Category Archives: International

Cannabis across borders

The use of cannabis has always been a great concern across the globe. There has been a vast majority of countries against recreational use of marijuana. However, some have legalised it with restrictions to monitor its use; others have legalised it for medicinal purposes.

United Kingdom

  • Medical Purposes: Legal
  • Recreational: Illegal

Although cannabis can be viewed as an issue to some, others view it as an advantage of its medical purpose. According to the NHS, the use of cannabis (also known as marijuana) can be used for medical issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, fibromyalgia and many more. Only General Practitioners who are on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council are granted access to prescribe this product.

The legalisation of medical marijuana was set in 2018 by the UK government.

In the United Kingdom, cannabis is classified as a Class B drug, whereby if in possession of the substance the individual can be sentenced up to five years in prison. If caught dealing, the individual can receive a sentence up to 15 years or an initial fine. It can be viewed that the majority of possession of drugs found on an individual is from ‘stop and searches’ by the police. The police have the right to stop any individual under reasonable suspicion that they might take part in illegal activities.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in the UK. The product should not hold any controlled compounds. There should be no trace of THC and CBN levels in any product wishing to be legalised by the UK. It is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. For more information visit

Cannabis is the most commonly seized Class B drug, with 94% of all Class B seizures involving this substance in 2018/19.

Seizures of drugs England and Wales Financial Year Ending 2019 second edition – Home Office

According to the NHS, 10% of regular users of cannabis become more dependant on it. The more dependant an individual is on any form of the drug, the more chances are they could end up homeless due to these circumstances, this could also affect one’s mental health. Initially, the risk of using is higher when you start at a young age.

Canada legalised weed in 2018 – should Britain do it? | Newsbeat Documentaries

At present their are many European countries looking to alter their laws on the use of marijuana.


Photographer: Paul Stafford for
  • Medical Purposes: Legal
  • Recreational: Decriminalised

Although being a popular hotspot for the use of cannabis, it is illegal. The use of recreational cannabis is tolerated in the Netherlands, only if bought in licensed shops; they can be found in most coffee shops. To purchase marijuana in the Netherlands, you must be 18 or over to do so. Additionally, an individual is only granted access up to five grams of the substance. The government have recognised that it is impossible to stop individuals from buying and using. Therefore with restrictions, the authorities can centre the attention on larger criminal activities such as someone who supplies and profits from marijuana. Ultimately, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the Netherlands..


  • Medical Purposes: Illegal
  • Recreational: Illegal

The laws in France are viewed as conservative when concerning cannabis. The French law distinguishes that if an individual supplies or is in the possession of cannabis they can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison with additional fines. France can be viewed as one of the stricter countries when it comes to marijuana. With the majority of their neighbour countries legalising medicinal marijuana, France however, is still against the use of both medical and recreational use.


Photo by Andre Furtado on

The first country to legalise cannabis completely was Uruguay, followed by Canada in 2018. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minster believed that legalising cannabis trade would help regulate its use and shift coinage out of the criminal domain.

United States

The use of cannabis is legal in 11 states. To purchase, an individual has to be over the age of 21. However, the use of marijuana can be used medically in 33 states.

California: Medicinal use in California became legal in 1996. However, the recreational use became legalised in January, 2018.

New York: In ‘The Big Apple’, the possession of marijuana was decriminalised for recreational purposes if the individual held up to two ounces as of 2019. At present, if in possession of the substance a fine could be given between $50-$200 according to The Cannigma. The use of medical marijuana was approved in 2014.

For more information concerning the legalisation of Cannabis across the states visit

Photo by Yash Lucid on

Although some countries are open to the use of marijuana. It can be seen that the substance can open new gateways for the governments across the globe to control and even minimise criminal activities if monitored.

Everything you need to know about Covid-19

As the UK declares a lockdown in an attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic, here is everything you need to know about the virus and how to stay safe in these unprecedented times.

What is a coronavirus? 

According to the World Health Organisation, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which have the ability to cause illness in both animals and humans. In humans it has been known to cause mild illnesses such as colds. However, coronaviruses have also been responsible for causing a number of dangerous respiratory conditions including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the most recently discovered Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

What makes COVID-19 different? 

The new strain of coronavirus is highly infectious and can be dangerous. Though it manifests itself in similar ways to MERS and SARS, the fact that this strain of the virus has never been seen before makes it a complicated one to treat. According to scientists in China, COVID-19 has developed into two separate strains, making developing a vaccine more complicated.

What are the symptoms?

Major symptoms of coronavirus disease include a fever, a dry cough and extreme fatigue. Other patients have reported feeling aches and pains, nasal congestion and a sore throat, however these symptoms are less common. Symptoms of coronavirus usually begin mild and develop gradually.

