Law

Gay Rights
10:08 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Idaho City Narrowly Upholds Gay Rights Law In Closely Watched Vote

An effort to overturn one Idaho city's gay rights ordinance appears to have failed by a slim margin. The anti-discrimination law in Pocatello was upheld Tuesday night by a projected margin of 90 votes.

City councils in seven Idaho cities have barred employers, landlords and most businesses from discriminating on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But Pocatello's ordinance was the first in the state to be put to a popular vote.

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Legal Marijuana
9:58 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Without A Marijuana Breathalyzer, How To Curb Stoned Driving?

In an effort to make the roadways safer, Colorado set a marijuana DUI blood standard for drivers. But it's difficult to actually measure how high a person is.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:28 am

Like many medical marijuana patients, Greg Duran says he drives in fear, knowing he could be busted at any moment for driving under the influence.

As he merges onto Interstate 70 north of Denver, Duran explains that he's probably over the state's new marijuana limit: 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot.

"It would be devastating if I lost my car. It would change everything," Duran says.

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Legal Marijuana
2:53 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Pot Growers Can't Use Federal Irrigation Water

File image
AP Photo

Marijuana growers in Washington and Colorado and other states cannot use irrigation water from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to grow their crops.

The agency on Tuesday said that marijuana growing remains illegal under federal law, so irrigation water from its dams cannot be used to grow pot even in states that have legalized recreational or medical use of the drug.

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Same-Sex Marriage
9:57 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Weddings Begin As Oregon Judge Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

Julia Fraser hugs a family member after getting married as Jessica Rohrbacher, right, walks behind after get married at the Melody Ballroom in Portland, Ore., on Monday, May 19, 2014.
Steve Dykes AP Photo

Same-sex couples are getting married in Oregon now that a federal judge has overturned the state's ban on gay marriage.

Shortly after noon on Monday, the news broke to crowds gathered in Portland that U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled the law violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.

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Gay Rights
9:24 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Pocatello Vote Seen As Test Of Gay-Rights Measures In Idaho

The Pocatello City Council hears testimony from gay rights supporters at one of several public hearings in April 2013.
Jessica Robinson

Voters in Pocatello, Idaho will decide the fate of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance Tuesday.

Pocatello is one of seven cities in Idaho that have passed laws aimed at protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people, but this is the first time one of these measures has been put to a popular vote.

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Same-Sex Marriage
12:33 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Judge's Ruling Clears Way For Same-Sex Weddings In Oregon

Supporters of same-sex marriage gathered outside a federal courthouse in Eugene prior to a hearing in the case.
Chris Lehman

Same-sex couples can now marry legally in Oregon after a federal judge Monday overturned the state's ban on gay marriage.

Weddings began almost immediately. County clerks started issuing marriage licenses minutes after U.S. District Judge Michael McShane issued his opinion. Same-sex couples lined up outside marriage license offices in Portland and Eugene in anticipation of a ruling in their favor.

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Feeding Wildlife
10:40 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Ilwaco Retiree Could Be First Charged Under New Law Banning Feeding Of Bears

File image
Dam421 Wikimedia Commons

Washington Fish and Wildlife officials are recommending that an Ilwaco woman face charges for allegedly feeding wild bears.

Wildlife agents have removed seven problematic black bears from the woman’s neighborhood and had to euthanize five of them since last fall.

The 70-year-old retiree could be the first person charged under a new law that bans the feeding of large wild carnivores. The Washington Legislature made that a misdemeanor in 2012.

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State Supreme Court
3:49 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Wash. Supreme Court To Hear Lakewood Police Killings Challenge

FILE - Letricia Nelson, left, appears in Pierce County Superior Court, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, in Tacoma, Washington.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Nearly five years have passed since Maurice Clemmons gunned down four Lakewood police officers in a coffee shop. Clemmons’ aunt and cousin were convicted of helping him after the murders.

Now, their case is before the Washington Supreme Court on appeal. Oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday.

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Same-Sex Marriage
12:22 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Oregon Judge Denies Motion To Intervene In Gay Marriage Case

Plaintiffs gathered outside the courthouse to celebrate the denial of the motion to intervene.
Chris Lehman

A federal judge in Eugene, Oregon has denied a national group's attempt to defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said the National Organization of Marriage failed to prove why it should be allowed to intervene in the case.

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Legal Marijuana
10:57 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Wash. Pot Grower Says Black Market Can Survive Legalization

Scott Johnson poses outside the Bellingham Towers where he used to own a restaurant and where his attorney has an office.
Austin Jenkins

Scott Johnson is one of those natural-born salesmen. He used to own a restaurant on the 15th floor of the Bellingham Towers, the tallest building in Bellingham.

“At first it was called ‘Top of the Towers, and then after about five years, I changed it to ‘City View Grill,’” he said.

Now Johnson comes to Bellingham Towers to see his lawyer, whose office is also here. Johnson has been sentenced to five years behind bars for his role in a long-running marijuana production and distribution ring.

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Same-Sex Marriage
11:13 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Hearing Could Provide Answers In Oregon Gay Marriage Debate

Wednesday could be a big day in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Oregon. A federal judge in Eugene will hear arguments from a group that wants to defend a voter-approved ban on gay marriage. 

Four same-sex couples sued the state to overturn the 2004 ballot measure that defined marriage as only between one man and one woman. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the law. As a result, a national group filed a last-minute motion to be allowed to defend the measure on the state's behalf.

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Consumer Protection
4:30 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Wash. State Seeks Money For Consumers Who Paid Inflated Prices For TVs, Laptops

You could eventually be getting money back for that flat screen TV you paid too much for a decade ago.

That’s the goal of a long-running pric- fixing suit against the manufacturers who make LCD display screens for everything, from televisions to laptops.

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May Day
9:40 am
Wed April 30, 2014

May Day Grand Jury Resister 'Still Has Nightmares' About Solitary Confinement

Matthew Duran spent nearly 6 months in the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac.r
Paula Wissel KPLU

The May Day violence that happened in downtown Seattle two years ago is still affecting how one Olympia man is living his life.  Matthew Duran, a political activist, wasn’t even in Seattle when windows were smashed in the Nakamura Federal Courthouse in 2012. But he paid dearly for his refusal to talk about who might have been involved.

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Legal Marijuana
9:25 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Even University Mathematicians Have Role In Marijuana Legalization

AP Photo

The path to marijuana legalization in Washington state is keeping even university math professors busy.

They played a key role in developing the lottery now under way to determine who gets a license to open a pot store.

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Same-Sex Marriage
11:05 am
Tue April 22, 2014

National Group Attempts 11th-Hour Intervention In Oregon Gay Marriage Case

Chantal Andrea

A national group that opposes same-sex marriage is trying to intervene in a case scheduled to go before a federal judge in Oregon this week.

Oregon voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage a decade ago and on Wednesday in Eugene, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane is set to hear oral arguments to overturn the law.

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