Friday, February 28, 2014

9 things you didn't know about dreaming

Main Entry Image
There's a lot we still don't understand when it comes to sleep. We know certain changes occur in the brain, and we have a few guesses as to why, but even the experts only have theories about many aspects of sleep in general and dreaming in particular.

Sleep has long been thought of as a way to process, sort and store the day's events, and more and more research is supporting that notion. Imagine the brain as a second gut, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in integrative sleep and dream medicine at the University of Arizona. "At night, the brain metaphorically swallows, digests and sifts through information, and, just like the gut, eliminates," he says. "What the brain keeps becomes a part of who we are."

Dreaming, he says, is like the brain's digestive system.

But there's plenty about dreaming we only think we know. Below, a few of the little-known facts and bogus myths about dreams.

We dream all night long.
You've probably heard that dreams only occur during rapid eye movement or REM sleep. But we're actually constantly dreaming, says Naiman. We're more tuned in to dreams during REM sleep, he says, but just because you don't "see" the dream, doesn't mean it's not there. As the night progresses, periods of REM sleep lengthen, so the majority of our dreams occur within the latter third of the night, he says.

Insects and fish don't have REM sleep.
Although some dreams happen outside of REM sleep, identifying rapid eye movement in other species is about as close as we can get to predicting whether those creatures dream, according to University of California researchers. But all mammals and reptiles and some birds do experience REM sleep, and therefore likely dream, according to Popular Science.

You're less likely to remember a dream if your alarm jolts you awake.
The trauma of an alarm dragging you into the waking world can cause you to forget where you were floating just moments before. The best way to remember your dreams, says Naiman, is to allow yourself to wake up slowly, over a matter of minutes, lolling about in your grogginess. Just don't try too hard to hold onto those fleeting images. "If you chase a dream, it's going to run away," he says.

People who remember their dreams show different brain activity.
A 2014 study found more spontaneous activity in a part of the brain called the temporo-parietal junction among people who regularly recall their dreams, compared with people who rarely do. The differences weren't just during sleep, but also while study participants were awake. Previous research found that people who remember more dreams also react more to sounds during sleep (and while awake) than people who don't remember many dreams.

Your body reacts to dreams as it would if you were awake.
There's little as frustrating as waking up mad at someone from something he or she did in a dream, only to realize there's no way you can talk those feelings out and still sound sane. But biologically, it makes sense that those feelings linger after your eyes open, says Naiman. "The experience we have in the dream registers in the body and in the brain in almost exactly the same way," he says. Your blood pressure or heart rate might spike, for example, like in a real-life stressful scenario, helping to cement those emotional experiences of the dream, he says.

We dream in real time.
Despite the myth that our dreams occur in a split second, in reality dreams can play out for 20, 30, even 60 minutes, says Naiman. They're likely only a couple of minutes long at the beginning of the night and lengthen along with REM periods as the night progresses.

Nightmares aren't always about fear.
nightmares fear
Bad dreams are surely scary, but there are other underlying emotions at work. In a 2014 study, researchers analyzed dream logs of 331 people and found that many nightmares and bad dreams elicited feelings of failure, worry, confusion, sadness and guilt. The researchers also found that men are more likely to have bad dreams centered around violence or physical aggression, while women's bad dreams focused on relationship conflict.

Your dreams aren't weird, that is, until you call them weird.
"When you're having the dream, no matter how 'weird' it is -- you're in a poker game with a giant green squirrel and Queen Mary -- it's not weird," says Naiman. "It's only after you wake up and step into the waking world and look at the dream that it seems weird." Comparing "weird" in the dreaming and waking worlds is like comparing dietary customs in two wildly different cultures, he says, making one seem strange in the context of the other. "We need to refrain from exclusively interpreting dreams from the waking world," he says -- which means it's time to toss those dream dictionaries.

You can die in your dreams -- and live to tell the tale.
A great number of people believe the popular myth that dying in a dream means... you're dead, but Naiman says there's no truth to it. In fact, he encourages exploring, saying, "If you ever have an opportunity to die in a dream, I say go for it!" Many people report death in dreams to be rather anti-climatic, he says. "Some people would say that's because consciousness is immortal, independent of the body, but however you look at it it's an interesting experience."

