Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

medpot and the supreme decision

From: Jim <> Subject: Re: medpot and the supreme decision

on 30/11/04 1:54 AM, Blair Anderson at wrote:
> The media is complicit.

Of course the media is complicit. You sell more papers with "bad" news. Articles touting crime epidemics, etc are very bad news. Studies show people read "bad" news more than good news by choice. So bad news sells. In addition journalists are rather lazy creatures who prefer to take a press release from an "authority" and regurgitate it than do actual research. So they take the "accepted" ideas, filter them throuogh their own values, and call it reporting. And they get very upset when a journalist does the opposite.

We've seen journalists manufacture stories about drug use and win Pulitzer Prizes for doing so (only to get caught later). The press "knows" the truth and will report that which corresponds with what they already know.

And since the State (where ever you live basically) is in charge of the "drug war" then the biggest experts are the State. The State also controls almost all the research money so the only people who get funded for the drug war are experts who take the like the State wants them to take. So the drug warriors have a monopoly on the "expert" position or the media. There is nothing a politician likes better than "solving" a crisis. And the less real the crisis the better. Politicians also love hysterias as the heat they generate is political currency for them. They win votes by addressing "problems". This is one reason that any problem the State fixes actually gets worse. they have no incentive to solve the problem and every incentive to explain how it's getting worse.


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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Search without warrant justified says Anderton

Search without warrant justified says Anderton

9:03:02am 26Nov2004

Proposed laws giving police power to search suspected drug-dealers without a warrant are tough but justified because of the dangers of methamphetamine, says Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton. "This law change has to be seen within the context of the extreme pain & suffering these peddlers of evil are causing to young people, their families & in some cases entire communities," he said yesterday. Parliament’s health select committee is studying the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill No 3, which will give police & customs officers the power to search people suspected of possessing precursors for pure methamphetamine, know as "P". P is manufactured using pseudoephedrine, which is found in some common pharmacy cough & flu medicines. The Drug Foundation told the committee there were "substantial human rights issues" in detention, search & seizure without warrant. Lobby group Norml (the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) said the legislation was draconian & would result in an abuse of police power. Mr Anderton said the law change was indeed tough - "tough on the peddlers who make their fortunes out of causing misery to vulnerable NZers, too often young NZers". The Government had a three-pronged approach to fighting drug problems by: * Being tough on drug dealers. * Reducing drug demand through education. * Providing addicts with compassionate treatment. "We need to work on all three fronts at the same time to get the best possible results," said Mr Anderton. "An important part of our strategy must include effective action on reducing the supply of dangerous drugs." The legislation will also lower the amounts of some drugs people can be caught with before being considered suppliers, & decriminalise the possession of needles & syringes for intravenous drug use.
 (Anderton is a harm reduction pretender)   sig. Blair Anderson Christchurch, NZ. cell phone 025 2657219    ph (643) 389 4065  
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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Criminals property to be targeted: - Beehive Bulletin

Criminals property to be targeted,
Beehive Bulletin - Friday, 26 November 2004

A civil forfeiture regime to be introduced by the government will force criminals to prove their property was legally obtained. Justice Minister Phil Goff says the current Proceeds of Crime Act 1991 has only been moderately successful at recovering assets from criminals. Under the new legislation, the Crown will be able to seek a High Court order restraining a person's assets if it can show there are reasonable grounds to believe that person benefited from serious criminal activity. The Court can then order confiscation. No specific criminal offense need be proved. Phil Goff says the new legislation will allow the targeting of gang bosses who remain at arm's length from the actual offending but take the profit.

Labour heralds the dysfunction, MAXIM cops one in the eye.

"Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions" - President Madison [USA]

Some reformers may recall a mildgreen email and SCOOP release of about March last year, where visiting academic Lawrence Reed of the MACKINAC Centre for Public Policy, a Michigan think tank delivered a speech 'Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy' to the MAXIM membership in the Canterbury Club, Christchurch. He was questioned on drug policy's ethical disparity with the the subject of his talk.

Maxim Trips-Up On Drugs

NZ’s conservative think-tank, the Maxim Institute, needs to rethink its advocacy against cannabis law reform, “or invite less politically incorrect guest speakers”, say the Mild Greens. See... Maxim principles fail 'War on Drugs' acid test [1] -

This 'search' on the MACKINAC website explains why Asset Forfeiture was at the top of his list.

We should expect ACT (esp. Rodney Hide & Richard Prebble) who lauded Larry Reed at the time to link forfeiture as 'predicated on prohibitions', (Yeah Right!)

Given the topicality of the current Foreshore/Seabed debate we should al be reminded that property rights cannot be excluded from protected freedoms because the protection of property is the foundation of all freedoms.


  • 1. Free people are not equal and equal people are not free.
  • 2. What belongs to you, you tend to take care of; what belongs to no one or everyone tends to fall into disrepair.
  • 3. Sound policy requires that we consider long run effects and all people, not simply short run effects and a few people.
  • 4. If you encourage something you get more of it. If you discourage something you get less of it.
  • 5. Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own.
  • 6. Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a Government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you’ve got.
  • 7. Liberty makes all the difference in the world.

(Larry Reed’s articles can be read at

sig. Blair Anderson
Christchurch, NZ.
cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065

"The scandal lies in the fact that $100 billion of enforcement money had to be spent before the drug czar's office decided that it was time to develop an agenda for assessing the effectiveness of toughness." Peter Reuter
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Re: LEAP comments on Yates case.

Thanks for the excellent comments on the Yates case.

A brief update for all concerned.

I canvassed a local street called Ottawa Road, I recieved a signature in support of Neville Yates and regailling Judge Holderness every 7meters. (100 signatures, .7km street, even the houses only number up to 100)

I presented the street petition it to Mayor Garry Moore today, along with Member of Parliament Tim Barnett (Labour)  and will copy my own Member, Leanne Dalziel.(Labour) tomorrrow. We have nearly 2000 general signatures garnered over three days, but here is just ONE street where nearly everyone signed. A truely multi-lateral consensus. (begging the question do I have to do every street ?)

I think I will do Judge Holderness's street.

(BTW: Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore was so impressed with Eddie Ellison, he was utterly convinced he had meet him. I'm still laughing. Later this day I also met an executive producer of award winning documentaries who saw Eddie interviewed on the Micky Havoc show. His  comments were exemplary noting that it was widely watched within the industry, apparently leaving a lasting impression.)

guilty...whether YOU KNEW OF THE alleged VIOLATION OR
This too is now regretably  the latest New Zealand 'law and order' initiative from Hon Phil Goff, Minister of Justice (LABOUR). Of course it is entirely predicated on prohibitions two electoral friends, 'fear of immorality' and 'those immoral people'. Now property can be both immoral and guilty.

 see  Power to freeze crime assetsCriminals may have to prove assets legally theirs

Ironically this is to our advantage. Its ANOTHER opportunity to point out 'flawed legislative adjustments' that only measure prohibitions failure.

Yea!  its an excellent site eh...(smile)

Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road, WAINONI
Christchurch, NZ 8006
phone ++64 3 389-4065   cell 025 2657219

Mild Green Initiatives for your liberty, pleasure, health and safety.


