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2018 International Religious Freedom Report (Rastafari)
In the Bahamas, Rastafarians said the government discriminated against them because of their use of marijuana and dreadlocks. Rastafarians continued to be arrested for possessing small quantities of marijuana they used in ceremonial rituals and subjected to having their hair (locks) cut in prison. Rastafarians stated officials required family members of Rastafarian prisoners to pay to receive a vegetarian diet while in prison. Rastafarians also said the government discriminated against them in discussions on the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. In St. Lucia, Rastafarian community representatives reported their reluctance to use marijuana for religious purposes because marijuana use was illegal and subject to punitive fines. Rastafarians said they continued to face discrimination in the school system because the Ministry of Education required vaccinations for all children attending school; Rastafarians continued to oppose vaccination, which they stated was part of their religious beliefs. Government officials and Rastafarian community members said some Rastafarian families decided to vaccinate their children or to homeschool. They also reported national insurance plans did not cover traditional doctors used by the Rastafarian community.
International Religious Freedom Act
The right to freedom of religion is under renewed and, in some cases, increasing assault in many countries around the world. More than one-half of the world’s population lives under regimes that severely restrict or prohibit the freedom of their citizens to study, believe, observe, and freely practice the religious faith of their choice. Religious believers and communities suffer both government-sponsored and government-tolerated violations of their rights to religious freedom. Among the many forms of such violations are state-sponsored slander campaigns, confiscations of property, desecration of cemeteries, surveillance by security police, including by special divisions of “religious police”, severe prohibitions against construction and repair of places of worship, denial of the right to assemble and relegation of religious communities to illegal status through arbitrary registration laws, prohibitions against the pursuit of education or public office, and prohibitions against publishing, distributing, or possessing religious literature and materials. A policy or practice of routinely denying applications for visas for religious workers in a country can be indicative of a poor state of religious freedom in that country. Even more abhorrent, religious believers in many countries face such severe and violent forms of religious persecution as detention, torture, beatings, forced marriage, rape, imprisonment, enslavement, mass resettlement, and death merely for the peaceful belief in, change of or practice of their faith. In many countries, religious believers are forced to meet secretly, and religious leaders are targeted by national security forces and hostile mobs.
The Opioid Fix That Wasn't
President Trump signed an omnibus opioid crisis bill that the bill’s author called “the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in history.” But given that the bill bolsters many prior and dangerous interventions, we should only expect the crisis to get worse because of it. But this government intervention had one major flaw — the crisis was not caused by prescribing. After a 28 percent decrease in opioid prescribing since 2012, opioid overdose death rates have now doubled. The government’s own data show non-marijuana illicit drug use has actually remained stable since 2002. The only difference now is that users are exposed to less pharmaceutical-grade options. When drugs aren’t supplied by the legal market and clean, they’ll inevitably be supplied by the illegal market and dirtier. You may be able to find the same oxycodone pills from less expensive sources, but if they are counterfeit and adulterated with fentanyl, you risk the same tragic death as Prince.
The Economists’ Smoot-Hawley Tariff Protest of 1930
We are convinced that increased protective duties would be a mistake. They would operate, in general, to increase the prices which domestic consumers would have to pay. By raising prices they would encourage concerns with higher costs to undertake production, thus compelling the consumer to subsidize waste and inefficiency in industry. First, as consumers they would have to pay still higher prices for the products, made of textiles, chemicals, iron, and steel, which they buy. Second, as producers, their ability to sell their products would be further restricted by the barriers placed in the way of foreigners who wished to sell manufactured goods to us.Our export trade, in general, would suffer. Countries can not permanently buy from us unless they are permitted to sell to us, and the more we restrict the importation of goods from them by means of ever higher tariffs the more we reduce the possibility of our exporting to them There are few more ironical spectacles than that of the American Government as it seeks, on the one hand, to promote exports… while, on the other hand, by increasing tariffs it makes exportation ever more difficult. A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace.