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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stephen Anderson Released (and about time)

The current media coverage given to Stephen Anderson's community release (and the "Insanity" that that lead to the 1998 Health Select Committee Inquiry into Cannabis and Mental Health Report) needs to be seen in a much bigger picture... " ill-treatment under criminal stigmatisation, labelling and duress "

Check out the context (and reference to Anderson) in a 2002 media release on Scoop.

Mark Burton killing: Govt let it happen (again)

"A worst case mental health scenario for at least half New Zealand's cannabis using teenagers would have to be their father working as a Cop", says Mild Greens consumer advocate, Blair Anderson.

The Mild Greens say government Ministers must ultimately be held to account for maintaining and promoting a "toxic environment" which appears to have critically influenced Mark Burton's decline into mental health/drug and alcohol "dual diagnosis".

Inappropriate management of Burton’s well-being culminated in the killing of his mother in her Queenstown home, within hours of Burton’s release from Southland Hospital last year.

In a case with disturbing parallels to the Stephen Anderson Raurimu killings in February 1997, Burton was found not guilty of murder on the grounds of insanity, and subsequent inquiries have identified critical "shortfalls in the mental health system" leading to the family tragedy.

However, the Mild Greens say the real criminal in both instances is successive NZ Governments, for maintaining an unwarranted and corrupt discrimination regime - the state sanctioned "war on cannabis". (c/f HSC 1998 Inquiry into the Mental Health Effects of Cannabis recommending "review of the appropriateness of existing policy on cannabis and its use".)

Tapu Te Ranga MaraeImage via Wikipedia

Blair Anderson is speaking out in the lead up to this weekend’s cannabis law reform conference in Wellington at the Tapu Te Ranga Marae (Island Bay), in the hope that New Zealanders will recognise that the reform imperative extends beyond simply "keeping drugs out of the hands of teenagers".

"Prohibition, while absolutely hopeless in terms of restricting general access to marijuana, has a matrix of detrimental side effects in a community where people are alienated from each other because of the law", said Mr Anderson.

Although Burton’s father and former Policeman Trevor Burton has sought accountability for his son’s slack treatment and inappropriate release from Southland Hospital, the Mild Greens say the Health and Disability Commission should actually be inquiring into the broader social context of Mark’s ill-treatment under criminal stigmatisation, labelling and duress, on account of his cannabis use and cultural identification.

Discrimination is a crucial factor in Mental Health. A massive television campaign tells ordinary Kiwis that their attitude to the mentally ill makes all the difference.

But you’re allowed to discriminate against cannabis users in New Zealand: the weed is against the law because its use is "immoral". Why is it immoral to use cannabis? – well, because it’s against the law…

What was on Mark Burton's mind, ask the Mild Greens – and what circumstances precipitated his mental illness? Or perhaps more to the point, what was on the once happy, cherubic 17 year-old’s blue baseball cap? (for all who missed the repeated national television news coverage, or have suppressed the imagery, Mark’s baseball cap featured "the ubiquitous dope leaf" …)

Did overwhelming peer group pressure and the psychological conflict inherent in his father's "police officer" status perhaps all too unjustly require Mark to prove himself in a terrible psychological conflict - as a staunch young dude, or as a narc? What is criminalisation policy, if not a terrible way to treat people?

Reform groups believe there is more than ample evidence that the Police are wrongly "at war" against the cannabis community. Evidence including reports such as the recent Canadian Senate Committee Inquiry strongly suggests that criminalisation policy is costly, ineffective, racially biased and unjust.

But with a 26-year precedent for (de-facto) legal cannabis in Holland, the law as it stands in Aotearoa appears moreover to be outrageously outmoded, idiotic and/or rotten to the core.

While it is generally acknowledged that marijuana (like alcohol) may have some detrimental effects on some people, drug law reformers say detrimental effects of prohibition have to be acknowledged once and for all by health professionals, crime prevention, social policy administrators and law makers.

