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, September 26, 2006

Study: Pot helps cure hepatitis C

Do those who maintain this prohibition have hearts of feldspar?

Joan Bello, a psychologist and scholar of Eastern medicine, suggests that the varied healing properties of cannabis are, in a way, side effects. She theorizes that anandamide and cannabinoids work as homeostatic (balancing) substances in physiological processes throughout the body. see also Robert Melamede.

In particular, Bello notes, cannabis promotes balance between the stimulant sympathetic and the sedative parasympathetic sides of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

To sum up, cannabis prevents and heals illness in several ways, which mutually reinforce each other.


/Blair

Study: Pot helps cure hepatitis C

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tri-Valley Herald Newspaper
By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER

Medical marijuana users are more likely to finish hepatitis C treatment and so are more likely to be cured, according to a newly published study conducted in San Francisco and Oakland.

Other studies have shown marijuana relieves symptoms, but medical marijuana advocates said this could be the first to show improved cure rates for a life-threatening illness.

The study is by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Oakland-based Organization to Achieve Solutions in Substance Abuse (OASIS). It was published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. It found marijuana users being treated for HCV three times more likely to have a "sustained virological response," meaning the virus can't be detected six months after treatment ends.

HCV treatment with ribavirin and interferon causes severe side effects, so many patients quit the long regimen too early.

Of 71 HCV patients studied, 21 finished with a sustained
virological response: 12 of the 22 cannabis users and nine of the 49 nonusers.

"(M)odest cannabis use may offer symptomatic and virological benefit to some patients... by helping them maintain adherence to the challenging medication regimen," the study concluded.

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., issued a news release touting this as "a landmark study, showing that medical marijuana can literally save lives. Every day that our government continues punishing the sick for using this medicine is literally a crime against humanity."



--
Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Students tested, should Teachers be tested too?

The irony of this kind of shite policy coming from the unfortunately named Brother Poos was just to 'catholic' to  not comment on. The playfield jokes would probably fill a book.(although as names go,  I did purchase my current car from an egyptian A&E surgeon, named Dr Die.)


On 9/20/06, Herb < regularguy@shaw.ca> wrote:
POLL: If students are tested for drugs, should teachers be tested as well?
(see RELATED LINK in the middle of the news item.)
Herb
--
Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Monday, September 18, 2006

Drug Labs

REGION'S DRUG PROBLEM GONE TO THE DOGS

Remember that old Saturday Night Live spoof about puppy uppers and doggie downers?

It turns out that memorable sketch was merely a case of art imitating life 30 years before its time.

According to a recent front-page article in the Vancouver Province, a growing number of "cranked-up canines" are being rushed to Lower Mainland veterinary hospitals for treatment after consuming drugs left lying around by their owners.

Vancouver vets say marijuana is the drug of choice for wayward pups who stray toward the dark side, although one animal doctor reported treating dogs that have ingested cocaine, ecstasy, hash brownies, prescription medications and even heroin.

That's right. Vancouver is rife with stoned spaniels, toking terriers, drug-addled Airedales and half-baked bloodhounds.

I might have passed this story off as a piece of cheap sensationalism, except it was written by former Black Press reporter Matt Ramsey, who five years ago sat in this very chair.

Given the high quality of reporters who have used this work station over the years, I'm inclined to give Matt the benefit of the doubt.

If our four-legged friends are succumbing to the lure of illicit substances, we should sit up and take notice, for this is a problem that begs to be nipped in the bud.

If, on the other hand, we roll over and pretend its not happening, it's an invitation for the problem to escalate.

What starts with a nibble can quickly morph into a bad habit and the next thing you know, your pet is hanging around downtown, wearing a red bandanna, listening to gangsta rap and text-messaging drug orders on his Blackberry.

Thankfully calls to local vets failed to uncover a widespread doggie drug problem in Greater Victoria.

"We don't see tons of it. In a year and a half I can count on one hand where it has been a marijuana ingestion," said Sharon Bartlett of Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital, which specializes in emergency medicine for pets.

"We'd be the first one to put it out there if we thought it was a problem."

