Hemp and Pot Restrictions Not Dying Fast Enough

The push for legalization-particularly farming-is being hampered by in a number of ways.


Irina88w / Dreamstime.com

I finally escaped Washington, D.C., last month, arriving by car with my girlfriend as new residents of Seattle early this month.

I've welcomed most of the changes I've seen here—apart from the Lenin Statue near our apartment. The traffic is lighter. The food is better. The people are nicer. The neighborhoods are more walkable. The mountains are beautiful. Most politicians and bureaucrats are further away.

And the marijuana—which I haven't yet tried as a resident, though I've perused one of the nearby pot shops—is legal (if overtaxed and overregulated). In fact, when I buy beer, wine, or liquor, signs nearby in the store indicate it's regulated by a body known as the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

While marijuana has typically resided in this country in a legal and regulatory silo reserved for drugs, its growing legal status means it's increasingly subject to regulations—like those enforced by the WSLCB—that traditionally pertain to agriculture and food.

I'm a longstanding supporter of drug legalization. As a former writer for the Drug Policy Alliance, the idea that I'd some day be one of millions of Americans to live in a place where it's perfectly legal to buy a joint is both bizarre and wonderful.

But movement toward legalization is slow, and oftentimes inconsistent. Even in states where pot is putatively legal, problems exist not just in terms of taxes and sales but also—perhaps more importantly—around growing cannabis. Washington State, for example, still prohibits people from growing it at home.

Indeed, when it comes to growing cannabis (and its non-psychoactive cousin, hemp), farmers and individuals who want to grow pot continue to face some absurd legal hurdles. Many are fighting back.

Farmers in Southern California and Oregon—both places where marijuana has been legalized—are being forced to push for their rights to grow pot. In California, voters recently chose to legalize marijuana statewide. But those who want to grow it must still apply for approval from local zoning authorities. Tax incentives built into the law make it likelier counties and other local governments will grant zoning approval. But it's no slam dunk.

In San Diego County, a recently formed group, the Southern California Responsible Growers Council, appears concerned that while other counties in the state are "scrambling" to embrace pot farming, conservative San Diego has been slow to embrace economic and cannabis growth. Such fears don't appear unwarranted. In neighboring Oregon, some local governments have rejected legal weed, something state law seemingly allows. But some who've been told by local governments that they can't grow cannabis are fighting back.

Oregon farmers who've sued appear to be relying at least in part on the argument that prohibiting cannabis farming amounts to a regulatory taking. Across the country, advocates for legalization in Missouri failed last year to convince a judge that the state's "right to farm" law includes the right to grow cannabis. These are just two of many legal arguments adopted recently by state and local cannabis-farming legalization advocates.

But these state and local fights only tell part of the story. While states have increasingly moved to legalize marijuana—it's legal for recreational and medical purposes now in eight states and the District of Columbia—the federal government is still resistant—perhaps more so this week than last (though maybe not).

Just this week, the Hemp Industries Association, a pro-hemp trade group, petitioned the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reverse a newly adopted final rule designating non-psychoactive hemp extract as a Schedule I drug. In the petition, the HIA argues in part the DEA rule is preempted by the 2014 Farm Bill, which limited the DEA's authority to prohibit a limited amount of hemp planting. The HIA also argues that the final rule suffers from procedural defects and wrongly concludes that "the mere presence of 'cannabinoids,' which are not controlled substances," is sufficient for the DEA to designate them as such. The HIA argues that these various flaws amount to an unconstitutional exercise of DEA power.

The Farm Bill does permit some limited planting of hemp. But state governments are the only ones (e.g., through a state university) who may do the planting. Individuals must seek a permit.

"The DEA bars farmers from growing hemp without a permit," I wrote in a 2013 column on hemp and the Farm Bill. "Not surprisingly, the DEA doesn't issue such permits." Even as at least a dozen states have removed barriers to planting hemp, the HIA lawsuit makes clear that the federal government in general—and the DEA specifically—continues wrongly to stand in the way.

"The DEA's attempt to regulate hemp derived products containing cannabinoids lawfully sourced under the [law] is not only outside the scope of their power, it's an attempt to rob us of hemp's economic opportunity," says HIA head Colleen Keahey.

