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Archive of Articles in the "Drugs" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Mr. Trump's Wild Ride

[ Posted Friday, December 7th, 2018 – 17:44 PST ]

As is now normal, the past week in politics was a pretty wild ride. The stock market went up, then way down, then a bit back up, then way down again -- and that was in a week with only four trading days (Wednesday was a national day of mourning for George H. W. Bush, so the markets were closed). Trump drove much of this confusion, after meeting with the leader of China last weekend to discuss trade. Adding to the confusion was the arrest of the leader of a giant Chinese corporation on Canadian soil at the request of the American Justice Department, and a weaker-than-expected jobs report today.

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...Nor Excessive Fines Imposed...

[ Posted Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 – 17:27 PST ]

The Supreme Court may be about to seriously rein in the practice of state and local governments essentially committing highway robbery. This practice is known as "asset forfeiture," and I've written extensively about it in the past. But a new court challenge could if not end then at least severely curtail the practice at the state and local level.

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Setting The Democratic Agenda For The Next Two Years

[ Posted Thursday, November 8th, 2018 – 17:48 PST ]

Democrats are poised to start setting the political agenda in the House of Representatives, beginning in January. This agenda will consist of three different types of actions: investigating the Trump administration, doing legislative deals with Trump where possible, and creating the Democratic Party platform for the 2020 election.

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Friday Talking Points -- Liar In Chief

[ Posted Friday, October 26th, 2018 – 17:10 PDT ]

In 2003, Al Franken wrote a book called Lies: And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which was written about Fox News (Bill O'Reilly, in specific). Though the title now seems prophetic in the age of Trump, even Franken would have had a hard time believing back then how far the right wing would eventually go down this rabbit hole.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' Closing Midterm Argument

[ Posted Friday, October 19th, 2018 – 17:18 PDT ]

As usual, there was all sorts of idiocy in the political news last week. But, for a change, we're only going to skim lightly over most of it in an abbreviated weekly roundup, because we've got a special talking points section at the end, where we try our hand at writing a "closing argument" speech for all Democratic congressional candidates to consider using. So there's that to look forward to. Before that, though, let's take a very quick look at the week that was.

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O, Canada!

[ Posted Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 – 16:31 PDT ]

Our neighbor to the north made some big news today, as Canada is now the largest country in the world where marijuana can be freely bought, sold, possessed, grown, and used by all of its adult citizens. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now made good on one of his big campaign promises, and today Canadians from coast to coast began legally purchasing recreational marijuana for the first time since it was outlawed.

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Friday Talking Points -- Kavanaugh Fight Finally Ends

[ Posted Friday, October 5th, 2018 – 16:46 PDT ]

Brett Kavanaugh is going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court tomorrow. That was the breaking news this afternoon, as Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Democrat Joe Manchin all indicated that they're going to vote in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation. Republican Lisa Murkowski had briefly given rise to hope on the Democratic side when she announced she'll be voting against confirmation, but as things stand now Vice President Mike Pence won't even be required to break a tie, because tomorrow (if every senator votes how they now say they will) the total will be 51 votes for confirmation to 49 against.

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Democrats Need To Keep Fighting Even If Kavanaugh Is Confirmed

[ Posted Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 – 18:18 PDT ]

I'm writing this while watching the Senate confirmation hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. As usual for Supreme Court confirmation hearings, it is fascinating to watch. However, also as usual, it is likely going to be absolutely meaningless, because Republicans are going to have the votes to confirm him in the end. The [...]

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The Final Propaganda Battle In The War On Weed

[ Posted Thursday, August 30th, 2018 – 17:23 PDT ]

The War On Weed's days are numbered. That should be pretty obvious, by now. State after state has jumped on the bandwagon against the War On Weed, liberalizing their harsh laws on cannabis through decriminalization, legalization of medicinal marijuana, or outright legalization for adult recreational use. In fact, it's getting harder and harder to find any states which haven't done so, in one form or another. Nationally, the public's attitude on the subject has gone through a sea change in the last two decades, and now polls regularly cite public support of complete legalization of marijuana at 60 percent or higher. The weed warriors, obviously, are losing the battle for hearts and minds, and they're losing almost all the battles at the ballot box. This long social warfare, stretching back almost a century, is finally almost over. In the end, sanity will prevail, and the nation's second Prohibition will finally be thrown on the ash heap of failed political and social policy.

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Maybe Now Congress Will Act On Marijuana Banking Reform?

[ Posted Monday, August 20th, 2018 – 17:16 PDT ]

Over two decades after California legalized medical marijuana (becoming the first of many states to do so), Congress has still refused to act in any way to admit the fact that the times they are a-changin' on marijuana law. Six years after Colorado and Washington became the first two states to outright legalize recreational use for adults, Congress still refuses to act. In the meantime, marijuana has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry, and as with every other multibillion-dollar industry (especially agricultural ones -- remember all those "Got Milk?" ads?), it has begun spending money on lobbying politicians. So far it's a relative drop in the bucket -- total marijuana lobbying this year is only a relatively paltry million dollars -- but one story today may eventually have a ripple effect that (hopefully) will end with Congress admitting the new reality of the existence of the state-legal marijuana industry. In a way, it's a sad commentary on our political system, where as we all know money talks quite loudly. But that's a discussion for another day, really. The system is what it is, and if in some way it spurs the otherwise-somnolent legislators into doing the right thing for once, then that at least will be a desirable outcome.

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