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 29, 2005

Lindisfarne pupil expelled for cannabis, Hawkes Bay NZ

Hawkes Bay Today: "Lindisfarne pupil expelled for cannabis offence

22.11.2005 REON SUDDABY

A Lindisfarne College student has been expelled from the school and may face criminal charges after he allegedly tried to sell cannabis to other students.

Although the school is remaining tight-lipped about the incident, Lindisfarne College Board of Trustees chairman John Wakeman confirmed the 16-year-old had been expelled from the school, following an incident a fortnight ago.

Mr Wakeman refused to comment on the specifics of the matter, as he understood the boy could end up appearing in court.

Hastings police Senior Constable Ross Stewart confirmed the student had been referred to youth aid for possessing cannabis for supply.

The student was found with three and a half cannabis 'bullets' at the school.

Rumours circulating around the school suggested the cannabis had been laced with methamphetamine, or 'P', but Mr Stewart yesterday confirmed that was not the case. A decision would probably be made in the next week whether the youth would be prosecuted.

Mr Wakeman said the matter had been brought to the attention of authorities by 'one of the more responsible individuals' at the school, who had heard drug rumours 'through the grapevine.'
[snip]
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Trial 'reward' for drugged drivers (Qld)

The Courier-Mail: Trial 'reward' for drugged drivers [ 29nov05 ]: "Trial 'reward' for drugged drivers
Malcolm Cole, state political correspondent and Renee Viellaris
29nov05

DRIVERS in southeast Queensland will be given $20 and an indemnity from prosecution for confessing to their drug habits in a State Government trial"
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Monday, November 28, 2005

Drugged drivers worry Townsville police

Drugged drivers worry Townsville police
http://www.abc.net.au/news/items/200511/1518167.htm?northqld

This item is egregious.
It could as much as read "Horseflies worry health officials".

There is a structural failure in the foundation of the police concern,
the presumption that increased enforcement 'of illicit drugs' is in some
way going to positively impact on driving retaliated harms based upon
this elevated interdiction method.

While the writer agrees that there is an onus of care due to a community
in delivering effective harm prevention strategies what is at debate,
but remains unexplored, is the methodology and effectiveness of
warrantless and personally invasive 'random' testing. There has been no
cost benefit analysis, no community dialogue, and no informed consent.
Such blanket measures break normative rules of justice and civil
society, esp the right to Magna Carta principal to 'travel the kings
highway'.

The 'zero tolerant' inference is that ANY level of drug is bad, absent
evidence (rather than police opinion) that proof of impairment. This
needs further public debate and scientific rigor.

Alcohol impairment for the greater part is 'directly correlated' to
potential for and evidence of many subsequent harms. The public has a
buy in here, it accepts that these risks are both quantifiable and in
general, a knowable 'personal responsibility'. The important role of
driver education and progressing the cultural/social idiom has gone
further than purely enforcement to mitigate that risk. It achieves this
by having 'tolerance' of low level use equating to low level of risk of
harm.

There are many drugs both licit and illicit, and behaviors legal and
illegal that contribute to poor road safety. Prescribed medications,
tiredness, stress, kids (distractions) etc. are prevalent, and also
cause accidents.

We have to be very careful implementing this kind of societal sanction,
ensuring that we are doing it for right reasons... We certainly need
more than this kind of horsefly analysis.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Podcast.net - Cultural Baggage

the unvarnished truth about the drug war. See http://www.drugtruth.net for details on the guest for this weeks program and to hear archives of previous shows see
http://www.podcast.net/show/2100
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Root of the problem � drug dealing, Israel to legalise

: "Soft drugs to be legalized?

MK submits bill to Knesset proposing not to consider use of small quantity of cannabis as criminal offense / by Alan Marciano

A short while before going to elections, MK Roman Bronfman (Meretz-Yahad) submitted a bill to the Knesset proposing not to incriminate soft drug users.

