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Productive Tips For Picking A Right Bankruptcy Attorney

Nowadays we hear lots of individuals losing their jobs as unemployment is increasing a whole lot. We can under no circumstances say that we will not face the situation as the unexpected takes place. We should be prepared with the options for the life’s most unexpected and complex economic difficulties.

In case should you are unable to come out of your economic problems, then you can look at bankruptcy filing. But, you should be conscious of how you can opt for an attorney. Deciding on an knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer will make a massive difference to your financial circumstance. Seek advice from the attorney just before making a selection since it will influence your monetary circumstance. Search the net and come to a choice by reviewing each of the advised lists of one’s state’s bankruptcy lawyers.

Bankruptcy laws exist to offer a remedy for the individual who is overburdened with debt and choose to get started freshly. These laws modify regularly, in an effort to get most out of those constantly changing laws, a debtor demands a sensible and experienced lawyer who deals completely with bankruptcy attorney Dallas. For those who are in economic hardship and possess a will need of lawyer, below are few points to take into account even though deciding on.

Gather a list of bankruptcy attorneys: Get in touch with the nearby bar association, talk together with your close friends and neighbors that have already taken the assistance of bankruptcy attorneys for reference, browse the world wide web to find attorneys in your location. Following collecting a list of bankruptcy attorneys, depending on what variety of attorney you may need – customer, industrial, business enterprise or individual, pick the most beneficial bankruptcy attorney. Call the attorneys personally and talk to them, this will assist you to narrow down your alternatives and assists you in selecting the very best attorney.

Consult the attorneys personally: Bankruptcy attorneys give free consultation for initial time, in the event the lawyer charges the fee move on for the subsequent attorney within the list, speak with lawyer personally and discover how much encounter he has and quantity of situations they have handled successfully. The bankruptcy attorneys should be in a position to supply detailed data concerning the bankruptcy from the scratch. If they don’t deliver the data confidently for the inquiries you ask and look unclear, move on towards the next lawyer.

Learn the quantity you may have to pay: Ask the lawyer concerning the amount you’ve got to pay totally from beginning to end. Based on where you live along with the sort of debt you will be in, the bankruptcy attorney will charge you $1,000 to $3,500. Whilst choosing the bankruptcy attorney don’t generally decide on the least expensive a single. Learn which attorney is additional certified and who has superior experience. Some bankruptcy attorneys will ask you to spend the fee completely ahead of time just before filing the case. Speak to the attorneys in advance and come to a conclusion.

Selections with the attorneys: Talk about all your choices using the attorneys, ensure that the lawyer you decide on is able to operate for you, you will discover a number of attorneys who file your case with out possessing interest to take up the case for quick charge. You may discover quickly irrespective of whether the attorney you chose is genuinely interested to take up the case by interviewing the attorney.

Ratings and critiques: Check out the ratings and testimonials regarding the lawyer out of your friends and web.

Certainly all of the above methods can help you to find out excellent bankruptcy attorney; because of this you will hopefully get out of the debts.

Kyocera And Microsoft Legal Row About Android Finally Over

Kyocera Duraforce

Microsoft has dropped the patent-infringement lawsuit it filed against Kyocera, as the two companies have now expanded a prior agreement.

(Photo : Kyocera)

Microsoft and Kyocera are back to doing business together, reaching an agreement that resolves the legal dispute between them and ditches the patent-infringement lawsuit.

A few months ago, back in March, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Kyocera, claiming that three Android smartphones from the Japanese company violated seven Microsoft patents. The smartphones in question were the Duraforce (pictured), Brigadier and Hydro. The patents, meanwhile, cover a wide range of mobile technologies that Microsoft alleged the Android devices violated.

Microsoft has dozens of licensing agreements in place with Android OEMs, including Samsung, but it will not back out of a litigation if it doesn’t reach an amicable agreement. Microsoft went after Kyocera in March, asking a Seattle court for a U.S. sales ban on the three phones that infringed its patents.

