Oregon, Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana

purple_kush

Oregon, Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana

cnn

By Dan Merica, CNN

 

Washington (CNN) — Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., have voted to approve sweeping pro-marijuana legalization, according to a CNN projection.

In Oregon, the law legalizes personal possession, manufacture and sale of marijuana for people 21 years of age and older. Mimicking similar plans in Washington State and Colorado, the Oregon law will also create a commercial regulatory system for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.

Washington, D.C.’s proposal, while scaled back compared to the Oregon proposal, allows for a person over 21 years old to posses up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and grow up to six cannabis plants in their home. It also allows people to transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person, but not sell it.

Photos: History of marijuana in America Photos: History of marijuana in America

The issue is not fully resolved for the District of Columbia, however. Because of its unique status as a district, not a state, Congress has the authority to overrule D.C. laws and some lawmakers have signaled that they would likely work to overrule the popular vote.

Pro-marijuana activists heralded the victories as “huge” on Tuesday.

‘I like weed, and I’m a good person’: Pot smokers fight stereotypes

“It’s always an uphill battle to win a marijuana legalization initiative in a year like this, when young people are so much less likely to vote, which makes today’s victory all the sweeter,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance said about Oregon. “The pace of reform is accelerating, other states are sure to follow, and even Congress is poised to wake from its slumber.”

Wins in Washington, D.C. also have activists hoping for federal recognition.

“With marijuana legal in the federal government’s backyard,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, “it’s going to be increasingly difficult for national politicians to continue ignoring the growing majority of voters who want to end prohibition.”

Not all news was positive, however, for marijuana activists on Tuesday, however.

Voters in Florida gave the thumbs down to medical marijuana in the the Sunshine State earlier in the night, according to a CNN projection.

The measure – which is one of many on ballots in 2014 – would have legalized the use of medical marijuana in Florida and would have tasked the state’s Department of Health with regulating it.

Because the measure would have altered Florida’s constitution, supporters needed 60% for the question to pass. Only 57% of voters voted yes, compared to 43% who voted no with 91% of vote reporting.

Marijuana has been a surging issue of late and voters in Alaska are also considering sweeping legalization laws on Tuesday night.

Alaska’s law is similar to Oregon and would tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana, making the use legal for people over 21 years old

In 2013, according to Gallup, more Americans supported legalization than those who opposed it. Just 14 years earlier, those who opposed it had over a 2-to-1 advantage. A 2014 Pew Research poll found that 54% of Americans supported making marijuana legal.

Ever since voters in Colorado and Washington allowed the sale of legalized marijuana in 2014 (after voters decided to legalize years before), the push for more marijuana legalization has become a popular nationwide effort.

The laws in Oregon and Alaska are similar to what Colorado and Washington State passed and would allow recreational sale and taxation of the drug. Both votes are expected to be close, with polls mixed on the results.

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Fed-Up With Obama’s Hypocrisy, We the People Hand Congress To the Republicans

Disaster for Obama as Republicans Win U.S. Senate

naharnet

W460

Republicans stormed to victory Tuesday in U.S. midterm elections, thumping rival Democrats to clinch control of both houses of Congress and assuring a fractious final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Riding a wave of voter frustration with Washington incumbents and the unpopular policies of the Obama administration, Republicans seized at least seven seats from Senate Democrats to claim total congressional control for the first time since 2006.

“The American people have put their trust in the Republican Party,” Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said shortly after the Democratic implosion.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican, brushed aside the toughest challenge to his Kentucky seat in 30 years and was slated to replace Harry Reid as Senate majority leader.

“This experiment in big government has lasted long enough. It’s time to go in a new direction,” McConnell boomed to supporters in his victory speech.

But he sounded a conciliatory note as well, adding that while he and the president rarely see eye to eye, “we do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree.”

Reid, stung by losing his powerful leadership role, congratulated McConnell but also called for cooperation.

“The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together,” Reid said.

Republicans have held the 435-seat House of Representatives since 2010, and they kept it safely in hand Tuesday.

In a bipartisan achievement, for the first time ever more than 100 women were projected to win House seats.

But compounding Democratic woes, projections showed the GOP could actually gain an impressive 14 to 18 House seats, giving Republicans their largest majority since 1946.

Republicans also cleaned up in key governors’ races, earning re-election in Florida, Wisconsin and Kansas and stunning Democrats by winning governorships in blue Maryland and Massachusetts.

But of the 36 governors’ races, probably the most painful for Obama was Illinois, where Republican Bruce Rauner ousted Democrat Pat Quinn in the president’s home state.

– ‘Powerful repudiation’ –

Democrats worked feverishly to draw voters to the polls in a last-gasp effort, but it was not enough to halt the Republican juggernaut.

With no legislative base in Congress, Obama will struggle to pass any reforms in the final stretch of his mandate, and his opponents will be able to thwart his appointments to judicial and official posts.

The party of an incumbent president historically fares badly in elections in his second term, and every president since Ronald Reagan has left office with the opposition controlling Congress.

The Republicans, capitalizing on the nation’s sour mood despite an economic recovery, essentially based their campaigns on attacks against Obama and policies like his troubled health care reform.

“It was a powerful repudiation of the Obama agenda,” conservative Senator Ted Cruz told CNN.

But he repeated what many in his party have urged, that the responsibility now falls on Republicans to govern, particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

“We are humbled by the responsibility the American people have placed with us, but this is not a time for celebration,” House Speaker John Boehner said, adding he hoped Obama would not launch a ‘counterattack’ on the Republican majority.

