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, June 30, 2007

Drug Foundation Welcomes BZP Party Pill Ban

The New Zealand Drug Foundation is extremely pleased that BZP-party pills will be banned from the end of the year. see New Zealand Drug Foundation Welcomes BZP Party Pill Ban

(This is IMHO an inexplicable position by the NZDF and contrary in principle to its membership of international organisations ie: The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), a global network of 24 national and international NGOs that specialise in issues related to illegal drug use. )

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton announced yesterday (26June?) that BZP will be reclassified as a C-class drug from Christmas, and will carry the same penalties as marijuana.

Users will be given a six month amnesty period after the law change to avoid criminalisation. "The introduction of party pills exposed the weaknesses of our current law. There was nowhere in the schedule to place party pills, and even though they'll now be scheduled, we're still left unable to deal with any new substances cooked up by clever chemists," said Mr Bell. (Wrong, Jim A created Class-D, as advocated by the MildGreens as a non-punitive research, management and monitoring regulatory model)

The Government also announced a complete review of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell said the review of this 30-plus-year old law is great news and overshadows the announcement to ban BZP-pills.

"The Misuse of Drugs Act is a patchwork of amendments, many of which were ad hoc responses to short-term public or political concerns. This has led to inconsistent legal treatment of substances, and has limited the options available for control, especially for emerging new substances," Mr Bell said.

The Drug Foundation has long recommended a review of the drug law, saying that New Zealand's current law is obsolete and should be replaced with a framework that can more effectively tackle existing and new drugs. (yes, but that is not the only or most significant reason the framework should be reviewed. THe writer agrees in a review of the ACT, not just the Law. Nor should it be reviewed without a full and unfettered resolution of the law, as it applies to cannabis as recommended by two select committees , including the completion of the 'highly indicated' cost benefit analysis. Anything else is perpetuating the sham. /Blair)

Jim Anderton, Associate Minister of Health said the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act had been advocated by many in the sector for some time. (including the MildGreens)

"This [review] is to be completed by December 2008 and will be aimed at providing a better, more coherent and rational legal framework for the law surrounding the implementation of, and penalties for, the misuse of drugs," he said. (Wrong!!!, Its about health and harm reduction... not the law, penalties or pejoratively mischaracterising all use as misuse./Blair)

Party Pill Association spokesman Matt Bowden was the first person to import party pills and helped to establish the $35 million industry in New Zealand. He said party pills are a lot safer than alcohol.

"Nobody has died, there are no significant lasting injuries, it should not really be made illegal," he said.
People found in possession of BZP after the six month amnesty ends will face a maximum of three months imprisonment and/or a maximum $500 fine

(The Gangs will be cheering this decision, all the way to the bank. More prohibition - like it will fix anything is handing control to criminal networks with all the contingent downsides. It is political expediency and obsfucation - fix what is really broken. The more dangerous a drug is, the less responsible it is of authority to abrogate control. We should aim to ring fence problems, where they occur, to those who do indulge. /Blair)

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Anderton should be embarrassed

Anderton should be embarrassed (or commited).

Czar Anderton's call for a review of the Misuse of Drugs Act purportedly to make manufacture, distribution and consumption of any non-approved chemical (or herb) punishable mocks common sense.

Elevating BZP into an illicit drug rather than improve a legally regulated regime abrogates his own duty 'of care'. Passing control to criminal networks looses not only controlled manufacture and distribution chains, it entrenches failure. The guy is an idiot, and those who serve under him, including it seems his entire Ministry of Health are afflicted by his moral hysteria.

My letter to TV3 follows

Dear TV3 News Team

I have selected this cut and paste below to highlight our erroneous ABC drug classifications system - it is KEY to understanding why Jim Anderton's BZP 'classification' move is destined to fail.

I have standing on this having researched drug policy now for over thirty years. I have given about 16 select committee presentations even arguing for the Expert Advisory Committee (on) Drugs [MDA amendment #4] as I considered such a mechanism a 'safe pair of hands' for evidence based policy development. The Committee was regrettably populated with status-quo thinking, and that is why Jim is ill-advised. Please pass this on to your investigative team. I know that Prof Nutt, Blakemore and others mentioned in this email (and others than I can provide you) would be happy to be interviewed should you and your team wish to explore this crucial issue. NZ's ABC system only differs from the UK insofar Ecstasy and some other 'drugs' we vilify here (P) are treated as Class A. Resolving 'for once and for all' requires INFORMED debate. It is time some equity and balance was given to this issue and politicians made to answer "which part of the current classification system is, on evidence, working?"

