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Marijuana is a widely debated topic among criminal justice advocates, politicians, and recreational users alike. Over the last decade, sweeping forward movement has taken place in the legal arena in regards to legalization of the drug for medicinal purposes. However, there is a lag in creating more lenient laws and regulations surrounding recreational use. While many have personal opinions about why marijuana should – or should not – become legal across the United States, one thing is clear. Support for legalization is growing in noticeable ways, for a myriad of reasons.  Here are 10 Reasons Why Support for Legalization of Marijuana is Increasing in the United States.

#1 – The Gateway Drug Myth

One of the reasons leading up to nationwide prohibition against marijuana use on a recreational level was predicated on the belief that the drug was a gateway to other, more harmful illegal substances. Marijuana users were thought to be far more likely to use cocaine, heroin, and other substances than those who had never tried pot. While this has some truth behind it, recent reports show that correlation is not the same as causation. Just under half of Americans have tried marijuana, but less than 15% have taken cocaine, and only 2% have tried heroin. The update to the gateway drug myth has led many to shift toward supporting legalization.

 

#2 – Enforcing Criminalization is Expensive

According to a Human Rights Watch study in partnership with the ACLU, an estimated 600,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2016 alone. Criminalization of the drug costs American taxpayers a hefty amount each year in keeping these “criminals” behind bars (in jail) or moving through the court system. Legalizing the drug could mean less money spent on these efforts, and more funding used for other criminal justice initiatives.

 

Marijuana Industry Growth

The Marijuana Industry is Poised to Create jobs and 11 Billion Dollars in Revenue

#3 – Americans Widely Support the Move

Early in 2018, Canada announced a plan to legalize marijuana use recreationally by the middle of the summer, which offers some boost to the number of Americans supporting the move in the US. A recent Pew Research study reveals that nearly 57% of adults in America believe that marijuana should be legal, with 37% feeling strongly that it should remain illegal. As countries make unprecedented moves to legalize marijuana use, many individuals are likely to follow suit.

 

#4 – Potential for Economic Growth

One glaring reason for the increase in support for legalization is the potential for economic growth over time. Looking at states that have already taken steps to legalize marijuana for recreational use shows great promise in terms of monetary gain. Colorado, for example, generated $750 million in the first half of 2017 from legal pot sales, a portion of which goes to licensing and bonding fees that benefit the state and its residents. Other states legalizing the drug may have similar results which lay the groundwork for increased job numbers, lower unemployment, and strong economic environments on a local and state level.

 

#5 – Increased Tax Revenue

Following economic growth, tax revenues generated from legal marijuana sales also show incredible promise, especially for cash-strapped state and local governments. Keeping Colorado as an example, between July 2014 and June 2015, the state received $70 million in taxes from legalized pot. While that’s impressive, it doesn’t compare to the following fiscal year which brought in an estimated $200 million in tax revenue.

 

#6 – Decrease in Violent Crime

Research shows that legalizing marijuana sales on a state level does not correlate with an increase in violent crimes. In fact, taking away the gang and cartel-related activity from the criminalization of the drug may ultimately reduce violent crime in states where sales are legal.

 

#7 – Positive Health Benefits

Aside from crime reduction and positive economic effects, the legalization of marijuana also has known health benefits. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a study that there is definitive evidence that marijuana use is an effective treatment for individuals with chronic pain. It is also known to relieve muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, migraines, and treat glaucoma in some patients.

 

#8 – Mental Health Support

Above and beyond physical health benefits, marijuana use is also known to provide positive mental health effects. For example, researchers share that weed may relieve anxiety when taken in small doses, and it may prove beneficial in jumpstarting the creative process for many. While these benefits are less advantageous than physical health advantages, they are adding to increased support for legalization.

 

#9 – Less Lethal than Other Drugs

Another reason legalization of marijuana is growing in popularity is the revelation that other drugs currently legal to use within the United States are more harmful than pot when used on a regular basis. Alcohol and tobacco cause more than 500,000 deaths each year, and they lead to several illnesses and injuries that have a widespread impact on society. Marijuana, or cannabis, the English language name for the drug, is a non-toxic substance that has never caused a fatal overdose.

 

#10 – Lower Addiction Rates

Compared to widely used pharmaceuticals, including painkillers and anti-anxiety medications, marijuana is known to be less addictive. The lower addiction rate to the natural drug means less of an impact on society as a whole, and far lower costs for medical care among users and non-users alike.

