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, December 13, 2008

Displace Alcohol Problems with Cannabis Benefits.

Oxidation of primary alcohol to carboxylic acidImage via Wikipedia Cheers! We're killing ourselves with hypocritical double standards

A massive hike in alcohol prices is the key solution to a national booze problem which kills nearly three people every day and injures many more, say doctors and counsellors.

Just because something is affordable doesn't make it laudable....

Creating an artificial difference by excise tax is an blatant admission of our systemic drug policy failure. The curtailment of adult choice by the creation of an artificial red line will be no barrier to access, only the choices will alter as they have done in Victoria, Australia. This is a harm maximising strategy masquerading as good policy from which nothing significant will be achieved.

If politics is the art of the possible, this suggestion is the graffiti of the stupid.

Do we really want to hand hard liquors over to criminal supply chains and add to our justice burden in so doing? And who is going to benefit from that?

Alcohol is a contributing factor to 70 per cent of emergency hospital admissions and well over half of all crime.

Then strip away the double standards you fools.....

It costs $425 million in ACC payouts, $655 million in the public health sector, and $1.17 billion in lost productivity each year.

Of which I have no doubt.

Those who see the devastation daily say raising the price of beer and wine, and reducing the number of liquor outlets are key solutions.

Those who see the devastation daily are living in a clinical fallacy for they cannot see the measure of war for the battle they are in.

"Everyone agrees we have a problem," said Rebecca Williams of Alcohol Healthwatch. "It's very, very clear what we need to do, all we need now is the guts basically to get on and do it."

We have to have the guts to make the required changes that empowers self will, rather than strip it away.

Emergency medicine specialist Paul Quigley agreed. "I'd just put the price up and sod it to all those who complain."

Mr Quigley doesn't have to answer to the unintended consequences.

Wellington Hospital chief medical officer and drug and alcohol specialist Dr Geoff Robinson said New Zealand had a "huge problem" with alcohol.

NZ has a huge problem with poor policy that manufactures the greater harms, displaces resources, and panders to populist fears.

His research showed that if alcohol were put through the drug-scheduling committee now, it would be a class B drug, sitting alongside Ritalin and morphine and more dangerous than fantasy.

Without doubt a fact. One that demonstrates that the classification of 'drugs' (legal or otherwise) serves only the Ministry's of Justice, Corrections and Police and delivers nothing for health than hollow lip service to 'treatment grifters' and moral reformers.

"There's 107 medical disorders associated with excessive drinking. It affects nearly every organ."

And Cannabis would have us in our death beds at age 94, dying of nothing. (see Cannabinoids, Oil of Life)

The same could be said for LSD and Opiates, truth to tell....

Dr Quigley said the harm done by alcohol compared to the damage from methamphetamine was 100-1. "Alcohol is by far and away the overwhelming problem."

So why the plaudits for the beer barons, the sporting prowess conferred upon tinnies of Steinlager, the sexy 'Tui' girls, the 'success' of champagne, or the 'sophistication' in a Martini, none of which has anything to do with 'pricing signals'.

Both doctors say banning alcohol is not the solution, but more should be spent on rehabilitation services.

How about some 'respectful' adult choices in drug policy.... like a tolerance for psychoactive 'soft' drugs, with labeling/age/packaging/advertising restrictions... Oh yes, just like we have but not the courage to talk about.

"The amount of money that's spent on `the war on drugs' versus on rehab is phenomenal," Dr Quigley said..

Another of the double standards that signal 'how stupid does it look' putting someone in jail for the consensual exchange of some cannabis?

Counsellors say funding for alcohol treatment in the community and in prisons needs to be doubled.

We need to be closing prisons... they re a terrible place to try and do good things. If prison was the health solution we should try them as a cure for cancer.

Last year 23,000 people attended treatment, but up to 160,000 were in need of help.

Last year gave 16,000 odd folk a conviction that they can never 'recover' from.... we arrest them to save them from themselves an in so doing turn them into victims. We do this under the warrant of the Minister of Health (Hello Tony!). What is wrong with this picture.

Drug and Alcohol counsellor Roger Brooking said it could be difficult for alcoholics to make the decision to help themselves because alcohol affects the brain.

Its made even more difficult for those people for whom addiction services or guidance is expected to be delivered under force of arms with the excess militarisation of our Police.... creating a fearsome impediment to access.

"But there's very clear research that compulsory or mandatory treatment works as well as, or even better than for people who are supposedly self-motivated."

This, from a 'treatment provider' should be treated with the contempt it deserves...

He said the Government had allowed the liquor industry to behave like drug dealers, and said it was essential to abolish conscience voting on all alcohol-related issues in Parliament.

Oh dear.... Cast this man to a sub-antarctic island and let him swim home....

If PARTY POLITICS would take some honest ownership of the required 'and highly indicated' national drug policy and put tobacco alcohol and cannabis in Class D then the real work can begin.

/ Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/





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