Does Passage of Marijuana Legalization Mean That Colorado Is Ready To Become the New Amsterdam?

Hold off on the Cheetos, Colorado gov tells potheads after voters back marijuana measure

Colorado voted to legalize smoking marijuana Tuesday, but the governor warned tokers not to “break out the Cheetos or Goldfish” just yet, since the federal government still takes a dim view of pot.

The Centennial State joined Washington in becoming the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana Tuesday night, setting up a battle between the states and the federal government, which prohibits use of the drug. The historic votes were among a host of decisions on ballot initiatives that will shape state-level policy on everything from recreational drug use to same-sex marriage. But Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the marijuana measure, said the federal government still considers marijuana taboo, so breaking out the bong could be premature.

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” Hickenlooper said. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

Click to read the exit polls

The Colorado measure has sparked a national debate about marijuana policy, with supporters pushing for the federal government to end marijuana prohibition nationwide. The Colorado measure states adults over 21 can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, or six marijuana plants, for personal use. Opponents have said it will make the state a haven for drug tourists.

The measure in Washington State, Initiative 502, will legalize and regulate the production, possession and distribution of marijuana for residents age 21 and older.

The new law will impose a 25 percent tax rate on marijuana when the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer and when the retailer sells it to the customer. The measure could bring in $500 million, a figure analysts dispute.


“That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

– Gov. John Hickenlooper


Voters in Oregon, where the pro-marijuana advocates were less organized and poorly funded, defeated a ballot measure that would have allowed the commercial growth and sale of marijuana to adults. Known as Measure 80, it would have legalized pot through state-licensed stores, allowed unlicensed growth and use of marijuana by adults and prohibit restrictions on pot.

In Arkansas, voters rejected a measure legalizing medical marijuana, while in Massachusetts, voters supported a similar measure. Massachusetts also voted on a physician-assisted suicide measure, but that result was too close to call early Wednesday.

Maine and Maryland residents approved same-sex marriage, giving the gay rights movement its latest victories. Washington voters also voted on a same-sex marriage measure, but the results are not yet known because voters there had to mail in their decisions. In Minnesota voters were deciding on a proposal to ban gay marriage in the state constitution.

Maine’s ballot measure signaled the first time that gay-rights supporters put the issue to a popular vote.

In both Maryland and Washington, gay-marriage laws were approved by lawmakers and signed by the governors earlier this year, but opponents gathered enough signatures to challenge the laws.

In Minnesota, the question was whether the state would join 30 others in placing a ban on gay marriage in its constitution. Even if the ban is defeated, same-sex marriage would remain illegal in Minnesota under statute.

Gay marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia – in each case the result of legislation or court orders, not by a vote of the people.

In Maryland, students brought to the United States illegally as children, won their fight to obtain in-state tuition breaks at the state’s public colleges and universities. It also helps some illegal immigrants who graduate from high school in Maryland.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Hillary Clinton’s “democracy” for Syria

Hillary Clinton’s “democracy” for Syria

US imperialism has a long and sordid record of bloody military interventions and interference in the affairs of other countries for the purpose of securing the interests of Wall Street and corporate America.

Ever since William Howard Taft declared that “our little brown brothers” of the Philippines would need “50 to 100 years of close supervision” to develop functioning self-government, these interventions have been justified with assertions of Washington’s unique role in bringing democracy to less fortunate peoples of the world, generally at the point of a gun.

Seldom, however, has this pretense been proclaimed so shamelessly as in the announcement last week by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Washington had decided to appoint a new leadership for the “Syrian revolution.”

Clinton unceremoniously dismissed the former leadership, the Syrian National Council, a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated outfit that Washington had proclaimed little more than a year ago as the “legitimate representative” of the Syrian people. Now she says they are just a bunch of out-of-touch exiles who haven’t set foot in Syria for decades.

The problem is, Clinton declared, the SNC is insufficiently representative of the Syrian people. So the US State Department has handpicked a new group of individuals and organizations that is to form the basis of a transitional government. “We have recommended names and organizations that we believe should be included in any leadership structure,” Clinton told a press conference in Zagreb, Croatia on October 31.

