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Mandatory Minimums, Industrial Hemp and Local Food (Weekly Update)

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Every week I jot down notes, ideas and links to articles for potential future blog posts. Most of these posts never materialize and eventually get tossed. I have been looking for a way to preserve and share more of this information with my readers and have decided to write a weekly update focused on current events and issues that I believe deserve wider attention. I welcome your feedback and discussion.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences are about as fair and liberty minded as zero tolerance polices at your child’s school. Both have a collectivist mentality that treats every offense equally and refuses to take into account individuals and individual circumstances. The tiny action figure gun is treated as a real gun and the kid who makes a tiny mistake is treated like a hardened criminal. These policies are unfair and they need to be changed.

LD6 State Representative Bob Thorpe recently made national headlines when he speculated about the reason Attorney General Eric Holder suddenly announced that the Obama Administration would ease enforcement of mandatory minimums. He called Holder “soft on crime” and suggested it could be a racial issue.

Harper’s Magazine has a completely different take this week and their perspective might surprise you. They give the credit to Senator Rand Paul who has been fighting for quite a while to do away with mandatory minimums. According to them, Holder was forced to make the changes due to libertarian pressure.

You can read the article here:

On Rand Paul’s War On The War On Drugs

A lot of people in the liberty movement criticize Rand Paul for having a different style and not being as pure as his father (which is true) but articles like this make it hard to deny that he is effective and can get things done.

Industrial Hemp

The Governor of Vermont recently signed a law that nullifies the Federal ban on hemp cultivation and allows farmers to start growing industrial hemp immediately.  Senator Rand Paul and our friends at votehemp.com fought for similar laws in Kentucky and other states and were quite successful but those laws rely on the Federal government lifting their ban on industrial hemp. Vermont is the first state to sidestep the Federal government and give the green light to farmers.

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will have a booth at the Coconino County Fair from August 30th – September 2nd. Part of our booth will be dedicated to legalizing industrial hemp. Our hope is that Arizona will follow in the footsteps of Vermont in the near future.

More on the Vermont law here:

Vermont Completely Nullifies Federal Hemp Ban

Local Food

Longtime readers of my blog know that I’ve been warning for months about the negative impact the Food Safety Modernization Act will have on local food. Over the past week or so a long list of articles have been published highlighting small farmers who are expressing these same concerns. Now, more than ever, we need to be fighting for local food freedom.

Here’s one of the must read articles published this week on the topic:

Farming Experts Predict Food Safety Laws Will Destroy Local Foods Trend

GOP Alienating The Grassroots

Thanks to Remnants Of Liberty and the Arizona 10th Amendment Center for publishing my recent article titled How To Alienate The Grassroots And Push Voters Away.  It is great to have a strong network of bloggers and independent media sources working day and night to get the liberty message out.

Below is another interesting article on the anti grassroots path the Republican Party is taking:

Something Is Very Wrong At The Republican National Committee

Coming Up This Week:

Tomorrow (Monday, August 26th) the Flagstaff City Council will be discussing an Animal Feeding Ordinance. This ordinance was supposedly created to keep people from feeding elk and deer but if it passes you can be fined if your fruit trees, garden or bird feeder unintentionally attracts large animals. I oppose this Ordinance and encourage the Flagstaff City Council to vote no.

At the end of tomorrow’s council meeting there will be a vote on whether or not to move Flagstaff Liberty Alliance’s food freedom resolution forward. We need at least 3 votes to take it to the next level. I’ll be posting an update after the meeting and hopefully I’ll have good news to share with you all.

Last week the Flagstaff Sustainability Commission voted unanimously to support our food freedom resolution and their support greatly increases the chances of our resolution getting at least 3 votes.  If you have not contacted the Flagstaff City Council to express your support please contact them before tomorrow’s meeting. You can find contact information for the Flagstaff City Council here:


Flagstaff Liberty Alliance is excited to have a booth at the Coconino County fair which runs from August 30th through September 2nd. We have a bunch of fun activities planned for kids and adults alike. The Coconino County Fair is always a great opportunity to hand out literature and discuss liberty issues with the thousands of people who attend. Hope to see you there!

Pot Through the Years

There was a time when Americans were actually encouraged to grow hemp.


  1. Did_I_really_vote_for_Thorpe?
    August 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Really Bob? I mean WTF? Mandatory minimum sentences are anathema to liberty minded Americans. Get your head out of the 1950s and start representing your constituents.

    We need to run a liberty candidate for LD6 next time. Oh wait, no we are screwed aren’t we! Thanks Republicans and Gov Brewer for HB2305. I guess we are simply stuck with either a half wit or big government hack like Doug Ballard. I think I’m moving to Tierra del Fuego, and get as far from the clowns of AZ as possible

  2. August 26, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Yesterday morning I tried to go to Bob Thorpe’s twitter account and it was gone. Either Bob deleted the account or I have been blocked with the rest of the media.

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