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

Friday, September 30, 2005

Air pollution worse than thought

Research Indicates Health Effects of Air Pollution Are Underestimated

Air pollution may be a bigger health threat than previously believed, a 20-year study of residents of Los Angeles indicates. Researchers report that the contribution of particulate matter to chronic health problems may be as much as two to three times greater than current estimates.
http://intangiblethings.blogspot.com/2005/09/air-pollution-worse-than-thought.html
 Blair Anderson    
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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Crime-fighting dogs make a case for congressional support

Crime-fighting dogs make a case for congressional support: "They performed flawlessly: finding hidden explosives and a bag of marijuana that had been sneaked into a desk.

Lawmakers are considering federal standards for how these dogs are bred and trained, as well as a possible boost in funding. The canines sniff out explosives, drugs and suspects at airports, border crossings and crime scenes. Soon they may also be deployed in mass transit systems and commuter trains."
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Crying Wolf

Crying Wolf, A Grim Tale by by Marian Barnes: "Once upon a time there was a little boy called Sonny, whose parents wanted the very best for him. Because of all the publicity, scare-mongering and hysteria about drugs, Sonny's parents were very concerned that their little boy should not be sucked into this scary scene. You can imagine their horror when one day they discovered that Sonny had been using marijuana - and he was only thirteen!"
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Helen Clark's Seed Bed and for SHORE issue.

Dear Phil, the sheep is on the right
<http://technorati.com/search/Helen+Clark?from=http://mildgreens.blogspot.com>

> I feel that your comments regarding Helen Clark require a response.
>
> ...But its just as well Helen is not being invited to give an
> opinion as to whether she deserves a toilet brush award
> for lying and deception, not to mention malfeasance!!!!
> (Golly!)

Someone who, in choosing not to intervene (do nothing to prevent harm to another human being) is as complicit as those who conspire to do so.

Negligence is an unlawful behavior. Malfeasance describes negligence in service of others. The standard of proof associates profit or gain (tangible or otherwise) with degrees of complicity. I suggest the governership of a nation is at the tall end of this non-monetised scale. Helen Clark's sorry arse is every bit deserving of an applied toilet brush. The only matter in question is the vigor at it should beapplied and perhaps more interestingly, seen to be done.

The process of review of the law may not have produced 'legalisation' but since Helen Clark in her '94 conclusion said of Helen Shaw at Waikato University,

I would like to end my address today by reissuing the challenge Helen Shaw made at the Cannabis and Health conference in Wellington last October to

have the courage to use to best effect the available information and understandings on marijuana.
Commission sound research to provide a scientific base to underpin present and future policies and programmes; and
Be honest and address the real issues (not just the politically safe ones) in a sensible productive and purposeful way.

If we can explore alternative policies with open minds and without petty political agendas intruding, I believe a consensus on a new, more rational approach may well emerge.

Helen Shaw was given to understand that the review would be as embracing, that the EACD was a 'safe pair of hands' and due process would not bow to mammon.

I heard the expression "House Nigger" used on Linda Clark's Radio New Zealand Nine to Noon this morning. Malfeasance not just a malediction describing Helen Clarks eleven years of perpetuated misadministration.

I like the comic metaphor of whuppin the old girl with a toilet brush for this dereliction [especially] if the weekends political choices are prohibitory.

Helen Clark's Seed Bed and for SHORE issue must be to fix what's broken now, any delay is prohibition in drag.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Massey Students Association explain voter preferences

M@WSA: "Why not the NORML or the Aotearoa Decriminalisation of Cannabis Party?

Because they are all just old stoners that do nothing for the cause."
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The propaganda continues...

Transform : TDPF: "The Home Secretary's decision to refer the reclassification issue back to the ACMD was all about pre-election politics and nothing to do with new evidence of cannabis-related health risks."
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Unhealthy Politics (youth policy/Helen Clark)

Youth policy Q&A: Helen Clark [03.09.2005]
Politicians were asked to answer questions on their policies as part of the Herald's commitment in this election campaign to informed choice - our promise to explain the real issues.
-snip-


What is your policy on cannabis law reform and would you entertain or support any type of decriminalisation?


We don't have a policy on it, and we would treat it as a conscience issue, as we [treat] anything to do with alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. We've had select committees look at the issue twice, but it hasn't resulted in law reform.

When we entered into the confidence-and-supply arrangement with United Future, the Government specifically undertook not to advance cannabis law reform.

