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
"Our evidence from an animal model suggests that bingeing on sugar can act in the brain in ways very similar to drugs of abuse," lead researcher Bart Hoebel, a professor of psychology at Princeton University, said. "Drinking large amounts of sugar water when hungry can cause behavioral changes and even neurochemical changes in the brain which resemble changes that are produced when animals or people take substances of abuse. These animals show signs of withdrawal and even long-lasting effects that might resemble craving," he said. Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, added: "The big question has been whether it's just a behavioral thing or is it a metabolic chemical thing, and evidence like this supports the idea that something chemical is going on." The stages of addiction, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, include bingeing, withdrawal and craving. / Monday, 15 December 2008, 5:17:18 a.m.Nomen
SO how would arrest, detention, inquisition, victimisation, labeling, public humiliation and punishment help? How can the latter argument be sustained for cannabis, a non-addictive health food additive where [any] binging, withdrawal and craving is a product of prohibitions set and setting?
Meanwhile unresolved is the tenuous ANZAC 'herbals' medicines act...
Class D for herbal psychoactive recreational drug use... is 'Labours' partial prohibition. Good move Helen.
[Doh!, Where does the bulk of NZ's sugar come from?]
"We have never had anything to say what are we achieving ... I suppose this is giving us a measure." - NDIB on the Drug Harm Index
(Note: it has taken our National Drug Intelligence Bureau, since it was formed in 1972, to come up with a 'confident suppose' , go figure! /Blair )
Mills also said, "That kind of information could also be helpful for appealing for funds in future police budgets."
"If I wanted to ensure I got my fair share of the budget within police and I had to proof what I was going to achieve in various operations, then that's a very helpful tool." - Stuart Mills, NDIB (NZH http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10518236)
And the difference you and yours have made is Mr Mills?
Which goes a long way to explaining why the Police never took part in BEYOND2008, or blanket refusal to even 'chatham house' with Judge Jerry Paradis. These 'law' enforcers are not intel-gatherers, they are propaganda promoters and should be reigned-in for telling pork pies.
.......none more so than
"A new breed of powerful cannabis and ballooning costs in treating its health effects have led to calls for urgent action, including drug education for primary school children. "
Claims of high-potency "re-engineered" cannabis coupled to the supposition of increased net harm, non evidential 'statistics' of mental health consequences (where the best science shows even 'association' correlation to mental health is "low"/ Prof Iverson, UK).
The Police make an appalling claim to 'drug education' expertise.. "Included is a call to curb the "alarming" trend of teenagers to use cannabis by making drug education programmes an immediate priority in primary schools."
as if this will inoculate these kids... (more DARE budget? So when did that start working? I see no evidence here... just argument for prohibitions shortcomings. The USA recently discovered that grade 12 students more likley to smoke grass than tobacco, so which part of the policy 'informs us' on what to do? /Blair)
So which bit of Policy is the bit that is not working again? Could it be that this is happening on NDIB's watch? Any correlation between NDIB and prohibitary practices is entirely historical. Now they are experts at what's wrong? Gimeabreak!
Society is right to be sceptical about this unquestioned media hype, noting both Police AND media are seemingly unaware that RECREATIONAL SOFT and PSYCHOACTIVE drugs have been regulated in New Zealand since November the Sixth 2008. [or] Perhaps this is what this is really about. If so, let NDIB take their argument to the Law Commission.
That is the forum in which they can present their evidence and have it tested.
In the mean time POLICE can stay right away from young people... Image via Wikipedia
"Pressures have always been there but the shift is that now children are being taught they can't cope," said Prof Hayes who lectures at the institute which is part of Oxford Brookes University. The more people obsessed about their problems, the harder they were to get over, he said. He claimed that having a mental health problem was now seen like wearing a "badge of honour".
Adding to the 'Worry box' - The stress young children face as a result of tests and the pressures of modern life have featured in the media in recent months and years. "Therapeutic education" which places emotions over intellect, puts up barriers to learning by assuming everyone has problems, he said. Instead teachers should concentrate on teaching their subjects, he argued. The arguments are contained in a new book Prof Hayes has co-written with fellow educationalist Kathryn Ecclestone, The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education.
