Five Minutes Five Issues: Drug War Treaty, Yemen, License Plate Readers, Marijuana Crackdown, Iran Summit

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.

Did you know that United States drug war policy can be dictated by an international treaty?

Kyle Jaeger reported Monday at Marijuana Moment that a newly released letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) advises that cannabis-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, does not meet the criteria for US government restrictions under any schedule of the Controlled Substances Act. However, the DEA ultimately decided last week to keep CBD in the most restrictive Schedule 1 and to put Epidiolex, a new FDA-approved epilepsy drug utilizing CBD, in the less restrictive Schedule 5, which allows doctor-prescribed use.

Why did the DEA not follow the FDA’s advice? Jaeger notes that correspondence between the two agencies indicates the DEA justified its decision by pointing to obligations under a treaty — the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Issue two.

Jason Ditz recounted Sunday at some specifics regarding one of the ways the US has played a key role in the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen. Ditz writes that new data from the US Air Force indicates that “the US has conducted 2,919 sorties, offloading 92.3 million pounds of fuel” to airplanes involved in the war on Yemen.

Issue three.

Last week, I wrote a blog post at the Ron Paul Institute website beginning with the observation that “[t]he United States government is using every bit of technology it can grab onto to facilitate mass surveillance.” In the blog post, I suggested that the US government may in the future use brain implant technology to snoop on and even manipulate people’s thoughts.

Here is a new means of technology-assisted mass surveillance the US government is planning to employ soon. Justin Rohrlich wrote Monday at Quartz that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is planning to purchase some of those trailer-mounted speed displays you have likely seen at the side of roads displaying the purported speed of approaching cars. But, here’s the catch. The DEA speed displays will also include license plate reader technology to identify cars. Rohrlich further notes that some license place readers also include facial recognition technology to identify people.

Issue four.

In a guest editorial last week at the Denver Post, Bob Troyer, after stating a bunch of highly-questionable “sky is falling” criticisms of marijuana legalization in Colorado, proceeds to this conclusion:

Now that federal enforcement has shot down marijuana grows on federal lands, the crosshairs may appropriately shift to the public harms caused by licensed businesses and their investors, particularly those who are not complying with state law or trying to use purported state compliance as a shield.

OK, an editorial says the US government should increase its marijuana law enforcement in one of the first states to relegalize recreational marijuana sales. That is often not a big deal. But, in this case, it may be a big deal because Troyer is the US attorney for the district of Colorado. He has the power to follow through on increasing US government enforcement of marijuana laws in the state.

I think any major increase in enforcement would be out of step with President Trump’s policy on the matter and, thus, would likely be stomped out rather quickly. Still, this development is something to watch.

Issue five.

In a new interview with Aaron Maté at The Real News, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Lawrence Wilkerson examined relations between the US and Iran. In the interview, Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W Bush administration, suggests President Donald Trump may, prior to the November midterm election, announce that he will be sitting down with Iran President Hassan Rouhani to negotiate a deal. Such a move, says Wilkerson, would be similar to when Trump went to Singapore for a summit with Kim Jong-un of North Korea after Trump and Trump’s administration had regularly directed strong insults and threats at North Korea.


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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