The wait for the 2020 elections is almost over with early voting sessions already underway in various states. Although issues like the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, countrywide protests against racial injustice, and the future of Affordable Care Act were the top most highlighted issues during the election campaigns, advocates of marijuana legalization have strived really hard to get their voices heard amidst all the chaos. In an attempt to get public opinion on their stance and validate the status of marijuana, these proponents have managed to get the question of its legalization on the ballot of at least 6 more states in the 2020 elections.
Here is a brief round up of the legalization efforts and ballot initiatives put forward in these states.
This is not the first time that Arizona is going to put up the cannabis legalization initiative on its election ballots. In 2016, the legalization initiative was defeated by a mere 2.6% majority of the opponents.
This year, Arizona has placed the cannabis legalization question before its residents yet again in the form of Proposition 207. If it wins, the initiative will allow the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana to adults aged 21 and older. In addition to this, a provision to expunge past offences related marijuana has also been made.
In Mississippi, residents would be voting on two different and competing initiatives related to marijuana legalization.
While Initiative 65 has proposed access to medical marijuana for 22 types of qualifying conditions, Initiative 65A has limited the consumption of smokable marijuana only to the terminally ill.
Further more, Initiative 65A has also stressed on the pharmaceutical grade of medical marijuana. The right of amending any regulation are placed with the legislature under this initiative.
Medical marijuana is already legal in Montana. This year, the question of legalization is on the ballots yet again to take the process a little further.
One initiative would allow adults 21 years or older to purchase, own and consume cannabis recreationally. In addition, it has proposed a tax of 20% on sales that will be directed to national parks and wildlife.
The other initiative establishes the legal age of consumption, possession and purchase of cannabis at 21. What’s different in this initiative is that it does not position itself to establish an industry within the state.
In New Jersey, the legalization question will be put forward in the form of Public Question No.1.
Public verdict on the issue is very important in this state as it will have almost immediate impact on neighboring states of New York and Pennsylvania. Upon success, the proposition would legalize cultivation, retail, processing and recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 or older.
The commission already overseeing medical cannabis business of the state will be manage the initiative upon success.
South Dakota has broken previous norms set by other states in their legalization efforts. This is because the state is putting forward the question of legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana in one swift move under Measure 26.
Measure 26 aims to provide legal medical marijuana access to patients with qualifying conditions. It will put a registration system and medical cannabis program into effect if it gets enough voter support.
Additionally, another marijuana initiative called Constitutional Amendment A is also on the ballots.
Oregon has already legalized marijuana use in its jurisdiction. In the elections of 2020, the state will take voter opinion on Measure 109. This is the Oregon Psilocybin Program initiative that would allow the access of psilocybin to qualifying individuals over 21.
In addition to this, the state is also putting forward Drug Addiction and Treatment Recovery initiative that would expunge all criminal penalties related to Schedule I, II, III, or IV drugs.
Why more States need to legalize marijuana
Although 35 states have already legalized medical marijuana and 11 others, along with Washington DC have permitted its commercial adult use, the immense confusion due to different state policies and their contradictions with the federal law demand more to be done.
A classic example of this was seen in the case of Chris Bartkowicz , a licensed marijuana grower in Colorado. Despite of its legal status there, the cultivator was arrested. “He was in violation of federal laws and he had the intent to distribute marijuana.”
In his defense Bartkowicz said, “If I knew what I was doing was illegal, I would have never made a public display of myself. I would not have put myself in the line of fire if I was knowingly violating the law.”
There are undeniable legal disagreements even between different states that have granted marijuana a lawful status. Due to these discrepancies, marijuana users are unable to carry their products/medications across state lines. In some states where marijuana is legal, consuming the drug on federal property could lead to some serious charges by authorities.
In addition to this, current laws surrounding marijuana have fueled racial disparities in the country. Since the beginning of its ban, marijuana has been tout with xenophobia. Its therapeutic qualities were scarred in an attempt to tarnish Mexican immigrants, who were active users of marihuana. According to statistics, people people belonging to the African American descent make up only 34% of the American population, yet they makeup for about 13% overall arrests.
Marijuana Cultivation in Colombia by Flora Growth Becomes Public
Marijuana cultivation within any state has to be per the cannabis laws of that state. In Colombia, some cannabis cultivators can grow cannabis outside within a certain area.
There are chances of the introduction of new cannabis reforms at the federal level. Investors are making their moves while observing the situation closely as their profit or loss depends upon new regulations. Marijuana cultivation usually takes place in indoor greenhouses. In Canada, mostly cannabis companies cultivate marijuana through the controlled environment in greenhouses.