According to the bill, which seeks to dramatically change Israel's drug policy, from now on any use or possession of the cannabis drug at a quantity smaller than 50 grams (about 1.8 ounces) would not be considered as a criminal offense."
(snip)
Bronfman claimed that his bill was based on research, saying that "Israel's total ban policy has failed; the number of drug users rises every year; the Anti-Drug Authority is losing the public's trust by conveying a wrong and false message that there is no difference between soft and hard drugs.


"I suggest focusing on comprehensively and reliably explaining the damages of all kinds of drugs, but simultaneously not harassing a normative population that occasionally smokes marijuana, and focusing (from the resource aspect) on the root of the problem � drug dealing and more efficient treatment of hard drug users," he said.
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Friday, November 18, 2005

New Study: Marijuana Users Less Depressed

New Study: Marijuana Users Less Depressed: "Marijuana Users Less Depressed
Largest-Ever Study of Marijuana, Depression Finds Fewer Depressive Symptoms, Better Mood

ALBANY, NEW YORK�In the largest-ever study of marijuana and depression, to be published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, daily or weekly marijuana users had fewer symptoms of depression than non-users. Marijuana users were also more likely to report positive moods and fewer somatic complaints such as sleeplessness. Noteworthy differences were also found between those using marijuana for medical purposes and non-medical or 'recreational' users.

The new research appears to contradict statements by some government officials suggesting that marijuana is a cause of depression. For example, in a May 3, 2005, press release from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, ONDCP Director John Walters said, 'Marijuana use, particularly during the teen years, can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia.'

'Not only does marijuana not cause depression, it looks like it may actually alleviate it,' said Mitch Earleywine, co-author of the new study and associate professor of psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York."
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

MJ Arrests soaring amid concerted police effort

Hmmmm - thinking outloud!

The increases in 'cannabis arrest' numbers in America are surely a 'by-catch' of increased technology and surveillance [silent policemen] and the unintended consequence of incidental interdiction of otherwise lawabiding seekers of cognitive liberty compelled by circumstance to be in oppositional defiance (of the law, politics of state and mediocrity).

I recently calculated from New York States cannabis annual consumption at anyone time there is about 10,000 citizens not just in illicit possession of at least 1 kg of cannabis, but are responsible for transporting it 'on their person in public, via public transport, or responsible for the vehicle' and thus become are at elevated risk of being subject to random interdiction and/or accidental expose.

Elevated risk of a deviant response becomes self fulfilling in the data..

Of course the amount of cannabis interdicted at San Francisco from Farid was a mere .0001 gm (1 millionth of the above amount), and he become 'one' such statistic. This makes the numbers quoted below farcical if it wasn't palpably anti humanitarian, sexist, racist and ageist in its application..

Fear and paranoia can, under exceptional circumstances, is a harm reducing safety and survival mechanism.

"You tell me I'm the crazy one Officer?, your here to save me from myself but by your Orwelian hand you intend to turn me into a victim. - Fuck off! "

signed: Blair 'oppositionaly defiant or deviancy amplified, take your pick' Anderson



clifford thornton wrote:
<>Some excellent charts also accompany this article and are available on the
sign on San Diego home page.

Find this article at:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20051115-9999-1n15pot.html


Arrests soaring amid concerted police effort

By Joe Cantlupe
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

November 15, 2005

Arrests for marijuana offenses in the U.S. are way up. Plant seizures in San
Diego County are on the rise. What's behind the nation's war on pot?
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cops and Harm Reduction Hotties, Oh My! -- In These Times

Good report from the DPA Conference in LongBeach.

Cops and Harm Reduction Hotties, Oh My! -- In These Times: "The group causing the biggest buzz, by far, were the representatives of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which calls for an end to the drug war altogether. In the three years since the group�s founding, the not-for-profit has cultivated an impressive advisory board with the likes of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson; Joseph McNamara, San Jose�s former police chief; Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell; former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper and U.S. District Court Judge John Kane."
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Monday, November 14, 2005

Whole Cannabis and Arthritis

GW Pharma: Sativex explored for use in arthritis - Pharmaceutical Business Review: "Sativex uses two key components from a cannabis plant, Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, both of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In the small, five-week randomized study, the cannabis-based drug produced statistically significant improvements in pain of movement, pain at rest, quality of sleep, and disease activity.

