President Obama On Marijuana Legalization And Criminalization: The VICE News Interview

Watch the full interview: VICE founder Shane Smith interviews President Barack Obama, discussing a host of issues important to Americans, from foreign policy and marijuana legalization to college affordability and global warming. In this excerpt, President Obama discusses the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana. Watch “A Roundtable with President Barack Obama” – Read “Obama Talks to VICE News About Climate Change, Marijuana Legalization, and the Islamic State” – Watch Season 1 of VICE on HBO: Watch Season 2 of VICE on HBO: More from Shane Smith: Follow Shane on Twitter: Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:

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Google Analytics for SEO – Basic Cohort Analysis

The Google Analytics Cohort Analysis can be extremely useful in helping SEOs prove the value of new customer acquisition via organic search, show how they engaged with the site, and surface when they ended up converting over time.

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Don’t Wait to Prepare for the Next Canadian Winter

canadian winter preparations

Is it safe to say winter is finally behind us?

For a lot of Canadian small business owners, this past season was one of the worst. In Toronto, February was the coldest on record.

Some in the eastern provinces even endured a snowstorm on the first day of Spring.

But before you put away the snow shovel, there are a few things it’d be prudent to do in preparation for the next Canadian winter and whatever it might bring.

David Rumer, the Vice President of Market Development at Sage North America, says that Canadian small businesses need to take time now to prepare for next winter.

And really, they should have a plan in place for any type of extreme weather: whether it’s unseasonably warmer temperatures in Vancouver that could dampen the winter months, severe storms in Ontario, or coastal storms in the east.

“Us Canadians, we have to embrace the seasons because you’re not going to change them,” Rumer said in an interview with Small Business Trends.

Rumer says small businesses should have two general plans in place: a basic emergency plan and a business continuity plan.

A study conducted last year by Sage found that extreme winter conditions negatively impacted about 25 percent of all Canadian small businesses. Rumer estimates that figure could be carried over and applied to this year too, in the absence of updated data.

Not having either of these plans in place will likely result in losses of revenue, profit, and productivity.

To come up with a solid plan, Canadian small business owners should sit down, assess their business operation and do a business impact evaluation, Rumer says.

Canadian Winter Preparations

Basic Emergency Plan

The basic emergency plan should be a catch-all for any time of year, even though, for Canadian businesses, winter seems to have the most noticeable impact.

Here are a few basic things any business can do to prepare for bad weather.

Retail locations should be amply stocked with ice melt and have a snow removal plan in place.

They should also have an emergency exit plan ready in case of a disaster.

And depending on the type of business, Rumer suggests business owners acquire specific insurance policies to cover against injuries or accidents that could occur.

Business Continuity Plan

For any type of business, physical or online, staying “open” in the event of bad weather is extremely critical.

Essentially, there is no need for a “snow day” if a business is making full use of technology.

Rumer says that having mobile access to customers can help businesses offer consistency of service even if severe weather has made it difficult or impossible to reach them physically.

For businesses existing in the virtual realm, there are measures that need to be taken in the event of severe weather, too. These include ensuring computer security and making sure the company’s data is maintained and safe in the event of any kind of system failure.

Create Then Implement

A great plan on paper is just that. It has no value unless it’s being followed by everyone in your organization.

Once a plan is created, Rumer says it’s essential that education and training are conducted. Make sure everyone on your team understands his or her role in the event of an emergency or crippling winter storm.

There’s no wrong time to prepare and get these plans in place, Rumer says. It’s never too soon to start thinking about next winter, either. And if you get stuck while figuring out your emergency plan, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources online and locally you can consult.

“When it comes to protecting your business, can you be over-prepared? I don’t think so,” he says.

Of course, there are some ways a business owner could misstep when making Canadian winter preparations for the next big cold spell. Buying too much insurance is one possibility.

But remember, Rumer says, “The best insurance is when you don’t have to collect on your insurance.”

Toronto Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Don’t Wait to Prepare for the Next Canadian Winter” was first published on Small Business Trends

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The Birth Of An Amazonian Cult: Cocaine And Faith In The Amazon (Part 1)

Peru is now the world’s main supplier of coca, the raw plant material used to manufacture cocaine. In the last five years, coca production has grown the most in the tri-border region, an area deep in the Amazon where Colombia, Brazil and Peru meet. The tri-border region is home to a messianic sect with apocalyptic beliefs whose members dress in biblical robes. Known as “Israelites,” the religious group migrated to the Peruvian Amazon in 1995 in search of a promised land that’s now infested with coca plantations. In part one, VICE News travels to Alto Monte de Israel to meet the messianic sect known as the Israelites, and learn about their prophet, Ezequiel Ataucusi, who led them to settle in the Amazon jungle. Watch “Peru: The New King of Coke” – Read “Meet the Man Helping Peru’s Foreign Drug Mules Get Home” – Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:

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On The Line: Michael Moynihan on the Information War Between South and North Korea

On The Line will return on Thursday, 2 April. Follow us on Twitter where we’ll announce the next topic for On The Line: Michael Moynihan joined On the Line to answer your questions about his piece, “Launching Balloons into North Korea: Propaganda Over Pyongyang” – The shooting war between North and South Korea has been replaced with a propaganda war. With the assistance of an American human rights group, defectors in South Korea have launched hydrogen-filled balloons across the 38th parallel–carrying money, propaganda, and copies of The Interview. VICE News went to Seoul, South Korea to meet frontline soldiers in the information war–and to attend a clandestine launch of propaganda balloons into the Hermit Kingdom. VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype. To send a Skype video message, follow the instructions here: Watch previous episodes of On The Line: With support from Skype. Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:

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Pipeline Nation: America’s Broken Industry

A pipeline network more than 2.5 million miles long transports oil and natural gas throughout the United States — but a top official in the federal government’s pipeline safety oversight agency admits that the regulatory process is overstretched and “kind of dying.” A recent spike in the number of spills illustrates the problem: the Department of Transportation recorded 73 pipeline-related accidents in 2014, an 87 percent increase over 2009. Despite calls for stricter regulations over the last few years, the rules governing the infrastructure have largely remained the same. Critics say that this is because of the oil industry’s cozy relationship with regulators, and argue that violations for penalties are too low to compel compliance. VICE News traveled to Glendive, Montana, to visit the site of a pipeline spill that dumped more than 50,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River, to find out why the industry has such weak regulatory oversight. Watch “Cursed by Coal: Mining the Navajo Nation” – Read “What Is the US Government Doing to Prevent the Next Oil Pipeline Disaster?“ – Read “Cleaner Air in China Might Mean More Carbon Dioxide Pollution” – Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:

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