Oregon illegal pot grows: More calls to send National Guard
On the same day last week that a southern Oregon county declared a state of emergency amid a sharp increase in illegal cannabis farms, police raided a site that had about two tons of processed marijuana and 17,500 pot plants. The raid illustrates that the proliferation of industrial-scale marijuana farms has gotten so bad and so brazen that Jackson County Commissioners asked Gov. Kate Brown to send in the Oregon National Guard “to assist, as able, in the enforcement of laws related to the production of cannabis.” During last Wednesday's raid in Medford, Oregon, police found a vast outdoor growing operation, plus harvested plants hanging upside down on drying racks and 3,900 pounds (1,800 kilograms) of resinous buds stashed in huge bags and in stacks of plastic storage containers.news.yahoo.com
Heavily fortified statehouses around US see small protests
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. "The state Capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat.
States declare emergencies, close capitols ahead of rallies
Though details remain murky, demonstrations are expected at state capitols beginning Sunday and leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Though details remain murky, demonstrations are expected at state capitols beginning Sunday and leading up to Biden's succession of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. More than a dozen governors also have called out the Guard to protect their own state capitols and aid local law enforcement officers. Some windows also were boarded at capitols in Wisconsin and Illinois, both of which activated the National Guard to help with security. “But we draw the line at threats to physical safety or to the Utah Capitol building.
Oregon lawmakers delay meetings because of protest worries
(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)SALEM, Ore. – State lawmakers in Oregon will delay by at least two days much of the substantive work of next week's beginning of the Legislature because of warnings from law enforcement about the possibility of violent protests. But the state House and Senate have cancelled floor sessions and committee hearings, and there will be no in-person meetings. Before a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, Oregon lawmakers last month saw a violent crowd enter the state Capitol, fight with police and damage the building. The people opposed to COVID restrictions showed up in Salem, Oregon, on Dec. 21 during a one-day special legislative session. Courtney said delaying the substantive start of the regular legislation sessions was one of several recommendations made by Oregon State Police and approved by legislative leadership.
States race to pass policing reforms after Floyd's death
Since Floyds death in late May, there have been about 450 pieces of policing reform proposals introduced in 31 states, according to a count by the NCSL. Many states had finished their normal legislative session at the time of Floyd's death and are planning to address police accountability next year. But some states are having special sessions this year and others moved quickly to pass bills during the normal legislative calendar. Now lawmakers are set to debate a wide range of policing and other reforms in a special session starting later this month. Lamont Bagby, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, said its unfortunate that Floyds death was necessary to create a sense of urgency for policing reforms.
Senate president: Not enough votes for Oregon climate bill
The president of the Oregon Senate said Tuesday there weren't enough votes in his majority Democratic caucus to approve a landmark climate bill that has sparked a walkout by Republicans and exacerbated tensions between urban and rural areas. The legislation "does not have the votes on the Senate floor," he said. The disclosure prompted young climate activists in the Senate chamber to turn their backs in protest against the Senate president. Kate Brown drew a hard line on negotiations, saying Republicans had to return to the building if they want to cut a deal with her. "The Republicans are not standing against climate change, they're standing against democracy," Brown told a group of protesters outside the Capitol.chicagotribune.com