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, April 29, 2006

Cannabis raffled at $10 a ticket

28 April 2006
By LYN HUMPHREYS

It was just another quickfire raffle at work – but the prize wasn't the usual meatpack or frozen chook.

Instead, the winner would take home an ounce of sticky marijuana heads.

And ticket seller Timothy Andrew Murphy's number was up when someone called the police.

In the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, an embarrassed but smiling Murphy (25), of New Plymouth, admitted he was busted selling raffle tickets at his work on April 7.

Judge Louis Bidois asked Murphy if he had lost his job as a result.

Murphy confirmed he had, but said in his defence: "It's been done before."

Judge Bidois said the scheme was doomed to fail, because when Murphy asked people to buy tickets, those who disagreed with drugs were sure to call police.

Police arrived to find Murphy had a book with 40 tickets that he was selling at $10 each – along with the cannabis prize in his pocket.

"That's what happens when you take cannabis. It muddles people's brains," the judge said.

"It just proves the stupidity of those who take drugs."

Murphy, now unemployed, was sentenced to 140 hours' community work for possession of cannabis and offering to sell cannabis, a Class C controlled drug.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Law Enforcment Againt Prohibition [LEAP] said this about Columbia

Last Saturday, the New Zealand Herald ran an item on "Dying for the White Stuff" telling of the anomalies in international affairs created by the dysfunction experienced in Columbia...

I wrote to the Editor of my concerns under separate cover. I subsequently read this news item below, inspired by some colleagues of mine in the Justice, Law and Corrections fraternity.

While it doesn't conclude as I do, that the UN has it wrong or the UNODC is even more culpable on a global scale for the dysfunction identified here.. it does show very graphically that from Afghanistan to the South Pacific, wherever the 'essentialy US determined and enforced' rules are the same, the shite is the same...


On May 6th, over 200 cities world wide are taking part in protest at the insanity of this universaly held political arrogance continuing.


Canada's Senate Inquiry called for the international debate... Consider

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition [LEAP] and Delaware Libertarians said this about Columbia.... (the underlines are mine.)

see The war on drugs has created more problems than it has solved
The News Journal - Wilmington,DE,USA

By GEORGE JURGENSEN
04/27/2006


............. [snip].............

Logic compels that we end the drug war and with all my heart and soul I believe we must.

George Jurgensen is state chairman of the Libertarian Party of Delaware.


[excerpt starts]

I applaud former prosecutor Peter Letang's call for a re-examination of the drug war and welcome him to the cause. He is not the first. Many other prosecutors, judges, and, most significantly, members of law enforcement who conduct the war out on the streets have also come forward, risking their careers and reputations. They have come together to form an organization to end drug prohibition. The organization is known as LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

[continues]

And there are the effects on foreign nations and foreign policy, where Colombia is largely controlled by violent drug kingpins because of the massive profits involved while at the same time we intervene with and condemn peaceful practices in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, where locals have for centuries chewed unprocessed coca leaves and drunk coca tea to stave off hunger or boost energy with little harmful effect. Prohibition can leave even the most casual user or one-time experimenter scarred for life with a criminal record that will destroy opportunity for a lifetime or unable to seek help or treatment for fear of facing the risk of arrest.

The drug war reflects a political arrogance that the government can solve bad habits by passing a law and sending police out on the streets to arrest the way to an improved society.

The collateral damage of this arrogance is clear. It is time to end the drug war, to seek education, treatment, product labeling and testing, and a more orderly yet much less profitable market for the measure of drug usage, which society cannot stem or prevent, with or without force.

The transition will be difficult as people adjust to taking more personal responsibility, just as the transition from a centrally planned economy did not go smoothly in Russia or Eastern Europe, but the end result is a more just, more peaceful and more prosperous society. Of course there will be those that use drugs to their demise, there always was and there is today. At least there will not be vast profits for dealers and the associated violence and property crime or the other side effects of the drug war.



Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road.
Christchurch, New Zealand 8006
ph (++643) 389 4065 cell/TXT 027 2657219 car-phone 025 2105080 http://mildgreens.com http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/
Director, Educators For Sensible Drug Policy http://www.efsdp.org

When the spirit of the law means nothing, and getting around the law means everything -- and if the vicious cycle repeats itself enough -- there is no law left. / Debra J. Saunders
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Which part does ACT not understand?

