Time is ticking, and political commentators are starting to wonder about the president’s inaction on cannabis reform—an issue with high support among Democrats. And since Democrats are currently in control of the White House and Congress, it’s on them to push a bill to the finish line.
During a June 3 “Overtime” segment on YouTube, the Real Time with Bill Maher host read an audience-submitted question to his guest, former Attorney General Eric Holder, about why President Joe Biden hasn’t pushed for the federal legalization of pot. After all, decriminalization of cannabis at the federal level was one of President Biden’s promises on the election trail.
Maher—who denies alignment with any party—said that dealing with the issue would be “dealing with reality,” and it would also bring political benefit. But if Democrats continue to fail to legalize cannabis at the federal level, Maher thinks Republicans will take up the slack.
“Republicans are gonna steal the issue. I think eventually,” Maher told Holder. “I mean, someone like John Boehner works for a marijuana company now. I mean, it could be one of those freedom issues. And, of course, Republicans smoke lots of pot too.”
“Not enough,” Holder said to instant laughter in the audience. “They need to mellow out just a little more.”
Some Republicans have used cannabis as a freedom issue. Politico reported on leaders who are joining the fold, viewing cannabis “through the prism of states’ rights, personal freedom, job creation and tax revenue.”
In a survey, conducted by Pew Research Center from April 5-11, 2021, the majority—72%—of Democrats said cannabis should be legal for medical and recreational purposes versus 47% of Republicans. Only among “conservative” Republicans, the majority of people surveyed said they aren’t in favor of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. While it’s less popular among Republicans, there are some leaders launching their own bills such as Congresswoman Nancy Mace, with her States Reform Act.
Maher pointed out the recent push for social equity measures transforming the industry slowly, but it is an issue Republicans aren’t onboard with. It’s the social equity provisions that are one of the few dividing points when it comes to cannabis bills. On the other hand, leaders like Senator Cory Booker believe social equity provisions are critical for any cannabis reform bill.
“Now I understand the impetus to want to, like, for example, if you’re gonna have new businesses that are legal in the marijuana field, yeah, they probably should go to the people who suffered the most during the drug war,” Maher said. “Republicans, of course, are saying this is a deal-breaker.”
Maher acknowledged that leaders are not aligning with certain details on the issue, but didn’t exactly provide a full solution.
“What do you want, half a loaf? If they said okay, no equity, is it better to have the law passed or changed or is it better to hold out for equity?” Maher asked.
“It’s better to have the law changed,” Holder responded. “And as I said, deal with the societal reality that we have and, you know, and try to make it as equitable as you possibly can, but I wouldn’t want to stop the movement that I think makes sense for the sake of equity.”
Maher serves on the advisory board with NORML and is a longtime known advocate for cannabis, and is known for slamming religion and political correctness in general. Maher was in the same room as High Times this past May, when the political talk show host made an appearance at Woody Harrelson’s grand opening of The Woods in West Hollywood.
The post Bill Maher Thinks Republicans Will ‘Steal’ Pot Legalization appeared first on High Times.
Things to Know About Cannabis/hemp laws
General policies of cannabis have been advancing since the last five decades, but the general scientific proof of the effect is accepted to be uncertain for these policies. In this survey we sum up some important limitations of the investigations related to medical cannabis laws, featuring their irregularities regarding diversification and the planning of these policies. In this article we will focus on the laws related to cannabis and the impacts of cannabis legitimization.
Despite the fact that the laws have restricted the circulation and use of cannabis in the U.S from 1937, for the last five decades U.S is assessing different cannabis policies. Decriminalization laws in the U.S were first passed during the 1970s, after that medical access policies for patients started to get embraced during the 1990s, and lately the U.S have been experimenting with authorization of recreational markets.
This has created many Cannabis policies in the U.S. When we go through some studies related to this topic, we come to know that 21 states had decriminalized some offenses related to cannabis in January 1, 2016, 26 states had legitimized the use of medical cannabis, and 16 other states had embraced cannabidiol. Cannabidiol laws allowed just some types of cannabis to be utilized for medical reasons. But certain states have also created mixes of every one of these policies.
Various elements have made some changes in policies observed in recent decades, which includes increasing state budgetary expenses linked to drug sinners, developing logical proof of the health advantages of cannabinoids present in Cannabis, and stressed financial plans of state have made governing bodies to search for new sources of tax gains.
The colossal policy variety after some time would give analysts sufficient chances to closely survey the impact of cannabis policies on the basis of health results. But the logical department has been very slow till now, and what exists in the writing offers commonly blended and many negligible discoveries. Due to this many people think that the past cannabis policies were safe and that current cannabis policies are comparatively creating almost no harm to the society. But in reality, according to the latest studies of individual’s outlook about cannabis shows that people are in favor of legalization of cannabis.
