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Nine steps pave the ‘ nu­clear’ path

How, ex­actly, does the Se­nate go “nu­clear”? If Supreme Court nom­i­nee Neil Gor­such doesn’t get 60 votes this week — the show­down will prob­a­bly be Thurs­day — to over­come a Demo­cratic fil­i­buster of his nom­i­na­tion, Repub­li­can lead­ers will likely move quickly to change Se­nate rules to con­firm him with­out the need for a sin­gle Demo­cratic vote. The change is called the “nu- clear op­tion” be­cause it blows up long- stand­ing rules and bi­par­ti­san­ship in a cham­ber that has tra­di­tion­ally valued both. It also is a com­pli­cated process that only a par­lia­men­tar­ian could love, the sub­ject of two de­tailed 2013 re­ports by the non- par­ti­san Con­gres­sional Re­search Ser­vice, which helps mem­bers of Con­gress un­der­stand con­gres­sional pro­ce­dures. CRS based one of those re- ports, from Dec. 6, 2013, on ac­tion by for­mer ma­jor­ity leader Harry Reid, D- Nev., who used the nu­clear op­tion that year to change Se­nate rules so lower- court judges and Cab­i­net nom­i­nees could be con­firmed by a sim­ple ma­jor­ity, scut­tling a Repub­li­can fil­i­buster. That move by Reid ba­si­cally laid out a pro­ce­dural road map Repub­li­cans could now fol­low to get their way on Gor­such. The nu­clear path ap­pears to in­clude nine steps sen­a­tors would take be­fore fi­nally mov­ing to an up- or- down vote to con­firm Gor­such as the new Supreme Court jus­tice. Repub­li­cans could vary these steps a bit, but, based on what Reid did, here’s how the process could go: 1. RE­CON­SIDER Im­me­di­ately af­ter Gor­such fails to win the 60 votes needed to over­come a fil­i­buster, Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R- Ky., could make a mo­tion for the Se­nate to re­con­sider that failed vote ( called a clo­ture vote). His mo­tion can­not be de­bated and would need only a sim­ple ma­jor­ity of the votes cast to pass, which is key be­cause Repub­li­cans hold a slim ma­jor­ity of 52 seats. If McCon­nell’s mo­tion to re­con­sider passes, then ... 2. POINT OF OR­DER McCon­nell could raise a “point of or­der” ba­si­cally declar­ing that it will now take only a sim­ple ma­jor­ity of sen­a­tors ( rather than three- fifths of the body) to end a fil­i­buster and ad­vance Gor­such’s nom­i­na­tion to a fi­nal upor- down vote. 3. RUL­ING OF THE CHAIR The Repub­li­can sen­a­tor pre­sid­ing over the ses­sion that day ( and sit­ting in the big chair at the top of the dais) would rule against McCon­nell’s point of or­der be­cause it con­tra­dicts cur­rent Se­nate rules. This is all part of a care­fully chore­ographed pro­ce­dural dance, so McCon­nell would be ex­pect­ing this. 4. AP­PEAL THE RUL­ING McCon­nell would then ap­peal that “rul­ing of the chair” and ask sen­a­tors to vote to over­rule it. 5. VOTE TO OVER­RULE The Se­nate would vote on whether to over­rule the chair. Once again, Repub­li­cans would need only a sim­ple ma­jor­ity to win this vote. If the rul­ing is over­turned, then ... 6. DEMO­CRATIC POINT OF OR­DER Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles Schumer, D- N. Y., could raise a point of or­der es­sen­tially declar­ing that the old rules should still be fol­lowed and 60 votes should still be re­quired to end the fil­i­buster on Gor­such’s nom­i­na­tion. 7. RUL­ING OF THE CHAIR II The pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer ( who, re­mem­ber, would be a Repub­li­can) would surely rule against Schumer. 8. VOTE TO OVER­RULE II Schumer could then ap­peal that rul­ing and ask for a vote, which he would un­doubt­edly lose. If the rul­ing of the chair was up­held, it would con­firm the new rule re­quir­ing just a sim­ple ma­jor­ity to ad­vance Gor­such’s nom­i­na­tion. 9. RE- VOTE CLO­TURE ( TO END FIL­I­BUSTER) Fi­nally, the Se­nate would vote on the clo­ture mo­tion, which Repub­li­cans would be able to pass eas­ily, end­ing the Demo­cratic fil­i­buster. That would clear the way for an up- or- down vote on Gor­such. A clo­ture vote forces an end to the fil­i­buster but al­lows for an ad­di­tional 30 hours of de­bate be­fore the nom­i­na­tion can come to a fi­nal vote. That de­bate could send the vote to Fri­day or Satur­day, de­pend­ing on how many hours the sen­a­tors use up with all of their pro­ce­dural ma­neu­ver­ing. The Se­nate is sched­uled to be­gin a two- week re­cess on April 10, so McCon­nell prob­a­bly would sched­ule a week­end vote to con­firm Gor­such if nec­es­sary be­fore the cham­ber ad­journs.

