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, May 29, 2007

Blairs Brain gets a seeing too.

Just a (dynamic) sample of this blogs webpresence/traffic

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Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Saturday, May 26, 2007

How to lie to your baby about pot.

Cannabinoids linked to brain damage imposed by maternal cannabis use

A critical step in brain development is governed by endogenous cannabinoids, 'the brain's own marijuana'. Studies conducted at Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, with participation of scientists from Europe and the United States, are now published in Science and show that these endogenous molecules regulate how certain nerve cells recognize each other and form connections.

The scientists believe that their findings will significantly advance our understanding of how cannabis smoking during pregnancy may damage the fetal brain.



Huh!!!! ...with this logic they may as well be measuring tyre pressure to find a cure for Aids.
If this phenomena of cannabis / fetal brain injury was even 'slight risk' it would have shown up in epidemiological studies all over the freaking world.

(published elsewhere)

This prenatal stuff is all unsurprising. However set aside the moral dilemma for those who need to indulge in other peoples lives for a moment and consider the implications here.

If ALL pregnant mothers at risk of FAS (alcohol impairments) displaced alcohol with cannabis tea - the biopsychosocial benefits would be.? Apply the same logic and displaced consequences to tobacco.

Now there is the real a test of the efficacy of 'should we or shouldn't we'.

The double blind neonate study (Harvard) was conclusive. Neonates to pot tea drinking mothers performed statistically better across a raft of tests. They attributed the better outcomes to improved health of mother (thus baby) from the anti-emetic effect in an otherwise constrained diet.

This issue tests 'mode of use...' and socially normative behaviours.

(it is quite probably true that) Pregnant Mothers shouldn't smoke or drink alcohol. The ones at greatest risk are children of teen (young) mothers. We put every impediment to credible public health in front of them and then play the blame game. We're truly screwing people up. More so than pot has ever done to anyone.

One needs to visit this issue holistically.

Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In Passing.

Its been a tough few weeks in cannabis law reform.

First Ann, then Tod.

But for the internet I would never have spoken with them, or have at my fingertips what they brought to the injustices systemic in the denial of the herb. Both are, for a host of reasons, in my thoughts.

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

*Tod Mikuriya, MD, Psychiatrist and Former Director of Marijuana Research for the National Institute of Mental Health.

*Ann Shapiro was a pioneer in the field of gerontology, president of the Hartford Audubon Society, "a loving, kind, good woman."
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cutty Sark, 'Opium Trader'.

Cutty Sark, Opium Trader.

Tea is just an expression that hides the truth of the matter.

This vessel had anti-terrorism weapons (anti-piracy). It could outrun anyone at twenty knots. It (and some 75-80 sister ships) was an instrument of geopolitics that colonised the minds and commerce of nation states.

Tea was a publicly palatable back-load. The real prize was China's silver and an open market.

(14) The link between opium, Chinese criminals, and secret societies, whose traditional role of political resistance made them perennially outlawed and feared by the central government, only strengthened the official revulsion toward foreigners and their "moral poison."

China: The Historical Setting of Asia's Profitable Plague
By LEONARD P. ADAMS

BTW: 20% of the clipper opium fleet was William Jardines' whose name remains familiar in mercantile/banking circles today.


Blair Anderson

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Medical Marijuana: The Replacement for Very Dangerous Drugs

Cannabis / marijuana medicines were at one time the “drugs of choice” in the United States, until they were declared illegal. They had been used for 100 specific medical problems through the use of about 30 prescription medicines.

Medical Marijuana: The Replacement for Very Dangerous Drugs
Dr. Phillip Leveque for Salem-News.com (MOLALLA, Ore.)

When I was ordered before the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners, the first question I was asked by Dr. Spokas, the chairman, from Ontario, Oregon, was “Dr. Leveque don’t you know that marijuana is very addicting and very dangerous?”

Frankly, I didn’t know or believe this and all of my experience with fifty years study and 4000 patients told me this was totally false, but when one is facing a “Spanish inquisition” with psychological “thumb screws” or “hanging”, I decided to answer “maybe for some people”. I didn’t believe a word of it. I didn’t dare ask where he got his information but I assumed it came from the U.S. government, which has produced false propaganda for 70 plus years.

