After the voting results of the Proposal 1 in the state of Michigan, the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) found in a survey that only 21 percent officials in the local premises were in support of the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes.
On the contrary, 61 percent of residents of the state in the survey stated that they had the intention to vote in favor in the full legalization initiative. This came to arise as a discrepancy in the statistics, especially in Wisconsin and Madison Heights.
What does Madison Heights have to say about the subject?
The city is currently aiming to generate licenses to fourteen businesses relating to medical cannabis. These businesses are allowed to be working in the industrial districts of Madison Heights.
A scoring system of total 200 points is utilized to give an option to the businesses to choose from numerous applications. The applicant that would be proposing the highest financial investment for the Michigan city would be awarded the highest score.
The goal of Madison Heights is to revolutionize these industrial sites into competitive and registered cannabis businesses. The conversion is going to be happening soon.
The revenue will bring a lot of positive upside to the city and bring up its economy because of the promising benefits the emerging industry is going to provide to the city. The sites have been useless and are becoming hubs for illegal activities.
For instance, the FBI caught a prostitution ring in 2011 happening in exclusive parties. The real intention behind the approach is for the provision of financial rehabilitation to Madison Heights as well as physical stability to users consuming cannabis for medical purposes.
What is the situation in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, 59 percent of the city residents admit being in favor of the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes.
With the proposal of decriminalizing carrying cannabis in small amounts and legalization of the substance for medical purposes, the state governor, Tony Evers is favoring for a referendum on cannabis for recreational use.
However, there is a different viewpoint from the Republicans who are in opposition to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use. The ideas are also not unanimous for medical cannabis as well.
Wisconsin residents are unable to take binding actions regarding the ballot for voting. Therefore, advocates for the full legalization of cannabis cannot give a practical framework for the lawmaking authorities to act on the measure.
Some proposals for legalization of cannabis from the Republican side includes measures for exclusion for municipalities. This is essential for the authorities at government and local level instead of provision of a resolute and unanimous state mandate. There is a difference in viewpoints among voters and local officials regarding full legalization.
Sixty-one percent of Madison Heights’ residents are in support of the full legalization of cannabis. The city council also approves for generating cannabis businesses with proper licenses. The mandate is clear from the city. With state regulations, people are willing to accept cannabis for recreational use.
Apart from that, there remains a wide gap between the residents and the local official’s viewpoints in the state.
New Marijuana legalization laws proposed in DC
The ‘New Modern Day Cannabis Justice Reform Act’ initiated in Washington D.C, is supposedly a big move towards flexing laws that may legalize marijuana sales in the district.
A ballot concerning the reform is due to be conducted in November of 2020. Supporters of the initiative are required to collect around 24,835 valid signatures from registered voters in order to qualify the proposed reform for balloting. This is going to be a challenge in this period of Covid 19 induced social distancing rules in place across the board.
Why are activists pushing the new changes in marijuana laws?
Since 2014, Washington D.C. has had the legalization of marijuana in place for its people. Although this legalization has allowed small-scale cultivation and restricted possession of the commodity, a retail model was non-existent.
Due to these persisting loopholes, the expectations that were associated with the legalization of marijuana are yet to be met.
Activists of marijuana legalization are arguing that this situation demands more input by law makers. The reform is proposing law makers of the district to legalize marijuana sales in the region within limits put into effect by law. Supporters of the reform are expecting a lot from this initiative if it finally makes it to next stages of balloting due in November.
The executive director of this entire campaign Dawn Lee-Carty, sees real potential in the reform. “Our goal is to push hard and—if we have to take it to Congress, whatever levels that we have to take—to ensure that it is a different cannabis climate for the safety of the patient, for the economy, for those who run a participate and want to be store owners for cannabis, we should have access just like big moneyed interests have access without being washed out,” she said in an interview to Marijuana Movement.
One of the provisions of the proposal makes residence in Washington D.C a compulsory requirement for business license seekers. Any individual who has been living for more than two years as a permanent resident in the district can apply for the licence.
This is going to safeguard the growth prospects of the locals and provide them with new business opportunities. Other provisions of the reform have put forward policies that will prevent vertical integration and hence inhibit monopolization in the local industry.
The proposed end of prosecutions linked to cannabis related crimes is one of the major clauses that are being presented through the reform. All earlier convictions tied with the consumption, cultivation and sales of marijuana would see an expungement if the reform is put into effect.
This new reform will promote a more racially balanced implementation of law, as argued by the supporters of the initiative. This will limit confrontation and interaction with the police, reducing chances of ‘racially disproportionate’ marijuana related arrests. With this new move incidents of over-zealous police action will see a huge decline as prosecution will not be a priority in cases of marijuana use, sales and possession.
This movement has also pressed for a re-training of cannabis detecting dogs into sniffing weapons, explosives and firearms for ensuring a safer existence of the people in the district.
If the initiators of the reform are successful in gathering the required signature count to put the proposed policy changes into effect, Washington D.C is going to witness changes on all levels.
It is going to redirect a lot of funds tied up in enforcing marijuana related laws towards the security and well-being of the residents of the district. The reform will bring in business for the people of the district and tax revenues for the government from multiple sources with a retail model finally in place.
Why Cannabis Regulation In Texas Is Complex And Problematic
Farmers in Texas come from a long line of agricultural heritage. But across the state, the view on one plant in particular is controversial. Known as ‘hemp‘ (cannabis sativa), this drug is a hot topic of conversation. Texas, in particular, is a very conservative state and it has always had a tenuous relationship with the crop. Check out our article here, which explains the current regulation of it in Texas.