The Mark Burton case, amongst many, exposes a terrible flaw in community mental health management, and the danger of right wing "family values" – much as it reveals that Labour, with its suppressed and stalled cannabis health promotion inquiry, does not understand the meaning of good governance.

The Mild Greens say that Ministers of Health have been further remiss in ignoring coroner Tim Scott's concerns following Steven Anderson's rampage at Raurimu in February 1997 where 6 were gunned down by a "patient obsessed with cannabis". Mr Scott's final recommendation in relation to preventing such outcomes in future was that "health professionals must find away to overcome a patients obsession with cannabis [prohibition], such as Stephen Anderson had.".

Youth Affairs Minister Tamaheri has recently repeated the mantra that NZ has unacceptably high rates of suicide, teen pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse and accidental deaths- and (doh) that a co-ordinated strategy is need.

The Mild Greens remind the concerned minister that on all accounts the Netherlands has better youth outcomes by an order of magnitude. Stony silence and delay in adjudication on Parliaments cannabis law review is cultural insensitivity, irresponsible leadership and abuse of due process on a scale which defies comprehension.

"Until NZ’s toxic cannabis law changes equitably and community bigotry is severely restrained, dual diagnosis killings will happen again and again" say the Mild Greens.

Ministers, and protectors of prohibition one and all, you have blood on your hands.

Mild Green Initiatives,

========= ends ==========

Some serious questions need to be asked, but they are not the ones you will see on dumbed down TV, NZHerald/Stuff or a Trademe Community Thread!

Someone please notice... Anderson and Burton are by 'justice' definition "health" consumers not criminals.

Get a life... its your prohibition, so live with it and stop complaining about or revisiting the unintended consequences! These patients are not yours, they do not belong to you. They are a product of 'that what prohibitors do'.

When the day for true restorative justice comes, prohibitors will be asked to say Sorry, and Pay your Community Reparations. Then our Social Ecology can be restored.

Only when we learn to ring fence 'any' drug related difficulties under harm minimisation principles, can we say we are 'safety first.'

Blair Anderson

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Cannabis Science Patient Focused

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

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwire) — 07/23/09 — Cannabis Science Inc. (OTCBB: CBIS), an emerging pharmaceutical cannabis company, is pleased that today’s Wall Street Journal article on the booming medical cannabis industry in California notes the role of Cannabis Science Inc.

Commenting on why Cannabis Science was mentioned in the article, Richard Cowan, chief financial officer of Cannabis Science Inc., said, “Although the company is beginning the FDA approval process for its products, we believe that the inclusion of Cannabis Science Inc. in an article about the struggle to get medical cannabis to patients is further evidence that we are a patient oriented company, whose business strategy does not depend on a continuation of marijuana prohibition.”

Although the company is not involved in the state’s gray market, the article notes, “A pot activist named Richard Cowan has opened what he envisions as an investment bank for pot-related businesses, called General Marijuana (General Mr. Cowan is also chief financial officer of Cannabis Science Inc., which is trying to market a pot lozenge for nonsmokers.” Please click to read the article in full.

:Original raster version: :en::Image:Food and ...Image via Wikipedia

Cannabis Science CEO, Dr. Robert J. Melamede, observed, “This article is further demonstration of the huge need for FDA approved medical cannabis products.”

Earlier this week, Cannabis Science reported that Dr. Melamede had spoken at a hearing in Denver in opposition to an attempt to undermine a voter-approved constitutional amendment that would have made it much more difficult for patients to get affordable medical marijuana.

Cannabis Science Inc. is at the forefront of medical marijuana research and development. The company works with world authorities on phytocannabinoid science targeting critical illnesses, and adheres to scientific methodologies to develop, produce, and commercialize phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products. It is dedicated to the creation of cannabis-based medicines, both with and without psychoactive properties, to treat disease and the symptoms of disease, as well as for general health maintenance.

Blair Anderson

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(A question) As Seen On TradeMe regarding

a "Moral Test" on Brain Function for the price of a Beer.


"This product is designed to test for the presence of THC (Cannabis) in someones system. It couldnt be easier to use as can be seen in the instructions shown in the image."

