A State-By-State Analysis of Marijuana Possession

Posted by on Jul 4, 2018

Whether you support or are against possession of marijuana charges, the fact remains that in most states, this possession is a crime. As explained in this article, marijuana possession charges can result in serious punishments if there is a large amount of the substance involved.

Our framers of the Constitution, for the most part, left criminal law matters to the state. As such, each state has its unique drug laws and regulations. However, there are still federal laws that concern controlled substance possession, but I am particularly interested in state criminal laws. I decided to do a brief state-by-state survey on statistics concerning marijuana possession. Here’s what I found:

Felony possession of marijuana often results in a prison sentence that is more than one year. Felony possession is a much more serious charge than misdemeanor possession. Having a felony on your record can be life-changing, and can lead to difficulties in finding employment or getting specific benefits. However, this is not to say that misdemeanors are not serious. Though they are not as serious as felonies, they can still have severe effects on the lives of the convicted.

States raise marijuana possession to the felony level based on the amount of the substance. There are ten states that do not have any felony marijuana possession charge, including California, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. In fact, some states have removed criminal penalties entirely for marijuana possession. Moreover, states like Colorado have legalized possession of a small amount of marijuana. Some states are very strict when it comes to marijuana possession. In Arizona, any amount of marijuana can result in a felony charge. In Florida, if you are in possession of more than 0.7 oz., you could be charged with a felony. If caught with over 0.5 oz. of marijuana in Tennessee, you could also be charged with felony possession.

Contrast these strict states with states that have legalized some form of marijuana possession. These states are Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington D.C. Many states have decriminalized possession, including Illinois, California, and New York. The states where any form of marijuana possession can still be illegal are in the South. These charges are much worse if possession occurs in specific areas including schools and other places of public accommodation.

It is crazy to see how different and unique the laws of each state are concerning marijuana possession. Some states do not care about it at all, some states have decriminalized it, and some states push heavy penalties for any amount of possession. The trend seems to be that more and more states are moving toward decriminalization, and sometimes legalization, of marijuana possession. It will be interesting to see what the future holds regarding marijuana possession laws. Until then, it is important to know and understand the differences between the laws do avoid serious punishment.

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I’m Curious About Bankruptcy

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017

When is it right to declare bankruptcy? That’s the question on my mind these days. I’ve found myself more underwater than I expected after my year exploring new careers. I should have just stuck with my old job—I was working as a bar manager and making pretty decent money—but I’d convinced myself I was capable of doing more with my life.

It turns out, I was, but not for nearly as much money. I’ve picked up some work as a photographer—the dream job—but with so little experience, I mostly work for free. It feels great to get the photos posted and seen online and around Waco, but it’s cost me quite a bit. I’ve taken on a mountain of credit card debt, which just sits atop my mountain of college loan debt, which is nestled next to my mortgage for the house I foolishly bought two careers ago (when I was an office manager).

Now, I just don’t know. The debt is crushing. I want to keep going with the career, but I can’t so long as I owe so much of my measly income. Should I just go ahead and declare bankruptcy? What kind do I even declare?

I know there are those out there who assure me that bankruptcy isn’t that painful. I’ve seen a Central Texas bankruptcy lawyer’s websites that say all the right things: that it’ll help turn my life around, that it’ll be a relief, that I’ll walk away from some debt and reorganize some debt and I’ll be able to breathe again. That’s what I want to hear, but I’m afraid I’m just canceling out all the noise that suggests I’m in for far more financial hurt than I’m prepared for.

I mean, I don’t even know if I’ll lose my house. Or my car. Or my camera? What exactly am I entitled to holding on to?

Again, the lawyer pages all say I can keep those things, but can I trust them? Maybe I should have chosen this career change to be in law. At least I’d have an idea what I’m up against by now.

Maybe I’m not even afraid of losing everything. Maybe, honestly, I’m afraid of looking like a loser. That’s the word I associate with bankruptcy. Loser. I know, I’m aware at least, that very successful people declare bankruptcy sometimes. The president’s done it more than once they say. So it can’t be that bad. Can it? There are so many “chapter” types. Maybe some of those are for rich guys who aren’t losers and the other chapters are for photography fans who happen to also be losers.

Maybe I should just hang on for a while longer and wait to see if that great big photography contract comes in. Or maybe I should go back to the bar.

