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 28, 2008

Nights of extreme Stupidity in Christchurch Drug Policy

A rational scale to assess the harm of drugs. Data source is the March 24, 2007 article: Nutt, David, Leslie A King, William Saulsbury, Colin Blakemore. The entire alcohol debate is gravely flawed with a suspension of any analysis around 'alcohol' being a drug. I hear it labeled so in pejorative terms by people who in so doing believe that somehow that justifies there prejudices to all drugs. Yet there in the middle of this see "Nights of extreme in Christchurch" [ ] we have policeman attributing more moderate behaviors associated with the time when raves fueled by Ecstasy occurred describing "E" as a 'happy drug'.

And there lies the clue. It is so obvious to anyone who looks at what drives the behavioral outcomes, the need to be part of something, to bond... "Until we accept that our national drug policy is corrupted by the idea there is 'evil vs good' drugs we never get a handle on this."

Mere possession of "Ecstasy" [MDMA] was elevated to a Class A schedule (which to a young person means 'must be really excellent') with life in prison, comparable to murder. Yet, in the London party scene half a million "E" tablets are consumed every weekend and it is cheaper to buy than a can of coke. These 'consumers' are hugging each other.

In a review of Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the Twenty-First Century, by Stanford University's Dr. Alex Macario [JAMA June 4] he highlights "the amazing discord between scientific knowledge and public perception" surrounding drug use.

The simplistic treatment of alcohol outside of the National Drug Policy framework was the product of serious lobbying when in the mid 1990's alcohol stakeholders kept 'legal' policy from 'illicit' policy. Yet there is nothing pharmacologically that justifies this other than an accident of history and and some dubious 'conventions'.

It is time in drug policy to accept the holistic approach was "highly recommended" in the policy formulation process pre-1996 and bring ALCOHOL, TOBACCO and CANNABIS into a regulated and thus controlled management regime that acknowledges 'some harms' while removing the impediments to credible anti-drug education. (NZ Health Select Committee 2002).

Class D represents the legislative model for such an initiative. Then we can get cracking on taking an evidenced based review of where BZP, MDMA and LSD (and others) would fit in the ABC classifications and get this stuff sorted. It could be the making of 'civil' New Zealand. Clearly the pharmacology of alcohol has no bearing on if you are a "good" person, or if you do take AB or C drugs, you are a "bad" person.

Removing the logical anomaly is the stuff of social capital. But don't hold your breath expecting the media, in particular the PRESS to ride that wave. Crime and Moral Panic makes for much more interesting front pages.

Note: EU REPORT, June 2008 - "Cannabis Safer Than Alcohol Or Tobacco, Says Study"

The report said most users cease smoking cannabis by their late 20s or early 30s and that the vast majority did not experience any negative effects. “On every comparison of dangerousness we have considered, cannabis is at or near the bottom in comparison with other psychoactive substances,” said author Robin Room, in an analysis contained in a 700-page EU report on cannabis. The report, A Cannabis Reader: Global Issues and Local Experiences, was published yesterday by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction to coincide with international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Coincidentally the same day the NZ Police tells us Cannabis is the biggest threat to society.

NZ's Police Intelligence will choke on this. The bastards need to stop telling lies. It's not in their mandate, indeed according to the Police Act, warrants 'to arrest' are based on them telling the truth... they could make a good start here, this report spills the beans. Until they read (and apply) this they are without moral authority.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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