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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Milton Friedman, National Party and Economics of Good Health

{{enImage adapted from Image:MiltonFriedman.j...Image via Wikipedia Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate and proponent of the Chicago School of Economics that the New Zealand National Party hold dear..

The same Milton Friedman that I drew to the attention of MP Tony Ryall at his Christchurch "Health Issues" public meeting - presenting to him (and his audience) that the philosophy and principles of the Nat's is undermined by the double standards and that 'economic professors the world over hold the drug laws in disrepute.' (in NZ, drug laws are enacted under Warrant of the Minister of Health)

I invited Tony to view the list of 515 Professors of Economics that supported Prof J. A. Miron's 'economics of drug prohibition' study. ( Miron is a professor of economics at Boston and Harvard University; E-Mail:

Lets face it. Ryall, as a prospective Minister of Health and his Nat's 'tough on crime' colleagues are utterly compromised by this.

Ryall! Look where we went today. It's a

Image by Chris Ryall

Every opportunity to stick it to them should be made.. so to should attention be given to ACT, its party 'membership, supporters and specifically candidates', along with Sensible Sentencing and the rest of the Christian "fellowship" parties. (there is nothing Godly about idiocy or ignorance...)

The following interview is as relevant today as when it was made in 1991. The only difference is that in NZ we can substitute Methamphetamine for Heroin and Cocaine. Its got nothing to do with the pharmacology, and everything to do with our geographic location. (see also another economist from Hawaii, Prof James Roumasett on methamphetamine and cannabis.. )

Meanwhile LABOUR calls for a inquiry on gangs... are we stupid? /Blair

Here is an excerpt from "Friedman & Szasz On Liberty and Drugs." It is from a 1991 interview on "America's Drug Forum," a nat'l public affairs talk show that appears on public TV stations.

Randy Paige is an Emmy Award-winning drug reporter from Baltimore, MD; Prof. Milton Friedman has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Inst. on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford since '77, & is considered the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics. The Presidential Medal of FreedomPresidential Medal of Freedom
Image via
Professor Friedman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in '76, & is also the recipient of the Nat'l Medal of Science & the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the U.S. gov't in '88.


Paige: Let us deal first with the issue of legalization of drugs. How do you see America changing for the better under that system?

Friedman: I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there's a chance for the poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they're sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.

Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol,
went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.

Paige: How would legalization adversely affect America, in your view?

Friedman: The one adverse effect that legalization might have is that there very likely would be more people taking drugs. That's not by any means clear. But, if you legalized, you destroy the black market, the price of drugs would go down drastically. And as an economist, lower prices tend to generate more demand. However, there are some very strong qualifications to be made to that.

The effect of criminalization, of making drugs criminal, is to drive people from mild drugs to strong drugs.

Paige: In what way?

Friedman: Marijuana is a very heavy, bulky substance and, therefore, it's relatively easy to interdict. The warriors on drugs have been more successful interdicting marijuana than, let's say, cocaine. So, marijuana prices have gone up, they've become harder to get. There's been an incentive to grow more potent marijuana and people have been driven from marijuana to heroin, or cocaine, or crack.

Paige: Let us consider another drug then, and that is the drug crack.

Friedman: Crack would never have existed, in my opinion, if you had not had drug prohibition. Why was crack created? The preferred method of taking cocaine, which I understand was by sniffing it, snorting it, became very expensive and they were desperate to find a way of packaging cocaine...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Police and Prepaid Cellphones

Police have cultured this 'problem' just as they have Tasers and other escalations towards powers to which they are not entitled. (Hansard debate: Hon. Tom McGuigan, Minister of Health 1975 "Prevention of Misuse" Drug legislation).

New Zealand Police CarImage by Stephen Witherden It has been suggested in other media that Police 'are supporting' calls for legislation. (see

This is disingenuous. The Police National Drug Intelligence have a "google" search watching what other countries are doing. It is obvious to anyone who also does this (like me) that Police follow international policing development with a 'spin' of their own within days of any international focus on issues. There is NO ANALYSIS - its just strategy development by following others. (Yabba/methamphetamine policy is such a case)

Privacy LostImage via WikipediaThe point is that some 1.3million or so cellphones were not used for any crime today... so why do Police wish to engineer a solution "to enhance the ability to fight crime" in areas where phone monitoring absent a warrant is, patently a breach of a right to privacy.

That the kind of crimes NZ police are 'interested' in surveiling are more often 'consensual' and 'victimless' relating to certain substances should hardly be surprising..

McGuigan was onto something!

