Matt Mutter Barren County Jailer 2014

Matt Mutter

 

Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2014 12:00 am

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Office seeking: Barren County Jailer

Name: Matt Mutter

Party: Democrat

Previous political positions: Currently serving as Barren County Jailer

Why are you running for this position? I am seeking re-election to the office of Barren County jailer to continue the high quality of service that we have provided the past few years. During my first term as Barren County jailer, many significant changes have taken place. The most crucial change has been moving into a new Detention Center three years ago. We are operating a larger facility, with more inmates, and less staff. Our budget and finances are in excellent condition. After everything we have achieved in the last four years, we are still capable of much more. We consistently receive excellent inspections and audits. I want the Barren County Detention Center to continue to be a model for other jails across Kentucky. I am proud of my staff and our accomplishments. When re-elected as Barren County jailer, I will maintain the forward progress that is already in motion.

What is the most pressing issue facing your office? The most pressing issues of any jail are financial stability, safety/security, and recidivism. I have been addressing these issues for the past six years. Since I began overseeing daily operations in July 2008, Barren County Detention Center’s finances have steadily improved. Our current budget is $12,500 less than it was in 2008. Our incoming revenue is paying for jail operations costs. I have taken measures to improve security of our facility. We now use X-ray machines and drug dogs to help reduce contraband in the jail. Our deputies receive more training now than ever before. It makes me proud when other Jailers/staff visit our facility to observe us and take our ideas back to their home counties. We have introduced programs to help reduce recidivism rates. For example, our Moral Reconation Therapy program has been very successful. These programs teach inmates how to prepare for re-entry into the civilian world. We intend to help as many inmates as possible, so hopefully they won’t be a returning statistic. As the Barren County jailer, These are only a few of the critical issues I am already managing.

What distinguishes you from your opponent? The most important distinguishing features between my opponent and me are experience and knowledge. I have been a public servant my entire adult life. I have served as a United States Navy gunners mate, Barren County deputy jailer, Glasgow Police officer, Barren County deputy sheriff, and now Barren County Jailer. I have accumulated over 1,500 law enforcement training hours during my 22-year career. I am the only candidate with experience in every aspect of jail operations. I have been overseeing Barren County jail daily operations since July 2008. I am knowledgeable in Kentucky Jail Standards. I supervised the move into a new facility three years ago. I have experience in balancing our $2 million budget each year. Under my leadership, revenue from housing state inmates is paying for our jail operations, at no cost to taxpayers. Not only do I spend 60-70 hours per week at the jail, I’m also very active in our community. I’ve been a Red Cross Elementary Site-Based Council member for the past seven years. I’m also an active member of many local organizations such as: Glasgow Kiwanis Club, Barren County Lions Club, Habitat for Humanity, and Junior Achievement.

If elected, what changes, if any, would you make? One aspect I would like to work on during the next four years is expanding on our rehabilitation programs. Recidivism (repeat offenders) is a concern of every jailer. During my term, I have introduced programs to help inmates re-integrate with society. Classes include: GED, AA, Why Try, Moral Reconation Therapy, and many religious services. Inmates are taught life skills needed to function in today’s world. I will continue to develop and expand these programs. Although our facility is called a Detention Center, I feel like it is our responsibility to be more than that. I would also like to focus on becoming an accredited facility through the American Correctional Association. This is a process in which the facility is held to higher standards than the Kentucky Jail Standards. Barren County Detention Center has been called a “model facility.” We are constantly striving to uphold that reputation and continue to improve.

While on the campaign trail, what have your constituents had to say about what the office should be doing? The feedback I have received from the community has been positive. The general public is pleased with our excellent inspections and audits. The general public is pleased that our budget is $12,500 less than what it was six years ago. Barren County residents have expressed to me the need for more programs to help inmates. To help reduce recidivism, a jailer must implement new and innovative programs. Our current MRT class is a perfect example. This program focuses on helping inmates to re-learn how to live their everyday lives. Citizens have told me they would like for our inmates to learn skills to help them get jobs. In the future, I would like to have a greenhouse on jail grounds. Hopefully, this would teach inmates gardening skills and help them be productive. Overall, Barren County citizens are happy with the way the Detention Center is run. They are happy with the progress we have made in my first term. Barren County Detention Center has been called a “model facility” and we strive every day to make the constituents proud of us.

