Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Germany legalises possession of small amounts of cannabis
Frankfurt, April 1: Marijuana campaigners in Germany lit celebratory joints on Monday as the country liberalised rules on cannabis to allow possession of small amounts.
The German Cannabis Association, which campaigned for the new law, staged a “smoke-in” at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate when the law took effect at midnight. Other public consumption events were scheduled throughout the country, including one in front of the Cologne cathedral and others in Hamburg, Regensburg and Dortmund.
The new law legalizes possession by adults of up to 25 grams (nearly 1 ounce) of marijuana for recreational purposes and allows individuals to grow up to three plants on their own. That part of the legislation took effect Monday.
German residents age 18 and older will be allowed to join nonprofit “cannabis clubs” with a maximum 500 members each starting July 1. Individuals will be allowed to buy up to 25 grams per day, or a maximum 50 grams per month – a figure limited to 30 grams for people under age 21. Membership in multiple clubs won’t be allowed.
The clubs’ costs will be covered by membership fees, which are to be staggered according to how much marijuana members use.
The legislation also calls for an amnesty under which sentences for cannabis-related offenses that will no longer be illegal are to be reviewed and in many cases reversed. Regional authorities worry that the judicial system will be overburdened by thousands of cases. (AP)

Japan’s royal family debuts on Instagram
Tokyo, April 1: Japan’s imperial family made an Instagram debut with a barrage of posts on Monday, hoping to shake off their reclusive image and reach out to younger people on social media.
The Imperial Household Agency, a government agency in charge of the family’s affairs, posted 60 photos and five videos showing Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s public appearances over the past three months.
The agency said they wanted the public to have a better understanding of the family’s official duties and that Instagram was chosen because of its popularity among youth.
By Monday evening, their verified account Kunaicho_jp had more than 270,000 followers.
The first photo published was of the imperial couple sitting on a sofa with their 22-year-old daughter Princess Aiko, all smiling as they marked New Year’s Day. Other postings also included the Imperial couple’s meetings with foreign dignitaries, including Brunei Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah his wife.
A video of Naruhito addressing well-swishers during his February 23 birthday celebrations garnered over 21,000 views in less than a day. (AP)

 

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