Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Bureaucracy, WaPo Conflict, Drug Decrim, Ronald Wayne, Thoreau Birthday

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Saturday. 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 new episode here:

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.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC, but marijuana use by business customers and special events attendees has often been prohibited by law. That is changing some in Denver, Colorado with the City and County of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses’ July 1 rules for the consumption of marijuana in businesses and at special events.

Instead of just declaring it legal for any business or special event to allow the consumption of marijuana, the rules set up a permitting process and sweeping restraints. Applicants must prove their worthiness to receive a permit that can be revoked and that authorizes government agents, including police, to carry out inspections. Marijuana can only be consumed in so-called Designated Consumption Areas or DCAs that cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, child care establishment, alcohol or drug treatment center, or city-owned recreation center or outdoor pool. Special event permits must be sought at least 120 days before the event date. The rules also require the consumption of marijuana and even the advertising of DCAs to be shielded from view from public places including streets and sidewalks. The rules go on and on.

Government and special interests are working to keep tight control over legal marijuana.

Issue two.

In August of 2013, I wrote about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ then-recent purchase of the Washington Post. I noted the conflict of interest between his ownership of the Post that reports on the United States government and “Amazon’s potentially significant profits from computing and data storage contracts with numerous US government agencies including the [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)].”

This conflict of interest was discussed again at the Ron Paul Institute website this week in an article by Eric Zuesse. Zuesse wrote that Amazon Web Services or AWS that provides such services to entities including the US military and the CIA “is so profitable to Amazon that it accounts for all of Amazon’s net profits.”

Issue three.

You may have seen one of several articles saying drug decriminalization beyond marijuana may be about to take place in Oregon. One article at the Daily Caller is titled “Oregon Poised To Decriminalize Meth, Cocaine And Heroin.”

Not quite, responded Tom Angell in a Monday MassRoots article. “[T]he legislation in question,” Angell writes, “does not decriminalize drugs.” Though the legislation “reduces the punishment for possession of certain quantities of some drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Angell explains that its outcome is less than decriminalization. This is because, while decriminalization “is generally accepted to mean the removal of criminal penalties for the activity in question and the avoidance of arrest and incarceration,” the Oregon legislation provides for probation, imprisonment, and thousands of dollars in fines. This is much different than the traffic ticket type of penalty people expect with decriminalization.

Issue four.

Motherboard published this week a fascinating interview with Apple cofounder Ronald Wayne. Talking about US dollars, investing, and gold, Wayne sounds much like Ron Paul. Wayne said:

I supplement my income with collectors stamps and coins. You invest in gold in silver. I won’t invest in anything dollar related, because I don’t know when the roof will cave in, but it will. At the end of World War II, 40 nations came together to discuss what the currency and exchange rate would be. Before then it was the gold standard. But World War II was the most expensive war in history and most of these nations went bankrupt. Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations said that every nation that uses fiat systems will inflate out of existence. So it is coming.

Issue five.

This week is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. James Bovard, in an essay regarding the anniversary at his website, relates that in Thoreau’s “early writing – especially his essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’ – Thoreau vividly portrayed the perils of political power.”


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are 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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