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The court in Denver upheld U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange’s order blocking implementation of the amendment shortly after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters in November 2010.

Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block the law from taking effect, arguing that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights.

The amendment read, in part: “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”

Backers argued that the amendment intended to ban all religious laws, that Islamic law was merely named as an example and that it wasn’t meant as a specific attack on Muslims. The court disagreed.


Study: Marijuana doesn’t harm lung function

CHICAGO — Smoking a joint once a week or a bit more apparently doesn’t harm the lungs suggests a 20-year study that bolsters evidence that marijuana doesn’t do the kind of damage tobacco does.

The results, from one of the largest and longest studies on the health effects of marijuana, are hazier for heavy users, those who smoke two or more joints daily for several years. The data suggest that using marijuana that often might cause a decline in lung function, but there weren’t enough heavy users among the 5,000 young adults in the study to draw firm conclusions.

Still, the authors recommended “caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered.”

Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law although some states allow its use for medical purposes.

The study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Alabama at Birmingham was released Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Mine company settles death cases with 29 families

MORGANTOWN — A mine company has settled wrongful death lawsuits with families of all 29 victims of West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch disaster, an attorney for the estates of two miners said Tuesday.

Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources did not immediately confirm the agreement or otherwise comment, but attorney Mark Moreland said the final deals were cut Tuesday afternoon after a marathon mediation session. He said Alpha also settled lawsuits by at least seven miners who were injured in the April 2010 blast, the worst U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

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