Now that it’s legal in two states to use marijuana for the purpose of getting high, authorities are considering how to regulate driving while stoned. It’s a complicated question, because testing is difficult and researchers differ over the level of impairment marijuana causes.

There’s some evidence that young people consider it less likely they will suffer negative consequences if they drive stoned than if they drive drunk.

Twenty states, including Minnesota, have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Today’s question: How should the law treat stoned drivers?


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In an early August press conference President Barack Obama highlighted the need for immigration reform. “We have a broken system; it’s under-resourced and we’ve got to make choices in terms of how we allocate personnel and resources,” Obama said. “My preference would be an actual comprehensive immigration law. And we already have a bipartisan law that would solve a whole bunch of these problems. Until that happens, I’m going to have to make choice. That’s what I was elected to do,” he added.

CBS News reports that White House lawyers are preparing a defense for Obama to take action without Congressional approval.

The lawyers are expected to argue that Congress has left the administration with too few resources to enforce every law and deport all of the roughly 11.5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. That forces the government to prioritize which immigrants to remove from the country.

Today’s Question: Should Pres. Obama act alone on immigration?

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A SWAT team in Mendota Heights. File, Jeffrey Thompson / MPR News
“The convergence of the progressive left and libertarian right over police demilitarization is yielding a liberal-tarian moment—and it’s brought to you by the Koch brothers,” writes The Daily Beast’s Tim Mok.

Kara Dansky, the author of a report on the militarization of police and a senior counsel at the ACLU, also said the time is ripe for potential cooperation between libertarians and progressives.

The right and left see the militarization of police differently, she said, with libertarians focusing on Pentagon equipment and federal grants for local law enforcement, and progressives taking issue with the “militarization of policing in communities of color.”

But regardless of their different lenses, she said, “there seems to be a convergence of interests” between the two sides.

Former LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing traces the roots of a more militarized police force in Huffington Post, “The militarization of local law enforcement was seeded by the Nixon administration’s declaration of the war on drugs in the early 1970s, and took root in the 1980s as result of President Reagan’s escalation that poured millions into the drug war, shifting the focus of local law enforcement away from violent and property crimes to mostly small-time drug offenders.”

Today’s Question: Should police be demilitarized?

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The Blue Plate Restaurant Company drew fire for reducing its employees’ tips to make up for a hike in the minimum wage, but it’s now walking back on that decision.

Tim Nelson reports:

Owner David Burley says Blue Plate has dropped the controversial charge, and will also raise the pay for non-tipped staff to $9.69 an hour starting Sept. 1. That’s a premium above the state’s current $8 an hour minimum wage, which went into effect Aug. 1. Today’s Question: Should waiters have to depend on tips? What is the fairest way to compensate waitstaff? Read more

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson defeated three challengers to win the Republican Party’s nomination for governor. In two of the most hotly contested political races in the state, longtime Democratic legislator Phyllis Kahn and veteran Republican state Rep. Jenifer Loon both survived strong challenges. Sunfish Lake business executive Mike McFadden won an easy victory Tuesday Read more