500 days

Like many of you, I get requests for campaign contributions almost every day. This year and next, I'm doing everything I can to give something, even if it's a small contribution, to any pro-choice Democrat who asks.

Law enforcement balks at Hemp revolution for all the wrong reasons

These aren't the flower tops you're looking for, move along:

"Law enforcement cannot discern the difference between smokable hemp and marijuana, and our State Crime Lab cannot discern the difference because they can't discern the level of the THC that it contains," Peg Dorer, director of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, told members of the Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources committee on Thursday.

The farm bill would create a presumption in state law that licensed hemp farmers aren't growing marijuana, but Dorer said that creates a loophole that would basically legalize marijuana in the state. "Law enforcement will not be able to seize or arrest for marijuana because they can't tell, and prosecutors will have a very difficult time and will not be able to prosecute any violations of marijuana laws," she said.

Um, good? Prosecutors are already looking at a mountain of prior convictions that will need to be re-evaluated and expunged once marijuana is decriminalized, the last thing they need to be doing is adding to that pile. As far as police are concerned, this could actually make their jobs easier, and free them up to pursue violent criminals (you know, rapists and murderers and such). And here's another obvious truism: Decriminalization or outright legalization of marijuana for recreational use will decouple the kind bud from the supply chains of other narcotics like opioids and cocaine, better isolating the purveyors of such. On a separate but related note, I was not aware that smokable hemp even existed, but it's apparently a pretty big deal:

Friday News: Racist, sexist, or both

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REPUBLICANS CUT CHIEF JUSTICE CHERI BEASLEY'S STAFF IN HALF: “I think it’s a dastardly thing,” Lowe said. “We’ve got our first African-American female chief justice. And we haven’t taken resources away from others that served this position and served this state. To take them away now, it just seems morally wrong.” Lowe briefly continued his criticisms but then cut himself off, saying “the last thing I want to do is cuss in this chamber.” McKissick said that “when we make decisions like this, it should be blind.” The budget isn’t official yet, since the House and Senate have different suggestions that they will need to reconcile. The cuts to Beasley’s staff are just one example of differences in the two chambers, since the House did not recommend similar cuts. But if the proposed cuts to Beasley’s staff are approved in the end, McKissick said that she would be the only appellate judge in the state with just one law clerk. “I have to ask what the justification for this is,” McKissick said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article230995293.html

Senate Budget stops DEQ from implementing hog waste permit changes

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Putting the health and welfare of NC citizens at riisk:

The Senate bill, which was released Tuesday, includes significant differences in funding for environmental programs and Department of Environmental Quality spending plus a number of policy proposals not in either previous plan.

Among the top differences is spending on research and testing on emerging contaminants, upgrades and additions to DEQ’s main laboratories and several new special provisions, including a review of the recent process for adopting new general permit requirements for animal waste management systems that would delay for a year the implementation of tighter controls for swine, poultry and cattle operations.

Apparently in the minds of Republicans, elections don't have consequences. They are following the recommendations of the former DEQ Secretary (van der Vaart), who is now a John Locke Fellow (whatever the hell that means), instead of the current DEQ Secretary Michael Regan:

Thursday News: Mark your calendar

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NC HOUSE VETO OVERRIDE VOTE ON "BORN ALIVE" BILL WILL BE JUNE 5: After pulling a potential vote to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of an abortion bill off the House calendar nine times over the last four weeks, House Speaker Tim Moore on Wednesday set a date certain for the vote. Moore, R-Cleveland, said the override vote on Senate Bill 359, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, would be held on June 5. The bill would make it a felony for a doctor not to provide care for an infant born after a botched abortion, and it creates a duty for other health care professionals to report any such failure to act. Lawmakers passed the measure last month, but Cooper quickly vetoed it, calling it "an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients" because state law already protects newborns. "This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other health care providers for a practice that simply does not exist," he said.
https://www.wral.com/speaker-sets-date-for-house-override-vote-on-abortion-bill-veto/18418223/

Is Phil Berger trying to kill off NC's film industry?

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Cutting off funds and stealing the reserves:

The Senate budget proposal does not include $31 million in new film grant funding that the state House budget has for 2019-20. Any leftover funding amount each fiscal year rolls over into surplus. At last count, there was $65 million in the film grant fund balance.

Berger said during a Tuesday press conference the Senate plans to siphon an unspecified amount of the film grant surplus toward other state funding needs.

This is what happens when you let somebody have absolute power over the process; they pull idiotic moves like this knowing they won't suffer any personal consequences. This would be a bad idea in any annual budget, but considering our biggest competitor (Georgia) just pissed off a bunch of producers with their new abortion law, the timing couldn't be worse:

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