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, February 28, 2009

Potty Ideas Drives Jobs Summit into Ecstasy!

All aboardImage by Cle0patra via Flickr

Press Release: MildGreens

Potty Ideas Drives Jobs Summit into Ecstasy!

The appearance of the NORML "CANNABUS" on the Television Three evening news at the Jobs Summit created a lighthearted segway to the 'bad news' from the Reserve Bank Governor - however despite a great camera shot, the bus's presence or purpose at the event was not explored any further.

Legal regulation of Cannabis would not only have an impact in the New Zealand economy, globally, it would bring back in to legal circulation about a trillion dollars that can be invested back into the community and towards trade. Such creative thinking is particularly targeted at EU and western economies who seem to need any and all leverage options and ideas to shorten and flatten this recession. The United States largest state economy, California, is considering legal regulation of cannabis very seriously.

The UN Office of Drug Control is hosting a discussion this March on all drug prohibitions and how effective they deliver health to people. New Zealand is sending Associate Health Minister, Hon Peter Dunne. He has already declared he is not at all receptive to cannabis legalisation.... no matter how far he is prepared to throw the country down the toot, he is emphatically opposed. So why send him, keep him at home and bank the money.

It has been often quoted elsewhere, but I repeat here for its timeliness and relevance to the NZ job summit, "times of regulated recreational substances and no money are easier than all the money in the world and unregulated and bottomless prohibition into which it is poured."

D-classification of cannabis will reinstate social cohesion and resiliency while balancing the books from both sides.

Message to Prime Minister Rt Hon. John Key, call Jeffrey Miron!

Jeffrey Miron, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Address: Littauer Center M-28. E-Mail: Tel: 617-495-4129

Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis
Dr. Jeffrey Miron, visiting professor of economics at Harvard University. ... Dr. Miron's paper, "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition," see

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Medical Cannabis - defacto policy in USA

Medical cannabis card in Marin County, Califor...Image via Wikipedia

DEA administrator confirms Obama's wish to 'cease medpot raids'. This is highly significant change in policy direction from the FED's and is consistent with Admininstrations appointment of the Chief of Police of Seattle (Christchurch Sister City) as the new administration Drug Czar. /Blair

Speaking at a press conference with DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart, Attorney General Eric Holder declared that ending medical marijuana raids "is now American policy."

A reporter asked, "shortly after the inauguration there were raids on California medical marijuana you expect these to continue?", noting

WAMP supporters march to Los Angeles City HallImage via Wikipedia

that the President had promised to end the raids in the campaign.

Holder responded, "What the President said during the consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement. He was my boss in the campaign....He is my boss now. What he said in the campaign is now American policy." !!!

The question appears about 25 minutes into the press conference, which was devoted to an operation against the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.

Blair Anderson

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Police Racist Ageist and Naive

photo: Blair Anderson of the MildGreens Initiative with
Sandeep Chawla, Director, Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC

The media hullabaloo around legalisers and drug policy in the lead up to the Te Papa "Healthy

A box of CannabisImage via Wikipedia

Drug Law" [mischaracterised as a] symposium was nonconstructive with National and Labour naively entrenching their positions and then Police issuing one of the most blatantly racist and ageist reports since they covered up 'Harvey Thomas'! (NZ Police: Illicit Drug Strategy to 2010).

Why any government agency or NGO paid $850/pp to hear that unmitigated fraud (stating cannabis is bigger problem than Methamphatamine and is both a gateway drug and criminogenic) beggars me.

Part of Mt Eden prison, Auckland, New Zealand.Image via Wikipedia

While the two big players at the select committee tables (and Peter Dunne with less than 1% of the party vote) remain seemingly ignorant of the implications of the unintended consequences of a criminal policy that 'creates crime where there would be none' - we are destined to continue the inefficiency that is so socially debilitating that it an impediment to anti-recession initiatives while making society sick, unsafe and dysfunctional.... and prisons swell at the seams.

Consider this private email to the writer from a USA State Senator; "With disbelief I read your Class D regulations for "restricted substances." "It's such a useful model - I still can't believe you've actually set up this rational structure. Let's see what happens when you try to get cannabis classified..." sig: Senator Roger Goodman, WA.

Yet Class D as a 'partial prohibition' was barely mentioned in Wellington, not by Police, not by Health sector, not by visitors, not by the NGO's nor by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime[UNODC]... and certainly not in the context of a post prohibition paradigm.

A police car in Auckland City, New Zealand.Image via Wikipedia

We shouldn't be surprised, the only Kiwi with a "Class D" brief at Te Papa was warned off at the door by the National Drug Intelligence Bureau Chief... under duress of arrest.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation should be embarrassed.

