San Juan Youth Leadership Conference coming this October 2014!

Years in the making…Our local Prevention Clubs & Coalitions from Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Island are creating the FIRST San Juan Youth Leadership Conference! We are thrilled that over 40 local youth from San Juan County will converge for a weekend of learning alcohol and drug prevention strategies, team-building and, of course, fun at Camp Orkila. Skill building courses offered at the camp will help strengthen their friendships and remind them how capable they are. These youth are already amazing leaders, we just want to help hone these skills and offer some direction to go the course.

Local Prevention Clubs include: Rock Solid, H.O.T.S. (Helping Out Teens Society), D.R.E.A.M. Team, and Point Blank.

Come back to hear more about how this weekend went as we return in early October 2014! We have travelled to Yakima, WA. for years with youth to the annual WA State Prevention Summit and the conversations always came up with the Youth Advisors…”We really should do something like this in our community. We could bring more youth and focus on the issues facing our communities.” Well, thanks to Julie Pinardi, Orcas Island Prevention Counselor and Georgeanna Cook, Lopez Island Prevention Coalition, whom our SJIPC has been mentoring, they started to organize this year’s program, what is sure to be a powerful weekend of learning and bonding for these youth committed to helping make positive change in their schools and in their communities! Our SJIPC is supporting and assisting in this program. We hope it will become an annual event, too.

Photo 2012 WA. State Prevention Summit with San Juan County Youth & Team Advisors in Yakima, WA.

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Viewpoint: Medical marijuana doesn’t belong in state Constitution (FLA.)

Everyone, this article contains powerful reasons why seven Supreme Court justices in Florida are opposed to the medi-pot bill. The proposed constitutional amendment, that seeks to enshrine pot as a constitutional right, is extremely flawed and should be rejected by Floridians.
I’ve also attached a document which shows the projected number of pot shops in Florida (1,789) and how 121 of them would be distributed in the county of Hillsborough. It is worth looking at. Monte Stiles

Viewpoint: Medical marijuana doesn’t belong in state Constitution

12:16 p.m. CDT September 13, 2014

As former Florida Supreme Court justices, we once took an oath to protect the Constitution of the state of Florida. Today, we call on all Floridians to protect it by voting “No” on Amendment 2. This amendment, promoted as a compassionate effort to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, should be rejected – regardless of one’s position on the issue of medical marijuana.

Why should those who are both for and against medical marijuana vote No on Amendment 2? We offer five reasons.

First, the amendment is so broadly cast and vague, it will open the door to the general use of marijuana, not the carefully regulated medical use of a drug for those truly suffering. When proposed amendments are placed on the ballot, voters only see a ballot title and ballot summary written by the amendment sponsors. Most voters don’t have the time or inclination to read the full text of the actual amendment, much less study its impact. We have read the amendment and studied its impact.

And, we are troubled by what voters are being told about Amendment 2. Voters are led to believe that medical marijuana could only be used for “debilitating diseases.” But the full text of the amendment allows the use of marijuana for virtually any medical condition at the discretion of any recommending physician, and no actual prescription is required.

Second, Amendment 2 endangers Floridians by granting broad immunity from criminal and civil liability to virtually everyone involved in the chain of custody of marijuana. Today our criminal and civil justice systems protect citizens from harmful acts and compensate victims and families in cases of medical malpractice and negligence.

But under Amendment 2, those providing and using medical marijuana, including every “certifying physician,” would be immune from basic enforcement and accountability that protect our safety. This would make marijuana the only drug under Florida law for which providers, caregivers and users would be absolved from liability if someone is harmed from its use.