The Leader, ACT [Association of Consumers and Taxpayers ]

Member of the House of Representatives,  Rodney Hide
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

26th April, 2006

open letter (published at http://mildgreens.blogspot.com)

Dear Rodney...


The Ministry of Health Policy Directorate came to Christchurch [20/04/2006] and held an afternoon  hui on drugs, alcohol and tobacco..

Her we have a "National Drug Policy Review" with draconian implications [see below] and no one came. (except a couple of friends of mine, and one Ministry of Health employee from Christchurch), no one from the 'intersectorial'  stakeholders, no one from Canterbury District Health Board or Community and Public Health, and no one from the City Council.

In the earlier morning session, Doug Selman, from the [statutory]  Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs was heard to tell the Ministry Directorate [twice I think] the consultation was an "embarrassment' to the Ministry.

Some Hui!

We either have a drug problem or we don't....

Consider...

A new Cato Institute book, "After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century," edited by criminal justice scholar Timothy Lynch, makes the case that the drug war has done more harm to our society than have the substances it aims to eradicate and that we should now broaden the public policy debate to include alternative approaches.

The chapters of the book are a veritable top - 10 list of why the drug war has failed:

1. It wastes resources. "For all the money that we're putting into the war on drugs," writes New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson, "it is an absolute failure."

2. It's unconstitutional. Constitutional scholar Roger Pilon shows that the Constitution had to be amended to authorize alcohol prohibition but no such authorization has been given for the war on drugs. The federal government is waging a drug war "without constitutional authority." 

3. It violates our rights. Yale law professor Steven Duke argues that the drug war strips Americans of their Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure protections and Sixth Amendment right to counsel.[it also breaches our human rights/bill of rights 'ethical' standards /Blair]

4. It militarizes the police. Local cops now use military-style tactics and weapons to prosecute the drug war, which has led to unnecessary shootings and killings, according to David B. Kopel of the Independence Institute.

5. It's a failed strategy. Former DEA agent Michael Levine says, "Enforcing criminal laws against dealers has about as much chance of making any impact on the drug problem as a Honda Civic has of breaking the sound barrier."

6. It can't be policed. Most crime victims will report the crime and eagerly help police catch the perpetrator, but former New York police officer Joseph D. McNamara writes that "drug dealing and drug use are consensual transactions between people who treasure their privacy."

7. It's paternalistic. "We cannot protect free adults from their own poor choices," writes former Los Angeles police officer and professor of criminology David Klinger, "and we should not use the force of law to try."

8. Its draconian penalties are unjust. Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, explains how simple possession of drugs can land a person in jail for 5 to 10 years, even in cases in which the sentencing judge would have chosen otherwise.

9. It inflicts collateral damage. Eroding civil liberties, exploding prison populations and continuing violence are just some effects of the drug war, writes Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute.

10. It has unintended consequences. George Mason University law professor Daniel Polsby says the drug war distorts the justice system and has created perverse incentives that attract juveniles to crime.

In the final chapter, former California attorney general Daniel Lungren offers a contrasting view, arguing that the drug war is working and that a change in the current policy will result in greater long-term costs.

"As a nation, we have been responsible for the murder of literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and abroad by fighting a war that should never have been started and can be won, if at all, only by converting the United States into a police state."  -- Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, from the foreword to the book
The Cato Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research foundation dedicated to broadening policy debate consistent with the traditional American principles of  individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.

Complete Title: New Cato Institute Book Looks at Alternative Approaches to Drug Policy

Source: U.S.Newswire
Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire
Website: http://www.usnewswire.com/

Related Article & Web Site:  CATO Institute
http://www.cato.org/
Beyond Prohibition - Audio & Video Transcripts

 
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Monday, April 24, 2006

A systematic review of school drug education

"drug education is best taught by classroom teachers as they have first-hand knowledge of students’ needs and developmental level, are best placed to integrate drug education at an appropriate time and level for their student, and to modify programme components to suit their class needs."

