Former UN Secretary General has explained his stance on the need to legalise the use of some drugs and end the war on drug, in a passionate post on his LinkedIn page as follows:
In my experience, good public policy is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked, or not. Policy based on common assumptions and popular sentiments can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions.
Nowhere is this divorce between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the formulation of global drug policies, where too often emotions and ideology rather than evidence have prevailed.
Take the case of the medical use of cannabis. By looking carefully at the evidence from the United States, we now know that legalizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes has not, as opponents argued, led to an increase in its use by teenagers. By contrast, there has been a near tripling of American deaths from heroin overdoses between 2010 and 2013, even though the law and its severe punishments remain unchanged.
This year, between April 19 and 21, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a special session on drugs and the world will have a chance to change course. As we approach that event, we need to ask ourselves if we are on the right policy path. More specifically, how do we deal with what the United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has called the “unintended consequences” of the policies of the last 50 years, which have helped, among other things, to create a vast, international criminal market in drugs that fuels violence, corruption and instability? Just think of the 16,000 murders in Mexico in 2013, many of which are directly linked to drug trafficking.
A War on People
Globally, the “war on drugs” has not succeeded. Some estimate that enforcing global prohibition costs at least $100 billion (€90.7 billion) a year, but as many as 300 million people now use drugs worldwide, contributing to a global illicit market with a turnover of $330 billion a year, one of the largest commodity markets in the world.
Prohibition has had little impact on the supply of or demand for drugs. When law enforcement succeeds in one area, drug production simply moves to another region or country, drug trafficking moves to another route and drug users switch to a different drug. Nor has prohibition significantly reduced use. Studies have consistently failed to establish the existence of a link between the harshness of a country’s drug laws and its levels of drug use. The widespread criminalisation and punishment of people who use drugs, the overcrowded prisons, mean that the war on drugs is, to a significant degree, a war on drug users a war on people.
Africa is sadly an example of these problems. The West Africa Commission on Drugs, which my foundation convened, reported last year that the region has now become not only a major transit point between producers in Latin America and consumers in Europe, but an area where consumption is increasing. Drug money, and the criminality associated with it, is fostering corruption and violence. The stability of countries and the region as a whole is under threat.
I believe that drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrong government policies have destroyed many more. We all want to protect our families from the potential harm of drugs. But if our children do develop a drug problem, surely we will want them cared for as patients in need of treatment and not branded as criminals.
Stop Stigmatizing and Start Helping
The tendency in many parts of the world to stigmatize and incarcerate drug users has prevented many from seeking medical treatment. In what other areas of public health do we criminalize patients in need of help? Punitive measures have sent many people to prison, where their drug use has worsened.
A criminal record for a young person for a minor drug offence can be a far greater threat to their wellbeing than occasional drug use. The original intent of drug policy, according to the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs, was to protect the “health and welfare of mankind.” We need to refocus international and national policy on this key objective.
This requires us to take four critical steps.
First, we must decriminalize personal drug use. The use of drugs is harmful and reducing those harms is a task for the public health system, not the courts. This must be coupled with the strengthening of treatment services, especially in middle and low income countries.
Second, we need to accept that a drugfree world is an illusion. We must focus instead on ensuring that drugs cause the least possible harm. Harm reduction measures, such as needle exchange programs, can make a real difference. Germany adopted such measures early on and the level of HIV infections among injecting drug users is close to 5 percent, compared to over 40 percent in some countries which resist this pragmatic approach.
Third, we have to look at regulation and public education rather than the total suppression of drugs, which we know will not work. The steps taken successfully to reduce tobacco consumption (a very powerful and damaging addiction) show what can be achieved. It is regulation and education, not the threat of prison, which has cut the number of smokers in many countries. Higher taxes, restrictions on sale and effective anti-smoking campaigns have delivered the right results.
The legal sale of cannabis is a reality that started with California legalizing the sale of cannabis for medical use in 1996. Since then, 22 US states and some European countries have followed suit. Others have gone further still. A voter initiative which gained a majority at the ballot box has caused Colorado to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use. Last year, Colorado collected around $135 million in taxes and license fees related to legal cannabis sales. Others have taken less commercial routes. Users of Spain’s cannabis social clubs can grow and buy cannabis through small noncommercial organizations. And Canada looks likely to become the first G7 country to regulate the sale of cannabis next year.
