Opening of illegal pot shop
Lucky Leaf, a recreational marijuana store, opened in Pasco July 25 despite a city ban on such establishments. The owner posted an invitation on his Facebook page the day it opened inviting Water Follies attendees to swing by the shop. Apparently he hoped to cash in on the event that thousands attend each year before the city could shut him down. And that’s what the city should do.
The owner has a license from the state which gives him a legal right to operate such a store. Pasco has the authority — confirmed by the courts — to prohibit him from doing so in the city. Opening the store in defiance of the city ban undermines the argument that these establishments can be responsible members of the business community.
Cracking down on trafficking
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Thanks, in part to the backing of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Washington voters will have a chance to send a strong message to those who seek to profit from the killing of certain animals threatened with extinction. More than 300,000 Washingtonians signed petitions to put Initiative 1401 on the Nov. 3 ballot. The measure would make the sale, purchase, trading of parts or products made from parts of 10 protected species a crime. Penalties could run as high as five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Until we take steps like this to dry up demand, hundreds upon hundreds of elephants will be poached for their ivory and the carcasses of rare rhinos will lie rotting in the African bush so their horns can be ground into black market aphrodisiacs.
Obama limits our watchdog
The Obama administration has ruled the inspectors general have to get permission from the agency they’re monitoring for access to wiretaps, grand jury and credit information. It’s likely that agencies with something to hide might not grant such permission.
The administration’s conflict with the inspector general’s office dates back to the “Fast and Furious” scandal where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed more 1,000 government-issued guns to be sold illegally in a sting operation gone wrong. Many of those guns ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. One was used to kill a border agent.
By limiting the access of the inspectors general, it appears the administration is more concerned about the public learning of governmental incompetence and corruption than preventing it.
This is the same Justice Department that was caught in 2013 snooping into phone records of The Associate Press. We should all be concerned about this pattern.