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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Law and order may soon be coming to the Wild West of weed.

A California lawmaker has introduced legislation to regulate the state's free-wheeling medical marijuana industry — the farmers that grow the drug, the hundreds of storefront shops that sell it and the doctors who write recommendations allowing its use.

The bill marks a milestone not only because it would provide significant state oversight of the multi-billion dollar industry for the first time, but because it is likely to get serious consideration in Sacramento after years of inaction.

It is the brainchild of the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities, politically influential groups that have stood in the way of efforts to legitimize pot growers and dispensaries by subjecting them to state control and taxation.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department confirms that three Americans were aboard the Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished Saturday.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki says in a statement that officials from the U.S. Embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Beijing are in contact with families of the passengers. The department says it's working to determine if other U.S. citizens may have been on the flight.

No additional information was released.

The aircraft went missing early Saturday on a flight from Malaysia to Beijing. Vietnamese air force planes report spotting a pair of large oil slicks in the area where the Boeing 777 disappeared.

Psaki extended condolences to the loved ones of passengers on Flight MH370.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. hiring improved in February from the previous two months despite a blast of wintry weather, likely renewing hopes that growth will accelerate this year.

The Labor Department says employers added 175,000 jobs last month, up from just 129,000 in January, which was revised up from 113,000.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low 6.6 percent. More Americans started looking for work but didn't find jobs. That's still an encouraging sign because more job hunters suggest that people were more optimistic about their prospects.

The figures were a welcome surprise after recent economic reports showed that harsh weather closed factories, lowered auto sales, and caused existing-home sales to plummet.

Read more...

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