Legal Regulation Protects Health
Initial trends show us that where cannabis has been legalized, there has been no explosion in drug use or drug related crime. The size of the black market has been reduced and thousands of young people have been spared criminal records. But a regulated market is not a free market. We need to carefully think through what needs regulating, and what does not. While most cannabis use is occasional, moderate and not associated with significant problems, it is nonetheless precisely because of its potential risks that it needs to be regulated.
And therefore, the fourth and final step is to recognize that drugs must be regulated precisely because they are risky. It is time to acknowledge that drugs are infinitely more dangerous if they are left solely in the hands of criminals who have no concerns about health and safety. Legal regulation protects health. Consumers need to be aware of what they are taking and have clear information on health risks and how to minimize them. Governments need to be able to regulate vendors and outlets according to how much harm a drug can cause. The most risky drugs should never be available “over the counter” but only via medical prescription for people registered as dependent users, as is already happening in Switzerland.
Scientific evidence and our concern for health and human rights must shape drug policy. This means making sure that fewer people die from drug overdoses and that smalltime offenders do not end up in jail where their drug problems get worse. It is time for a smarter, health-based approach to drug policy. It is time for countries, such as Germany, which have adopted better policies at home, to strongly advocate for policy change abroad. The United Nations General Assembly special session on the world drug problem would be a good place to start.
AIDEC Consultancies International & Academic City sign MoU to deepen practical AI knowledge
Africa Integrated Development and Communications Consultancies (AIDEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Academic City University College (ACity) to provide practical knowledge in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
The MoU was executed on behalf of the two organizations represented by Mr. Ambrose Yennah, Executive Chairman of AIDEC and Professor Fred McBagonluri, President, and Provost of ACity.
Executive Chairman for AIDEC Consultancies, Ambrose Yennah, said: “the agreement seeks to provide students with practical hands-on-training in Data Science, Machine Learning, Robotics and other advanced technological training in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas of STEAM needed to efficiently work in the job market.”
He said the MoU is a private sector initiative between the two organizations to compliment government’s effort at digitalization and will enable them to collaborate with other Consortium Partners for the roll out of several Digital Solutions and Services.
“The agreement will include but not limited to the study and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, Robotics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Business Process Outsourcing Services (BPO) with specific focus on the health, and Educational Sectors including Executive Training for the Country Ghana and scaling up to the continent of Africa in the near-term,” he added.
President and Provost of ACity, Professor Fred McBagonluri, said the MoU will help in developing ready job skills by providing access to AI programmes that would help student use technology to pursue research initiatives that is focused on solving the needs of the society.
“The MoU, as part of its objectives, agree to establish, implement and create an enabling environment for students to engage in research and practical consulting assignments as a collaboration between industry and other academic institutions for practical, hands-on training, research, and fieldwork for their mutual good,” he said.
The Consortium Partners, he added, will provide top notch business, educational and technology solutions and services including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform as a virtual and open educational resource facility to our target customers in the public, private and third sectors.
AIDEC and ACity in collaboration with other Consortium Partners will identify projects ideas and invest in them to generate employment in IT/Digital Solutions and Services and generate income for the Consortium Partners whilst providing an avenue for upgrading the skills and competencies of students with creative and innovative technologies that will expose and prepare them for the job market including Students exchange programs for practical hands-on training, research and fieldwork.
The Consortium Partners agree to work to improve and expand their Institutional capacities in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Data Science, Machine learning including online learning platforms and programs to whip up the interest of students enrolling for higher education for STEAM, SparX leaning Xperience and other competency-based professional training programs for an all-inclusive digital transformation.
Can you fly with Delta 8 Gummies?
