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COVID19 update: Why is South Africa Lifting Restrictions Amid Rising Cases?

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Coronavirus cases have been rising rapidly in South Africa. However, due to the deteriorating economic conditions, its president has lifted the restrictions on lockdown.

Current Situation

What started as a minor disease in the heart of Wuhan, China, Coronavirus has now taken over most of the world. The cases have been following an exponential growth, with thousands of new ones arising each day. Over the course of 8 months, the virus has managed to affect over 100 countries.

As of today, the novel coronavirus has affected 8,516,854 people and caused 453,586 deaths. Despite numerous efforts to control its transmission, the infection has spread like wild fire. Particularly in the United States, where more than 18000 new cases per day have been reported.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, scientists and researchers have been trying to find a possible cure and develop a vaccine. However, up till now, none of the two are available. Scientists believe it will take around a year for an effective vaccine to be developed. Hence, there is a possibility the vaccine would be available by the end of this year.

Also read: Coronavirus: U.K Approves Use of £5 Life-Saving Drug Dexamethasone

The epidemic has led to a global lockdown. Governments have imposed restrictions in numerous areas to prevent the further transmission of the disease. South Africa followed the same footsteps.

However, recently, Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, eased these restrictions, even though the cases are increasing rapidly. The decision was made to reduce the deterioration of the economic conditions in the country.

It is clear, the decision will not prove effective in the long run. As the coronavirus cases will increase, the economic crisis will only worsen.

Previous Measures

By the end of March, South Africa went into one of the strictest lockdowns across the globe. Alcohol and cigarette sales were banned, and movement was almost completely restricted. This slowed the spread of the disease in the initial period, allowing the medical experts to prepare for the future. This included getting hospitals and ventilators ready for the patients.

Source: Financial Times

Reasons for Lifting Lockdown

The extreme lockdown led to an economic crisis in the country. Therefore, pushing the government to has ease the restrictions. Casinos, hairdressing salons, hotels and sit-down restaurants will now be open for the public – among other corporations and businesses. The officials have not yet announced a date for the implementation though.

In the start of June, South Africa opened their mining and manufacturing businesses, allowing them to operate at their normal levels. The government also lifted the ban on alcohol sales for use at home from Monday to Thursday.

Source: US News

The country currently has 80,412 confirmed cases with 1,674 deaths. In the last week, the number of affected patients has increased by 37%. This is still with the lockdown. Extrapolating for the time period without such restrictions, the increase would be exponential.

Also read: Two New Coronavirus Cases Emerge: Did New Zealand lift lockdown too soon?

The easing of restrictions was to help small scale businesses to survive the major economic crisis. According to Vumani Mkhize, a business reporter for the BBC, South Africa’s economy was adversely affected due to the coronavirus crisis and the lifting of lockdown would help the struggling businesses.

Overall, the lockdown greatly slowed down the transmission of coronavirus infection. The number of reported cases of flu and pneumonia were also considerably lesser than previous years. Further, the ban on alcohol reduced the homicide and domestic abuse cases as well.

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Cannabis

Cannabis Found Effective in Treating Pain With Zero Side-Effects

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Recent Researches on Cannabis revealed its efficacy in Treating Pain with zero side-effects. A survey conducted as a part of this researched showed that patients experienced relief using cannabis for pain.

An Effective Substitute of Opioid

The survey also showed that Cannabis has greatly substituted Opioid. Opioid is a harmful drug which is used for managing pain. Previously, Opioid was the only drug effective in treating pain. However, it had a lot of side-effects. It causes drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, and constipation. It can also cause slowed breathing, which can lead to overdose deaths.

The daily use of cannabis in patients showed prolonged improvements in pain management and increased quality of life. In just a short interval of only three months, patients began to feel improvement in overall physical and mental health.