Police should practice getting good at solving crimes.
They have been pretty lousy at predicting them.

Having (yet another) a list of a million citizens will only confuse them.

Slippery Internet Slopes: are we to 'register' anonymous email addresses with our community constable, and those who fail too, are they to be investigated for potential criminal activities. ??
Phone and License Plate, an excuse to hawk a c...Image by ToastyKen via Flickr
Its just the same "if you have nothing to hide' argument pandering to the consent of the stupidly insular AND lacking ANY evidence it will produce an outcome for either the 'investment' or intrusion.

And all this while there is a Surveillance bill before the house... no mention of it though. Are the media stupid?

Blair Anderson

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cannabis deemed SAFE by minor parties!

Absent from the sub-leaders debate - any cognition of law&order/health/civil society debate surrounding unresolved cannabis legislation.

How come it was so crucial to Dunne and Anderton 2002, 2005? (that it lead to it being  crucial for governance agreement, yet neither are currently polling 1/2 a percent support, not even between them)

How implausable is 'restorative justice' when the law grossly afflicts Maori? How is this "treaty" principled?
(When NZ1 'maori caucus' assembled at the beginning of MMP it supported reform of the cannabis law.)

The Green Party hasnt even mentioned it depite having a bill before the house. (medpot)

ACT's Rodney Hide is on record in many public meetings as a cannabis legaliser.

There is an R18 debate on every Electoral Voting form.  (see ALCP.ORG.NZ  logo), one party, the Republicans have been for constitutional reform and DRUG LAW reform since 1968.  Everyone is looking to what minor partys will consider 'bottom line' after the election yet no one dares go where we have just come from?

Has cannabis suddenly become more benign?
Have journalists no integrity...

Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Spokesperson on Climate Change, Environment and Associate 'Shadow' Law And Order.

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Why is the youth vote so hard to crack?

The Dominion Post asked in an oped...

"About 95,000 Kiwis aged 18-24 are still not enrolled to vote. Why don't young people vote and why don't they care?" - KERRY WILLIAMSON - The Dominion Post Saturday, 04 October 2008

With young folk polling around 80% in the consumption of cannabis stakes - no wonder they are disillusioned with politics today. Not for the reason that the ageist prejudiced might first think either... for *every one of 'that demographic' who are under duress of criminal sanction even if arbitrary, a law that parliament has twice 'set aside resolving in coalition agreements with parties that between them are polling less than half a percent between them.' - And we ask why are young alienated... fur'chris'ake?

(*including those who don't smoke pot, after all, it is politicians who would declare that it is the 'law' that prevents them from so doing, otherwise cannabis would be tantamount to compulsory. Yet the herb couldn't be more popular if it were made so, or more culturally imbued in art, music, theatre, television and movies... )

What is needed to capture youth votes is a real NZ Green Billboard promoting homegrown solutions. (and a media that would tell the truth, when have you seen journalists ask our wannabe leadership tackle this one)

- don't laugh, 1999 saw Jenny Shipley die in the polls after failing to tell the truth when questioned alongside Jeanette Fitzsimmons by Paul Holmes - Check the Waikato University analysis. Nationals wheels fell off - Nov 16, 'not over my dead body' Shipley denied due process and the recommendations of the National lead "Brian Nesson" Health Select Committee - 'to review the law' - for political expediency. She could have United States President Bill Clinton and New Z...Jenny and Bill,
and the drugs we drink!
looked to her own kids for some advice... they had more experience 'in this matter' than she may have cared to acknowledge parentally or politically.

Youth have had ten more years of double standards (and repeated coalition agreements) to be aggrieved but not one politician has been asking why...... tens of thousands of arrests every year... unpublished 'tough on non-crime hypocrisy!'

How come its not OK to 'correct your own kids' but the state can abuse them arbitrarily with incarceration and cuff-links for a non-crime?

This is one law that is racist, ageist and sexist in its application... and young people are rightly 'turned off' by this white privilege shite.

It is time for some social ecology driven 'protect our youth' drug law reform, it is the stuff of social capital.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

As seen in UK Daily Mail

Title page to Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning...Image via Wikipedia

Sex & Drugs (Alcohol is just the drug we drink) education at ever earlier ages is an admission that what do do isn't working. If we cant teach 15yrs old successfully - where is the evidence we can teach 7 year old with any proficiency.

It is an admission of failure... not of education, rather the social ecology of trying to fix this while the paradigm is flawed.

