Political Stupidity and Bureaucratic Bungling Created New York’s Pot Legalization ‘Disaster’

“New York’s rollout of marijuana legalization has been a “disaster,” as Hochul conceded in January. “Every other storefront” is an unlicensed pot shop, she told The Buffalo News. “It’s insane.”
That disaster has frustrated would-be retailers, left farmers in the lurch, played havoc with tax revenue projections, and made a joke out of any expectation that New York, by learning from the experience of states that legalized marijuana earlier, would do a better job of displacing the black market. The insanity that Hochul perceives is a product of bad decisions by politicians who should have known better and obstruction by regulators who sacrificed efficiency on the altar of diversity.

Unlike states such as New Jersey, where voters approved legalization in 2020, and Maryland, where a similar ballot initiative passed two years later, New York did not initially allow existing medical dispensaries to start serving the recreational market. Its slow and complicated licensing process, which was skewed by an “equity” program that prioritized approval of applicants with marijuana-related criminal records or their relatives, is maddeningly hard to navigate.

Those preferences invited lawsuits by people who were excluded, which further delayed approval of licenses. Guidance and financial help for people struggling to jump through the state’s hoops never materialized. And as in other states, high taxes and burdensome regulations have made it hard for licensed businesses to compete with unauthorized dealers.”

https://reason.com/2024/03/22/political-stupidity-and-bureaucratic-bungling-created-new-yorks-pot-legalization-disaster/

Blinken says China is Russia’s primary military complex supplier

“U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticised on Friday Chinese support for Russia’s defence industry, saying Beijing was currently the primary contributor to Moscow’s war in Ukraine though its provision of critical components for weaponry.
He said this effort was fueling “the biggest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War.”

Speaking at a news conference capping the end of a gathering of G7 foreign ministers on the Italian island of Capri, Blinken said Washington had made it very clear to Beijing and others that they should not be aiding Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

“When it comes to Russia’s defense industrial base the primary contributor in this moment to that is China. We see China sharing machine tools, semiconductors, other dual use items that have helped Russia rebuild the defense industrial base,” Blinken said.

“China can’t have it both ways. It can’t afford that. You want to have positive, friendly relations with countries in Europe, and at the same time, you are fueling the biggest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War,” Blinken said.

The U.S. has warned China not to aid Moscow’s war effort since Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which came just weeks after Russia and China declared a “no limits partnership.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock echoed Blinken’s concerns.

“If China openly pursues an ever closer partnership with Russia, which is waging an illegal war against Ukraine, … we cannot accept this,” Baerbock said after a meeting with her G7 counterparts in Capri.

U.S. officials briefed reporters earlier this month on materials China was providing to Russia, including drone and missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools, that fall short of providing lethal assistance but were helping Russia build up its military to sustain its two-year-old war in Ukraine.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/blinken-says-china-russias-primary-125758842.html