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Cannabis legalization loses zest in New Zealand

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Cannabis legalization in New Zealand is losing is zest as other issues like euthanasia and covid-19 are gaining more attention.

Advocates of cannabis legalization were contemplating New Zealand to join in the ranks with Canada and Uruguay by sanctioning the sale, cultivation and recreational use of cannabis. Although the proposed legislative changes were expected to attract a lot of public interest but contrary to this belief, proponents of the idea have declined in the past few months.

In a survey of about 1000 people conducted by 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, the percentage of people supporting the proposed laws has fallen to 35%. This number stood at 40% in June, and 43% in November of 2019. As opposed to this, the proportion of those against the legalization of cannabis has increased to 53% .

In addition to this, Horizon Research has found a head to head competition on the legalization verdict by conducting a nationwide survey on the matter. According to its findings, about 49.5% respondents voted in favor of cannabis legalization, and an exactly similar aggregate voted against it. The remaining 1% gave no response.

Photosource: HorizonPoll

One of the main reasons for a decline of public interest on the issue of cannabis legalization is the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since its attack on the world, the virus has become the most discussed topic among all governments, New Zealand being no exception. The pandemic has not only inhibited campaigns for popularizing cannabis, but due the gravity of its impact, most elections have focused on managing the crises at hand.

Therefore, many  in the government have chosen to avoid sharing their views on the subject.

Cannabis Legalization in New Zealand

Alongside the general election of 2020, voters in New Zealand will be handed two referendums asking for a simple “yes” or “no” vote on cannabis legalization. This referendum will also be accompanied by another one which will be focusing on euthanasia. New Zealand is going to be the first country to put up the matter for a public verdict. This has taken away some of the enthusiasm of voters from the issue of cannabis legalization. Voters will be free to vote on both or either of the referendums, or not vote at all.

For the cannabis referendum, the question asked from the voters is quite straight forward. It is worded as neutrally as possible to provide voters a complete understanding of the proposal at hand.

“Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalization and Control Bill?”

If the referendum wins by more than 50% votes, it will be presented before the new government in the parliament. Therefore, keeping in mind all the phases which the referendum will pass through, actual legalization cannot take place before 2021. This will also depend upon the percentage of support it gets on the referendum.

What is in the bill?

In a nutshell, the legalization would do the following for the cannabis industry of New Zealand:

  • Make the use, purchase and exchange of cannabis legal for adults 20 years and older
  • Allow the use of 14 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent per day
  • Permit the consumption and purchase of cannabis from licensed premises
  • Allow cultivation of up to two plants, with a maximum of four plants per household
  • Share up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) with another person aged 20 or over

The restrictions on the cannabis industry will be stronger than those on tobacco and alcohol. Some of them are as follows:

  • Like USA, no advertising of cannabis products will be allowed
  • The products will be allowed to be only used at home
  • Only licensed premises can permit on location consumption of cannabis products
  • A regulatory body will be formed that would decide the location of retail outlets and consumption premises on a case by case basis

What will legalization mean for New Zealand?

Cannabis and its derivatives are considered illegal in New Zealand. This classification has lead to a conviction of about 45,665 individuals in the past decade, with about 6583 imprisonments.

“A ‘yes’ vote in the 2020 referendum will be positive for social justice and equity, contribute to reducing the country’s excessively large prison population, and enable those health issues associated with cannabis to be dealt with upfront,” says former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark

Cannabis activists calling for reform say a lot of these statistics could change with the legalization of the drug. Not only will this free police resources, but will also leave more funds to be invested into other socially important causes like healthcare, education and infrastructure.

This industry could generate about $NZ1.4bn each year, according to reports by BERL. The agency predicted an influx of 400 cannabis stores and about 5000 jobs in the market.

Moreover, legalization would also address racial discriminations in arrests and police behavior. According to statistics, about 41% of cannabis offences were ‘recorded’ in Māori in the last 5 years. Most of the convicts were of a non-Māori origin.

The bill has had its fair share of opposition from politicians. According to Aaron Ironside from Smart Approaches to Marijuana NZ, opposing cannabis legalization was to protect the health of users. “The taxes and excises on alcohol have not been sufficient to cover the social harms of alcohol. We need to focus on the health … let’s not create more addicts to do that.”

Despite of a shift in the focus of voters in this year’s elections, the issue of cannabis legalization will likely rise again.

A graduate in Bachelors of Business Administration, Yumna Haq is an ardent researcher and a dedicated writer. Having lived in three different counties, her cultural exposure is vast, allowing her to reflect more knowledge in her work. She's currently working for Cannabis Health Insider as a news writer.