Third, Amendment 2 creates a right to use marijuana, coupled with a right to privacy for medical marijuana users, without regard to age. This could be construed to allow minors to obtain marijuana for purported medical reasons without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

Fourth, Amendment 2 creates the role of medical marijuana “caregiver.” There is only one requirement to be a caregiver – be at least 21. Amendment 2 requires no medical expertise, training or background checks for caregivers, who would have the authority to provide marijuana to multiple individuals. This caregiver provision could be used as a legal shield to protect drug dealers from prosecution. The Florida Department of Health estimates that if Amendment 2 passes, there will be approximately 250,000 caregivers and nearly 1,800 pot shops that would dispense marijuana. This calls into question the state’s ability to adequately regulate the distribution of marijuana, since it would not be obtained from traditional pharmacies, but from shops run by the marijuana industry.

Fifth, if Amendment 2 is approved, it would be almost impossible to fix its many flaws because it would be enshrined in the Constitution, rather than being a general law that can be changed or improved as needed to respond to inevitable problems.

Whether marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes is an issue about which reasonable people disagree and more study is needed. But anyone who reads the full text of Amendment 2 should readily agree that it is plagued by loopholes and vagueness that would lead to a myriad of unintended and undesirable consequences. Amendment 2 doesn’t belong in Florida’s Constitution. As former Florida Supreme Court Justices who love Florida and its great Constitution, we urge voters to protect Florida’s Constitution by voting “No” on Amendment 2.

Parker Lee McDonald, chief justice 1986-1988; justice 1979-1994; Leander J. Shaw Jr., chief justice 1990-1992; justice 1983-2003;Stephen H. Grimes, chief justice 1994-1996; justice 1987-1997;Major B. Harding, chief justice 1998-2000; justice 1991-2002;Charles T. Wells, chief justice 2000-2002; justice 1994-2009;Raoul G. Cantero III, justice 2002-2008; and Kenneth B. Bell, justice 2003-2008.

<Florida Hillsborough Pot Shots.pdf>

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Going to Pot?

A note from Monte Stiles: As a former drug prosecutor of 28 years, with the last 24 years spent in charge of the federal Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force, it is disturbing to me that large-scale manufacturers and distributors of an illegal drug get away with not only committing federal felonies but ADVERTISING them! In the not so distant past, these admissions would have constituted confessions and would have been used to convict them. Now these crimes are celebrated as business success. What a sad day for the rule of law.
How did the idea of people using pot without going to jail turn into unconditional acceptance of the commercialization of a crude street drug? The states passing these laws, and especially the federal government that is ignoring federal law and international treaties, should be ashamed of themselves.
Regardless of how you feel about people screwing up their lives with pot, it is an entirely different thing to condone drug trafficking that simply takes the place of cartels – all with the stamp of approval of governments which now share in the drug proceeds. Monte

California marijuana market poised to explode

Posted:   08/29/2014 05:51:09 PM PDT55 Comments

Looking around last week at the exhibitor showroom of CannaCon, the huge marijuana-business expo held outside Seattle, Greg James had something of an epiphany: The pot industry in America is growing like, you guessed it, a weed.

“There was everybody from soil companies to grow-light companies to lawyers and security and insurance firms to a TV network doing shows just on marijuana,” said James, whose Seattle-based Marijuana Venture newsletter has exploded from eight to 84 glossy pages since it launched in March and is already turning a profit. “I’m not sure how many of them will survive, but it’s amazing how fast this thing is moving.”

The legal pot business in the United States, including both the newly legalized retail operations in Washington and Colorado and the medical-marijuana use now allowed in California and 22 other states, is expected to grow this year to $2.6 billion from $1.5 billion in 2013, according to the ArcView Group, a San Francisco-based marijuana research and investment firm. In five years, that number could swell to more than $10 billion. And if backers are successful in getting a legalization measure on the 2016 ballot in California, the Golden State, with its already outsize medical-pot market, could soon be entering a Golden Era of commercialized cannabis.

Although the state in 1996 became the first in the nation to legalize pot for medicinal reasons, California has yet to approve it for the overall adult population, or so-called “adult-use.” Despite that, it has the largest pot market in the nation, according to a widely referenced report last year by ArcView.

