Marijuana tax bonanza begins for Colorado
For Colorado's new recreational marijuana growers and sellers, Thursday was Tax Day — the first deadline to hand over the taxes they collected in their inaugural month of sales. And new budget numbers predict those taxes could add more than $100 million a year to state coffers, far more than earlier estimates. The figures offer a glimpse into how the bustling market for recreational marijuana is starting to reshape government bottom lines, an important question as advocates push to expand legalization beyond Colorado and Washington state. The governor's budget proposal estimates Colorado's marijuana industry could reach $1 billion in sales in the next fiscal year, about $610 million of it in recreational sales.
Bill lets some deny service to gays
The Arizona Legislature gave final approval Thursday to legislation that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and others, drawing backlash from Democrats who called it "state-sanctioned discrimination" and an embarrassment. The 33-27 House vote sends the measure to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer and puts Arizona back at the forefront of a polarizing piece of legislation four years after enacting an immigration crackdown.
Gay marriage ban won't be defended
Oregon's attorney general will not defend the state's ban on gay marriage, arguing it cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge. Ellen Rosenblum joins fellow Democratic attorneys general in at least five other states who have pledged not to defend state bans on gay marriage.
Drugs in ship cabin with two bodies
Drugs were in the cabin where two former Navy SEALs were found dead on the Maersk Alabama, officials said Thursday. The cause of death of Mark Daniel Kennedy, 43, and Jeffrey Keith Reynolds, 44, was still under investigation. The two Americans were found dead Tuesday while the container ship they were hired to protect was docked in the island African nation of Seychelles. The attack on the ship by Somali pirates in 2009 was dramatized in the movie Captain Phillips.
Fort Meade, Md.
Saudi pleads guilty in tanker attack
A Guantanamo Bay prisoner pleaded guilty to war crime charges Thursday in a pretrial deal aimed at limiting his sentence to 15 years for helping plan the suicide bombing of an oil tanker off Yemen in 2002 that killed a crewman and wounded a dozen others. The deal was expected to give him time to testify against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who also faces terror charges in the tanker bombing and for allegedly orchestrating the 2000 al-Qaida attack on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 sailors and wounded 37.
Choking risk spurs teething toy recall
Toymaker Infantino is recalling 191,000 teething toys sold exclusively at Target because a child could choke on one of its parts. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday consumers should stop using the Go Gaga Squeeze & Teethe CoCo the Monkey toys. For more information, go to infantino.com or call Infantino at 1-888-808-3111.