Action Alert: Maine Legislation Would Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Hemp Ban

Maine LD 525 is an Act to Promote Industrial Hemp. It would nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on this important agricultural crop. It recently passed out the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by a vote of 12-1 and will soon be heard on the full house for a debate and vote.

Under current Maine law, hemp is legal for certain purposes, though the law mandates that an individual can’t receive a license to grow until federal law changes – this measure would remove that requirement, and would allow farmers in the state to begin cultivating hemp this year – with or without federal “permission”

Representative Harvelll has indicated that there is support in both the House and the Senate. However, he still hasn’t received word on the Governor’s position. To move LD525 forward, call not only your representative, but call the Governor.

Your help is needed right now to move this legislation forward!

1. Contact your state representative.  Just because it has been indicated that there is support, tell representatives that you want LD525 passed. Strongly, but respectfully, let them know that you want a YES vote on LD525.  This bill is important for Maine farmers, it’s important for jobs, and it’s important for the economy.

Contact info here: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm

2. Also contact the Governor. Ask him to support LD525.

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Sebelius Shakes Down Companies She Regulates for Cash to Implement ObamaCare

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’ latest abuse of power has strengthened the case for her removal from office. Before discussing her latest misconduct, let’s review some of Sebelius’ past abuses of power.

  • In 2010, Sebelius described anonymous political speech as “dangerous.” Ironically, Sebelius’ lashing out at her political opponents’ free-speech rights is dangerous because it is the sort of rhetoric that might encourage agencies like the IRS to target groups that “criticize how the country is being run.” That’s exactly what the IRS has admitted doing – which in turn is a good argument for protecting anonymous political speech.
  • So too is Sebelius’ 2010 threat to put health insurance companies out of business. Shortly after ObamaCare became law, insurers began telling their customers how much it was going to increase their premiums. In a September 2010 letter to insurers, Sebelius shot back that premiums would rise no more than 2 percent, even as her department predicted increases as high as 7 percent. Insurers that didn’t toe the party line “may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014.” That was no idle threat, I wrote at the time. Since “Medicare’s chief actuary predicts that in the future, ‘essentially all‘ Americans will get their health insurance through those exchanges,” Sebelius was essentially threatening to put insurers out of business if they disagreed with her.
  • In 2011, Sebelius approved her department issuing hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to private health insurance companies under the rubric of ObamaCare that the statute expressly forbids HHS to issue.
  • In 2012, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded that Sebelius violated the Hatch Act by campaigning for President Obama and other political candidates while traveling on official business, an offense for which other federal workers are fired.
  • In a July 2012 letter to the nation’s governors, Sebelius arbitrarily rewrote and narrowedthe Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius to allow HHS to continue coercing states into implementing parts of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.
  • When it became apparent that two-thirds of states would not implement one of ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges,” Sebelius dismissed the idea that a lack of congressionally authorized funding for federal Exchanges would stop her department from implementing them. “We are going to get it done,” she said. Now we learn she substituted her own judgment for Congress’ by raiding ObamaCare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to the tune of $454 million to fund federal Exchanges. But even that wasn’t enough.

Now we learn, from the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff, “Sebelius has, over the past three months, made multiple phone calls to health industry executives, community organizations and church groups and directly asked that they contribute to non-profits that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law.”

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McLeod County, Minnesota Passes 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution

By a close 3-2 vote last week, the County Commissioners in McLeod County, Minnesota approved a resolution in support of the 2nd Amendment.

The resolution calls for all local agencies to stand down and refuse to enforce federal gun control measures, and for the state to pass legislation which would nullify the same.

It reads, in part:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the 2nd Amendment

SECTION 2: PROHIBITION ON FEDERAL INFRINGEMENT OF THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS A. The McLeod County Board of Commissioners resolves that all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations – past, present or future – in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers; and are hereby declared to be invalid in this county, shall not be recognized by this county, are specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this county.

B. The McLeod County Board of Commissioners calls upon the Governor and Legislators of the State of Minnesota to immediately pass an act to nullify the implementation within the State of Minnesota of any Federal law, executive order or regulations restricting the right to keep and bear arms

Local support will play a vital role in the success of those who want to protect the right to keep and bear arms. The resolution is a great first step, as it gets the commissioners on record in support of the 2nd Amendment. But, since it’s non-binding, it will require another step to have concrete effect. Cities within the county – and the county board itself – should follow up this resolution with ordinances prohibiting any cooperation with federal agents attempting to enforce acts violating the Second Amendment. Such an ordinance will give these statements teeth.

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Top Denver Post Columnist Exposes Weakness of Anti-TABOR Theory

Veteran Denver Post (and former Rocky Mountain News) columnist Vincent Carroll writes here about the overweaning ambition of those who support the anti-TABOR lawsuit. That lawsuit claims that because Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) imposes fiscal limits on the power of the state legislature—that is, restricts lawmakers’ power to tax, spend, and borrow— it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee to each state of a “republican form of government.”

Mr. Carroll thereby indirectly supports a point made earlier in this blog, and supported by an II study: Because almost every state restricts the legislature’s financial powers in some way, the theory of the anti-TABOR lawsuit would threaten clauses in the constitutions of almost every state.

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