CALIFORNIA
L.A. lawmakers vote to license marijuana sales

Los Angeles is in line to become the nation’s largest city with legal recreational marijuana after the City Council voted Wednesday to license sales and cultivation next year.

The landmark vote came after a hearing in which council members characterized the rules as a work in progress almost certain to see revisions next year, after California launches its recreational pot industry in January.

City Council President Herb Wesson’s office said the city rules would take effect immediately after the signature of Mayor Eric Garcetti, which is expected.

Under the Los Angeles regulations, residential neighborhoods would be largely off-limits to pot businesses, and buffer zones would be set up around schools, libraries and parks.

Businesses that want to participate in the marketplace need local permits before they can apply for state licenses required to operate in 2018.

The state and hundreds of cities are faced with the challenging task of trying to govern the vast, emerging industry with a projected value of $7 billion. Some areas have banned all commercial pot activity, while other are embracing it.

California is among 29 states where pot is legal, either for medical or recreational use.

— Associated Press

COLORADO
Police say lawmaker had loaded gun at airport

A Colorado state lawmaker arrested for having a gun at Denver International Airport had a loaded handgun in her bag that was discovered by an airport security officer, police said Wednesday.

State Rep. Lori Saine “knowingly brought the handgun to the checkpoint” at the airport on Tuesday, according to a police report written by Denver Police Officer Gregory Zimmerman. The report did not explain how Zimmerman made that determination.

Saine, a Republican who has advocated for gun rights, was arrested on suspicion of introducing a firearm into a transportation facility.

A Transportation Security Administration agent saw the Kahr Arms 9mm semiautomatic handgun when a bag belonging to Saine went through an X-ray machine, according to the arrest report. It had four rounds in its magazine but none in the chamber.

Saine was elected in 2012 and represents a largely rural, agricultural area about 25 miles north of Denver.

Saine in 2017 co-sponsored a bill to repeal a ban on the sale, transfer and possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines. The ban was enacted after the 2012 Aurora theater and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

— Associated Press

Man to run against county clerk who denied him marriage license: A gay man who was denied a marriage license in Kentucky two years ago by a county clerk who refused to issue licenses for same-sex marriages will run to unseat her next year. David Ermold, of Morehead, Ky., on Wednesday announced his candidacy as a Democrat against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who drew worldwide attention when she refused to grant the licenses to same-sex couples, citing Apostolic Christian beliefs. Ermold and his partner were one of the four couples who sued Davis.

Man sentenced in vandalizing mosque: A man who vandalized a Florida mosque in January 2016 and left a raw slab of bacon on its doorstep was sentenced to 15 years in prison on a hate crime conviction. Michael Wolfe, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal mischief to a place of worship in a case considered a felony hate crime, a spokesman for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Courts, which includes Brevard and Seminole counties, said Wednesday. Surveillance video after the 2016 incident showed a man with a shaved head and camouflage clothing with a machete at the mosque in Titusville, Fla., near Cape Canaveral, police said. Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products including bacon.

— Reuters