Teaching young people about sex and drugs at an ever earlier age durably instructs them that all their peers must be 'doing it' and they cant bloody wait. Do what the Netherlands has done, give back power to parents (especially around drug ed) - it is instructive to note that Dutch kids not only 'do drugs' much later then their British (or Kiwi) peers, but they are also by a factor of five in NZ's case, are less likely to binge drink, father a teen pregnancy or bear one, catch an STD, commit suicide or get in trouble with the law.

How does one convince sceptics this progress has nothing to do with Dutch 'soft on drugs' policy?

(see )
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Attack Horror for Parker's SAFER Christchurch

'injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, wounding with intent, aggrevated robbery... "

"Police say the alleged attack is part of a growing pattern of youth violence in Christchurch"

"this is the style of gangster-style carry-on you see in other parts of New Zealand and the United States" - Detective Darren Folou. "It sees like they are mimicking these guys from other parts of the world"

"It's like south central LA situation... The people involved are all 'homies' with hoodies - that type of situation." appeared the youths thought the flat was a tinnie house"


Cannabis isnt responsible for this mess, the policy is...........
"Bob Parker says feeling safe in the city, within our neighbourhoods and our homes is not just a priority but an absolute right for all of us in Christchurch... "
Bob Parker and his SAFER CITY cronies are seriously deluded.

Blair Anderson


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SAFER Christchurch - A MildGreen Initiative?

Flag of the World Health OrganizationIs WHO at loggerheads with
UN foundation principles
over drug issue?
Media Release - Another MildGreen Initiative

SAFER Christchurch - A MildGreen Initiative?

Christchurch City, yesterday awarded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its safe city initiatives at this weeks international talk fest "SAFER Communities", is also being contributed too by longtime city resident health and safety campaigner Blair Anderson today in Victoria Square.

The former city Mayoral aspirant has been an outspoken advocate for informed dialog around public policy bringing to the city's attention the highly successful program 'SAFER' with its focus on reducing alcohol related harms.

"Does use of Cannabis contribute to morbidity, sexual assaults, domestic violence, violent crime? Obviously no, but the same cannot be said for Alcohol." says the proponent for Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation [SAFER] "Clearly cannabis is less harmful to the user and society than alcohol, the prohibiting of adults from making the rational, safer choice is bad public policy."

Anderson draws the attention of media during this election to the 'unquestioned' six year moratorium on discussing cannabis policy despite enormous international and domestic progress by civil society at the highest level. "This is history in the making" says the proponent for law reform, "both at the UNGASS and NZ's Law Commission review."

The MildGreen 'Class-D' drug classification, first proposed at the Misuse of Drugs Ammendment #4 Select Committee review is seen as world leading policy applauded by visiting experts and NZ drug czar, Hon Jim Anderton. But how many know it came from the home of law reform and international drug policy harm reduction - Christchurch?

Recently Professor of Law (Otago) Kevin Dawkins declared Class-D the innovation required to provide a legislative frame work for drug control. (see NZ Law Journal)

"The stymied discussion has seen our communities struggle with deficient drug policy, seen an escalation in hard drug prohibition related harms and a continuing, if expedient, political clamour for draconian sentencing absent any robust test of what is broken." says Anderson.

"When have you heard political leadership or candidates tested on drug war efficacy" by journalists or commentators?, "Yet we are the only western democracy held to ransom by a mere 1% of the MMP vote that access to the treasury cheque book is governed by a clause that thou shalt not talk about cannabis for two electoral terms."

Christchurch's sister city, Seattle described in a letter to Denver Colorado authorities that the SAFER initiative there had been declared successful and cheap. Even opponents of the pro-marijuana initiative in Seattle, City Attorney Tom Carr, said his fears that usage would spike dramatically haven't materialised, noting that the "treat cannabis as the lowest possible priority" directive to police had seen minor drug offences plummet to a mere 59 for all of Seattle.

We should not be surprised that our Mayor, Bob Parker has patently refused to even discuss the initiative despite all-out ratepayer funded response to the alcohol problem in the city.

In these uncertain economic times all alternatives deserve to be 'on the table' says the communitarian social ecologist.

The curious are welcome to come and see and discuss the implications of this crime reducing health inspired city wide policy initiative at a lunch time forum on the steps in front of the Cathedral at Noon today and later outside the City of Christchurch Convention Centre - the venue hosting the SAFER CITIES milliondollar "talk about everything but" boondoggle.