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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Law Society concerned at asset seizing

Law Society concerned at asset seizing (hot link got lost)

LABOUR's Press release on this
Civil forfeiture puts onus on criminals

Meanwhile Jim (Drug Czar ) Anderton pushes his weird logic that failure predicated on failure equals success.
Anti-drug peddler laws are tough, and rightly so

And United Future's Judy Turner - pretend they are not the problem
Dealers should pay for endangering children
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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

New drug laws 'breach human rights'

New drug laws 'breach human rights'
24 November 2004


New laws increasing police power to search and seize suspected drug dealers' substances are draconian and breach basic human rights, the Government was told today.

The health select committee was hearing submissions into the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (No. 3) which will give police and customs wider powers to track and charge people dealing in drug ingredients.

Officers will be able to search people suspected of possessing precursors for pure methamphetamine, know as "P".

P is manufactured using pseudoephedrine, which is found in some common pharmacy cough and flu medicines.

The Drug Foundation said there was a need to reduce the amount of "doctor and pharmacy shopping" for pseudoephedrine.

"However there are substantial human rights issues in detention, search and seizure without warrant, and we strongly recommend that the select committee ensure these are fully addressed during the scrutiny process and possibilities to reduce the impacts considered," Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said.

A proposal to decriminalise the possession of needles and syringes for intravenous drug use did not go far enough, he told the committee.

The removal of all penalties would reduce New Zealand's six per cent needle share rate, or even eliminate it entirely, and decrease the rates of HIV/Aids and hepatitis C infection.

If exchange programmes had not been introduced, by 2001 there would have be 1454 more people with hepatitis C and 1031 more with HIV/Aids, Mr Bell said.

National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml) said expanding search and seizure jurisdictions would result in abuse of police power.

"These are draconian powers and not to be handed out lightly," Norml president Chris Fowlie told the committee.

Under the legislation "presumption of supply" laws will apply at lower amounts for some drugs such as P and marijuana.

The new levels were completely arbitrary, Mr Fowlie said.

If people were caught with 100 cannabis joints, 10 plants or one ounce or cannabis they were considered suppliers.

"These are just round figures that someone has plucked out of the air."

Presumption of supply should be done on the basis drug purity, said Matt Bowden of Stargate International, a drug harm reduction group.

Manufacturers could adjust the purity of the drugs they create to ensure they were under supply amounts.

There is a false image that drug manufacturers were gang members, he said "It's actually the average addict, in their home, in their kitchen."

"When you become addicted to the drug and you can't afford to purchase it any more ... you need to be involved in manufacture."

The bill was welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society, whose members monitor the sale of psuedoephedrine.

The new laws would assist in reducing the abuse of the psuedoephedrine, society chief pharmacist advisor Euan Galloway said.

The committee will hold another round of public submissions into a supplementary order paper by Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton which calls for herbal party drugs such as benzylpiperazine (BZP) to be criminalised.
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Monday, November 22, 2004

Education: Drugs in society

Education series : Drugs in society

How can we make a rational decision about whether drugs are good or bad, when we're all drug takers? Professor David Clark takes the definition of a psychoactive drug right back through history, and reveals how politics, economics and the media all play their part in shaping people's attitudes. Society will only make progress when it learns to address substance issues openly and realistically, he suggests.

"The sufferer is tremulous and loses his self command; he is subject to
fits of agitation and depression. He loses colour and has a haggard
appearance. As with other such agents, a renewed dose of the poison
gives temporary relief, but at the cost of future misery."
From a medical textbook published in 1909. (See end of article to discover the drug.)

People have been taking psychoactive drugs to change their state of consciousness for thousands of years. Man has discovered psychoactive drugs serendipitously, has cultivated them deliberately, and has been producing them in laboratories, even in suburban homes. Many people consider that only a minority take psychoactive drugs. However, in his excellent book Living with Drugs, Michael Gossop points out that drug
taking is "almost a universal phenomenon, and in the statistical sense of the term it is the person who does not take drugs who is abnormal".

While some people might react strongly to the idea that they are a "drug taker", drugs come in various forms other than illegal substances such as heroin and cocaine: nicotine in cigarettes, alcohol, and various prescription drugs used for problems such as sleeplessness, depression and anxiety.

Even tea and coffee contain a drug - caffeine.

So what is a psychoactive drug? The World Health Organisation defines a drug as "any chemical entity or mixture of entities, other than those required for the maintenance of normal health (food), the administration of which alters biological function and possibly structure". A psychoactive drug is a drug that affects the brain to produce
alterations in mood, thinking, perception and behaviour. The positive effects of psychoactive drugs are the pleasurable mood states they induce and their ability to reduce negative mood states such as anxiety. However, psychoactive drugs may also produce negative effects, such as the paranoia and delusions caused by excessive use of amphetamine.

Society has clung to the notion that some psychoactive drugs we use are "good", whereas others are "bad". Heroin is a "bad drug" and heroin users are often classed as deviant or abnormal. Tea and coffee are "good drugs" although most people do not consider them as drugs. Alcohol is a "good" drug, even though we are becoming increasingly aware of the risks that can be associated with its misuse. Tobacco is rapidly shifting from being a "good" drug to a "bad" drug. Librium and valium, which can be obtained on prescription to alleviate anxiety states, are considered "good" drugs. This situation is complicated though, because these same drugs become "bad" drugs if used by people who also take heroin or amphetamine. Librium and valium are also known to be addictive.

The "good/bad" drug distinction sometimes becomes synonymous with "safe/dangerous". Society would have us believe that good drugs are all safe, or at least relatively safe, whereas bad drugs produce bad effects and are not safe. However, as Michael Gossop points out, it is here that society has problems, because "scientific questions about the actual effects of a particular drug become entangled with issues of personal morality and subjective beliefs".

It is important to note that the "good/bad" and "safe/dangerous" classifications have varied across time, and from culture to culture. Some drugs which are illegal today were commonly used in the past legally, often for medicinal purposes. Some drugs deemed illegal in Western society are used for religious purposes in other cultures.

It also needs to be emphasised that the "safe/dangerous" distinction does not hold up to scrutiny. Many more people die, either directly or indirectly, as a result of using tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs than all illegal drugs combined.

Throughout history, societies have developed laws to regulate or control the use of certain drugs. One would like to believe that these laws have developed objectively, in an attempt to reduce the heath and social problems caused by drugs. However, a closer look reveals a more complicated picture ideological, political and economic interests play a major role. People in society today have a set of attitudes towards
drugs and drug taking, that are often shaped by the popular media. As Gossop points out, the term "drug taker" is used as a condemnation, as a way of identifying someone who is involved in a strange and deviant way of behaviour. There is a continuing reluctance to face up to the fact that drugs and drug takers are part of everyday life.

We live in an inconsistent society. On the one hand, we tell our young people not to take drugs and keep away from people selling drugs. On the other hand, doctors and others are constantly encouraging us to take drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry �?? some of which are addictive �?? for a variety of conditions. Moreover, while we tell young people that certain illegal drugs are dangerous for their health, we ignore to a large extent the bad effects that alcohol has on health.

Psychoactive drugs have always been part of life �?? and they will always be present. Substance misuse is not going to go away. Society needs to recognise the problems caused by substance misuse and deal with them in a realistic and open way. We also need to recognise that many problems caused by drugs are intimately related to other factors, such as social deprivation and social exclusion. Society needs to address these problems.

The drug is coffee!

Michael Gossop's book Living with Drugs is essential reading for people interested in learning more about psychoactive drugs. It can be obtained from Amazon books for �17.99.

