Alex's Feed
Nov 9, 2012

Colorado attorney general casts doubt on taxes for legalized pot

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Colorado’s Republican attorney general said the state cannot collect taxes of up to 15 percent on pot sales without further voter approval, casting doubt on how quickly a new state measure legalizing recreational marijuana can be implemented.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has said that he would implement a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing the recreational use of marijuana by adults, although he personally opposed it. But he said the language of the measure conflicts with the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Nov 8, 2012

Marijuana legalization victories could be short-lived

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Votes making Colorado and Washington the first U.S. states to legalize marijuana for recreational use could be short-lived victories for pot backers because the federal government will fight them, two former U.S. drug control officials said on Wednesday.

They said the federal government could sue to block parts of the measures or send threatening letters to marijuana shops, followed up by street-level clampdowns similar to those targeting medical marijuana dispensaries the government suspects are fronts for drug traffickers.

Nov 6, 2012

Three states to vote on legalizing recreational pot

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Voters in three western U.S. states go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use in a move that could spur a showdown with the federal government, with polls showing legalization ahead in Washington and Colorado.

If voters approve the measures, the states could become the first in the country to legalize the recreational use of pot. Each of the initiatives would see marijuana taxed and would regulate its sale in special stores to adults age 21 and older.

Nov 3, 2012

Democrat v Democrat in divisive California congressional race

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two rival Democratic congressmen are proving that similar politics does not guarantee amity in a hard-fought California race on the edge of Hollywood that has at times resembled reality television more than a congressional campaign.

The contest pits U.S. Representative Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, against Representative Brad Sherman, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee first elected in 1996.

Nov 2, 2012

California Republican chairman will not run again to head party

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The chairman of the California Republican Party will not seek another term as leader of the organization in the country’s most populous state, where rival Democrats increasingly dominate the state Legislature, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Tom Del Beccaro, who took over last year as chairman of the state Republican Party, said in a statement this week to supporters and provided to Reuters on Thursday that it was time “to pause from party politics.”

Nov 1, 2012

Gunman wounds four at college Halloween party in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire outside a large Halloween party at the University of Southern California and wounded four people in the second major shooting incident involving the urban Los Angeles institution this year, police said on Thursday.

The gunfire erupted late on Wednesday outside a party at the Tutor Campus Center, the university said in a statement, although the people wounded in the incident were not students, faculty or staff at the school.

Oct 30, 2012

Trio of former California governors seeks to preserve death penalty

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A trio of former California governors urged voters on Tuesday to preserve the death penalty in the state by defeating a ballot initiative seeking to abolish capital punishment on cost grounds, and a recent poll showed the measure gaining support but falling short of passing.

The initiative, if passed by voters next week, would automatically commute the sentences of 725 death row inmates in California, which has nearly a quarter of the nation’s condemned prisoners but has executed none in the last six years.

Oct 27, 2012

Factbox: Rare factors could make Hurricane Sandy highly destructive

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the eastern United States with freakish power as it meets a cold front during a rare convergence of weather factors that is expected to steer the storm inland and widen the reach of its lashing winds.

Here is a look at some of the reasons why the event dubbed “Frankenstorm” by some weather watchers is so unusual and why it could be one of the most destructive U.S. storms in decades.

Oct 21, 2012

U.S. stance on marijuana unchanged by legalization votes: official

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A top Justice Department official has told “60 Minutes” the federal government is ready to combat any “dangers” of state-sanctioned recreational pot, amid criticism of the Obama administration for its relative silence on legalization drives in three states.

Voters in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon are set to vote on November 6 on whether to legalize and tax marijuana sales, raising the possibility of a showdown with the federal government, which views pot as an illegal narcotic.

Oct 17, 2012

Los Angeles County tax assessor arrested, charged with bribery

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles County tax assessor John Noguez was arrested on Wednesday and charged with accepting $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant whose clients he allegedly aided by slashing their property values to save them millions of dollars in taxes, prosecutors said.

Noguez, who went on leave in June after it was revealed he was under investigation, was led out of his house in handcuffs by investigators with the local District Attorney’s Office.