That's exactly what federal, state, and local restrictions on marijuana and hemp do: they restrict economic opportunity for farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers. They also diminish other important freedoms, along with government tax receipts. For these reasons, it's never been more important to hasten the inevitable demise of these restrictions.

NEXT: Disasters Should Be Dull

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  1. Should we demand non-GMO and organic labeling on our weed? These are the pressing issues, BL.

    1. What I find funny is that one of the vitamin-pill makers is advertising themselves as GMO- and gluten-free.

      I’m waiting for a company to start selling GMO- and gluten-free distilled water.

      1. Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO sea salt?

        1. The “pure” himalayan sea salt is a hoot. Pure salt is absolutely not purple.

          1. That one is funny.

            If you want pure salt, Kosher salt is your best bet.

            1. Kosher salt isn’t even pure, but it is more pure than any pink/purple salt.

              If you want pure salt, make it yourself. But use better gear than those guys.

          2. himalayan sea salt

            there’s a beach in the himalayas?

            1. Geologic time, bruh.

              The salt in the Himalayan Salt Range originates from the evaporation of a sea that occurred way back in Precambrian times.

              1. mmmmmm, precambrian savor

      2. I *think* that this is parody, but you never know in these days of modern times, when you can’t tell the ACs from the DCs.

        1. This brand of toilet bowl cleaner is gluten-free and kosher.

      3. My niece buys the chicken that’s advertised as organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free, uncaged, all-natural diet, made in America, all that crap – I pointed out to her that there’s no label that says “DNA free” so there’s a pretty good chance there’s DNA in that chicken since they’re not telling you otherwise.

        She didn’t get it, so I had to explain to her that almost all the chicken sold in the US is made in the USA, organic doesn’t really mean anything, poultry hormones are banned in the US, uncaged just means there’s 12,000 chickens crammed on top of each other in one room, etc. and she’s falling for a scam. Like “fat-free” sugar candy or “sugar-free” margarine or “gluten-free” frozen carrots.

        1. As long as I can get vegetarian cat food for Miss Puffy..

      4. Keep seeing adverts for gluten free vodka.

        I thought that if there is gluten in your vodka, you have done something terribly wrong.

      5. I just got some “gluten free” ham the other day and went what?????

    2. I’m sure someone’s on it.

  2. What about the Doomsday Clock maaaaaan!?!?!?

    The most like scientifically vetted thing in like the whole history of science, maaaaan, just unexpectedly moved in the wrong direction. THE WRONG WAY maaaan! And we are going to die in a nuclear inferno, TOTALLY DIE! Unless we appease the Stalinists who operate the Doomsday Clock!

    You people are too young to remember that when the same thing happened after Reagan was elected and we all died! TOTALLY DIED maaaaaaan!

    1. “”””he same thing happened after Reagan”””

      Since the MSM is losing money, they will just start repeating old Reagan stories from the archives.

      So expect lots of “we are going to die” stories, along with homelessness, unemployment, deficit, etc stories

      It will be easy, just change the date and names and they can then get back on Twitter.

      1. Oh Hell, about the homeless stuff. Here in my town, the leftoid city mayor may be in for some timing problems. Maybe not, because the lone surviving subscription paper here is like her NYT.

        A few months ago the city evicted everybody trespassing at an old scrap recovery yard downtown. About 40 hobo camps moved out. Instead of a Hooverville, it was an Obamaville but nobody called it that. There were a few folks who called it Rogerostan, including me, but that never managed to catch on either.

        Years after murders happened there and the property owner was ordered to demolish more buildings. BTW, the buildings would not be a hobo problem if the damn cops would enforce trespassing laws, they were finally moved out. They were burning piles (yuge piles) of insulated wire and other crap, which may have been something the mayor would not put up with.

        Best coptard shitbrain excuse I heard before the eviction: “But they have no place else to go.” If you look at a google satellite image of the Knoxville Police Department HQ, (TN) you will see their is plenty of room around their office for the vagabonds.

      2. The funny part will be, because the newsrooms are staffed with 24-26 year old *Studies majors, that they can’t be arsed to fully proofread the old stories to make sure all the dates and names have been updated.

        1. So we are in store for bad 1984. Can’t wait!

  3. But seriously, Hemp and Pot Restrictions Not Dying Fast Enough

    When ‘libertarian’ publications and their dozens of readers jump on the side of the leftards from the beginning of these issues, you are never going to get rid of these regulations. Noplace in the US was pot legalized. It was just re-regulated and Reason cheered.

