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Matt Ferner
Matt Ferner is a national reporter for the Huffington Post. He was previously the editor of HuffPost Denver. Matt is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of California, Los Angeles. For tips or comments email

Entries by Matt Ferner

Veterans Can Get All Of These Prescription Drugs To Treat PTSD, But Not Weed

(680) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 8:52 AM

Around the nation, thousands of veterans and active-duty military personnel are waging their own personal battles against post-traumatic stress disorder. Typically triggered by a horrific incident either witnessed or experienced by the person, PTSD comes with a debilitating set of physical and psychological symptoms.

Many service members are hesitant to...

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This Mom Faces Prison For Medical Marijuana. Now Her Attorney Has Declared War On The Drug War Itself.

(186) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 4:58 PM

A 38-year-old Kansas woman who lost custody of her 11-year-old son and faces charges that could send her to prison for 30 years over her use of medical marijuana was released on bail last week.

Shona Banda, who has a severely debilitating case of Crohn’s disease, now prepares for the...

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Delaware Decriminalizes Marijuana

(171) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 9:26 PM

Delaware on Thursday became the 20th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Gov. Jack Markell (D) signed House Bill 39 into law Thursday night, not long after the state Senate approved the bill 12-9. No state Republican senators voted in favor of the bill...

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U.S. Deports Tens Of Thousands Each Year For Minor Drug Crimes, Human Rights Watch Says

(94) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 3:05 AM

WASHINGTON -- Tens of thousands of people are deported each year for minor drug offenses, even if they served their time long ago, because of draconian U.S. drug laws, according to a report released Tuesday by the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch's 93-page...

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Employers Can Fire Medical Marijuana Patients For Private, Off-Duty Use, Colo. Supreme Court Rules

(1104) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 11:46 AM

While medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, employers can still fire patients for using it -- even if they aren't impaired at work.

In a landmark decision Monday morning, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient from Colorado who was fired by...

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Jailhouse Snitch Tapes Reveal How Cops Recruited A Serial Murderer To Be Their Informant

(31) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 6:11 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Law enforcement officers linked to a tainted jailhouse snitch program in Orange County, California, once told an informant that after working for them, he might be able to join the military, kill people legally and "get away with it," according to audio evidence obtained by The Huffington...

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Senate Committee Approves Protections For State Medical Marijuana Programs

(79) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 1:20 PM

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a provision Thursday that would protect medical marijuana operations from federal crackdown in states where the substance is legal.

The committee passed the measure, by a vote of 22-8, as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016. The...

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LAPD Officer Involved In Ezell Ford Shooting Found To Have Acted 'Out Of Policy'

(71) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 8:00 PM

LOS ANGELES -- The civilian board that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department ruled Tuesday that one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford last year in a south LA neighborhood was acting "out of policy" in his use of lethal force.

The second officer involved...

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Ezell Ford Protesters Gather Outside LA Mayor's Home, Call For Firing Of LAPD Chief

(8) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 5:27 PM

LOS ANGELES -- A group of demonstrators gathered outside of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's home on Monday, calling for the mayor to immediately fire Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck in the wake of a report claiming Beck will recommend the two officers involved in last...

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Senator: U.S. Ban On Hemp Makes About As Much Sense As 'A Ban On Portobello Mushrooms'

(97) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 8:34 PM

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Thursday called for ending the federal ban on hemp production in recognition of Hemp History Week.

“In my view, keeping the ban on growing hemp makes about as much sense as instituting a ban on portobello mushrooms," Wyden, who introduced a hemp legalization...

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House Votes In Favor Of Medical Marijuana Protections

(39) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 4:26 PM

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to reauthorize an amendment that would protect medical marijuana operations from federal interference in states where the drug is legal, siding with a majority of Americans who say that medical marijuana is an issue best left to the states.


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House Raids DEA Budget To Fund Police Reform And Community Outreach

(88) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 3:12 PM

WASHINGTON -- In a significant blow to the United States' decadeslong war on drugs, House lawmakers voted Tuesday to strip $23 million from the embattled Drug Enforcement Administration's budget, diverting the funds toward community outreach programs, fighting police abuse and ending the DEA's controversial bulk data collection programs.

With simple...

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Indiana's Church Of Marijuana Granted Tax-Exempt Status From IRS

(231) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 7:00 PM

Indiana's First Church of Cannabis -- a religious sect that embraces marijuana use as a sacrament, newly formed under the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- has just received the classification that so many religious organizations covet: tax-exemption status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal...

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Supreme Court Reverses Deportation Ruling For Man Who Used A Sock To Hide Prescription Pills

(26) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 6:09 PM

WASHINGTON -- Turns out, you shouldn’t get deported over possession of a sock -- even if that sock is hiding prescription pills.

The Supreme Court reversed an appeals court decision Monday in a case brought by the Obama administration against a man who was deported over using a sock to...

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Texas Legalizes Medical Marijuana Oils For Epilepsy

(74) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 4:15 PM

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill Monday legalizing the limited use of marijuana extracts for severe forms of epilepsy.

The law allows the use of cannabis oils that are high in CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-euphoric compound found in the marijuana plant, and low in THC...

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Feds Tell Their Employees To Stay Away From Marijuana, Even In States That Have Legalized

(126) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 4:12 PM

The federal government wants to be clear with its federal employees that might live in states that have reformed their marijuana laws: Marijuana remains illegal, so don't use it.

In guidance issued this week from Katherine Archuleta, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, to the heads...

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Anti-Legalization Group Calls For Medical Marijuana Research Overhaul

(160) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 1:02 PM

In a groundbreaking move for a group of its kind, a leading organization opposed to marijuana legalization released a report Thursday that seeks a major overhaul of marijuana research in the United States, calling on the federal government to recognize the medical value of cannabis.

Former U.S. Rep....

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Missouri Governor Commutes Life Sentence Of Man Serving Time For Marijuana

(297) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 7:49 PM

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Friday commuted the life sentence of a 61-year-old man who has been jailed two decades for marijuana offenses.

The governor's action makes Jeff Mizanskey eligible for parole -- an option he didn't have under the terms of his life sentence. Mizanskey was sentenced as...

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Illinois Is Very Close To Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

(268) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 4:52 PM

The Illinois Senate approved a bill Thursday that would remove criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill has already passed in the state House and now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, where it could become law with his signature.

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Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure To Increase Veterans' Access To Medical Marijuana

(62) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 3:48 PM

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans' access to medical marijuana.

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana...

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