America's reaction to Arizona's idiocies

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

By Charles Pierce, Esquire
27 February 14

o, it appears that Governor Jan Brewer boldly stepped up last night and declined to let the bigotry of her state's legislature demolish her state's image and its tourist economy simultaneously.
"To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes," she said. "However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. "Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination."
Not everyone agrees with the decision, of course. Over at Tiger Beat On The Potomac, Rich (Sparkle Pants) Lowry would like you to know that there was absolutely nothing anti-gay about the bill, and he cites among the misinformed, "influential liberal pundit Kirsten Powers," whereupon the gods on Olympus laughed so loud and long that there were 40 days of rain in Sparta.
The question isn't whether businesses run by people opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds should provide their services for gay weddings; it is whether they should be compelled to by government. The critics of the much-maligned Arizona bill pride themselves on their live-and-let-live open-mindedness, but they are highly moralistic in their support of gay marriage, judgmental of those who oppose it and tolerant of only one point of view on the issue - their own. For them, someone else's conscience is only a speed bump on the road to progress. It's get with the program, your religious beliefs be damned.
And this in a column that calls other people hysterical.

(By the way, here's a passage from the longtime white-supremacist journal that Lowry edits: "There are those who sincerely believe progress is not fashioned out of that kind of clay. There actually are true and wise friends of the Negro race who believe that a federal law, artificially deduced from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution or from the 14th Amendment, whose marginal effect will be to instruct small merchants in the Deep South on how they may conduct their business, is no way at all of promoting the kind of understanding which is the basis of progressive and charitable relationships between the races." This was occasioned by the March on Washington in 1963.)

Brewer's decision was reached democratically, using the legitimate powers of her office. If she bowed to economic and corporate pressure to make it, well, welcome to the United States of America in 2014. Have I introduced you to Messrs. Glass and Steagall over here? This law was no more about religious freedom than Brewer's veto was about her devotion to gay rights, but, if the right thing gets done for the wrong reason, well, that's the way things work in a democratic republic.

+11 # davidr 2014-02-27 16:21
Even in a theocracy there are religious courts to examine what you're doing and to decide whether your reading of the Book jibes with the government's. Some bonehead in an Iranian bakery doesn't get to tell the Ayatollah what's up! So why should our bakery boneheads get to tell our government what's up?
+27 # photonracer 2014-02-27 18:38
As an Arizonan let me make it abundantly clear. Jan Brewer only steps up or forward or shakes her finger when the cameras are rolling.
+4 # jackolant 2014-02-27 21:54


+8 # RODNOX 2014-02-28 04:02
i actually wish this law had gone through---we would have seen the evolution of a state starving itself while businesses suffered--peopl e moved away and general financial ruin set in---would have been a great spectacle
PS with all the right wingers on this site masquerading as normal i cant wait to see how many negs i get---MR BROWNE...i still agree with you
+3 # Barbara K 2014-02-28 06:19
I noticed also that there are a lot of fake Dems coming on here claiming to be disappointed in the President. Losing my enthusiasm for this site. But, cannot do that and just hand it over to the Tbaggers. They are on their way out, I see, wish it would happen sooner.
+5 # fenox 2014-02-28 05:27
Wondered about the silence of MacCain. He likes so much the limelight that it was a bit surprising.
Difficult to praise Brewer for a move justified by pure financial interest. It's time authoritarians find back the way to democracy.
+8 # bingers 2014-02-28 05:39
Profile in courage? HA! It was a profile in cowardice. She did the right thing for all the wrong reasons. Financial disaster shouldn't be a factor if the bill were the right thing to do, and you know it wasn't, but you also know she didn't want to veto it.

They used to call California the land of fruit and nuts, but it seems most of the nuts moved to Arizona.
0 # cymricmorty 2014-02-28 07:30
Whenever there is an earthquake in California, it shakes nuts into Arizona.
0 # cymricmorty 2014-02-28 07:48
Right after the veto, I got an email from some outfit called Human Rights Campaign asking people to electronically thank the governess for "making history" with her "bold action." OH, NO. Apparently the Human Rights Campaign knows nothing about this leather-faced harpy we call governor in AZ.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

1062 furor foretells end of white dominance

[Gazette Blog Editor's note: As the furor over AZ bill 1062 fades with Gov. Brewer's veto, the following excerpt from USA Today adds some clarity and insight into what is happening in Arizona and throughout the nation.  It's a reality that we believe can only be good for our country.]

"Experts say such changes will accelerate on issues such as same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, legalization of marijuana and childearing among the unmarried.

"Younger people are more liberal and less conventional, they say.  'We're entering a period of massive social change," said Daniel Lichter, a Cornell University sociologist.

