New Zealand was declared a Coronavirus free country almost a week back. However, just recently, two new coronavirus cases emerged out of nowhere. Reportedly, these two cases are women who were visiting from England.
These women were visiting their dying parent. According to the protocol, they had to stay in self-isolation for two good weeks. However, due to the urgency of the situation they were allowed to leave on compassionate grounds. The condition on which they were allowed to leave was that they will use the maximum precautions. They were not supposed to touch or come in contact with any person.
To the dismay of the Kiwi Government, these two ladies tested positive for the novel COVID-19. They travelled to Wellington from Auckland by Car. They had no contact with anybody during their road trip. However, there is still a great deal of chance that anybody around them might have caught the virus.
Isolating the Two New Coronavirus Cases
The government is trying to spot all the people who came in close contact with those ladies. They have asked the car driver, the passengers and staff on their flights, a family member they met at Wellington and all the people who were staying in Auckland hotel during their quarantine to test for the virus.
These two women travelling from Britain will be staying in isolation till their recovery. They have also delayed the funeral of their parent. New Zealand had gone clean for three weeks without any Coronavirus positive patient. They were planning to further lift all the restrictions after the 28-day period has passed. On the other hand, Britain has encountered almost 300,000 cases of COVID-19 with more than 42,000 deaths. While the graph of Britain is flattening, it is still on a count of more than thousand patients in a day.
New Zealand declaring itself a Coronavirus free state was a ray of hope for many people all around the world. People were happy that countries are recovering from such a setback. It seemed that humans can after all control and contain the virus. However, now some chances of a spiral continuing are possible.
New Zealand’s Strategies
New Zealand treaded with extreme caution. Their strategy for dealing with Coronavirus was commendable. They opted for a swift lockdown and closed borders in time. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been highly praised for her skilled management. On the confirmation of these two Coronavirus cases she said that this failure is unacceptable. She further added that with more than 8 million cases across the globe, it is impossible that they won’t get cases at the border.
Prime Minister Ardern said that there will be no laid-back attitude in examining the COVID-19 patients. The government will be more cautious while dealing with the borders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has frozen the world for the last three months. With zero certainty, people are getting anxious. This is a global issue very different from all the ones that we have previously faced. Leaders are coming up with new strategies and management policies. Doctors and Pharmacologists are coming up with new formulas to deal with the virus. However, there is only one sure way of protecting the world from the virus, social distancing!
People Of Color Hit With Brunt Of Cannabis Arrests
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.
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.
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.
Hope Wiseman Breaks Barriers In Marijuana Industry
The marijuana industry has certain limitations due to which minorities, including people of color, are unable to participate and run cannabis-related businesses.
Moreover, people of color contribute less than two percent to the cannabis industry. That is because black individuals are under restrictions by law to participate in the marijuana business. Now, however, lawmakers are making efforts to legalize cannabis federally and make amendments to existing regulations. Furthermore, a new bill regarding cannabis approval will provide equal rights to minorities as that of the majority.
The 29-year-old Hope Wiseman is breaking all barriers by becoming the youngest black dispensary owner, reported cbs news. She is a native of Maryland and runs her marijuana dispensary there. By her actions, she provides an opportunity to show other people of color away to create generational wealth.
Wiseman Marijuana Dispensary
Hope Wiseman founded her marijuana dispensary in Prince George’s County, Maryland, under the name “Mary and Main.” Hope Wiseman aims to educate people and enable them to learn more and more about cannabis. Through the dispensary, people purchase weed and additionally learn about the plant, its effectiveness, and medical importance.
Being a black owner of a marijuana dispensary makes Wiseman an ideal to whom others shall follow and break barriers. Moreover, she puts her heart and soul into her dispensary. She mentions that Mary and Main is a product of love and family.
Dr. Octavia Simkins Wiseman and Dr. Bryant each have 20 years of experience in the field of dentistry. However, the two doctors desire to use marijuana to improve the lives of individuals that suffer from debilitating illnesses.
Hope Wiseman was at SunTrust as an equity institutional sales analyst for a year. However, she left the post to achieve her dream of entrepreneurship. By utilizing her financial background, she starts the dispensary. Moreover, Mary-and-Main provides her a way to contribute and serve her community.
Once she was in the marijuana business, she realized the possibility of earning profits from cannabis business activities. However, she also understands that people of color are often imprisoned for participating in the marijuana business.