The MildGreen Initiative recently sponsored the tour by" Law Enforcement Against Prohibition" proponent and retired British Columbia Provincial Law Court Judge Jerry Paradis.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›
50 Wainoni Road,
Christchurch, ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Drug War: Power, Control, Coercion, Money - Cliff Thornton

Pinky interviews drug policy expert Clifford Thornton: "The War on Drugs has absolutely nothing to do with drugs - it's about power, it's about control, it's about coercion, it's about money."

see also:

Canvassing for Opinion: Cliff Thornton will tour four countries ...
In the Conference that will be held in Vienna University on 8 & 9 March prominent US drug policy reformers such as Clifford Thornton, and Peter Webster will - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: ENCOD: Thornton on Greed, fear and racism
Clifford Thornton (Efficacy) developed his theory on the war on drugs as being based on three pillars: greed, fear and overt racism. - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: 2007/12
Mr. Thornton, co-founder of the drug law reform organization Efficacy, ... " Cliff Thornton's work for the reform of US drug policy is in line with Green - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: VIENNA 2008: TEN YEARS AFTER
(featuring fellow MildGreenie Clifford Thornton USA) ... These will be filled by Clifford Thornton from the US based NGO Efficacy, and by Fredrick Polak, - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: RIP Eddie Ellison.
A few hours after posting this I was informed by Clifford Wallace Thornton jr, via an email that we had lost Eddie to Cancer. (29 january) - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: ...
The MildGreens were represented by way of USA Greens champion Clifford Wallace Thornton jr. and LEAP, now with 10000 'law enforcement' membership. - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: MJ Arrests soaring amid concerted police ...
clifford thornton wrote:. <>Some excellent charts also accompany this article and are available on the sign on San Diego home page. Find this article at: - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: 2004/11
cc: Clifford Wallace Thornton Jr. sig. Blair Anderson. cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065 - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: 2007/04
This could be NZ that Clifford Wallace Thornton is talking about (two party politics/fpp .... From: clifford thornton <> - Similar pages
Canvassing for Opinion: 2004/04
Clifford Thornton Jr, leader of US drug policy reform group Efficacy and US ... Thornton brought with him the experience of life in a country where the drug - Similar pages

Blair Anderson


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Media7/TVNZ interviews Bell, Tanczos and O'Conner on Drug Harm Index

Ross Bell, Nandor Tanczos and Greg O'Conner under the ever insightful Russell Brown (of HardNose, err...News fame) discuss the shortcomings of the Drug Harm Index.

Blair Anderson

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Judge Jerry Paradis on 95bFM [12 Sept]

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rethink the War on Drugs

Mi Poster de HomerImage by #_Gwen_# Crime is an issue that often seeps into Presidential elections in one form or another. Indeed, the Bush Administration has rolled back or undermined the two primary crime-fighting initiatives of the Clinton Administration by allowing the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons to lapse, and by eliminating Clinton’s COPS program, which put tens of thousands of new police on the streets of American cities. Gun control is largely a dead letter, since the NRA has shown that it has the power to keep any type of gun in the hands of anyone who wants them, as well as the power to punish any Democrat who seeks greater gun control legislation.

One area that could bring large dividends in terms of crime reduction would be to change tactics in the quagmire of the American war on drugs. With blind fidelity to a failed policy, we continue to fritter away scarce law enforcement resources fighting sale and possession of drugs and to put hundreds of thousands in prison at enormous cost to taxpayers and to inmates and their families.

Many substances from alcohol and nicotine to marijuana, cocaine, and heroin impose high social costs on American society, but only the illegal drugs lead to mass incarceration, corruption of police, street killings, and other acts of violence in the effort to market them to a desirous American population.

Just as the end of Prohibition generated enormous crime reductions, legalization of the above drugs would likely bring about similar crime drops, while risking increases in the high costs attending the likely increase in consumption and abuse.

The proper way to deal with all of these addictive substances is to legalize, tax heavily, ban all forms of marketing, and fund efforts to restrain consumption and provide treatment for abusers. Instead, we have pursued a policy that either puts hundreds of thousands of Americans in prison when a coordinated and aggressive regulatory posture could likely restrain demand in a far less costly manner, or gives far too much freedom to stimulate demand and sales by aggressive marketing and advertising.

One potential obstacle to a regime of legalization coupled with discouraging regulation and taxation is that the suppliers of addictive substances will use constitutional arguments to advance their objectives (one can imagine the briefs by sellers of marijuana insisting on their first amendment rights to peddle the drug should legalization occur) or enlist the support of compliant legislators to help stimulate demand (note the activities of the gambling industry for an unwholesome example).

This might suggest that constitutionally enshrined restrictions on the ability to market harmful substances might be an important antecedent to an effort to reduce crime by eliminating the staggering social costs of the war on drugs.

Rethink the “War on Drugs”
John J. Donohue III, Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law

Blair Anderson

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Helen Clark on Pot

Helen ClarkImage via Wikipedia PM Helen Clark was speaking on the University of Otago campus today where she announced the implementation of a Universal Student Allowance. She speaks about marijuana in response to a question [a Dunedin Electorate Candidate for the ALCP] asked of her. [Monday 13 October 2008]

Julian: I'm from the National Organisation for Reform of Marijuana Laws. The issue's been quite contentious down here this year but we're very thankful for [MP] Pete Hodgson.. he's made efforts to bring medical marijuana to some patients in the form of Sativex. My question is " If Labour wins the election are the cannabis laws likely to be relaxed further?"

Helen Clark: The fact that cannabis has been an illegal drug doesn't mean that if it has advantage for medical conditions -and certainly some advocate it for treatment of glaucoma - that it can't be considered for that.

We have had select committee reports look at this issue and there is a whole range of points of view: Should there be partial prohibition, should there be partial decriminalisation?
I think its time we had a more rational debate about these issues but its difficult to have a rational debate. In my view the greatest killers in our country are actually tobacco and alcohol and its effects on the road.

Medical Cannabis ClubImage by Thomas Hawk via FlickrBut the rub is given the harm of those perfectly legal drugs at the moment - and tobacco is one where used as intended it does kill a significant number of people who use it - theres obviously considerable reluctance to actually legalise others.

But I think we need to have a continuing and rational debate about what the best form of the law is and look at what is happening in other western countries where theres a wider range of approaches

Of course, aside from the abuse of due process, lack of cognition that this is about 'prohibition, not medpot, that there is a Law Commision review - the question not asked by media is "Who is going to sign up to a coalition agreement where thou shalt not speak about cannabis 'in this term of governance' else forego the treasury cheque book" ? /Blair

--- ends ----

Consider this PRESS item from 2000

"Duck shoving" is what Health Minister Annette King calls it. They are too scared to talk about it, she says. She has smoked dope, in her younger years. "I admitted it. Some people would not be honest. There's no point in saying no, anyway, when people knowing you years ago would say: 'She's a liar'."

New Zealand is almost certainly heading into a review of laws governing cannabis, with Ms King at the helm. Temporarily, the review is on hold, blocked by the Greens. It will take the three Government parties to find common ground as to which select committee should deal with the issue before any review gets under way. Whichever way it goes, the chance is that within two years, people caught smoking weed could be given fines in the same way that speeding tickets Annette King Lies!Image by Simon Lieschke via Flickrare issued. Anti dope-smoking billboards and TV adverts would go hand in hand, along with more direct peer pressure-type programmes aimed in particular at Maoris. "I'm pretty sure there won't be a recommendation for legalising," Ms King says. The picture is less clear on how MPs will decide in a free vote in Parliament on part decriminalisation. "I know no-one in Labour who wants to legalise. "Some people want to look at a partial decriminalisation. There's no party position on legalising." (lies: it was a remit from the floor of the Labour Party in 1998/Blair) Ms King at first says she is uncertain how she will vote, but then expands on her thoughts. "You can't have prohibition. The law is broken every minute of the day. "We have to look at harm minimisation from a health perspective, and containment from a policing perspective." [more]

Blair Anderson

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Schools and Diesel

inquinamento da PM10Image by mbeo via Flickr

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have found that more than 30% of American public schools are within 400 meters (0.25 mile) of major highways that consistently serve as main truck and traffic routes. Research has shown that proximity to such major highways—and thus environmental pollutants, such as aerosolizing diesel exhaust particles—can leave school-age children more susceptible to respiratory diseases later in life.

One in Three US Public Schools in Proximity to Major Highways and Pollutants / 18 August 2008

The UC-led team reports its findings in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. The authors believe this to be the first national study of school proximity and health risks associated with major roadways.

This is a major public health concern that should be given serious consideration in future urban development, transportation planning and environmental policies. Health risk can be mitigated through proper urban planning, but that doesn't erase the immediate risk to school-age children attending schools that are too close to highways right now. Existing schools should be retrofitted with air filtration systems that will reduce students' exposure to traffic pollutants.

—Sergey Grinshpun, principal investigator and professor of environmental health at UC

Diesel smoke from a big truckImage via WikipediaTo protect the health of young children with developing lungs, Grinshpun says new schools should be built further from major highways.

For this study, Grinshpun's team conducted a survey of major metropolitan areas representative of all geographical regions of the United States: Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Denver, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis and San Antonio. More than 8,800 schools representing 6 million students were included in the survey. Primary data was collected through the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Schools within this data set were then geocoded to accurately calculate distance to the nearest interstate, US highway or state highway.

