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Trippy News: Weed Basically Legal in 13 States!

The other day, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will no longer spend its money authorizing (and conducting) raids and arrests of people and institutions licensed at the state level to produce and distribute medicinal marijuana. Said a spokesperson: "The president believes..


The other day, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will no longer spend its money authorizing (and conducting) raids and arrests of people and institutions licensed at the state level to produce and distribute medicinal marijuana. Said a spokesperson: "The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws."This is dovetailing nicely with another national trend to open up what we tax at the state level. Some cowboys have proposed taxing porn and brothels, while others suggest taxing marijuana sales. In California, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, punned, "We're all jonesing now for money, and there's this enormous industry out there."From NYTimes:Betty Yee, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, the state's tax collector, said that legal marijuana could raise nearly $1 billion per year via a $50-per-ounce fee charged to retailers. An additional $400 million could be raised through sales tax on marijuana sold to buyers.That's a lot of money for a state that's seen better days.Coming from Canada, I've never really understood the big deal about marijuana, specifically its criminalization at the federal level. Laws have been a little confusing, particularly under Bush, when the DEA had authority to conduct raids and prosecutions, even in states where laws have permitted its cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. This could be a real boon to cancer patients and others grappling with chronic pain.Naturally, our friends at NORML are thrilled. So, too, are stoners-by which we mean "really sick people with official papers sanctioning their use of the chronic"-everywhere.Image via
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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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