Politics

Voters pass wage hikes and legal pot, divide on abortion

A marijuana joint in an ashtray, with another joint, a pile and two jars full of more marijuana.

(RNS) Voters on ballot initiatives in 41 states gave a resounding thumbs-up to recreational marijuana and higher minimum wages, while dividing on abortion-related measures and GMO labeling.

ABORTION

In Colorado, voters rejected a proposal to add “unborn human beings” to the state’s criminal code, a measure that some feared could ban abortion.

And in North Dakota, voters rejected a “right-to-life” state constitutional amendment that abortion rights advocates feared would have ended legal abortions there. The North Dakota measure would have declared “the inalienable right to life of every human being at every stage of development must be recognized and protected.”

A marijuana joint in an ashtray, with another joint, a pile and two jars full of more marijuana.

Photo courtesy of Atomazul via Shutterstock

In Washington, D.C., city residents overwhelmingly approved a measure that will allow people to possess up to 2 oz. of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants at home without legal penalties.

But Tennessee approved an amendment that will give more power to state lawmakers to regulate and restrict abortion, adding language to the Tennessee constitution that reads, in part: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” even in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

MARIJUANA

Voters in Florida rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for the relief of chronic pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with eight major diseases.

Oregon voters did approve a measure, modeled on Washington state’s, that allow adults to buy marijuana for recreational use. A household can have up to 8 ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to four plants; consumption is banned in public.

Alaska also looked likely to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Advocates for the measure were holding a slim lead with nearly two-thirds of the state’s precincts reporting.

And in Washington, D.C., city residents overwhelmingly approved a measure that will allow people to possess up to 2 oz. of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants at home without legal penalties. But the D.C. law faces a strange restriction, as pot still remains illegal in the one-fourth of the city that sits on federal land — federal law still bans marijuana possession. And Congress could step in and overrule any new measure.

Fast food workers and their supporters marched along 8th Ave in New York City calling for an increase in the minimum wage on Sept. 4, 2014.

Photo courtesy of a katz via Shutterstock

Fast food workers and their supporters marched along 8th Ave in New York City calling for an increase in the minimum wage on Sept. 4, 2014.

MINIMUM WAGE, GMOS, IMMIGRATION

Other issues on the ballot Tuesday night:

• In Oregon, voters rejected a measure permitting four-year driver’s cards to those who cannot prove their legal status in the United States. Supporters said the bill would keep the streets safer by forcing people to learn the rules of the road and get insurance. The measure was aimed mainly at Oregon’s tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the country illegally. The Pew Hispanic Center says about 160,000 immigrants living in Oregon entered the country illegally.

• In Arkansas, Alaska, South Dakota and Nebraska, voters approved hiking the minimum wage. Voters in Illinois approved a non-binding ballot question on raising the minimum wage.

• Voters in Colorado rejected mandated labels for genetically modified foods; a similar measure in Oregon was too close to call.

(Greg Toppo and Laura Mandaro write for USA Today)

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14 Comments

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  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists all swindlers,thieves,drunkards,adulterers,idolaters
    and the sexually immoral,slanderers/gossips/liars,greedy coveters right along
    with homosexuals as who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven unless they
    Repent so all sin needs to be confronted not just abortion or gay marriage.

    Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all
    drunkards go to hell so abortion is wrong/needs to be confronted but so
    does getting drunk,being mean/sharp tongues,gambling,pride,jealousy
    and taking the Lords name in vain. The wine that Jesus made was for
    symbolic reasons not to get drunk plus it was new wine/diluted and the
    Bible says don’t get drunk with wine for it’s debauchery so people who
    still get drunk on strong wine are also wrong/go to hell. We must Repent!

  • Colorado & North Dakota, leading the way towards the progressive idealistic age where the right to your lifestyle is granted higher priority than the right to someone else’s life.

  • How very narcissistic of you to consider your views more important than the decisions and judgment women have concerning their own bodies.

    The concern for life for the anti-choice crowd always ends at birth. The fact that engaged in minimizing, insulting and denigrating women (“right to your lifestyle”) to make your point more than displays your obvious contempt for those already born.

    Those women are just immoral s1uts, so they have no right to make decisions you don’t want them to make. You, being the allegedly more moral concerned person should make the decisions for them.

  • On a separate note, why is there always a distinction made between rape and incest? I never understood this distinction. If incestuous sex does take place which is not consensual isn’t this the same thing as rape? If a father has non-consensual sex with his daughter, how is this any different than if that same man has non-consensual sex with a non-relative which is same age as his daughter? It’s still rape either way. There should be no distinction between incestuous rape and stranger rape. I don’t get why this distinction is made.

    On the other hand, if the incestuous sex was consensual between both partners then what does it matter? If an adult woman has consensual sex with her 60 year old father , how would this play any role within the abortion issue?

