For those who live in colder climates, your home's heating system is an absolute necessity. After all, it can help you brave chilly temperatures and blustery weather all winter long. But this year, cold snaps could also put your bank account on ice: According to the Energy Information Administration, heating costs for homes that use natural gas are expected to rise $200 on average, electric heating could jump $123, and heating oil could skyrocket by $1,200, CNN reports. If you're looking to save money this winter, there are a few things you'll want to avoid around the house. Read on to see the mistakes you could be making that are increasing your heating bills, according to experts.
READ THIS NEXT: 10 Mistakes You're Making That Keep Your House Cold, Experts Say.
The sun that shines during the short days of winter may not make it feel anywhere near as warm as it gets in other seasons. But experts say even those precious few rays that pour into your home can take some of the load off your heating system—which translates directly into savings.
"You may not realize it, but if you have a house that gets filled with sun during the winter months, you would be able to benefit from the concept of solar gain," says Ryan Meagher of residential construction company BVM Contracting.
"In simple terms, the more sun you can let into your home, the warmer your home will get without having to rely on your heating source. So open up those curtains and make sure you let as much light in as you can to reduce your overall heating bills!"
Your home heating system would be nothing without its primary power source: Just ask anyone who's suffered a furnace breakdown in the dead of winter. But experts warn that you could be racking up some seriously high energy costs if you're not performing the most basic maintenance on this essential appliance.
"One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to their heating bills is not changing the furnace filter regularly," says Shaun Martin, owner and CEO of Denver-based The Home Buying Company. "It's important to replace your furnace filter every three months, or as recommended by the manufacturer, in order to keep your heater running efficiently. A clogged filter can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to work harder, leading to a higher energy bill."
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Whether you're working with a fixer-upper or renting a unit that leaves a little to be desired in the heating department, it's not always easy to devise a setup that keeps you warm. But if you're looking to save money, experts say it can be best to get everything working on the same finely-tuned system to prevent waste.
"The more heating appliances you use and the manner and the longer you use them can spike your energy bills," says Robert Johnson, marketing director for Coast Appliances.
"For instance, not using a programmable thermostat or a thermostat that lacks correct calibration can turn on the electric heater at unnecessary times," he explains. "This significantly increases your electricity expenditure because the thermostat overcompensates and consumes more energy than you need."
When the first sign of cold weather hits, it can be easy to play "set it and forget it" with your home's thermostat for months. But while your houseplants might appreciate the balmy temperatures, experts warn that running the heat too high when you're not around is one of the easiest ways to waste serious money.
"No matter the type of thermostat you have—whether it is smart, programmable, or prehistoric—you would benefit from lowering the temperature of your home while you are away for prolonged periods of time, such as during your work day, weekend getaway, or longer vacation," says Meagher. "As long as you keep your house above freezing, you should be fine, but it would be recommended to keep the temperature above 60 degrees for good measure."
In this case, upgrading your current heating setup might be worthwhile. "If you have a smart thermostat, you can change your home's temperature setpoint remotely and can create schedules for lowering the setpoint while you are away from home or asleep. The overall goal is to get the average temperature down, so your home's heating source is doing less work and inevitably using less energy," Meagher says.
And what about when you're home during the day? Martin suggests avoiding the temptation to set the temperature sky high, saying, "Make sure to set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees during the winter months to get the most out of your heating system."
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It can be easy to forget that energy costs aren't just tied to heating your rooms. Your home's water heater is also struggling to keep a considerable amount of liquid at high temperatures, making it an equally costly appliance to run during winter. Experts say staying on top of them ultimately can save you big money.
"Setting the water heater temperature too high, or 120 degrees Fahrenheit and above, is another mistake many people make," warns Johnson. "It can cause standby heat losses or heat loss into the surrounding basement area, equivalent to $30 to $60 per year."
A gust of freezing air from an open door can often be one of the fastest ways to drop your home's temperature in the winter. But if you're not staying on top of some basic home repairs, they could be providing a constant draft even when they're closed which will keep your heaters working overtime and wind up costing you more.
"If you can feel cold air coming through your doorway during the cold winter months, chances are you need to replace the weather stripping," says Meagher. "This is an easy DIY job that many homeowners would be able to complete—just make a trip to your nearest hardware store with pictures of your existing weather stripping, and they will be able to help you out! And it's one of the easiest and fastest ways to help you reduce your heating bills by preventing the warm air from escaping from your home."