Here one has a text-book example of democracy “made in the USA,” or, more precisely, neocolonialism.

To qualify for inclusion in Washington’s handpicked roster of “representative” leaders, one must “be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution,” Clinton decreed.

The aim is clear. The State Department wants a “respectable” face for the grisly conflict that Washington has fomented in Syria, elevating the pro-US businessman Riad Seif and similar figures as a government in waiting, even as the fighting is being carried out more and more by Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias receiving covert US backing.

When it comes to hijacking dissent, however, no one can compete with Washington. This is precisely what it has done in Syria, just as it did earlier in Libya.

Having seen two of its longest-standing and most trusted stooges in the region—Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak—toppled by uprisings of the working masses, Washington decided to seize the initiative by using the “Arab Spring” as a cover for promoting regime-change.

First in Libya, it exploited popular protests and a trumped-up claim that the population of Benghazi was in imminent danger of annihilation as the pretext for launching a US-NATO war to topple Muammar Gaddafi. Now, in Syria, it has helped turn similar protests into a vicious sectarian civil war through which it seeks the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad.

In Syria, US imperialism has relied more heavily on proxy forces, including Islamist foreign fighters, which have been aided and armed by US allies in the region, principally Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with the CIA orchestrating the operation from a newly created station in southern Turkey.

This is by no means the first time that Washington has attempted to install a government of its own choosing in Damascus, in contempt of the aspirations and rights of the Syrian people. For nearly a decade, from 1949 to 1958, the CIA waged a non-stop campaign to instigate, finance and support right-wing coup plots aimed at bringing to power a regime subordinate to US interests.

Beginning in 1948, CIA operatives plotted with Syrian Army Chief of Staff Col. Husni Zaim, described by the agency in declassified documents as a “‘Banana Republic’ dictator type,” to bring to power an anti-communist military dictatorship.

On March 30, 1949, Zaim carried out his coup and proceeded to enact Washington’s agenda, rounding up left-wing and nationalist forces, signing an armistice with Israel, and approving a pipeline deal with the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO).

Barely nine months later, however, Zaim was himself ousted in another coup. In the early 1950s, this process was repeated, with a more nationalist government being overthrown by a US-backed right-wing officer, only to see a countercoup topple Washington’s man.

Then followed Operation Straggle and Operation Wappen, with the CIA collaborating with Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in assassinations and coup plots involving right-wing officers and politicians as well as Islamist forces. By 1957, the US nearly provoked World War Three over Syria, sending the Sixth Fleet to its shores, deploying warplanes in Turkey, convincing the Turkish government to mass 50,000 troops on Syria’s border, and placing the Strategic Air Command on high alert.

During this period, President Eisenhower justified US intervention by describing Syria as a country “ripe to be plucked at any time,” while accusing Moscow of attempting to do the same thing as Washington.

Once again, Washington views Syria as a country “ripe to be plucked” and has unleashed a bloodbath against the Syrian people to that end. Its aims have nothing to do with “democracy” or “human rights,” but are bound up, just as they were more than half a century ago, with asserting US hegemony in the energy-rich and geo-strategically vital region of the Middle East and advancing the interests of America’s financial and corporate oligarchy. Once again, this intervention carries with it the threat of a far wider war.

One thing that distinguishes the present US intervention in Syria from those carried out in the 1950s is the support it has received from a whole layer of pseudo-left organizations, from the International Socialist Organization in the US, to the New Anti-capitalist Party in France, to the Socialist Workers Party in Britain. Their unique contribution has been to cast the sectarian civil war as a “revolution” and portray imperialist intervention as a justifiable means of advancing human progress.

Hillary Clinton’s brazen statements and Washington’s cobbling together of a new leadership for this “revolution” at a luxury hotel in Doha have served to expose the real role of these organizations, which have integrated themselves directly into the operations of US imperialism, serving as willing stooges of the State Department.