El vo­lan­te es pie­za fun­da­men­tal en Pe­ña­rol

Pe­se al in­te­rés que tie­nen en el di­rec­to­rio de Azul Azul por el re­gre­so del fut­bo­lis­ta de 25 años al tér­mino de es­te se­mes­tre, des­de Pe­ña­rol ase­gu­ran que aún no re­ci­ben al­gu­na in­for­ma­ción for­mal so­bre el retorno de Guzmán. “No he­mos te­ni­do no­ti­cias acer­ca de esa op­ción, pe­ro el prés­ta­mo de no­so­tros es has­ta ju­nio y por eso to­da­vía no sa­be­mos”, apun­tó el pre­si­den­te del cua­dro “car­bo­ne­ro”, Juan Pe­dro Da­mia­ni, en con­ver­sa­ción con El Grá­fi­co Chi­le. Pa­ra el ti­mo­nel del “Man­ya”, Guzmán Pe­rei­ra es un ju­ga­dor fun­da­men­tal pa­ra el equi­po, aun­que aún no sa­ben cuál se­rá su si­tua­ción, pen­san­do en que re­cién se dio co­mien­zo al tor­neo uru­gua­yo. “Al prin­ci­pio, a él le cos­tó adap­tar­se a nues­tro equi­po, pe­ro hoy es un ju­ga­dor muy im­por­tan­te pa­ra no­so­tros. Eso sí, de esos te­mas no pue­do ha­blar mu­cho, por­que re­cién em­pe­zó es­to. De aquí a ju­nio se ve­rá”, aña­dió Da­mia­ni. El ac­tual me­dio­cam­pis­ta del cua­dro au­ri­ne­gro ha si­do ti­tu­lar y ha ju­ga­do los 90 mi­nu­tos en los cua­tro com­pro­mi­sos que lle­va su equi­po en el tor­neo lo­cal.

Ac­count­ing firm takes blame for Oscars flub

LOS AN­GE­LES: The ac­count­ing firm re­spon­si­ble for tal­ly­ing Academy Award win­ners says its team didn’t move quickly enough to cor­rect the in­cor­rect an­nounce­ment of the best pic­ture win­ner at Sun­day’s Oscars. PwC says it ac­cepts full re­spon­si­bil­ity for “the se­ries of mis­takes and breaches of pro­to­cols”. The firm says part­ner Brian Cul­li­nan mis­tak­enly handed an en­ve­lope with the best ac­tress win­ner to War­ren Beatty and Faye Du­n­away, who were pre­sent­ing the best pic­ture hon­our. PwC says Cul­li­nan and an­other part­ner re­spon­si­ble for the in­tegrity of the win­ners did not cor­rect the mis­take quickly enough. The state­ment apol­o­gises to the cast of La La Land, which was mis­tak­enly an­nounced as the win­ner be­fore the cor­rect win­ner, Moon­light, was an­nounced. Mo­ments be­fore he handed out the wrong en­ve­lope in one of the worst gaffes in Os­car his­tory, PwC ac­coun­tant Brian Cul­li­nan tweeted a be­hind-the-scenes photo of win­ner Emma Stone hold­ing her stat­uette. “Best Ac­tress Emma Stone back­stage!” the tweet read. It’s one po­ten­tial clue in the who­dunit af­ter Sun­day’s cer­e­mony gaffe. Cul­li­nan was one of two ac­coun­tants for PwC tasked with dol­ing out the en­velopes con­tain­ing win­ners’ names to the pre­sen­ters. But the en­ve­lope that Cul­li­nan gave to Du­n­away and Beatty was a duplicate of the pre­vi­ously an­nounced win for Stone, not for best pic­ture. PwC de­clined com­ment that Cul­li­nan’s so­cial-me­dia use may have dis­tracted him. – ANA-AP

Dhoni to play ODIs, T20Is un­der Kohli

MUM­BAI: M.S. Dhoni will play un­der Vi­rat Kohli’s cap­taincy in the In­dia ODI and T20 teams dur­ing the up­com­ing se­ries against Eng­land. Yu­vraj Singh’s form in do­mes­tic cricket earned him the se­lec­tors’ nod in both for­mats against the vis­i­tors. Hardik Pandya fig­ures in both squads after sat­is­fy­ing se­lec­tors about his fit­ness, fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive tests at the Na­tional Cricket Academy. Ashish Nehra is named in the T20 team and one warmup game against the tour­ing side. Ajinkya Ra­hane will lead In­dia A in the next match, where Rishabh Pant is the spe­cial­ist wick­et­keeper and Dhoni is a no­table ex­clu­sion. Na­tional se­lec­tion com­mit­tee chair­man M.S.K. Prasad said Kohli was in touch via Skype with the se­nior se­lec­tors, as­sem­bled at the Cricket Cen­tre, here, be­fore the teams were fi­nalised. The squads: In­dia ODI: Vi­rat Kohli (capt), K.L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, M.S. Dhoni, Man­ish Pandey, Ked­har Jadhav, Yurvraj Singh, Ajinkya Ra­hane, Hardik Pandya, R. Ash­win, Ravin­dra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bum­rah, Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar and Umesh Ya­dav. In­dia T20: Vi­rat Kohli (capt), K.L. Rahul, Man­deep Singh, M.S. Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant, Yu­vraj Singh, Yuzven­dra Cha­hal, Hardik Pandya, R. Ash­win, Ravin­dra Jadeja, Jasprit Bum­rah, Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar, Man­ish Pandey and Ashish Nehra. In­dia-A (first warm-up game): M.S. Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Man­deep Singh, Am­bati Rayudu, Yu­vraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Sam­son, Kuldeep Ya­dav, Yuzven­dra Cha­hal, Ashish Nehra, Mo­hit Sharma and Sid­darth Kaul. In­dia-A (sec­ond warm-up game): Ajinkya Ra­hane (capt), Rishabh Pant, Suresh Raina, Deepak Hooda, Ishank Jaggi, Shel­don Jack­son, Vi­jay Shankar, Shabaz Nadeem, Parvez Ra­sool, Vi­nay Ku­mar, Pradeep Sang­wan and Ashoke Dinda.

