Letters for June 15, 2017
Re “Pot tale of the week” (Upfront, May 25):
I’m glad Dennis Myers listened to my testimony on Nevada’s Early Start bill for recreational marijuana, but he seems to have missed my point. Myers seemed to think I was suggesting that legalization generates black market activity. In fact, as he pointed out, prohibition and not legalization leads to black market activity. In addition, even where marijuana is not prohibited, high prices also lead to black market sales (just as Myers tells us still happens with tobacco).
When I testified against Early Start, I was countering the pervasive myth that if we wait to roll out retail stores we will “create” a black market. As long as marijuana is prohibited in other states, and as long as medical marijuana is available at a lower price, the black market will thrive here. Therefore, there is no reason not to take the time provided in Question 2 to develop thoughtful regulations before starting retail sales.
Myers referred to Nevadans for Informed Marijuana Regulation as “prohibitionist.” For the record, we’re not looking for prohibition. Our primary goal is to protect bystanders from exposure to marijuana smoke and vapor. We also want to prevent the industry from actively promoting marijuana use and misleading consumers.
Trump and Comey
Re “Comey and Trump” (Notes from the Neon Bablyon, June 8):
How’d that work out, Bruce? Let’s review.
George Washington University law professor Jonathon Turley: “The testimony of James Comey proved long on atmospherics and short on ethics. … Besides being subject to nondisclosure agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and unclassified information. Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641, which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”
Harvard law professor emeritis Alan Dershowitz: “The president can, as a matter of constitutional law, direct the Attorney General, and his subordinate, the Director of the FBI, tell them what to do, whom to prosecute and whom not to prosecute. Indeed, the president has the constitutional authority to stop the investigation of any person by simply pardoning that person. … Nor is it an obstruction of justice to ask for loyalty from the director of the FBI … We should just stop talking about obstruction of justice, there’s no plausible case there. … I thought [the leak] shows a lot of cowardice. The head of the FBI, the guy is supposed to be a strong and powerful guy and he’s afraid of a couple seagulls.”
Yep, Comey really delivered a kick to the nutsack—his own nutsack. And that ain’t easy to pull off, even for a grandstanding coward like Comey.
But, you can’t win ’em all, Bruce. Disappointing, but nothing a spliff and a glass of Jack can’t numb out.
There is an insipid occurrence covertly happening on the internet which might be a large factor in creation of the divisions and antagonisms now prevalent in our society. It’s called the “Filter bubble.” Just as advertisers stream you information about products you’ve inquired about, social media and news sites stream you information about political topics you “like,” comment on or read thereby making the clicker more and more narrow in their point of view.
The remedy is to go against one’s natural tendency and request more information from those sources you don’t tend to agree with. This can give you different viewpoints and may well lead to a better understanding of each other. You might possibly even change your mind. Are we being driven into narrow mindedness and division by algorithms? Food for thought.