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

Sunday, August 26, 2007

NZHerald on "blame for addiction"

The evidence that drug consequences are a matter of the brain deeply questions what is right about putting people in prison. The injustice of illicit drug 'of prevalence' - Cannabis with its acclaimed medpot utility makes parliaments failure to resolve those tensions 'a bloody disgrace'. Politicians are to blame for this mess.

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NZHerald: What can be done about school violence?

Deviancy amplifying behavior; youth alienation from societal norms and disrespect for rule of law has been dealt with from a policy analytic 'social ecology' perspective. The findings show that gravely flawed drug policy is the culprit. Ipso facto the solution, necessary drug law reform has been espoused many times to select committee's, ministers, ministries and law makers.

In jurisdictions where this debate has been held teen misbehaviors have been substantially mediated. The Netherlands is one such example. Teen Pregnancy, STDs, Bullying, Tagging, and a raft of other biopsychosocial indicators (not the least drug use) are not just a fraction of ours, they are orders of magnitude less than ours. Dutch Parents are empowered. Dutch schools are, well, just schools.

The drug war [is] 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" Doing it for The Children:Independence Institute, http://www.i2i.org/

Prohibition: a cure worse than the disease.

It is time that an unfettered debate surrounding this vexing issue be held and the underlying tensions resolved.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

NZHerald on "blame for addiction"

The Blame for Drug Addiction lies in two specific areas of responsibility.
(ref:Addicted to drugs? Blame your brain, say scientists)

The first and most important is with the individual. While the pharmacology of some substances can be dangerous to some individuals, removing 'self will' from the equation is a recipe for treatment failure. Addiction is not a disease, nor is the model of it being like 'a sickness' useful. When we remove 'self- will' [ie: autonomy] we create an impediment to overcoming what is nothing more than a behavior, a choice, an option.

Secondly, blame for prevalence of 'addictive behaviors' rests with current prohibitive' drug policy. Its failure to be an effective 'harm minimisation' strategy is an indictment on both the Ministry of Health and where the consequences are 'criminal' (drug laws are exacted under the warrant of the health minister) with flawed Justice 'crime prevention'.

The evidence that drug consequences are a matter of the brain deeply questions what is right about putting people in prison.

The injustice of illicit drug 'of prevalence' - Cannabis and its acclaimed medpot utility, makes parliaments failure to resolve those tensions 'a bloody disgrace'.

Politicians are to blame for this mess.
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Every Man and His Dog runs for Mayor

media release: http://blair4mayor.com

Every Man and His Dog runs for Mayor.

Social Policy commentator Blair Anderson confirms that this day, the 24th August, he registered his candidacy for Mayor of Christchurch.

With some ten odd candidates lining up for the governance of one of the finest municipalities in the land, the mayoral race is looking more like an 'every man and his dog' race.

"I earnestly hope that the 'meatspace' media give some equity to all the good candidates and stop pretending this is the 'Megan and Bob Show'." says the second tilt candidate.

"Mayor Blair" Anderson is the only Mayoral Candidate to be sponsored by a dog. Yes, 'Holmes' who featured on the front page of the PRESS (May 2006) for catching a 'drug' burglar flogging tobacco from the Wainoni Dairy (opp Christchurch's Porritt Park) has, in the interests of full disclosure, contributed to the BlairForMayor election deposit.

Mayor Blair was heard to say in the Cashel Mall on announcing the formal intention to run for the golden chains, that it was "a logical and mutual association to receive such support".

Anderson went on to say "The metaphor of the marginalised dog kept behind high fences and on short leads is the root of a great deal of the social dysfunction across all of New Zealand, no less so in Christchurch."

When Central Government makes the rules, it is often the local bodies who have to pick up the tab and are expected to implement and account for the policy.

As NZ's first candidate sponsored by a dog, Anderson declared his vested interests in community dog policy and announced that "as Mayor" he would move to make the government mandated 'microchips' a life time dog registration. "What does it cost to keep a name on a list, GOOGLE would do it for free!" he said.

