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Big Money, Big Marijuana

What's behind Utah's marijuana initiative? More unfound accusations of news bias and one school district says screw it when it comes to recycling.

Katharine Biele Aug 15, 2018 4:00 AM

Dubious Doobies
Big money. We don't like it in politics, but, oh, how we take it. The Deseret News, in a huge Sunday front-page spread, bemoans, "The money behind Utah's marijuana initiative." This would be shocking were it not for the obvious slant. While the Marijuana Policy Project might have spent $218,000 to pass the initiative, there is only passing mention of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You know, it doesn't like it. But Walter Plumb, Drug Safe Utah president, got plenty of ink. He's donated $112,000 and is forming a group to donate more to defeat the November ballot initiative. "Big marijuana is attacking our culture, no question about it," he said. The Salt Lake Tribune, on the other hand, reported on a long list of donors to all causes, topped by the way-right Dave Bateman, who also saved the Utah GOP from bankruptcy. Looks like Utahns need to be convinced they are conservative.

Fake News
Sandy resident Vaughn Pulsipher talks a lot about the "visceral hatred" toward Donald Trump by the media, liberals, and, oh yeah, everyone knows the "media" are crazy libs. Pulsipher, in a letter to the Deseret News, cited Pew polling that found "92 percent of all newscasters and editors are Democrats, liberals and voted for Hillary Clinton."That we couldn't find any such polling, or that it might have been misconstrued, doesn't matter. It's the "belief." Pew does say more than half of Americans think there's bias in the news. But The Washington Post notes that conservatives tend to get their "news" from commentators and websites. What is clear, according to WaPo, is "at least in the last decade ... that journalists are leaving both parties, finding themselves more comfortable as unaffiliateds."

Plastic Platitudes
Damn China. They're not taking all of our recylables anymore, and that just makes America trashy. So instead of looking for solutions, Salt Lake City has simply said throw it out. And the Weber School District, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, is cutting back on its recycling program. Too expensive, officials say. At least Granite and Salt Lake districts are holding their own and still recycle in schools. The Las Vegas Sun ran a story on ways to reduce plastic use at home, and Mic even suggests keeping a "plastic log." Even Austin, Texas, despite a Supreme Court ruling against a plastic bag ban, has moved toward voluntary compliance and businesses there offer compostable cups and utensils. NPR's 1A ran a piece that urged people to consume less. But with the outsized Huntsman Corp. presence in Utah, banning plastic would be difficult at best.