As it turns out, the two companies have now managed to settle their differences and Microsoft has officially dropped the lawsuit it filed against the Japanese electronics firm. Kyocera and Microsoft have signed a deal to expand a prior patent licensing agreement.

“The new agreement enables the companies to use a broader range of each other’s technologies in their respective products through a patent cross license,” Microsoft explained in its press release.

“In addition to strengthening the partnership between the two companies, it also resolves a patent-infringement lawsuit brought earlier this year in U.S. District Court. The remaining details of the agreement are confidential.”

This new agreement marks another victory for Microsoft and its patent-licensing agreements with Android hardware makers. Licensing various patents related to Android brings in big bucks and business seems to be thriving in this department, as patent licensing is turning out to be quite lucrative for Microsoft. From July 2012 to June 2013, for instance, Samsung shelled out more than $1 billion as part of a patent-licensing deal. Microsoft and Samsung also got tangled up in litigation over license fees for patents related to Android, but similarly settled their dispute through an amicable agreement.

The new deal with Kyocera is now the last in a string of such deals Microsoft has reached with various Android makers. It remains unclear, however, just how much Kyocera will pay to use Microsoft’s patents.

© 2015 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Estate of 'Untouchables' Ness in Legal Fight Over Old Stock

A legal fight is brewing in Florida between the estate of “Untouchables” Prohibition agent Eliot Ness and an Ohio company over some long-undiscovered stock that apparently belonged to Ness and may be worth more than $1 million.

Ness, the famed Prohibition agent who led the “Untouchables” in their crusade against Chicago gangster Al Capone and his mob accomplices, later was the top executive at bank services company Diebold Inc.

A 50-share Diebold stock certificate, along with Ness’ old federal badges and credentials, languished for years in a box in the South Florida apartment of Winnie Higgins Knorr, Ness’ longtime personal secretary. When Knorr died several years ago in Fort Lauderdale, her belongings — including the Diebold stock — passed on to an acquaintance, Debra Hole.

Attorney John F. Bradley said it could now be worth more than $1.1 million because of stock splits and dividends over the years that could swell the number of shares to some 29,500. Bradley represents the Ness estate, with at least three surviving heirs, in a federal lawsuit seeking to force Diebold to pay up.

“I’m kind of picturing him as America’s first superhero. Sadly, he died with not that much,” Bradley said of Ness. “It’s just a simple debt as far as I’m concerned.”

North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold declined to comment, but in court filings the company has tried to get the lawsuit dismissed. Diebold, which started out making bank safes and vaults 150 years ago, now provides multiple financial services including ATM machines and drive-through teller equipment. Also named in the lawsuit is Wells Fargo bank, which handles Diebold’s stock transfers.

In court documents, Diebold and Wells Fargo insist there is no record available of any stock ownership by Ness.

“The certificate is no longer valid,” their filing states.

Ness was Diebold’s chief executive officer from 1944 to 1951, after his crime-fighting successes in Chicago and a later stint as Cleveland’s safety director. His 1929-31 service as a Prohibition agent in Chicago was the subject of a popular book and later a television show with Robert Stack as Ness, followed by the 1987 film with Kevin Costner in the agent’s role and Robert De Niro as Capone.

The name “Untouchables” comes from his unit’s reputation for refusing to take bribes from Capone, according to media accounts of the time. Although Ness’ efforts eventually led to some 5,000 bootlegging charges against Capone, the infamous gangster was actually convicted of tax evasion. The liquor violations were eventually dropped.

Ness, who also unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Cleveland, died of a heart attack in Pennsylvania in 1957 at age 54. He left little in his estate to his third wife, Elisabeth, according to Bradley. No mention was ever made of the Diebold stock certificate and the company never reached out, he said.

“The estate had no knowledge of its ownership of the stock until recently,” Bradley said.

The stock certificate took a winding road to Florida. Knorr, the former Ness secretary, came south in 1974 to work as admissions director at the brand-new Nova Southeastern University Law School. Hole, who was involved in founding the school, became her close friend.

