State Roundup: Arundel schools sue social media companies over students’ mental health; state opens ‘social equity’ portal for cannabis licenses

State Roundup: Arundel schools sue social media companies over students’ mental health; state opens ‘social equity’ portal for cannabis licenses

Arundel County's school board is suing social media companies over the growing mental health crisis in its student population. Photo by cottonbro studio for Pexels.

ARUNDEL SCHOOL BOARD FILES SUIT AGAINST SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESSES: The Anne Arundel County Board of Education filed a lawsuit last month against social media groups Meta, Google, ByteDance and Snap Inc., alleging that their social media platforms have contributed to a growing mental health crisis among the system’s 85,000 students. The school system joins others in Maryland, including Baltimore City and Howard, Carroll, Prince George’s, Harford and Baltimore counties. Megan Loock/The Capital Gazette.

STATE OPENS SOCIAL EQUITY PORTAL FOR CANNABIS LICENSES: The Maryland Cannabis Administration announced the creation of its Social Equity Verification Portal Friday in anticipation of the Jan. 1 deadline to distribute new grower, processor and retail licenses to communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

ASSESSING CAR ACCIDENTS BY CANNABIS USERS A DIFFICULT FEAT: Maryland is two months into legal adult-use cannabis and gauging the effect of adult-use cannabis on car accidents is a bit difficult. Statewide crash data showed a small uptick in traffic crashes in July compared to previous years. But enforcing traffic laws when it comes to cannabis consumption is complicated — there is no widely used breath test to detect it and experts say proving impairment from a blood test can be challenging. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

HO CO CONSIDERS NEW PATHS IN CANNABIS BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: Adult-use recreational cannabis became legal on July 1, but the debate surrounding it is far from over. The Howard County Council has formed two panels, one to look at short-term issues, the other to address longer-term ones while wrestling with how much control the state should actually have lave this local industry, including how it will spend the small tax benefit it receives and whether it should be much more. George Berkheimer/The Business Monthly.

ATTORNEY VOWS TO STOP ARCHDIOCESE BANKCRUPTCY: If the Archdiocese of Baltimore – America’s first and oldest Catholic diocese – files for Chapter 11, Annapolis attorney Teresa Lancaster, a victim of childhood sexual assault in the 1970s, said she and her allies will do whatever they can to halt the effort in its tracks. Jonathan Pitts and Jean Marbella/The Baltimore Sun.

  • In a letter Tuesday addressed to “Friends in Christ,” Archbishop William E. Lori said he plans to consult in the coming days with various ordained and lay leaders about how the archdiocese should respond to the new state law enabling victims of child sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits. It goes into effect Oct. 1. One approach under consideration, Lori wrote, is a bankruptcy reorganization that would compensate survivors of sexual abuse while allowing the nation’s oldest archdiocese to continue operations. Lillian Reed, Tim Prudente and Brenna Smith/The Baltimore Banner.

OPINION: MARYLANDERS STUCK WITH STATE’s BILL FOR OVERSPENDING: Marylanders, it is time to ready ourselves for more tax hikes. The state Department of Legislative Services revealed in June that, thanks to spending hikes, Maryland will face a budget deficit starting next year that will grow to $1.8 billion in five years. Unfortunately, our current political leadership is either unable or unwilling to do anything about their overspending habit—leaving you with the bill. Christopher Summers/

STATE ENVIRO OFFICIALS HEAR FROM POLICYMAKERS: For the last several weeks, Maryland environmental officials have taken their draft plan for meeting the state’s weighty climate goals on the road, with three public hearings and more to come. On Tuesday, in a 90-minute virtual session, they took feedback from an immensely important constituency: state and local policymakers. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

ARUNDEL BUSINESSMAN JOINS RACE FOR U.S. SENATE: After months on the fringes of the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, running an exploratory campaign, Anne Arundel County businessperson Juan Dominguez plans to become a full-blown candidate on Wednesday. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

STATE TO ALLOW O’s TO KEEP PROFITS FROM SPRINGSTEEN CONCERT: The Orioles will host a stand-alone concert at Camden Yards for the third time ever this Saturday and, once again, the ballclub will stand to earn all of the profits, rather than sharing any with the ballpark’s owner, the state of Maryland, when Bruce Springsteen plays Saturday at Oriole Park. The state would likely make hundreds of thousands of dollars from opting into the event. But in an effort to encourage the club to host more events, the stadium authority agreed to the Orioles’ request. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

PSC SAYS RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS CAN PICK GAS REGULATOR LOCATION: The Maryland Public Service Commission issued an order Tuesday allowing residential customers to choose where Baltimore Gas & Electric installs gas regulators on their homes. Wambui Kamau/WYPR-FM.

WIEDEFELD ON MARYLAND TRANSIT’s FUTURE: Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld addresses a series of questions concerning possible transit projects in the state, including expanding Baltimore City’s Red Line into Howard County. He says, “The 2022 East-West Corridor Feasibility Study evaluated several potential alignment options and projected ridership for Ellicott City termini was low. … the MTA will consider investments connecting bus service from Howard County that may grow ridership.” Mark Smith/The Business Monthly.

HO CO SCHOOLS NO. 2 DEPARTS ON HEELS OF BUS CRISIS: Howard County Public School System Chief Operating Officer Scott Washington is no longer with the district. An official reason for the departure was not given. The exit comes on the heels of a chaotic start to the academic year, with a bus driver shortage leading to route cancellations and stranded students, and even calls from parents for the resignation of Superintendent Michael Martirano. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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