Marijuana is less addictive and less dangerous than Starbuck’s espresso.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Law allows the use of marijuana for Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s rage, Glaucoma, chronic pain, chronic nausea, chronic spasms, Multiple Sclerosis and seizures.

As a retired Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, I accepted this with a grain of salt but when I started seeing patients, I was astonished and pleased that indeed the above conditions were “miraculously” alleviated by the use of medical marijuana.

I was further astonished when I was told by the patients “marijuana is much better than any prescription I have been given". Further questioning of patients indicated it was better that the morphine-like painkillers, such as Oxycontin, Percodan or Demerol. It was also better than the Valium-like tranquilizers, such as Xanax, and Ambien, etc. and even the anti-depressants, such as Elavil, Trazadone, etc. and the really heavy anti-depressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft, etc.
Another, almost strange, report was that it was preferred to Aspirin and Tylenol, etc. because it worked faster with no stomach or liver damage.

For a retired Professor of Pharmacology, the patient’s reports were really a “blockbuster”. The biggest surprise came really quickly by Viet Nam veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They had been given every kind of medication, which gave minimal, if any, relief and many suffers simply turned to alcohol stupefaction to blot out PTSD battle stress.

The latter had become a tragedy for many as they had discovered in Viet Nam the marijuana was an excellent tranquilizer, better than any standard such drug or alcohol.

Literature review for current Marijuana Therapy led me to “O’Shaughnessy, The Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice”, a newspaper-like magazine published by a group of California Marijuana Specialists, which are providing the cutting edge for information on the subject.
California is the leading marijuana state with about 300,000 legal marijuana patients. I am not / was not surprised to see that the reports of the fifteen doctors in the journal correspond with my own experiences. In fact, Dr. Tod Mikuriya has found that marijuana provides relief for about 200 specific diseases. It seems like marijuana could be / should be the first choice drug rather than the last.

Cannabis / marijuana medicines were at one time the “drugs of choice” in the United States, until they were declared illegal. They had been used for 100 specific medical problems through the use of about 30 prescription medicines.

Dr. Phillip Leveque is a Combat Infantryman, Physician and Toxicologist. He served with distinction in World War II, at one time taking 26 Nazi officers into custody that he and one other soldier discovered.

(this 'off label' use is of course, completly discounted in discussions regarding New Zealands Therapuetics 'debate'... those pot advocates are looney tunes!, and discredit our argument.)
see http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/2007/04/vitamin-bill-anti-cannabis.html and http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0705/S00342.htm

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Incredibly Potent Cannabis is Destined to Hit Australia

POLICE fear a new form of incredibly potent cannabis is destined to hit Australia.
 
Vietnamese criminal gangs in Canada have developed a sophisticated method of growing the plant indoors year round.
 
It greatly increases both the yield and potency of the cannabis and cuts growing time. Latest criminal intelligence suggests that Australia-based Vietnamese drug dealers have travelled to Canada to learn how to cultivate the highly addictive cannabis. They are expected to use this knowledge to grow and sell it in Australia. The new threat was revealed in the Australian Crime Commission's annual Illicit Drug Data Report.
[More stupid white men making it up as they go. /Blair ]
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Monday, May 14, 2007

Sunday News on drugged driving


What struck me about Sunday News was the egregious presentation of the datum on 'cannabis only',  obscured by design IMHO. At the very least incompetence!, at worst, malfeasance.
 
Further, no post accident analysis to determine culpability, let alone impaired, despite massive resources brought to bear.  
 
[What if I was taking cannabis for gout. Even if I had recently toked, blood plasma would still be within cooee of pharmacy supplied drobinol/marinol. Lets stop pretending this stuff is evil because its illegal.  

[Acute cannabis smoking produced minimal effects on complex cognitive task performance in experienced cannabis users, while still subjectively providing a euphoric "high". **] 
 
 
The data only validates that New Zealand is one of the highest per capita consuming countries in the world. 
 
Road fatalities would in all likelyhood decrease  if the remaining 'consumers at risk'  of harms were displaced by cannabis 'as a treatment'. If this were the case, and 10%  of those with alcohol problems significantly reduced (consumption vs consequence is non-linear) lives would be saved, anguish avoided and capital and cashflow would be second to the social equity.  
 
The science base suggests harm minimisation = net benefits.