GW Pharma claims that Sativex may also slow disease progression, although key factors that assess facets such as joint space narrowing have not been reported. Nevertheless, with such promising results, GW Pharma will now look towards the initiation of a larger trial to consolidate its findings.

Unless GW Pharma can prove a slow in disease progression it is unlikely that Sativex will be used as a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) but as a pain killer. Therefore instead of competing with novel DMARD products in the EU, the drug is likely to be competing with established NSAID painkillers such as diclofenac often used in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis sufferers. It could also be an alternative to the controversial COX-2 inhibitors of which only Celebrex and Arcoxia are still available in the EU after the withdrawals of Vioxx and Bextra due to cardiovascular side-effects."

also see Big Pharma vs Grannies Special Tea!
�a serious public health issue�
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Judge concerned at Maori youth crime

Male Maori youth are the single biggest challenge facing the youth justice system, Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft says.

Mr Becroft told a policing conference in Nelson yesterday the number of male Maori being dealt with in the Youth Court was concerning.

He said: 'The challenge is how to influence these people. How can we respond now? We know what works and what doesn't work. We know brat camps and scare tactics don't work.'
(He should tell that to former United MP and Sensible Senstencing advocate, Marc Alexander. /Blair)

He said the 7000 young people who came before the Youth Court each year faced a real risk of remaining in the court system.

Mr Becroft said 14- to 16-year-olds committed about 45,500 offences each year -- about 20 per cent of all offending. Half of those youth offenders were Maori males.

More than 150 police staff and Maori leaders from throughout New Zealand are attending the conference to discuss ways of reducing Maori offending and victimisation.

Deputy police commissioner Steve Long told the conference this week police hoped to increase the number of Maori recruits as one way of addressing the issue.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said the call for more Maori police would not create the long-term changes that would reduce offending.

There was no such thing as 'Maori offending', she said.

'Do we label crimes committed by other population groups as Pakeha offending, female offending, elderly offending, middle-class offending?

'Perhaps a more appropriate goal is to consider reducing offending committed by Maori, rather than presuming there are certain types of offences which are categorised as 'Maori' or 'Pacific' crimes.

'These are long-term issues that are not going to be solved over night.'

------------ NZ Herald snip ends ----------

MildGreens have had a bit to say on maori youth offending... and we have a different take on it, one that isnt too politicaly correct we might add. try this link for a hint at the solution space - and that just one search engine.

But would Police and Maori have us at the table? or is this just more vested interests and stakeholders perpetuating myths while double standards and harms go unabated!

"Has inefficient inequitable cannabis policy not got relevance to the discussion on youth and Maori crime (law and order) when the rule of law is so universally in disrepute?"

( NZ INQUIRY INTO HEALTH STRATEGIES AND LEGAL OPTIONS FOR CANNABIS ... "also discriminatory against males, Maori, and former offenders, and is ineffective in deterring users from cannabis use. ... )

see also:
Scoop: DeWorm Law and Order- LEGALISE say Mild Greens
and ALCP Submission on Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy
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Monday, November 07, 2005

Rod Donald RIP

Rod Donald RIP:
[ November 5th, 2005 ]

Sleep softly Rod, the Earth is all the better for your footsteps, in so many ways. You have contributed beyond call and duty to the future of both individual and institute, but there is one lasting Christchurch legacy that few will know it owes its very existance to your indominatable spirit and care. The oldest house in Christchurch borough, Englefield Lodge at 230 Fitzgerald Avenue would have been hard-fill if some thirty years ago you not alerted my Mom to its town plan'd fate and thus saved it from relentless motorway arterial �development�. Your footprint is thus, by my reckoning, over 150 years old. I�m glad you were here.

