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

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Teachers Enter War on Meth

source: WVLT VOLUNTEER TV Knoxville, :

------
"Many signs of change are behavioral, for example the people they hang out with."
"At the state level, law enforcement hopes that teachers can help them identify at risk kids before they are hooked on the drugs or are caught up in the next drug bust."
------

How can you teach or understand this without cognition of adolescent body image and what was prescribed as a dietry aid in the early 70's (NZ 1974, 120million scripts, 2Mppl).

We have notable MP's in the house of reps. for whom getting the scrip as a young housewife can only be described as an addiction with authorisation. It was 'pure', as pure as you could get. As it was in post war Japan and Korea. Clinical grade manufacture and efficent pyramid distribution... led to 5% of population addiction rates. (absent the criminal violence). It was the "Valley of the Dolls" across diverse and distant cultures.

The 'herbal' stimulant market today is less herbal in origin than crack is to coco.

Methamphetamine equally had its organic origin in the chinese ephedra plant "ma whang" found to be effacious as a decongestant and appettite suppressant 5000 years ago. (Doubtless the Chinese practitioners would have been very cautious about giving a powerful 'herb' the equivalent of Ritilin's amphetamine type effect to children too.)

How does it help to have seemingly purposfully ill-informed teachers observing the whole group, expecting them to look for subtle deviance from norms that are indistinguishable from difference and angst IN hormone laden teens?.

Teachers are subject to perceptions and flaws stemming from diverse community moral and value systems. It is very risky to introduce a legal/criminal dilemma on cautious or precautionary suspicion.

The LAW cannot do this for good reason, so why should teachers?
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Cannabis is losing its cool for the young - The Observer UK

The Observer | UK News | Cannabis is losing its cool for the young:

I have just read Illicit drugs policy : using evidence to get better outcomes Dr Alex Wodak contributed to it

Also unsurprisingly - the obvious ommission from the early entry pot turns'ya psycho is any journalistic insight on health promotion and harm minimisation strategies. The bastards might have found that cannabis is "losing its cool for the young.", where one of the lead researchers very precautionary advise is dont discount law reform.

[looking up to be a good election! ]

"Dr Lydia Krabbendam of Maastricht University, whose study showed that adolescents who use cannabis regularly over a four-year period were twice as likely to develop psychosis, said: 'I don't think the effects of cannabis can be used as an argument not to legalise it. It is probably very hard to ban it altogether, and if you legalise it you can regulate the amounts of THC [the active ingredient within cannabis]'.

Meanwhile, a survey released today shows that teenagers place illegal drugs at the bottom of the list of ways to get high. The study by the government drugs awareness campaign, Frank, shows that more than one in four 11- to 19-year-olds get their 'best buzz' from winning at their favourite sport. Only three per cent said that drugs gave them the best high. "

------ ends -----

"I'm unsurprised"......(Blair)
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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Prof. Fergusson - causal linkages cannabis/psychotic symptoms

Tests of causal linkages between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms - Addiction, Vol 100, Issue 3, pp. 354-366 (Abstract):

"RESEARCH REPORT" Tests of causal linkages between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms
David M. Fergusson1, L. John Horwood1 & Elizabeth M. Ridder1

ABSTRACT
Aim To examine possible causal linkages between cannabis use and psychosis using data gathered over the course of a 25-year longitudinal study."
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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Cannabis: Too much, too young? - New Scientist

Graham Lawton calls in the Cannabis / Psychosis debate [New Scientist]
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18524921.300



For [Professor] Iversen though, this is still stretching the evidence. "What the data show is that the risk applies to a small minority of young people who start smoking cannabis at a very young age," he says. "Are we going to change the law for the benefit of a vulnerable minority? A small minority of people are vulnerable to liver damage if they drink even a small amount of alcohol, but we haven't changed the law to protect them."

sig. Blair Anderson

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Educators fail to teach youth - Editorial

........
Since it is impossible to prevent teenagers from having access to the
products, education is the only way to prevent young people from
experiencing neural impairment, convulsions, deafness, blindness or
dying from "huffing" inhalants.
........

http://www.dailygamecock.com/news/2005/03/23/Viewpoints/Editorial.Educators.Fail.To.Teach.Youth.About.Inhalants-900251.shtml

Check the spin "Eighty percent of new users were younger than 17." This
is double speak. 100% of the sample was under 17.

Are we going mad?
Does no one understand that prohibition IS the context of double
standards and impediments to credible drug education?

sig. Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road. Christchurch, NZ.
http://mildgreens.com http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/

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NZ teens part of study into cannabis mental health risk

Research carried out on New Zealand teenagers has confirmed cannabis use is a serious risk factor for schizophrenia.

WEDNESDAY, 23 MARCH 2005 [NZPA] / By KENT ATKINSON

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/print/0,1478,3226588a10,00.html

"There is a small but significant minority of people who have a predisposition to psychosis and who would be well advised to steer clear of cannabis," a Dutch researcher, Jim van Os, said in the latest New Scientist magazine, due to be published next Saturday.

