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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Marijuana vs SSRI's, Which is Safer?

This item by Cynthia A. Janak is particularly relevant to New Zealand's drug policy consultation where SSRI's are under scrutiny and cannabis prohibition "Murders" are the order of the day.

Murder accused Daniel Moore awaits the outcome of summing up and jury deliberations regarding the hand less body case of his Dad's best friend, Tony Stanlake.

This one murder is one too many. I knew Daniels Dad. Daniel is the same age as my son.

New Zealand has the highest per capita consumption rate in the OECD alongside the highest arrest rate per/k in the world. Is is no small wonder that the 200 tonnes of cannabis consumed by some 500,000 NZ'ers every year is grown by someone. What Mr Moore Jr appears to have been addicted too is the unique product of prohibition, the money, greed, power, status AND thrill.

We, by our silence that resembles stupidity are architects of this dysfunction.


What I am going to do today is give you a comparison of different news reports that deal with the murder of an individual or many individuals because of marijuana or SSRI use. So far I have spent several hours on this topic. To my dismay I did not find any articles where a person who just smoked marijuana picked up a gun and murdered innocent people. What I did find were many articles were people were murdered because of a marijuana buy or because they were a dealer.
....
With the evidence that I had acquired in doing this research I did a comparison for the risk of murder by the users of marijuana and SSRI's. My conclusion is that marijuana is safer for the average individual use. SSRI's are dangerous to the health and safety of society as a whole and have the potential to create because of use an individual capable of mass murder.
.....
Because of my findings I feel it is safe to say that the prohibition on the usage of marijuana has created a black market atmosphere of criminal activity between the United States and surrounding countries because of illegal transportation and selling of marijuana by gangs and other gangster types.
see Cynthia A. Janak - Marijuana vs. SSRIs: which is safer

Drug labels must carry suicide alert
Regulator issues safety ruling on all anti-depressant medicines sold here By Tom PrendevilleSunday February 24 2008 All brands of antidepressant for sale in Ireland will have to carry a warning that the side-effects may include suicide. After a review carried out by the US Food and Drugs Agency, 33 products which are also widely prescribed in Ireland were deemed to carry a significant risk and merit the warning.The US Food and Drug Administration analysed 295 studies of antidepressants involving 77,000 people who were on the medication, and found that the risk of suicide in young people was almost twice that of adults aged over-25.

Consider this: for just one month, this month so far!!

Suicide
Antidepressant
2008-02-01
Iraq
Soldier from Nevada Kills Self in Iraq
Suicide-By-Cop
Antidepressant
Withdrawal
2008-02-01
Australia
Man in Recent Withdrawal Kills Self
Psychiatric Symptoms
Chantix
2008-02-03
Global
FDA Issues Warning on Chantix: Suicidal Behaviors & Other Psychiatric Symptoms

Suicide
Paxil
2008-02-03
California
13 Year Old
Kills Self: Lawsuit: Dismissed Because of State Law
Violence/Bizarre Behavior
Antidepressants
2008-02-05
England
Three CEOs Become Either Violent or Exhibit Bizarre Behavior on Antidepressants
Osteoporosis
SSRIs
2008-02-06
Global
++Double The Risk for Osteoporosis for Those on SSRIs
Hospitalization
Antidepressants
2008-02-06
California
Actress
Who Promoted Effexor in Cities Around the U.S. Is in the Hospital: Meds Not Working
Violence
Antidepressant
2008-02-07
Massachusetts
14 Year Old Boy Stabs Police Officer in Chest

Suicide

Prozac
2008-02-07
England
Young Woman Kills Herself
Suicidal Behavior
Celexa & Wellbutrin
2008-02-07
Oregon
Police Officer Engages in Suicidal Behavior
Vehicular Homicide
Antidepressants
2008-02-07
Georgia
Woman Taking Three Antidepressants Kills Two in Car Crash: No Alcohol Involved

Stabbing
Celexa
2008-02-07
Massachusetts
College
Coed Stabs Ex-Boyfriend: Serious Injuries

Violence
Med For Depression
2008-02-07
Ireland
Man Smashes the Windows in Police Station: Uses Hatchet

Death
Antidepressant
2008-02-07
Massachusetts
25 Year Old Woman Dies of Complications From her Antidepressant