Would you like to preside over a government where there is reform and where potentially it would be possible to smoke a joint out in Queen St?

My first answer to that is that drug use, including cannabis, and tobacco for that matter, is dopey. Pardon the pun. The second issue is, I like to be guided by the evidence on it.

Now a number of countries have gone down a partial prohibition or partial decriminalisation route, which in the past I've expressed interest in.

Even when I was Minister of Health I had advice that partial decriminalisation should be a path that New Zealand went down. I didn't act on it at that time. I'm happy to keep the issue before select committees, before expert panels.

But having been Minister of Health and having to grapple with the problems of tobacco and alcohol, one does hesitate before doing anything that might be seen to encourage the use of other drugs.


[now compare this to 10 years before /Blair]


A Healthy Concern - Helen Clark 1994 Spring NORML

Labour leader Helen Clark recently stated that she supports marijuana law reform. Her words excerpted from a recent speech show...
Marijuana is certainly a current issue. The Drugs Advisory Committee is about to report to the Government on issues relating to cannabis. I hope that the report will foreshadow better public policy in this issue. That is what I believe we need.
We need public policy on drugs based on a health perspective.
From 1984-1192 there was a 42% decline in tobacco consumption. We should learn from that success. It certainly wasn�t based on prohibition!

Historical and political factors, rather than sound public policy, have led to the different treatment of various drugs.

Good public policy requires of us to ask: is our current policy working? Does prohibition reduce the supply and use of marijuana? I sumit that it does not.

Prohibition might in theory provide parents with some leverage in exhorting children not to use drugs and young people with a means to resist peer pressure. Frankly I doubt that it is effective in either respect.

Prohibition is certainly not stopping people trying marijuana.
Prohibition is costly, both in terms of social harm and the economic costs of enforcement. Prohibition may actually act to drive families apart as parents react adversely to the illicit habits of their children.

Prohibition actually causes harm by involving otherwise law-abiding citizens who are marijuana smokers in the criminal scene.

Offenders are predominantly young and male. Youthful indiscretion resulting in a criminal conviction may restrict employment and travel opportunities for the rest of a person's life.

The costs of prohibition are high...It is hard to defend spending on that scale enforcing a law which has little effect in deterring use of marijuana.

The truth is that prohibition inhibits effective health treatment. People are reluctant to explore issues honestly when to do so may reveal that they have commited an offence punishable by imprisonment!

Prohibition is not good public policy. It has not been able to reduce the demand for or the supply of marijuana. Obviously it can't reduce the the harm to health caused by marijuana use and it has harmful social effects in criminalising citizens who are otherwise law abiding.

It is my view that the resources we currently spend on enforcement would be better spent on initiatives to discourage and prevent marijuana use and on other socially useful purposes. $30 million per annum [in 1994] diverted from detecting, detaining, judging and punishing cannabis offenders would be welcomed by our schools and our health services!

Good public policy must be based on reality - not an image of the drug free world the way we would like it to be, but on the reality of how the world actually is. That is why I reject the view that our approach should be one of prohibition. it does not work. A quarter of young New Zealanders aged between fifteen and seventeen have tried marijuana as have 43% of the entire population. I do not believe we ought to make criminals out of those users.

also see http://www.mildgreens.com/reports/helenc94.htm
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Hempcar.com A diesel on hemp fuel

Grayson Sigler, of Hampton, Virginia, shows off his 1983 Mercedes turbo diesel wagon that runs on fuel produced from hemp plants.

Hemp seen as fuel substitute

Also see http://hempcar.org
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

dope & mental health, a distortion and factually wrong

Addaction news: "Sunday Times report on mental health and cannabis was a �distortion and factually wrong�, says Addaction.

Release date: September 19th 2005

Addaction, the national drug and alcohol treatment charity today issued the following statement:

The Sunday Times published a story on September 18th under the heading �Mental Health Problems Soar Among Children Using Cannabis� by Will Iredale and Holly Watt that bore little relation to any information supplied by Addaction, and was, in our view, entirely misleading."

