Five Minutes Five Issues: Police Militarization, Canada Marijuana, CIA Chorus, Vermont Pardons, Year End
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
“[G]renade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, and firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or greater” could again flow from the United States government to state and local police after Donald Trump’s January inauguration as president. So reports David Dishneau at the Associated Press.
President Barack Obama, via an executive order last year, removed such items from among the many items routinely transferred.
In September, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website regarding how Trump’s support for reinstating the full flow of military weapons to police, employing New York City-style stop-and-frisk in more cities, and hiring more US government cops indicates Trump desires to expand police power in America.
The Canadian government’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation issued its final report this week. The report is a step toward legislation planned for introduction in the spring in accord with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise to seek countrywide marijuana legalization.
The report, which runs over 100 pages, includes many proposed restrictions that would ensure legal marijuana in Canada exists in far from a free market. For example, the report recommends:
prohibition of the sale of marijuana where alcohol or tobacco is sold,
comprehensive marijuana advertising and promotion restrictions,
plain packaging requirements,
single serving packaging and maximum THC requirements for edible marijuana,
taxes that increase with THC content “to discourage purchase of high-potency products,” and
a requirement that marijuana sales occur a minimum distance from places including schools, community centers, and public parks.
Nevertheless, the task force’s final report does support making marijuana legal to grow, sell, and possess.
Maybe parliament will approve legislation that leaves out some of the report’s freedom-restraining proposals.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is known for taking a strong stand against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan. In December of 2014, Wyden told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that Brennan should be replaced as director if Brennan would not end the CIA’s “culture of denial” and deal with CIA’s misrepresentations regarding torture.
Now, two years later, Wyden has joined the chorus of people deriding Donald Trump for challenging the CIA in regard to reports the CIA determined the Russian government leaked emails to benefit Trump in the presidential race. On Saturday at Twitter, Wyden commented in regard to Trump, “How can you serve as commander-in-chief while running a political campaign against your own intelligence officials?”
By the way, John Brennan is still the boss at the CIA.
Last week, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced he is encouraging people with Vermont convictions for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to apply for pardons. Pardon applications will be accepted through December 25.
Shumlin says his goal is to work through as many applications as possible before his governorship ends on January 5.
The time constraint will apparently prevent some people from receiving pardons. Shumlin’s announcement also suggests that people who have convictions for violent crimes on their records will not receive marijuana pardons either.
In 2013, Shumlin signed into law decriminalization of possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. So the governor’s last-minute pardons will extend some of the benefits of the new law to some individuals convicted under the prior law.
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That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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