Daily archives: December 13th, 2009

Congress Lifts Ban on D.C. Medical Marijuana Law


The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) reports that a U.S. House of Representatives just voted 221-202 on the omnibus spending bill, which will allow Washington, D.C. to implement its medical marijuana law. The Senate will now take up the legislation; MPP expects the bill to pass there without any alterations. President Obama will sign the bill into law once the Senate has acted.

MPP expects all of this to happen very quickly; Congress and the president have until December 18 to finalize the legislation.

That was last week.  Now this today:

The U.S. Senate today passed historic legislation to end the decade-long ban on implementing a medical marijuana law in Washington, D.C. This marks the first time in history Congress has changed a marijuana law for the better. Only Obama’s signature is needed for the change to become law.

This is not only a huge victory for medical marijuana patients in the nation’s capital, it marks a historic shift on the medical marijuana issue nationwide. This is the first time Congress has given its assent to a state or local law that permits medical use of marijuana. Coming on top of the announcement that the Justice Department will no longer interfere with state medical marijuana laws, this shows that the ground has fundamentally shifted.

Reports indicate that President Obama will sign the legislation.

Errata: The title of this article originally showed an incorrect spelling of the word “Congress.” We regret the error.

Eleven-Year-Old Aston Wise Killed by Coward with Shotgun

When will it stop?

The sad news from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Eleven-year-old Aston Wise was a passenger in a sport-utility vehicle parked on a South Shore street Friday night when a masked gunman opened fire with a shotgun, killing Aston and critically wounding his father.

Aston, of the 6800 block of South East End Avenue, was shot in the head in the 7800 block of South Kingston, police said. He was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Aston was a sixth-grader at Martha Ruggles Elementary School, 7831 S. Prairie, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Monique Bond said.

Police Supt. Jody Weis said detectives are investigating if the shooting was connected to a relative with gang ties.

Weis said Aston had a half brother in the Black Disciplines street gang and that there has been “low-key” conflict between the Black Disciplines and the Gangster Disciples. Police are also looking into the possibility of a carjacking, Weis said.

“We won’t really know until we get a chance to talk with the father,” Weis said. No arrests had been made as of Saturday night.

Another one of our children cut down, this time by a coward with a shotgun.

BREAKING NEWS: Terror Alert in Chicago, IL

This just in via email:

BREAKING NEWS: Terror Alert in Chicago, IL

The Chicago Bears football practice was delayed nearly two hours today after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach Lovie Smith immediately suspended practice and called the police and federal investigators.

After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to players was the GOAL LINE.

Practice resumed after special agents decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again this season.

Sorry Bears fans.  I couldn’t resist.

Gotta Love U.S. Senator Al Franken, Democrat

I love United States Senator Al Franken. I wish Senator Dick Durbin had his, well, chutzpha.


Senate Republicans, who have been taking heat for fighting an amendment to protect rape victims, are now lashing out at Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for even proposing the measure in the first place.

In October, Franken introduced an amendment that would deny funding to defense contractors that “restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.” Franken was inspired by the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, a former employee of KBR (previously a subsidiary of Halliburton), who “was gang raped by her co-workers” while stationed in Iraq.When Jones returned to the U.S., KBR tried to prevent her from taking the case to court. The measure to punish such practices passed, with 30 out of 40 Republicans voting against it.

Today, Politico reports that conservative Senators blame Franken for the backlash they have faced. Apparently, Franken isn’t doing enough to defend those Republicans who fought his proposal to protect women like Jones.Moreover, some of them say, the amendment was really just a “partisan” trap meant to embarrass the Republicans who opposed it:

I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.” […]

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who also voted against the amendment, said, “from what I know of” Franken, he “expected” such tactics. […]

It was partisan – and he knew it,” said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). “That’s exactly what I’d expect.”

That’s our Al. Completely and totally brilliant.

Can’t wait until he is Senate Majority Leader Al Franken. He’d be incredible.

Thanks, Al.