In brief | Nation & World, March 11, 2014


Colorado officials report roughly $2M in recreational pot taxes in first month of sales

DENVER — Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported Monday in the world’s first accounting of the recreational pot business.

The tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold. The state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes.

Colorado legalized pot in 2012, but the commercial sale of marijuana didn’t begin until January. Washington state sales begin in coming months.

The pot taxes come from 12.9 percent sales taxes and 15 percent excise taxes. Voters approved the pot taxes last year. They declared that the first $40 million of the excise tax must go to school construction; the rest will be spent by state lawmakers.

Colorado has about 160 state-licensed recreational marijuana stores, though local licensing kept some from opening in January. Local governments also have the ability to levy additional pot sales taxes if they wish.

More choices, more rides: Americans take advantage of renaissance in public transit

LOS ANGELES — With more trains and buses to take, and the appeal of using travel time for pursuits other than dodging traffic, Americans are taking greater advantage of a renaissance in public transit, according to a report released Monday.

The number of rides taken on public buses, trains and subways has fully recovered from a dip during the Great Recession. And with services restored following economy-driven cutbacks, ridership appears set to resume what had been a steady increase.

In 2013, the number of trips stood at nearly 10.7 billion, the highest since 1956, according to data compiled by the American Public Transportation Association.

Of course, the nation’s population has been expanding, so there are more people to ride the rails and buses. The association’s numbers don’t mean that the average U.S. resident is taking public transit more often than the 1950s, when investments in highways and a growth in car ownership began enticing Americans to move away from cities and heralded a decline in mass transit.

But even accounting for population growth, the transportation association argues, a wider segment of Americans are using mass transit. And they have more options to choose from.

#This! Black Twitter coming out as force to be reckoned with both on and offline

WASHINGTON — Michael Dunn’s conviction of attempted murder — but not actual murder — in the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis prompted the creation of hashtag (hash)dangerousblackkids on Twitter. Users posted photos of black babies and toddlers, spoofing the fear that Dunn testified he felt before opening fire on a car full of teens at a convenience store.

That was the calling card of Black Twitter, a small corner of the social media giant where an unabashedly black spin on life gets served up 140 characters at a time.

Black Twitter holds court on pretty much everything from President Barack Obama to the latest TV reality show antics. But Black Twitter can also turn activist quickly. When it does, things happen — like the cancellation of a book deal for a juror in the George Zimmerman trial, or the demise of Zimmerman’s subsequent attempt to star at celebrity boxing.

Catchy hashtags give clues that the tweeting in question is a Black Twitter thing.

“It’s kind of like the black table in the lunchroom, sort of, where people with like interests and experiences, and ways of talking and communication, lump together and talk among themselves,” said Tracy Clayton, a blogger and editor at Buzzfeed known on Twitter as (at)brokeymcpoverty.

By wire sources