Harassment

Prozac
2008-02-13
England
Woman Taken To Court For Abusing Taxi Driver
Violence
Prozac
2008-02-13
Minnesota
Prozac Made Woman Feel Violent
Injury To Child
Cymbalta
2008-02-14
New York
Man Critcally Injures Toddler
Suicide-By-Cop
Antidepressant
Withdrawal
2008-02-14
Florida Police Forced to Shoot Armed Man
Suicide Attempt
Prozac
2008-02-14
New Mexico
Woman Attempts to Kill Herself
Assault
Med For Depression
2008-02-14
England
Man Assaults Club Doorwoman
School Shooting
Prozac WITHDRAWAL
2008-02-15
Illinois
** 6 Dead: 15 Wounded: Perpetrator Was in Withdrawal from Med & Acting Erratically
Suicide
Wellbutrin
2008-02-18
Arizona
Woman's Death Ruled Suicide by Overdose
Suicide Attempt
Antidepressant
2008-02-18
Michigan
Judge Attempts Suicide: Also Involved Pain Medication Interaction
Delusions
Prozac
Withdrawal
2008-02-19
Illinois
Woman Hear's Son's Voice & Cries, "I Am Jesus"
Suicide Attempt
Effexor
2008-02-19
California
Woman Overdoses On Efexor
Murder
Med For Depression
2008-02-20
California
Five Dead Including SWAT Officer: 20 Year Old Kills Family
Suicide

Med For Depression
2008-02-20
Idaho
16
Year Old Kills Self at High School: Lockdown by Police
Murder Attempt-Suicide
Lexapro
2008-02-21
Ohio
Man Attempts to Kill Wife: Suceeds in Killing Self
Assault
Paxil
2008-02-21
England
69 Year Old Man Assaults his Physician
Suicides
Antidepressants
2008-02-24
Ireland
Ireland Warns of Suicide On All Antidepressant Labels For All Ages
Murder/Suicide
Antidepressants
2008-02-24
Iraq/Illinois
Soldier
on Antidepressant for PTSD Kills Wife & Self
Ineffectiveness
Antidepressants
2008-02-25
Global
Antidepressants
Are Ineffective: PLoS Medicine

Ketamine in Class C? SSRI's should be Class A and controlled at the border! (and going by this list keep them well away from aircraft passengers!)

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Cannabis, SSRI's and Depression

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-12/mu-nad121305.php
Contact: Ian Poppleian.popple@muhc.mcgill.ca 514-843-1560 McGill University

New antidepressant drug increases 'brain's own cannabis'

Researchers have discovered a new drug that raises the level of endocannabinoids--the 'brain's own cannabis'--providing anti-depressant effects. The new research published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests the new drug, called URB597, could represent a safer alternative to cannabis for the treatment of pain and depression, and open the door to new and improved treatments for clinical depression--a condition that affects around 20% of Canadians.

In preclinical laboratory tests researchers found that URB597 increased the production of endocannabinoids by blocking their degradation, resulting in measurable antidepressant effects. "This is the first time it has been shown that a drug that increases endocannabinoids in the brain can improve your mood," says the lead investigator Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, an MUHC and Université de Montréal researcher.

Endocannabinoids are chemicals released by the brain under certain conditions, like exercise; they stimulate specific brain receptors that can trigger feelings of well-being. The researchers, which included scientists from the University of California at Irvine, were able to measure serotonin and noradrenaline activity as a result of the increased endocannabinoids, and also conducted standard experiments to gauge the 'mood' of their subjects and confirm their findings.
"The results were similar to the effect we might expect from the use of commonly prescribed antidepressants, which are effective on only around 30% of the population," explains Dr. Gobbi. "Our discovery strengthens the case for URB597 as a safer, non-addictive, non-psychotropic alternative to cannabis for the treatment of pain and depression and provides hope for the development of an alternate line of antidepressants, with a wider range of effectiveness."
Cannabis has been known for its anti-depressant and pain-relief effects for many years, but the addictive nature and general health concerns of cannabis use make this drug far from ideal as a medical treatment. The active ingredient in cannabis--THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)--stimulates cannabinoid receptors.

Funding for this study was provided by the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ), the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation (CPRF), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and an MUHC fellowship.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=10474334

A drug that boosts levels of the brain's own "bliss" chemical can help reverse symptoms of depression in rats, US and Italian researchers reported yesterday.
The drug helps maintain high levels of a compound called anandamide, named after the Sanskrit word for "bliss", which is chemically similar to the active ingredient in marijuana.

Opinion feedback to NZH:

WHEREAS SSRI's have been responsible for grotesque anti-social behaviours through to suicides attributable to the drug in question. (some 28 deaths in one month)
Prof Nutt (addictions researcher, SSRI specialist speaking at CHCH School of medicine. Feb 2008 ) linked cannabinoid receptors 'all through the brain' and how little we know of its actions. Yet debate surrounding the required research and that we dont have an adequate 'radio label' to track cannabis actions at receptor level constrains what we could know.

All indications from both anecdote and research are that cannabis puts a smile on your face, but more importantly provides 'a sense of wellness' and without with the contraindications of SSRI's. I will have more on my blog at http://mildgreens.blogspot.com later today including to links to the research that both validates NZH earlier published matter and demonstrates the imbalance give to big pharma in its defence of its selective published research. /Blair

http://www.letfreedomgrow.com/cmu/depression_and_cannabis.htm
Patients themselves are often the best judges of whether or not cannabis helps relieve the symptoms of depression. A poorly educated or narrow-minded physician may think any use of cannabis to be a substance abuse related aspect of depression. More enlightened psychiatrists (i.e. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School) appreciate the often beneficial aspects of cannabis therapy. [Cannabis and Depression. Jay R. Cavanaugh, Ph.D.]



Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Cannabis and ADHD Impaired Driving.

Cannabis normalized impaired psychomotor performance and mood in a patient with hyperactivity disorder

Scientists at the Department for Forensic and Traffic Medicine of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, investigated the effects of cannabis on driving related functions in a 28 year old man with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He had violated traffic regulations several times in recent years and his driving licence was revoked due to driving under the influence of cannabis. He showed abnormal behaviour, seemed to be significantly maladjusted and his concentration was heavily impaired while sober during the first meeting with a psychologist. He was allowed to perform driving related tests under the influence of the cannabis compound dronabinol (THC), which his doctor had prescribed him to treat his symptoms. The examiner expected that he was not able to drive a car under the acute influence of THC.
But at the second visit his behaviour was markedly improved and he performed average and partly above-average in all tests on reaction speed, sustained attention, visual orientation, perception speed and divided attention. A blood sample taken after the tests revealed a high THC concentration of 71 ng/ml in blood serum. He admitted later to have smoked cannabis and not taken dronabinol, because it was too expensive. Researchers noted that "people with ADHD are found to violate traffic regulations, to commit criminal offences and to be involved in traffic accidents more often than the statistical norm" and conclude from their investigation that "it has to be taken into account that in persons with ADHD THC may have atypical and even performance-enhancing effects."

Smoked Marijuana Improved ADHD Driver's Performance by: Strohbeck-Kuehner P, Skopp G, Mattern R. Arch Kriminol 2007;220(1-2):11-9.

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

$8Billion Dollars of American Bullshite

The argument [American Pot Smokers Providing Over $8 Billion of Revenue to Drug Cartels] that cannabis and other drug violence and mayhem in Mexico and other jurisdictions is caused by demand side consumption by Americans is utterly implausible. It is prohibition itself that causes the very problems it sets out to solve. It is "spin doctoring" by a flawed and capricious 'moral' enforcement regime determined maintain the current policy and damn the costs and consequences mentality. The USA has been fostering violence and death via UN conventions for far too long. The 'estimated revenue' graphs identify why it is so important to address our collective selves to the injustice of global cannabis prohibition urgently.



Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Record drug haul (West Coast helicopter recovery)

West Coast police have netted a record cannabis haul in a week-long drug recovery operation.

An Air Force-piloted Iroquois helicopter -- nicknamed the Grasshopper by locals -- has hauled away a total of nearly 8740 plants.

The haul was up 16 per cent, or around 1200 plants, on last summer largely because of the good growing conditions.

Sergeant Russell Glue, of Hokitika police, said the largest plot was in Buller, at the northern West Coast, where between 500 and 1000 plants were found.
....
Glue said police could not disclose the street value of the cannabis recovered.
....
Nationally last growing season, police recovered and destroyed more than 100,000 plants and arrested more than 700 people

Well wipty dooooo..... and this taxpayer funded grift, er, I mean initiative has made what difference ?
May be this is why the Police were too busy to attend this weeks BEYOND 2008 drug policy consultation!

/Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

VIENNA 2008: TEN YEARS AFTER






6 MARCH



Public Meeting on the Evaluation of the implementation of the 1998 UN Plan "Towards a drug-free world by 2008 - we can do it", organised by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe From 9 to 12.30, room ASP 3 G 3, European Parliament, Brussels









Upon the initiative of ENCOD (European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies) a counterevent to the UN Summit takes place from 7 to 9 March 2008. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness on the need to end the "war on drugs" and start new approaches in drug policy. Current prohibition of drugs creates more problems than it solves. This is a reality that most governments are not willing to face. (featuring fellow MildGreenie Clifford Thornton USA)









10 -14 MARCH UN COMMISSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS
published Friday 15 February 2008 13:47, by encod .

In June 1998, the United Nations announced a 10-year strategy to achieve “measurable results” in the fight against drugs, including a “significant reduction” of the cultivation of cannabis, coca and opium poppy by the year 2008.

On March 10th, 2008, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs will meet in Vienna to review the results of this strategy.

In the past ten years, the war on drugs has failed – again. Consumption of drugs can cause problems, but prohibition of drugs causes disasters. Millions of people are criminalized, billions of euros are spent in a war that is ineffective and counterproductive. Efforts to reduce harmful and improve responsible use of drugs are actively thwarted by governments. Meanwhile, the drug market remains in the hands of organised crime, whose huge profits distort global economy and generate widespread corruption.

Drug policies should be a matter of public health, not of law enforcement. We ask the UN to establish the right of every adult citizen of the world to grow and possess natural plants for personal use and non-commercial purposes, using all technical equipment that is available for this. At the same time, individual countries should be allowed to experiment with drug policies that are not based on prohibition.