Effectiveness of CBD Oil in Pain Management

CBD (Cannabidiol) exists as a chemical compound which is obtained from the cannabis plant. Moreover, it decreases the pain with no development of any mind-altering or psychoactive effects. Additionally, CBD oil is produced by the extraction of CBD powder from the cannabis plant. Recommendations involve the use of olive or coconut oil, as a mixture, for better use.

Also Read: Good News For Sciatica Patients: Study Reveals Effective Results of CBD Oil

The latest studies on CBD oil have unveiled its neuroprotective, anti-seizure, and pain relieving qualities. Owing to its remarkable impacts on the human body, several celebrities are advocating for CBD.

Worldwide Legalization of Cannabis

It is important to remember that 33 states of the U.S. have legalized the use of medicinal Cannabis while 11 states have legalized the use of medical Cannabis.  With these recent legalization, the demand and supply of cannabis increased by multifold. Increased demand led to increased research on the subject.

Also Read: Asian Visitor Caught Smuggling 6kgs of Cannabis in Dubai

Cannabis has found many uses in our daily lives. It can treat something as painful as Sciatica Pain. The use of Cannabis can alleviate the frequency of seizures. It also reduces anxiety. it helps with the PTSD. Many people have found Cannabis useful in calming their nerves and dealing with insomnia.

COVID-19 & CANNABIS

In view of the recent pandemic, COVID-19, Cannabis has also found its utility in speeding up the recovery of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that has infected over 11 million people in the world. It is a cause of nearly half a million deaths worldwide. Medical marijuana has helped many people recover from the deadly disease.

In the view of the situation, many different countries have also relaxed their laws on the use of cannabis and cannabis related products. COVID-19 very badly affected economies all around the world. Tax revenues generated by the sales of Cannabis might help lift the deflating economies.

DANGERS of Cannabis

Cannabis consists of two main compounds; CBD (Cannabinol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). While CBD is responsible for relaxing the brain and nerves, THC is responsible for the ‘buzz’ or ‘high feeling’. THC acts on specific receptors in brain cells and slowly deteriorates our brain.

However, Cannabis is an extremely useful drug if used in measured quantities. It is highly effective in Treating Pain With Zero Side-Effects.

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Cannabis

Cannabis Activist Julian Stobbs Stabbed To Death

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The Cannabis activist Julian Stobbs, who struggled for several years in order to legalize personal marijuana use in South Africa, has been killed in a robbery at his Lanseria farm near Johannesburg. This incident took place in the early hours of Friday morning.

Source: Google Images

According to reports, Stobbs and his wife, Myrtle Clark better known as the Dagga couple fought a battle through courts in order to legalize cannabis. The police put them behind bars in 2010 for growing and smoking cannabis. As a result, after their release, they filed the case in the court.

 The Incident Of Robbery

The couple was asleep in their home located just outside Johannesburg when the burglars entered their home. They further entered into the couple’s bedroom and shot and stabbed him to death.

Myrtle didn’t get any physical injuries.  The burglars took everything in the house along with them. This includes two cellphones and two laptops.

According to a statement on the Dagga couple Facebook page, the South African cannabis community is grieving over the death of such a courageous warrior.

The family is appealing that the people must respect their privacy at the moment. Moreover, the public must allow Myrtle and the family some space during these tough times. Further, they are quite grateful for the love they have received from the public up till now.

Als0 Read: Cannabis May Be A Cure For Various Cancers

A Courageous Warrior

The killing of Stobbs might prove to be a huge calamity for the cannabis society in South Africa. A long-time South African cannabis activist and businessman Tony Budden told that Stobbs and Clarke were quite determined to aware people about the plant and its benefits. The citizens called him a courageous warrior. He was the one who never got scared to stand up for what he truly believed in.

Arrest In 2010

A few years back in August, 2010, police swooped the couples home. As a result, they were accused of possessing marijuana with the intention of selling it in the market. Clarke later told about the raid that all that the officers found was a middle aged couple in their pajamas and some quantity of cannabis.

