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Ralph R. Reiland

Ralph R. Reiland

The B. Kenneth Simon Professor of Free Enterprise at Robert Morris University

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Reflections

Pot, Hillary Iran

by Ralph R. Reiland
 

I'd say the one thing we don't need is more drug abuse, but a new green light to more drugs is exactly what was unintentionally produced by Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, an effect that's likely to produce more individual despondency and societal degeneration than any statutory outcome of the much publicized debate over whether a fundamentalist florist should have the right to turn down an order for matching boutonnieres from two guys who've decided to get hitched.

On the same day that Indiana's governor signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Church of Cannabis sought and received approval from Indiana's secretary of state to operate as a weed church.

Indiana lawyer Abdul-Hakim Shabazz explained that the new religious freedom law could protect various types of drug behavior under the guise of religious liberty, including Native Americans ingesting hallucinogenic peyote and members of the First Church of Cannabis smoking marijuana.

With church pot, it's foreseeable that the new blessed highs will not be confined to the pews. Government officials versed in the separation of church and state can't be expected to argue that members of the First Church of Cannabis can legally smoke their way to nirvana only in a pew and not in a park, or that the churchy reefer users can only be legally bonged into a pious state at a church picnic and not in a burger joint or rock concert.

"I've created the fastest-growing religion in America," said Bill Levin, the founder of the First Church of Cannabis, acknowledging that he and other church members "all smoke religiously."

Stating that Indiana's religious freedom law has effectively legalized marijuana for his congregation, Mr. Levin reports that his church membership has "staggeringly grown" with "people pilgrimaging in from California, from Maine and from Florida."

In 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., said "it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning."

Today, 52 years later, King's comment looks like it will be updated to say it's appalling that the most blitzed hour in America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning, the weekend's happy hour for stoners

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Additionally, there's the issue of whether we can trust Hillary or the Iranians when it comes to scrubbed servers and hidden centrifuges.

Regarding Mrs. Clinton's missing emails, it appears as if she diverted public records from the government and the public, destroyed subpoenaed evidence, failed to provide summoned documents to Congress, refused to deliver her server to the Inspector General, and kept classified information unsecured with her email access unencrypted and vulnerable to intelligence hackers and snoopers.

With Iran, similarly, there's a long history of playing loose with the rules, circumventing sanctions and penalties, and burying evidence, including a long-running failure to declare its uranium enrichment program.

Iran ratified the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty in 1970 and was found to have repeatedly violated its articles and other non-proliferation agreements according to reports from the United Nations Security Council, U.S. intelligence agencies, the U.S. Department of State, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Iran has engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons program for many years," directly and surreptitiously violating its signed agreements and pacts, concluded the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation of the U.S. Department of State in its 2007 "Challenges of Nonproliferation Noncompliance" report.

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Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University, a columnist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and the owner of Amel's Restaurant in Pittsburgh.