Some of you at Tv3 may recall that it was I that brought out to New Zealand the retired head of the Met (and Scotland Yard Narcotics) Det. Chief Superintendent Eddie Ellison who presented to the Ministry of Justice and Associate Ministers of Health (including Jim Anderton) and Rotaries all over the North Island. (see )

The Highlights below are mine../Blair

Excerpt from UK Hansard, courtesy of Phil Willis (Harrogate & Knaresborough, Liberal Democrat, and Chair of the Science and Technology Select Commiteee that reviewed the Drug Classification System)

If there is a lack of evidence to support the classification of particular drugs, does the classification system support other planks of Government drugs policy? It seems not. We found, for example, that there is no solid evidence to support the existence of a deterrent effect, the idea being that there will be a deterrent effect if a drug is placed in a higher class. Our conclusion has since been echoed by the UK Drug Policy Commission, which says that the concept of a deterrent effect has "little or no support from the available research".

To be fair, the Government accepted that there is an absence of conclusive evidence on the deterrent effect and agreed to consider ways in which the evidence base for such an effect could be strengthened. I would like to ask the Minister, first, what steps have been taken to strengthen the evidence base, and secondly, if new evidence were to undermine the principle of the deterrent effect, would that have an impact on the current policy on classification?
Linked to the idea of the deterrent effect is the notion that classification can be used to send out messages. We have a number of concerns about that notion. The purpose of classification should be to categorise a drug according to the comparative harm , be that physical dependence or social, that is associated with its misuse. That does not necessarily sit comfortably with the secondary aim of sending out messages. It must be one or the other.

In our report, we considered the example of methylamphetamine, or crystal meth. The Government kept it in class B because it was concerned that reclassification to class A might send out the message that crystal meth was a dangerous drug, thereby increasing interest in it and encouraging potential users. There was absolutely no evidence on which to base that conclusion. The ACMD told us that it was "a judgment call". That example highlights the inconsistency of a classification system that at times relies on moving a drug to a higher class to deter potential users—the deterrent effect—as was the case with ecstasy.

It is worrying that a Government who claim to formulate evidence-based policies are content to use classification to send out signals to users without undertaking any research to establish the relationship between the class of the drug and the signal that is sent out. Given the inconsistencies in the classification system and the lack of evidence to support the principles on which it is founded, the Select Committee believes that it is not fit for purpose. We concluded in our report, and continue to maintain, that the current classification system is antiquated, arbitrary and ripe for revision .

Our findings are not surprising. We reiterated the findings of the *Runciman report, which proposed that the classification system be reviewed, and the Home Affairs Committee's 2002 report on drug policy, which recommended that LSD and ecstasy be reclassified. Our conclusions have recently been echoed by the newly formed UK Drug Policy Commission and the report of the RSARoyal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce—commission on illegal drugs, "Drugs—facing facts". The RSA calls the current classification system "arbitrary, confused and haphazard"

Despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary, the Government assert that the classification system discharges its function fully and effectively, and that it has stood the test of time. There is little evidence to support that assertion, and I ask the Minister whether he can provide such evidence this afternoon. Perhaps he could also explain something that has confused me: how can the Government have so much confidence in the current classification system when the chairman of the ACMD technical committee, Professor David Nutt, told the Select Committee that he does not think that "all the drugs are correctly classified according to the current classification system"?

The very person who heads the technical committee of the Government's ACMD says that the system is not fit for purpose. I look forward to the Minister's response to Professor Nutt's strong statement.

Having found the current classification system to be inadequate, we rightly turned our attention to possible improvements. We recommended that the Government establish a more scientifically based scale of harm. We believe that that would have much greater credibility than the current system, in which classification decisions seem quite arbitrary.

Our proposals have considerable support. In March, a paper by Professor Nutt, Professor Colin Blakemore, the chief executive of the Medical Research Council, William Saulsbury of the Police Foundation and Leslie King of the Forensic Science Service—hardly lightweights in the field—was published in The Lancet. The paper proposed a nine-category matrix of harm that took account of physical harm, dependence and social harms—the very things that are at the heart of the Government's policy. Its main findings rejected the crude rank ordering of drugs and their segregation into groups under the ABC classification system. Significantly, it found that tobacco and alcohol were in the top 10 higher-harm groups.