[extract] A systematic review of school drug education / Nyanda McBride
National Drug Research Institute, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia.
mailto:nyanda@ndri.curtin.edu.au

Blair Anderson,
Educators For Sensible Drug Policy (NZ)
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cannabis Plant, Drug Prohibition, and Illinois Economic Development

As an additional cost directly related to drug war hysteria, governmental policies have often stood in the way of testing the potential economic and social benefits of such concepts as harm reduction, medicinal marijuana, and industrial hemp.

It is precisely in the current economic situation that re-evaluating current policies is particularly appropriate, not only for practical reasons, but also for political ones. When education and health budgets are cut, citizens rightly begin to wonder whether incarcerating a pot smoker at great expense is fiscally wise. As prescription costs rise beyond the capability of states and individuals to keep up, interest increases in investigating low-cost herbal remedies such as medicinal marijuana. When incomes in a farming state are endangered, citizens insist that all alternatives are explored, including industrial hemp.

Now is the time for a new perspective.

(It appears not just us are asking the hard questions..... /Blair)
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Causality, the harm reduction determinate?

Psychological and social sequelae of cannabis and other illicit drug use by young people:
a systematic review of longitudinal, general population studies.

John Macleod, Rachel Oakes, Alex Copello, Ilana Crome, Matthias Egger, Mathew Hickman, Thomas Oppenkowski, Helen Stokes-Lampard, George Davey Smith

BACKGROUND: Use of illicit drugs, particularly cannabis, by young people is widespread and is associated with several types of psychological and social harm. These relations might not be causal. Causal relations would suggest that recreational drug use is a substantial public health problem. Non-causal relations would suggest that harm-reduction policy based on prevention of drug use is unlikely to produce improvements in public health. Cross-sectional evidence cannot clarify questions of causality; longitudinal or interventional evidence is needed. Past reviews have generally been non-systematic, have often included cross-sectional data, and have underappreciated the extent of methodological problems associated with interpretation.

METHODS: We did a systematic review of general population longitudinal studies reporting associations between illicit drug use by young people and psychosocial harm.

FINDINGS: We identified 48 relevant studies, of which 16 were of higher quality and provided the most robust evidence. Fairly consistent associations were noted between cannabis use and both lower educational attainment and increased reported use of other illicit drugs. Less consistent associations were noted between cannabis use and both psychological health problems and problematic behaviour. All these associations seemed to be explicable in terms of non-causal mechanisms.

INTERPRETATION: Available evidence does not strongly support an important causal relation between cannabis use by young people and psychosocial harm, but cannot exclude the possibility that such a relation exists. The lack of evidence of robust causal relations prevents the attribution of public health detriments to illicit drug use. In view of the extent of illicit drug use, better evidence is needed.

Lancet. 2004 May 15;363:1579-88

No Causality, No Harm Reduction 
(Stick that up the National Drug Policy Review and smoke it - doh!)
 
Blair Anderson
Techno Junk and Grey Matter

50 Wainoni Road.
Christchurch, New Zealand 8006

ph (++643) 389 4065 cell/TXT 027 2657219 car-phone 025 2105080
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Cannabis, a Medicine?

Endocannabinoid signaling in stress, medicine and wellness.

Tobias Esch

Based on self-care and stress research, it is reasonable to propose that our bodies contain naturally occurring properties, that is, tools that serve to maintain our health and integrity for a passable period of time, even in times of stress: These processes, including endocannabinoid autoregulation, might in part determine our well-being and life span. Such properties would also manifest themselves during times of stress, i.e., stress reduction. Stress potentially triggers endocannabinoid and NO synthesis and release. In fact, endocannabinoids exert stress-reducing functions by their potential to modulate norepinephrine release, e.g., via constitutive NO activation, therefore suggesting a sympatho-inhibitory mechanism that effectively diminishes sympathetic tone. This stress-reducing and health-promoting potential can be detected not only in central but also peripheral pathways, again indicating general or systemic down-regulation. In this process, signaling molecules such as the endocannabinoids may play a role in connecting mind and body phenomena, and one could speculate that such evolutionarily old autoregulatory pathways, by using endocannabinoids as one type of their molecular messengers and constitutive NO as a possible converging point, are involved in natural or innate health promotion, including wellness, reward and pleasure. Consequently, endocannabinoid research has now become a focus not only of neurobiological but also medical science: With this interdisciplinary approach, we will gather new insight on these fascinating molecules and their healing properties in the coming years ahead.
Med Sci Monit. 2005 Aug ;11:ED3-5

Therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system in the brain.