No weath­er­ing Green Bay as AFC South lead melts

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Sto­ried Lam­beau Field was a post-card per­fect win­ter won­der­land Sun­day when the Tex­ans needed a good bad-weather per­for­mance to up­set the Green Bay Pack­ers. The Tex­ans and Pack­ers played in snow, wind and cold. Game-time tem­per­a­ture was 32 with a wind chill of 25. From the open­ing kick­off, the Tex­ans were just as des­per­ate as the Pack­ers to emerge with a vic­tory. Af­ter los­ing 21-13 be­fore a crowd of 77,867, the Tex­ans felt ter­ri­ble about be­ing 6-6, and the Pack­ers were cel­e­brat­ing the same record. “Ob­vi­ously, we’re in a tough stretch right now,” coach Bill O’Brien said about their three-game los­ing streak. “These last four games are play­off games, and that’s how we have to view them.” Green Bay won its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive game af­ter end­ing a four-game los­ing streak. The Pack­ers love to host games in the snow. “As a quar­ter­back, you love a per­fect en­vi­ron­ment, but as a foot­ball fan and historian, you love games like this,” Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers said af­ter throw­ing two touch­down passes. “This is Lam­beau Field in the win­ter that we love. It’s a lot eas­ier to throw the ball when it’s snow­ing than when it’s rain­ing, so that helped.” The weather caused the Tex­ans to change their cleats and gloves, but they couldn’t change the out­come. Not only did the Tex­ans lose their third con­sec­u­tive one-score game, they also lost their mo­nop­oly on first place in the AFC South. The los­ing streak has forced the Tex­ans to share the di­vi­sion lead with Ten­nessee. If In­di­anapo­lis de­feats the Jets on Mon­day night, there will be a three-way tie for first place. The Tex­ans have road games re­main­ing against the Colts and Ti­tans. “I feel ter­ri­ble be­cause I feel like those are three games we could have won,” of­fen­sive tackle Duane Brown said about the los­ing streak. “We have to have the level of im­por­tance that each of the last four games is a play­off game. We need that sense of ur­gency.” 2-touch­down limit The Tex­ans con­tin­ued their bad habit of blow­ing games in the fourth quar­ter. Un­like the last loss to San Diego, this one couldn’t be blamed on quar­ter­back Brock Osweiler. Osweiler matched Rodgers’ two touch­down passes. He didn’t throw an in­ter­cep­tion or lose a fum­ble. As usual, though, the Tex­ans’ of­fense failed to score more than two touch­downs. They have scored more than two of­fen­sive touch­downs one time — in the over­time vic­tory over In­di­anapo­lis on Oct. 16. “It’s very frus­trat­ing,” Osweiler said about not scor­ing more touch­downs. “We are three or four plays away from chang­ing mul­ti­ple games. Be­cause of that, I don’t think we can get dis­cour­aged.” While the of­fense was strug­gling to score a sec­ond touch­down, the Tex­ans played ter­rific de­fense for three quar­ters. The Pack­ers’ first touch­down was set up when Al­fred Blue was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at mid­field, giv­ing Green Bay ex­cel­lent field po­si­tion. Rodgers threw his first touch­down pass af­ter he was flushed from the pocket but found Ran­dall Cobb for the 9-yard score. It was the only touch­down the Tex­ans sur­ren­dered un­til the fourth quar­ter. With La­mar Miller play­ing with sore ribs and rush­ing for only 22 yards and DeAn­dre Hop­kins drop­ping two passes, the Tex­ans were still in po­si­tion to win in the fourth quar­ter. Osweiler’s 6-yard touch­down pass to tight end Ryan Grif­fin on fourth-and-1 made it 7-7 with 7:32 left in the third quar­ter. De­fense col­lapses in fourth Be­fore the third quar­ter ended, the Tex­ans blew a chance to take the lead. Osweiler took them to third-and-5 at the Green Bay 36. He threw what would have been a first-down pass, but Hop­kins dropped it, forc­ing a punt. Shane Lech­ler’s 34-yard punt left the Pack­ers at their 2-yard line. Un­til that point, the Tex­ans’ de­fense had been out­stand­ing play­ing with­out end Jade­veon Clowney and out­side line­backer John Si­mon, not to men­tion end J.J. Watt and cor­ner­back Kevin John­son. Once again, the de­fense col­lapsed in the fourth quar­ter. Rodgers threw for only 111 yards in the first three quar­ters. When cor­ner­back Johnathan Joseph left with a rib in­jury, Rodgers quickly took ad­van­tage. He went af­ter cor­ner­back Charles James, who slipped on a 32-yard touch­down pass to Jordy Nel­son, end­ing a 12-play, 98-yard drive that gave the Pack­ers a 14-7 lead. The next time the Pack­ers got the ball, they took over at their 11 and cov­ered 89 yards in eight plays. Full­back Aaron Rip­kowski made it 21-7. Osweiler’s 44-yard touch­down pass to Hop­kins and Nick No­vak’s missed ex­tra point left them be­hind by eight and need­ing to cover an on­side kick, which they couldn’t do. “We know the sit­u­a­tion we’re in,” Hop­kins said, “but we also know we need to han­dle our busi­ness to stay in first place.”