Further as Mayoral Candidate he noted that he wasn't even required to give up his birth date to run for Mayor, and further more that along with his offer of giving three years of 'civic duty' to his city, his dog registration would be 150% of what it costs to be a mayoral candidate. "What's wrong with this picture?"

Dog fees have escalated to a revenue gathering tax that on evidence has done little or nothing to prevent serious canine behaviours and continuing bite tragedies. The media moral panic and subsequent baying for blood and inevitably calls for more rules (Some school children now want ALL dogs muzzled) fail to notice that 600,000 plus dogs in New Zealand didn't bite anyone today.

Lifetime licenses for micro-chipped dogs? Why not?

We maintain our Electoral Roles via Internet, why can't we be trusted to do the same for our dogs.

We need more socialised dogs. That's a start.

More on Blair's insightful vision for Christchurch "Smart City, Clever People"
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com/2007/08/smart-city-clever-people.html

competing interests: http://doglinks.co.nz/

‹(•¿•)› Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

LTE: Tough sentencing advocate deluded


Forget the Milton Hilton. Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar has been to see prisons so bad no-one wants to come back. see http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/4173001a6427.html

In Arizona prisoners are put up in tents, chained together and made to work outdoors in all weather.

McVicar thinks the idea is "fantastic" and, after visiting the US state to study the regime, thinks it could work in New Zealand.

In Arizona prisoners are put up in tents, chained together and made to work outdoors in all weather.
Letter to the editor: Christchurch Press

Mr McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust has visited the same US industrial estate that is releasing more than 600,000 disaffected folk this year, many of whom have crowded prisons since Nixons War on Drugs filled the penitentiaries to the gunnel's using mandatory minimums.
McVicar's eyes are turning selectively myopic if he thinks the USA has anything to teach us by its world record example of seven million citizens controlled by state and federal criminal justice, sixty percent of whom are non-violent drug related offenders. I fail to see McVicars vision of 'success' in the USA's morality play surrounding drug use evidencing in every prison muster a disturbingly racially potentiated policy failure. Evidence of efficacy of his punitive and retributive corrections is absent from the record. He cites anecdote and political rhetoric. Crucially this distracts us from what needs to be done while taking scarce resources away from what works. Sensible Sentencing is marginalising people and expecting all to be well, making McVicar's ideas part of the problem, and no part of the solution.
Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road.
Christchurch.
ph 3894065

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Changing the Debate

Changing the Debate
[By Lee]
What makes me optimistic is that the numbers of those speaking up about the damage being done by the drug war is growing - and coming from more and more unexpected places. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is an organization, founded in 2002, of current and former law enforcement officials that now has over 5000 members, including former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper.

The (Seattle based) King County Bar Association commissioned a Drug Policy Project, led by now-State Representative ( WA/Blair) Roger Goodman, that produced a well-researched report calling for an end to drug prohibition and a transition to having government regulate and control currently illegal drugs, instead of simply handing their distribution to criminal gangs who bring violence to our cities to protect their profits. Countries like Switzerland, Portugal, Australia, Canada, Holland, and even Russia, have taken steps to decriminalize drug use.

Recently, the UK drug law reform organization Transform released an impressive document for drug law reformers called Tools for the Debate. It's like a play book for anyone who wants to be successful in breaking down the rhetoric and the propaganda that has kept this massively unsuccessful public policy afloat for so long. One of the major stumbling blocks to getting the message out is described here in the report:



In this political arena a virulent disease known as 'Green Room Syndrome' is epidemic, where strongly held beliefs on reform disappear as soon as the record button is pressed for broadcast. This is something we have experienced again and again: fellow-debaters who privately admit to agreeing with us in the Green Room before a media interview, only to feign shock and outrage at our position once the cameras and microphones are on. There are many in politics and public life who understand intellectually that the prohibition of drugs is unsustainable, but who default in public to moral grandstanding and emotive appeals to the safety of their children.


