Five Minutes Five Issues: Poland Troops, Marijuana Crackdown, Jail Time, Mohammed’s Letter, Symposium Speakers
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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.
The build-up of United States troops near Russia appears to be continuing.
In previous episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues I have talked about US troops arriving in the first weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency in Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Romania. DW reported on Sunday that one thousand more US troops will be on their way in March to a Polish town 85 miles from the Kaliningrad region of Russia, located between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.
If you are hoping marijuana will be largely excluded from the “ruthless” drug war President Trump has promised, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s Thursday press briefing should provide you with three types of news: good, bad, and confusing.
Good news first: Spicer appeared to say that the Trump administration, looking to an appropriations provision regarding respecting state medical marijuana laws, will not prosecute people complying with state medical marijuana laws.
Next the bad news: Spicer said he expects “greater enforcement” of US laws regarding recreational marijuana is on the way.
Now the confusing news: Asked to clarify what he means by “greater enforcement,” Spicer said:
No, no. I know. I know what I -- I think -- then that’s what I said. But I think the Department of Justice is the lead on that. It is something that you should follow up with them, but I believe that they are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana versus –And that’s it. In short, Spicer’s guidance regarding recreational marijuana turns out to be very murky.
Trump, on the campaign trail in October of 2015, provided more clear guidance. Trump said:
In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.Issue three.
Imagine spending a year in jail because you are unable to pay bail. That is the situation described by the Editorial Board of the San Antonio Express News in an editorial last month criticizing the bail situation in some parts of Texas. The editorial board writes that “about 20 percent of felony cases take more than a year to go to court and 56 percent of misdemeanor cases are pending more than six months.” The editorial notes that the threat of long pretrial detention leads many people to “plead guilty just to reduce their jail stays.”
Texas provides this one example among many of the pretrial detention problems in America.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in America who is imprisoned at Guantanamo, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama that was delivered just before Obama left the presidency. The attacks, Mohammed wrote “were a natural reaction to your destructive policies towards the Islamic world; your unlimited support to Israel, the Jewish Zionist State; and your continued support and protection for dictatorial rulers in the Islamic world aimed at protecting your own interests.”
Absent from Mohammed’s letter is any mention of hating Americans because of their freedom.
Two more speakers have joined the lineup for the upcoming symposium on the topic of “War and Peace in the Age of Trump.” Ron Paul Institute Academic and Advisory Board Members Eric Margolis and David Stockman will join previously announced speakers Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and Daniel McAdams.
The event, which RPI is joining the Ludwig von Mises Institute in hosting, will take place on April 8 in Lake Jackson, Texas. To find out more about the event and purchase tickets, open the Mises Institute website at mises.org — that’s M-I-S-E-S dot org — and click on the “events” tab at the top of the page.
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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