Also in March, an RSA report recommended that the Government replace the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 with a misuse of substances Act that focuses on the harms that drugs cause. Like our report and the paper in The Lancet, the RSA report recommended that there should be an index of substance-related harms that is based on the best available evidence and modified in the light of new evidence. I am keen to hear from the Minister whether he is willing to explore how a more scientifically based scale of harm could be used.

One element of our proposal for classification to be based on the scale of harm is the question whether the classification system should continue to have a direct link to the criminal justice system, as it has had since 1971. During our inquiry, we heard from the chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers drugs committee that the classification system was only "a rough guide for the police and...was pretty crude". That was said by the deputy chief of the Met.

When we discussed the issue with police officers in the United States, we heard that the lack of a direct link between schedules and penalties gave the police the freedom to focus resources as they saw fit, rather than being tied in by the classification. We therefore recommended that the Government decouple the ranking of drugs on the basis of harm from the penalties for possession and trafficking. We believe that such decoupling would mean that harms could be assessed objectively without having practical implications for the criminal justice system. The ranking of drugs could be changed frequently within a scientifically based scale of harm in response to new evidence without directly impacting on the system of penalties.

If the scientific scale of harm were not linked to penalties, it would also be possible to include tobacco and alcohol in the scale and thereby give the public a better sense of the relative harms involved. We believe that the public would be interested to know, as was pointed out in the paper in The Lancet, that alcohol is rated as more harmful than ketamine, amphetamines and tobacco, and that tobacco is rated as more harmful than cannabis, LSD and ecstasy. That is quite a startling statement .

We did not use our report to recommend an alternative approach to determining penalties, as that was not in our remit, but we suggested that possibilities could include a greater emphasis on the link between the misuse of a drug and criminal activity, or a clearer distinction between possession and supply. The Select Committee was in no way trying to undermine the very real problems that the Home Office and the police have in dealing with drug-related crime. They need greater powers rather than fewer powers, but such powers must be very much directed at the problem.

The Government rejected our recommendation to decouple penalties and harm ranking. They said that a fundamental purpose of the classification system was to provide a framework within which penalties are set with reference to the harm caused by a drug. If the Government choose to pursue that line and insist that penalties are coupled with the harm rating of drugs, it is even more important that the classification system is reviewed to ensure that it is robust and evidence-based .

‹(•¿•)› Blair Anderson

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

*Police Foundation's Runciman report on the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Home Secretary screamed and cursed and tore it up. The report had suggested that the use of cannabis should no longer be an imprisonable offence and that drug classification be related more closely to harm.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Court limits student speech in 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case

LTE sent to

The Supremes 'Bong Hits' ruling serves only to elevate the double standards and entrench the unresolved tensions surrounding illicit drugs, in particular cannabis. The bio-psychosocial set and setting in which this event occurred (and will manifest again and again) produces a litany of counter-intuitive consequence which directly and indirectly harm our children. Set aside that millions of young folk wear clothing associated with alcohol, cars and numerous other dangerous and illegal activities, young people are equipped with bull shite detectors and a deep sense of justice. I fully expect that the T-Shirt silk screens & Bumper Sticker presses will be whirring at full speed to meet demand. And so they should. The Supremes have played into youth's hands on this one. The phrase 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' is now both immortal and powerfully imbued.

/Blair Anderson, Dir. Educators for Sensible Drug Policy (

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Holmes: Alcohol education: Serve up the truth

"Aaron White, who studies adolescent alcohol use at Duke University Medical Center, challenges another bit of conventional wisdom while arguing against lowering the drinking age: 'If you're going to do that, I suggest you teach them to roll joints,' he told Newsweek, 'because the science is clear that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana.'"

Holmes: Alcohol education: Serve up the truth - Waltham, MA - The Daily News Tribune:

Indeed. Cannabis is less addictive than alcohol, and less damaging to your body. A lethal dose of alcohol is 10 times its effective dose - one way scientists measure a drug's dangerousness - but there is no known lethal dose of marijuana.

