Provo • Police Chief John King on Tuesday called for the Utah Legislature to accept federal funds to extend health insurance for thousands more state residents to prevent future crime, as well as save money.
King made his plea along with a representative of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an anti-crime organization that supports Gov. Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah expansion plan, which includes provisions for treatment of mental health issues.
“I’m not here as an expert on health care policy,” King said at a news conference.
But as a law enforcement officer, the chief — who stressed that he and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids are not equating mental illness with criminality — said he knows the toll that mental illness, behavior disorders and substance abuse can take.
“It’s a smart move,” King said of expanding coverage.
Reefer Madness meets Night of the Lepus!
Otoh, this could benefit Utah’s numerous defense contractors if the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch can be mass produced.
Utah is considering a bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to be treated with edible forms of marijuana. If the bill passes, the state’s wildlife may “cultivate a taste” for the plant, lose their fear of humans, and basically be high all the time. That’s according to testimony presented to a Utah Senate panel (time stamp 58:00) last week by an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” said special agent Matt Fairbanks, who’s been working in the state for a decade. He is member of the “marijuana eradication” team in Utah. Some of his colleagues in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree’s garden and seizing a number of okra plants.
Fairbanks spoke of his time eliminating back-country marijuana grows in the Utah mountains, specifically the environmental costs associated with large-scale weed cultivation on public land: “Personally, I have seen entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals, deforestation and erosion,” he said. “The ramifications to the flora, the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown.”
Fairbanks said that at some illegal marijuana grow sites he saw “rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana. …” He continued: “One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone.”
TREMONTON - A joint investigation between local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led to the arrest of a man they say threatened to bomb several targets, including the Tremonton Police Department in order to instigate an uprising against the government.
John Huggins, 47, was under surveillance by the FBI after an anonymous tip came into local police that he was planning to blow up his Bible study group. Police say they learned that he was allegedly planning to blow up the police department along with several bridges and infrastructure points to prevent assistance from showing up, according to court documents.
Huggins had allegedly targeted two police officers to kill before initiating his plan.
Police say Huggins goal was to get the community to rise up in defiance of the government.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 22-year-old Salt Lake City man has been sentenced to five years in prison for shooting out windows at a Utah synagogue two years ago in what prosecutors considered a religiously motivated attack.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release Tuesday that Macon Openshaw must also pay $1,969 to repair the damage at the Congregation Kol Ami synagogue in Salt Lake City.
Openshaw pleaded guilty in April to two charges of unlawful gun possession.
Prosecutors say that Openshaw acknowledged as part of a plea deal that he fired three rounds from a .22-caliber handgun at the unoccupied temple because of its religious identity.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the conviction and sentence shows that religiously motivated violence won’t be tolerated.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In the wake of a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month, a Utah lawmaker says he believes a firing squad is a more humane form of execution. And he plans to bring back that option for criminals sentenced to death in his state.
Rep. Paul Ray, a Republican from the northern Utah city of Clearfield, plans to introduce his proposal during Utah’s next legislative session in January. Lawmakers in Wyoming and Missouri floated similar ideas this year, but both efforts stalled. Ray, however, may succeed. Utah already has a tradition of execution by firing squad, with five police officers using .30-caliber Winchester rifles to execute Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010, the last execution by rifle to be held in the state.
Ray argues the controversial method may seem more palatable now, especially as states struggle to maneuver lawsuits and drug shortages that have complicated lethal injections.
“It sounds like the Wild West, but it’s probably the most humane way to kill somebody,” Ray said.
Despite all of the progress made so far on LGBT rights, on Tuesday, Louisiana voted to uphold the state’s anti-sodomy law, 67-27, despite it being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, in their landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision.
In its decision, the court ruled that laws prohibiting sodomy seek “to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals.”
Unless you live in Louisiana?
In fact, in addition to Louisiana and Texas, Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas and Oklahoma have all maintained their own anti-sodomy laws, despite their direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s decision. In three of these states — Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas — such anti-sodomy laws pertain exclusively to “homosexual conduct.”
The Louisiana bill in question, HB12, proposed to amend “crime against nature…” and was introduced in January by State House Representative Patricia Smith (D-Baton Rouge). Although it seems painfully obvious that there is no reason on Earth to maintain such a law, Smith’s proposed bill was a direct response to the targeted arrests of gay men in her district who were profiled and lured by undercover police to agree to consensual sex. At least 12 men have been arrested in this “sodomy sting” since 2011, despite the fact that prosecutors refused to bring charges in every single case.
Who will take the gold this year, for hating the gays?
Utah figured out that it cost more for people to be homeless than to be housed, so they gave them homes, and a social worker.
What a novel idea! ///
The more than 1000 same sex marriages that took place after the Utah court decision and before the US Supreme Court put a stay on further marriages will be recognized under federal law.
Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday extended federal recognition to the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah that took place before the Supreme Court put those unions in the state on hold.
The attorney general’s action will enable the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to these couples.
Holder said the couples “should not be asked to endure uncertainty” regarding their benefits while courts decide the issue of same-sex marriage in Utah.
“For purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and be considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” he said in a video statement posted on the Justice Department’s website.
Meanwhile, El Rushbo considers this decision “Stalinist.”
Today the governor of Utah need not stay in office. He can just quit. You might recall that in Utah, government officials just stepped in, a court stepped in and said, “you know what? Gay marriage is not legal in this state. Eric Holder, the attorney general of the United States, says the federal government will recognize same sex marriage in Utah for the purpose of federal benefits despite the Utah governor’s directive not to, pending the Supreme Court’s review of the state’s ban. So that states, when you’ve got people like Holder and Obama in office, it doesn’t matter what governor’s do, it doesn’t matter what the people of the state want, what Holder and Obama want is what’s going to happen.
So you have the attorney general engaging in executive action, executive orders. Just as if Obama were to do it.
He’s right, of course. This explains why Holder is WAITING for further Supreme Court review. Joseph Stalin, the most tyrannical despot ever, the very picture of totalitarianism, the antithesis of the rule of law, would do the exact same thing. He would wait for another branch of the government to make a ruling on a law before taking any further action on it.
The resemblance is uncanny.