José Antonio Ramos, Sara González, Onintza Sagredo, María Gómez-Ruiz, Javier Fernández-Ruiz

Cannabinoids have been predominantly considered as the substances responsible of the psychoactive properties of marijuana and other derivatives of Cannabis sativa. However, these compounds are now being also considered for their therapeutic potential, since the term "cannabinoid" includes much more compounds than those present in Cannabis sativa derivatives. Among them, there are numerous synthetic cannabinoids obtained by modifications from plant-derived cannabinoids, but also from the compounds that behave as endogenous ligands for the different cannabinoid receptor subtypes. Within the family of "cannabinoid-related compounds", one should also include some prototypes of selective antagonists for these receptors, and also the recently developed inhibitors of the mechanism of finalization of the biological action of endocannabinoids (transporter + FAAH). All this boom of the cannabinoid pharmacology has, therefore, an explanation in the recent discovery and characterization of the endocannabinoid signaling system, which plays a modulatory role mainly in the brain but also in the periphery. The objective of the present article will be to review, from pharmacological and biochemical points of view, the more recent advances in the study of the endocannabinoid system and their functions in the brain, as well as their alterations in a variety of pathologies and the proposed therapeutic benefits of novel cannabinoid-related compounds that improve the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of classic cannabinoids.
Mini Rev Med Chem. 2005 Jul ;5:609-17 
Blair Anderson
Techno Junk and Grey Matter

50 Wainoni Road.
Christchurch, New Zealand 8006

ph (++643) 389 4065 cell/TXT 027 2657219 car-phone 025 2105080

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Harm reduction--the cannabis paradox.

Cutting edge insight by Robert Melamede / Blair

This article examines harm reduction from a novel perspective. Its central thesis is that harm reduction is not only a social concept, but also a biological one. More specifically, evolution does not make moral distinctions in the selection process, but utilizes a cannabis-based approach to harm reduction in order to promote survival of the fittest. Evidence will be provided from peer-reviewed scientific literature that supports the hypothesis that humans, and all animals, make and use internally produced cannabis-like products (endocannabinoids) as part of the evolutionary harm reduction program. More specifically, endocannabinoids homeostatically regulate all body systems (cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immune, nervous, musculo-skeletal, reproductive). Therefore, the health of each individual is dependent on this system working appropriately."
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Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Pinnacle of Cruelty

The school zone thing, is minorities and thus inequitable. It falls under breach of Ottawa Charter standards and conventions.  New Zealander's tend to think this shite only occurs in Good O'l, US of, A...

The drug war reached the pinnacle of cruelty when Mitchell Lawrence, an 18-year-old Berkshire County teen, was sentenced to two years in jail for the sale of one joint worth of marijuana -- about a teaspoon.

Lawrence was found guilty of distribution of marijuana, committing a drug violation within a drug-free school zone, and possession after he sold a 1.12 gram bag of marijuana to an undercover police officer for $20.

While this outrageous case happened in a sleepy burg in Massachusetts, the case of Mitchell Lawrence is one of countless tales of drug war madness that takes place on America's streets daily.  (see two years, one joint)

Consider, where the rules are the same, the shite's the same.  We jailed amputee, Neville Yates for 18 months... and he didn't even sell his pot, it was for his medicine. He was narc'ed. The Police 'paid' the informer.

[I particularly find law professor Duke's quote in my sig. relevant to policy development in Healthy Christchurch ]

We should not have a need for 'school zones'... artificial red lines are a drug policy anathema in a homogenous society.


-- Blair Anderson Christchurch,
New Zealand 8006
ph (++643) 389 4065 cell/TXT 027 2657219 car-phone 025 2105080 http://mildgreens.com
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/

"We can have our drug war or we can have healthy cities; we cannot have both."
Professor Steven B. Duke, Law of Science and Technology, Yale Law School
[ The War on Drugs is Lost, National Review, July 1st, 1996 ]
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Friday, April 14, 2006

The Weather Makers

Straight.com Vancouver | Features | The Weather Makers:

The following quote is from an interview with the Australian paleontologist Tim Flannery - the article makes for compelling reading. If in doubt about climate change and what WE can do... click the above link.)

