Two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, voters now overwhelmingly support an initiative to legitimize the drug for recreational use, according to a poll released late Thursday.
Proposition 64, the well-funded initiative to allow those 21 and older to carry, use and share up to an ounce of marijuana, is backed by a 2-to-1 ratio of likely voters.
The Field Poll/Institute for Governmental Studies survey found that 60 percent intend to vote for pot legalization on the Nov. 8 ballot, the largest proportion to express their support since the poll began tracking views about marijuana laws nearly a half century ago. Just 31 percent are opposed and 9 percent are undecided.
“The broad-base nature of support for marijuana legalization is really the top finding here,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said. “And it does lead to the conclusion that this is likely to pass, especially compared to previous marijuana initiatives.”
The poll shows support for the initiative, which is being closely monitored because of the state’s size, influence and reputation as a leader on social issues, includes majorities across every age, region and ethnicity. Only Republicans, conservatives and those with high school degrees or lower registered less than majority support.
Brad Pitt spoke with Los Angeles authorities recently about an incident involving one of his children with Angelina Jolie, who filed for divorce this week.
A source with knowledge of the situation said Thursday: "[Brad] is taking this very seriously and he's cooperated. He has always worked hard to be a good father and wants to do whatever is best for his family."
"LAPD is not handling any report of allegations of child abuse for Mr. Brad Pitt," LAPD Officer Jenny Houser told CNN.
A spokesman for LA County Children and Family Services, Armand Montiel, added that "DCFS is not allowed to confirm or deny any subject of allegations."
People magazine reported that the incident took place on September 14 on the couple's private plane. Jolie lists September 15 as the date of their separation.
Alexis Arquette, the transgender character actress and sibling of actors David, Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia Arquette, died early Sunday morning in Los Angeles. She was 47 and surrounded by family who serenaded her with David Bowie's "Starman," her siblings said in a statement Sunday. No cause of death was given.
"Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor," her brothers and sisters said. "We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman. We came to discover the one truth — that love is everything."
Alexis was born Robert Arquette in Los Angeles in 1969, and she was a performer from a young age, appearing in a music video for The Tubes' "She's a Beauty" at age 12 and the occasional other project.
A versatile performer, Arquette got her big break in the 1989 adaptation of "Last Exit to Brooklyn" where she played the trans sex worker Georgette. She was just visiting New York with her sister Patricia Arquette who was up for a role in the film, but pregnant at the time.
"They asked me if I wanted to read for a role because they knew that I'd done a drag thing at one of my friend's clubs," Arquette said in a 1999 Index Magazine interview. "I ended up getting the job, basically through my sister. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been in New York. But nobody gives you a job, you've got to earn it on your own. I would never want anyone to think that there's some kind of cachet to my name."
She also had bit roles in films like "Pulp Fiction," "Bride of Chucky" and as a Boy George impersonator first in the Adam Sandler comedy "The Wedding Singer" and again in "Blended."
Boy George even tweeted his condolences to "his sister Alexis ... another bright light gone out far too soon."
Her long list of credits are comprised of mostly low-budget and independent fare. Arquette also performed in nightclubs and cabarets sometimes under the name Eva Destruction.
"I enjoy being a character actor, I enjoy being different in everything. I want a private life, I want to be able to go to 7-11 and not get into a fight with a guy because he saw me in a movie, or not have people hitting on me simply because they saw me in a movie," Arquette said in the 1999 interview. "You want to be wanted for who you are, not what you've done or who you've become."
Arquette also appeared on season 6 of the VH1 reality series "The Surreal Life," and she was credited for bringing increased awareness and visibility to the transgender community.
She chronicled her transition and the process of her sex reassignment surgery in the 2007 documentary "Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother."
In their statement, the Arquettes said that their sister's career "was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman."
"Despite the fact that there are few parts for trans actors, she refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical," they said. "She was a vanguard in the fight for understanding and acceptance for all trans people."
The Arquette family has requested privacy at this time, and that donations be made to organizations that support the LGBTQ community in honor of Alexis Arquette in lieu of flowers or gifts.
"We are comforted by the fact that Alexis came into our family and was our brother and then our sister, and that she gave us so much love. We will love you always, Alexis," said the Arquette siblings. "We know we were the lucky ones."
Juan Gabriel, a superstar Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon in the Latin music world, died Sunday at his home in California at age 66, his publicist said.
Juan Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist. His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States.
