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Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on and

Marijuana ODs Send 19 to Hospital

Cannabis gummies

A mass marijuana overdose sent 19 Bay Area residents to the hospital in early August after consuming super-potent THC-laced gummy candies, authorities said. The victims, including both adults and children, were poisoned in San Francisco at a 15-year-old girl’s quinceaƱera, a birthday celebration popular in Latin American communities. Police said they were taken to multiple area hospitals and treated for ...

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California Pot Activists Sue Legalization Opponents

Vote to legalize on Election Day 2016

The group behind a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreation in California sued opponents of the measure in July, saying they were trying to put misleading scare language on the ballot to discourage “yes” votes. Backers of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), a ballot initiative that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to buy, possess, ...

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Could Legalization Opponents Outspend Supporters?

Chris Sabet

So far, at least, the numbers are stark: Activists pushing to legalize marijuana for recreation in California have raised more than $9 million to fund their ballot campaign. Opponents, meanwhile, haven’t come close to that number. But now a national anti-cannabis group says that’s about to change. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a national lobbying group run by longtime ...

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Big Medical Group Backs Legal Marijuana in California

Medical Group Supports AUMA

Activists pushing to legalize marijuana for recreation in California scored a major endorsement in July, as the state’s second-largest medical association gave its support to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). The AUMA is a proposed law that will appear on the statewide ballot in November. It has strong public support, and if it passes – as expected – ...

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Newsom to Lawmakers: Don’t Dodge Legalization Fight

Gavin Newsom

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of the most prominent supporters of efforts to legalize marijuana in November, urged his fellow political leaders to support the cause and stop trying to avoid a fight. In an interview with The Huffington Post during the Democratic National Convention in July, Newsom, a Democrat, said lawmakers and other politicians need to take a ...

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LA County Kills Medical Marijuana Tax Bill

Homelessness problem in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County officials moved in July to withdraw a proposal that would have taxed medical marijuana sales and used the revenue to fight homelessness in the City of Los Angeles. The decision by the county’s Board of Supervisors followed an earlier vote to put a tax initiative on the Nov. 8 countywide ballot. The proposal would have levied a ...

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How Will Legal Marijuana Change California

Marijuana Legalization in California

Legal marijuana is coming to California, one way or another. It will probably arrive Nov. 8, when voters are expected to pass a ballot initiative legalizing the drug for recreation. If not, reform will get here soon enough. But what would that mean for the Golden State and its residents? How much would full cannabis legalization actually change California in ...

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State Supreme Court Takes Tax Case Involving MJ

Marijuana bud

A fight over taxes in the small Inland Empire city of Upland has landed at the California Supreme Court in a case that could determine whether medical marijuana dispensaries can survive there. The case started in 2015, when pro-cannabis activists collected enough signatures to require a special election so voters could decide the issue. Advocates have long pushed for a ...

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Woman Sentenced Over Trafficking Scheme

Marijuana Distribution Operation Busted

A California woman was sentenced to federal prison in July for her role in shipping marijuana to Upstate New York. Simona Borissova, a 31-year-old resident of Danville, Cal., was sentenced in July to two years in prison, three years of probation, and $274,000 in fines. She was convicted in February on charges of conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to ...

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San Bernardino Will Vote on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

San Bernardino

Voters in San Bernardino will get a final say on Election Day whether they want to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in their struggling city. The City Council voted in early July to add a proposal to the November citywide ballot that would legalize a small number of dispensaries subject to certain regulations. Most council members were careful to stress that ...

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