02-28-2020  4:51 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

The expansion of the Muslim ban targets more Black immigrants ...

Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

After passing the House, the bill will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law ...

Report to assess removal of 4 Snake River dams for salmon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A long-awaited federal report due Friday is expected to address the feasibility of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save more than a dozen species of threatened or endangered salmon. The four dams on the lower...

Suburban Seattle high school closed over new virus concerns

BOTHELL, Wash. (AP) — A suburban Seattle high school was closed Thursday after a staffer's family member was placed in quarantine for showing symptoms of possibly contracting the new virus that started in China - an action health officials say is unnecessary.Bothell High school, bout 20...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South African sentenced for racist comment that went viral

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has imposed a ,300 fine or 2-year prison term on a man convicted for racist comments in a video that went viral last year.Adam Catzavelos was charged after using a derogatory word used to describe black South Africans during the country’s racist...

Students stage sit-in outside University of Oklahoma offices

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of University of Oklahoma students staged a sit-in that continued Friday outside OU's administrative offices following two instances of professors using racial slurs in the classroom.However, OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. has rejected the demands of the...

Website aims to highlight hidden figures in black history

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — A few years back, Matthew Delmont felt his teaching about African American history had gotten a little stale so he starting casting around for a fresh way to bring it to life.The Dartmouth College professor initially turned to Twitter for a year to share stories about...

ENTERTAINMENT

A rebel yell: Billy Idol stars in New York anti-idling ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Rocker Billy Idol is the face of an anti-idling campaign launched Thursday in New York City.“Billy never idles, so why should you?” the '80s MTV star growls in a public service announcement intended to shame New Yorkers into shutting the engine off. The...

NBC renews 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Chicago' dramas for 3 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC is giving three-year renewals to its drama series from veteran producer Dick Wolf, including the perennial “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”The pickups for the “Law & Order” series and Wolf’s three Chicago-set dramas are...

Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Maren Morris nab top ACM noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay lead the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations for Dan Smyers and five for Shay Mooney and helped pop star Justin Bieber earn his first-ever ACM noms. In the nominations announced Thursday, the powerhouse duo share...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US schools start planning for possible spread of coronavirus

Schools across the United States are canceling trips abroad, preparing online lessons and even rethinking...

Parents of 'terrified' Africans stranded in China want help

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — She wakes every day long before dawn to chat with her three stranded daughters on...

Afghans view US-Taliban deal with well-earned skepticism

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Many Afghans view Saturday's expected signing of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal with a...

Geneva auto show canceled as Switzerland bans large events

GENEVA (AP) — The Geneva auto show is being canceled after the Swiss government announced an immediate ban...

Italy tries a return to some normalcy after virus closures

ROME (AP) — Authorities in Italy have decided to re-open schools and museums in some of the areas less...

What's happening: Virus fears hit Africa, markets, churches

PARIS (AP) — Amusement parks, sports events, religious gatherings, even school. More and more things in a...

McMenamins
Mariano Castillo CNN

(CNN) -- With the intent of undermining the market for illegal drugs, Uruguay's government presented a bill to lawmakers that would legalize marijuana under a government monopoly.

The government of President Jose Mujica has argued that the war on drugs has failed, and that separating the market for marijuana from the market for harder drugs will have social and health benefits.

The bill was presented to congress on Wednesday, and includes no details of how legalization would be cultivated, regulated or sold. But it makes it clear that the government would be the sole manager of the "importation, production, acquisition ... commercialization and distribution of marijuana or its derivatives."

The idea was first announced in June, and at the time there were reports that such a law would require onerous identification and tracking requirements that consumers would object to.

The bill does not mention any requirements, presumably leaving it up to the congress to fill in the details.

Diego Canepa, pro-secretary of the presidency, said that current laws criminalizing the private sale of marijuana would remain in place, and campaigns warning of dangers of drug use would continue.

"No one is saying that marijuana is good. What is happening is that the foundation of the type of policy that we have followed for more than 50 years in this country have not had the expected results, and the worst thing that can happen to public policy is to not act when the evidence shows that persisting on the same path will not obtain different results," he said.

Consumption of marijuana is already legal in Uruguay, Canepa said. If passed, the law would make Uruguay the first country to produce and sell marijuana to its citizens.

While the bill itself was short on details of how such a system would actually work, it was accompanied by a 12-page letter that carefully laid out the argument for passage of the bill.

The goal is to create a government-run market that would "contribute to the reduction of risks and potential dangers that people who use marijuana for recreation or medical reasons face."

Marijuana users put themselves in dangerous situations in the course of acquiring the substance, and expose themselves to other drugs that are more addictive and dangerous, the letter states.

The letter traces the history of drug use to pre-Columbian times, but focuses on the drug war of the last 50 years. The war on drugs has failed and had consequences that are worse than the drugs themselves, the letter states.

As evidence, the Uruguayan government points to a report last year by the Global Commission on Drugs, a body made up of several former presidents and other luminaries, who concluded that the war on drugs has failed to accomplish the goals it set.

Uruguay will not abandon its policy of combating drugs, but will do so through education of the harmful effects, rather than criminalization for marijuana, the letter states.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in Uruguay, and drug traffickers net $30-40 million annual from the black market, the government said.

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