Rates leap for industrial sites

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Councils sit on family silver, says watchdog

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Expert ad-vice

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Inner City

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Field narrows down in Home Office scheme

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International Property Achievement

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420 blaze it? Here’s what you need to know about Indonesia’s marijuana law

first_imgEvery now and then you might come across headlines about those who are arrested in Indonesia for smuggling marijuana, while some are nabbed for growing cannabis for medicinal use or producing marijuana-laced cake, and you might wonder: How illegal is cannabis in the country?Despite growing calls across the world for marijuana legalization – with some countries, including Thailand, already allowing the use of the drug for medical purposes and other countries decriminalizing recreational cannabis – Indonesia still adamantly prohibits the consumption of marijuana, even as an alternative for medical treatments.The 2019 Global Drug Survey (GDS) put cannabis as the world’s most commonly used drug after alcohol and tobacco. It is also the most used illicit drug in Indonesia, according to 2015 data from Indonesian’s National Narcotics Agency (BNN). The psychotropic drug, which has mind-altering compounds known to give a sensation called “getting high”, can be used in a variety of ways. It can be smoked, ingested after using it as an ingredient for food, vaporized and used as an extract.According to the BNN, marijuana users make up 63 percent of the country’s 3.6 million illegal drug users aged 15 to 65 years old.Illustration of a man rolling marijuana. (Shutterstock/File)How illegal is marijuana in Indonesia? Cannabis is strictly illegal in the country, meaning you cannot be found in possession of marijuana, or caught smoking weed or baking marijuana-laced brownies, unless you want to go to jail.According to the 2009 Narcotics Law – one of the strictest drug laws in the world – cannabis is a type-1 narcotic alongside 65 other drugs including opium, cocaine and methamphetamine.In general, there are three classifications of narcotics, and according to Article 7 of the law, they all can be used only for medical and research purposes, except for type-1 narcotics, which are also forbidden for medicinal use.The production of narcotics is also heavily regulated, with type-1 narcotics explicitly banned except for certain research purposes.Read also: Conservative Aceh proposes cannabis legalizationUnauthorized handling of marijuana is a criminal offense. According to Article 111 of the law, marijuana possession can result in a sentence of up to 12 years’ imprisonment and a Rp 8 billion (US$581,782) fine.Producing, exporting, importing and distributing marijuana can result in charges under Article 113 and a sentence of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a Rp 10 billion fine. Those involved in the marijuana trade risk a 20-year prison sentence and a Rp 10 billion fine, as stipulated in Article 114.As for type-1 narcotics in general, possession can result in charges under Article 115, which carries with it a 12-year prison sentence and Rp 8 billion fine.Providing others with drugs for consumption can carry up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a Rp 10 billion fine, according to Article 116. Using narcotics on one’s own results in four years in prison, according to Article 127.Illegal grows: Denpasar Police chief, Sr. Comr. Hadi Purnomo (left) shows marijuana trees seized from Bali fashion designer Nandi in a press conference on July 11, 2018. (JP/Ni Komang Erviani)How strong is law enforcement against marijuana use?Throughout 2019, the BNN and the National Police uncovered 33,371 illegal narcotics cases with a total of 42,649 suspects arrested for various charges. Cannabis made up the bulk of the collected evidence in the cases, with 112.2 tons of marijuana seized in crackdowns. Other drugs seized in the operations included 5.01 tons of methamphetamines, 1.3 million ecstasy pills and 1.65 million PCC pills.Marijuana cases brought to the country’s courts generally ranged from low-level cannabis possession cases and marijuana cultivation to the smuggling of weed, which in some cases reached up to more than 1 ton of marijuana.In 2015, for instance, the Denpasar District Court in Bali sentenced an Australian national and an Indonesian to one year in prison for smoking weed. They were caught with a used marijuana joint weighing 0.1 grams and 0.86 grams of marijuana in brown paper.Read also: Man jailed for cannabis for dying wifeIn one of the most famous cases that triggered debate over the medicinal use of cannabis, the Sanggau State Court in West Kalimantan sent Fidelis Arie to eight months in jail in 2017 and gave him a Rp 1 billion fine after he was found guilty of using cannabis oil to treat his ailing wife.Fidelis was arrested on Feb 19, 2017, and taken to court for growing 39 marijuana plants in his home and extracting cannabis oil for his wife’s treatment. His wife, however, died on March 25, roughly a month after his arrest.Late last month, a United States citizen was arrested in Jakarta for possession of 1 kilogram of marijuana-laced brownies and five bottles of vape liquid containing cannabis, with the police accusing him of smuggling the substance. The foreigner claimed he did not know that marijuana was illegal in Indonesia.This photo taken on December 10, 2019 shows coffee roasted with marijuana brewing in Banda Aceh, Aceh province. The contraband mixture of cannabis and coffee is a hit with locals and buyers in other parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago, who pay Rp 1 million (75 USD) for a kilo of it. (AFP/CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN)Are Indonesian people consuming marijuana?Historically, the cannabis plant was first brought by the Dutch from India in the 19th century – during the Dutch colonial era – as a pesticide for coffee plantations in Gayo, a mountainous area in what is known today as the Indonesian region of Aceh.Although cannabis is widely known for being smoked, Aceh has traditionally used marijuana seeds as spices for various local dishes as well as for herbal medicines, such as to treat diabetes.Despite the law, cannabis cultivation remains widespread in the conservative Muslim province, with farmers growing marijuana as commodities and households also often growing several cannabis plants in their backyard, though they are not often sold for commercial use.Read also: Cannabis coffee: Indonesia’s sharia stronghold sidesteps drug banIs medical marijuana really a thing?According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, medical marijuana is a term that “refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions”.The marijuana plant contains a chemical compound called cannabidiol (CBD), which is usually extracted into an oil and sold as pills, gels, creams and other forms of remedies to treat pain, seizures and other health problems.Both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes, including to treat nausea, pain, loss of appetite, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, muscle spasms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Fidelis, for instance, argued before the court that his late wife – who was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord disease called syringomyelia – saw her conditions improve after being treated with cannabis oil, as it allowed her to sleep well and gave her an appetite.A police officer shows marijuana during a press conference in Jakarta on Nov. 5, 2019. West Jakarta Police precinct destroyed drugs seized during raids over the past three month raids. (AFP/ADEK BERRY)Will cannabis use remain criminalized in Indonesia?In most parts of the world, marijuana use is illegal for both recreational and medical purposes, following the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961 that put marijuana on par with opium and cocaine as narcotic drugs even though the substances are wildly different.Some countries have started waves of decriminalization of cannabis, both for recreational and medical use, such as Canada, Georgia, South Africa and Uruguay, in addition to Washington, DC, and 11 states in the US, including California, Massachusetts, Illinois and Colorado.Calls pushing for the legalization of marijuana are on the rise in Indonesia, with some figures from Aceh, including a House of Representatives member from the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Rafli, saying that Indonesia should consider using cannabis from Aceh as an export commodity.However, it appears there is still a long way to go for cannabis decriminalization in Indonesia, as even the Indonesia Cannabis Movement (LGN), which has pushed for a revision of the 2009 law on narcotics since 2010, has seen little success to date. 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Five Britons contract coronavirus in French ski resort

