Five Minutes Five Issues: Friends and Adversaries, Partisan War, Texas Marijuana, Syria Attack, US Marijuana

by | Apr 23, 2018

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

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.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In February of 2017, during her first few weeks as United States ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Nikki Haley, in prepared comments she presented to reporters, called Israel “our friend and ally” and declared “I’m here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel.” The next month, speaking at a convention of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Haley said:

Never do we not have the backs of our friends. We don’t have a greater friend than Israel.

Haley has a different perspective regarding Russia. At an April 5 speech at Duke University, Haley said that “Russia’s never gonna be our friend” and that the US will work with Russia when the US needs to and that the US will “slap” Russia when the US needs to.

Haley’s declarations, and similar comments by other US government officials, help show the rigid categorizing of other nations as friends and adversaries that supports constant and widespread intervention overseas.

Issue two.

President Donald Trump this month ordered a missile attack against Syria unilaterally, that is, with no congressional authorization.

One thing allowing successive presidents to use the US military to attack other countries without a congressional debate and vote is that some US Congress members actively oppose such presidential actions only when the president is affiliated with the opposing party.

It would be great to see support for peace and for blocking unilateral executive exercises of war power to become powerful and ongoing bipartisan causes in Congress. It can happen, but probably only after the people first demand it strongly enough.

Issue three.

A new Quinnipiac University poll indicates 61 percent of Texas voters support “allowing adults in Texas to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.”

Could Texas soon legalize?

Most states that have legalized marijuana did so via measures qualified for consideration on voters’ ballots through the submitting of petition signatures. Texans do not have that process available. But state legislatures can pass legalization legislation. In January, Vermont was the first state to legalize via legislation passed in a state legislature and signed by a governor.

There is even potential for radical legalization in Texas. In 2015, the Texas state House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved then-Rep. David Simpson’s (R-Longview) marijuana legalization bill that would, for adults, treat marijuana the same as tomatoes. The bill, though, did not have a vote in the full House.

Issue four.

The Trump administration has not made public evidence to justify its launching this month of missiles into Syria. Congress members do not seem to have been informed of such evidence either. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) told Breitbart News that a Tuesday classified briefing for Congress members presented by people including the US secretary of defense, the secretary of state, and the director of national intelligence “did not provide any evidence.” Said Massie, “There was nothing that was provided in there that’s not on the Internet.”

Massie is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.

Issue five.

In the last two weeks, some big names in US politics have endorsed rolling back US marijuana prohibition.

Last week, former US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced he now believes marijuana should be descheduled from the US Controlled Substances Act, and he joined the board of advisers of the marijuana industry company Acreage Holdings.

Also last week, US Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) revealed that President Donald Trump had pledged to him support for a marijuana “legislative solution that will allow a states’ rights approach.” We are still awaiting a public affirmation and elaboration from Trump.

Then, this week, US Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced his support for decriminalizing marijuana on the federal level and his plan to introduce legislation to accomplish this objective through actions including desceduling marijuana and respecting states having their own laws regarding marijuana possession.


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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