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

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maori Party no example for Fiji Youth.

Suva within FijiImage via Wikipedia

Having heard the Radio New Zealand coverage given this day to cannabis in Fiji, it is clear that the dysfunction, unintended consequences and alienation from rule of law is to be perpetuated in the name of a drug war long found wanting.

Cannabis ‘criminalisation’ demands law reform. It is perpetuating anti-youth prejudice (on a global scale) and a distraction from what is really broken. With many friends from Fiji informing me of the role ‘cannabis’ black markets have in elevating mistrust, creating intractable problems, feeding corruption, ingraining gangsta culture and pandering to ‘get tough’ enforcement suggests a much more informed dialog has to be held.

The United Nations has already indicated that the ‘user base’ must be consulted but this is an anathema to many, yet it is the path we must walk. Drug use, even under prohibition, must be acknowledged.

The idea that ‘if only we can teach how dangerous this is to (inoculate?) the kids before they are old enough to ask’ seems to be the only game in town. This however is counter intuitive. It only serves to teach them ‘all their peers are doing it’ and they cant bloody wait.
And we wonder why?

There are powerful forces merchandising fears about cannabis where there should be none. It is not a safe drug. But it is safer than alcohol and/or tobacco. That is indisputable. Lets not start teaching our drug safety by telling kids lies. To do so is to create impediments to credible ‘all health’ promotion. Our kids don't deserve this. Fijian families should regale at this kind of education. Adopt a *SAFETY FIRST approach. Accept nothing less.

*Google (”safety First” drug education rosenbaum ) OR (beyond zero tolerance)

also see : Fiji youth group says talk required to stem drug abuse

Blair Anderson

No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism. When standards of conduct or morals which are beyond the normal public sentiment of a great community are professed and enforced, the results are invariably evasion, subterfuge, and hypocrisy. – Winston Churchill, The Daily Telegraph on December 2, 1929.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Cannabis Science Moves on PTSD and H1N1/H1N5

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

Cannabis Science Reports On Two Cannabis-Based Drug Release Programs
Thursday, 13 August 2009

Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTCBB: CBIS) an emerging pharmaceutical cannabis company is pleased to announce that it has completed its review of the FDA licencing requirements and has made key progress with mapping out its initial cannabis drug medicines for FDA clinical trials. The Company has determined it will have more than one product in clinical testing and trials at the same time. This news comes following the identification of two distinct parallel paths in developing pharmaceutical products for FDA approval. The first being the highly publicized H1N1 Swine flu and the deadly H1N5 Avian flu, and the second being a newly formed initiative for Veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Together with these initiatives, Cannabis Science is laying a solid foundation for entrance into the FDA and other government regulatory agencies for developing medicines for Influenza, PTSD and other ailments.

The Company looks forward to announcing its continued progress with these initiatives through the development of an online progress chart that will become available at the website in the near future. This online tracking initiative will allow the general public immediate access to monitor each stage of development, submit questions, and request special circumstance information as we take our cannabis-based drugs to market.

Cannabis Science Inc., President & CEO, Dr. Robert Melamede Ph.D., stated, "Times are changing. There is an ever-increasing demand for our cannabis-based drugs, and this demand is growing exponentially throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Modern science supports the public demand for cannabis-based FDA approved drug products that reduce the impact of critical life altering illnesses. The public need for our products drives our efforts to rapidly move our drugs through all available regulatory channels. We believe this enormous public demand on a global scale is a major key to our success and we are very excited to be positioned to provide solutions. We are currently sourcing cGMP compliant facilities to produce our initial formulations for FDA compliant testing.

Veterans Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Program

We are rapidly moving forward with our program designed to test the efficacy of our cannabis extract-based oral medicine to provide immediate relief of the negative consequences of PTSD in our military veterans. A critical first step will be carried out by Dr. Mitch Earleywine (State University of New York (SUNY Albany, SAB) the first member of the Cannabis Science Scientific Advisory Board. He will conduct a Veterans survey regarding the use of medical marijuana for PTSD. The results of this survey will provide us with human data that we expect will assist in our efforts with the FDA and other governmental agencies to fast track our PTSD and our Flu project.