CONTINUE READING…

How Facebook Could End Up Controlling Everything You Watch and Read Online

 

How many of you are reading this because of a link you clicked on Facebook? In the online publishing industry (which WIRED obviously is part of), Facebook’s influence on site traffic—and therefore ad revenue—is difficult to overstate. Over the past year especially, “the homepage is dead” has become a standard line among media pundits. And more than anything else, it’s Facebook that killed it.

Given that links appear to be more clickable when shared on Facebook, online publishers have scrambled to become savvy gamers of Facebook’s News Feed, seeking to divine the secret rules that push some stories higher than others. But all this genuflection at the altar of Facebook’s algorithms may be but a prelude to a more fundamental shift in how content is produced, shared, and consumed online. Instead of going to all this trouble to get people to click a link on Facebook that takes them somewhere else, the future of Internet content may be a world in which no video, article, or cat GIF gallery lives outside of Facebook at all.

The prospect of Facebook becoming the Internet’s ultimate content cannibal got a big push earlier this week by New York Times media columnist David Carr. In his column Monday, Carr said Facebook is talking to some publishers about simply hosting their pages itself. Facebook’s apparent pitch is it’s already got a mobile experience users love, so why not cut out the extra click and deliver content more directly in a way audiences prefer? Oh, and Facebook will share the ad revenue.

Publishers likely will balk at ceding so much control to Facebook. But in the end, they may not have much choice. The arrangement might sound like a partnership at first, but it could end up like Amazon and the book industry. Book publishers may hate dealing with Amazon and resent its influence over their sales. But the last thing they would do is pull their books from Amazon. Thanks to its outsized leverage, Facebook’s ability to dictate terms to online publishers could wind up much the same.

Mobile Money

As other media companies struggle to make mobile advertising pay, Facebook has become the master of the medium. In third-quarter earnings results reported Tuesday, the company posted a record $3.2 billion in revenue. Of that, nearly $2 billion came from mobile advertising. Facebook’s soaring growth to more than 1.3 billion monthly active users closely parallels its growth in mobile users. What’s more, mobile-only users account for one-third of Facebook’s user base.

For struggling publishers, going all-in with Facebook and getting even a tiny piece of that mobile ad money might seem much more appealing than limping along alone—and not just because Facebook has a proven ability to monetize mobile traffic. A publisher willing to place all of its content within Facebook’s walls could theoretically see that loyalty rewarded with better, more frequent placement in more News Feeds. Meanwhile, publishers that stubbornly stay on the outside might see their links get less of a boost. As a result, their traffic could suffer.

To be sure, Facebook has a strong interest in ensuring good stuff appears in users’ feeds, regardless of where that content calls home. If crappy content creators alone opt into a Facebook-only platform, and Facebook only promotes that crappy content, users might flee to where the good stuff lives. But Facebook probably wouldn’t be so blatant anyway. Its efforts at control will be more subtle.

Feed Frenzy

In Facebook’s earnings call Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned the prominent role he sees for content in Facebook’s future:

Video is a very big priority. News is a very big priority, because a lot of people want to share that on Facebook already. And enabling public figures, whether they are celebrities, they are athletes, they are actors, or politicians or leaders in different kind of communities to get on Facebook and use the platform to distribute the content that they want.

So those are the three areas that you’ll probably see us investing the most in over the next year or so.

If Zuckerberg calls something a “big priority,” relevant companies best take notice. This is the same CEO who also said products don’t really get interesting until they have about 1 billion people using them. Facebook is now well past that threshold, which shareholders will be thankful to know means Zuckerberg finds it an interesting business. Which from a business standpoint means he’s unlikely to compromise.

What might an uncompromising approach to content look like? Imagine a publisher posts a YouTube link to Facebook and gets a few “likes” and clicks. Then imagine that same publisher uploads a video to Facebook, and gets a lot more views and “likes.” Maybe it’s a fluke. But over time, a pattern emerges. The videos posted straight to Facebook get watched more. Soon enough, all their videos are going straight to Facebook. Perhaps over time, the process repeats itself for other kinds of content.

