Unfortunately, the coronavirus still dominates the daily news in the United States, especially with President Trump and a lot of his inner circle in quarantine or isolation following the outbreak of a COVID cluster at the White House. Regardless of anyone’s feelings about our current political and cultural circumstances regarding the pandemic, it is clear that our society will be dealing with the health and economic ramifications of the coronavirus for some time.
Of course, the impact of COVID was front at center at the first presidential debate and will be featured heavily at the first vice-presidential debate tonight, it is always disappointing when cannabis is ignored by our national politicians. While some may argue that there are much bigger issues concerning our nation than cannabis, the truth of the matter is that cannabis impacts so many of our lives, even those that don’t utilize it for medicine or recreation.
Cannabis businesses have been one of the few bright spots during our economic recession and many more people are turning towards medical cannabis for relief. Additionally, there are still hundreds of thousands of people still getting arrested across the nation, disproportionately communities of color, as we needlessly ruin lives and set taxpayer dollars on fire. Not to mention the fact that there are important statewide legalization measures on the 2020 ballot.
With Kamala Harris, a co-sponsor of the MORE Act, a federal legalization bill on the Democratic ticket, hopefully there will be a question about cannabis at the VP debate, but I won’t hold my breath. Also, sure to be ignored, as it continues to be ignored by mainstream news outlets, are the medicinal benefits of cannabis medicines, even those that could show promise combatting the coronavirus.
Small cannabis businesses like Kind Leaf are economic engines for communities across our nation. They are creating jobs during an economic crisis, providing medicine during a pandemic, and generating revenue for much-needed social services, while being denied access to banking and normal tax deductions. It’s time that politicians reflect the will of the people and give the cannabis community the attention and respect that it deserves.