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Canada Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

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Canada Legalizes Weed

 Canada on Wednesday became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country’s social, cultural and economic fabric, and present the nation with its biggest public policy challenge in decades.

Across the country, as government pot retailers opened from Newfoundland to British Columbia, jubilant Canadians waited for hours in line to buy the first state-approved joints. For many, it was a seminal moment, akin to the ending of Prohibition in the United States in the 1930s.

It was also an unlikely unifier, coming at a time when Canada has been buffeted by bruising trade talks with the United States and has seen its prime minister, Justin Trudeau, repeatedly ridiculed by President Trump. Canada is the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize marijuana. In others countries most people order edibles online.

“I have never felt so proud to be Canadian,” said Marco Beaulieu, 29, a janitor, as he waited with friends outside a government cannabis retailer in the east end of Montreal. “Canada is once again a progressive global leader. We have gay rights, feminism, abortion rights, and now we can smoke pot without worrying police are going to arrest us.”

Canadians broadly support marijuana legalization, but amid the euphoria, there was also caution.

“Legalization of cannabis is the largest public policy shift this country has experienced in the past five decades,” said Mike FarnworthBritish Columbia’s minister of public safety.

“It’s an octopus with many tentacles, and there are many unknowns,” he added. “I don’t think that when the federal government decided to legalize marijuana it thought through all of the implications.

In a stinging editorial published on Monday, for example, the Canadian Medical Association Journal called the government’s legalization plan an “uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”

It called on the government to promise to change the law if it leads to increased marijuana use.

Under Canada’s new federal cannabis act, adults will be allowed to possess, carry and share with other adults up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, enough to roll roughly 60 regular-size joints. They will also be permitted a maximum of four homegrown marijuana plants per household in most provinces.

[Yes, Canadians can grow their own, but not in every province. No, it won’t be legal for kids to smoke. Here’s what you need to know as Canada legalizes marijuana.]

Marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in Canada since 2001, and about 330,000 Canadians, including cancer patients, are registered to receive it from licensed producers.

Pre-rolled joints, fresh or dried marijuana flowers, and cannabis oil are all permitted under the law. Cannabis edibles — like pot-infused jelly beans, peanut butter and coffee — won’t be legal for another year.

According to Canada’s national statistics office, 4.9 million Canadians used cannabis last year and consumed more than 20 grams of marijuana per person.

On Wednesday morning, the government announced that it would introduce legislation to make it easier for Canadians who had been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana to obtain a pardon.

Canada legalizes weed

Canada legalizes weed

While the government is not offering a blanket amnesty, Ralph Goodale, the public safety minister, said at a news conference in Ottawa that as “a matter of basic fairness,” the government would seek to end the minimum waiting period of five years to apply for a pardon as well as waiving the fee of 631 Canadian dollars.

The federal government has left the country’s 13 provinces and territories to carry out the new legislation and set their own rules, creating a patchwork of regulations. Among many open questions are how the police will test drivers who may be high and how employers deal with employees who smoke before coming to work.

Bernard Le Foll, a specialist in addiction at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, a leading teaching hospital and research organization, said that although the center supported legalization, he was concerned that the public dissemination of information about risks had been insufficient.

“Cannabis is not a benign substance,” Dr. Le Foll said. “There is a clear risk of addiction, and it can produce significant mental health issues if used by the wrong kind of people.”

Canada Legalizes Weed

Canada Legalizes Weed

He added, “It took decades for the public to understand the risks of cigarettes, and the legalization of cannabis has taken place only over a few years.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

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South Africa’s Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini & Nomcebo Zikode win Grammy Best Global Music Performance

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South Africa’s Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini & Nomcebo Zikode have  won the 2023 Grammy award for Best Global Music Performance for Bayethe. (more…)

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Idris Elba attends Akwasidae in Asante Kingdom

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Idris Elba attends Akwasidae in Asante Kingdom

British actor of Ghanaian and Senegalese heritage, Idris Elba has paid homage to the Ashanti King, Otumfour Osei Tutu II as he attended Akwasidae at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

The Akwasidae Festival is celebrated by the Ashanti people and chiefs in Ashanti, as well as the Ashanti diaspora. The festival is celebrated on a Sunday, once every six weeks.