Police 'disreputable' behaviors these past 4-5 years was predicted by visiting 'top cop' Det. Chief Super Eddie Ellison. He laid the responsibility for the emerging dysfunction at the feet of poor drug policy. Eddie had recently retired as head of New Scotland Yard.
The NZ Police are not as corrupt as some, but what's norm elsewhere is no standard to aspire too. Eddie addressing NZ Rotary's said that under existing drug policy 'give me a rookie cop and in three years I'll give you a compromised cop'. He also predicted that NZ's Methamphetamine prevalence and problems would get worse.
Few Police believe the war on drugs is winnable. Visiting Judge Jerry Paradis [LEAP.CC] remarked on the death of Don Wilkinson in Sept. "An honorable man on a hopeless cause".
The longer we fail to understand the social mechanisms that create this dysfunction we will continue to find Policing in disrepute. And that serves no one.
A very good afternoon to you. This programme is ‘Drug Sanity revisited’ and is presented for the Drug Policy and Education Council, DPEC. I’m Dave Currie. (also see previous post; 'Drug Sanity Revisited' by Dave Currie /Blair)
One can only wonder why New Zealand governments have followed United States Drug policy for so long without question. There has never been a period of calm when the government has taken time to assess the outcomes of U.S. prohibitionist policy and decide whether it needs toning down.
In Victorian Britain the free and open use of opium and cocaine was ended with the Pharmacy Image via WikipediaAct of 1868. Earlier there were no restrictions on self medication or recreation using opiates or other drugs. Opium was readily available at the corner grocers. However eventually some doctors and moralists became alarmed at the phenomenon of addiction and even tried to label it as a disease, which affected a person’s will.
The book ‘Opium and the people’ gives the case of a stable opium eating addict labelled Mr A. He yielded to the popular prejudice against opium eating and tried repeatedly, without success, to break it off. He was able to do a good days work, mental as well as physical, and was entirely free from a variety of minor troubles having a nervous origin, which used to annoy him before he began his opium habit. Opium was commonly used for self medication and doctors would often prescribe it.
The Pharmacy Act gave chemists the sole right to dispense opium and other so-called poisons. I think if an addict is happy with his addiction then there is no good reason for other people to worry about it. Morphine use was common in Victorian times and many bathrooms had a supply of the drug and the means to inject it. Not all users would get addicted. Heroin came on the scene later with the mistaken belief that it could rescue people from morphine addiction. Unfortunately it turned out to be even more addictive than morphine! Image via Wikipedia
After prohibition was in place addicts had to turn to the illegal market to get their fix. This state of affairs has continued to the present day. For many years in Britain, the medical profession supplied heroin addicts and this practice cut out the illegal dealers. This worked fine until pressure from the USA combined with the advent of methadone ended the system. Methadone relieves withdrawal symptoms but does not give the high that addicts are after. Addicts are happy with methadone in that it can control unpleasant withdrawal symptoms caused by heroin scarcity. But methadone does not end the illegal market in heroin and has little effect in reducing deaths from overdose or the rate at which addicts get HIV.
Dr John Marks, a British doctor, carried out an experiment in the English town of Widnes on Merseyside in which he showed that prescribing Image via Wikipediadrugs of choice to addicts led to a better outcome than giving them methadone. Over a 5-year period he prescribed heroin cigarettes of known dosage to heroin addicts, with instructions for their safe use rather than prescribing injectible heroin. Cocaine users were given cocaine, and amphetamine users amphetamine. Between 1985 and 1990 the experiment yielded extraordinary results, but these were not surprising to legalisation advocates. In this severely deprived town, plagued with property crime and endemic unemployment there was no motivation to get educated. However at the end of the 5-year experiment there was a 96% drop in thefts and breakins, a 92% drop in new cases of addiction, no new cases of drug-related HIV, and no deaths from heroin overdose.
The experiment was carried out when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and she was Image via Wikipediastrongly opposed to drug legalization. Pressure was brought on Marks to end his experiment. Then, of course, it was inevitable that the illegal dealers commenced business again, and soon prohibition crime returned to its former levels, the addiction rate rose and the rates of overdose and HIV returned to their former levels. Marks’s experiment yielded two important findings.
1. Prescribing heroin to addicts is preferable to prescribing methadone.
2. A controlled legal market in drugs is preferable to prohibition.
Once politicians understand this there may be some progress in ending the drug war.