It is important to note, however, that it is entirely possible to become infected with this disease without showing symptoms or feeling unwell.

Image result for coronavirus symptoms


How can I prevent myself from catching or spreading it?

WHO now recommends that extensive measures are taken in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

These include:

  • Regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if hand washing facilities are not available.
  • Maintain at least 2-metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people. This is now known as social distancing.
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • Making sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. E.g. covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Staying at home unless absolutely necessary. The UK government have now ordered citizens to stay indoors unless they are labelled as key workers who need to work, leaving the house to exercise, or to shop for essentials for yourself or someone you are caring for.

Image result for how to prevent coronavirus

Should I worry about it?

The risk to the UK populating is now considered by Public Health England to be high. However, the illness still remains to be mild to those with full health. However, it does have the potential to cause serious illness in the elderly or those with underlying health conditions. If you do fall into a “high-risk” category, complete isolation for a period of twelve weeks is recommended.

Worrying for a prolonged periods of time can be detrimental to your mental health. Try to channel your worry into ensuring you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself and stop the spread of the virus as much as possible.

How did it start?

Though it is not yet confirmed how the virus broke out, the animal source of the virus has been linked to bats. Evidence also points to a “wet market” in Wuhan, China being the source of the outbreak. It is thought that the poor hygiene standards and the process of live animals being kept and butchered on site contributed to the risk of viruses transmitting to other animals. The busy nature of these markets also made it easier for the virus to be transmitted to a human.

#StayHome campaign



The amount of time the pandemic will continue for, and how much worse it will get is currently unknown. Officials recommend keeping an eye on the World Health Organisation and Public Health England, as well as reliable news sources for regular updates on how to protect yourself and those around you.

The most important message right now is follow the government rules and stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

Chloe Rose

Coronavirus: Five tips if you’re working from home

For many it might be just like any other week, but for some, working from home may be a challenge and a lot of people are likely to be doing it for the first time this week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

About 1.5 million people work from home and its becoming more popular all the time.

So, if you’ve been told to work remotely and you’re not self-isolating, what’s the best way to keep your spirits up and stay motivated?

1. Get dressed

For some people, the idea of staying in their pyjamas all day may seem to be the most enticing aspect of working from home. But the routine of washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind but will also psychologically prepare you to start work.

getting dressed.png

Whether its business attire or anything else, some people find that dressing formally is helpful and also helps when you need to dial into those Skype video calls.

Wearing respectable clothes helps increase motivation to leave the house just like changing out of work clothes when you clock off for the day helps your brain to understand the working day is over.

2. Establish boundaries

If you work for a company then you’re likely to have set hours of work and it’s important to stick to those hours when you’re working from home. Be prepared to start your day the same time as you would normally arrive at your office or workplace and finish your day at the same time.

At the end of the working day, make sure you switch off your computer and tidy away papers and other things around your desk. Space allowing, set aside a separate area in your home where you can set up – preferably with a properly adjusted desk and chair, similar to your workplace. You should also ensure you find a space where you’re not likely to be disturbed, especially if there are other people in the house.

The NHS advice is that your chair should be adjusted so that you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor.

3. Get out and about (if you’re not self-isolating)

Whether it be for a morning jog or a quick cycle around the park, it’ll help with your physical wellbeing as well as getting some fresh air. A different perspective will also help clear your mind and help you a fresh pair of eyes  with any tasks you’re struggling with.

if you can’t go outside, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing the atmosphere into your home with you by using apps like Calm to play background noises such as rain, ocean sounds or even a busy environment like cafe chatter or a busy office for those times your missing the workplace.

4, Pick up the phone

When you’re at work, you’re more likely to engage with colleagues, but when you’re at home, you could spend the whole day without talking to anyone which can be confining.

So, it’s important to make some time to pick up the phone and have a real conversation rather than relying on texting or emailing.

5. Take regular breaks

You should avoid being cemented to your screen all day. It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from you desk and walk around or even stretch for a while.

Research has found that taking short breaks throughout the day are more beneficial than taking longer, less frequent breaks. Many home workers recommend the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method which which breaks your day into 25 minute chunks which is followed by a 5 minute break.

World Press Freedom Day: 95 journalists murdered in 2019

95 journalists were killed last year according to the International Federation of Journalists.

The IFJ concluded in their report that the most dangerous countries to practice journalism are: Afghanistan, Mexico, US, Syria, Yemen and India. 


Five journalists were killed last year in the US due to a terrorist attack at the Capital Gazette in Maryland, Virginia, a local newspaper. The suspect was said to have tried to sue the newspaper multiple years earlier. 

Nine journalists in Kabul, Afghanistan had died after going to the site of a bombing to report on the scene, according to the BBC. Another journalist, BBC reporter Ahmad Shah, was killed in one of a series of attacks in Khost Province.