H1N1 Swine Flu & H1N5 Avian Flu

According to the CDC (, the Avian flu (H5N1) has a 63%

Chest X-ray of a patient with ARDS.Image via Wikipedia

mortality rate. Unfortunately, the Swine flu, while causing death at a much lower rate than the Avian flu, also appears to result in death via a similar mechanism. The common cause of death with these strains is organ failure, especially as seen in the lungs with the development of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is caused by an excess immune-generated inflammatory response that leads to apoptosis (cell death) and subsequently to organ failure. The Company's approach will mimic how the human body uses endocannabinoids (cannabinoids that occur naturally in the body) to regulate immune activity and cell survival, by regulating inflammatory biochemistry. Excessive inflammatory responses are associated with numerous disease states including autoimmune diseases, neurological imbalances, and cardiovascular disease. Phytocannabinoids provide a natural means to supplement illness-specific endocannabinoid deficiencies.

__________________ hat tip to JCR ________________

Note: subsequent to Cannabis Science Inc 'lozenge' being contrued as targeted to children... (see ABC item discussed here)

Dr. Melamede notes, "psychoactive cannabinoids are in human mother's milk. If God thinks it's all right to use cannabinoids in an infant's first food, who am I to disagree? We believe one of our formulations will prevent many deaths caused by H1N1 Swine Flu and H5N1 Avian Flu. If our formulation becomes an FDA approved drug and works in adults, we believe that all parents and their physicians should have the right to choose the best treatment for a child with a
potentially deadly illness. Public health officials have warned that H1N1 may be
comparable to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic that killed tens of millions globally
and hit young people especially hard. We are optimistic that the FDA has not and
will not be distracted by non-science-based hysteria and will treat cannabis-based medicines based on documented science as evidenced by its advancement of other cannabis-based medicines going through the FDA approval process now."

Blair Anderson

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sycophantic Politicians blocked Vote on MedPot

February 2001: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services files a patent application for the medical use of cannabinoids, saying they are "useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases," and "are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia."

October 2003: The patent is granted

Courageously, your intrepid activist attended the Rt Hon Tony Ryall, Health Minister's 'mid-winter' speech at the Medical School in Christchurch on August 7th. While Ryall lied about having no opinion on tobacco, he mean while had recently blocked banning in-store advertising. (see SCOOP)

Professor Peter Joyce [Dean, University of Otago and Prof of Mental Health Research] avoided the med-pot criminality question in the full house Rolleston lecture theater. Bloody shame. Perhaps it would have been useful to hear the question in view of the legacy of Health Ministers with Justice/Police backgrounds and interests.
However, Tony Ryall, having been buttonholed post his speech, did accept and receive, placing it in his top pocket for later reading, the above Dept. of Health and Human Services summary of facts.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Legal Doesnt Equate to Laudable

Choogle on! With Uncle WeedImage by Uncleweed via Flickr

Because something is legal does not automatically make it laudable.

Increase use doesn't necessarily equate to an increase in net harm either.

Set and Setting do define harm risk (a point that prohibitors prefer to overlook). Making
cannabis [use] less stigmatized would enable quality epidemiological research.

A patient (or recreational user, practicing preventative early intervention) has a fundamental right to 'informed consent', where fully informed is fully armed and consent is 'self determination'.

I would expect a reported increase in use post ANY prohibitory regime. That should surprise no one.

But at least a little bit of pot sitting somewhere hurting no one will cease to lead to arrest and incarceration and the life long stigma of a conviction for what MOST thinking people believe to be 'of little matter'. (and courts should not deal with such trivialities)


Blair Anderson

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Drug bans are bad economics - Nick Smith

By Nick Smith

(can be seen at )

Originally published on Stuff, July 17, 2009

The most convincing evidence of the harm caused by the criminalisation of party pills in April last year comes from a recently convicted drug dealer. (actually it was quite the opposite, a four-fold increase in sales and no perceptable increase in harm, but then that's MDMA for you. Millions of 'E' experiences in the UK, every week, problems at best are 'associated with use' while no benefits of displacement of other drugs, like alcohol, are measured)

This man, whose name is suppressed, admitted smuggling 100,000 ecstasy tablets in just three months. He told media that his small operation became massive almost overnight after the government banned party pills, which contain the active ingredient benzylpiperazine (BZP).

