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INTERNATIONAL: This will save lives: Hunt

Drug News Bot - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:05 (US) [ ...] ... (Thu Feb 01 01:05:36 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $chemicals(100%), $pharms(100%), $euphoric_depressant(100%), $opioid_analgesic(100%), $analgesic(100%), $antitussive(100%), $narcotic(100%), $opiate(100%), $codeine(100%)]
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CANADA: Better mental health training sought - Brockville Recorder

Drug News Bot - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:03 (Canada) Saidi had a lengthy criminal record that included a string of convictions for drug trafficking, dangerous driving and assault. He later developed a drug habit, which led him into the local drug trade. Saidi was arrested in his ho... (Thu Feb 01 02:03:40 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(90%), $addiction(75%), $propaganda_theme2(90%), $propaganda_theme3(65%), $propaganda_theme5(60%), $propaganda_theme6(75%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(90%), $chemicals(100%), $euphoric_stimulant(100%), $stimulant(100%), $cocaine(100%), $various_drugs(90%), $various_illegal_drugs(100%), $incarceration(100%), $youth(60%)]
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CN NS: Home-Grown Alternative?

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:00
Truro Daily News, 27 Jan 2018 - Craft weed market great hypothetically, but likely a long way off It isn't uncommon to see booths or tables of Nova Scotia's finest craft beer, liquors or small-scale produced wines at local weekend farmers' markets around Colchester.
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US MA: New Mothers Overcoming Addiction Face A World Of Obstacles

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:00
Boston Globe, 28 Jan 2018 - Dajia Brown cares for Brooklyn at their Somerville home. She credits a Boston Medical Center program for her progress. Last June, Dajia Brown embarked on a dangerous phase of life - so dangerous that many in her situation do not survive.
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US: Federal Prosecutor Unlikely To Pursue Low-Level Marijuana Crimes

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:00
Buffalo News, 27 Jan 2018 - When Attorney General Jeff Sessions did away with the Obama-era, hands-off approach to recreational marijuana, he left the door open to a new federal crackdown on the drug. He also left the discretion for any stepped-up enforcement in the laps of his local prosecutors.
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CN BC: Pot Bust Highlights Challenges Ahead

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:00
Delta Optimist, 27 Jan 2018 - A recent illegal cannabis grow operation in North Delta, busted by Delta police, is highlighting the challenges law enforcement will soon face when new marijuana legislation comes into effect later this year. Chief Neil Dubord updated Delta police board members last week on the illegal operation police raided in late November.
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Cannabis capitalists exploit loopholes by 'gifting' the drug - National Post

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 22:10

National Post

Cannabis capitalists exploit loopholes by 'gifting' the drug
National Post
Gifting also allows cannabis capitalists to undercut licensed shops because they don't face the same oversight or pay marijuana sales taxes. And underground sellers could complicate things in places like Vermont, Maine and Washington, D.C., which have ...

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Justin True-dope: PM informed of new strain of marijuana at Winnipeg town hall -

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 21:57

Justin True-dope: PM informed of new strain of marijuana at Winnipeg town hall
Justin Trudeau held a town hall meeting in Winnipeg on Wednesday where a local pot advocate made him aware of a new strain of marijuana named after the prime minister. Steven Stairs told the prime minister that potential pardons for those convicted of ...

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Two new marijuana grow ops proposed for rural areas southeast of city core - Ottawa Citizen

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 17:56

Ottawa Citizen

Two new marijuana grow ops proposed for rural areas southeast of city core
Ottawa Citizen
The proposal near Greely is from Artiva, the medical marijuana arm of LiveWell Foods. The company plans to convert greenhouses for vegetables on Ramsayville Road to cannabis production. A zoning amendment is needed since the 100-acre site is restricted ...

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Tokyo Smoke goes public as cannabis companies eye retail - Financial Post

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 16:19

Financial Post

Tokyo Smoke goes public as cannabis companies eye retail
Financial Post
Unlike many players in Canada's emerging cannabis industry, Tokyo Smoke has largely ignored cannabis production, focusing instead on creating a recognizable brand and a network of retail stores that can be converted into dispensaries next summer in the ...

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Historian Creeped Out By Trump's "Fascist" Story About Cop Adopting Addict's Baby -- Here's Why

Alternet - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:35
The president's feel good story has a dark side.