-- ends --

sig. Blair Anderson

"The scandal lies in the fact that $100 billion of enforcement money had to be spent before the drug czar's office decided that it was time to develop an agenda for assessing the effectiveness of toughness." Peter Reuter

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Human extinction within 100 years warns scientist

Human extinction within 100 years warns scientist


A top New Zealand researcher is using a prestigious award ceremony in Christchurch to warn that humans face extinction by the end of the century.

Professor Peter Barrett will be presented with the Marsden Medal tonight for his 40-year contribution to Antarctic research, latterly focusing on climate change.

The director of Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre expects to use his acceptance speech to warn climate change was a major threat to the planet.

"After 40 years, I'm part of a huge community of scientists who have become alarmed with our discovery, that we know from our knowledge of the ancient past, that if we continue our present growth path, we are facing extinction," Barrett said. "Not in millions of years, or even millennia, but by the end of this century."

Barrett won the award – designed to mark lifetime achievement in the sciences – for his research into Antarctica, which began with helping prove New Zealand was once part of the Gondwanaland supercontinent.

He then changed disciplines, to predicting the impact of climate change. The result was a body of research on Antarctic ice sheets "which to our surprise is becoming increasingly relevant to the world as a consequence of global warming".

Barrett's warning underlines comments he made last year that even the Kyoto Protocol on global warming would not be enough to avert a climate disaster. The United States and Australia have refused to adopt Kyoto protocol measures.

"Research on the past Antarctic climate has an ominous warning for the future ..." he said.

"We need an international commitment to an effective solution, if we are to survive the worst consequences of this grandest of all human experiments.",1478,3099128a10,00.html

--  sig. Blair Anderson Christchurch, NZ. cell phone 025 2657219    ph (643) 389 4065  "The scandal lies in the fact that $100 billion of enforcement money had to be spent before the drug czar's office decided that it was time to develop an agenda for assessing the effectiveness of toughness."  Peter Reuter
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Neville Yates, Holderness and Jeanette Fitzsimonds make news in Norway

Rullestolbruker fengslet for medisinsk bruk av hasj

[rough translation = wheelie jailed for medicinal use of hash (grass/pot)]


The rest looks like it might read something like.... although I will add
I cannot be sure I havnt contributed any of the obvious prejudice
evident in the interpretation of this news item. (grimasen)


The imprisonment of a 44 year aged wheelchair user in New Zealand has
initiated debate about the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

[The] Country prohibits use to a few so use abated.

Neville Yates had an accident 30 years ago and had a foot amputated.
Nevertheless he became recently convicted for five month's imprisonment
for having cultivated cannabis the plant that provides the raw material
for hashich.

"if you continue to cultivate cannabis you will recieve a longer
sentence" said Judge David Holderness to Yates.

He insisted on imprisonment even though the prosecution sought
conditional supervision.

It is judicial murder (miscarriage of justice?) to arrest a man that
isnt a menace to community and he is using the only
[smertestillende/effective?] remedy that helps. This method has far less
effects than [prescribed?] medicine, says the member of parliament
greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimonds.

Yates has been arrested for misuse of drugs nine times before and he has
three earlier sentences for having used cannabis.

Judge Holderness branded him a repeat offender and added that had he
declared himself guilty he would be having three months in prison
instead of five.

sig. Blair Anderson
Christchurch, NZ.
cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065

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Monday, November 15, 2004

MP Marc Alexander on yates, medpot and prohibition

Have to say it Blair - good work.
Jargon free and comprehensible.  I read it all.
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Jailed beneficiary was in pain

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

Jailed beneficiary was in pain
The neighbour of a wheelchair bound sickness beneficiary who has been jailed for five months for growing cannabis says he was a man in agony. Neville Yates claimed he used the drug to alleviate chronic pain from an amputated leg, and brain damage caused by an accident when he was a teenager. Nel, who lives next door, says she can attest to his pain. She says she could hear him crying and moaning through the thin wall separating their bedrooms Nel says the first time she heard it she was terrified and rang the police
Neville's story is also mentioned on the New Zealand Information Network

And on TVNZ's TV2 along with a poll (now finished)

and appearing in the Gisborne Herald paper online 'letters to the editor' 
dated Thursday, November 11, 2004

There has recently been a story about marijuana grower Neville Yates and his unfair jail sentence. I knew Neville before he had his foot amputated. At that time I would say he had fair medical grounds to claim medicinal use of marijuana for the pain. In fact, I believe his doctor agreed that it seemed to be the only thing that helped. What he went through was nearly 20 years of torture before demanding an amputation (I believe his words to Christchurch hospital were “you take it off or I will”). Having said that, there are thousands of amputees around this country who do not need marijuana to manage their pain and so, I’m sorry Neville, but your argument no longer stacks up. If you really really have to grow and use marijuana move to South Australia where I believe it’s legal.
sig: Rob Holding
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A Right-Wing Call for Pot Legalization

Leading Conservative politician Peter Lilley, has publicly stated that he thinks cannabis should be decriminalized in Britain and sold through government licensed outlets, like those in the Netherlands.

Lilley, who served under prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, has been considered one of the more right-wing members of the party, The Daily Telegraph says.

But Lilley defended his position by saying the law on cannabis is unenforceable and indefensible in a country where alcohol and nicotine are legal.

The marked change on policy by Lilley is seen as a public relations move to make the Conservative Party more voter friendly amid perceptions in some sectors that its policies are intolerant and regressive.

sig. Blair Anderson
Christchurch, NZ.
cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065
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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"60 Minutes" - features Yates trial

Last night NZ's Television Three featured Neville's case, in prime time
viewing with 15 minutes of fame on "60 Minutes",

After billing it heavily for two days, it came out as the 'lead story'
over Mordachai the Israeli 'weapons grade plutonium' whistle blower
which puts it right up there in the kiwi 'mind share'.

Jim Anderton came over as a heartless tosser. Jeanette Fitzsimonds
(greens) had the most plausible critique and came over as a caring
grandmother 'with compassion and authority'.

It also featured Daniel Clarke, snippets of Chris Fowlie and the boys in
Auckland.. but the lead advocacy was the 'appeal' by the stalwarts for
Neville, his brother came over as "mr caring", Irinka 'impassioned'
and even myself.. looked not to bad in full flight regaling the
Judge with a "how hard was that?".

The hero was Neville himself, some great lines.. "i wasn't doing
anything illegal, not in my eyes, I wasn't hurting anyone, the only
victim I see is me!"

I had hoped the investigative crew would have featured a bit of the
waste of resources, deceptions of the police and the scale of the grow
compared to 'what's going on in reality'.

Arrogant politicians will gain no curry proffering the "its illegal,
therefore, its illegal" in the face of this very public heart breaker....

Big thanks to all the newspaper letter writers. You all helped to give
this story the public face and weighting it deserved.

sig. Blair Anderson

cell phone 025 2657219
ph (643) 389 4065

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Monday, November 08, 2004



"the School computer networks resonate with searches for cannabis culture" - Wellington (NZ) High School IT administrator. 
The enabling of credible drug education might not be obvious in a 'just say no' society but the innate curiosity of the teen psyche should be mined, not shut down as mere idolatry. 

Blair Anderson, 
co-ordinator EFSDP(NZ)
Christchurch, New Zealand cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065
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Recidivist Rhetoric and the Race Card

Today's Prison Report is so much hubris and rhetoric. But I thank RadioNZ for obtaining it.

There are barriers to openly discussing what is the engine behind the burgeoning prison industrial complex.

The report perpetuates the systemic social conditions that reward and foster 'our worst fears' so evident in sensible sentencing and the '99' referendum.

