New year’s new laws OK pot sales, let moms take placenta home after birth, limit gov’t use of drones

Legislation & Lobbying

New year’s new laws OK pot sales, let moms take placenta home after birth, limit gov’t use of drones

Jan 2, 2014, 08:35 pm CST

New laws begin Jan. 1 in states throughout the country, providing a panoply of rights and responsibilities that some residents may not be aware they have.

Among the measures that have already (or will soon) take effect: Illinois has banned unmanned aerial drones from spying on residents and Oregon, which previously prohibited new moms from taking their placentas home from the hospital has now enacted a law authorizing the practice. (It is common in other states, but few have statutes addressing the issue, experts say.) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Seattle Times, respectively, have stories.

A much-publicized law in Colorado legalizes the sale of marijuana for recreational use as of Wednesday. However, doing so is still prohibited under federal law, which creates some legal uncertainty, points out the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, new minimum-wage laws will require employers to give workers a pay raise in at least 13 states, including New York, although some do so only when the cost of living increases, reports ABC News Radio.

In California, state lawmakers have limited the extent to which local police can detain immigrants for the feds; banned smoking on all University of California campuses; and restricted game wardens from killing mountain lions unless they pose an imminent danger in populated areas, according to the Marin Independent Journal and the Orange County Register. A article provides additional information about 800 new laws in the state this year.

In Texas, voter-approved constitutional amendments will give breaks to veterans and their spouses on property taxes, but there is now a sales tax on mixed drinks served at bars, according to CBS Dallas/Ft. Worth and KENS.

Have you heard of interesting new laws taking effect in 2014? If so, share them in the comments.

See also:

Associated Press: “New NC laws in new year alter campaigns, taxes”

Baxter Bulletin: “Pot, guns and paparazzi: New laws run gamut in US”

USA Today: “New laws in 2014: From tanning bed bans to ‘lemon pets’”

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