"'This traditional pattern is reinforced by very large racial changes in America's composition.  The Baby Boomer generation - which is predominantly White and affluent and in some ways conservative - in the next 20-30 years will be replaced by a younger population, and that population is going to be disproportionately minority.'"

Some Arizonans 'outraged, embarrassed' by 1062

TOP: In response to SB 1062, Scott Koehler’s FastSigns on Central has turned out hundreds of signs that allow businesses to say they will serve all customers. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Kirsten Kraklio)
BOTTOM: Stacy Louis, owner of the bar and dance club Stacy’s at Melrose, is displaying three of the signs. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Kirsten Kraklio)

[Gazette Blog Editor's note: Yes, we realize SB1062 has been vetoed.  In fact, we were among the first to break the news.  Scroll down for that story.  But we found this story interesting nonetheless, and it gives us the opportunity to show the world that there are lots of people in Arizona who are not racists, bigots and dumb asses.]

By KIRSTEN KRAKLIO Cronkite News Service 

PHOENIX – Scott Koehler’s feelings on SB 1062 are no secret to those passing his printing business on North Central Avenue.

“Governor Brewer Veto SB 1062 / Bad For Business Bad for Arizona,” reads a banner covering much of the north side of FastSigns on Central.

Now he’s helping other businesses chime in, producing more than 1,800 signs that read “Open For Business To Everyone!”

Koehler said business owners are snapping them up as fast as his team can make them.

“I’m glad that people are really excited about it, supporting it and getting on board because the whole objective is we want Governor Brewer to see the outcry from the business community against the bill,” he said. “Hopefully she’ll see that and veto the bill.”

Stacy Louis, owner of Stacy’s at Melrose, a bar and dance club displaying three of the signs, said SB 1062 takes him back to the civil rights battles of the ’60s.

“I just saw so much hatred and so much fighting to get equal rights for people,” he said.

Louis said he’s also worried that Arizona tourism would suffer if the bill becomes law.
“Arizona is a pretty nice destination for a lot of gay and lesbian people, and I think this may dissuade them from coming here,” he said.

Koehler said his signs help send a message to the nation.

“The more signs that are out there, the more people that are outside of the state are going to see that a couple people in the Legislature that decided to push a bill through are not the voice of the entire state of Arizona,” he said.

Phoenix resident Teresa Dendy dropped by Koehler’s shop to pick up one of the signs even though she doesn’t own a business.

“Not everyone here agrees with this bill,” she said. “Some of us are outraged and embarrassed.”

Mass migration aims to make AZ majority gay

The Borowitz Report

February 26, 2014

PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—Rejecting calls to boycott Arizona, a newly formed gay organization is mobilizing its members to move to the state by the millions in the hopes of transforming it into the nation’s first majority gay state.

The group, called Americans for a Gay Arizona, has already received commitments from a million gay Americans to move to the state within the next two months, with a target of enlisting over six million gays to move there by the end of the year.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of the group, said that the influx of six million gays would be “more than enough” to insure that Arizona would be majority gay, but he acknowledged that he did not have an exact figure of how many gays currently reside there.

“We think it could be as many as a million,” he said. “But if you add in conservative politicians, that number could go much higher.”

According to one associate of Governor Jan Brewer, the plan to move six million gays to Arizona is shaping up to be the governor’s worst nightmare.

“She’s always been against immigration, but nothing like this,” the associate said.

Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

AZ Gov. Brewer vetoes anti-gay bill 1062

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a hot-button measure that would have permitted businesses in the state to deny service to gay and lesbians for religious beliefs.

At a news conference at the state capitol just after 7:45 p.m. ET, Brewer said the bill "could result in unintended and negative consequences."

"I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve," Brewer said.

The controversial bill sparked outcry from LGBT activists and drew vocal criticism from civic leaders, business interests and state economic groups.

Sen. John McCain, R-Az., who urged Brewer to veto the bill, said Wednesday evening that he hopes "we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy" the state.

Opponents of the bill applauded Brewer's decision.

“Discrimination has no place in Arizona, or anywhere else,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “We’re grateful that the governor has stopped this disgraceful law from taking effect, and that Arizona will remain open for business to everyone.”

GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis said Brewer "demonstrated that basic respect for LGBT people extends across party lines, and anti-LGBT bias isn't just bad politics, it's bad for business."

Defenders of the measure had said it was a key safeguard of religious freedom.