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Unfortunately, it's not just your doorways that can let in the outside air. Even though you may not spend much time in them, experts warn that the top and bottom floors of your home can make it more likely for your home to get chilly despite your heating system's best efforts—including where you park your car.
"If your attic, crawlspace, or garage isn't properly insulated, your heating system has to work harder to keep the home at a consistent temperature," Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt, stars of HGTV's 100 Day Dream Home and partners with American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning, tell Best Life. "Basically, the harder your HVAC system works, the more it costs you. If you live in a colder climate where temperatures can go below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend adding an extra layer of insulation to your garage door, as it can make a big difference in improving your home's envelope and keeping the warm air [in] while keeping the cold air out."
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Thursday said its Halol facility in Gujarat has been listed under import alert by the USFDA with products manufactured at the unit now are subject to refusal of admission in the US market. The development follows an inspection of the facility by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) from April 26 to May 9, 2022.
''We now wish to inform you that the company has received a communication from the USFDA stating that the facility has been listed under Import Alert,'' Sun Pharma said in a regulatory filing. Import alert implies that all future shipments of products manufactured at this facility are subject to refusal of admission to the US market until the facility becomes compliant with cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) standards, it added.
The company further said, ''The USFDA has excluded 14 products from this import alert subject to certain conditions.'' For the year ended 31-March-2022, supplies to the US market from the Halol facility accounted for approximately 3 per cent of the company's consolidated revenues, including the 14 excluded products, it added.
As per information available on BSE, Sun Pharma had clocked revenue of Rs 15,585.98 crore in 2021-22.
Sun Pharma said it ''continues to cooperate with the USFDA and will undertake all necessary steps to resolve these issues and to ensure that the regulator is completely satisfied with the company's remedial action''.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
From Ben Dunno, Warri
The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State has decried the level of infrastructural decay across Delta North senatorial district, insisting that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) administration only wasted the turn of Anioma people in the last 8 years of misrule in the state.
Making the observation at Nsukwa in Aniocha South Council area, during its ongoing ward-to-ward campaign ahead of the 2023 general election, APC State Chairman, Elder Omeni Sobotie, noted that contrary to expectations of Anioma people that their areas would witness a great transformation under Governor Okowa, the entire Delta North had remained under-developed.
While lamenting that the out-going Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, never had any concrete developmental blueprint that would take into cognizance the short, medium and long term development of Anioma land, he noted that to correct this negligence, APC had already designed an infrastructural growth plan that cuts across the three (3) Senatorial districts.
According to him; “It is a thing of shame that in 2015, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa came in the name of Anioma and having been given that opportunity, he wickedly punished the Anioma people by taking every development project to his hometown, Owa-Alero, at the expense of others”.
*But don’t worry, his days are numbered, we have a good product which is very easy to market and they have a product that is still looking for his classmates.”
Speaking in the same vein, Nobert Sochokwudima, the Aniocha South APC Chairman, lamented that for the past 24 years, Nsukwa clan has had no potable water, no roads, no electricity and expressed hope that with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as governor, the challenges would be overcome.
In his remarks, Senator Omo-Agege, the governorship candidate of the APC in Delta State, said there was no reason why the Anioma people shouldn’t enjoy what Okowa’s kinsmen in Owa-Alero enjoy.
“That selfishness, that wickedness, that punishment and despair he imposed on our people in Anioma must end. With all the revenue receipts and loans he took, amounting to over N3.5 trillion, Okowa criminally neglected infrastructure development of this area.
“The way to stop this evil is to get rid of Okowa and his stooge, Sheriff Oborevwori, as well as all the PDP candidates at the polls for failing to look Okowa in the eye to attract development projects to their areas”.
“It is time to tell them pack and go, to tell Okowa that his ill-fated vice presidential ambition has crashed and that his stooge Oborevwori cannot be governor.”
He assured that when elected, he would ensure that the challenges enumerated by the people of Nsukwa are addressed.
Senator Omo-Agege announced the completion of the Ubu River Dam, which was built by the APC Federal Government, and promised that when elected, the state will generate 10 mega watts of electricity through the dam to power Aniocha North and Aniocha South, 24 hours, seven days a week.
“If you vote for us we will bring real prosperity to you, not the one of the “Judas Iscariot” of the South-South.” he said.
Buoyed by Omo-Agege’s impressive record, the traditional ruler of Nsukwa clan, Obi Ezegbunem, said he is convinced that he will win the governorship of Delta State because, “what God cannot do, does not exist.”
The Obi conferred the chieftaincy titles of Ezinabeni and Ikemba of Nsukwa clan on Ovie Omo-Agege and his running mate, Hon Friday Osanebi, respectively.
