overdoses Fell in States With Legal Marijuana, Study Finds Could medical marijuana be an antidote for the nation's scourge of fatal overdoses caused by prescription pain medication? A new study suggests the answer is yes, and it's set off a flurry of medical debate over the risks and benefits of making cannabis more widely available to patients.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NY: OPED: Of Pot And Percocet

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 31 Aug 2014 - PRESCRIPTION opioid painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin have come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of the drastic rise in overdose deaths associated with their prolonged use. Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has been expanding - 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its broad medical use - and chronic or severe pain is by far the most common condition reported among people using it. Could the availability of medical marijuana reduce the hazards of prescription painkillers? If enough people opt to treat pain with medical marijuana instead of prescription painkillers in states where this is legal, it stands to reason that states with medical marijuana laws might experience an overall decrease in opioid painkiller overdoses and deaths.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Focus On Medical Use

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Press, 30 Aug 2014 - Hempfest Lands in Moonbeam This Weekend MOONBEAM - The organizer of a pro-marijuana festival believes the drug should remain out of politician hands. Organizers for Hempfest Canada announced that the 16th annual celebration would not be held in Sault Ste. Marie, where it has called home for the past few years, but instead in Moonbeam. The main goal of Hempfest, which takes place this weekend, is to educate the public on the proper use of medical marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Santa Fe Decriminalizes, New Drug Czar Nominated, NYC Heroin Deaths Rise, More (8/29/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:53

Santa Fe decriminalizes, no medical marijuana for Alzheimer's in New Mexico, NYC heroin deaths at 10-year high, new drug czar nominated, another drug war death, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Santa Fe Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession. In a surprise move, the Santa Fe city council voted Wednesday night to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The move came after the Drug Policy Alliance and Progress Now New Mexico undertook a successful signature drive to put a decriminalization initiative on the ballot. Rather than have it go to a vote, the city council simply approved the ordinance instead.

NORML Endorses Alaska, DC, Oregon Legalization Initiatives. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has officially endorsed all three marijuana legalization initiatives on statewide (or District-wide) ballots this fall. "NORML's board of directors endorses these cannabis legalization measures. All three support basic tenets of reform. They differ slightly in scope and implementation based on local considerations of law, customs and polled public sentiment," the group said. Both the Oregon and Alaska initiatives envision a legalize, tax, and regulate scheme, while, because of peculiarities in local law, the DC initiative only legalizes the possession and cultivation -- but not the sale and taxation of -- small amounts of marijuana.

Alaska Conference of Mayors Opposes Legalization Initiative. The Alaska Conference of Mayors announced Thursday it had voted to oppose Measure 2, the state's marijuana legalization initiative. The mayors' group is also kicking in $5,000 to the opposition campaign. The group expressed concerns over public safety, increased enforcement costs (?), and possible effects on youth.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Overrides Advisory Board, Denies Medical Marijuana for Alzeimer's. The Secretary of Health yesterday denied a petition to add Alzheimer's disease to the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had unanimously recommended that Alzheimer's be added. Click on the link to read some reactions.

Georgia Medical Marijuana Study Committee Holds First Hearing. The Georgia Medical Cannabis Joint Study Committee held the first of five scheduled public hearings at the state capitol yesterday. The hearings are aimed at drafting legislation to allow for the use of medical marijuana for epilepsy and other conditions. Click on the link for more details.

Drug Policy

White House Nominates Acting Drug Czar to Head ONDCP. The White House has nominated acting drug czar Michael Botticelli to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Botticelli, a recovering alcoholic, has been acting drug czar since March, when his predecessor, Gil Kerlikowske, left to take over Customs and Border Protection. Prior to coming to ONDCP in 2012 to serve as Kerlikowske's deputy, he headed the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.

Heroin

New York City Heroin Overdose Deaths at Ten Year High. Some 420 people in New York City died of heroin overdoses, the highest figure since the 438 recorded in 2003, according to data released Thursday by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. After peaking in 2003, the number of heroin deaths declined steadily, bottoming out at 209 in 2010. Since then, they have been steadily increasing.

