Quick note here before diving into today’s posting about Utah’s Goodfellas:
We looked for and found, “Pharmaceuticals & Health Products contributions to Office Holders in 2019 sessions in Utah (within state data) 1,208 contributions totaling $735,493.00.” “Click Here” and/or enlarge the following PDF and have a look at these 3 pages:
zzPharma $$$ to Utah's Legislators - zzFollowTheMoneyDownload20190819(070826).csv
See farther down the posting for, “Millions of opioid pills poured into southeast Utah’s sparsely populated coal country.”
Vickers Version Act II
We received a curious email from Utah State Representative Merrill Nelson, who also happens to be a shareholder lawyer at the LDS Church’s frequent go-to law firm of … Kirton McConkie. The August 14, 2019, email contained five words: “Careful! You’re bordering on libel.” Nelson was apparently reacting to the Vickers Version Act I article appended below.
Concerned that “truth” never be commingled with fiction or confused with grey propaganda … and … well … considering the source … we initially took the positive approach … considered the 5-word warning as cordial and responded on the same day thusly, “Merrill … Thank you for your response. It is taken seriously. Please inform me, from your perspective, of what within the blog posting in question “borders” near libel. Best wishes, Wayne.”
No answer! It’s now nearly a week later and still no answer. Hmmmm? Not so cordial we now suspect.
Here’s how we’re reading those 5 little words now: A bush league, sophomoric attempt to intimidate The Ole’ Buzzard. If we’re viewing it right, Nelson has shamed himself and his firm for acting like a glorified ambulance chaser — who just happens to also be a Utah Legislator and have a convenient relationship with a decent law firm that enjoys considerable, historical largess from a great big ecclesiastical- polity … ergo … sugar daddy, the LDS Church.
Nelson seems ready, willing and able to lay a sly, sub rosa suggestion and heat on The Ole’ Buzzard. Imagine that! Not one of the many, many bad-boy bank robbers and other despicable dudes that we collared for the FBI as Agents during Watergate days ever got even close to hitting us with such a slick schtick.
We are getting ready to go to the bank with the above interpretation. However, if the reader needs clarification we suggest writing Merrill Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or calling the firm 801.328.3600 for his and his firm’s interpretations.
It’ll be interesting to see how this “shakes out.” Whatever may come our way, the “patterns” are now established and underlying sources of angst are likely to be more easily identified early on.
The Ole’ Buzzard just has to stop reading and re-reading vignettes and works by J. Golden Kimball, Hugh Nibley, Samuel the Lamanite, Alma the Elder, Sam Clemens, Eric Hoffer, Will Rogers, Jonathan Swift Et. al. Just too damned “Earthy” and replete with practical advice and teachings about the the Truth, the Rule of Law and Good Governance. Oh … failed to mention most important of all’s reading from the Apostle Paul yesterday and from The Savior who called out a whole “Generation of (similar) Vipers.“
Follow-up on “Pot Pirate” Evan Vickers and “Opioid Orrin Hatch”
The Tribune just published, “Millions of opioid pills poured into southeast Utah’s sparsely populated coal country.” Yue Stella Yu and the Tribune staff have worked wonders with this story.
We are reminded of an 18th century adage, “Tis’ vile to rob a henroost of a hen, but thieving largely makes us gentlemen.”
Updated for our day, “Tis’ vile to go to jail for holding and using marijuana, but manipulating the system to profit with those those who market synthetic drugs makes us Goodfellas.”
We believe that Vickers I contains sufficient information and detail about how Senators “Pot Pirate” Evan Vickers and “Opioid Orrin” Hatch are hooked at the hip and mutually complicit in the National and State Opioid epidemic. The Tribune article contains additional information that is persuasive regarding the seriousness of the epidemic and sheds more light on our arguments.