However, this matrix of dysfunction and this report serves to preserve itself by distracting the observer with everything but what is broken. This prison report doesn't even allude to the recidivist 'drug problem' or the contribution 'drugs' make to incarceration budgets. Drug issues are either a problem or they are not.

There is acute selective myopia when it comes to evaluating prohibition's contribution to this endless social disharmony.

"Drug War" conventions have countries obliged to pursue growers, dealers and users in an expensive attempt to hold back an unstoppable tide. The drug war, a metaphor for a war on people, does this by 'othering'. The reports highlights "othering', in this case it is 'them - those Maori's.."

History shows such labeling to be a beguiling feature of the amoral 'divide and rule' agenda behind AmeriKKKa's UN endorsed anti-drug programmes. Prohibition has bred crime on an unimaginable global scale. It is a TRILLION DOLLAR industry incentivising 'crime', perversely circular in that we must have 'crime' in order to maintain prohibition.

Bravely, most countries pretend that they are winning 'against crime' - when it is painfully obvious there are only losers. New Zealand is one such case.

When the Ministry of Justice can explain why NZ is number One in the OECD for cannabis consumption and why young Maori are seven times more likely to "offend" (who for gods sake?), then waxing lyrical about early intervention in a disproportionately represented 'Maori' is a gross obsfucation.

This report perpetuates the unspoken myth that crime is genetic, that its a Maori problem, Maori can't help themselves, that Maori are inferior, Maori cant handle liquor, cannabis or what ever (but non-Maori can?) when at the heart of this report is the 'race card'. We just can't bring ourselves to say it. And that should scare the bejezzus out of us all.

The "early intervention" required is not 'ever younger', or more treatment advocates who are quick to clamor for more resources... As Ray Kendal (Hon Secretary Interpol) recently said . Give all addicts a prescription, and they can lead reasonably normal lives, with no need to commit crime. A rational, evidence-based policy would seek to kill the market, put dealers out of business and put control of these drugs into the safe hands of pharmacists."

Now that's "early intervention" !

cc: Clifford Wallace Thornton Jr.

sig. Blair Anderson
cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065
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Sunday, November 07, 2004

News roundup for Neville Yates

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take one habeus corpus and $20,000 ++ for instant relief of pain

Blair Anderson wrote:
Paula Lambert wrote:
Hi Blair, good two posts, but three things;

3.National Academy of Sciences Report you quote, do you have the date of

Smoking Issue and Neville at law.

Notably the IOM  makes the principle provision in Recomendation 6, other areas of this definative report deal with this more holisticaly

Rec. 6 undermines the perverse 'ethical' concerns that medical smoking is not possible, not likely, or 'just a stupid idea'. Holderness is wrong to have excluded Nevilles 'medical' evidence leaving smoking and growing the test before the 'law', The jury was not fully informed. [Queen vs Yates 2004].

See. IOM Recommendation 6: Short-term use of smoked marijuana (less than six months) for patients with debilitating symptoms (such as intractable pain or vomiting) must meet the following conditions:

  • failure of all approved medications to provide relief has been documented;
  • the symptoms can reasonably be expected to be relieved by rapid-onset cannabinoid drugs;
  • such treatment is administered under medical supervision in a manner that allows for assessment of treatment effectiveness; and involves an oversight strategy comparable to an institutional review board process that could provide guidance within 24 hours of a submission. (anything time frame would be better than 'just say no' /blair)
  • by a physician to provide marijuana to a patient for a specified use
It was erroneous of Holderness to pick subjectively the evidence that suited the punishment paradigm an ignore the balance which was (or would have been) exonerative.

Neville had tried everything including the solution. First principles, apply - first do no harm. I see double jeopardy  here. The system is not just stopping Neville access to medicine that works, they are taking it what works from him. An action in its self, a medical harm.

Cannabis is less adictive than coffee, and less toxic than tea. What could be the problem. That one leg might enjoy it? Or are we blind to good science and best practice medicine?

Smoking is not compolsory, nor is it 'crime'. The Expert Advisory Committee (on) Drugs [EACD] could easily accomodate the above IOM criteria under the Medicine Act - the 6 months ** can be reviewed by Neville's Physician. It is nobody elses business what he does. If Neville Yates was vapourising quality herb under the above management option, then the 6 month time criteria would by any standard be adjustable accordingly. - Holderness's adjustment is "go to jail, do not pass go..."

So what's the problem?? Because the EACD doesnt have the highy recommended 'active' consumer representative, Neville's pain management now needs a writ of habeus corpus and $20,000 ++ for an Appeal.

Mental Health.. oh yeah, ring Neville on a friday afternoon from this side of the bars and tell him your taking his house...
(and they wonder why cannabis and suicide are linked??)

Neville now has unfettered access to a supermarket of drugs in prison, is emotionaly compromised, isolated, and angry. None of which would have been an issue in civy street.

Some therapy Judge David Holderness. Your best practice peer review is when?

If,  in selling tobacco or alcohol I did anything to hurt someone like Neville  as we have in 'seeing justice done', I would expect and likely loose the right to serve any and everyone and would certainly be answerable to the disabilities commisioner quick smart. Doubtless the media would take a position - dare I say it, consistent with the whim of who pays the bills.

Where does Montana fit into this. Oh yes... medicinal whole smokable grow your own medicine from Nov 2..

How silly? They surely didnt ask Holderness!

Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road, WAINONI
Christchurch, NZ 8006
phone ++64 3 389-4065   cell 025 2657219

Mild Green Initiatives for your liberty, pleasure, health and safety.

**(or until other clinical cannabis is available, such as vapourised pharamacy grade herbal cannabis as used in Holland/Canada, or metered whole cannabis dosage for inexperienced users, such as sublingual, oil/alcohol tinctures, or cooked/ingested. If 100 Million Americans can have access, so can Neville.)

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Saturday, November 06, 2004

MP Marc Alexander on Yates, Medpot and Prohibition

Today, Christchurch United Future list MP and spokesperson on Justice issues, Marc Alexander published his regular newsletter online. It covered two matters, the latter was of interest as it was about Neville Yates. (see my blog )

While some of this public letter is shite even if well meaning, there follows an ounce of compassion here!

Because Marc is known to me, and he has on this matter given this subject some thought, I commend him for having met with Neville and done some good stuff for him regarding his Accident Compensation and even if a tad misguided on drug policy and some other things that we have differences on, he is approachable.

The law is in disrepute, no doubt, but the premise for Marc's 'there are harms' argument is flawed, none of this was upheld in the house select committee inquiry powerfully acknowledging that the harms are overstated. The committee's brief was really to test if prohibition is an appropriate control, even if these purported harms were true.

However Marc points out that in Nevilles case, the Judge (if not the jury) had a duty to arbitrate for the best outcome for both society and Neville, and that he (they) failed on both counts. This is a commendable insight and I thank him for taking this public position in the minefield of drug related political dialogue.

I have impinged on Alexanders' document with some mildgreen comments extracted from some papers that I reviewed published by a couple of internet colleagues, Robert Malamede, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chairman Biology Department University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and Lester Grinspoon M.D. Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA.

Respective references are given to aid the reader.