Earlier in the week, Elba revealed that he and his partners have undertaken some groundwork aimed at facilitating the building of a film studio in Ghana and across West Africa.

Speaking to President Akufo-Addo during a visit to the Jubilee House, the actor explained that although so much can be achieved in the film industry in Africa, facilities are lacking.

Hence, Idris Elba is convinced that the project, when completed, will be robust and competitive to attract filmmakers to choose Ghana for their productions.

“Currently, we call it West African Studios, but that’s a working title. We’ve been working on this for three or four years to raise a plan that puts a facility at the centre of African filmmaking. There’s a lot for African filmmaking, but the facilities are lacking.”

Idris Elba added that although their plans are in place, they believe that there needs to be policies that would encourage filmmakers to make the trip to Ghana and other West African countries.

He stated that in their preparations and research, they put together the parameters for the policy, adding that they sought to understand what international filmmakers need from Ghana.

The ‘Beast of No Nation’ actor stated that without the policy framework, the country can have as many film studios as possible, but it will not attract filmmakers.

“We realized that policy is where the actual groundwork needs to be laid. We’ve studied the models of South Africa, incredible incentive packages, Greece, Morocco and these are all places where they realize the value of the filmmaking and they’ve brought that policy into play.”

“National Film Authority has done the work and put together a very comprehensive plan to propel Ghana into the forefront. It needs to be robust and competitive to the rest of the world. We believe for sure that Ghana should step up in terms of attracting those filmmakers. I’ve come and seen you and presented to you essentially, just the parameters of what we need to do.”

President Akufo-Addo assured Idris Elba that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is developing a policy framework to guide filmmaking in the country.

He advised that the director of the Creative Arts Agency will liaise with the Tourism Minister to look through the proposal presented, in relation to what the Ministry is doing to ensure there are no gaps.

He stated that this will ensure the film industry has a comprehensive document that guides their activities.

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Stonebwoy hits the studio with American singer Jordin Sparks

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Ghanaian Reggae and Dancehall artist, Stonebwoy has been captured in a studio with American singer, Jordin Sparks following their recent meeting in Los Angeles. (more…)

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Nigerian court fines singer Oxlade N5m over leaked sex tape

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A Lagos State High Court, Southwest Nigeria has awarded N5m damages against a singer, Ikuforijimi Abdulrahman, aka Oxlade, over a leaked explicit sex tape with a woman on a social media app, Snapchat. (more…)

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I put Stonebwoy on, but people claim I have done nothing to support other artists- Kwaw Kese

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Ghanaian rapper, Kwaw Kese has recounted his contribution to the success of Stonebwoy’s career. (more…)

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T-Ben Miller drops new single “Soldier”, ahead of EP release – LISTEN

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T-Ben Miller has come for the girls again with a new single. This time he comes as a “Soldier”, the title of the song. As the Valentine’s Day season approaches and the world is celebrating February as the month of love, it is appropriate to find the song that syncs well with the ladies.

T-Ben already has hinted about an upcoming EP due for release in early 2023 titled “No Bad Times”, from which he has released some few singles already. But “Soldier” is a side step teaser he wants to share with his fans especially his ladies ahead of the catalogue release.

Listen to “Soldier” here on Digital Stores: https://li.sten.to/tbenmillersoldier

A year ago he relaunched himself with an all new set of records and upgraded version of his creativity. He has since been consistent with releases. T-Ben Miller is an alumni of Ho Technical University who is now fully into doing music and majors in Afrobeats. Follow him across social media on the handle @iamTBen.

 

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