Vienna 2008 is the opportunity to send this urgent message to the United Nations.

From 10 to 14 March the annual meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations will take place in Vienna. Some NGOs may delegate observers to this meeting, thanks to the Transnational Radical Party ENCOD has obtained two slots on their list. These will be filled by Clifford Thornton from the US based NGO Efficacy, and by Fredrick Polak, member of the ENCOD Steering Committee.


Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jim says... reclassification noted

“They expressed admiration for our evidence-based policies and for our reclassification processes." - Jim Anderton commenting on his meetings with two of the distinguished keynote (2008 Parliamentary Drug Policy Roundtable) speakers: Professor David Nutt, [and] Associate Professor Alison Ritter.

Every one reports to Czar Jim 'or else'.
No wonder Jim was uncomfortable knowing I might be there!

(caution: links to Anderton's Progressive's Press Release may cause temporary insanity)

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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World Class, Class D?

Behind the mask of Chatham House Rules at the historical "Beyond 2008 / International UN drug policy forum" in Wellington this week - the Mild Green Initiative “restricted with controlled availability” Class D received first in the world recognition.

The MildGreen Initiative was described variously along with NEPS and Diversion as as an "major landmark" in New Zealand's leadership in drug control strategies to visiting experts, local MP's, customs, law and health officials, policy makers and NGO's. !

With 'the whole world is watching' overtones and our having to reconcile BZP already in "D" classification - these are surely, interesting times. NZ is having a say in international drug policy!

It will be curious as to how drug czar Jim Anderton (with a 't') interprets his "Good Friday" D-classified Mild Green initiative.

Anderton re-invented Harm Reduction to mean Criminal Sanctions under the aegis of the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) but he wasn't the first to use and promote deviancy amplifying policy. We imported 'lies predicated on bigger lies' when we sidled up to USA led UN classifications, mandates, conventions and covenants based on a 'some drugs are evil and all use is misuse' criminal controls and retributive messages paradigm. Thankfully Beyond 2008 heralds the 'right procedural path' to take. New Zealand may yet be the first in the world to do an unfettered and transparent 'green fields' rethink of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and interpretation of the UN conventions. And that can only be a good thing.

See Jim, Wrong Control, Wrong Message. The world is saying stay with the D-classification theme Jim! We'll work it out from there while we put the feet in the fire of those who refuse to test the efficacy of prohibition. Beyond 2008 will serve to oxygenate the drug policy debate this election. BTW: How do you like the silken feel of 'sustainable' hemp, Jim? It is a pity you see fit to ban Blair too. (private correspondence, 'threatening' sanction if I as much as talk to his staff. "Your Dangerous!" public meeting, Nandor debate.)

see Give New Zealand a say in global drug policy
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0802/S00059.htm

Anderton hopes for BZP ban by Christmas
http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/Story/tabid/209/articleID/34500/cat/41/Default.aspx

Blair Anderson with an 's'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Big fat anti-drug NGO griftfest

Big fat anti-drug NGO griftfest
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

The UN drug policy consultation [BEYOND2008] in Wellington this week will be a big fat expert blowhard session say the ALCP,

see http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0802/S00059.htm.

Notably it is expected rational observations - eg. that an ongoing cannabis ban is damaging, wrong, and in particular is counterproductive (it opened the gateway for NZ methamphetamine networks) - will be suppressed.

ALCP has little faith that the urgent stalled debate on cannabis will be brought out into the open. This was highlighted by the NZ Drug Foundation effort to promote debate last year, that went unheeded by both politicians and media.

This conference is all about confirming contacts and contracts first, with public good a very poor second. The UN and their band of grifters will ignore the elephant in the corner. By tackling only illicit drugs, minus any context with alcohol and tobacco, or rampant cannabis and BZP and other substance popularity, they will merely reinforce a dangerously unhealthy context of double standards.

Doubtless the failure of cannabis illegality may come up in the discussion but it will ultimately be omitted from the final report. This has happened many times before, eg. our National Drug Policy, and select committee Cannabis Law review.

The vast majority of normal pot-using Kiwis (an estimated half-million, based on the NZDF figure of 1 in 8 prevalence ) would be completely mystified at the concept of Drug Treatment Services for their use. They would laugh at it, and therein lies some insight that may benefit NGOs attending the consultation; the whole ridiculous policy is based on prohibition, double standards and vested interests. For those 5% who run into problems with their cannabis use, prohibition is no help whatsoever - in fact promoting furtive or paranoid behaviour. At every step prohibition is harm production, not harm reduction.

If our politicians want to look at a big fat ugly root cause of whats currently troubling NZ, it is a social policy mix underpinned by criminalisation and anti-cannabis prejudice. "The drug war is the single most destructive force loose in society" said ALCP deputy leader Mike Britnell.

"Prohibition has not only failed but it is the lynchpin that is maintaining all this chaos, mayhem and murder."

