Childs: Maryland Needs to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Eleven states plus Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana. Three of those 11 states are in the Northeast — Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. The political makeup of these three states is very similar to Maryland, but for some reason we are not able to pass this crucial and progressive legislation. Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in the state, and for years Marylanders have screamed at lawmakers to not only legalize marijuana but create racial equity programs to even the playing field when it comes to the distribution of licenses and acquiring loans and grants to open marijuana-related businesses. (Md Matters)

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Webar & Steinberg: Telehealth Flexibility Needed Amidst Converging Mental Health, Addiction Crises

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to ravage the country, deaths of despair are rising. In Maryland, we have already seen a surge in drug overdose fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of people needing substance use disorder and mental health services is only expected to increase. Maryland’s leaders must act now to prevent a tsunami of mental health and addiction crises in the wake of the pandemic and to ensure that treatment programs are able to stay open now and into the future. (Md Matters)

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EDITORIAL: The death of Joseph Costa and the risk of being a health care worker during the COVID-19 pandemic

We got a sad reminder of the precarious place in which health care workers put themselves as they carry out their duties during a pandemic by the July 25th death of Joseph Costa, chief of the critical care division at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. He was one of the tens of thousands of health care workers on the front lines of the country’s COVID-19 fight who risk their lives to save the lives of others. (Balt Sun)

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King: Covid-19 relief programs are riddled with suspected fraud. What’s going on here?

The Trump administration’s standard operating procedure for running the covid-19 disaster relief effort must be: “Put the money on the stump and run like crazy.” It’s hard to draw other conclusions following the release of the Small Business Administration inspector general’s report on potential fraud in the government’s emergency loan and grant program. (Wash Post)

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Rosenfield & Antonini: Data isn’t just being collected from your phone. It’s being used to score you.

Operating in the shadows of the online marketplace, specialized tech companies you’ve likely never heard of are tapping vast troves of our personal data to generate secret "surveillance scores” — digital mug shots of millions of Americans — that supposedly predict our future behavior. The firms sell their scoring services to major businesses across the U.S. economy. People with low scores can suffer harsh consequences. (Wash Post)

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Baltimore teacher: It is too soon to bring students safely back to the classroom

Baltimore City schools recently decided to listen to the majority of parents, students, teachers and administrators to begin the school year virtually. However, unlike Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, the city has not yet committed to virtual learning through the first semester. I am gravely concerned by this and call on our fellow teachers, administrators, parents and students to continue our fight to return to school buildings only when it’s safe. We all want school buildings to open for in-person learning, but under the current climate that is impossible. (Balt Sun)

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Zurawik: Cable news is the medium now setting national agenda. Yes, crazy, conflict-driven, tribal cable news

Once upon a time in a far more stable America, our national agenda was largely shaped by network news, The New York Times, weekly news magazines like Time and The Associated Press. Media productions like the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” not only determined what we would talk about, but also how we would talk about it. (Balt Sun)
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Mfume reflects on the life of John Lewis on the day of his funeral

With the passing of Rep. John Lewis, America has lost one of its greatest heroes and I have lost an old and dear friend. The passion for equality that he carried with him throughout his life never waned, and his untiring quest for justice never faltered. With a big heart for compassion John, like his mentor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was unawed by opinion, unseduced by flattery and undismayed by disaster. (Balt Sun)

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