Dr van Os, a psychiatrist at the University of Maastricht, investigates the effect of marijuana on people's brains - particularly adolescents' brains. He and other researchers have been building a scientific case that, for some teenagers, smoking cannabis leads to serious mental health problems in later life, including schizophrenia.

Dr van Os said claims that marijuana is responsible for up to 13 per cent of schizophrenia cases in the Netherlands. He said the figure will only increase because cannabis use among teenagers was increasing in many countries, the age at first use was falling and the strength of cannabis was rising.

Part of the research is based on a study that followed 759 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972 and 1973 and was reported in the British Medical Journal.

After carefully controlling for self-medication and other confounding factors, researchers found that those who had smoked cannabis three times or more before the age of 15 were much more likely to suffer symptoms of schizophrenia by the time they were 26 - they had a 10 per cent chance compared with 3 per cent for the general population.

The team concluded that there was a vulnerable minority of teenagers for whom cannabis is harmful.

"We're not saying that cannabis is the major cause of schizophrenia," said Robin Murray of the Institute of Psychiatry in London says Murray, who led the study. "But it's a risk factor."

"I don't think we can deny it any longer," said epidemiologist Mary Cannon of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, based in Dublin, who helped carry out the New Zealand study. "Cannabis is part of the cause of schizophrenia."

And late last year Dr van Os and his team brought out further results following a group of nearly 2500 14 to 24-year-olds living in and around Munich, Germany, over four years. They found that, overall, smoking cannabis as an adolescent moderately raised the risk of developing signs of psychosis later on, from 16 per cent to 25 per cent.

But when they focused on individuals who were known to be susceptible to psychosis - those who were showing signs of disturbed thought processes by age 11 - they found a much stronger link.

Susceptible individuals who avoided cannabis had a 25 per cent chance of developing psychosis. Susceptible individuals who smoked it had a 50 per cent risk. And the more cannabis they smoked, and the earlier they smoked it, the worse the outcome.

In the Netherlands, the findings have fuelled a growing clamour for reform of the laws regulating drug use. In Britain, Dr van Os's findings have been seized upon by politicians, tabloid newspapers and mental-health lobby groups who want drug laws tightened up.

A mental-health charity, Sane, has called for the reclassification of cannabis to be reversed. And the British Government recently acknowledged the link in its strongest terms yet, when it said in a press release that cannabis was an "important causal factor" in mental illness.

The New Scientist reported that, compared with substances like heroin and crack cocaine, cannabis was seen by many people as relatively harmless, and in the UK marijuana was downgraded from a class B to a class C drug last year, meaning people caught with small quantities were not usually arrested.

New Scientist reported one research avenue that may shed further light on the matter was to look at whether genes are involved.

In the New Zealand study, the number of people who had smoked dope on three occasions by the age of 15 was just 29, and only three went on to develop psychosis, but Dr Cannon's research team recently re-analysed the data from it.

This time, they added in in another variable - genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

The gene they investigated, called COMT, encodes an enzyme (catechol-O-methyl transferase) that breaks down a signalling chemical in the brain called dopamine. COMT comes in two forms, one of which is marginally more common in people with schizophrenia and is thought to be a risk factor for the disease.

The results were crystal clear.

The team found that in New Zealanders with two copies of the "normal" version of COMT, smoking cannabis had little effect on their mental health. In people with one normal and one "bad" form of the gene, smoking cannabis slightly increased their risk of psychosis.

But for people with two copies of the bad gene, cannabis spelled trouble: smoking it as a teenager increased their likelihood of developing psychosis by a factor of 10.

The results have not yet been published, and Dr Cannon warned that they needed replicating, but even so she said: "This is a very large effect, similar to the size of smoking and lung cancer. This is a very significant finding."

What should be done about it, however, remained an open question. Dr van Os told New Scientist that teenagers with a personal or family history of mental illness should be urged to steer clear of the drug. He also advocated legal changes: governments should focus on keeping cannabis out of the hands of teenagers.
[end]


sig. Blair Anderson 50 Wainoni Road. Christchurch, NZ. http://mildgreens.com & http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/ cell phone 027 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065
In an age of conformity, of conventional wisdom, of suffocating pieties, reform is a breath of fresh air. - Simon Carr, The Independent, Jan03
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Boys 12, 13 charged with selling drugs

Juvenile access to cannabis is assured under the premise of prohibition and a 'law in gross disrepute'. (re: Monroe boys 12, 13 charged with selling drugs)

It is shameful that we treat young folk as criminals in order to send a message of intolerance of adult consensual activities. No doubt the 'moral panic' will invoke the very worst predictions for these kids (as evident by some comments here) but in reality what these kids are doing (both possession and sale) has become quite normal BECAUSE of prohibition financially incentivising the distribution network. There can be no doubt issues of young people and drugs is something we need to do something about... but it wont be fixed unless we address ourselves to the core problem - the abject failure of prohibitors to demonstrate efficacy of their rules. These kids are just a case in point.

