News from the Marijuana Front. I've always thought of Ohio as a relatively conservative state. Little things, like, oh, every state-wide official, from the governor on down, six of the seven Supreme Court justices, and two-thirds of each legislative chamber being Republican. But we're going to have a referendum in November on legalizing marijuana, and according to the latest poll, Ohioans support doing so by a nine-point margin.
Whether that happens is another story; you can bet that the "demon weed" stories are going to be amped up in the next few weeks. Earlier this week, doctors from the three big hospitals in Cleveland came out in opposition to the proposal, "backed by law enforcement, business, and elected officials." The elected officials of the City of Toledo may or may not have been included in that mix, but it didn't matter much, at least in that burg; a citizen-led initiative there resulted in the passage last month, by a 20% margin, of the "Sensible Marihuana Ordinance," which eliminates fines and jail time for possession of up to 200 grams of weed. One of the law enforcement and elected officials who is in the mix is Attorney General Mike DeWine, who promptly sued the city over its ability to enact the ordinance.
The doctors also opposed the use of medical marijuana, but that ship has definitely sailed. The same poll showed that support for legalizing marijuana for legal purposes has skyrocketed: about nine in ten Ohioans support it. That mirrors the polling results in Florida and Ohio; in both places, while support for legalizing recreational use is mixed, support for medical use is overwhelming.
Crime and punishment. The State of Oklahoma is having a bitch of a time killing Richard Glossip. Last spring, SCOTUS rejected his claim that the drugs Oklahoma intended to use to execute him created a risk of violating the 8th Amendment. That claim seemed supportable, in light of what happened to Clayton Locket in August of 2014 when the State tried to carry out his death sentence: the execution was stopped twenty minutes into it as he writhed, groaned, and convulsed on the table, even trying to sit up, despite having been declared unconscious. Well, they did carry out his death sentence, in a manner of speaking; at age 38, he died of a heart attack twenty minutes later.
Gossip did get a temporary reprieve in September, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issuing a two-week stay so it could consider new evidence claiming that Glossip was innocent. Not enough new evidence, apparently; the execution was to go forward on September 30.
An hour before it was to take place, though, it was postponed. Turns out that the State was using the wrong drug as part of its cocktail: the protocol called for the use of potassium chloride, and officials had instead used potassium acetate when they killed Charles Warner this past January.
The politics of lawyers. If I'd had to guess, I'd figure that lawyers working for oil and gas companies were crypto-fascists, while public defenders had to carry buckets around for their bleeding hearts. Guess no more; the guys over on the TaxProf Blog - a place far down on my "want-to-visit" list, right after beef slaughterhouse and mime school - did a study and came up with the chart here, listing ideology of lawyers by practice area.
Not too many surprises. Criminal lawyers are a liberal bunch, though not nearly as much so as personal injury practitioners. No one gets to the left of law professors, although entertainment lawyers and public defenders give them a run for their money. Female lawyers are extremely liberal, and oil and gas lawyers are extremely conservative, much more so than insurance defense or corporate lawyers.
On the other hand, if you had to pick which was the more conservative, prosecutors or people who practice maritime law, you'd be in for a surprise.