    If you wanted it legal, you should have advocated for that in the first place. You sold it to the legislatures as a profit center with more control over their subjects and that is what they bought.

    Stop pretending to be unhappy with the outcome you demanded.

    1. Exactly.

      “So, it limits dispensaries to four in the state, certification is handed out by unverified lottery, the law creates twenty-three new taxes and thirty-four bureaucrat jobs…. but you’ll no longer go to jail unless you have more than an ounce! WHAT PROGRESS I AM SOLD!”


      1. Leave it to the government to come up with solutions worst then the current one.

        1. Don’t worry, as soon as one of these new stupid ideas is theoretically visible from the Overton Window, you will be hearing the praises of said idea right here on these webz.

      2. Yeah, remember when they “legalized” alcohol and they limited the amount you could POSSESS? Yeah me fucking neither.

    2. If you wanted it legal, you should have advocated for that in the first place.

      Who are you addressing?

      Plenty of people did just that. You seem to have an inflated sense of how influential libertarians are. I don’t think it’s the case that if we just applied libertarian principle harder things would have gone differently. Sadly, that’s not how it is. The best we’re going to do is observe and comment. Sorry.

      1. They’re addressing the *magazine*. Though, to be honest, I was guilty of thinking the same way on gay marriage and look what we got.

        I think my new stance on this sort of crap is ‘no compromise’ nowadays. At least when its not ‘everything burns’.

    3. Trading an atrocious form of state violence for a less atrocious form is a win for libertarians. It’s not total victory, obviously, but not getting thrown into a cage for simple possession of a plant is an improvement. In the states where it got decriminalized they have to at least prove that someone didn’t pay his taxes upon selling said plant before it’s time to start up the state barbarism.

      1. Its still not much of a win in the grand scheme of things – its an admission that the state has the authority to regulate this stuff instead of the earlier recognition that they *only had the power to do so*.

        1. In the grand scheme of things, winning is impossible, everywhere & always. All you can ever get is someone’s forebearance as to kicking you in the shin this minute. Ultimately nobody cares whether they have authority to kick you in the shin, if they’re going to do it they’re just satisfied that they have the power to do so. And I don’t care if I’m getting my shin kicked whether whoever’s doing it has authority or “merely” power to do so; my shin feels the same either way.

      2. I think you mean a win for Cosmotarians there bro.

    4. I free pot, delivered.

  4. “The DEA’s attempt to regulate hemp derived products containing cannabinoids lawfully sourced under the [law] is not only outside the scope of their power, it’s an attempt to rob us of hemp’s economic opportunity,” says HIA head Colleen Keahey.

    Some think that that was the real purpose of marijuana prohibition all along. That William Randolph Hearst and Dow Chemical didn’t want competition for their wood-pulp paper and their synthetic fabrics, respectively, and so devised the marijuana moral panic (Reefer Madness!) as a way of preventing it when technology made producing competing products from hemp easier and cheaper than before. There is probably some truth to the story.

    1. Yes, nutjobs who should share a shack with a chemtrail freak believe that.

    2. Yeah, and those people are wrong.

      If Hemp was a genuine economic ‘threat’, those guys would have simply co-opted it by producing it. They were *businessmen* after all.

      1. Maybe the fluoride made them act wrongly?

      2. And didn’t want to lose their investments in trees (a sustainable forest!) and in the equipment for manufacturing Rayon.

  5. John Hurt is dead.

    -1 Chest Bursting Spaghetti Scene

    1. That Spaceballs sequel is really doomed now.

  6. Know what else needs to die a quicker death?

    1. Facebook?

      1. Wouldn’t you want her to live and continue to witness what she and her DNC cronies wrought? Pied piper candidate. Never forget.

        Besides, what if in eight years (given that proggies are working so hard to lose to Trump a second time) the next Presidential race features Sarah Palin versus Chelsea Clinton? Palin wins and gets to be the first female President and HRC’s dark heart gives out and takes out all her gathered cronies simultaneously in the resultant explosion.

    2. Rasputin?

      Just plain old Putin?