Morning Call Online. https://www.mcall.com/news/local

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No retreat on cannabis

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | No retreat on cannabis

"Much fuss has been aired in the red-top papers about these two studies, but with few quotes from the researchers. Yet the professor who led the New Zealand project told the New Zealand Herald: 'These are not huge increases in risk and nor should they be, because cannabis is by no means the only thing that will determine if you suffer these symptoms.' "

Doh!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Mr Horn, Help me out here,

re: County Supervisor Horn To Introduce Anti-Marijuana Initiative   21st March 2005   KFMBTV  San Diego


Bill Horn's advocacy for HARM, the 'Health Advocates Rejecting Marijuana' initiative is strikingly ironic when one considers the social implications of the latest Seattle/Washington call to medicalise all illicit drugs. County Supervisor Horn may find it odd that this legalise drugs call is not from some marginalised band of lazy radicals.

Compared to his small stake holder list of treatment providers the learned folk from the King County Medical Society, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Washington Family Physicians, with the professional associations of Osteopathic Medical, State Pharmacy, Psychiatric, Psychological, Public Health, Addiction Medicine and the Loren Miller, King County  and State Bar Associations support a drug war exit strategy, the medicalisation of all illicit drugs. [ G. JOHNSON / APReuters.]

Mr Horn, help me out here, what do you know about 'first do no harm'  that these accredited Washington public health and law folk do not?


BTW Christchurch is the Sister City of Seattle... My blog below tracks the thread..

cc: King County Bar Assoc. attn: Roger Goodman mailto:RogerG@kcba.org 
cited: http://www.kfmb.com/story.php?id=7994

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Muriel Newman pulls one out of the hat

Dr Muriel Newman pulls one out of the hat....a crucial Smokefree-Free Environments (Exemptions) Bill

see http://rodneyhide.com/Diary/index.php?p=1025

  1. Principals Indeed Indeed… Smokefree Amendments might need to address reinstatement of the provisions for “Herbal Smoking Products” removed so secretively due to latent legislative implications for cannabis law reform. But n’er a test of principals be? Dr. Newman, what say you? Some socially liberal Amsterdam style adult choice smoking establishments sounds very civil to me.
  2. If the publican doesn't object, employees don't object and the patrons want it, then where is the crime?, concurs the ‘Mildgreens’.
    Comment by mildgreens — 22 March 2005 @ 1:58 am

This is shaping up to be a very interesting election. 

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Seattle Advocates Press for Drug-Policy Reform

<>Current anti-drug policies are ineffective and wasteful, a group of lawyers, drug outreach workers, and people in recovery told Seattle City Council members during a recent meeting.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported March 10 that a group led by the King County Bar Association -- which recently released a report calling for fundamental reform of drug policy -- met with councilman Nick Licata, head of the city council's law-enforcement committee, and other local leaders.

"We really must stop these wasteful practices," said Roger Goodman, an attorney with the King County Bar Association, which called for state regulation of drug sales and manufacture and for addiction to be treated as an illness, not a crime. Former Seattle police Chief Norm Stamper also has called for decriminalizing drugs.

Katherine Beckett of the University of Washington told local lawmakers that blacks make up a disproportionate number of those arrested for drug offenses. "We believe that it is bad public policy to, once these issues have been brought to light, continue to enforce in a racially disparateway," added public defender D'Adre Cunningham.

<>Licata said he agreed with those saying that drug treatment should be favored over law enforcement to cut drug dealing and use. "I want the council to send a strong message to the mayor and the Seattle Police Department," he said. City Attorney Tom Carr defended street-level anti-drug enforcement but also called for more treatment. "It should be the right of a citizen to get whatever treatment they need," he said.

However, he also told those calling for drug-law reform to take their case to higher levels of government. "The city of Seattle has no authority to decriminalize anything," Carr said.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pot Pediatrics

Pot Pediatrics: "She notes that in animals, the endogenous cannabinoid system fulfills several important developmental functions, including: embryonal implantation (which requires a temporary and localized reduction in the production of the endocannabinoid anandamide), neural development, neuroprotection, the development of memory and oral-motor skills, and the initiation of suckling in newborns."

Fride does, however, strongly recommend the use of cannabinoids in pediatric medicine. She notes that "excellent clinical results" have been reported in pediatric oncology and in case studies of children with severe neurological diseases or brain trauma, and suggests that cannabis-derived medicines could also play a role in the treatment of other childhood syndromes, including the pain and gastrointestinal inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis.

Because the development of the cannabinoid receptor system appears to occur gradually over the course of childhood, "children may be less prone to the psychoactive side effects of THC or endocannabinoids than adults," Fride writes. "Therefore, it is suggested that children may respond positively to the medicinal applications of cannabinoids without [psychoactive] effects." She concludes, "The medical implications of these novel developments are far reaching and suggest a promising future for cannabinoids in pediatric medicine" for conditions including cachexia (severe weight loss), cystic fibrosis, failure-to-thrive, anorexia, inflammation, and chronic pain.

