Rutte warns against cannabis
During a visit, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday said people should not try cannabis, just one week after the nation legalized the drug. In the Netherlands the possession, consumption and sale of less than 5 grams of cannabis in special “coffee shops” has been allowed since 1976. However, for Rutte, it is better to keep a distance. Asked to comment on the recent legalization, he told the story of a relative whose marijuana over-consumption had serious mental health consequences. “The marijuana that you can buy today is so much stronger [than before], which is bad for the health, especially for the young,” he said. “The best policy on drugs for yourself is no first use. It sounds conservative, but I would urge you: Don’t try at all,” Rutte said in an address to high-school children, accompanied by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “If you do, at least make sure that you don’t move from this stuff to other drugs.” In becoming the first G20 country to legalize the growing, selling and use of cannabis, Ottawa hopes to ensure that “the person that is selling you marijuana at an official place doesn’t also have something else in their other pocket they are willing to sell you up on and further,” Trudeau said.
Fukushima returns criticized
A human rights expert is urging the Japanese government to stop children and women of reproductive age returning to areas near the wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, where radiation levels remain higher than what was considered safe before the 2011 nuclear disaster. Baskut Tuncak, an independent investigator on hazardous substances and wastes, on Thursday told a news conference that the Japanese government’s decision to raise by 20 times what it considered to be an acceptable level of radiation exposure was deeply troubling and could have a potentially grave impact on children’s health.
Midnight closures enforced
Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar on Thursday ordered bars, restaurants and hotels along the city’s Lido beachfront to close at midnight after complaints from Islamic leaders. “In response to several complaints from society, notably religious leaders, the administration orders restaurants and hotels along the Lido beach to close after midnight,” Omar said in a statement. “Any restaurant or hotel which is at odds with the Islamic religion and the norms of Somali decency will be permanently closed,” he said, adding that drugs in particular would not be tolerated. The popularity of Lido beach establishments is testament to improved security in recent years in this part of the city.