At Ogwashi-Uku, the deputy coordinator of the APC campaigns in Aniocha South, Pastor Polycarp Kachikwu, said the people of Ogwashi-Uku are going to vote out the PDP because they are distressed, demeaned, neglected and punished by Okowa for nothing, and “so we don’t want to hear Ego-aria again.”
Pastor Kachikwu on behalf of Ogwashi-Uku people presented a traditional mantle of power to “help Senator Omo-Agege to cross over every barrier and win the election.”
Speaking at Ubulu-Uku, Senator Omo-Agege said that in spite of the fact that the community had important names in the Okowa government, the community looked abandoned, neglected and in despair. We must come together to liberate Ubulu-Uku, Anioma and Delta State from the stranglehold of Okowa and his cronies.
“When elected, we will bring water, power and the basic amenities to this land. We will tackle the challenge of unemployment, we will tackle insecurity, we will tackle social challenges and bring back hope to the people,” he said.
NEXT has bought furniture retailer Made.com after the business filed for administration on Tuesday.
Made, which employs around 600 people, has sold its brand, website and intellectual property to the clothing and homewares retailer.
Made’s operating subsidiary, MDL, was yesterday forced to appoint administrators from specialist firm PwC who immediately tied up the deal with Next.
They did not say whether any jobs will be saved as part of the deal.
It is a sharp downturn for the company, which launched on the London Stock Exchange less than two years ago.
It had a £775 million price tag and promised accelerated growth and to lead the online furniture market.
Thousands of customers face uncertainty over whether they will receive a refund for existing orders.
The Sun has contacted Made.com to find out.
Made chairwoman Susanne Given said: “Having run an extensive process to secure the future of the business, we are deeply disappointed that we have reached this point and how it will affect all our stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders.
“We appreciate and deeply regret the frustration that MDL going into administration will have caused for everyone.”
The writing had been on the wall for several days after Made last month abandoned hopes of finding a buyer to save it and inject the cash it needed to stay afloat.
The troubled company filed a notice to appoint administrators last week after being hit by soaring costs and slowing customer demand.
It is understood the company had garnered interest from a number of parties to purchase parts of the business since tipping into insolvency before tying up the deal with Next.
And it is not the first time that retail giant Next has taken over a struggling business.
Next started selling Gap clothing online in late 2021, after it took over the running of the high street brand.
It started selling Gap clothing in stores in early 2022.
It also agreed a sale to buy struggling lingerie brand Victoria's Secret in a move that saved its UK shops and website.
And earlier this year, it took a stake in baby and maternity clothing retailer JoJo Maman Bebe.
But Made.com customers will be wondering what the sale of the furniture brand means for them.
Made.com had also already halted new orders and said it is currently not offering refunds or accepting returns from customers, although it is still intending to fulfil previous orders.
Customers will need to get in touch on the company's website, as we've noted that the retailer's phone lines are redirecting customers here.
Lisa Webb, Which? consumer rights expert, warned that customers may be unable to claim a refund, or may not receive items they ordered.
She said: “When a company enters administration, it may not accept the return of items.
"Many customers could find themselves in a situation where items have not been delivered.
"It is always worth trying to claim for a refund in this situation, but customers should know it is not guaranteed.
"The cost of repairs for faulty items could still be claimed if they came with a warranty.
“If you’ve bought something on your credit card costing more than £100, the card provider is jointly responsible for any breaches of contract.
"You can claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the item is faulty or not delivered.
"If you paid for goods that cost less than £100 on a credit or debit card, you may be able to claim under chargeback.”
The news comes after several major retailers collapsed in recent years.
Corner shop chain McColl's went bust back in May 2022 leaving 16,000 out of a job and 1,100 stores empty.
Department store, Debenhams went bust back in April 2020 - a move which left 22,000 out of a job.
According to Citizen Advice, if you bought an item from a shop before it closed down, you do not have an automatic right to a refund.
But if you ordered an item and it never arrived there are a number of ways to claw your money back.
Customers should firstly try and get in touch with the company or its appointed administrators and ask for the item purchased or a full cash refund.
If you can't get hold of the company or they fail to respond to your request for a refund, there are still ways to get your money back.
If you paid for the item using a credit card, you'll be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
This means that if you pay for a big purchase on your credit card and something happens - like the goods aren't delivered or the shop goes bust - your card provider is just as responsible as the retailer to refund you.
