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What if coronavirus becomes an endemic?

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The recent coronavirus crisis has everyone locked in their homes, trying to stay away from the outside world. However, there has been no change despite the precautionary measures. The drastic increase in its spread has raised suspicions if the virus is here to stay. According to a latest statement released by the World Health Organization, the coronavirus might never go away.

Starting from Wuhan, China, the Coronavirus has spread across the globe. Majority of the countries are failing to gain control over its spread. Adversely affecting the world’s economy, the virus has put countries into lockdown. This has led to a halt for imports and exports and even caused the oil market to crash.

Current Situation

Currently, the novel virus has affected 6,245,229 people, causing 373,337 deaths, and is nowhere near slowing down. Everyday, the new cases seem to be increasing and the hospitals have reached maximum capacity. Governments have taken numerous measures to isolate and accommodate the patients. Quarantine centers have formed and pharmacies have received extensive supply of protective material. However, the number of affected people has still shown a continuous increase.

Over the last 7 months, researchers and scientists across the globe have been trying to produce an effective vaccine. There have also been numerous research studies to find ways of slowing the spread of the virus. However, the efforts have not produced any fruitful outcomes. While some believe mouthwash can help, others have theories about adding vitamin D supplements to the diet to stay safe. None of them have been successful.

Also read: Massachusetts – Cannabis Retailers Fear Another Shutdown Owing to COVID-19

Will coronavirus become an edmemic?

While majority of the world is praying for the pandemic to end, the World Health Organization has raised suspicions that the crisis might turn into an endemic, even if a vaccine is developed. When an infection becomes a characteristic of a particular population, it is referred to as an endemic. Just like we have made peace with HIV, chicken pox and the Influenza virus, coronavirus would become a norm.

It is evident f that having a transmittable disease is a big problem for the everyday lives of people. Business processes have also been put to a halt as everyone is bound within the boundaries of their homes. Currently, even going to a nearby market for getting groceries is not safe.

Everything has shifted online as schools and other educational institutions have been closed. Staying at home is more convenient than commuting to work everyday. However, frustration might take a toll on us when we are stuck in the same space without any guarantee of returning to normal.

As the cases keep on increasing, it is high time people start thinking of a world where they coexist with the deadly virus. There are far too many uncertainties at this point. The scientists still have not produced an effective vaccine and there is no guarantee if an affected patient will not get infected again. In fact, a second infection might actually be worse than the first one given the compromised immune system.

What to expect

However, given the bitter reality, it is becoming clear that coronavirus might be here to stay for a long time. The World Health Organization has reiterated the suspicions, saying that the virus might “never go away”.

Also read: US Cannabis Legalization – Recent Survey Shows Voters Consider it as Success

Even though it is daunting to think of living with a virus that has caused global unrest, it is time to think of how the world would be, post the crisis. Embracing the reality is vital in making sure the people are ready to face what the future holds. Scientists believe that eventually, the human body would learn to adapt to the new life style, until then, how exactly would the world function?

There is a strong possibility that people would move away from the cities. Since, the virus is highly contagious, living in relatively congested areas would increase the probability of contracting the disease. Moving to the suburbs or the country side would be an optimal option. Especially, since most of the work would shift online, there will be no need of getting to offices or educational institutions. Working from home would be the ultimate future.

Going out for shopping or a night out would no longer be viable options. All hangouts and meetups would be within safe boundaries, with the maximum being a barbecue in the backyard. Similarly, online shopping would be only way to buy things you want – that too without the certainty of getting the correct products!

Further, imagine a world where you cannot just decide to go out and get something you need. Every time you go somewhere, you will have to take precautionary measures, wear a mask, use sanitizer and keep a safe distance from everyone you come across.

Conclusion

Some might argue that if coronavirus decided to stay, the world would be a better place. Pollution would drastically decrease as travel and commute is minimized. This might propel the world towards a low carbon future. Over the last few months, measurements by European Space Agency has shown a 40% decrease in nitrogen dioxide emissions as compared to the previous year. Moreover, the Air quality Index has improved, and bio-luminescent microbes have also seen to return to the beaches of California.

While the outcomes are great in terms of the environmental conditions, it is, however, not a suitable living situation for the people – who have spent majority of their lives in freedom. Being held captive within the walls of your own home can highlight personal issues, along with added frustration and stress. Reports have shown that the number of domestic violence cases after a lock down have drastically increased.

Overall, it is evident that the chances of containing the virus as minuscule. It has been on its ‘killing spree’ for the past 7 months. The new world would be an entirely different experience for the humans – particularly with the restrictions and preservation rules that would have to be followed. However, it is in human nature to adapt – and the post COVID world would eventually become the new “normal”.

