Five Minutes Five Issues: Hemp Bill, Militarized America, Marijuana Disinfo, Utah Marijuana, Pain Killers

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 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.

On Thursday, United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the Hemp Farming Act (S 2667), saying it will legalize hemp and “empower farmers.”

McConnell first cosponsored Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) similarly-named Industrial Hemp Farming Act in the US Senate in 2013, and he cosponsored it again when it was reintroduced in 2015.

Wyden’s bills were similar to the hemp legalization bill Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) first introduced in the US House of Representatives in 2005.

Paul’s bill’s approach was to just end the US government’s hemp prohibition, making the US government butt out in regard to hemp farming.

In contrast, McConnell’s legalization is far from laissez faire. The McConnell bill spells out required state regulations on hemp farming and authorizes the US Department of Agriculture to impose more regulations on its own. And McConnell’s press release for his new bill promotes that the bill makes available US government subsidies in the form of hemp research grants and hemp crop insurance.

Wyden, who is an original cosponsor of McConnell’s new bill, has not reintroduced his own hemp bill this Congress.

Issue two.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead is concerned about the recent deployment of the US military in America for purported purposes including countering illegal immigration and advancing the drug war. He wrote in a Monday editorial that this is “yet another Trojan Horse that will inflict all manner of nasty police state surprises on an unsuspecting populace.”

Issue three.

On Monday, Middle Tennessee State University announced a poll it conducted found 37 percent of polled Tennessee voters support legalizing marijuana for personal use and 44 percent support legalizing medical marijuana.

Upon seeing these results, I suspected something is fishy. After all, national polls indicate much more support. For example, a January of 2018 Quinnipiac University national poll of voters found 58 percent support for marijuana legalization generally and 91 percent support for medical marijuana legalization.

In the Tennessee poll, individuals were asked the following question:

Which comes closest to your view about the use of marijuana by adults? ‘It should be legal for personal use.’ ‘It should be legal only for medical use.’ ‘It should not be legal.’

Because no option was offered for supporting both recreational and medical marijuana legalization, people who support both could only express support for one or the other. This caused an artificial decrease in recorded support for both forms of legalization.

Issue four.

This week, leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints, often called the Mormon Church, issued a two paragraph statement criticizing a medical marijuana legalization proposal that may be on the Utah state ballot in November. In the statement is this declaration: “The public interest is best served when all new drugs designed to relieve suffering and illness, and the procedures by which they are made available to the public, undergo the scrutiny of medical scientists and official approval bodies.”

Despite the statement’s insistence, marijuana is neither a “new drug” nor something any person designed. Instead, it is a plant people have used medically since long before the US and Utah governments, or their drug wars, existed.

Issue five.

In the March 31 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about a proposed Medicare rule that would cut off coverage for many peoples’ pain medication prescriptions equivalent to 90 milligrams or more of morphine daily. Many doctors and pain patients opposed the proposed rule that would advance the interests of drug warriors. Jacob Sullum reported Monday at Reason that the US government backed down on the proposed rule, instead adopting a rule that requires “a pharmacist who receives a prescription above the threshold to confirm it with the doctor and document the discussion.”


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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