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  • Topsail Times

Front Page: With 2023 Comes Change

On January 1st, 2023, 21 States and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) will have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. Maryland and Missouri will be the newest members to join the group. How strange that almost 50% of the States have made this legal and still it is illegal federally?

Legalizing the use of psychedelic mushrooms for treatment has begun in both Oregon and Colorado. The mushrooms that naturally grow everywhere in the world (except for Antarctica) are now being researched to treat depression, even in cases where other medications have failed. Several other states are considering following suit.

With a shrinking workforce and many jobs being replaced by robots, some states have decided to increase the minimum wage. Montana will increase their rate to $9.95 an hour, New York City and surrounding counties will go to $15.00 an hour while the State of Washington will be the highest at $15.74. Will this bring people back into the workforce? Probably not.

A McDonalds in Texas will be the first location to be mostly automated. No longer will a person hand you a bag full of food, instead a conveyor belt will deliver your order, hopefully with everything you ordered. McDonalds claims that people will still be working on site, but the design of this location is geared toward take out or order ahead. Critics of the location claim that McDonalds is trying to replace their human employees, but in all reality the lack of employees may be driving this modern design.

Laws are constantly changing, some for the better, some not, but some of the new laws are geared toward giving felons a second chance. In most cases a person with a felony cannot obtain employment, therefore limiting how they earn an income.

In Michigan a program is being rolled out that will allow up to 2 felony convictions to be removed from a person’s record if they do not commit a crime in the ten years following the conviction.

In California the time limit is greatly reduced to 4 years.

There are exceptions to this new program. Crimes of the sexual nature and domestic violence will be exempted from the program.

The Federal 4473 form that all gun purchasers must fill out when buying a firearm from an FFL has some significant changes too. A person will now be required to state if they live within city limits. A person aged 18, 19 or 20 years old will now have a 10 day wait period before being able to leave with a long gun they want to purchase (rifle or shotgun). Want to build your own firearm? There is a new category for that too.

Governor Roy Cooper has requested a full report from Duke Energy regarding the rolling power outages during the big freeze in December that left 200,000 people without power or heat. Lives were lost and people were literally “left in the dark'' without any forewarning. Maybe 2023 needs to be the year of solar panels and wind power for homes, at least as a backup plan.

Farmer’s almanac is calling for a wet and wintery last 2 weeks of January for eastern North Carolina, but states that February should be “normal winter conditions”. Oh goody.

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