President Donald Trump praised a New Mexico police officer in his State of the Union address for adopting a heroin addict’s baby — but a historian noticed some disturbing parallels in the anecdote.

The president highlighted Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets, who while on duty in September encountered a pregnant, homeless woman as she prepared to inject heroin.

“When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep,” Trump said. “She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby. In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: ‘You will do it — because you can.’ He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.”

“Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our nation,” the president added. “Thank you, and congratulations.”

Historian Angus Johnson couldn’t help but notice the contrast between the language Trump used to tell that story and his rhetoric against Latino and other immigrants brought to the United States as children.

“In the context of the full speech, of Trump’s presidency, this story is a question and an answer,” Johnson tweeted. “What do we do with the children of those we despise? If they’re brown, we expel them from our land. If they are white, we take them for ourselves.”

The City University of New York professor paid attention to the details Trump’s speechwriters chose to omit from Holet’s story, and those they chose to highlight.

“We don’t know what process was followed in this adoption,” Johnson said. “We don’t know where the mother of this child is now, how she’s doing, what her relationship with her kid is. Trump’s people could have said. They chose not to. They chose to erase her.”

Johnson drew a parallel between the presidential anecdote and the history of los desaparecidos — or, the disappeared — Argentinians who vanished after a military junta took over in 1974, and many of the political prisoners’ babies were stolen and given to party loyalists.

“The children of subversives were seen, (historian Marguerite) Feitlowitz explained, as ‘seeds of the tree of evil,'” reported New York magazine. “Perhaps through adoption, those seeds could be replanted in healthy soil.”

Johnson pointed out the baby’s mother was still homeless as of December and not in contact with her child or the adoptive family — and the historian was disturbed by the way Trump wrote the woman out of her own story.

“That erasure wasn’t accidental,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t merely rhetorical. It was ideological. It was an expression of a specific kind of ethno-natalism we’ve seen before. It was fascist.”


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Weed and Bitcoin Are Luring Millennials to Wall Street

Alternet - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:22
That 2017 was a banner year for the stock market probably helped, too.




Cannabis stocks and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin helped fuel an explosion of millennial investors on Wall Street in 2017. ... Ameritrade's CEO Tim Hockey told Business Insider last week. Hockey said marijuana and blockchain stocks helped entice millennials, who have been historically distrustful of the market that crashed during either ...

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California Makes Marijuana a Wellness Industry - The New Yorker

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 08:44

The New Yorker

California Makes Marijuana a Wellness Industry
The New Yorker
In the state of California, in recent years, thousands of people—disproportionately people of color—have been arrested or jailed on marijuana-related charges. (Under a provision in the state's marijuana law, Prop 64, many may be able to have their ...
Marijuana investors get a healthy dose of volatility as shares plunge ...Financial Post
Aphria begins retreat from U.S. medical-marijuana market - The ...The Globe and Mail
January was the biggest month yet for marijuana legalization, despite Trump's new war on potVox
Los Angeles Times
all 68 news articles »
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This is your brain on drugs: Pot smokers recruited to study effects of cannabis on cognition - Edmonton Journal

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 06:01

Edmonton Journal

This is your brain on drugs: Pot smokers recruited to study effects of cannabis on cognition
Edmonton Journal
Principal investigator Scot Purdon, with the neuropsychology department at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, admits it will be a small sample group, but calls it a good starting point to help fill the void in scientific literature surrounding the use of ...

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Which city in the world has the cheapest cannabis – and the most ... - The Guardian

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 04:30

The Guardian

Which city in the world has the cheapest cannabis – and the most ...
The Guardian
A new survey of the cost of buying marijuana in 120 cities around the world suggests it is most expensive in Asia – but not necessarily cheaper in those cities where it is legal.
Vancouver could generate up to $29 million in additional revenue through taxed pot sales: StudyVancouver Sun

all 15 news articles »
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Drug Companies Sell Us Remedies for Problems Caused by Their Own Products—And the Federal Government Helps Them

Alternet - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:07
Click here for reuse options! This should be a clear violation of antitrust laws.

Like most folks, you dutifully rub shampoo into your hair daily or a few times each week. After it strips out your hair’s natural moisture and liveliness, you apply a conditioner to get that moisture and liveliness back.

Much about modern life seems to follow this general pattern.