In our Prime Minister's own words, it is 'poor public policy' (1994 Great Marijuana Debate). ALCP say an apology anytime soon would be good.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Experts to debate New Zealand drug laws

Experts to debate New Zealand drug laws

New Zealand Drug Foundation

13 February 2008

Drug policy makers, health professionals and politicians meet in Wellington next week to discuss the future of New Zealand's drug laws and policies. A select group of 30 senior policy makers and six members of parliament, will attend the 2008 Parliamentary Drug Policy Roundtable on 20 February to discuss what makes good drug policy, and whether New Zealand legislation is currently 'fit for purpose.'

The Roundtable will be co-hosted by the New Zealand Drug Foundation and the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences. A number of 'big names' in drug policy from overseas will attend, including English pharmacologist Professor David Nutt, (see Professor on drug classification (TV1 "Good Morning" video 4:04) ) an outspoken critic who has described the United Kingdom's drug law as ill-thought-out, arbitrary and one of the least effective pieces of legislation ever enacted.

New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell says similar criticisms could be levelled at New Zealand drug legislation.

"The Misuse of Drugs Act has become hopelessly out of date and irrelevant in the 32 years since it became law. A raft of ad hoc amendments has led to inconsistencies and confusion, and its underlying philosophy no longer reflects the harm minimisation approach of our national drug policy."

The Law Commission review, due to be completed by December this year, will seek to provide "a better, more coherent and rational framework" for drug legislation, but will exclude alcohol and tobacco.

Ross Bell says that as well as the Law Commission review, two other matters have helped focus attention on our archaic drug laws.

"The United Nations is currently reflecting on its international drug policy frameworks, which will affect New Zealand drug law, and our political parties are formulating drug policy for their election manifestos. All up, this is an important year for New Zealand drug policy, and that is reflected in the interest the Roundtable has generated."

The 2008 Parliamentary Drug Policy Roundtable will focus on providing participants with a good overview of high-level drug policy issues, such as how drugs are scheduled into classes based on their relative harm, how we measure harm, and how international drug policy frameworks affect our own laws and policies.

The agenda also provides a chance for open dialogue and debate about what good or bad drug policy might look like for New Zealand.

International participants also include Alison Ritter from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre which advise the Australian government on drug policy, Michel Perron from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Gábor Somogyi of the Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme in the United Kingdom.

New Zealand experts include Doug Sellman from the National Addiction Centre and drug treatment expert Tim Harding of Care NZ. The Roundtable will be opened by Hon Jim Anderton, Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy, and MPs attending will include Metiria Turei (Greens), Chester Borrows and Simon Power (National), and Jill Pettis (Labour).

Representatives will also attend from the Law Commission, Police, Customs, the Ministries of Justice and Health, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. (and what ever happened to public health best practice, 'no decision about us, without us', is addiction no longer a disability? /Blair)

The Roundtable follows the Beyond 2008 Regional Consultation also to be held in Wellington (18-19 February) at which New Zealand views on drug policy and practice will be discussed to contribute to inform an Australasian report to a United Nations' review of global drug control targets set in 1998.

Drug policy cannot be 'informed' without (a) a cost benefit analysis, (b) participation of the consumers of this policy, in particular the 500,000 otherwise law abiding 'criminals' who use the popular 'can-o-bis' while national drug policy, in defiance of the highly recommended embracing of tobacco and alcohol into a health mediated protocol, ignores the acute and chronic double standards. The triumph of political expediency over reason. Why?, because anything 'but the truth and the whole truth' would have most of these over paid public and elected officials without a career path. Global Drug policy is an unmitigated 'foreign affairs' disaster. The mayhem that has been rendered under the sanction of the Single Convention on Narcotics and its respective covenants is criminal. It is at odds with UN WHO policy and in breach of every ethical test of human rights be they UN, EU or natural justice. Be gone damned spot. /Blair

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com/
http://blair4mayor.com/

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Give New Zealand a say in global drug policy

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0802/S00059.htm

Give New Zealand a say in global drug policy

Consultation to give New Zealand a say in global drug policy
New Zealand Drug Foundation
15 February 2008

A greater community voice in United Nations global drug policy is the goal of a historic forum to be held in Wellington 18-19 February.

The Beyond 2008 Regional Consultation for Australasia is one of nine being held around the world to gather input from non government organisations (NGOs) on what has worked for them in reducing supply and use of illicit drugs, and seek opinions on how well United Nations drug control targets have been met.

"World leaders met a decade ago and set themselves the ambitious goal of a 'Drug Free World' by 2008," says Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell.

"While we can admire their intentions, the cold hard facts tell us that the world community has largely failed in its official drug control efforts and questions are now being asked about whether the current structures are fit for purpose.

"These consultations are a genuine and welcome attempt by the United Nations to allow communities affected by drug problems to contribute to future directions in global drug control. New Zealand has a lot to contribute and can be proud of its achievements in reducing drug harm (I'm still larfing at this one! /Blair). This forum is one important way we can share our experience with the global community.

