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The Daily Buzz: October 2, 2014

Maryland's decriminalization of marijuana kicks in; Georgia bans smoking on all college campuses; and Chris Christie is the only potential GOP presidential candidate talking about addiction.

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Photo via Shutterstock

Photo via Shutterstock

Having a Small Amount of Pot in Maryland Is No Longer a Crime
Maryland’s decriminalization law took effect yesterday. From now on, anyone caught with 20 grams or less of marijuana will be slapped with a civil citation and a fine of up to $100 (similar to getting a parking ticket), but no criminal charges.

Georgia Bans Smoking on All College Campuses
The state has banned use of tobacco products on 31 college campuses, starting today, as part of its “Clear the Air” act. Many students are not pleased, calling the law an infringement of personal freedom. But the movement to ban smoking on campuses is growing: The number of smoke-free colleges across the country has more than tripled from 446 to 1,478 in the past four year.

Drug Cartel Leader Hector Beltran Leyva Arrested in Mexico
Mexican authorities have reported the capture of the last living kingpin of the family-run Beltran Leyva cartel, once one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the country. He is one of several major drug lords arrested in the last few months.

Chris Christie Is Only Republican Nominee Talking About Addiction
Speaking of the War on Drugs: Jersey Governor Christ Christie is against it. While other Republicans eyeing the 2016 Presidential nomination have been noticeably silent on the issue of addiction, potential GOP candidate Christie said this week that drug and alcohol treatment should be “more available for everybody” and criticized mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses.

Virginia Tech Awarded $1.7 Million to Study Social Networking for Addiction Recovery
The National Institute of Health has apparently awarded a $1.7-million, three-year grant to a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Warren Bickel, to study how social media could help people recovering from addictions to alcohol, opiates or stimulants. Check back in three years to find out if and how Facebook (or whatever comes next) can or can’t keep you sober.