Five Minutes Five Issues: Yemen Rule, MI Home Grow, DNA Database, Legal Hemp, Free Speech

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.

On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve a rule (H. Res. 1176) for considering the farm bill. House leadership had inserted in the rule a provision prohibiting members from bringing to the House floor, via the War Powers Act, legislation seeking to end US military support for the Yemen War. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute as well as a House member, spoke on the House floor, condemning the provision as “preemptively sweeping all of the power of the Congress under the War Powers Act under the rug for the entire remainder of this congressional session.”

On January 3, a new Congress will begin, and it will have new leadership due to Democrats gaining the House majority in the November election. What a fresh start it would demonstrate if that new leadership put the US military’s participation in the Yemen War immediately up for a floor vote when the next Congress begins.

Issue two.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Utah Governor Gary Herbert signing into law a medical marijuana bill that had been rushed through the state legislature. The new law imposes a significantly more restrictive medical marijuana legal system than Utah voters had approved in November.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, after voters approved in November the legalization of recreational marijuana, Michigan State Senate Leader Arlan Meekhof introduced legislation (SB 1243) to make major changes in the voters-approved marijuana legalization. Included was the elimination of both the legalization of people growing up to 12 marijuana plants in their own homes for personal use and the licensing of “marijuana micro-businesses” that could grow up to 150 plants and sell the harvested marijuana. The legislation did not, however, move forward, due to failure to receive backing from the required supermajority of state senators.

As Kathleen Gray noted in a Thursday Detroit Free Press article, legalization of home growing is particularly important in Michigan because legal recreational marijuana “won’t be commercially available until the state develops the rules and regulations that will govern the recreational market and begins awarding licenses in early 2020.”

Issue three.

Zuri Davis reported Friday at Reason that a lawsuit has been filed against the state of California challenging California’s practice of entering the DNA of people arrested for felonies in a national database and leaving the DNA there forever, even for individuals who are never convicted.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the plaintiffs, states in a press release about the lawsuit:

The indefinite retention of thousands of DNA profiles from people who are acquitted or never charged violates the California Constitution, which affords both a right to privacy and a right against unlawful searches and seizures that are specifically aimed at protecting people from the government’s overbroad retention of personal information.

Issue four.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said to expect soon congressional approval of the farm bill (HR 2) containing hemp farming legalization. This week, the US House of Representatives and Senate voted to approve that farm bill. Expect President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law this month.

Issue five.

Years back, I was a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging speech restrictions of the University of Texas at Austin.

On Thursday, a lawsuit was brought against the university challenging other UT speech restrictions. Jacob Sullum reports at Reason that the broad and vague speech restrictions targeting speech perceived as offensive, biased, uncivil, or rude are applied generally by the university and particularly for dormitories and UT’s internet access and email system. Also challenged is UT’s Campus Climate Response Team that Sullum writes “encourages students to file a report whenever they hear or read anything that offends them,” whether on campus or off campus. Similar speech restrictions have been adopted at other universities.

Hopefully, UT will back down this time as it did years back.


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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