"Increased investment into drug treatment services, government support for community drug projects, and a world beating needle exchange service are some of the successes New Zealand community agencies will share with their international colleagues."

Results from New Zealand will be combined with those from Australian consultations to form an Australasian report to the Vienna NGO Committee which will meet in July to review progress in achieving UN drug control targets established in 1998.

More : see http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0802/S00059.htm

The MildGreen Initiative will be there...... watch this space!

  • (note: a wee mouse over heard at the historical "Beyond 2008 / International UN drug policy forum" the Mild Green Initiative Class D gets first in the world recognition and described variously as as an imortant component in "New Zealand's leadership in drug control strategies" along with NEPS and Diversion to visiting experts, local mp's officials and NGO's. !, 'the whole world is watching' overtones and our having to reconcile BZP already in "D" classification - these are surely, interesting times. NZ is having a say in international drug policy!)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When will it be New Zealand's turn?

I recent Inquirer into Blair's Brain had asked Google "can smoking marijuana slow down your immune system?"

It characterises many of the self directed searches that have stumbled upon the 600+ postings to Blair's Brain. They arrive here and end looking at what could only be described as reform insight into what concerns them.


That's a good thing. Because media is doing a very poor job on this one.





Current administrative thinking may well believe there is a good reason to keep prohibition on, but the wind is changing. For example, the Scottish 'government' is cottoning on to just what this is costing - they have ordered an independent commission to justify the public expenditure AND institutional effectiveness on delivering drug policy, from intervention to enforcement to education and treatment.



  • In producing their independent report, Audit Scotland will set their own remit and objectives, and publish an authoritative, full and comprehensive study on the scale and effectiveness of spending on tackling drugs [Scottish Government, UK]. Scotland's public spending watchdog is to investigate the effectiveness of current anti-drugs policies as ministers prepare to draw up a new strategy to tackle the problem [The Herald, Scotland, UK]. Tackling scourge of drugs A proper evaluation of the effectiveness of the £12m a year we are spending on methadone is needed urgently, but there must also be agreement on what a drugs policy should achieve [The Herald, Scotland, UK]
That' s a pragmatic start. When will it be New Zealand's turn?

The Minister of Health announces the social-economic outcomes and risks be in the Law Commision Review terms of reference? Yeah Right!

"there was an overwhelming public perception that our governments had all become, in varying degrees, arrogant, dishonest, distant, corrupt, venal and downright incompetent and, in politics, public perception translates into voter intent." - Russell Cooper - Former Queensland Premier

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Ain't it the same the whole world over?

As has been elucidated here repeatedly, where the ^%$@ is the NZ  'national drug policy' cost benefit analysis? It seem Gt Britain's experience mimics ours, blow by deceitful blow!

This suppression of this information is particularly galling given that last year we had the 10 year strategy review and consultation process - for which this sort of objective cost benefit analysis is absolutely vital. Instead we got the ridiculous rose tinted propaganda piece that was the strategy consultation document - about which Transform and various high level Whitehall authorities have already made their views abundantly clear.

Whatever your policy views, it is hard to see how restricting information and analysis on what has worked and what hasn't in the strategy (and how much it has all cost), is in anyones' interest apart from ministers trying to hide failure and avoid embarrassment. It is, quite simply, a total disgrace, and as time will no doubt show, deceit tends to be uncovered and the trouble caused by it far worse than that would have been caused by telling the truth in the first place. 

--
Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com
http://blair4mayor.com

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Friday, February 08, 2008

insightful.courageous.elegant.erudite.com(entary)

This extract is highly relevent to New Zealand citizens who have been subject to Waitangi Day (and Bob Marley's birthday) 'helicopter' cannabis overhead spray regimes predicated on, according to police spokespersons, 'the association between cannabis cultivation and organised crime'.

As the drug debate progresses in the UK with the AMCD review, there is also the Vancouver Forum on internatiopnal drug policy this week. A pity that the Law Commission didnt have anyone there. The MildGreens were represented by way of USA Greens champion Clifford Wallace Thornton jr. and LEAP, now with 10,000 'law enforcement' membership.

Forum organizers noted that "over-reliance on law enforcement" criminalizes drug users unnecessarily, "fuels the drug economy and the black market, aids organized crime and terrorists [dependent on income from drug crops] and disproportionately targets poor people of colour."

He [Former Vancouver mayor Philip Owen] noted that 220 U.S. mayors at a conference last June "agreed unanimously the war on drugs is not working."

"Cops are so concerned about being labelled soft on drugs, soft on crime, and that next promotion, that we don't even talk to our peers about what we believe." /Jack Cole

There will be more to report on Vancouver in due course. /Blair

Meanwhile consider this insightful.courageous.elegant.erudite.com(entary)......