    If the “incest” was taken out of these abortion laws, so the law said something like this: “Abortion is illegal, except in cases of rape or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

    How would the legal ramifications be different had it been “Abortion is illegal, except in cases of rape, incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”?

  • OMG are you stumping on behalf of incestuous relations?

    The only reason such exclusions even appear is to give the anti-choice crowd the appearance of being reasonable people on the subject. These kinds of restrictions are never actually implemented in an honest way. Abortion bans are always total bans in practice. Even with alleged exceptions for the mother’s life. As was the case in Ireland last year.

    Besides, if those states were bothering to follow the law, abortion is a permissive right and the local governments have to cough up compelling excuses for restrictions (other than “I don’t like abortion”).

  • The issue which you seem to be overlooking is that these women aren’t just making choices which affect their own bodies, they are also making choices which affect another person’s body.

    It seems to me that the people on the pro-choice side think of the fetus as some sort of abnormal growth on the woman, like a tumor or some unwanted mole or wart, instead of a separate human being. I’m not against a women’s right to choose to get rid of a tumor, or to have cosmetic surgery to remove an ill placed mole; and the reason I’m not against this is because this sort of treatment or surgery only affects the women’s body, and no one else’s. Abortion isn’t like that at all. A fetus is a separate body, a different person, a unique human. An abortion is taking of a life of a human being. And if the fetus is considered “innocent” then abortion is the taking of an innocent human life, which is the text book definition of murder. Do women have the right to make decisions concerning their own body? Yes. Do they have the right to make decisions concerning their own bodies when that decision would take the life of another human being? I think not.

    And I didn’t call those women “immoral s1uts”. I think that women who truly and sincerely do not want to raise a child have options open to them. “Murder” as an option should not be on the table. And I don’t see any reason why you’d think it should be.

    I do see it appropriate though to ask you this question, because it probably would show where the divide is between me and you: Is the fetus a human being, and what reasons lead you to believe that?

  • Josh, what you have missed is that ultimately the choice is not yours to make. It doesn’t matter what you think of the life they have inside those women. It is inside them, not you. It is their lives which they are making decisions for, not yours. As personal and private a matter as you can possibly get. Just because you may think of yourself as more moral than women considering abortion, it doesn’t mean you have a right to make the decision for them.

    The pro-choice side considers the fetus as something at the ultimate mercy of the ONLY HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET WHO KEEPS IT ALIVE. Ultimately there is no sane way to give a fetus more rights than the life which keeps it in existence. Biology is a harsh mistress that way. Pregnancy is a zero sum game. You cannot protect a fetus without attacking its mother. It doesn’t matter whether you consider abortion murder or immoral. Its not your body its growing in, so it is never going to be something you should have a say in.

    The fact that you throw in “innocent” life into the argument shows that your concern for life is conditional nonsense. Those “guilty” women should be without any personal privacy or autonomy and just take your directions. You don’t call them s1uts directly. You just think their “lifestyle” makes women so unworthy of making private personal decisions that you must make it for them.

    ” Is the fetus a human being, and what reasons lead you to believe that?”

    Wrong question.

    The question is whether a fetus is a “person”. There is a difference. A person is an autonomous being with a life and rights separate from any other human being. A fetus is not a person. You have to be born to be a person. A baby is a person. Anyone in the world can keep a baby alive. Only the mother keeps a fetus in existence.

    Unless you can separate a fetus from its mother, it is not a person. So the fetus cannot be considered to be greater status as its mother, as you attempt.

  • I am one of those folks who would legitimately benefit from legal weed (I have a painful hip replacement the result of a GSW). For some reason medical marijuana in Florida required 60% and we “only” got about 58%. Scanning through the county tabulations it looked like every county (even the meshuganah folks in the panhandle) voted in favor. Alas – no legal pot for me.

  • “Tennessee constitution…’Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,’
    even…. to save the life of the mother.”

    Primitive nonsense.

    Perhaps we need a law to force men to give blood and extra kidneys to save lives – then maybe men would understand the evil they are forcing on women.

    You think the unborn have a right to use a person’s body against that person’s will?

    Then so do people who don’t have enough blood!
    So do people who need transfusions!
    So do people who need YOUR EXTRA KIDNEY
    AND YOUR EXTRA LUNG!

    Are you in favor of allowing the Government BY LAW to come to your house to harvest your extra body parts to SAVE A LIFE?

    Religion is no friend of decency or democracy.

    ___
    AM
    For Peace, Honest and The Separation of Church and State
    Questioning religion while trying to be nice to believers.

  • @Josh M,

    “your lifestyle is granted higher priority than the right to someone else’s life”

    So therefore You are saying the GOVERNMENT should be allowed BY LAW to come to your house and rip out your extra kidney against your will because it would save someone’s life??

    You are actively promoting a dictatorship whereby the government owns people’s bodies and gets to decide what people can do – or not do – with their own bodies.

    I guess where you live, people don’t think too much about the implications of what they say!?

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