first_imgFive British nationals including a child have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus at a French mountain village, and health officials said they were checking who else might have been exposed, including at local schools.In total, 11 people, including the five who tested positive, have been hospitalized in southeastern France and were being examined, the French health ministry said on Saturday, adding that none were in serious condition.The group of Britons included holidaymakers and a family currently residing in the Alpine village and ski resort, Les Contamines-Montjoie. They shared neighboring apartments in a chalet and temporarily hosted a British man believed to have contracted the virus at a business congress in Singapore before his short visit to France in late January, the ministry added.Two schools would be shut next week for checks, regional health official Jean-Yves Grall said, after it emerged that the nine-year-old who tested positive had attended lessons and French classes in different establishments.Two other children were also part of the group of 11 now in hospital in the cities of Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble, and they had been schooled in the area too, according to Etienne Jacquet, mayor of Les Contamines-Montjoie.Some parents in the village, nestled in the mountains close to the Mont Blanc peak and the Swiss city of Geneva, said on Saturday they had received little information so far and were being cautious. “Our children were meant to go to a concert tonight, we took the decision not to take them to not expose other people,” said Beatrice Louvier, adding that her 10-year-old daughter was in the same classroom as one of the three British children.The cases coincide with one of the busiest periods of the ski season for area resorts, as schools in the Paris region begin mid-term holidays. British schools are also on half-term break later this month.Health officials said they were trying to determine who had come into prolonged and close contact with the British group.Several tourists who had just arrived in Les Contamines-Montjoui brushed off the risks and said they would see through their holidays.”The percentage chance of getting infected is not really high,” said Frenchman Stanislas Des Courtis, who was visiting with his two teenage sons. “The ski area is big, and there are not so many places where (people) can gather here all together.”But local resident Catherine Davout, who helps manage flat rentals in the area, said she had already had several cancellations.The new cases emerged after authorities began to retrace the travels of a British man who has been confirmed by Britain to have contracted the virus, French health officials said.They had formed “a cluster, a grouping around one original case”, according to Health Minister Agnes Buzyn, who identified the person as a Briton who had returned from Singapore and stayed in France between Jan. 24 and 28.The French government said Singaporean authorities were looking into a business congress that took place in a hotel there on Jan. 20-23 and was attended by 94 foreigners, including the British man at the center of the Alpine cases.As of Saturday, Singapore had 40 cases of the virus.Of the 11 total cases in France, earlier ones include an 80-year-old Chinese man in a serious condition, while the others have shown signs of improvement, according to medical officials.The epidemic began in Wuhan in China and the vast majority of cases have been in China. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Don’t be ‘thorn in the flesh’ of state-owned firms, minister warns private sector