Please take time and read the PDFs below and then revisit Vickers I.zMillions of opioid pills
Opioid makers, allies gave $1 million to Utah politicians AP News September 17, 2016
The Ole’ Buzzard is working on this. From the following article we read, “STATE POLITICS Members of the Pain Care Forum also funded state politicians and parties. Utah legislators, state officials and political parties received the fifth-highest amount of contributions in the nation, collecting at least $298,000 in donations since 2006, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. National Institute on Money in State Politics also reports the Pain Care Forum also has employed an average of 18 lobbyists a year at the state capital.” We’re working to identify Utah lobbyists who “pimp” these dirty dollars out to our legislators and others.
Vickers Version Act I
Vickers has cashed in again. He Pirated, Hijacked and Shanghaied popular marijuana initiative “Prop 2” because it would have reduced his personal, drug selling, profit potential and Booty.
A Predator-Pirate definition … “The noun predation is most commonly used to talk about groups like pirates or marauders who prey on innocent people. In fact, the Latin root word praedationem means a plundering or taking of booty. Predation described people before it was applied to animals..”
There are big bucks $$$ to be had in the “Giving and Taking” of Political “Booty” in Utah. Our Goodfella Legislators like Vickers are “On the Take” Pirating, Plundering and Poking in and around the following:
Hear him … he said it … we didn’t!
He said, “I sell drugs for a living… ha, ha, ha!”
Big Joke? NO not ever! Cavalier? YES… Most Definitely!
A “Top 10 Taker” from Altria (Big Tobacco) VICKERS, EVAN J @ $6,300.00
A “One of many Song and Dance, Legislator Front Men” who proposed that Utah taxpayers “anti-up” to “rip off” $2,000,000.00 of our hard earned money to help pay for Senator “Opioid Orrin” Hatch’s Obscene Monument to himself.
A Former LDS Bishop
A record of Vickers’ “Approximate Total Take” can be found by “clicking here.”
We recognize Vickers’ shameful conduct unbecoming a Utah Legislator who failed to recuse himself from obvious conflicts between his legislative responsibilities and his business interests in H.B. 3001 which he sponsored. We recognize Vickers for his failure to follow statutory, moral and ethical obligations to respect the will and wishes of Utah voters and Proposition 2.
From KUTV News …
Therefore, we award Vickers … Utah’s Pot-Pirate … the dubious distinction of being a …
Toothless, Pusillanimous Pup
In the UPOT “dust up,” this award also inures to the shame of Utah’s Governor Herbert, the Utah Supreme Court , The LDS Church and the following Legislative Goodfellas … Roll Call Senate and Roll Call House: UT HB3001 | 2018 | 3rd Special Session.
The Toothless, Pusillanimous Pup Award, given first to UtahPolicy.com, is the only one of its kind in the history of the World … unfortunately, albeit justifiably … this award has its origins in Utah and was “hatched” by The Ole’ Buzzard.
Utah … the “Pretty Great State'” is also unfortunately, uniquely and justifiably identified as the “Fraud Capital” of the Nation and has failed woefully in the following categories: “F” political financing; “F” Executive Accountability; “F” Judicial Accountability; “F” State Civil Service Management; “F” State Pension Fund Management … Please “Click Here.”
Some history regarding H.B. 3001 and Proposition 2 follows …zUtah Proposition 2, Medical Marijuana Initiative (2018) - Ballotpedia
The following is borrowed from High Times Published on July 30, 2019 By Nick Lindsey
A potentially explosive report detailing the distribution of pharmaceutical opiates reveals a disturbing connection between Utah’s anti-medical cannabis movement and the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, one of the state’s leading anti-legalization policymakers is also one of the state’s biggest seller of opiates.
The revelation has sparked outrage among medical marijuana patients and advocates, and has intensified ongoing tensions surrounding Utah’s controversial medical marijuana laws.
New Stats About Opiates Made Public …
Recently, the Washington Post released a trove of federal data related to the distribution of pharmaceutical opiates across the country. Specifically, the searchable database tracks who is selling opiates and how much they’re selling.