    3. Progressivism.

    4. The super-hoppy beer fad

  7. It looks to me like local government is just treating marijuana like alcohol–in almost every way.

    You typically need a liquor license to sell alcohol, too. Zoning restrictions will apply–they don’t want you opening a bar near a school. I’ve seen a proposed 7-11 shot down in southern California because they wanted to sell beer.

    They won’t let just anyone brew alcohol for public consumption either, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t make it for recreational use–just like with hemp. My understanding is that if you make alcohol for fuel, you’re supposed to mix mustard in to make it nauseating.

    My main concern is still the federal government. Obama raided state legal medical marijuana dispensaries hundreds of times during his first term, and that sword is still hanging over the industry’s heads. The whim of the emperor isn’t much to bank on, and Trump could change his mind about respecting state laws tomorrow.


    That’s the biggest threat.

    1. It might be that when you have a hammer and love swinging it, everything looks like a nail.

      One of the local gals (our boys were on the same baseball team) wanted to open up an arcade. It’s a small town, there’s nothing to do, and frankly I think she’s right about Gen X nostalgia being the extra business so’s she’s not relying on the spending power of boys aged 10-20.

      Can’t do it. Wouldn’t be prudent. Well, actually, the city council did give her permission, they just promised to regulate her identical to a gambling house or casino.

      No arcade for us. Gee, I wonder why there ain’t shit out here in this county and everyone leaves.

    2. Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything?and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers. Respondent’s local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not “Commerce… among the several States.”

      Justice Thomas gets it. Too bad he wrote that in dissent.

      And I would add, purchasing legal marijuana for personal use in a state where it is legal has nothing to do with interstate commerce either. However, if you depart a legal sale state and have that states license plates on your car, you have a good chance of getting an obligatory pullover by the neighboring states troopers to ensure you are not planning to engage in interstate commerce.

      1. Reads like Thomas wants to overturn Wickard v. Filburn, which says that the government can regulate things that have never been bought nor sold, never crossed state lines, etc. under the guise of the commerce.


        That would be a wonderful thing. Would strike a big blow for small government.

        Probably too much to hope for.

    1. The morgue in Russia has not reached a conclusion about the cause of death

      I rather enjoy the idea that there’s one morgue in the entire country.

    2. Bloody Hell, the shitlord was driving a Lexus in Moscow!

    3. Were there any other fiction writers getting this much attention?

    4. Well, that took longer than I expected.

    1. To be fair, the bystanders probably thought it was some sort of alt-comedy avant garde street theater absurdist show.

      1. They just wanted to get to work. No one likes a bunch of angry retards pointlessly blocking the road and fucking up everyone’s commute.

        1. One of the worst things about progressives is that they imagine everyone agrees with them and supports them. They think they’re speaking for the working class, average people, etc.–which is one of the reasons why Trump winning with the support of average working people offends them so.

          . . . it must have been fake news, Russian hackers, etc., and besides, Trump didn’t win the popular vote!

          One in three voters in California voted for Trump.

          40% of the voters in Oregon voted for Trump.

          Yeah, nobody wants their commute fucked up, but assuming that the people around them are all progressives just like them is also bullshit.

          Social justice warriors are not the new normal–and they never were the norm.

          1. I’m commenting on the WFMU chat right now. The discussion is about music. It’s light banter, sometimes clever. Some dingbat just barged in a few minutes ago and dropped a Trump turd right on the coffee table. These people are convinced that everyone must think like them. The crummy part is, I want to lay into this numbnuts, but there’s a pretty good chance I’ll get the banhammer.

            1. I’ve never gotten the banhammer on WFMU for expressing an opinion, unless it was something personal about the DJ.

            2. I’m going to have to look that up in Michael Shelley’s playlist & comment archive now.

  8. Would love some more Nicholas Pell this weekend, but my guess is we’ll probably never see him again.

      1. You will never be number 1. HAHAHAHA

      2. Tickle His Smell

  9. So is Micheal Hihn a sock puppet for one of the usual trolls or an actual retard? I can’t quite tell.

    1. I’m pretty sure he’s his own actual retard. He has a website and everything.

    2. If he’s the actual Michael Hihn I’m going with senility.

    3. BULLY!


    4. Just did a Bing search and the forth hit is one of his rants here from last summer. Someone must find it amusing, or nobody ever searches for him.

