Connect with us

News

5 States Legalize Recreational and Medical Weed, Making 2020 an Epic Year for Cannabis Reform

2020 is the “biggest year yet” for cannabis reform.

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Five states have legalized cannabis for recreational and medical purposes, showing that prohibition is increasingly in tatters as drug reform efforts hit a high point across the United States, making 2020 one of the biggest years yet for cannabis reform efforts.

On Election Day, a majority in New Jersey, Arizona and Montana voted yes to approve ballot measures making recreational use legal. Meanwhile in South Dakota and Mississippi, voters have also approved cannabis for medical purposes.

Voters in New Jersey approved the measure to make the Garden State greener come Jan. 1, but legislators are now being tasked to draft and pass legislation that would hammer out the details of how the new policy will actually be implemented.

Lawmakers will also have to pass another measure that will establish the legal weed market. Cannabis sales will be taxed at 6.625 percent, along with an additional 2 percent tax from local city governments.

The approval of the measure throws down a gauntlet for politicians in neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania, where lawmakers have faced a logjam in passing legalization measures. Legislators fear that if they don’t take action, they risk losing a competitive edge to New Jersey in potentially one of the largest cannabis markets in the country, reports The New York Times.

In Arizona, cannabis was also comprehensively legalized for adults aged 21 and older, who will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of the plant. Under Proposition 207, the state will establish a licensing system as soon as March, reports AZ Central. Up to six plants will also be allowed for people to grow at home.

The state’s 120 medical cannabis dispensaries will now be allowed to sell cannabis to anyone over 21, while the new law also includes social equity measures granting licenses to people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Those convicted of certain crimes related to the plant can also seek the expungement of their records.

In Montana, two cannabis-related measures were passed that comprehensively legalize the recreational use of the plant, reports Great Falls Tribune. However, one of the measures levies a whopping 20 percent tax on the plant while granting individual counties the ability to prohibit dispensaries, while the other measure sets the minimum purchasing age at 21. Possession of up to 1 ounce is allowed under the new rules.

People with cannabis-related convictions can also seek resentencing or expungement for past offenses.

South Dakota’s voters also approved a joint initiative that gives the go-ahead to medical cannabis as well as recreational use of cannabis. Amendment A gives adults 21 and over the ability to possess and distribute up to an ounce of herb, while medical patients with prescriptions can have up to 3 ounces, reports KITV.  

In Mississippi, a massive 75 percent of the electorate approved medical cannabis in the state, which will grant doctors the ability to prescribe the plant to people with any of 22 health conditions, including HIV, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and sickle-cell anemia, reports the Clarion Ledger.

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of the public in the U.S. favors the legalization of cannabis—a sure sign of the anti-prohibitionist mood of most Americans, especially millennials. For many, the sentiment is less about politics or partying, and more a simple matter of wanting to put an end to the failed “War on Drugs” and its disproportionate and unjust impact on poor communities of color.

Cannabis reform advocacy group NORML rang in the new year calling 2020 the “biggest year yet” for reform, and these new states that have legalized recreational or medical herb join twenty-five other states and the District of Columbia that have either legalized or decriminalized possession and use of the plant for adults over the age of 21, while medical cannabis was legal in 33 states.

Voters in New Jersey approved the measure to make the Garden State greener come Jan. 1, but legislators are now being tasked to draft and pass legislation that would hammer out the details of how the new policy will actually be implemented.

Lawmakers will also have to pass another measure that will establish the legal weed market. Cannabis sales will be taxed at 6.625 percent, along with an additional 2 percent tax from local city governments.

In Arizona, cannabis was also comprehensively legalized for adults aged 21 and older, who will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of the plant. Under Proposition 207, the state will establish a licensing system as soon as March, reports AZ Central. Up to six plants will also be allowed for people to grow at home.

The state’s 120 medical cannabis dispensaries will now be allowed to sell cannabis to anyone over 21, while the new law also includes social equity measures granting licenses to people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Those convicted of certain crimes related to the plant can also seek the expungement of their records.

In Montana, two cannabis-related measures were passed that comprehensively legalize the recreational use of the plant, reports Great Falls Tribune. However, one of the measures levies a whopping 20 percent tax on the plant while granting individual counties the ability to prohibit dispensaries, while the other measure sets the minimum purchasing age at 21. Possession of up to 1 ounce is allowed under the new rules.

People with cannabis-related convictions can also seek resentencing or expungement for past offenses.

South Dakota’s voters also approved a joint initiative that gives the go-ahead to medical cannabis as well as recreational use of cannabis. Amendment A gives adults 21 and over the ability to possess and distribute up to an ounce of herb, while medical patients with prescriptions can have up to 3 ounces, reports KITV.  

In Mississippi, a massive 75 percent of the electorate approved medical cannabis in the state, which will grant doctors the ability to prescribe the plant to people with any of 22 health conditions, including HIV, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and sickle-cell anemia, reports the Clarion Ledger.

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of the public in the U.S. favors the legalization of cannabis—a sure sign of the anti-prohibitionist mood of most Americans, especially millennials. For many, the sentiment is less about politics or partying, and more a simple matter of wanting to put an end to the failed “War on Drugs” and its disproportionate and unjust impact on poor communities of color.

Cannabis reform advocacy group NORML rang in the new year calling 2020 the “biggest year yet” for reform, and these new states that have legalized recreational or medical herb join twenty-five other states and the District of Columbia that have either legalized or decriminalized possession and use of the plant for adults over the age of 21, while medical cannabis was legal in 33 states.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Animals

Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

News

Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed