Five Minutes Five Issues: Cuban Cigars, Prohibitionist States, Stopping Trump, Cruz Hypocrisy, DEA Danger

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted Thursday. 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 show here:

Read a transcript of the show, 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.

Jacob Sullum reports at Reason that last week the Obama administration removed an 11-year-old criminal prohibition on Americans purchasing Cuban products while overseas in countries into which such products may be legally imported. This action is one more example of how stopping the United States government’s antagonism towards the Caribbean nation enhances respect for Americans’ freedom.

Maybe the US can start eliminating other mandates on Americans traveling and living abroad. Ending the nearly-unique US practice of imposing income and capital gains taxes on citizens living abroad would be a good place to start. So also would be rescinding draconian fees and penalties imposed in the last few years on expats who choose to renounce their US citizenship.

Issue two.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court decided not to consider a case brought by Oklahoma and Nebraska against Colorado. The plaintiff states argue that the court should strike down Colorado’s marijuana legalization that was adopted via a November of 2012 popular vote to amend the state constitution. Oklahoma and Nebraska said Colorado’s legalization is inconsistent with the US government’s war on marijuana and is leading to marijuana entering the neighboring states.

Talk about an argument that flies in the face of constitutional principles. No state has a constitutional obligation to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and throw people in prison for marijuana-related activities, The Tenth Amendment and the fact that the Constitution only grants the US government limited, enumerated powers stand in the way of requiring a state to pursue marijuana prohibition.

Oklahoma and Nebraska, though, may not give up. They still have the option of suing Colorado in a US district court.

Issue three.

In last week’s Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked of Washington Post Columnist Jennifer Rubin’s call for conservatives to abandon the Republican Party and support “a new center-right party” should Donald Trump win the GOP nomination. On Monday, the Washington Post editorial board endorsed another unusual tactic to prevent a Trump presidency. The editorial board urged that Republican National Convention rules be used “to maximum effect” to “nominate a conservative candidate who respects the Constitution, or to defeat Mr. Trump in some other way”

That’s funny, I don’t recall the Post editorial board endorsing Ron Paul in any of his presidential runs, or arguing in 2008 or 2012 that the Republican National Convention rules should be used “to maximum effect” to give Paul the GOP nomination. They want a nominee who respects the Constitution, right?

Like Rubin, it seems the Washington Post editorial board is not fully fessing up about why it opposes Trump.

Issue four.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), in a Sunday Politico editorial, criticized President Barack Obama for taking a trip to Cuba this week. Cruz presents his objection by writing that:

… political prisoners languishing in dungeons across the island will hear this message: Nobody has your back. You’re alone with your tormentors. The world has forgotten about you.

Of course, Cruz does not mention that America has its own prison problem. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Much of this is due to the war on drugs, which both Cruz and Obama support.

Cruz’s criticism of Obama for visiting Cuba also seems odd given Cruz’s 2014 trip to Israel and Ukraine. During the trip, Cruz said, “[t]he U.S. needs to stand with Israel” and it is “in our interest” to help the Ukraine government that says it needs, among other things, more military equipment.

At least in Cuba, Americans aren’t footing the bill for violently suppressing government opponents.

Issue five.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warned people this week that scammers pretending to be the DEA are calling people and demanding money. Marijuana Majority Founder Tom Angell responded with a perfect quip. Regarding the DEA, Angell wrote, “Yeah, they’ll just bust down your front door and shoot your dog.”

Well said. These telephone scammers are small potatoes compared to the DEA.


That’s a wrap.

A transcript of this episode, including links to related information, is at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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