For any­one who is daunted by the idea of walk­ing into a head shop, Tha Bong Shop is a great op­tion. Fo­cused on build­ing re­la­tion­ships with cus­tomers and play­ing a pos­i­tive role in the com­mu­nity, the new store at 2921 Cam­bie Street, in the heart of Van­cou­ver has al­ready seen a warm wel­come from neigh­bour­ing busi­nesses, and from lo­cal res­i­dents. Staff are happy to make rec­om­men­da­tions based on price point and de­sired func­tion­al­ity, but more im­por­tantly, are al­ways will­ing to take time to teach th­ese clients how to use the equip­ment and an­swer any ques­tions they may have, es­pe­cially first time med­i­cal users. Tha Bong Shop opened its first store in 2012 in East Van­cou­ver, near Bound­ary Road. Joel Flem­ing, owner and op­er­a­tor of Tha Bong Shop says, “With the new lo­ca­tion in Cam­bie Vil­lage, we hope to reach more to­ward the down­town core and our cus­tomers won’t have to drive so far.” A per­fect stop for any glass en­thu­si­ast, Tha Bong Shop’s stock extends past the typ­i­cal smok­ing ac­ces­sories. They also carry items like pen­dants and mar­bles. Most of the pieces from lo­cal artists start at $15 and can go for up to $5,000 depend­ing on the com­plex­ity and rar­ity of the piece. Tha Bong Shop is com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing a unique glass col­lec­tion and sup­port­ing lo­cal artists. Chris Kauhane of Kahuna Glass is a Van­cou­ver based artist whose work is sold across North Amer­ica, but he en­joys keep­ing it lo­cal. “It’s awe­some to be able to drop off pieces in the shop. You get to high five the em­ploy­ees and check out their col­lec­tion,” Chris says; “Tha Bong Shop sells one of a kind art pieces, not just fac­tory made prod­ucts.” Chris got started blow­ing glass in 2008 af­ter be­ing in­spired by an artist on Van­cou­ver Is­land. While living in Hawaii, he learned how to make sharks, whales, tur­tles, and other sea crea­tures which now make up his sig­na­ture style. Other parts of the col­lec­tion come from artists across Canada and the US, th­ese of­ten be­ing well known artists whose pieces are in de­mand. One of Joel’s fa­vorite artists is Gnosy Glass of Cal­i­for­nia, who spe­cial­izes in a piece called a ‘mini milker’. His pieces are highly pat­terned and very in­tri­cate. Many of the pen­dants and other glass­work ex­hibit a tech­nique called mur­rine (also called mille­fleur, or mil­lie for short) in which rods of coloured glass are melted to­gether in a long tube so that a pat­tern, such as a flower or a face, is seen when the glass is cut in a cross sec­tion. Th­ese tubes are then heated and stretched so the im­age be­comes smaller, which leads to a high amount of de­tail on a small sur­face. The fi­nal pieces are made into pol­ished coins, small rods, or inset within larger glass­works. Once set­tled into the Cam­bie Vil­lage, Tha Bong Shop hopes to cre­ate more gallery space, and are look­ing to get ap­proval for a glass stu­dio in the shop. Joel ex­plained, “The hope would be that lo­cal artists would come and work in the shop, show­ing the tech­niques they use. Cus­tomers could buy a piece that they saw be­ing made.” “What’s im­por­tant is that we give back to the com­mu­nity.” Joel says. The shop pri­or­i­tizes buy­ing pieces from lo­cal glass artists and or­ga­niz­ing the store such that the lo­cal art is show­cased. They ac­cept non-per­ish­able items for the food bank in re­turn for a dis­count off your pur­chase. “The dis­count is based on what you bring.” The hope would be that lo­cal artists would come and work in the shop, show­ing the tech­niques they use. Joel Flem­ming

Bif Naked mem­oir can­did, hon­est

it all. She found her way into the punk com­mu­nity, where Bif Naked as we know her started to take shape. Lay­ing the ground work with punk bands Go­rilla Go­rilla and Chrome Dog, Tor­bert started to build a rec­og­niz­able im­age and rep­u­ta­tion as a tal­ented mu­si­cian and per­former. At the age of 23 she minted her own record la­bel, Her Royal Majesty’s Records, and be­gan turn­ing out hits like Space­man (1998), Mo­ment of Weak­ness (1999), I Love My­self To­day (2001), and Tango Shoes (2002). Her 2009 al­bum, The Prom­ise, was writ­ten and recorded while Tor­bert was in the throes of treat­ment for breast can­cer, and as a sur­vivor she has be­come a spokesper­son to bring at­ten­tion to the cause, and strength to those who share her strug­gle with the dis­ease. Tor­bert is also well known for her ad­vo­cacy for an­i­mals and her work with anti-poverty agen­cies. Like the tat­toos she is so well known for, Tor­bert’s mem­oir tells her life story. It is an op­por­tu­nity for the out­sider to share in an in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tion about her life and ex­pe­ri­ences. Can­did and hon­est, Tor­bert gives read- ers a back­stage pass into her life. She shares her tri­als and tribu­la­tions, tri­umphs and suc­cesses, and spreads her hum­ble grat­i­tude in all the sim­ple joys life has to of­fer, of­ten in the face of ad­ver­sity. All fans of Bif Naked, any­one who fol­lows the punk and rock scene of the 1990s, and folks who en­joy a good au­to­bi­og­ra­phy will ap­pre­ci­ate this book. I, Bi­fi­cus is avail­able in the adult biog­ra­phy col­lec­tion at the Prince Ge­orge Pub­lic Li­brary.