"It's clear that the cannabinoid system is essential for complete human development, and that cannabis medicines have a great potential to help sick children," says University of Southern California professor Mitch Earleywine
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

omission of fact and perpetuating myth - facilitating 'moral panic'

Kathryn Cannan
Coordinator
Healthy Christchurch
C/-Community and Public Health
76 Chester Street East
PO Box 1475
Christchurch


Dear Kathryn,

subject: omission of fact and perpetuating myth - facilitating 'moral panic'

This conversation could be summarised... "there is no legitimate debate because... well we just don't want one!"

Re: Seattle, please note: this has the support of the Washington State Public Health Association yet, Healthy Christchurch offers only the pretense the MildGreen Initiative is an uninformed view.

Consider: is this an uninformed view when the Seattle League of Women Voters, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, the King County Medical Society and Physicians for Social Responsibility joined by Washington Family Physicians, along with the professional associations of Osteopathic Medical, State Pharmacy, Psychiatric, Psychological, Public Health, Addiction Medicine and the Loren Miller and State Bar Associations support a drug war exit strategy, the medicalisation of all illicit drugs. [ G. JOHNSON / APReuters.]

The strategy, or mildgreen initiative is to "put this health issue on the radar" at the community level, where it should be. (and that's exactly the lesson we can take from the learned folk of Seattle)

While we are grateful for your suggestions and advice, both the NZ Minister of Health and Associate Ministers of Health have all been lobbied and or informed. As has the Ministry of Justice and others. They tell us this is a community and 'political will' issue. Assuredly whatever the 'right strategy', the Mildgreens are committed to worry this bone until its an artifact if necessary.

The enigma is how HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH can unquestionably accept ANY "strategy the government decides to pursue'" when there is evidence that 1:5 adults are non compliant and 2:3 believe the current policy is wrong. We agree, illicit drugs and community best practice is on the political agenda both here in NZ, and internationally. (cf: the United Future's 'we shall not discuss cannabis in this term' conditions of co-operation in the house). However contextualised the community debate, no doubt if this wasnt political asuredly we would be advised to make it so. - The fact remains all ideas have their champions and with the emergent science on our side, it is imperative that policy follow principles.

Consider, it was a Christchurch Judge who put a Christchurch citizen in a Christchurch Jail, now widely viewed as a gross injustice of national concern - see last weeks [march12] LISTENER magazine that has picked up on the local, national and international ramifications related to cannabis therapeutics and public HEALTH. see COX-2 and Neville Yates...in Listener Mag.!

There is an 'injustice under existing law' petition of 100+ signatories from Ottawa Road, (that's 1 person every 7 meters) that calls into question the community response todate and has serious implications for HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH.

During the public consultation phase of the Health Select Committee reviews on drug policy, specifically cannabis, the writer performed the civic (and unpaid) duty of keeping the committee informed of progress in other jurisdictions. This process continues. The MildGreen Initiative has led weight to the creation of the current Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) and more recently to the "Class-D" herbals classification as proposed by Hon. Jim Anderton the Associate Minister of Health, presently under Health Select Committee review.

HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH would be wise to re-consider its continuing untenable position of exclusionary practice based upon the narrow and ignorant view that 'cannabis law reform is political, promotes drug use, and has no community or institutional support'... or that it is off the agenda when clearly the WORLD VIEW is that its blanket prohibition manifests a matrix of dysfunction with implications for public health across the spectrum. (see links to NEWSCIENTIST "Miracle weed" and SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN "the Brains own Marijuana" analysis, reported in http://mildgreens.com/media/vioxx1.htm and "Classification of Ailments grouped by body system benefited by the use of cannabis" http://www.mildgreens.com/images/alexander.gif )

Consider:
In January I reported again via blairsblog@mildgreens.com, the EU state of POLAND has....after analyzing the enormous social and health related costs of criminalising the personal use of drugs, the

Ministry of Health has recommended de-criminalization of personal use again.

The new laws would change our policy from the costly and counter-productive �zero-tolerance� model, back to a sensible harm-reduction approach.


Dr. Marek Balicki, Poland�s Minister of Health stated,

�We still have the illusion that if we have criminal punishment for illicit drugs possession, then we will solve the drug problem. Making criminals from young people that have tried drugs is without sense. This is not a good road. We should punish dealers, not their victims.� and adds "that criminialisation of drug possession caused much harm to society and didn't produce any positive results."

This rational analysis by [a] the Department of Health observed that imposing criminal penalties for drug possession hasn't stopped people from using drugs and hasn't made drugs any less available. The new law in Poland also allows for other positive innovations.