"There are also such market-oriented solutions as British *politician Aubrey Meyer’s “contraction and convergence” proposition, which involves securing a global agreement on the acceptable limit on atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations, including an agreement on how fast emissions need to be cut back to stay within that limit. The budget is then allocated as a “carbon currency”, on a per-capita basis, to the citizens of the world. Governments could then buy, sell, and trade between themselves. Anyone who wants to pollute has to pay"

Aubrey is not a politician, he's a hero of our time. (and recently recognised as one of the ten most influential people of the 21st century by, I think it was Forbes Magazine/Blair
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On Healthy Cities

"We can have our drug war or we can have healthy cities; we cannot have both."
Professor Steven B. Duke,   Law of Science and Technology, Yale Law School

[ The War on Drugs is Lost, National Review, July 1st, 1996 ]
 
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Families Commission consults....

The Couch - Government [Peter Dunne's Families Commission] asks some interesting questions:

6 - If you know of any parenting classes (this includes courses, programmes and seminars) please tell us what you recall about the name of the classes and/or the group that runs them.

We are confused by the ruling paradigms, and systemically failing to talk about whats broken in society that disenfranchises parent from child. The enabling of selfwill rather than nanny statist solutions would be a good start. Family (parent/child) empowerment Programmes like GAIN have some credible foundation but are flawed by externalities. Some could reasonably argue that the need for intervention is created by societal externalities - the war on [some] drugs is one such case.

10 - If access to appropriate parenting education has been a problem for you or your family in the past, please describe what the problem was and what could have helped at the time (up to 100 words)

Chronic dysfunctions that create or contribute to family 'breakdown' have become systemic (and acceptable practice). Incarcerating a 'drug offender' is a prevelent response to a percieved problem... but directly and persistently creates familial dysfunction.

11 - Please tell us how you could be better supported as a parent (up to 100 words)?


A rationaly empowered society doesnt need artificial parenting interventions or support. There are, within the ambit of civil society the necessary support structures that contest for resources and deliver efficiently credible and culturally appropriate support. We need to enable and empower these with a health promotion framework. One significant identified impediment (and breach of Ottawa Charter Principles) is our confused and inadequate licit and illicit drug policy.


Blair Anderson, Director,
Educators For Sensible Drug Policy,
http://www.efsdp.org
mailto:b.anderson@efsdp.org
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Turei pushing medicinal use of cannabis

Turei pushing medicinal use of cannabis

11-04-06 l The Otago Daily Times l Tom McKinlayIn the movies, the condemned man is never denied a final smoke.The health risks of that last gasp pale into insignificance when compared with the threat posed by the firing squad.

