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Published May 20, 2011

The federal government is rolling out a new official language of sorts: plain English. That's right: Pursuant to regulations promulgated thereunder and commencing in accordance with a statute signed herein by President Barack Obama, the government shall be precluded from writing the pompous gibberish heretofore evidenced, to the extent practicable. Obama signed the Plain Writing Act last fall. The law takes full effect in October and applies to documents produced for the public. Internal government communications can remain nonsensical. The lawwould phase out drivel like the 26-page Pentagon brownie recipe that goes into detailsabout "regulations promulgated thereunder," "flow rates of thermoplastics by extrusion plastometer" and an order that ingredients "shall be examined organoleptically." That means look at, smell, touch or taste. You cannot, however, sue the government for making your head spin after October.

Permits for pot, guns are okay

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that retired bus driver Cynthia Willis can have her medical marijuana and her concealed handgun, too. The court ruled Thursday that a federal law barring criminals and drug addicts from buying firearms cannot be used to stop people who hold medical marijuana cards from obtaining concealed weapons permits. Oregon became one of the first states in nation to authorize people to use marijuana to treat medical conditions when voters approved an initiative in 1998. More than 30,000 Oregonians hold medical marijuana patient cards.