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Cannabis

Impaired Driving: A Must Consideration for the State’s Cannabis Bill

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impaired driving in New York

Even with the concept of Vision Zero and more raising concerns for the traffic rules, Albany legislators aren’t focused on it, while rushing to legalize the use of cannabis in New York. Silive shares the thoughts of how important it is to slow down the process of legalization and first pass on a bill that would stop impaired driving and hold marijuana-impaired drivers accountable for accidents.

Before the legalization of marijuana, to create a safer environment, it is extremely important to put pressure on the notion that studies categorize all intoxicating substances as unsafe for driving.

Impaired Driving Same as a Speeding Ticket

No consideration against the impaired driving would make people think it unimportant as a speeding ticket. This indirect message by the leaders would eventually lead to a greater number of casualties with each passing day.

It is nothing but a truth that marijuana has the potency to affect concentration, response time, motor function, and movement. Also, the science links a high concentration of THC in the blood due to cannabis intake to impaired driving. Surprisingly, marijuana is a second substance that has a major influence on driving capability after alcohol.

Need to Reinforce the Drug Definition in New York

Apart from considering classifying impaired driving due to marijuana as a minor criminal act, some light should also be shed on revising the term drug as other 45 states have done. Any substance should be called a drug that can compromise the ability to think, focus, and react.

ALSO READ: Marijuana Legalization And Decriminalization Bills Delayed By Murphy 

If this act is not taken, according to the law, they cannot be charged if the alleged impaired drivers refuse to have a chemical test. The dismissal would eventually result in chaos and poor law enforcement. Such impaired drivers could not be held accountable and would be back on the roads again, risking the lives of hundreds of people.

The legislators of Albany must think about the message they are conveying to the younger generation out there. Already, as shown by the personal accounts of many teenagers, marijuana is nothing big for them and seems harmless.

Different treatment for impaired drivers than those drunken drivers would further strengthen this perception among people. Since neighboring states have already legalized marijuana for recreational and other purposes, New York seems to be next.

Strict Laws and More Investment in the Traffic Sector

Along with the modifications in the law to serve a better criminal justice system, there is a need to pass on better provisions to ensure safety on roads. No person should become a target of  people managing a 3,00 pounds vehicle while being impaired by marijuana, asserts the source.

ALSO READ: Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

There should be provisions in the law to hold such people against the criminal act. To run a smooth traffic system, it is mandatory to design out complete traffic safety rules. There should be more people, funding, and resources to train the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers and create awareness of the possible effects of drug abuse, including marijuana. As time has changed, the use of synthetic drugs has made it difficult to articulate a specific one; thus, the need for DRE officers has become as important as the need to include the provisions in the bill.

The legalization in New York for cannabis should be set straight from the start. Before the bill includes and assures safety on roads, the legalization of recreational cannabis is a non-starter. All the roads

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Update: Cannabis Stocks Reaching New Heights

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Cannabis Stocks

The cannabis market is moving higher and higher day by day as stocks reach new highest levels this March. In January, the stock prices immensely increased. Moreover, marijuana sales increase and decrease depending upon the government policies and individuals that are actively part of the marijuana industry.

In Mexico on Thursday, stock prices shot higher, reported Investors. A day earlier, lawmakers proposed a bill to legalize and decriminalize cannabis for recreational use. A subsidiary of British American Tobacco is planning to take the big-stakes Canadian pot producer Organigram. 

The bill for the legalization of cannabis receives 316-129 votes in the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of Mexico. According to various media reports, the marijuana legalization bill is expected to clear the Senate and become law soon. 

ALSO READ: Variety Of Marijuana Strains Yield Different Health Impacts 

Changing Trends

The legalization of cannabis for recreational use will enable adults to buy and use marijuana freely. Moreover, the bill’s approval will result in permitting individuals to grow a handful of marijuana plants. 

Furthermore, another change likely to occur with the approval of the legislation is that the law would create a licensing system. This licensing system is for businesses and farmers, and it will enable them to produce and sell marijuana products legally. 

After gaining momentum for U.S. cannabis legalization, stocks of weed have been ramping high. There is uncertainty whether international commerce laws will allow cross-border sales or not. Furthermore, it is not clear how many challenges cannabis producers will face upon entering a new pot industry in another country. 

Possibilities are that new weed producers will face challenges in building infrastructure for growing and selling marijuana in a new market and nation. Other countries are also legalizing cannabis use for recreational purposes. However, some nations or communities do not agree to legalize international pot activities.

Cannabis Stocks Rise Percentage And Deal

The stock price of various companies increased, including a 7.4% rise in the stocks of Canopy Growth, 17% in Tilray, 12% gain by Aphria, and 7.7% Cronos Group. Moreover, Tilray and Aphria have a plan of merging for good. 

