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Judgement Day Arrives With New Jersey’s Cannabis Legalization Bill – Taking A Look At Its Implications

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Cannabis Legalization

Source : Wikipedia

Marijuana aficionados in New Jersey were eagerly awaiting the cannabis legalization bill which ultimately took shape on last Monday night. Governor Phil Murphy along with two other eminent lawmakers, state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney took the call of legalizing the adult-use of cannabis in New Jersey.

The decision was announced to general public by the democratic trio through a joint statement on Tuesday. This took shape after closed door negations which were held for about a year. Tuesday’s announcement is the very first time when democratic leaders came together to talk about this issue. Although we are not sure about the quantum of votes in the Democrat-controlled Legislature which can help with passing the bill, this surely stands out as the first step taken towards the same.

Social Justice Victory For Murphy

Murphy carried out extensive campaigning in 2017 for legalizing the usage of recreational cannabis. He added that, “Legalizing adult-use marijuana is a monumental step to reducing disparities in our criminal justice system.”

Future Implications

Once the bill receives sanction and turns into a law, New Jersey will join hands with the District of Columbia and ten other states who have already shown a green signal to legalized usage of cannabis amongst adults. This can also lure in a large number of visitors from the neighbouring states which are in the pipeline of cannabis legalization.

The New Jersey leaders are also hopeful about mass expungement of people who have been convicted for committing low-level marijuana crimes. This can also bar various petty offenses from being considered in sectors like housing, education and job licensing. The cannabis legalization drive is also expected to garner support from women and minority segment.

People over 21 years of age will be able to legally smoke cannabis in New Jersey by September provided the bill passes in March itself. Murphy exclaimed on Tuesday morning that he feels that the retail sales would start from “early next year.” The existing medical marijuana alternative treatment centres can open their counter for general public by then but only after securing adequate stock for their patients. Recreational dispensaries will be opened strictly after September.

Taxation Aspects

The earlier versions of legislation had advocated the levy of escalating sales tax on marijuana. However, the current proposals seek out the levy of just $42 tax on every ounce of the same. The tax revenue can be collected by the town itself. While cannabis retailers and municipalities can collect 3% tax, those with wholesalers can claim 1% tax and those with cultivators will get 2%.

Such measures might require the backing of a regulatory commission comprising of five members. Three members amongst them shall be appointed by the governor while the remaining two will be picked as per recommendations given by the Assembly speaker and Senate president.

Contradictions & Differentiated Opinions

Certain Republicans have showcased grievance over the matter of cannabis legalization. Former GOP Governor Chris Christie had previously criticised this entire campaign as he felt that it would traffic accidents under the veil of increasing the state’s tax revenues.

The same sentiment was also shared by Republican state Sen. Gerald Cardinale. He exclaimed, “That blood money that he’s going to collect in taxes that is blood money. It is going to come from the blood of people who don’t use marijuana who unfortunately are involved with people who do.”

Democratic Decisions

With various viewpoints existing on this matter, the final decision can swing either in favour of or against cannabis legalization in New Jersey. However, one thing is certain and that is the immense number of votes which Governor Phil Murphy shall require for gaining the Senate’s nod. A committee is being formed to vote on the deal this Monday which is most likely to be followed by a floor vote on March 25.

If nothing is done within the coming few weeks, then this whole legalization agenda shall get bogged down in the state budget negotiations just like last year. State lawmakers have until 30th June to pass the budget. Thus, Murphy has to get the bill signed latest by May if he wants an immediate result. If legal weed smoking doesn’t get the approval within the budget deadline, then the ultimate call shall have to be taken by voters at the ballot during November. If the legalization takes place after summer, then the residents of New Jersey shall have to wait till 2020 for smoking weed legally.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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Cannabis

Breakfast with Martin Bester calls noted herb healer Dee Stephens on his show

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Breakfast with Martin Bester calls noted herb healer Dee Stephens

Image Source: www.jacarandafm.com

Medicinal Herbology is slowly becoming a discipline that people are getting to know. Medicinal Herbology by its name implies treatment of various ailments with the help of plant-based study. It focuses on preparing the medicine based on set formulations and botanical knowledge so that it can target the ailment the way it intends to.

Medicinal herbology is the use of natural herbs and botanical wisdom to treat patients inflicted with certain illness. The discipline aims at using fresh plants and extracts from all over the natural surroundings to provide long term and less intrusive medical help for patients in need for it.