Pot ad­vo­cates re­main de­fi­ant after last week’s po­lice raids of weed shops with one Toronto dis­pen­sary even vow­ing to sell mar­i­juana for recre­ational pur­poses. Cannabis Cul­ture, 801 Queen St. W., flung open its doors on Fri­day — one day after po­lice tar­geted 43 med­i­cal mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries in Toronto. “We do not want to force peo­ple to be sick or to fake ill­ness or to pay a doc­tor for per­mis­sion to ac­cess cannabis,” said Jodie Emery, a spokesman for the Cannabis Cul­ture brand. The store on Sun­day was ca­ter­ing to the one or two cus­tomers who headed through the door ev­ery few min­utes. Cannabis Cul­ture is “pro­vid­ing cannabis to any­one who can prove that they’re over the age of 19, as we don’t want to dis­crim­i­nate against the healthy or able,” Emery said. “We be­lieve ev­ery­one does have the right to ac­cess cannabis,” she said. “And be­cause cannabis will be le­gal recre­ation­ally in the fu­ture, our model should demon­strate what le­gal­iza­tion should look like.” Emery, who’s mar­ried to “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, added “a num­ber” of those op­er­at­ing pot shops that were raided last week are con­sid­er­ing open­ing up again. “A num­ber of them are plan­ning to re­open and a num­ber of them are choos­ing to stay closed,” said Emery. “With so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple in­volved, they’re all go­ing to choose their own ap­proach.” In ad­di­tion to seiz­ing large quan­ti­ties of dried weed and cannabis-in­fused ed­i­bles, po­lice charged 90 peo­ple. Emery said “a lot” of peo­ple are ner­vous about the idea of re-open­ing. “Some land­lords have changed locks,” she added. “They’ve al­ready de­cided just to not let the dis­pen­saries con­tinue be­cause they’ve been threat­ened with as­set for­fei­ture which is also ex­tremely heavy­handed.” The Toronto Sun also vis­ited the Canna Clinic, which was do­ing a brisk busi­ness in Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket on Sun­day. Em­ploy­ees of the shop, which was not tar­geted last week, would not pro­vide com­ment. A hand­made sign de­clared the place had “No Ed­i­bles” on the premises. Out­side, a cus­tomer — who didn’t want to give his name — called last week’s po­lice ac­tion “re­ally messed up. “I don’t even know how this one’s still open but I’m sure if it’s up to them, they’re go­ing to close this one too,” he said. Only li­censed pro­duc­ers — au­tho­rized by Health Canada — can now legally sell pot to those with ver­i­fied pre­scrip­tions. The med­i­cal mar­i­juana is mailed to those with pre­scrip­tions. Toronto Po­lice did not re­spond to the Sun’s re­quest for com­ment.

High time to le­gal­ize mar­i­juana

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is push­ing ahead with plans to le­gal­ize mar­i­juana and not be­fore time. Health Min­is­ter Jane Philpott cer­tainly didn’t play down the con­tro­ver­sial an­nounce­ment. She chose a spe­cial ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York re­gard­ing drug use and drug-re­lated crime. The tim­ing was more than co­in­ci­den­tal. Min­is­ter Philpot chose April 20 to re­veal that Ot­tawa plans to in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion le­gal­iz­ing mar­i­juana in the spring of next year. Her ad­dress co­in­cided with 4/20 – the an­nual day of cel­e­bra­tion for cannabis cul­ture lovers, the so-called Na­tional Weed Day. De­spite Lib­eral party prom­ises, the speed to­wards full le­gal­iza­tion is still a pleas­ant sur­prise. Many peo­ple thought that per­haps the gov­ern­ment might first move to­wards de­crim­i­nal­iza­tion – that full le­gal­iza­tion was too rad­i­cal, too quick, too dan­ger­ous. But Ot­tawa de­cided to move for­ward as promised be­fore and dur­ing the fed­eral elec­tion last fall. The le­gal­iza­tion is­sue was re­ally a no-brainer for Justin Trudeau. And it was one of the defin­ing mo­ments for the youth­ful leader of the Lib­eral Party as he sought to stake out a le­git­i­mate claim to be­come prime min­is­ter. His pledge to le­gal­ize mar­i­juana was un­ortho­dox and po­lit­i­cally dan­ger­ous. It could have back­fired and de­railed the party’s elec­tion hopes. The Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment was re­lent­less in its at­tacks: le­gal­iz­ing mar­i­juana would lead Cana­di­ans to co­caine and heroin ad­dic­tion. But it badly mis­cal­cu­lated the views and sen­si­bil­i­ties of Cana­di­ans. A ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans ad­mit they have tried mar­i­juana. What univer­sity or col­lege stu­dent hasn’t? There are al­ready wide­spread med­i­cal ex­emp­tions to use mar­i­juana for pain con­trol and re­lief. Li­cences to grow le­gal mar­i­juana for med­i­cal use are noth­ing new. It seemed silly in this day and age for any­one to have a crim­i­nal record for smok­ing a joint, any­more than hav­ing a bot­tle of beer or a glass of wine. In Van­cou­ver, pub­lic use of mar­i­juana is widely ac­cepted and ig­nored by po­lice. Sev­eral U.S. states such as Colorado and Wash­ing­ton, have le­gal­ized mar­i­juana, gen­er­at­ing mil­lions in tax rev­enue. The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment is set­ting up a com­mit­tee to as­sist in draft­ing mar­i­juana rules and reg­u­la­tions. As Min­is­ter Philpot said, it’s es­sen­tial the leg­is­la­tion keeps mar­i­juana out of the hands of chil­dren and prof­its out of the hands of crim­i­nals. The gov­ern­ment is wise to take the po­si­tion that le­gal­iza­tion is the best way to pro­tect the coun­try’s youth while en­hanc­ing pub­lic safety. It’s im­por­tant that Ot­tawa gets the leg­is­la­tion right. It must se­verely pun­ish those who pro­vide pot to mi­nors or drive while un­der its in­flu­ence. As Min­is­ter Philpott was speak­ing in New York, a new An­gus Reid poll was be­ing re­leased in Canada. It showed that 68 per cent of Cana­di­ans feel pot should be made le­gal, a nine-point in­crease from a 2014 poll ask­ing the same ques­tion. The poll found that 64 per cent of Cana­di­ans feel the le­gal­iza­tion of weed will do more good than harm in the long run. Cana­di­ans are ready.