Law Enforcement

Armed Orlando Man Killed in SWAT Drug Raid is Year's 31st Drug War Death. Members of Orlando SWAT team serving a drug search warrant shot and killed an armed man this morning. The man, who is as yet unnamed, becomes the 31st person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. According to the Orlando Sentinel, citing police sources, the SWAT team hit an apartment on Orange Blossom Trail about 8:00am. At least two members of the SWAT team opened fire on the man as he pointed his weapon at them.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Australia: Marijuana Trial Plan Panned As Nonsense

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
The Age, 29 Aug 2014 - Coalition Reform Will Do Little, Say Experts MARIJUANA TRIAL PLAN PANNED AS NONSENSE A Victorian government plan to make clinical trials of medicinal marijuana easier to conduct will do little to expand access to the drug, an expert on drug law reform says.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NIDA Seeks Marijuana Grower, NC OD Awareness Events, LSD Lifer Seeks Freedom, More (8/28/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 20:23

NIDA seeks a marijuana grower, South Dakota state fair medical marijuana protest, an LSD lifer seeks his freedom, Gambia to reduce marijuana penalties, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Nevada Legalization Initiative Effort Ongoing. The effort to legalize marijuana in Nevada continues. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada has until November 11 to collect just over 100,000 valid voter signatures for its legalization initiative. If they succeed, the measure goes to the legislature next year, and if the legislature does not approve it, it goes to the voters in 2016. In addition to urging people to sign up now, the campaign is also looking for signature gatherers. Click on the title link for more information.

Brookings Institution Report Finds Washington Legalization Doing Well. The report is Washington's Marijuana Legalization Grows Knowledge, Not Just Pot. Author Philip Wallach likes the built-in funding for research, the coordination of efforts across state agencies, the mandated cost-benefit analysis, and more.

NIDA Seeking a Marijuana Farmer. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is preparing to solicit proposals from people who can "harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute" marijuana, the agency announced Tuesday night. The research agency is looking for someone who can produce between 400 and 700 kilograms of raw marijuana, rolled joints, and extracts.

Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire About to Enter Formal Rule-Making Phase for Dispensaries. Long-delayed dispensaries are about to get a bit closer. The Department of Health and Human Services has produced its first draft rules, and after public comment ends tomorrow, will enter its formal rule-making phase. Click on the link for more details, or visit the state's Therapeutic Cannabis Program.

Medical Marijuana, Hemp Protest at South Dakota State Fair Tomorrow. South Dakotans Against Prohibition is holding a march in support of medical marijuana and industrial hemp at the state fair in Huron tomorrow. The march starts at the fairgrounds and ends at Campbell Park in downtown Huron. This is the hometown of your correspondent. Go, neighbors!

Harm Reduction

North Carolina Overdose Awareness Day Events Planned. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition is organizing events statewide for International Overdose Awareness Day. There will be events in Fayetteville, Franklin, and Greensboro. Click on the title link for more details.

Sentencing

Petition Drive to Free LSD Lifer Roderick Walker. Deadhead Roderick "Rudd" Walker is more than a decade into a life sentence in what the federal government claimed was a major LSD trafficking conspiracy. But Walker was never caught with any LSD; instead he was convicted and sentenced to life based solely on the testimony of others, including federal agents. There is now a petition drive. Visit and like the Free Roderick "Rudd" Walker page on Facebook and sign the Change.org petition drive to free him, which has already garnered more than 79,000 signatures. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures, the White House will respond.

International

Medical Marijuana Clinical Trials Coming to Victoria, Australia. Victoria Health Minister David Davis has announced that he will amend state law to allow medical marijuana clinical trials. The move comes one day after the Labor opposition announced it would legalize medical marijuana if elected.

Guatemalan President Says US More Open to Discussing Drug Legalization. In an interview with the Spanish EFE news agency, President Otto Perez Molina reiterated his support for some drug legalization and said the US seemed more open to discussing the issue than in the past. "From totally rejecting and avoiding the topic (of drug legalization), the US has moved on to say that they are ready to discuss the issue even though they may not agree with it, which is a significant change," he said. "I am convinced that we have to do things differently from how they have been done over the last 50 years," he said, adding that "prohibition has not worked for us" in the battle against drug trafficking. Click on the link for additional comments.

