It's a very 'green' show on The BradCast today, on a number of levels, from marijuana policy to the Green Party Presidential candidate's position on environmental issues, to another rather disturbing Green News Report.
But first up today, some news about 'third-party' Presidential candidate troubles getting on the ballot and being kept out of Presidential debates, and a Republican governor who has now vetoed a law that would have added millions of voters to the rolls in his state.
Then, Michael Collins, Deputy Director for the Drug Policy Alliance's Office of National Affairs in Washington D.C., joins us to discuss the recent announcement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that it will not reclassify marijuana from its current 'Schedule I' narcotic status --- which, like heroin means that it's classified as having "no accepted medical use" --- despite some 25 states which currently allow its sale and use for either medicinal or recreational purposes.
Collins explains what that classification actually means and how rescheduling it as a Schedule II drug wouldn't have been much more than a "symbolic victory" for proponents, particularly "in terms of prosecutions --- people getting arrested, the racial disparities we see because of the war on marijuana --- that would not have disappeared had the DEA rescheduled marijuana."
He goes on to describe the DEA as a "rogue agency", "rotten to the core", and long working against President Obama's "steps to unwind the war on drugs". "They're still fighting the drug war of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon," he tells me, in opposition to the advocacy of a number of elected Democratic (and even Republican) officials in Congress who were furious at the federal agency's decision.
"I think the DEA gets its science from the same people as climate change denialists," Collins quips. "To say that marijuana has no recognized medicinal value contradicts decades of scientific research and is a huge slap in the face to the thousands of people who use medical marijuana every day to alleviate their illnesses."
It's not all bad news, however. Collins notes that the DEA has announced they will allow an expansion of federal marijuana research facilities, ending what had been a monopoly, with just one facility in Mississippi, and that states are moving forward nonetheless, with expansive pot initiatives on the ballot in at least six states (California, Arizona, Maine, Nevada and Massachusetts) this November. "The question isn't 'Should we legalize marijuana?', but more 'When should we legalize marijuana?' The end is nigh," he tells me.
Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with breaking (and disturbing) news on more historic, deadly flooding in Louisiana and fires in California, July 2016 as the hottest month ever recorded on Planet Earth, and the official position on climate change action from Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party's freshly minted 2016 Presidential nominee...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)