November 07, 2012


In Historic Move, States Legalize Marijuana. Now What?

For the first time in history, two states passed laws yesterday to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use. The successful ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington, backed by numerous law enforcement officials, signal exasperation with the failed War on Drugs, and a willingness to better tailor the legal system to states’ public safety and public health goals. A similar measure in Oregon did not pass.
Both laws will legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for individuals 21 and older, and set up mechanisms for regulation of marijuana similar to alcohol. 


Back To Work: The Big Issues Congress And Obama Have To Tackle Next

With the 2012 election behind them, congressional leaders and President Obama will turn their attention toward a series of expiring tax provisions and automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2013: the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Both parties and the president want to avert many of, if not all of, the pieces of the fiscal cliff puzzle, which includes defense cuts, cuts to domestic spending, and the end of the Bush tax cuts. Here’s what you need to know about the situation facing Congress come January:
– The Middle-Class Tax Hike: House Speaker John Boehner (R) won’t consider tax increases on the wealthy, he said this week, and President Obama has said he won’t sign an extension of the high-income Bush tax cuts. The parties agree on 98 percent of the cuts — those aimed at the middle class — but Republicans have refused to negotiate an extension of those cuts (which also benefit the rich) without an extension of the high-income tax cuts as well. Multiple recent studies have shown that high-income tax cuts don’t stimulate economic growth or job creation, a central claim in the GOP’s defense of them.