Content With Facebook

For Zuckerberg, the business rationale behind encouraging such a transition isn’t sticking it to publishers but to YouTube’s parent company Google, which has as much interest in seeing content continuing living on the web as Facebook does in encouraging that content to migrate off it. For that matter, any company that commands outsize audience attention online probably is within Facebook’s sights. For instance, the company no doubt would love to monetize the hours you spend binge-watching on Netflix.

Enter Facebook’s deal with Hollywood studio Lionsgate, which is set to release five short films based on the blockbuster Twilight franchise exclusively on Facebook next year. Facebook may have built its empire on content generated by users. But that empire has become so effective at commanding attention online that Facebook has no reason not to try its hand at original and exclusive professional-grade content. Time spent on Facebook is money for Facebook. If an online shopping site can start making TV shows people will watch, Facebook could, too.

As for owning the future of content, Facebook already does. The company’s $2 billion purchase of virtual-reality headset maker Oculus might seem to be an extravagance in the context of Facebook as it looks and functions today. No one needs to friend you in 3-D. But as Facebook catches up to the web as a content platform, a mature, consumer-ready version of Oculus could catapult the company ahead. Not that Zuckerberg is in a hurry. He said he pictures somewhere between 50 million and 100 million Oculus headsets sold over the next 10 years.

By then, Zuckerberg will be just 40 years old. It’s only natural that he take the long view of his company’s future. “We’re going to be here for decades,” Zuckerberg told Wall Street analysts Tuesday. But when it comes to content, the more important question might be: will anyone else?

CONTINUE READING…

Rural Vote Could Be Key in Kentucky Senate Race

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Oct 30, 2014, 5:57 PM ET

By ADAM BEAM and BRUCE SCHREINER Associated Press

Associated Press

When Mitch McConnell knocked off an incumbent Democrat in a close race in 1984 to win his Senate seat, he did so because of voters in the cities of Louisville and Lexington.

If he is re-elected for a sixth term Tuesday, it will be rural voters like Jason Cox, a beef cattle farmer in Campbellsville, that send him back to Washington. That’s in part because rural areas in Kentucky have shifted to supporting Republicans as the GOP has tied state Democrats to the national party and president, who is deeply unpopular here.

Cox was a tobacco farmer who benefited from a multibillion-dollar tobacco buyout, which compensated tobacco growers and others for losing production quotas when the government’s price-support program ended a decade ago. The buyout was paid by an assessment on tobacco companies, and McConnell has ensured Kentucky farmers received their full payments each year.

"I don’t feel like we would have got one had it not been for Mitch McConnell," Cox said. "I’ve got a wife and five children. It takes a lot to live."

Over the years, McConnell’s dominance in rural Kentucky has kept him in office, something he jokes about by saying: the smaller the town, the better I do. This year, though, he is locked in the tightest race he has been in since 1984, and control of the Senate is at stake.

"Louisville and Lexington during the course of my career have become much more Democratic," McConnell said. "The good news is most of the rest of Kentucky has become much more Republican."

McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes have spent considerable time in small town Kentucky. Grimes boasted this week that she has visited all 120 counties in the state.

During a stop in Benton in Marshall County, Grimes used a folksy style that connected with the crowd in a staunchly conservative corner of the state.

"He tells us that we should give him another six years, on top of the 30 he’s already had, because somehow that constitutes going in a new direction," Grimes said of McConnell. "Y’all buy it?" The crowd replied: "No!"

Darrell Sisk attended a Grimes rally in Princeton. He said Republicans made inroads in rural Kentucky with their opposition of abortion, gay rights and gun restrictions. But it’s also home to some of the state’s worst poverty, and Sisk, a Grimes supporter, said she might be able to connect with that message.

"She’s talking about the real issues," he said. "She’s talking about unemployment, about jobs. She’s talking about helping those that have been laid off and have lost their unemployment benefits."

McConnell and outside groups have blanketed the airwaves with ads linking Grimes with President Barack Obama, who has been trounced both times he was on the ballot in Kentucky.

Democrat Mike Cherry, a former state lawmaker from Caldwell County in western Kentucky, said state Democrats up and down the ballot are put on the defensive in rural areas by being compared to more liberal members of the national party.