 

Each of these reasons alone or in combination with the others offers a glimpse into why the legalization of marijuana is becoming more accepted among adult Americans. Over the next several years, time will tell if the increased interest in legalization has enough to stand on in state and federal courts.

Author:

Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.

Eric-Weisbrot---Marketing-Manager

This is a guest post by Eric Weisbrot. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.  The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein.  This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice.  This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort.  If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.

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Since I posted these Jay Leiderman Law Shirts two days ago on Instagram (pix below), I’ve gotten a lot of emails and messages asking for these shirts to be sent around the Country. I can’t afford to send that many all over the place, though I’m happy to give the shirts away for free. I’ve been told to ask for what our typical postage is; to ask for $5 for postage for one shirt, $7 for two and apparently it’s going to cost $11 for 3. I think it’s tacky but I don’t have a choice. Please send to my PayPal: jayleiderman@yahoo.com but email me first to see if I can work it out with no postage.  Again, I’m happy to send the shirts themselves on me. I can order more, as I’m sure to run out. I just can’t pay for the shirts and postage. Sorry! These were supposed to be for local clients. Indeed, If you can come to the office, you can have a free shirt.

Jay Leiderman Law Shirts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have sizes S to 2XL.  They are on Hanes Comfot Soft T-Shirts.

Also, I have some of the old JL Law shirts that didn’t come out as well. They’re basically good for like playing mud football or painting or whatever. Happy to throw one in, no additional postage. Thanks!

Email your name and address to the same Yahoo! Email. jayleiderman@yahoo.com.  They just came in 10 minutes ago and we can start shipping on Monday. Again, sorry for the postage issue. There are just too many to ship and too many requests already.

If you want one sent Internationally we’ll run the exact postage.

At Jay Leiderman Law, “We fight the man for you.”  As I’m forever all over the place, we call our dominion “Ventura, California and the world.”

If I’m going to be in your neck of the woods, I’ll just bring you one, no worries.  Again I hate that I have to ask for postage.

Jay Leiderman

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6 Laws You Need to Understand When Buying or Selling Businesses in Australia

 

Perhaps you’re considering purchasing an established business or maybe you’ve had an offer from someone to purchase your own company, such that you are considering whether or not to sell your business.  Either way, there are a number of laws and regulation which need to be followed prior to the sale.

 

Failure to adhere to these rules can results in all manner of difficulties, including the sale being invalid by law. Therefore, it’s essential that you do your research and have all documentation in order before signing the deal. There are many aspects to think about, but read on for seven of the main points you’ll need to consider when buying or selling a business.

 

Minimum Three Years Financial Information

 

If your selling your own business, then you will need to provide both quarterly and annual financial information to the prospective buyers. This includes all balance sheets, cash flows, income statements and footnotes. You can also ask for financial projections, accounts receivable aging schedule, company and industry pricing policies and a risk management plan. The buyer has the right to have access to all of these documents, so make sure that you have them ready to view. The same applies when it comes to purchasing a business – ensure that you have all the financial data you need to form a clear picture.

Sell your business

Capital Structure Information

 

You’ll also need a detailed breakdown of the structure of the business. This can include things like the current outstanding shares along with a list of all the stock holdings, share opening and notes. Remember to ask for a liabilities sheets as well as overviews of bank loans and terms and conditions.

 

Legal Matters

 

By law, the business owner needs to provide you with detailed information regarding past and present legal matters, so that you’re not left with any nasty surprises. Request full overview on pending and past lawsuits and their outcomes, as well as employee safety, potential environmental issues, licenses, trademarks and patents as well as details on insurance cover. If you’re selling your business make sure all this information is easy accessible for the buyer.

 

Considering Capital Gains Tax

 

If you’re selling your company, you may be required to pay a capital gains tax on the money from the sale or any assets that you keep. Seek advice of a company law specialist if you are unsure. There is a possibility if you do have to pay capital gains tax, that you can get a reduction on the total amount depending on your options and what your government allows.

 

Selling Shareholdings

 

If you own a limited company, and you are planning on selling the entire shareholdings to a new buyer, then avoid resigning yourself as a director first. What you will actually need to do is to appoint both new directors and shareholders prior to resigning. Again, this is a relatively easy process, but you will want to make sure that you have all legal paperwork signed and dotted before you choose to do this.

