The ‘Sin Session’: Bringing back weed, casinos AND booze AFTER the primaries

*Isn’t that special?*

Taking a second stab at that nonsense after our only shot at them this year.  How many times do you have to scream “HELL, NO” for the message to sink in?  If this doesn’t make it clear that The Raleigh Grift™ and its associated slimy cash are more important than US and what WE think, I don’t know what will:

During North Carolina’s legislative session, which kicked off in January and ended just last week, a flurry of bills and the two-year budget were passed. New laws include various conservative priorities such as new abortion restrictions, a repeal of the state’s permit requirement for buying handguns and more. But despite the months-long session dominated by the GOP, who hold a supermajority in both legislative chambers, lawmakers will shortly be back: April 24 is the first day of the 2024 legislative short session. Lawmakers will tackle some of the pending legislation left over from the 2023 long session and make budget adjustments. Here are some proposals that may resurface:


Whether casinos should be legalized in North Carolina was one of the primary causes of a standoff between the House and Senate over the months-delayed $30 billion state budget, which was supposed to be passed by July 1.[…]

You folks in Rockingham County know all too well about this particular issue.  All kinds of backroom sneaky games were played on you folks.  The zoning process was finessed. Y’all were given the full-blown mushroom treatment: kept in the dark, and fed a lot of, um, manure.

The state budget would have been held hostage for many more months had the bad publicity not reached the intolerable crescendo that it did.  A lot of people got PAID pretty doggone well.  (And more cash was reportedly on the way to some very key Raleigh pockets.)

Polling even surfaced suggesting Phil Berger would be vulnerable to a primary challenge over the casino hijinks.


[…] Towards the tail end of the 2023 session, Senate leader Phil Berger set a stake in the ground that casino legalization, as well as the authorization of thousands of video lottery terminals, must be included in the state budget. He said he would not back a standalone bill to legalize casinos. Meanwhile, House Speaker Tim Moore said there were not enough votes in House to back legalization if it was in the budget.

In late September, the House released a new budget version — superseding a prior version approved by them, as well as another Senate budget version — that did not include casinos. Instead, casinos were pushed into a new bill, alongside the gambling terminals and Medicaid expansion. Enactment of Medicaid expansion, passed in an earlier bill, had originally been tied to the passage of the budget. Ultimately, the Senate folded and the budget was passed alongside Medicaid expansion, but without casinos.

Once Berger and Moore announced that they had reached a deal on the budget without casinos, Berger said that lawmakers could consider taking it up again during next year’s short session, as previously reported by The News & Observer. He also said that he believed opponents of the proposal had ignored financial and developmental benefits for rural counties.[…]

The booze part of the package involves allowing ABC stores to open and sell liquor earlier on Sundays.  Here’s a thought:  Why not scrap the ABC stores altogether and just sell liquor in regular old stores?  

Let me answer that for you:  There are way too many patronage and grift opportunities in the current ABC system to let it simply go away. Way too many folks at the state and local levels are having BIG fun with the system as-is. 

(I know of people who cruise over the border to SC to buy their booze – at quite a discount from the NC ABC prices — and then take it to their parties in NC. )

And there’s the whole weed thing:

[…] Medical marijuana legalization is another policy that may show up. During the long session, Senate Bill 3, the “Compassionate Care Act,” which would have allowed medical marijuana use statewide for people with certain health ailments, failed to pass the House, after having passed the Senate in March with bipartisan support. Last year, a similar bill also passed the Senate and died in the House.

This failure came despite the bill being championed by powerful Rules chairman Sen. Bill Rabon, a Brunswick County Republican. Rabon, in late May during a House committee hearing, shared his experience using marijuana illegally while undergoing chemotherapy to treat his colon cancer. He credits the use of this drug as the reason he is alive, as previously reported by The N&O. Despite getting a hearing in the House, which did not happen last year, and Moore signaling earlier in the year that it may have had a chance, the bill stagnated.

Moore later said that until a proposal is backed by the majority of the Republican caucus, it will not come up to a vote. Another sponsor of the marijuana bill, Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe, told The N&O in late May following Moore’s comments on consensus that he feels “pretty confident we’ll get something done.” He said that he believed the bill would be handled either in the long or short session.[…]

The whole medical marijuana thing is a get-rich scam by politically-connected folks in and around Raleigh who have already worked out their monopoly territories.  Suggesting that opposing this is hurtful to cancer patients and the like is at best, a farce.

I’ve had some medical treatments that required some intensive pain management.  The doctors have a whole lot of stuff at their disposal right now that works magic with pain — even with marijuana being illegal. 

The big story here is all the politically-connected names who already have exclusive distributorship deals worked out.  Leaking that out could make things really interesting. 

THIS right here is example number FIVE ZILLION of the lack of respect the Raleigh political class has for the rest of us.   The ‘conservative majority’ has been told pretty strongly that their base does not want this crap.  But the siren song of the special interests and their slimy cash is just tooooooo strong.

Go ahead.  Wait until after the primaries, and then pull this scam.  You may giggle to yourselves and ask rhetorically: “Where else are they going to go?”

Funny.  I bet the Democrat majority on Jones Street was thinking the same thing just prior to the 2010 vote.  Voters sit on their hands.  Majorities get lost. ALL THE TIME.