In a real-life replay of the silver screen scene, Dunedin based Green MP Metiria Turei is asking the community to look at the big picture and offer the sick and dying the chance to consider cannabis.A private Member’s Bill sponsored by Ms Turei is due to go before Parliament soon, possibly this month, proposing that doctors be permitted to prescribe cannabis where it could do some good.In an interview, Ms Turei said she expected some to oppose the move but asked them to set aside prejudice and look at the evidence.“I am asking people to set aside that prejudice because for the sick, it is actually really important that they access the medicine,” Ms Turei said.“It is enormously and fundamentally cruel for them to be denied a potentially useful medicine because of the prejudice that some people hold.”The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill, due to be debated on November 22, would allow doctors to prescribe the drug for specific serious medical conditions.Conditions identified in a schedule to the Bill include Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy.Proponents say cannabis is useful in countering nausea and as an antiemetic (which prevents vomiting) in the treatment of pain and muscle spasms, and as an appetite stimulant for people suffering from wasting conditions.Under the Bill’s provisions, those prescribed medicinal cannabis would have to be registered and would be issued with an identity card.“It will not work for everyone, which is why my Bill makes it a decision for the doctor,” Ms Turei said.There is a limited facility for sick New Zealanders to access cannabis now, but each case has to be considered by the Minister of Health.The process is onerous and no approvals have been given.“It does not happen with any other kind of drug in this country. It is just ridiculous,” Ms Turei said of the process.The Bill proposes allowing people to grow-their-own, or have it grown for them. Ms Turei said she expected some to object to the smoking of cannabis and was open to discussion about the best way to deliver the drug.The debate is not new and both the research and the incidence of people self-prescribing cannabis is well-known to those in the medical profession.Dunedin oncologist Associate Prof David Perez said he had encountered a small number of patients who benefited from smoking cannabis, having tried everything else.“People access it for themselves, obviously, and they use it and they report to us that they find it quite useful,” Prof Perez said when approached for comment.“We are limited in that we can not go out and positively recommend it.”However, if cannabis-related treatments were to become available, “cannabinoid” drugs were preferable, he said.“There is a medication which is produced pharmaceutically, which is a derivative of cannabis, that is provided in the UK as a prescription medication. I think we would prefer to have that kind of option available to us.”Cannabis on its own was regarded as mildly or moderately effective as an anti-nausea treatment, and selective in terms of whom it helped.Other drugs were considerably more effective and avoided the “mind-disturbing” side effects of cannabis some people found uncomfortable, Prof Perez said.Cannabis expert Prof Paul Smith, of the University of Otago’s department of pharmacology and toxicology, said the first question when considering medicinal uses for cannabis was whether it was to be smoked.If so, the benefits had to be weighed against the risk of lung damage.Drugs derived from cannabis, cannabinoids, were the alternative.“Most of the evidence suggests that cannabinoids . . . are useful for stimulating appetite in conditions like cancer or Aids where there is wasting,” Prof Smith said.There was also good evidence cannabinoids were effective in treating nausea and vomiting.A drug available in the United States, called dronabinol, a synthetic THC (the active ingredient in cannabis), was used for that purpose.A drug developed in the United Kingdom, Sativex, was a mix of THC and another chemical from cannabis delivered as a spray under the tongue.“There’s a good blood supply under the tongue so the drug is absorbed very quickly into the blood.”There was some evidence cannabinoids could be useful in treating glaucoma as well as chronic pain and spasticity, in disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).Claims for efficacy in the case of other conditions listed at the back of Ms Turei’s Bill were more questionable, Prof Smith said.The Bill lists schizophrenia, brain injury and epilepsy as areas were cannabis could help, but Prof Smith said such claims were poorly supported by research.New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said they had extensively researched the topic and supported the Bill going to a select committee.However, their own contact with MPs indicated it was unlikely to find majority support in Parliament.One problem might be that it provided for the smoking of cannabis which was not to say that did not work for some people.“It appears that the benefits slightly outweigh the risks just because of the way people smoke cannabis medicinally,” Mr Bell said.It could be problematic for the Bill that it had attracted the support of pro-legalisation lobby Norml, he said.“It is the kiss of death.”New Zealand Aids Foundation executive director Rachael Le Mesurier said the foundation would be quite happy for the Bill to go to a select committee.Anecdotal evidence indicated cannabis had helped some New Zealand HIV sufferers with the nausea caused by antiretroviral medication.“We are very aware that worldwide, in Canada, the United Kingdom and America, people are making significant decisions around trying to increase research and information around this so we can all work from an evidence based position, rather than an emotive one.”University of Otago researcher Geoff Noller said it was his view that the medicinal use of cannabis was unlikely to be seen as opening the door to recreational use.Where surveys had shown support for medicinal use, the same populations continued to support prohibition for any other use, he said.There was evidence quite large numbers of people could be helped by medicinal cannabis.An Australian study showed 19,000 people in New South Wales had conditions where cannabis could play a role in their treatment.On that basis, more than 11,000 people in New Zealand could be in the same situation, Mr Noller, a PhD student in the department of psychological medicine, said.Health Minister Pete Hodgson has acknowledged the potential for cannabis to do good, but indicated he was not looking at relaxing the laws.“I consider the existing exemptions under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 allow for a medical practitioner to be given approval to prescribe an appropriate cannabis-related product for a patient under their care,” he said in a statement.Mr Hodgson said he had asked the Ministry of Health to review the latest research before he considered whether to support the Bill.