It is about time that policy makers woke up to the fact that a single mechanism linking damage to health with criminal punishment, as enshrined in the Misuse of Drugs Act, is entirely illogical. By all means reclassify cannabis. Reclassify all drugs. legal and illegal, according to the harm they can do. That's one debate and of itself it is hardly straightforward. But deal with the criminal justice implications separately.

These two considerations have nothing to do with each other, and the link between them is entirely abstract, completely fatuous and vastly distorting. So much damage has already been done through the creation of the illegal market for drugs that it is hard to see exactly how to undo it. But dividing consumer health issues from supplier criminality issues would be a modest and entirely sensible start.

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/02/an-unhealthy-de.html
  • The costs associated with the control, monitoring, and enforcement of international drug laws add ‘less and less to the benefits achieved and more and more to the cost to society. Ultimately, the costs outweigh the benefits’
(Gardner 1993: 308). http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/rpp/81/rpp81.pdf (
The market for amphetamine-type stimulants and their precursors in Oceania, the production, trafficking, importation, and consumption of ATS.,
Published by the Australian Institute of Criminology. Chapter: Conclusions)

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Heavy cannabis use 'damages gums'



Heavy cannabis use 'damages gums' Heavy cannabis smoking is a major cause of gum disease, research suggests.

(note: suggests!! omitted from this item, interview, commentary is specifics regarding causation and correlation, although there is an awful lot of speculation. I might also suggest that the very same data may show that fundamental Christians are more likely to brush their teeth and less likely to contract venereal disease for much the same reasons as speculated here. I might also suspect that cannabis double standards, as identified by the 1998 Health Select Committee indicating a correlate alienation from rule of law and rejection of social values may exhibit itself in bioindicators such as oral hygiene. Now there is some useful research ideas for the Dunedin study. /Blair)



An international team tracked the dental health of 1,000 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972 and 1973.

They found heavy cannabis smoking was responsible for more than one-third of the new cases of gum disease among the group by the age of 32.

The Journal of the American Medical Association study follows work linking cannabis use to mental health problems, and lung disease.

In the mouth, there is a fine balance between tissue destruction and tissue healing and the various toxins in the smoke disrupt that Professor Murray Thomson University of Otago
Gum disease, one of the most common diseases of adulthood, is the second most common cause of tooth loss, after tooth decay.

It has long been linked to cigarette smoking, but this is the first study to look specifically at cannabis.

The researchers accepted that cannabis users also tended to smoke tobacco.
However, they said that even after allowing for this, heavy cannabis smokers had three times the risk of having established gum disease by the age of 32.

Even cannabis users who did not smoke tobacco developed gum disease.
Overall, 29% of the sample showed some signs of gum disease.

Bloodstream toxins
Lead researcher Professor Murray Thomson, of the University of Otago, said the effect was unlikely to be due to the direct impact of smoke on the gums as it was inhaled.

Instead, it was likely that toxins in the cannabis were absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs, and then affected the body's ability to heal inflammation in the gums caused by the build up of bacteria on the teeth.

He said: "The problem is not the smoke itself - it's what is in the smoke. "In the mouth, there is a fine balance between tissue destruction and tissue healing and the various toxins in the smoke disrupt that."

The fact that cannabis users tend to inhale more deeply than tobacco users might also exacerbate problems.

For the study heavy cannabis users were defined as those who used the drug for an average of at least 41 occasions a year between the ages of 18 and 32.

Susie Sanderson, of the British Dental Association, said: "It has long been recognised that smoking tobacco is a cause of gum disease.

"This study underlines the fact that gum disease can be caused not only by smoking tobacco, but also by smoking cannabis."

The research team also included scientists from King's College London, Duke University and the University of North Carolina.

Research published earlier this year found people who smoked one cannabis joint a day had a higher risk of lung cancer than those who smoked 20 cigarettes a day.

A separate study found that bullous disease - a form of emphysema - occurs 20 years earlier in cannabis smokers than in tobacco smokers.

see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7226969.stm
also see http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/425826/1572530 (it mentions "strong association". )

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com

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Media a bigger risk to truth than Alcohol !

Does the number of times one repeats something make it true?
The study this was based upon drew on the health status of nine heavy pot smokers vs fourteen controls. It appears the world was listening.
Yet is still says nothing of the effectiveness of the law, nor predicates 'prohibition' as a healthy intervention.

The following is just a small sample of how this research was introduced to the world.... not a single question asking WHERE IN THE ONCOLOGY WARDS ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE? )

Or, mentioning that ALCOHOL is responsible for 70% of the total health vote (as is the case in the UK, NHS study)

Recall the following research published in Scientific American: Large Study Finds No Link between Marijuana and Lung Cancer http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0002491F-755F-1473-B55F83414B7F0000&modsrc=related_links and in Science Daily: Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

Doh!