“It’s time for government to start getting results and implementing solutions to the challenges facing our country, starting with our still-struggling economy,” Boehner added.

While Republicans are likely to cooperate on issues like tax reform, the party will seek to breathe life into their stalled jobs bills, to gain approval of the delayed Keystone XL pipeline, roll back some carbon emission regulations and tweak Obamacare.

Election night was ugly from the get-go for Obama’s party.

Democrats including Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Udall of Colorado fell like dominoes as Republicans capitalized on a particularly strong set of candidates, including Arkansas’ Tom Cotton and Colorado’s Cory Gardner, who successfully convinced voters they would be better off with leaders not loyal to an unpopular president.

Conservative Joni Ernst won her battle in Iowa, becoming the state’s first female senator and assuring Republicans hold at least 52 seats.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire held her seat, but that was the only good news for Democrats, as Republicans fended off challenges in GOP strongholds Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky.

The onslaught could well deepen for Democrats, with an unexpected cliffhanger remaining in Virginia, Alaska up in the air and Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu forced into an unfavorable December 6 runoff.

The Republican performance appeared to surpass most expectations.

“They’ve done this about as well as they could conceivably have done it,” University of Michigan assistant professor Michael Heaney told Agence France Presse.

A chastened Obama has invited the four congressional leaders to the White House on Friday.

Kill A Couple of Saudi Cops and Convince the World That You Have Abandoned the Caliphate

Death toll hits 11 in Saudi attacks, aftermath

Saudis Claim That Rabid Extremist Channel Yanked Off Air, But It Continues On Internet

wesal.tv

http://www.wesal.tv/

Saudi Arabia shuts office of TV channel for fomenting sectarian tension

Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has closed down the offices of a religious television channel accused of fomenting sectarian tension, after at least eight people were killed in an attack on Shi’ite Muslims marking a major religious anniversary.

Wesal TV has long been accused of broadcasting programs against Shi’ite Muslims, a minority that lives in the eastern and southwestern areas of mainly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia.

The channel often described Shi’ites as “rejectionists”, a pejorative label which dates back to the seventh century schism between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam.

“I have ordered the offices of Wesal channel in Riyadh closed and to ban any broadcast by it in the kingdom,” Saudi Information Minister Abdulaziz Khoja said on his Twitter account. “This is essentially not a Saudi channel,” he added in a message in Arabic on Tuesday evening.

The royal court later said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA on Wednesday that Khoja had been relieved of his post at his request and replaced by the minister for the haj pilgrimage.

Local experts ruled out any connection between Khoja’s departure and the closure of the television offices, saying the move against Wesal would have come after wider consultations.

Wesal television officials could not immediately be reached for a comment. But on its website, Wesal TV defined one of its objectives as highlighting “the accords and speeches of the turbaned Shi’ites and scholars, which exposes them and uncovers their falsehood”.

The move followed the shooting at an annual ceremony marking the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, revered by Shi’ites as a symbol of their faith.

Saudi security forces on Tuesday shot dead two suspected members of the armed group that carried out the attack in the eastern al-Ahsa region on Monday night.

The attack was condemned by an official council of top Sunni Muslim scholars as a “vicious assault and a heinous crime whose perpetrators deserve the harshest religious penalties”.

But some residents complained that the problem was with institutions and individuals who regard Shi’ites as heretics and justify attacks on them.

In Tehran, the Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack on fellow Shi’ites and called on the Saudi government to identify and punish the perpetrators, state news agency ISNA said on Wednesday.

In his Twitter message, Khoja also said Saudi Arabia would not tolerate any news organization that fomented sectarian tension.

“The Ministry of Culture and Information will not be silent towards any news organization, be it written, audio, visual or online, that tries to target the homeland’s national unity, security and stability,” he said.

Last month, the Twitter account of one of Wesal’s broadcasters, Khaled al-Ghamdi, was suspended for allegedly calling on followers to celebrate the death of Yemeni Shi’ite members of the Houthi group in a suicide bombing that had killed 47 people in Sanaa.

(Additional reporting by Ali Abdelaty in Cairo and Michelle Moghtader in Dubai,; Writing by Sami Aboudi, editing by Dominic Evans)

Obama, Hypocrite Without Limits, Ignores His Own Sanctions and Asks Iran for Help In Afghanistan and Iraq

Iran

According to reports, the United States has turned to Iran in a bid to help jump start the fledgling economy of Afghanistan.

The move was reportedly made by Pentagon to seek out business relations with Afghanistan’s western neighbor by establishing a special task form.

Iran has been asked by the special task force to estbalish a pharmaceutical company in Afghanistan and develpe four mines, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This comes as Washington has levied strict sanctions on American companies doing business in Iran.

The trade value between Afghanistan and Iran has hit $4 billion annually with Iranian officials saying that the growth was noted in trade deals, including transit of goods and fuel products.

In the meantime, Afghanisan is expected to find new sea routes through Iran’s Chabahar port after the Indian government approved a plan to develop the port.

The port will be developed by an Indian joint venture company with an investment of $85.21 million and operate the port for 10 years.

Chabahar port is located in th sistan-Baluchistan province in southeastern coast of Iran which is considered to be a strategic utility for India.

The port is having a distance of 883 km to Zaranj district of western Nimroz province which could link the major cities of Afghanistan, Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif to sea routes through Zaranj-Delaram road.