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Federal Law

OPINION
March 27, 2013 | By Erwin Chemerinsky and Allen Hopper
It may be surprising, but no state is required to have a law making possession of marijuana, or any drug, a crime. Therefore, any state can legalize some or all marijuana possession if it chooses. The federal government, if it chooses, can enforce the federal law against its possession and use, but it is up to each state to decide what to criminally prohibit, based on the 10th Amendment. This basic insight has been lost in the public discussion about whether the initiatives legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana passed by Colorado and Washington voters in November are preempted by federal law. The two states will soon finalize regulations to implement those initiatives, including how to tax and regulate marijuana.
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NATIONAL
February 1, 2008 | By Ben DuBose, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Gun-control advocates have been largely stymied in their efforts to get significant new firearms restrictions, but they still believe they can achieve one goal: closing a loophole that allows sales at gun shows without background checks on purchasers. This week, two Senate Democrats introduced legislation to close that loophole in federal law, despite a recent failure in Virginia -- where a gunman killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in April -- to change a similar state law. Accompanied by family members of some of the Virginia Tech victims, along with gun-control advocate Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Democratic Sens.
NATIONAL
August 6, 2012 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- Federal investigators had “looked at” Sikh temple gunman Wade Michael Page more than once because of his associations with right-wing extremists and the possibility that he was providing funding to a domestic terrorist group, but law enforcement officials at the time determined there was not enough evidence of a crime to open an investigation, a senior U.S. law enforcement official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, would not say Monday which law enforcement agency had considered investigating Page, or when.
NEWS
April 12, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
More than 200 federal law enforcement officers will help local police patrol the streets of the nation's capital, and when necessary, arrest those who break local laws. The FBI, National Zoological Park Police and U.S. Defense Protective Service have signed agreements with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department giving federal officers the authority to patrol areas surrounding their jurisdictions.
WORLD
October 15, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Gunmen attacked a federal law enforcement building in Lahore and a police academy on the outskirts of the city. Two people were killed at the Federal Investigation Agency, which deals with matters such as immigration and terrorism. Police said one wore a jacket laden with explosives. On the city outskirts, the Manawan Police Academy was attacked for the second time this year.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Countrywide Financial Corp., the mortgage lender acquired by Bank of America Corp., reached a preliminary settlement with employees who accused the company of withholding information about its financial health and causing the value of their retirement plan to drop. Plaintiffs' lawyers filed papers in federal court in Los Angeles indicating that an "agreement in principle" had been reached in the 2007 class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, a federal law that protects employee pension plans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A federal judge has tossed out California's challenge to a national abortion law that officials say could cost the state billions in federal funds. California sued the federal government after President Bush in 2004 authorized harsh financial penalties on states that discriminate against doctors who refuse to provide abortions. California allows doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform abortions for religious or moral reasons, but the state requires them to perform an abortion when childbirth threatens the woman's life or health.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to free MGM Mirage Inc. from a lawsuit by a gay former employee who says he was sexually harassed by male co-workers. The justices turned down arguments by the casino company that the suit should be thrown out because federal law doesn't protect against job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Medina Rene worked as a butler in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas from 1993 until 1996, when he was fired.
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