Connect with us

Cannabis

Pennsylvania’s efforts towards criminal justice reforms

Published

on

Criminal Justice Reforms are being introduced in Pennsylvania to r=undo the damages done by stringent marijuana laws.

In February of 2020, a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis was introduced in the state of Pennsylvania by state Representative Jake Wheatley. Known as HB 2050, the bill has put forth some highly commendable social and criminal justice reforms in an attempt to repeal the damages inflicted by stringent drug laws in the region.

As an advocate of marijuana legalization, Rep. Jake Wheatley hopes to achieve a lot through this bill.

According to him, the current status of marijuana legislation has led to an over-zealous implementation of criminal laws in Pennsylvania. People have been sent to jail and fined merely on the basis of possessing the drug. A large percentage of these offences were extremely minor in nature and did not have any violence involved.

With HB 2050, Representative Wheatley hopes to put an end to these racially motivated arrests. In addition, it is anticipated that the bill will create a ‘comprehensive market place’ to legally sell cannabis to adults.

However, a lot of substantial changes will be needed to attain this goal. This will involve creating a market structure where cultivators, processors, retailors, and dispensaries could work within a legally protected framework for easy access of buyers.

Once the market is established, tax revenues collected from these sectors are expected to be directed towards social elevation schemes. After-school programs for youth, student loan forgiveness and affordable housing being among them. This will allow the lower-income strata of the state to get access to medical marijuana through proper channels, legally.

Cannabis Clean Slate Initiative –  A major move towards Criminal Justice Reforms

According to research, marijuana possession has led to many racially motivated arrests in the past. African Americans are 3.64 times more likely to be incarcerated for marijuana offences than whites despite of similar usage rates. This racial injustice is giving rise to deep rooted hatred in the community and is the main motive behind the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The main intent of HB 2050 is to initiate criminal justice reforms in the state of Pennsylvania. Provisions like decriminalizing possession, and expungement of past marijuana offence records are some of the moves in that direction.

Why is expungement of minor marijuana offences important?

The consequences of arrests always go well beyond the court room and jail. This is mainly because personal records of those arrested are scarred for life.

Individuals with past ‘criminal records’ face problems in different walks of life. For instance, finding decent job opportunities or obtaining loans  become tough as soon as background checks pop up. In addition to this, the shame that is associated with a criminal tag attached haunts individuals for life.

This is why one of the main proposals of HB 2050 is the expungement of non-violent and minor marijuana offences.

According to Wheatley, “We should help provide some relief for those individuals, and potentially hopefully, those individuals will stay here, work here, be productive citizens here,”

Access to medical marijuana made easy

Representative Wheatley also aimed to resolve issues relating to accessing medical marijuana by residents in his state. Once again these issues were disproportionately affecting  people of color, notably those belonging to lower income groups.

People have reported problems in finding transportation to medical dispensaries, financial bottlenecks or unavailability of physicians to prescribe the drug in particular communities.

In an attempt to address these problems, HB 2050 has designed a complete legal system that would allow growers, processors and dispensaries to operate within laws that would permeate social benefits.

Economic Effects of Cannabis Legalization

“There’s much more that needs to be done to reverse the decades of injustice, and we need to start by decriminalizing cannabis and legalizing it for adult use,” says Governor Tom Wolf.

He is among those advocates who have stressed for the legalization bid time and again. This month was his third event that was focused on making a case for legalization.

Among other advocates of policy reforms in the region is Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D). He has he been extremely vocal about his stance on cannabis legalization. Furthermore, he believes that Pennsylvania can do better than other states in growing local marijuana.

Upon legalization, the cannabis industry is expected to have a potential to generate millions in revenue. These expectations are not an illusion, but rather a reality seen in other states like Colorado where sales and tax revenues were record breaking.

This industry is expected to provide the much needed economic leverage to the state at a time of crises like never before. The legalization will create many opportunities within the cannabis industry. In addition to this, revenues generated from it could be redirected to other industries heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crises.

In addition to benefitting the locals, legalizing cannabis is also going to benefit law enforcers. It is going to free up resources for other viable causes than just implementing marijuana laws.

 

 


 

 

 

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cannabis

Texas A&M Freshman Desires To Expand Cannabis Medical Use

Published

on

Cannabis Medical use expansion

Cannabis is an illicit drug that is applicable for treating certain medical conditions. Moreover, marijuana is effective in treating psychological disorders but due to its dependency nature and ability to cause addiction, its use is restricted. 

The cannabis industry continues to explore new products, lines of administration, and much more. Furthermore, researchers are working on finding possibilities to expand the medical use of cannabis. Research and development projects continue to work and explore marijuana deeply. 