/Blair

 
 
** Hart CL, van Gorp W, Haney M, Foltin RW, Fischman MW. Effects of acute smoked marijuana on complex cognitive performance. Neuropsychopharmacology (2001) 25(5):757-65.
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jay Day Christchurch

The following video as featured on the front page of the PRESS ONLINE (http://www.press.co.nz) captures one videophiles insight on J-Day.
There is of course, another story.. that of the Police conduct in and around both Cathedral Square and Latimer Square where they furtively challenged folk leaving the area (no real idea if they were just passing through or were actually participants) and asking to search them. This street side activity is part of Superintendent Sandra Manderson's boost in community policing' anti-crime initiative. It went unreported in mainstream media that civil-right violations were occurring. Police were making the rules up as they went. No wonder young folk have contempt for police. More photo's (the police didnt want you to see) and vid's to follow.
http://www.danieltobin.com/jayday/small.html
--
Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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eye 2 eye (on cannabis law reform)

Pot enforcement a waste of resources
Our national addiction to marijuana prohibition leads to astonishing numbers of marijuana arrests.
States Rights Up in Smoke
Medical Marijuana is a State's Rights Issue
Wasted Resources Running High
Amendment 44: Is treating grown-ups like children really a sound drug policy?
Mike Krause Questions the strategy of opponents to Amendment 44.
Federalism up in smoke
Colorado voters approved the usage of marijuana for medicinal purpose.
Breaking Ranks:
A state-wide meth strategy requires a withdrawal from the war on marijuana
One soccer mom's take on the drug war
I hope my daughter will never smoke marijuana. Regardless of whether she does one day, I know one thing for sure: Keeping it illegal can only harm her future
WHEN POLICY GOES TO POT: Its time to change Colorados strategy in the war on drugs
Grass Roots Case
Radical departure from traditional drug war orthodoxy
House Bill 1145, signed into law last month, creates but does not fund a state methamphetamine task force in Colorado.
Court's logic has gone to pot
Justice Policy Initiative
Keystone Kops nail 'pothead' in great pain
Analyze This: Re-Modeling Drug Policy
DEATH BY BOUNTY HUNTER
Urine-Based Drug Testing Can Be Inaccurate; Performance-Based Tests Are Better
Time To Reform Asset Forfeiture In Colorado
Supreme Court Paved the Way for Mena Killing
Good Riddance, George
Doing it for The Children: The drug war against local control and parental responsibility
There may soon come a time when conservatives ask how national drug policy became a proxy war on parental rights.
Concentrate on the Big Dealers
Extreme Drug Law Tramples Bill of Rights: Flaws Seen in Uniform Controlled Substances Bill
Puritans need to swallow a Jell-O shot
The Drug War Kills Innocent People
Another Tax That Should Go Up In Smoke
Making Booksellers into Drug Felons
Drug Testing: Shaky Science May Nullify Good Intentions
Prison costs are running out of control
Colorado taxpayers spend around $100 million a year to incarcerate drug offenders in state prisons. So it\'s worth asking why any kind of sentencing reform, which could save millions of dollars in prison spending, has been off the table in the budget debates of the last few years.
Asset Forfeiture Reform is Long Overdue
Unneeded Laws
Independent Thinking Archive
Unneeded Laws 1997
"Shall Issue": The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Permit Laws
Refining Colorado's Criminal Code
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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pot Use Doesn’t Exacerbate Symptoms Of Schizophrenia, Study Says

May 3, 2007 - London, United Kingdom

Marijuana use is not associated with heightened symptoms of schizophrenia, according to data to be published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.

Investigators at London’s Institute of Psychiatry.....

(snip)

Investigators reported no statistically significant "differences in syptomatology between schizophrenic patients who were or were not cannabis users" after controlling for patients’ age, sex, and ethnicity.

Researchers also failed to find "any evidence that cannabis users with schizophrenia were more likely to have a family member with the disorder."

These findings "argue against a distinct schizophrenic-like psychosis caused by cannabis," authors concluded.

The study is the largest trial ever conducted to compare cannabis using and non-using schizophrenic patients, investigators said.

Although investigators did not assess whether cannabis consumers had greater odds of contracting schizophrenia compared to those who did not have a history of smoking pot, prior reviews have downplayed such an association. Most recently, Britain's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) concluded in 2006, "For individuals, the current evidence suggests, at worst, that using cannabis increases lifetime risk of developing schizophrenia by one percent."
A separate 2006 report by Britain’s Beckley Foundation speculated that cannabis may "precipitate schizophrenia in people who are already vulnerable" to the disease, but it also acknowledged that the "increased rates of cannabis use in the last thirty years have not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the rate of psychosis in the population."

