06-15-2019  6:53 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Photos: Oregon Welcomes Shakespeare Festival’s Newly Appointed Artistic Director

On Wednesday, June 12, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hosted a reception at the Froelick Gallery to welcome newly appointed artistic director Nataki Garret.

Juneteenth Celebrations Expand Across Metro Area, State

Gresham, Vancouver events join decades-old Portland celebration of the effective end of slavery

Portland Black Pride in June

Midway through Pride Month, there are still a number of events throughout Portland that celebrate LGBTQ community members of color.

Family, Police Seek Answers in Death of Black, Queer Portlander

Otis/Titi Gulley was found hanging from a tree on Rocky Butte May 27

NEWS BRIEFS

Must-See Shows Open in OSF Outdoor Theatre

New shows are Alice in Wonderland, Macbeth and All’s Well That Ends Well. ...

Roosevelt High School Students Earn National Recognition for Resiliency

Students from Roosevelt High School who recently started a storytelling and resiliency-building initiative have been invited to...

Seattle Art Museum Appoints Amada Cruz as New Director and CEO

The Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced today that Amada Cruz has been chosen as the museum’s new Illsley...

The Oregon Historical Society Presents a Lecture on Oregon’s Enigmatic Black History

Join the Oregon Historical Society for an evening exploring Oregon’s enigmatic history in relation to Blacks ...

Lisa Loving ‘Street Journalist’ Reading

On June, 2, Lisa Loving, former news editor of The Skanner News, read from her new book at Powell’s Books on Burnside ...

Oregon city stops jailing poor who can't pay court debts

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — The eastern Oregon city of Pendleton has stopped jailing people unable to pay fines, a city official said, following the settlement of a federal lawsuit contending city officials were running a debtors' prison.The East Oregonian reports in a story on Saturday that city...

North Entrance Road Opens at Crater Lake National Park

CRATER LAKE, Ore. (AP) — The North Entrance Road and West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park will open for travel Saturday morning.Superintendent Craig Ackerman says visitors now can drive to and from the park using the popular route and access spectacular views of the lake from West Rim...

OPINION

U.S. Attempt to Erase Harriet Tubman

Traitors like Jefferson Davis and other Confederates are memorialized while a woman who risked her life time and again to free enslaved people is simply dismissed. ...

Watching a Father and Son

You must have seen this video of a father speaking with his pre-verbal son about the season finale of Empire. ...

The Congressional Black Caucus Must Oppose HR 246

If every tactic that was used by African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement and/or in the fight against apartheid South Africa was either criminalized or attacked by the US Congress, how would you respond? ...

Jamestown to Jamestown: Commemorating 400 Years of the African Diaspora Experience

We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democrats favor more access to capital for black businesses

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Four Democrats vying for their party's presidential nomination honed in on the economic concerns of the black community during a forum Saturday in South Carolina, a state where nonwhite voters will play a major role in next year's primary election.Appearing on stage...

Cross-sports push at World Cup for gender pay equality

PARIS (AP) — Venus Williams joined retired soccer star Julie Foudy and ice hockey player Hilary Knight in the Eiffel Tower to highlight the push for pay equality for women athletes.The trio gathered Saturday night for a forum sponsored by LUNA bar and moderated by Catt Sadler, who quit E! in...

Protesters demand firing of Utah cop who pulled gun on child

WOODS CROSS, Utah (AP) — About 100 protesters gathered outside a police agency in northern Utah to demand an officer who pulled his gun on a 10-year-old child last week be fired.The crowd carried Black Lives Matter signs Friday evening and others protesting the incident, including one that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Aniston to Sandler before kissing scenes: 'Oil up the beard'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it came to their kissing scenes in Netflix's "Murder Mystery ," Jennifer Aniston had one requirement of co-star Adam Sandler."I did have him learn to oil the beard up a little bit," the actress said in a joint interview this week. "Conditioned."Sandler said kissing...

Democratic contenders bash Fox News on Fox News

NEW YORK (AP) — Julian Castro is the latest Democratic presidential contender to follow the trend of criticizing Fox News Channel while appearing on the network for a town hall.The former Housing secretary's scolding of Fox on Thursday for its coverage of Hillary Clinton was mild compared to...

'Gosh!' Cult comedy 'Napoleon Dynamite' turns 15

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite turns 15 years old this month, a milestone for a movie that became an early breakaway hit in today's era of pop-culture geek celebration.The movie created the "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt and made Napoleon's disgusted version of "gosh!"...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Babe Ruth road jersey sells at auction for .64 million

NEW YORK (AP) — A Babe Ruth road jersey dating to 1928-30 has sold at auction for .64 million.Hunt...