Lee's blog discusses this in more detail at HorsesAss.Org - http://www.horsesass.org

It is useful to note that the TRANSFORM document "Tools for the Debate" was submitted to the Select Committee examining the Asset Forfieture Bill, in honor of founder Eddie Ellison who we lost to a brain tumor earlier this year. Brandon Hutchison of the local drug policy reform coalition who co-hosted LEAP in Christchurch also submitted an image of Eddie and Jack Cole in the House of Representatives accompanied by MP Tim Barnett who hosted them on their MildGreen-Leap Parliamentary tour (April/May 2004). /Blair


Eddie Ellison, MP Jeanette Fitzsimonds, Blair Anderson on 2004 MildGreen-Leap tour.

Transform Founder Det Chief Super, Eddie Ellison, MP Tim Barnett, Jack Cole, Leap Director and his wife, and in the right foreground Judge Eleanor Schocket, LEAP Education advisor. (photo: Blair Anderson)
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Alcohol, Drugs, Sandals and Footwear.

Alcohol, Drugs, Sandals and Footwear.
Media Release - MildGreens



When we remove self will from the equation 'then we get problems' says Blair Anderson of the MildGreens, commenting on the recent ADANZ Helpline report on Scoop and InfoNews



The ADANZ concerns of cannabis problems amongst young people must be laid at the feet of governments abject failure to remove the double standards surrounding drug and alcohol policy. Cate Kearney of the Alcohol Drug Helpline 'user data' highlights what happens when we ask people questions who are suffering the ignominy of prohibitions constraints on informed consent, knowledge and self determination.

Young people are particularily at risk, and here we are amplifying alienation in a society increasingly 'anti-youth'. The youth response to Alcohol Drug Helpline indicates a pattern of labelling teenage behavours, particularily by family and where the existing 'Alcohol Drug' law is so clearly unhelpful, indeed history and evidence shows it to be counter productive.

The distinction between legal and illegal drugs is not justifiable under any scientific, logical or public health criteria and is purely an artefact of quirks in our social and political history.



Ms Kearney and others shouldn't be surprised at youth attitudes to cannabis, it is entirely predictable. What should alarm folk is the prevalent and problematic alcohol consumption with its causative linkage to known health outcomes. Compared to cannabis for which the harms have been long been largely overstated, alcohol, by comparison is an 'all organ' poison. Previous media release (15 April 2007) by Associate Minister of Health, Jim Anderton attributes alcohol costs "in the billions' yet the same release regarding funding and commitment to the Alcohol Drug Helpline says "Although ADANZ hosts the service, funding is a joint arrangement between the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) of New Zealand and the Ministry of Health.".


The MildGreens draws the Honorable Minister and his Health Ministry to this statement from the UN accredited drug policy NGO TRANSFORM:


Both tobacco and alcohol are often talked of as if they are not 'real drugs' - or sometimes not drugs at all, underlined by the frequent use of daft phrases such as 'alcohol and drugs', which is about as logical as saying 'orange juice and drinks' or 'sandals and footwear'. Obviously both alcohol and tobacco are powerful psychoactive drugs; potentially highly toxic, addictive and associated with high mortality rates. Were they to be classified under the current policy regime (the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 [1975 in NZ. ed.]) they would certainly be class A or B. / TRANSFORM




Like all drugs cannabis has risks and even if they are relatively low, a minority of vulnerable users do run into real problems with it. There is overwhelming evidence that recreational cannabis for most individuals is a benign experience with little or no long terms consequence 'except for those citizens with a conviction' says Anderson who is also a Christchurch City Mayoral Candidate.



Kearney also validates that when it comes to effective health promotion nothing has changed since the previous year, begging the question "why is cannabis law so draconian when the policy is so ineffectual in either of its design goals, limiting use or in moderating harms real or otherwise?"




