Five Minutes Five Issues: Yemen, Farm Bill Hemp, Trump/Kim Meeting, Medical Marijuana, Dividing California
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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 Saudi Arabia-led and United States-supported war on Yemen, along with the resulting destruction and suffering, continues. The attack this week on Al Hudaydah, a port and city with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, should make the situation in Yemen substantially worse. As Margaret Coker and Eric Schmitt noted in a Wednesday New York Times article regarding the ongoing invasion, the port is “the main entry point for aid to the rest of the country.”
On Wednesday, the US Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee approved the wide-ranging 2018 Farm Bill that includes provisions legalizing, as well as regulating and subsidizing, hemp farming. The hemp farming provisions are backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who earlier this year introduced the Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that couples legalization with regulation and subsidization. It would not surprise me to see the hemp provisions become law later this year.
In a Monday editorial, Ron Paul wrote about the dialogue between US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Paul comments that “talking is always better than threatening” and “trading is always better than sanctioning.”
Paul concludes his editorial with an expression of hope and a recommendation. Paul writes:
Hopefully this historic Trump/Kim meeting is the beginning of a dialogue that will continue to dial back the tensions. Hopefully we can soon remove the 30,000 US troops that have been stationed in South Korea for seven decades. One thing Washington must do, however: stay out of the way as much as possible so as to allow the two Koreas to continue their peace process.Issue four.
Tom Angell wrote Tuesday at Forbes that this year, “in a dramatic sign of the rapidly changing politics of cannabis, the budget rider” intended to prevent the US government from prosecuting people complying with state medical marijuana laws “is part of the initial spending bill for the Justice Department as introduced by Republican Senate leaders.” In contrast, Angell notes that in previous years such language became part of the appropriations legislation only via amendments.
Because such language also was added to the Justice appropriations legislation coming out of the House Appropriations Committee, Angell writes that the medical marijuana provision “is all but certain to end up in the final [fiscal year 2019] appropriations legislation that is sent to President Trump for his signature later this year.”
According to the US Census Bureau, California has a population of over 39 and a half million people. The state’s population is about 40 percent more than that of Texas, the second most populous state, and about 88 percent more than that of Florida, the third most populous state. Around one out of eight Americans lives in California.
California covers much land too. It is the third biggest state.
Given these facts, it should not be a surprise there is significant support in California for splitting the state up. One proposal to do that will be on the state’s November election ballot. As John Myers reported Tuesday at the Los Angeles Times, the ballot proposal calls for splitting California into three states — first, a narrow coastal state extending from the Los Angeles area to the Monterey area that would keep the name California, second, Southern California that would generally include the portion of the current state to the east and south, and, third, Northern California that would generally include the portion of the current state to the north.
If the ballot measure passes, Myers writes that a spitting of the state would not be guaranteed for a couple reasons. First, state legislative approval may be required. Second, the US Congress would need to approve the state’s division.
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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