Five Minutes Five Issues: Utah Marijuana, Beto O’Rourke, Maine Marijuana, Repatriating Gold, Charleston Event

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.

Opponents of medical marijuana have hired canvassers to urge people who have signed petitions to put medical marijuana on the November Utah state ballot to remove their signatures. If enough signatures from people in some state senate districts are removed by May 15, there will be no vote on the ballot measure, reports Courtney Tanner at the Salt Lake Tribune.

Tanner also notes that Utah Governor Gary Herbert, though he opposes the proposed legalization, has, in response to the effort to remove petition signatures, declared:

Let’s have the vote. Let’s have the debate.

Issue two.

No Democrat has been elected to any of the 29 Texas statewide elective offices since 1994, and the last Democratic United States Senate member from Texas was Bob Krueger who held office for a few months in 1993 after fellow Democrat Lloyd Bentsen resigned from the Senate.

An April Quinnipiac University poll suggests this Republican string of victories could end in the November election. The poll finds Republican US Senator Ted Cruz is barely ahead of his Democratic challenger — US Representative Beto O’Rourke — with Cruz at 47 percent and O’Rourke at 44 percent among Texas voters.

Issue three.

In the January 7, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Maine politicians including Maine Governor Paul LePage seeking to delay implementation of provisions of marijuana legalization that voters in the state had approved in an election two months earlier. Now it is over a year later and legal recreational marijuana sales have finally made it into law via the state House of Representatives and Senate on Wednesday overriding the governor’s veto.

But, Jacob Sullum reports at Reason that legalization provisions approved by voters were not just delayed. They were also altered, including by cutting from six to three the number of flowering marijuana plants a person may legally grow at home, imposing an excise tax on growers, and eliminating legalization of “marijuana social clubs” where people could both purchase and consume marijuana.

Sullum further writes that Maine regulations are yet to be written and approved and that “[s]tate-licensed marijuana merchants are not expected to start serving recreational customers until the spring of 2019.” In contrast, legal recreational marijuana sales are already taking place in California and Nevada where voters also approved legalization in November of 2016.

Issue four.

Lately, several foreign governments have been demanding the return of their gold stored with the Federal Reserve.

Asked by host Mark Gleason at the Market Wrap Podcast why foreign governments may seek the return of their gold, investing writer Marc Faber responded that, first, it is inherently risky to store in another country gold that is intended to be a safe-haven asset. Second, Faber points to decreased faith in the US dollar as a reserve currency. Faber also mentions concern about the US government’s neoconservatives-engineered foreign policy, including the US government push to antagonize the leaders of Russia and China that is causing their governments to move “closer into an economic and political alliance” and to probably gradually move away from the dollar system.

Here is another reason. At the Economic Policy Journal last month, Robert Wenzel speculated as follows regarding the prospect of repatriation of gold to Turkey: “More than holding Turkey’s gold in reserve to back up the Turkish currency, the lira, [Turkey President] Erdogan may want to hold the gold in the homeland so that he can sell it.”

Issue five.

Last weekend, the Ron Paul Institute (RPI), along with the Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), hosted a conference titled “Non-intervention: America’s Original Foreign Policy.” It was something new to hold this conference in Charleston, South Carolina, as previous RPI events had occurred only in Texas near RPI’s headquarters and in the Washington, DC area. With the Charleston conference a success, maybe RPI will host events in other new locations in the future.


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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