Tag

protection

Browsing

The Canadian Liberals are piping up about pot….finally

As it turns out, marijuana legalization in Canada is not up in smoke.

The Liberal government announced last week they will introduce legislation on April 20 to approve the legalization of marijuana — legislation they hope will be active for Canada Day 2018. This declaration follows a 106-page report released by theTask Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, which was assembled in June 2016. The task force was created to weed out any issues pertaining to legalization and has set guidelines on how to proceed to approving the product.

The report has an extensive set of recommendations for the Liberal government, including who will be able to sell it, buy it, and how much it will cost. The recommended age limit is 18, but can be set higher if the province chooses. The Canadian Medical Association had a problem with the age restriction and suggested it be raised because the teenage brain is still developing at 18, but ultimately the task force believed this would fail to adequately solve the issue of young adults smoking unregulated pot.

If this legislation is approved, the government would control and license producers, though people would be able to grow up to four plants in their own home. As described in the report, the plants would have a maximum mandatory height limit of 100 cm and would need ‘reasonable security measures to prevent theft and youth access, with oversight and approval by “local authorities”.

The restrictions of marijuana would be similar to the Tobacco Act in that it wouldn’t allow advertising or endorsements. The packaging would contain company name, strain name, price, amount of THC in the product and any warnings. There would also be a seed-to-sale tracking system implemented to avoid corruption of the market. The price of weed would have to be competitive with street prices and would be lower to invigorate people to buy legally-regulated marijuana.  The report also discussed the criminal penalties after legalization. Criminal punishment will remain for illicit production, trafficking or possession, and trafficking to youth. There is also an imposed limit of 30 grams on a person at any given time, and vape houses will require a permit.

People have been buzzing since the announcement and it has been met with varied opinions. The Liberals have been in hot water as of late with their millennial supporters who are feeling snubbed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to not carry through with his promise of electoral reform, and many sense this is the government’s way of winning back support. It will be interesting to see whether legalization of marijuana sways the vote in the favour of the Liberals with the election looming in the following year.

Being able to grow plants at home deserves attention as well. Several people would adhere to the rules of only having four plants, but it would be hard to monitor people who would potentially take advantage of growing at home, and may use it as an opportunity to sell recreationally. The information provided on licensing and which producers would receive approval is also vague. It is concerning to think of massive producers getting contracts and making pot that is full of additives and chemicals similar to tobacco. The task force did emphasize licensing smaller producers as well, but more transparent information should be provided to the public ahead of that decision.

The legalization of marijuana is a progressive and smart decision. It is positive to see the Liberals keep their promises and commit to following through with a controversial and important initiative. Taking weed off the streets will help people get high safely and will help normalize a fairly typical drug of choice. Canada is finally becoming a ‘chill’ nation, and July 1, 2018, will certainly be a very relaxed day for most Canadians celebrating the new legislation.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Best environmental books to read right now

One of the best ways to educate yourself about environmentalism is to read as often as possible. There are many talented writers who are experts in their field and able to provide detailed accounts about various environmental issues while still making them interesting to the reader. Knowledge is one of our greatest weapons, an integral tool to tackling, and understanding, the world’s problems.

Here are a few recommended books about issues in the environment that will leave you determined to save the planet:

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Silent Spring is a ground-breaking historical environmental read that was written by scientist Rachel Carson in 1962. The book followed several lawsuits in the United States about the effects of DDT, chlordane, dieldrin and other non-banned substances and their effects on humans and wildlife. It caused an uproar and 10 years later, led to DDT being outlawed in the country. The success of creating protectionist environmental law saved several species including bald eagles and hummingbirds. Carson is an acclaimed author as well due to the fact that though the content of the novel is heavy, it still reads as a well-written novel.

Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach

Animal Rights: the Abolitionist Approach by Gary L. Francione and Anna E. Charlton

This book discusses the six key principles of the animal rights abolitionist movement, which is centred around the idea that owning animals as property is inherently wrong and only serves to make the public feel better about using animals. It also emphasizes that veganism is the only way to be a real animal rights activist. Gary L. Francione and Anna E. Charlton are both celebrated animal rights lawyers and have led the way in bringing animal rights law education to the forefront in training lawyers the legal means to rights for animals. Francione was the first person to bring animal rights law to academia in the United States in 1989.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Walden is a poetic account written by Henry David Thoreau that describes his deep love of nature. It was written over a period of two years, two months, and two days in 1854 and is an account of Thoreau’s spiritual, and transcendent journey of living in nature and solitude. Thoreau’s descriptions of nature have been used time and time again in environmental movements because of their absolute beauty and clarity. He does an amazing job at helping people understand why humans need and rely on nature.

Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy

 Melanie Joy brings an important novel about the reasons why people have certain animals as companions and other animals are used as property in various ways. By understanding the societal implications of doing so, it helps people understand why these differences are inconsequential and driven by immoral factors.

Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet by Todd Wilkinson

 Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet by Todd Wilkinson

 Ted Turner is a talented environmental journalist who has written for almost every major environmental publication in North America. Wilkinson has written a biography of Turner, and leads the reader through the life of the media master. Turner ending up marrying Jane Fonda and also tried to repopulate over 2 million acres of property with bison and prairie dogs.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

There is a possibility that trees can communicate with each other, care for the saplings that are borne from their roots, and help their sick family members. Wohlleben brings that reality to life through the imaginative and eye-opening exploration of the life behind trees. This book will change the way you look at trees forever.

What are your favourite environmental novels? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below!

 

What’s the true cost of birth control in Ontario?

Women are forced to pay for birth control, feminine hygiene products and take responsibility for their fertility in a way that men are not. As a country that purports democracy and equality, steps need to be taken to ensure women aren’t forced to pay for much-needed products.

Birth control in Canada is expensive and cuts deep into the pockets of young women already trying to make ends meet. Without insurance, birth control has an added cost and women are expected to fork out the cash. One third of women in North America have reported struggling to pay for birth control at one point in their lives.By providing it for a cost in Canada, it questions whether protecting yourself is actually a right of women or is it instead a cash cow for greedy pharmaceutical companies who are actively taking advantage of women.

Birth control is universally covered in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and China, among other countries. Canada does not offer birth control for free or subsidized without insurance coverage, and this limits accessibility for women looking for different options.

 

After comparing prices at three different pharmacies in Toronto, the average prices for the five main types of birth control are astronomical. Mirena, a hormonal IUD offered by Bayer who is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Canada, has an average cost of $416. Though it lasts for five years, finding this type of money as a young woman is unrealistic and often prevents women from accessing this option.  The Nuva ring is the second most expensive option because it must be bought monthly. It is approximately $31 per month and this cost adds up quickly throughout the year to $328. Though oral birth control appears affordable month to month at $20, it adds up to $240 per year making it the third most costly option.

Women who are low-income have alternative options to seek cost-free birth control, but the availability is certainly limited. There are 14 sexual health clinics in Toronto, most with extremely limited drop-in hours. These clinics will help provide low-to-no cost birth control to women who need it, but these clinics have long waitlists and are drop-in only. Oftentimes, these clinics are so busy that there will be over 20 people waiting at the door prior to its opening.

Other options include Family Planning, which offers certain birth control options free and charges a discounted price for others. The IUD is discounted, but still has a price tag on it. If you are looking for an IUD as well, you must phone at the beginning of the month to schedule an appointment that will be at least three weeks later. The other option is the Bay Street Centre for Birth Control, but book quickly. The waitlist to book an appointment at the centre was three months long.

It is clear that Canada has is an issue when it comes to birth control. The act of charging women to protect themselves from getting pregnant is arguably discrimination.  Canada needs to join the other countries that have moved to universally cover the costs of birth control, and grant access for women of all incomes to different types of protection. Only then will I say that Canada is a country that truly supports the rights of women.