Don’t Turn Down Money

Grind for February 13th, 2019
“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.”

– William Shakespeare

Are You Kidding Me

The Headline

Venezuelan President blocks humanitarian aid

The Grind

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this week rejected humanitarian aid, criticizing aid convoys as “political show” and claiming his country ‘has never been a nation of beggars.’

When trucks of food and medicine arrived at the Colombian border city of Cucuta, Maduro ordered the military to build barricades preventing their entry.

The trucks are part of a US-backed plan to get assistance to those most in need ASAP.

“The US is prepositioning relief items – including food, nutritional supplements, hygiene kits, and medical supplies – in Colombia, so they are available to reach those in need in Venezuela as soon as possible,” said one official.

Venezuelans are in dire need of aid following a total economic collapse that led to triple-digit inflation, severe food and medicine shortages, and the exodus of millions of people.

An estimated 200,000 people are nearing critical status.

“The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid,” tweeted US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo. “The US and other countries are trying to help, but Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”

The Facts

Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself President on January 23rd following Maduro’s contested swearing in to a second term earlier that month.

The US, Colombia, and others immediately recognized Guaido as acting president. But Maduro insists he is the lawful president and has accused the US of trying to overthrow him.

Maduro has support from the Venezuelan military, but the Trump Administration has made it clear that military intervention is a real possibility if he doesn’t step down.

Doomed To Fail

The Headline

Oregon lawmakers want to legalize marijuana

The Grind

2019 has been a busy year for Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D). Last week, he unveiled a proposal that would allow the FTC to punish CEOs of large companies who attempt to evade authorities after a security breach.

This week, he introduced a bill pushing for the immediate and nationwide legalization of marijuana.

“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple,” said Wyden. “Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed.”

Cannabis stocks have soared in Canada following the country’s decision to legalize marijuana last summer.

The Details

Wyden’s bill seeks to remove marijuana from the DEA’s list of controlled substances, institute a new tax on the drug, and set up a system for retail permits and labeling.

While individual states have pursued legalization and decriminalization, the federal government still considers marijuana a “Schedule I” substance – alongside much heavier drugs like heroin and meth.

Wyden insists nationwide legalization would create economic and research opportunities as well as decrease strain on the legal system.

“The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history,” says Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), who introduced a similar bill in the House. “The House is doing its work and with the help of Senator Wyden’s leadership in the Senate, we will break through.”

Did you know… During World War 1, starving wolves amassed in such great numbers that Germans and Russians had a temporary cease fire to fight off the wolf attacks.