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Protests Erupt In Madrid, Spain, District Over New Lockdown Due To COVID-19

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Spain city of Madrid facing partial lockdown

In Madrid, once a city of enchantment and tranquility, COVID-19 now strikes again. The city now grapples with emerging cases of the disease, as Spain reigns the country in Europe with the most cases. Alarmingly, the COVID-19 pandemic was not new in the country, with a previous spike having fallen. This ‘second wave‘ of the coronavirus prompted officials to impose lockdowns on the most effected districts. Unfortunately, this may have also triggered a class conflict in the process.

On Monday, September 21, 2020, the southern laying district of Vallecas in Madrid, went into lockdown. However, this official mandate has not made things any easier for the time being. Widespread protests over the news that Vallecas would face shuttering down emerged. Residents of the district took to the streets to voice their belief that the decision was based off socioeconomic status.

Madrid faces the worst peak of COVID-19 ever, and precautionary measures needed severely

The country’s regional health chief for Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, recently stated the severity of the pandemic in an interview. The nation, at the time of writing, bears over 640000 cases of infections and over 30400 deaths. These numbers come off as staggering, and few nations, like the United States, top it. Escudero even stated that should the necessity arise, a city-wide lockdown would follow. Conversely, the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, assured viewers that another nation-wide lockdown was not under plan.

Thus, the Mayor of the city of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, also spoke in favor of the lockdown. He urged residents of the city to unite and cooperate with government mandates. The rationale behind this policy, and towards shuttering Vallecas, reflects the highest COVID-19 cases concentrated there. The lockdown strategy, after all, does show proof of good results in most parts of the world.

Vallecas residents believe the lockdown restrictions mean to control only them, while leaving others unchecked

Peaceful protests, over the city’s controversial sudden stance, emerged immediately. Vallecas, being one of the lowest median income districts, generally sits on a low socioeconomic position. The residents, numbering over 850000 strong, also include high proportions of immigrants. Despite the conditions of economic poverty, many united on the streets to call out the perceived injustice. In addition, they also call for the removal of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the Madrid regional leader. She had recently come under fire for blaming the rise in COVID-19 cases on immigrants, a racist stance.

The rationales behind the limited lockdown conflict on both sides. The city government maintains it only started due to the high concentration of cases in Vallecas. And that it is entirely unrelated to any socioeconomic discrimination. Meanwhile, protestors are far from convinced. Many simply dread the closure of schools, businesses and meetings in their neighborhoods. And they believe the sole cause for this is due to their income levels, while the richer areas are less restricted.

Spain seems the most at-risk nation in the continent, and should tread carefully

The coronavirus, established to have at least thrice the infectiousness influenza does, spreads quickly and silently. Often at times, with testing procedures rendered unavailable or slow, the virus spreads and infects faster than detected. Hence, Spain’s resurgence of cases after a drop-off in the first wave indicates the need for serious action. Regardless of where in Madrid one lives, masks and social distancing are paramount.

In other news, many nations have begun, or nearly completed work on a COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to read about one of them!

 

 

 

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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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Cannabis

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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