Could you please clarify if this product tests for metabolites of THC or THC as claimed? Is this important? What range is the visual pass/fail threshold (in ng/mg) and what science endorses the accuracy paying particular attention to false positive confidence? What correspondent research to impairment and/or harm has been reasonably been shown to be causative at these levels? What if any instructions as to what to do in the event of positive metabolite result are given? Thank You.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

The seller has posted a response to your question about 'Drug Tests for THC'.

The test says your testing for cannabis where THC metabolites are assumed to be 'somehow' the equivalent. They are not. Metabolites are are the ashes of the fire when the heat has long gone. There is no correlation to either current or prior impairment nor do they indicate any predictable short or longterm behavioral characteristics. They are eliminated at highly variable rates depending on metabolic/hormonal patterns of individuals as well menstruation, stress, & other drugs including alcohol.

Thanks for the information Blair. We just sell test kits for anyone who would like to buy them. Whether it should be legal or not is for an entirely different platform or forum in my opinion - not Trade Me! You take care.

(Stevexyz's reply mistakes, as do many who profit from prohibition principles, the legal status and any argument that reflects badly on on the ruling paradigm, with the simplistic rule, if anyone questions the science or evidence they must be a legaliser therefore can be ignored. Yet stupidly, even in a post prohibition environment the 'tool' of drug tests remain valid in some circumstances. The question of HOW that tool works, and a fully informed purchaser likewise still remains fundamental to how a product is presented. Claiming that this tests for THC (cannabis) is in the view of this writer... a breach of the fair trade 'advertising must be true'' principles. Further I submit that asserting that this 'test' does so with any accuracy is deceptive and can have 'deleterious' outcomes that potentially far outweigh the harm from cannabis per se. /Blair)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parker Goes UnderGround

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Prison debate?

MolochImage via Wikipedia

To: Editorial/ RadioNews

Lets all avoid discussing the engine that drives the unintended consequences, dysfunction and misplaced expenditure.... fatally flawed drug policy!

Until we confront that Moloch everything else will just confuse us.

(Despite Stephen Franks having written intelligently on this subject - his political/professional career and aspirations require him and Hon Simon Power, the Minister of Justice to pretend only their political views are legitimate and worthy. It would have to be notable that Franks said he was a liberal 30-40 years ago... and the Drug War started when Stephen - Ya sycophantic plonker! Meanwhile, Sensible Sentence's McVicars arcane views sails close to hate speech. )

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Hanson's Marijuana Addiction/Cessation Research

The plural of anecdote is data.

Jane's Addiction album coverImage via Wikipedia

There is anecdote that shows some folk have difficulty they attribute to giving up pot. There is data evidencing folk do not have a difficulty 'in times of no pot'. Most of the symptoms in the case of the former are consistent with destabilised endocannabinoid homeostasis. Indeed if they didn't happen in some people I would be surprised. Cardio/Vascular/Neuro/temp all consistent. They inform us of how important a biological source of exo-cannabinoids may be to ameliorating/alleviating other conditions. As to describing these as withdrawal caused by cannabis that is another matter. It may be, and i speculate, that some or all of these conditions pre-existed the cessation and are now revealed, and that the cannabis users 'acuity, insight and sensitivity' to altered stated of conscience also colours the research. I have no doubt that these experiences are real and described accurately. That is a far call from understanding what is actually happening.


However, given the replies to others by D. Hanson, I suspect he already knows this. He may well, I suspect fully understand that valid epidemiological research is impossible under the 'set' of a prohibition paradigm. But one has to begin somewhere. I applaude Dirk's work but also understand why others would label it BS.

Chemical structure of a CBG-type cannabinoid. Cannabis: Your Milage May Vary

Perhaps Warning - Cannabis: Your Milage May Vary should be the label on legal pot.