"When you see a picture of her superimposed on a picture of our administration Democrats, it sinks in," Cherry said. "But I think she’s done everything that she possibly could to distance (herself) from him. And I think the discerning voter can see that."

It still works with some voters, though, including Sherman Chaudoin, who identified himself as conservative Democrat.

"I think she’d be an Obama supporter, and I wouldn’t vote for anybody that I thought would support his policies," he said.

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U.S. Marijuana Party

By Christina CrapanzanoMonday, Mar. 29, 2010

dek Andrew Holbrooke / Corbis

Long before Loretta Nall campaigned on her cleavage, the activist’s cause was cannabis. The Alabama resident gained national attention during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign when she produced T-shirts with the caption "More of these boobs …" (with a photo of Nall in a low-cut shirt) "… And less of these boobs" (next to photos of her opponents). But the write-in candidate’s political roots date back to 2002, when a misdemeanor arrest for possession was the spark behind her forming the U.S. Marijuana Party (USMJP). The group — which demands "an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana" — has official party chapters in seven states, including Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky. While Nall left the USMJP to be a Libertarian Party governor nominee, the group continues to back candidates in local, state and national elections under the leadership of Richard Rawlings, who is currently running for Congress in Illinois.

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THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN IN ‘TIME MAGAZINE’ ON MARCH 29, 2010.

U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky endorses David Patterson for U.S. Senate

Home

 

Platform

Economic Policy

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One of the major reasons for David entering this race is his concern with the amount of debt and unfunded liabilities our Federal legislators have amassed over the past decade. One of the worst decisions our elected officials made was to bail out banks and other special interests, at the expense of the American taxpayer.

    • No bailouts. Companies must live and die by their own merits.
    • No special perks. Whether big or small, the rules should be the same.
    • No excessive regulations. Don’t strangle our economy with ideology.
    • No cap on liability. Companies should be responsible for their actions.
    • Tax reform. End the income tax.
    • Industrial hemp. Allow our farmers to grow a versatile, viable crop here in America.

Civil Rights

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Our founding documents recognize that all people are created equal, and that all people have inalienable human rights. David will take the oath of office seriously, and protect those inalienable rights as guaranteed by our Constitution.

    • End domestic spying. A warrant should be required for any domestic surveillance.
    • End state marriage. Consenting adults do not need permission from government.
    • End the drug war. Prohibition is costly, in dollars and in liberty, and unsuccessful.
    • Immigration reform. Peaceful people should be allowed to move freely, with minimal interference.

Foreign Policy

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While complex in nature, our foreign policy over the past decade has not made us safer, and has been extremely costly for the taxpayers. It is important to protect our people within our borders from outside invasion, but it is immoral to spend our children’s money to protect foreign dictators for corporate gain.

    • Non-intervention. Keep our nose out of the business of other nations.
    • Respect other cultures. We would not want other cultures pushed onto us.
    • Free trade. Trade is the best way to ensure peaceful international relations.

 

CONTINUE READING….

This Is Your Brain on Drugs

By ABIGAIL SULLIVAN MOORE    OCT. 29, 2014

     

    The gray matter of the nucleus accumbens, the walnut-shaped pleasure center of the brain, was glowing like a flame, showing a notable increase in density. “It could mean that there’s some sort of drug learning taking place,” speculated Jodi Gilman, at her computer screen at the Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Center for Addiction Medicine. Was the brain adapting to marijuana exposure, rewiring the reward system to demand the drug?

    Dr. Gilman was reviewing a composite scan of the brains of 20 pot smokers, ages 18 to 25. What she and fellow researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University found within those scans surprised them. Even in the seven participants who smoked only once or twice a week, there was evidence of structural differences in two significant regions of the brain. The more the subjects smoked, the greater the differences.

    Moderate marijuana use by healthy adults seems to pose little risk, and there are potential medical benefits, including easing nausea and pain. But it has long been known that, with the brain developing into the mid-20s, young people who smoke early and often are more likely to have learning and mental health problems. Now researchers suggest existing studies are no longer sufficient. Much of what’s known is based on studies conducted years ago with much less powerful pot.

