Wednesday November 21, 2018
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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
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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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Facebook Cannot Regulate Itself: U.S. Lawmakers

Now we know that once they knew the truth, top @Facebook executives did everything they could to hide it from the public.

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USA, facebook
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., center, talks with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., right, during a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill. VOA

Democratic U.S. Representative David Cicilline, expected to become the next chairman of House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, said on Wednesday that Facebook cannot be trusted to regulate itself and Congress should take action.

Cicilline, citing a report in the New York Times on Facebook’s efforts to deal with a series of crises, said on Twitter: “This staggering report makes clear that @Facebook executives will always put their massive profits ahead of the interests of their customers.”

“It is long past time for us to take action,” he said. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said a year ago that the company would put its “community” before profit, and it has doubled its staff focused on safety and security issues since then. Spending also has increased on developing automated tools to catch propaganda and material that violates the company’s posting policies.

facebook, U.S. Politicals ads
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. VOA

Other initiatives have brought increased transparency about the administrators of pages and purchasers of ads on Facebook. Some critics, including lawmakers and users, still contend that Facebook’s bolstered systems and processes are prone to errors and that only laws will result in better performance. The New York Timessaid Zuckerberg and the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, ignored warning signs that the social media company could be “exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe.” And when the warning signs became evident, they “sought to conceal them from public view.”

“We’ve known for some time that @Facebook chose to turn a blind eye to the spread of hate speech and Russian propaganda on its platform,” said Cicilline, who will likely take the reins of the subcommittee on regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law when the new, Democratic-controlled Congress is seated in January.

Also Read: Social Media Laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

“Now we know that once they knew the truth, top @Facebook executives did everything they could to hide it from the public by using a playbook of suppressing opposition and propagating conspiracy theories,” he said.

“Next January, Congress should get to work enacting new laws to hold concentrated economic power to account, address the corrupting influence of corporate money in our democracy, and restore the rights of Americans,” Cicilline said. (VOA)