Recently, Dee Stephens, a noted herbologist and healer was invited to the Breakfast with Martin Bester show so that she could throw light on herbology and the use of cannabis oil to enrich the treatment procedure.

Breakfast with Martin Bester is a popular FM show that runs every weekday morning from 6.00 am to 9.00 am. The show intends to bring to its listeners fresh content with a fun angle. Stephens was called as a guest speaker for this unique show to discuss everything about Herbology and its benefits. Many people are not aware of the benefits which the treatments have and the intention of calling her on the show was clear enough. She also talked about the medical benefits of cannabis oil.

The show also gave a platform to practitioners like her to clarify people on the various doubts surrounding the discipline.  Apart from this Cannabis too has often been stigmatised by people chiefly due to lack of information.

Cannabis is a part of the Cannabis Sativa family. CBD which is an extract of the hemp plant from the same family has an acceptable and legal limit of 0.3% of THC in it. Marijuana also which hails from the same plant has higher levels of marijuana which are found on the outer portions of the plant. The THC levels in marijuana are way above the legal limit of THC that is allowable as per the law. That is primarily the reason as to why marijuana is not considered as a constituent that is fair in the eyes of law. The regular intake of marijuana results in the person getting addicted especially after smoking week or pot. CBD is a safer element of Cannabis Sativa because its consumption does not result in the person getting high, neither does it result in mind-altering activities. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, it is often used in medicines and cosmetics.

Dee clarified on the show that herbal mixtures and cannabis oil are only about making one feel better and not making anyone feel high. This is a huge misconception which needs to be cleared. The more people read about it the clearer their minds will be concerning the mix. She compared herbs to tea and many people are regular tea drinkers. This does not imply that they are addicted to it.

CBD has become a national craze ever since the farm bill of 2018 legalised it under the act. After President Donald Trump gave a green signal to its use, many companies and plantation owners have decided to go with the trend. Many famous Hollywood personalities like Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian have sworn by the benefits they have received due to intake of CBD.

Different people have different opinions about CBD. Some people want to know more about it before making a decision. Many people who want to use it are not able to due to uneven laws governing across the country. On one hand, several states have allowed for the legal use of CBD, federal laws are yet to give their nod on it. No law allows CBD to be used as a dietary supplement yet. The need for corroborative proof to back it with the use is much required.

Many takers of CBD have experienced a different set of benefits. People use CBD for reasons like stress and to get enough sleep. But, with CBD proving its mettle in the medical field it is also effective in the treatment of seizures, easing of the situation caused due to epilepsy, joint pains especially after surgeries, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Whatever one uses CBD for, the resultant benefits are worthy to be read about. The Martin Bester show has surely given CBD enthusiasts a chance to present their case about why CBD is the need of the hour for its medicinal values.

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Truck Driver Mike Harris is worried he might lose his job after testing positive for marijuana

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Truck Driver

On one hand, when CBD is increasing its recognition due to its benefits, on the other hand, people are also facing troubles due to regulatory aspects concerning it. Mike Harris and his partner Debbie Martin are a worried lot. They now worry that CBD oil would take away everything they have and will render them jobless. All the while, they have been able to work and able to secure themselves but with the risk lurking around CBD oil, he is fearful of losing his truck.

Mike Harris owns a trailer truck and with it, they have recorded more than three million driving miles. But now his position is getting jeopardised because all the while when he had contracts of carrying hazardous materials but due to a failed drug test, he might just lose his work.

CBD or cannabinol is derived from a hemp plant and made up of two main ingredients called CBD and THC. CBD is indeed the non-psychoactive compound of the plant which implies that ingesting it will not give you any sense of euphoria. But there are different reactions to CBD and it is often compared to marijuana which has higher levels of THC. When the TCH levels are increased it causes mind-altering effects on the mind and results in a change in behaviour. Cannabis Sativa has two main species called hemp and marijuana. Both of them contain CBD but in hemp CBD is found in higher quantity. This is 0.3% THC in the hemp plant which is much higher compared to marijuana.

Both the truck drivers are extremely cagey and guarded because they want to keep their jobs. Harris has been driving a tractor for more than 20 years and he is not the type of who could do drugs. His driver-partner supports me him completely saying that had he been taking drugs, he wouldn’t have been in the job for so long. Over the period, he has undertaken several drug tests and he was not worried when he was asked to take a similar test in July. Till date, he hadn’t failed any drug test but recently when the tests came he had tested positive for marijuana.