 

Employee Consideration

 

While all effort is placed on providing the buyer with the correct information as well as making sure all the right contracts and papers are being signed, you’ll also need to carefully consider the rights of current employees. Make sure they are in the loop of both when and why the company is being sold. If they are being made redundant, then you will need to provide adequate notice as well as details on redundancy packages. If the new business owner wants to keep on existing employees, then you will still need to keep your employees up to date with the expected changes. Being honest and clear with your employees will serve you well in the long run.

 

Follow the above tips and you will be well on your way to buying or selling a business legally. However, there are also a number of other points you’ll need to consider, so you may want to hire a lawyer to make sure there is nothing that you are missing. Legal help could save you plenty of time and money in the long run. Good luck.

***

This is a guest post by Cassie Phillips. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.  The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein.  This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice.  This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort.  If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.

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Hi!

If you are reading this you may have an interest in writing a guest post on my site’s blog.  Thank you for your interest.  I try to keep the rules for submissions to my site simple and clear.

Here are the guidelines for submitting a post fort publication on my blog:

I do accept guest posts.  I have some rules that you must follow such that I can publish the post.

First, the material must be unique and written specifically for my blog.  I do have tools that I use to check.

Second, I allow for one link in your bio to your home page or whatever link you would like to support your efforts.  You can, of course, submit a short bio and a picture of yourself if you wish.  We need at three quality links in the body of the post that harmonize with the post.  One may be to another article on a related topic you have written.  If you submit a picture for which you do not own the copyright, please make sure it is properly credited.  If you do not submit a picture, please expect me to insert an appropriate one.  Having a picture on a page is important for SEO purposes.

Jay Leiderman

Jay Leiderman, drawn in Rick and Morty style.  Jay Leiderman owns the copyright to this drawing

Third, the content must coalesce with my blog themes.  I am a criminal defense lawyer.  That means that topics have to be on crime or closely related to the defense of the accused.  While I will occasionally accept civil law crossovers, the content must be such that it will aid a criminal defendant.

I do not accept any posts, even if they are on topic, if they contain links to pornography, gambling, retail sales (especially for Viagra!) and other such materials.  Google penalizes for such things, so it is in neither of our interests to have such links.  If that is your business, this blog is not for you.

Fourth, the spelling, grammar and syntax must be close to perfect.  I do not have time to edit posts for such things.  It feels terrible, but sometimes I have to reject posts because the writing is unprofessional.

Fifth, I will own the content of the post, but I will not be responsible for the information provided.  This gives me the ability to make substantive changes if there are corrections that must be made, or in the event the law changes. I have, as they say, “final cut.”  I do my best not to edit at all.  To avoid me needing to make any edits, the best thing to do is to make the article as SEO friendly as possible.  It is in both of our interests if the article receives a lot of hits.  So make sure that you read up on SEO and do what it takes to make sure the page ranks as high as possible.

The disclaimer at the bottom of the page will be as follows (or close thereto):

This is a guest post by [__________]. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.  The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein.  This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice.  This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort.  If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.

Sixth, I expect that both you and I will support the post to drive readership. I will post the link to my Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media.  Please do the same!

If you can abide by those rules, I am happy to accept a post from you.

Thanks for your interest in my blog.

 

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Australian Gun Laws and a Comparison to the United States

Right now, gun control is about as ‘hot button’ a topic as they come. In the wake of the recent tragic events at Parkland High School, and with October’s atrocity in Nevada still in fresh memory, the question of reform to US gun laws is in hot political contention, and is a subject all Americans seem to hold their own impassioned opinions on. Australian gun laws surrounding firearm ownership and registration are stricter, and because Australia has comparatively low gun crime statistics, Australia is commonly referenced in these debates – used as something of an exemplary model for our approach to the matter. But what exactly are Australian gun policies? What does gun control look like under the Australian model? And can we feasibly expect a similar framework to be put effectively into place within the United States?

NRA, shotgun, bolt action, pump action, blue steel, drugs, alcohol, hunting, second amendment, weapon

Why Australia?

Ours is a model debaters often seem quick to reference. Primarily, it may be a constructive comparison to draw, as while the democratic models of our two countries of course differ in many ways, at a level of law making we both share the challenge of finding balance between state independence and call for federal law reform. The circumstances that led to change here also deem the Australian comparison relevant. Following a rather tumultuous period of violent, often gun-related, crimes and a high-profile mass shooting that shocked the nation, Australian laws were reformed rather dramatically and swiftly as part of a highly reactionary effort that had widespread national support. It’s difficult not to draw comparisons now, when similar horrific events occur in the United States, and the question of a need for similar government response in the US is raised.

