By INIGO ‘NAUGHTY’ ZENICAZELAYA
FIRST New York made headlines a few weeks ago, (as we mentioned in this very column) with the legalisation of medicinal and recreational marijuana (cannabis).
This week on Tuesday, April 20, 4/20 no less, yes I appreciated the irony immensely, I saw Texas follow in New York’s gargantuan footsteps by pushing for legalised medicinal and recreational marijuana.
With nearly a dozen pot policy reform bills currently under consideration in the Texas legislature, Democratic Rep James Talarico took advantage of the 4/20 high holiday on Tuesday as an opportunity to promote his recent move to get the ball rolling on Texas cannabis legalisation.
While the cannabis community was reveling in its celebration of the plant, Talarico turned to social media to share the news of a bill he filed last month.
“Happy 4/20! I’ve filed legislation to legalize cannabis, expunge past marijuana convictions, and use the new tax revenue to fund early childhood education.”
Talarico posted on Twitter this past Tuesday.
According to the latest polling by the Texas Tribune, 60 percent of Texans support the full legalisation of marijuana, while only a paltry 13 percent said it should be completely illegal.
Talarico also mentioned how persons have been reaping the medicinal benefits of cannabis for centuries, to treat a host of maladies, including chronic pain, depression, and addiction.
Talarico also commented on the commonly held notion that cannabis is a gateway drug to more dangerous substances has been thoroughly debunked.
Posting another strong message on social media via Twitter Talarico said: “In fact, medical research suggests alcohol and tobacco are far more dangerous to our health than cannabis.”
Another portion of Talarico’s message that didn’t go unnoticed by the masses, was the fact that the legalization of cannabis is part of ending the racist war on drugs that continues to target communities of colour.
Touching on the fact that Black and Latino Americans are four times more likely than White Americans to be arrested for marijuana possession even though both groups consume marijuana at the same rate.
While others in the region continue to drag their feet, we can become the New York or Texas of the Caribbean.
It’s clear Jamaica is playing politics just like us.
If we can get legislation passed in a timely fashion we can have the industry poised to go on line full stream as soon as the world returns to normalcy in 2022 as predicted.
Proper taxation on both medicinal and recreational cannabis would be a welcome addition to the treasury.
Additionally it would enhance the tourism product and experience.
All while remaining completely in step with growth of legalised cannabis globally.
FACT CHECK, FOR GOD’S SAKE
I have been saying for the longest we may be the most gullible nation on the planet.
We only need to look to social media for the various “fake news” stories that are passed off as ‘truth’ for proof.
Recently we’ve seen alleged philandering MPs, to a quartet of rogue police officers allegedly committing a cache of heinous offences, to missing persons who aren’t really missing, to warring political third parties and the list goes on and on.
Shared continuously by irresponsible persons looking for “likes” and “shares” on social media platforms, these “stories” have gained a life of their own and unfortunately take the toll on a persons reputation long before anyone decides to do an ounce of fact checking.
Another sterling example of this locally was the viral sharing of a Facebook post claiming that Netflix has removed all Christian movies, shows and specials from its streaming service.
One user alleged with authority that the all “Christian & Biblical content” had begun being cancelled as of March 30.
A tiny bit of “fact checking” by yours truly revealed that the story originated in 2016.
Yes, in 2016 Netflix actually issued a statement to USA TODAY confirming that it is not removing Christian movies from its streaming service.
The claim that Netflix is removing all Christian content originated from an article based purely in satire.
“Netflix to remove all Christian content after complaints from Muslims” published March 29, 2016, on the site News Thump.
On the top of News Thump’s site reads “UK Spoof News and Satire.”
Further disclaiming in its about section that the site aims to mock absolutely everyone, eventually.
There are penalties for this type of foolish behaviour on social media, whether in good fun or not, there is far too much of it and it needs to be stopped.
Law suits in the form of libel, slander and defamation of character, and I welcome the enforcement of such penalties by the Cyber Crimes Unit of the RBPF.
Moving forward let’s READ AND RESEARCH BAHAMAS or face the consequences.