Decriminalising possession of small amounts of marijuana

first_imgRegards,Clinton UrlingSociety of Marijuana Advocates for Reform and Treatment (SMART) Dear Editor,The current legal regime, as contained in the “Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (control) Act”, against the possession of small amounts of marijuana, attempts to prevent a low quantum of harm to society at a very high cost. In other words, the costs imposed on the health care and welfare systems by marijuana use are negligible compared to the costs associated with enforcing current marijuana possession laws.Specifically, the provisions that mandate imprisonment as punishment are not appropriate in the circumstances. The societal interest in prohibiting marijuana possession must take into account, one the one hand, the burden that marijuana use imposes on the health care system, and, on the other, the costs incurred by society because of enforcing the current laws. A cursory observation shows that the costs imposed on the health care system by marijuana are negligible compared to the costs associated with enforcing the current imprisonment regime. While this opinion is based on observations, the State, via the Parliament, should fund and commission empirical studies to ascertain the extent of this, so as to be guided accordingly and act proportionately with respect to the penalties imposed.Additionally, it can be argued that the current laws stand in violation of the harm principle and civil liberties of individuals. As postulated by John Stuart Mill in his seminal work On Liberty: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” In this regard, a criminal sanction of imprisonment should be reserved for those whose conduct causes a risk of harm to others and infringes on the rights or freedoms of other individuals.  The choice of using marijuana is a strictly personal decision, because it is the individual who suffers the change in perception, mood and state of consciousness brought about by the use of marijuana. It is the individual who deals with the consequences of his or her decision, without disturbing or affecting the rest of society. This becomes more so admissible when taken together with the establishment of similar legislation as the recently signed Tobacco Control Bill that prohibits public smoking.It is time that our policymakers enact legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.last_img read more

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V-Day diktat: Delhi hostel tells girls to return by 5pm

first_imgIn a strict rule enforced on Valentine’s Day, a hostel in Delhi University’s north campus asked women to return to the premises early on Wednesday.In a notice, Aparna Girls Hostel asked its female residents to not step out after 5 pm.”This is to inform you all that on Valentine’s Day 14th February, entry time will be at 5 PM. No one is allowed to go after 5 PM. For any queries, please contact the undersigned. It is mandatory for all of them (sic),” the notice reads.”Girls living in this hostel have to face this situation ever year. We are supposed to be inside by 5pm on Valentine’s Day every year. We are told it is done keeping our safety in consideration but the rule is binding on us,” said Ruchika (name changed), whose friend lives in Aparna Girls hostel.Pinjra Tod, an autonomous collective of women to provide security, affordable and not gender-discriminatory accommodation for women across Delhi, has flagged the notice this year, stating that it is a diktat on women living in the hostel.”Who would like to be under early curfews? While everyone’s out celebrating, we are asked to come back early. Even on usual days, we have to come back before 8pm. This is imposed every year on girls. We are asked to come back early on Republic Day and all such festivals,” Ruchika said.ALSO READ | Days ahead of DU’s first cut-off list, counsellors see spike in parents seeking helpALSO READ | Your guide to Delhi University’s sports quota trailsadvertisementHowever, the hostel management maintains that the rule has been introduced to protect girls from a mishap on Valentine’s Day.”It is only for the safety of girls that we issued the notice. Even the parents of students who have come from outside Delhi asked us to introduce these curfews as and when required,” said Kusum, the management representative of Aparna Girls Hostel in Roop Nagar. Kusum explained that their notice, issued to protect girls, is done keeping the “violent incidents” that take place on the streets.”Are we all not aware of how violent it gets on Valentine’s Day outside?” Kusum asked, adding that they allow girls attending classes to come as per their class hours.last_img read more

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Bestselling cookbooks give bad advice on food safety

first_imgBestselling cookbooks give little useful advice about reducing the risk of foodborne illness, especially in recipes involving meat products, say scientists who found that most of the information in the books are inaccurate and not based on sound science.”Cookbooks aren’t widely viewed as a primary source of food-safety information, but cookbook sales are strong and they’re intended to be instructional,” said Ben Chapman, from the North Carolina State University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Cookbooks tell people how to cook, so we wanted to see if cookbooks were providing any food-safety information related to cooking meat, poultry, seafood or eggs, and whether they were telling people to cook in a way that could affect the risk of contracting foodborne illness,” Chapman said.Researchers evaluated a total 1,497 recipes from 29 cookbooks that appeared on the New York Times best sellers list for food and diet books.All of the recipes included handling raw animal ingredients such as meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpecifically, researchers looked whether the recipe tell readers to cook the dish to a specific internal temperature, and if that temperature has been shown to be “safe”.They also looked at whether the recipes perpetuate food-safety myths – such as saying to cook poultry until the juices “run clear” – that have been proven unreliable as ways of determining if the dish has reached a safe temperature.The researchers found that only 123 recipes – 8 per cent of those reviewed –mentioned cooking the dish to a specific temperature. Not all of the temperatures listed were high enough to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. “In other words, very few recipes provided relevant food-safety information, and 34 of those 123 recipes gave readers information that wasn’t safe,” Chapman said.”Put another way, only 89 out of 1,497 recipes gave readers reliable information that they could use to reduce their risk of foodborne illness,” he said.In addition, 99.7 per cent of recipes gave readers “subjective indicators” to determine when a dish was done cooking.None of those indicators were reliable ways to tell if a dish was cooked to a safe temperature.”The most common indicator was cooking time, which appeared in 44 per cent of the recipes,” said Katrina Levine, from NC State’s Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences.”And cooking time is particularly unreliable, because so many factors can affect how long it takes to cook something: the size of the dish being cooked, how cold it was before going into the oven, differences in cooking equipment, and so on,” Levine said.Other common indicators used in the cookbooks included references to the colour or texture of the meat, as well as vague language such as “cook until done.” “This is important because cooking meat, poultry, seafood and eggs to a safe internal temperature kills off pathogens that cause foodborne illness,” Levine said.The study was published in the British Food Journal.last_img read more