Gambia Legislature Votes to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties. The National Assembly has voted to reduce penalties for possession of less than 150 grams of marijuana. Currently, offenders face a large fine and up to three years in jail, but under the new law, the fine would drop by 60% and the maximum jail sentence would be one year. Since the current tough law was introduced in 2010, the prison population has increased under the weight of marijuana offenders, putting pressure on prison authorities.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Editorial: Pot policy: A Major Election Issue?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Orangeville Citizen, 28 Aug 2014 - At this point, it would seem to be almost inevitable that marijuana will be a major issue in next year's federal election. Unless Canada's three major political parties change their present stance on the matter, their respective positions would seem to be miles apart.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: U.S. U.S. Government to Grow 30 Times More Marijuana This

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 28 Aug 2014 - The U.S. government has upped the quantity of marijuana it's growing this year, to more than 1,400 pounds from the originally planned 46. The federal government classifies marijuana as a substance that has no medical use and is more dangerous than cocaine. But it's willing to let researchers have access - under a few conditions.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Suburbs Prepare For Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 28 Aug 2014 - Areas Concerned With Visibility, Safety, Zoning As state officials enacted the rules that will govern the rollout of medical marijuana in Illinois, dozens of individual communities updated their zoning codes to determine where grow centers and pot stores can and cannot be located.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NJ: Column: White Entrepreneurs Crowding Out Black Ones in

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 28 Aug 2014 - Richard Lee, the California owner of Oaksterdam University, rented a conference room at Bally's casino in Atlantic City. It is a business that teaches people how to grow marijuana, and other aspects of the emerging legal marijuana business. Technically for classroom purposes they used basil instead of marijuana. Ed Forchion, NJ Weedman, outside of the Saturday at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association Vs. Humble

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 28 Aug 2014 - The Legal Wrangling Over PTSD And Medical Marijuana Continues With New Complaint Filed Against Department Of Health Services Back in July, folks with the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association were undeniably happy with an administrative judge's recommendation that the state allow post-traumatic stress disorder on the list of qualifying conditions for those who apply for a medical marijuana patient card.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Editorial: A Medicinal Plant

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 28 Aug 2014 - Proposed Maryland rules on access to medical marijuana are so restrictive that many patients may never be able to receive it Astate commission meeting this week to draft rules governing access to medical marijuana by patients and physicians has left advocates for the drug's therapeutic use wondering whether it will ever become available to those who need it. The commissioners need to balance the scientific and medical issues raised by medical marijuana against the legal constraints imposed by state and federal statutes.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: Column: Why Is the Price of Recreational Weed So Much

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 28 Aug 2014 - Dear Stoner: Why is the price of recreational cannabis usually 50 to 100 percent more than its medical equivalent? I do fully understand that the rec weed is more heavily taxed, but I'm referring to the price before taxes. Isn't it the same weed? Does it cost more to grow it or license it - or is it just another example of price-gouging? I must be missing something here! DJ From Ohio
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Column: Adventures In Edibles

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 28 Aug 2014 - While most people associate marijuana with smoking, with the rise of medical marijuana culture in recent years, marijuana-infused products, more commonly referred to as edibles, now come in more forms than you could count, from hot sauces to gummy bears. Some patients choose these products to avoid exposure to smoke, some because edibles can be a more discreet way to medicate. Then again, some people just prefer the effects via ingesting. If you haven't checked into it, you might be surprised by the sheer volume and variety of options. We picked some of the most intriguing edibles from local dispensaries.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 22:33

A study finds marijuana may lower opiate overdose rates, a California appeals court decision is good news for dispensary operators, Connecticut gets its first dispensary, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

On Monday, a JAMA study found that medical marijuana states have lower opiate overdose death rates than non-medical marijuana states. States with medical marijuana laws have rates of opiate overdose deaths 25% lower than states that don't, the Journal of the American Medical Association report found. The article is Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010.

Arizona

Last Friday, Arizona medical marijuana advocates filed a lawsuit over PTSD treatment restrictions. The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association filed the lawsuit challenging limits imposed on patients with PTSD who seek to use medical marijuana. Health Director Will Humble has ruled that PTSD patients can only use medical marijuana if they are already getting some other form of treatment for PTSD. The lawsuit is in Maricopa County District Court.

