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Is drug legalisation worse than the status quo?

first_imgStuff co.nz 15 March 2019Family First Comment:  Excellent article. A reality check! “Gangs will continue to supply 24/7 home delivery tax-free with free samples of harder drugs. But it will be worse than that. Replacing the war on drugs with a war on marijuana tax cheats will mean gangs will continue to supply most of the market tax-free, including to teenagers with offers of harder drugs but the police will have less incentive to chase down what is now a grey market rather than a black market. Do not underestimate the entrepreneurial ingenuity of criminals.”#PeopleBeforeProfitsOPINION: Never let a bunch of anti-capitalists design a legal market for cannabis.Their consuming hatred of Big Marijuana and the profit motive would create such an ineffectual legal market that the gangs will still supply most of the marijuana along with offers of free samples of harder drugs that even voters will work out how awful the legal model is and vote it down at the coming referendum.The Greens and the Drug Foundation not only want to decriminalise marijuana, they want to legalise it with government controls on who can supply,  and checks on quality. They seem to want to limit access to social supply and consumer co-ops so that Big Marijuana is kept out of the market. No for-profit supply seems to be their ideal.The Greens seem to want to imitate the monumental screwup in Canada. Not only did Canada forget to legalise production before supply, so they ran out of inventory within a week, but each province decided for itself how marijuana was to be legally sold.One province chose a government monopoly. Others allowed private retailers but they had to have a clean record and pay tens of thousands of dollars in annual registration fees.Most of the current marijuana dealers in Canada did not qualify and already had an established network of customers so they stayed in business offering tax-free marijuana. American states also continue to have black markets in marijuana.What the Greens will set up is a legal supply that is hopeless at competing with existing gang suppliers. The legal shops will be so far away from schools and other sensitive locations, open 9-to-5 in a remote warehouse district, paying a living wage that they will end up asking for a bailout from Shane Jones’ Regional Growth Fund because they attracted so few customers.Gangs will continue to supply 24/7 home delivery tax-free with free samples of harder drugs. But it will be worse than that.Replacing the war on drugs with a war on marijuana tax cheats will mean gangs will continue to supply most of the market tax-free, including to teenagers with offers of harder drugs but the police will have less incentive to chase down what is now a grey market rather than a black market.Do not underestimate the entrepreneurial ingenuity of criminals. Some UN bureaucrats had a cunning plan; occasionally hold a lawful sale of previously confiscated ivory to collapse the price of poached ivory and drive the poachers out of business.Elephant poaching soared because criminals worked out that they could pass off their illegal ivory as legally acquired and sell it to people who otherwise would not buy it, much less show it off to their friends because it was illegally obtained. A large market in counterfeit legal ivory developed in China and other places off the back of an earnest attempt to collapse the price of illegal ivory.I’m a recovering libertarian. I support decriminalisation because if adults want to get high, more fool them as long as they do not harm others. But I know that argument will never sell at a referendum.The reason dope-smoking-on-Saturday-night successful middle-class parents oppose decriminalisation is that when they are feuding with their kids over bad grades, they still want to tell them that marijuana is illegal. They want that argument in their back pocket because they know that, unlike themselves, more than a few mates drifted off into a cloud of dope at university and failed.They want every possible persuasive tactic available to them to stop their kids going the same way.The best argument for decriminalisation that will work at a referendum is that it pushes gangs out of the supply chain so kids will not be offered samples of harder drugs. That pragmatic argument and better-quality control could win a majority.Right now, the maximum penalty is three months for possession of marijuana. Three were sent to prison last year for possession of marijuana as their lead offence for their sentencing. Another 15 were sent to prison for possession of harder drugs, which carries a maximum of six months. A good guess is most were gang members on the receiving end of well-deserved police harassment.As the illegal trade is offering samples of harder drugs and supplying teenagers, the rationale for suppressing the illegal trade is stronger. Penalties for illegal supply and even marijuana possession through an illegal supplier might have to increase after legalisation.Colorado quickly found it had to regulate marijuana packaging strictly because little kids thought edible marijuana was a lolly and ended up at the emergency department.If advocates of legalisation want a legal market that drives the gangs out of marijuana supply, the Greens and others on the Left will have to swallow a big dead rat and embrace capitalism.Big Marijuana might end up developing an app that ensures that adults and only adults buy marijuana delivered by Uber Eats. Marijuana legalisation will be full of the unexpected.* Jim Rose blogs at Utopiayouarestandinginit.comhttps://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/111279052/is-drug-legalisation-worse-than-the-status-quoKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