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Violence against scribes Take action Editors Guild tells EC

first_imgNew Delhi: The Editors Guild has condemned several incidents of physical attack on journalists in Bengal during the fifth phase of polling and urged the Election Commission to take action against those who indulged in such acts. Physical attacks against journalists are always reprehensible but particularly so during elections as they undermine fair media scrutiny of an election, the Guild said in a statement. The Editors Guild said it condemns several incidents of physical attack on journalists in Bengal on May 6, during the fifth phase of polling. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataJournalists belonging to different media organisations including NewsX, ABP Ananda and Zee News were attacked, allegedly by workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the statement said. The Guild urges the EC to initiate necessary action against those who indulged in physical violence against journalists and asks the Bengal government to ensure law and order in the state so that journalists are not attacked by political parties and they can perform their professional duties safely, it said.last_img read more

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If BlackBerrys New CEO Is Fired He Walks With 6 Million

first_imgNovember 8, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min readcenter_img Register Now » BlackBerry’s new interim CEO John Chen has the mighty task of pulling the floundering Canadian tech company out of the toilet. The good news is if he’s fired, he could walk away with a better deal.According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents, Chen will pull in a base salary of $1 million with the possibility of making a $2 million bonus, depending on his performance. The rest of his compensation package is in stock — 13 million shares to be exact. Based on Thursday’s closing price of $6.51 per share, 13 million shares would be worth almost $85 million.That’s an eye popping figure, to be sure. But – and there are a lot of buts – Chen’s stock compensation won’t be fully vested for five years. And, if the price of BlackBerry stock goes to zero, 13 million shares would become worthless.Related: BlackBerry Takeover Bid Falls Apart, CEO to DepartMeanwhile, if Chen is fired, he will make the rest of the salary he is owed for that year, plus $6 million cash. He will also be eligible for all benefits, save transportation, for another year and a half after his termination.BlackBerry, once the force to be reckoned in the smartphone market, has nearly fallen flat on its nose, unable to compete with the Apple iPhone and a myriad of smartphone devices that run with Google’s Android operating system.Until Monday, the beleaguered Waterloo, Canada-based tech company had been trying to close a $4.7 billion deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings to go private. At the start of this week, BlackBerry announced that it had abandoned the deal and that Fairfax Financial would instead lead a $1 billion investment in the company.As part of the shakeout, Thorsten Heins was forced to leave his post as CEO. According to SEC filings from May, Heins will make his base salary of $3 million for another two years, plus another $5 million cash and a stock portfolio that was at one time worth more than $16 million and is now worth more like $7 million, reports Arik Hesseldahl of All Things D.Related: BlackBerry Says, ‘Remain Calm. All is Well.’last_img read more

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Emerging Markets Are the Next Frontier of 3D Printing

