In a surprising new press conference, the POTUS Donald Trump has announced a vaccine for the novel coronavirus will be ready by mid-October. The news came as a shock to most, seeing that as of now, no vaccine has even been approved by the FDA. Nonetheless, the President, running for reelection this November, claims that all is running smoothly. The president did not shy from saying that his opposition would not be nearly as capable as his administration in fighting the virus.
It’s hard to take the President at his word. While it seems unlikely that he would make so huge an overstatement so close to the elections, we have reason to doubt him. This is still the same person who offhandedly suggested injecting disinfectants would cure the disease, after all. Let’s take a look at the situation in more depth, to help measure our expectations better.
America leads the world in COVID-19 cases at the moment, under Trump
The US has a huge lead in terms of the number of cases of COVID-19, and the death toll too. The situation is truly dire in many places with hospitals past capacity and things are only going to get worse. The number of uninsured Americans exceeded twenty seven million back in April, and following the large increase in unemployment since then, that number could have tripled. Without healthcare, the average person is already at a disadvantage against COVID-19.
Furthermore, Trump has increased resentment against the wearing of masks and preventative measures against the spread of the coronavirus. Anti-mask sentiment is a large contributor to the high infection rates in the US, and Trump personally ascribes to this mindset. He said so as much in the press conference, mocking Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing a mask. Trump suggested it had more to do with covering facial features out of shame than it did with stopping the spread of the virus.
Still, vaccines have made tremendous strides in recent months
The POTUS has a point, though. The COVID-19 vaccine that everyone is talking about has made more progress on a rushed schedule than any other vaccine ever. Scientists have pulled overtime to ensure the response to the virus be as quick as possible. And the results are promising, with more than one vaccine already having entered the final test phase. In Russia, a vaccine is already being distributed.
Another partial truth Trump spoke was saying that masks are nowhere near as effective as a vaccine. Which is obviously true, because if they were, why would we bother spending billions on a vaccine? However, to suggest that masks are useless is not logically sound. Mask wearing has led to countries like France and Italy come back from the brink of collapse. Where people are responsible in social distancing, the results speak for themselves.
What will happen in regards to vaccination in the next few months, even after Trump?
It’s most likely that Trump is over promising to farmer votes for the election. The head of the Center for Disease Control stated earlier that in no way would a vaccine program be possible nationally before next year. Yet Trump dismissed his expert advice, with typical Trump swagger.
It won’t be the first time a politician lied to the public to get votes, but the matter is complex. It technically might be possible for a vaccine to be out by October, but without insurance, most Americans likely won’t be able to afford it. And until October rolls around, how many will get sick because Trump supporters refuse to cover up? Wear a mask, stay safe at home.
Five States to decide their Cannabis Future this November
New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and Mississippi are going to decide on cannabis legalization. The picture of their cannabis future is going to be pretty clear after the 3rd of November.
The sale of medical cannabis legalized in the US 8 years ago. Ever since then, the cannabis industry is leading the market. The rough guess on marijuana monopoly in 2019 is from 10-13$ billion.
Now, the US is moving towards a new step, legalizing possession and growth of cannabis by adults. This is a long shot, however, if applied it could boost the economy.
Cannabis plays a major role in the country’s economy and many big companies like Curaleaf are producing great revenue through this industry.
This approach is helping in increasing economic balance. However, legalizing cannabis only on an official level and applying loads of regulations on the products is not proving much helpful for the general public.
Strict regulations with bad results
With these regulations imposed, it becomes difficult for a layman to have easy access. Most patients in need cannot get medical marijuana either because of legal restrictions or financial.
To regulate the use of medical cannabis, the government increased the rates of the product with high imposed taxes. They want to make sure that a certain amount of the product only reaches per person. But this is doing worse than good.
People and people’s representatives understand this. The only viable visible solution is legalizing growth and possession of cannabis. Regulations and restrictions will be applied to them too, but people will at least have access.
In the US, many states took it upon themselves to solve this issue. We’re here to discuss five of them. Each state has its own agenda on their cannabis future and their goals shape according to that.
Phil Murphy, the governor is of the opinion that cannabis should be legalized for adult use. He says that criminalization only serves to full courts and jeopardize futures.
The governor has tried a lot to legalize the drug through congress progressions but failed to do so. His only hope is the public forum. If the public decides for itself, they can achieve the goal.
The public forum results are very likely to be in favour. A recent university poll suggests 61% of the population is likely to vote in favour.
The future of Arizona, however, is not very certain. The public agenda seems to be fluctuating from time to time. The poll to legalize in 2002 was rejected by 58% of the people.
An alternate poll won by 50.13% of the votes. After that, there was a forum to establish an adult-use market in 2015 and it also got rejected by 52% of the voters.
This year’s poll is likely to be in favour, but one can never be sure as there are almost equal amounts of opposite views.
In Montanan, the conditions are a bit different. There are two forums, one for whether adult-use cannabis should be legalized. The second one asks the age for which legalization should take place.
This sort of referendum is likely to lead some people into confusion.
South Dakota is one of the few states with no form of legalization of cannabis. In there, the fight is for both medical use and adult-use legalization. They will have to prioritize of course and medical use should be the first priority.
The voters in Mississippi are in a confused state. They are all up for cannabis legalization, but the details are not that simple.
There are two initiatives, 65 that supports legalization by a campaign and 65A that supports government control. Professionals are supporting 65A, however, results are not certain.
Cannabis future is bright and this industry has great prospects, let us sit back and witness this revolution so that we have a great story to tell!