A change in the �marijuana� drug law makes it easier for farmers to obtain a permit needed to grow industrial Cannabis, hemp. This broadens the possibilities for hemp in different sectors of our food production, manufacturing industries and trade. Farming organically to produce industrial feedstocks for making paper, food, cloth, building materials, plastics, cosmetics and health products, allows for a major economic shift, with enormous potential for increasing Poland�s resource base.

The advice from other jurisdictions is that the current 'prohibitive' policy framework and convention is failing our communities badly in two ways. Prohibitory enforcment results in denial of benefits as well as being a perpetual creator of problems. It is imperative the public is informed in order to resolve these tensions.

HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH is the correct and appropriate vehicle in which to have this conversation. It is an obligation under your charter irrespective of 'strong views'. The community is the beneficiary.

The steering committee may not have come to terms with this but HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH's collective membership cannot 'close the shutters in defense of the indefensible' without the community paying a price or suffering a consequence. It cannot resonably 'be seen' go to the community in a public consultation role and then pretend there is no public advocacy or worse, exclude 'a view' just because... there is a perception of a political context. And it cannot 'refuse to revisit a decision' in the light of new and compelling information.

Thank you for wishing us good luck, but HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH never did investigate the abhorrent and perverse sexual accusations intended as an assault on the writers dignity by the uniformed POLICE facilitator at last years "healthy christchurch' sponsored COMMUNITY RESPONSE anti-P presentation (and witnessed by 4 female ministry of education officials - table ten / Hagley net ball courts. ) Nor did it explain why the writer was labeled a proselytizer in its widely distributed P-project 'community feedback' report.. while MildGreens were still active participants in HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH.

The sterring Committee was alerted to this egregous conduct 'in its name' laid against a participating signatory, and CHOSE to ignore it. (again contrary to its charter)

The MildGreens didnt put a young girl and former prostitute under directed questioning while under treatment - before an audence of more than a hundred and fifty of her adult peers - embarrasingly contrary to clinical good practice, just to further its 'evil drug' agenda and the public policy aims of the 'secret facilitator' the Department of Internal Affairs.

The MildGreens didnt show outdated and already challenged overhead powerpoints lacking scientific foundations that misrepresent both methamphetamine and other illicit drug harms. The writer has repeatdly asked for the science accreditation for the methamphetamine induced 'holes in the brain image' - easily the worst clinical image of a brain scan this side of the discovery of X-rays.

Whereas, the MildGreens contributed *professorial advice (Roumasett, hawaii university) and a Manawatu Standard editorial discussing the UK Detective Chief Superintendant and former Scotland Yard (narcotics) representative from "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition" [www.leap.cc] views to Fielding Rotarians on how Great Britain managed methamphetamine "where we didnt let meth become a problem".

Both 'photocopies' testify how we in New Zealand and in our communities might better understand, manage, intercede and reduce the overall harms from the problem at hand. Further, both documents were consistent with 1996 National Drug Policy "harm reduction'" principles, however attending executive of HC was seen to retrieve and 'bin' these - purportedly as it was unauthorised, prefering ONLY the emotive, scary and unscientific literature of FADE - what kind of public consultation is that?

It has become increasingly clear that by omission of fact and perpetuating myth in respect of drug policy, HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH is facilitating 'moral panic'. This is a serious and grave accusation that undermines the great work done by the many sectors and interest groups participating for whom public policy and drug matters are a non issue.

It is not the MildGreens who are falling short here. Healthy Christchurch's ethical standards and best practice are under scrutiny.

Without the MildGreen Initiative, the public and civic funded HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH is pursuing the unworkable while sacrificing the possible.
Accordingly we are obliged to continue to elevate our concerns in the public arena in the spirit of the 'unfettered contest of ideas'.

The MildGreens respectfully ask that our reiterated and explicit concerns are duly noted by way of a hard copy of this email response be attached to the minutes.

We welcome discussions regarding the reinvitation to join Healthy Christchurch in due course.

/Blair Anderson
Co-Leader, Mildgreens.com
Director, Educators for Sensible Drug Policy (www.efsdp.org)
Delegate, United Nations NGO's on drug policy (www.encod.org)

cc: health Reporter, Christchurch PRESS.

---------------------
Kathryn Cannan wrote:

>Hi Blair--Got your phone message. Thanks. Have had the chance to discuss
>your message with the Healthy Christchurch Steering Group. Their responses:
>1--the decision about Mild Greens being a signatory to the Healthy
>Christchurch Charter has been made and will not be revisited;
>2--medicalisation of illicit drugs is not even on the "radar" of public
>health in New Zealand, never mind Christchurch, as it seems to be in
>Seattle. The Group suggests that you may want to get the Minister and
>Ministry of Health to support this stance. If this becomes a strategy that
>the Government decides to pursue, it will be fed down to public health units
>across the country.
>
>Good luck, Blair.
>
>Kathryn Cannan
>Coordinator
>Healthy Christchurch
>C/-Community and Public Health
>76 Chester Street East
>PO Box 1475
>Christchurch
>Ph 03 379 9480 ext 820
>FAX 03 379 6125
>
>Have a Healthy Christchurch Day!
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Saturday, March 12, 2005

COX-2 and Neville Yates...in Listener Mag.!



