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Commentary

Arrington & Kane: Legislature Should Support Cannabis Licensing Process That Prioritizes Minority Business Owners

Legislative leaders have announced their interest in passing legislation to place a referendum on the ballot next year legalizing recreational cannabis. As a result, Maryland is on the precipice of a decision that could have a lasting impact on minority entrepreneurs interested in pursuing new business opportunities in the recreational cannabis industry. It’s no secret that communities of color were disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. According to the ACLU, one of every three Black males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino males, compared to one of every 17 white males.

Raising health insurance costs not the way to fight tobacco use

The serious health risks associated with smoking tobacco have been too well established for too long to harbor any doubts about that link. On average, studies show, people who smoke die about 10 years earlier than those who do not. It’s the leading preventable cause of death. And smoking is linked to about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
100 us dollar banknotes
DeFilippo: Maryland is Putting its Embarrassment of Riches to Work

In the catchpenny world of government finance, having too much money can often be worse than not having enough. It is demonstrably easy to say no when the treasury is empty; but it’s tough to resist temptation when the state is awash in cash. Maryland is suffering an embarrassment of riches. The state cannot lay claim to its sudden wealth due to frugality or prudent investment.

COVID vaccine mandates test the limits of religious exemptions

In extending a temporary restraining order on mandating COVID-19 vaccines for New York health care workers who raised religious exemptions, a judge made clear that the court did not determine that the health care workers qualify for a religious exemption. Rather, the court found, the workers have a federally protected right to seek such an exemption. Alas, we are early in the journey of vaccine-mandate litigation. But as the courts splinter over various vaccine mandate issues, religious exemptions may be more than a legal development. Their dynamics are part of a broader, albeit complex, pandemic-era religious awakening.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Raising health insurance costs not the way to fight tobacco use

The serious health risks associated with smoking tobacco have been too well established for too long to harbor any doubts about that link. On average, studies show, people who smoke die about 10 years earlier than those who do not. It’s the leading preventable cause of death. And smoking is linked to about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States. As a result, virtually any public policy choice — from public education and outreach programs that warn against smoking to state laws banning tobacco sales to teens —can be relied upon to pay enormous public health dividends. Tobacco is linked to about 480,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. That is COVID-19 pandemic territory.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Untying the ‘white noose’ of Baltimore County

Baltimore County’s proposed redistricting map — which retains six majority-white districts and one majority-Black district, despite the county’s current population being nearly 50 percent nonwhite — arrives in the context of the county’s long history of racist segregation. If accepted, it will lock in racial exclusion for yet another generation.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Fillmore: Attend, listen, ask questions: lessons from the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men” is a mordant observation traditionally attributed to a French general, Charles de Gaulle, among others. With a shrug we are told there are no indispensable persons. But for the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs there was one: Frank Burd. BCFA was founded in 1980 by a broadly representative and distinguished group of academic, business and community leaders.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
DeFilippo: Maryland is Putting its Embarrassment of Riches to Work

In the catchpenny world of government finance, having too much money can often be worse than not having enough. It is demonstrably easy to say no when the treasury is empty; but it’s tough to resist temptation when the state is awash in cash. Maryland is suffering an embarrassment of riches. The state cannot lay claim to its sudden wealth due to frugality or prudent investment.

Rosenbaum: Use the Surplus to Empower and Invest in Workers

If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the gap between Marylanders who are well off and those who are struggling to get by has only widened. Our next governor needs to have both a plan and a vision to help everyone access opportunity. After evaluating Comptroller Peter Franchot’s Oct. 4 Maryland Matters opinion piece on what to do with our state’s $5 billion budget surplus, it became abundantly clear that while well-meaning, his ideas for helping Marylanders who feel stuck is just plain short-sighted and doesn’t go far enough.

Arias: Workers feel most valued when their employers trust them

Professional workers are more likely to value their own work and feel it contributes to their team’s success when their managers show they trust them, according to a study I recently completed as a part of my unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. I wanted to understand how various types of social capital, such as building trust and creating common values, influence employees’ performance and how they feel about their work.

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