“California remains the largest state market at $980 million, even without Adult Use regulations,” said the report. And “once Adult Use is adopted — which is likely by 2017 — the total California market is projected to increase dramatically.”

As marijuana use has become more mainstream, a veritable smorgasbord of professionals and young startups has popped up to feed off and support the pot culture. Lawyers, accountants and real-estate brokers are going after pot clients like hogs to truffles. There are security outfits protecting Mendocino County farms and software developers churning out cannabis-news apps and GPS-enabled tools like Weedly to find the nearest pot club. And there are even pot-friendly resorts where the Hollywood set can go to get high in peace, provided they have a prescription.

“I’ve worked with Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, who can’t go to traditional dispensaries, so we have a resort outside Grass Valley as a place for them to get away,” says Cheryl Shuman, the self-styled “Martha Stewart of Marijuana” who has delivered her pro-pot mantra to “Good Morning America” and anyone else who’ll listen. “We also have mansion parties in L.A. with chefs from five-star restaurants; it’s just like wine-tasting dinners, but you pair different strains of cannabis with the food.”

Still, the pot business is a long way from maturity, despite the already impressive amount of cash it’s generating.

“It’s still a sort of fragmented cottage industry, so the laws still have to change and allow for entrepreneurs to push this business forward,” says former investment banker Derek Peterson, who co-founded Blum Oakland, a medical cannabis dispensary, in 2012 and has seen 35 percent year-over-year growth. He figures that just a few of the dispensaries in the East Bay do a combined $50 million in revenues each year.

David Hodges, who runs the All American Cannabis Club in San Jose, says that while it’s hard to get a solid grasp of the industry’s size, he estimates San Jose alone hosts a $60-million-a-year medical-marijuana business and that the black market is three times that, for a combined value of about $240 million in his city alone.

By Peterson’s estimate, the overall legal Bay Area pot market is roughly equal in size to Colorado’s, which analysts predict will be about $253 million this year.

Even though California’s current medical-marijuana industry is riddled with conflicting laws and policies that can differ city by city, with some pot clubs paying taxes and others not, the business is booming with no sign of letting up. Nate Bradley, an ex-cop and executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, says an estimated 100,000 Californians already are employed in the industry, either growing pot or servicing suppliers and their customers, a number that would soar with legalization.

“Once the medical-marijuana industry is legalized statewide, and you legitimize the entire production and distribution of medical cannabis,” says Bradley, “the business will explode and the state would collect $400 million a year or more in sales taxes.”

In the meantime, companies large and small are lining up to grab a piece of the cannabis action. Eaze, a San Francisco startup that fancies itself as “the Uber of medical cannabis delivery,” taps into a network of “caregivers” who pick up pot for you at the dispensary and deliver it to your home, sometimes within 10 minutes.

Eddie Bernard runs a pot-focused marketing agency in Southern California that worked with High Times magazine on its first Cannabis Cup competition in America, with awards going to the best pot varieties. He also does “product placement” for the marijuana industry.

“We did an endorsement deal with Snoop Dogg,” says Bernard, “and for an FX TV show we placed bongs around the house.”

Yet even as more and more entrepreneurs jump into the pot business, the path forward is far from clear. Despite strong revenues and taxes already being collected in Washington and Colorado, the industry faces years of political and regulatory challenges. At the top of the list are federal laws declaring the possession, sale and cultivation of pot illegal, leaving states and the federal government in an awkward standoff. Public opinion on legalization is also split. And a sprawling and powerful black market thrives in the shadows, while groups on both sides of the legalization debate bicker among themselves.

Still, many aspiring business owners are convinced that a pot-based gold rush is upon us. To former Intuit engineer Ben Curren, his new San Jose-based tech startup, Green Bits, is at the right place at the right time, offering point-of-sale and inventory management software for the legal pot industry.

“2016 will be the deciding year,” says Curren. “But it’s amazing how much stuff is happening in this space right now. If the momentum continues, this is going to be really big.”

Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689 or follow him at

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Great News! Judge upholds local pot business ban in Washington State

Great news from the state of Washington. Thanks to Bryan Norton for forwarding.
Of course the dispensary owner said that he would appeal the decision. Endless litigation is one of the hallmarks of drug legalization. But for now, it is victory. Monte Stiles

Judge upholds local pot business ban in Wash. State

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Published: Aug 29, 2014 at 2:11 PM PDTLast Updated: Aug 29, 2014 at 3:52 PM PDT
Judge upholds local pot business ban in Wash. state

Judge Ronald E. Culpepper presides in Pierce County Superior Court, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in Tacoma, Wash., during a hearing for a man who wants to open a marijuana shop in the Tacoma suburb of Fife, Wash.

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) – A state judge said Friday that a small city can continue to ban state-licensed marijuana businesses, in a case with big implications for Washington’s experiment in legal pot.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper issued the ruling after extensive arguments over whether Initiative 502, the voter-approved state law that legalizes adults’ recreational use of marijuana, left any room for such local bans.

The case concerned a ban in the Tacoma suburb of Fife. Would-be pot proprietor Tedd Wetherbee sued, saying he was entitled to do business but the city wasn’t letting him. Culpepper disagreed.

“Fife’s ordinance is not pre-empted by I-502 or other state law,” he said in an oral ruling.

Wetherbee said he’d appeal.

Washington’s experiment is built around the notion that it can bring marijuana out of the black market and into a regulated system that protects public health and safety better than prohibition did.

But advocates say local bans threaten the state’s ability to do that: 28 cities and two counties have banned pot shops, and scores more have issued long-running moratoriums preventing the stores from opening while officials review zoning and other issues.

Fife’s lawyers argued that nothing in the state law overruled cities’ zoning authority, while Wetherbee’s attorneys insisted that if local governments can ban licensed growers, processor and sellers, it would undermine voters’ desire to displace illegal pot sales.

Culpepper said Wetherbee did not prove that banning pot shops in such a small city – 5 square miles and fewer than 10,000 people – would thwart the will of the voters; there are shops open in Tacoma, next door.

The analysis might be different for bans in Pierce County or other more populous or larger parts of the state, Culpepper suggested.

The case posed a serious threat to Washington’s entire system for regulating marijuana. Fife had asked the judge, if he struck down the city’s ban, to consider whether the state law should be invalidated as incompatible with marijuana’s prohibition under federal law.

Culpepper said offhandedly that he did not believe I-502 conflicts with federal law, but he did not reach that question in his ruling.

Nevertheless, Culpepper’s ruling doesn’t end challenge to Fife’s ban. The judge said Wetherbee could pursue procedural arguments that the city didn’t adopt it properly.

The lawsuit attracted a lot of attention, with the state, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, and other counties and towns weighing in.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson took the position that I-502 did not negate local zoning authority to ban the shops, but he insisted that the state’s law is not pre-empted by the federal Controlled Substances Act. He called Fife’s arguments “a significant threat to the implementation of Initiative 502.”

Ferguson said after the ruling that I-502′s drafters could have addressed the issue with a single sentence requiring local governments to allow the businesses.

Alison Holcomb, the ACLU of Washington lawyer who wrote the law, said she hopes the Legislature will amend the law this winter to preclude local bans.

Rep. Chris Hurst, the Enumclaw Democrat who heads the House committee that oversees the pot industry, said lawmakers might do just that, unless the state Supreme Court overrules Culpepper by January.

“If you carve out large chunks of the state and say they are able to pre-empt state law, you’ll have pockets where the criminal element flourishes,” Hurst said.

Colorado, the only other state with legal pot for adults, expressly allows cities to ban pot businesses, and dozens have done so.

