Five Minutes Five Issues: Israel Boycott, Uruguay Marijuana, Revolving Door, NH Marijuana, RPI Conference
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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.
People say there is not enough bipartisanship in Washington, DC. But, Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim provide in a Wednesday The Intercept article an example of plenty of bipartisanship in the United States Congress. They note that 43 Senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — had cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S 720), which the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has identified as a top legislative priority.
In the House of Representatives, a similar bill (HR 1697) has a majority of members as cosponsors. In the House, like in the Senate, the cosponsorship is bipartisan.
Greenwald and Grim explain that the legislation “would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine” and that violators of the legislation’s prohibitions would face “a minimum civil penalty of $250,000, and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.”
This week, legal recreational marijuana sales began in the South American country of Uruguay where the first country-wide legalization of recreational marijuana cultivation, sale, and use had been approved in 2013.
In Uruguay legalization the government has maintained much restraint over the market. For example, Reuters reported Wednesday that in the Uruguay system purchasers have a choice of only two marijuana brands, both with “a relatively low content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)” and produced by just two companies authorized by the government. Plus, purchasers have to give over their fingerprints.
The border-industrial complex is going strong in the Trump administration, just as is the more-well-known military-industrial complex. Part of the way the system works is by people moving back and forth between working in the government and working for companies that make money off the government.
Lee Fang reported last week at The Intercept on Thomas Blank being appointed to be the chief of staff at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fang notes that, prior to Blank’s appointment, Blank worked for over a decade as a lobbyist largely focused on helping companies offering security technology, including Taser International, now called Axon, that manufactures electronic shock weapons, Assuretec Inc. that “specializes in facial recognition and identity authentication,” and “Analogic Corp., a baggage screening company, which sought a bid for lucrative contracts with the Transportation Security Administration.” Fang relates that Blank’s pre-lobbying-days work in government included time as “a senior official in the George W. Bush administration” where he “assisted with the creation of the Office of Transportation Security Policy, the sub-agency that developed security procedures for the Transportation Security Administration after the attacks of September 11.”
On Wednesday, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed into law HB 640, legislation decriminalizing possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana. Under the new law, a $100 fine is the punishment that may be imposed on adults possessing this amount of marijuana on the first or second offense.
Reid Wilson reports in The Hill that New Hampshire is the 22ndstate to adopt marijuana decriminalization and that now marijuana is either decriminalized or legalized in all of New England, with legalization approved last year by popular vote in Maine and Massachusetts and decriminalization having been adopted in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and now New Hampshire.
The Ron Paul Institute’s second annual conference will take place on Saturday September 9. At ronpaulinstitute.org/conference you can find more information and purchase tickets for the event. The conference, to be held at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, features speeches by Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and more speakers yet to be announced. A limited number of rooms are available at the conference hotel at a special reduced rate. Again, the website address is ronpaulinstitute.org/conference.
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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