But those who would teach young people what they really need to know about sex and drugs are hampered by laws, politics and culture that confuse telling the truth with "sending a message." Children need sermons, to be sure, but slogans that pretend that maturity and understanding arrive magically on your 21st birthday do more harm than good.

Today's teens cannot escape exposure to alcohol, drugs and sex. They would be much better served if they could learn the truth about these things from adults instead of being encouraged by laws and attitudes to hide from them.

(And the MildGreens have been harping on about 'double standard impediments to health promotion', while politicians pretend they don't understand.. who looks stupid now? /Blair)
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Former border patrol agent sentenced to 70 years

Former border patrol agent sentenced to 70 years: for cannabis possesion? theft as a servant? Are these Judges Mad? Only in the USA!! /Blair
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climate refugee issue give credence by UN

Climate change and the fight for resources 'will set world aflame'

By Steve Bloomfield in Nairobi /  Published: 21 June 2007

Climate change has become a major security issue that could lead to "a world going up in flames", the United Nations' top environment official has warned. From rising sea levels in the Indian Ocean to the increasing spread of desert in Africa's Sahel region, global warming will cause new wars across the world, said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

"People are being pushed into other people's terrain by the changing climate and it is leading to conflict," he said. "Societies are not prepared for the scale and the speed with which they will have to decide what they will do with people."

‹(•¿•)›     Blair Anderson

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Walters Responsible for the Gang Mess

In the item 'Early Marijuana Use A Warning Sign For Later Gang Involvement' (Medical News Today)  John P Walters asserts by distorted interpretation of data he has  insight into the final solution to 'crime and gangs' . His argument, and I paraphrase for simplicity, is 'it's marijuana stupid'.

He fails to notice 'on evidence'  this gang related mayhem is occurring on his watch. It is his and his fellow harm maximizers prohibitive 'set and setting' that incentivises the cultivation, distribution and early experiential use of  cannabis  within the dangerous context of criminality. It creates the very crime he and his set out to solve.
Prohibition amplifies deviancy.
There is nothing of consequence inherent in the pharmacology of cannabinoids that is criminogenic. Walter's official sanction of the wasteful and misguided practice 'and targeting of youth'  can only be described as an abrogation of duty of care thus malfeasance to continue this absurd public health practice. Walters testimony over the years in defence of the indefensible has heralded a litany of lies and fabrications purporting to be science. This 'obfuscatory practice' by design or stupidlity is, on a world wide scale, a greater injustice than apartheid [and Walters' its self anointed 5 Star General]. The man deserves to be tried for culpable crimes against humanity as ignorance is no excuse.

Prohibition of cannabis  has never been examined from first principles "first do no harm' nor has the policy  been subject to cost benefit analysis. If it were, we would not be having this conversation.

Cannabis law reform is the stuff of social capital.

‹(•¿•)›     Blair Anderson

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

woeful ignorance by judiciary

Another case of woeful ignorance by judiciary and further reason that cannabis 'law' must be subject to full and unfettered scrutiny.

Judge McGuire said there was a lot of cannabis consumption in the Rotorua region.
"It robs young people of their spirit, motivation, drive, energy and aspiration to do things."

Asked whether cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes, Judge McGuire said he dealt with about 50 cannabis cases a week and in the past 10 years he had heard four cases about people claiming their use was to reduce pain. "In this day, there are people of high expertise in pain relief ... I don't buy the argument of cannabis for medicinal purposes."

‹(•¿•)›     Blair Anderson

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Over state the harms and reap the consequences....

(all this is completely at odds with the evidence base... Judges, in particular this one have a vested interest, no more evident here than by his own admissions - it is his "JOB" for which he is "PAID" handsomely by US. Yet he has no evidence that any of what he does is working! On the contrary McGuire is in denial of the evidence of cannabis's medical efficacy and further more grossly 'overstates the harms'. ).

Meanwhile, Judge McGuire said drugs were a worsening problem in Rotorua, Tokoroa and Taupo.

He said that while there was a scourge of methamphetamine at the moment which was responsible for a lot of domestic violence, cannabis remained his "hobby horse".

"If you started smoking cannabis in your teens, you are 300 per cent more likely to get schizophrenia and you are four times more likely to become violent - and yet this is the ultimate chill-out drug?"