Past research on highway-related air pollution exposure has focused on residences located close to major roads. Grinshpun points out, however, that school-age children spend more than 30% of their day on school grounds—in classrooms, after-school care or extracurricular activities.

For many years, our focus has been on homes when it comes to air pollution. School attendance may result in a large dose of inhaled traffic pollutants that—until now—have been completely overlooked.

—Sergey Grinshpun

Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the diesel engineImage via WikipediaThese past studies suggest this proximity to highway traffic puts school-age children at an increased risk for asthma and respiratory problems later in life from air pollutants and aeroallergens. This includes research from the UC Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) which has reported that exposure to traffic pollutants in close proximity to main roads has been associated with increased risk for asthma and other chronic respiratory problems during childhood.

Grinshpun's team found that public school students were more likely to attend schools near major highways compared to the general population. Researchers say the rapid expansion of metropolitan areas in recent years—urban sprawl—seems to be associated with the consistent building of schools near highways.

Major roads play an important role in the economy, but we need to strike a balance between economic and health considerations as we break ground on new areas. Policymakers need to develop new effective strategies that would encourage urban planners to reconsider our current infrastructure, particularly when it comes to building new schools and maintaining existing ones.

—Alexandra Appatova, the study's first author

In some countries biodiesel is less expensive than conventional diesel.Image via WikipediaThe state of California has passed a law prohibiting the building of new schools within 500 feet (168 meters) of a busy road. New Jersey is moving a bill through the legislature to require highway entrance and exit ramps to be at least 1,000 feet from schools.

This study was funded in part by grants from UC's Center for Sustainable Urban Engineering and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. UC's Patrick Ryan, PhD, and Grace LeMasters, PhD, also participated in this study. Appatova was an intern in UC's department of environmental health when the study was being conducted.


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Enforcing Anti-Idling better than All-Emmision Testing

This election, and subsequently the next term of governance is going to have to confront air Biodiesel fuel in an Erlenmeyer flaskImage via Wikipediaquality.

Labour's Biofuel Bill progressively deploying ethanol and biodiesel across all fuel sales omits the civic benefits that accrue from 'place management' under LAM (local area management of air quality) . This means using low emission bio-fuels in population dense urban settings. This would be WIN-WIN thinking.

We seem to have capitulated to the government dictates as anywhere 'local initiatives' in the bio fuels manufactured represent a direct threat to petroleum producers 100% market share (and accounts for the resistance to blending, citing blending costs so disproportionate it can only be called usury. As I have have consistently argued the payback for addressing and improving air quality in urban settings is linear, zero-zero origin... every 10um/m3 reduced = money in the bank/social dividend.

Everyone benefits, none more so than those with conditions such as the diabetic, asthmatic, immunocompromised, cardio/ thoracic injury be it self inflicted (smoking) or occupational or lifestyle, DVT, and the elderly and the very young, it is Automobile exhaustImage via Wikipediadifficult to reconcile how such simplicity 'in practice' could derive such benefit. Of course, Local Territorial Authorities could do this under the aegis of staying under 2012 emission standards... if only they would measure < PM2.5 - in the mean time, So, turnoff your engine stupid...

Perhaps we need a Republic, that way people decide what our priorities should be... /Blair

ARB Begins Enforcing Anti-Idling Program

The California Air Resources Board has begun enforcing recently enacted anti-idling program for diesel engines that will reduce particulate matter emissions throughout the state.

California ARB staff and local air quality officials throughout the state will monitor sleeper berths and commercial on and off-road diesel vehicles where they operate. First time violations, idling for greater than five minutes, will receive a minimum civil penalty of $300. Subsequent penalties can be from $1,000 to $10,000. Owners, renters or lessees will be responsible for the penalty.

Exhaust pipe of a carImage via WikipediaRegulations limiting idling of on-road commercial diesel-engine vehicles to five minutes have been in effect for several years now and for sleeper berth trucks since January of 2008. The regulations addressing the idling of off-road diesel vehicles became effective in June of 2008. Industries were given a grace period allowing them to inform themselves and their staff of the new requirements.

In a case where an off-road vehicle is observed idling for more than five minutes, enforcement officials will contact the operator and site supervisor to determine the reason. If the reason is not exempted, as some clauses of the regulation allow, and the instance is a first time violation, a $300 per day citation will be issued to the owner, renter or lessee of the vehicle.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems.