Impotent Facts About Cannabis laws
- We should keep in mind that the state policies which are legitimizing cannabis are helping in advancement of state policies that have happened since the 1970s. The surveys assessing the effects of earlier state experimentation have created uncertain discoveries, and have recently tried to recognize the cause behind these mixed outcomes.
- Moreover, we should be very careful while explaining the proof from all studies mixed together, as these researches are not identical in their consideration regarding policy and populace heterogeneity. But the written work has generally treated both medical and decriminalization cannabis policies as though they were different decisions. However, there can be major differences in the usage of these strategies and this affects how grown-ups or youth of the country react.
- Generally, some research assessing the effect of MMLs give sufficient thought to the way that a few features of government policies are acknowledged quickly, while other features may take some efforts to progress or there can be a change in reply to the future state and government policies.
- Many researches that concentrate on how cannabis advancement policies affect previous year’s predominance combined changes in utilization among easygoing clients with changes in utilization among ordinary and substantial clients. Moreover, researches that stress on unreliable clients will in general discover increasingly steady proof that the medical cannabis policies grow use, recommending that this section of the populace is especially delicate to changes in policies.
Future of Cannabis
As the legal sources of cannabis evolve, there is a critical requirement to evaluate the results of liberalization on different measures of utilization that are important for understanding potential damages. This requires establishing greater measures of normalized portion, overwhelming use and continuous use. Studies have to give more consideration to the effects of these policies on the kinds of items which are consumed due to them, the number of THC which are consumed in various items, and item improvement.
Future work additionally requires to provide more grounded thought of the baseline which the latest state policies are being assessed. For instance, authorization is probably going to produce littler populace changes in medical cannabis states that by the time have dynamic dispensaries than in states with no earlier medical cannabis stores.
Different cannabis progression policies over the states of the US is frequently overlooked or inadequately thought about while evaluating the effects of additional changes in policy. In spite of the broad state evaluation with different cannabis policies from the 1970s, our awareness towards the effect of these advancement policies on the utilization of cannabis, and its advantages and disadvantages, is less evolved than one would hope for. There are various explanations behind this, involving especially absence of consideration regarding the heterogeneity of current policies, the specific need of the populaces analyzed, and methods of utilization.
Let’s Compare: Death Penalty for Whites vs. Blacks in America
Racial bias is perhaps the most controversial sociopolitical issue that has been distressing the United States for decades. The recent scuffle that involved a black man and some police officers resulting in the black person’s death further rattled this subject and fired up activists.
A direct correlation between race and capital punishment indeed seems to exist in the US judiciary system landscape. In the era of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, will racial issues concerning capital punishment finally get a much-needed reassessment from the country’s criminal justice system? At this point, only time can tell.
Death Penalty: Racially Discriminatory?
According to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), both supporters and opposers of capital punishment in the United States agree that its implementation is racially discriminatory. In another report by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), disparity against Blacks is very evident in the justice system, from charging to executions.
In the NAACP report gathered from the US Department of Justice, 48% of defendants who were White were able to get granted life sentence through plea bargaining. In comparison, only 25% of Black defendants were able to be granted the same. For most of the Black defendants, it’s a firm death sentence decision.
How Race Influences Capital Sentencing
There are many things at play when it comes to deciding to impose the death penalty on a defendant, whether he is Black or White. It is interesting to note, however, that the defendants who have been sentenced to death cannot challenge the decision on the grounds of violation of the constitution’s “equal protection of the laws” solely by using the racial disparity pattern in capital sentencing. And that is unless the defendant can illustrate that the individuals involved in the court decision, such as the prosecutor or the jurors, deliberately discriminated against the defendant based on race.
- On death sentence decisions across the United States, around 80% of murder victims have been White. To put it in perspective, White murder victims comprise only 50% in cases nationally. Those who have murdered White victims are more likely to receive a death sentence than those who have murdered Blacks.
- The majority of those in the death row are White (45%); Blacks come in a close second (42%). This suggests that although the victim’s race seems to play a big part in death sentencing, the same cannot be clearly said regarding the defendant’s race. However, in another report by The Sentencing Project, prosecutors are more likely to charge Black people with crimes carrying heavier sentences than White people in a similar situation.
- Blacks tend to get eliminated from the jury systematically. That results in underrepresentation, which may mean the difference between life and death to a defendant.
Death Sentence and Racial Disparity at the Present
Nothing much has changed since the past decades regarding racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. The number of death penalty punishments on account of race, Blacks, in this case, is still happening in our present society. Racial bias results in the unequal treatment of a similar situation, and people — Blacks and non-Blacks — are getting restless about this.