Judge McGuire said there was a lot of cannabis consumption in the Rotorua region.

"It robs young people of their spirit, motivation, drive, energy and aspiration to do things. "

Asked whether cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes, Judge McGuire said he dealt with about 50 cannabis cases a week and in the past 10 years he had heard four cases about people claiming their use was to reduce pain.

"In this day, there are people of high expertise in pain relief ... I don't buy the argument of cannabis for medicinal purposes."

Curiously, the Medical Research Council of Great Britain, reporting in the Lancet do not agree. It is our politicians who should be serving time!

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Med Pot Murder or Compassionate Incarceration

Widow cites jail van, stress 

Thursday, 14 June 2007      

Cramped conditions in a prison van, severe stress and being confined to a police cell may have contributed to Golden Bay man Stephen Cleary's death in jail, his widow believes.  
Irene Cleary and other family members have asked for a full investigation into the death of the 49-year-old, described as a "gentle man and a wonderful father" by Mrs Cleary.
Cleary died in Christchurch Men's Prison on Monday, less than two weeks after beginning a one-year prison sentence for growing cannabis in a shipping container at his home.
The Pohara windchime-maker died from what is believed to be an embolism, or blockage to the heart, just five days after being transferred to the Christchurch prison from a Nelson police cell.

snip -- see

Mrs Cleary, who is a nurse, said she also believed it was time cannabis was decriminalised for medicinal use. "I know, as a nurse, that it can relieve pain," she said. "Prison is not the place you want your loved one to finish his life in."

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Hara Estroff Marano's "Trashing Teens"

Excellently framed argument for a reexamination of age of consent and wholesale repeal of some increasingly deficient laws.
(We even have "boy racer" act that is both ageists and sexist.)

Trashing Teens

Psychologist Robert Epstein argues in a provocative book, "The Case Against Adolescence," that teens are far more competent than we assume, and most of their problems stem from restrictions placed on them. Psychologist Robert Epstein spoke to Psychology Today's Hara Estroff Marano about the legal and emotional constraints on American youth.

Young people can't own things, can't sign contracts, and they can't do anything meaningful without parental permission—permission that can be withdrawn at any time. They can't marry, can't have sex, can't legally drink. The list goes on. They are restricted and infantilized to an extraordinary extent.

In recent surveys I've found that American teens are subjected to more than 10 times as many restrictions as mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines, and even twice as many as incarcerated felons. Psychologist Diane Dumas and I also found a correlation between infantilization and psychological dysfunction. The more young people are infantilized, the more psychopathology they show.

In no other area of public policy is the double standards more acute and effects more deleterious to young people's access to health promotion (on a global scale) than in alcohol, tobacco and cannabis... /Blair

‹(•¿•)› Blair Anderson
New Zealand
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Friday, June 08, 2007

Pass HB 6715 - Compassionate Use Act

attn: Governor Rell
c/o Connecticut State Legislature
Dear Governor Rell,
I have spent thirty years studing the biopsychosocial implications of the societal contraint on access to herbal cannabis.

There is nothing to be afraid of.

Please have the courage to do the right thing as politicaly challenging as it may appear, and pass this Bill.

It is a Win-Win  solution.
Do not be swayed by 'what kind of message does this send to children'. It is imperative that our children see this injustice removed. It is the adult thing to do.

cc: Green Party aspirant, Clifford Thornton

‹(•¿•)›     Blair Anderson
Another MildGreen Initiative.
50 Wainoni Road
Christchurch City,
New Zealand
ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fergusson Seminar Wed. on Cannabis & Psychosis.

Cannabis and Psychotic Symptoms: Is There a Causal Link?
SCIENCE PRESTIGE LECTURE organized by the College of Science,

University of Canterbury

Professor David Fergusson, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago

When: Wed, 6th June,
Time: 11.00-12noon,
Where: Room 105, Laws School, University of Canterbury


Cannabis and Psychotic Symptoms: Is There a Causal Link?
Professor David Fergusson
Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, New Zealand

This presentation will use data from the Christchurch Health & Development Study (CHDS) to examine the linkages between exposure to cannabis use and rates of psychosis/psychotic symptoms. The CHDS is a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1,265 children born in 1977 that has been studied to the age of 30. Key issues to be examined include: confounding; reverse causality; and the pathways linking cannabis use to the development of psychotic symptoms. The implications of these findings for the regulation of cannabis use and supply will be considerable.

