It’s a bit cynical to say, but we’ll say it anyway: There’s nothing like a sick child to fast-track a government response to a medical issue. Take the June fight over whether a little girl should have been put on a list for an adult lung transplant. The parents sued the government, and right away, there was a strong response against the secretary of Health and Human Services’ stance that she would not interfere. A court ruled in favor of the parents, and the child got the lung.
Now, a sick child has instigated a change in the rules on medical marijuana in New Jersey.
On Friday, Republican Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed (or for the glass-half-full people, conditionally approved) a bill that will make it easier for sick children to get pot. As the Associated Press reports, he stipulates that a psychiatrist and a pediatrician have to both agree that marijuana is the best course of action for the child.
Earlier in the week, Brian Wilson, the father of a 2-year-old who suffers daily seizures, confronted Christie on the issue, pleading to him, “Please don’t let my daughter die, Governor.”
There’s some indication that medical marijuana can be helpful in treating the form of epilepsy the child has. Parents obviously want all available options on the table for their sick kids, but current medical-marijuana rules in New Jersey make it very difficult for children to participate, requiring three written letters from doctors. The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill to include children about a month and a half ago. Until Friday, though, the governor had not indicated how he would act on it.
Christie now sends his stipulations back to the Legislature. He says he will sign it if they agree to his pediatrician and psychiatrist sign-off stipulation, and if edible pot is only available to children, not to the larger medical-marijuana-user population.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."