Health Canada presides over birth of billion-dollar free market in marijuana
“In the absence of charges, Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson should be released immediately,” the Canadian prime minister’s office said in an email to AFP. The statement comes after Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird pressed his Egyptian counterpart last week to release the pair. Conditions at Tora prison in Cairo are “ridiculous,” Loubani and Greyson said in an open letter smuggled out of prison and released over the weekend. The pair described “sleeping like sardines on concrete with the cockroaches (and) sharing a single tap of earthy Nile water.” They said they only meant to transit overnight through Egypt to get to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, but after the Rafah border closed, they decided to check out protests at Cairo’s Ramses Square five blocks from their hotel. “The protest was just starting -??? peaceful chanting, the faint odor of tear gas, a helicopter lazily circling overhead ???- when suddenly calls of ‘doctor,'” they wrote in the letter. Tarek “snapped into doctor mode” to treat a young man with a bullet wound being carried by others, while Greyson started filming “the carnage” that would soon follow. “The wounded and dying never stopped coming. Between us, we saw over fifty Egyptians die: students, workers, professionals, professors, all shapes, all ages, unarmed.
Already 156 firms have applied for lucrative producer and distributor status since June, with the first two receiving licences just last week. The old system fostered only a cottage industry, with 4,200 growers licensed to produce for a maximum of two patients each. The Mounties have complained repeatedly these grow-ops were often a front for criminal organizations. The next six months are a transition period, as Health Canada phases out the old system by March 31, while encouraging medical marijuana users to register under the replacement regime and to start buying from the new factory-farms. There are currently 37,400 medical marijuana users recognized by the department, but officials project that number will swell more than 10-fold, to as many as 450,000 people, by 2024. The profit potential is enormous. A gram of dried marijuana bud on the street sells for about $10 and Health Canada projects the legal stuff will average about $7.60 next year, as producers set prices without interference from government. Chuck Rifici of Tweed Inc. has applied for a licence to produce medical weed in an abandoned Hershey chocolate factory in hard-scrabble Smiths Falls, Ont. Rifici, who is also a senior adviser to Trudeau, was cited in a Conservative cabinet minister’s news release Friday that said the Liberals plan to “push pot,” with no reference to Health Canada’s own encouragement of marijuana entrepreneurs. Rifici says he’s trying to help a struggling community by providing jobs while giving suffering patients a quality product. “There’s a real need,” he said in an interview.
Canada must build routing infrastructure to skirt US snooping, CIRA says
MBIX has invited, but is yet to peer with, several of the regions Internet service providers, including MTS Allstream Inc., Rogers Cable Communications Inc, Telus Advanced Communications, Shaw Communications Inc., and Bell Canada. Current members include VOI Networks Inc., Akamai International, and LES.NET. Hurricane Electric is another peer on the network, which is a wholesale seller of Internet backbone and colocation services. Enter right now: D-Link Extreme SMB Network Makeover Contest Creating a local IXP where carriers and communications providers directly connect with each other to exchange traffic means that Internet traffic no longer has to travel through major U.S.-based Internet pipelines just to reach the other side of town. That means faster response times for Internet users, and reduced bandwidth costs for service providers. But having a network of IXPs that will move Canadian traffic horizontally across the country, rather than ping-ponging back and forth from U.S. hubs, will also help Canadian Internet users avoid exposure to the kind of surveillance activities that have recently come to light south of the border, according to Byron Holland, president and CEO at CIRA. All the events coming out of the U.S. with the NSA [National Security Agency] and the PRISM program highlight that its a good idea to keep traffic in your won jurisdiction as much as you can, he says. citizens. The latest revelation reported today in The Guardian shows a different NSA program, codenamed Marina, stores online metadata of millions of Internet users for up to a year. Among details stored are browser experience, contact information, and content used to develop profile summaries. Worries over whether Canadian data could be caught up in such surveillance programs could further increase the aversion to U.S.