Brief Biographical Details

For the last 30 years, Professor David Fergusson has been the Principal Investigator and Executive Director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS). The CHDS is an internationally renowned longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1,265 New Zealand children born in mid 1977. This cohort has now been studied from birth to the age of 25. Professor Fergusson is the author of over 300 scientific articles and books. His recent work has included research into: childhood sexual and physical abuse; family violence; youth unemployment; teenage pregnancy; juvenile delinquency; substance abuse; and youth mental health. His major research interests are the design and analysis of correlational studies and the study of personal adjustment in adolescence. He is also actively involved in the development and evaluation of an early intervention project - Early Start - a home visitation programme designed to address the needs of at-risk families with young children. He is fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and an honorary fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Porn, Prohibition and Just say No.

The increased sexualization of girls and women in our culture is troubling as is the blurring between pornography and mainstream entertainment. What's sad is the underlying message girls are getting and believing, in part because it's true -- it's a way they can feel powerful instantly and it can lead to a certain kind of fame and celebrity. And for girls whose parents never talk to them about embracing their sexuality and feeling comfortable in their own skin (vs. just preaching abstinence), the allure of being sexy in this way can be very compelling. The 'Porn Effect' Online

This psychosocial dynamic reads a lot like systemic failed drug policy. Ban it and increase the problems and prevalence.

The intersect of sex and drugs remedial adjustments is 'at parenting level' not perverse policing of a moral tautology, the 'means, ends and the enforcing of abstinence'.

[Its illegal because its immoral, its immoral because its illegal.]

Stanton Peele captured this forbidden fruit in his treatise on alcohol, abstention and binge drinking. Others have written on virginity, loss there of, poor health outcomes and religious doctrine. Oops, its that 'looks like drug policy, smells like drug policy' double standards and parents again.

Those who treat sex as a moral issue and fail to educate younger folk reality-based solutions get the very outcome they least desire. What is it about religion that it requires temptation and failure. Those who profess theisms virtues can be of this world but not in it.

Fears loves a Moloch like those who sell ambulances, love disaster.

Blair Anderson


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Friday, June 01, 2007

Queen of pot jailed (aka: Alison Durbin)

FORMER Queen of pop Alison Durbin [Giles] has been jailed for one year for drug offences. The sentence follows her guilty plea to growing and selling cannabis. Durbin, 57, who once admitted she was addicted to heroin, was sentenced in the County Court today. She was sentenced to serve 24 months in jail, with half suspended.
The court heard that since the early 1980s, Giles had been suffering depression.
No one deserves to be in jail for 5 cannabis plants. The injustice is the absurd drug laws that leads to this anachronism of modern times. Where in heavens name was the 'victim' here. Absent a complainant this was an adult consensual activity undeserving of both this trite media 'expose' or the massive waste of police, justice, and corrections resources. The real rort is being rendered on taxpayers. Will Alison's incarceration make an IOTA of difference to cannabis prevalence, price or to drug related crime... if the answer is no then the conclusion is obvious. The law and all who unquestioningly serve it are corrupt. They, and their political minions are no different to those who padlocked the carriages to Auschwitz.

Please note the Editor may have slightly edited your comment to be suitable for publishing. (yeah right)

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P-lab cleanups (Victor Boyd Interview, RNZ)

The necessity for P-Lab cleanups (and the societal risks associated with the chemicals) are a direct function of dysfunctional drug policy.

It all points to a raft of uncosted unintended consequences, born by otherwise innocent victims as your interview attests.

Ephedrine used to be a mild herbal extract from the ephedra plant. It hurt no one. It was a natural (and very safe) medicine. It was so efacious it was manufactured to meet demand and clinical application, as pseudo-ephidrine. It was so safe we could give it out as cold medicine.

The contemporary parallel is coca leaves, made illegal, became cocaine... then crack. Same with Opium, first Heroin, then Morphine.

Cannabis Oil, as in the [recent] Milton explosion again, same. In fact hashish and oil 'punishment' is predicated on the 'attempt to make cannabis harder to detect'.

It is more profitable and less risky to 'transport' something that is easier to hide.

We should talk sometime... (hell will be very cold before then I have no doubt.)

Blair Anderson
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