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, May 08, 2010

NZ's Drug Intelligence and Credible Health Promotion

Of course no one told NZ's Drug Intel folk that the American Medical Association told the DEA to stop lying about Cannabis harms. Not very smart.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hippy Mothers Day

"Republican Party Elephant" logoMost Americans think of Mother's Day as a day of rest for our nation's moms. This year, however, I'm excited to be part of a new movement that is capitalizing on the holiday to encourage mothers nationwide to take a stand for ending federal marijuana prohibition and the devastating consequences it has brought to our families, our communities, and our nation.

For the past several years, I've been an active voice in the pro-legalization movement. I was initially greeted with skepticism by the movement's left-leaning activists and tokenized as the "pro-pot Republican mom." Over the years, I've devoted too many column inches to lamenting the fact that more conservative women wouldn't join me in this cause. Just last July, in a column I wrote for the Colorado Daily, my lead read: "As a Republican mother committed to legalizing marijuana, political life can be lonely. But while many in my party whisper about the Drug War's insanity, we should shout it from the rooftop: the time to legalize is now."

Fortunately, on this Mother's Day, I'm anything but alone.

While the national media frequently highlights polls showing that nearly half of all Americans now support ending the federal war against marijuana--nearly doubling the support demonstrated just two decades ago--reporters miss the bigger story all too often.

Women have been the key to this jump. Within hours of the aforementioned column's publication, I was inundated with supportive e-mails and calls--and not just from liberals. Republican moms and dads from across the nation responded positively. After the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker, a fellow Republican mom, penned an October column highlighting Colorado's pro-pot mom movement, messages from likeminded moms took over my inbox. And after a series of national news appearances where I made the case for legalization late last year, the emails grew into the thousands.

The tide has turned.

This Thursday, I will have my daughters by my side as I help launch a new organization called the Women's Marijuana Movement. We'll be speaking to our fellow moms--and dads--knowing that if we convince just one in 10 of them to rethink this issue, we will succeed.

Joining me will be other mother-daughter teams, including Mari and Ashlee Clauss. My fellow Republican, Mari, has spent most of her adult life fighting back against lupus and other chronic conditions. Ashlee, my fellow diabetic, has such a serious form of the disease that she was forced to be home schooled due to a series of hospital stays left her unable to manage a traditional school schedule. As medical marijuana patients, they see medical marijuana as one small part of their overall health treatment strategy--one that has freed from a lifetime of dependency on conventional narcotic medications.

But Thursday isn't just about medical marijuana. Or even about Republican moms. Participants will span the ideological spectrum, each speaking of their own moment of awakening--when they chose to stop blindly accepting government talking points proclaiming the alleged harms posed by marijuana use.

For younger moms, we reflect on our college days, comparing the impact of marijuana versus alcohol on our lives as students. Impartial analysis reveals that alcohol had a far more harmful impact on our bodies, our relationships, and our safety than pot ever could. Every year we hear more tragic stories of college kids dying from alcohol overdoses, whereas there has never been a single marijuana overdose death in history. In a perfect world, my kids would never experiment with marijuana or alcohol, but as a realist, I also fear the pain alcohol could cause in their later lives far more than I fear any detrimental consequences of marijuana use.

As organizers, we question aloud how we could ever defend to our children the fact that America spends $30,000 a year to put non-violent drug offenders behind bars at the same time we issue a $45,000 bill to each baby born today as his or her share of the national debt. One of several small business owners who take part in the event, I'm downright angry that this insane tax burden will inevitably mean more hours spent away from my children.

In 2010, we must rethink every budget line item. Anything less is generational child abuse. Across ideologies, we resent government bureaucrats insisting on parenting our children. We need to reclaim responsibility. Just as pot prohibition failed to stop our generations from using marijuana, it is failing to stop today's students too, with an estimated half of all high school seniors admitting to past or current marijuana use.