 

Guns in Australia

In April 1996, a gunman, Martin Bryant, wielding a semi-automatic weapon, went on a shooting spree at a tourist attraction in Port Arthur, Tasmania. 35 people were killed in what would become the most notorious and deadly mass shooting incident in modern Australian history. Prior to the events at Port Arthur, semi-automatic weapons were legal in Tasmania.

a shooting spree at a tourist attraction in Port Arthur, Tasmania

As a result of the incident, then-Prime Minister John Howard called for reform of Australian gun policies at a national level, introducing a new set of gun control legislation that was agreed upon and accepted by all six states in less than two weeks.

The changes were comprehensive and included the nationwide banning on the importation and private ownership of all semi-automatic firearms. A governmental buy-back scheme was implemented for these now illegal rifles and shotguns which resulted in the return and destruction of over 700,000 weapons. This key change would effectively make it illegal in Australia to own and use firearms with the capacity to shoot many people in a short space of time.

Other changes that would perhaps most significantly shape the future of guns in Australia surrounded firearms registration. With the national implementation of the Firearms Act of 1996, gun ownership became highly regulated nationally. Gun licensing was introduced, making it essential to undergo thorough background checks, including gun storage checks prior to being legally able to own a firearm of any kind. All guns owned in Australia must now be legally registered in the name of the licensed owner, and prospective licence holders must present a ‘justifiable reason’ for owning a gun (such as hunting or sport) for approval as part of an application. Legislation also includes a 28-day waiting period before a gun licence can be issued.

gun control legislation

So what does this look like in reality? Australia is a country with a long history of gun ownership for sport and recreational hunting, which continues today. Private citizens can legally access firearms for a variety of reasons, and guns are freely available to Australians with clean records who follow licencing procedures. Misconceptions may lead to the belief that gun ownership is virtually impossible in our country – but this is far from the case.

Our system is not perfect in that gun crime and the misuse of firearms does occur. Significantly, however, the prevalence of gun crime involving shootings and deaths is far lower in Australia than the United States. We do have regulations in place, which, to a large extent, stop guns from falling into the wrong hands; and we have a register containing information about who owns which guns and where they reside.

In short, Australian firearm registration laws ensure all firearms sold in Australia can be traced back to their owners.  In my view, the application of the same or similar registration requirements would make a resoundingly positive difference to the safety of citizens of the United States. However, I also recognise the changes which were made in Australia were able to be implemented more readily, as Second Amendment considerations were simply not part of the equation.  One thing is clear though: since these laws came into effect, Australia has not seen a shooting close to the scale of the horror at Port Arthur. In fact, by the United States’ definition of the act of mass shooting, we have not seen any ‘mass shooting’ events take place since.

Gun crime does still occur in Australia, but the overall impact of the change to our gun laws has been a steady decline in gun-related deaths, since the laws came into effect.  And while introduced in response to a mass shooting event, the tightening of gun ownership laws has also had positive impact on homicide and suicide statistics where guns are involved. Comparing year-on-year, 1996 saw 516 gun-related deaths, while 2016 saw 238.*

Gun Laws

Gun laws in the United States

An Aussie solution to a US problem?

While it’s an easy comparison to draw, it’s difficult to say whether elements of the Australian model could be realistically implemented in the US. Whilst our culture for hunting and large farming industries call for a large population of gun-owning citizens, Australia doesn’t have gun ownership as a fundamental right written into our constitution the way the US does. And public opinion is also a significant factor in the matter. Following the events of 1996, national polls suggested over 90% of Australian citizens supported the tightening of gun control to some degree, and the support of all state governments was behind the ultimate federal decision.  The present position in the US is vastly different and given the divisions that exist across the United States, such swift and extreme government response is unlikely to happen.  However, with a reported 45 mass shooting events Stateside in the first two-and-a-half months of 2018, to me it seems undeniable there is an urgent need to change US gun laws.

 

Robert Stary is the Principal of Stary Norton Halphen, one of Victoria’s most prominent criminal law firms, and has over 30 years’ experience as a criminal defence lawyer.

 

Stary

The Law Offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the content of this post.  This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  This is a guest post written by Australian lawyer Robert Stary.  It was edited only for grammar and syntax by  Attorney Jay Leiderman.  None of the legal information has been verified.  For legal advice on this or any area of law, consult an attorney in your area.

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