The reality is that the working people of Syria and the entire Middle East can advance their interests only through a relentless struggle against imperialism, which is intervening through Hillary Clinton’s Doha “revolutionaries” and the Islamist gangs armed by Washington and its allies.

Settling accounts with the Assad regime in Syria, just as with the US-backed dictatorships and monarchies in the region, is the task of the working class, which must be mobilized and united across all religious and ethnic lines on the basis of an internationalist and socialist program.

Bill Van Auken

The Big Shot of Bahrain Revokes Citizenship of 31 Shia Activists

Bahrain dropped the citizenship of 31 people on charges of “causing harm to the security of the state”


Dropped Bahraini authorities citizenship of 31 people on charges of “causing harm to state security” and decision includes clerics and personalities have already enter the House of Representatives, along with a number of opposition activists, while announced security services to arrest suspected of involvement in a series of bombings Monday. Agency quoted Bahrain News from the Interior Ministry said the decision came “based on the text of item (c) of Article 10 of the Nationality Act, which authorizes deprivation of citizenship who enjoy it if it causes harm to the security of the state.”

According to the resolution, included deprivation of citizenship, former deputy for the association “reconciliation” Shiite opposition, Jawad Fairouz, and his colleague Jalal Fairuz, along with clerics, including Hussein Mirza, Khalid Hamid Mansour support and loft Said honor. According ماذكرت Network (CNN).

The resolution also included some activists, including the head of the movement of “free Bahrain” opposition, Said al-Shihabi, and Ali Hassan Mushaima, the son of the leader of the “right” of the opposition.

The decision includes also all of Ibrahim Karimi, Jaafar arithmetic and Abdel Raouf Shayeb and Musa Mohammed and Abbas Nasser Omran and Mohammed Kharraz and Qassem Hashem and Hassan Sadiq and Syed Mohammad Ali Abdul Ridha al-Moussawi and Abdel Hadi Hussain Hubail and Ghulam Mohammadi and Abdul Nabi Moussawi and Timor Karimi.

The news agency pointed Bahraini that the Minister of the Interior “will take Algjraat necessary to implement it (the decision to drop sexual) in light of the Kingdom’s commitment to maintaining national security and in line with the commitment of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the international conventions and in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

The Agency stressed that every objector decision asylum to spend.’s Decision and the Interior Ministry, hours after the issuance of the Bahraini Parliament to a statement in which he expressed “categorical rejection and strong condemnation of the escalation of dangerous play groups violence and sabotage” against the backdrop of a series of bombings and improvised explosive devices and cocktails that hit the country.

The Council reiterated in a statement Tuesday demanding the security and legal authorities in the country “strengthen its role and its organs, and the arrest of the perpetrators and the terrorists and their supporters and instigators, and bring them to justice.”

The Council noted in its statement that what he described as “an escalation of violence and terrorism” is the product of “incitement and of the support terrorists views and personalities barely incite violence and hatred, and calls for the killing and crushing, and the expulsion and displacement of expatriates and residents, and those who received the honor of citizenship, according to the letter of sectarian militant “as he put it.

Bahrain has witnessed the dawn of Monday, the occurrence of five separate bombings targeting two different areas, killing two people and wounding a third, according to the security authorities announced the Gulf Kingdom.

And Major General Tariq al-Hassan, head of the General Security, the competent security agencies managed Tuesday arrested four suspects after obtaining permission from the Public Prosecution and the completion of all legal procedures.

Wahhabi/Salafi Preacher Calls for Jihad Against Government On Tunisian TV

Nasr al-Din al-Alawi, a Salafi cleric and imam, was shown in a TV interview brandishing a white cloth, used for a coffin, as a sign that he is willing to sacrifice his life.

Nasr al-Din al-Alawi, a Salafi cleric and imam, was shown in a TV interview brandishing a white cloth, used for a coffin, as a sign that he is willing to sacrifice his life.

Salafi cleric’s ‘coffin campaign’ goes live on Tunisian TV

Tunisian viewers were taken shocked when a Salafi cleric called upon Muslim youths to carry out jihadist acts against the government in a live TV show this week.