Of course, Mr Alexander would also do well to review the NZ Health Select Committee Inquiry reports which allay fear of change, recommend progress on medpot and better informs on the state of the national drug policy's harm reduction goals and law review that Alexander's United Future NZ Party stymied. But thats not the goal here. / Blair

Marc writes; (and I write)

Marc Alexander MP
United Future NZ

PO Box 130037
Telephone 03-374 6804
Wellington email
Christchurch email

I have never apologised for my hard line against drugs and l sure as hell don�t intend to now. However a recent case concerning the use of cannabis screams for comment.
We know that most of the negative physiological effects of marijuana are well substantiated. These fall into six categories:

  • Brain � marijuana initiates changes in brain chemistry. Its use hinders the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical that triggers various types of signals throughout the nervous system.
    • (I was going to comment on this, but it really is a case of 'so what'.. people enjoy pot. If cannabis didnt do something to something else, they likely wouldnt experience anything and we wouldnt be having this conversation - it is a pity though that some people think an 'altered state or perception' can not be medicinal or moral. Sex, sleep and sunshine 'excite and hinder' neurotransmitters.The brain is a curious thing! What I do with it, is my business. Absent cognitive liberty there is no self will, no property right, home is no castle and Habeus Corpus dies. Blair)
  • Mood and behaviour � marijuana use leads to difficulties in concentration paying attention, and the ability to learn complex information. There is also an impairment in the perception of time (see below), as well as of certain aspects of memory.
  • The idea has persisted that in the long run smoking marihuana causes some sort of mental or emotional deterioration. In three major studies conducted in Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Greece, researchers have compared heavy long-term cannabis users with nonusers and found no evidence of intellectual or neurological damage, no changes in personality, and no loss of the will to work or participate in society (18-20). The Costa Rican study showed no difference between heavy users (seven or more marihuana cigarettes a day) and lighter users (six or fewer cigarettes a day). Experiments in the United States show no effects of fairly heavy marihuana use on learning, perception, or motivation over periods as long as a year (21-24).
  • Heart � marijuana affects heart rate and blood pressure and simulates those conditions found in people under high stress.
  • No more than walking up a single flight of stairs. (or sex, although relative to cannabis, some positions are more dangerous than others)
  • The therapeutic ratio of cannabis is not known because there has never been a documented death due to an overdose of cannabis. However, extrapolated data from animal experiments provides an estimate for the ratio of lethal dose to therapeutic dose to range from 20,000 to 40,000. (the corresponding relation for alcohol is 4 - 10./Blair) 6,7,11
  • Lungs � marijuana contains 50 per cent more tar than tobacco (compensated by the fact that cannabis is smoked in much smaller quantities than tobacco./Blair) and has an irritating effect on the upper airways, including the sinuses and larynx. There is some evidence that it may cause lung, head and neck cancers.
  • The modern oral forms of (cannabis extractions) dronabinol and nabilone offer a safe alternative to tar containing smoke. However, the absorption of the active drug that reaches the general circulation is only 10%-20% of the administered dose.12 This causes difficulty in the control of dosage because each patient responds differently. When a patient smokes cannabis they can more easily control the amount of THC administered, and avoid the psychotropic effects. Several other methods of delivery are available such as nasal sprays, nebulizers, skin patches, pills and suppositories. Nebulizers heat the THC in cannabis to temperatures below the ignition point of the dried plant material, causing it to vaporize.6
  • The cancer cell-killing62 and pain relieving properties of cannabinoids are less well known to the general public. Cannabinoids may prove to be useful chemotherapeutic agents.63 Numerous cancers types are killed in cell culture and in animals by cannabinoids. For example, cannabinoids kill the cancer cells of various lymphoblastic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma,64 skin cancer,65, glioma,66 breast and prostate cancer, 67 pheochromocytoma,68 thyroid cancer 69 and colorectal cancer. 70
  • Although conclusions derived from an often-cited study examining the carcinogenic effects of cannabis, tobacco, and cannabis and tobacco combined claims to show a link between cannabis smoking and head and neck cancer,91 However, these results do not hold up under scrutiny. The study does support a link between tobacco use that is exacerbated by concurrent cannabis use and the development of head and neck cancer. However, the �cannabis use only� group was only composed of two subjects, undermining the statistical relevance of conclusions regarding this group / Bob Malamede, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chairman Biology Department University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Sexual performance � studies have linked marijuana to a reduction in the number and quality of sperm. Sperm mobility is affected, with a consequent reduction in fertility. Considering that some of the people who have a drug lifestyle accompanied by the requisite criminal activities, this may actually be a positive!
  • <>Government experts concede that pot has no permanent effect on the male or female reproductive systems.1 A few studies have suggested that heavy marijuana use may have a reversible, suppressive effect on male testicular function.2 A recent study by Dr. Robert Block has refuted earlier research suggesting that pot lowers testosterone or other sex hormones in men or women.3 In contrast, heavy alcohol drinking is known to lower testosterone levels and cause impotence. A couple of lab studies indicated that very heavy marijuana smoking might lower sperm counts. However, surveys of chronic smokers have turned up no indication of infertility or other abnormalities.
    Less is known about the effects of cannabis on human females. Some animal studies suggest that pot might temporarily lower fertility or increase the risk of fetal loss, but this evidence is of dubious relevance to humans.4 One human study suggested that pot may mildly disrupt ovulation. It is possible that adolescents are peculiarly vulnerable to hormonal disruptions from pot. However, not a single case of impaired fertility has ever been observed in humans of either sex.
  • Blood flow � marijuana has been shown to decrease blood flow to the limbs. In extreme cases these may require amputation.
    • <>In 20 years of literature review, I have never seen this claim - indeed, I suspect the medical literature would evidence findings that are quite the contrary. The reported sense of wellbeing in many suffferers of arthritis is associated with the vasodilation, or opening of the blood vessels which also accounts for the apparent lowering of blood pressure (also taking strain of the heart). This is evident in the red eyes or flush cheeks experienced by some, if not most users. It is a tempory condition. Decreased blood flow to the limbs leading to amputation is by stark comparison a feature of common and increasingy so deiseases such as diabetes from fat uptake compounded by lack of excercise. Chronic tobacco smoking and other negative behavours such as execcive alcohol are also associated with poor circulation. It might also be notable to point out since this is my comment, PM10's, airborne particulates from mobile source diesel decreases blood flow to the limbs, elevates blood pressure, vaso-contricts arteries in heart and brain and leads to stroke and heart failure. That is proven. Wheras cannabis is optional, breathing city air is not. Cannabis's only medical association with amputation is as an effacous analgesic for phantom limb pain. NonSteroidals (what inflamation? what joint?) and Opiates are ineffective in chronic cases. /Blair
  • <>According to the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, the effects of marijuana on blood pressure are complex, depending on dose, administration, and posture. Marijuana often produces a temporary, "moderate" increase in blood pressure immediately after ingestion; however, heavy chronic doses may slightly depress blood pressure instead. One common reaction is to cause decreased blood pressure while standing and increased blood pressure while lying down, causing people to faint if they stand up too quickly. There is no evidence that pot use causes persisting hypertension or heart disease; some users even claim that it helps them control hypertension by reducing stress. One thing THC does do is to increase pulse rates for about an hour. This is not generally harmful, since exercise does the same thing, but it may cause problems to people with pre-existing heart disease. Chronic users may develop a tolerance to this and other cardiovascular reactions. NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Report, pp. 66-67.

For anyone who argues the nature versus nurture nonsense, an Australian study of 311 pairs of identical and fraternal twins concluded that age and lifestyle were significant factors in drug dependency. A study of same-sex twins showed that those who experimented with marijuana before the age of seventeen were up to five times more likely to use harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine later, regardless of genetic and family background. (The Dutch Ministry of Justice estimates that 0.16% of cannabis users are heroin users. This figure does not support cannabis being a gateway drug.)

