Imperial Beach again OKs medical marijuana to be cultivated by certain individuals for certain patients, while continuing to ban commercial production and local dispensaries. IB’s sister cities of National City and Chula Vista in recent months also voted against medicinal marijuana shops. [Read more…]
Representatives of the United States and eleven other Pacific Rim nations are gathered in Auckland, New Zealand this week for discussions and a largely symbolic signing ceremony of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Activists around the world have been staging protests to drive home the point that reshaping international trade cannot be limited to protecting the interests of transnational corporations and their investors.
Events in San Diego, Los Angeles and other cities will echo the Capitol Hill appearance of AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, joining with MoveOn.org to deliver 1 million petitions calling on Congress to reject the agreement. Protests at the signing ceremony in New Zealand are expect to be muted, given the efforts by local police to visit “known activists” in recent weeks.
The deal still has to be ratified by at least six of its member nations, a process that can take up to two years and must include Japan and the United States. In the US, ratification has been (unofficially) put off until after the November elections meaning it will be voted on by a lame-duck congress. Under the terms of the TPA Fast-track legislation, a yes or no vote with no amendments allowed must take place within 90 days of its introduction in the congress. [Read more…]
It’s a new year and a big one for politics. As grim as 2015 was in many respects, this time of year begs for hope, and while I have a soft spot for the utopian, there are a few things that very well could happen that would bring some real tangible good to peoples’ lives and the planet. So here is my pragmatic political wish list for 2016:
1) That Donald Trump actually wins the Republican Presidential nomination and brings the entire Republican Party down when the sizable majority of Americans who hate his ideas vote out the party up and down the ticket…. [Read more…]
By Sonali Kolhatkar / TruthDig
California lawmakers have been extremely busy actually getting work done—unlike their federal counterparts in Washington, D.C. The most populous state in the nation is now arguably also the most progressive. Here are 10 critical issues covered by recently passed laws, from reproductive rights and equal pay to voting rights and health care for undocumented children. [Read more…]
Pot taxes to fund school construction and substance-abuse programs
By Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos
Colorado voters agreed on how to spend $66 million of the revenue generated by the legal sale of marijuana.
The measure sends the first $40 million to school construction and $12 million designated for youth and substance-abuse programs. The remaining $14.1 million goes to discretionary accounts controlled by lawmakers.The ballot question was the third time in four years that voters considered how to spend pot taxes, after approving Amendment 64 in 2012 to legalize marijuana and Proposition AA in 2013 to levy sales and excises taxes. In both prior ballot questions, voters sanctioned sending $40 million toward school construction.
The vote was important because otherwise, those revenues would have been redistributed to citizens at about $12 to $16 per person—not as meaningful as spending it on education and drug prevention. [Read more…]
Got to wonder
if my family has a contact high
when they call out of purple haze
to ask if I’m a marijuana farmer
I don’t have a pot to piss in
not that I’m opposed
to organic chemotherapy
or the buzz of tax revenues
instead of drug wars [Read more…]
By Doug Porter
As we come down the stretch into the final year before the 2016 general election, there are competing interests backing ballot measures seeking to legalize recreational marijuana use and increase taxes on upper-income earners in California.
The downside in this situation is the possibility of enough confused voters rejecting the choices on the ballot on both issues. And you can bank on opponents of legalization and tax increases will do their best to sow doubt and confusion.
Divisions in the pro-pot camp led to the defeat of Proposition 19 in 2010, despite not having a competing measure on the ballot and polling showing voters favoring legalized marijuana. Advocates for tax increases in 2012 were divided between competing propositions, but a unified effort on the part of organized labor gave Proposition 30 the votes needed to win. [Read more…]
By Doug Porter
Twin tales of scheming and misleading by Exxon-Mobil executives seeking to suppress evidence of climate change for decades have emerged in recent weeks. Drawing on completely separate archives, Pulitzer-prize winning reporters at Inside Climate News and another team with the Los Angeles Times have reached the same conclusion: that the company ignored and suppressed data at odds with the continued expansion of the fossil fuel business.
In September, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, along with 20 climate scientists, called for an investigation of fossil fuel companies under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Last week, members of the House Oversight And Government Reform Committee sent their own letter asking the Department of Justice to “investigate ExxonMobil for organizing a sustained deception campaign disputing climate science and failing to disclose truthful information to investors and the public.”
Media Matters for America is reporting on what appears to be a concerted campaign in the right wing media to defend the “right” of fossil fuel companies to lie to the public. Assorted conservatives on Fox News, The Hill, The Blaze, Breitbart News, the Wall Street Journal and other media are claiming these calls for investigations amount to criminalization of policy differences. [Read more…]
In years past, candidates totally ignored the failed war on drugs and the harms of marijuana prohibition
By Tony Newman / AlterNet
During the first Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became the first major presidential candidate to say that he would support legalizing marijuana if given the chance. Asked whether he would support an upcoming ballot measure on legalization in Nevada, Sanders said:
“I suspect I would vote yes. And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana. I think we have to think through this war on drugs, which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system and we’ve got a lot of work to do in that area.” [Read more…]
By Doug Porter
California advocates for a statewide $15 per hour minimum wage are marshaling their forces in support of a November 2016 initiative. The mayors of San Francisco and Oakland, cities which have already passed increases, appeared at a press conference on Tuesday to announce they will be leading the effort. The measure was submitted to the state by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West.
The Fair Wage Act of 2016 will raise the minimum wage for all California workers by $1 annually, effective January 2017. Once the minimum wage reaches $15, it will automatically go up each year to match the cost of living. The state’s minimum wage is currently $9 an hour and is set to rise to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. Cities will continue to have the option of setting higher local minimum wages.
San Diego events related to the Fight for $15 movement are already planned as part of the build-up to next year’s election. A regional wage hearing set for October 17th will hear testimony from workers, economists, academics, students, and labor leaders as a prelude to garnering commitments from local political leaders. A Day of Action in November will see protests on college campuses, at fast food restaurants, and in downtown San Diego. [Read more…]
The long-anticipated move means the campaign best-placed to bring legalization to the Golden State can finally get underway.
The Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2016 would allow people 21 and over to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana and it would set up legal marijuana commerce overseen by a pair of new state agencies, the California Cannabis Commission and the Office of Cannabis Regulatory Affairs. [Read more…]
By the Ol’ OB Hippie
Does the Pope smoke dope? Does Pope Francis imbibe in the inhalation of medicinal cannabis?
No, really – I wanted to know if the Pope smoked dope. I have heard rumors to that effect – for years actually. And I wanted to find out.
I knew he was coming to the U.S., so I had to figure out a way to meet up with him. [Read more…]