Marijuana stocks for over-the-counter products also increased. Curaleaf OTC dipped 0.1%, Cresco Labs OTC gains 4.4%, Acreage Holdings (OTC: ACRHF) rose 0.8%. 

A deal between the Organigram and a subsidiary of British American Tobacco occurred. As per the deal, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco will invest worth $175 million. 

Furthermore, under the contract, the two companies will establish a Center of Excellence in Organigram indoor facility in New Brunswick, Canada. The Center of Excellence will focus on developing cannabis products. 

However, cannabis products will contain more CBD. The focused substance of the marijuana products will be CBD, which is present in the weed plant as a non-psychoactive compound. 

A deal between Altria and Cronos Group occurred in 2018. According to experts, the results of this contract are yet slow to analyze progress rate and materialize. 

ALSO READ: Texas A&M Freshman Desires To Expand Cannabis Medical Use

Do Other Nations Legalize Marijuana Use?

Cannabis is legal for recreational use in Canada and Uruguay. However, the market for marijuana products present in Mexico is the biggest to date. Mexico has a population of 130 million. The highest number of possible consumers are available in Mexico.

Many states have already legalized cannabis for recreational use. Moreover, Virginia became the 16th state to legalize weed for adult-use. However, sales of pot products will begin in 2024.  

Colombia legalized medical marijuana several years ago to keep farmers out of illegal activities. Other states are also discussing legalizing cannabis activities. Therefore, controlling non-legal activities is possible. Furthermore, it will generate revenue for the state, and small farmers will benefit from the bill.

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People Of Color Hit With Brunt Of Cannabis Arrests

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Cannabis relating arrests in NYC

Cannabis is an illicit drug but lawmakers’ efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana activities. Some states have legalized medical and recreational use of marijuana, but others are discussing making the final decision. 

The situation has produced confusion as some individuals think the possession of marijuana is legal already by law, but it is not, says The City. As a result, large-scale imprisonment occurs in many states.

In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to legalize cannabis. However, a final decision has not yet occurred. As a result, many Black New Yorkers are getting arrested. Moreover, people of color in New York receive summonses at vastly disproportionate rates. 

ALSO READ: Hope Wiseman Breaks Barriers In Marijuana Industry

According to Allan Gandelman, the state must legalize cannabis activities and include productive-measures into the legislation for better outputs. So that Blacks and other people in minorities get justice. 

Data Analysis Regarding Cannabis Arrest 

According to an analysis of NYPD data by the Legal Aid Society, 94% of the Black And Latinos in New York face arrest and summons in 2020. Moreover, according to an analysis report, 57% of arrested New Yorkers were Black, and 35.7% were Latino. According to the Census Bureau, concerning the population, the city has 24% Black population and 29% Latino.  

Moreover, the analysis data elaborates that people of color face more imprisonment and summons regarding marijuana activities than any other citizen. Other individuals get free passes while Black and Latino have to pay penalties or go to prison for the same action as done by others. 

According to Anthony Posada, Blacks and Latinos are suffering from injustice in the marijuana business. 

In 2019 the number of arrests and summons was 16411. However, in 2020 the number decreased to 10811, yet the percentage of Black and Latino arrests remained the same through-out the pandemic. 

As a result of disproportionate arrests and summons, the Black and Latinos are suffering immensely. Therefore, members of the Legal Aid Society are requesting to pass the legalization bills as soon as possible. 

Cuomo Response To Legalizing Marijuana Bills

Passing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act on governors’ approval will end the disproportionate arrests and summon cycle. This will put an end to the sufferings of the people of color and provide equal rights to them, resulting in racial justice and equity.

During the 2018 elections, Governor Cuomo promised to legalize marijuana, but he did nothing to bring it to action. Moreover, in the following year, Cuomo showed a lack of support towards the legalization of cannabis. 

In 2020, lawmakers were hopeful that the governor would pass the bill. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the matter remains unsolved. Moreover, the governor is currently trying to pass through the state’s annual budget process legislation regarding marijuana. Furthermore, he designed the marijuana legislation himself. 

ALSO READ: Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

The governor desires to pass his own designed bill that enables delivery services and provides marijuana equity funds worth $100 million. The funds will also be used to provide substance use disorder treatment, financial literacy help, and jobs. 

Some lawmakers agree with the state’s legislature, but others recommend passing Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act. With both bills, legalization will occur. Moreover, legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana is the need of the hour. However, with the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, the government will collect about 30% to 50% of tax. But with the state’s legislature-plan, only 18% will be the tax rate. 

Allan Gandelman is NY Cannabis Growers and Processors Association President. Gandelman appreciates MRTA-efforts that allow the growth of marijuana, home-delivery, weed microbusinesses, and funding for social-equity applicants. Moreover, he understands the importance of legalizing marijuana bills.

 

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