Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:15 am
Newcomers from California are helping to shake up the politics in the Mountain West.
Colorado's politics have become positively Californian lately. There are new restrictions on guns. Pot is legal. The legislative agenda featured an expansion of alternative-energy use requirements for rural consumers. Gay couples can now enter into civil unions.
There's a reason for all this.
Lots of Californians have moved to Denver and its environs, bringing a progressive strain of politics with them and angering more conservative parts of the state — so much so that 10 northeastern counties are planning symbolic but serious votes on secession this fall.
Sen. Patrick Leahy is calling on the Justice Department to state its position on marijuana's legal status. Here, a man inspects a shirt depicting the U.S. flag made of marijuana symbols, at a medical marijuana show in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Credit Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images
The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he's done waiting for answers about how the Justice Department will handle marijuana offenses in states that have legalized small amounts of the drug.
Young backers of a bill to legalize the production and trade of marijuana in Uruguay wait outside the Parliament building as lawmakers debate the bill Wednesday.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Uruguay is poised to create a state-licensed marijuana industry, after the country's lower house of Congress passed a controversial bill late Wednesday detailing how the government would regulate marijuana — from its production and import to marketing and distribution. The move would be a first.
NPR's South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast unit that the landmark bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to sail through.
In Colorado, the recreational use of marijuana is now legal. Those statutes which were approved by voters last fall were just signed into law. Voters in Washington state also approved recreational pot and that state is now in the process of formulating just how the drug will be regulated.
Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at UCLA. And he's heading up the team advising Washington on implementing its marijuana laws. He says that state's rules will be based on its alcohol and tobacco laws.