Mounting evidence suggests multinational companies negligently sell products to the public that are leading drivers of public health issues, while at the same time another division presents the “remedy” for that same harm. A panacea for their own poison, as it were. In this way, they profit twice: once when they supply the cause of our ailments, and again when we come to them for the cure.

It is clear that all is not well in Big Pharma these days. Americans have yet to coalesce around a plan to impose transparency and integrity on health care and pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, mounting evidence suggests the industry persists in the peddling hundreds of products each year with dubious claims and even more dubious real-world effects — all while maintaining stupefyingly high profit margins.

Sick and Getting Sicker

The real topics today are corporate consolidation and corruption. There may be no better example of this problem than Johnson & Johnson, a corporation made up of more than 250 subsidiaries. You may recall that the pharma giant’s talc-based baby powder is now inextricably linked to incidences of ovarian cancer. Websites that concern themselves with preventing this type of cancer specifically recommend omitting talcum powders from your daily constitutionals.

Fortunately for Johnson & Johnson’s bottom line, at least one company from its panoply of subsidiaries — Janssen Pharmaceuticals — charitably offers chemotherapy drugs for ovarian cancer patients for a mere $2,758 per dose. You can recognize it by the marketing-friendly name “Doxil.”

Let’s do another example.

You’re probably familiar with the sugar alternative called Equal. Equal and Canderel represent the Merisant Corporation’s two most common and most profitable sugar substitutes currently on the market. Mind you, such products are largely marketed toward health-conscious consumers who wish to eliminate sugar from their diet.

The only trouble is, these products contain aspartame — and mounting evidence links aspartame with Alzheimer’s disease, various cancers and multiple sclerosis.

Thankfully, MacAndrews & Forbes — the multinational that owns Merisant — also owns vTv Therapeutics, which (you guessed it) makes a pretty penny selling treatments for literally every health horror aspartame allegedly contributes to.

Selling Snakeoil (With Government’s Help?)

The False Claims Act exists for a reason in America, theoretically. Under its guidance, corporations paid around $38.9 billion in damages and restitution between 1987 and 2013 for lying to the public about what their products actually do.

But context is everything here. For scale, the United States’ entire GDP in 2016 was $18.5 trillion. What good is a $38-billion slap on the wrist, spread across 25 years and dozens of corporations? And where’s the evidence that these weak, punitive, reactionary measures actually get results? We need a system that prevents fraud — not one which reacts as an afterthought after it’s already taken place.

How do we fix this?

The Politics of Corporate and Human Dignity

To begin with, we have to recognize that America is one of only two developed countries in the world that allows pharmaceutical companies to market directly to consumers. They take advantage of this by spending, collectively, $3 billion on advertising to convince Americans to convince their doctors that they have a health concern worth writing a prescription for.

But what about the flagrant conflicts of interest like the ones we described above? How can it be that corporations wield power equal to governments and owns both the means to make us sick and to cure us?

The answer is simple: America stopped enforcing antitrust laws some time ago.

Part of the reason is because nearly everything about commerce is vastly different than it was when anti-monopoly laws first hit our books. We didn’t envision a world where companies could grow so diversified in the products they sell. We wrote our laws to tackle monopolies within a single industry. We didn’t anticipate that a single company could dominate several very different sectors. Look at what happened to the stocks of supermarket companies after Amazon bought Whole Foods. That shouldn’t really be possible.

Then, overlay all of this with the cancerous influence of money in politics. Money has always shaped policy, but it’s been getting worse and worse since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Now, if policy is on the table — which might rein in corruption in a given industry — that industry mobilizes its army of lobbyists to kill that particular piece of legislation. Think of how Big Telecom frequently buys off local politicians and then instructs them to put up roadblocks to municipal broadband projects, which would easily deliver faster and cheaper service than American ISPs are “legally” required to provide. And then they charge extra for higher speeds.

These are all symptoms of the same disease, and that disease is institutional greed. Greed is why health care and many other products in America — even those which serve the public good in an obvious way, such as health care, education and access to the internet — gets worse and worse while simultaneously more expensive.

As the saying goes, they’ve got us coming and going.

Government for the Little People

When all else fails, we can turn to the smallest government there is — the minority — and vote with our wallets for the sorts of companies and world we want. We have more information than ever before and we can share it more effectively than ever. Being aware is the first and most critical step in this fight.

