Zambia legalizes the production and export of cannabis for economic and medicinal purposes, but recreational use of the drug remains illegal.
The newly appointed Minister of Finance of Zambia Situmbeko Musokotwane says that he has begun to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund on a $12 billion external debt. Musokotwane says that he is also working with other private funds to which Zambia owes payments. Musokotwane anticipates that Zambia "will not be able to immediately cancel all debts".
Sources report that the U.S. has recalled its ambassador to Zambia after a row over a conviction of men who were sentenced to prison in Zambia for consensual homosexual acts. President of Zambia Edgar Lungu declared ambassador Daniel Lewis Foote "persona non grata" because he had criticized the verdict while accusing Zambia of not actively prosecuting misappropriation of donor aid.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) becomes the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. From January 31, 2020, adults within ACT will be allowed to have 50 grams of the drug and can grow up to four cannabis plants at home.
The same day the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announces it is easing restrictions on medical research involving cannabidiol (CBD), a key component in marijuana, NYU Langone Medical Center researchers report a clinical trial suggests a pill containing CBD may reduce seizures for children and young adults with epilepsy.
The death toll from flooding in South Africa rises to 70 and more than 8,000 families are homeless. Five other nearby countries - Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe - are threatened by killer heavy rains.
British pop star George Michael is transferred from Pentonville Prison to Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, England, to serve out the remaining weeks of his sentence for driving under the influence of cannabis.