consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Keeping up with some recent Bluestem Prairie posting. [plus an "I bet you did not know" UPDATE]

Sorensen has been posting on a regular basis about legislative happenings with a primary focus upon rural issues, but not narrowly limited that way; e.g., here and here.

Re: The first of those items: When Kahn and Franson agree one can infer a spectrum of interest.

Same item: When Tony Cornish and Bill Ingebrigtsen agree; be much more skeptical than afraid. Be astonished by the "gateway drug" time warp they dwell in.

Re the second item, politicians suffer low esteem, so go figure why.

For three wise men in politics selling a bad brand; Backstrom, Cornish, and Ingebrigtsen; the "I bet you didn't know" item, a Dec. 16, 2014, Christmas present for which many missed reporting, myself included; here.

Sanity prevailing over polemics is always a good thing to see. Even when seeing it for a first time on a much delayed time frame. This excerpt:

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana,

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.

The bill's passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.

Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.

[...] Pot advocates had lobbied Congress to embrace the administration's policy, which they warned was vulnerable to revision under a less tolerant future administration.

More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress' action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states' right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.

"This is a victory for so many," said the measure's coauthor, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa. The measure's approval, he said, represents "the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana."

By now, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot or its ingredients to treat ailments, a movement that began in the 1990s. Even back then, some states had been approving broader decriminalization measures for two decades.
The war on medical marijuana is over. Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana. - Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance

The medical marijuana movement has picked up considerable momentum in recent years. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, continues to place marijuana in the most dangerous category of narcotics, with no accepted medical use.

Congress for years had resisted calls to allow states to chart their own path on pot. The marijuana measure, which forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws, was previously rejected half a dozen times.

The bottom line in Minnesota re the Franson - Kahn industrial hemp proposal: By analogy to the medical mj passage reported above, Minnesota passage of the proposal would likely keep the DEA boots out of crop fields growing industrial hemp.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
With Dakota County head honcho prosecutor Backstrom so revved up over "Gateway Drug" lore, another LA Times item suggests indirectly that the s.o.b. should mount his high horse and rail incessantly over e-cigs; this link.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Of the "don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" ilk, the LA Times item further notes:

Some Republicans are pivoting off their traditional anti-drug platform at a time when most voters live in states where medical marijuana is legal, in many cases as a result of ballot measures.

Polls show that while Republican voters are far less likely than the broader public to support outright legalization, they favor allowing marijuana for medical use by a commanding majority. Legalization also has great appeal to millennials, a demographic group with which Republicans are aggressively trying to make inroads.

Well gee, Abigale Whelan, that speaks to your millennial-loving orientation; so think about getting onboard before the bus leaves without you. Don't let the red-tee-shirt wearers dictate your agenda. Unless the tee shirt IS your agenda.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
That GOP - millenials theme again, from a left-side perspective; MPP here.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
That red tee shirt content surely gives a new meaning to "Red Scare."  It is really scary, in its anti-liberty and march-in-lockstep-OUR-WAY-for-Jesus messaging (one He of first-stone cautionary words might see as false prophet activism or at least as simplistic miscomprehension of Sermon on the Mount teachings).

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