But according to Bradley, not until Knorr retired from the law school did she reveal her connection to Ness or mention the stock certificate.

“My reaction was, wow,” Bradley said. “I thought it was fantastic.”

The Ness estate, closed for decades in Pennsylvania, has now been reopened to pursue the stock claim, which led to the lawsuit in Miami.

Ness had an adopted son who died years ago. The remaining heirs are cousins of Ness’ third wife and live in California, where she died in 1977. Three of those cousins are pursuing payment for the stock.

Ness made little money as a government employee, and neither Ness nor his family ever profited from the book that created his popular Capone-fighting legend, according to a Ness history compiled by the Cleveland Police Museum. The book, written by sportswriter Oscar Fraley, was based on a 21-page memoir that Ness typed himself.

But Ness signed away the rights in 1955 to Fraley, thinking the book wouldn’t be much of a success, according the museum’s account.

“I knew it would be a success and if he didn’t like it he could sign off on it, and he did,” Fraley told the museum in a 1998 interview.

So for the Ness heirs, the long-hidden Diebold stock certificate is the only thing of value remaining from him, other than the badges and memorabilia. If the claim is not settled, U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez has ordered mediation for later this year. If that’s unsuccessful, the case is set for a February 2016 trial in Miami federal court.

“This isn’t easy or quick,” Bradley said. “This thing has been closed for a long time.”


Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

Religious objections vs legal duties

Some county clerks across Texas relied on AG’s opinion to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Most changed their minds when the lawsuits started


A couple together 35 years applied for their marriage license at the Dallas County Records Building on June 29. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)


DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Obergefell v Hodges, upholding marriage equality nationwide, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion declaring that county employees may refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if issuing those licenses would go against their “deeply held religious beliefs.”

Paxton also warned that, legally, all couples who apply for a marriage license must be accommodated as well. But some county clerks around the state seemed to have misunderstood that qualifier to his opinion.

Early this week, Hood County Clerk Katie Lang posted on the front page of her website, “I will be not be issuing same sex marriage license’s due to my religious convictions.” She said the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision  “fabricated [a] new constitutional right,” also claiming the decision doesn’t “diminish, overrule, or call into question the First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion that formed the first freedom in the Bill of Rights in 1791.”

Lang has since relented, saying that while she would not personally issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the office of Hood County Clerk would.

In Cleburne County, Ark., County Clerk Dana Guffey resigned her position rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She’s been in office 24 years, but because her beliefs conflicted with her being able to fully carry out her job, she’s leaving office.

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause said if there are two or three clerks in an office and all agree, one of them should handle the licenses for same-sex couples. That way everyone is accommodated and no one is violating their personal religious beliefs.

Although Paxton’s ruling is controversial, it may be an accurate reading of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance on religious workplace discrimination, according to Lambda Legal Senior Staff Attorney Ken Upton.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion,” the EEOC guidance says. That means an employer does not have to accommodate the religious beliefs of an employee if it would “violat[e] a seniority system; causing a lack of necessary staffing; jeopardiz[e] security or health; or [cost] the employer more than a minimal amount.”

Social and political preferences are not religious beliefs, according to EEOC.

Employment attorney Stacy Cole said employers must make some accommodations for religious beliefs but employees must still do the core, central duties of their jobs. But the attorney added that he’s not comfortable with one employee passing off a same-sex couple to another employee, even in well-staffed offices.

He cited the 2006 case Garcetti v Ceballos, which limited free speech protections for government employees when they are on the job.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion that speech by a public official is only protected if it is engaged in as a private citizen, not if it is expressed as part of the official’s public duties. Cole said he thinks courts will use this decision to require county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“That keeps the court out of marriage and religion,” Cole said, adding that it focuses on the core duties of the county clerk’s job.

ACLU spokeswoman Rebecca Roberts said her organization hasn’t had to file any suits against county clerks in Texas so far, but they’re monitoring what’s going on around the state.