Rosie Brocklehurst, Director of Communications at Addaction said: �The subject of cannabis-related psychosis is a very serious subject and the report in the Sunday Times made serious claims, based on no evidence supplied by us. We suspect the story was influenced by the Sunday Times wish to write a piece before the imminent deliberations by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. The ACMD will be reviewing the scientific evidence on cannabis use and misuse and will be making recommendations to the Government in the light of those deliberations.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Safety First: Beyond Zero Tolerance

"Beyond Zero Tolerance is a comprehensive, cost-effective approach to high school drug education and student assistance that is all about helping teenagers by bolstering the student community and educational environment. This unique approach combines education, interaction, assistance when needed, and restorative practices"

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sniffing Out the Truth about Drug Dogs

Sniffing Out the Truth about Drug Dogs

DSW: Given the problems with drug dogs explored at your website, why do you think they are so popular with police departments and municipal government?

Curry: Oh that is easy. You have to remember that there is a strong incentive for law enforcement not to CARE whether the dogs are accurate. The dogs can simply be props for lies, in that the dogs are there to overcome refusals to consent to search, and the dog provides law enforcement officers (LEOs) with the ability to say that an alert occurred even if there was no alert. And here is another angle: some LEOs do not want a "drug dog," they want a "car dog," in that they want a dog that when shown a car will alert, as if to say "yes that is a car." For some LEOs the goal is to search whenever the LEO desires, period. The dog is simply a ruse to do so.


[Another interesting site that promotes drug searching dogs etc, see;
http://www.dopedog.com/business_sweeps.html /Blair ]
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On Underage Drinking

"Reporters who cover teen drinking often take the values hidden in the discussion of risks related to teen alcohol use for granted. But in order to develop effective policies for dealing with underage alcohol abuse, these assumptions need to be exposed, questioned, and challenged so that parents and politicians can explore a whole range of solutions and make the best choices for their kids."

It is a shame that so much media attention is given to left testicles, oddly worded emails, tit-for-tat who said what but the core issues that underpin the sensibilities of the nation are ignored. Because it is just too difficult ? - I dont beleive it. Intellectually dishonest comes to mind.... especially as the two likely coalition 'confidence and supply' partners, United Future, NZ Ist along with Jim Andertons Progressive Party are sellouts to evidence based policy formulation on alcohol, and just about everything else youth can get there hands on.

Media, Complicit... You bet.



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Media soft on cannabis prohibitionists

Media have shut the public out of the cannabis debate by refusing to acknowledge and explore the broad case for reform that the Legalise movement promotes. Craven politicians have stepped into the breach.

Voters in this election see potential coalition partners, Peter Dunne, Jim Anderton, and now Winston Peters et al convincing themselves and spreading disinformation, while never having to answer questions about the absolute ineffectiveness, injustice, dishonesty and damage of their policy." [more]
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Sunday, September 11, 2005

UK Police 'can't cope' with cultivation

Police 'can't cope' as Vietnamese flood drugs trade
http://www.guardian.co.uk/drugs/Story/0,2763,1567385,00.html
Gangs make millions by targeting London with cannabis grown in houses rented from unsuspecting landlords

Senior officers believe the sharp rise is at least partly due to the decision to reclassify cannabis from a class B to a class C drug which led to an increase in demand.
Tighter border controls as a result of the terrorist threat have also made the domestic product more sought after. Gangs who grow cannabis make far higher profits now because they do not have to smuggle the drugs across borders.

This is the predicted outcome of the half baked notion that decriminalizing possession and legislating increasing sentences for supply brings about.

The Canadian Senate Inquiry called decriminalisation (and instant fines) the worst possible scenario. Perhaps the London experience will assist people to understand why! Regrettably, the Canadian Senators also predicted such an anomalous system would be hard to 'correct' with the required liberal adjustement as prohibitors coalesce round the failures with the 'we told you so" chant.

When reason prevails, it will be seen that the right to possess without the right to cultivate, process, trade and transport is a barren right.
/Blair Anderson

  
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Friday, September 09, 2005

Christian Parties a political enigma.

Christian Parties purporting moral standards are a political enigma.

Scoop and Blogger "Big News"

It was the Christian 'temperance' movement that enabled universal suffrage to achieve its end game of prohibition, yet it was the very same 'now vote enabled' constituency who voted that prohibition was unchristian (failed all efficacy).

It is the morality based parties who support the USA led war on drugs.. yet again we now find that the pragmatic established churches are 'reform minded'.

The societal implications is the 'game is up' - prohibition is now seen as unchristian. (cf. Church Council of Greater Seattle, Unitarian Church etc. )

Only the radicalized political theosophy as witnessed by struggle of the Brethren, Destiny and other family values minority stake holders behind United Future (polling <2%) to influence outcomes suggests such blanket prohibitions are increasingly in collapse.