The police arrested them after a five-hour trial in their kitchen. Stobbs further told that the police put a revolver on his cheek when he was sitting in the lounge. Clarke stated that: “The more we thought about it, the more we realized this was a gross invasion of our privacy. This is about sovereignty, it’s about cognitive liberty, it’s about the very freedom of our minds.”

Tour To Various Other Countries

The couple travelled the whole South Africa in order to give statements to rural and farming communities. They introduced their manifesto through which they decided to develop a way for freedom of cannabis in South Africa.

They further travelled to United Nations in New York to spread their message at an international level. Moreover, they even appeared at hearings on the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to further pass on their message.

Also Read: No More Imprisonment For Possessing Marijuana In Austin

Both of them also studied the current cannabis laws all around the world. They made an attempt to convince international experts to attest on their behalf about the health impacts of cannabis. Stobbs also admitted that he started smoking cannabis several years ago. According to him, the ones who use drugs have rights as well, they are not animals and must not be imprisoned.

Consequently, the police stopped arresting adults for growing cannabis for their own use.

 

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No More Imprisonment For Possessing Marijuana In Austin

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Austin Police Department recently made an announcement on Thursday. According to this, the department will no longer issue court orders or take anyone into custody for possessing marijuana.

Source: Google Images

According to a memo from Police Chief Brian Manley, the officers will no longer arrest people with enough identification for Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana offences. However, they will only arrest people for misdemeanor marijuana possession if it poses risk to a person’s safety.

Moreover, arrests will be made if it is part of a drug offence case or in an inquiry of a vicious offence. The officers shall seize the substance, note down a report and dismiss the person with no pending charges.

Austin City Council’s Resolution

At the beginning of this year in January the Austin City Council passed a resolution. The council successfully directed the Austin Police Department to stop arresting the individuals until and unless it poses the threat of personal safety.

Hence, the announcement made on Thursday clearly suggests that APD has made a few amendments in its policies. Particularly in order to act in accordance with the council’s resolution.

Also Read: Marijuana Decriminalization Policy Officially Commences In Virginia 

Manley’s memo explains that the council passed the policy of no longer arresting Austinites for low-level marijuana possession due to other statewide resolutions as well. He further points to a June 10 Texas House bill that permitted the production, manufacturing and trade of cannabis crops and products.

Manley told that after the city’s ruling, Texas Department of Public Safety made a demonstration. They would no longer receive and accept misdemeanor marijuana cases for lab analysis. He further explained that there was a gradual decrease in the citations from 2017 to 2019. The citations in 2017 and 2019 were 1,557 and 332 respectively. In addition to this, the number of arrests reduced from 319 in 2017 to 54 in 2019.

An Incident

In 2010, the officers arrested Austin Zamhariri for marijuana possession. Last year in April, he told that this arrest has made his life quite disturbed ever since. Due to the arrest on his record, he was not able to find jobs and accommodations. Neither was he able to obtain financial aid for college.

Zamhariri stated that: “It makes you feel like a criminal and there’s nothing different about me than any other Texan. There are thousands and thousands of Texans across the state who do not deserve to go to jail for a little amount of marijuana.”

Racial Discrimination

Member of the Austin City Council, Greg Casar responded in a statement, recommending the move towards racial justice in law enforcement.

According to him, recently in 2017, Black Austinites were seven times more prone to be arrested than White Austinites for possession of marijuana. This happened even when both races use cannabis at the same rate. Hence, thousands of the citizens of Austin were unnecessarily arrested for marijuana possession in the previous years.

Also Read: USA: Record Breaking Number Of 51,000 COVID-19 Cases Reported 

A report from ACLU in April clearly revealed that all in all, Black Americans are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than White Americans.

No doubt, in every single state and more than 95 percent of the counties contains over 30,000 people in it. Among them, at least 1 percent of the inhabitants are Black. The arrests are more common among Black people rather than among White people.

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