Меж­ду­на­род­ная ор­га­ни­за­ция граж­дан­ской авиа­ции (ИКАО) объ­яви­ло о за­пре­те на пе­ре­воз­ки ли­тий-ион­ных ак­ку­му­ля­то­ров в гру­зо­вых от­се­ках пас­са­жир­ских са­мо­ле­тов. Дан­ная ме­ра необ­хо­ди­ма из-за опас­но­сти воз­го­ра- ния ба­та­рей, что мо­жет при­ве­сти к по­жа­ру на бор­ту са­мо­ле­та. Ли­тий-ион­ные ак­ку­му­ля­то­ры се­го­дня яв­ля­ют­ся са­мым по­пу­ляр­ным в ми­ре ти­пом ак­ку­му­ля­то­ров. Они ис­поль­зу­ют­ся в мо­биль­ных те­ле­фо­нах, ви­део­ка­ме­рах, фо­то­ап­па­ра­тах, но­ут­бу­ках и дру­гой бы­то­вой элек­тро­ни­ке. Из-за пре­вы­ше­ния на­пря­же­ния при за­ря­де ак­ку­му­ля­тор мо­жет за­го­реть­ся, но про­из­во­ди­те­ли обя­за­ны встра­и­вать кон­трол­лер за­ря­да, что­бы предот­вра­тить по­доб­ные слу­чаи. Ре­ше­ния ИКАО — агент­ства ООН, уста­нав­ли­ва­ю­ще­го меж­ду­на­род­ные нор­мы граж­дан­ской авиа­ции и ко­ор­ди­ни­ру­ю­ще­го ее раз­ви­тие с це­лью по­вы­ше­ния без­опас­но­сти и эф­фек­тив­но­сти, — не яв­ля­ют­ся обя­за­тель­ны­ми к ис­пол­не­нию, од­на­ко боль­шин­ство стран ми­ра обыч­но сле­ду­ет его ре­ко­мен­да­ци­ям. ИКАО уже внес­ло яс­ность в свое ре­ше­ние. За­прет не кос­нет­ся ак­ку­му­ля­то­ров, на­хо­дя­щих­ся в пор­та­тив­ных устрой­ствах, ко­то­рые раз­ре­ша­ет­ся про­но­сить в са­лон са­мо­ле­та. Так что пас­са­жи­ров но­во­вве­де­ние не за­тро­нет. Оно рас­про­стра­ня­ет­ся на ком­мер­че­ские пар­тии, ко­то­рые обыч­но пе­ре­во­зят­ся в ба­гаж­ных от­де­ле­ни­ях пас­са­жир­ских лай­не­ров, а не в спе­ци­аль­ных транс­порт­ных са­мо­ле­тах. На та­кой вид транс­пор­ти­ров­ки при­хо­дит­ся око­ло 30 про­цен­тов по­ста­вок ли­тий-ион­ных ак­ку­му­ля­то­ров в ми­ре. Все осталь­ное обыч­но до­став­ля­ет­ся мо­рем. Ис­сле­до­ва­ния, про­ве­ден­ные раз­лич­ны­ми ор­га­ни­за­ци­я­ми, уста­но­ви­ли, что ли­ти­е­вые ба­та­реи мо­гут са­мо­про­из­воль­но вос­пла­ме­нять­ся и го­реть с тем­пе­ра­ту­рой пла­ме­ни до 600 гра­ду­сов Цель­сия, что близ­ко к точ­ке плав­ле­ния алю­ми­ния, ис­поль­зу­е­мо­го в кон­струк­ции са­мо­ле­тов. На­гре­тые ба­та­реи вы­де­ля­ют га­зы, кон­цен­тра­ция ко­то­рых в огра­ни­чен­ном про­стран­стве мо­жет при­во­дить к взры­вам, спо­соб­ным вы­во­дить из строя бор­то­вые про­ти­во­по­жар­ные си­сте­мы, что чре­ва­то по­жа­ром. Эти дан­ные по­бу­ди­ли ком­па­нии Boeing и Airbus объ­явить в 2015 го­ду, что про­дол­же­ние ком­мер­че­ских пе­ре­во­зок ли­ти­е­вых ба­та­рей несет непри­ем­ле­мый риск. По су­ти, ИКАО про­сто при­слу­ша­лось к этим ре­ко­мен­да­ци­ям. Ор­га­ни­за­ция пред­ла­га­ет раз­ра­бо­тать без­опас­ные спо­со­бы упа­ков­ки и транс­пор­ти­ров­ки ак­ку­му­ля­то­ров дан­но­го ти­па, и то­гда за­прет сни­мут. Пред­ва­ри­тель­но он бу­дет дей­ство­вать до 2018 го­да. Ас­со­ци­а­ция про­из­во­ди­те­лей ак­ку­му­ля­тор­ных ба­та­рей вы­сту­пи­ла про­тив вве­де­ния за­пре­та. В ее за­яв­ле­нии го­во­рит­ся, что вво­ди­мые огра­ни­че­ния мо­гут при­ве­сти к зна­чи­тель­ным пе­ре­бо­ям в по­став­ках ак­ку­му­ля­то­ров, осо­бен­но для ме­ди­цин­ских при­бо­ров. Что ка­са­ет­ся мер без­опас­но­сти, то про­из­во­ди­те­ли ба­та­рей стро­го вы­пол­ня­ют все пред­пи­са­ния.

