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Face-swapping videos could lead to more 'fake news' – https://read.bi/2Ht3A3r
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Sex traffickers are using social media to target children – https://nyp.st/2HECUdU
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The marijuana industry is coming to the rescue of Smith Falls, Ontario, an old factory town that is experiencing an unlikely renaissance now that Canopy Growth Corp., Canada’s largest publicly-traded cannabis producer, has become the town’s largest private-sector employer.
This summer, Canada will become the second country after Uruguay to legalize marijuana at the federal level, which has driven a boom in the local cannabis industry, according to Bloomberg.
Smiths Falls, Ontario – population 8,885 – is seeing a revival of fortunes since medical marijuana producer Tweed Inc. set up shop four years ago in an abandoned Hershey Co. chocolate factory. The company, since renamed Canopy Growth Corp., has become the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis producer and is the town’s largest private-sector employer.
For Smith Falls, Canopy’s arrival heralded a boom in younger people moving to the town, located about 75 kilometers (47 miles) southwest of Ottawa. There are sometimes bidding wars on homes. New businesses are arriving. And commercial property is seeing renewed interest. Canopy, formerly known as Tweed Inc., took over an old Hershey factory to build a giant growing operation for medical marijuana. How’s that for symbolism?
We’re recognized as the pot capital of Canada – and we’re proud of that, Mayor Shawn Pankow said in an interview from the town hall, a two-story brick building erected in 1859 on the main street. The local economy is certainly far better today than it was before Tweed came to town.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sat, 12/30/2017 –.
It’s far from easy to do business without the financial support of any bank. But Uruguay, in its efforts to create a legal, regulated market for the recreational use of marijuana, is trying. In August it was revealed that some of the pharmacies that had agreed to sell the two varieties of cannabis distributed by the Uruguayan State had received threats from their respective banks, including the local subsidiary of Spain’s Santander, that they would close their accounts unless they stopped participating in the state-controlled sales.
To fill the funding void, the state-owned lender Banco Repblica (BROU) announced that it would provide credit to the pharmacies involved in the scheme as well as producers and clubs. But within days, it too was given a stark ultimatum, this time from two of Wall Street’s biggest hitters, Bank of America and Citi: Either it stopped providing financing for Uruguay’s licensed marijuana producers and vendors or it’s dollar operations could be at risk – a very serious threat in a country where US dollars are used so widely that they can even be withdrawn from ATMs.
Why Drug Lords Love the Patriot Act
The main reason why this is all happening is that under the US Patriot Act, handling money from marijuana is illegal and violates measures to control money laundering and terrorist acts. Despite the fact that US regulators have made it clear that banks will not be prosecuted for providing services to businesses that are lawfully selling cannabis in states where pot has been legalized for recreational use, major banks have shied away from the expanding industry, deciding that the burdens and risks of doing business with marijuana sellers, both within and beyond U. S. borders, are not worth the bother.
This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 18, 2017.
While many on the left have celebrated California’s push to legalize marijuana as a victory for a progressive, harm-reduction approach to combating addiction and crime, the pullback in the number of low-level prisoners entering the state’s penal system is leaving the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Court mandates to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons – combined with the legalization of marijuana, the most commonly used drug in America (aside from alcohol, of course) – have led to a sharp drop in the number of prisoners housed at state facilities in recent years. Interestingly, one byproduct of this trend is it’s creating headaches for the state officials who are responsible for coordinating the emergency wildfire response just as California Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that the severe fires witnessed this year – the most destructive in the state’s history – could become the new status quo.
To wit, since 2008, the number of prisoner-firemen has fallen 13%.
As the Atlantic reports, California has relied on inmates to help combat its annual wildfires since World War II, when a paucity of able-bodied men due to the war effort forced the state to turn to the penal system for help. More than 1,700 convicted felons fought on the front lines of the destructive wildfires that raged across Northern California in October.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.