But it’s also clear we need a more organized resistance against multi-continental, multinational health, food and cosmetics empires that operate with the autonomy of sovereign nations. We need greater public awareness and then we need homegrown public servants who act on it by speaking truth to power and greed, which often arrive conveniently packaged as a set, much like shampoo and conditioner.

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Marijuana Use Doesn't Affect the Odds of Getting Pregnant

Alternet - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 11:50
Hoary old myths notwithstanding...

Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple’s chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study.

About 15 percent of couples experience infertility. Infertility costs the US healthcare system more than $5 billion per year, and thus identifying modifiable risk factors for infertility, including recreational drug use, is of public health importance. Marijuana is one of the most widely used recreational drugs among individuals of reproductive age. Previous studies have examined the effects of marijuana use on reproductive hormones and semen quality, with conflicting results.

“Given the increasing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana across the nation, we thought it was an opportune time to investigate the association between marijuana use and fertility,” says lead author Lauren Wise, professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, was the first to evaluate the link between fecundability—the average per-cycle probability of conception—and marijuana use.

In Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO), a web-based prospective cohort study of North American couples, the researchers surveyed 4,194 women aged 21 to 45 living in the United States or Canada. The study specifically targeted women in stable relationships who were not using contraception or fertility treatment. Female participants had the option to invite their male partners to participate; 1,125 of their male partners enrolled.

The researchers found that during the period from 2013 through 2017, approximately 12 percent of female participants and 14 percent of male participants reported marijuana use in the two months before completing the baseline survey. After 12 cycles of follow-up, conception probabilities were similar among couples that used marijuana and those that did not.

The researchers stressed that questions about the effects of marijuana use remain. As one example, they say, classifying people correctly according to the amount of marijuana used, especially when relying on self-reported data, is challenging. “Future studies with day-specific data on marijuana use might better be able to distinguish acute from chronic effects of marijuana use, and evaluate whether effects depend on other factors,” they write.

Additional coauthors are from Boston University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

Source: Boston University

Original Study DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-209755


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The Medical Marijuana Movement Has Lost a Founding Father: RIP, Dennis Peron

Alternet - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 00:18
He founded the nation's first dispensary, and his activism helped shape our world.

The individual most responsible for the medical marijuana movement in CA, and eventually in more than 30 states across this country, was San Francisco gay rights and marijuana advocate Dennis Peron, who died this past weekend from lung cancer at age 71.

Peron was drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1966, where he first discovered marijuana. When his tour of duty ended and he returned home, he also managed to bring wo pounds of marijuana with him – starting a career that he later acknowledged would last more than 40-years. In the 1970s, he opened the Big Top, a café in San Francisco where marijuana was openly sold and customers could smoke and socialize. The café was eventually closed by San Francisco police, who arrested Peron on numerous occasions.

Peron was among the earliest marijuana and gay rights advocates to recognize that marijuana could provide relief to HIV-positive and AIDS patients. In 1991 he organized the nation’s first medical marijuana initiative, Proposition P,  approved by 80% of voters of San Francisco. Subsequently, he founded the nation’s first medical marijuana dispensary, the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club, where patients with HIV and other illnesses could openly buy, use and share marijuana.

The “buyers club” served as many as 11,000 patients before eventually being forced to close by the courts in 1998.

In 1996, with the help of Dale Gieringer and CA NORML, Peron organized the first state initiative to legalize medical marijuana, the Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215), which went on to be approved by 56% of California voters. The favorable experience with medical marijuana in CA eventually led to the adoption of medical marijuana laws in an additional 29 states and growing.

But Peron’s influence went well beyond the medical use of marijuana. Of the 9 states that have now legalized the recreational use of marijuana by adults, each one has first adopted the medical use of marijuana. Only after the states had grown comfortable with medical use, and had seen first-hand that marijuana was an important medicine that helped tens of thousands of seriously ill Americans, were they willing to move forward to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, regardless of why they smoked.

All of us who smoke marijuana, whether for medical or recreational use, are truly indebted to the courageous early work of Dennis Peron. Without his willingness to stand-up publicly and fight for the medical use of marijuana, despite it’s illegal status at that time, we would not be where we are today.

May he rest in peace


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GHB Is Making a Comeback: What You Need to Know

Alternet - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:45
The drug GHB gained notoriety during raves decades ago, but it is resurfacing again.

