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Lebanon: Soaring inflation turns olive oil into a luxury – DW – 05/08/2023

Lebanese olive oil has become unaffordable for many in the crisis-ridden country. As inflation bites and the US dollar reigns supreme, poorer people are forced to part with their traditional local diet. Imad Waresbi is a 43-year-old resident of Tripoli in northern Lebanon who produces and trades olive oil for a living. He sells his oil for a wholesale price of $5 (€4.50) per liter, which is a fairly reasonable price for the product, he said. In the shops, however, a liter nowadays costs around

What To Know About Germany's Revised Plan To Legalize Cannabis

The German government has finally revealed its long-awaited revised plan to legalize cannabis. German officials held a press conference yesterday, attended by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, where they announced the country's plan to legalize cannabis. The revised plan for cannabis in Germany draws on policies and experiments from other European countries with a unique twist. It seems inspired by the Swiss model for a pilot project for the sale of cannabi

Why Germany Is Scaling Back Plans To Legalize Cannabis

Germany is set to scale back its initial plans to legalize cannabis amid legal hurdles at the European level. After an initial optimism signaled by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who announced a bill to legalize cannabis in the coming weeks following "very good feedback" from the European Commission, Germany has recently announced to revise its plans on how to regulate the legal industry. Lauterbach announced last week the will to introduce a revised version of the plan to legalize cannabis.

In Lebanon, journalists come under legal intimidation as press freedom declines

BEIRUT — The recent summoning by state authorities of the editors-in-chief of two independent Lebanese news media outlets has sparked an outcry from civil society, bringing the issue of press freedom to the forefront once again. Lebanese independent news media outlet Megaphone News' editor-in-chief, Jean Kassir, was summoned by Lebanon's State Security on March 30. Megaphone News claims that Ghassan Oueidat, prosecutor general in the Court of Cassation, is responsible for the summons of Kassir

Elite Athletes Tolerate Topical CBD Treatment With Minor Side Effects, Study Finds

A new study found that topical CBD significantly benefits elite athletes struggling with chronic lower extremity pain, opening up new possibilities for safe and effective pain management in sports. The use of CBD in sports is not new, as it has catalyzed the interests of many athletes at different levels in recent years. But a study claimed to be the first of its kind has tried to assess how topical CBD can help elite athletes manage pain. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a popular cannabinoid i

Amsterdam Launches ‘Stay Away’ Campaign Targeting Wild Party Behavior Of Young British Tourists

Amsterdam has launched a campaign to discourage young British tourists from visiting the Dutch capital to party wildly, which often leads to excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs and creates nuisance and misbehavior. As expected since late last year, Amsterdam launched a 'Stay Away' campaign this week aimed at addressing the nuisance caused by young tourists who come to the Dutch capital solely to engage in excessive partying with alcohol and drugs. The campaign aims to make potential tou

Mike Tyson’s Cannabis Brand Opens A Coffee Shop In Amsterdam

TYSON 2.0, Mike Tyson's cannabis brand, has launched a new coffee shop under its brand name in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The opening of the Amsterdam coffee shop marks the company's initial venture into the European market. Starting on Friday, March 24, customers have been able to visit the new coffee shop that offers a range of products under the TYSON 2.0 brand, including accessories and other innovative items. "It is a dream come true to open our first coffeeshop in Amsterdam," said Mike Tys

Zurich Set To Legalize Cannabis In Swiss Trial Program

The Swiss government has approved Zurich's plan to launch a trial program for the consumption and sale of cannabis, expected to start this summer. Switzerland is expanding its pilot scheme on cannabis legalization to study the effects of legalization on the population. The pilot program aims to provide a clearer picture of the impact of cannabis legalization in the country. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Switzerland's federal government's center for public health, approved on Tue

Medical Cannabis Operators File Complaint Against New York's Regulators

New York's medical cannabis operators filed a complaint against the state's regulators to seek opening licenses for all retail dispensary applicants. The Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis (CARSC), which includes New York's medical cannabis operators Acreage Holdings, PharmaCann, Green Thumb Industries, and Curaleaf, as well as two hopeful dispensary owners, as first reported by, sued New York's Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Cannabis Control Board (CCB)

Germany To Introduce Bill To Legalize Cannabis In The Coming Weeks

Germany's plan to legalize cannabis has received positive feedback from the European Union, according to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who announced that a bill for the legalization of cannabis would be introduced in the coming weeks. Germany is moving forward with its plan to legalize cannabis for recreational use, aiming to become the first European country to regulate the sale of cannabis products. But while supranational legal frameworks may pose obstacles to legalization, Lauterbach ha

Will London Major Sadiq Khan Decriminalize Cannabis In London?

Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced in May 2022 a commission to examine the effectiveness of the UK’s drug laws, focusing on those governing cannabis1. The Mayor’s office established the London drugs commission, one of Khan’s manifesto pledges in his re-election bid last year. Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced in May 2022 a commission to examine the effectiveness of the UK’s drug laws, focusing on those governing cannabis.The Mayor’s office established the London drugs commis

Canadian Cannabis Company Retracts Claim Of License To Sell Cocaine

A Canadian cannabis company initially stated that it had been granted permission to sell cocaine but has since withdrawn its statement. Adastra Labs, a cannabis company based in British Columbia, announced on February 22 that it had received a license to legally possess, produce, and sell coca leaf, cocaine, and psilocybin after Health Canada, the department responsible for national health policy, granted the company's approval for an amendment under its controlled substance dealer's license on

Lebanon's LGBTQ community faces digital exploitation, blackmail

BEIRUT — Lebanon's LGBTQ community is no longer safe online, as its members have become a target of both security officers and private individuals seeking to exploit them. In a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) last week, the human rights organization documented extensive cases of digital targeting of the LGBTQ community through interviews with 90 people in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Tunisia. Rasha Younes, the senior LGBTQ rights researcher at HRW, said that security forces ac

Netherlands To Kick Off Legal Cannabis Sale Pilot Program

The Netherlands plans to launch a pilot program to experiment with the legal sale of cannabis by the end of this year. Although the country is known to be the European heaven for cannabis users due to its tolerance policy towards the so-called “soft drugs,” the cultivation of cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands. But a pilot program expected to start by the end of this year could pave the way toward a full legal sale of cannabis. The Ministries of Public Health and Justice in the Nethe

Court ruling frees Italian hemp farmers and manufacturers from narcotics law

The Regional Administrative Court (TAR) of Lazio has anulled an Italian government decree on officinal plants which put the use of hemp flowers and leaves under narcotics law. This marks the first time the Italian hemp sector has appealed against a ministerial decree on hemp, which aimed to limit the use of the plant. According to the court’s ruling, the hemp plant cannot be divided by its parts and must be considered in its entirety.

Delta-8 And -9 THC-O Are Controlled Substances, DEA Says

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that both cannabinoids delta-8 and -9 THC-O, which have been growing in popularity in recent years, are to be considered illegal controlled substances. DEA's position on the legal status of delta-8 and -9 THC-O came following an inquiry by attorney Rod Kight. DEA sent a response on February 13, highlighting that Delta-8 and -9 THCO do not occur naturally in the cannabis plant and can only be obtained synthetically. Therefore, do not fall under the

California's Push For Amsterdam-Style Cannabis Cafes

A California lawmaker introduced a bill to allow marijuana shops to serve food and beverages and host live music events like cannabis coffee shops in Amsterdam. The proposed legislation is intended to help marijuana businesses struggling in a highly competitive market by enabling them to diversify, similar to the Amsterdam-style cannabis coffee shops that have become a famous destination for marijuana smokers visiting the Dutch capital. At these cafes, consumers can purchase food and nonalcohol

Amsterdam Bans Cannabis Smoking In Red Light District

Amsterdam's famous red-light district will become a smoke-free zone for cannabis enthusiasts. The city council announced that smoking cannabis in the Red Light District will be prohibited starting from mid-May. This means that cannabis consumption will only be allowed inside cannabis coffee shops and not in public outdoor areas. The council also mentioned that they might consider extending the ban to the outdoor seating areas of cannabis coffee shops if necessary. This new policy is part of the

Is freedom of expression in Lebanon under threat?

Freedom of expression and the press are under threat in Lebanon, something that some TV stations and journalists have learned the hard way in recent months. TV station faced three attacks between December and January after airing a comedy sketch that some viewers deemed offensive to the Shia community in the south of Lebanon. In the sketch, Joanna Karaki, a Lebanese comedian wearing a black hijab and mimicking a southern Lebanese accent, said that "the majority of children in the South have gr
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