10-17-2021  7:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Center Commends Senator Whitehouse for Hiring Monalisa Dugué as Chief of Staff

Dugué is one of two Black Chiefs of Staff in the Senate ...

FBI Offers up to $25,000 for Information in Mass Shooting Event

18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris killed and six others injured in a Portland shooting on July 17, 2021 ...

Nearly 100 Animals Seized From Woofin Palooza Forfeited to MCAS

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has ruled that dogs and cats seized from an unlicensed facility named Woofin Palooza are now...

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

Rainier Valley Homeownership Initiative will create at least 100 for-sale homes, permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income...

Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

Schrader Calls Climate Change “biggest threat to Americans” after voting against key policy in committee ...

Clark County deputies shoot, kill suspect after pursuit

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say police shot and killed an assault suspect after a pursuit near Vancouver in southwest Washington. The Columbian reports that about 2:20 a.m. Sunday, Clark County deputies tried to stop a car in the Orchards area associated with someone...

Risky business: Some Capitol riot defendants forgo lawyers

Some of the defendants charged in the storming of the U.S. Capitol are turning away defense lawyers and electing to represent themselves, undeterred by their lack of legal training or repeated warnings from judges. That choice already has led to some curious legal maneuvers and...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Center-right parties lead in Kosovo's municipal vote

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Center-right opposition parties in Kosovo were leading in Sunday's municipal election but runoffs will still be needed to decide half of the winners, according to early results. About 1.9 million voters in the small Balkan nation were electing mayors...

Removed Robert E. Lee statue now on display at Texas resort

TERLINGUA, Texas (AP) — A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that the city of Dallas removed from a park and later sold in an online auction is now on display at a golf resort in West Texas. The bronze sculpture, which was removed from the Dallas park in September 2017,...

Texas GOP advances new maps that would tighten slipping grip

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republicans on Saturday night closed in on redrawn U.S. House maps that would shore up their eroding dominance as voters peel away from the GOP in the state’s booming suburbs. In a key late-night vote in the Texas House, Republicans gave early...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actors of Indian descent proud to lead Broadway's 'Aladdin'

NEW YORK (AP) — As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — “Aladdin.” Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them. That shared love has gone full-circle...

For Vicky Krieps, life and art blend on ‘Bergman Island’

Vicky Krieps was not Mia Hansen-Løve's first choice to star in “ Bergman Island.” She wasn’t the second, third or 12th choice either because the role of Chris, a filmmaker who goes on a writing retreat to Fårö with her filmmaker husband, already belonged to Greta Gerwig. ...

Boo! Sitcom 'Ghosts' combos misfit spirits, feel-good charm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The title seems to be a dead giveaway, but there’s more to the new comedy “Ghosts” than things that go bump in the night. “We totally think of this show as ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ meets 'Ted Lasso,” said producer Joe Wiseman. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Louisiana gators thrive, so farmers' return quota may drop

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Once-endangered alligators are thriving in the wild, so Louisiana authorities are proposing a...

Top Democrats woo Black voters in Virginia governor's race

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams on Sunday urged Black churchgoers to turn out for...

Father of suspect in UK lawmaker's slaying is 'traumatized'

LONDON (AP) — The father of a man held for the fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker during a meeting with local...

Ivory Coast's ex-leader Gbagbo vows return to political life

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo told supporters Sunday that he'll be...

Shooting in Syria could mark new phase in Israeli campaign

JERUSALEM (AP) — The death of a former Syrian Druse lawmaker, allegedly by Israeli sniper fire, could mark a new...

Center-right parties lead in Kosovo's municipal vote

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Center-right opposition parties in Kosovo were leading in Sunday's municipal election...

By The Skanner News | 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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