    5. He is his own special, unique brand of 4:00 A.M. retardation. He and his posts are Hihnsaaane!

    6. A while back someone identified him as John Galt 2, unless I have that backwards.

  10. On the one hand, I oppose giving women choices. But on the other hand I support killing babies. It’s a real moral dilemma.

    I meant to put that joke in the boar shin thread yesterday.

    In other news, remember the climate change activist killed by an SUV? He had some things to say:

    1. The world is a better place now.

    2. Maybe if he had been walking down the road paying attention and not facetiming with his phone he wouldn’t have got himself ran over. Also, you would think homeless barefoot dudes would be all for climate change and warming since he wasn’t wearing shoes.

      1. He changed the route of his global warming awareness trek on account of cold weather. That’s why he was in Florida instead of Ohio.

  11. Wisconsin family threatened, forced to move after neighbor flies Nazi flag

    A Wisconsin family of six is being forced to move after their duplex neighbor put up a Nazi flag in a sign of protest against President Trump and a viral photo brought angry strangers to their door.


    Rosangela Diaz, a mother of four, said she did not even know about the flag until she saw a Facebook post about it. Her neighbor, who has not been identified, has said he flew it to make a “political statement” against President Trump.

    According to Diaz ? who is Hispanic and whose husband is black ? her family has been threatened after the flag first went up. Someone slashed her tires. People have threatened to burn down her house.

    1. The comments to that article were interesting.

      1. olsnake 1 hour ago
        In my younger days this POS neighbor would be living in a POW camp!

        I’m not even sure who that’s meant to offend…

        1. Based on the handle, I’m guessing Outer Heaven?

      2. never read comments on any ‘major network’ site. they’re 80% autogenerated-racist-bots

        1. *predicting retort =

          “…by contrast, H&R is only *30%* autogenerated-racist-bots…”

          1. Now with 60% more socialist sockpuppets!

    2. their duplex neighbor put up a Nazi flag in a sign of protest against President Trump

      “you’re doing it wrong”

      1. Sounds like the attempted National Socialist on National Socialist crime went awry.

    3. Sounds like the tolerant left making more frenz.

  12. Canada is inching toward a broadly-based law that would codify “Islamophobia” as a hate crime without even defining Islamophobia or demonstrating that it is a phenomenon requiring legal action.

    After first passing a motion that condemns Islamophobia, last month, Iqra Khalid, a Member of Parliament (MP) from the governing Liberals, tabled Motion M-103 in the House of Commons. The motion demands that Islamophobia be treated as a crime without even bothering to define the offense.


    1. He knows it when he sees it.

    2. This is the primary reason for why SJWs really are just downright dangerous.

      The Canadian parliament is apparently trying to codify social signaling. That will be enforced completely arbitrarily and, eventually, used to eliminate political enemies.

      1. It is beyond me how SJWs can hitch their wagons together with muslims.

        1. They have the same enemies: free speech, capitalism, Christianity

          Fighting those things is more important to SJWs than women or gays.

          1. I’m beginning to think that all of these goofy leftist groups have to be GOP plants. No one can really be that stupid, can they? I mean all the left needed was free shit. That was their one winning strategy. And they seem to have mostly put it on the back burner in favor of supporting jihadists and every other looney fringe identity politic issue they can dig up.

          2. Also, white people.

        2. Shared goals, Sayyid Qutb covered this decades ago. He knew political Islam and communism were going to fail if they directly challenged a capitalist, secularist Western system because it was obviously superior. Only way for these ideologies to ever move forward would be to destroy the alternative that everyone would prefer.

        3. Communists stood shoulder to should with Islamists during Iranian Revolution (well, because Islamists were smarter, they stood behind Communists). Both parties planned to wipe out the other after Shah was dispensed with. Islamists were faster in that case, but both sides knew who the primary enemy was.

    3. ISIS must be laughing their asses off at these idiots.

  13. Cow-human hybrids were a pain in the ass, so they made a pig-human hybrid embryo instead.


    —-Ars Technica

    If it were a human embryo with pig parts, it would be more of a quandary, but, still, does pig-human hybrid life begin at conception?

    Where’s the Vatican on this?

    1. How far off can ManBearPig be now? Gore was right all along.

    2. The only real question here is, do they taste like bacon?

    3. At least there are ready made hats for the inevitable march.

  14. Great moments in unintentional comedy

    There Have Been No Fatal Terror Attacks In The U.S. By Immigrants From The 7 Banned Muslim Countries

    So, there have been non-fatal terrorist attacks by people from those places.

