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Feds can’t smoke pot, even in states where it’s legal

A few items that caught our attention on Thursday:

 (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

You can smoke marijuana in some states, unless you’re a fed: The Justice Department is turning a blind eye to pot, but the federal government still prohibits its workforce from using the drug, even though 20 states and Washington, D.C. allow the use of medical marijuana and Colorado and Washington state allow it for recreational use, according to a Government Executive report.

White House says sequester no longer applies to part of Obamacare: The Obama administration has decided that the sequester’s mandatory spending cuts no longer apply to Obamacare’s subsidies for low-income people to help cover their out-of-pocket costs, after the financial assistance took a 7-percent reduction last year, according to a National Journal report.

Holder urges reduced sentencing for low-level drug offenders: Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has called for reduced sentences for defendants in most of the nation’s drug cases as part of his effort to reduce the growing U.S. prison population and reserve stiff penalties for the high-level traffickers, according to a Washington Post report.

White House budget request would give DHS consolidation a boost: The administration budget request asks for additional funding for an effort to consolidate the Department of Homeland Security in southeast D.C. , proposing $250 million for the project in 2015 after congressional budget cuts slowed the plans, according to a Federal Times article.

Disgruntled HHS official vehemently criticizes government in resignation letter: The director of a Health and Human Services agency detailed his grievances in a pointed resignation letter that criticizes the federal bureaucracy as “profoundly dysfunctional” and leaving him “offended as an American taxpayer,” according to an In the Loop article.

Farmers wary of EPA rules on water: The Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue regulations that would require farmers to obtain permits for work that has long been exempt from restrictions, but opponents describe the rules as a power grab that could stifle economic growth and intrude on property rights, according to a New York Times report.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says...
Rarely has the division between Trump and party elites been more apparent. Trump trashed one of the most revered families in Republican politics and made a bet that standing his ground is better than backing down. Drawing boos from the audience, Trump did not flinch. But whether he will be punished or rewarded by voters was the unanswerable question.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
Quoted
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

March 6: Democratic debate

on CNN, in Flint, Mich.

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