To make a claim, contact your credit card provider - your first port of call should be its customer services phone number - and tell them you want to make a claim under Section 75.
It should then send you a claim form which you can fill-in and your provider will use to process your application.
Your card firm might ask you to provide evidence such as a receipt or a report verifying that the item is faulty.
If you didn't pay for the item with a credit card - don't panic. If you paid with a debit card you'll be covered by chargeback rules.
Chargeback can be used to reclaim cash for goods and services you don't receive that have been paid for by debit card, or by credit card for purchases under £100.
Claims must be made within 120 days of the transaction and to start a chargeback, you need to contact your card provider.
If you paid for an item using a buy now, pay later provider, you'll need to contact them first to check if they have a process for you to reclaim the cash.
This sector is largely unregulated and it doesn't offer customers the same protections as those who shop with a credit or debit card.
If you have a Made.com item already and you need to enquire about a repair or replacement you may be protected under the Consumer Rights Act.
According to Which?, if you've been supplied with faulty goods and the company is placed into administration but still trading - you may still be able to get a replacement.
Make sure to read any warranty or manufacturer guarantees as this could increase the likelihood that you'll be able to get an item repaired or replaced.
You're unlikely to be able to redeem your vouchers at most chains that go bust.
There's no certain that you'll be able to get your money back but if you paid for the voucher with your credit or debit card you may be able to claw the amount back through chargeback or Section 75 rules.
Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.
Anne Heche’s son has been granted control over her estate.
The Donnie Brasco actress died in August following a car crash and since then, her 20-year-old offspring Homer Laffoon – whose father is her ex-husband Coleman Laffoon – and former partner James Tupper have been locked in a dispute over the control of her affairs.
However, on Wednesday, Homer was named general administrator of his mother’s estate and granted permission to “take possession of all the personal property of the estate of the decedent and preserve it from damage, waste, and injury.
Judge Lee Bogdanoff dismissed claims from Tupper – who has 13-year-old son Atlas with the late star – that Homer is “not suitable” to run the estate because of his age, unemployment status and the fact he wasn’t in contact with his mother at the time of her death.
The judge added: “I find no malfeasance by Mr. Laffoon.”
In addition, the judge also denied Tupper’s request for a hearing to investigate a claim that Heche’s $200,000 jewelry collection has gone missing.
The judge did issue a caveat that Homer could be removed as administrator if any evidence of fraud or embezzlement surfaces related to the estate.
A future hearing has been scheduled to address an $800,000 bond on the estate previously requested by Homer because the judge noted the value of Heche’s estate is not yet set as she still has acting residuals incoming, as well as plans for the release of her second memoir in January.
As part of his new role, Homer is able to receive copies of his mother’s financial records, file tax returns on her behalf, and “commence and maintain or defend” suits and other legal proceedings.
Homer’s legal team welcomed the ruling.
“We believe the court reached the correct result this morning, both legally and equitably, and are glad to have this phase of the process behind us,” attorney Bryan Phipps told PEOPLE magazine.
“With Mr. Tupper’s allegations and objections now resolved, we are hopeful the administration of the Estate can proceed without unnecessary complication.”
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From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has met with the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and assured them he won’t run his administration with religious basis if elected President next year.
Speaking during the interactive session, Tinubu also assured them that his choice of Kashim Shettima, a Muslim as running mate has nothing to do with religion.
He equally emphasised that the same way his administration did not discriminate against anyone either on basis of tribe, religion or gender as Lagos State Governor, he would not start such in office as president.
The APC presidential candidate was accompanied to the session by his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, running mate, Shettima, House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Hope Uzodinnma (Imo), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Deputy Senate Leader Senator Boroffice Ajayi, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Minister of Special Duties, George Akume among many others.
Tinubu said, “My belief in the need for secular government and faith-based organizations to work in unison is not something adopted recently to benefit my campaign.
“As Governor of Lagos, I partnered with the Christian to Strengthen lives and foster education. For instance, I returned mission schools to their owners, most of who are Christians.
“I instituted yearly Christian Denomination Service at the Governor’s residence as we approached the new year. This tradition continues in Lagos.
“More importantly, we fostered an atmosphere of religious tolerance and inter-faith collaboration. My cabinet was diverse and talented.
“In the exercise of government, I did not give a thought to whether a team member was Christian or Muslim, Yoruba, Igbo or Arewa.
“I have never lent myself to baseless prejudice and discrimination. To do so would be a recipe for failure in the governance of a diverse society and I am not a man that is familiar with failing.