This minor league brawl led to felony charges, remains one of baseball’s craziest fights

first_imgThe incident marked one of YouTube’s earliest viral moments, with an array of low-definition postings receiving millions of combined views. It received national attention and appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter later that week.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNCastillo never pitched another inning in the U.S. and returned to the Dominican Republic when his work visa was revoked. He was 20 at the time and did not know how to read or write, according to the Dayton Daily News.Castillo said he intended his throw to keep the Dayton bench from charging the field, though it had the opposite effect.“I threw the ball in front of the dugout, because I was nervous and I was frightened,” Castillo told the News through an interpreter. “I didn’t throw it to hit anyone.” In all, 15 players were ejected from the ensuing fracas. Almost everyone was asked to return to the field, however, so each team could finish the game. Two notable future MLB players were among those initially dismissed: Devin Mesoraco and Brandon Guyer.Additionally, current Angels infielder Zack Cosart, then with Dayton, was hit by a pitch in the first inning and left due to injury. His beaning is what escalated tension in the first frame. A hard slide a couple of plays later — and a baseball flying toward the dugout — put emotions over the top.As for the broken leg? It came between Cosart’s hit-by-pitch and the brawl when Peoria teammates collided trying to cover second base, sending infielder Gian Guzman off on a stretcher. Guzman would never play in the field again. He spent one season as a pitcher before finishing his U.S. professional career at 20 years old. The broken leg was not what resulted in the felony assault charge. It was not the multiple cranium-seeking pitches, either.On June 24, 2008, Class-A Peoria pitcher Julio Castillo’s errant, mid-brawl hurl of a baseball toward the Dayton dugout, which struck a fan in the crowd, prompted law enforcement to make a postgame arrest. Castillo wound up being convicted of felonious assault causing serious physical injury and sentenced to 30 days in jail after the fan was diagnosed with a concussion.last_img read more

Health Department, Supervisors discuss temporary location options

first_imgMASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is looking over options after being forced from their home at Mohawk Square earlier this month due to a roof collapse caused by severe storms that rolled through the area.The department’s Immunization Clinic, STD/HIV Clinic, and public health nursing and home care aides staff are temporarily housed at the Community Health Center at 404 North Federal. The rest of the department is working out of a conference room at the Law Enforcement Center on the west side of Mason City.Health Department director Brian Hanft says they greatly appreciate being able to use the two locations, but they need to explore other options. “They’ve been very generous to let us use their space, but we’re in their space, and recognizing that they offered that in the short-term, you know whatever that timeline looks like, I think it’s just responsible of us to at least consider where we end up in the longer-term and try not to take advantage of what they’re giving us.”A definite timeline on when the Health Department might be able to move back into Mohawk Square has not been released, and Hanft says a lot of questions can be raised in finding a short-term solution to house the department under one roof, including in some vacant locations around the  community. “I don’t want to stay in the Law Enforcement Center for six months, and I don’t know about the Community Health Center for six months. Again I think that’s a pretty big ask of those locations. We would need to then find something, even again if we set up in the McGregor building, I’m just using that (as an example) because it’s empty. It’s going to cost a couple thousand dollars a month to probably rent it, and we set up some cubicles, and least we have some space, and then we just pay for that over the next six months.”Hanft says the wise planning by the county to have all county-owned computer systems backed up at the Law Enforcement Center was a tremendous help in getting the department through this ordeal. “When you all of a sudden don’t have access to IT, with all of your computer systems were all backed up out at the Law Enforcement Center, and I just want to stress the importance of having that as far as continuity of operations planning. There’s an expense there, but it is tremendously helpful when you need it and it’s there.”Hanft and members of his staff discussed the situation with the County Board of Supervisors during a workshop session this morning, saying he wanted their input on what steps they’d like to see taken. “I just wanted to have at least some direction as to what you are thinking about, and I think we’re on the same page as far as going out and investing a lot of money in place that we have to update and then continue to pay rent on for the life of our lease agreement there doesn’t seem to make the most sense. So the idea then is finding a place temporarily that would get us by, until we either find a location that makes sense to build in and we go back in Mohawk Square if it’s safe and stay there until we come up with a longer-term solution.”Hanft and the supervisors agreed to gather more information in helping to make a better decision and discuss the situation further during another workshop next week. The item will also be discussed at the County Board of Health’s meeting this Friday afternoon. === One of the other displaced tenants of Mohawk Square has found a temporary home. The Mason City Housing Authority says they have relocated to Suite 506 at the Brick and Tile Building at 103 East State. They can still be reached at their old office phone number, 421-2711.last_img read more

Iowa farmers nearly complete corn, soybean planting

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Thanks to favorable weather, Iowa farmers have planted most of the corn crop and are nearing completion of soybean planting. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday that in the week ending Sunday, farmers had planted 96% of the expected corn crop, putting them nearly a month ahead of last year and almost three weeks ahead of the five-year average.Farmers had planted 86% of the soybean crop, also nearly a month ahead of last year and three weeks earlier than the average. They were helped by good weather that made for 4.3 days suitable for field work.last_img read more

