Medical Cannabis Should Be Legalised

The call must be heeded sooner or later.

Cannabis was once considered a dangerous drug. Not until research showed the natural leaves left one relaxed and to a point, sedated for thinking.

According to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform, studies show clear evidence that medical cannabis helps in alleviating certain human conditions including chronic pain and anxiety.

However, the Home Office has no statement on the issue. It also said there are no plans to legalise the drug.

Following the ban on Legal Highs — synthetically-manufactured drugs that re-create ‘safely’ the effects of black market drugs — the Home Office will unlikely give its thumbs-up to cannabis.

Cannabis supplies certain extracts to a drug called Sativex that aid people with multiple sclerosis.

Due to law in England and Wales ill-recognising cannabis as having any therapeutic value, medical professionals cannot prescribe cannabis even for medical conditions.

Co-chair Baroness Molly Meacher said: “Cannabis works as a medicine for a number of medical conditions.

“The evidence has been strong enough to persuade a growing number of countries and US states to legalise access to medical cannabis.

“Against this background, the UK scheduling of cannabis as a substance that has no medical value is irrational.”

The group commissioned a report by an expert in rehabilitation medicine, Prof Mike Barnes, which found good evidence that medical cannabis helps alleviate the symptoms of:

  • chronic pain (including neuropathic pain)
  • spasticity (often associated with Multiple Sclerosis)
  • nausea and vomiting, particularly in the context of chemotherapy
  • anxiety

And there was moderate evidence that it could help with:

  • sleep disorders
  • poor appetite
  • fibromyalgia
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parkinson’s symptoms
  • But there was limited or no evidence that cannabis helps:
  • dementia mood problems
  • epilepsy
  • bladder function
  • glaucoma
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Huntington’s disease
  • headache
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • gut disorders
  • curb cancer growth

The Increasing Activities of Legal and Professional Firms

Due to the Brexit, firms in the United Kingdom are looking for better prospects as many concentrate their services outside Britain.

Several companies are now positioning themselves carefully to avoid any legal difficulty possibly brought about by the Brexit. According to global recruitment consultants who published its latest employment monitor, middle and back office roles within the financial industry had increased.

“We have yet to see any dramatic change in hiring post-Brexit. The outcome of the UK referendum is however likely to require a recalibration of hiring forecasts and skill sets for certain employers depending on their sector, size and specialisation,” said Karen O’flaherty, Morgan McKinley’s Chief Operations Officer in Ireland.

“At the moment this might be more in an advisory capacity. The significant likelihood is that going into the latter part of this year and into next, we would imagine there would be a lift in employment in this area.”

Compliance, risk and tax experts are in high demand within the finance department along with newly-qualified accountants. Many SMEs are considering a careful approach to hiring.

The new “blooed” need to have new skill sets in coping up with big data, technology and other digital roles.

The pharma, medical devices and IT sectors were the top-performing sectors in relation to hiring activity this month.

China Openly Refuses Results of Tribunal

A UN Tribunal ruled over China’s claims to islands in the West China Sea as invalid. The Tribnal awarded the right to claim to several countries including the Phillipines and Vietnam. However, Beijing refuses to acknowledge the tribunal’s decision and said the decision was a “ploy to thwart China’s rise.”

The Communist party-led country said in a 13,900 word statement that the Philippines “distorted facts, misinterpreted laws and concocted a pack of lies” to undermine Chinese interests.

Beijing has also warned of military escalation that could evolve into aggression between its neighbouring Asian countries.

A front page commentary in the Communist party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, continued the offensive, dismissing the tribunal as “a lackey of some outside forces” that would be remembered “as a laughing stock in human history”.

“We do not claim an inch of land that does not belong to us, but we won’t give up any patch that is ours,” the newspaper said, adding: “China, of course, will not accept such downright political provocations.”

Bonnie Glaser, an Asia expert at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, said she expected an “aggressive” response from Beijing.

“It’s my view that this has been a real loss of face for Xi Jinping and that he will be under tremendous domestic pressure [to respond],” she said.

“I think [Xi] will see that the world is ganging up on China and he will believe that the United States has manipulated this ruling.

“I can’t see him compromising on this … I think in the final months of the Obama administration we could see some very assertive, destabilising actions by China.”

Turkey’s New Law Cracks Down on Opposition Parties

Despite Turkey’s huge role in the refugee crisis, the country has taken a step backwards. It had taken a step away from having EU membership by 2020 as it signed a new law that allows it to crack down on opposition parties indirectly.

