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Medical marijuana gains more steam internationally after gaining legalization in Colombia

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Colombia on Tuesday became the latest in a growing number of nations around the world to legalize the use of cannabis for medical reasons.

However the rules vary widely across continents, with some countries permitting cannabis cultivation and others only allowing pharmaceuticals extracted from the drug.

A state of play:

– LATIN AMERICA –

– COLOMBIA: President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree Tuesday making it fully legal to grow, process, import and export cannabis and its derivatives for medical and scientific use.

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– CHILE: Chile said in October it plans to allow the sale of marijuana-derived medication in pharmacies. The measure requires strict oversight, including authorisation by a specialist and inventory checks.

– MEXICO: An eight-year-old girl who endures 400 daily epileptic seizures became in September Mexico’s first authorised consumer of imported medical cannabis after the government granted her an exemption to its marijuana ban.

– URUGUAY: Uruguay in December 2013 became the first country in the world to fully legalise marijuana all the way from the cannabis field to the joint, setting up a regulated market for cultivation, sales and use.

– NORTH AMERICA –

– THE UNITED STATES: Federal law bans the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana. However, twenty-three US states allow medical marijuana use while four states — Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and Washington — plus the US capital city have legalised its recreational use.

– CANADA: Cannabis consumption for medical reasons has been legal since 2001. In June 2015, the Supreme Court expanded the definition of medical marijuana to allow authorised users to bake it into cookies and brew marijuana leaves for tea, in addition to smoking it.

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– EUROPE –

– CROATIA: In October Croatia became the 13th European Union country to allow the medical use of cannabis. Medicines containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s main psychoactive ingredient, can now be prescribed by doctors to ease health problems associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and AIDS.

– Austria, Britain, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain already authorised cannabis-derived products to help treat certain illnesses.


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Russian trolls start hyping COVID-19 misinformation — and Rudy Giuliani’s crazed rants about the Bidens

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Russian trolls recently have started hyping a mix of misinformation about the coronavirus and crazed conspiracy theories posted by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The Daily Beast reports that one of the trolls' main information operations revolves around blaming the United States Department of Defense for purportedly creating the coronavirus, even though all credible epidemiologists agree it originated in China.

"The story, posted to Russian-language blogs and Reddit by multiple fake personas, tries to pin the blame on the COVID-19 outbreak on the U.S. and Kazakhstan by casting the virus as the byproduct of a U.S. nonproliferation program in the country," the publication finds. "The trolls pointed to social media posts by a group of hackers calling themselves 'Anonymous Kazakhstan.'"

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COVID-19

New single-day record for NY virus deaths but hospitalizations fall

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America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deaths Thursday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the rate of hospitalizations continued to fall.

Cuomo said 799 people died in the last 24 hours, outdoing the previous high of 779 announced on Wednesday, but added that the curve was flattening because of social confinement measures.

"We had a 200-net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started," Cuomo told reporters, adding that intensive care admissions were also at the lowest yet.

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Meghan McCain nails Trump after he attempts to honor former prisoners of war

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This Thursday, President Trump fired off a tweet commemorating National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, writing, "we honor the more than 500,000 American warriors captured while protecting our way of life. We pay tribute to these Patriots for their unwavering and unrelenting spirit!"

The post was noticed by Meghan McCain, who is a talk show host and daughter of the late Arizona Senator John McCain, who Trump disparaged in past comments regarding his being taken prisoner during the Vietnam war.

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