Activists push Sunday protest despite Hong Kong bill delay

HONG KONG (AP) — Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are planning a mass protest Sunday even after the...

Off-duty LA cop discharged gun during deadly Costco shooting

CORONA, Calif. (AP) — An off-duty Los Angeles police officer among three people injured during a shooting...

Guam Catholic group protests recruitment of abortion doctors

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A Catholic group has protested the governor of Guam's plan to recruit abortion...

Versace to Emporio: Men's looks shine, literally, in Milan

MILAN (AP) — Milan Fashion Week for spring/summer menswear previews has started with a slightly different...

Diplomats: Europeans weigh sanctions on Venezuela's Maduro

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Major European nations are considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela's...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

SEATTLE (AP) — A man who once served as the Justice Department's top official in Seattle said Tuesday that he is sponsoring an initiative to legalize possession of up to an ounce of dried marijuana in Washington state, a measure he hopes will help "shame Congress" into ending pot prohibition.

John McKay spent five years enforcing federal drug laws as the U.S. attorney in Seattle before he was fired by the Bush administration in early 2007. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that laws criminalizing marijuana are wrongheaded because they create an enormous black market exploited by international cartels and crime rings.

"That's what drives my concern: The black market fuels the cartels, and that's what allows them to buy the guns they use to kill people," McKay said. "A lot of Americans smoke pot and they're willing to pay for it. I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect."

McKay is joining Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, travel guide Rick Steves and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in forming a group called New Approach Washington. They're pushing an initiative to the Legislature that would regulate the recreational use of marijuana in a way similar to how the state regulates alcohol. Their bill would legalize marijuana for people over 21, authorize the Liquor Control Board to regulate and tax marijuana for sale in "standalone stores," and extend drunken driving laws to marijuana, with blood tests to determine how much of pot's active ingredient is present in a driver's blood.

New Approach Washington planned a news conference Wednesday to announce the effort. No state has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in such a way, though some have decriminalized it, and the initiative would put Washington squarely at odds with federal law banning the drug.

The legislation would set limits on how much cannabis people can have: an ounce of dried bud, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused foods in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids, or all three, said Alison Holcomb, drug policy director of the ACLU of Washington. The limits are necessary to help ensure that people don't buy large amounts for resale in other states, she said.

The bill would not allow for the recreational growing of marijuana; it would be up to the state's Liquor Control Board to license grow operations and set limits for how large they can be. The measure would not affect the rights of medical marijuana patients in Washington, who are allowed to have at least 24 ounces and 15 plants, and more if needed.

Activists would have until the end of this year to gather more than 240,000 signatures to get the initiative before the Legislature. Lawmakers will have a chance to approve it or allow it to go to the ballot.

Taxing marijuana sales would bring the state $215 million a year, conservatively estimated, Holmes said.

Another group, Sensible Washington, is already pushing a legalization initiative this year that would remove all state criminal and civil penalties for marijuana use, possession and cultivation in any amount. Their effort is an initiative directly to the voters, meaning that if it qualifies for the November ballot and passes, it would become law without any input from the Legislature.

Sensible Washington failed to gather enough signatures to make the ballot last year, and Seattle medical marijuana attorney Douglas Hiatt, who leads the effort, said Tuesday he did not know whether their measure would qualify this year. Hiatt criticized the approach of the ACLU-led effort, saying it wouldn't allow Eastern Washington's farmers to grow hemp or really end prohibition at all. Furthermore, he said, the blood test limit for driving under the influence purposes — 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood — are so strict that most medical marijuana patients would fail even if they hadn't recently medicated.

Last year in California, voters rejected Proposition 19, which would have allowed for personal possession and growing of limited amounts of marijuana, 54 percent to 46 percent.

In a telephone interview from Idaho, where he was about to leave on a six-day rafting trip on the Salmon River, McKay said he has long considered marijuana prohibition a failed policy, but that as U.S. attorney his job was to enforce federal law, and he had no problem doing so. Among the people he prosecuted was Canada's so-called "Prince of Pot," Marc Emery, who fought extradition after his 2005 arrest but eventually was sentenced to five years in prison for selling millions of marijuana seeds to U.S. residents.

"When you look at alcohol prohibition, it took the states to say, 'This policy is wrong,'" McKay said. "This bill might not be perfect, but it's a good step forward. I think it will eventually shame Congress into action."

Holmes said McKay's involvement in the legalization effort helps demonstrate its sensibility.

"Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, in law enforcement or a medical provider, you look at the data and you come to the same conclusion: The war on drugs has failed," he said.

 

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