"The role of government should be to prevent the most chaotic drug users from harming others – by robbing or by driving while drugged, for instance – and to regulate drug markets to ensure minimum quality and safe distribution. The first task is hard if law enforcers are preocupied with stopping all drug use; the second, imposible as long as drugs are illegal." [The Economist, editorial. From Issue entitled: 'Time to legalise all drugs' 28.06.01]




Blair Anderson

http://blairformayor.blogspot.com/
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Peer-reviewed 'Daily Mail' on cannabis

What we've recently learned about cannabis

Listed here the latest scientific facts about cannabis. Most of the information is taken from that well respected peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Daily Mail*, whom I would like to thank for their valuable contribution to rational debate and responsible, well balanced reporting.

  • It is now 30 times stronger than that smoked in the 1960-1995 period.
  • A single puff on a cannabis cigarette can mean catching life-long schizophrenia.
  • Using cannabis increases the risk of catching schizophrenia to 41%.
  • Since reclassification, mental health wards have been overloaded with over 30,000 cases of schizophrenia amongst schoolchildren each year.
  • Children as young as SIX are being treated for cannabis addiction.
  • Research has proved that 30,000 people die a year through lung cancer caught by smoking it.
  • Smoking one cannabis reefer is as damaging to the lungs as smoking 5 Capstan full strength cigarettes.
  • Cannabis intoxication is responsible for at least 12 murders and countless assaults by schizophrenics in the last year alone.
  • At least 10 cannabis addicts committed suicide in 2006.
  • It causes heroin addiction, 99.9% of heroin addicts started by smoking cannabis.
  • Cannabis is grown in rented houses converted to factories by Vietnamese gangs using child slave labour. The electricity meters are bypassed, which has caused several dangerous fires.
  • Cannabis has been found to contain dangerous amounts of deadly Silicon Dioxide granules.

Thanks to Phil Stovell, Hampshire, UK

* The Daily Mail is a British newspaper and the oldest tabloid, first published in 1896. It is Britain's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ooohhh Dear, what have we here, a contrarian opinion!

Job hunters perfecting their resumes for that dream job are being urged to also polish their online profile - and clean it up if needs be, with a new breed of companies emerging to help mold Internet images. (see Experts to clean up your online image )

Recruitment experts advise job hunters to Google themselves before stepping out into the competitive job market to see if a search pull ups that blog entry written about legalizing marijuana or drunken party photos with friends.

(and Select Committee after Select Committee have failed to understand that the law is driven by prejudice. Opinions, political or otherwise are a Bill of Rights/Human Rights Issue /Blair)
--
‹(•¿•)› "Mayor Blair" Anderson

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

BLPs, FLPs, and the Biology of Democracy

Anyone who has used marijuana medically knows that it is effective medicine. As a scientist, I can assure you that there are numerous peer-reviewed articles that support what patient's claim. However, what I want to talk about today is that marijuana not only promotes the health of individuals, but of our democracy and possibly mankind. Fundamental physical laws of the universe are responsible for all creative forms, from galaxies to humanity. Even man's economic, political and social systems have evolved by a common underlying process. Intrinsically, the yin and yang of ongoing creation may be found in; capitalism vs. socialism, conservatives vs. liberals, democracies vs. fascism. In all manifestations of life, a tension between opposites is the functional reality.

All levels of life must maintain balance between the nourishment extracted from the environment and the waste returned to the environment in order to create and maintain health. The production of free radicals is a common denominator that signals an imbalance between a life form and its sustaining environment. Free radicals are highly reactive and modify the chemistry of life. They are believed to be responsible for aging and age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and cancers. Marijuana-like compounds, known as endocannabinoids, are produced by all humans and are central players in life's biochemical balancing act, known as homeostasis.