Like the 1930's church focused and organised movement to destroy alcohol laws with a dangerous anti-family context, the world is waking up to the USA lead impositional 'last grasp' at moral straws.

Its only a matter time.
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Thursday, September 08, 2005

It Is Time for Marijuana to Be Reclassified

"People obey laws they believe to be just; they do not obey the marijuana laws because they know they are unjust, even absurd. Kids quickly see through lies. Many kids may discount the proper scare tactics about really dangerous drugs, like heroin and PCP, because the dangers of marijuana have been so overstated." - That's my opinion. I'm Dr. George Lundberg, Editor of MedGenMed.

George D. Lundberg, MD, is Editor-in-Chief, Medscape General Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts mailto:glundberg@medscape.net
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Tory contender calls for more liberal drug laws

"David Cameron, the Tory leadership contender, believes the UN should consider legalising drugs and wants hard-core addicts to be provided with legal 'shooting galleries' and state-prescribed heroin.

He also supported calls for ecstasy to be downgraded from the class-A status it shares with cocaine and heroin and said it would be 'disappointing' if radical options on the law on cannabis were not looked at."
-snip-
His remarks will shock many Tories MPs who have traditionally taken a hard line on drug possession and use. The leadership contender said he favoured "fresh thinking and a new approach" towards drugs policy
-snip-

Now here is a chalenge for New Zealand - a debate on drug policy?
While the tyranny of the minority Peter Dunne is chatting with Prime Minister Helen Clark and Leader of the Opposition Don Brash about "maintaining cannabis prohibition' in the face of exonerative evidence for change the drug isse remains undiscussed on the hustings.

No wonder we have 'non-participation' in society!
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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New research fund targets health priorities - Yeah Right!

New Zealand�s 21 District Health Boards have established a $6M health research fund to address key knowledge gaps for DHBs."

Save your money DHB's, the public health gap that needs closed is currently occupied by Peter Dunne, Jim Anderton and company..
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Jails failing says criminologist

crime.co.nz: "Victoria University criminologist Dr Trevor Bradley says New Zealand's imprisonment rate is embarrassing and should not be talked up by politicians as evidence of dealing with crime effectively. "

see also http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/2005/09/labour-to-target-drug-fuelled.html
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Alternative fuels solution to petrol price hikes

"Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is calling on the Government to make faster progress in introducing alternative fuels, such as bio-diesel and bio-ethanol,"

And not before time!

However, until ethanol can be produced (and it can be, it just needs commercialisation) in one pass processing the cost of producing a litre of ethanol is currently estimated to be 1.3 litres of ethanol. Coperative Biofuel and Biodiesel is the resource to peg income and outgoings at the 'farm gate'. Its like having OPEC on your doorstep!

We need some infrastructural changes to accomodate for carbon credits and emmissions accounting, but mandating biofuel as an additive is not the answer. Its a 'signal' to the markets but it may be the wrong one!

Biofueling our rural productivity has immense opportunity but the principle beneficiary's will be to everyone as public health costs diminish.

While Biofuels may yet be the enduring tax cut we all need, sunlight to liquid fuels energy resources remains a bulk material handling problem that the rural farmer may yet be collectively able to make a significant and creative contribution. Future mapping biofuels into the an Alternative energy economy is about science, economics, confidence, will power and committment, not wish lists says the Ilam Candidate who is keen to take the issue to the floor of the house. If we internalise the benefits, its WIN WIN WIN. Like our farming folk, I cannot understand why the commitement to progress beyond cheapo talk hasnt been taken seriously when millions of 'sustainable' development money from Japan and the USA has already been offered.

The financial security of our nation may depend on it.


se also:economics of biofuels at
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/2005/09/christchurch-air-quality-study.html

/Blair
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Monday, September 05, 2005

Labour to target drug-fuelled offenders

'tough on crime and tough on causes of crime'.

Politics is getting dumber and dumber - Goff, Hawkins, Swain and Ryall are at it again.

With the inescapable relationship between crime, votes and prejudice on the hustings, debate has decended to new levels of debasement.
Profering success as failure and failure as success each is outdoing the others stupidity touting bland repression rhetoric over harm reducing regulation. They even call the second highest rate of incarceration in the western world 'a success'.

