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‘Trump is going to see what low-energy looks like,’ an ally to Jeb Bush says
The Republicans’ second presidential debate is shaping up to have all the hallmarks of a Hollywood blockbuster: drama, high-speed collisions and, of course, the fiery explosions. Donald Trump, of course, is getting the star billing at the CNN production.
The White House hopefuls are set to clash—and maybe crash—Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Los Angeles for a pair of back-to-back forums, split among those who are polling atop the field and the also-rans. As with their first forums, all eyes will be focused on Trump, the brash billionaire who is leading polls and in potshots aimed at his rivals.
Inside rival campaigns, advisers are all trying to come up with a plan to deflate Trump. During the first debate, most tried to keep Trump at arm’s length and, with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, none tried to confront Trump on his thin record as a Republican. That approach worked for the first session, but it’s not a winning strategy going forward, especially with Trump outpacing more serious candidates in the polls by factors of three or four.

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“We kept waiting for him to do himself in. That hasn’t happened, so it’s time to help that process along,” one adviser to a Trump rival said. Added a second campaign’s strategist: “If we don’t as a party change our posture, we’re looking at another President Clinton. Hillary will beat Donald Trump in 49 states if he’s our nominee. And I’m not sure she doesn’t pick up Texas, too.”
Ahead of the debate, to be held beside Reagan’s retired presidential airliner, candidates were already trying out their attacks. “If you don’t know the answer to these questions, then you are not going to be able to serve as commander and chief,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, pointing to Trump’s struggle to answer questions about foreign policy. “There’s nothing behind the curtain,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says of Trump. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was even more direct, calling Trump a “madman.”
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Many in El Paso would like to see cannabis laws reformed not despite local cartel traffic, but because of it: a military-style border has fractured communities.
The Paso del Norte Bridge between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez towards El Paso. (AP/Ivan Pierre Aguirre)

Of all the weekends for Colt DeMorris to be pulled over by the cops for a broken tail-light, it had to be the one before 4/20.
That day is the unofficial annual holiday for marijuana enthusiasts, and DeMorris is the executive director of the El Paso chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He was headed home at 2.30am on Saturday from 420 Fest, a music event sponsored by his group. The smell was unmistakable.
What happened next was predictable: the arrest, the 14-hour booking process, the court date. What is more surprising is that amid the usual torrent of anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-equality measures floated in this year’s session of theTexas legislature, there were 11 progressive marijuana-related bills, and one, legalising marijuana extracts for severe epilepsy, even became law.
It is not only liberal Austin blazing the reform trail in blood-red Texas, but also El Paso – the quiet west Texas border town across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez, the Mexican city so ravaged by drug cartel violence that until recently it was the murder capital of the world.
A state representative from El Paso, Marisa Marquez, introduced a medical marijuana bill. Another El Paso Democrat, Joe Moody, proposed a bill to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of pot.
Beto O’Rourke , a Democratic US congressman from El Paso, co-wrote a 2011 book calling for drug policy reform and won election in 2012 with a pro-marijuana legalisation stance. The incumbent he ousted in the primary, Silvestre Reyes , was the former head of Border Patrol in El Paso who in 1993 introduced the controversial Operation Hold the Line, which saturated the border with agents to create a human blockade.
Law enforcement officers still swarm El Paso’s placid downtown and its sun-baked desert surroundings. Fort Bliss, the second-largest US army installation, is a short drive away. The city of 700,000 has repeatedly been named the safest of its size in the US, despite its proximity to Juárez, population 1.3 million, where 424 homicides in 2014 was considered excellent progress.
But the drugs keep coming. Border Patrol& …Read More

I really like playing miniature golf, and I also like supporting marijuana reform. If you are like me, and live in Texas, I highly encourage you to attend Texas NORML’s 2nd annual Putt-N-Puff Spring Fling. Below are more details via the Facebook event page:
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW! You wont want to miss this.
Texas NORML is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Putt-N-Puff Spring Fling. Come and enjoy a day of golf, live music, vendors and a great day at the legendary Willie Nelson’s Cut-N-Putt Golf Course located at 807 Paisley Drive, Spicewood, Texas 78669.
The purpose of this event is to raise funds for Texas NORML’s mission to gain safe access to cannabis for adults with a focus on supporting Texas Veterans and their fight in the war to re-legalize cannabis.
Golf:*Closest to the Hole Contest* Shotgun starts @ 9:30a & 1p – Prizes for each Tee Time winning team
Disc Golf:Prizes for Closest to Pin and Ring of Fire
Bands:Under the SunBruce 3 and The RevengeThe Texassippi TwoRu PayneAndrea Marie and the Magnolia BandTexas KGBWaylon PayneKing for PresidentRed Bennett
Sponsored by:The Law Offices of Jamie SpencerSpicewood Smoke ShoppeJamie Balagia – The 420 DudeBone Spirits
And more!~* Silent Auction and Raffle* BBG, Vegetarian Option, Sweets and Beverages*Artisan and Vendor Booths*Painting and Glassblowing
Tickets – http://www.texasnorml.org/ product-category/ event-tickets/

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Did God give us marijuana for a reason?
It sounds like a stoner question, but a conservative Christian lawmaker in Texas is arguing that since God made cannabis, the government should regulate it like any other plant.
State Representative David Simpson of Longview introduced a bill Monday that would remove any mention of marijuana from Texas law, and set the plant to be regulated like tea or tomatoes. If Simpson’s bill passed, it would place sales and property taxes on buyers and growers, respectively, but it wouldn’t be marked up with a so-called sin tax.

“The plant is good. God made it, and it wasn’t a mistake that government needs to fix.”
State Representative David Simpson
“I usually don’t use my Christian convictions so publicly,” Simpson said during a phone interview Wednesday. But after seeing some of his fellow Christians suffer under current pot laws, particularly laws banning medical marijuana, he said he felt the need to be more vocal. “We need to love not only our liberties, but the liberties of our neighbor.”
For Simpson, the biblical case (which he also outlined in a Texas Tribune op-ed) boils down to two arguments: first, that all of God’s creations are good. “What’s so incredible to me is that we want to eliminate something that God made,” Simpson said. “It’s very specific in Genesis 1. He talks about the green herb, he talks about plant, he talks about their seed, and it says it was good, it was very good.”
Second, he said, the government’s role should be to punish people who are doing wrong. Marijuana users, especially medical-marijuana users, aren’t hurting people. He cited Proverbs 3:30, which reads, “Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm,” and verses from Romans 13 that say the role of the civil magistrate is to punish wrongdoers. He argued that people should be free to use cannabis for its positive medicinal and commercial purposes, like treating seizures, assisting cancer patients, or creating rope and paper. 
Simpson also makes the traditional limited-government arguments against cannabis criminalization. Americans should have the freedom to choose how to use marijuana, and if …Read More