Archive for the ‘marijuana’ tag
Allison and Jamie discuss the DOJ’s legal explanation for tossing away due process, and how that effort affects protesters domestically, as well, badass Malala Yousufzai, and how some lawmakers are quietly working behind the scenes to legalize marijuana. Finally, many sheriffs have stated they’ll refuse to enforce any federal gun regulations. What’s the right balance between state and federal powers?
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The US and Afghanistan are engaging in secret talks that could result in the US remaining in the region for decades. The stork brings Jamie a sad and he tries to cope. Also, Jamie explains why fascism is not atheism, Dan Savage rails against complicit Christians, $6.6 billion goes missing in Iraq, the FBI gives 14,00 agents permission to rummage through your trash, Georgia realizes it needs immigrant labor, one of Gov. Snyder’s goon Emergency Managers shuts down a school in Detroit with a 90 percent graduation rate, Saudi Arabia’s executions are running at more than double last year’s rates, and Washington’s State Supreme Court gives employers the right to fire employees who use medicinal marijuana.
NBD, guys. Jamie’s just an honorary black person.
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Jamie Dimon, and the rest of the Ruling Right, really don’t get why you poor people keep bitching about social injustice. The winner of Youtube’s “Ask Obama” contest is a pro-marjiuana legalization question. Hopefully, Obama won’t laugh it off this time. Also, Ted Haggart finally admits he’s bisexual, and an avid crystal meth user. Finally, a leading gay rights activist has been killed in Uganda, and Allison and Jamie dissect Obama’s SOTU.
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The winner for Youtube’s “Ask Obama” contest is a video from a pro-legalization retired cop.
If Obama sees the video, hopefully he’ll make it through without breaking into the giggle fits, or accusing MacKenzie Allen of being a huge stoner for thinking the arrests of 858,000 people for marijuana possession (in 2009 alone) may not be the best way to Win The Future.
As of October 2010, a new high of 46% of Americans were in favor of legalizing marijuana. Last year, eight in 10 Americans supported legalizing marijuana for medical use. The growing consensus calls for a leader who acts like an adult when this topic comes up. Obama is always preaching the value of open-mindedness and negotiation. Well, it’s time to invite the pro-legalization crowd to the table.
If scientists at the University of Mississippi are right, marijuana smokers are in for a surprise.
A study of thousands of samples at the University found that the drug has seriously increased in potency. The key ingredient in marijuana which gives you the “high” is called THC and scientists have found that it has increased from about 4 percent potency back in the 1980s to 10.1 percent these days, and they say it will likely keep rising before it levels off at about 15 or 16 percent. Some samples have even shown THC levels of 30 percent.
So what? It’s evolved from stoners sleeping to stoners giggling? It’s not like roving gangs of hippies are rioting in downtown Manhattan because the THC level went up by 20%. When scientists talk about pot getting stronger, it’s not like talking about stronger cocaine or stronger heroine. THC still doesn’t kill people.
But at least it makes for a sensational headline that will scare everybody for no reason. Is this because the Swine flu thing is over?
In his 11 years in the Washington Legislature, Representative Mark Miloscia says he has supported all manner of methods to fill the state’s coffers, including increasing fees on property owners to help the homeless and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, most of which, he said, passed “without a peep.”
And so it was last month that Mr. Miloscia, a Democrat, decided he might try to “find a new tax source” — pornography.
The response, however, was a turn-off.
“People came down on me like a ton of bricks,” said Mr. Miloscia, who proposed an 18.5 percent sales tax on items like sex toys and adult magazines. “I didn’t quite understand. Apparently porn is right up there with Mom and apple pie.”
Mr. Miloscia’s proposal died at the committee level, but he is far from the only legislator floating unorthodox ideas as more than two-thirds of the states face budget shortfalls.
“The most common phrase you hear from the states is ‘Everything is on the table,’ ” said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with National Conference of State Legislatures, who predicted the worst financial year for states since the end of World War II.
Nowhere is that more true than California, where Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a freshman from San Francisco, made a proposal intended to increase revenue, and, no doubt, appetite: legalizing and taxing marijuana, a major — if technically illegal — crop in the state.
“We’re all jonesing now for money,” Mr. Ammiano said. “And there’s this enormous industry out there.”
In Nevada, State Senator Bob Coffin said he would introduce legislation to tax the state’s legal brothels, a fee that would be “based on the amount of activities.” And unlike the Washington porn proposal, which drew the ire of the adult entertainment industry, Mr. Coffin’s plan has the backing of the potential taxpayers, in this case brothel owners who employ women as independent contractors.