    Photo

    A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Credit The Journal of Neuroscience

    Marijuana samples seized by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency show the concentration of THC, the drug’s psychoactive compound, rising from a mean of 3.75 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2013. Potency seesaws depending on the strain and form. Fresh Baked, which sells recreational marijuana in Boulder, Colo., offers “Green Crack,” with a THC content of about 21 percent, and “Phnom Pen,” with about 8 percent. The level in a concentrate called “Bubble Hash” is about 70 percent; cartridges for vaporizers, much like e-cigarettes, range from 15 to 30 percent THC.

    High-THC marijuana is associated with paranoia and psychosis, according to a June article in The New England Journal of Medicine. “We have seen very, very significant increases in emergency room admissions associated with marijuana use that can’t be accounted for solely on basis of changes in prevalence rates,” said Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a co-author of the THC study. “It can only be explained by the fact that current marijuana has higher potency associated with much greater risk for adverse effects.” Emergency room visits related to marijuana have nearly doubled, from 66,000 in 2004 to 129,000 in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    Higher potency may also accelerate addiction. “You don’t have to work so hard to get high,” said Alan J. Budney, a researcher and professor at Dartmouth’s medical school. “As you make it easier to get high, it makes a person more vulnerable to addiction.” Among adults, the rate is one of 11; for teenagers, one of six.

    Concerns over increasing potency, and rising usage among the young, is giving new urgency to research.

    For the Harvard-Northwestern study, published in the April issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, the team scanned the brains of 40 young adults, most from Boston-area colleges. Half were nonusers; half reported smoking for one to six years and showed no signs of dependence. Besides the seven light smokers, nine used three to five days a week and four used, on average, daily. All smokers showed abnormalities in the shape, density and volume of the nucleus accumbens, which “is at the core of motivation, the core of pleasure and pain, and every decision that you make,” explained Dr. Hans Breiter, a co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern’s medical school.

    Similar changes affected the amygdala, which is fundamental in processing emotions, memories and fear responses.

    What is already known is that in casual users, THC can disrupt focus, working memory, decision making and motivation for about 24 hours. “The fact that we can see these structural effects in the brain could indicate that the effects of THC are longer lasting than we previously thought,” said Dr. Gilman, an instructor in psychology at Harvard’s medical school.

    The study was preliminary and small, and attempts to replicate it are underway. Meanwhile, Dr. Gilman is trying to figure out how the findings relate to brain function and behavior.

    One day in September, she was assessing Emma, a student who said her smoking — almost every day — didn’t interfere with school, work or other obligations. For $100 to go toward study-abroad plans, Emma politely plowed through nearly three hours of tests on cognitive functions that are or might be affected by THC, like the ability to delay gratification (would it be better to have $30 tonight or $45 in 15 days?) and motivation (a choice between computer games, the harder one offering a bigger payoff). For memory, Emma listened to lists of words, repeating back those she recalled. Next came risk. Would she bungee jump? Eat high-cholesterol food? (“These kids tend to be risk takers, particularly with their own health and safety,” Dr. Gilman said.)

    A final test: Did Emma crave a joint? Her response: somewhat.

    Dr. Gilman is concerned about pot’s impact on the college population. “This is when they are making some major life decisions,” she said, “choosing a major, making long-lasting friendships.”

    Dr. Volkow noted another problem: Partying on a Saturday night may hinder studying for a test or writing a paper due on Monday. “Maybe you won’t have the motivation to study, because there’s no reward, no incentive,” she said.

    Evidence of long-term effects is also building. A stud
    y released in 2012
    showed that teenagers who were found to be dependent on pot before age 18 and who continued using it into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38. And last year at Northwestern, Dr. Breiter and colleagues also saw changes in the nucleus accumbens among adults in their early 20s who had smoked daily for three years but had stopped for at least two years.

    They had impaired working memories as well. “Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.”

    Abigail Sullivan Moore is co-author of “The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up.”

    Education Life is a quarterly section offering news and commentary about higher education. You can reach us by emailing [email protected].

    CONTINUE READING…

    141 House Members Flunk Drug Policy Report Card But conservative Republicans are among the 49 who earned an A+.

    Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.

    Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.

    By Steven Nelson Oct. 29, 2014 | 2:37 p.m. EDT

    Each seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs when Americans go to the polls Tuesday, and the Drug Policy Alliance wants voters who care about drug policy to check out a new report card for incumbent members.

