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White House announces meeting with weed legalization activists next week

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Activists in a group supporting marijuana legalization said on Wednesday that White House officials had invited them to a meeting next week to talk about issues surrounding the substance.

“I hope to establish an ongoing dialogue with the White House and cannabis reformers,” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of the DCMJ activist group.

“This meeting is hopefully the beginning of many meetings where the White House will make reforms before this administration’s time ends,” said Eidinger, who has led efforts to legalize pot in the nation’s capital.

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The White House had no immediate comment. President Barack Obama’s final term ends in January.

DCMJ had written to Obama, his senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and other White House officials asking for a meeting. A source at the group said the meeting on Monday would be held with officials from the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, but he did not know exactly what marijuana issues they wanted to discuss.

The group wants the federal government to remove marijuana from the so-called list of Schedule One drugs that includes substances like heroin and cocaine. Activists say many Americans, especially blacks and Latinos, are needlessly jailed and medical research into cannabis is delayed because of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that initiated the listing. It was signed into law by former President Richard Nixon.

Obama has long said he supports decriminalizing marijuana but not legalizing it. He has called for reform of the criminal justice system for disproportionately incarcerating African-Americans for non-violent drug offenses like possession.

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Last year, Obama, who has been open about smoking pot in high school, said young people should care more about issues like climate change than legalizing the substance.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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