DENVER, CO — At 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day, in an industrial area a few miles from downtown Denver, a former Marine named Sean Azzariti walked into a giant store and bought a bag of weed. Legally. To smoke just for fun, if he’s so inclined.
Mr. Azzariti’s transaction Wednesday — 3.5 grams of Bubba Kush for $40 and 50 mg of Truffles for an additional $9.28 — was the first in the state’s grand experiment in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
The first-in-the-nation law was greeted with long lines at retailers and a lot of “Rocky Mountain High” jokes. But beyond the buzz, the measure represented the institution of a major new public policy in America — one opponents fear will turn the state into a dangerous land of debauchery and that backers hope sets a nationwide precedent.
If Colorado is able to successfully legalize marijuana without causing a social backlash, the tourism, tax and other considerations are likely to compel several other states to quickly follow suit.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Backers of a proposed Bus Rapid Transit corridor connecting Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland have adopted an ambitious timetable to advance the project.
Wendy Stern, Port Authority assistant general manager for planning and development, told a board committee recently that project supporters hope to apply for federal funding next fall. That would require completion of preliminary engineering and environmental review before then, and securing all of the non-federal funding needed for construction.
That would keep the project on track for a start of service in 2017.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When a bill is working its way through the Legislature, the specific details should often be taken with a grain of salt as they are fine-tuned and tweaked on the way to being implemented.
But when several of York County‘s state legislators recently outlined some projects that could be funded through Pennsylvania’s transportation bill, we couldn’t help but cross our fingers and toes, and pull out the lucky rabbit’s foot in hopes of one project coming to fruition:
State Sen. Rob Teplitz and state Rep. Mike Waugh released several projects that could be funded through a $2.5 billion transportation bill that has already passed the state Senate. It will now be discussed by the state House and would need approval from Gov. Tom Corbett.
DePasquale said he was especially interested in why an entity was created to broker the deal, in which wealthy foreign investors would lend the turnpike $200 million in exchange for possible permanent residence in the United States.
DePasquale said his office was legally bound to wait until a transaction is completed before launching an audit, so “it may be several months or longer” before he formally investigates the turnpike plan.
“I am going to follow this situation carefully,” DePasquale said. “It raises some alarms. I’m not taking a position that it’s wrong yet. . . . We’ll wait till the issue is ripe for an audit.”
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Radnor Township Planning Commission has rejected Villanova University‘s request for a zoning change that would allow a major expansion of the Lancaster Avenue campus with new dormitories, a parking garage, a performing arts center, and stores.
The $200 million plan has upset residents, who say it would transform a quiet neighborhood into a noisy extension of the 10,600-student Wildcat campus.
The university was seeking a conditional use to allow denser development than allowed, Planning Commission Chairwoman Julia Hurle said.
The commission was concerned was that the zoning change would not be restricted to the university, she said.