- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Lint screen

The long line of airline passengers waiting to be screened at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport couldn’t help but laugh at the federal Transportation Security Administration officer who announced into her microphone: “Remove your coats, remove your jackets, remove your belts, remove your shoes — remove your lint, if you have any.”

Quote of the week

“The next four years are going to be tough, so we must be tougher. Our health, our rights and our democracy are teetering on the brink.”

National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy

Moore growth

After a successful run as president of the Club for Growth, Stephen Moore is starting a new organization that will advocate for Social Security reform, tax reform and legal reform, as well as other pro-growth issues up for consideration in Congress.

The organization’s name: Free Enterprise Fund.

Jack’s pick

Washington malpractice lawyer Jack Olender is delivering up his top 10 legal predictions for 2005, not the least of which is that Justice Antonin Scalia will be the next chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another possibility: Justice Clarence Thomas.

Mr. Olender notes that one of the most popular Internet gambling companies has also named Justice Scalia as the odds-on favorite to be the next chief justice of the land.

The well-known Washington lawyer estimates that his predictions are right 90 percent of the time, but he says: “I don’t gamble.”

Lost Colin

Former Rep. Clint Roberts, South Dakota Republican, read our recent item about an impressive feline named Colin Powell taking top honors in the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s 2004 “Best Cat” competition.

“I have a beautiful cat named after one of my favorite people: Colin Powell. We call him CP,” Mr. Roberts writes from his home in Presho, S.D.

Unfortunately, he continues, CP “disappeared 10 days ago.”

If anybody in South Dakota spots CP, please notify Mr. Roberts.

“Please tell him we miss him,” adds the former congressman, who prior to serving in Congress during the early 1980s was an unsuccessful nominee for governor of South Dakota.

Taxes, please

Congratulated yesterday on his ascension to executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) — replacing longtime NORML director and founder Keith Stroup Allen St. Pierre joked: “Now if you could tell my mother that it’s a good thing.”

Then again, if the 39-year-old Mr. St. Pierre has his way, his mother — and others in this country, particularly women concerned about the legal consequences of smoking marijuana — might just climb on board.

“On April 15, Tax Day, we’re going to be the only people in this country to draw a big target on our head and tell the federal government … that those of us who consume cannabis would like to pay taxes,” explains Mr. St. Pierre, who has been NORML’s deputy director since 1993.

“We’re going to start talking in serious economic terms about the cost of prohibition and alternative policies, most notably taxing and regulating [marijuana].”

Another major thrust in the coming months for NORML, headquartered just a few blocks from the White House on K Street, will be to educate the public about “known science” surrounding “the relative harmlessness of marijuana when juxtaposed to other drugs” — including alcohol and caffeine, which some studies show have more adverse effects on the body.

“Marijuana fits into taxation scheme already in place for alcohol and tobacco,” says Mr. St. Pierre.

Finally, he says, with NORML’s support, look for numerous “reefer resolutions” — decriminalization bills — to be introduced in various state legislatures in the coming year or so, from Washington state to Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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