It's possible that Lower Mainland dogs are just more "metro" than Vancouver Island canines.

But it's still a concern on the Island, where laid-back Labradors might be inclined to experiment with alternative lifestyles.

The Province article suggests that dogs who live in houses with marijuana grow-ops are unwittingly chowing down on their owners' crops, but perhaps this is merely a convenient way of hiding their addiction. That and they lack the opposable thumbs to roll a joint and flick the lighter.

Once you're aware of the problem, the symptoms are easy to spot. Red eyes. Dry mouth. Dry nose. Paw prints on the bong. An uncommon fondness for taco chips. The tendency to cut classes and start every sentence with "Dude..."

Puppies with pot problems may seem listless and refuse to get off the couch when it's walk time.

If you throw your dog a stick and he returns with a baggie full of pot, that's a bad sign.

Likewise if Rover is watching a lot of late-night Scooby Doo re-runs, reading Beatnik poetry and driving way too slow, it may be time for a urine test. (Just hold the little cup near a fire hydrant and wait.)

If that seems far-fetched, consider this: one clinic in Vancouver has begun testing dogs for drugs, using the same techniques that some employers use to test their staff.

If it was only pups on pot perhaps I wouldn't be writing this. The larger concern is that marijuana is a gateway drug. There's an awful lot of pit bulls in town with temperaments that would benefit from a little wheelchair-grade weed. Anti-depressants might cure your St. Bernard's self-esteem problem. But a Jack Russell terrier hopped up on cocaine? Not a pretty sight.

Instead of collaring these canine crooks, we should be embracing a harm-reduction approach to the problem.

The City of Victoria, already studying a safe-injection site for humans, might also consider a safe-ingestion site where dogs would be able to get high under medical supervision.

This would give cannabis-loving curs access to addiction services, reduce the fatality rate and keep the seedy underbelly of doggie drug use out off our streets.

Cats have had catnip for centuries, so maybe it's time we legalized drugs for dogs, if only for medicinal use.

I can see the marketing campaigns already.

"Mellow out your mutt with skunkweed puppy chow, new from Purina."

"Control your pet's mood swings with Dr. Ballard's kibbles n' bud."

Not to forsake the harm-reduction approach, this kind of opportunism would have to be countered with public education campaigns.

"This is your dog. This is your dog on drugs."

"It's 11 o'clock. Do you know what your Doberman is doing?"

Kidding aside, Bartlett said pet owners need to realize that dogs, some breeds more than others, use their sense of taste to explore their surroundings.

"They feel stuff with their mouths. Labs are synonymous with ingesting stuff," Bartlett said.

One unfortunate pup was recently rushed to her emergency clinic after eating broken glass.

"Dogs will eat anything."

And when they do, too often the parents are the last to know.

-- MAP Posted-by: Elaine

Pubdate: Fri, 15 Sep 2006
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Victoria News
Contact: vicnews@vinewsgroup.com
Website: http://www.vicnews.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1267
Author: Brennan Clarke
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06.n1235.a07.html


Blair Anderson
http://www.doglinks.co.nz
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Drug dog use questioned

By Katherine Danks
September 14, 2006

NEW South Wales drug sniffer dogs have been been branded an expensive failure. It follows a report showing that prosecutions result from fewer than one per cent of the searches the dogs initiate.

NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour today said there was little value in using dogs to screen people in public places in the hope of tracking down drug dealers.

An ombudsman report tabled in NSW Parliament today showed just 19 out of more than 10,000 people tested for drugs were prosecuted for drug supply between 2002 and 2004.

But the NSW Government says it won't pension off the sniffer dogs, insisting they contribute to breaking down the illicit drug trade.

"I think 19 people prosecuted successfully for the use or supply of drugs, that are illicit drugs, is an entirely satisfactory outcome,” Acting Police Minister David Campbell said.

The Police Powers (Drug Detection Act) came into force in February 2002 with the aim of targeting drug supply. It gave police the power to search people without a warrant in entertainment venues and on public transport.

