Can The United Nations Block U.s. Marijuana Legalization?

organic producers. According to USDA, the most popular organic imports from Japan are green tea, organic sakes and organic mushrooms. The department said the Canadian agreement has increased exported organic grains to the United States, and the European pact has increased sales of their organic wines and olive oils in the U.S. The United States exports many more organics to Japan than it imports from the country, and officials say the agreement will be a boost for the burgeoning U.S. industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors of agriculture. Organics have seen sales rise around 4 percent to 5 percent a year and now account for more than $30 billion in annual sales. Japan imports a wide variety of organics from the United States, including soybeans, specialty crops like cauliflower and nuts, and processed products like frozen meals. Under the agreement, U.S. organic products sold there will now carry the USDA organic seal. Annual organic sales to Japan from the United States now total around $80 million, and the USDA estimates the new agreement could more than triple that amount to $250 million a year over the next 10 years. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the agreement will create “good jobs for Americans across the organic supply chain.” For consumers, the agreement with Japan also should lead to lower prices and more variety, said Laura Batcha of the Organic Trade Association.

What’s a Filibuster? Ask the United States Senate

While McCutcheon only affects the federal limit, experts are watching it closely and many on both sides believe the state limits either wont survive or would become very vulnerable if the federal cap is nullified. If the federal limit falls, I think the states are likely to fall, too, says Lawrence Norton, co-chairman of the political law practice at Venable and a former general counsel of the FEC. If the Supreme Court rules against the limits, it will likely do so in a way that affects those state caps, he says. In a February blog post, Norton identified roughly 10 states with state-level spending limits. The Center for Competitive Politics, which filed a brief on behalf of McCutcheon puts the number of states with limits even higher at 13. Still, they argue, the majority of states have no cap and are doing fine. And, besides, Citizens United opened the floodgates for unlimited independent corporate political spending, so removing the aggregate limit for individuals acts as a counterbalance, they and others argue. But fans of the limit couldnt disagree more. As bad as Citizens United was, I think this would be much worse, says Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, the Maryland executive director of Common Cause, a nonprofit active on campaign-finance issues. Its true that money already makes its way into politics as outside political spending. But, supporters of the limit like Bevan-Dangel say, as odious as they may find that at least such spending is a step removed. If the Supreme Court nixes the aggregate limit and state limits fall as well, money will have a more direct path to candidates, they argue. Removing such aggregate limits would change the nature of the donor-politician relationship, too, fans of the limit argue. Should Marylands contribution cap fall, for example, Bevan-Dangel expects a huge influx of money to local races: its going to be a real game-changer. The result may not be certain, but the future of state limits and their ability to set such limits may hang in the balance.

US-Japan Deal Could Lead to More Organic Options

obligations under the treaties, and indeed the broader international future of marijuana legalization, are complex matters. But the essential points can be summarized in a 4-part Q&A. 1. Is the U.S. currently in violation of the UN treaties it signed agreeing to make marijuana illegal? No. The U.S. federal government is a signatory to the treaty, but the States of Washington and Colorado are not. Countries with federated systems of government like the U.S. and Germany can only make international commitments regarding their national-level policies. Constitutionally, U.S. states are simply not required to make marijuana illegal as it is in federal law.

The next Citizens United could affect campaign spending in the states

Cruz had a point to make, and his extraordinarily long speech focused attention on his disapproval of President Obamas health care law. Cruz said he would speak until I am no longer able to stand. Today the question is asked, What is a true filibuster? Historically, the United States Senate has been dealing with the proceedings-halting phenomenon for over 150 years. According to the United States Senate, a filibuster falls under the category of Senate powers and procedures. Filibuster finds its roots from the Dutch. It means having pirate or rebel-like behavior. In the 1800s, representatives as well as senators could filibuster. As the House of Representatives grew, their power to filibuster was taken away. The sheer numbers of representatives dictated that filibustering was impractical and disruptive. The smaller Senate kept its filibustering power, as it does today. A senator may take all the time he or she needs to speak. Filibusters can continue for days or weeks if a group of senators are trying to block a bill. In 1917, senators adopted Rule 22 to end a debate with a majority vote. This device is known as cloture. Since 1975, a three-fifth majority vote is required to invoke cloture. The power to filibuster is a part of the United State Senates history and tradition. A senator simply needs to ask for the floor, and the talking begins. Senator Huey P. Long used the filibuster as a tool to prevent votes against the disadvantaged and the poor. A 15 hour speech was not uncommon for Long, who would include verses of Shakespeare in his recitation.