Anyway, enough said. (yeah, me too)

We know the damage that drugs can do and without going into an arduous menu of reasons (medical and legal) for maintaining harsh sanctions, I want to turn attention to one particular case.
utting all the above aside, the recent case of Neville Yates deserves special consideration. He has received his fourth conviction for marijuana cultivation and a ninth on cannabis-related grounds. He claims that his use of cannabis is for medicinal reasons. Even so he was given a four (five) month sentence of imprisonment.

I met Neville in my Christchurch office and in my opinion he is no angel. But�before we rush to judge too harshly we should also note that he is a disabled man who is wheelchair-bound and brain damaged.

  • The ability to control these fundamental neurological activities, in conjunction with the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids, is likely to have important regenerative health benefits for people suffering from neurological damage as occurs with stroke or injury.27

He suffers from chronic pain. Since a serious accident when he was 14 years old, he has had a stroke, suffered paralysis and has had one foot amputated.

Cannabinoids are effective analgesics in animal models with non-opiate mechanisms predominating. There are many anecdotal reports (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1993) of benefits in bone and joint pain, migraine, cancer pain, menstrual cramps and labour..... THC is significantly superior to placebo and produces dose-related analgesia peaking at around 5 hours, comparable to but out-lasting that of codeine. Side-effects were also dose-related, and consisted of slurred speech, sedationand mental clouding, blurred vision, dizziness and ataxia. Levonantradol was also superior to placebo and notably long-acting,but almost half the patients reported sedation. Cannabinoids may have considerable potential in neuropathic pain (Institute of Medicine, 1999)

I certainly don�t want to diminish the prohibition against cannabis but I cannot see what is to be gained from incarcerating Neville Yates. What public interest will be served?

It will cost at least $20,000 to keep him in prison for that time. He will not be assured of much medical or therapeutic help; he�ll be a vulnerable target for the violent bullies who are in there for more serious offences; and he�ll come out no better, in all likelihood, worse. A more satisfactory scenario for Neville Yates would be a proper medical assessment and for him to be treated as a clinical rather than a criminal case; he should be given proper assistance to reclaim some semblance of a life that has been riddled with pain and tragedy. The point is he is not a dope fiend preying on others, but a heartbreaking example of a damaged person being further damaged by our lack of compassion � and no doubt immune to our sympathies because his brain damage has made him less sociably acceptable than most.

The issue here is less about the rights and wrongs of the marijuana debate but much more about how we fail to treat compassionately the less �cuddly� amongst us at the point where they need it most.
Marc Alexander MP
United Future NZ
PO Box 130037
Telephone 03-374 6804
Wellington email
Christchurch email

1. Dr. Christine Hartel, loc. cit.


3. Dr. Robert Block in Drug and Alcohol Dependence 28: 121-8 (1991).


6. Grinspoon L. Whither medical marijuana?, Contemporary Drug Problems, New York. Spring 2000.

7. Hall W, Solowij N. Adverse effects of cannabis, The Lancet, London. Nov 14, 1998.

Hubbard JR, Franco SE, Onaivi ES. Marijuana: Medical implications, American Family Physician, Kansas City. Dec1999.

12. Iverson LL. The Science of Marijuana. Oxford University Press, 2000. p121-175.

18. Carter WE. Cannabis in Costa Rica: a study of chronic marihuana use. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues; 1980.

19. Rubin VD, Comitas L. Ganja in Jamaica: a medical anthropological study of chronic marihuana use. The Hague: Mouton; 1975.

20. Stefanis CN, Dornbush RL, Fink M. Hashish: studies of long-term use. New York: Raven Press; 1977.

22. Braude MC, Szara S. Pharmacology of marihuana. New York: Raven Press; 1976.

22. Culver CM, King FW. Neuropsychological assessment of undergraduate marihuana and LSD users. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974;31:707-711.

23. Lessin PJ, Thomas S. Assessment of the chronic effects of marihuana on motivation and achievement: a preliminary report. In: Braude MC, Szara S, editors. Pharmacology of marihuana. New York: Raven Press.; 1976.

24. Stefanis CN, Boulougouris J, Liakos A. Clinical and psychophysiological effects of cannabis in longterm users. In: Braude MC, Szara S, editors. Pharmacology of marihuana. New York: Raven Press; 1976.

27. Nagayama T, Sinor AD, Simon RP, et al. Cannabinoids and neuroprotection in global and focal cerebral ischemia and in neuronal cultures. J Neurosci 1999; 19:2987-2995.

62. Guzman M, Sanchez C, Galve-Roperh I. Cannabinoids and cell fate. Pharmacol Ther 2002; 95:175-184.

63. Parolaro D, Massi P, Rubino T, Monti E. Endocannabinoids in the immune system and cancer. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2002; 66:319-332.

64. McKallip RJ, Lombard C, Fisher M, et al. Targeting CB2 cannabinoid receptors as a novel therapy to treat malignant lymphoblastic disease. Blood 2002; 100:627-634.

65. Casanova ML, Blazquez C, Martinez-Palacio J, et al. Inhibition of skin tumor growth and angiogenesis in vivo by activation of cannabinoid receptors. J Clin Invest 2003; 111:43-50.

66. Sanchez C, Galve-Roperh I, Canova C, Brachet P, Guzman M. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol induces apoptosis in C6 glioma cells. FEBS Lett 1998; 436:6-10.

67. Melck D, De Petrocellis L, Orlando P, et al. Suppression of nerve growth factor Trk receptors and prolactin receptors by endocannabinoids leads to inhibition of human breast and prostate cancer cell proliferation. Endocrinology 2000; 141:118-126.

68. Wilson RGJ, Tahir SK, Mechoulam R, Zimmerman S, Zimmerman AM. Cannabinoid enantiomer action on the cytoarchitecture. Cell Biol Int 1996; 20:147-157.

69. Portella G, Laezza C, Laccetti P, De Petrocellis L, Di Marzo V, Bifulco M. Inhibitory effects of cannabinoid CB1 receptor stimulation on tumor growth and metastatic spreading: actions on signals involved in angiogenesis and metastasis. FASEB J 2003; 17:1771-1773.

91. Zhang ZF, Morgenstern H, Spitz MR, et al. Marijuana use and increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1999; 8:1071-1078.
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Medical cannabis out, says Anderton [NZ Herald]

Jim Anderton

Medical cannabis out, says Anderton

04.11.2004 -

Associate Minister of Health Jim Anderton says he will not support a
bill allowing the cultivation of cannabis for pain relief.

But Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons believes the drug should
be allowed for medical reasons.

The issue has arisen after Christchurch man Neville Yates was sent to
jail for five months by Christchurch District Court Judge David
Holderness for growing cannabis he says he uses for pain relief.

Yates, who is wheelchair-bound and brain-damaged after being hit by a
truck 30 years ago, had been sent to jail in 1999 for the same offence.

Mr Anderton, chairman of the ministerial committee on drug policy, said
yesterday that he would not support a bill allowing cannabis cultivation
for pain relief.

"The Ministry of Health is looking into this issue but it has to do it
on a careful basis. It has to have clinical evidence and advice that
using cannabis for pain relief is safe," he told National Radio.

Mr Anderton said the effects of smoking cannabis were even worse than

He said if cannabis was to be allowed for medical reasons, it had to be
properly administered and trialled clinically to ensure it did have the
benefits claimed.