first_imgState-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said the government was happy for private firms to work with state-owned companies in tapping the country’s growing economic potential.He warned, however, that the private companies should have good intentions in such partnerships rather than become a “thorn in the flesh” of state-owned companies.”Private companies are welcome to partner with SOEs, but with good deeds. Don’t trick the SOEs, because many friends from the private sector often try to outsmart state firms,” he was quoted by kompas.com as saying on Wednesday. Erick said private businesspeople often colluded with insiders of SOEs to get big projects. “Don’t try to get people [into certain positions] just to eat away at SOE assets, “said Erick, the former chief of Italian soccer club Inter Milan.Collusion between owners of private companies and executives of state-owned companies has become common practice in the country as private companies try to win lucrative projects from SOEs.Some members of the House of Representatives and senior government officials have been jailed for involvement in corruption at SOEs. They were used to lobby key people at the SOEs to award big projects to their cronies. (hen)Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia to turn former Vietnamese refugee camp into hospital for COVID-19 patients

first_imgThe hospital, which is expected to be able to accommodate 1,000 patients, will be equipped with isolation rooms as well, which will take up 2 percent of the hospital’s total capacity. “We will prepare 50 isolation rooms as the World Health Organization’s health protocol stipulates that 2 percent of the hospital’s capacity must be isolation rooms,” Hadi said.  Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said construction would be completed within a month. “We will not forget the locals’ contribution here. The construction might not take long. The water source is already available, everything has been prepared according to the standards of the facilities in Natuna and Sebaru,” Basuki said, adding that he did not know what the total budget for the project would be.Hadi and Basuki were also unable to say when construction would begin. Read also: Indonesia to test more people for COVID-19Meanwhile, head of the Riau Islands Health Agency Tjeptjep Yudiana said the decision to set up the special hospital on Galang Island had not yet been made final.“They have only come to assess the site. Galang is one option, but so far no decision has been made,” Tjeptjep said. The field coordinator for the visit, Said Adnan, said the military had inspected a former hospital building, a logistics building and several religious buildings. “We have been ordered to clean out the buildings and provide details on the condition of the buildings to the commander,” Adnan said. (dpk)Topics : The site also has access to clean water and electricity, while the island is located 50 kilometers from Hang Nadim International Airport. Read also: ‘Diamond Princess’ evacuees to start separate quarantine on Sebaru islandHadi explained the hospital would treat infected patients and also function as a quarantine center. A coronavirus quarantine center was previously set up in Natuna, Riau Islands.“We shall see if this is the right time to turn the location into a special hospital to treat patients infected with novel coronavirus. Hopefully, this plan will be realized soon and the hospital can be put to use immediately, especially if there are infected patients near Galang Island,” Hadi said.  Following the confirmation of the first two COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, the government is making plans to transform a former camp for Vietnamese refugees on Galang Island, Batam, Riau Islands, into a hospital for COVID-19 patients. During a visit to assess the site, Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said Galang Island was chosen as the location for a COVID-19 hospital as several of the site’s buildings still remained after being used as a refugee camp from 1979 to 1996.last_img read more