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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Thursday Toon Roundup 1- They got what they deserved

So, something interesting happens to weed after it’s legal (Washington State)

Two years ago, the Washington state began an unprecedented policy experiment by allowing large-scale production and sale of recreational marijuana to the public. The effects on public health and safety and on the relationship of law enforcement to minority communities will take years to manifest fully, but one impact has become abundantly clear: Legalized marijuana is getting very cheap very quickly.

Marijuana price data from Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board was aggregated by Steve Davenport of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. After a transitory rise in the first few months, which Davenport attributes to supply shortages as the system came on line, both retail prices and wholesale prices have plummeted. Davenport said that prices “are now steadily falling at about 2 percent per month. If that trend holds, prices may fall 25 percent each year going forward.”

Ratio of sales value to weight, $ per gram, Washington state

(Chart shows drop from $25 to $9/gram in less than 2 years retail)

Although some observers will be surprised by these sharp price declines – perhaps particularly some investors in the emerging legal marijuana industry – seasoned drug policy analysts have long predicted this effect. As noted by Caulkins and his colleagues in the book "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know," prohibition imposes many costs on drug producers. They must operate covertly, forgo advertising, pay higher wages to compensate for the risk of arrest, and lack recourse to civil courts for resolving contract disputes. Legal companies in contrast endure none of these costs and also can benefit from economies of scale that push production costs down.



Trump Won by Turning Bigoted Dog Whistles Into Megaphones

Trump supporters like him because he forcefully says the prejudicial stuff they believe


After suffering a devastating loss in Indiana (the Basketball Ring state), alleged Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race Tuesday night. And now that John Kasich, a man who shares a likeness and competency level with The Simpsons' Gil Gunderson, has followed suit in suspending his campaign, Donald Trump is the last person standing in the GOP race for president.

While many people have postulated about why Ben Carson couldn't hold his brief lead, why Cruz couldn't continue his momentum from Iowa and why Marco Rubio didn't electrify young GOP voters, the truth needs no such parsing. Donald Trump won the GOP nomination because, unlike the other candidates, he never underestimated how racist, sexist and xenophobic Republican voters truly are.

Trump has no real policy platform. His stances are either vague and evasive, or long-winded and inaccurate, on everything from domestic drug use to foreign policy. So Trump's supporters clearly aren't behind him because the nuances of his policy positions outweighed those of the other candidates. They're behind him because he forcefully says the prejudicial shit they believe. He eradicated the dog whistle and replaced it with a large, bigoted megaphone.

In 2010, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) into law, allowing police to guess if someone they arrested is an undocumented immigrant; in 2015, Trump called Mexicans rapists and criminals.



Toxic lead still lurking in many Georgia homes

Although the crisis in Flint, Mich., has caused Americans everywhere to worry about lead in their drinking water, a different kind of lead hazard looms in 24 million homes in the nation. Anyone who lives in a residence built before 1978 may be cohabiting with lead paint and lead-tainted house dust.

Of these 24 million homes with aging paint jobs and contaminated dust, one in six contains children.

Young children are more vulnerable to lead because their bodies absorb four to five times as much of the toxic metal as adults. As the Flint media storm has made clear, even low levels of lead can impair brain development, increase anti-social behavior and reduce attention span. At high levels, lead poisoning can cause coma, seizures and death.

Evidence that lead-based paint was dangerous led the federal government to ban residential use of the paint in 1978. But 40 percent of homes and apartments that Americans live in today may still contain lead paint, which can deteriorate and threaten health. The risk is even higher for especially old housing — 87 percent of houses built before 1940 have lead-based paint on walls and woodwork.



Mississippi's gay adoption ban is dead

Mississippi's ban against gay couples adopting children is dead after the state didn't appeal a federal judge's injunction, said the lead counsel for plaintiffs.

Roberta Kaplan, attorney for the Campaign for Southern Equality, told Buzzfeed News the deadline passed without Mississippi filing an appeal of a federal judge banning enforcement of the state law.

Mississippi was the only state left in the nation banning same-sex couples from adopting without regard to their qualifications as parents or the best interests of the child, the group says.

The legal challenge case was filed on behalf of four same-sex couples: Kari Lunsford and Tinora Sweeten-Lunsford, who are seeking to adopt a child; Brittany Rowell and Jessica Harbuck, also seeking to adopt; Donna Phillips and Janet Smith, parents to a young daughter; and Kathryn Garner and Susan Hrostowski, who have a 15-year-old son. Two organizations — the Campaign for Southern Equality and Family Equality Council — have joined the case as plaintiffs representing LGBT families across Mississippi.

U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan issued the injunction March 31, saying the law violated the Constitution's equal protection clause as the result of last year's landmark Supreme Court ruling.



Tesla Powerwalls for Home Energy Storage Are Hitting U.S. Market

To Steve Yates, the best thing about his new Tesla Powerwall is that he doesn’t have to worry anymore about the lights going out during a storm. Or maybe it’s how cool an addition it is to the entryway of his house in Monkton, Vermont.

“I’ve always wanted to have a backup power source,” said Yates, who was without electricity for 36 hours during Hurricane Irene in 2011. He also admires the Powerwall’s sleek white contours. “It’s kind of art-deco looking.”

A year after Elon Musk unveiled the Powerwall at Tesla Motors Inc.’s design studio near Los Angeles, the first wave of residential installations has started in the U.S. The 6.4-kilowatt-hour unit stores electricity from home solar systems and provides backup in the case of a conventional outage. Weighing 214 pounds and standing about 4-feet tall, it retails for around $3,000. But hookup by a trained electrician is required, as is something called a bi-directional inverter that converts direct-current electricity into the kind used by dishwashers and refrigerators. The costs add up quickly -- which has fueled skepticism about Musk’s dream of changing the way the world uses energy.

Net-metering policies, which allow residential solar customers to sell their excess solar electricity back to utilities, have limited the appeal of home batteries in many states. But that’s shifting: Net metering is being phased out in some states, making storage more attractive.

“The picture is rapidly changing across several markets,” said Yayoi Sekine, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Changes to net-metering policies and implementation of time-of-use rates will improve the case for residential energy storage systems going forward.”



Poor Erdogan!

NFL Players warned eating too much foreign-produced meat may lead to positive steroid test

NFL players are being warned about consuming meat produced in China and Mexico that potentially contains clenbuterol, which is banned under the league's performance-enhancing substance policy.

The drug-testing program's independent administrator sent a memo to players, saying "consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those particular countries may result in a positive test."

Clenbuterol is a muscle-building and weight-loss stimulant.

The unusual case of Texans LT Duane Brown, who had a suspension overturned due to bad beef, spurred the NFL to warn its players about eating meats from Mexico and China.

"Players are warned to be aware of this issue when traveling to Mexico and China," the memo read. "Please take caution if you decide to consume meat, and understand that you do so at your own risk."



Couple of Bern Group Toons

Wednesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest






The Issue




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