Anti-marijuana extremists will inevitably slander us as bad moms or pot-smoking hippies, but we will remain undeterred. Our stance isn't just about endorsing the behavior of 95 million Americans who have used pot, and it's not even about endorsing the medical use of marijuana by the hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients across the nation. This is about something so much greater.

We are coming together to reclaim our country. For our children. For our pocketbooks. And for the long forgotten American ideal that in the absence of harm to others, government should not interfere in our personal lives.

While we face challenges ahead, we also have some pretty amazing role models--the thousands of women who organized to end alcohol prohibition. As I wrote in 2009: "In 1929, it was the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform successfully leading the charge to end America's decade-long experiment with alcohol prohibition. While many of these same activists fought just years earlier to forbid booze, they quickly witnessed prohibition's devastating consequences, including increased violence....Just four years into the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform's repeal efforts, prohibition was over."

California voters will be asked to support legalization on this November's ballot. Polling promises a close contest, with supporters appearing to hold a slight edge. Regardless of the outcome, other states, such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, will be following suit. In 2006, when Colorado voters were asked to support legalization for adult recreational use, more than 41 percent said yes--a total greater than that received by the GOP's gubernatorial candidate.

The bottom line: We need only convince one more person in every ten to end the nightmare of marijuana prohibition. We will show our faces proudly and publicly, inspired by the countless couragous Americans who have gone before us, including those who organized the Boston Tea Party.

Seeing this as own little tea party moment, we'll hope to make our voices heard above the chaos of kids running around and cell phones ringing with calls from clients who will just have to wait until tomorrow.

And here is what we'll say. Marijuana prohibition has failed. Our nation is beyond broke. Let's make the future better for our kids.

Jessica P. Corry is a Denver attorney who represents dozens of medical marijuana caregivers and patients. In March 2010, she was named High Times' "Freedom Fight of the Month" and in 2006, she served as a co-founder of Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana Prohibition.


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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cannabis, Grist for the Mills?

Alcohol is a drug - 8885 viewsImage by Joe Cashin via Flickr
The Police's timing for their 'Better Stories' now implies telling pork pies to milk the fatted calf. - say the MildGreens.

Claims of cannabis harms by Police and others are taken care of in the 2008 Ministry of Health 'Class D' (restricted substances regulations) without the need to create and perpetuate "Reefer Madness" fears, where there should be none.

Police are sole arbiters of how, where, why and who cultivates with the no good science here and no public scrutiny of the Police's secret experiments, drug policy is, post the law commission review in deep deep trouble. Why should anyone take the Police seriously when they manufacture this public health advice. It is not impartial. It is not rigorous. And it is not in the public's best interest.

The MildGreens are particularly troubled by the timing, language and the context Police raids are occurring alongside the Alcohol reports, Drug submissions, Surveillance, Privacy [and more] all at the Law Commission's feet. The Police announcements are about supporting ideology much of it discredited, not science or informed debate. Gilding the lily and overstating the harms has become an art in the Police Intelligence hands that serves its Government Minister. But it is not just Police... it is an inter-sectoral failure. Both chronic and systemic.

Such institutionalised behavour is predicted by the MildGreen hypothesis. Mixed messages are the contemporary obfuscation of science used by vested interests; Tobacco, big Pharma, Sugar... Alcohol and unavoidably the business of religious morality and the mind share of media moderated political discourse. Mayhem and Conflict sells newspapers.

Drug Intelligence should be left to health professionals, not to the 'vice'-president of the Police Association.

Police would have no material interest in cannabis were it D-classified into a health administered restricted substance.

Police would loose a lot of their unaccounted and deficit funded, as much as you need 'drug' budgets and 'rights to surveillance and interception' "powers to which they are not entitled". (Minister of Health, Hon Tom McGuigan, Hansard debate, Drugs Prevention of Misuse Bill, later renamed. 1975)

Operation Lime, a two year investigation? We are told cannabis is much to dangerous but it has been openly tolerated and advertised transparently for ten years. These business report to the IRD every year. They have an address, open 7 days and handout harm reduction 'evidence' approved by Customs and Excise. [High Times]

Public trading companies are not gangs. Even if they were, culture shops are harm minimisation and an honest living.

