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Alaska could be the next state to legalize marijuana

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Supporters of marijuana legalization are hoping that Alaska will follow the example set by Colorado and Washington state.

Timothy Hinterberger told the Anchorage Daily News that his ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Alaska is about halfway there. Hinterberger, who sponsored the ballot initiative, and his supporters need to gather about 30,000 valid signatures by December 1 to qualify for next year’s primary ballot.

“In a free society, prohibition of popular substances is just bad public policy,” Hinterberger said.

If approved by voters, the measure would allow those 21 and older to use and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 1998.

The ballot measure is similar to two successful initiatives in Colorado and Washington state. Residents of both states voted to legalize marijuana in 2012.

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The U.S. Department of Justice eventually responded to the successful legalization efforts by announcing it would not interfere with states that legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. The announcement was intended to clear up discrepancies between state and federal marijuana policies, and has given marijuana reformers like Hinterberger hope.

“I think that shows that we are on the right track in thinking that things are really changing, both in federal policy as well in public sentiment. It eliminates one of the arguments you sometimes hear against an initiative like ours — it doesn’t matter what we do locally as a state because the feds will still step in,” he explained to the Anchorage Daily News.

In a news release issued Monday, the Marijuana Policy Project said Alaska was one of ten states they expected to legalize marijuana by 2017. The group said it was supporting the petition drive in Alaska, and planned similar ballot initiatives in four other states.

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“Most Americans are tired of seeing their tax dollars used to arrest and prosecute adults for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” said MPP executive director Rob Kampia. “Voters and state legislators are ready for change, and the federal government appears to be ready, as well.”


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Will Hurd becomes first GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump’s ‘racist and xenophobic’ attacks on Dems

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Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) on Monday became the first Republican lawmaker to unequivocally condemn President Donald Trump's racist attacks against four Democratic lawmakers.

When asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour about Trump's weekend tweets, in which he told Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to “go back” to their countries despite the fact that all four are American citizens, Hurd did not hold back on repudiating the president's statements.

"Those tweets are racist, and xenophobic," he said. "They’re also inaccurate. The four women he’s referring to are actually citizens of the United States."

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Opponents of Fox News’ racism are ignoring the most important target: columnist

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Over the weekend, Fox News host Tucker Carlson went on a rant against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (R-MN), claiming that she poses a danger to America and is the reason U.S. immigration laws should be changed.

Writing in The Intercept, columnist Peter Maas points out that while it's important to call out Carlson's racism, journalists shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real culprits are the Murdoch family, which funds the xenophobia and racism of Fox News.

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Trump says his racist attacks were ‘not at all’ racist as Pelosi preps resolution condemning him

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President Donald Trump on Monday said his racist attacks on four Democratic lawmakers were "not at all" racist, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced a congressional resolution to condemn him for his "disgusting" smears.

While taking questions from reporters, the president was asked if he believed his attacks on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) -- whom Trump told to "go back" to their countries despite the fact that all four are American citizens -- were racist.

"Not at all," the president replied.

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