Tag Archives: Congress

How Did Marijuana Fare In 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill?

 

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While millions of Americans let out a sigh of relief, knowing our government will not shut down at least for another fiscal year, millions of Americans may not have been aware of marijuana legislation that was and was not included in the Omnibus bill.

According to an article in The Daily Chronic, the following marijuana re-authorizations for 2016 took place:

  • Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration will not have funding for interfering with state medical marijuana laws; and
  • The DOJ and DEA will not have funding to interfere with state industrial hemp research programs.
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Unfortunately, the following individual provisions were not included:

  • To permit Veterans Affairs doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to military veterans;
  • To prevent the V.A. from denying services to veterans because they are state recognized medical marijuana patients;
  • To include Senate-backed language seeking to authorize financial institutions to engage in relationships with state-licensed marijuana business; and
  • To allow the District of Columbia to sell and tax marijuana.  (Currently, DC residents can grow, possess and share marijuana.)

The parts that stand out for me is:

  1. The fact that our members of Congress are still interfering with doctor-patient relationships in the VA; and
  2. Licensed businesses still have to pay their bills in cash instead of accessing banking services.

This is a very slow and frustrating process.

In the meantime, patients suffer and Congress shows it DOES NOT CARE about our very sick and needful military veteran citizenry.

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And, rubbing salt in the wounds:  the licensed, lucrative, high tax-paying marijuana businesses are not allowed to use the same banks to which small, under-funded, and low tax-paying businesses across the country have access.

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[Images from bingdotcom]

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Social Security Disability is Nearing Insolvency

Yes, it’s true.

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Here are the main reasons for this disastrous event in the near future, if Congress does nothing to fix it:

  • There have been an increasing number of people receiving SSDI while there is less revenue in payroll taxes coming in.
  • The aging Baby Boomers reaching the prime disability age (70% of disabled workers are age 50+) , and the increase of the number of women in the workforce (and therefore being covered by this program), have caused 1/3 of the increase.
  • People living longer (therefore staying on the rolls instead of dying), and the increase in the age of retirement (shifting more people onto SSDI than retirement) have also contributed.
  • An additional factor is the new disease guidelines implemented in 1984, allowing disability payments for mental illness and musculoskeletal illness (back pain, depression and fibromyalgia are three often mentioned diseases in this category).  While heart attack and stroke have remained steady, the incidence in these new diseases has increased, accounting for a whopping 50% of the increase.
  • Also, there are myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) patients who also suffer with fibromyalgia.
  • A loss of revenue from payroll taxes. On the demographic side, the Baby Boomers had less children, so there are less workers paying into the system. Where there used to be 17 workers contributing for every recipient, there are now only 3.
  • The increasing income inequality has also contributed to the problem. There is a cap for workers at wages of $118,000 a year. Those making more do not pay more into the system. As more people are making over this amount, revenue has decreased.
  • There is the issue of fraud in the system.  While nobody wants to deny deserving applicants benefits, fraud must be held in check so that funds are available for the truly disabled.

The subject of Social Security Disability application denial or acceptance is a hot one.  The fear of fraudulent claims has pushed our government to deny too great a percentage of applications that are truly deserving.  Nearly 65% of disability claims are denied by judges.

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In order to understand how the Social Security Disability funds are allocated, it is important to note that the program is made up of two divisions:  a smaller one for disability; and a larger one for old age retirement.  Payroll taxes collected from those currently working are divided into two streams:  one for SSDI; and one for the retirement fund (also called the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance or OASI).

A little history:  Since the 1970s, funds have been reallocated 11 times from SSDI to OASI, and vice versa, when either fund was in need. This worked fine when overall, there was enough money to fully fund both. However, due to demographic and other factors, the overall program is projected to become insolvent in 2033. This is 18 years from now – not as far off as it might sound, given the time it takes our government to roll out reforms.

Many Senators stated that while nobody wants to cut funding for the disabled, they will not let a reallocation go through unless there are also reforms to the SSDI program (and possibly OASI) to either cut costs or bring in more revenue or both.