Julia Patterson is a Texas A&M freshman and has a political science major. She is the first to become one of the youngest registered lobbyists in Texas, reports The Eagle. Medical use of cannabis to treat epileptic seizures was an effective approach for Julia as she was able to recover from epileptic seizures with marijuana use.  

ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips

Julia Efforts For Expanding Medical Use Of Cannabis In Texas

Julia is currently working on expanding the state’s Compassionate Use Program, and for that, she seeks to influence Texas-Legislatures. She has been very active to encourage and convince lawmakers to expand their medical use of cannabis. Moreover, she has devoted herself to the cause and has been doing so since 2019.

She is also a participant in the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which allows physicians and psychiatrists to use low-THC medicines and products. Moreover, doctors under the program rules can give specific small doses for treating various health-related conditions to those patients who qualify.

In 2015 she advocated for passing the Texas Compassionate Use Program to treat more people with cannabis. In 2019 more qualifying conditions became part of the program. At the time, Julia testified before legislators. 

According to Julia Patterson, expanding the program will make a difference and improve the quality of life. Especially those that can recover from certain diseases with sufficient larger doses of marijuana. Her life altered after getting treatment with marijuana in the form of CBD-oil, and she wants to do the same for others.

Julia desires not only to expand the Compassionate Use Program but also increase the limits of THC. So far, individuals can get only 0.5% THC in any cannabis-based formulation as per the program instructions. However, the program allows for low THC % medication because it is psychoactive and capable of producing a high feeling. Moreover, according to Jayne Reuben, chronic use of high THC medications can lead to Cannabis-use disorder. 

Julia Peterson Recovers From Epileptic Seizers By Using CBD-Oil

Peterson had brain surgery and three medical implants. She was on a ketogenic diet for five years and received various medications. However, of the things she does or eats, nothing was effective in treating or controlling the seizures

She was missing a lot of normal-life and suffering due to epileptic seizures. In February 2018, she was given CBD-oil for treatment through the Compassionate Use Program. According to her, within two months, she was entirely seizure-free. She was able to have a healthy life.

ALSO READ: CBD Oil Solutions To Many Pandemic Mental Health Issues

Along with CBD-oil, she was on second-seizure medication, and the treatment made her life better for good. Moreover, her recovery via medical use of cannabis encourages and motivates her to convince lawmakers to expand the Compassionate Use Program. Furthermore, she suggests that some qualification-conditions shall be part of the list that includes allowing the use of marijuana for non-terminal cancer, PTSD, and chronic pain patients. 

According to Julia, if an individual has a chance of recovery from any disease, by using marijuana, then the doctors shall have access to give the doses. 

According to Julia, increasing the THC percentage from 0.5% to between 1% and 5% will be effective and safe. Julia elaborates that monitoring of patients who receive cannabis-medication always occurs. Furthermore, prescribers monitor, supervise, and administer medication to such patients. The prescriber keeps in check alterations in the condition to ensure intoxication does not occur. They work to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

Published

on

Cannabis Indoor Colorado

Public health and safety are the priority of both the government and citizens both. According to Colorado Sun, the allowance of cannabis smoking and vaping indoors will increase health hazards. 

Cannabis is an illegal drug on the federal level, but some states have legalized it for recreational and medical use. Moreover, efforts are being made by lawmakers to legalize marijuana on the state and federal levels. some states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use. 

The government has an emphasis on public safety and health for years. However, in Denver, an ordinance was put forward recommending legalizing the use of cannabis for smoking and vaping within public places. 

According to the drafted ordinance, marijuana smoking and vaping shall be allowed throughout Mile High City, inside every restaurant and establishment. 

ALSO READ: Study Reveals Vaping Cannabis Is More Lethal Than Smoking For Teenagers

Opinions vary towards passing the Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver. Moreover, most Coloradoans do not agree with the Bill as they consider there is no need for people to vape or smoke causing harm to others. 

Denver Efforts For Public Safety And Health

Authorities in Denver have been working hard to create a work environment free from smoking e-cigarettes and cigarettes containing tobacco and cannabis. Moreover, the public appreciates these measures. Furthermore, protective measures against the use of second-hand smoking and vaping within establishments protect public safety and health.

Authorities, to increase public health, closed the last smoking room at Denver International airport. As a result, it becomes 100% smoke-free and enables enhanced protection for public health and safety. 

Over the years, Colorado was able to become a state free from smoking cannabis and tobacco. Moreover, after much effort over a decade, all restaurants, bars, retail stores, and most public places become free from every type of smoking.

In 2006 Colorado adopted the State’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which sets rules and regulations for indoor activities. However, some gaps allowed smoking in small indoor places, long-term care facilities, and small hotels. 