Some cannabis companies have their set up in Canada and different states of the United States. Production units can be found in Canada and the US, and the types of methods used for cannabis cultivation can vary.
Marijuana Cultivation Methods and Cultivation Preferences
Cannabis cultivation can occur inside greenhouses and outside in an open environment if temperature and other growth factors are appropriate for its growth. Moreover, marijuana cultivation in the outside or open fields is cost-effective and requires traditional methods for this process of cultivation.
Indoor greenhouse cultivation of cannabis occurs in a controlled environment, and it yields the best marijuana product qualitatively and quantitatively. Latest technologies are used in this method of cultivation. The cost for marijuana cultivation using new technologies is much greater than the cost-spends at its growth using traditional methods.
Some growth tricks used to increase the yield of cannabis include topping, super cropping, flushing, low-stress training, and monster chopping. Other cutting methods can increase the growth of marijuana.
Flora Growth is a cannabis company in Colombia, USA, and has headquarters in Toronto, Canada. The company cultivates marijuana for producing its medicinal products via traditional methods.
In Colombia, cannabis companies do not quickly get a license to register and grow marijuana within companies’ premises. According to CEO Luis Merchan, Flora Growth has the approval of the Colombian government for legal marijuana cultivation, and cultivating a gram of marijuana dry flowers costs only 6 cents. The cost of indoor cultivation of cannabis in North America is about $1.25.
Despite being cost-effective, companies are not racing to get Colombian government approval as these companies prefer cultivating marijuana closer to home.
Alterations in Flora Growth Shares
Investors are not interested in investing in Flora Growth, and company shares continue to fall up to four percent, reported CNN. Traditional marijuana cultivation costs remarkably low, and Flora Growth can generate high-quality cannabis-based foods. Flora Growth also formulates beauty products using cannabis.
The increase in share prices is slow, and the company is still small as compared to other companies involved in the cannabis business on an international level. Flora Growth has to make many efforts to improve its share price and grow to become a bigger cannabis company like Altria, Tilray, and Canopy.
Flora Growth has made a public offering to make mergers or sign contracts with other companies and investors. The CEO is confident that Flora Growth will successfully increase its share prices. The company can earn sufficient earnings by selling good quality products produced at low cost as it uses traditional marijuana cultivation methods.
The company has a partnership with Miss Universe of 2014, Paulina Vega. As a result of this partnership, the launch of Flora Growth cannabis-infused topical products has become easy and effective in increasing stock prices. The skincare cannabis product formulation occurs by extracting CBD and other non-psychoactive phytochemicals from the cannabis plant. The extraction of components occurs by utilizing plants grown through traditional marijuana cultivation methods.
According to Merchan, Flora Growth has remarkable cultivation facilities, infrastructure, marketing team, cooperative working team, and efficient sales team across the globe.
Changes in reforms to marijuana cultivation, sales, possession, and other marijuana activities will increase competition, and Flora Growth has the potential to flourish in a highly competing environment.
What Cause Biden To Change his Policies For Cannabis?
Ever since Biden took office as president, reforms have been under discussion for formulating new cannabis regulations and legislation at both the federal and state levels. After the election, people and investors were hopeful that the cannabis industry would flourish and progress in multiple markets as the government introduces new cannabis legislation.
Members of Biden’s political party have put forward bills recommending decriminalization and legalization of weed at activities at the state level, reports Forbes. Some states have already legalized and decriminalized marijuana business activities. Others are still discussing and making amendments to formulate effective cannabis regulations.
Democrats, of which Biden is a member, promised to decriminalize marijuana and introduce new cannabis regulations. Everyone had the impression that the Biden administration would legalize and decriminalize marijuana without any delay. However, more than five months of the New Year have passed, and there is no change in federal cannabis legislation. The drug is still under the controlled substance list and remains 100 percent illicit on the federal level.
People and investors are beginning to doubt the Biden administration’s approach towards cannabis regulations. Some are immensely disappointed with the philosophical approach of authorities towards marijuana legislation.
Five Members of Biden Administration Got Fired, People Have Their Concerns
The reason for firing five of the members from the Biden administration is not clear. But it is likely to be associated with their past cannabis use. New cannabis regulations suggest allowing individuals to apply for various jobs or continue a job even if they have used marijuana at any time in their life. However, such legislation has not yet been passed on the federal level.