If how many are in prison is proof of success God save us from failure... say the Mild Greens.

[extract from STUFF Friday 2nd Sept]
Making drug-crazed offenders more culpable would be implemented through a change to the Sentencing Act and would apply to all crimes and all drugs. It is in response to public fears about the prevalence of the drug P in high-profile violence cases.

Until now, judges have not been able to reduce or increase sentences based on the offender's drug use at the time of the crime.

As well as taking a harder line on drugs, Labour's wide-ranging policy proposes a review of the various laws barring impersonation of government agents to see whether they can be streamlined or bolstered."
[ends ]
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Tough on crime and tough on causes of crime.

'tough on crime and tough on causes of crime'.

Making drug-crazed offenders more culpable would be implemented through a change to the Sentencing Act and would apply to all crimes and all drugs. It is in response to public fears about the prevalence of the drug P in high-profile violence cases.

Until now, judges have not been able to reduce or increase sentences based on the offender's drug use at the time of the crime.
(this is the punitive vengeful mandatory minimums by another name. An unmitigated disaster and the engine behind the prison industrial complex in the USA. Nearly every State in the Union is going broke trying to maintain the indefensible. Prisons or Hospitals and Schools? /Blair)

As well as taking a harder line on drugs, Labour's wide-ranging policy proposes a review of the various laws barring impersonation of government agents to see whether they can be streamlined or bolstered.
Impersonating intelligence should be a capital offence... / Blair
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Sunday, September 04, 2005

commentating on commentating....

Dear Peter, [mailto:metcalph@quicksilver.net.nz]

editor of METCALPH'S BLOG

Curiously I observe your 'dope' prejudices from time to time.

For someone professing objectivity, your linking my candidacy in ILAM to 125 votes for the ALCP is laughably ridiculous and says more about your intellectual fidelity than what I stand for.

Perhaps you might like to pay attention to the fact that in this 'presidential' style election campaign there is a factor that you have under estimated, the 'little guys' access to the new media 'advantage' and of course the powerful contribution one person can make to to informed debate.

Were you to be as candid as you have been to others in your independent candidate assessment, you might like to reference some 'real' data ABOUT ME rather than your apparently anti dope (the word even stinks of prejudice) position, report that I am not even a financial member of the ALCP and be a bit more diligent in maintaining an impartial presentation.

Consider, I ran against Jim Anderton in 2002, I got more than 600 votes as an independent and my entire campaign cost less than 25 dollars. Which in real terms is probably the most cost effective vote/dollar campaign in New Zealand. Perhaps that is because I trade in ideas and deliver my message by other means.

Stumble over my web site if you wish.... I'm not here to inform you, CONVINCE YOU of my ideals or demand any retraction or correction....
Frankly, I don't care what you think, nor do i dwell on your political allegiance.

But i do care about your publishing misleading and 'omission of fact' disenfranchising of legitimate electoral debate.

New Zealand was the only westminster based nation that had 'lets not talk about cannabis' as a condition of supply and confidence. Judy Turner (UF) threatened to throw the toys out of the cot in June 'if there was going to be any change in the legal status of cannabis'...And that Peter, would have given us an early election. Perhaps Helen Clark was right to quietly ignore the issue for stability....aferall it was she who said "partial decriminalisation'.. Even David Lange said "tax and regulate'. Notably in 1998 the LABOUR party passed a remit demanding a ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY into the drug laws relating to cannabis. Few who supported the motion 'did dope', but likely some may have.

But the impression you leave is to offensively pretend that dope is all I do. Even were it so, I have 530 Professors of Economics who support my world view... three of who are nobel laureates.
(see: http://www.prohibitioncosts.org) Perhaps there is our enduring national tax cut. Certainly neither accounting guru's Don Brash nor Micheal Cullen have been able to substantiate to ANYONE, least of all tax payers that prohibition is a cost effective intervention.

If you think I (or indeed many others including ALCP) do this to "GET' elected then please dismiss this email, it is likely it won't make sense to you.
But if on the other hand your integrity is worth the time you put into your candidate evaluation in your otherwise excellent blog, then make of it what you will.

Have an utterly magnificent day.... /Blair
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Saturday, September 03, 2005

MildGreens cited on "whats broken in Biloxi", Baghdad on The Bayou.