It was only in 2019 was the cultivation, processing and sale of commercial hemp legalized. However, the state still opposes cannabis use for the purpose of ‘getting high’. Hence, the recent conditions of its allowance reflect that stance. Currently, there is a ban on produce with a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content of over 0.3%. Of the numerous chemicals in cannabis, only CBD (cannabidiol) is permissible.
The recent regulations on hemp companies are quite stringent
In Texas, the recent bill passed by the government has legalized the use of hemp. Due to its toughness and durability, hemp has long been used in industrial applications and goods. However, the rest of the cannabis plant is illegal. This is because of its association with THC, a noted psychoactive drug. While THC has been shown to have mixed effects on health, CBD is considered safer.
Hemp companies have it pretty bad, too. The legislation that legalized hemp only did so with several caveats. The main points of consideration for all hemp companies is the now mandatory registration and licensing. And as Pur IsoLabs can confirm, very punitive.
Pur IsoLabs is a CBD-containing products retailer based in Kendall County, Texas. The president of the company is Austin Ruple, who is expecting their first crop. This is due to the very recent legalization of hemp, and the fair amount of time each harvest requires. For a small company, it is therefore, disappointing that the yield will be relatively small. In the meanwhile, public demand for cannabis has gone up. Larger, more established companies have started to swoop in for the business. This is because they can easily get the legal legwork done, and afford the fees.
Texas’s intolerance of most cannabis products stems from old societal taboos
The public morals across America have shifted since the 20th century. Since the puritanical roots of the higher social classes emerged, cannabis intolerance spiked. Since the 1930’s propaganda against ‘marijuana’ was used to vilify the Latino populace. Racism and blatant lies that the drug would encourage laziness and fraternizing with non-whites, fueled the flames against cannabis. It was made illegal across most of the nation until recently.
As other progressive nations like New Zealand and those in Europe legalize cannabis, some states in the USA have followed suit. However, until that is done the imbalance cannot be shifted. Even until now, senseless arrests over petty crimes like recent cannabis use abound. Just the possession of cannabis is an expensive misdemeanor (bail can costs upwards of hundreds of dollars). The recent War On Drugs mentality has left the cannabis trade in America broken.
Several studies have linked cannabis to medical applications and benefits
More and more studies are being released that agree on numerous unexpected benefits of cannabis. While smoking the drug can be unhealthy, the consumption as food or pills seems promising.
As several experts are now agreeing, America needs to change its attitude towards the plant. Years of blind dismissal and fear-mongering have led to very little work done on the marijuana in medicine. Hopefully, as legislation nationwide changes, we may yet see an improvement.
Connection of Marijuana usage with Autism stirs concerns
With the legalization of cannabis use globally, healthcare experts are sounding increased distress alarms. According to the latest researches conducted by related groups, the incidence of autism in children is on the rise due to increased marijuana consumption by either one or both parents of the unborn child.
Studies conducted by some of the prestigious institutions have backed these fears with their in-depth analysis of the matter.
Relationship between marijuana usage and autism in children
When Expecting Mothers Smoke Weed
Escalated marijuana usage by expectant mothers during their gestational period is supposedly causing a rise in the cases of autism.
Studies carried out in Canada between April 2007 and March 2012 have backed these claims with the thorough scientific analysis of researchers.
According to the outcomes of the research, marijuana exposure during gestation increases the risk of autism development in children by almost 50% .
Around 2.2 percent of the subjects faced greater intellectual difficulties like speech delays, smaller attention spans and social anxiety later on in their lives. These figures were in contrast to 1.4 percent of children with developmental delays born to mothers did not smoke weed during gestation.
Daniel Corsi, an epidemiologist and PhD holder in Health Research Methodology, reported the findings of these studies in Nature Medicine.
Another supporter of the main findings of these studies is Dr. Torri Metz, a clinical researcher and expert in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology and fetal development. She holds great interests in the impacts of marijuana intake on fetal development during pregnancy. She strictly advocates the idea that marijuana usage impacts fetal neurodevelopment negatively, with the true extents still under investigation.
Since the magnitude of marijuana usage on fetal brain development is largely unknown, doctors discourage it while pregnant or breastfeeding.
When Fathers smoke weed
Duke University Medical Center has conducted an interesting study on the subject. As per the research findings, autism in children also has some connections with marijuana intake by fathers.
According to the study, a particular gene undergoes genetic changes with increased marijuana usage. This gene is related directly related with autism and the changes can be passed on to the offspring.
These genetic changes are triggered in the sperm, once again establishing a negative relationship between neurological development and marijuana usage.
“This study is the first to demonstrate an association between a man’s cannabis use and changes of a gene in sperm that has been implicated in autism,” said senior author Susan Murphy, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Duke University School of Medicine.
The entire team behind this research was skeptical about the idea that marijuana is benign in nature, and urged further research and studies on the subject.
With so much data that already discourages the use of alcohol by expecting mothers, there remains very less doubt pertaining to marijuana usage.
Why is marijuana getting more medical attention?
Despite of all of these research results, there are segments of stakeholders that see no harm in marijuana consumption. They argue that marijuana intake is a safer option for some to get relief from nausea, stress and anxiety which are a part and parcel of pregnancy and some other diseases as well.
Some healthcare providers actually encourage the use of cannabis to treat autism. According to them, it is an ‘effective option’ for dealing with conditions like seizures, anger fists and depression in such patients. They argue that cannabis actually improves the quality of life of autistic patients by huge percentages.
With increased legalization of marijuana and many related products, there are chances that consumption is going to see further increases. This means that the need for research on marijuana usage and its impacts on individual health is higher than ever before.
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