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The Legalization of Cannabis across USA; What’s the Real Reason Behind?

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Are we ready to enter the cannabis sector?

People of color are striving for decades and are discriminated against for their usage of drugs. Often facing issues of penalties and illicit charges finally is the time for them to have justice and help sustain the United States economy. The economy has suffered adversely. Back in December global cannabis stock started rising up.

The news is in the air and making a huge difference in the lives of many people. It’s a well-deserved and remarkable recovery for the cannabis industry. 2021 has definitely given them a lot of good news to survive and cheer up! This industry is fighting for a very long time for its due rights and during 2020 several events gave it the due edge. Now it seems like wrestling has resulted in the achievement of existential identity and is already set for any storm. There are several reasons for the change in the direction of the wind. Let’s recap the reasons and have a look at this major shift.

Pandemic

As flagged Covid 19’ has forced the state to legalize cannabis. It is not only the effort of Democrats but also the hole in the budget which is persuading them to take this step. This step will lead towards new employment opportunities and will help families that have lost their means of earning at the hands of the pandemic. It is estimated that billions in terms of tax will be generated to help the state and its citizens.

End to Racism

The people of color will finally get justice. They have been facing racism and discrimination issues since the war on drugs. You must know the history of the plant marijuana- which is believed to be an agent in stopping the immigration of the Mexicans from entering Texas. Initiatives taken by States: The November elections opened up a way for many cannabis companies to open up across New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi. The total addressable market expects more than 16 million new customers. According to studies, very soon, every one-in-three American citizen will live in a state where cannabis adult usage is legalized.

Also Read: Legalization of Cannabis by the Democrats in New York

Expansion of other industries

The best for last is cannabis acting as a catalyst in the generation of revenues. Not only is this legalization of cannabis acts as a fuel to empower other industries. Boris Jordan, Chairman, Curaleaf declares that New Jersey was the tipping point and when New York and Pennsylvania go recreational, 80% of the US population will have access to adult-use cannabis.

Helping Hand to Neighboring States

It will also help the neighboring states like Canada to invest in States. The leaders will look forward to trading. Constitutional developments and laws will help US operators and industrialists to trade around core positions. As soon as the legalization of cannabis takes place, multiple fund managers start to buy cannabis in the US which is of high quality. Despite the fact, there is a lot of supply of cannabis and capital raises we still need to remind ourselves that more laws need to exist. Like they have come up with the laws and decree for the growth, cultivation, supply, and possession laws they need to have laws for child-resistant packaging marijuana foods.

Also Read:Mexico Takes A Shift to Create World’s Largest Cannabis Market

What to expect now?

Once the US companies linked with cannabis are able to access capital to fuel and pump their growth and once they list on US exchanges, then the voyage will be underway. This asset will prove to be a new socio-economic engine for the US. The historic end to the war on drugs is on its way. A revolution is coming and good days for many!

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Medical Marijuana Leads to Poisoning in Kids

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Medical Marijuana

The Bottom Line

Giving medical marijuana to patients suffering from HIV or AIDS, seizure disorders, and in case of chronic pain is trending. In addition to this, it is given to patients suffering from severe nausea. Also, it is proven beneficial for patients who lose their appetite for treatment such as chemotherapy. The chemical inside medical marijuana is active compared to the marijuana plant.
There had been several issues getting under the light once the news of cannabis legalization came into existence. This has for sure brought smiles to millions of faces. Proper laws and decrees have been passed for the possession, cultivation, and growing of marijuana but what is the major concern right now is that there are no laws for the child safe storage of medical marijuana products.

ALSO READ: Medical marijuana to reduce pain and improve workforce in older Americans

The Complete Story

After the Democrats winning the position they have pushed a way forward to the matter of legalization of medical marijuana in the States. Although there are many states in America where it has been legalized but the debate is still in the air about other states.
Dated, 14th January many states have made it legal in the District of Columbia. There are specific medical conditions allowing patients to use medical marijuana legally. Examples of such conditions include patients with cancer, AIDS, and severe nausea. Also, patients suffering from seizure disorders and high-intensity pain can legally use medical marijuana. However, the Federal Government doesn’t take any legal action against people holding it but it still is illegal under federal law.

What’s Next

Now coming to the major concern legal or illegal, if you have marijuana in your household, it is accessible to small children. The recent study suggests that children swallowing marijuana are serious and need hospitals to save their lives. As medical marijuana has a high intensity of an active chemical termed tetrahydrocannabinol– abbreviated as THC compared to marijuana plant or dried marijuana.

