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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ABC (is this suggesting Class D for Alcohol?)

New findings suggest current system of classifying psychoactive drugs in UK may need to be revisited

25. November 2009

Drug users are well informed about the harms associated with the drugs they use, and perceive alcohol and tobacco to be amongst the most dangerous substances, according to a survey by UCL (University College London) and Imperial College London researchers. The findings, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, suggest that the current system of classifying psychoactive drugs in the UK may need to be revisited.

The study, led by Dr Celia Morgan and Professor Valerie Curran at UCL, surveyed 1,500 UK drug users via the website Drug users were asked to rate twenty psychoactive substances on a 'rational' scale previously developed by Professor David Nutt, Imperial College London, who collaborated on this study.  Heroin, crack and cocaine topped the list in terms of harm, but alcohol was rated fifth, solvents seventh and tobacco ninth. Ecstasy came 13th in the harm rating, LSD 16th and cannabis 18th. Thus, the survey found no relationship between the drug's legal status, based on the current classification system, and users' ratings of harm. In the UK, the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) currently classifies psychoactive drugs as A, B or C, though alcohol and tobacco remain unclassified.
Dr Celia Morgan, UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, says: "Given that the Misuse of Drugs Act aims to signal to young people the harmfulness of drugs, this suggests a flaw with the current classification of drugs. We found that drug users rated legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco as more harmful than Class A substances like LSD and ecstasy. We found a high correlation between harm ratings by users and those made previously by scientific experts across all substances, suggesting users are well informed about the harms of drugs.
"The reported prevalence of use of each substance also suggests that the classification of drugs has little bearing on the choice of whether to use substances or not. For example ecstasy, a Class A substance, was the fourth most regularly used psychoactive drug, according to our survey.
"We also asked drug users about their perceived benefits of taking psychoactive substances, as this is clearly important in a person's decision of whether to take a drug or not. Psychoactive substances LSD, cannabis and ecstasy were consistently rated as having the highest short and long-term benefits. These findings add to the debate on the validity of the current classification of drugs in the UK.
"Worldwide, there are an estimated two billion alcohol users, 1.3 billion smokers and 185 million users of other drugs. Despite public health campaigns, levels of substance misuse continue to rise. One of the reasons for this may be the public's confusion about the actual risks of different drugs as they often receive conflicting messages from the legal system, the media and health campaigns. We recommend that future health campaigns consider whether to include the benefits of some drugs. By only citing harms, such campaigns likely represent - from a user's perspective - an unbalanced view and may mean that the overall message is more likely to be ignored."
The authors are following up the study with the launch of a new larger survey, in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation, hosted at

The 20 substances surveyed in the 2009 study were alcohol, alkyl nitrates, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, ecstasy, GHB, heroin, LSD, ketamine, khat, 4-MTA, methylphenidate, solvents, street methadone and tobacco.
Participants were asked to rate them according to physical (acute or chronic) harm, psychological or physical dependence, intensity of pleasure, intoxication and social effects, including costs to the health service.
A similar survey of experts including psychiatrists and pharmacologists led by Professor Nutt in 2007 found that, of the same 20 psychoactive substances rated on a 'rational' scale, experts rated alcohol as the fifth most dangerous drug, whereas MDMA/ecstasy was rated 18th out of twenty, despite its Class A status. Overall, there was no relationship between a drug's legal status and its rated harmfulness. The 2007 study was published in The Lancet.
Source: Journal of Psychopharmacology

Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Man smokes 115,000 joints legally in Ft. Lauderdale, sets 'official' all-time record

Man smokes 115,000 joints legally in Ft. Lauderdale, sets 'official' all-time record.

He set the bar high and smoked the competition.

Irvin Rosenfeld, a 56-year-old stockbroker from Fort Lauderdale, will toke his way into the record books today by smoking his 115,000th joint. The best part: It's completely legal. "Yep, provided by Uncle Sam," Rosenfeld told NBC Miami. "They grow it for me."

Rosenfeld, who suffers from a painful bone disorder, has received government-approved weed since 1982; he was grandfathered into a federal drug program after medicinal marijuana programs were cut 10 years later. That's 300 joints every 25 days for 27 years—10 to 12 per day. "The first thing I do every morning is smoke two joints," he says. "Then another on my drive to work." It's not as dangerous as you might think—Rosenfeld says he's never gotten high on the stuff: "No munchies, no munchies, nothing other people get. A lot of patients don't get high."

Now for those who KNOW cannabis has NO LETHAL DOSAGE and who've smoked and NOT DIED from using NOT abusing cannabis these past 43 yrs, i'd have to say i beat that mark many years ago hehe,
how about you?

(heads up to JC)
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mason Tvert at the DPA Conference, Alburquerque

Blair Anderson
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Blair Anderson
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Google Steals Blair's Brain

And  how Blair got it back again.....

New Zealander's 'drug policy' blog reinstated by Google

Blair Anderson's blog about drug policy was taken down earlier this year because it hosted malware, Google said. / By James Heffield
Monday, 9 November, 2009

A Christchurch blogger who had his blog taken down by Google earlier this year has finally had it reinstated after a 10,000km trip to Google’s Mountain View Headquarters in California.

Blair Anderson, a former deputy leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and Christchurch mayoral candidate, told PC World that his mild greens “drug policy” blog hosted on Google’s Blogger website was taken down in August.

Google claimed it had malware on it, but the internet giant provided no further details or instructions as to how he might resolve the issue, he said.

“They said nothing. I used to have approximately 50 regular readers every day but I could have an individual entry that got as many as 500 hits.”

Subsequent emails to Google and calls to Google Australia requesting a process for having his blog reinstated had garnered no response, Anderson said.

To resolve the issue, Anderson decided to take drastic action. He booked flights to Google’s Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, which he visited on Thursday.

“Security refused my first approach as I was seen by security cameras that surround the building taking a photo as I pointed to the Google sign.

“However, I made my point by writing a note and accompanying it with my business card and insisting that I would not go away until I had a hearing. It seemed not to matter a diddle that I had come 10,000km… and spent $2,000 just to get there.”

But despite his failure to get inside, his trip had the desired effect. Thirty minutes after his appearance his blog came back online and he received an email from Google Blogger team member Brett Wiltshire.

In the email, provided to PC World by Anderson, Wiltshire apologised for the removal of the blog. The email said the blog was taken done because of a “popular yet nefarious blog widget called BlogLinker, which was linking to known malware sites that were harmful to users”.

Wiltshire admitted that Google’s communication methods and arbitration system for people who had their blogs removed due to malware were virtually non existent.

“Since the vast majority of blogs classified as malware are created with malicious intent, we had not created a mechanism to appropriately message their removals to the affected users and facilitate appeals in cases like yours. We are actively working to correct this with more sophisticated communication systems.”

Anderson said he was happy with the outcome, but that Google’s response would be little comfort for others that found themselves in similar situations.

“I’ve come across 60 to 100 other people so affected. One guy has lost a three and a half year legacy of research into a murder investigation."

He said he had written to Google in the hope that other similarly affected people on the Blogger site might have access to an arbitration process in future.

A Google New Zealand spokesperson confirmed that the company was “actively working on a better way of communicating with legitimate users” to provide an arbitration method for similar cases.

© Fairfax Business Group
Fairfax New Zealand Limited, 2009 Privacy Policy
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