It’s a great challenge in our society. And the current practitioners of criminal justice are being thrust with the responsibility of repairing this disparity. But mending this kind of flaw in the system entails collaborative effort from the policymakers, practitioners, academics, and advocates. Sadly, it is unlikely that racial prejudice will be eradicated from the criminal justice system easily or quickly.
Black Unemployment Rate Stays Higher, African-Americans Get Less Jobs
In May 2020, the black unemployment rate stood at 16.8% compared to 12.4% among white Americans. While the economic recovery brought down the all-American average from Aprils’ record 14.7% to 13.3%, it ticked 0.1% for African Americans. The ongoing protests over George Floyd’s death due to police brutality, and high rate of joblessness for blacks highlights the glaring social and economic disparity in a country viewed as the torchbearer of the world’s democratic values.
Many blame the coronavirus pandemic for unemployment among blacks, who predominantly work in state and local sectors that have witnessed major layoffs. However, it is the disparate racial mindset that makes black Americans subject to economic and social injustice. While white Americans are mostly businessmen and white-collar workers, blacks struggle to get jobs.
The data on black unemployment rate understates the bigger problem of disfavoring in the United States. African Americans face inequalities in access to healthcare, education, housing and means of prosperity. Their wages, income, health status and economic condition continue to suffer due to persistent racial discrimination visible socially, economically and physically.
The Deep-Rooted Economic Disparity
Historically African Americans are at the receiving end of economic development in the United States. In August 2019, when joblessness was its lowest in the country in decades, the black unemployment rate was still 2% above the 3.4% whites without a job. Whenever a recession hits the US market, African Americans are more vulnerable due to the fragile economic safety net they rely on. As the economy rebounds, their recovery is again slower compared to the white population.
Much blame for the high black unemployment rate and their economic backwardness goes to racial discrimination that continues since the US came into existence. African Americans were enslaved, and brought to the country to work for the prosperity of white farmers. Despite their support in the War of Independence, their enslavement continues, and they were denied economic advancement. Black people were excluded from the political process, and forced to serve the white men.
The abolition of slavery in 1863 failed to restore their property rights completely and White Americans continued to enjoy privileges in job and commerce. The sustained racial segregation and discrimination of black people by whites led to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Though it resulted in social, economic, and political reforms in favor of African Americans contributing to Barack Obama’s elevation as the first black US President, blacks continue to face systemic injustices. The absence of equal opportunities, wages, and education keeps them disadvantaged and the black unemployment rate remains higher than that of white Americans.
Why the Black Unemployment Rate Stays Higher
The foremost reason for the high black employment rate in the United States is “historical and systemic educational and economic disadvantages” meted out to them. For centuries, white Americans are “patronized” to maintain a “disproportionate economic edge” at the workplace. African Americans struggle to get better and quality jobs as they have too many hurdles, including lower pay, higher job insecurity, reduced benefits and fewer opportunities, compared to white people.
Systemic barriers also put obstacles for black Americans. They are victims of occupational segregation making them vulnerable to wage discrimination at the workplace. Blacks are viewed as fit for lower-paid jobs, and employers prefer whites over them for stable, well-paying offers. Whether it is a slowdown or economic recovery, they are “last hired, first fired.” About 55% of them have private health insurance compared to 75% among white workers.
The lack of entrepreneurship and fewer African American-owned businesses also contribute to the higher black unemployment rate. They lack the wealth to support their education, start a business, or move to a particular place and access better jobs. They face monetary barriers preventing their education, and end up with higher debt than white Americans. However, this has more to do with racial profiling in jobs than the absence of qualification among black people. Their systemic economic exclusion is as old as the US history.
Even after slavery was abolished, the offices created to resettle formerly enslaved people encouraged them to enter into a contract with their former masters, and continue to do the same occupation. States, such as Carolina, made laws barring African Americans from doing any job other than farming or domestic servitude. White-dominated legislatures approved acts that prevented the relocation of blacks, or their hiring for distant job openings.
Unfavorable agriculture policies and Ku Klux Klan terror in the South drove African Americans to the North during the 20th century. However, the lack of good education and employment discrimination forced them to accept lower-wage domestic and service vocations. The trend continues despite technological advancements leading to high-paying jobs in the country.
Intentional government inactions are also to blame for the higher black unemployment rate. Federal and state statutes enforcing non-discrimination at the workplace are never strictly implemented. Many of the agencies, including the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, remain only largely symbolic, while social discrimination perpetuates economic inequality. This, in turn, has forced African American workers to endure lower-income, fewer jobs and exclusion from better opportunities.