Top Story: Baghdad on The Bayou. Chernobyl for the American Political Class. Changing the Context for the Drugwar. How Damaging This Fiasco Must Be To The Morale Of Our Troops In Iraq.: "Consequently, when an evacuation order is given, they are the least likely to believe it is really necessary. �'Injustice breeds injustice, bad laws breed contempt, and dispossession breeds alienation.�
See: New Zealanders� Analysis of the Consequences of the Violence of Marijuana Prohibition. Bravo! "
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Friday, September 02, 2005

Christchurch air quality study supports tougher rules

New research shows that tougher central and local government air quality standards in Christchurch will save dozens of lives and millions of dollars every year.

The Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (HAPiNZ) Christchurch pilot study was released today. The report says that air pollution from domestic fires, industry and vehicle emissions causes 158 premature deaths in Christchurch each year and costs the local economy $168 million annually."

The rules are flawed.. the research shows that for effective health outcomes from air pollution, the investment and effort must be directed at where the harms are. see http://www.mildgreens.com/biosafe

The solution is is not technical in its entirety, information and education compliment the solution. First however, the [true] story has to be told, and health promotion enabled.

Labour's initiative to foster biodiesel etc by mandate is intended to be capacity building (and vote catching) but the proposal is not enduring. Risk management demands certainty. Potential investors into this scenario are going to be the oil company's who will asure us they are good corporate citizens with our interest at heart in exchange for guaranteed profits. Why should Big Oil be rewarded for the mess they have created.

The MILDGREEN bioSAFE proposal 'concept' directs the effort towards the need and is an enduring and optimal solution.It pits internalised benefits to community against foreign stewardship.

When we own what we do....we do best!

/Blair
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Macpherson's "fearful breastbeating"

BaldrigePlus.com: "I’M glad your headline editor toned down the fearful breastbeating indulged in recently by Central Otago mayor Malcolm Macpherson (ODT, 29.9.05). It is quite alarming to read such unbecomingly emotive and factually incorrect language from a mayor on the front page of a reputable newspaper. The mayor’s friend, Trevor Grice, referred to in the article, also likes stirring people up with the same bunkum claims. Your headline was more accurate, though your reporter seems keen on the same tactics as Messrs Macpherson and Grice, ie. trying to scare parents with exaggeration, distortion and selective use of facts. The police were most definitely concerned about alcohol, the most dangerous substance inter-generationally used and abused by Kiwis, but Dr Macpherson had nothing to say about that.

Paula Lambert

Christchurch



[Abridged. Dr Macpherson also acknowledged alcohol was a problem— Ed.]

My comment - Paula Lambert was number 4 on the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party list in New Zealand's recent general election - she has a vested interest in encouraging use!"
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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Churches Youth Ministries Studies 'policy double standards'

"Binge Drinking, Youth Suicide linked to Drug Policy"

extract from Churches Youth Ministries Studies - "How Social Structures Affect Young People"

GOAL: To understand the social issues and political processes that affect young people.

Social Structures
Many of us shy away from the word �structures� when it is raised in the context of justice. Yet it is really quite simple. We choose to organise our society in particular ways. For example: the way we organise our communal resources are economic structures; the way we organise decsion making are our political structures; and the way we organise relationships are our social structures. By looking at the way society is organised we see what its structures are. Structures are not predetermined or inevitable. They have been developed by people and governments who make decisions to organise society in a particular way. They have been different in the past. They can be different in the future if we choose to change them.
edited from: Smithies, R and Wilson, H (ed.) Making Choices: Social Justice For Our Times,
Epworth Bookroom, Wellington, July 1993, P31-32 and P57-59

page 2

9) Social structures affect young people in both positive and negative ways. On pages 9-11 of the
resource material you will find a description of the four interconnected social environments which
affect young people both positively and negatively. Discuss with your mentor, how you can help cultivate a positive environment for young people at home, at school, in the community, and among their peers.
10) Read the article titled �Binge Drinking, Youth Suicide Linked to Drug Policy� on page 12 of your resource material.
Write two pages in response to this article Include in your response:
a) your opinion on the links between cannabis prohibition and suicide
b) Your opinion on the impact of lowering the drinking age.
c) How you might engage in conversation about these issues with a youth group of 15-17 year
olds.
and what they read.....

"There is no scientific credibility in the National Drug Double Standard, and it is little wonder the youth of NZ have switched off to the hypocritical messages of politicians", said Mr Anderson. [page 12]
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