Vote to legalize marijuana likely in Calif. in 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — Marijuana advocates are gathering signatures to get as many as three pot-legalization measures on the ballot in 2010 in California, setting up what could be a groundbreaking clash with the federal government over U.S. drug policy.

At least one poll shows voters would support lifting the pot prohibition, which would make the state of 40 million the first in the nation to legalize marijuana.

Such action would also send the state into a headlong conflict with the U.S. government while raising questions about how federal law enforcement could enforce its drug laws in the face of a massive government-sanctioned pot industry.

The state already has a thriving marijuana trade, thanks to a first-of-its-kind 1996 ballot measure that allowed people to smoke pot for medical purposes.

Bob Dole backs health care reform legislation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole says a top GOP leader asked him not to publicly support health care reform. But he's doing so anyway.

The former Kansas senator said Wednesday that health care reform is "one of the most important measures members of Congress will vote on in their lifetimes."

Dole spoke at a health care summit in Kansas City. He said afterward that some Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have asked him to stay mum.