Major corporations had come out strongly against the proposal. Apple, Inc., which recently announced plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Mesa, Az., was joined by American and Delta airlines, Marriot Hotels, Intel, PetSmart, Yelp, Major League Baseball and others in announcing their opposition to the bill.

The bill threw Arizona's stint as host of next year's Super Bowl into jeopardy, too. The NFL had been mulling moving the game from the Phoenix-area city of Glendale if the bill were signed into law, Sports Illustrated reported.

And several Republicans — from McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake to former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — pressed her to veto the bill.

The Republican-controlled state legislature passed the measure last week. At the time, Brewer was in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association meeting, and she did not return to Phoenix until Tuesday.

The bill permitted any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any legal action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.

Proponents called the bill a slight adjustment to the state's existing freedom law, which does not grant protections to people based on sexual orientation. But the law would have trumped local ordinances that offer protections for LGBT individuals in places like Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson.

First published February 26th 2014, 5:51 pm

Deadline to buy health insurance is March 31

By David Sayen
Gazette Contributor
As the March 31 deadline for buying health insurance gets closer, I wanted to tell you about alternative ways to purchase a health plan – especially if you have a higher income.
Many lower-income Arizonans will qualify for lower costs on their coverage, but only if they purchase it through the Health Insurance Marketplace, at
widgetIf you’re not eligible for lower costs, however, you can buy health coverage through an insurance company, an agent or broker, or an online insurance seller – as well as
Eligibility for lower costs on health coverage is based on your income and household size. Generally, you won’t qualify if your estimated 2014 income is above $45,960 for an individual. For a family of four, the income cutoff is $94,200.
If you don’t qualify for lower costs based on your income, you can get coverage in one of the following ways:
·       Directly from an insurance company. You can contact any health insurance company and see plans available in your area. Many have websites that let you compare all plans available from that company.
·       With the help of an insurance agent or broker. Agents generally work for a single health insurance company. Brokers generally sell plans from a number of companies. They can help you compare plans based on features and price and complete your enrollment. You don’t pay more by using an agent or broker since they’re generally paid by the insurance company whose plans they sell.
·       From an online health insurance seller. These services offer health plans from a number of insurance companies. They let you compare prices and features and then enroll with the insurance company.
·       Through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can apply and enroll through whether or not you qualify for lower costs based on your income.
No matter how you buy them, health insurance plans generally offer the same set of essential health benefits, free preventive services, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and other rights and protections under the health care law.
Most plans available outside the Marketplace meet the requirement to provide adequate coverage under the health care law. This means you won’t have to pay the penalty that some people must pay if they don’t have coverage in 2014.
But keep in mind that not all plans you buy outside the Marketplace meet the adequacy requirement. Most insurers must tell you if the plan you’re buying qualifies as coverage under the health care law. Be sure to ask.
There’s one very important difference between plans sold inside and outside the Marketplace: The only way to get lower costs on your monthly premiums based on your income is through the Marketplace.

Even outside the Marketplace, open enrollment ends March 31.

After open enrollment ends, generally the only way you can buy a health insurance plan is if you have a qualifying life event that gives you a special enrollment period.

That’s true whether you buy your health insurance through the Marketplace or other ways.

David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories.

HEY, AZ: Gays have money, actually buy stuff

The Borowitz Report

February 25, 2014

PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—The state of Arizona found itself in the middle of a conundrum today as it awoke to the awkward realization that gay people have money and buy stuff.

Just days after the Arizona legislature passed a law that would enable businesses to discriminate against gays, it emerged that gays spend billions of dollars in Arizona each year—an unexpected development that seemed to take many legislators by surprise.

Carol Foyler, a Tea Party Republican who supported the anti-gay law, said that the startling bombshell that gays play a role in the state’s economy put her and her fellow lawmakers “in a tight spot.”

“Quite frankly, we were blindsided by this,” she said. “We had no idea that gays had money and bought things just like regular people do.”

Acknowledging that her vote for the anti-gay law might have been calamitous for the state’s economy, Ms. Foyler placed the blame for it squarely on the shoulders of one group: the gays themselves.

“How was I supposed to know what gay people do with their money, etc., when I don’t personally know any gay people?” she asked. “I’m sorry, but it was up to the gays to tell us.”

Above: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Photograph by Bebeto Matthews/AP.

Bill is another nail in GOP coffin


Faith (or religion) has no place in the establishment of laws by which a state fairly governs its people.  This is a lesson the Republican Party needs to learn, as it is quickly becoming its demise.