    1. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

      Boston Marathon Bombers = Chechen
      San Berdoo shooters = Pakistani, the latter by way of Saudi Arabia
      Omar Mateen = Child of Afghan immigrants
      Various NYC incompetent bombers = Pakistani, Afghan
      Culwell Center Shooting = 2 converts and a Pakistani
      Chattanooga Shootings = Kuwaiti
      Minnesota Mall Stabbings = a Somali!
      – Do we have a winner…? oh = “Ten people were injured in the stabbing, three of whom were hospitalized for non-life-threatening wounds.[4] They were all stabbed or punched in the back, shoulder, head, neck, or face.[3] The hospitalized victims were all released by the next day.[13] The victims were aged from 15 to 53.[14]” BOOOO
      Ohio State Vehicular Attack = Also Somali, Also “No one killed (except himself)”

  15. random thought

    I situation I see repeated throughout history in various contexts goes like this:

    First a rule or code of rules is made. Then, evidence emerges that the rules leads to various bad effects. But instead of repealing the old rule, there are calls for even *more* rules which have bad effects of their own. It’s vicious cycle of accelerating stupidity.

    I like the idea of no new rules without repealing at least 2 old ones.

    1. I have pointed out many times that every NEW demand for sweeping progressive legislation is brought about as a response to the horrifying side- (or even primary) effects of the previous demand for sweeping progressive legislation.

      e.g. nothing else has produced permanent, isolated, racially-segregated disadvantaged enclaves quite like like Public Housing projects and welfare. It wasn’t “Capitalism” that did that.

      everything wrong with the US healthcare system is a product of previous accumulated “fixes”.

      and so on

  16. Administration arresting legal Muslim immigrants who already had valid visas:

    Legal challenges are already being presented to Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim asylum-seekers

    For extra irony, the one of the immigrants in question was a translator for the 101st Airborne Division during the Iraq occupation and was given the visa because militants were trying to kill him for helping the US military.

    1. “valid visas”

      Immigrant visas?

    2. the one of the immigrants in question was a translator for the 101st Airborne Division during the Iraq occupation and was given the visa because militants were trying to kill him for helping the US military.

      Fucking over our native allies is a vaunted American tradition. E.g. the Hmong, the Degar/Montagnards, etc.

      1. Make America Ingrate Again?

      2. Yeah, someone who actually puts themselves in harm’s way to help the U.S. needs to be rewarded – it’s too bad that’s even an issue to be debated.

    3. It isn’t a ban on Muslim asylum-seekers. That would be wrong. I would oppose that. That would violate the First Amendment–which prohibits the government from discriminating on the basis of religion.

      But Donald Trump didn’t ban these asylum seekers because they’re Muslims. He rejecting them entry to the United States because they’re coming from a country where anti-American terrorism is rife. I believe the ban also applies to Christians coming from Iraq and Syria, as well, and, therefore, it is not a ban on Muslim asylum-seekers.

      1. Yes, clearly Hameed Khalid Darweesh’s 10 years working directly with US soldiers evinces a deeply anti-american attitude.

        1. Was Donald Trump’s policy specifically put in place to keep Hameed Khalid Darweesh? Did Trump get the spelling of the man’s name correct in the order?


          The order applies to asylum seekers generally. If exceptions need to be made, they should be made.

      2. I believe the ban also applies to Christians coming from Iraq and Syria, as well

        Trump says US will prioritize Christian refugees

        1. Well, I would disagree with that.

          Regardless, the present policy is not to ban Muslim asylum seekers.

          If that was the headline you quoted, then the headline was factually incorrect.

  17. OT

    Muslims have really painted themselves into a corner. The Quran claims to be both clear, so no room for interpretation and final, so no room for alteration. It also claims to be correct, which shuts the door on even questioning whether it should be followed.

    Reform of Islam is impossible without ignoring or expunging its central doctrines.

    In cases like this, hypocrisy is a blessing. Perhaps the only solution is to pretend you believe it all while quietly disregarding the troublesome parts.

    1. I’ll let Muslims define what Islam means – those who interpret it meaning fighting the U.S. should be warred against, those who interpret it to mean imposing sharia on the U.S. should be kept away from being able to influence public policy.

