You are browsing the archive for 2014 March 03.

Avatar of admin

by admin

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Adds Two Qualifying Conditions, Announces Plan to Address Severe Supply Shortage

March 3, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

After Vowing to Repeal the Law, Governor Martinez's Position on Medical Marijuana is Evolving

SANTA FE: On Friday, New Mexico’s Secretary of Health Retta Ward announced the Martinez Administration’s decision to approve adding Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease to the list of medical conditions for which New Mexicans are allowed to seek medical marijuana. Last fall, the Drug Policy Alliance petitioned the Department of Health (DOH) to add these two neurological conditions in addition to traumatic brain injury (TBI).

March 3, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

read more

…read more

Source: DRUG POLICY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Patients, Family Members Gather in Albany to Launch Month of Actions in Support of Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

March 3, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

“March for Compassion” Includes Actions and Events Across New York in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Capitol Region, Westchester, New York City, and Long Island

Major Push by Patients and Families to Pass Compassionate Care Act

NEW YORK: Today, patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers gathered in Albany to launch March for Compassion, a month of activities and events held around New York to demand the State Senate to past the Compassionate Care Act — A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino) – by April 1. The patients are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions, and the families include parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet’s syndrome. They are available for interviews.

March 3, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

read more

…read more

Source: DRUG POLICY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Medical Marijauna and Prosperity

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Gallop has just released its report on Prosperity and Well Being in the 50 States. North Dakota jumped 18 places to take the number one spot, thanks to the oil discoveries there. What stuck me was the relationship between high well being and medical marijuana laws. There are about 20 states that have passed medical marijuana laws, permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Thirteen of the twenty are in the top 20 states and there are no medical marijuana freedoms in the ten worst states (i.e. the South). I’m not saying that medical marijuana laws cause prosperity, but it is the case that people who have a classical liberal, or libertarian ideology will tend to pass better economic laws and to approve of medical marijuana.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Krugman and the Babysitters

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By David Gordon

Paul Krugman in End This Depression Now! and elsewhere uses a story about a babysitting cooperative near Washington, D.C., to illustrate how Keynesian stimulus policies work.  Each of the families in the cooperative needed a babysitter if it wanted to go out for an evening. Every family was given a certain amount of scrip, each unit of which was good for half an hour of babysitting services. If a family wanted to go out, it could use its scrip to purchase the hours of babysitting services it needed.

Unfortunately, the families got so little scrip to begin with that almost everybody preferred to offer to be a babysitter, in order to accumulate scrip, than to go out.  But if almost no one wants to go out, there will be almost no demand for babysitters and people will be unable to accumulate scrip. The system was at an impasse.

As Krugman tells the tale, the problem was solved by giving everybody more scrip. After doing this, people were more willing to go out, because they now had enough scrip to purchase babysitting time; and then those who wanted to accumulate scrip were able to find purchasers for their services. Krugman uses the story to show the merits of a Keynesian policy of stimulus. An increase in government spending can, he says, get us out a situation where almost no one wants to spend but almost everyone wants to save.

According to Tim Harford, in his recent The Underground Economist Strikes Back, Krugman did not tell the full story. Just as Krugman says, the increased distribution of scrip got the babysitting cooperative going. What he failed to mention was that the cooperative soon broke down again. The amount of scrip grew beyond the amount needed to balance supply and demand for babysitting , and now people wanted to go out but there were few babysitters available. Because people had large amounts of scrip already, they saw no need to add to their supply of scrip through offering to babysit.

Krugman’s story, though designed to show the merits of Keynesian stimulus, actually shows, as Austrians have long pointed out, that. a stimulus policy can quickly become inflationary.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mark Thornton on Prohibition, Marijuana and the Loss of Elite Control

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

[From The Daily Bell, March 2, 2014]

Introduction: Mark Thornton is Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, with articles published often in the Mises Daily. He serves as the Book Review Editor of theQuarterly Journal of Austrian Economics and was a member of the Editorial Board of theJournal of Libertarian Studies. He has served as the editor of the Austrian Economics Newsletter and as a member of the graduate faculties of Auburn University and Columbus State University. He has also taught economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and Trinity University in Texas.