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Washington Post correspondent for Saudi Arabia, was murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last October. 

Last month, journalist Lyra Mckee, died on the streets of Londonderry reporting on a riot that had broken out. 

The IFJ told the BBC, “Increasing intolerance to reporting, populism as well as corruption and crime are now important factors.” 

2016 saw the highest amount of imprisoned journalists at 259, according to Press Advocacy Group. The number has slightly dropped to 251, which is the number of journalists who are currently in prison. 

The countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists include: Turkey (68), China (47), Egypt (25), and Saudi Arabia and Eritrea with (16) each. 

The most shocking has been the opposition against journalists in the US. Reporters Without Borders describes the situation in the US as “problematic”. 

According to the BBC, The US has now slipped down in the RSF’s rankings for press freedom as well as Brazil and India. 

However, Russia, Venezuela, and China have worse scores for press freedom.

What is St. Patrick’s Day?


Background- Who was Patrick? 

Maewyn Succat, also known as St. Patrick, was born in Britain around 385 AD.

Until he was sixteen-years-old, he considered himself to be an atheist, or in those days, the proper term would’ve been pagan.

It wasn’t until when a group of Irish raiders took hold of his village and kidnapped Maewyn to Ireland that he was exposed to Christianity. 

According to legend, Patrick had an epiphany in the middle of the night that told him to board a ship that then took him back to Britain where he joined a monastery.

He ended up staying there for twelve years after realising his calling was to convert pagans to Christianity. 

After he was appointed as bishop, Patrick returned to Ireland. While he was in Ireland, Patrick established monasteries, churches and schools. Utilising the shamrock to teach people about the holy trinity, hence the three leaf clover.

He even returned to buy his freedom from his former master but the man decided to burn himself in his house with all his possessions instead of coming face-to-face with his former slave. 

Patrick stayed in Ireland for thirty years until he retired. He then remained in Ireland and died on March 17th AD 461, the date we now celebrate as St. Patricks Day. 

Patrick was never canonised by a Pope but his name appears on the list of Saints. 

st paddys

St. Patricks Day

The day of feast was originally included on the Catholic church’s liturgical calendar in the early 1600s.

From then on it has been considered a holy day for Catholics who are required to attend mass on the 17th of March.

St. Patrick’s Day didn’t become an official holiday until 1903 when the Bank Holiday Act of 1903 was introduced in Ireland, which initially, required all pubs to be closed.

Since the day is during the lenten prohibition, the ban from eating meat was lifted. Mass was attended in the morning and feasts carried on into the afternoon that included singing and dancing. 

The St. Patrick’s Day that we know of today is an Irish-American construct with the first St. Patrick’s Day parade taking place in 1762.

Irish soldiers serving with the English military marched through Manhattan to a local tavern.

The first official parade took place in 1848 and became the largest in the United States. 


Why do we wear green? 

The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day began in the 7th century.

The original colour associated with St. Patrick’s Day was blue but green effectively replaced it.

This is most likely because of Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle. The green stripe in the Irish glad also played a role, as well as the fact that most people associate Ireland with the colour green.


Where did green beer come from?

In 1914 an Irish-American Doctor called Thomas Hayes Curtin revealed his one-of-a-kind invention of ‘green beer’.

Similar inventions had been linked to green beer before but this is the inventor that most historians site.

However, his green beer wasn’t very safe to drink as it allegedly contained an iron powder solution that was used to whiten clothes. This was used to turn the beer into the iconic green colour.

Nowadays, bar keeps have taken to changing the colour of beer with a little help from food dye. 

Green beer is still a term used today to describe beer that’s too young.

Green beer still contains acetaldehyde, which can make the beer taste bad because it’s not yet fully fermented.

However, what you’ll be drinking on St. Patrick’s Day will most likely be normal beer with food colouring- but at your own risk. 

st partricks infographic

Who is the U.K Student Climate Network?


On March 15th, students from more than 112 countries took to the streets in one of the biggest climate protests since.


Who started the young activist climate change movement?


This demand for climate change jump-started last year, when Swedish, 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, influenced tens of thousands of young climate change activists in countries such as the United Kingdom. Australia, France, Uganda, Colombia and Thailand.


When is the next strike?


The next strike to this cause will be held, Friday, 12th  April, 2019.



Image by: School Strike


Does the U.K have its own young activists climate change society?


In the United Kingdom, these activists have created their own network called the ‘UK Student Climate Network’.

This network is made up of under 18s who go against the government in hopes that they can protect their future.

Currently, the network has a target of £50,000 to help in their fight for climate change.

This infographic gives us the mission and demands of the UK Student Climate Network for the government that will help tackle the climate crisis and help he younger generation towards a better future.


U.K. Student climate network (2)

Images from: School Strike

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