Upper Darby in Pennsylvania just decriminalized the possession of marijuana in small amounts through an ordinance passed at a council meeting held on Wednesday.
“It was a historic event last night. I’m proud of it,” said Michelle Billups, one of the members of the council.
Under the ordinance, penalties previously applicable on possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana were relaxed. Similar liniencies were also made towards hashish, whereby possessing 8 grams or less of the drug does not require incarcerations.
Changes brought about through the ordinance
The minor possession offences have now been classified as summary offences.
According to Police Superintendent Tim Bernhardt, “It’s a win-win for everybody and will help law enforcement dealing with the community instead of bringing them back and putting them into the system.”
Other localities in the state like Harrisburg, Lancaster, Norristown and York Bethlehem have also implemented similar reforms. The main aim behind these reforms is to promote the well-being among the people by ensuring a just and equal law enforcement.
Why is there such widespread support for the ordinance?
There are a number of reasons for such a widespread support for the reform from almost all those involved.
Most stakeholders sight it as a huge step towards reducing racial discrepancies.
There is a significant amount of data to support the view that most of the marijuana related arrests have been motivated by racial discrimination by law enforcers. This has led to widespread cases of police brutality against people of color, giving rise to hatred and fueling xenophobia.
American Civil Liberties Union has collected latest statistics on the matter. According to them, marijuana possession has led to 3.64 more black arrests than whites, despite of similar usage rates.
This has always been a big issue in the region of Upper Darby as well. They see this ordinance not only as a way to limit racially motivated arrests, but also as a way to pave way for a better life among the youth of the community.
The problems faced by the youth due to the convictions following possession are endless. Their personal records are scarred forever and they have to face difficulties in finding decent career opportunities. The moment their background check shows a ‘criminal’ record pop-up they see many doors close before them.
Earlier, marijuana possession convictions have landed people in jail for up to 90 days, and fined them between $500 to $1000. In other cases, convicts have also lost their drivers license, and had to deal with a tag of a criminal offense for the rest of their lives.
In addition, through this ordinance, police officers will be able to focus on more worthy matters. Usually, a typical marijuana possession arrest would consume two to three hours of an officers time. Everything from paperwork to holding the convict in the cell for a judge costs time to the officers.
With the relaxation in these offences, the community can feel safer. It is also going to free up resources from the court system for other viable causes. Above all it is going to ”halt the continuous cycle of mass incarceration that disproportionately affects black and brown residents.”
Mayor Barbarann Keffer sees this move as a huge step towards promoting a balanced institutional reform. He sees this move as something that will prove beneficial for the interest of the community.
Although the community is looking forward to seeing a positive change around them, law enforcers still need to do more. Cases where people of color have encountered sever racism in their daily life is not something that is unheard of.
Ensuring strict disciplinary measure against these actions may give some sense of security to a large proportion of the discriminated population.
COVID-19 Sparked Anxiety- Triggering usage of Cannabis All over the USA
The troubled and engrossed state of mind all over the world is pushing people to use cannabis. It enables them to feel relief from anxiety and depression. All over the world, people have lost jobs; countries are on the verge of economic wreckage. America has a very bad example of pandemic suffering. COVID-19 infections are spreading and increasing. According to research, ten million workers lost their means of earning bread and butter. When people assume about the prospects of getting new jobs they find themselves surrounding by gloominess. Until now unfortunately there is no end to this sight. It seems like the world is coming to an end now.
How to lessen anxiety?
Marijuana and anxiety are going hands in hands. Now to relieve anxiety Americans are looking forward to their favored and favorite leaf, marijuana. The only positive thing that has come to witness about a pandemic is the changed perceptions about marijuana. A New Jersey doctor and founder of Doctor THC clinic, Dr. Allan Tiedrich, reported an increase in the issuance of medical cannabis cards via Telehealth Services to reduce the personal visits that might accelerate the spreading of risk of infection. According to a study, 30% of people suffer at the hands of anxiety but as the pandemic hits the percentage has increased to 70%.