But today's report, released two years after it was completed, questioned whether the laws should exist at all after finding most people searched were found not to be carrying drugs.

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said the dogs harass young people who use recreational drugs and are ineffective at catching the “Mr Bigs”.“Today's release of the ombudsman's report, after the Greens used parliament to force the Government to release it, exposes that sniffer dogs have been an expensive failure,” Ms Rhiannon said.

Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher supported their use, saying it was less intrusive for police to enter a nightclub with sniffer dogs than to obtain a search warrant, shut the premises down and strip-search people inside.

The ombudsman's report showed most people found to be carrying drugs had very small amounts of cannabis for personal use.

Other drugs located during the two-year review period included ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

The majority of people successfully prosecuted for supply were carrying drugs for their friends or partners at large events, such as dance parties, the report said.

It also said there was anecdotal evidence to suggest that drug dog operations may encourage persons to “engage in risky drug taking practices

Mr Barbour said he had “significant reservations” about whether the use of sniffer dogs in public places will ever effectively target drug suppliers. “Despite the best efforts of police, the evidence suggests that there is little value in trying to identify drug dealers by screening people with drug detection dogs in public places,” he said.

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Gull'able Fuel consumers, be aware

Gull'able Fuel consumers... be aware
Gull Supports Govt Move to Bring Bio-Fuels to NZ
6 years ago these 'concerned' cowboys shook on a deal (witnessed) with yours truly to supply 20,000 gallons a month of biodiesel.
They reneged as soon as there was a sniff of 'a real market' . It was a blatantly dishonest act. I view this media release with suspicion.
Such a company that would compromise ethical practice in exchange for short term profit deserves more scrutiny.
NZ fuel consumers deserve to be guardedly cautious.
For example, there are issues around deforestation, biodiversity and, not least human rights issues associated with palm oils based biofuels.
Aside from the indigenous rights and environmental concerns the 'imported' energy they contain is not as climate saving as NZ'ers are being lead to believe.
The well to wheel and wheel to tank efficacy are not the only considerations in what we put in our tanks or takes us to work.
For more about world markets, investment in and the science behind biodiesel see 'greencarcongress'

Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Time to reinvent ourselves and freshen up - CCC

"There are no `iconic' events which Christchurch is known for," said council events development manager Jo Naish.

Feedback from event organisers showed while Christchurch had once led the country with festivals, it was "probably time to reinvent ourselves and freshen up".

Among suggestions in the draft strategy, which will go to the council this month, are having two iconic festivals that are "uniquely Christchurch".

And AvonBumps wasn't uniquely Christchurch?
or was it more of that Christchurch unique quality.'white priviledge' '?
Lets see what they make of it this time round.....

(AvonBumps - propsed by the writer to CCC in 1999, subsequently dismissed by the recreation and parks cmte because it might scare 'ducks')

--
Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mr Bush's Weapons of Mass Destruction located

Bhagdad Harem Girl - 1874,
painted by Paul-Desire Trouillebert
Could this be a symbolic representation of the East-West cultural/religiosity clash?

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Friday, September 08, 2006

Tazer Tosser




Thurs 7th Sept 2006
Christchurch Arts Precinct

Evening Presentation on Tazer.
For the record,

The Police Officer, having had to face down a question on occupational risk of being a Policeman and how Tazer wasn't going to change much on account of the low injuries anyway, he fielded a question from a young man who had listened diligently to the respective and 'qualified' law, medical political and police views.

The young man asked that were Police to be given improved self defense and interpersonal skills, would the Tazer be necessary, inferring by corollary that the Tazer was being justified to accommodate the declining common courtesies and skills 'behind the uniform'.

The Police Officer stoodup, made a gesture at the young mans T-Shirt telling an amazed, indeed stunned audience "the graffiti on your shirt looks just like that on the wall" and subsequently was further heard to say 'your a Tosser..'

He then, without deferring to local mediaman Mike Yardly, mien host and facilitator, concluded the meeting saying it was time for a coffee.

No more questions were asked.

When the same officer had been asked by the writer earlier in the evening would he Tazer my dog? He replied he would not do such a thing.

