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35 Maine lawmakers want to regulate and tax marijuana

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Legislation that would legalize and tax the recreational use of marijuana in Maine now has 35 co-sponsors in the state legislature.

“Support for changing our marijuana laws is growing as more and more elected officials realize it makes no sense to maintain a system of prohibition for a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “Maine can and should take a more sensible approach to marijuana policy, and we are glad to see so many legislators agree.”

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The 28 Democrats, 3 Republicans, 1 Independent, and 2 tribal representatives who are co-sponsoring the bill represent a major shift from 2012, when similar legislation gained little support.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Diane Russell (D), would allow those over 21 years of age to purchase marijuana from state-licensed stores. Individuals could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of the drug and grow up to six marijuana plants. The legislation reflects the state’s current medical marijuana laws, with the major exception being that anyone — not just those with a serious illness — would have access to the drug.

If the Maine legislature approves the bill, it would go to a statewide referendum in 2014.

Voters in Washington state and Colorado approved similar measures in November 2012.

“Sometimes bills have to percolate before they really resonate,” Russell told Raw Story in February. “When Colorado and Washington decided to regulate marijuana like alcohol, a real snowball came at me. I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal, but in the end it’s become a real culture shift, and that shift has really happened across the country.”

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Along with Maine, the Marijuana Policy Project expects to see strong marijuana legalization efforts in Oregon and California.

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[Woman smoking marijuana via Shutterstock]

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George Conway reveals Trump is being shunned by law firms because young lawyers ‘want nothing to do with him’

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Conservative attorney George Conway asserted in a column over the weekend that President Donald Trump's history of mistreating law firms is catching up with him.

In a Sunday op-ed for The Washington Post, Conway explains that Trump is now faced with sparse choices for legal representation in his impeachment trial after years of not paying attorneys and generally being a bad client.

Pointing to Trump's choice of Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, Conway writes:

?The president has consistently encountered difficulty in hiring good lawyers to defend him. In 2017, after Robert S. Mueller III became special counsel, Trump couldn’t find a high-end law firm that would take him as a client. His reputation for nonpayment preceded him: One major Manhattan firm I know had once been forced to eat bills for millions in bond work it once did for Trump. No doubt other members of the legal community knew of other examples.

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Texas GOPer Cornyn blames Trump’s problems on campaign ‘grifters’ — then calls Giuliani ‘not relevant’

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Appearing on CBS's “Face the Nation," Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) attempted to blame Donald Trump's impeachment problems on "grifters" who found a way to attach themselves to the now-president when he began to run for president.

Speaking with host Margaret Brennan, Cornyn was asked about allegations made by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that have implicated not only the president but Vice President Mike Pence and senior White House officials in an attempt to strongarm the leaders of Ukraine in return for military aid.

"Doesn't it trouble you that [Parnas] was working so closely with Rudy Giuliani, who was acting on the president's behalf and saying he was acting on the president's behalf?" host Brennan asked. "

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‘No sound basis’: Georgetown law professor explains why Alan Dershowitz will crumble under Senate questioning

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Georgetown law professor John Mikhail suggested on Sunday that the portion of President Donald Trump's defense which is being covered by Alan Dershowitz to fail because it has "no sound basis" in history and law.

"There is no sound basis for Alan Dershowitz to claim that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. In addition to being at odds with common sense, this claim is contradicted by a clear and consistent body of historical evidence," Mikhail stated.

The law professor cited the impeachment of Warren Hastings in the 1780s.

"Some of the best evidence comes from the case of Warren Hastings, which informed the drafting Art. II, Sec 4," Mikhail wrote. "The fact that he was not guilty of treason, but still deserved to be impeached, was a major reason 'other high crimes and misdemeanors' was added to the Constitution."

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