    The pro-reform organization’s advocacy arm, Drug Policy Action, issued the report card Wednesday, and scores don’t neatly match partisan affiliations.

    Hard-line conservatives such as Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, are among the 49 House members who earned an A+, while Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is among the 141 members who earned an F.

    [READ: Va. Congressman Pushes ‘Conservative’ Plan for Pot at Pharmacies]

    The grades are based on an analysis of seven House votes – one in 2013, six in 2014 – including three votes on hemp, two on banking rights for marijuana businesses, one that would have cut Drug Enforcement Administration funding and another to protect medical marijuana in states that allow it.

    Members who voted consistently for more liberal policies received an A+. The 116 representatives who voted in favor of reform in six votes earned an A. Those who voted for reforms in either one or none of the votes earned an F.

    In a press release, the Drug Policy Action noted 56 percent of House members – 179 Democrats and 64 Republicans – earned a C or better, meaning they voted for reform in at least three of the votes.

    [WATCH: McCain Says ‘Maybe We Should Legalize’ Marijuana]

    “Unprecedented support now exists on both sides of the aisle in Congress for ending the federal war on drugs and letting states set their own drug policies,” Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for Drug Policy Action, said in a statement. “Drug policy reform is a winning issue for elected officials.”

    The highest-profile vote tabulated in the report was on an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would have blocked the Department of Justice –  including federal prosecutors and DEA agents – from spending funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it’s permitted.

    Editorial cartoon on pot

    See Photos

    Editorial Cartoons on Pot Legalization

    The Rohrabacher amendment sailed through the House in a 219-189 vote in May that blurred party lines, but the Senate didn’t consider a companion amendment from Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and it wasn’t enacted into law.

    The drug policy organization didn’t grade senators, citing a paucity of drug policy votes in the chamber.

    Read the full report card:

    TAGS:

    drugs

    politics

    medical marijuana

    CONTINUE READING…

    LINK TO FULL REPORT IN PDF HERE…

    141 House Members Flunk Drug Policy Report Card But conservative Republicans are among the 49 who earned an A+.

    Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.

    Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.

    By Steven Nelson Oct. 29, 2014 | 2:37 p.m. EDT

    Each seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs when Americans go to the polls Tuesday, and the Drug Policy Alliance wants voters who care about drug policy to check out a new report card for incumbent members.

    The pro-reform organization’s advocacy arm, Drug Policy Action, issued the report card Wednesday, and scores don’t neatly match partisan affiliations.

    Hard-line conservatives such as Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, are among the 49 House members who earned an A+, while Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is among the 141 members who earned an F.

    [READ: Va. Congressman Pushes ‘Conservative’ Plan for Pot at Pharmacies]

    The grades are based on an analysis of seven House votes – one in 2013, six in 2014 – including three votes on hemp, two on banking rights for marijuana businesses, one that would have cut Drug Enforcement Administration funding and another to protect medical marijuana in states that allow it.

    Members who voted consistently for more liberal policies received an A+. The 116 representatives who voted in favor of reform in six votes earned an A. Those who voted for reforms in either one or none of the votes earned an F.

    In a press release, the Drug Policy Action noted 56 percent of House members – 179 Democrats and 64 Republicans – earned a C or better, meaning they voted for reform in at least three of the votes.

    [WATCH: McCain Says ‘Maybe We Should Legalize’ Marijuana]

    "Unprecedented support now exists on both sides of the aisle in Congress for ending the federal war on drugs and letting states set their own drug policies,” Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for Drug Policy Action, said in a statement. “Drug policy reform is a winning issue for elected officials.”

    The highest-profile vote tabulated in the report was on an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would have blocked the Department of Justice –  including federal prosecutors and DEA agents – from spending funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it’s permitted.

    Editorial cartoon on pot

    See Photos

    Editorial Cartoons on Pot Legalization

    The Rohrabacher amendment sailed through the House in a 219-189 vote in May that blurred party lines, but the Senate didn’t consider a companion amendment from Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and it wasn’t enacted into law.

    The drug policy organization didn’t grade senators, citing a paucity of drug policy votes in the chamber.

    Read the full report card:

    TAGS:
    drugs
    politics
    medical marijuana

    CONTINUE READING…

    LINK TO FULL REPORT IN PDF HERE…