Of course, it takes a comprehensive study to prove the lie. It is regrettable that the very same institute of psychiatry's Prof. Robin Murray and friends has been at the forefront of the deception, even twisting the New Zealand research to prove the marijuana madness linkages.

Any risk (and consequence) is small compared to the dysfunction and madness created by prohibition.

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Friday, May 04, 2007

Leading Evidence

Leading Evidence.
The evidence of a corollary between the societal response to dogs and drugs is mounting. This media is an exemplar of the othering and typecasting that Natalie, quite correctly points out.

The metaphors, 'give a dog a bad name' and 'never kick a dog that's down' are relevant to resolving the tensions behind both of these perplexing social problems, and indicative of what we, the community need to do to fix both.

Media would be less likely to report for example "it has been my experience that Jack Russells more often than not, are agents provocateur" despite that it may well be the common experience of many others. How likely would it be that 'that tale be told' let alone, including in this case, be it the actual circumstances?

Prejudices leads to othering. Othering leads to lies. Lies lead to injustice. Injustice serves no one. Dog or Man.

(see comments at http://doglinks.blogspot.com/2007/05/dog-owners-feed-pitbulls-p.html )

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com

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Attack dogs on drugs

Attack dogs on drugs The Daily Telegraph: "DOGS in New Zealand are rampaging on drugs and going on the attack as their owners try to make them even more aggressive."

Yeah Right !

And the evidence for this diatribe is?

We are witnessing an unfolding dilema - first comes the moral panic, followed by urban myths. So much "othering" going on here it makes a body sick!

Who would want to own a Staffie? (like there hasnt been dangerous dogs before 'they' arrive and 'those' people owned them.)

As I have said elsewhere, it has been my 11yr old dogs experience that as many Jack Russells have attacked him as 'staffies with small dog syndrome'. Only about 8 weeks ago he was savagely attacked by a pair of roaming dogs - one was a pittie-x and the other a ridgeback-x. Two on One. It very nearly got messy, as it was my dog suffered debilitating injuries, contusions and severe bruising. This is a product of 'unsocialised' dogs, well out of their territory.

Putting them behind high fences and keeping them on short leads is going to compound the problem.

Like drug policy, this should be answered with education that is not fear based. We are raising a nation people 'fearful' where there should be none.

If we don't want people owning 'tough' dogs, stop marketing fear. It panders to the very inclinations of those who would have us afraid.

This will be an issue these upcoming local body elections.
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Epistle from Son of Ja

New Zealand: PUB LTE: Cannabis
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n535/a01.html

Pubdate: Sat, 21 Apr 2007
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2007 Allied Press Limited
Contact: odt.editor@alliedpress.co.nz
Website: http://www.odt.co.nz/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/925
Author: Jason Baker-Sherman

CANNABIS

Congratulations regarding your excellent editorial "Revising drugs policy" ( ODT, 21.3.07 ).  While most of its argument was commendable, I did, however, take exception to its conclusion that "even the most superficial study of court and prison statistics will show that the majority of drug user and abusers are from what we commonly describe as underprivileged and minority groups; their addiction is driven by poverty, ignorance, fear and criminal activity, and it leads to the undermining of respect for the law and the undermining of whole communities."

While many of the prison population do have drug problems, drug use and abuse of both licit and illicit drugs is widespread throughout the whole community.  Alcohol abuse is by far the biggest drug problem facing New Zealand, whereas most of the harm from illegal drug use is caused by their prohibition.  A person can be the perfect parent, employee and citizen but should they enjoy smoking cannabis, or even simply believe in its legalisation, then they will be treated as a criminal and become another underclass outcast should the greater community find out.  When a person uses cannabis, they not only break the law, they also give up many of their rights such as, soon, the right to drive, if the Government has its way.  And, ironically, they become society's scapegoat too.

I did, however, appreciate the editorial's reference to the anti-smacking Bill as I have enjoyed hearing "ordinary" New Zealanders complain about potentially being turned into criminals for hitting their children.  Maybe now they will better appreciate how the cannabis criminal feels.

Jason Baker-Sherman

Dalmore

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