Considering taking your Delta 8 Gummies on your next trip? But worried if it’s legit or if there are some unknown laws airlines companies have stated somewhere and you have no idea about them. US domestic flights allow flyers to carry delta 8 gummies that are legalized under the Farm Bill. However, this is not the case for overseas flights. Continue reading to know much more. (more…)
Episode 33 on StudentOfLife Podcast is all about ‘Manifestation’
Understanding the true laws and principles of it, realising that it is not simply about visualising and saying affirmations, write stuff down and it simply appears with time! It’s deeper than that. Understand the law of energy(chakras), law of vibration and governing your surrounds is key. Akosua Peprah is not telling you what you want to hear, but what you NEED to hear and the hidden truths of manifestation. (more…)
Top Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Gambling Site
Over the past few decades, the online casino market has witnessed a record-breaking boom. Gamers and gamblers alike started to prefer it as a form of entertainment. Since everyone has instant access to mobile technologies, you can access your favorite casino any time of the day.
Anyone can open a branch or work as an affiliate partner in the gambling industry; it is no longer a restricted industry. As a result of fierce competition, users have to be more careful. They now must watch out for fraudsters and stay away from scam websites. Here is a criterion to help you pick the best online casino.
Pay Attention to User Testimonials
A trustworthy betting site will have a lot of reviews. To determine the platform’s dependability, most reviews must be favorable. The options for gamblers to read reviews and spot a reputable site are plentiful, ranging from a variety of apps to mobile-optimized websites like the featured sites on legitgamblingsites.com. Based on the reviews, one can choose whether to register and start using the platform.
Regulations and Licenses for Online Casinos
Verify the presence of gambling seals of permission to ensure that your chosen platform is regulated correctly. Typically, information about them appears at the bottom of the webpage. Each gaming company needs to be registered and granted a license by reputable administrative bodies to operate in a specific market like;
- ● The UK Gambling Commission
- ● The Alderney Gambling Control Commission
- ● The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
Before registering, consider a casino’s legislation and ensure they are licensed.
Read Also: Gambling Laws Across Africa
Adaptability to Your Betting Aim
An online gambling site must satisfy your needs and goals. Check to see if it offers the sports you want to wager on. Knowing which forms of payment the website accepts would also be beneficial. Settle for one that accepts your most convenient payment option.
Keep an eye out for the site’s policies and procedures and any bonuses that may be available. Checking whether the platform is accessible from a mobile device is an additional factor you should consider. It would be helpful if you could use the platform whenever and wherever you want. Therefore, look for a mobile-friendly platform with a website or mobile application.
Customer Support Center
Once in a while, questions and inconveniences always arise, whether you’re a high roller or a novice. It can be concerning the rules of a particular game, where to find your favorite live casino table, and which payment methods are accepted where you live. Having someone available to help you right away is beneficial.
The top gaming platforms work hard to give their users prompt, efficient support. They even use it in their advertisements to persuade the audience that they deserve their trust.
An absence of live chat or an abnormally low response time could be a red flag. Although it’s not always the case, scammers don’t make significant investments because their income is uncertain.
Playing at a reputable casino is truly a unique experience. Players have access to jackpots and great bonuses for more elevated gaming. You can make the best decision for choosing the best online gambling site through the above pointers.
How To Make Your Followers Feel Special On Instagram
Instagram is a great platform when it comes to growth. Whether you’re an influencer looking to build your brand or a business hoping to increase conversions and bring in more customers, you should definitely be using Instagram as part of your social media strategy.
However, it’s not just about “using” Instagram. You’ve also got to find a way to make your Instagram followers feel special; after all, if they feel like you’re treating them poorly or if they don’t feel welcome or valued, then they might decide that you’re not worth the effort in a crowded market. Here’s how to make your followers feel special on Instagram.
Read Also: Instagram Username Ideas For Girls 2022
Engage with them
While it’s perfectly fine to use services like Social Followers Free to net yourself a big Instagram follower count, keeping those followers around is quite another matter. After all, if you don’t talk to your followers, then how can you expect them to feel respected or involved in your process?
That’s why you need to reach out to your followers and engage with them. When you receive comments, make sure to comment back and reply to your commenters. Say something that’s specific to the comment and show interest in your followers’ lives; you’d be amazed at the positive effect this can have.
Ask for engagement
When you post on Instagram, you can make your followers feel special simply by asking them for their opinions on what you’re doing. At the end of every post, ask a specific question that pertains to the content you’ve created and involves your followers in some way.