The Swiss seem to have cottoned on to Dr Marks’s ideas and provide addicts with heroin in a special injection room with clean, sterile needles available. Over a trial period, there was a 60% drop in drug related crime.
This is not as much as that experienced in Widnes. But overall, Switzerland is a more prosperous Image via Wikipediacountry than Britain, and may lack really deprived areas such as Widnes. But paradoxically they have not acted on a referendum to allow small-scale cannabis growing and use.
Even the Russians after reassessing cannabis have lowered its rating, so that now they have removed criminal penalties and the possibility of jail for simple possession. You can have the equivalent of 10 marijuana cigarettes before any penalty is applied. Of course in Russia the big drug problem is Vodka, i.e. alcohol as it is in New Zealand. Here our prohibitionist politicians use special pleading for alcohol to allow possession and use of alcohol in any amounts. They prefer to persecute the minority cannabis users, who by and large are unlikely to number more than 8% of the population.
I think it is outrageous that such a useful drug as cannabis is prohibited at all, and medical use should certainly be allowed. The American Doctors Association has called for reclassification of cannabis. In Finland the Health Ministry approves cannabis prescriptions. Also the Canadian, German and Italian governments have expressed interest in buying Dutch medical marijuana. In the USA New Mexico has legalised medical use of marijuana, while Oregon has increased the number of plants allowed for medical patients.
The World Health Organisation’s Expert Committee has recommended reclassification of an active component of cannabis, THC, up to a less severe category.
Cannabis has numerous medical applications. It can help people after a stroke by its anti-spasmodic effects and it can help some patients with multiple sclerosis. It may help prevent Alzheimers. Many recreational users feel a lot better about life when using cannabis and they don’t feel so distressed the next day as they would after alcohol use. Andrew Weil an expert on cannabis has said it is one of the least toxic drugs known to modern medicine.
However local drug secret police recently made the outrageous claim that their cannabis seizures and arrests of growers save New Zealand over 300 million dollars a year in health costs. Police know nothing about drugs and should not make wild statements to justify their dubious and futile industrial espionage against the production of a very valuable commodity. Their efforts put the price of marijuana up and this simply attracts more people into the growing industry.
Acceleration of real crime is one result of police efforts and it’s a wonder no one in authority has twigged that our horrific rate of crime and imprisonment is in large part due to government drug policy.
The new National led government has great plans to build more jails. But I suggest to them that this is unwise in view of the collapse of the financial markets. What money is available should be used to build hospitals and pay medical staff. The situation would be greatly improved by legalising marijuana.
At this point I will close. You can get a copy of my book ‘Marijuana- facts and case for legalisation’ by telephoning me at Wellington 5891902. That is 5891902. There will be a repeat of this programme on Saturday the 27th of December. Good afternoon and have a nice weekend. I’ll fade out with a track from ‘Wish you were here’ by Pink Floyd.
Image 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."
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.
NZ Centre for State Propaganda and Crime Proliferation, otherwise known as 'Police College'. "Yet the legend continues and the press repeats it daily, and today there exists an almost collective conviction that cannabis is specifically criminogenic." - United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 1964
Police are this morning executing a number of search warrants in the Westport area in connection with the termination of a major cannabis cultivation and supply operation. Operation Marvel (all a bit comic, if it wasnt so serious, /Blair) O/C, Detective Inspector John Image via WikipediaWinter said that staff drawn from the 3 South Island Districts were involved in the operation which brought to an end a syndicate supplying significant quantities of cannabis into the supply chain. (note the language of prohibition, along with the pretense of success, /Blair)
D/I Winter said that while there had been a recent, and proper, focus on methamphetamine as a source of harm in the community, police were still concerned about the ongoing harm caused by cannabis. (for which the Police commissioned the report "NZ Drug Harm Index" /Blair)
Tasman District figured in the top 3 Police Districts for the number of cannabis plants seized annually, and was 5th on the list of DHB hospitals recording admissions of cannabis-related harm. (double speak alert, control the language, control the dialog! and these guys are tollerated at the policy table? NZ Health Select Committee... "the harms are largely overstated" doh!)
