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The Daily Countable: Pot Laws, Payday Loans & 'Conscience' Protections

by Countable | 1.17.18

You'd think the threat of a government shutdown on Friday would be enough to keep us all busy, but there's lots more going on than that. Sometimes the darndest things can happen when we're all distracted by the "big" news.

So, let's get to some of those items that may have gotten lost in the clamor of shutdown coverage.

One Big Thing

State pot laws. Do you support them or not? The majority of Americans do, but Attorney General Sessions sure doesn't, and he's taken steps to empower the DOJ to go after folks who are in violation of federal marijuana laws regardless of whether they're in compliance with state law. Now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has joined the fight to protect folks who are in compliance with state laws that legalized marijuana. Want to know more and offer your opinion to your lawmakers? Read our article and then make your voice heard!

On the Radar

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is "reconsidering" a rule regulating payday lenders that was drafted during the Obama administration and enacted this week. Should payday lenders, who can charge up to 300% interest, be forced to vet borrowers or cap the number of times they can lend to an individual? If you thought the conversation was over, it's not! Read up on the rule, then let your lawmakers know what you think of payday lending protections.

Under the Radar

The Supreme Court has recently heard arguments over whether private business owners can refuse service to people if they feel the service conflicts with their religious views, but what about health workers? Should they be able to refuse to administer care that they have religious or moral objection to?

President George W. Bush said yes. President Obama said no, and President Trump wants to say yes again, while also expanding the government's ability to enforce compliance. A new rule may be put into place this week. If you feel strongly for or against this change, now's the time to let your lawmakers know! Read our article on the rule to get all the details, then tell them what you want. They work for you, remember?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • The president will receive his daily intelligence briefing in the morning.
  • The president will then attend a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring former Senator Bob Dole at the Capitol.

The House of Representatives: In Session

The Senate: In Session

Tomorrow's Preview

  • The House will vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government for four weeks and reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years.
  • The Senate will vote on a six year reauthorization of intelligence agencies' surveillance powers under FISA Section 702.

Other Content You Don't Want to Miss!

How are you doing out there, Countable folk? We’d love to hear how you're holding up.

— Asha Sanaker

Talk to Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor, via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

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(32)
  • Pam
    01/17/2018
    ···

    Don’t you just love how the republicans support states’ rights until it goes against their pharmaceutical donors’ interests? Voters who have voted for legalizing marijuana should have their wishes granted. Dragging their feet (like in Florida), or trying to push back the law is unacceptable.

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  • William
    01/17/2018
    ···

    Of course the states have the legal authority to legalize marijuana, but I would go even further. The Federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug is ludicrous and inane; there is no science to support this classification. Just as Prohibition was a failure, the ‘War on Drugs’ is a complete fiasco that has led to one of the highest incarceration rates in the world without any evident benefits (unless your an employee of the industrial prison complex). Marijuana should be legalized at the Federal level, but I don’t see that happening under the current administration.

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  • RadicalModerate
    01/17/2018
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    Legalize Gay Marijuana

    Like (22)
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  • Fred
    01/17/2018
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    Restore CHIP and stop the government shutdown drama. Serve the people.

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  • Mark
    01/17/2018
    ···

    Did the eventual passage of alcohol go through this much opposition? And, what is the ratio of alcohol-related deaths compared to marijuana-related deaths? My guess is that a whole lot more people drink and drive, leading to deaths, compared to stoned people causing death to others?

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  • Claude
    01/17/2018
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    Republicans have proposed state’s rights but they now want to override state pot laws. They need to get a consistent view. The proposed change to providing medical care base on religious beliefs is another example of attacking the separation of religion and government

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  • Fred
    01/17/2018
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    This is an issue of state rights. Keep the federal government out of it.

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  • Michael
    01/17/2018
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    Legalize it

    Like (7)
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  • Joanne
    01/17/2018
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    The war on drugs has not worked any better than Prohibition did. It has increased crime rather than reduced it, ruined many lives with incarceration and not slowed drug use one iota. Several states have now had legal marijuana for several years. It is a states' rights issue - the people have spoken!

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  • Becka
    01/17/2018
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    States not only have the legal authority to legalize marijuana, but we should go even further.. perfectly ironic that the "states rights" Republicants would try to crush these state mandated laws. The Federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug is ludicrous and inane; there is no science to support this classification. Just as Prohibition was a failure, the ‘War on Drugs’ is a complete fiasco that has led to one of the highest incarceration rates in the world without any evident benefits (unless you're an employee of the industrial prison complex). Marijuana should be legalized at the Federal level, and people imprisoned for it released and compensated!

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  • BeStrong
    01/17/2018
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    Pot laws...just legalize it already, 28 states+DC have some form of legal pot use, and while you’re poking around in there, get pot removed from the Schedule 1 drug classification and retire Mr Sessions while you are at it. Pay Day loans...prey upon the most susceptible among us, close these snake oil businesses down. Refusing service...sure, go ahead and add to your request for a business license all the religions, ethnicities, sexual identifiers, hair colors, shirts, shoes, etc that you will not serve, before your doors open. Let’s see if our cities want to make a business decision for their community based on your fears and biases...and post those biases right on your door so we all know where not to go.

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  • LSC327
    01/18/2018
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    Enacting so-called "Conscience" protection laws are nothing more than thinly-disguised attempts at discrimination. If a store owner decides that serving homosexuals, or if a pharmacist decides that dispensing birth control pills or RU-486 goes against their religion - well that's their problem. They chose the profession/business and should leave it if they cannot serve all people equally.

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  • Michael
    01/17/2018
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    AG Sessions should not be wasting federal resources and dollars by enforcing states’ recreational marijuana laws and rights to regulate them as they see fit. This administration has done nothing but take away rights and enforce a culture of intolerance and hate. Grow a pair and start standing up to 45 and his corrupt cabinet.

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  • LSC327
    01/18/2018
    ···

    (1) Payday loan stores are a classic example of usury which should be illegal - it certainly used to be. These stores take advantage of the poorest people to the maximum benefit of the store owner. They should be outlawed and the owners of such places should serve time in prison. They are the lowest-of-the-low. (2) Pot should be legalized nationwide. The revenue generated from sales could be put to excellent use to help the community and infrastructure. Look no further than Colorado.

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  • Micah
    01/18/2018
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    Wake up and smell the weed, guys. It's obvious where the American public stands on this issue. Make pot legal at the federal level and get it done with already.

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  • David
    01/17/2018
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    Again as always "do the right thing". No discrimination in America for any reason. But as usual they follow the money not the the right thing as required by their Oath of Office ❗️🇺🇸

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  • John
    01/18/2018
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    Pot should be legal in All States ...

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  • Baron
    01/18/2018
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    I fully support states rights to legalize marijuana.

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  • SirRobert
    01/17/2018
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    I am tired of my tax dollars going to fight a war on Marijuana. Billions of dollars have been wasted on surveillance, helicopters, police raids, courts and prisons. States that have legalized are showing great returns with additional tax dollars and reduced costs. Leave them alone and legalize at a federal level. BTW Canada recently legalized are we now going to build another wall?

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  • Richard
    01/17/2018
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    Since so many whiners on here want their precious drugs or they’ll hold their breath until they turn blue, we should look into adopting The Netherlands approach to drugs. Basically as long as you admit to being a drug user/addict and sign a statement attesting to your addiction, you get free needles and drugs. The beauty of this system is that the average life expectancy of users is 2 - 5 years before you OD. Good riddens if this is the only way to get ride these losers in our society that just cost hard working Americans money.

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