California

On Wednesday, a state appeals court overturned a dispensary operator's marijuana sale conviction in what is being described as "a major victory" for dispensary operators. Borzou Baniani had been denied the opportunity to present an affirmative defense -- that he was operating a dispensary within state law -- and the appeals court called that an error. Read the decision here.

Connecticut

Last Wednesday, Connecticut got its first medical marijuana dispensary. Prime Wellness of Connecticut opened in South Windsor. It is the first of six dispensaries approved for licenses by the Department of Consumer Protection. The rest will be opening in coming weeks or months.

Illinois

Last Friday, Illinois announced it is seeking nominees for the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board. The state medical marijuana program is looking for health professionals and patients to serve on its advisory board, which will be appointed by the governor. For more information, visit the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

Kansas

Last Saturday, the state Democratic Party endorsed medical marijuana. Kansas Democrats now formally support medical marijuana, they announced during their statewide Demofest convention Saturday night. "Kansas Democrats support the availability of marijuana for medical use and protection of patients from criminal arrest and prosecution." the plank says. The platform link wasn't working as of Wednesday, but you can try it here.

Maryland

On Tuesday, proposed medical marijuana rules came under heavy fire. The state commission charged with writing the rules for medical marijuana in the state heard an earful from physicians, patients, advocates, and potential growers at a hearing Tuesday. They criticized the proposed rules as too burdensome and vague, and said they would preclude a dispensary from operating anywhere in the city of Baltimore. The commission has three weeks to finalize the rules, and the hearing in Annapolis was the first public hearing.

Nevada

On Tuesday, state officials announced that more than 500 people had applied for licenses for medical marijuana businesses. The state has received applications from more than 500 people to run dispensaries, grows, testing labs, and edible and infused product companies. Under a new state law, up to 66 medical marijuana businesses will be licensed. State officials will score the applications and announce their selections in November, with the first medical marijuana sales expected early next year.

New Mexico

On Monday, the state Cannabis Medical Advisory Board held a public hearing on proposed new rules. The MAB is frustrated that the Department of Health did not formally consult with it before releasing proposed rule changes, which have garnered unhappy responses from patients and providers.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Initiatives, CT SWAT Lawsuit, ISIS Burns Syria Pot Fields, More (8/27/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 20:48

Local marijuana initiatives move forward, the Oregon initiative is set to get a high-profile endorsement, a lot of people want to start medical marijuana businesses in Nevada, ISIS is burning pot fields in Syria, there's a harm reduction pre-event ahead of NYC's Electronic Zoo festival this weekend, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

City Club of Portland Draft Report Endorses Oregon Legalization Initiative. The influential City Club of Portland has issued a draft report in support of Measure 91, the legalization initiative sponsored by New Approach Oregon. If approved by City Club members, the recommendation will be a powerful, high-profile endorsement of the measure. It picked up the endorsement of the state's largest newspaper, The Oregonian, on Sunday.

Santa Fe County Commission Approves Decriminalization Initiative, But…. The commission voted Tuesday to put the initiative on the November ballot, but questions remain about whether there is enough room on a crowded ballot to add the measure to it. State officials have outlined their concerns, but County Clerk Geraldine Salazar said she is confident those issues can be overcome. Stay tuned.

York, Maine, Activists Hand in Initiative Signatures. Citizens for Safer Maine is handing in more than 900 signatures today for its initiative that would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The initiative needs 641 valid voter signatures to qualify. The signature turn-in comes after town selectmen voted against putting the measure on the ballot.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Medical Marijuana Rules Come Under Fire. The state commission charged with writing the rules for medical marijuana in the state heard an earful from physicians, patients, advocates, and potential growers at a hearing Tuesday. They criticized the proposed rules as too burdensome and vague, and said they would preclude a dispensary from operating anywhere in the city of Baltimore. The commission has three weeks to finalize the rules, and the hearing in Annapolis was the first public hearing.

More Than 500 Apply for Nevada Medical Marijuana Business Licenses. The state has received applications from more than 500 people to run dispensaries, grows, testing labs, and edible and infused product companies. Under a new state law, up to 66 medical marijuana businesses will be licensed. State officials will score the applications and announce their selections in November, with the first medical marijuana sales expected early next year.