Cannabis Activities And Difficulties In Running Dispensaries
In 2014, the legalization of marijuana in Maryland occurred. During the same year, Hope Wiseman started raising funds and obtaining a license to sell cannabis. Moreover, four years later, Mary-and-Main was up and running.
According to Wiseman, it is hard to participate and run a cannabis business, no matter if you are white or black. However, being a young woman of color, she was facing more challenges. Moreover, others see black individuals as unqualified for the marijuana business, and being women further adds to it.
Another issue is that many men have a hard time following the instructions of a female supervisor. Moreover, whether it is the marijuana industry or any other industry, some men do not see women as equals.
Furthermore, getting funding for a marijuana dispensary was a difficult task. Moreover, black women are most unlikely to get funds even with bank loans. According to a 2016 report from CrunchBase, in the USA, women own one-third of small businesses. Yet, they get only 10% of venture funding. Moreover, people of color face are under restrictions to participate in the cannabis industry.
The limitations and non-cooperative environment make developing and running a profitable personal marijuana business difficult. However, Hope Wiseman was able to get through all the hurdles and typical barriers.
The young marijuana owner desires to make her dispensary an example for others in her community to follow.
Overview – How cannabis laws in Israel steadily improved over time
When it comes to cannabis, both recreational and medical, the last place you’d expect acceptance is the Middle East. That’s not an unfair generalization; decades of war, fundamentalism and traditional mindsets certainly pushed the needle backwards. However, as it turns out, cannabis does have a notable bastion of support in the non-Arab Middle East. Specifically, we need to examine the complex, very recent decriminalization of cannabis in the country of Israel.
That may sound shocking, but within the past decade the nation’s pro-cannabis movement really scooped up several victories. Up until 2019, both medical and recreational cannabis were illegal. Now, the country’s ruling legal body, the Knesset, is poised to completely decriminalize the substance soon. A recent poll showed that Israelis make up the third largest consumers of recreational cannabis in the world. So how exactly did this happen with such a short span of time?
Changing attitudes of the public and lawmakers resulted in more lax perspectives on cannabis
Before 2017, most polls showed mixed responses to recreational cannabis usage. This data showed younger demographics favoring the drug’s legalization because of newer, more progressive outlooks. The pro-cannabis movement simply resulted, up until then, in peaceful activism. This year, one group even went as far as to parachute down free weed in a public park. The stunt garnered much publicity worldwide, with the group taking responsibility vowing to continue their work. Meanwhile, a well-known pro-cannabis political party, the Green Leaf Party, lobbied for total legalization of marijauna.
By 2018, views towards cannabis shifted into more cautious perspectives. Polls showed increasing numbers of adults across older demographics expressing ‘uncertainty’ or ‘approval with limitations’ over previous years. Furthermore, several prominent economists successfully pointed out that global demands for cannabis could make for lucrative export potential. Eventually, upon legalization of medicinal cannabis, several international companies moved their centers to Israel. Furthermore, agricultural specialists since the shift began to notice that Israel’s climate and soil provide a fertile setup for large-scale cannabis crops. Lastly, the Israeli military, highly influential in national politics, expressed its approval of the drug, which it used to treat PTSD in its soldiers.
The exact legal status of cannabis in Israel is complicated, but shows potential to improve with time
Up until 2017, cannabis use for recreational purposes was considered illegal. However, few convictions occurred and the consumption of recreational cannabis generally overlooked. However, support from high-profile politicians like Netanyahu’s government resulted in plans to decriminalize the drug. In Israel, all bills proposed by the ruling government need approval by the Knesset to take effect, similar to the Supreme Court in other nations. The resulting pro-cannabis law came into effect on April 1, 2019, whereby possession of up to 15 grams was tolerable. Furthermore, in cases of public usage, the first two “strikes” would receive no prosecution but subsequent strikes possible fines or incarceration. The law is not perfect, but certainly fares better than those of more intolerant contemporaries like in the United States.
The Knesset responded to public demands accordingly. As of now, medicinal usage is completely legal, with many pharmaceutical brands operating in the nation. Recreational cannabis, meanwhile, is decriminalized. In June 25, 2020, the Knesset began work on a new, more lax law on cannabis law. When successfully passed in the upcoming months, it will legally allow up to 50 grams of cannabis in possession. Until then, pro-cannabis parties and groups continue to advocate the legalization of regulated cannabis.
For more on cannabis laws worldwide, stay tuned!
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