      Those who want to live peacefully and accept the 1st Amendment are just as authentic as other brands of Muslims – I wouldn’t want to give ammunition to the jihadists who say “even the Crusaders admit our religion means fighting America derp derp.”

      That doesn’t mean taking large numbers of refugees from countries of concern – that would guarantee that those admitted would include plenty of jihadi types.

      And experience has shown that jihadi types will sometimes pretend to be peaceful and tolerant…until they aren’t.

      So for those who want to come to the US, the burden’s on them to show it’s in America’s interest.

      Those already hear – especially Muslim-American citizens – should be presumed innocent of crime, and those who actually believe in Americanism shouldn’t be mocked as somehow being inauthentic Muslims.

        1. At the risk of Kathy Youngifying the issue, I’d reject both

          (a) the “not real Islam” dismissal of the jihadis and

          (b) the “Muslims who support us are hypocrites” argument which only aids the militants.

          1. It’s my understanding that the Koran has some tolerant passages and some intolerant ones, written at different stages of Mohammed’s career. Thus the book doesn’t interpret itself, some Muslims can focus on the tolerant stuff and some can focus on the intolerant stuff.

            And even those who have an unhealthy interest in the militant passages might apply those passages to enemies in the Muslim world, enemies they have in common with the U.S.

            1. I’ll paste the whole wiki introduction for abrogation here:

              “Naskh (???) is an Arabic word usually translated as “abrogation”; It is a term used in Islamic legal exegesis for seemingly contradictory material within, or between, the two primary sources of Islamic law: the Quran and the Sunna. Several Qur’anic verses state that some revelations have been abrogated and superseded by later revelations,[1][2] which are understood by many Muslim scholars as pertaining to the verses of the Quran itself[citation needed].

              Neither the Quran nor the sayings of Muhammad state which verses stand abrogated. However, narrations from Muhammad’s companions inform about the abrogated verses or rulings of the religion. However, the principle of abrogation of an older verse by a new verse in the Quran, or within the Hadiths, was an established principle in Sharia at least by the 9th century.[3][4][5] The possibility of abrogation between these two primary sources of Islam has been a more contentious issue.[6] The allowability of abrogation between sources has been one of the major differences between the Shafi’i and Hanafi fiqhs, with the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence forbidding abrogation by the Sunna of the Qur’?n, while the Hanafi school allowing abrogation by the Sunna of the Qur’?n.[7][8]”

            2. “Seventy-one of the Quran’s one hundred and fourteen surah contain abrogated verses according to one estimate.[9] Muslim exegetes and jurists have disagreed and disputed the number of verses of the Quran and sunnah in the Hadiths recognized as abrogated.[10][11]”


    2. Yes, this is why there’s only one interpretation of Islam, and all Muslims agree on that interpretation.

      Never mind that there are Shia and Sunni, five schools of Sunni jurisprudence, disagreements within each of those schools, and a bunch of guys sitting around in your neighborhood mosque right now arguing about what the Quran really means where it says such and such . . .

      Never mind that! Reform is impossible because there’s no room for interpretation–because Derpologist says so?

      You went off the rails right from the beginning. The Quran itself talks about abrogation:

      “We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?”


      “And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse – and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down – they say, “You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies].” But most of them do not know.”



      You have no idea what you’re talking about, and your claims are all easily disproved using simple facts.

      1. Where to begin?

        In Islam, there is a concept called Ijma which means consensus. Mohamed said that “my people will not agree on an error.” This means that when Islamic scholars reach a consensus on something, the matter is considered settled and no further discussion is permitted.

        One of the greatest sins in Islam is bid’ah, which means innovation.

        wiki sez

        Ali ibn Abu Talib, of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), said; “He who innovates or gives protection to an innovator, there is a curse of Allah and that of His angels and that of the whole humanity upon him.”[21][22] `Abd Allah ibn `Umar said: “Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good.”[23]

        Abd Allah ibn Abbas, a companion of the Prophet and early Islamic scholar also said: “Indeed the most detestable of things to Allaah are the innovations.”[24] Sufyan al-Thawri, a tabi’i Islamic scholar, Hafiz and jurist, mentions: “Innovation is more beloved to Iblees than sin, since a sin may be repented for but innovation is not repented for.”[25] He also said, “Whoever listens to an innovator has left the protection of Allaah and is entrusted with the innovation.”[26]

        Perhaps you should read some more before accusing me of ignorance.