“I think they figure if they become part of the tax stream, the less vulnerable they will be to some shift in mores,” he said.
Hawaiian legislators were also considering capitalizing on another potential shift in public attitudes when they proposed legalizing same-sex unions, which supporters say could help the slumping tourism trade.
In Massachusetts, meanwhile, state legislators have introduced a proposal to build two resort-style casinos, including one in Boston. A similar push died last year in the State House of Representatives. But Representative Martin J. Walsh, a Dorchester Democrat and co-author of the new casino bill, said a $2 billion budget deficit might have changed some minds.
“Every state in the nation, including Massachusetts, needs to figure out a way of raising revenues,” Mr. Walsh said. “So we need to be creative.”
Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, said many lawmakers were loath to tap more traditional tax sources during a downturn.
“What’s pushing it is this incredible desire to raise revenue,” he said. “But it’s coupled with the desire not to raise the general and sales and income taxes.”
Whether such proposals can pass is another issue, though each idea has its supporters. Betty Yee, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, the state’s tax collector, said that legal marijuana could raise nearly $1 billion per year via a $50-per-ounce fee charged to retailers. An additional $400 million could be raised through sales tax on marijuana sold to buyers.
The law would also establish a smoking age — 21 — effectively putting marijuana in a similar regulatory class as alcohol or tobacco. Marijuana advocates argue that legalization could also decrease pressure on the state’s overburdened prison system and law enforcement officers.
All of which, Ms. Yee said, at least makes the proposal worth talking about in a state with chronic budget problems and a law already on the books allowing the medical use of the drug.
“We know the product is out there, and we know marijuana is available to young people as well, but there’s no regulatory structure in place,” Ms. Yee said. “I think it’s an opportunity to begin the debate.”
Such a debate, of course, does not always favor tax innovators, and several law enforcement groups have already objected to the idea of legal marijuana, which would conflict with federal law.
John Lovell, a lobbyist for several groups of California law enforcement officials, said the plan would create a large, illicit — and thus untaxed — black market, in addition to magnifying substance abuse problems. “The last thing we need is yet another legal substance that is mind-altering,” he said.
Having taxes on illegal activities — like a seldom-collected tax on marijuana sales in Nevada — also has its drawbacks, said Robert MacCoun, a professor of law and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, who has researched drug policy.
“It is very hard to tax illegal vices unless one is comfortable with contradiction,” Mr. MacCoun said. “How can you collect the taxes without documenting the behavior? And how can you document the behavior without making an arrest?”
In Washington State, Mr. Miloscia said he had also received criticism from an array of residents and business owners, who accused him of attacking the First Amendment and other sacred institutions with his porn proposal.
“I had people call up saying their marriages would fall apart,” said Mr. Miloscia, who represents a suburban district between Tacoma and Seattle. “I didn’t know how passionate people are about this stuff.”
I’m not sure if it’s because we’re strung out on “Lost” episodes, or if it’s because we’re still suffering from a post-9/11 stress disorder that makes us crave “breaking news” alerts, or if it’s because the economy has turned us into distraction junkies. But one thing is painfully obvious after Michael Phelps’ marijuana “scandal” erupted last week: Our society is addicted to fake outrage — and to break our dependence, we’re going to need far more potent medicine than the herb Phelps was smoking.
You heard it on FOX NEWS first, New Yorkers! It is safe to walk around Central Park at night!
Bill O’Reilly is scared. As a daring crusader on the side of “traditional America” in the war against “secular progressives,” O’Reilly fears that the “far left” will push President-elect Obama to embrace their values. As an example of the horrors that would befall us if this were to happen, O’Reilly offers up a surreal pseudo-documentary of San Francisco. O’Reilly sends producer Jesse Waters, whose sole journalistic value seems to be his utter lack of shame at chasing after and ambushing anyone O’Reilly points his finger at, to San Francisco because it represents ‘far left government’ at work.
Watching this video, one would think that ninety percent of San Francisco’s population are either homeless, addicted to drugs, prostitutes, crazy, or some mix of all these. The video is an unbelievable smear on a great American city. The only thing worse than the video’s message is the production value. After showing the video, O’Reilly interviews Waters for insight into how San Franciscans can live in such moral and physical squalor. Waters basically says the citizens of Frisco have accepted, and adjusted to, the fact their city is a hell hole. Actually, the city is so beyond the pale that O’Reilly once said he wouldn’t mind if Al Qaida attacked the city. Watch and judge for yourself.