Western Opinion Sampler: Fires, drugs, busted hotels, gays and guns ...
Published: January 28, 2013 01:12PM
Updated: January 28, 2013 01:12PM
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Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, speaks at the Utah State Capitol

One Utah legislator recognizing the risks of climate change. And some under-the-influence editorial writers:

Fire battle plan: Bill recognizes threat of warming — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial
One Utah legislator is finally trying to bring a state land-management policy in line with science and the pressing concerns of the 21st century. ...
... Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, is proposing legislation, HB77, that urges the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands to adopt pre-suppression strategies that recognize how climate change is already affecting wildfire in the Beehive State. ...

Some depressing drug-war math — Orange County Register Editorial
... many of the drug-related problems the nation faces – gang wars and crime waves in particular – are the result of government prohibition and crackdown on drugs, not drugs themselves. ...

The DEA's marijuana mistake — Los Angeles Times Editorial
For a muscular agency that combats vicious drug criminals, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science. For years, the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse have made it all but impossible to develop a robust body of research on the medical uses of marijuana. ...

This motel is under arrest — Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial
Civil forfeiture is the government power to take property suspected of involvement in a crime. In criminal forfeiture, property is seized after a conviction. In civil actions, however, police can seize property without so much as charging the owner with wrongdoing. This legal sleight-of-hand is common but not well-understood. ...

On booze and the Super Bowl — San Francisco Chronicle Editorial
... When the party's over, the city has to pick up the tab for fans who take their excitement out into the streets, and sometimes the tab is high indeed. ...

Montana behind the times on the rights of gays — Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle Editorial

Colorado gun buyers should pay for background checks — Denver Post Editorial
Charging a modest fee would allow background checks to be conducted in a timely fashion.