Marijuana A Bigger Lung Cancer Risk Than Cigarettes?
E-The People - 1/30/2008
'Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis.... but few have

Cannabis lung cancer risk equal to 20 cigarettes
Radio New Zealand - 1/30/2008
New Zealand scientists have found that smoking one joint of cannabis has the same lung cancer risk as smoking a pack of cigarettes. The study by the Medical Research Institute suggests that cannabis smoke

Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes-study
Reuters UK - 1/30/2008
HONG KONG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked

Cannabis identified a bigger cancer risk than cigarettes
People's Daily Online - 1/30/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies in the past

Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes
Revolution Health - 1/30/2008
Health news Healthy living Tools More information HONG KONG (Reuters) - Smoking a joint is equivalent to smoking 20 tobacco cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found,

Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes, study says
SignOn San Diego - 1/30/2008
Studies in the past have demonstrated that cannabis can cause cancer, but few have established a strong link between cannabis use and the actual incidence of lung cancer. In an article published in the

Cannabis higher cancer risk
Irish Health.com - 1/29/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found. They have warned of an epidemic of lung cancers linked to cannabis. According to the

Pot bigger cancer risk than cigarettes, scientists say
Toronto Star Online - 1/29/2008
HONG KONG-Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies

Cannabis Higher Cancer Risk Than Cigarettes
Epoch Times - 1/29/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies in the past

Cannabis higher cancer risk...
Irish Health.com - 1/29/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found. They have warned of an epidemic of lung cancers linked to cannabis. According to the

Dope 'bigger cancer risk than smokes'
Daily Telegraph Australia - 1/29/2008
SMOKING a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis.

Marijuana Bigger Cancer Risk Than Cigarettes
NewsMax.com - 1/29/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies in the past

Pot a Bigger Cancer Threat Than Cigarettes
ABC News - 1/29/2008
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis.

'Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes'
IOL - 1/29/2008
Hong Kong - Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies

Study says cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes
Yahoo! UK and Ireland - 1/29/2008
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis.

Cannabis 'bigger cancer risk' than cigarettes
ABC Online - 1/29/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies in the past

Cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes -
Yahoo! India - 1/29/2008
Enlarge Photo Fille photo of an unidentified man smoking a cannabis cigarette at a house in London.... Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand

Study finds cannabis bigger cancer risk than cigarettes
Yahoo! UK and Ireland - 1/29/2008
finds cannabis bigger risk than cigarettes - News New User? - Navigation Primary Navigation Secondary Navigation care Search in All News Yahoo! News Only News Photos Study finds cannabis

Cannabis Higher Cancer Risk than Cigarettes, Study
Epoch Times - 1/29/2008
Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an 'epidemic' of lung cancers linked to cannabis. Studies in the past
(this is just a small sample of how this research was introduced to the world.... not a single question asking just WHERE IN THE ONCOLOGY WARDS ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE? )

--
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com
http://blair4mayor.com

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Help + Harm = No Change

Help + harm = no change

5 February 2008
AOTEAROA LEGALISE CANNABIS PARTY

Lawlessness has become a way of life in NZ.  In particular, a hard-core group of New Zealanders have become desensitised from the real life consequences of their own shocking behaviour.   There is murder and violence, disrespect and vandalism constantly in the news, on our streets, and in our homes.

Both National and Labour are using superficial vote-catching approaches for tackling youth crime and social problems.  They miss the point by focusing on symptoms rather than causes.

Television violence, poverty, neglectful or just plain bad parenting, as well as educational failure and the 1991 Budget have all played a part in reinforcing alienation and lack of direction.   But the ALCP say that a certain bad law has thoroughly done that too, and bad laws breed widespread disrespect.

Possession of cannabis should no longer be a crime.  The ALCP is adamant that the most hypocritical and deficient law on our statute books - and the one with the greatest influence on youth alienation - is cannabis prohibition.   According to the NZ Drug Foundation one in eight surveyed Kiwis is a cannabis 'criminal.'   Amongst youth, the numbers experimenting has been found to be as great as 8 out of every 10 (ChCh Health and Development study, Fergusson et al).

Feeding us all a law which is an ass (eg. alongside alcohol and tobacco) compels our most at-risk youth to deny any respect for civil society or family values.    Authorities need to stop perpetrating this lie, particularly on all our young people,  if we truly desire from them positive commitment, participation and contributions to this country.   Reform of one law will substantially help regain the respect and restore the credibility of NZ leadership.

The ALCP say enable genuine 'capacity building' for New Zealand communities.   People should be credited with possessing the intelligence to decide for themselves.   While politicians have little regard for ensuring all laws work fairly, credibly and respectfully, its hard to understand why they expect people - especially youth - to have any respect for their authority.

ENDS
Kevin O'Connell, ALCP President   027 265 7064
 
(another cutting edge social ecology insight...)
Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com
http://blair4mayor.com

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Damn, another functioning pothead.

In its promotion for the story, ET showed excerpts of the video, in which [Heath] Ledger can be heard saying: "I used to smoke five joints a day for 20 years."



Damn, another functioning pothead.

/ Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

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