The stats unveil a number of problematic trends. For starters, the database shows that the country’s pharmaceutical companies have sold 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills between 2006 and 2012. During that same time period, roughly 100,000 people have died from complications related to opiates and opiate addiction.
Additionally, the publication of the database has spurred in-depth searches and analyses, one of which found that Utah Senate Majority Leader—and top anti-cannabis lawmaker—Evan Vickers is one of the state’s biggest sellers of opiates.
“When we saw the outrageous numbers of opiates that Vickers is dispensing, it was alarming to all of us,” Christine Stenquist, Founder and Executive Director of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE), told High Times. “Even more alarming is that this man is trying to prohibit cannabis from coming into the state. And we’ve seen in states where there is cannabis, that there’s a decline in pharmaceuticals, especially opiates.”
Vickers: Leading Opiate Seller and Anti-Cannabis Lawmaker …
According to researcher and writer Angela Bacca, Vickers, who owns a chain of pharmacies in southern Utah, distributes 34 percent of all opiates in Utah’s rural Iron County. Vickers’ two Cedar City pharmacies sell even more opiates than massive national chains like Wal-Mart.
For many medical marijuana advocates in Utah, the sheer number of opiates sold by Vickers is alarming enough. But to make things even worse, it turns out that Vickers has been a leading voice in the fight against medical marijuana in Utah.
Specifically, he was the sponsor of the controversial H.B. 3001. This medical marijuana bill was rammed through in a special legislative session in December 2018, just two days after a voter-approved initiative went into effect.
In 2018, a medical marijuana bill called Proposition 2 qualified for the ballot. But long before voters had a chance to vote, powerful forces in Utah began working against Proposition 2.
Specifically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church or the LDS Church. For starters, the church formally opposed the initiative. Further, church leaders sent a letter to members urging them to vote no. Given that roughly 62 percent of Utahns—including the huge majority of lawmakers—are Mormon, the LDS Church has significant political sway.
Alongside publicly speaking out against Proposition 2, Mormon Church representatives began meeting with lawmakers to draft a “compromise bill,” which ultimately became H.B. 3001. And Vickers was the bill’s floor sponsor.
“They’ve put up roadblocks, excuses, and weak-kneed legislation,” Stenquist told High Times. “Policymakers have made very confusing policy and it’s just not where we need it to be. And I believe it’s special interests that drive our policies. What I’m concerned about is that special interests are making profit at the expense of our communities.”
Utah’s Medical Marijuana Controversy: The Newest Chapter
H.B. 3001 has drawn significant backlash from medical marijuana patients and activists. For starters, TRUCE and other medical marijuana advocates have filed a lawsuit against the state.
Among other things, the suit claims that the Mormon Church exerted unlawful influence over the lawmaking process, culminating in the quick replacement of the voter-approved Proposition 2.
Additionally, many advocates say that H.B. 3001 is far too restrictive. In particular, according to Stenquist, it limits the number of dispensaries and the number of patients to whom a doctor can recommend medical marijuana.
“Vickers is behind this restrictiveness for patients,” Stenquist told High Times. “This is all motivated because Vickers is protecting his bottom line. This is a clear conflict of interest. Special interest legislators like Vickers are writing policies that better their particular industry and put money in their own pockets. That has to stop.”
She added: “We need to lower our dependency on pharmaceutical drugs and cannabis is one of the tools that can do that. But Vickers does not want to harm his bottom line.”
In light of the news about Vickers’ opiate activities, Stenquist is calling on him to recuse himself from all marijuana-related legislation. It is unclear what, if any, legal action TRUCE or other groups may pursue. But for now, the suit filed earlier this year remains ongoing.
The Newest … Newest Chapter …
The Ole’ Buzzard has a slightly different “take” on the “whys and wherefores.”
Utah taxpayers’ money is in every Quasi Government Pot and now we are creating (have created) another Quasi pot called … UPOT!… like USTAR, UTA, UTAH DABC, UCA, URS, ULCT, Utopia Et. al.