Harm Reduction

DanceSafe to Do Harm Reduction Event Ahead of NYC Electronic Zoo Music Festival. The rave culture harm reduction group DanceSafe is hosting a "Surviving Zoo" event tomorrow night ahead of this weekend's Electric Zoo music festival. They will be giving away gift bags containing drug information cards, earplugs, and condoms, and will be offering personal drug testing kits for sale. Click on the link for more details. Last year, two people died from drug use at Electronic Zoo, and festival organizers have responded by adding more law enforcement and making attendees watch an anti-drug PSA before entering.

Drug Policy

British Drug Reform Group Transform Publishes Drug Debater's Guide. The Transform Drug Policy Foundation today made available Debating Drugs: How to Make the Case for Legal Regulation. "This is a guide to making the case for the legal regulation of drugs from a position of confidence and authority. Organized into 12 key subject areas, it provides an at-a-glance summary of the arguments for legal regulation, followed by commonly heard concerns and effective responses to them. It is the product of Transform's extensive experience debating the issues around legal regulation, and running workshops to equip supporters of reform with the arguments and nuanced messaging needed to win over a range of audiences." Check it out.

Drug Reform Funder John Sperling Dies. John Sperling, best known as the founder of the University of Phoenix, has died at age 93. Along with George Soros and Peter Lewis, Sperling was one of the troika of deep-pocketed funders whose financial support helped secure the passage of California's medical marijuana and sentencing reform initiatives (Prop 215 and Prop 36, respectively). He also helped fund Arizona's medical marijuana initiative, Prop 200.

Law Enforcement

Federal Court Says Lawsuit Over Fatal Connecticut SWAT Drug Raid Can Continue. A US federal appeals court has ruled that police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits filed in the wake of a botched 2008 raid that left one man dead and the homeowner wounded. In the raid, a heavily armed SWAT team shot and killed Gonzalo Guizan and wounded Ronald Terebesi as the two men were watching television. The ruling said that because police responded with unnecessary and inappropriate force, they are not protected by "qualified immunity." Police were responding to a claim by a stripper that she had seen a small amount of cocaine in Terebisi's home. They found only a personal use quantity of the drug and no weapon.

International

ISIS Burns Syrian Marijuana Fields. As if we didn't have enough reasons not to like these guys. Amateur video posted on the internet reportedly filmed recently in Akhtarin, near Aleppo, purportedly shows ISIS members burning a marijuana field. Syrian human rights observers reported that ISIS had captured the village from rival Islamists weeks ago. Click on the link to see the video.

Australia's Victoria Labor Party Vows Harsh New Laws Against Meth. The opposition Labor Party is hoping to gin up votes ahead of November's elections by vowing to crack down on meth if elected. Leader Daniel Andrews is calling for new criminal offenses to be enacted and penalties of up to 25 years in prison for sales to minors. New offenses would include writing or circulating meth "cookbooks" and owning or operating properties that "turn a blind eye" to meth production, as well as selling meth near a school.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: 'Smoke Is The Problem': Colby

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
The Chatham Daily News, 27 Aug 2014 - C-K medical officer of health speaks out on marijuana Members of the Canadian Medical Association passed a motion earlier this month at the organization's annual convention that smoking any plant material is unhealthy.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Editorial: Feds Drag Feet On Banking For Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 27 Aug 2014 - WASHINGTON'S legal-marijuana market is still in its infancy, but in the first month of stores being open for business, the state has collected about $750,000 in state excise taxes. That's welcome news, because those sales represent a poke in the eye - - albeit a small jab - at the underground black market. Revenues will grow.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: City Attorney Discusses Issues Around New Pot Law

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 27 Aug 2014 - Interview How Legislature Will Deal With Medical Marijuana, Federal Law Are Hurdles Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has long been an ardent supporter of legalizing marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Proposed Rules for Medical Marijuana Draw Fire at

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 27 Aug 2014 - Critics took aim Tuesday at proposed regulations to create a medical marijuana industry in Maryland as a state commission tasked with writing the rules rushed toward a deadline it might not meet. Physicians, patients, advocates and potential growers said the commission did not collect enough public input before drafting the rules - which they said appear to forbid a medical marijuana dispensary anywhere within Baltimore city limits.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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