Congress Votes YES to Protect Legal Marijuana

NORML – excerpt

For the first time ever, the House of Representatives just voted to restrict the Department of Justice from interfering with the states that have legalized adult-use marijuana.

The importance of this 267 to 165 bipartisan vote on the Blumenauer amendment cannot be overstated. Today, nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute.

Today’s action by Congress highlights the growing power of our movement and the work of NORML leaders all around the country…(more)

Could this be a bi-partisan effort in congress this year?

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Grim New Report Shows Rent Is Unaffordable In Every State

By Laura Paddison : huffpost – excerpt (includes video)

The ‘Out of Reach’ report shows the housing crisis is hitting renters hard, especially those earning the minimum wage.

Plenty of evidence shows how widespread and devastating America’s housing crisis is, but perhaps none quite as starkly as this: There’s not a single state, metropolitan area or county in the U.S. where a full-time worker earning the minimum wage can afford the rentfor a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Affordable housing is fundamental to a safe, healthy, stable life. It brings a host of advantages, including better physical and mental health outcomes, better access to education for children, and a better chance at upward economic mobility. Yet, for a huge swath of the population, it remains completely out of reach… (more)

Program shows promise of removing pythons from Everglades

By Ed Killer : sfgate – excerpt

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — Charlie 5 had no plans to move that hot June morning. The 9-foot-long Burmese python was comfortably nestled in a muddy hollow, well-hidden in a thicket of saw grass and alligator flag in Big Cypress National Preserve.

His tracking device gave him away. He didn’t like it, but he had visitors.

“There he is,” said Austin Fitzgerald, a biological science technician with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), bending down within 18 inches of the steamy muck. “I can just barely see his head.”

Using two snake hooks, Fitzgerald and Jillian Josimovich, a biologist with the USGS invasive species science branch, persuaded the reluctant snake to come out of hiding…

Invasive species

The uninvited denizens of South Florida’s wildlands, woodlands, marshlands and swamplands have left an indelible — and possibly irreversible — mark on the ecosystem.

First identified in Everglades National Park in 2000, the Southeast Asian apex predator quickly put a stranglehold on Florida’s wildlife…(more)

NorCal City of Oakland Decriminalizes Psilocybin

By Helen Christoph : courthousenews – excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — Telling police to look the other way, and restricting enforcement of state and federal laws against psychoactive plants, Oakland, California, became the second U.S. city on Tuesday to effectively decriminalize magic mushrooms.

After more than an hour of testimony from supporters, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed a resolution decriminalizing the use, possession, distribution and cultivation of psychoactive plants and fungi, including psilocybin (magic mushrooms), ayahuasca and peyote. They were also deemed one of the lowest law enforcement priorities for police.

Denver voters passed a similar measure in May, decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms containing psilocybin.

Psychoactive, or entheogenic, plants and substances derived from them have shown promise in treating treatment-resistant depression, end-of-life anxiety, PTSD and drug addiction, according to research cited by Oakland city staff. Supporters extolled these benefits Tuesday night, recounting struggles to get off heroin and quell rape-related trauma while urging council members to legalize the plants…(more)

The most amusing thing about legalizing the illegal substances is that everyone assumes there is money in the products, but there is none once they are legal. Legalizing them removes the value. Look what happened alcohol once prohibition ended. This will be no different. Farmers are being forced off their land due to the drop in prices as legal grow house flood the market. The legal cannabis industry not the only one killing off competition that fails to deliver a profit.

The destructive “disruptive“ ride share economy is also a joke, but it is killing other businesses and leaving a complete disaster in its wake. There is no profit in the ride shares. They stay afloat by investing VC funds in real estate. Their ride share products gentrify the neighborhoods, jacking up the property values. They are a sham that depends on exclusive access to a small market to survive. The dependence on government deals is laid out in the Motivate lawsuit again the San Francisco City and County and the SFMTA. (Attached)

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Landmark Deal Reached on Rent Protections for Tenants in N.Y.

: NYtimes – excerpt
Newly empowered Democrats are trying to address concern over housing costs that is helping to drive the debate over inequality.

Newly empowered Democratic leaders in Albany announced a landmark agreement on Tuesday to strengthen New York’s rent laws and tenant protections, seeking to address concern about housing costs that is helping drive the debate over inequality across the nation.

The changes would abolish rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, close a series of loopholes that permit them to raise rents and allow some tenant protections to expand statewide…

The deal was a significant blow to the real estate industry, which contended that the measures would lead to the deterioration of the condition of New York City’s housing. The industry had long been one of the most powerful lobbies in Albany, but it suffered a loss of influence after its Republican allies surrendered control of the State Senate in the November elections.…(more)

The I in We:

By Reeves Wiedeman : nymag – excerpt

How did WeWork’s Adam Neumann turn office space with “community” into a $47 billion company? Not by sharing.

In early January, employees of the We Company, formerly known as WeWork, gathered in Los Angeles for its annual summit. As with many of the company’s events, it was more tent revival than corporate off-site. The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed. Jaden Smith and Adam Rippon spoke. Diddy and Ashton Kutcher announced the winners of the annual Creator Awards. Adam Neumann, one of WeWork’s founders, took the stage as he typically does at such gatherings. Neumann is six-foot-five with long dark hair and the easy charm of a man worth several (theoretical) billions of dollars who still manages to surf regularly and used to skateboard around the office. He is known for making bombastic pronouncements, like this one at an all-company event last year: “There are 150 million orphans in the world. We want to solve this problem and give them a new family: the WeWork family.” In L.A., Neumann told his employees that the newly formed We Company would now have three prongs — WeWork, WeLive, and WeGrow — with a single, grandiose mission: “to elevate the world’s consciousness.”…(more)

Trump’s «Tough» Immigration Policy Leaves Out Employers

by jonathanturley

Below is my column on the recent controversy over a threatened tariff against Mexico for its failure to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing the U.S. border. Despite the last-minute deal with Mexico purportedly avoiding the tariff, President Donald Trump was back on the weekend threatening “very profitable tariffs” on Mexico. Whatever the purpose of such tariffs, however, they are unlikely to solve our problem with unlawful immigration absent greater enforcement on this side of the border. My point is not to call for wholesale prosecutions. Indeed, the primary concern is not the hiring by families or small businesses, but rather large operations with large percentages of undocumented workers. If there government truly wants to curtail the undocumented workforce (and that is uncertain), hammering the immigrants at the border or attempting mass deportations is unlikely to succeed. There remains a striking disconnect between the level of enforcement directed at undocumented individuals as opposed to large employers of undocumented persons

Immigration, it seems, is an offense committed solely by undocumented persons. While the president has charged that undocumented workers take away jobs from citizens, neither political party appears eager to deal with those employers who give away those jobs, despite undocumented persons making up an estimated 5 percent of the workforce. In California, Nevada, and Texas, they make up almost 10 percent of the workforce.

Toughness does not extend to those who benefit most from unlawful hiring. There are no federal agents being asked to get “a little rough” with corporate executives. On paper, federal law is clear and tough. It is illegal to hire, recruit, or refer illegal immigrants for hire. It also is illegal to fail to verify work authorization. Knowledge of unlawful hiring can be inferred from the lack of proof or from suspicious job applications…(more)