The exclusion from the debate was in direct breach of Ottawa Charter principles and 'good faith' with its own participation in and organisation of the Beyond2008 UN NGO consultations that highlighted the important role of 'drug consumer' representation and that drug policy is a human rights/health matter above all else.

Blair Anderson

related links

Te Papa in its blue and orange gloryImage by Sigs66 via Flickr

Law & health must co-operate to reduce drug harm (press release), New Zealand - 18 Feb 2009 A visiting British drug expert told the Healthy Drug Law Symposium in Wellington today that health and law enforcement professionals would best protect ...
Treatment smartest option for drug offenders (press release), New Zealand - 18 Feb 2009 The New Zealand government could save millions of dollars by diverting New Zealanders with drug problems out of the court system and into the health system, ...
Harsh cannabis laws defy good sense – Expert (press release), New Zealand - 18 Feb 2009 Drug legislation and policy tend to focus too much on enforcement and tough-talk and too little on evidence about what really works, a visiting expert told ...

No relaxation on cannabis laws in New Zealand: Dunne 3 News NZ, New Zealand - 17 Feb 2009 The Government will look at an open-minded and balanced approach to reducing drug use but there will be no relaxation of the laws around cannabis, ...

Te Papa (Image via Wikipedia

What alternative to the War on Drugs? (press release), New Zealand - 17 Feb 2009 Drug control in the form of prohibition or a ‘War on Drugs’ has been a spectacular failure, a visiting American expert told a symposium in Wellington today. ...
Police release illicit drugs strategy New Zealand Police, New Zealand - 17 Feb 2009 Tackling the harm caused by drug use is the key element of the Police Illicit Drug Strategy released today. The strategy, released by Deputy Commissioner ...

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nutt on LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamideImage via Wikipedia

Now Home Office drugs adviser wants to downgrade LSD from A to B

LSD, the powerful hallucinogenic drug made famous by The Beatles, should be downgraded from a Class A drug, according to the Government's drugs adviser. (Actually, Professor Nutt made this known almost exacty a year ago post the Beyond2008 NGO consultations attended by yours truly, see NZ reference below /Blair

as reported in

The news has emerged after the Professor David Nutt was ordered to apologise by the Home Secretary for saying that taking ecstasy was no worse than riding a horse.

Prof Nutt is chairman of the Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is set to recommend that ecstasy should be downgraded from A to B.

In a radio interview last year, months before he became chairman of the council, Prof Nutt disclosed that he also favoured downgrading LSD from A to B.

He said: "There are several drugs that are in class A and probably should not be there, like ecstasy and LSD. There are other drugs that should be up the scale.

"Ecstasy and LSD which tend to cause little dependence and relatively moderate degrees of personal damage are probably too highly classified."

LSD is ranked as a class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The maximum penalty for supplying the drug is life imprisonment.

Prof Nutt, who took over as chairman of the council last November, went on to call for a major overhaul of the drugs classification rules in Britain.

He said: "I think it is time to have a complete review of all the drug laws. And I would like to have that in the UK."

Prof Nutt said he was content that drugs like "heroin, crack, cocaine and metamphetamine pure" should remain as Class A drugs.

He told Radio New Zealand: "It is quite hard to move drugs out of classes. In the UK we have has these class system now since 1971.

"Only one drug has ever been moved down a class and a couple have moved up. Cannabis moved down and opiates moved up."

Prof Nutt said that if alcohol emerged as a substance in modern Britain it would be classified as an illegal Class B drug.

He said: "If alcohol was suddenly to emerge in society now and it was suddenly assessed as other drugs of abuse it would be rated as a B class drug and therefore not be made legal."

The Daily Telegraph disclosed last week how Prof Nutt had written in an academic journal that taking the drug was no more dangerous than an addiction to horse riding.

In the House of Commons on Monday, Jacqui Smith told MPs that his comments sent the wrong message to young people about the dangers of drugs.

She said: "I made clear to Prof Nutt that I felt his comments went beyond the scientific advice that I expect of him as the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs." as reported in

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Police Powers - Nandor's observervations

Former Green MP, Nandor Tanczos sent to my Bebo.....

Two pieces of 'law and order' legislation are being debated by parliament under urgency. The first is the Gangs and Organised Crime Bill. Going by the press release, it seems like a typical case of throwing good legislative time after bad. Justice Minister Simon Power says ""By doubling the sentence for participation in a gang we are reflecting the culpability of those gang leaders who organise the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, and we are addressing the low rate of successful convictions".