He brought many adoring fans to tears as they sang along when he crooned his songs about love and heartbreak, including his top hits, "Hasta Que Te Conoci" ("Until I Met You") and "Amor Eterno" ("Eternal Love"). His hit "Querida" ("Dear") topped Mexico's charts for a whole year.
A flamboyant performer, Juan Gabriel, whose real name was Alberto Aguilera Valadez, liked to wear jackets covered in sequins or dress in shiny silk outfits in hot pink, turquoise blue or canary yellow, and he was known for tossing his head before dancing or jumping around the stage.
"He has passed on to become part of eternity and has left us his legacy through Juan Gabriel, the character created by him for all the music that has been sung and performed all around the world," his press office said in a statement.
It gave no details on his death. Publicist Arturo de la Mora told The Associated Press that he died at 11:30 a.m. in his home. He said the family would provide a statement later.
Juan Gabriel performed to packed auditoriums, including New York's Madison Square Garden and the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. His last concert was Friday night at the Forum in Inglewood, California. He was scheduled to perform Sunday in El Paso, Texas.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said through his official Twitter account: "I regret the death of Juan Gabriel, one of the great musical icons of our country. My condolences to his relatives and friends."
Juan Gabriel broke ground in Mexico in 1990 by becoming the first commercial singer to present a show at Mexico City's majestic Palace of Fine Arts, until then a forum reserved for classical musicians. The proceeds from the three sold- out concerts went to support the National Symphony Orchestra and became his most celebrated performances. His album "Juan Gabriel live from the Palace of Fine Arts" set record sales.
A six-time Grammy nominee, Juan Gabriel was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and received countless industry awards, including ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1995, Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year 2009, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that same year.
The singer, who was born Jan. 7, 1950, wrote his first song at age 13 and went on to compose more than 1,500 songs.
"There are no rules when I compose songs," he said, according to a biography published by Mexico's Society of Music Authors and Composers. "There are times when I'm really happy and I write something really sad, and vice versa."
Artists across Latin America and in the United States covered many of his songs, including Paul Anka and Marc Anthony, who broke into the salsa music world in the U.S. with Juan Gabriel's "Hasta Que Te Conoci." Juan Gabriel also wrote and produced albums for artists such as Mexican singer Lucha Villa and Spain's Rocio Durcal.
The youngest of 10 children, he rose rags to riches. He was born in the western state of Michoacan. His father, Gabriel Aguilera, was a farmer and his mother, Victoria Valadez, a housewife. The family lost contact with his father after he was taken to a psychiatric hospital in Mexico City when Juan Gabriel was still a baby. Unable to support her children, his mother moved the family to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, where he grew up as she worked as a maid.
Juan Gabriel said his mother was one of the people he most loved in his life even though he spent most of his childhood away from her. Unable to care for him, she sent him to an orphanage.
He said he wrote "Eternal Love," one of his greatest hits, thinking about his mother, who died in 1974.
"Even though I don't have my mother's love today, I have the love of millions," he told the newspaper La Jornada in an interview in 2012. "Her love comes through all the mothers of Mexico."
He went to school only until fifth grade after he escaped the orphanage, where he met music teacher and mentor Juan Contreras. He said his artistic name came from Contreras and his father.
He traveled to Mexico City as a teenager and slept on the streets and in train stations while trying to break into the music business.
During that time he was accused of robbery and sent to jail. "I was good writing songs, but I was innocent for many other things and when I ended up in jail I didn't know how to defend myself," he told La Jornada.
The prison director and his wife helped get Juan Gabriel freed.
He signed his first record contract in 1971 and had his first big hit with "No tengo dinero" ("I don't have any money"), according to his biography by Mexico's Society of Music Authors and Composers.
At the height of his fame, he had problems in Mexico and the United States for not paying taxes. He was also linked to the Cali drug cartel when Fernando Rodriguez, son of Colombian drug trafficker Gilberto Rodr?guez Orejuela, wrote in his book "The Son of Chess Player" that Juan Gabriel sang at a party in Colombia for the cartel leaders. The singer denied the claim.
Juan Gabriel rarely gave interviews. When he did, he avoided talking about his private life.
Although his former personal secretary, Joaquin Munoz, described their homosexual relationship in a book, "Juan Gabriel and I," the singer neither admitted nor denied being gay. His fans were surprised when years later it became known that he had fathered four children with his friend Laura Salas.
"I'm not married; I don't ever plan to marry. I'm happy single," Juan Gabriel is quoted as saying in his biography by Mexico's Society of Music Authors and Composers. "I have many loves but the most important are: my mother, my children, my sister, my brothers, my nieces and nephews and my songs.Source: abcnews.com