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Canada Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began the push to legalize marijuana across the country more than two years ago

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Marijuana, Canada
Different strains of marijuana are displayed for sale at the Warmland Centre, a medical marijuana dispensary in Mill Bay, British Columbia on Vancouver Island in Canada. VOA

A new era begins in Canada Wednesday when it becomes only the second country to legalize recreational marijuana.

Although medicinal pot has been legal since 2001, Canada will join Uruguay as the only nation where customers can buy it in retail shops.

Marijuana, Canada
An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)

The first cannabis store opens at midnight Wednesday in Newfoundland, the country’s easternmost province.

Each of the 13 provinces will set its own rules for selling marijuana. Some will allow private shops while others will only sell it through government-run stores. But mail order sales will be permitted across all of Canada.

Only licensed growers can sell marijuana on the retail market.

Marijuana, Canada
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

The federal minimum age for using marijuana is 18, but most provinces have set it at 19.

Also Read: New Marijuana Study Poses Question About Mind-Altering Breast Milk

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began the push to legalize marijuana across the country more than two years ago, in part, to shut down the black market and prevent underage use. (VOA)

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Resist, Insist, Persist Because The Future is Female

In addition to Washington rally, Sister marches took place in multiple cities including New York City, Los Angeles and many more across the world.

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Women's March
People hold an American flag during the second annual Women's March in Los Angeles, California, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

By Vishvi Gupta

“Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as ‘being quiet”, says Alexandria Ocaso Cortez, Representative of the Bronx and New York while rallying in the women’s march in New York City.

The United States of America woke up on 19th January and saw thousands of women March for gender equality and bring pressing issues like the partial shutdown, Trump’s border wall and women’s reproductive rights to the light.

‘The crowd stretches so far that there’s no room left to march’ is how the first Women’s March was described when it was first held in 2016. Thousands of women marched together to show solidarity in lieu of  ‘Anti-Trump Sentiments’, a day after Donald Trump swore in as the President.

Women’s March of 2017 inspired millions to run, to vote and dozens to win elections. A women’s wave swept away the U.S. this midterm election, with record number of women being elected as representatives of the house. The wave, however, did not end there and brought together people of different color, races, sexualities and abilities during the rally which took place across the country.

Women’s March Disability Coordinator, Mia Ives-Rublee says,” My hope is to continue to talk about how these different identities interact, how we can support each other, and how its so important that we are able to talk about disabilities, especially in Asian-American Communities”.

This year’s march is different because the organizers of the march are pushing aheead with a solid agenda. There are really specific policy demands which are crafted by a policy table of 50-70 women who are movement and policy experts.

Women's March,
People carrying signs join hundreds of demonstrators in the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

Even after the recent disputes surrounding the leaders of the women’s march regarding  the allegations of anti-Semitism, many women turned up not wanting to lose a seat at the table and to make sure that anti-Semitism is something that is addressed.

Also Read: Women In Afghanistan Fear Recurring Oppression If Taliban Becomes Part Of The Government

In addition to  the Washington rally, Sister marches took place in multiple cities including New York City, Los Angeles and many more across the world.

“We are going to shut down your disrespect of women and girls”, said Women’s Right Attorney Gloria Allerd and stimulated the crowd to: Resist, Insist and Persist.