Five Minutes Five Issues: Secession, Surveilling Manafort, Catalonia Crackdown, Hemp Farms, Marijuana Use

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Friday. 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.

A new poll suggests a rather narrow divide in Americans’ opinions regarding whether the United States government should again respond to secession, as it did in the 1860s, with war.

The John Zogby Strategies poll indicates 39 percent of Americans agree that[i]f a majority of residents within a given state prefer to have the final say over their destiny without the control of Washington D.C. then let them have it – it is their right.” Close behind, 32 percent said “the federal government would be justified in sending in the military to prevent secession from taking place.” Another 29 percent of polled Americans presented with the two options chose neither.

Issue two.

The impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon included that he sought to cover up “unlawful covert activities.” The primary covert activity mentioned was that “agents of the Committee for the re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in [Washington, DC] for the purpose of securing political intelligence.”

Might the same sort of allegation be made against people in the Obama administration in regard to surveillance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign? Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, and Pamela Brown reported Tuesday at CNN, based on confidential sources, that US government secret surveillance of Paul Manafort from 2014 into 2016 was terminated “for lack of evidence” only to be reinstated later in 2016 as “part of the [Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI)] efforts to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives.” Manafort was a campaign manager for Trump’s campaign.

Issue three.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the extreme threats and actions the Spain government had pursued to oppose a planned October 1 independence referendum vote in Catalonia. Raquel Castillo and Sam Edwards reported Wednesday at Reuters that the crackdown intensified this week with actions including arresting Catalan government officials, raiding Catalan government offices and seizing election materials such as ten million paper ballots, and taking over Catalonia’s finances.

Carles Puigdemont, the head of the Catalonia government, is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as saying the Spanish government “has de facto suspended self-government and applied a de facto state of emergency” in Catalonia.

Issue four.

This year, Libby Rainey reports at the Denver Post, farms in Colorado “are expected to harvest up to 9,000 acres of hemp” — a record amount since hemp’s legalization via a 2012 state marijuana legalization referendum.

While Rainey terms hemp farming a “rapidly growing industry,” she also notes powerful barriers imposed by the US government. In particular, Rainey writes that the illegality of hemp under US law results in interference with hemp farmers buying hemp seeds from other states and exporting raw hemp material, dealing with banks and money transfer companies, and gaining recognition of water rights. The threat of US government raids also persists, though it is likely holding farmers back less each year that raids fail to materialize.

What action could the US government take to remove barriers to the growth of hemp farming in Colorado? Rainey’s article suggests that the US enacting the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 3530) that seeks greater US respect for states’ hemp legalization would help. The original version of the legislation was introduced in 2005 by then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

Issue five.

Answering a question regarding marijuana at a Wednesday press conference in California, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions commented that, “we do know that legalization results in greater use.” Tom Angell responded at Forbes that a study released last week in the journal Addiction shows states’ legalization of marijuana is not the cause of increased marijuana use in America.

The dispute is interesting. But, for people seeking to increase respect for liberty, whether rolling back the war on marijuana reduces or increases marijuana use is a side issue. Respecting liberty means that people are free to choose, no matter whether others approve or disapprove the choices made.


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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