Roberts noted that what she’s seeing is similar to what’s gone on in other states in which marriage equality was law before the Obergefell ruling. After a few weeks of hand wringing, she said, the dust settles.

“When you’re a public official, you have to fulfill your duties,” Roberts said. “Your personal views don’t trump those duties.”

What the ACLU is hearing from most county clerks is that they don’t have the forms yet or their computers aren’t updated. New forms were sent to counties across the state on Monday, Roberts noted, adding, “If people are Stonewalling, we want to know.”

The ACLU hotline number is 888-503-6838.

Omar Narvaez, a community educator for Lambda Legal, said his organization has had “multiple discussions with county clerks” since the Supreme Court handed down its ruling. Some of those had questions; others were waiting for updated forms or computer updates.

But each conversation, Narvarez said, resulted in those clerks beginning to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

Narvaez also pointed out not every county uses the same software, so updates that many counties had on Monday hadn’t gotten to some of the smaller, rural counties with different systems as quickly.

While not all counties are complying, Narvaez said, “It’s moved faster than I was expecting.”

He added Lambda Legal has a legal help desk for anyone denied a license or a service that flows from having that license.

One woman that recently moved to Mesquite from Illinois had been refused a driver’s license with her wife’s last name, the name she’s been using for five years. That was last week. This week, the Texas Department of Public Safety Office in Rockwall recognized the marriage license as her official name change document.

Narvaez said his office would be interested in hearing from anyone denied the marriage license, has problems signing a lease as a married couple, getting names onto a child’s birth certificate or is refused an adoption.

Now that marriage is legal, there shouldn’t be problems relating to marital status in any of these transactions, Narvaez said. But if there are, they need to be corrected, he added.

He said he was also interested in judges who were refusing to marry same-sex couples. Prior to the SCOTUS decision, Dallas County Civil District Judge Tonya Parker refused to perform any weddings — including opposite-sex weddings — until this week, because she couldn’t legally perform weddings for all couples.

Judges must treat all couples equally. They can’t marry opposite-sex couples and not same-sex couples.

For more information, Lambda Legal and other organizations created MarriageEqualityFacts.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 3, 2015.

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'Weed the People' event testing the limits of legal pot

'Weed the People' event testing the limits of legal pot»Play Video

Organizers of “Weed the People” work to set up a warehouse in North Portland for the event, which is expected to attract 2,000 people Friday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A first of its kind event is testing the limits for what’s legal when it comes to marijuana in Oregon.

“In six months this type of event may not be able to happen,” said organizer Connie Wohn. “So we’re definitely existing in kind of a loophole right now.”

“Weed the People” will give patrons seven grams of cannabis, and all they have to do is pay 40 bucks to get in.

The $40 is to pay for the warehouse that’s being rented in North Portland on Friday.

Selling marijuana is illegal to recreational users.

The farms that are donating the marijuana aren’t getting any money. They were reluctant to participate at first.

“Once I explained that I truly was not a DEA agent on a sting, they were on board,” said Joshua Taylor, an organizer with “Weed the People.”

Because there’s no money going directly or indirectly to the growers supplying the marijuana, Portland police can’t do anything about the event.

“Most of the agencies we talked to were like we have no jurisdiction on that,” said Wohn. “So we will let you proceed with that.”

The event is at the Metal Craft Fabrication plant, but it’s sold out.

Pennsylvania fireworks: What's legal, what's not

Some Pennsylvania lawmakers are proposing to change state law and allow consumers to buy certain types of fireworks that are currently illegal in the state. 

But for now, the current strict rules still stand.

The operator of two fireworks sale tents set up on McKnight Road in Ross Township says Phantom Fireworks only supplies him the items that are currently legal in Pennsylvania. He estimates that about half of the people who stop by his locations say they wish he had other types to offer.

“They’re looking for  all the illegal stuff that’s not here in Pennsylvania —  bottle rockets, fire crackers, roman candles,  mortars. All that type of stuff that goes up into the air that’s illegal here and we don’t sell it.  We  can’t,” said  Ace Pippens, who said he sells the fireworks as a means of charity fundraising.