A Pennsylvania couple is suing the police after the department made a huge mistake. Based on the photos given to them by an insurance agent, police officers made a ‘drug bust.’ But they mistook a hibiscus plant for a marijuana plant.
Audrey Cramer, 66, could not hold back the tears as she described how three Buffalo Township police officers pulled her out of her home on October 5 wearing only her underwear. The police were at her home, responding to an insurance agent’s claim that the Cramers were growing marijuana in the backyard of their home.
Edward Cramer, 69, said he returned home a half-hour later to find his wife in the back of a police cruiser and officers pointing guns at him. He also was placed in the cruiser despite trying to convince the officers the plants were hibiscus, not marijuana.
The insurance agent was at the Cramers’ home to take photographs for a claim when he snapped photos of the hibiscus plants he thought were marijuana. He turned the photos over to the police, who agreed, and they immediately went to bust the Cramers for growing the plant.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 20, 2017.
Since the beginning of the year, much ink has been spilled about the Army’s increasingly desperate attempts to fill its lofty recruiting quota for fiscal year 2017-2018: That is, 80,000 new soldiers. To hit that number, the Army has repeatedly loosened its recruiting requirements. Last month, the military introduced a new policy that would forgive recruits with a history of marijuana use or certain marijuana related criminal violations…
…and now, the military is taking those efforts one step further, with USA Today reporting today that the Army has expanded its criteria for granting ‘waivers’ to certain recruits who violate criteria related to mental-health violations like having a history of bipolar disorder, or self-mutilation. The military said this expansion is justified by the increasing availability of medical records allowing recruiters to analyze a potential recruit’s history in greater detail to make a more accurate assessment as to whether they’re fit to serve.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 12, 2017.
We’re supposed to be better than that, and maybe we finally are…..
For the first time, a majority of Republicans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, according to a Gallup poll out Wednesday.
Fifty-one percent of Republicans tell Gallup that, yes, marijuana should be legal, up from 42 percent last year.
That support has led to a whopping two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) supporting pot legalization, the highest ever recorded by Gallup. Gallup has data on the question since 1969.
Marijuana was made illegal in the United States on the back of a campaign financed and promoted by the Hearst paper empire, which was deeply concerned about the ability of hemp to displace wood pulp for paper production. The Hearsts owned vast expanses of pulp wood forest along with newspapers and used the latter to protect the former by driving public opinion about marijuana — thereby effectively outlawing hemp.
Then there was the raw xenophobic and intentional lies spun in movies like Reefer Madness, which made the claim that Mexicans like to smoke weed (possibly true) but after doing so inevitably became raving animals who would uncontrollably******white women. It was therefore essential to prohibit marijuana, you see.
That is what actually happened folks. It was an intentional lie then and still is today.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-11-08.
It’s hard to do business without banks.
By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
The first country to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana, Uruguay, has suddenly found itself facing an unexpected obstacle: the international banking industry.
It all began a few weeks ago when one of the 15 pharmacies that had agreed to sell the two varieties of cannabis distributed by the Uruguayan State announced that it was withdrawing from the scheme after its bank, Santander, had threatened to close its account unless it stopped providing services for the state-controlled sales. Shortly afterwards it was revealed that other banks, including Brazil’s Ita, had canceled the accounts of the private companies that had been granted a license to produce marijuana as well as some cannabis clubs.
To fill the funding void, the state-owned lender Banco Repblica (BROU) stepped up to provide financing to the 15 pharmacies involved in the scheme as well as producers and clubs. But within days it, too, was given a stark ultimatum, this time from two of Wall Street’s biggest hitters, Bank of America and Citi: Either it stops providing financing for Uruguay’s licensed marijuana producers and vendors or it’s dollar operations could be at risk – a very serious threat in a country where US dollars are used so widely that they can even be withdrawn from ATMs.
This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Sep 3, 2017.
Last year, I reported on a case in which the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas had raided the home of a law-abiding, middle-class family in Kansas. The officers, arrayed in SWAT gear, terrorized the family and searched the house for hours, failing to find anything criminal.
