Five Minutes Five Issues: Nikki Haley, Canada Marijuana, Government Statistics, Expungement, Mexico Drug War

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 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.

Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, in a Wednesday RPI email list message, discussed Nikki Haley’s Tuesday announcement that she will be leaving her position as United States ambassador to the United Nations. McAdams calls Haley an “extreme warhawk,” noting some of her comments regarding US relations with Russia, Syria, and North Korea in explanation. Yet, McAdams notes that the New York Times, in a Twitter post announcing Haley’s departure, said Haley is a “moderate Republican voice.” While calling Haley moderate seems absurd to someone who values peace, McAdams argues it may seem correct to many people in Washington, DC where “being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy.”

You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on the “subscribe” link near the top of the web page

Issue two.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in in Canada next week, Polly Washburn explored Wednesday at Marijuana Moment different ways Canada provinces are handling legalization.

One important way all the provinces’ marijuana laws will differ from those in American states that have legalized is the minimum age to purchase. Washburn writes:

As with alcohol, the age at which Canadians can purchase cannabis is lower than in the United States. In Quebec and Alberta, 18 year-olds will be able to purchase adult-use marijuana. In every other province, the legal age will be 19. By contrast, in the U.S., every state that has legalized recreational marijuana to date has set the legal age at 21, which is also the legal drinking age in the states.

Issue three.

Be skeptical of government statistics.

Take, for example, the US government’s widely reported measure of unemployment. When the new monthly unemployment statistic was announced last week, an Associated Press article started off by stating, “[t]he last time the U.S. unemployment rate was roughly as low as the 3.7 percent it is now” was in December of 1969.

However, Peter Schiff, in the October 5 episode of his podcast, explained that, while “all the headlines are ‘we have the lowest rate of unemployment since 1969,’” the 2018 to 1969 unemployment rate comparison is an “apples to oranges comparison” or even an “apples to refrigerators comparison.” Schiff elaborates that in 1969 people working part time but seeking full time work were considered unemployed as also were people who would like to work but have given up looking for work. Now all those people are not considered unemployed. If you compare “apples to apples,” Schiff says he believes the unemployment rate today would be “way above ten percent.”

Issue four.

In the February 3 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the San Francisco, California district attorney adopting a process whereby San Francisco prosecutors would review marijuana convictions for expungement or reduction so individuals would not have to undertake the difficult and expensive process of seeking the relief made available under California’s recently enacted recreational marijuana legalization.

Similar action has been taken in other cities, such as Seattle, Washington.

Now a state government is also pursuing automatic review of marijuana convictions. Lindsay Schnell wrote last week at USA Today that, while several states have laws allowing people with certain marijuana convictions the opportunity to pursue the reduction or removal of those convictions, last week, the California governor signed into law the first statewide legislation that charges a state government with undertaking the process automatically.

Issue five.

In the July 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Mexico government potentially legalizing marijuana given that Andrés Manuel López Obrador had won the presidential election the week before.

It turns out President-elect Obrador is, in fact, considering legalization of drugs beyond marijuana. Reuters reports that Obrador on Sunday said he “would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.”


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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