Here’s what is legal for sale and use in Pennsylvania: ground and handheld sparkling devices,novelties, and toy caps.

Cheryl Beckas of Shaler said she’s never purchased any types of fireworks before, but Thursday, she purchased sparklers, snakes, and similar items from one of Pippen’s tents.

“Nothing that will  take any limbs off, and things that are pretty much safe for the kids to hold, that i know they’re not going to get burned,” Beckas said.

Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said the items currently banned for sale in Pennsylvania are basically anything that explodes or flies into the air.

“Anything that is a projectile: rockets, bottle rockets, little mortar rounds that shoot out the tubes.  Those are completely illegal, and anything that explodes,” Jones said.

Other examples of fireworks that are illegal in Pennsylvania include cherry bombs, M-80s and M-100s, and silver salutes.

“We will confiscate the material and it is a $1,000 fine per count. So if you have 50 bottle rockets in your car, that is $50,000 in fines that we will be issuing,” Jones said.

Pennsylvania law prohibits possession of consumer and display fireworks without a permit. If you’re a Pennsylvania resident, you can only buy consumer fireworks with a display permit issued by the municipality where you’re going to set them off.  Your fireworks site would have to be inspected by that community’s fire chief or other enforcement officer, and you’d have to post a bond of $500 to cover any potential damages.

If you’re not a Pennsylvania resident,  you can — with an I.D. — buy consumer fireworks from a facility licensed by the state Agriculture Department — but they have to be transported directly out of Pennsylvania.

Even if you only use sparklers or other novelty items, safety officials advise that you read and follow the instructions carefully, use them in an open area, only light one at a time, and put used items in a bucket of water before throwing them away.  

A responsible adult should always supervise their use.


How to Make Your Dead Eagle A Legal Eagle

Spoiler warning on, bud. (Photo: Saffron Blaze on Wikipedia)

In advance of Independence Day festivities, here is a strange-but-true American fact: It is a crime to be in possession of eagles and eagle parts other than for the purposes of Native American tribal ritual, down to a feather.

But, you may be asking, what if I just happen to come across a dead eagle in the wild?

Good question! This is where the National Eagle Repository, the federal government’s official dead eagle processing center, comes in.

Part of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado, the National Eagle Repository is the one place in the nation where deceased symbols of American freedom are sent, as well as the place you can look to for all your legal eagle part needs.

First created in the 1970s, the office as it exists today was established in 1995 as a result of a presidential mandate designed to create a legally regulated method for Native American tribes to obtain eagle parts for use in various cultural pastimes. The fierce protection of bald eagles in America made the procurement of eagle parts a thorny issue for many Native American tribes who them, especially the feathers, as components of their legally protected cultural rites. With the repository in place, obtaining eagle parts is now a perfectly legal process that both helps to protect the animal and the rights of the people who use them.

That’s some good wing. (Photo: FWS on Wikipedia)

The late eagles themselves can flow to the Repository from a number of avenues. According to Coleen Schaefer, the Supervisory Wildlife Repository Specialist, eagle corpses usually come from state and federal wildlife officers who find the dead birds in the wild, as well as eagle rehabilitators who end up with birds that just couldn’t pull through. However zoos and even private citizens could (and, technically, are legally obligated to) send eagles to the facility. While the website calls for all eagle parts, regardless of condition to be sent to the repository, Schaefer says they mainly get whole eagles. The Repository is refreshingly non-discriminatory in its desire for dead eagle parts, although as their website also makes very clear, they should not be sent eagles who have died from the West Nile Virus. Which, surprisingly and tragically, is a real problem.

Birds who have been poisoned are also problematic as the Repository will only accept them after an necropsy has been performed, just like if it was a human murder victim.

Schaefer says that in addition to the more standard cases where the bird died of disease or some other natural cause, they also get birds that were killed in illegal shootings. Once the investigation is over, the “victim” is shipped out to the Repository to be used for parts, then necropsied. Sometimes they even come in still carrying their last meal. “We have received eagles where prey are still gripped in their talons, e.g. fish, ducks, etc., and that’s always interesting,” says Schaefer.

