potCalifornians’ attitudes about marijuana use are mellowing out. A new Field Poll finds that fir the first time, a majority of California voters – 55 percent – favor legalization of recreational pot. Younger voters are far more likely to approve of legalization than those over 65. And political affiliations were also important in the poll: Two-thirds of Democrats and independent voters favor legalization, while 58 percent of Republicans are against it. Among backers of legalization, the vast majority favor minimum age requirements to buy marijuana…Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas wants greater oversight of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department in the wake of the arrests of 18 deputies. The county recently hired a veteran prosecutor to serve in the new position of inspector general of the Sheriff’s Department. But Ridley-Thomas told KCRW’s Warren Olney that this week’s indictments show the Sheriff’s Department needs a permanent civilian watchdog as well. The federal charges include allegations that deputies roughed up inmates and jail visitors and covered up their actions. Deputies are also accused of trying to thwart an FBI investigation into corruption and brutality in the jails…thomasvideoMentally ill homeless man Kelly Thomas was comatose and barely alive when he arrived at U.C. Irvine Medical Center after a violent confrontation with Fullerton police. So said the medical center’s chief trauma surgeon yesterday in the trial of two former officers charged with beating Thomas to death. Dr. Michael Lekawa is due back on the stand today. He says that when Thomas arrived at the UCI Medical center on the night of July 5th, 2011, he was suffering from multiple organ failure with facial and rib fractures. Thomas never regained consciousness…With another dry winter looming, California lawmakers are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown and President Obama to declare a drought emergency and federal disasters in the state. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jim Costa have sent a letter urging the governor to take immediate action. The lawmakers cited an announcement by state officials that water deliveries to farmers in the Central Valley will be skimpy this year, due to low rainfall projections. A dry 2014 would be the third straight year of subpar rainfall…12YearsAnd finally, the Hollywood Award season is off and running. The Screen Actors Guild announced its nominees for year-end honors this morning and the Golden Globes are scheduled to follow suit tomorrow. The Steve McQueen directed “12 Years a Slave” earned the most SAG nominations, with “Dallas Buyer’s Club,” “August: Osage County” and “The Butler” right behind. Lead acting nominations went to Chiwetel Ejifor, Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock, among others.

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