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Marijuana Muffins Take a Toll

The Boston Herald reported that local police departments are investigating whether the check fell within the duties of police "tasked with the safety of the school" or whether prospective dance partners fall outside their purview.

-- Michelle GarcĂ­a

North Dakota Eyes a Crop of Hemp

No commercial hemp crop has been harvested in the United States since 1957, but that has not stopped proponents from trying.

Just days before a federal appeals court rejected a South Dakota Indian tribe's request as unlawful, hemp supporters in North Dakota announced a plan to grow the crop used in food, animal bedding and industrial composites.

"There are still people who think hemp is the same as marijuana. It's not," said Roger Johnson, the North Dakota agriculture commissioner who proposed the new rules. "It would be worthless as a drug, like crumbling up a leaf of corn and smoking that."

Johnson is pitching commercial hemp as a profit-making option for U.S. farmers, arguing that "every other major industrialized country in the world allows it to be grown."

Under the plan, the state would issue licenses. Farmers would be required to notify the Drug Enforcement Administration, consent to a criminal background check and reveal the names of purchasers and the amounts sold.

Lest anyone try to smoke it, the planted hemp could contain no more than 0.3 percent of THC, the psychoactive substance in pot that produces a high. Advocates expect the first farmer to apply for a license in November.

-- Peter Slevin

Big Sport Trades 76ers for Pirates

There may be those who say Pat Croce has taken his pirate obsession too far.

He has a silver hoop earring, a molar cap etched with the skull and crossbones, and a gaggle of tattoos: a parrot with an eye patch, a Jolly Roger and a ship.

But Croce, the former president of the Philadelphia 76ers who last year opened a pirate museum in Key West, suggests that no, the problem is not his, but society's. He said he has been into pirates since he saw Errol Flynn in "Captain Blood" and "The Sea Hawk" when he was young. The museum displays his collection of artifacts.

Pirates "went for the booty and the gold, and it wasn't all these meetings," he said last week. "They were bold and daring, but we get stuck in a cubicle for our lives."

-- Peter Whoriskey

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