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No-Pot City Takes Aim at Washington Marijuana Law

Drug legalization invites litigation – often at the expense of cities and counties.
The city of Fife, Washington is defending its ban on pot dispensaries. The stakes are very high.
28 cities and two counties in Washington have banned the sale of retail pot, and many others have enacted moratoriums.
The litigating dispensary owner is suing to overturn the ban. Let’s hope that the judge makes the right decision by upholding Fife’s right to keep the dispensary from opening. Monte Stiles

No-Pot City Takes Aim at Washington Marijuana Law

To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It’s in a strip mall across from BJ’s Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.

But like dozens of other cities in Washington, the small Tacoma suburb of Fife doesn’t want Wetherbee — or anyone else — opening marijuana businesses, even if state law allows it. The arguments officials are making in a lawsuit over the dispute threaten to derail Washington’s big experiment in legal, taxed cannabis less than two months after sales began.

A Pierce County judge on Friday is scheduled to hear arguments on two key issues at the core of Wetherbee’s legal challenge to the ban. The first is whether Washington’s voter-approved marijuana measure, Initiative 502, leaves room for cities to ban licensed pot growers, processors or sellers. If the answer is no, Fife wants the judge to address a second question: Should Washington’s entire legal marijuana scheme be thrown out as incompatible with the federal prohibition on pot?

“It’s challenging the state’s ability to create a legal and controlled market,” said Alison Holcomb, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington lawyer who drafted the law. “They’re saying, ‘We’ll just take the entire regulatory system down.’ ”

Washington’s experiment is built around the notion that it can bring pot out of the black market and into a regulated system that better protects public health and safety than prohibition ever did. In reality, there won’t be legal marijuana businesses in much of the state: 28 cities and two counties have banned them, and scores more have issued long-running moratoriums preventing them from opening while officials review zoning and other issues.

In Fife, a community of 5 square miles and fewer than 10,000 people, the planning commission spent months working on a plan that would have allowed state-licensed marijuana businesses in the commercial zone where Wetherbee wants to open his shop. But the City Council this summer amended it to ban the businesses.

Council members expressed concern about the number of pot sellers who might open in Fife, uncertainty about the impact that would have on the community or police resources, and objections that the law doesn’t direct any marijuana taxes back to the cities.

I-502 won 53 percent of the vote in Fife, and there’s little reason to think legal pot businesses have a greater impact on a community than the black-market marijuana trade. Fife’s ordinance directed the planning commission to review any data collected on the topic, leaving open the possibility it could reconsider.

Wetherbee says he’s been paying almost $3,000 in monthly rent on the storefront. He finally sued in Pierce County Superior Court, challenging Fife’s zoning authority and the way the ban was adopted. “State law says I get to do business, and they’re not letting us,” he said.

The lawsuit has attracted a lot of attention, with the state, the ACLU chapter and other counties and towns filing briefs. The ACLU says that while Washington’s liquor laws allow towns to ban alcohol sales, the pot low contains no such opt-out provision.

Cities can create zones for marijuana establishments, but they can’t ban them, Holcomb said. If they could, it would undermine the will of Washington’s voters in taking control of the black market.

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Everyone’s Doing It: What Today’s Teens Think About Marijuana-Infographic


With the recent legalization for marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington, teens are beginning to change the way they feel about smoking weed. Studies conducted in the last two years are starting to show that teens consider marijuana a rite of passage in high school and its the safe alternative to harder drugs like heroine and meth. As we work with teens struggling with drug addiction we can confidently say that marijuana use is dangerous and parents need to know how teens are using it in 2014.

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Board of Trustees Meeting Today, Friday 8/22/14

You are welcome to join in the conversation at our SJIPC Board of Trustees Meeting today. Please RSVP at 378-9683 . A light lunch is provided at 11:30am and the meeting starts at 12noon. We are grateful for the use of space at the Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church, too. Come here some celebrations of recent activities and we’ll also look more closely at the current progress/outcomes on the I-502 in Washington State. And, we have action committees forming now, if you’d like to help the SJIPC Prevention Coalition on various issues that need support to help create positive change in our community. As you know: Our mission is to reduce substance abuse among youth and to create a community culture of healthy choices for youth and adults. We celebrate those youth that join in and BE THE CHANGE! The SJIPC values Youth Leadership Training to empower our future leaders.