“I never chased people out of Lagos nor made them feel unwanted. Under my administration Lagos welcomed all comers and continues to do so today.
“After me, Lagos has had one Muslim and two Christian governors. I may not be perfect. What human being is? But I am not a petty man secretly wedded to secret biases and prejudices.
“As such, I see all Nigerians as equals and as brothers and sisters in our national family. This means no one is inherently inferior or superior to anyone else, regardless of faith, place of origin, social status and gender. Anyone who does not hold this fair and equitable view, should not run for president in a country such as ours.”
Speaking further, he said that the Christian body has a great role as the moral compass of the society which he cherishes and will always support.
“You, as an organization and as individual leaders of CAN, are entrusted as the watch person of the welfare of this society from a Christian perspective. Which means functioning in an atmosphere of charity, understanding, patience and wisdom.
“I understand the tremendous importance of your work and have nothing but the deepest respect for your selfless contributions to our national cause,” he added.
On his choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate, which has generated a lot of controversies, Tinubu assured the Christian body that he made the best available choice at his disposal without recourse to religious sentiments.
“I did not choose Senator Shettima so that we could form a same faith ticket. The ticket was constructed as a same progressive and people- based ideology ticket.
“I offer a confession. I selected Senator Shettima thinking more about who would best help me govern. Picking a Christian running mate would have been politically easier. But the easy way is rarely the right one. The selection of a running mate is at once a very momentous yet very intimate decision.
“Resting such a key decision on religious affiliation as the primary weight did not sit well with me. I am not saying there were not good and adequate potential running mates of the Christian faith.
“What I am saying is that the times we inhabit do not lend themselves to the good or adequate. We have urgent problems that lend themselves not to a Christian or Muslim solution. We need the best solution. Every time I thought about it, and I did think a lot; I came to the same conclusion: Kashim Shettima — His faith was immaterial.
“He is a brilliant man with superior intellectual capacity. He is studious and detailed oriented. Enjoying excellent organization skills, Shettima fully understands the vital difference between governance and politics.
“This exceptionally gifted human being has humility of spirit, courage of his convictions and a strongly progressive world view in harmony with my own perspectives on government and its relationship to the governed.
“I trust the calibre of the man. I know the great lengths he went in fighting Boko Haram in his state. He did his best to protect the Christian community and rebuilt damaged churches.
“This man understands the value of our national diversity in all of its ramifications, including religious. He possesses the courage to stand up to those who would wreck that diversity and freedom,”
He continued, “I know people have reacted harshly to my selection. They have done so without knowing the man or giving him or me a fair chance. The rumour that this is some plot to suppress the Christian community is untrue and unfortunate.
“I can no more suppress the Christians of this nation than I can suppress the Christians in my own household, my very family. You all know my wife is Christian and a pastor. My children are Christians. I can no more disown them and their choice of faith than I can disown myself. As a husband and father to Christian wife and children, hearing such allegations is hurtful.”
While sharing his campaign policies with the Christian leaders, asking for their support, he said: “We must move the nation forward more quickly so that hatred and pettiness haven’t a chance to imbed themselves and become the main colours of the fabric of our society.
“My team, Senator Shettima and I have crafted our Action Plan for Nigeria titled Renewed Hope. This agenda is based on the progressive notion that our economy must be recalibrated to ensure better jobs and wages for people. That all are entitled to basic health care and education.
“We will combat hunger and poverty by growing more food and better rewarding farmers for their toil. We shall revive our industrial capacity to provide work for our growing urban population and to produce more of the things that we need.
“Where the private sector thrives, we will not attempt to fix what is not broken. Where it falters, government shall lend a hand to keep people employed and the economy vibrant. Where there is a gap, we must fill it so that we more fully employ our idle workforce and productive capacity.
“We must better tend to the poor, vulnerable and elderly by strengthening the social safety net. We shall end the fuel subsidy because it has become an unproductive policy favouring an elite that needs no favours while giving the people precious little. Funds that were previously used for the subsidy will be invested in public transportation and other infrastructure, education, and health.
“Let us advance to the economy point where no parent is forced to send their children to bed hungry and no one is fearful that tomorrow will bring more lack and poverty.
“Fiscal power and authority shall be recalibrated to give the states more latitude to better fulfil their mandate of grassroots development and empowerment of people and local communities, This includes assessing each state’s best option regarding a more active role in crime prevention and law enforcement.
“On security, we will not relent until terrorists, kidnappers and criminals quit their malign ways or are completely defeated. We shall augment our security forces and use advanced technology to track and defeat these evil groups,” he added.
