06-23-2018  7:03 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

State Supreme Court won't hear Sweet Cakes by Melissa appeal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has declined to consider the case of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the now-defunct bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013 based on the bakers' religious objections.The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Friday the Supreme...

No longer behind a mask, Eugene umpire is being recognized

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After 31 years behind the plate as an MLB umpire, Dale Scott knows how to recognize a strike.Throwing one is, uh, another matter.When the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Scott to throw a ceremonial first pitch earlier this month, he was honored of course, but also a little...

Evacuation orders lifted in wildfire near Vantage

VANTAGE, Wash. (AP) — Evacuation notices have been lifted for residents in about 30 homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington reaches 50 percent containment.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports fire crews were hoping to fully contain the fire near Vantage and the Columbia River by...

Central Washington suicide rate rises 23 percent

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — On June 7, 2016, Kori Haubrich thought she found a solution to the problems that had been gnawing at her for weeks.That Monday, the Sunnyside native sat outside her Bellingham apartment struggling to figure out what she would do after graduating from Western Washington...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

ENTERTAINMENT

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

Ex-S. Korean premier Kim Jong-pil, spy agency founder, dies

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kim Jong-pil, the founder of South Korea's spy agency whose political skills...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's skewed claims on immigration, economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is distorting the truth when it comes to the impact of his...

The Latest: Malta tells aid boat with migrants to go away

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on immigration issues in Europe (all times local):3:45 p.m.Malta's premier is...

Vatican convicts ex-diplomat of child porn distribution

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican tribunal on Saturday convicted a former Holy See diplomat and sentenced him...

Trump pushes back against border separation uproar

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump tried to cast doubt Friday on wrenching tales of migrant children...

Rachael Torricelli looks at marijuana for sale at Blum in Las Vegas
MICHELLE RINDELS, Associated Press

 LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada already has legal brothels, round-the-clock casinos and a coy catchphrase declaring that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." If voters approve, the state could soon add another vice in the form of recreational marijuana.

A proposal on the Nov. 8 state ballot would legalize pot, and entrepreneurs hope its passage could someday allow the drug at Las Vegas' glamorous nightclubs and perhaps provide the framework for a future Amsterdam-style cannabis district.

"I really think this would be the third-largest market in the country," said Derek Peterson, whose company operates medical marijuana dispensaries called Blum. He predicts that only California and New York would offer a bigger customer base than Las Vegas and its 42 million tourists a year. "I think it should be able to fit in really well with the whole dayclub/nightclub thing."

Nevada has allowed medical marijuana since 2000, and Peterson sees recreational pot as an alternative for visitors tired of cocktails that can top $15 apiece and inflict hangovers. But before waitresses begin delivering high-grade marijuana at clubs along the Las Vegas Strip, weed proponents will have to win over not just voters, who narrowly support the initiative in polls, but a risk-averse casino industry.

The Nevada Resort Association came out against the measure, pointing to an opinion from gambling regulators that casino owners should avoid the marijuana industry because the substance remains illegal under federal law. Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson has bankrolled most of the opposition, pouring $2 million of his fortune into a campaign that raises the possibility that small children could become intoxicated from candy-like marijuana edibles.

Adelson also has contributed $1.5 million in Arizona and Massachusetts, a significant share of all anti-marijuana donations there.

Adelson, whose son died of a drug overdose and whose wife is a doctor specializing in drug addiction, has donated millions toward efforts to defeat medical marijuana proposals in Florida and other states in years past.

Other casino operators have joined the fray, but to a lesser extent.

In spite of its libertine reputation, the rigorously regulated casino industry is known to err on the conservative side to avoid scandalizing the middle-aged tourists who are its bread and butter.

"I don't know that this is a game changer in terms of tourism," Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association, said of marijuana's potential. "We're really known for other things. You may attract people or turn them off."

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which promotes Sin City's amenities to the world, is neutral on the issue.

Clyde Barrow, a gambling expert who chairs the political science department at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, suggests the donations may indicate the casino companies are acting in their own best interests.

"The marijuana industry is emerging as another form of recreation and entertainment. Given the casino industry's difficulties attracting millennials, marijuana is probably perceived as a direct competitor with casinos for entertainment dollars," he said. "Another reason is that legalized marijuana competes with alcohol, and, to that extent, competes with the food and beverage sales at casinos."

There's no solid state-sponsored research on how legal recreational marijuana has affected tourism in places that have legalized it, although both sides point to Colorado to make their case.

Pro-marijuana interests cite a state study that found Colorado set an all-time tourism record in 2015, capping a fifth year of growth. It's unclear how much of that is due to weed, and how much can be chalked up to other factors, such as good snow in recent years relative to competing ski states.

Marijuana opponents refer to a report from the Visit Denver tourism bureau that logged increasing complaints about panhandling and open marijuana consumption in the city's downtown corridor.

"Denver is losing visitors and valuable convention business as a result of these overall safety (or perception of safety) issues," the report said. "We fear not being able to brand Denver away from this growing reputation."

Nevada's ballot initiative would not allow municipalities to put blanket bans on marijuana, as Colorado does. But it would bar consumption in buildings that are open to the public and permit local governments to restrict the locations of marijuana dispensaries and related businesses. It effectively blocks people from growing their own by banning the practice within 25 miles of a licensed marijuana store.

Some of those provisions could be changed three years after passage. But even political leaders who are open to legalization say the embrace will not be immediate if voters approve the measure.

"I think it will be as much of a challenge for us as it will be a boon for us, because there's no place in the world like Vegas," said Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, whose urban district includes the Strip. "I think it's going to take a while to work it out."

Meanwhile, a Nevada lawmaker who has always pushed the envelope on marijuana says he's requested a bill next spring that would allow Amsterdam-style pot coffee shops and other places dedicated to public consumption. Democratic state Sen. Tick Segerblom envisions a pedestrian-centric outdoor entertainment district focused on giving visitors a new kind of "only-in-Vegas" experience centered around pot.

"It's somewhere you do things you wouldn't normally do," said Segerblom, who's so supportive of marijuana in Nevada that he sponsored a failed bill in 2015 to allow sick dogs and cats to use it. "Have fun, party, do things you wouldn't do at home. Take a picture and brag about it."

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