"You can't just say, 'Let's use anything, some leaf or something',
you've got to have a set of clinical evidence and advice that this is
working properly under certain dosage, under certain medication

But Jeanette Fitzsimons argued for a change in the law.

"I have a private member's bill in the ballot that would allow for
doctors' consent to be given to allow cannabis to be used medicinally
when it is appropriate."

It was "cruel and inhuman" to send Yates to jail, she said.

"It's a miscarriage of justice to imprison a man who presents no danger
to society simply because he was using the only pain relief he found to
be effective and with far less serious side-effects than prescription

Mr Anderton said if cannabis was available in less dangerous forms than
smoking and was proved to work medically he would not have a problem
with it.

He said Yates had needed proper legal advice in court and hadn't been
helped by his association with cannabis advocate Blair Anderson as an
in-court assistant.

The judge was also critical of Mr Anderson's support of Yates.

"You were not greatly assisted by [Anderson] and other members of the
group who were, plainly, pro-cannabis advocates," the judge said.

Yates had three previous convictions for cultivating cannabis and a
total of nine for cannabis-related offending



responses can be sent to

sig. Blair Anderson

cell phone 025 2657219
ph (643) 389 4065

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Repossess his home; Neville Yates saga continues,

Repossess his home; Neville Yates saga continues,

I was Neville Yates personal assistant for his trial 2 November 2004.
I just got a call from Neville Yates at Paparoa Prison. He told me he had just received a call from Housing N.Z. this afternoon 5 November, telling him they were going to repossess his home. Of course we are going to try and save it for him and are making inquiries right now as to how this may be achieved. It is very difficult for anybody to start again when they come out of jail, but so much harder for a disabled person.
We wonder if Judge David Holderness realises how far reaching his punishment would go, when he sent Neville to jail for five months.
The Judge said Neville was disabled therefore unable to perform community work. We have since discovered that some places, such as the Linwood Community Resource Centre do take on disabled people for community work. The Judge also stated Neville could not do home detention because that was where the crime had occurred. We read in the Press 30 October 2004 A3 where a pregnant wife-beater was being allowed to do some home detention where a much worse violent crime had occurred. In Neville's case there was no violence and he himself stated that he was the only victim.
The Judge said "imposing a non custodial sentence would be to suggest some special category for cannabis cultivation offenses " - but that is no reason to jail somebody. We already have the example of Ian Jackson who was discharged without conviction where the court accepted that the cannabis was for his medicinal use. Press 13 December 2003. Isn't Neville's life of equal worth - Neville did not mind if he must get a conviction, but a jail term for this offense is over the top.
Then the Judge picked on Neville's friends and advisors. We feel this was the final insult that had nothing to do with matters of law and justice.

This was a prejudicial if not intimidating statement against a particular group of people for their political beliefs.
Irinka Britnell - Secretary Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party - Ph (03) 981 5878
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Medical Cannabis Out, Says Anderton

He [Anderton] said Yates had needed proper legal advice in court and hadn't been helped by his association with cannabis advocate Blair Anderson as an in-court assistant.

The judge was also critical of Mr Anderson's support of Yates.

"You were not greatly assisted by [Anderson] and other members of the group who were, plainly, pro-cannabis advocates," the judge said.
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Politicians and Judges Confuse Their Ignorance With Science and Their Cruelty With Justice.

Analysis by Richard Cowan Sponsored by Advanced Nutrients.

MarijuanaNews.Com, Freedom has nothing to fear from the truth: "Top Story: Wheelchair Bound Patient Given Five Month Prison Sentence In New Zealand. As in Canada, Politicians and Judges Confuse Their Ignorance With Science and Their Cruelty With Justice.

See Also Barbarism In New Zealand: Lies Have Consequences. Severely Handicapped Man Faces Prison for Growing Seven Plants! "
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Voters pass measures for medical marijuana

Voters pass measures for medical marijuana, tobacco tax - "Voters pass measures for medical marijuana, tobacco tax

Associated Press

HELENA -- Use of marijuana for medical reasons will be legal in Montana and tobacco users will see a tax increase, voters decided Tuesday in passing a pair of ballot measures.

Initiative 148 allows the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana, in limited amounts, for medical purposes. The initiative shields patients, their doctors and caregivers from arrest and prosecution."
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Anderton says no to medicinal cannabis

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Outrage at jailing of invalid cannabis user

STUFF : NATIONAL NEWS - STORY :Outrage at jailing of invalid cannabis user


Wheelchair-bound and brain-damaged beneficiary Neville Yates is back in prison as accusations fly over him becoming a pawn in the cannabis debate.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Holderness yesterday sentenced Yates to five months jail for growing cannabis, which the sickness beneficiary uses to relieve the chronic pain he has endured since being hit by a truck 30 years ago.

As the judge acknowledged that Yates would find jail hard, he had a swipe at the cannabis activists in court who had played a part in Yates's doomed defence of medical necessity.

They included Blair Anderson, who stood for the Christchurch mayoralty on a policy of repealing the prohibition on cannabis and who acted as in-court assistant to Yates.

"You were not greatly assisted by (Anderson) and other members of the group who were, plainly, pro-cannabis advocates," the judge said.

"There was, in reality, no defence. If you had pleaded guilty promptly, the sentence was likely to have been no more than three months jail."

Yates's family hold fears for his safety in prison. While serving a previous jail term for cannabis cultivation in 1999, Yates had been bullied and beaten up by other prisoners, who stole his food. On one occasion, his prosthetic leg was stolen.

Yesterday's sentence provoked violent scenes, with abuse yelled at the judge and angry protesters forced from the court building by security staff.

Outside court, Anderson denied he was using Yates as a pawn for his campaign against cannabis laws.

"The judge is wrong. I take absolutely no blame," he said.

"I had the good intention of helping a guy who had difficulty putting his case before the court."

Anderson had previously helped Yates on a defence that relied on the Magna Carta, but he described Yates yesterday as "defiantly standing up against the system yet again".

Another supporter, Irinka Britnell, was in tears as she spoke of Yates's devastation at the jail term.

"I think what the judge said was really unfair," she said.

"This is a public issue in the public domain and it's in the public interest."

Since being found guilty, Yates had abandoned the tactic of running his own case with Anderson's assistance. Instead, he enlisted lawyer Tony Garrett, who told the judge that Yates may have been under the influence of the cannabis campaigners.

Garrett, prosecutor Craig Ruane and the probation officer who prepared the pre-sentence report had all supported a non-custodial penalty.

But the judge said that was unrealistic because of Yates's three previous convictions for cultivating cannabis and a total of nine for cannabis-related offending.

"I don't overlook that a further prison term will be difficult for you and I have regard to your physical difficulties and your significant problem with pain," he said.

"However, in my view, to impose a non-custodial sentence in this case would be to suggest that there is some special category of cannabis-cultivation offenders � those who use it for medicinal purposes.

"There is no such special category and particularly not for persistent offenders. You do not appear to have accepted, despite the prison sentence imposed in 1999, that cultivation of cannabis remains an offence which carries a significant sentence.

"If you go on cultivating cannabis ... you'll find that longer and longer terms of imprisonment may well follow."

The judge said that notwithstanding Yates's campaign to change the Misuse of Drugs Act on medicinal cannabis use, possession of the drug remained illegal and there was no prospect of home cultivation being legalised.

Given that this cultivation and the offence in 1999 had been at Yates's house, home detention was not appropriate, he said.