        1. I don’t know what that has to do with anything.

          This is what you wrote:

          “The Quran claims to be both clear, so no room for interpretation and final, so no room for alteration.”

          That’s horseshit.

          The fact that there are numerous schools, within Sunni Islam alone, that differ in interpretation show that to be bullshit.

          The fact that the Quran itself claims to have revised itself also shows that statement to be bullshit.

          “Reform of Islam is impossible without ignoring or expunging its central doctrines.”

          This is also horseshit.

          Islam has been reformed. Or am I supposed to pretend there aren’t numerous schools within Sunni Islam, others within the Shia tradition, not to mention Sufism, a number of differing schools within Sufism, etc., etc.?

          Your claims are ridiculous. They have no basis in reality. Wherever you’re reading this crap, do yourself a favor and stop. You’re coming out the other end knowing less than you did when you knew nothing.

          1. Yes, there was debate and reform- 1,000 years ago. The differences between schools and sects today are not about whether killing blasphemers is valid but over how many times one should pray per day (Sunnis say 5, Shia say 3) or whether an animal must be facing Mecca when it is slaughtered.

            There is a sect of Islam that originated in India during the 19th century called the Ahmadiyya. They are regarded as heretical precisely because they reject the violent teachings of the Quran.

            It originated with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835?1908), who claimed to have appeared in fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the world’s reformer during the end times, who was to bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam and herald the eschaton as predicted in Islamic scriptures as well as the traditions of various world religions. He claimed to have been divinely appointed as the Mujaddid (renewer) of Islam, the promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by Muslims.[

            The first Pakistani to win a Nobel prize in physics was an Ahmadi Muslim. However, since the govt of Pakistan officially classifies them as non-Muslims, the word “Muslim” was scratched off his grave stone.

            It appears that actual Muslims are not nearly as tolerant of different interpretations as you think they are.

            1. To be fair you were pulling quotes from the bloody Rashidun, the proto-Islam that split thanks to the various interpretations of Mr. Ali’s status and various other things.

              I think you’re talking past each other in terms of ‘reform’. I think you’ve arguing for much more general reform away from Islamic thought, while Schulz is taking the schisms within Islam over doctrine and going “look, see, reform!”

              1. He said there was no room for interpretation.

                That is ridiculous on its face.

        2. However it should be noted that historically Islamic Caliphates were forced to innovate or change based off of circumstances.

          Take the transition from the Umayyad to Abbasid Caliphate. In the Umayyad Caliphate, power was concentrated amongst ethnic as well as religious lines, with Arabic Muslims on top. Even other people who converted to Islam weren’t held on the same level as Arabic Muslims. You had to officially be ‘adopted’ into a Arabic tribe to be even close, and even then you were effectively a ‘second class Muslim’. As the Caliphate expanded across the Middle East and absorbed other cultures (many of whom had Muslim converts who were more educated than their conquerors) this system began to cause rebellion and illegitimacy amongst non-Arabic Muslims. Eventually the Abbasids exploited this and used dissatisfaction by non-Arabic Muslims, as well as Christians, Jews, etc. to overthrow the existing system. In its place they promoted a far more general legal status for Sunnis not based on ethnicity (they still screwed the Shia over of course, because that will go on forever).

    3. Well Derp, that is essentially what happened to Christianity. Some people started pointing out the cognitive dissonance necessary to be a true believer in the literal text of the bible and most others, not being religious fanatics and fairly sensible preferred a different cognitive dissonance; believing it while quietly ignoring the troublesome parts.

      The enlightenment in one clumsy, rambling sentence.

      1. It’s the same with the current enlightenment as to northern European paganism. Of course the difference there is, no commandments. But still an understanding, which all but the really, really bereft of common sense always had, that the lore is not to be taken literally.

  18. “Hawaii bill would classify homelessness as medical condition”
    “As an emergency room doctor, Hawaii Sen. Josh Green sees homeless patients suffering from diabetes, mental health problems and an array of medical issues that are more difficult to manage when they are homeless or do not have permanent housing.
    That’s why Green says he wants to homelessness classified under Hawaii state law as a medical condition.”

    Is it contagious?

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