NZ has introduced and passed the legislative model for (sale of) recreational psychoactive substances that includes accurate labeling. I might argue the above harm reduction label is consistent with known risk profiles.
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›
Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

On Drugs, Medicine and Some Harms

Canadian packaging of a case of Sativex vialsImage via Wikipedia

Part of the problem with Met's Bill (and Nandor's earlier) is that it occurred at all.
comment as posted to the Daktory Forum)

While med pot is an important issue, the diamonds in the sky is D'classification of cannabis. It would matter diddly what med pot provisions were made (as per Sativex) there would still be injustice. The argument for med pot (even as a wedge issue towards full Class D implementation, the rules are all ready there ) fails to do justice to the issue. AND THAT IS WHY WE HAVE TO RAISE THE ROOF before the Law Commission (LC).

The LC is doing some very creative stuff around 'privacy' and the internet... using the internet to both air the issue contructively and gain insight into public concerns, suggestions and fulfill the responsibility of 'consultation being seen to be done'.

This is the stuff of social capital. The 'drug debate' will be the better for it. One can (will be able to) even send a comment in via ones cellphone. Suddenly the debate (has the POTential to) become relevant to young people.

So donut worry to much about the vote in Parl. There was NO drug debate in the run up to the election, but the day after John Key was elected PrimeMonster we legally regulated psychoactive recreational drugs (it got Royal assent two days before the election, became law on the Sunday). Much more has been accomplished than either media or MP's are prepared to

Articles 23 and 28 of the Single Convention on...Image via Wikipedia

concede. We are the first country in the world to take a ground up approach to analyzing drug policy - including adherence to and relevance of the International Covenants and Conventions.

It really doesn't get better than this. Although the anticipated in april/may 'issues paper' is yet to be released (so that the framework for the debate is clear - and thats a head start) it has been delayed somewhat due to [political] prioritisation of the Alcohol issue. The drug we drink, Alcohol (legal) and Drugs (illegal) will according to the Law Commission(er) 'inform each other'. Again, no country has (IMHO) realy taken this holistic evaluation of 'all drug policy'.

Consider fmr PrimeMunster Palmer on Drugs we Drink, "The exclusion of these substances from the terms of reference does not preclude the Commission from taking into account the relative harms of these and other substances." and "Lessons learnt from the regulation of alcohol and tobacco will be taken on board in the course of this review." (media release 2008[url]

We are turning full circle back to where our National Drug Policy (framework) pre 1996 HIGHLY reco

Heroin bottleImage via Wikipedia

mmended an 'all drugs' framework rather than a drug by drug approach.
This serves reform VERY WELL.

Like Alcohol and the recent academically critiqued BERL report on Alcohol harms - the area of cost/benefit need to be explored thoroughly. Daktavists MUST ask for this, 'where's the the baseline?' - and the more we do this, the greater weighting will be given to getting the likes of Prof Jeffery Miron (or the like) out here from Harvard to give this international credibility.

Be Empowered, Submit Unconditionaly.
/Blair Anderson,

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

How Swift Is Too Swift For Justice?.

Lady Justice - allegory of Justice - statue at...Image via Wikipedia

"How swift is too swift for justice?":

The easiest and most expedient way to deal with court workload (and attendent injustice) is to resolve the tensions underpining 'drug law' and the plethora of unintended consequences. In answer to the naysayers to this suggestion, either drugs are a problem or they are not. One cannot back both horses and win.

Posted by Blair Anderson to TUMEKE! at 2/7/09 9:58 AM


As pointed out in the report, the right answer is not to regulate and heavily tax drug sales; government profiteering from citizen addiction would be neither ethical nor helpful for eliminating black markets. Allowing marginalized addicts back into society and providing medical treatment to them are large benefits of decriminalization, in addition to reducing unnecessarily costly and high incarceration rates.

Yet, despite unflagging optimism, any strategy short of legalization has proven statistically impotent and historically futile in promoting peace, democratic institutions, freedom from oppression, and strengthening the rule of law. By providing billions of dollars for the purchase of weapons and the corruption of civil institutions, prohibition has infected and destroyed not only whole families and communities but entire countries, including the lives of those who made no conscious decision to participate in drug related activities.

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