The ban was instituted despite an investigation showing BZP caused little harm to users. BZP is not like methamphetamine, which in its crystalised form is called P, and ecstasy. The criminal acts and damage caused by P addicts have filled news pages for months. Ecstasy, while less harmful, has been implicated in several deaths.

When the ban became law, people switched from taking safer party pills to the much more dangerous methamphetamine and ecstasy.

"I went from selling 5000 pills a month to 5000 pills a week," the 52-year-old drug dealer explained to a weekend newspaper about the financial impact to his operation of the ban, which he estimated had generated up to $12 million in revenue.

Even the medical profession concedes the BZP ban is fanning greater recreational use of more dangerous drugs. There's an argument that all drugs should be decriminalised because criminalisation generates more harm than good by handing control of a desirable commodity to organised crime. When criminal elements are involved, it is argued, the damaging effects of drug use are amplified.

Think of the growth in popularity of bootleg liquor during prohibition in the United States.

A regulated and restricted system of laws surrounding drug use would remove violent criminal elements and allow better access to treatment, is how the argument goes.

This contention is particularly compelling in the case of BZP because it was a proven safe drug servicing a large market, as evidenced by its ubiquitous presence on shelves in corner dairies and liquor stores.

People desire intoxicants. The history of alcohol, cannabis and drugs extends three millennia. Drugs are a commodity and are traded the world over. Supply is meeting demand and economic theory holds that when that demand is denied by a ban, it creates unintended consequences; in this case, a massive source of income for transnational crime organisations and gangs.

Some of the most alarming reportage on this subject of late comes from economists such as Loretta Napolioni, who writes about the massive global reach of criminal empires trading in drugs and people, two of the most pernicious and lucrative trades.

Lev Timofeev, a Russian expert on drug economies, believes drug prohibition gives transnational operations not just market-moving power, but the ability to influence whole societies and nations.

In his view, it is prohibition that enables such far-reaching power. New Zealand doesn't suffer the predations of drugs, prostitution and people-smuggling to the same extent as eastern Europe, Russia and parts of the Middle East. Part of the reason is its geographical remoteness but also this country's relative liberality to restrictive social legislation. (except for cannabis, which is all out war but mostly on unemployed, maori, and males)

But, as the BZP ban shows, authorities can and do make the same policy mistakes as their international equivalents. The Law Commission will soon deliver a report recommending a raft of changes to the sale of liquor. On the table are restrictions on age and even the number of outlets in any given area. If they follow through on the latter, you can bet shops will be restricted in poorer districts and not in more affluent suburbs. (as it is policed! 300 more cops for South Auckland will be doing what? We have already heard that 'drug dealing' will be a focus.)

Damning evidence from the US shows the prohibitive legislative hammer falls hardest on the poor and vulnerable. Leaving aside the interesting issue of why drug and alcohol use is higher in this socio-economic sector, the American experience suggests enforcement of bans cause greater social damage than the drugs themselves.

It was pleasing to see Roger Kerr, the Business Roundtable's executive director, wade into the liquor debate recently, particularly his evisceration of the self-serving economic analysis of the economic cost from alcohol use. The commission will rely on a Business and Economic Research Ltd (Berl) report showing the net external cost to the country from drinking booze is $4.8 billion, a ludicrous sum. An independent university study reviewing Berl's work puts it at $146.3 million, less than 5 per cent of the initial estimate.

Kerr also put in a word for the social benefit of drinking, a rarely heard view in these censorious times. He emphasises enforcement of existing regulation as a better mechanism for dealing with unwelcome social outcomes from boozing rather than more restrictive laws or a ban.

Banning drugs, whether BZP or alcohol, is bad economics; economists of the Right and Left agree a rare consensus. Hopefully, the Law Commission will see it the same way when it publishes its liquor law recommendations. (and deliberates on cannabis)

- ends -

(highlighting responsiblity of BJA)

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