D/I Winter said that cannabis was still the most prevalent illicit drug available in the District and police would maintain a 3-fold strategy of reducing demand, strangling the supply chain and community education on drug harm. ("the double Supply Chain in A legal Setting / Blairstandards surrounding cannabis law is an impediment to credible drug education" NZ HSC 1998 - doh!) The operation today was in accordance with that plan. The strategy included a strong focus on major growers of cannabis and this provided the potential to unlock a wider range of criminal offending. ("Cannabis is not criminogenic, whereas prohibition is.", Canadian Judge, Justice McCart, Ontario Court of Appeal)
The syndicate targeted by Operation Marvel was involved with both indoor and outdoor Image via Wikipediacultivation of cannabis. This was significant as indoor cannabis had a shorter turnaround time to harvest, and had a higher THC content, thereby making it a more valuable commodity to the grower. (So attracts more punishment? Doh!)
Police believed the syndicate had been in place for some time and had a turnover in the millions of dollars. (Actually, it wasnt a syndicate, it was largely a freindly network of otherwise law abiding folk, members of the 330,000 odd casual users of cannabis, for whom the plant doesnt just materialise, it has to be grown, and the grower, in this case is the easy target and at the highest risk of prohibition harm. /Blair)
Those arrested today would appear in the Westport District Court at a special sitting at 2.15pm this afternoon. Police were also conducting searches in other locations throughout the country and those arrested as part of that phase would appear in the respective District Courts.
And all at our expense.... to achieve what measurable outcome? A higher prevelence of methamphetamine? Greater control of the cannabis distribution by gangs with guns? The POLICE are pretending, and in many cases, outright lying about what this is really all about. It must be "Better work stories...", as there is precious little that can be said for this latest littany of Reefer Madness.
“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” - Judge Francis Young, U.S. Department of Justice, September 1988.
“[The risks from cannabis] would be unlikely to seriously [compare to] the public health risks of alcohol and tobacco even if as many people used cannabis as now drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.” - World Health Organization, March 1998.
*** Lucky New Zealand's Law Commission is reviewing BOTH cannabis and alcohol. Tthe outcomes will be highly instructive to a world hungry for some commonsense. /
Two men and a woman have been remanded for sentence after being found guilty of the brutal killing of a 26-year-old man in his home as his partner and toddler hid in a bathroom. Guy Nicholas Wilson, 36, from Otara, Paul Junior Grace, 24, from East Tamaki, and Annette Louise Elaine Heta, 27, were jointly accused of murdering Jason Noe Kai Chong Boon.
Police National Drug Intelligence?
Blue: no drugs Yellow: some drugs Grey: lots of drugs
An Auckland High Court jury this week found Wilson guilty of murder and Grace and Heta guilty of manslaughter. Grace pleaded guilty of assault with intent to rob, and Wilson and Heta were found guilty of assault with intent to rob. They were remanded in custody for sentencing on March 5. Crown prosecutor Kirsten Lummis told the court that Mr Boon, who was known to the defendants, was involved in the drugs scene. [more]
Update, Herald on Sunday milks the "Home Invasion" story from the mothers perspective.
When you talk about terrorism, most people in New Zealand think about problems overseas. But those in Gisborne and the East Coast merely cast their minds back twenty years to the Ruatoria Troubles. From 1985 until 1990 the township was terrorised by a Maori sect calling itself The Rastafarians. Their story is one of the most bizarre chapters in modern New Zealand history. Yet most Kiwis under the age of forty have never heard of The Rastas or their reign of terror until now.
Carolyn Robinson, 3 News Presenter: "That Gillies has managed to get this information is astonishing. That hes painstakingly recorded it - incredible. Without him an important slice of New Zealand history would be lost."
Cath Hallinan, Editor, Campbell Live: "Before Angus gave me a sneak peek at this book, I hadn't even heard of the Ruatoria Rastafarians. Now I find it incredible that these shocking events took place in New Zealand. This is an amazing, fascinating story about what can happen when bits of different religions and cultures get pushed and pasted together, how that can give birth to a rebel belief system that turns on the very society and influences that created it. This is a story every New Zealander should read. I can't wait for volumes two and three to find out what happened next."
".... that the one-size-fits-all approach to drug control is fundamentally flawed and that communities and countries need the flexibility to develop and experiment with policies that best fit their own realities" / Foreign Policy In Focus Beyond the Drug War. Nov 25, 2008
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