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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G8 and Contraction and Convergence

21 March 2005
MPs flock to new way of tackling climate change

Over 120 MPs from across the party divide today backed a [UK] parliamentary motion which supports a new way of tackling climate change called “Contraction and Convergence”. (C&C) The idea is gaining momentum in the year in which Tony Blair has put climate change at the top of the G8 and EU agenda – not only individual MPs but mainstream political parties, the Church of England, the Corporation of London and many government spokespeople around the world have endorsed the idea.

---snip----

That this House welcomes the recent decision of the Synod of the Church of England to support Contraction and Convergence as the overarching framework to tackle climate change; further welcomes the comments of The Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya, given at a meeting for African Environment Ministers in Nairobi in February 2005, supporting Contraction and Convergence; congratulates Aubrey Meyer, founder of the Global Commons Institute, which formulated the concept of Contraction and Convergence on his receiving the Climate Change Champion Award made by the Corporation of London for his work in attracting the support of many governments and international agencies for Contraction and Convergence; and calls upon the Government to seek, during its presidency of the G8 to advance the international effort to avert the dangers of climate change by promoting the constitutional framework of Contraction and Convergence which embodies the principle of equal rights to the global commons.

The GCI can be contacted at www.gci.org.uk
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

2 dead in gunfight at Mena grow-op

NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source:

"Two men were killed and two injured early Sunday in a gunfight near a building east of Mena where about 500 marijuana plants were being grown, the Polk County sheriff said.

The gunfight appears to have started when four men from Henryetta, Okla., went to the property at 118 Polk County Road 65 in an attempt to rob the owner, 40-year-old Bradley Webster, who lives in a house on the property, Sheriff Mike Oglesby said.

Two of the four, Chris Pangle, 35, and Thai Flores, 23, were killed, Oglesby said. A third, 18-year-old Waylon Null, was taken to a hospital after being shot in the face, Oglesby said.

Webster was also hospitalized after being shot in the stomach."

And so they jail his wife, and take his kids? How is this good?/Blair
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Monday, April 10, 2006

On Methylone

This is all about methylone - Perhaps if it was described as a sister molecule to the active feel good indole in Khat [another 'cultural' herbal], it might have even been seen to be an improvement over the BZP sold openly at corner stores. We wont know now. Methylone is an empathogen, like MDMA. It is neither a upper, or downer... Methylone is guilty of making people like each other more.

Sale of ease causes outrage  [ NewsTalkZB ]

EASE trial terminated after conflicting advice
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/print.html?path=GE0604/S00032.htm
We can buy codeine over the counter, from any chemist.  We can give Ritalin to our  kids and even allow state authorised importation of and non-academic empathogenic research to be conducted 

But WE have a problem with adult use of cannabis?

Where is the promised all-drug policy development?  Just where is the National Drug Policy Review?
Where is the consumer representation on the Expert Advisory Committee (EACD)?

Somebody is jailing med pot users to send a public health message. .
Whereas "party pills" rapid rise in exposure AND popularity is a byproduct of prohibition's market distortions.

Whaaaa!

Blair Anderson,
Educators for Sensible Drug Policy.
03 3894065
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Hypocrisy Surrounding Marijuana - an Essay

This is the essay Michael wrote as a sample to submit to the philosophy graduate department at U of A, Fayetteville. [USA /ed]

It began as a paper calling for reform on much of this country's drug policy, concerning both legal and illegal drugs. Jeff (Dr. Mitchell, my undergraduate philosophy professor and mentor) recommended that I streamline it down to just marijuana, since much of my best content concerned that particular substance.


I have excerpted just one choice morsel from this excellent, well argued - even if USA centric, essay /Blair

The Hypocrisy Surrounding Marijuana

I am of the opinion that our current policies on drugs in this country, both legal and illegal, need major reform
.....

"Concerning harder drugs like cocaine, crack, meth, ecstasy, heroin, and LSD, it is difficult to say whether or not they should be legalized. Decriminalization is an option at least worth considering for hard drugs, since drug abuse is a social issue that is not corrected by incarcerating people because of their problem.

It is clear that our current policies on drugs are not effective. It is not clear to everyone what the answer is, but trial and error backed by an honest approach in an attempt to accurately present the facts as they are seems to be the best option.

