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Mar 26, 2015

California plans public forums on marijuana legalization options

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – California officials will hold forums starting next month across the most populous U.S. state to seek public input on proposals to legalize marijuana under a strict tax and regulatory system, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday.

California became the first U.S. state to allow medical marijuana at a ballot in 1996, and it was followed by several other states, some of which also later legalized recreational use of the drug by adults.

Mar 25, 2015

Colorado pot arrests plunge, but rate for blacks still higher: study

DENVER (Reuters) – The number of marijuana possession arrests in Colorado fell sharply after its first legal retail stores opened last year, but blacks still faced higher arrest rates than whites, a pro-pot group said on Wednesday.

Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults in landmark ballots in 2012. Voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia have since followed suit.

Mar 25, 2015

Colorado pot campaigner seeks ‘sanctuary’ status for mountain town

By Daniel Wallis

NEDERLAND, Colo. (Reuters) – Surrounded by tie-dyed T-shirts and marijuana pipes at her gift shop in the Colorado mountain town of Nederland, veteran pot activist Kathleen Chippi seems an unlikely candidate to have voted no when the state legalized recreational weed in 2012.

She says the measure was “fake” legalization because marijuana remains prohibited by federal law, and users, including medicinal pot patients and their caregiver, still risk having their lives ruined by prosecution and jail time.

Mar 25, 2015

Police name persons of interest in death of Colorado teen girl

DENVER (Reuters) – Utah police identified on Tuesday two people of interest in the death of a teenage Colorado girl who vanished in December and whose remains were found in a suitcase in a remote park area late last month.

Kelly Mae Myers, 18, was reported missing in the mountain town of Grand Junction by relatives who said she might have been trying to hitchhike to visit friends in the Salt Lake City area.

Mar 24, 2015

Bark beetles not adding to U.S. West’s wildfire woes: study

DENVER (Reuters) – Forests in Western U.S. states that have been ravaged by mountain pine beetles are no more likely to be consumed by wildfires than forests unaffected by the insects, a new study by scientists in Colorado has found.

Warmer than usual winters in recent years have allowed the tree-killing beetles to survive the cold months and leave behind stands of dry wood that experts had feared could help fuel early season wildfires.

Mar 11, 2015

Utah to bring back firing squad if lethal injections unavailable

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Lawmakers in Utah voted on Tuesday to bring back executions by firing squad if lethal injections are unavailable, which would make it the only state in the country to permit the practice.

Utah used firing squads for decades before adopting lethal injections in 2004. The Republican-sponsored bill, which passed the state Senate by 18-10, was introduced amid national concerns about the efficacy of lethal injections.

Mar 7, 2015

DNA clears woman of murder after three decades in Nevada prison

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Prosecutors in Nevada dropped a murder charge on Friday against a woman who spent more than three decades behind bars for the crime, saying newly found DNA evidence cleared her of slaying a 19-year-old nursing student almost 40 years ago.

A judge threw out the conviction against Cathy Woods, 64, in September after DNA evidence from a cigarette butt at the scene of the fatal stabbing near the University of Nevada campus in Reno was matched to a prisoner in Oregon.

Mar 4, 2015

Utah lawmakers file anti-bias bill, with backing of Mormon Church

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Lawmakers in conservative Utah on Wednesday
introduced a landmark anti-discrimination bill, with the backing
of the Mormon Church, that they said would prevent
discrimination based on sexual orientation while also protecting
religious freedom.

The proposal, which supporters hailed as a model for the
rest of the country, would prohibit employers, landlords or
property owners from discriminating against job applicants or
tenants based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Feb 27, 2015

Colorado sold 17 tons of retail marijuana in first legal year

DENVER (Reuters) – Consumers in Colorado bought more than 17 tons of recreational marijuana buds during the first year of the state’s new retail market, but sales of medicinal pot still outstripped that at almost 50 tons, officials said on Friday.

In a national first, voters in Colorado and Washington state opted to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults in landmark twin ballots in 2012. The first retail stores opened in Colorado on Jan 1, 2014.

Feb 25, 2015

Critics protest proposal to control federal lands in Colorado

DENVER (Reuters) – Groups representing hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife advocates rallied side by side in Denver on Wednesday in protest of a proposal by Colorado lawmakers that seeks to take control of federal public lands in the state.

Organizers of the demonstration outside the Capitol building, which drew about 100 people including some wearing camouflage hunting outfits below bright orange headwear, said the state has no right to seek so-called cooperative management of national lands.

    • About Daniel

      "Daniel used to work for The Times newspaper and PA News agency in London before joining Reuters in 2003. Since then he has reported on political, general and economic news from across east Africa, Iraq and Latin America."
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