The raid was the result of a program used by the sheriff’s office in which the police spend hours staking out gardening centers, identifying shoppers who buy hydroponic gardening equipment, and then proceeding to conduct SWAT raids on the homes of the alleged perpetrators – who are assumed to be growing marijuana in their homes.
The victims of this particular raid, Bob and Addie Harte, sued in federal court. Last week, a federal appeals court overturned the district court’s dismissal of the case and denounced the Johnson County government for relying on police work that amounted to little more than “junk science, an incompetent investigation, and a publicity stunt.”
The Hartes now plan to continue with their suit in which they seek $7 million in damages.
The Problem of Police Priorities Viewing the antics of the Johnson County commissioners and the sheriff’s office, one fairly quickly begins to wonder: “does law enforcement in Johnson County really have nothing better to do?”
After all, if they have the time and resources to sit around in gardening center parking lots, engage in SWAT raids of suspected pot growers, and then conduct press conferences bragging about it, there must be virtually no crime at all in Johnson County.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Aug 3, 2017.
Is there trouble in paradise?
As of right now, all we have are a few of Donald Trump’s Tweets and a report saying he ‘discussed’ the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Sessions has been under fire since last week, (and basically since he became the attorney general because of his tyrannical stance on marijuana) when Trump leveled harsh criticisms in a New York Times interview. Trump called Sessions’ recusal ‘very unfair to the president’ and adding that he would never have appointed him attorney general had he known he would do so.
Sessions, though, said he would stay where he’s at, much to the disdain of freedom lovers everywhere. Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president ‘clearly has confidence in him or he would not be attorney general.’ But it sure doesn’t seem like all is well in paradise.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 25, 2017.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who should be more accurately known as the War on Drugs Czar, is firmly stuck in the 80’s. His approval of the old, outdated, and ineffective DARE program proves that he’s out of touch with current realities.
Sessions has embarrassed himself when it comes to drugs; especially cannabis since becoming the Attorney General of the United States. He’s such an embarrassment, that some even suggest he smoke some marijuana and relax a little. But the longer he’s in office, the more humiliating it is to watch him flop around like goldfish in the sand.
He’s now gone out of his way to praise the old DARE program from the 80’s. Some might remember it, DARE: Drug Abuse Resistance Education. It was a government-funded program enacted in 75% of American schools to try to keep kids off drugs, but based on the opioid epidemic we are facing, it has epically failed.
That hasn’t stopped Sessions from declaring his undying love for the failed program. Speaking at a DARE conference, Sessions said, ‘DARE is, I think, the best remembered anti-drug program today. In recent years, people have not paid much attention to that message, but they are ready to hear it again. … We know it worked before, and we can make it work again.’ However, the statistics aren’t exactly in Sessions’ favor.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 13, 2017.
Ever since it became obvious that the Democratic Party had no interest in pivoting to addressing the very real economic insecurities faced by tens of millions of Americans following Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing loss in the 2016 election, I knew that Trump was being gifted a very real opportunity for a second term. That’s how corrupt and stupid Democratic leadership is.
Meanwhile, the entire ‘Trump colluded with Russia to influence the election’ conspiracy theory is rapidly unravelling and Democrats still can’t let go. As such, if the party’s leadership is stupid enough to nominate another Wall Street-coddling neoliberal warmonger in 2020, Trump has a very strong chance of winning. The only thing that can really hurt his odds at this point is if he continues to alienate his base.
Here’s something I wrote on the topic in the post, The Consensus Echo Chamber Take on Trump Firing Comey is All Wrong:
While Trump often doesn’t seem to understand this, his true power comes from his base. By base, I don’t mean the tens of millions of people who voted for him, rather, I’m referring his hardcore fans who voted for him largely to disrupt the status quo. I’m referring to the dedicated MAGA people who had never really participated in politics before, but became energized by Trump. These people are the key to winning reelection in 2020.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger /Jun 14, 2017.