For example, let’s say you’ve just posted something about gaming-related equipment. At the end of your post, you could ask something like “what’s your favourite mechanical gaming keyboard? Let’s talk about it!”. This will incentivise your followers to reply to you and talk to you, thus making them feel more valued and special.
Show them the real you
As a platform, Instagram has come under very understandable fire for what many commenters have described as a lack of reality. Influencers will make themselves look unrealistically attractive or wealthy in order to shore up followers and create an aspirational aesthetic, when this isn’t how they really live.
As such, you can make your followers feel special by showing them who you really are. Don’t change the way you behave or the way you live “for the ‘gram”; don’t pretend to be richer than you really are, and don’t heavily rely on filters and airbrushing when you’re posting pictures. This will make your followers feel like they’re really talking to you and not a social media construction.
Hop into your followers’ comments
Nothing makes a follower more delighted than when they see a comment from you popping up on one of their posts. If your followers are active on Instagram, then why not check out their content and post comments on it? This will encourage them to comment back, and it will make them feel like you really do care about them.
Some of your Instagram followers may even be budding influencers themselves, and if they are, then it’ll boost their profile even more to comment on their stuff, especially if you’re more well-known than they are. There really is no downside to checking out some of your followers’ content and commenting on it.
Create content with your followers
Following on from the above, if some of your followers are budding social media influencers, then why not reach out to see if they want to create some content with you? If their style and goals align with yours, then it could be a very rewarding exercise – both creatively and in terms of followers – to create content with them.
Of course, you should make sure you’re picking the right collaborators before you decide to create content with them. Check out their content first to make sure it works alongside your style. Everyone’s doing their own thing on Instagram, so if your vibe doesn’t work with someone else’s, it doesn’t mean anything about the content you’re both creating.
Listen to what your followers are saying
It’s always a good idea to keep your ear to the ground when it comes to comments your followers are making on your content. If you notice certain trends in what they’re saying – if they’re making suggestions about what kind of content they want to see from you, for example – then you should be listening to those trends.
You don’t need to let comments and followers dictate what you do entirely, though. After all, if you only did what others told you to do, then you’d stand to lose the thing that made you special in the first place. Finding a healthy balance between pleasing your followers and making sure you’re happy in yourself is the ideal when it comes to content creation.
Hold contests and giveaways
Hey, everyone likes free stuff, right? One of the best ways you can make your Instagram audience feel special is to hold contests and giveaways offering them the chance to win things. If you’re an influencer partnered with brands, then why not work with those brands to coordinate a giveaway for your followers?
Conversely, if you’re a brand looking to shore up an authentic following on Instagram, then holding giveaways and contests is an excellent way to do that. It shows that you have a lot of faith in your product and that you’re happy for people to try it out and see for themselves how high-quality it is.
Video Of Visual Display Network Celebrating TV Personality Selly Galley On Her Birthday Goes Viral
On the 25th of September 2022, Ghanaian Actress and TV Personality, Selly Galley celebrated her birthday which she dubbed the “Sellybration”.
Digital Marketer Gorbachev Awuah and his team at the Visual Display Network (VDN) surprised her with some meals and products from some of their Clients and Brands they represent.
The Visual Display Network (VDN) Team wanted to “Sellybrate” her and another year under her belt. Clients and Brands that VDN has and affiliates with all came through to make the day a wonderful one.
Kasapereko Company Limited provided some packs of Stormz Energy Drink as well as some Puma Drinks and Awake Mineral Water. Kubs Original Provided a box of their well knows Boffrot puff puff mix. Perfect Touch Restaurant, Porkytos, Liquid & Grills Restaurant, and Tempo De Dio all also provided the best meals on their menu.
Selly Galley and her husband Prayetiatia showed so much appreciation to Visual Display Network (VDN) and all their Clients and Brands they work with and also stated that they made their day.
The video of Digital Marketer Gorbachev Awuah and his Team delivering the meals and products to her has since gone viral.
We applaud the Visual Display Network (VDN) Team for the great work they’re doing in the industry.
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