Post post-season begins tonight

first_imgThe Miller and Etiwanda girls basketball teams will host CIF Division I state playoff games tonight – a season that exists for an increasing number of San Bernardino County and Inland Valley basketball teams. The No. 2-seed Rebels will host No. 15 Los Angeles Dorsey tonight while No. 5 Etiwanda will take on No. 12 Perris After pouring their hearts and souls in to the CIF-Southern Section season and making that the main goal, the teams are faced with a post-postseason. How much effort and emphasis can be placed on a tournament that is normally just a bonus round? “It’s anti-climatic after this,” Ayala coach Mel Sims said after winning the section championship on Saturday night. “This is what you work for right here. The rest is icing on the cake.” The Norco girls, for example, were crushed after their loss to Miller in the sectional finals. The Cougars had their sights on a CIF-SS title, but came up five points short. Now, they’ve been given the No. 3 seed in D2 and could have a potential matchup at Ayala, which plays Sanger Thursday, on Saturday. Ten local teams advanced to the state playoff level, with No. 16 Kaiser boys – which plays at No. 1 Los Angeles Fairfax – and No. 11 Arroyo Valley – which heads to No. 6 Los Alamitos – playing tonight in D1 as well. All games tip off at 7 p.m. The state tournaments are filled with more area teams than ever, making for a bit of an unusual dilemma. center_img The winner of that game would play at Pauley Pavilion on March 17 with a trip to the state finals in Sacramento on the line. In the past, that line of thinking just hasn’t been realistic for area teams. Diamond Ranch won a first-round state playoff game last year. There are some powerful area teams that certainly seem capable of replicating that feat tonight. But any team making a run at the state title – Miller and Ayala being the leading local candidates to do so – would be practically unprecedented. The 1986 Chino girls basketball team was the D2 state runner-up. Before that, the Banning boys finished second in 1982. Those are the only two area teams to reach the state basketball finals. But with the record success for girls basketball in the area – this year had more CIF finalists than ever – is it time for area girls teams to start setting their sights higher? Tonight’s games should start to provide the answer. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Man United on verge of £46m deal, Walcott set for shock City switch? GOSSIP

first_imgHere are the top transfer-related stories in Friday’s newspapers and online…Manchester United are set to seal a £46million deal for Benfica’s teenage midfield sensation Renato Sanches. Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira was in London on Thursday night to complete the move. Sanches, 18, is under contract at Benfica until 2021 and has a buy-out clause of nearly £60m, but it is understood the club are willing to sell for £31m up front with £15m in add-ons. (Daily Mail)Manchester City have added Arsenal forward Theo Walcott to their list of potential summer signings. Incoming manager Pep Guardiola is a keen admirer of the 27-year-old and he has asked City to monitor Walcott’s situation closely as he faces a crossroads in his career at Emirates Stadium. (London Evening Standard)Chelsea winger Willian is a £50million target for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande. Guangzhou boss and former Brazil national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has targeted Willian after signing their countryman ­Paulinho from Spurs last summer and another South American, Colombia’s Jackson Martinez, in February. (Daily Mirror)Southampton keeper Fraser Forster has admitted he is flattered by Chelsea’s interest in him. The Blues have the giant 28-year-old in their sights if Belgian Thibaut Courtois decides he wants to leave this summer. Forster has just two years left on his current contract at Southampton and has yet to sign a new deal. (Daily Mirror)Claudio Ranieri is monitoring Southampton’s Victor Wanyama as a possible replacement for N’Golo Kante. Leicester boss Ranieri is set to lose his PFA Player of the Year nominee this summer, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, ­Manchester City and Arsenal all huge admirers. (Daily Mirror)Swansea City will move to re-sign Joe Allen from Liverpool this summer, setting up a potential reunion with Brendan Rodgers. Allen will enter the final year of his contract at Anfield at the end of June and preliminary talks are currently not even planned over a renewal. Swansea were keen to sign their former academy player on loan in January and will make him one of their top targets again when the window re-opens. (Daily Mirror)Leicester are facing a big fight to sign the NEW Jamie Vardy. The Foxes want whizkid Charlie Coppola, who plays for non-league Lewes. But Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have joined the race for the striker, 16, who can also play as a wide man. (The Sun)Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is interested in rising Atletico Madrid star Borja Baston. The 23-year-old striker is currently on loan at Eibar, for whom he has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season. (Daily Mirror)Newcastle are targeting a summer move for Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs. The north Londoners are ready to listen to offers for Gibbs this summer amid a growing likelihood that he will not be at the club next season. (Football Insider)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Leicester transfer news: Juventus eye N’Golo Kante as Paul Pogba replacementChelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United ready to move for Barcelona star Sergio BusquetsRoberto Mancini: Inter Milan signing Manchester City star Yaya Toure will be toughSlaven Bilic confident ‘Liverpool target’ Aaron Cresswell will stay at West HamLiverpool transfer news: Is this the goalkeeper to replace Simon Mignolet?Transfer news: Lazio and Sampdoria ready to offer former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner a career lifelineTransfer news: Borussia Dortmund expected to beat Liverpool and Tottenham to signing of starlet DembeleTransfer report: Blow for Tottenham and West Ham as Barcelona join chase for prolific striker Alexandre LacazetteTransfer news: Barcelona defender Marc Bartra set to spark summer transfer fight between Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenhamlast_img read more