Trends, Listener Mar 12 Trends, Listener Mar 12

The highly regarded national weekly magazine LISTENER carried an interesting analysis of where COX-2 inhibitors and cannabis are linked.(12 march edition)

The core of the research is from Dr. of medicine, Ethan Russo - althought it usefuly explores how VIOXX and CELEBREX are related to inflammation and a large billboard see: "Big Pharma vs Grannies Special Tea"  http://mildgreens.com/media/vioxx1.htm  Sister Suzanne Aubert also gets a good mention (Maori Translater and Rongo, traditional medicine maker being beatified as a Saint) as does Queen Vic.

An interesting conclusion features the Neville Yates case, Judge David Holderness's sentencing while Big Pharma gets of scot free.

for JPG images for education purposes only see :
(health caution:these facsimile's have legislative implications)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mildgreens/listener/ListenerMar12trends1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mildgreens/listener/ListenerMar12trends2.jpg
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Friday, March 11, 2005

Just because your not paranoid, doesnt mean they arent after you.

Debate Over Marijuana Treatment Trends: "

'Being forced into treatment does not indicate you don't need it.'"

This has to be the classic prohibitionist lines of all time.

Who is that at the front door.. men in long white coats! They have come to take you away hah! hah!
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Decrim, Depenalize "worst case scenario"

Vancouver Sun: "As such, the new legislation plays right into the hands of organized crime by giving it an even greater stranglehold on the marijuana industry. The middle way -- moderating penalties for possession of marijuana while increasing penalties for its cultivation -- could well be a worst case scenario, even worse than leaving the law as it is.

The alternative -- legalization -- is one no country has taken yet, but it's an alternative the international community should consider. Canada can lead the way by explaining to the world the benefits of this radically different approach to dealing with marijuana."
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Monday, March 07, 2005

True test of ACT�s adherence to its core principals

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Christchurch Sister City Bar Assoc. says regulate to control of illegal drugs!

Give state full regulatory control of illegal drugs, county bar urges

Friday, March 4, 2005

By TRACY JOHNSON
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

<>[Also see :Washington state groups offer 'exit strategy' for the war on drugs,   By GENE JOHNSON,  ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER  - SEATTLE -- A group of Washington doctors, religious leaders and lawyers offered an "exit strategy" for the war on drugs proposing that it would aim to dry up the black market for heroin, marijuana and other substances by having the state regulate their distribution. ]


The state should take the control of drugs away from gangs and street dealers -- manufacturing them and distributing them to addicts instead of locking up users and letting the black market thrive, according to the King County Bar Association.

Proponents of the controversial idea, outlined in a report released yesterday, say continuing to deal with drug addiction as a crime instead of a medical problem is not only expensive, it simply doesn't work.

They say letting the state regulate now-illegal drugs would curb all kinds of problems in society that the so-called war on drugs has failed to address, including gang violence, petty crime and drug use by kids.

"It's time for us to take a fresh look at how we are dealing with the use and abuse of drugs in our society," said the Rev. Sandy Brown, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, which also stands behind the proposal.

"Our solutions aren't working. ... They've actually created injustices that need to be fixed."

Supporters acknowledge the idea is too new and controversial to get off the ground this year, despite a state Senate bill that proposed a first step. Bar association President John Cary said the idea, for now, is to get a discussion going about a sweeping drug-policy overhaul.

Under the bar association's proposal, drugs -- particularly hard drugs such as heroin -- would be produced in state facilities, offering better guarantees of purity.

The state could then regulate who gets them in various ways, including requiring people to prove they are addicted, limiting drug use to a restricted place, or even having users undergo training programs to learn more about drug-related health issues, such as blood-borne illness and sexually transmitted disease.

The idea of providing drugs to addicts makes little sense to some, but the strategy has shown great promise in European countries including Switzerland and the Netherlands, said Roger Goodman, director of the bar association's drug-policy project.

Goodman said "bringing addicts indoors" has made them less likely to commit crimes to support their habits, and regulated doses have allowed many people to decrease their drug use or, in some cases, quit.

In Vancouver, B.C., health officials are giving free doses of heroin to a small group of addicts with hopes of stemming drug-related crimes and eventually treating their addictions.

Different drugs should be regulated in different ways, giving the state more control over drugs that have more potential for harm, according to Goodman. Cocaine and heroin, for example, might need ultra-strict regulation; lawmakers might need to consider different methods to regulate marijuana because nearly anyone can grow it, according to the report.

The proposal shuns the politically explosive term of drug "legalization," pushing a concept of "strict regulation and control." Supporters hope to dispel images of heroin being sold over the counter, or street dealers doing the same thing they've always done without worrying about police.

