By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Marijuana stores in Washington state can sell marijuana in cookies, brownies and other approved baked goods but cannot put the drug in candies, lollipops or food items that might appeal to children, according to newly released rules. Washington became the second U.S. state to allow recreational sales of marijuana to adults on July 8 when its first retail stores opened under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in 2012. The state's Liquor Control Board, which regulates the fledgling sector, published the guidelines on Wednesday for the packaging and labeling of marijuana edibles. It prohibited any products, labels or packaging designed to be especially appealing to children, including lollipops and suckers, gummy candy and jelly beans.
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A former member of the Black Panther Party who hijacked a commercial airplane and forced it to fly to Cuba nearly 30 years ago was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday by a federal judge in Florida. William Potts Jr., 57, will be eligible for parole in about seven years, under the ruling by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore. Potts returned to the United States in November 2013 after spending almost three decades in Cuba, including 13 years in prison, after forcing a Piedmont Airlines flight to go to Havana in 1984. "He has served a very long sentence in a prison that is known for being one of the worst hell holes on the planet,” Potts' attorney, federal public defender Robert Berube, said.
U.S. military officials would have preferred the United States not announce a date for ending its troop presence in Afghanistan, as the White House did in May, the outgoing commander of U.S. forces there said on Thursday. General Joe Dunford, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, was asked at a Senate committee hearing whether President Barack Obama's announcement that almost all U.S. troops would be gone by 2017 had damaged morale among Afghan soldiers.
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A county judge in Florida struck down on Thursday the state's gay marriage ban, the latest in a string of court rulings across the United States voiding state laws that restrict the right of same-sex couples to marry. Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, whose jurisdiction includes the Florida Keys, ordered the Monroe County Clerk of Court to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples next Tuesday. While the ruling applies to only one Florida county, it marks the first decision in several court cases across the state challenging a same-sex marriage ban approved by Florida voters in 2008. Garcia ruled in favor of two male bartenders living in Key West seeking the right to marry, saying Florida's gay marriage ban violated their rights to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — An aide to Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that she did not alert any of her bosses when she learned about the closure of lanes leading up to the George Washington Bridge in part because she believed someone else was trying to get to the bottom of it.