Aroha, my man, Aroha�.
/Blair Anderson."
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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Debunking drug folklore - The Daily Texan

According to Dr. Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, pot's active ingredient THC counteracts cancer-causing chemicals in marijuana smoke. "THC turns down the carcinogenic potential," he said.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/global_user_elements/printpage.cfm?storyid=1045610

(the article has some very useful observations - alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and ecstasy. /Blair )

 
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Friday, November 04, 2005

Blair warned over cannabis law change

Blair warned over cannabis law change
MICHAEL HOWIE
THE world's leading advocate for drugs reform last night urged Tony Blair to resist toughening the law on cannabis.

Ethan Nadelmann said making cannabis a class B drug would be "incredibly stupid", doing nothing to reduce its use and only serving to criminalise thousands of young people.

Mr Nadelmann, executive director of the United States-based Drug Policy Alliance, also said the only way to reduce harm caused by heroin was to allow doctors to prescribe it to addicts.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, is awaiting a report from the government's advisory council on drug misuse on whether cannabis should be restored to Class B status.

Mr Nadelmann said doing so "would be an incredibly stupid thing to do".

"This would simply intensify the hypocrisy of the government's war on drugs and is one area where Tony Blair is foolishly following in the footsteps of a disastrous US policy," he said.

Mr Nadelmann said the only sensible option was to take cannabis out of the black market and legalise it.

He put forward his argument at the prestigious Edinburgh Lectures in the City Chambers. Previous speakers at the event have included former Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Tom Wood, former deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police and now chairman of the Drugs Action Team in Edinburgh which invited Mr Nadelmann, said: "We may not agree with everything he says, but Mr Nadelmann is a breath of fresh air to the drugs debate in Scotland."

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

BOP murders and 'P'

The media are turning the recent Bay of Plenty murders into a �P� story, with special comment today on RadioNZ by that �expert�, Paul Stanley. The spoof below almost reads like a script for this campaign.
~ c/o Brandon Hutchison.

Media in Rehab for P Addiction
by Our Special Correspondent

The nation's leading news source, Major Media, has voluntarily entered a rehabilitation centre for addiction to sensational stories about P.

Ending weeks of speculation, Media announced it was undergoing voluntary treatment for an addiction which it described as "out of control."

In this exclusive interview, Media tells how its occasional experimentation turned into an all-consuming obsession.

"I started doing a quarter-page P story maybe once a week, usually on weekends, but before I knew it I was doing double-page spreads every couple of days.

"You have to understand - the stories were a rush. Violence, degradation, broken families, teenage prostitutes, huge profits, indignant politicians, tough-talking cops - it's all there, wrapped up in the most intoxicating package. And all you have to do is - just do it. It makes you feel like a god."

As Media became more obsessed with P stories, it found that other drug stories didn't generate a buzz any more.

"Reefer madness stories just didn't do it for me like they used to. Nine-year-olds running tinnie houses - who cares?

"At one time, I'd do a good tinnie house story and my drug-war hysteria cravings were satisfied for a while. But P stories - you just can't get enough of them."

Media's insatiable craving for P stories even led it to re-use the most sensational stories with only minor changes, repackaging them as new developments in the P saga.

"You have to understand, a lot of the power of P stories comes from the letter P itself. It's a powerful letter of the alphabet. It's got a strong shape, it's in a lot of words, it's easy to remember, and it has a lot of meaningful associations for the general public. And it really stands out in a headline.

"Another thing about P - it's so much easier to type than 'methamphetamine'. Methamphetamine is way too long, you can't put it in a headline, you get those awkward line breaks with it and you never know where to put the hyphen. You don't get any of that with P - just the pure sensationalism."

Major Media's appetite for P stories escalated to the point where its erratic behavior began to attract attention. "Every violent crime that came along, I'd turn it into a P story. I'd wake up in the middle of the night wanting a shot of a woman with her back to the camera, and I couldn't put the paper to bed until I had it."

Media had a few words of warning for its fellow media channels. "You might think you can control P stories, but before you know it, they're controlling you."
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