 In eagle poker, this is a winning hand. (Photo: FWS on Wikipedia)

The National Eagle Repository may not be picky about what birds come to them, they are incredibly fastidious about the parts they send out to others. When the eagles come to the Repository, they are assessed for their usability to the Native American population, as damaged parts are not acceptable for many of their uses. Schaefer estimates that 30-40 eagles a day are evaluated. “If the bird is best suited to be used for feathers, we hand pluck the feathers from the wings and tail to provide to the applicant,” she says. (Usable or no, that is a staggering amount of dead eagles and there are only three staff members working on the eagles full-time.)

If you happen to come across a dead eagle, you should contact a wildlife officer. But in case you decide to take care of that national treasure corpse yourself, the Repository suggests that you wear gloves to protect yourself from disease, place the bird in a sturdy plastic bag to prevent “leakage,” and get it into a freezer as soon as possible. All good rules for handling any dead thing, really.

They also suggest that you transport the carcass in a separate area from yourself in a vehicle. Specifically, the back of a pick-up. During both handling and packaging the eagle, it’s important to remember to be extra careful with the feathers, because if they are damaged, turning in your grimly-patriotic find will all have been for naught.

Recreational marijuana's legal, but when will it be sold?

EUGENE, Ore. – In fall, 2015 voters approved Measure 91 legalizing the private use of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older. Now, on the day recreational pot becomes legal in Oregon, state officials and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission are still working out the details of distributing the drug.

“You know, last night at midnight, it was almost like a new New Year’s,” said Joseph Hopkins, owner of The Greener Side dispensary.

People celebrated their new freedom to smoke marijuana legally in Oregon, but as of now, they can’t buy it. It can only be shared or grown.

Proposed legislation would allow sales temporarily at existing medical marijuana dispensaries. If the bill is passed, sales would begin October 1. That’s almost a year before the OLCC will be ready to allow permanent recreational pot stores to open.

“The earlier that we can allow adults 21 and older access to the facilities, the better. It gets them off the black market quicker,” Hopkins said.

“It’s a start. I think no matter where we start, there’ll be a period of troubleshooting and the sooner we get on that, the better in my opinion,” said Shane Cavanaugh, owner of Amazon Organics.

The retail sales bill still has to be approved by the Oregon House before sales could begin October 1.

Dispensaries would be allowed to sell ¼ ounce of legal marijuana 21 and older. The Senate also wants a sales tax of up to 20 percent on recreational pot. Cavanaugh wonders if that’s too much.

“Clearly the lawmakers would like to have big impact on suppressing the black market, and the more taxes that are added to the retail product, the less likely the black market is to be suppressed,” he said.

The House still has to vote on the sales plan.

Click here to get the answers to your legalized recreational marijuana questions.

Weed Isn't Just Legal In Oregon — It's Free!

Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post

PORTLAND, Ore. — There’s only one marijuana price tag that’s legal now that pot prohibition is over in Oregon: free.

That’s right, there’s still no system in place to buy or sell weed. That process could take another year, unless legislation passes that would make it legal for state medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to the public.

But you can give weed away, and local groups are taking advantage of it. That’s exactly what the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws did as the clock struck midnight on Wednesday, handing out joints and seeds as hundreds of locals crowded Burnside Bridge to celebrate marijuana legalization.

It was a smoke-out with a message: Legalization is so much more than being able to smoke a joint in your home without being a criminal. It’s a health care issue; it’s a tax revenue issue; it saves states millions in the court system; and it ends the hidden costs of prosecution, which emerge when someone can’t get a job because there’s a possession charge on their record.

Read more about Oregon’s legalization here.

Wednesday morning, however, was also about partying. Jordan Morehead, 22, said “today is a beautiful day” because of the legalization of marijuana and the recent Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage. He also revealed his favorite breakfast cereal:

Kaliko Castille of NORML said he was happy to see a community able to come together — peacefully — over something positive.