In the weeds

It sounds so easy: where some­thing is crim­i­nal­ized that shouldn’t be, just amend or re­peal the prob­lem­atic statute. Sim­ple, stroke-of-a-pen stuff, right? Not with the le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana, it isn’t. The Trudeau govern­ment sur­prised some – and com­forted oth­ers – last week by hand­ing the pot file to for­mer Toronto po­lice chief Bill Blair. It will now be up to the rookie On­tario MP to stick­han­dle a blithely phrased, ill-de­fined plat­form com­mit­ment through the leg­isla­tive process. There is much for him to ponder. Here’s a short and by no means ex­haus­tive list of the hur­dles: Canada’s com­mit­ments to in­ter­na­tional drug in­ter­dic­tion treaties (le­gal­iza­tion may run afoul of th­ese), the wishes of the provinces (who con­trol en­force­ment), pub­lic health con­sid­er­a­tions (like al­co­hol and to­bacco, pot use raises big health and safety is­sues) and the need for some kind of reg­u­la­tory and in­spec­tion frame­work. And if grow­ing and sell­ing mar­i­juana is to be­come a le­git­i­mate in­dus­try, what should it look like? In re­cent days, The Globe has re­ported po­lit­i­cally con­nected busi­ness in­ter­ests mar­shalling forces for a lob­by­ing cam­paign. No sur­prise: Court judg­ments on the le­gal­ity of home­grown med­i­cal mar­i­juana have al­ready com­pli­cated the lives of com­pa­nies chas­ing that mar­ket. Should recre­ational users be al­lowed the same priv­i­lege in the fash­ion of home­made wine and beer? One of the main ra­tio­nales be­hind le­gal­iza­tion is to crip­ple the black mar­ket. Hav­ing a govern­ment-run retail mo­nop­oly – as has been mused about by On­tario Premier Kath­leen Wynne and the union rep­re­sent­ing work­ers at the So­ciété des al­cools du Québec – has a logic to it, but it may also back­fire. It needs care­ful study. The ex­am­ple of to­bacco is in­struc­tive. When Cana­dian sin taxes have gone up, the black mar­ket has tended to flour­ish. Early stud­ies in U.S. ju­ris­dic­tions that have le­gal­ized weed and taxed its sale sug­gest the il­le­gal trade in soft recre­ational drugs re­mains ro­bust. On the plus side, tax rev­enues are ex­ceed­ing fore­casts. There are com­pelling rea­sons to le­gal­ize the pro­duc­tion and sale of cannabis. Pro­hi­bi­tion has been costly, in­ef­fec­tive and coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. Un­for­tu­nately, that’s not the same thing as say­ing le­gal­iza­tion of pot will be cheap, easy and au­to­mat­i­cally ben­e­fi­cial.

Steve who? The guy who shamed Miss Colom­bia

EAS­ILY the most-talked-about event yes­ter­day was not the win­ning of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philip­pines as Miss Uni­verse 2015 but the way her vic­tory was an­nounced, along with the trans­fer of the crown from Ari­adna Gu­tier­rez to her af­ter it rested on Miss Colom­bia’s head for two min­utes. Miss U con­tests have their own share of bloop­ers but this one would stand out in its 53-year history. That was how long it took for the epic er­ror at the Las Vegas beauty pageant to be cor­rected and yet it could haunt host Steve Har­vey the rest of his life. Who is Steve Har­vey? Brod­er­ick Stephen “Steve” Har­vey, 58, is a co­me­dian, TV host, ra­dio per­son­al­ity and au­thor. He hosts the Steve Har­vey Morn­ing Show and the pop­u­lar “Fam­ily Feud.” Since yes­ter­day, though, he has been known and will be re­mem­bered as that guy who botched the an­nounce­ment of Miss Uni­verse 2015 pageant. He’s prob­a­bly the most hated man in Colom­bia now and will be so for some time. He em­bar­rassed Ari­adna who was al­ready walk­ing and wav­ing on the stage when her bliss was in­ter­rupted with the cor­rec­tion of the er­ror and the re­moval and trans­fer of the $30,000 crown to Pia. Filipinos must also blame Steve for spoil­ing the most glo­ri­ous mo­ment in Miss Wurtzbach’s life. But the Colom­bians prob­a­bly hate him more and he should watch his back: Colom­bian thugs might raise their own version of a “ji­had” against him. Poor Har­vey. When he tweeted his apol­ogy af­ter the show, he also mis­spelled Miss Philip­pines, writ­ing “Miss Philip­pi­ans” in­stead. Just like his blooper on stage, the tweet was a “ter­ri­bly hon­est hu­man mis­take.” Oh yes, about Pia. She’s the third Filip­ina to win the Miss U crown. She said dur­ing the show that if she’d win, she’d be tak­ing the crown home af­ter 42 years. Glo­ria Diaz first won it in 1969 then Margie Mo­ran took the crown in 1973. U.S. pres­ence, Pia PIA was asked what she thought of U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence in the Philip­pines. Her an­swer, in sum, was “no prob­lem.” She pref­aced that with (1) U.S. and PH hav­ing good re­la­tions, (2) the U.S. hav­ing col­o­nized the coun­try, to this day “we have their cul­ture in our tra­di­tions,” and (3) we’re very “wel­com­ing with” the Amer­i­cans. Ap­par­ently, she didn’t know about the op­po­si­tion to U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence that led to the re­moval of the Amer­i­can bases in 1992 and a di­vided pub­lic o pin­ion about cur­rent moves to adopt an “en­hanced” ar­range­ment to al­low U.S. ships and troops to stay in the coun­try. Filip­ina pageant can­di­dates aren’t briefed about such po­lit­i­cal ques­tions as the one raised to Pia. They might start re­vis­ing prep cour­ses soon.

