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

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Directions in Drug Education

Recent chatter about random drug testing all youths is attracting attention despite any evidence it has worked anywhere. This is just so much more moral panic. I don't see public health officials lining up to randomly test for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or Pregnancy or Nicotine despite obvious harms.

Current thinking in education best practice has moved beyond the idea we can just inoculate these kids against drug use with a dose of fear and intolerance.

Suspicion-less pee in a bottle good kid collect $200, bad kid go to Jail has been found wanting by the San Francisco Medical Society, the Office of the Mayor of San Francisco, their Department of Public Health, County Department of Health and Human Services, the International Institute for Restorative Practices, the Drug Policy Alliance and California State Assembly member Jackie Goldberg. All of whom, along with Educators for Sensible Drug Policy share common concerns for our young folk.

It is Time To Talk before we ban our way out of this problem [of course, absent any evidence any of it works] and crucially, without the informed consent of parents and young folk. (no decision about us without us.)

A well titled "New Directions in Drug Education and School Discipline" conference in California this October (with continuing education credits) explores realistic, pragmatic, and cost-effective strategies for implementing drug education and effective disciplinary practices in secondary schools.
Masters, Principals, Trustees and Parents can learn how to adopt culturally appropriate real-life interactive, participatory high school drug education [and assistance programs]. I suspect San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom supports restorative Beyond Zero Tolerance practices in California high schools because it works.

(which begs the question, why wouldn't 'beyond zero tolerance' work for adults.? Or is this a clue as to why draconian testing of kids is required, to prove cannabis is dangerous? Who too? kids let alone adults, don't believe it's dangerous, it's only class C anyway! We have a system that suggests Class A must mean really** good!)

Author, Professor Skager was here late April, he lauded our indigenous restorative practices. I think it would be a good idea to bring him back to NZ, but, if you missed him - download the booklet and view the conference who's who at BEYONDZEROTOLERANCE.ORG.

Our national record of suspension and expulsion is a poor measure of success but then there has been no "ESSENTIAL" cost benefit analysis on current policy outcomes. [It was budgeted for, ten years ago.]

The culture of intolerance and fear of self-examination is all on the prohibitor's watch, where as the evidence base is on ours.

* "It's Essential" - Dr Paul Hutchison, MP [Raglan]. National Party Conference, (private conversation) Christchurch 2006

** Science and Technology Select Committee report on Drug Classification (August 2006), Home Office. Gt.Britain

Week ending, 18th August.
Penn and Teller, Weed = 2, Prohibition nil.
Blair Anderson
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