A highly potent drug called GHB is making a comeback in nightlife scenes, along with overdoses and even death. On Jan. 23, 2018, “Storm Chaser” star Joel Taylor died on a cruise ship. Celebrity news site TMZ reported that Taylor may have used GHB in the hours before his death.

GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, has been referred to as a “date rape drug” by the media for decades, as it has been involved in instances of sexual predators spiking unsuspecting womens’ drinks to take advantage of them while unconscious. However, much of the public is unaware that most of use of this highly potent drug is actually intentional.

I am a public health researcher who studies party drug use in the nightclub scene. I have learned a great deal through my research and through what I have witnessed firsthand in my years in this scene. Use of this drug largely disappeared from the scene, but it appears to be emerging again in popularity.

Initially, a sleep aid

GHB gained popularity in the 1990s, when it was sold over-the-counter in vitamin supplement stores as a sleep aid and growth hormone enhancer. In 1990, at least 100 people were reportedly poisoned using GHB, and the Food Drug Administration banned sales of the substance. However, availability continued, as did outbreaks of poisonings.

Use can lead to a range of adverse effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to seizures, repressed breathing, and even death. Despite the ban, GHB use increased throughout the 1990s, and the drug was made illegal to possessin March 2000. Recreational use eventually decreased, but there appears to be a recent uptick in use — especially in the gay party scene.

While GHB induces sleep, the drug causes users to feel high before falling unconscious. Therefore, in my observation, most users of GHB attempt to take small doses in order to experience the high without falling unconscious. This practice of using GHB to get high began in the 1990s and led to GHB’s popularity in nightclubs.

However, doses of GHB are difficult to calibrate as it is highly potent with a steep dose-response curve, and co-using GHB with alcohol increases its effects. Higher than intended doses or combining it with drugs like alcohol can easily render someone unconscious.

The party scene

What is particularly unique about GHB is that onset of unconsciousness can occur quickly. A user can be dancing and talking with friends, yet a few seconds later fall on the floor unconscious and temporarily unwakeable. In fact, most users expect to “overdose” at some point and fall unconscious.

Witnessing the problems associated with GHB use so often in nightclubs was the main reason I became a drug researcher. I was deeply immersed in the after-hours New York City nightclub scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when GHB popularity was at its peak.

GHB was especially popular in dance clubs, where dancers could get a quick high. KK Tan/

By 2001, almost every week I witnessed multiple overdoses. I’ve helped carry unconscious bodies from dance floors, I’ve had good friends of mine die after using GHB, and I had even witnessed some of the infamous hidden rooms in some nightclubs that held bodies of unconscious users where nightclub staff waited for them to gain consciousness hours later. Some New York City nightclubs even had their own private ambulance services in order to not alert authorities about the GHB problem in their venues.

GHB use declined in response to the abundance of overdoses and increased stigma toward use. In New York City, some major venues closed, largely in response to so many GHB overdoses.

The popularity of GHB

GHB is by no means a popular drug in the general population. Only about 3 out of 1,000 young adults (age 18-25) in the U.S. are estimated to have ever knowingly used the drug.

But things are much different in the nightclub scene. My colleagues and I, for example, found that among electronic dance music attendees in New York City in 2015, nearly 1 out of 10 attendees reported ever using GHB. However, most of the individuals we surveyed identified as heterosexual.

Use is more prevalent among gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) in party scenes. For example, a recent study of MSM nightclub attendees in South London found that more than half reported GHB use in the past year.

But GHB is not only popular in the nightclub scene for dancing and socializing; it is a leading “ChemSex” drug — meaning it is often used intentionally to intensify sex. This is particularly prevalent among MSM.

What can be done to prevent more deaths?

GHB, due to its high likelihood of leading to overdose, is one of the most deleterious drugs to ever reach the party scene. Stigma toward users was a leading method of reducing prevalence in the early 2000s, and anti-GHB campaigns in the nightclub scene have already begun in Canada in response to recent overdoses. However, while stigma might prevent some people from using, this will lead others to resort to hiding their use. And hidden use is riskier.

The new generation of partiers needs to learn from the past. Yes, there are plenty of partiers who use GHB “safely,” and harm reduction techniques should be used among those who insist on using. But GHB commonly results in overdoses, and as is shown by the death of Joel Taylor who is suspected of taking GHB, sometimes use can lead to fatal outcomes.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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