Mark served as Assistant Superintendent of Banking and economic advisor to Governor Fob James of Alabama (1997-1999) and he was awarded the University Research Award at Columbus State University in 2002. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991), Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004),The Bastiat Collection (2007), and The Quotable Mises (2005). Mark Thornton is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and received his PhD in economics from Auburn University. 

Daily Bell: Hello there. Let’s jump right in. We’ll cover marijuana regulation, in particular, in this interview. Given the recent legalization in Uruguay, pending changes in many US states as well as new regulations governing production and distribution of medical marijuana in Canada, we wanted to get your take on what’s happening.

Your 1991 book, The Economics of Prohibition, is as timely as ever now and you’ve written quite a number of provocative articles on marijuana legalization more recently. Tell us a bit about the book and about your position on the issue now.

Mark Thornton: The book was a byproduct of my PhD dissertation, which I completed at Auburn University in late 1989. It was an old-fashioned dissertation with a review of the literature, a chapter on the history of prohibition in America, a theory chapter and two application chapters, one on potency and one on crime. The final chapter addresses the repeal of prohibition. The nice thing about the old-fashioned dissertation is that you are constantly rechecking your work: theory, history and applications. I think that is why it has held up so well. I have had to rethink things over the last two decades, but there have been no radical changes in my thinking. Time has only served to confirm what I wrote a quarter-century ago.

The main takeaway of the book is that the policy of prohibition is a failure. It provides no demonstrable social benefits while coming at …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Audio: Jeff Deist on Power Trading Radio

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

February 24, 2014: John O’Donnell and Merlin Rothfeld welcome Mises Institute President Jeff Deist to Power Trading Radio. Jeff talks about his new role and what the Mises Institute’s goals.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mark Thonrton on the ‘Inside Track’ Radio Show

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Mark Thornton was featured on the Inside TRack radio show of Tucson, Arizona on March 2.

From the site: “In the second half hour, Dr. Mark Thornton of the Mises Institute returns to talkabout Austrian econommcs.” (The Thornton portion begins at 23:00.)

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Politics on the Bench–Iowa and Beyond

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Roger Pilon

Roger Pilon

In her opinion essay in The National Law Journal about special-interest spending in judicial elections, former Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus urged “keeping politics out of the courtroom.” ( “Politics on the Bench—A Judge’s View of Partisanship at Play,” Jan. 20.) Her concern is understandable: She and two colleagues were ousted in a 2010 retention election after the court in 2009 ruled unanimously that an Iowa statute denying civil marriage to same-sex couples violated equal protection under the Iowa Constitution. But there’s more politics here than meets the eye. In fact, it’s the politics Ternus didn’t mention that seems to have colored her idealized view of judging, shielding her from a deeper account of why our courts have become so politicized.

Most of life was meant to be, and was, lived apart from government.”

Far from the angels being all on one side, it turns out that Iowa’s “nonpartisan” judicial screening commission and gubernatorial appointment process is deeply political. As a July 2010 report by The Iowa Republican documents, not only were all seven members of the Iowa Supreme Court, save Ternus, nominated by Democratic governors, from lists presented by the commission, but all were or had been Democrats or had made significant contributions to the party or its candidates. All seven, in short, came from one party.

Ternus does not see this process as politicizing the court, even though the 2010 report documents how the “nonpartisan” screening commission itself grew so one-sided. Instead, she contrasts “politicized courts”—where judges, influenced from outside, “approach decisions along philosophical or ideological lines”—with “impartial courts”—where “judges holding diverse perspectives pursue a collegial approach to decision-making,” effectively holding each other “accountable to the rule of law.” In these, “a collective wisdom is brought to bear when judges listen to, and find value in, their colleagues’ different perspectives.”

A worthy aspiration, perhaps, and doubtless more likely when all your colleagues are of the same party. But judges often disagree, often simply on what the law is, especially when they hold different philosophical or ideological views. And those differences can easily preclude any “collective wisdom,” much less “finding value in a colleague’s different perspective.” None of that, however, makes judges “politicians in robes.”

