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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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Five States to decide their Cannabis Future this November

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cannabis future of the states

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.

Also Read: Medicinal Cannabis Costs are Back Breaking- MPs raised Voices

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.

 

New Jersey

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.

 

 

Arizona

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.

 

Montana

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.

    Also Read: Economists Discuss the Fiscal Outcomes of Cannabis Legalization

 

South Dakota

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.

 

Mississippi

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!

 

 

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Cannabis

How The Upcoming US Elections Could Benefit The Marijuana Industry

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candidates on marijuana legalization

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.

 

 

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Economists Discuss The Fiscal Outcomes Of Cannabis Legalization

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Marijuana costs and benefits

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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