Inside and outside of Oakland

Congress shows its divide on medical marijuana amendment to spending bill

  If there's any doubt that Michigan is divided over medical marijuana, just take a look at a vote in Congress Friday.
  The U.S. House passed an amendment to a spending bill that restricts the Drug Enforcement Administration from using money to target medical marijuana businesses that comply with their states' laws.
  Michigan's 14 members were evenly split on the amendment, with two not voting. The House was also split, passing the amendment 219-189. Here's how the Michigan voting shook out:

Understanding the 2014 U.S. Senate elections

  If you're looking to understand the 2014 elections, Politico has a lengthy 10-map explanation that particularly dwells on U.S. Senate races around the country this year, including the Michigan contest between U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township and former Michigan Republican secretary of state Terri Lynn Land.
  At stake, of course, is control of the U.S. Senate for the next two years leading into the 2016 presidential election. Republicans are likely to keep control of the U.S. House, but flipping the Senate to their side essentially blocks any remaining initiatives of Democratic President Barack Obama.
  Map No. 7 is of interest to Michigan voters. There, the analysis talks about states where Republicans have a chance to take traditionally Democrat-held seats this year.
  The states in play, Politico reasons, are Colorado, Michigan, Iowa and New Hampshire.
  In Michigan, Peters wants to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, who is retiring.
  Polling has flipped back and forth between Land and Peters, essentially a dead heat with six months until the November election.
  The two have yet to meet face-to-face on the campaign trail, and it's unlikely such a meeting will occur until after the August primary elections, if ever.