Eh? It appears that selling P is a worse crime if you are a Mongrel Mob member than if you are an evil sociopath with no friends. Not quite sure why. Nor am I sure why doubling the sentence will increase the number of convictions. (The release says that "of 339 prosecutions there were only 19 convictions" which I guess highlights either how poorly thought out the original legislation was or how incompetent the police are).

They ARE lowering the threshold for the police to get warrants, from investigation of offenses attracting 10 years to ones attracting 7. Of course if this is about targeting P as the Minister claims then this is irrelevant because manufacture and sale of P has a maximum of life.

Actually, it is already very easy for police to get warrants if they have a scrap of evidence to base an application on. The police always moan to politicians that the reason why they can't get on top of gangs is because they are hobbled by pesky laws protecting civil rights. So politicians give police more powers, and shortly thereafter the police are back with the same complaint. That is how civil rights are consistently and continuously undermined. Just have a look at the new campaign to give police yet more powers over boy racers.

All in all, much as it grieves me to agree with Mr Cosgrove, it looks like political theatre gone bad. Sir Graham Latimer got it right when he said that the quickest way to destabilise gangs is to legalise cannabis.

The other bill is about DNA samples.From the press release:

"It allows police to collect DNA from people they 'intend to charge', and to match it against samples from unsolved crimes. At present, DNA can be collected only with consent, by judicial approval, or by compulsion where people are suspected or convicted of an offence punishable by more than seven years' imprisonment, or another specified offence"

So it is about giving the police the right to take DNA from anyone they wish (I intend to charge you....when I've got some evidence) and to use that for a fishing trip through the DNA database.

"And any misuse of profiles will be subject to the full extent of relevant law and civil rights protections, and the police will develop guidelines to avoid any arbitrary or unreasonable application of this power".

Just like they did with Tazers, MoDA search without warrant powers, pepper spray right? Somehow I don't feel comforted.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

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

Social Ecologist 'at large'

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random Selection or Clinicians Falacy?

Otago University Student's are infamous for th...Image via Wikipedia

Study sheds light on youth drug abuse [NZPA]

(a) A study into youths attending alcohol and drug treatment services &
(b) of those attending & drop out rate from treatment as high as 50 percent due mainly to disciplinary issues.
(c) youths were referred by schools, health services, family or the justice system, with only a "very small minority" referring themselves

(d) The study was drawn from the clinical records of 184 randomly selected people

Random sample or Clinicians Falacy?

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Study sheds light on youth drug abuse
A study into youths attending alcohol and drug treatment services has found more than half have mental health problems and 40 percent have been in state care during their lives.
The study by Otago University's Christchurch National Addiction Centre found that males made up 62 percent of those attending.
It found 56 percent of those referred had criminal convictions, 40 percent had been in Child Youth and Family care at some stage, and nearly 54 percent had substance use and mental health problems.
European New Zealanders made up 51 percent, Maori 37 percent and Pacific Islanders 8 percent.
The study was drawn from the clinical records of 184 randomly selected people between the ages of 13 and 19 years.
The majority of the youths were referred by schools, health services, family or the justice system, with only a "very small minority" referring themselves.
The study found a possible shortage of beds for females in residential drug and alcohol treatment – possibly accounting for their lower numbers.
It also found a drop out rate from treatment as high as 50 percent due mainly to disciplinary issues.
The study's authors said one way to combat that would be to involve youths more in developing their own treatment plans.
Lead investigator Dr Ria Schroder said the study showed there were complex issues to deal with in treating youths with drug and alcohol problems including mental health issues, family conflict and disengagement from school.
"These results show the kinds of young people who use these services and the complex issues that they, and the treatment services, must deal with," Dr Schroder said.
"One of the issues that these findings highlight, and which probably needs further attention, is the extent to which staff have the skills to respond to the very complex needs and difficult problems of these young people."
The study – the first of its kind in New Zealand – has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. - NZPA

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Police shot dead an innocent criminal!

The London Underground uses a 4-rail system in...Image via Wikipedia

This whole tragedy began with deviancy amplifying 'drug policy' and ended as it does in other jurisdictions where the rules are pretty much the same, in an atypical matrix of dysfunction for which someone paid the unbearable price. One life to many, sacrificed to maintain a silence closely resembling stupidity. This 'tragedy' was entirely preventable but none dare say it. To touch on drug policy is to fall on the third rail.

Blair Anderson

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Reflections on Social Ecology and Drug Misuse.

Eugenius Warming founded ecology as a scientif...Image via Wikipedia

Reflections on treatment: Part 1… society must take an ecological approach to addiction recovery, which focuses on the inter-relationships amongst people experiencing serious substance use problems and their personal (physical, psychological), family, social and cultural environments [Professor David Clark Blog, Wired In]

certainly looks like 'social ecology' to me! /Blair

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