With a wealth of information at our fingertips, Americans have the ability more than ever to be up to date on laws and politics. We live in a democratic society, so in order for our democracy to function properly, it is important to be informed. Staying abreast of our rights and responsibilities as citizens allows us to act appropriately at the polls, as well in our everyday encounters. However, everyone is busy, and it is tough to stay current on all the national happenings around politics because they are ever-evolving, so we’ve broken down some general facts around two of today’s issues and the laws surrounding them, to get you started on the path of understanding.
There is a lot of confusion around the legalization of marijuana and the definitions of recreational use and medical use. In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana that permitted personal, recreational use by adults 21 and older. Then in 2014, these states permitted legal retail shops that had the appropriate licensure and taxation to sell marijuana. California and Massachusetts followed in 2016. This legalization means a citizen cannot be arrested, ticketed, or convicted if he or she is following the state laws that define age, location, and amount of marijuana being consumed. Selling or trafficking marijuana is still illegal.
For medical use, California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, and many states have legalized it since. Patients have to qualify for the medical use based on the judgement of their health care provider, and may have supply limits depending on the state he or she resides in. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in marijuana. It does not have the psychoactive effects of THC and is used widely to treat medical conditions from epilepsy to schizophrenia. CBD oil is legal. What’s more, some states that have not legalized marijuana have decriminalized it. Decriminalization means the state repealed the law that makes possession subject to prosecution.
Sexual harassment is a kind of gender discrimination. If employee advancement is linked to sexual behavior, then the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace, has been violated. The company is not liable unless they were made aware of the harassment. Sexual harassment can also exist when discriminatory insults ensue to the degree that the workplace is hostile. Sexual harassment can occur not only between people of different genders, but also people of the same gender. Both men and women can sue for sexual harassment by calling on a sexual harassment lawyer.
Being informed is a never-ending process, and this article is only the beginning of everything there is to know about issues facing our democracy. This article is intended to scratch the surface on legal issues and is not claiming to provide legal advice. We are all busy, but just with a few minutes a day, you can read up on laws and politics, so you can make informed decisions and even help inform others.