An uptick in Anxiety as Pandemic Prevails
As we see coronavirus spreads quickly across America and has left a hole in the budget, every other American is labelled as anxious and nervous. Using cannabis has a stigma and shame but as COVID-19 prevails the secrecy is not important. According to research, it is reported that in March 2020, as coronavirus increased and as the cities were imposed with quarantine there were record-breaking sales of cannabis. The lines were long which led to 23 states marking cannabis as important as bread and milk.
Dr Laren Hightower, reports that since the quarantine started in April, she has witnessed a large increase in the number of patients requesting medical cannabis to help them in relieving pain and majorly from anxiety. It is very clear that the new financial statements from job losses, furloughs, and shifting to work from home can’t lower anxiety levels. Covid’19 cases are increasing daily in at least 40 states.
The role of dispensaries is significant. They remain open in Florida and Arizona as essential businesses. They have experienced extraordinary sales in cannabis which have exceeded pre-pandemic sales clearly.
Anxious Floridians Propel Cannabis Sales
Florida, California, and Oklahoma are few states that allow card-carrying medical cannabis patients to fight anxiety and depression easily. A recent study also reports that there is an increase in Cannabis purchases by 40% during March, April, and May.
Sharkey states that stress levels and mental health levels are extremely high. He also reports that he has spoken to several people who have increased their cannabis use.
ALSO READ:An Overview of Marijuana Laws in Florida
Arizonans and the increasing cannabis use
The Executive Director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association reports that there is an increase of 40% in cannabis sales year over year during the pandemic and they expect it to grow. There are no signs of slowing down. Richard emphasizes that it is not only the quantity and the reason behind their usage indeed it is the way that they are using it up. He also says that pandemic is allowing experimenting to the ones who are quarantined and unemployed. Not only this he also says that if you are consuming a 10mg gummy and now you want to try out a 100mg cookie that might not be a good idea but you can always try because you don’t have to work out for a couple of days.
With the growing usage of cannabis, the world seems to become a peaceful place. Also not to forget that in these unprecedented times the society can have immense benefits from the usage of cannabis. A recent study also reveals that dispensaries report having an increase of 159% in sales in a single day.
Share to Aware Students About Two Faces of Marijuana
With New Jersey legalizing the usage of cannabis, there are several concerns under the light now. There is a need for proper reforms and decrees for students to avoid any unpleasant circumstances. Children eating grandparent’s cookies and gummies are some of the cases reported recently. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported but the proper packaging; child-resistant packaging laws are required.
Why is there a need for education of cannabis?
Many students might not be interested in using marijuana independently but what will force them exactly? We all have been through this to an extent- the peer pressure! It will dwell students towards the recreational usage of cannabis. One puff and two and so the chain will continue.
Although the State has come up with laws to open cafes, how to go about cultivating, selling, and setting up the dispensaries it also needs to address the under-age usage. The state has imposed penalties over underage marijuana usage.
What’s the latest happening
Two legislatures have introduced a bill that would require schools to teach students in elementary about the risks of marijuana use.
On Thursday, Sen. Michaela Testa, R- Cape May introduced a bill that would make age-appropriate education on the risks of marijuana use mandatory for students from third grade till 12th grade. Testa further clarifies that marijuana will be legal for adult use as soon as the legislature gets its act together. This will send a very dangerous and alarming message to school going kids that cannabis is safe and its widely acceptance. This will hit the brains of children of all ages.
The Current Laws
The laws at present already aim to educate school-going individuals about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use. The State’s 2020 education Standards include marijuana and cannabis. Also, it includes educating kids about social, emotional, and physical wellbeing. It also aims to provide students with knowledge about the potential harm and ways to say no to its use.
Simonsen states that the bill would allow schools to begin educating kids about the use of marijuana and to go more into details about the scientific knowledge of THC. Also to pay emphasis and make them analyze the difference between medical cannabis and unregulated marijuana. He emphasizes the fact that as the stigma seems to eliminate so there is a dire need to start it in the early years.