I have no idea at this point. All I know is I need to make a choice one way or the other.

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Treatments available for individuals infected by rabies

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016

People in the U.S. who have been bitten by animals like dogs, on rare occasions, may be infected by the rabies virus. Dog bite victims should immediately seek medical attention mostly if they are not sure if the dog that bit them had its vaccines.

Rabies, unfortunately, is fatal, and people who have been infected by the virus are often required to undergo series of vaccine shots to suppress viral infection in their body. An individual who has been bitten by a dog may be given “rabies immune globulin” or the fast-acting vaccine that prevents the virus from spreading. Rabies shots are often considered when the victim fail to determine if the dog has a virus. A person who had been injured by an infected dog may experience symptoms like nausea, fever, hydrophobia, confusion, insomnia, lower leg paralysis, depression, and agitation. The virus from the dog’s saliva that had been transmitted through biting will affect the victim’s central nervous system and until it reaches the brain. A person may later die from rabies if his or her brain and spinal cord become swollen. Persons who have been confirmed to have been infected by rabies are given rabies vaccine shots for not less than 14 days.

Unlike rabies immune globulin that is usually injected near the bite area, rabies vaccines are injected in the arm for the body to detect infected areas. Families whose loved ones have been bitten by someone else’ dog should immediately report the incident to local authorities including animal control. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, individuals whose injuries were caused by negligent pet owners may be able to pursue a claim to cover medical expenses, pain, and suffering. People should note that pet owners can be held responsible for the behavior of their pet.

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Self-esteem and Depression

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016

Self-esteem is characterized by the feelings you have about yourself or how much confidence you have. While it is normal to lack confidence or self-esteem from time-to-time, many people can experience negative feelings about themselves frequently and focus on them often. When this is the case, it can result in chronic depression and anxiety disorders.

While low self-esteem is not an officially recognized mental health problem, many scientists and psychologists believe that negative thoughts of oneself can be a large contributing factor to developing depression. Those with depleted self-esteem may believe that they cannot be promoted at work, leading to a dead-end job, or that they are unworthy of love causing them to stay in unhealthy relationships. When a lack of confidence puts an individual in these situations, it can be easy to develop depression on top of negative self-esteem. A person with low self-esteem may exhibit signs such as fear of social situations, drinking excessively, lack of self-care, and trying to be a perfectionist—all of which can directly correlate with depression.

Depression is far more common than most individuals think, with 7%, or 15.7 million, of all adults suffering from the mental disorder, according to the website of The Solace Center. Those who have depression will often have low self-esteem that may have caused the disorder or exacerbated their symptoms. Fortunately, a number of treatment options are available, including medication, therapy, or a combination of both. While low self-esteem and depression can have a major impact on an individual’s life, with proper care, it does not have to control you.

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Keeping your Hearing Safe while Shooting

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015

While guns are usually associated with violence, injury, sometimes even death, it is very surprising that target shooting and hunting are among the sports with lowest occurrences of injury in the country. These sports are far safer than other more common sports, such as basketball and running. However, no sports activity is totally risk-free. In fact, one of the dangers shooters are exposed to is impaired hearing.

The sound of gunfire can be way beyond our ears’ threshold of pain, which means a short exposure to it may cause ear damage that could be irreversible. However, this doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy these sports. Here are some simple steps in protecting your ears while on a shooting range:

Use ear protection

Ear protections range from simple ear plugs to sophisticated electronic ear muffs. These are effective in significantly reducing the noise level down to what your ears can handle safely. Ear muffs could be your best option when in an indoor shooting range, although you would prefer wearing ear plugs when hunting outdoors.

Learn about suppressors

Suppressors, sometimes called silencers, are gun equipment mounted onto the barrel to reduce gunfire sound. Although suppressors are commonly sold as a separate piece, Suppressed Weapon Systems found a way to integrate suppressors to barrels so that they will be one piece. Suppressors are great in reducing the risk of hearing damage, and are a perfect hunting partner, too.

If you are currently into the sports of target shooting or hunting and have been experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is wise to consult with a healthcare professional right away for prompt diagnosis and treatment:

  • Ringing in the ear
  • Ear pain
  • Ear irritation
  • Pus coming out from the ear
  • Muffled hearing
  • Trouble hearing what other people say
  • Listening to radio/TV louder than usual
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