For a California Assemblyman's proposal to regulate and tax the sale
of marijuana to work, the federal government would have to alter its drug laws.
Today's culture warriors have better things to argue about than
pot-smoking hippies, yet federal marijuana laws are still stuck in
the Nixon-era days when conservatives feared that reefer madness was
destroying the minds of America's youth. Amid that time warp, efforts
by California and other states to nudge Washington in the direction
of more sensible drug laws have largely been welcome. But whether or
not you're in the camp that thinks marijuana should be legalized, a
proposal to regulate and tax its sale as a way of helping to balance
California's budget is an idea whose time has not come.
[continues 344 words]
Officials Visiting This Week Press for Continued Funding of an
Antidrug Strategy and Passage of a Free-Trade Agreement.
Washington - Colombian officials are mounting a full-court diplomatic
press in the United States this week as they seek to stave off a fall
from the high-flying status their country achieved in Washington as a
favored ally of the Bush administration.
Colombia was promoted as a Latin success story by President Bush but
denigrated by human rights advocates and some members of Congress as
a failed state. Now, it's likely to find itself far from center stage
in a Washington grappling with the economic crisis and still finding
its foreign-policy footing.
[continues 697 words]
WASHINGTON -- Mexico's attorney general said Tuesday he sees no need
for U.S. troops to intervene in his country's war on drug cartels,
nor to gear up for a spillover of violence across the border.
"I don't see that," Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora said in an
interview with The Dallas Morning News. "I don't see the U.S.
military playing an active role. The size of the problem on the U.S.
side is not calling for that, and certainly Mexico has enough
institutional capabilities to deal with this."
[continues 812 words]
EL PASO - Gov. Rick Perry said he wants 1,000 troops to help guard
the Texas-Mexico border, and for the U.S. to fund strong security
measures to fight the Mexican drug cartels that have spread violence
and fear in Mexico, including Juarez.
"We're (also) asking the (Texas) Legislature for $135 million for
border security - to go after transnational gangs, for technology and
aviation assets, and for 1,000 troops," said Perry at a news
conference Tuesday at the Chamizal National Memorial.
[continues 615 words]
The Department of Homeland Security has contingency plans to rush
additional personnel and other resources, including the U.S.
military, to parts of the southern border if law enforcement agencies
on the ground are overwhelmed by spillover effects from escalating
criminal violence in Mexico, department officials say.
Several border states likewise are drawing up contingency plans, amid
growing concern about possible cross-border effects of the violence
in Mexico, which claimed more than 5,300 lives last year - double the
number in 2007.
[continues 530 words]