Five Minutes Five Issues: War on Kratom, Biden’s Advice, NRA and Marijuana, Testing for Fentanyl, US Spending

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 StitcheriTunesYouTube, 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.

Eric Boodman reported at Stat News that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared on Tuesday that the plant kratom is an opioid and that “[t]here is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Gottlieb’s statement suggests he thinks kratom, which is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, should be listed in Schedule 1 and subject to total prohibition.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had planned to place kratom in Schedule 1 by the end of September 0f 2016. That proposed scheduling, which met opposition including from United States House of Representatives and Senate members, did not happen. In October of 2016, the DEA announced it was withdrawing the quick scheduling plan, opting instead to establish a public comment period and to request that the FDA expedite a “scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation.”

Now that FDA evaluation seems to point to kratom prohibition. Indeed, the war on kratom appears to have already started. In November, the FDA commissioner was relating FDA seizures of kratom imports.

Unless Congress or the president intercedes, expect a full-fledged war on kratom.

Issue two.

Last Month, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano said in a Fox News interview that President Donald Trump should refuse to talk with Russiagate investigators. One reason Napolitano offered was that Trump, who tends to speak without word economy and in not the most respectful manner, may make a misstatement that could result in a charge for making a false statement.

This month, former Vice President Joe Biden echoed Napolitano’s advice and reasoning. Biden said, in an interview with host Chris Cuomo at CNN, that Trump has “some difficulty with precision” and that “one of the things that I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was just simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous.”

Issue three.

In the September 8, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the National Rifle Association (NRA) not defending the gun rights of people who use marijuana or have state authorization to use medical marijuana. In explanation, I mentioned NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre’s declaration, “The NRA has demanded the strongest possible prosecution of the federal gun laws for over 20 years.”

If LaPierre and other NRA leaders are interested in reevaluating the NRA position, they could start with reading a Wednesday Washington Times editorial concerning medical marijuana and US gun laws by David Keene who was the NRA’s president from 2011 to 2013. Writes Keene, “The refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issue has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain-free or risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

Issue four.

Baynard Woods reported last week at The Real News regarding Tino Fuentes’ effort to prevent overdoses by teaching people to test drugs for fentanyl. Woods writes that Fuentes is risking arrest because he possesses drugs to demonstrate the testing process.

That illegality is outrageous. So also is the illegality of drugs.

If drugs were legal, danger from fentanyl would be much less. People could buy their drugs from stores that sell known, branded products offering predictable potency, just as people across America can now buy alcohol.

Issue five.

In a December 31, 2016 interview with host Joshua Bennett at KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, I predicted that, in order to achieve his desired spending increases, including for the military, President Donald Trump would “compromise” with Congress members resulting in “increasing spending across-the-board.” That happened Friday when Congress passed and Trump signed a huge, deficit-boosting spending bill (HR 1892).

Trump commented at Twitter that the bill “is a BIG VICTORY for our Military,” but incudes “much waste” to gain Democrats’ votes.


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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