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Defence lawyer hits at cannabis activists

Defence lawyer hits at cannabis activists

03.11.2004 - By MONIQUE DEVEREUX

A disabled man who unsuccessfully defended a cannabis cultivation charge on the grounds that it was for medicinal use was "over-ridden by a number of pro-cannabis activists", his lawyer said.

Neville Yates of Christchurch is wheelchair-bound and brain-damaged. Since a serious accident when he was 14 he has had a stroke, suffered paralysis and had one foot amputated.

Yesterday the 44-year-old was jailed for five months. The conviction was his fourth for cultivation and ninth on cannabis-related grounds.

But the sentence handed down by Judge David Holderness caused an uproar at the Christchurch District Court. The Crown and the probation service both supported a community-based sentence, which was what Yates' supporters were expecting.

Security guards had to remove cannabis decriminalisation supporters - one wearing a "Free the Weed" hat - from the building after they started yelling "there is no justice in sending a cripple to prison".

The melee continued outside the court for several minutes. It had been expected - the guards had been in court throughout the sentencing and police sat outside the courthouse.

Yates was found guilty of the charge by a jury last month. He had defended himself although he had pro-decriminalisation activist Blair Anderson as his Mackenzie friend, or court assistant.

But yesterday Yates enlisted the help of defence lawyer Tony Garrett.

"Mr Yates has for a number of years attempted to establish that the use of cannabis alleviates chronic pain. That was the point that he wanted to reinforce particularly to Government and to that extent he took part in the
select committee process," Mr Garrett said.

During the trial Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett said Yates had been a regular visitor to his electorate office and had taken part in a health select committee hearing into using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Mr Garrett said Yates' efforts were "genuine steps" to pursue the issue he believed in.

"But that genuine position seems to have been over-ridden by a number of pro-cannabis activists.

"He goes from the position of being genuine campaigner, approaching the issue through Parliament, to adopting this rather unconventional procedure at trial."

Mr Garrett said it was unfortunate that people who saw decriminalisation as desirable supported Mr Yates, "but people in Mr Yates' position garner sympathy from pro-cannabis users".

Judge Holderness agreed, saying he did not need to tell Yates that cultivation of cannabis was illegal. "The law has not yet changed. It is by no means certain that it will change."

He said it was clear from Mr Barnett's testimony that "the home cultivation of cannabis was not indicated to be any part of a future change to the law".

The judge said Yates' decision to defend himself and the advice he took from friends had not helped.

"You were not, in my view, greatly assisted in your defence by your Mackenzie friend, and only served the needs of a group who were plainly pro-cannabis advocates."

Outside the court those advocates, and in particular Mr Anderson, were angry to have been singled out.

Mr Anderson said his help came from "good intentions" and was not a method of pushing his own cause.

Judge Holderness said imposing community work would be "somewhat impractical". He could give no credit for a guilty plea, Yates was a serial offender and he had offered no real defence to his charge.

Imposing a non-custodial sentence "would be to suggest there is some kind of special category for cannabis cultivation offences ... there is no such category".

Home detention was also denied.
Copyright 2004, NZ Herald

NOTE: Tony Garrett has been involved in advising Neville Yates 'from the begining', as legal aid bills will account. - Pretty damn disengenuous to the truth, eh!

Sell the advocates down the drain, to save Neville?? Who got it wrong, the lawyer or the advocate?

Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road, WAINONI, Christchurch, NZ 8006
phone ++64 3 389-4065 cell 025 2657219

Mild Green Initiatives for your liberty, pleasure, health and safety.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Wheelchair-bound man jailed for cannabis

TAF - Wheelchair-bound man jailed for cannabis: "A wheelchair-bound brain damaged Christchurch man has been sent back to prison for cultivating cannabis which he claimed was for pain relief.

The five-month sentence handed down to Neville Yates caused an uproar in court and security guards had to remove cannabis decriminalisation supporters from the building after they started yelling 'there is no justice in sending a cripple to prison'.

A Christchurch District Court jury last month found Yates guilty of cultivating nine plants in his home. Defending himself, he had told them cannabis was the only effective way he had found to alleviate the constant and chronic pain he had suffered since a serious accident 30 years ago.

But the conviction was his fourth for cultivation and his ninth for cannabis related charges. In 1999 he was sentenced to 18 months jail which was reduced to nine months on appeal.

This morning Judge David Holderness told Yates he accepted that the cannabis was mostly being grown for pain relief and not for any commercial gain.

'But I do not need to tell you Mr Yates that cultivation of cannabis is illegal in this country.'

Judge Holderness said Yates' decision to defend himself and the direction the advice he took from friends had not helped his case. It was clear to the jury that he had cultivated cannabis.

'You were not, in my view, greatly assisted in your defence by your Mackenzie friend, and only served the needs of a group who were plainly pro-cannabis advocates.'

Outside the court those advocates, and in particular Blair Anderson who was Yates' Mackenzie friend (assistant in court) during the trial, were angry to have been singled out by the judge.

Mr Anderson said his help came from 'good intentions' and was not a method of pushing his cause.

He said an appeal was likely although he had not discussed it with Yates before the sentencing.
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drug and alcohol policy (Kootenay Lake)

School District No. 8
(Kootenay Lake)
Nelson Office:

308 Anderson Street
Nelson, B.C. V1L 3Y2
Ph: 250-352-6681

Creston Office:
1607 Canyon Street,
Creston, B.C. V0B 1G0
Ph: 250-428-2217

Re: Drug andAlcohol Review, feedback

Dear Sirs/Madames,

I'll be brief : In offering feedback I just wish to jog, prompt, niggle and perhaps kick start a few thought processes on how you might approach the questions that are raised by your policy on drugs and alcohol.

Firstly, what's is really broken here is not what you can change and thus do wrong, but what you cannot change and accordingly cannot fix.

The entire education system is brought into disrepute by the operational paradigms of drug and alcohol (and tobacco) policy outside the school gate.

Your emphasis in policy development is a crisis response based rather than an a planned effective integrated proactive harm reduction strategy, and I understand why this is so. Curriculum development inside the school is determined outside the school. For this reason I am compelled to suggest that the school become proactive in developing a long term view that leads and compliments a community solutions based approach to understanding why current drug/alcohol/tobacco policy fails youth.

Look towards a creative curriculum that addresses integrated health and safety - one that doesn't isolate 'substances' from literature, arts, history, culture etc..
I can recommend an awesome insight into this process, written by a NZ academic in response to the very same issues your addressing here, called "cannabis in context', the author was Helen Shaw, a consultant to our Ministry of Education. see specific mention in our House of Representatives inquiry .Drug Education

"Cannabis in context" - is a harm reduction education booklet prepared in response to the very same issues your school (and community) is facing. It created controversy here and was withdrawn, not because it was flawed, but rather because it presented a threat to current social paradigms. [That alone should excite the educator in all of us. (smile)]. Helen Shaw received the endorsement for her work by our then leader of the opposition, academic and now Prime Minister, Right Hon. Helen Clark .Helen Clarks marijuana speech 1994 Waikato University

My final recommendation is

  1. Dont blame the kids for this mess, question everything and commit to a cycle of review.
  2. Take a helicopter view of this 'problem' as educators and question the efficacy of current policy in achieving objectives and have the courage to lead the debate in the community.
  3. Your kids are your resource. If what your doing isn't credible with them, your probably wrong.

Feel free to ask any further questions should they arise.

Thank you for listening.

sig. Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road,
Christchurch, New Zealand
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