(see New York Time's "Don’t Call It ‘Pot’ in This Circle; It’s a Profession" - Jeremy Ramsay checks marijuana to be sold at the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif. )

By the Police's own testament surrounding the S.O.G busts this is 'laboratory equipment' unsurprisingly using 'best practice'. In other jurisdictions, clones and hydroponics, 24hr lighting and skills are sought after tools for science. (see above link)

The 'increase in potency' ignores the set and setting of cannabis, or the normative knowledge base that protects people. Labelling, and Childproof containers are provisions of the Class D regulations, we are endangering people by not using these regulatory 'beyond abstinence' guidelines to 'protect and promote health'.

The Mild Greens are also critical that after two years investigating, Police score less pot than the courts define on the West Coast as 'a good crop' for half a dozen's personal use! Enough for six people out of the four hundred thousand other Kiwi's who do like cannabis even 'in defiance of the law'. And police intelligence calls that a win? The MildGreens don't think Police media handlers know how funny 'cornerstone' really sounds.

Cannabis Improves Perception, True Or False?

Only the Minister of Police's management objective to increase cannabis convictions in one year by 20%. This has manufactured two thousand more [otherwise] law abiding criminals to dupe folk into believing tough love and zero tolerance policy is 'working'.

The problem is 'getting tough' has been found wanting. Not by us, or the demographic we represent, but by top epidemiologists. One of whom won "Doctor of the Year" by the British Medical Journal. The Vancouver based Urban Health Research Institute found the policy is criminally counter productive. It makes Crime. Prohibition is criminogenic whereas cannabis is not. Alcohol is aggressogenic whereas cannabis is not.

Cannabis according to the science, isn't responsible for the mess.

However, following the Police's line of thinking, they only have another 380,000 or so cannabis consumers to go. The critical, crucial and impact assessment is where?

Police wouldn't know an Ottawa Charter principle if they fell over it. It is a fundamental injustice to arrest people to save them from themselves.

The Law Commission Review suits Police, No debate, No measurement, No management.

Just say No isn't just a mantra. It has become the right [ideology] way of thinking without thinking about rights [human].

When the MildGreens hear Police declaring improved anti-social crimes clearance rates we know the recent cannabis 'enforcement binges' have become essential to both Police and Government policy 'looking good in the public eye'. Scare people, promise a lot, and deliver little.

Cannabis prohibition arrests are "Grist for the Mills!" exclaimed Blair Anderson at Christchurch's May Day Global Million Marijuana March, "and when the countings' done, this grand gamble will be found to be both unethical and non-feasant - And why reparations are due."

The Police's timing for their 'Better Stories' now implies telling pork pies to milk the fatted calf. - say the MildGreens.

Speaking of Goodbye to Pork Pies, how many spotted the shared joint while driving ' a yellow mini' in front of a pursuing Police Car on the culturally significant "twentieth of the fourth" all media news coverage of NZ's "Home before Christmas" ?

The Science suggests the Mild Green Drug Policy Hypothesis is proven.

Say sorry, repatriate all fines, D-Classify;

If we move drug policy from a policing fiction to the science of best practice "We could all be home SAFER by Christmas", say the MildGreens, "the importance of SAFERCHOICE.ORG hasn't escaped us!"


NZ Cannabis Stronger than Ever - Study.

Stronger Cannabis Makes Better Medicine -
[currently at #3 in politics most read headlines.]

Why raids are not OK (article in todays chch press by Stephen McIntyre of NORML, Auckland)

from last week ALCP:

Cannabis-alcohol hypocrisy rules NZ

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