Eqrlier, the leadership of CAN under new president Daniel Ukoh had presented a charter of demands and issues to the APC presidential candidate.
They demanded among others state police or a decentralized policing system, devolution of power to states, equal rights for all religions and their adherents, right to self-determination by all ethnic groups.
Others include right to control natural resources by communities that bear them, no to open grazing, and equitable electoral system that guarantees the right to vote and be voted for by all.
In their contributions, Shettima, House Speaker Gbajabiamila, Governor Ganduje and Senate Chief Whip Kalu attested to Tinubu’s character and integrity.
They said he usually places merit and competence above any other factor in choosing who to work with and he is always moved to act in the best interest of the country.
President Joe Biden, who recently issued a mass pardon for low-level marijuana offenders, says cannabis consumption should not be treated as a crime. His administration nevertheless defends the federal ban on gun possession by marijuana users, arguing that Second Amendment rights are limited to “law-abiding citizens.”
Last week, a federal judge agreed, dismissing a challenge to that rule by medical marijuana patients in Florida. The reasoning underlying that decision shows that the constitutional right to armed self-defense, which the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld, is still subject to legislators’ arbitrary whims and irrational prejudices.
Florida is one of 37 states that allow medical use of marijuana, most of which also have legalized recreational use, a policy supported by two-thirds of Americans. Under federal law, by contrast, marijuana remains illegal for all purposes except government-approved research, and simple possession is punishable by a fine of $1,000 or more and up to a year in jail.
For marijuana users who own guns, the potential penalties are much more severe. They include up to 15 years in prison for illegal firearm possession, up to 15 years for “trafficking in firearms” by obtaining a gun and up to 10 years for failing to report cannabis consumption on the form required for gun purchases from federally licensed dealers.
The plaintiffs in the Florida lawsuit included Nikki Fried, a Democrat who runs the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; two patients who participate in Florida’s medical marijuana program; and a gun owner who says he would like to do so but does not want to surrender his right to arms. They argued that the ban on gun possession by cannabis consumers violates the Second Amendment.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who does not agree with Fried about much, expressed support for that argument. “The governor stands for protecting Floridians’ constitutional rights — including 2nd Amendment rights,” his office said after Fried filed her lawsuit in April. “Floridians should not be deprived of a constitutional right for using a medication lawfully.”
In his ruling last Friday, however, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor agreed with the Biden administration that the deprivation DeSantis condemned was “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” That is the constitutional test the Supreme Court has said gun control laws must pass.
Winsor noted a long history of banning gun ownership by people convicted of certain crimes. But as Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett pointed out in a 2019 dissent when she was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, that history does not suggest that any crime, or even any felony, will do.
“Legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns,” Barrett wrote. “But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. ”
Are cannabis consumers dangerous? Winsor suggested that they are, accepting the Biden administration’s analogy between the gun ban for marijuana users and laws enacted in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that prohibited people from either carrying or firing guns “while intoxicated.”
That analogy fails, however, because those laws did not impose general bans on gun possession by drinkers. They applied only when gun owners were under the influence.
The implausibility of the Biden administration’s historical argument is compounded by the fact that the “crime” of consuming marijuana did not exist when the Second Amendment was ratified or when the 14th Amendment required that states respect the right to keep and bear arms. Throughout the 19th century, cannabis, opium and other currently prohibited substances were legally available over the counter and widely consumed as ingredients in patent medicines.
It seems highly doubtful that Americans of that era would have thought eschewing such products should be a condition for exercising the rights protected by the Second Amendment and state analogs. Yet the Biden administration insists that it should, even as the president decries the injustice wrought by the war on weed.
Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine.
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The incoming Harford County administration will be sworn into office starting this week.
Michelle Karczeski will be inaugurated as the county’s clerk of the circuit court Thursday in a private ceremony at the Harford County Courthouse. As clerk , she takes office first in order to be able to swear in other members of the administration, she said.
Bob Cassilly will be sworn in as Harford County executive at noon Monday, along with the Harford County Council. The inauguration will take place at Harford Community College’s APG Federal Credit Union Arena in Bel Air. According to a news release from Cassilly, “there are plenty of seats available for anyone who would like to attend.”
The Harford County Board of Education will be sworn in Monday at 5:30 p.m. during its public meeting.
Also on Monday, Jeff Gahler will begin his third term as sheriff and Derek Hopkins will be sworn in as register of wills, both during private ceremonies. Alison Healey will be sworn in as state’s attorney on Jan. 3.