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HAPPY to be Drug-Free at the Fair! SJIPC FLASH MOB!!!

Thank you Julie Hagn for choreography and leadership in guiding our Flash Mob to the song HAPPY by Pharell Williams at our San Juan Island Prevention Coalition Fair Booth at the San Juan County Fair 2014.

Here’s a sneak peek as they get started! But the video linked above, Tim Dustrude of the San Juan Update, put together is wonderful!  Thank you Tim for your time and talents, too!

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Don’t be a Crash TeXt Dummy…Distracted Driver Demo at our San Juan County Fair Booth 2104

  • The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.(NOPUS)
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Campaign for Oregon legal marijuana announces $2.3 million in TV ads

Comment: $2.3 million in pot advertising will hit the airways in Oregon in the next 2 months – selling the idea to kids and young adults that pot is a “pretty benign drug” that should be legalized for recreational use. Whether the ballot initiative is successful or not, how many years of drug education will it take to undo $2.3 million in pro-pot propaganda?
It won’t happen with a single Red Ribbon talk – or a week-long drug unit in health class. It will take a massive readjustment in drug prevention to counteract what the drug culture is spewing forth. Ultimately, it will require the general public (and clueless politicians) to wake up to the fact that surrender to the drug culture (like we saw in the 60′s and 70′s) will spawn a host of unintended consequences, and that fighting back from that quagmire will require a massive investment in education, prevention and treatment (again).
The federal government could stop all of this instantly if they simply announced that existing federal laws would be applied to MANUFACTURERS AND DISTRIBUTORS (without a single pot user being arrested). It is the commercialization of pot, with its swarm of dispensaries, slick advertising, and impacts upon the popular culture that comprises most of the real harms of drug legalization. Under the guise of “leaving pot smokers alone”, the feds have allowed people to violate every federal statute passed by Congress and signed by the President – spreading disrespect for laws and a lack of confidence in the rule of law.
Let’s hope that the good citizens of Oregon, who are already suffering from widespread fraud and abuse of a medi-pot system, will reject recreational pot again, and send the pot industrial complex packing. In the meantime, efforts to educate the public on the real harms of substance abuse will fall upon the shoulders of many of you. Community drug education works when we do enough of it. Keep the faith, and keep up the great work. Monte Stiles

Campaign for Oregon legal marijuana announces $2.3 million in TV ads

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The campaign behind an Oregon ballot measure that would legalize marijuana for adults said Monday it will buy $2.3 million worth of television advertising in what is shaping up to be a lopsided debate.

The former head of addictions and mental health for the Oregon Health Authority urges voters to support marijuana legalization in a YouTube video that proponents say will form the basis for their first television commercial. Richard Harris says marijuana “is a pretty benign drug” compared with drugs like alcohol and heroin, and efforts to control it through the criminal justice system have failed.

Support from addiction experts like Harris can help legalization advocates rebut charges that decriminalizing the drug would fuel addiction problems. Marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington state.

Other mental health experts and the law enforcement community oppose legalization, but nobody with deep pockets has stepped forward to make the case against it.

The proposal will appear on the November ballot as Measure 91. It would allow adults 21 and older to use marijuana recreationally and give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the job of creating a regulated system to distribute the drug.

Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for the Yes on 91 campaign, said the ad will first appear on the Internet, at the start of online videos.

Records submitted by television stations to the Federal Communications Commission indicate the ads will start airing on broadcast stations on Sept. 22 in Portland and Eugene, and a few weeks later in Medford and Bend.

The records show the campaign has reserved at least $1.3 million worth of television time out of the $2.3 million the group says it’s spending. The records exclude cable television, which isn’t publicly disclosed, and two Portland broadcast stations that haven’t reported yet.

Oregonians rejected a marijuana legalization measure two years ago after the proponents struggled to mount even a basic campaign.

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