The question I have then is why do we do it to humans?


This is extra-judicial electro convulsive 'therapy' without informed consent.

We don't even do that in mental health 'supervised controlled environment' hospital anymore.


Here's my suggestion to former Minister of Health, now Police Hon Annette King, (does no one find this strange?) : You give me drug policy and independent oversight, and I'll give you Tazer, and some guidelines, and we'll ALL agree to keep a good watch on things.

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Monday, September 04, 2006

PRINCIPAL URGES ACTION OVER TEEN CANNABIS

The principal of Napier Boys' High School has called for the wider community to take a grip of teenage cannabis problems following the arrest of a man and his son over an alleged cannabis-dealing operation among pupils.

Ross Brown made the call yesterday after revealing his was the school where a 16-year-old boy is alleged to have dealt cannabis with fellow pupils."Young people cannot afford to be involved in marijuana," Mr Brown said.

"Schools have them just five hours a day, but people know there are people using marijuana in our community and must side-up alongside schools and police to get rid of this problem."The school management has always had a strong stance on issues of drug use and this has not changed."As community leaders we must play a responsible role in protecting our young people and our response to this incident simply illustrates our preparedness to do just that."

Management at the school last week became aware of cannabis use among some pupils outside school hours and alerted police with information from "the wider school community".

A search of a Napier South property on Wednesday uncovered cannabis and cash allegedly linked to the supply to the students.

A 45-year-old beneficiary is to appear in the Napier District Court next Wednesday facing indictable charges of possessing cannabis for supply, cultivating cannabis and being a party to the sale of cannabis to people under the age of 18. His 16-year-old son, a pupil at the school and who had $1180 when his home was searched - is being referred initially to Police Youth Services with decisions pending on whether he will face the charges in the Youth Court.

Mr Brown called on the community to help stamp-out the use of cannabis and other illicit drugs by young people."Cannabis has a seriously debilitating effect on their learning," he said.

"The wider community must take clear steps to demonstrate that its use is unacceptable. Our young people are our future, and we must all act with courage to ensure that they have every opportunity to live and learn without the presence of such negative factors."

He said the school would continue to be ensure young people in Napier are safe and secure, and had every opportunity to succeed."The community generally has to work alongside schools and police, and anyone dealing with teenagers has got an issue with marijuana," he said.

Sat, 02 Sep 2006
Source: Hawke's Bay Today (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2006
Contact: http://www.hbtoday.co.nz/info/letters/
Website: http://hbtoday.co.nz/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2947
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06.n1163.a05.html

How can this man honestly believe in a system that has failed to deliver any of the outcomes he so desires. Zero tolerance interventions are the logical equivalent of inoculation therapy on kids without testing the antigen. We may as well randomly expel kids using Lotto, it makes as much sense as exclusionary and coercive interventions.

The antidrug antidote with the highest efficacy is and will always be, informed consent.
It's the low maintenance conservative policy, the evidence base for cannabis law reform has been proven to be largely exonerative despite a legacy of propaganda demonising the weed.
It follows that there are legislative implications that acknowledge the law is a blunt instrument.

From The British Medical Journal;

"In three years' of experience of school health provision for alcohol and drug problems and their related referral networks, I do not know of one school that could satisfy these criteria, especially the underpinning policy of promoting informed choice for children and families,"
Woody Caan, Professor of Public Health,
Department of Public and Family Health,
Anglia Polytechnic University,
Chelmsford, Essex, UK
Time to Talk
Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Marijuana the Forbidden Medicine - Canterbury Student Filmmakers

'Canterbury Student Filmmakers Present...''Marijuana the Forbidden Medicine"
The scheduled screening on Christchurch's CTV is as follows:
Each programme will screen three times over the weck
Wed 2030 (8:30pm)
Thurs 1430 (2:30pm)
Sun 2230 (10:30pm)
WEEK COMMENCING Wed 11/10:
Marijuana The Forbidden Medicine
Avon River ' A River runs Through
Duration: 27.59

WEEK COMMENCING Wed 25/10:
Caffeine Fix
Herbal Highs A Safer Alternative ???
Duration: 25.03

I hope you enjoy the finished production.