According to analysts, the country is far from being a fully-functioning, western-style democracy.

As EU memberships suggest that EU members must adhere to a system of democratic governance. The country must also uphold proper respect to human rights, freedom of speech and protection of minorities.

Clearly, Turkey’s new law to curb violence caused by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its other opposition parties.

During the clashes between Turkey’s security forces and the party’s own mobs, 11 people had died. The parties had resorted to using car bombs, which the Turkish government considers to be acts of terrorism.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Republican People’s Party and 101 MPs from the HDP are under investigation over their verbal support of Kurdish rights. The MPs, with lifted immunities, could end up in jail after the investigation according to HDP leaders.

Aside from arresting several key opposition party figures, the new law also allowed the closure of several media outlets including the prosecution of several leading journalists and editors.

The new law and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s actions continues to place the EU refugee deal with Turkey teetering. Leading EU countries including France and Germany had voiced strong opposition to giving Turkey EU accession and may use their veto if necessary.

UK Citizen Attacks In Syria Needs Explanation From Cameron

The Scottish National Party and the Scottish Government is pressuring Britain’s Parliament to explain why it had gunned down a Scottish citizen affiliated with the Islamic State in Syria.

Ruhul Amin was a Scottish Jihadi who joined the Syrian militant group two years ago. An RAF drone killed him during a raid in an ISIS stronghold in Syria.

According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, the act was out of “self-defence” to avert an ISIS attack on UK soil.

Twenty-six year old Ruhul Amin died alongside Welsher Reyaad Khan in August during another RAF drone raid.

According to SNP Defence Spokesman Brendan O’Hara:

“The lack of any publication of clear legal advice on the use of drones is troubling and David Cameron needs to provide a full and frank disclosure of the legal framework in which they have been deployed.

“The Prime Minister has given clear assurances and guarantees that the decision to launch these deadly drone strikes has been entirely lawful and an act of self-defence. The SNP has called for a review of UK drone-strike policy and we must be able to review the evidence that justified any drone strikes.’’

The UK government must also explain its definition of “imminent threat” and it must justify why it prioritised lower-standard war laws rather than human rights laws. If the government cannot articulate these aspects properly, drone operators are liable for murder charges.

UNICEF Finds UK Efforts To Tackle Child Inequality Lacking

Report Card 13, a UNICEF-led report, investigates inequalities between children during a period spanning the global financial crisis and recession.

Its latest data shows the UK has failed to address child inequality in terms of healthy diets.

Britain is told to be more ambitious for its children. According to the report, the UK had the largest difference among all the countries studied in healthy diet levels.

The consumption of fruit and vegetables from low to high socio-economic status showed differing diets, with most lower-status children lacking in consumption of healthy food and following healthy diets.

Aside from its diet inequality, the UK has also failed in addressing low-incomes for families and protecting social transfers or opening opportunities for poorer families.

The UK was ranked 25th out of 37 for educational inequality. Slovenia, Poland and Romania are ahead the United Kingdom in overall reading, mathematics and science.

Israel and Turkey were behind in child inequality. Denmark led the list.

However, for income inequality, the UK performed better as it stands seventh.

According to UNICEF:

Without the significant contribution of social transfers, it is estimated that the income gap would be among the highest in Europe.

“The lack of progress means that ambitions to eradicate child poverty in the UK are unlikely to be realised in coming years.”

Sierra Leone Has To Choose Between The Lesser Of Two Evils

Imagine if you had a daughter. It can be painful, but I’ll put you in a situation where she was raped and almost killed by an assailant. To make matters worse, your daughter is bearing the criminal’s child. This is the most painful that can happen to a woman; an unwanted child and an unsupportive family. You and your family may choose or not choose to support her. It can be difficult, that I can say.

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma had almost saved millions of families in his country if he had just signed a bill that legalises abortion. MPs had unanimously passed the bill for his approval. Either threatened by excommunication or be thrown away by spiritual leaders from his place of power, President Koroma had to choose to save his life.

But in exchange, he had forbidden the right of millions of Sierra Leone women who may have been raped and are bearing a child with internal complications that could harm the parent.

In talks of rape and the law, one must always choose the lesser of two evils.

In many families, a child can complicate many things. Regardless as being a blessing, it can cause unnecessary pain if they’re a child who is unloved, born from a crime.

But think of all the women who had died trying to have illegal abortion in the country. Unsafe methods have killed or impaired many women.

Regardless of choice, Koroma will have killed a million more. But at least he had never killed those who existed if he had approved the bill.