Using this platform, we can speculate on the biology of democracy and the role played by endocannabinoids and marijuana. Mankind is engaged in an evolutionary genetic battle between more primative cannabinoid deficient people who are backward looking people, BLPs, and evolutionarily more advanced cannabinoid endowed people. who are forward looking people, FLPs. BLPs appear to be found in a high concentration in the United States government, whereas FLPs are excluded from our government, both naturally and by law. I propose that BLPs are deficient in endocannabinoids in the areas of the brain that allows for change, Bush being a prime example. BLPs look backwards and therefore tend to agree with each other. Through this consensus BLPs gain power. In contrast, FLPs look to the future with optimism because they are wired to embrace change. They have no unity of thought, other than cooperative acceptance of diverse opinions. They therefore historically tend not to gain power.

Mankind's survival may depend on FLPs taking control before environmental change causes the extinction of Homo sapiens. In this rapidly changing world, we need to be responsive as new information becomes available. Mankind cannot make the evolutionary shift quick enough. Therefore, we need to increase the cannabinoid activity of the population by external means. More wisely motivated cannabis consumption may be necessary to save the species.

There are additional benefits that may occur if this path develops. One hundred years ago people in the US were predominantly dying from infectious diseases. Since cannabinoids reduce the inflammatory arm of the immune system, relatively lower levels could have been beneficial. However, today the main causes of death in the United States and many other so called advanced countries are age related illnesses. In animal models of diseases, the onset and severity of illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, arteriosclerosis, etc, are helped by cannabinoids.

Leaders who are BLPs cannot lead. Think of the insanity. BLPs have outlawed the use of an anti-aging plant. They incarcerate good human beings for defying stupidity. FLPs have a fundamental moral obligation to participate in, and improve our society. We need a revolution of consciousness that will manifest itself in a new world. We must embrace positive change in all aspects of our lives especially in the voting booths. We must demand that political candidates address marijuana prohibition. We must all work together to bring about the necessary changes that will end the current insanity that characterizes our relationship with mother earth.



Dr. Robert Melamede, Associate Professor and Biology Chairman (ret)
Biology Department, University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
http://www.uccs.edu/~rmelamed/


(commentary on this subject is also featuring on the Canterbury Issues Forum here)

‹(•¿•)› "Mayor Blair" Anderson
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com/
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sex and drug education - does it work?



02/08/2007 -


credit: Communitycare.co.uk - the website for social work and social care professionals

(this is remarkably close to the mildgreen hypothesis - creating in ever younger children the illusion that all their peers are doing it, and they cant b******y wait!. What is fundementally broken are the artificial redlines surrounding 'age of consent' issues. We need to enable and not mask self responsibility. /Blair)
Children as young as eight years old are taking drugs. Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.

There are reports in the press this week that according to experts, children as young as six are being treated for addiction to cannabis and are presenting symptoms including paranoia, anxiety, depression and even schizophrenia.

It also emerged last September in Scotland that children aged 10-years-old were dealing drugs.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick will suggest in Community Care next week that the rise of drug abuse among young children has coincided with the increase of drugs education.

He says: "Gordon Brown has endorsed the fashionable "drugs education", particularly favouring its extension to primary schools. Here is another policy immune to the evidence of failure.

"Never mind that the spread of drugs education appears to coincide with a dramatic increase in drug taking by school students – the government believes that we need more of the same, extended to even younger children."

At the same time, Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe despite numerous government initiatives designed to take the problem.



Given that children taking drugs are getting younger and Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Britain, is sex and drug education in Britain effective at educating children or does it merely fuel the curiosity of young people?



Dr Michael Fitzpatrick suggests: "Why not instead teach children something interesting and inspiring, that might give them the truly radical idea that culture and society have more to offer than drug-induced oblivion?"



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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Season of the Weed - Will Policy follow Art?


Because WEEDS is brutally honest it reveals that which we otherwise refuse to acknowledge. That cannabis is a remarkably normal culture set in a sea of hypocrisies.



WEEDS season two is in full swing, and our own culturally iconic award winning television series of a West'ies family "Outrageous Fortune" is also exploring 'cannabis culture' within a contextual truth telling dynamic.
It leaves me thinking that there is hope that reason will prevail and that policy may yet follow art.
/Blair

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