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » 6 min read On its surface, 3-D printing seems like a failed gamble. Technologists once envisioned that it would open a world of opportunity: Simply input the design, spool up the 3-D printer, and sit back to watch as your imagination became plastic. However, due to a range of economic and practical factors, 3-D printing has yet to find the widespread successes that some may have hoped for.Still, it’s too early to call 3-D printing a failed technology. Instead, 3-D printing offers some unique opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in expanding into emerging markets. To succeed, however, startups will have to pivot to more specialized uses — such as printing apartments to address rising housing demand or prosthetic limbs for amputees.The flaws of consumer 3-D printers.For consumers, avoiding 3-D printers is a logical decision. They’re tricky, temperamental machines which require a lot of special knowledge and care — and more time and money than the average person can afford. Even hobbyists enroll in shared makerspaces rather than buying their own machine.Related: Should I Join the Makerspace Revolution?Consider how much work it takes to effectively use a 3-D printer. A team at Mashable experimented with 3-D printing — to their dismay. First, the printer was finicky about what types of files it accepted; the team had to convert their design into several file formats before finding the right one. Next, the device wasn’t exactly forgiving; any mistakes required an immediate do-over, which wasted plastic, time, and electricity. Six attempts and 24 hours later, the team finally gave up.The challenges of emerging markets.But for all its annoyances, 3-D printing does have promise for emerging markets — which might seem counterintuitive. After all, if richer nations reject 3-D printers, why would it be any different in less prosperous ones?Yet first impressions are misleading. In emerging markets, 3-D printing technology is expected to become a $4.5 billion industry by 2020, growing by some 37.4 percent between 2014-2020. Most of this growth is expected to take place in India and China.So what gives? The appeal of 3-D printing lies in its potential to solve several lingering problems common to emerging markets. The most common issue is an infrastructure gap (a lack of roads, medical clinics or schools); by nature, these projects require plenty of capital, time and skilled labor, all of which emerging markets may lack.As a result, 3-D printing can be a shortcut. Not only does it build durable, workable solutions for far less money — but it is also a form of leapfrogging, where emerging markets can take advantage of exciting new technologies (such as blockchain) while bypassing early stages of development. For example, startup M-Kopa used mobile money payments and home solar power kits to provide decentralized electricity directly to Kenyan households. By doing so, M-Kopa effectively leapfrogged the problem of building an electrical grid — a complex, expensive undertaking for a developing economy.For emerging markets, 3-D printing is a solution.In much the same way, 3-D printers can help emerging markets meet entrenched challenges. In China, an emerging market reveling in its newfound prosperity, 3-D printing has been adopted by the housing sector. Domestically, the demand for residential construction is strong–and shows no sign of abating.McKinsey estimates that by 2025, the nation’s low-income urban households could rise by 56 million, with Shanghai and Beijing accounting for 2.3 million and 2.5 million households respectively. Needless to say, all of these people will need cheap, comfortable units that are efficiently and sustainably built.Three dimensional printing is the unlikely answer. In April 2014, a team of construction workers assembled ten buildings (each five stories tall) in the southern city of Suzhou, all from 3-D printed parts, and all in a single day’s work. Though these structures, built by Chinese firm Winsun, are meant as a prototype and not a final product, the demonstration was a stunning proof of concept. Costs and time are dramatically reduced; rather than designing and building each structure individually, workers can simply put together prefabricated parts from a kit, or mix-and-match for greater variety.Related: A San Francisco Startup 3-D Printed a Whole House in 24 HoursMoreover, advances in engineering have resulted in materials like fiber-reinforced Ductal, 10 times stronger than concrete with twice the shelf life — and tailor-made for 3-D printers. At some point in the future, it may even be possible to 3-D print sustainable houses: some design agencies are experimenting with upcycling, repurposing waste products into building material, thus lowering costs and reducing the need for landfills.Though this space is still maturing, competition is already intense. In addition to Winsun, California-based startups Contour Crafting and Apis Cor are also helping to push 3-D printed houses into the mainstream. While both companies continue to focus on domestic applications, the bulk of their growth may well come from emerging markets–a lesson any 3-D printing entrepreneur (or venture capitalist) would do well to note.3-D printing new limbs.But it’s not just housing. Many stable, growing emerging markets today were once areas of conflict. Though they’ve come a long way from those dark times, they still grapple with the legacy of war — the most visible, prominent reminder being amputees.Unfortunately, amputees in emerging markets find that prosthetics are hard to come by — and prosthetists are even rarer. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there is a shortage of 40,000 prosthetists in developing economies. Moreover, the cost of a prosthetic is prohibitively expensive: high-end limbs with electronic components (such as microprocessors) can cost up to $150,000, while cheaper pneumatic ones range from $40,000 to $60,000.Thanks to 3-D printing, however, change may finally be coming. Rather than making difficult journeys to a distant prosthetist clinic, 3-D printers can cheaply and efficiently print limbs. One Stanford pilot program pioneered a replacement knee — for $20. Known as the Jaipur Foot, the limb is a cutting-edge piece of technology that provides amputees an unparalleled level of stability and easy movement–a far cry from the more expensive, less usable prosthetics they may have grown accustomed to.Related: What 3-D Printing Means for the Independent InventorFurther, designs and fittings are much easier. Rather than requiring prolonged stays for multi-day fittings, prosthetists can simply use 3-D scanners and computer-assisted design software (CAD) to tinker with artificial limbs. Moreover, for growing children, designs can easily and quickly be scaled up or tweaked; many schematics are open source files and can be adapted with a click of a mouse.In emerging markets, there is real opportunity — and hope — for 3-D printing. Though the applications are likely far from what starry-eyed technologists dreamed of only a few short years ago, plenty of people are reaping its benefits. From families who can live in affordable, comfortable homes to survivors of war and famine who can finally work and function again, 3-D printing is a boon to developing economies as they make their way towards prosperity.  Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. December 23, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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