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, March 24, 2006

Children addicted to 'super cannabis', NZHerald

The [dutch] children who are heavy users have arrested development. Somebody of 18 is mentally developed to the age of about 15. They perform badly at school, cannot sustain friendships and have problems in their relationships.

'Most of the time nobody realises that it is caused by their use of soft drugs.'
/ Dr. Romeo Ashruf, Mar 22, 2006 NZH



This [origin:UK] featured in our largest daily newspaper, although the focus is on dutch children the 'prevelence of use' is not discussed, nor the sample size, age distribution or references to same. (cf: NZ 'early entry' where in NE late and moderate use is norm). There is a paucity of evidence that validates pot = teenage angst is causual - that its the cannabis, stupid!, is what this article cleary aims to project.

The article (predictably) has no mention of the spokepersons vested interest in treatment 'delivery' or that this addiction expert is suffering from clinicians falacy. Whenever 'providers' face budget worries as they personaly try to save the world 'from addiction and serious health effects', they fail to note their adult compatriots are massive tobacco users and alcohol, both freely available and promoted, consumes lives and health budgets and leaves a legacy of social mayhem.

How succesful is this addiction specialist in treating the endless tide of youth or of 'informing' concerned parents who read this unbalanced 'health promotion' rubbish.
(full of claims that would send any informed kid crazy....)

Consider, what ever it is that the Netherlnds is doing right, or wrong, in drug policy, it certainly is to be applauded for having youth cannabis rates at about one fifth of ours. Four out of five kiwi kids have tried, 1:5 currently do, are, and will again. If arrested development is the inevitiable consequence (Dr. Ashruf did say 'cause') then they must have been all high achieving, well adjusted intellectual giants as kids.

So amotivated are these dutch teens according to Ashrufs 'fears', they are 1/5th as likely to commit suicide as there kiwi peer, a quarter as likely to father a child or get pregenant, a quarter as likely to catch a STD or have 'trouble with the law'? How do I convince skeptics that this has nothing to do with dutch drug policy?

Should we just target these, our brightest kiwi kids and tell them they are the ones at risk? But, hangon, we are already! We spend good money doing it. Money some say, might be better spent on basketballs than the myth of "The Great Brain Robbery" (7:1, Ray Kendall, Interpol)

See..... Its not the damn kids, or the drugs, it's policy, stupid!
When "Joe Kiwi" is not allowed that adult conversation, we need a climate change!

Blair Anderson,
Director, Educators For Sensible Drug Policy http://www.efsdp.org
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