Tunisian analysts warned of the consequences of a growing militant discourse that has prevailed after the revolution.

Nasr al-Din al-Alawi, a Salafi cleric and imam, was shown in a TV interview (in the presence of Interior Minister Ali Larayed) brandishing a white cloth, used to represent a coffin, as a sign that he is willing to sacrifice his life.

He then called upon Salafi youths in Tunisia to do the same and to declare jihad against the ruling al-Nahda party and the minister, who is also a member of the party.

Tunisian experts found the incident alarming and launched an initiative in the weekly Assabah newspaper, which called upon al-Nahda to choose between what they termed “the coffin campaign” and the promotion of freedom and progress.

They lashed out at the ruling party for its attempts to woo the ultra-conservative Islamists and warned of the grave consequences of overlooking actions that incite violence like Alawi’s.

Political analyst Salah al-Din al-Jurshi argued that all al-Nahda’s attempts at winning the Salafis to their side have failed.

“Salafis view al-Nahda as their enemy now and the coffin incident proves that they might think of escalation against the party and the troika government and which for them have lost their legitimacy,” he wrote.

Jurshi added that despite initiatives by several more moderate Salafi clerics to diffuse the tension between Salafis and the government, clashes are still likely to happen in the coming stage.

“This is because the Salafi discourse has not really changed,” he said.

Regarding the application of a law the entitles security forces to shoot at Salafi in case of violations, Jurshi said that while the law itself seems capable of restoring stability, violence has proven an inadequate way of solving such problems even if it is perpetrated by a legitimate government.

“This way of handling things proved a great failure when [former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine] Ben Ali tried it with al-Nahda.”

Professor of history and expert on Islamic studies Aliya al-Alani found confrontations between Salafis and the government unlikely to take place in the near future.

“After the coffin incident, many Salafis, as well as members of al-Nahda, hurried to mediate between Salafi zealots and the government because they think any confrontation will serve the interests of the seculars.”

Alani agrees with Jurshi as far as al-Nahda’s inability to contain the Salafi threat is concerned.

“If al-Nahda was capable of convincing the Salafis to tone down their rhetoric and renounce violence, why didn’t it do that several months ago when several politicians and intellectuals were subjected to attacks by Salafis?”

However, Alani argued that those attacks proved that Salafis are not as dangerous as they might appear to be because their numbers are much less than what is reported in the media.

“They are only a few hundreds, nothing more.”

Alani dismissed fears that al-Nahda would turn into a tyrannical entity and eventually create a regime similar to that of Ben Ali because al-Nahda’s allies are gradually diminishing and that is why it needs to deal wisely with the situation.

“The question is: has al-Nahda finally realized that its political future is not with the coffins bearers, but with the proponents of freedom and progress who promote the principles of equality and citizenship?” asked Alani.

© 2012 MBC Group

The ISI’s Afghan Taliban Fighting the CIA’s Pakistani Taliban In Ghazni Province–2 dead, each side

Kabul—Armed clashes among the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban militants left at least four people dead in Ghazni province , according to local authorities in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan,.

Provincial governor Mosa Khan Akbarzada confirming the report said the incident took place following verbal clashes among the Pakistan and Taliban fighters, reported Afghan.

Akbarzada further added at least four people including two Pakistani Taliban and two Afghan Taliban militants were killed in Andar district in this province.

This comes as an Afghan Taliban leader was killed following clashes with the Pakistani Taliban militants in Quetta city of Pakistan recently. In the meantime local authorities in western Farah province of Afghanistan announced at least 37 Taliban militants were killed or detained during special military operations by Afghan commandos. A spokesman for the Afgan Special Forces Nastu Nasiri said the operations were conducted by Afghan and coalition security forces in Gulistan district on Sunday. He said Afghan commandos and coalition security forces killed 7 Taliban militants and arrested30 others during the operations without suffering any casualties and seized several weapons, ammunitions and explosives during the operations.

Gulistan distict is bordering southern Helmand province of Afghanistan and majority of the Taliban militants have reportedly fled to Helmand province as a result of the military operation. Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the reports. —Online