The whole idea has drawn skepticism -- even from those who have been supportive of focusing on treating instead of incarcerating drug users and low-level dealers.

King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng said the way drug cases are handled "continues to be an important issue that deserves further discussion and study."

In a written statement yesterday, he said, "While I don't agree with the Bar Association's proposal, it's important to note that we have made significant changes in our criminal justice system with regard to decreasing sentences and increasing treatment options for drug offenders."

(Note: The preceding statement by Norm Maleng was misquoted in the original version of this article.)

Tom Riley, a spokesman for the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he didn't see how "making drugs less difficult for addicted users to get stems the problem." He suggested the idea would also invite a flood of lawsuits.

"A state or municipality would have to be crazy to take on the legal liability that would come with distributing products with such known, catastrophic health consequences," Riley said.

Supporters of the plan -- including the Seattle League of Women Voters, the Washington State Public Health Association and the Washington State Pharmacy Association -- say current drug policy is a tragic failure.  [I wonder where the "Healthy Christchurch" team stand on this now? /Blair ]

Studies in recent years have shown that drug-crime prison sentences have fallen disproportionately on blacks and that more than three-quarters of the $40 billion spent on drug abuse in the United States each year goes toward punishment, not treatment.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, sponsored the now-dead bill that would have created a panel of experts to decide how to implement the sweeping policy changes. He favors shifting the emphasis to drug-treatment but said many of his fellow lawmakers would not support such drastic changes to the state's drug policy.

"I think the King County Bar Association is light-years ahead of the Legislature in assessing the need for a radical sea change in the policy on drugs," Kline said.


P-I reporter Tracy Johnson can be reached at 206-448-8169 or tracyjohnson@seattlepi.com

© 1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sister City of Christchurch says "regulate"

Give state full regulatory control of illegal drugs, county bar urges
Friday, March 4, 2005
By TRACY JOHNSON, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

The state should take the control of drugs away from gangs and street dealers -- manufacturing them and distributing them to addicts instead of locking up users and letting the black market thrive, according to the King County Bar Association.

Proponents of the controversial idea, outlined in a report released yesterday, say continuing to deal with drug addiction as a crime instead of a medical problem is not only expensive, it simply doesn't work.

They say letting the state regulate now-illegal drugs would curb all kinds of problems in society that the so-called war on drugs has failed to address, including gang violence, petty crime and drug use by kids.

"It's time for us to take a fresh look at how we are dealing with the use and abuse of drugs in our society," said the Rev. Sandy Brown, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, which also stands behind the proposal.

"Our solutions aren't working. ... They've actually created injustices that need to be fixed."

Supporters acknowledge the idea is too new and controversial to get off the ground this year, despite a state Senate bill that proposed a first step. Bar association President John Cary said the idea, for now, is to get a discussion going about a sweeping drug-policy overhaul.

Under the bar association's proposal, drugs -- particularly hard drugs such as heroin -- would be produced in state facilities, offering better guarantees of purity.

The state could then regulate who gets them in various ways, including requiring people to prove they are addicted, limiting drug use to a restricted place, or even having users undergo training programs to learn more about drug-related health issues, such as blood-borne illness and sexually transmitted disease.

The idea of providing drugs to addicts makes little sense to some, but the strategy has shown great promise in European countries including Switzerland and the Netherlands, said Roger Goodman, director of the bar association's drug-policy project.

Goodman said "bringing addicts indoors" has made them less likely to commit crimes to support their habits, and regulated doses have allowed many people to decrease their drug use or, in some cases, quit.

In Vancouver, B.C., health officials are giving free doses of heroin to a small group of addicts with hopes of stemming drug-related crimes and eventually treating their addictions.

Different drugs should be regulated in different ways, giving the state more control over drugs that have more potential for harm, according to Goodman. Cocaine and heroin, for example, might need ultra-strict regulation; lawmakers might need to consider different methods to regulate marijuana because nearly anyone can grow it, according to the report.

The proposal shuns the politically explosive term of drug "legalization," pushing a concept of "strict regulation and control." Supporters hope to dispel images of heroin being sold over the counter, or street dealers doing the same thing they've always done without worrying about police.

The whole idea has drawn skepticism -- even from those who have been supportive of focusing on treating instead of incarcerating drug users and low-level dealers.

King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng said the way drug cases are handled "continues to be an important issue that deserves further discussion and study."

In a written statement yesterday, he said, "While I don't agree with the Bar Association's proposal, it's important to note that we have made significant changes in our criminal justice system with regard to decreasing sentences and increasing treatment options for drug offenders."

(Note: The preceding statement by Norm Maleng was misquoted in the original version of this article.)

Tom Riley, a spokesman for the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he didn't see how "making drugs less difficult for addicted users to get stems the problem." He suggested the idea would also invite a flood of lawsuits.

"A state or municipality would have to be crazy to take on the legal liability that would come with distributing products with such known, catastrophic health consequences," Riley said.