This fall the ARB will consider further measures to reduce emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks. Over the past 10 years ARB has adopted regulations affecting cargo-handling equipment, transport refrigeration units, truck idling, off-road equipment, harbor craft, port drayage trucks, onboard incineration, and ships at-berth.

The public can report an idling violation by contacting the Air Resources Board at 1-800-END-SMOG (1-800-363-7664) or online at

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Spokesperson on Climate Change, Environment and Associate 'Shadow' Law And Order.
#6 'on the list'

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

UK’s Mike Trace – Drugs Fifth Columnist (BRAHA)

UK’s Mike Trace – Drugs Fifth Columnist

Posted By BRAHA Editor On October 6, 2008 @ 4:53 pm In Drug Prevention Comments Disabled

Feb 2009 Update to this story: The resurrection of a six year old  article in the "European Cities Against Drugs" newsletter has been  misrepresented as current news. Here is the original story published February 2003  ECAD Newsletter, "Drug Scandal in UN and EU.". It is extremely inappropriate journalism. /Blair

(the prohibitionists are mobilising... here is a classic example of engineering the dialog - especially this bit : "The conspiracy against the UN Conventions on Drugs shows very clearly how money and contacts, getting the ‘right’ people on key posts can overrule democracy and the will of the voters. It shows how elected politicians are viewed as chessmen that can be moved in any direction. Furthermore, the fact that powerful, financial foundations can influence politics in almost any direction should be a matter for great concern." /Blair )

According to information obtained by HNN, former UK deputy drug czar Mike Trace, is masterminding a European legalisation campaign at the same time as he has been appointed Head of Demand Reduction at the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime in Vienna, UNDCP . Several documents containing letters, minutes from secret meetings, secret plans, references to meetings and phone calls clearly show that the campaign was planned to take place before the mid-term review of the outcome of the 1998 UNGASS meeting in New York and in connection with the conference in Vienna in April this year, i.e. the work of the agency* is by no means terminated.

For about a year Mike Trace has worked as a ‘fifth columnist’ as he puts it himself in a letter – “A fifth column role would allow me to oversee the setting-up of the agency while promoting its aims subtly in formal government settings.” Last month he warned a colleague in the ‘agency’, “A small but crucial point – can I from now on not be referred to by name in any written material.”

Open Society InstituteImage via WikipediaA well-known UK organisation, Release International, has served as ‘cover’. A secret steering group was founded, money was raised from the Soros-funded Open Society Institute, contacts were established and the real work of the ‘agency’ could begin in Spring 2002. The project was called ‘Project X’ and ‘London Initiative’. Even if it was started in the UK the aim from the beginning was to go global.

The following people are members of the agency´s steering group:

The conspiracy against the UN Conventions on Drugs shows very clearly how money and contacts, getting the ‘right’ people on key posts can overrule democracy and the will of the voters. It shows how elected politicians are viewed as chessmen that can be moved in any direction. Furthermore, the fact that powerful, financial foundations can influence politics in almost any direction should be a matter for great concern.

This is just the beginning of the story about the ‘agency’s’ work. Documents show strategies, correspondence and a large number of people outside the steering group that has been contacted or that are presently involved. The story is developing.

The UK paper Daily Mail runs a story about Mike Trace as the ‘Drugs Fifth Columnist’ today. In an editorial comment the Daily Mails states, “What a wonderful comment on Britain´s gloriously confused guidance on the evils of drugs. The man who helped to shape it as deputy drug czar, and who is now a major player in forming policy forEU and UN bodies fighting narcotics, turns out to favour the legalisation of cannabis and other dangerous substances. He boasts of acting as a fifth column for the pro-drugs lobby. It is, of course, difficult to believe anything this government says. But if ministers have any interest in preventing the deaths of thousands of youngsters on sink estates, they will agitate for this treacherous and irresponsible creature to be removed from his international posts without delay.”

HNN-comment: It ought to be evident to anybody that Mike Trace, who is actively undermining the UN Convention on Drugs, should be removed immediately from his post at the United Nations in Vienna and any other international positions that he holds. * The so-called ‘agency’s name is Forward Thinking on Drugs

Laughable if it wasnt so manipulative of 'democracy'.
Blair Anderson

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Cannabis & Breast Cancer

breast cancer researchImage by circulating via Flickr Cannabis Compound May Prevent Aggressive Breast Cancer Spread

(today was pink ribbon day... breast cancer awareness, Blair )

Saturday November 24, 2007
CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in Cannabis sativa (marijuana), may inhibit the activity of the Id-1 gene. Researchers know that Id-1 is a regulator of the metastasis (spread) of breast cancer. Presently, the most common treatment for metastatic disease is chemotherapy, which is toxic and often debilitating to many patients. If CBD proves able to stop the spread of cancer cells, it may someday replace chemo and it's powerful side effects. Research on CBD is being done at CannabidiolImage via Wikipedia Research Institute, and a study was recently published in the journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, by Dr. Pierre-Yves Desprez. Dr. Sean D. McAllister, a fellow scientist, does not suggest that breast cancer patients should take up smoking marijuana, because the concentrations of CBD would not be sufficient enough to have any effect on cancer cell division.

