Arkansas court says voters can decide medical marijuana plan

by The Associated Press Posted Oct 13, 2016 8:58 am MDT Last Updated Oct 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Arkansas court says voters can decide medical marijuana plan LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas voters will have their say on at least one medical marijuana proposal this November, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.Justices sided with supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. A coalition of groups, including the state Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Farm Bureau, had asked the court to prevent officials from counting any votes for the measure.“It is a flawed measure that hurts Arkansans,” said Jerry Cox, executive director of the Family Council Action Committee, which was one of the groups challenging the measure. Cox said he thinks the proposal will lead to legalized recreational marijuana in the state and that his will continue to campaign against the measure.There are two such proposals on the Nov. 8 ballot. The one allowed to stand Thursday lets patients with certain conditions to buy the drug, but differs from the second proposal in their restrictions and regulations. For example, the competing proposal allows patients to grow their own marijuana if they don’t live near a dispensary. There still was a pending challenge to the second competing proposal as of Thursday.The court said in its opinion that the challenge largely asked the justices to interpret the content of the amendment, which is not within its purview. Associate Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson wrote that the language of the measure does not have to cover every detail of the amendment.“We conclude that while inside the voting booth, the voters will be able to reach an intelligent and informed decision for or against The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016,” she wrote.Arkansas voters narrowly rejected a medical marijuana proposal four years ago, despite big spending from pro-legalization national groups.Meanwhile, national support for medical marijuana has grown, and half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug in some fashion. Arkansas is one of four states with medical marijuana proposals on this year’s ballot.But the push faces more obstacles this year. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who headed the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, has spoken out against the measures. The state Democratic Party’s platform includes general support for legalizing medical marijuana, but the platform is silent on the two ballot measures. read more

River Plate rejects moving Copa Libertadores final to Madrid

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Plans to complete the violence-delayed Copa Libertadores final in Madrid were thrown into disarray on Saturday when River Plate refused to accept the fixture against Boca Juniors being moved from Argentina.“Spectators are now denied — unjustifiably — the possibility of witnessing the spectacle,” River said in a statement, highlighting the cost for fans.River was already angered it was fined $400,000 and ordered to play the next two CONMEBOL games behind closed doors after its fans attacked the Boca Junior team bus heading into its Buenos Aires stadium for the meeting of Argentina’s fiercest soccer rivals last Saturday.CONMEBOL made an aborted attempt to play the second leg of the final the following day and decided on Thursday it had to be staged instead on Dec. 9 in Spain at Real Madrid’s stadium for security reasons.“Argentine football as a whole and the Argentine Football Association cannot and should not allow a handful of violent ones to impede the development of the superclasico in our country,” River said.River insists it should not be held responsible for the attack that left Boca players injured, saying it happened outside of the security perimeter placed around its Monumental de Nunez Stadium. River also highlighted how Buenos Aires is currently managing to host a meeting of the world’s most powerful political leaders in the Group of 20. The political summit was attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who criticized the conduct of Argentine fans a week after attending the twice-postponed game.“Unfortunately there are idiots around the world that ruin the party for millions of people and we have to remove them,” Infantino said. “Football creates and generates a lot of emotions. But it is a football match. It is not a war. It is not even a battle. It’s not even a fight. It is a match. And what happened is no excuse and has to be condemned. However, I think we have to take, all of us in football, lessons from these happenings and make sure there was a before and there is an after the events of last Saturday and these things do not happen any longer.”World soccer’s governing body approved CONMEBOL shifting the final to Spain.“Not to play the game is always a defeat,” Infantino said. “The only way to go ahead is to play the game in Spain.”But Infantino portrayed it as a one-off decision due to the security problems, rather than being the green light for other competitive games to be moved from their natural location. It comes as the Spanish league is being blocked by its federation from moving the La Liga game between Barcelona and Girona to Miami in January.“It is an exceptional case,” Infantino said of the Libertadores move. “For the rest, football is based on national associations who play their football in their countries; continental confederations who play their competitions in their continent; and then FIFA who can play its competitions everywhere.”___Harris reported from Dublin.More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsLuis Henao And Rob Harris, The Associated Press read more

Dog owners are no longer allowing pets to die as figures show

A veterinarian examines a dog  A veterinarian examines a dog Credit: Sergei Savostyanov Dog owners are no longer allowing pets to die as insurance industry figures show a rise in complex “super vet” procedures.Pet insurers paid out a record-breaking £785 million in 2018 to cover the unexpected costs of owning a pet, figures from the Association of British Insurers show.The jump in the cost was driven by a significant increase in the average claim size as veterinary treatment becomes increasingly sophisticated, the ABI said. The average claim cost climbed by £36 year-on-year to £793 in 2018.Over the past decade, the average claim has increased by 75 per cent, while the average premium has increased by 50 per cent, according to the ABI’s data.  The ABI said some examples of claims include PetPlan paying out more than £40,000 for a terrier since its “covered for life” policy started in 2010. The terrier has had several treatments for a serious congenital lung disorder, the ABI said. Research by consumer analysts at Mintel found average pet insurance premiums for dogs rose 6 per cent to £324 in 2017, while cat cover went up 7 per cent to £171. By comparison the average home building and contents insurance policy now costs just £162 a year, according to the AA British Insurance Premium Index.Meanwhile it appears that pet owners are becoming more dissatisfied with the value of pet insurance as calls about it to the Financial Ombudsman, which oversees complaints about insurers, soared 113 per cent from 727 in 2013 to 1,554 in 2018.The ABI’s senior policy adviser for pet insurance, Joe Ahern, said: “There is no NHS for animals, so if you’ve not got a pet policy in place – you risk having to foot veterinary bills out of your own pocket.”These can often be in the thousands of pounds and vet treatment is only getting more expensive, not less.”It’s promising to see the average premium coming down regardless of this trend and I’m pleased to see our members paying out more than ever before to protect the wellbeing of pets across the country.” It also said Direct Line, another insurer, had recently helped a French bulldog that had fractured its leg, with the claim costing £7,300 in total.  But average premiums were down slightly for the first time in eight years, at £279 in 2018 compared to £281 a year earlier. It comes as separate research found insuring pets can be more expensive than insuring a house and all its contents. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more