We’re #1, we’re #1!

Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe in New Mexico said that it had reached a $121.5 million settlement agreement to resolve a bankruptcy case that stemmed from clergy sex abuse claims, one of the largest such settlements involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

The proposed settlement would be used to compensate survivors of sexual abuse…

The settlement affects approximately 375 claimants, Dan Fasy, a lawyer who represents 111 of the victims, said on Wednesday. It is among the top five payouts in abuse litigation involving the Catholic Church in the United States, according to BishopAccountability.org, which tracks abuse cases against the church…

In New Mexico, about 74 priests have been described as “credibly accused” of sexually assaulting children, while the priests were posted to parishes and schools by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, according to The Associated Press…

The archdiocese said the settlement money would be used exclusively to compensate victims and would not be used to cover the archdiocese’s legal costs or other expenses related to the bankruptcy case.

While we’re discussing solutions, it might be more relevant to examine what programmatic changes are being made within this organization to prevent anymore recurrences of what is damned near a tradition.

How Cannabis Legalization Has Changed American Cities

The topic of cannabis can be rather taboo in some instances, as countries around the world have differing views on the legalization of marijuana products based on their cultural and religious beliefs. In the United States specifically, it’s been a long contended issue that each state has, for now, been left to decide on how they want to handle. Each year, more and more states (now totaling 18 and the District of Columbia out of 50), have legalized the recreational sale and use of a limited amount of cannabis, but it remains illegal on a federal level.

Cannabis tax revenue generated more than two billion dollars across legalized states in the last year alone and is expected to grow to nearly 12 billion dollars by 2030, exceeding tax revenues collected from the sale of alcohol, according to bond strategists at Barclays. For the states that do tax the sale of cannabis products, there have already been significant benefits that have helped further develop cities and smaller towns, making the streets safer, and increased funding for new municipal projects, local businesses, subsidies for low-income renters, improvements to public school systems, water and sewer line upgrades, and other significant infrastructure projects…

While right now, tax revenue generated by cannabis only represents a small percentage of a state’s budget, this is still a stream of revenue that did not exist even a decade ago. States that have legalized cannabis have seen a more lawful and responsible market that generates billions of dollars each year, with these numbers only expected to grow with hockey-stick-like projections over the next ten to twenty years. The potential for revenue is just now scratching the surface, especially as the stigma around the products and their effects begins to erode slowly. Many policymakers are beginning to imagine budgets even more so supported by future tax streams, where one day perhaps a significant portion of our public infrastructure is funded by this fraction of the picture.