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  1. Marijuana incorporated: cannabis eases into a billion-dollar business high

    22 May 2015
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    Now legalised in 23 states and the District of Columbia for medical use and four states – Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – and DC for recreational use, weed is big business.

  2. How America overdosed on drug courts

    18 May 2015
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    Drug courts celebrated their 25th anniversary last year. Hailed as the most compassionate way for the criminal justice system to deal with addicts, drug courts were designed to balance punishment with rehabilitation. Many drug court judges oppose opioid maintenance and require patients to become completely abstinent as a condition of participation or graduation. They believe that maintenance simply amounts to swapping one drug addiction for another. This critique betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of opioid pharmacology and addictive behavior.

  3. Defying U.S., Colombia halts aerial spraying of crops used to make cocaine

    13 May 2015
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    The government of Colombia rejected a major tool in the American-backed antidrug campaign — ordering a halt to the aerial spraying of the country’s vast illegal plantings of coca, the crop used to make cocaine, citing concerns that the spray causes cancer. The decision ends a program that has continued for more than two decades, raising questions about the viability of long-accepted strategies in the war on drugs in the region.

  4. Obama asked to weigh in on legal marijuana

    04 May 2015
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    The US Supreme Court has asked President Barack Obama's administration to take a stance on legal marijuana as it considers a lawsuit seeking to ban Colorado’s legalisation of recreational marijuana.

  5. New England states racing to legalize recreational pot

    02 May 2015
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    Propelled by successful campaigns in Western states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, some advocates and legislators say a marijuana legalization race is developing in New England, with millions of dollars in tax revenue riding on the outcome.

  6. Legislature considering plans to regulate medicinal pot shops, growers

    02 May 2015
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    California lawmakers are wading into the politically sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year.
  7. The painful price of aging in prison

    01 May 2015
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    In recent years, federal sentencing guidelines have been revised, resulting in less severe prison terms for low-level drug offenders. But tens of thousands of inmates who were convicted in the "war on drugs" of the 1980s and 1990s are still behind bars. Harsh sentencing policies, including mandatory minimums, continue to have lasting consequences for inmates and the nation’s prison system. Today, prisoners 50 and older represent the fastest-growing population in crowded federal correctional facilities, their ranks having swelled by 25 percent to nearly 31,000 from 2009 to 2013.