Reports by researchers in Colorado

Kids are curious and they have a habit of imitating adults. There is a very high chance of bad news if you don’t take the proper precautions of keeping medical marijuana at your homes. Cookies, brownies, and candies contain medical marijuana. Such items usually don’t have any warning labels that would at least remind the adults to keep such things out of reach. Researchers in Colorado have recently reported an increase in the number of cases after swallowing its products. The children’s ages vary from 8 months to12 years old. After these cases, evaluations suggested that medical marijuana cakes, brownies, and candies belonged to the grandparents, parents, friends, or baby sitters coming to their places.

Symptoms in Children

The most common and noticeable symptoms that left the parents suspicious were excessive sleeping, lightheadedness, and having trouble maintaining balance. Yet, some children faced breathing issues-leaving them with low oxygen saturation. Fortunately, enough none of such cases expired and they recovered without the persistence of any health issues.
The most common symptoms were excessive sleepiness, lightheadedness, and trouble walking. However, a few became too sleepy and their breathing slowed down. That could mean the child doesn’t get enough oxygen. Fortunately, none of these children died. They all recovered without permanent health problems.

ALSO READ: Two Faces of Marijuana

The True Story

This happened which warned the parents in the state to take special care of their children. As at this particular time there are no regulations for child-resistant packaging of medical marijuana products.
Report says that a 3-year-old child ate a cookie made with his grandfather’s medical marijuana. The trouble for the family came into notice When the child became very sleepy rushing to an emergency room was the only option. Several blood tests and medical procedures as per the protocols took place but the urine sample declared the presence of marijuana. The child was admitted to ICU for further treatment and procedures.

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Common Ground Found For Legalizing Weed

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Common Ground Found For Legalizing Weed

Perhaps one of the most overlooked and avoided affairs in the Senate is the legalization of weed. In the past, some laws did become a reality. These include house bill 3703 that makes slight changes to Texas’ low-THC medical program.

We’ve seen about two dozen bills that address decriminalization of medical cannabis, allowing hemp cultivation, and outright legalization of carrying and using weed.

The responsible marijuana policy director Heather Fazio believes that this current push for legalization is something that was never seen.

The house bill 447 by El Paso Democratic Representative Joe Moody would permit adults in the state of Texas to purchase and subsequently possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Moreover, 15 grams of this could be in concentrate form. The bill also allows people to grow up to 12 plants at their private residence.

ALSO READ: Mexico Takes A Shift to Create World’s Largest Cannabis Market

The bill also argues that this will facilitate in curbing the illegal movement of cannabis as prices will go down significantly and everyone related to the trade will have their records sorted.  Bill 447 also allows for retail operations under a license and a 10% sales tax.

The current suggestion will allow most of the money to go to the Public-School Teachers Fund. Another such senator, Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, brings bill 140 to the table that essentially offers an alternate way to distribute the money.

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Director Heather Fazio believes that economic factors may also weigh heavily. She thinks that over a billion dollars per budget cycle will be added to the national exchequer. All this can be put to practice by legalizing a product that people are already using. Right now it is largely unregulated and is outside the tax net.

Increased Acceptance in People Regarding Weed Use and Distribution

The suggestions are to be a part of the constitution through amendments. Fazio sees more bipartisan common ground in their efforts related to decriminalization and penalty reduction. Even extremely conservative members like Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, wish to reduce the penalty for small-scale possession to a class C misdemeanor. This would make small-scale (under two-ounce) possession ineligible for jail time.

All these movements will allow Texas’ medical cannabis program to grow further. Senator José Menéndez, D-San Anton­io, has been a long-standing fan of the medical use of weed. Each time the house was in session since 2015; his SB 90 would allow physicians to prescribe cannabis products to their patients. This is a suggestion for any level of THC concentration, and for whatever diseases that the doctor sees fit. Menéndez believes that his bill will allow a medical doctor the right to decide about what’s the best medical treatment for them.

ALSO READ: Dealing with Insomnia While Overcoming Weed Dependency

Medicinal Usage of Weed

Menéndez is vouching for medicinal use of weed. He thinks whoever does abuse the use of weed will continue to do so with or without this legalization. Menéndez further says he wants to open weed usage up for senior citizens and law-abiding citizens who need pain relief. He wants weed legalized for people who wouldn’t dare touch weed except for medicinal purposes.

According to Menéndez,  SB 90 could easily pass in both chambers but is unsure about the take of the governor or lieutenant governor on the matter. He expects both to be on the same side as most other Texans, who have vouched for open trade and legalization of weed.

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