Thank You very much for your contribution, without your input there would have been no documentary.

Regards
Gregg Hurrell
Director.
WaveMaker Productions
Ph 64 3 650 419
025 659 4691

Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Howard's Law

Australian Prime Minister Howard, a bushman if I ever heard one...did sayeth unto the flock....

http://www.pm.gov.au/news/speeches/speech2103.html

And of course in an area like drugs, about seven or eight years ago I felt the Federal Government had to do more in the fight against drugs. And I've set aside, up to a billion dollars over a period of years, for a 'Tough on Drugs' campaign. And it has three elements. The first element is an uncompromising zero tolerance attack on people who traffic in drugs and a zero tolerance approach to drug use in our community. I never embraced the trendy notion that there was a level to which you could happily agree that people should take drugs and all you had to do was embrace this odd notion of harm minimisation. It's always seemed to me, to be a contradiction in terms, if something is harmful you ought to try avoid it altogether, you don't just sort of settle for 50 per cent harm or 75 per cent harm, you actually try and avoid it altogether.

And for a period of time I was derided. I can remember having some arguments with, even some of my own state colleagues in various parts of Australia, who said that we should legalise marijuana, we should adopt a more progressive approach. People said get with it John, you're out of date, you're old fashioned. Now it's very interesting with the passage of time and more understanding of the impact of marijuana use on the mind and the link between suicide and marijuana, the link between depression and marijuana use, there is now a much more realistic approach to drug use and a much more solid support for the zero tolerance approach.

So the first thing was to have that zero tolerance approach.

Which all goes to explain why 'random roadside drug testing' is in vogue. Let not let evidence based policy stand in the way of pure prejudice and double standards.

Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Friday, September 01, 2006

Extract of interest to blind policy makers

Dr. Pate who was kind enough to provide AAMC with his doctoral dissertation on anandamide (the bodies natural THC) and glaucoma, proceeded to describe a model of glaucoma that raised many new questions. What if the painful intra-ocular pressures present in glaucoma were not the cause of the disease but the symptom of underlying neuroinflammation?

Presenting elegant experimental data, Dr. Pate demonstrated that indeed key nerves involved in the "gating" of fluids within the eye were inflamed in glaucoma and that such inflammation could be countered by anandamide.

It shouldn't be surprising that CB1 receptors were identified by Dr. Pate within the eye. Binding to these sites reduced inflammation and reduced painful pressure. Cannabinoids are seen by Dr. Pate as providing an "ocular stabilizing" effect helping to prevent the inflammation of nerves within the eye. A significant volume of work supports Dr. Pate's findings including that of Dr. R. Ritch from the Department of Ophthalmology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. In a recently published article Dr. Ritch answers the question:

"Neuroprotection: is it already applicable to glaucoma therapy? Many categories of both natural and synthetic compounds have been reported to have neuroprotective activity. These include not only antioxidants, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, inhibitors of glutamate release, calcium channel blockers, polyamine antagonists, and nitric oxide synthase inhibitors, but cannabinoids, aspirin, melatonin, and vitamin B-12.

The lack of availability of specific neuroprotectant compounds in the United States and the lack of clinical trials examining the benefits of neuroprotective agents for glaucoma currently limit the use of these agents.

This article provides a short overview of the concept of neuroprotection as it applies to glaucoma and suggests the possibility of neuroprotective activity that might be provided by compounds that are presently easily available."


Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in cannabis, have many distinct pharmacological properties. These include analgesic, anti-emetic, anti-oxidative, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory actions see: ( http://www.cannabismd.org/foundation/mmjdosingguidelines.php)

Any and all required research programs in New Zealand would, according to procedure and protocols be required to pass POLICE scrutiny before it could be approved as would, it would seem the status of the research subject. (see NORML NZ website)
One couldn't have criminals getting healthy of their own accord else putting Neville Yates [and others] in jail would have been morally wrong.
The word, 'b'stards' comes to mind....

Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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