Blair Anderson

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

So what is there to understand?

Drug PolicyImage by mmcrae01 via Flickr
  • "The last few years have seen an extraordinary shift in thinking about this issue with increasingly mainstream figures arguing we should consider legalisation as an alternative to what they regard as the failure of the law-enforcement strategy." - BBC's Mark Easton
  • "I think what was truly depressing about my time in the civil service was that the professionals I met from every sector held the same view: the illegality of drugs causes far more problems for society and the individual than it solves. Yet publicly, all those people were forced to repeat the mantra that the Government would be "tough on drugs", even though they all knew that the policy was causing harm." - Julian Critchley (Ex- director of the UK Anti-Drug Co-Ordination Unit)
  • "The only completely effective way to ameliorate the drug problem, and especially the crime which results from it, is to bring the industry into the open by legalising the distribution and consumption of all dangerous drugs, or at the very least by decriminalising their consumption." - Alan Duncan MP, Conservative Former Cabinet Member
  • "If the UN is right and drugs account for 70 per cent of organised criminal activity,' argues Glenny, 'then the legalisation of drugs would administer by far the deadliest blow possible against transnational organised criminal networks." - Misha Glenny
  • And here we come to the vital distinction between the advocacy of temperance and the advocacy of prohibition. Temperance and self-control are convertible terms. Prohibition, or that which it implies, is the direct negation of the term self-control. In order to save the small percentage of men who are too weak to resist their animal desires, it aims to put chains on every man, the weak and the strong alike. And if this is proper in one respect, why not in all respects? Yet, what would one think of a proposition to keep all men locked up because a certain number have a propensity to steal? - Felix Mendelsohn, 1915
  • {{wAlbert Einstein}} receiving from Judge {{wPhillip Forman}} his certificate of American citizenship.Image via Wikipedia"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced." - Albert Einstein
  • "As long as the government can arbitrarily decide which substances are legal and which are illegal, then those who remain behind bars for illegal substances are political prisoners." - Paul Krassner, 1999
    {{enImage adapted from Image:MiltonFriedman.jpg The uploader of Image:MilitonFriedman.Image via Wikipedia
  • "There is, in my opinion, no government policy that is as immoral as drug prohibition..." - Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman
  • The government is good at job creation. Every arrest of a drug dealer creates a new high-paying job opening. - Peter Guither
  • "In the end, legalization of certain substances may be the only way to bring prices down, and doing so may be the only remedy to some of the worst aspects of the drug plague: violence, corruption, and the collapse of the rule of law." - Jorge Costaneda - Mexican Foreign Minister
  • "No one is asking for some free-for-all for drugs. I want drugs to be controlled and regulated, but we do not want to allow what has happened over the past thirty years to continue, whereby, in an illegal market, criminals – irresponsible people – sell poisoned drugs that kill young people. We want to say to those irresponsible people that we will control them, take their market away and not allow young people to be their victims any more. I believe that the experience of Switzerland and the Netherlands, and now of other countries, is that the only way to do that effectively is to collapse the market by replacing it with one that can be regulated, licensed and controlled." - Paul Flynn MP Labour
  • "The fundamental problem is the collision between the dramatic rise in the use of drugs and a policy that prohibits them. I say to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, that drug users impinge on the rights of other people only when they steal, and they have to do that only because of prohibition." Liberal Democrat Baroness Walmsley
  • "I joined the unit more or less agnostic on drugs policy, being personally opposed to drug use, but open-minded about the best way to deal with the problem…However, during my time in the unit, as I saw more and more evidence of 'what works', to quote New Labour's mantra of the time, it became apparent to me that ... enforcement and supply-side interventions were largely pointless. They have no significant, lasting impact on the availability, affordability or use of drugs." - Julian Critchley -Former director of the UK Anti-Drug Coordination Unit in the Cabinet Office

    Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

    Spokesperson on Climate Change, Environment and Associate 'Shadow' Law And Order.
    #6 'on the list'

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