Discriminating against a person's sexual orientation is no different than discriminating against his or her skin color or any other difference that may be readily observed.  Senate Bill 1062 will just be another nail in the Republican coffin.

Guy Martin

(The letter above appeared in the Feb. 26 edition of the Arizona Republic, the Rim Country's best newspaper value.  For objective news, the big Sunday paper, and hundreds of dollars in coupons delivered to your door seven days a week, call 1-800-332-6733 toll free.  If you're still reading stale stories about Mayor Kenny's phantom college, you need to start spending your newspaper dollars where you get the most in return.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Business leaders plead for 1062 veto from Brewer

Demonstrators make their feelings known to lawmakers Monday. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Thuy Lan Nguyen)
 By JOE MARTIN Cronkite News Service 

PHOENIX – With business leaders calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto religious-freedom legislation that opponents say would sanction discrimination against gays, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Monday that fallout from SB 1070 may serve as a guide.

“We don’t want any more self-inflicted wounds,” he said.

Stanton said SB 1062, narrowly approved last week by the Legislature, sends the wrong message to the country and world.

“If this bill becomes law, I do believe we’ll see a negative impact on our economy,” he said. “We’ve seen this before.”

SB 1070, which Brewer signed into law in 2010, caused a sharp outcry around the nation and in Mexico. The economic damage included canceled conventions and business meetings.

“If you put this on the heels of 1070, it paints Arizona as not very attractive to some folks,” said Rick Kidder, president and CEO of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce. “It’s riding on the veto.”

His and several other chambers of commerce reported receiving calls and emails from prospective out-of-state tourists saying they were canceling trips because of the legislation.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent Brewer a joint letter on behalf of itself and several other business groups urging a veto.

“The legislation is also already clearly having a negative effect on our tourism industry, one of the largest sectors of the economy,” the letter said. “The bill could also harm job creation efforts and our ability to attract and retain talent.”

Brewer has until the end of the week to sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.

As national news organizations have picked up the story, Arizona is developing an image problem, said Dennis Hoffman, a professor of economics at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. That could result in employers and employees refusing to come to the state and conventions shying away from the state’s politics.

“Conventions fill our hotels and our restaurants and bars, and they do so during the times of the year when the places are a bit more idle,” he said.

Hoffman added that growing sectors of Arizona’s economy such as technology, aerospace and defense manufacturing, as well as advanced product manufacturing firms like Apple, require highly skilled workers who may be turned off by SB 1062.

“It would seem to me that this sort of legislation is just simply not conducive to attracting those type of folks,” Hoffman said.

Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, said that if the bill becomes law it would hurt the state’s efforts to lure companies.

“It will have an impact on our ability to attract talent,” he said. “And it will have an impact on our ability to attract capital.”

The Arizona Technology Council, along with 83 other businesses, trade associations and other organizations including AT&T, the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and Local First Arizona, sent Brewer a letter Monday urging a veto.

“This will haunt our business community for decades to come,” the letter said.


“We are concerned over the potential for businesses to be exposed to an increased risk of litigation. Businesses carry out laws every day that could, under the construct of this legislation, be construed as a “state action,” which could result in increased disputes over the application of current and future law. We are troubled by any legislation that could be interpreted to permit discrimination against a particular group of people in the marketplace.”

“The legislation is also already clearly having a negative effect on our tourism industry, one of the largest sectors of the economy. The bill could also harm job creation efforts and our ability to attract and retain talent. We all have a fervent desire for Arizona to be a welcoming, attractive destination for the top talent that will be the cornerstone of our continued economic growth.”

Republicans to discontinue use of E-mail

The Borowitz Report

February 20, 2014

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Citing the scandals embroiling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the Republican Governors Association today ordered its members to discontinue the use of e-mail, “effective immediately.”
According to a memo sent to all Republican governors, “Any plots, schemes, conspiracies, or violations of campaign-finance laws should be conducted using pay phones or easily disposable cell phones such as the ones used on ‘The Wire.’ ” The governors were instructed to read the memo once and then either burn or eat it.

Asked to comment on the new policy, Governor Walker’s office responded, “The recipient’s e-mail address was not found in the recipient’s e-mail system. Please check the e-mail address and try resending this message.”

Supremes kill AZ attack on Planned Parenthood


BY Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2014 ( – The Supreme Court this morning effectively killed an Arizona bill that would have denied Planned Parenthood any share of state Medicaid dollars, declining to hear an appeal from the state.

