Over Easy

In tribute to Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner, the Over Easy community gathers to discuss news of the day of a morning.

Take a moment this a.m. to thank Jane and fellow pups for FDL’s early and vigorous push to legalize marijuana, now bearing fruit in such rational behavior as Uruguay’s taking the industry under its wing, reducing threats to public well-being, and retaining profits for the public there.  There was some opposition from traditional drug war adherents.

The world’s most far-reaching cannabis law has been passed by the Uruguayan parliament, opening the way for the state to regulate the production, distribution, sale and consumption of the planet’s favourite illegal drug.

The law, effective from next year, will: allow registered users to buy up to 40g of marijuana a month from a chemist’s; registered growers to keep up to six plants; and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99 plants.

A government-run cannabis institute will set the price – initially likely to be close to the current black market rate of $1 a gramme – and monitor the impact of the programme, which aims to bring the industry under state control and push illegal traffickers out of business.

Seeing rational behavior by other governments may someday influence voters in the U.S. to step into a path that serves us rather than those industries that abuse us.

Severe weather predominated in the U.S., and in Middle Eastern areas where Syrian refugees have been seeking improved conditions.  Tents were not able to hold back the cold, while aid is hampered in general by the inability to function in the snow and bitter cold.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR has worked around the clock, partnering in recent days with the Lebanese army, to distribute winter supplies including thermal blankets and money for heaters.

But despite the efforts, UNHCR spokeswomen Lisa Abou Khaled said there were concerns for thousands of people living in more than 200 informal camps in central and north Lebanon.

Present actions by Congress to wipe out gains made in U.S. negotiations with Iran, to manage its development of nuclear powers, discourage negotiators from early hopes.  Challenges to the ability of the executive branch to carry on U.S. affairs impaired the country further, though late Wednesday congressmen began making gestures to balance appearances of destructive upheaval to the constitutional functions of the WH and State Department.

Congressional action toward new sanctions against Iran now would make the U.S. appear bellicose and uninterested in a policy change on Iran’s nuclear program. If this perception were to take hold, the international sanctions regime could easily collapse.

(snip)

To be effective, Congress should make any new sanctions laws prospective, meaning that they would only go into force if Iran fails to reach a final deal with U.S. and its allies on its nuclear program in the next six months. Better yet, Congress should simply keep its proposed tougher sanctions locked up in committee while still boasting about how tough and draconian the new laws are likely to be. In the meantime, if the interim deal collapses, harsh sanctions legislation such asH.R. 850, which passed the House on July 31, 2013, and the proposed Senate version being considered by the Senate Banking Committee could quickly become law. If elements of the House version became law, the current Presidential waivers that allow Iran to sell one billion barrels of crude a day would be eliminated.

Never.Give.Up.