Nigeria: 'S' West Now Hub Of Cannabis Trade:
Sounds a lot like Mr Dunne!
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
The Obama administration could learn valuable lessons from some of its Latin American counterparts.
First, it could recognize that the international drug control policies implemented over the past several decades have failed to make any significant dent in the supply of illicit drugs.
Second, it could adopt measures that reduce the harm caused by both drug use and the "war on drugs."
Completely eliminating the demand or production of illicit drugs is simply not achievable. The challenge, therefore, is to put into place policies that mitigate the harm caused by drug use to individuals, families, and communities, and the harm or negative consequences caused by illicit drug production and the policies intended to contain it.
The issue of proportionality of sentencing is a major problem in the United States and the Latin American countries "persuaded" to follow its lead (more often than not as a result of threats of losing U.S. trade benefits and economic assistance). In addition to disproportionate sentences for crimes committed, the United States has long pushed for the criminalization of drug consumption and has continued to hold fast to that approach even as many European and other countries have increasingly treated drug abuse as a public health problem.
09:20am New Zealand and the international drug trade / Jeremy Douglas, Manager of the UNODC's Global Smart programme which is tracking the international drug trade, which he says is getting increasingly sophisticated. (listen here)
The parliament election is over. The important point is that Greens got
in because parliament has proportional representation. Local government
is important too. I wish we could have a campaign for STV for local body
elections, especially for mayor.
"Family members have told how John, his mother and two of his friends were at home in Justamere Place, Weymouth, when two masked men burst in through the back door. The friends were celebrating a birthday.
John's mother ordered the gatecrashers to leave, but they later returned and attacked John outside. The mother of a boy who saw the bashing said one of the attackers was carrying a hammer and the other a gun. John died that night of bluntforce trauma to the back of his head." - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10528811
By Michael Savage, Political Correspondent
Friday, 21 November 2008
Government officials are keen to approve the roadside gadgetry "as soon as possible", with developers working to have the devices ready for use by the second half of next year. The breakthrough technology will allow police officers to test drivers for heroin, cocaine, cannabis, methamphetamines and amphetamines by testing a swab of a driver's saliva in a handheld device. (one needs to be very precautionary, this is and has 'serious' implications for those accused - very serious, and socially very expensive, yet the problem space may be very small and best addressed by enabling credible health promotion)
Roadside testing has been hampered in the past by the slowness of the process, which can take about 10 minutes. Other effective drugs tests require a urine sample (largely ineffective and socially unacceptable in practice), making them difficult to implement for drug-driving tests. ( Just because we have found an easy way doesn't make the policy automatically acceptable or appropriate)
The Transport minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, wants to crack down (war talk alert) on those who use a car while under the influence of drugs, including legal drugs that can impair concentration. Up to a fifth of drivers killed in road accidents are found to have drugs in their system. (it is known that inclusion of cannabis testing 'data' grossly distorts this data set in favour of the elected official whose 'policy' of cracking down is expediency pandering to fears where there may well be none. )An older version of the technology is already being used by the Home Office to test offenders (and innocent people) for drugs. They are also used for roadside testing by police in countries including Australia, Italy and Croatia. (which still doesn't make it pass the analytic standard, Australia's experience has not been as good as this would imply)
A swab of saliva is placed in a handheld tester the size of a chip-and-pin machine. Officers are then told (by a machine) whether the driver has passed or failed the test and which drugs have been detected. (watch out the poppy seed bun and innumerable other false positives.!)
A (unnamed) spokesperson at the Department for Transport said: "We are working very closely with the Home Office to make sure the approval document needed for roadside devices is completed as soon as possible. We are serious about tackling the (unquantified) problem of drug-driving."
Talks have been held between the company producing the technology, Concateno, and the Department for Transport. Philip Hand, a consultant with Concateno, said: "The new system will be easy for police to use and appropriate for roadside tests (sales pitch alert). We are hoping to receive the necessary approval before the devices are ready to be rolled out at the end of the year." (absent evidence this intervention is even warranted, in particular, for cannabis, where the correspondence to public danger is unproven or the 'harms' of creating unintended social downsides uncosted. )The Government plans to create legislation to bring drug-driving in line with drink-driving. (and the evidence for this is? alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that has a linear correlation to impairment, whereas for cannabis the determinant is pharmakos ) Other measures proposed in its road safety consultation, published yesterday, include a plan to ban drivers who are twice caught exceeding a speed limit by 20mph. The Government is also considering a lowering of the legal alcohol limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg – the level most commonly used throughout the EU. (decreasing the size of the net, is not addressing the recidivist or the grossly impaired.... )
Image: Tirau Dan via FlickrMedia release to CanWest's Vancouver Sun.
|The Demand for Cocaine and Marijuana by Youth - CHALOUPKA - Cited by 53|
What predicts incident use of cannabis and progression ... - von Sydow - Cited by 53
Early onset cannabis use and psychosocial adjustment in ... - Fergusson - Cited by 193
OBJECTIVES: To study possible psychopathological symptoms and cognitive deficits, abuse induction, as well as general tolerability and effects on quality of life, fatigue and motor function in cannabis-naive patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with a free-dose cannabis plant extract (Sativex).
METHODS: In an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group crossover trial, 17 cannabis-naive patients with MS were assessed at baseline and at the end of the cannabis and placebo phases of the trial (each of 3 weeks) by means of Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, Self-rating Anxiety Scale, Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (of which 1 dimension is the Paced Auditory Serial Additional Test that was used to evaluate cognition), Visual Analogue Scale on health-related quality of life, Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale-29, and Fatigue Severity Scale.
RESULTS: Postplacebo versus postcannabinoid scores showed that no significant differences could be detected on all the variables under study. A significant positive correlation was found between Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol blood levels and scores at the General Symptomatic Index and at the "interpersonal sensitivity," "aggressive behaviour," and "paranoiac tendencies" subscales of the Symptom Checklist-90 Revised. No serious adverse events, abuse tendencies, or direct withdrawal symptoms were reported. Increased desire for Sativex with secondary depression was reported in 1 subject.
CONCLUSIONS: Cannabinoid treatment did not induce psychopathology and did not impair cognition in cannabis-naive patients with MS. However, the positive correlation between blood levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and psychopathological scores suggests that at dosages higher than those used in therapeutic settings, interpersonal sensitivity, aggressiveness, and paranoiac features might arise, although greater statistical power would be necessary to confirm this finding. (ie. the effect is sub-clinical/Blair)
On 17 November, the University of Canterbury will host a lecture by Fulbright Distinguished US Scholar Professor Ronald Inglehart, Director of the World Values Survey which measures political and socio-cultural change in societies around the world. [ Monday 17 November, 11am — Commerce 013 ]
The World Values Survey has charted increasing happiness in most countries over the past two decades and this year ranked New Zealand 15th of 52 countries surveyed, one place ahead of the United States.
The topic of his free public lecture at UC will be: "Changing Mass Attitudes and Democracy". He will discuss how the basic values of publics around the world are changing in ways that lead them to give increasingly high priority to individual autonomy and free choice.
Combined with increasing levels of education these changes have given rise to increasingly widespread and effective demands for changes to democracy from authoritarian rule.
(Might be relative and inspiring to those politicians responsible for resolving the tensions in the war on drugs, and media on reporting it./Blair)