Van­cou­ver mar­i­juana protest turns vi­o­lent

VAN­COU­VER — The or­ga­nizer of an an­nual mar­i­juana protest in down­town Van­cou­ver is blam­ing the city for an out­break of vi­o­lence that led to sev­eral protesters be­ing ar­rested on Canada Day. Long­time pot ac­tivist Jodie Emery said this is the first time in the 20-year history of Cannabis Day that the event has ex­pe­ri­enced any con­fronta­tion with po­lice. “The city has been so tol­er­ant be­fore,” she said, speak­ing out­side the Van­cou­ver Art Gallery where the protest was be­ing held. “I don’t un­der­stand where this is com­ing from.” By­standers said they wit­nessed of­fi­cers de­scend on the gath­er­ing of hun­dreds of peo­ple around noon. A scuf­fle en­sued be­fore at least one man was led away in hand­cuffs. An­gry crowds chanted as they fol­lowed the of­fi­cers around the street cor­ner where they loaded a man into a po­lice van. Po­lice ini­tially said they had ar­rested two men but an email sent later in the day con­firmed that four peo­ple had been ar­rested and that in­ves­ti­ga­tors ex­pected to lay charges against each of them. Spokesman Const. Brian Mon­tague al­leged in a state­ment that one of the men was “overtly” selling mar­i­juana to mi­nors and that he failed to stop af­ter be­ing warned. “Po­lice specif­i­cally in­formed [or­ga­niz­ers] that the open selling or giv­ing away of illegal items to young peo­ple could re­sult in ar­rest,” the state­ment said. It added that po­lice were es­pe­cially con­cerned in the wake of April’s 4/20 mar­i­juana cel­e­bra­tions, which sent 64 peo­ple to hos­pi­tal with symp­toms in­clud­ing nau­sea and heart pal­pi­ta­tions. Of­fi­cers were im­me­di­ately con­fronted and swarmed while try­ing to carry out the ar­rest, Mon­tague said. Joshua Hels­don re­ported be­ing pep­per sprayed while record­ing the in­ci­dent on his cam­era. He de­scribed po­lice pulling and chok­ing protesters who had en­cir­cled the mar­i­juana ven­dor in or­der to pre­vent his ar­rest. “I was 15 feet away when they de­cided to Mace me,” said Hels­don, rub­bing his red-rimmed eyes. “It’s un­be­liev­able, un­be­liev­able.” Cannabis Day has taken place peace­fully in down­town Van­cou­ver over the past two decades. In late June, the City of Van­cou­ver sent Emery and her hus­band — pot ac­tivist Marc Emery — a cease­and-de­sist let­ter ask­ing that the event be aban­doned be­cause it hadn’t re­ceived have the nec­es­sary mu­nic­i­pal per­mits. Or­ga­niz­ers said they met with city of­fi­cials and agreed to go ahead with the event on a smaller scale.

Sci­en­tists don’t know

Colum­nist Gor­don Clark wrote that sci­en­tists tells us that mar­i­juana does not cure dis­eases. Sci­en­tists do not claim that, they ac­tu­ally do not know. There have been nowhere near enough stud­ies done to make any con­fi­dent claims about what it may or may not cure. Mar­i­juana as a medicine is ex­cep­tion­ally com­plex with dozens of dif­fer­ent com­pounds act­ing in con­cert to pro­duce a wide range of ef­fects. It is true that when they try and iso­late spe­cific sin­gle com­pounds from mar­i­juana the re­sults have been dis­ap­point­ing, but that is not how mar­i­juana works, so these at­tempts are re­ally not ap­pro­pri­ate. Two things are clear: Mar­i­juana is safe, with no deaths from over­dose, and it re­duces suf­fer­ing for many con­di­tions. Please stop mis­rep­re­sent­ing what the med­i­cal-mar­i­juana move­ment is about. There are those who be­lieve it can cure some con­di­tions, but they are on the fringe. For­man Howes, Van­cou­ver

Science beats witch­craft

Science — not folk­lore, pop cul­ture and pol­i­tics — should lead the way in re­form­ing mar­i­juana laws. The Supreme Court of Canada took a step for­ward last week when it ruled med­i­cal mar­i­juana can legally be con­sumed in a va­ri­ety of ways, not just in its dried form. The case was a vic­tory for Vic­to­ria’s Owen Smith, charged in 2009 for pos­sess­ing pot cook­ies and other cannabis-in­fused food. Be­fore that rul­ing, the law said mar­i­juana can be pre­scribed as a medicine, but only in its dried form, which, for most users, would mean smok­ing it. And yet, no med­i­cal text­book, no sci­en­tific study, no log­i­cal rea­son­ing would ever say it’s a good thing to in­hale smoke from burn­ing veg­e­ta­tion into your lungs. It’s a symp­tom of to­day’s reefer mad­ness — a hodge­podge of il­log­i­cal, in­con­sis­tent laws and vastly po­lar­ized views on the harms and ben­e­fits of mar­i­juana. Health Min­is­ter Rona Am­brose said she was “out­raged” by the mar­i­juana de­ci­sion, say­ing judges, not med­i­cal ex­perts, “have de­cided some­thing is medicine.” She should chan­nel her out­rage into work­ing to­ward more sen­si­ble laws that de­crim­i­nal­ize the use of mar­i­juana. Too many po­lice re­sources, too much court time and too much public money have gone into en­forc­ing mar­i­juana laws that make crim­i­nals out of peo­ple who are usu­ally do­ing no harm, at least not to any­one but them­selves. But Am­brose is right in not­ing that mar­i­juana has never faced a reg­u­la­tory ap­proval process through Health Canada. It’s true mar­i­juana has harm­ful ef­fects, but far more harm is caused by al­co­hol and to­bacco, sub­stances that are le­gal but reg­u­lated. No death has ever been re­ported from an over­dose of mar­i­juana; death by al­co­hol poi­son­ing is too com­mon. That doesn’t mean mar­i­juana is an in­nocu­ous sub­stance. Raphael Me­choulam, one of the world’s most renowned mar­i­juana re­searchers, cau­tions that pro­longed use of high-po­tency mar­i­juana can change the way teenagers’ brains grow. He told Na­tional Ge­o­graphic cannabis can pro­voke se­vere anx­i­ety at­tacks in some peo­ple, and that it might trig­ger the on­set of schizophre­nia in peo­ple ge­net­i­cally dis­posed to the dis­ease. But Me­choulam’s re­search has done much to ad­vance mar­i­juana as medicine, aid­ing in treat­ment of an ar­ray of dis­eases. And cer­tainly, many med­i­cal mar­i­juana users have found re­lief from pain and other symp­toms. Still, more re­search is needed. Let’s not be blind to ei­ther the haz­ards or ben­e­fits of mar­i­juana, but de­cide the is­sue through vig­or­ous sci­en­tific study, not on para­noid myths or wish­ful think­ing.

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