Chronicle AM: Trump Repeats Border Wall Drug Falsehoods, Malaysia Drug Policy Shift, More... (1/21/19)

The president is still misstating the impact of a border wall on drug smuggling, New York police chiefs oppose pot legalization, Malaysia to shift drug policies, and more.

Not overly troubled by facts when it comes to the border. (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

New York Police Chiefs Come Out Against Legalization. In a statement Friday, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police formally came out against marijuana legalization. "As Police Officers, we are sworn to enforce Federal, State, and Municipal laws and to protect the public,” they wrote. “Marijuana is illegal under Federal law and is classified as a 'Schedule 1 drug which means that the federal government views cannabis as highly addictive with no medical value." They also cited health and traffic safety issues.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Bill Would Clarify That Hash is Medical Marijuana. Rep. Tony Rivero (R-Peoria) has introduced HB 2149 to remove a provision of the state's criminal code that treats hashish differently than marijuana. The bill is in response to a state appeals court ruling that hashish is not considered to be medical marijuana under state law. That issue is currently before the state Supreme Court, but Rivero's bill would settle the matter once and for all.

Hemp

Federal Shutdown is Hurting Would-Be Hemp Farmers. In a statement released Friday, Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Michael Bennett (D-CO) warned that the government shutdown has stalled the implementation of the recently passed farm bill, which legalized hemp cultivation nationwide. They called on the Bureau of Reclamation to update its water rights policies to reflect hemp legalization and ensure hemp farmers have access to water. The failure to act because of the shutdown has “hindered research, created economic hardships for the affected producers, and led to uncertainty across the West," they wrote.

Drug Testing

Alabama Bill Would Impose Drug Testing on Some Food Stamp Applicants. Rep, Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant) has filed HB 3, which would require drug testing of applicants for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP—food stamps) if there is “reasonable suspicion” the applicant is under the influence of drugs. That would include having had a drug conviction within the previous five years. A first positive test would result in a warning; a second in a denial of benefits. The bill has its critics: “For the state to pay to drug test that many people would be prohibitively expensive and be a real waste of state dollars and a real waste of taxpayer dollars, looking for an occasional recipient who does drugs,” said Carol Gundlach, a policy analyst with Alabama Arise, which works on poverty issues.

The Border

Trump Repeats Border Wall Drug Falsehoods. In his address Saturday on the need for a border wall, President Trump repeated demonstrable falsehoods about the impact it would have on drug smuggling, drug use, and crime. "We can stop heroin," he claimed. "If we build a powerful and fully designed see-through steel barrier on our southern border, the crime rate and drug problem in our country would be quickly and greatly reduced. Some say it could be cut in half." But the DEA has reported that “only a small percentage” of heroin seized by authorities is captured between ports of entry and most is found in vehicles coming through ports of entry. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that about 40% of opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription pain pills.

International

Malaysia to Focus on Health, Not Criminality, in New Drug Policy. The cabinet task force charged with addressing the nations' drug problems met last Thursday and has decided that the country's drug law needs to be reviewed and the drug use should be viewed primarily as a health issue. "Enforcement shouldn't hinge on trafficking of drugs and shouldn't rely on punishing those who are using the drugs," said Liew Vui Keong, a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. Reliance on the criminal approach has been ineffective and expensive and endangered the health of addicts, he said.

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Dain Bramage's picture

Racism is THE core Republican principle

Racism is THE CORE REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLE.

1. Racism is the Republicans' only consistently held principle.  There is no other principle ostensibly held by Republicans that is consistently held -- not fiscal responsibility, not family values, not love for America, not defense of the nation.

2. Racism defines every single Republican in America.  Republicans are either openly racist, or implicitly racist.  There are no non-racist Republicans, because silence in the face of racism is complicity.  The non-censure of Rep. Steve King was a marketing ploy and meaningless in policy terms.  Every Republican policy position, other than racism, is a marketing campaign for Republicanism.  But racism IS THEIR CORE POLICY POSITION.

Dain Bramage's picture

By Racism I mean "White Supremacy."

Republicans believe in White Supremacy.

Some admit it, some don't.  But if you join the klan, the club, and the party, then you wear the hood; and that says it all.  If you have an "R" after your name, you're in!

Some may argue that they are not racist because they don't "feel" racist, or because they may speak politely to their black co-workers.  But that is not the test for racism.  

White supremacy is an inherently relative concept.  It requires "others" (non-whites) as an established reference point, a baseline, from which whites can measure their own alleged superiority.  It requires others to be something less than supreme.

Racism is more about making slaves than destroying them!  "Our" white  founding fathers went to great effort and expense to obtain and keep black slaves, as you surely know.  White supremacists -- Republicans -- want a White Nation... with black and brown slaves.  And so it is still today; being a white supremacist doesn't mean you don't want lots of blacks and Mexicans around to do the dirty work!  Economic slavery is so much more efficient than literal iron chains and shackles.

This is the "great" America for which the Republicans long, deep down in their shriveled up, prune-like hearts.

Dain Bramage's picture

The Trump Shutdown is A PUTIN SHUTDOWN!

TRUMP IS A GODDAMN TERRORIST FOR PUTIN!!

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