Nevada has a serious drug problem — Shops are running out of marijuana

❝ Nevada officials have declared a state of emergency over marijuana: There’s not enough of it.

❝ Since recreational pot became legal a couple of weeks ago, retail dispensaries have struggled to keep their shelves stocked and say they will soon run out if nothing is done to fix a broken supply chain.

❝ In declaring a state of emergency late last week, the state Department of Taxation warned that “this nascent industry could grind to a halt.”

As bad as that would be for marijuana consumers and the pot shops, the state has another concern: tax revenue. A 10% tax on sales of recreational pot — along with a 15% tax on growers — is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars a year for schools and the state’s general fund reserves…

❝ In the run-up to last year’s state referendum over legalization — which was overwhelmingly approved by voters, allowing people aged 21 and over to buy or possess up to an ounce of marijuana — the state’s powerful alcohol lobby worried that legalized weed would cut into liquor store sales.

So in a concession to the the alcohol industry, the ballot measure stipulated that for the first 18 months of pot sales only wholesale alcohol distributors would be allowed to transport marijuana from cultivation facilities to the dispensaries…

The state Department of Taxation, which regulates legal marijuana, said it had received about half a dozen applications from alcohol distributors but that none had so far met the state licensing requirements, which include background checks and security protocols.

As a result, the dispensaries have had to rely on marijuana already in stock…

❝ All four of the other states where recreational pot is legal — Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — allow the dispensaries to transport marijuana themselves, with no privileges given to alcohol distributors.

The same “moderate” Republican governor who vetoed the Medicaid For Everyone law passed by the Nevada legislature fought to give a handout to the booze distributors. He approves of them. Not the weed growers. Which says something about so-called moderate Republicans being just as afraid of democracy as the Tea Party Trumplets.

USA is now ranked a ‘Second Tier’ country at well-being

❝ Some 17 others, including all of Scandinavia, outperform the U.S. by a wide margin when it comes to well-being.

❝ America leads the world when it comes to access to higher education. But when it comes to health, environmental protection, and fighting discrimination, it trails many other developed countries, according to the Social Progress Imperative, a U.S.-based nonprofit.

❝ The results of the group’s annual survey, which ranks nations based on 50 metrics, call to mind other reviews of national well-being, such as the World Happiness Report released in March, which was led by Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, or September’s Lancet study on sustainable development. In that one, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden, and the U.S. took spots 1, 2, 3, and 28 — respectively…

❝ Of course it’s easy enough to dismiss or belittle these occasional reports, each with their unique methodologies and almost identical conclusions. Another approach, however, would be to look at them all together and conclude that they represent “mounting evidence.” In that case, Houston (and Dallas, New Orleans, Tulsa, St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York), we have a problem.

❝ SPI produces the report in part to help city, state, and national policymakers diagnose and (ideally) address their most pressing challenges. The group’s chief executive, Michael Green, said America “is failing to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, protect the environment, and provide opportunity for everyone to make personal choices and reach their full potential.”

How many politicians – either of the pallid flavors we’re allowed – offer you the opportunity to vote in support of a platform containing similar ideals?

Groundwater pumping is drying up the Great Plains


Click to enlarge — Arikaree River in high water season, nowadays

❝ Farmers in the Great Plains of Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and the panhandle of Texas produce about one-sixth of the world’s grain, and water for these crops comes from the High Plains Aquifer — often known as the Ogallala Aquifer — the single greatest source of groundwater in North America. A team of researchers, including Colorado State University and , a CSU alumnus and an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, have discovered that has led to long segments of rivers drying up and the collapse of large-stream fishes.

If pumping practices are not modified, scientists warn that these habitats will continue to shrink, and the fish populations along with them.

❝ The research team combined modeling from the past and future to assess changes in Great Plains streams and their fish populations associated with groundwater pumping from the High Plains Aquifer. The findings have implications for watersheds around the world, because irrigation accounts for 90 percent of human water use globally, and local and regional aquifers are drying up…

❝ Kurt Fausch described the situation as a “wicked problem,” one with no good solution. “More water is pumped out every year than trickles back down into the aquifer from rain and snow,” he said. “We are basically drying out the Great Plains.”

Any ideas? Know any conservative politicians with any useful ideas? RTFA for more details, more sad news.