How The Upcoming US Elections Could Benefit The Marijuana Industry
This November 3rd, 2020, marks a potentially momentous turning point in American politics. For all voters in the United States, and expatriates abroad, the fate of their nation rests on the electoral system. That is because, as they did countless times before, the Democratic and the Republican parties will face off once more. At their helms stand candidates Joe Biden and incumbent president Donald Trump. Both politicians diverge greatly on their policies regarding immigration, healthcare and climate change. And lastly, but also just as important, is the issue of cannabis legalization.
The problem is that by enabling a bipartisan, extreme, polarized setup, voters need to fully accept the gravity of individual votes. If you liked the incumbent’s hardline anti-immigration stance, you might like the other’s expanded Obamacare plan too. So, choosing between either means thinking on the merits and demerits of each. Although, for most, that choice is overwhelmingly anti-Trump. Joe Biden, knowing his strong support amongst people of color, and the youth, plays to his base accordingly. Not surprisingly, one of his biggest plans is social equity with respect to drug-related convictions.
Both candidates bring differing viewpoints on cannabis to the table
Donald Trump, even after serving 4 years as a largely unconcerned figure in weed policies, now bears a new campaign. His party makes vague promises about relaxing marijuana import bans and restrictions. However, with no time frame nor effective plan given, there is not much to look forward to. Furthermore, the president did not go any further when it came to current legislation, which federally outlaws recreational cannabis.
Meanwhile, Biden holds a bit more promise on this front. Incorporating moderates and left-wingers into his mainstream, he seeks the approval of the newer generations. He may come from the “boomer” category, but his aides and advisors do not. His party advocates social equity for cannabis related convicts. This also aims to gain the support of affected Black and Latino communities affected by the War On Drugs. Interestingly, but also worryingly, Biden speaks extensively of decriminalizing, but not legalizing, weed. That means he is not pro-cannabis regulation, just expecting users to manage their own sources. However, as many detractors quickly point out, Biden himself signed off on the disastrous 1994 bill against drug offenders.
Experts predict that this potential shift in attitude could mean growth for the cannabis industry
As the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay, at least for some time more, economic strains become increasingly apparent. Over 8 months of social distancing rules and safety precautions leave their mark everywhere. Public gathering places were closed for months on end, and airlines went bankrupt due to travel bans. One of the few growing industries during the time of self-quarantine was the recreational cannabis industry.
Even now, as election day fast approaches, politicians seem to gravitate in from both sides. They all know, after all, that the secret to winning public sympathy may lie in cannabis culture. That is evidenced from Biden’s Vice President, Kamala Harris, and her assurances that she would work for federal legalization. Either way, the winning candidates will need to prove their claims.
Increasing numbers of states head towards cannabis legalization, signaling an inevitable federal decision
As more and more states, from the traditionally conservative to the progressive, embrace legal cannabis, speculations abound. Most of these concern the near future, on a national scale. Will cannabis ever reach federal legalization, in the vein of gay marriage in 2015? Only time will tell.
Economists Discuss The Fiscal Outcomes Of Cannabis Legalization
Canada has long been a sort of reference point for how marijuana laws should be drafted and enforced. The country made cannabis legal federally back in 2018 with it’s Cannabis Act of June. That was a huge step forward then and showed that Canada was a lot further along the road to drug regulation than its neighbor. And even two years after that momentous occasion, the effects are still being studied. What kind of economic expectations should we keep, now that one of the most widely purchased black market commodities was easily available at a number of stores? Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
You might expect that under federal control, the industry would thrive. Being a legal drug with a huge market share means government subsidies, bailouts, tax cuts, and even more perks. So what’s the huge fuss? Let’s chalk it up as a win win scenario and call it a day, right? We wish we could, but the matter becomes a little more complicated. Because now, instead of simple transactions between dealer and consumer, cannabis has to go through the proper channels. And every person wants a slice of the pie at each level in the system. That means overhead costs go up, and then what exactly? To help explain it we’ve come up with a summary of the findings by two Canadian economists, and we’ll try to evaluate their thesis in the end.
Simply put, illegal is cheaper
As we mentioned earlier, when a commodity is obtained through a channel that isn’t regulated by the government, it has to pass through fewer barriers. Things like import tax, quantity size restrictions, and delays due to shipping companies’ mismanagement don’t apply when drugs are smuggled illegally. That isn’t good, of course. Smuggling leads to multiple socio-economic problems for a country. But what it ensures is the overall cost is low.
So if a drug dealer in Canada wants to sell cannabis, after they receive the drug from their sources, they can charge as much as they like. In order to stay competitive, though, they will try to keep a stable price. Because they only need to make a profit for themselves, that price could be just a few cents higher than what they bought it for. Contrast that to a company, which can have hundreds of employees that each need to be paid from the profit of the same amount of cannabis. The fact is, there are more mouths to feed when you go through the right channels. That means the sale price needs to be higher.
Two Canadian economists warn against the dangers of federal control over marijuana and other drugs
Ian Irvine and Miles Light talk about how more government control can mean higher costs of a drug, which in turn can lead to less sales. The market for cannabis is in direct competition with the alcohol and cigarette industries. Studies show that when weed gets harder or more expensive to buy than alcohol, most people turn to alcohol instead. The niche for marijuana is unstable, and governments adding to that instability can only do worse.
Taxes on marijuana will likely reduce the industry’s profits
The issue is, the more taxation cannabis producers and distributors have to put up with, the less they’ll sell. So indirectly, governments trying to get a share in the weed business can ruin things for everyone. The two experts published their dissertation in one of the foremost economic journals of Canada, the University of Toronto Press. So it can’t really be said whether things will turn out this way or not, but it is important to temper our expectations by keeping this in mind.
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