The law would have deemed abortionists not “qualified” to receive state tax dollars intended for family planning services.

Governor Jan Brewer signed the “Whole Woman’s Healthcare Funding Prioritization Act” (H.B. 2800) in May 2012. The Obama administration filed a lawsuit challenging the law that October, arguing that the terms of federal law supersede state law.

 U.S. District Judge Neil Wake issued an injunction, eventually striking the law down on February 11, 2013.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most overturned appeals courts in the nation, unanimously upheld the ban last August.

The Supreme Court this morning refused to intervene, allowing the panel's decision to stand.

Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, was overjoyed, calling the ruling “a victory for Arizona women and their families.”

“Thousands of low-income women rely on Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and other basic health care,” he said.

Planned Parenthood Arizona estimates that it sees 3,000 Medicaid patients and receives $350,000 a year from the state's Medicaid system, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists.  Arizona should be free to enforce its public interest against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women, which is what this law sought to do,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven Aden said in a press release. “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not decide to weigh in on that principle. Arizonans deserve the best policies and laws possible to protect both their money and their health.”

Aden had been appointed to work with Arizona Solicitor General Robert Ellman on the case, Betlach v. Planned Parenthood Arizona, by state Attorney General Tom Horne.

 Legislators have said they may rewrite the statute in a way they hope will pass legal scrutiny.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Majority of AZ wants to legalize marijuana

    Four years after Arizonans narrowly approved medical marijuana, a new poll suggests that a slim majority favors full legalization. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Laura Monte)

    Cronkite News Service 

    PHOENIX – Nearly four years after Arizonans narrowly approved medical marijuana, a poll suggests that a slight majority favors following the lead of Colorado and Washington by legalizing the drug.

    Fifty-one percent of those responding to the Behavior Research Center’s Rocky Mountain Poll said the sale of marijuana should be legal, while 41 percent were opposed. Eight percent were unsure.

    Earl de Berge, the center’s research director, said the results show a changing perspective toward marijuana use among Americans, especially young people.
    “It reflects a growing trend across the country,” he said. “Half of Americans have smoked it at some point.”

    Two groups are trying to collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot in Arizona, with one aiming for this year and the other for 2016.

    The poll found that support for legalization was strongest among adults younger than 35, with 61 percent in favor. But 54 percent of those ages 35 to 54 also said they were for it.

    Among those 55 and older, 52 percent opposed legalization.

    Fifty-four percent of those identifying themselves as Democrats said they in were favor versus 40 percent of Republicans. Among those who identified themselves as independents, 59 percent were in favor.

    The poll, conducted between Jan. 16 and Jan. 26, surveyed 701 heads of households in Arizona, including 457 registered voters. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for the entire population and 4.7 percentage points for registered voters.

    Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in an email that the margin for error indicates that there are more people opposed to legalization than the poll suggests.

    “With all the smoke and mirrors employed by the pro-legalization industry, the failure to muster a majority that exceeds the 4.7 percent margin of error in the poll is evidence that you can’t fool all the people all the time,” his email read. “As Arizonans are able to see the growing problems in Colorado and Washington, the percentage of those in favor of legalizing marijuana is more likely to decline rather than grow.”

    Dennis Bohlke, treasurer for Safer Arizona, a marijuana advocacy group that is trying to get a legalization initiative on the November ballot, said he was happy to hear about the poll.

    “I do think it will help our efforts and build more confidence in people,” he said.

    The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which pressed successfully for medical marijuana in 2010, has said it hopes to put the issue before voters in 2016.

    Samara Klar, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Arizona, said there are many single-issue voters and that marijuana legalization could be the tipping point for some.

    “It is starting to look like a nonpartisan issue; it doesn’t really seem to be lining up on party lines,” she said.


    Question: “Do you think the sale of marijuana should be made legal in Arizona or not?”

    • 51 percent for
    • 41 percent against
    • 8 percent unsure

    Under the age of 35:
    • 61 percent for
    • 29 percent against
    • 10 percent unsure

    Ages 35 to 54:
    • 54 percent for
    • 42 percent against
    • 4 percent unsure

    55 and older:
    • 39 percent for
    • 52 percent against
    • 9 percent unsure

    • 40 percent for
    • 54 percent against
    • 6 percent unsure

    • 54 percent for
    • 36 percent against
    • 10 percent unsure

    • 59 percent for
    • 33 percent against
    • 8 percent unsure