The state has passed two bills since the legalization of marijuana came into the limelight. One bill consists of all the laws and legal framework and the other consists of decriminalizing possession. Murphy hasn’t signed the bills due to discrepancies about underage possession penalties. He has asked the Legislature to make the changes.
How to teach about cannabis?
Teachers to teach the content of this course in health and physical education classes. It will cover aspects such as the after-effects of marijuana on the adolescent brain and body. In addition to this, the course will comprise of the risk of addiction to marijuana and the effects of THC which is a very active ingredient in marijuana. Moreover, it will also pose the potential hazard of driving while high.
What aspects to cover while teaching?
As we see, the legalization of cannabis is taking place in many states, it is crucial to teach the students the two faces of marijuana. Firstly they need to know what cannabis is, synonyms of cannabis. They also need to know the difference between cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids, what is THC. Also, they need to know the risks of using cannabis and how to reduce the risks caused by using cannabis.
Is It Commendable to Combine Cannabis and Yoga?
Over the years yoga has played a significant role in combination with animals, music, and lights. Yoga and cannabis together pair better than you can imagine. Its combination with cannabis is non like the other. Unlike other mind-altering substances like alcohol or opiates, cannabis doesn’t close your mind off to the things that cause you pain and sadness. Indeed cannabis brings you into the present and enhances your mind-body connection.
Yoga and Cannabis together
Yoga practitioners say phrases like feel the glow of light into heart radiating love and acceptance. These phrases aid you in bringing your bodies into the phase of relaxation and peacefulness. One of the yoga teachers and cannabis user urges that he feels a more grounded and inward connection to his body when he combines yoga and cannabis. He says it feels that all the unnecessary thought and the worry to complete to-do lists turns off leaving him in immense pleasure. This relaxes him immensely and tunes his muscles and joints with each movement. All the way with legal jurisdiction this isn’t only him feeling this way.
Advantages of yoga and cannabis
Most yoga classes in combination with cannabis are slow and help you to restore. In addition to this, it focuses less on sweating and building up muscle mass. It is a way to reignite the love for you and have a mindful experience. Typically before these classes, there is a session of marijuana for 30 minutes to leave you into deeper thoughts. Also the classes that mix yoga and cannabis suggest the minimum usage of cannabis just to produce the effect. It is never a good idea to consume a whole slice of cake and smoking a huge amount of marijuana and then entering into the class.
CBD or THC
CBD is an excellent alternative to THC as it doesn’t make you high. Also, CBD proves to be a substitution to many medications over the counter for pain, anxiety, strokes, insomnia, and bone fractures. The cannabis industry still has a long way to go in identifying new ways to extract and derive compounds of CBD and its isolates. However, THC helps you in bringing the body together along with your mind to solidify the self-awareness that can be difficult to cater to.
People with chronic pain and medical complications are especially benefitted by using CBD or cannabidiol to make their body ready for practicing it. CBD has many therapeutic effects that result after the interaction of the body’s endocannabinoid system-majorly responsible for substances like sleep, pain, mood, and fertility.
Yoga and CBD- a perfect symbiotic relationship
There is a mirror image or you can say with the addition of CBD the advantages of yoga also increase. In many incidents, the advantages are reported. For example, yoga and CBD improve sleep whereas just the usage of CBD treats inflammation-based disorders. Yoga alone improves brain function.
The Fundamentals of Yoga
Many practitioners believe that yoga and cannabis combination doesn’t let you experience its spirituality. Dr. William Sands, Dean of Vedic Science at Maharishi University says that it detaches you from the inner self and is incompatible with yoga. Few traditional yogis warn about the suspected addiction that can be accompanied by recreational usage.
The topic of yoga and its combination with cannabis is still a controversial topic. Their interdependence and synergy appear to have embryonic roots. For many strict yoga teachers, it is a complete physical and mental discipline that doesn’t require any external substance use. On the other hand, many yogis believe that as its experience is enhanced by the burning of candles, lights and music so is cannabis another substance to create a soothing effect.
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