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VA mother charged with murder after 4yr old dies from THC gummies



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A woman in Spotsylvania County, Virginia faces felony murder and child neglect charges for not getting help soon enough when her 4-year-old son was found unresponsive after eating marijuana-infused gummies.

An autopsy report shows Tanner Clements had “extremely high levels of THC in his system” when he died two days after his mother, Dorothy Annette Clements, found him unresponsive.

The mother told a police officer that her son only ate half of a CBD gummy and that she called poison control and was told the boy would be OK. The information was obtained in search warrant documents.

The detective said she found an entire empty THC gummy jar in the house; an amount more likely to match the high amount of THC that the autopsy said caused the boy’s death. NBC 4 reports “Investigators said he might have survived had Dorothy Annette Clements gotten help for him sooner.”

“THC gummies definitely in any quantity pose a risk to children. There’s many reasons for that. One is that the packaging does not include any kind of a child-proof mechanism,” Dr. Jill McCabe, a pediatric emergency room physician at Inova Loudoun Hospital, told News4. “They also look like candy and so they are something, when children come across them, most children are going to put that in their mouth and ingest it.”

The amount of THC in gummies is not regulated and varies widely; but any amount of THC can be problematic for children, and the issue is growing, added McCabe.

Parents should lock up any products with THC to make sure kids can’t get to them, McCabe said.

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NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants



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New York lawmakers are debating over a proposed Democratic initiative that would pave the way for a multibillion-dollar fund designed to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. Spearheaded by state Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, the proposal has ignited passionate discussions within the Senate Finance Committee, where it currently awaits further deliberation.

The Center Square reports the proposal would utilize a $500 million trust fund earmarked specifically to offer jobless benefits for individuals who find themselves ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public assistance programs. To finance this ambitious endeavor, proponents of the plan are advocating for the imposition of a novel tax targeting tech behemoths like Google and Amazon. This tax, aimed at digital advertising revenue, is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain the fund.

Ramos has alluded to her belief that migrants are a fundamental contribution to the state’s economy. Despite their authorization to work, payment of taxes, and active involvement in the labor force, undocumented immigrants face a glaring disparity—they are excluded from accessing vital safety nets like unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.

In a social media post, Ramos cited the expiration of federal unemployment insurance for freelancers and the depletion of the Excluded Workers Fund. She argues vehemently for a safety net aligned with the evolving dynamics of the labor market, one that extends support to all workers, regardless of their immigration status.

The proposed fund, aptly named the Unemployment Bridge Program, outlines comprehensive eligibility criteria encompassing a spectrum of marginalized workers—from undocumented migrants to freelancers and individuals recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, the program endeavors to streamline the application process, ensuring equitable access to unemployment benefits for those in need.

The initiative comes in the wake of prolonged deliberations regarding jobless benefits for undocumented immigrants and nontraditional workers in New York. Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state previously allocated $2.1 billion to the Excluded Workers Fund, offering a lifeline to those excluded from conventional unemployment benefits.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 underscores a commitment to supporting asylum seekers, with significant allocations directed towards housing and legal assistance. The proposal has met with opposition from Republicans, who argue for prioritizing legal residents and taxpayers in the allocation of state resources. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt contends that limited resources should be reserved exclusively for those who have contributed to the state’s tax base.

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