“It’s great to see people from all walks of life out here, handing out joints to each other and getting to know their neighbors,” he told HuffPost.

At midnight, NORML’s Russ Belville started “gifting” party favors. There were a few police officers in the audience, though they didn’t seem to care about the party that was going down.

Until it’s legal to buy or sell, pot will continue to be free at various events in Oregon. On Friday, for example, a sold-out “Weed The People” event promises that ticket holders will walk out with seven grams in samples.

See more photos from the legalization celebration below.

  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / The Huffington Post

Legal fireworks OK under Portland burn ban

Fireworks aficionados, rejoice.

A burn ban issued Wednesday by Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens does not — repeat, does not — include legal fireworks.

That means Portlanders and residents of Multnomah County can carry on with regularly scheduled plans for the Fourth of July, including the use of legal fireworks.

“Illegal fireworks are always banned, always illegal,” Janssens said. “Period.”

Unusually hot temperatures and high winds prompted Janssens to issue a burn ban last Friday that included legal fireworks. But she lifted that restriction less than 18 hours later.

The fate of the Fourth of July weekend had been an open question, prompting Janssens to call a media conference Wednesday morning to announce plans.

Janssens serves as the Multnomah County Fire Defense Board Chief and is responsible for announcing burn bans impacting Portland, Gresham and other parts of Multnomah County.

Janssens said the ban will be in effect until further notice, and it does not affect outdoor barbecues. The ban could be adjusted to include legal fireworks if the wind forecast picks up, she said, but as of now that’s not expected. Updates to the ban will be issued as necessary.

While safety is her top concern, Janssens acknowledged that it would be a difficult ask politically to ban legal fireworks on the Fourth of July.

But Janssens suggested showing patriotism by flying American flags instead of setting off fireworks.

Legal Fireworks OK Under Portland Burn Ban Hot temperatures and high winds prompted a ban last weekend that included fireworks.

While Washington is the source of most illegal fireworks in the Portland area, it’s not necessarily universal across the Evergreen State. Seattle bans fireworks, for instance.

Janssens urged residents to use common sense and think about neighbors when using fireworks. “Illegal fireworks cause countless injuries,” she said.

Illegal fireworks in Oregon include anything that flies, explodes, or travels more than six feet on the ground or one foot into the air.

Officials also unveiled a new hotline to report the use of illegal fireworks, 503-823-BOOM (2666).

Sgt. Pete Simpson, a police spokesman, said two officers from each of the bureau’s three precincts will designated to respond to fireworks calls.

“This is about safety,” he said. “You don’t want to be the person that starts a house fire.”

In the past two years, officials issued 282 citations for illegal fireworks, resulting in fines of about $150,000. In the past three years, officials say fires in the peak season caused by fireworks have dropped by 30 percent, and 40 percent on the Fourth of July.

— Brad Schmidt




Marijuana is now legal in Oregon, but you still can't buy it yet

Image: Blaine Harrington III/Corbis

Smoke it if you’ve got it, Oregonians, because you can’t legally buy it — yet.

On Wednesday, Oregon officially joined the growing list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal.

Currently, marijuana is also legal for recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Washington and DC. In addition, 23 states as well as DC allow some form of medical marijuana.

State voters approved measure 91 during the November election, making it legal for adults who are at least 21 to possess, cultivate and consume marijuana in Oregon. In 1998, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 67, allowing qualifying patients access to medical marijuana.

Although the state is still setting regulations for its recreational sales, residents can grow up to four plants and possess 8 ounces of cultivated marijuana flower inside their residences — or 1 ounce away from home.

It’s also now legal in Oregon to possess 1 pound of edibles, 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid and 1 ounce of marijuana extract.

Though like other states where pot is legal, such as Colorado, it is not legal to smoke in public.

In order to clear up any haziness, the state set up a website about what, exactly, is legal.


BONUS: Inside a high-end cannabis grow house

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