Supporters of the plan -- including the Seattle League of Women Voters, the Washington State Public Health Association and the Washington State Pharmacy Association -- say current drug policy is a tragic failure.

Studies in recent years have shown that drug-crime prison sentences have fallen disproportionately on blacks and that more than three-quarters of the $40 billion spent on drug abuse in the United States each year goes toward punishment, not treatment.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, sponsored the now-dead bill that would have created a panel of experts to decide how to implement the sweeping policy changes. He favors shifting the emphasis to drug-treatment but said many of his fellow lawmakers would not support such drastic changes to the state's drug policy.

"I think the King County Bar Association is light-years ahead of the Legislature in assessing the need for a radical sea change in the policy on drugs," Kline said.

P-I reporter Tracy Johnson can be reached at 206-448-8169 or tracyjohnson@seattlepi.com

� 1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Saturday, March 05, 2005

'Altered States' Rights

The Stranger | Seattle | News | City | Altered States' Rights: "Altered States' Rights
Making the Case to Legalize Drugs in Washington State

BY JOSH FEIT

'States' rights' has always been anathema to liberals--a code word for the Southern racism that embraced slavery, and later segregation. Nowadays, however, in an era when Red America controls the federal government and pushes things like a national ban on gay marriage, progressives are embracing states' rights: the founding fathers' idea of Federalism, in which states cede a few key powers to D.C. while maintaining robust sovereignty themselves.

So, what's the latest group to make the case that states' rights should determine policy? Try the flaming liberals at the King County Bar Association (KCBA), who on March 3 will release a radical proposal urging Olympia to reform local drug laws. And by 'reform,' the KCBA means make certain drugs legal so they can be yanked off the street (a hotbed of violent crime and addiction) and placed in a tightly regulated state market. Regulation could allow for things like safe injection sites, be used to wean addicts off drugs, and sap a black market that gives kids access to drugs."
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Friday, March 04, 2005

Cost of coal puts Huntly on hold [NBR]

Power company Genesis says it will defer the development of two coal-fired generators at Huntly, a decision Solid Energy CEO Don Elder said was down to the cost of coal.

The coal is there, he said, but the costs of extracting and moving it made it too expensive in today's electricity market.

"The issue here is about prices. Our reserves estimates have not changed. We have always said there are 200-300 million tonnes of coal in the Waikato, and we stand by that," he said.

Dr Elder said that Solid Energy recently completed work to rank each individual coal reserve in the Waikato into a priority order, from most easily recovered to the hardest and most expensive.

"We shared this information with Genesis. At today's electricity prices they are only comfortable with buying 50 million tonnes of our coal the coal that is most easily recoverable."

Dr Elder said that to recover more of the reserves, there were issues that had to be worked through.

"These include, for example, the location of current and planned state highways. Resolving them will naturally add cost.

"Genesis has taken the view that as of today they are not prepared to pay the higher prices for additional tranches of coal. However, I note in their statement that they are only putting these power stations on hold, not cancelling them. As electricity prices rises, they may well revisit the issue of using more Waikato coal for generation, as indeed may other power companies.

"The physical amount of coal has not disappeared. The issue is the amount of coal people want will always be governed by the end price of electricity, " he said.

(c) National Business Review

-- ends --

also see "CoalFace" http://www.solidenergy.co.nz/newsletters/0604.pdf

Blair Anderson
(643)3894065
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Half of Christchurch teens have tried cannabis - research

Half of Christchurch teens have tried cannabis - research: Which makes them ALL criminals! (and Prof Furgusson wonders why they are paranoid)
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INCB says.....

Cannabis is increasingly being grown locally, particularly in member states of the European Union, the INCB said in the report, adding that its use had grown in almost all countries over the past decade.

"The above mentioned upward trend in cannabis use seems to be related to the efforts by some to promote the notion that cannabis use is not harmful."

United Nations Drug Intelligence? Doh!
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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cannabis�Legal Status (hansard)

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER - Wednesday, 2 March 2005: "Cannabis�Legal Status

5. JUDY TURNER (Deputy Leader�United Future) to the Associate Minister of Health: Is he satisfied with the current legal status of cannabis; if so, why?

Hon JIM ANDERTON (Associate Minister of Health): The Labour-Progressive Government is satisfied with the current illegal status of cannabis. It is illegal because of the empirical evidence that cannabis use is particularly harmful to young people, those with mental health disorders, and their families and their communities.

Judy Turner: Has the Minister seen new research released yesterday from the Christchurch school of medicine confirming a clear link between cannabis use and an increased risk of psychosis; if so, is this not even more compelling evidence that the current legal status of cannabis should not change?

Hon JIM ANDERTON: Yes, I have seen that, and I believe that all members of Parliament should take the opportunity to read it. It is instructive not only for those who use cannabis on a heavy-dose basis but even for those who are casual users."

Cont --- but where is the evidence?
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