My advice:  Contact your Representatives and Senators to fix this before we have a very serious problem on our hands.  Our disabled citizens need the continuing support they deserve, and they are dependent upon our healthy, working Americans to help.  Those, who are healthy and can work, need to appreciate something they might not think about:  They could find themselves in the same situation one day, and then need the help of Social Security Disability.

[Images from bingdotcom]

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

Amid All The Issues Before Congress, Marijuana Has Made A Step Forward

 

Marijuana’s path toward a potential federal approval or decriminalization has not been easy and signs of further difficulties are apparent.  It could be years before researchers and drug companies feel comfortable with the results of their completed trials and experimentation and those in the future. As you might be aware, the cannabis these drug companies use for their experiments are provided by our Federal government which is grown in VERY SECRET farms.

One pharmaceutical company has discovered in excess of five dozen cannabinoids it hopes to use to help cure a number of chronic and/or serious diseases.

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Due to the fact that our Federal government lists marijuana as an illicit drug, and until that changes, the research by drug companies will basically slow down because of the legal stumbling blocks in their path, and more importantly, the costs.

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Surprisingly, Congress, just recently passed legislation that hopefully, will protect businesses that legally sell marijuana in states that have passed marijuana legislation, from any interference and/or prosecution by federal agencies.

Is there an important possible stumbling block to becoming law?  Yes.  The bill passed by Congress has to be signed into law by President Obama.

[images from bingdotcom]

 

 

 

 

 

At 12:01am Today, Marijuana Became Legal in Washington DC

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Our nation’s capital city has come over to the legalization of “pot.”  This is a “huge symbolic conquest” for decriminalizing the use of marijuana in the United States.  Please see article on ReverbPress.

Of course, there are limitations:

“Residents will be allowed to own three plants and possess up to 2 ounces of pot for use at home. Buying and selling, as well as using marijuana in public, will remain illegal.”

The legalization of marijuana in Washington DC came about through a voter-approved initiative.  Mayor Bowser and the city officials could face charges and prison time for pushing this initiative through.  Nearly two-thirds of the voters in DC approved it in November’s election.

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Congress, in its inevitable procrastination wisdom, tried to kill the initiative by trying to ban the funding for regulation of marijuana in the capital city.  But, Congress’ action was too late. The voters had already decided.

“There was a major reason behind the successful referendum to legalize marijuana in DC, and its imminent implementation.”

There is great significance in DC’s actions.  The prohibition and criminalization of marijuana possession affected citizens’ civil rights.  People of color were arrested three times more frequently than whites for possession.

The demand from the voters was so overwhelming, that in comparing the defunding vs the legalization of marijuana, the City Council  decided to not stand in the way of the voters’ wishes.

“Attorney General Eric Holder has presided over the first significant decline in the crime rate and the prison population in decades, and it is time for Washington to consider shutting down the ‘drug war’ machine that systematically ruins the lives of black people.”

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The District of Columbia is the first place east of the Mississippi River where recreational pot is legal. Alaska also legalized pot this week, joining Colorado and Washington state.

Congress still might sue the City and the Justice Department is threatening to prosecute the DC officials … and Congress continues to huff and puff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are not a Christian

The Hobby Lobby fiasco by the 5:4 vote of the SCOTUS is an insult to us all; not just to women. It is another in the never-ending “thumbing their noses” to our Constitution and smiling and shaking hands with Republicans who worry more about money, power and control – all going hand-in-hand. This so-called “do nothing” Congress has not “done nothing.” They have literally peeled away too many of our rights and privileges that we used to have and which we held dear.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a bit of a bug, just a small itch I need to scratch. I tell you my dander is raised, my scalp needs to be scratched; all day I have been thinking of our Supreme Court and just how un-Supreme they truly our. I truly do believe it is time for all of us to take a long hard look at who we are as a nation, get up off our proverbial and begin to do something about the nation we want to be rather than simply complain. If we are unwilling to do something, we have absolutely no right to complain about the outcome.


No Corporation is a Christian and I can prove it, here are the core principles of being a Christian or living within the body of Christ.

  1. Professing a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and following his teachings.
  2. Baptism into the…

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