Firing employees because of their past cannabis habits is not fair. Everyone at least once in their life has used marijuana intentionally or unintentionally. Even president Joe Biden has admitted to using marijuana in his past life. There was a time when the FBI did not hire people with past cannabis use. But the FBI changed its cannabis regulations more than a decade ago and permitted people who no longer use marijuana to apply for jobs in the FBI.
The change in FBI cannabis regulations does not occur over a day. Changes occur over the years and deep debates on national and international levels. Eventually, permission to apply for a job in the FBI requires that as long as you pass the drug test and are not using drugs anymore. Moreover, the FBI has made amendments over the years. The White House shall also consider making new cannabis regulations.
People find this unacceptable and are disappointed in the authorities as they have forced five individuals to leave office because of their past marijuana usage.
The MORE Act
The MORE Act is not yet practiced but is under process. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act will introduce great cannabis regulations. According to the MORE Act, it is better to remove marijuana from the list of controlled drugs.
Furthermore, it suggests that people who have overcome their habit of cannabis use shall not suffer bullying in society. They shall be given equal rights as any other citizen has. The White House passed this bill. In August 2020, a bill suggesting allowing people to continue their lives without being charged for cannabis use in the past.
Such a bill was in favor of legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana. Does Biden’s perspective on renewing cannabis regulations get affected because of his son’s condition relating to substance use? If so, the president and his administration shall reconsider the cannabis legislation for legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana.
The cannabis industry has great potential and a margin for enhancement or making progress. It will help to generate huge revenue and improve the economy. Biden favors state-level legalization of marijuana. He shall make new cannabis regulations for the federal level too.
Mother Supports Young Irish Boy’s Cannabis Addiction, Spending $590 a Week
An Irish judge is inspecting for punishing a 16-year-old boy for his cannabis habit. The cannabis addict boy had the full support of his mother, who was spending $590 per week to support her boy’s cannabis addiction. The boy got into weed when he was charged with forthcoming a drug search last year.
Teenagers Becoming Cannabis Addicts
Breaking News Ireland reports the teenager appeared this week along with his father in the court, lying in wait for a pre-sentence probation report. Judge Kelly was surprised to know that the young Irish boy’s mother was giving him money to buy weed, supporting his cannabis addiction rather than working on the boy’s rehabilitation.
During an incident in Dublin, the boy was guilty when caught red-handed with a suspected controlled substance in a private area of his underwear. This incident took place in April of 2020 when the boy aged 15.
Since then, Paul Kelly, judge at Dublin Children’s Court, kept an eye on the teenager who was being supervised. The Breaking News reports that the probation service was going well.
Although the probation service was going well, this couldn’t bring a decrease in the judge’s concern about the teenager. The boy was still consuming about $147 on cannabis per week, which has a potential influence on the mental health of the boy.
Judge Paul Kelly looks forward to continuing the probation service and keep the boy under supervision, irrespective of the Probation Service’s suggestion.
Ireland Bleeding in Cannabis
A commenter to Mary Jane’s Diary notes the consumption of cannabis in Ireland, which shows people paid $37 per gram of weed in 2017. A GrassCity message board reports that people were spending $15 per gram of cannabis in 2015. The Reddit post of 2018 suggests people should get about 3.2 to 3.5 grams of cannabis for $74.
Breaking News states that the boy chose to remain silent when asked about his awareness regarding the impact of cannabis addiction on mental health. Judge Kelly still alerted the boy about the diverse implication of cannabis for the future.
This week, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland has come up with the issuance of their caution. The psychiatrists from Ireland College state that cannabis addiction has a lethal impact on the mental health of young individuals.
Dr. Gerry McCarney in the college stated that the use of cannabis has a drastic impact on young people, altering their ability to learn, problem-solving, cognitive behavior, and general emotional intelligence. Dr. Gerry McCarney warns individuals that cannabis addiction at young age alters their social behavior.
Cannabis Addiction Skyrocketed Hospital Visits
The college statement shows an incline in the hospital admissions of young individuals with cannabis-related diagnoses and cannabis addiction. An increase of 300 percent of such hospital admissions has been reported between 2005 and 2017. The police impounded 16 percent THC levels in weed. If youngsters use weed weekly or more frequently, one in three young individuals is prone to cannabis addiction.
Breaking News reports that Judge Kelly stated in this week’s court about the teenage boy who had been searching for work that there is a need to address the boy’s cannabis use.
Judge Kelly emphasized spending money to fulfill other necessities of the 16-year-old boy rather than on cannabis that will potentially harm his social life and physical well-being. Cannabis addiction of young people gives birth to a boatload of complications. The judge states that an updated probation report would be awaited in six weeks to address the young boy’s cannabis use.
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