On occasion, as we did two weeks ago when the ladies at Seattlish got the Fizz password and wrote our Likes and Dislikes week in review column, we like to have guests take over the Friday AM routine.
This morning, we're turning to the king of the week in review format: former KUOW Weekday host Steve Scher.
Evidently returning from a mini-hijra away from the news, Scher is back. —Eds.
First off, I must offer a disclaimer. I had a major life changing experience last month. I resigned from my job. I turned away from the news for a while. I stepped off the merry-go-round. I recommend it. It was quite pleasant. Now I am back. The horses are quite magnificent, but they do go round and round and round.
1) Some folks living around Joint Base Lewis-McChord DISLIKE that JBLM is being considered by the federal government as the fourth military base to house minors detained when crossing the border illegally. Lakewood’s mayor and its city manager want to know how housing the illegal immigrants would affect schools, social services and law enforcement in the area.
US Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA, 10) and US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) are raising questions about the use of the military bases. They see it as a humanitarian issue. At a hearing Thursday, Sen. Murray said, “These are children, many of them 7 or 8 years old, fleeing terrible violence in their home countries. They’re sent by desperate mothers and fathers who have had to look them in the eyes and literally tell them to run for their lives.” Meanwhile, President Obama has asked congress for 3.7 billion dollars for more border guards and faster deportation hearings.
Republicans LIKE hammering Obama on this issue, while DISLIKING immigration reform proposals they view as amnesty.
They aren’t wrong. Like it or dislike it, the proposals are amnesty. It's a recognition that we can’t and shouldn’t deport 12 million people living in the country. LIKE.
2) Speaking of kids, let's get to this week's big news: First, the pot stores are open! The pot stores are open! We all may LIKE that the state’s marijuana stores are open. Now people can buy marijuana without having to go through the criminal market or gin up some false affliction so they can use (abuse) the medical marijuana system. True, the stores that opened were under-stocked and overwhelmed. But it is a start.
But the Federal Government LIKES using the occasion of Washington’s openings to stoke the fears of marijuana abuse among teens.
Drug abuse is a serious problem, no matter the age cohort, but a CDC finding that students who got Ds and Fs were pot users seems like a false equivalency at the least. Students with more Ds and Fs also drank more, had more sex, got in more fights, carried more guns and watched more TV.
It would take more “guts” if they acknowledged a few basic facts.
Opponents praised the new report. Kevin Sabet, who opposes legalized pot through his program SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), wrote: “ It shows that this White House is still very uncomfortable with the notion of legalization, and I think it signals that they aren’t too thrilled with how things panned out in Colorado. It would have been much easier for them to avoid the issue altogether in this year’s strategy, but they chose to address it-that took guts.”
It would take more “guts” if they acknowledged a few basic facts. Pot is a drug. Kids, teens, and adults need to understand the risks. To continue to offer up false equivalencies is bad science. The Feds get the F. DISLIKE.
Mike Boyer LIKES being the first person to legally buy marijuana in Spokane, even if it cost him his job. Which maybe it did. Or maybe not. He spoke gleefully to the TV cameras as he stepped out of Spokane Green Leaf. He shouted "Go Washington" to the crowd. Boyer told the press he was fired the next day. The company, Kodiak Security, says he hasn’t been fired. He says he was asked to take a drug test. All their employees are, according to Kodiak human resources manager, Kym Ramey, though she also was quoted as saying he wasn't asked to take the test.
The Spokesman Review quoted her. “Our employees can’t be under the influence on the job.” The story goes back and forth, kind of like asking some really high people to describe what happened.
Can we expect more news stories like this now that pot is legal? Boyer says he took the drug test for Kodiak and was told he’d be fired if he failed it. He assumed he would fail. Considering the package he carried out of the pot store, he probably assumed correctly. Boyer says he regrets nothing. And posted his resume on Craigslist, writing that he was “still #1” and would make a good budtender. Well, perhaps better a seller of pot than a security guard consuming it.
3) Sure you LIKE the legal pot supply, but how about blueberries? The Washington Blueberry Commission (of course there is a blueberry commission) really LIKES that Washington growers will harvest 10 million more pounds than last year. That puts us 4th in the nation for blueberry production, at 90 million pounds. There are 175 official state blueberry growers.
How many are figuring out recipes for blueberry and pot edibles for next year? Who doesn’t LIKE a win-win?