Two years back, Colorado lawmakers made amendments to the Clean Indoor Air Act. According to new amendments, the smoking of tobacco and cannabis within any establishment was not permitted. Moreover, the amendments ensure that no one does e-cigarettes smoking or uses smoking and vaping devices.

Effects Of Second Hand Cannabis Smoke

Legalizing or allowing individuals to smoke or vape freely indoors increases exposure to second-hand smoke or vapor. Moreover, it puts the health of the public at risk. Smoking is dangerous to the health of both the smoker and those who are present in the surroundings sharing the same environment. Furthermore, allowing smoking indoors pollutes the air inside and creates serious health hazards.

ALSO READ: Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

According to research, second-hand smoke of cannabis and tobacco is both lethal and hazardous. Due to marijuana smoke, the individual inhales PM2.5 fine-particulate matter. The PM 2.5 present in marijuana smoke is hazardous. Moreover, PM2.5 comes from wildfires and air pollution. Exposure to PM2.5, directly and indirectly, affects the lungs and cardiovascular system badly. 

Furthermore, secondary exposure to cannabis smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Marijuana smoke also contains 33 carcinogens and thousands of chemicals. Carcinogens can increase the risk of developing cancer to a greater extent. 

In a few words, there is no safe second-hand smoking. Thus, allowing indoor smoking and vaping will affect other individuals within the premises. Moreover, regular workers or visitors who are non-smokers and non-vapors their health will suffer. 

Thus many in Colorado have the opinion that it is not wise to allow indoor smoking and vaping in restaurants, shops, retail stores, and other establishments. Furthermore, individuals think that Denver City Council must take a stand for public safety and health. Moreover, the Denver City Council must opt into the Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver. 

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

Published

on

Marijuana and jobs

Marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills are under discussion. Other resolutions regarding cannabis to improve the working of the cannabis system also happened, reported nbc news.

It was highlighted that the individuals cannot face disqualification solely because the individual used marijuana. Such measures are unfit and unacceptable. The office of Joe Biden allows individuals to apply for an administrative-job without any limitations on recreational-cannabis use. In addition, the White House has updated its hiring policies and guidelines. According to the new rules for hiring, recreational marijuana use will not prohibit anyone from applying and obtaining a position in the office

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and drug use was a barrier to getting a job in administration in the White House. The Office of Personnel Management Recommendations changes hiring policies. The use of marijuana, even though it is illegal, but its use cannot be the only reason for rejecting an employee or disqualifying one. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

New Guidelines For Hiring And Recreational Use Of Marijuana

The White House allows the selection of candidates on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, marijuana infrequent users will be under consideration for top-secret security clearance selection. Furthermore, the Personnel Security Division and security officials will help in the selection of candidates. 

Kathleen McGettigan is the current director for the Office of Personnel Management. McGettigan released a memorandum about hiring recreational users of marijuana. Shortly after the memorandum, the release of new guidelines occurred. 

According to it, 49% of Americans use marijuana off and on. Moreover, the SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health runs a survey according to which nearly half of the participants have used cannabis. 

Some individuals are disqualified for a job merely based on using marijuana. Moreover, individuals with the best qualification characteristics for a job do not get a job because they use cannabis from time to time. As a result, suitable candidates for jobs are unemployed despite their experience, education, and other skills. 

What is the Vetting Process and How it Helps in Selection?

The appointed individuals for a staff position in the White House undergo a process called the vetting process. During vetting, process officials determine whether individuals qualify for a security clearance or not. 

Moreover, applicants that apply for the staff position must be honest about marijuana and other drug use. The extent of drug use determines for which job the individual is suitable. 

According to the new policy, individuals will not get disqualification for using cannabis from their office immediately. Moreover, such individuals will receive a waiver. Individuals with a waiver must agree that they will never use marijuana again during their government job and they will not hesitate to perform random drug testing. Such individuals will work remotely for some duration. However, the White House did not specify the extent of the duration.

What to Monitor?

Monitoring and selection of employees is the responsibility of McGettigan. The applicants are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are certain things about applicants that the officials must know. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Industry, Celiac Disease, And Processed Flour

Gathering information about drug use and other characteristics of applicants makes the selection process easy. Moreover, applicants must be honest about their character, conduct, and personalities. The officials selecting employees must know the nature of the job for which the applicant applies. And also, the job in which the person is employed. Furthermore, individuals must acquire the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of conduct. 

It is essential to determine whether the applicant has gone to rehabilitation centers at any age. Knowing about applicants and understanding them enables selecting the best candidate for the job. Moreover, individuals with talent, experience, and suitable qualifications will not lose their job only because of infrequent marijuana use. 

Biden’s efforts towards bringing the most suitable administrative workers through amending hiring guidelines will enable them to gather individuals with the highest standards for providing services to individuals. 

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!