Mike Harris has been suffering from sore muscles and knee pain after his surgery. With the help of CBD, he felt a lot of difference in the easing of pain. When Harris decided to take CBD for his pain and condition, his partner driver also asked the dealer if it would pose any problems concerning the drug test. They confidently decided because of lower THC levels in it. The distributors also assured that they will not face the issue because it was not marijuana.

Jason Freidman who is an expert on CBD runs a store called Ohio CBD guy. He believes that people are not fairly educated about CBD and mislead the customer. The dealers fail to educate people that any product containing even the slightest level of CBD in it likes gummies and oils will end up the person having a failed drug test. Harris also told WLWT investigator Todd Dykes that he had taken CBD out of lack of knowledge for his cause. After the results came out, he passed another home drug test and a subsequent scheduled test which he took a week later.

The product that Harris is taking has no mention of THC anywhere in its packaging and that is the reason why they are warning everyone to be cautious about taking CBD products. Martin tells people that any such situation causes a lot of emotional trauma let alone financial losses.

CBD oil is used in several products but ever since hemp became legal under the farm bill, it has truly been a talk of the town. Just about everyone is talking about CBD and new businesses are mushrooming everywhere. People are researching on CBD and its benefits. CBD has had a great impact on the health and well-being of people who are suffering from different problems like seizures, pains, join pains, knee ailments, cancer and even Alzheimer’s. The regulations regarding CBD are currently in a very confusing situation. There are many states which have made it legal to use yet Federal law still hasn’t given CBD the clean chit. Only time will tell whether CBD will become a federally legal product or not.

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Two men producing and selling class B Cannabis jailed

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Two men producing and selling class B Cannabis jailed

Image Source: Caerphilly.observer

On September 10th, two men from Penyrheol were found guilty and sentenced for growing 54 varieties of cannabis plants in May 2018. David Michael Beckett aged 51 and Liam Beckett aged 51 and 23 were found guilty of producing a controlled class B drug. David Michael was sentenced for four years whereas Liam was given four years in jailed custody. The two guilty were also accused of involving in a plot to supply these class B Drug products further after production on profit.

Hemp plant is a part of Cannabis Sativa from which marijuana and Cannabis is set to be derived. While marijuana is found on those parts of the plant that contain a high level of THC and psychoactive elements whereas in the seeds and fibers lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD is found. CBD unlike marijuana is low on THC and also has anti-inflammatory substance. CBD is also a form of weed but it does not give results like marijuana. The over-addiction of marijuana gives a high whereas CBD does not produce that effect as people believe it to do. In fact CBD has been found to be medically very effective and useful. Due to this many professionals are researching more on the plant to acquire new information on more uses.

Possession and production of class B drugs is strictly prohibited because of its apparent dangers. Drugs are usually put into three categories based on the level of dangers we are exposed to. Different types of drugs affect different types of people in a different manner. That information kept aside drugs usually are considered exceptionally dangerous. The three categories of drugs are Class A that includes heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. They are extremely dangerous to use and are hazardous. Class B drugs include cannabis (restricted varieties), speed and Ketamine which are also dangerous but not to the extent of Class A. Class C drugs are considered least dangerous yet risky and include drugs like anabolic steroids, GHB and tranquillisers.

The Newport Crown Court presented the case on August 14th. Gwent Police is extremely wary of such crimes and selling them is a major offense. These sellers do it for profit but forget that any exposure that people have to such substances will make them vulnerable and addicted.

A few categories of Cannabis have yet not found acceptability despite legalizing hemp plant in 2018. They were caught growing the restricted varieties of cannabis. Although in recent years people have begun to understand the benefits of CBD people have to understand the difference between what is right and what is not. CBD industry is growing like never before with many industries quick to resort to CBD based ventures. In the medical field too CBD has been touted as the life saver drug that has saved and eased the lives of many people. CBD has been a miraculous drug in treating extreme levels of seizures which had no cure earlier. Apart from this people suffering from depression, anxiety of all forms, cancer and joint pains have benefitted majorly from the CBD drug.

The police who have reportedly tightened their seat belts to condense drug related and other forms of organized crime have pleaded people to refrain from using these class B drugs. They have devastating impacts on the health and well-being and in most of the cases they are irreversible. Such dealings are only harming the local community and people who take it. The police have requested people to be more vigilant and report every single thing they label as suspicious.  They have asked people to be more observant especially about the activities that take place in their local areas. The Police have also told people to divulge even the smallest of details they might possess and not shun it away considering it as minute. They believe every little piece of information can be useful to them for solving a larger crime.

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