Canada’s legalization of cannabis is a success story

A highly regarded British think tank focused on reforming drug laws thinks Canada’s legalization and regulation of cannabis has gone well.

Transform has been monitoring Canadian reform efforts for some time, and advised the Canadian government and some provinces on how to develop regulations prior to legalization. Its positive views of Canada’s initiatives is a significant contribution in assessing our journey away from criminalization of simple possession and use of recreational drugs…

Transform also raised the need for amnesty for those convicted of simple possession and use when cannabis was illegal.

Criminal records dog these individuals, affecting everything from employment opportunities to travel to foreign countries.

While there have been some few pardons, the process is erratic, bureaucratic and doesn’t erase records causing follow-on negatives. Amnesty across the board would erase a problem past it’s sell-by date.

18-Year-Old Canadian Develops App for Detecting Alzheimer’s

❝ Kai Leong, an 18-year-old graduate from Killarney Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C., has just developed a new smartphone app that measures and analyzes a person’s gait to help detect whether someone might have Alzheimer’s disease…

❝ In an interview with CBC’s Early Edition Renée Filippone, Leong explained that most seniors do not realize that walking patterns are validated markers of neurodegenerative diseases. “They’re often overlooked because of how expensive and how inaccessible current walking analysis or gait analysis is,” he said…

Leong says that although his app cannot replace a gait lab which conducts tests in an official medical setting, it does offer an accessible and affordable option for early detection.

Kai Leong is one of two Canadian students representing the country at the China Adolescent Science and Technology Innovation Contest. Helluva start, kid. Keep on rockin’.

Canadian permafrost thawing 70 years earlier than predicted


Landscape near Mould Bay. CanadaLouise Farquharson

❝ Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared…

❝ A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilized the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia…

❝ Scientists are concerned about the stability of permafrost because of the risk that rapid thawing could release vast quantities of heat-trapping gases, unleashing a feedback loop that would in turn fuel even faster temperature rises.

All the worst of what has been predicted by climate science is coming home to roost – just earlier. The ignorant and backwards naysayers will have to put both hands over their eyes, now.

The fossil fuel era is coming to an end and…

❝ “Coal is dead.”

These are not the words of a Greenpeace activist or left-wing politician, but of Jim Barry, the global head of the infrastructure investment group at Blackrock — the world’s largest asset manager. Barry made this statement in 2017, but the writing has been on the wall for longer than that.

❝ Banks know it, which is why they are increasingly unwilling to underwrite new coal mines and power plants. Unions and coal workers know it, which is why they are demanding a just transition and new employment opportunities in the clean economy. Even large diversified mining companies are getting out of the business of coal.

The only ones who seem to have remained in denial are President Donald Trump and non-diversified mining companies like Westmoreland Coal. The Denver-based firm made a bad bet in 2013 when it purchased five coal mines in Alberta. Now it wants Canadian taxpayers to pay for its mistake.

This is becoming a battleground, many ways and means, many reasons. Workers who need retraining and creepy investors trying to get out of foolish contracts do not have common cause.

Canada’s government pledges $600M for media transition/training to digital

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government wants to protect the “vital role that independent news media play in our democracy and in our communities.”

❝ The plan in the government’s fiscal update allows non-profit news organizations to accept donations and issue tax receipts to donors…

The plan also includes a new refundable tax credit for labour costs at both for-profit and non-profit news organizations. To determine eligibility for the credit, the government plans to create an independent panel drawn from the “news and journalism community,” which will also “define and promote core journalism standards (and) define professional journalism.”

Further South, in the Land of the Free Press…the meathead-in-chief characterizes our Free Press as the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

Cannabis now legal North of the border

❝ Canada’s parliament has passed a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana nationwide.

The Cannabis Act passed its final hurdle on Tuesday in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold.

Canadians will be able to buy and consume cannabis legally as early as this September.

❝ The country is the first in the G7 to legalise the drug’s recreational use.

Overdue in the GOUSA. Our Northern Neighbors press on into the 21st century – while the White House builds internment camps for children and babies. Whatever century Republicans are heading for – it ain’t anything other than backwards.

Fake president wasted everyone’s time this weekend in Canada


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❝ Just when it seemed that the G7 leaders had eked out a joint communique and avoided an open rift, Donald Trump in a stunning Twitter turnaround, retracted his endorsement. It’s probably better that way

❝ Sometimes it is good to rip off the band-aid. And by backing out of an apparently agreed upon joint G7 communique at the last minute via Twitter and on a plane en route to Singapore President Trump has done just that.

In his tweet he accused Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau of making false statements at his press conference and said he had “instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique…If he really does pull out of the agreement it would not be his first withdrawal. In fact, Trump is a master withdrawer. He pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, and UNESCO, to name just a few…

But it is probably better that way than trying to paper over a fundamental rift that really can’t be papered over…Because President Trump’s appearance here in Quebec made clear one more time how he feels about America’s closest allies and the post-war international order that Washington was instrumental in building: he could not care less. More than that, he is actively trying to disrupt and undermine it.

With or without the encouragement of rightwing scumbags like Bolton, Miller and Navarro, I was confident Trump would back out of anything positive or constructive he pretended to agree to during the day-and-a-half he spent in Charlevoix. Look at Chancellor Merkel in the photo up top. She looks like she trusts Trump as far as she can throw him uphill into a heavy wind.

RTFA for the gruesome – predictable – results.