Five Minutes Five Issues: TSA Abuse, Marijuana Sentences, Phone Searches, Canada Marijuana, Natural Rights
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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.
This week, many Americans are seeing for the first time the new universal procedure for friskings, or as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says “pat-downs,” being used at airports across the country. The people are seeing the procedure in action thanks to Jennifer Williamson posting on Facebook video of her 13-year-old son being subjected on Sunday to a pat-down at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Portions of the video have been aired by various media, including CBS. The CBS report related that “[t]he TSA said the procedures performed by the officer in the video met new pat-down standards that went into effect earlier this month.”
You may think you can avoid TSA manhandling by standing in a relatively new full-body scanner instead of demanding to walk through a metal detector. While using the metal detector may ensure you are subjected to the pat-down, people who use the full-body scanners may be frisked as well. As I pointed out in the March 10 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, people subjected to the new standard frisking include randomly selected people and people whose full-body scanner results indicate they should be frisked. You can add to the list people who leave a laptop computer in a bag before the bag is scanned. That is the reason offered for frisking Williamson’s son.
Looking at United States Sentencing Commission numbers, Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), related last week some good news regarding people being sentenced in federal courts for violating marijuana laws. While “over 3,000 federal defendants were sentenced for marijuana violations in 2016, according to the Commission,” notes Armentano, “[t]hat total is roughly half of the number of federal defendants that were sentenced in 2012.”
I talked in the March 18 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues about a big rise in the last three years in the number of searches of US citizens’ phones at the border.
A.J. Vicens reported Wednesday at Mother Jones that Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) “will soon introduce legislation” that will “force law enforcement to obtain warrants” before searching electronic devices at the border and “prevent [US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)] from compelling travelers to reveal passwords to their accounts.”
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to work for marijuana legalization countrywide when he sought election in 2015. Now his party appears to be seeking implementation of legalization by the summer of next year.
According to a report Sunday by David Cochrane at CBC, Canada’s Liberal Party government plans to announce legislation the week of April 10 that would result in marijuana legalization throughout the country by July 1 of 2018.
Cochrane writes that the legislation will leave to provinces significant control regarding matters including how marijuana is distributed and sold and leave to provinces choosing whether to apply the 18 years minimum age set by the national government for purchasing marijuana or to impose a higher minimum age.
In his new book Gun Control and the Second Amendment, Laurence Vance makes an important observation regarding rights and the US Constitution. Vance explains:
The Second Amendment confers no positive right. It recognizes a pre-existing right.As Vance proceeds to note, the Bill of Rights, in which the Second Amendment is located, is purposed to protect “the natural rights of the people from government overreach.”
You see, the Bill of Rights mentions some rights that existed before the Bill of Rights was written and ratified. And the rights continue to exist even if the US government disregards Bill of Rights guarantees. The rights can be abused, but they do not disappear.
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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