We cannot idly sit on such a prolific, harmful social issue.

Author and philanthropist Daniel Quinn once suggested a simple idea that held much merit to my mind—why not write legislation that legalizes drugs (either all, or a select few) for a short period of time, perhaps three years? The legislation could be self-destructing, ending after a designated period of time. This would give us the much-needed opportunity to study the effects of legalizing these substances. If the results are favorable, then re-write legislation to maintain the legal status. If not, then things go back by default to the way they were. I concur with Quinn, particularly concerning marijuana.

I do not see why our democratic-based society could not engage in such progressive, experimental lawmaking"
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Monday, April 03, 2006

March 31, 2006 - Press Release - ONDCP

Federal Government's Effort to Use New Technology as a Tool for Cultural Change
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/news/press06/033106.html
gets a million hits....  So what, our education based  website on dog behavior gets eight million hits (2005). My point?

If ONDCP's web popularity was an endorsement of US drug policy as claimed, its investment in and impact on cultural change is at best, pretty shallow.

Oh what can be achieved with limitless budget and no direction.....

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/

ph (++643) 389 4065 cell/TXT 027 2657219 car-phone 025 2105080

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

Director, Doglinks.Co.NZ
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Heroin 'kills more people than speed'

Heroin 'kills more people than speed'

If this Australian report is true for New Zealand, [it isnt, we cook (convert morphine sulphate) from the pharmacutical markets for our high purity heroin] then why is the media apparently misrepresenting "P" dangers when "H" is so apparently the dangerous. (see also bibliographic review of NZ literature, media, research)

"'Often we forget older users of illicit drugs, yet these appear to be the group where increases in fatal overdoses are occurring,' Dr Degenhardt said.

'Clearly we need to be doing more to help this older group to reduce their risks of overdosing on the drug.'

Dr Degenhardt is calling for a response to the increasing popularity of methamphetamine.

Young recreational drug users need to be educated about the risks associated with speed."
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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Methamphetamine, ecstasy and BZP, excellent bibliography

This is an EXCELLENT annotated bibliography of material published in New Zealand on the subject of ecstasy, methamphetamine, or "social tonics" (legal stimulants containing BZP and/or TMFPP, among other things). http://www.chamberlain.net.nz/research/

It begins with an introduction that briefly reviews the issues that the paper considers. The next four parts cover academic research papers; Masters and Ph.D. theses; policy papers (including material produced by government agencies, independent researchers, and lobby groups); and mass media material.

The final section contains two indexes: a subject index and an author index, as well as a list of further reading and a glossary.

Injury Associated with Methamphetamine Use: A Review of the Literature
[curiously, ACC funded, and draws some reflective conclusions. While strictly apolitical, there is not much here that prohibitors can be proud of ]

This paper reviews the literature exploring issues around methamphetamine and injury. There was a paucity of peer reviewed quantitative research and a lack of large scale epidemiological studies.
 [It begs the question, "So how come we have so many experts?" /Blair)

Further sources described cases and others described injury risk as part of an overall review of methamphetamine misuse. Thus, a number of limitations and potential biases exist within the literature. The main areas where associations were noted or extrapolated with methamphetamine use and injury were around driving and violence. Other associations with injury related to methamphetamine manufacture. There was also circumstantial evidence for third party injury (that is injury to those not specifically involved in drug use or drug manufacture); however, the available data are inadequate to confirm these associations/risks
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OPED: Fortress America - 2006

There is no simple answer to this complex and disagreeable social problem which has been developing for nearly a century other than to look to another social experiment that had similar negative results - the Prohibition Act of 1929. Recognizing its failure, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ( LEAP ) formed in 2002. This international education organization comprised of former law enforcement, corrections and judicial officers with long experience working the front lines of the so-called "War on Drugs" advocates the legalization of drugs combined with a comprehensive system of regulation such as is now done with alcoholic beverages.

"A perfect solution? Certainly not, but at least a mechanism that can be adjusted and refined to reduce the prohibitive costs and social damage that is now a consequence of our misguided efforts to 'just make drugs go away.'"

Retired Chief of Police Bob Owens
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