Friday, November 9, 2012

  • After Historic Votes Legalizing Marijuana, Colorado & Washington Prepare for Federal Gov’t Showdown

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    In a historic move, Colorado and Washington have become the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Fifty-two percent of voters in Colorado supported Amendment 64, which will amend the state constitution to allow those 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana at specially regulated stores, and permit adults to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes. Meanwhile, in Washington, Initiative 502 passed by a 10-point margin. Now marijuana reform advocates are preparing for a showdown with the federal government, which still considers the plant a dangerous drug. "Maybe with, state by state, city by city, voters stepping up and saying, even as the federal government is sticking to its line, 'We want something different,' there’s a hope out there that this message is going to get through to the federal government and they’re going to start doing things differently," says our guest, Mick Dumke, a reporter for Chicago’s alternative newspaper, the Chicago Reader. Dumke also notes the Chicago city council recently passed an ordinance that allows ticketing for low-level marijuana possession, but that has not stopped police from arresting people in certain neighborhoods. [includes rush transcript]

  • Tavis Smiley, Cornel West on the 2012 Election & Why Calling Obama "Progressive" Ignores His Record

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    As the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history comes to an end, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and professor, activist Dr. Cornel West join us to discuss President Obama’s re-election and their hopes for a national political agenda in and outside of the White House during Obama’s second term. At a time when one in six Americans is poor, the price tag for combined spending by federal candidates — along with their parties and outside groups like super PACs — totaled more than $6 billion. Together, West and Smiley have written the new book, "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto." Both Tavis and Smiley single out prominent progressives whom they accuse of overlooking Obama’s actual record. "We believe that if [Obama] is not pushed, he’s going to be a transactional president and not a transformational president," Smiley says. "And we believe that the time is now for action and no longer accommodation. ... To me, the most progressive means that you’re taking some serious risk. And I just don’t see the example of that." West says that some prominent supporters of Obama "want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way." Click here to see part 2 of this interview. [includes rush transcript]

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