Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Must Read: Californians Want to Legalize Pot; State Has Eleventh Highest Youth Incarceration Rate

Robert Gammon —  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Thanks to the Bay Area, a majority of California voters — 54 percent — now favor legalizing marijuana, taxing it, and regulating it like alcohol, according to a new Field Poll, the Chron reports. In the Bay Area, 66 percent of voters want to legalize pot for recreational use. Statewide, senior citizens were the only group that favors keeping cannabis illegal. An overwhelming majority of residents — 72 percent — also favor keeping medical pot legal.

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2. California has the eleventh highest incarceration rate for juveniles in the country, although the number of youths locked up in the state — and nation — has dropped significantly in the past fifteen years, the Mercury News reports, citing new a study. The study’s results dovetail with FBI crime data that shows that youth crime has been declining in California and nationwide since the 1970s.

3. The stepmother of a severely mentally ill man who died during a struggle with Berkeley police is demanding information about the incident from the police department and the city, the Tribune reports. The department has been tightlipped about what happened.

4. Two Santa Cruz police officers were shot dead yesterday by a former Berkeley man who was later killed by police, the Chron reports. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Sergeant Loran "Butch" Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler were investigating a domestic violence or sexual assault incident when killed by Jeremy Peter Goulet. The Chron reports that Goulet used to work at Cole Coffee in Oakland before he moved to Santa Cruz.

5. And several prominent Republicans, including Meg Whitman, a former California gubernatorial candidate, have changed their attitudes about same-sex marriage and are now urging the US Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8, the state’s anti-gay-marriage law, the Merc reports.

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