In fact, the judicial “consensus” Ternus is advocating is hardly possible today because we’re deeply divided along philosophical or ideological lines. Yet for the better part of our history we largely did agree, at least at a basic level. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Legal and Illegal Political Corruption

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

If a politician or government official takes a direct monetary bribe for granting a favor or sweetheart contract, do you think he should be sent to prison?

Such an activity is despicable, but it is usually far less costly to society than the legal forms of corruption, which undermine the integrity and respect for government that is necessary for a civil and prosperous society. Most legal corruption is all about increasing power for those in government.

This past Friday, the following amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Intentional discrimination by employee of the Internal Revenue Service

“(a) Offense. — It shall be unlawful for any officer of the Internal Revenue Service to, regardless of whether the officer or employee is acting under the color of law, willfully act with the intent to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate or single out and subject to undue scrutiny for purposes of harassment any person or organization in any State —

(1) based solely or primarily on the political, economic, or social positions held or expressed by the person or organization; or

(2) because the person or organization has expressed a particular political, economic, or social position using any words or writing allowed by law.”

It is hard to imagine anyone interested in good government being against such an amendment, because it is clearly designed to help prevent those in the IRS from abusing their power — which many have done.

Yet 10 senators, all Democrats, voted against it. They were: Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Dianne Feinstein of California, Charles E. Schumer of New York, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota, Chris Coons of Delaware, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii.

Earlier, Mr. Schumer, along with Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, wrote letters to the IRS urging the agency to go after groups that the senators did not like. Using government agencies to go after one’s political opponents and attempting to deny them the right of free speech is a classic action of corrupt and authoritarian regimes.

The most pervasive form of legal corruption is for politicians to spend taxpayer money on unnecessary or inflated programs in order to, in effect, “buy votes.”

President Obama has just released his proposed budget, which continues funding for many programs that he himself has said are wasteful and duplicative. Many of these programs and activities do not come close to meeting the basic standard whereby …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

9 Reasons Why I Support Both Marriage Equality and Arizona's Religious-Liberty Bill

March 3, 2014 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

Even though I’m for marriage equality—see my Supreme Court briefs in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases, and this week I’ll be filing a brief supporting the challenge to the marriage laws of Oklahoma and Utah—I had no problem with Arizona’s SB 1062 for at least nine reasons:

1. Unlike the failed legislation in Kansas and elsewhere, which truly was anti-gay, bills like Arizona’s merely provide a (non-absolute) right to assert a religious objection to generally applicable law, with courts being the ultimate arbiters of how to reconcile competing values.

2. SB 1062 did nothing more than align state law with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA, which passed the House unanimously and the Senate 97-3, and was signed by President Clinton in 1993). No government action can “substantially burden” religious exercise unless the government uses “the least restrictive means” to further a “compelling interest.” Understandably, this right includes being able to assert a religious objection as a defense in a lawsuit that invokes state law as the basis for a claim (whether that be an antidiscrimination law or any other kind)—but again, a judge gets to decide whether that objection should be accommodated or overruled based on the standards I just described.

3. Such laws don’t mean that people can “do whatever they want”—laws against murder would still trump religious human sacrifice—but it prevents the government from forcing people to violate their religion if that can at all be avoided. Moreover, there’s no mention of sexual orientation (or any other class or category), unlike the Kansas bill, which specifically referenced and defined marriage.

4. Why should people be forced to engage in activity that violates their religious beliefs? The prototypical scenario that SB 1062 was meant to prevent is the case of the New Mexico wedding photographer who was fined for declining to work a same-sex commitment ceremony. This photographer doesn’t refuse service to gay clients, but couldn’t participate in the celebration of a gay wedding. (The Supreme Court will decide later this month whether to hear the case.) There’s also the Oregon bakery that closed rather than having to provide cakes for same-sex ceremonies. And the Washington florist who was sued by a long-time customer, and other similar examples.

5. This isn’t the Jim Crow South. There are plenty of wedding photographers—over 100 in Albuquerque alone—and bakeries who would be willing to do business regardless of …read more

Source: OP-EDS