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

Friday, June 25, 2010

The China Syndrome

A handbook on hanging - Day 216 of Project 365Image by purplemattfish via Flickr
The Green Party (these past years) has had litte to say about China's appalling legacy of death by lead poisoning for posessing cannabis and other drugs!

It seems our signatory status to the drug conventions is at odds with NZ's position on death penalty and our silence just another double standard. (its World Anti Drug Day on the 25th June)

China usually shoots a bus load or so... (the most recent to make media was a British subject with mental health problems.) I see red I see red I see red.

Somehow killing whales, or not, is kosha to media and palatable to current and former prime ministers of NZ. (both of whom still preside over our drug policy and pretend we dont give licence to this war in our name.)

Perhaps we should have held up a big fat joint to the Chinese delegation and requested some Drug Peace and ceasation of hostilities Now !...

Unsurprising then to read in the news "China executes dealers ahead of Int'l anti-drug day" - I guess it saves double bunking.

But careful what we accuse them of.  Australia 'complicity' is in the news...
A number of international aid donors including Australia and Japan have been accused of inadvertedly funding counter-drug operations that often result in people being sentenced to death and executed. According to the UK-based ngo, International Harm Reduction Association, the United Nations and the European Commission have also been funding drug enforcement operations in countries like China, Cambodia and Vietnam where the death penalty is still used. The association has just published a report on the issue.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sex, Drugs and Moral Goals.

Image of the human head with the brain. The ar...Evolutionary Psychology Starts Here ??? 
So, if its all about controlling the "doing it for fun!" that threatens society why has New Zealand (and the prospective Mayor of Christchurch and Fmr NZ Drug Czar, Jim Anderton)  legislated for 'recreational drugs'?

Consider this little bombshell making its way about the academic circles... /Blair

A new psychology study finds that the moral argument over use of recreational drugs may really be about sex. [Psych Central - Jun 17 2010]

...associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Pennsylvania Laboratory for Experimental Evolutionary Psychology at Penn. "If you were to measure people's political ideology, religiosity and personality characteristics, you can predict to some degree how people feel about recreational drugs. But if, instead, you just measure how people feel about casual sex, and ignore the abstract items, the predictions about people's views on drugs in fact become quite aa bit better." Sex, drugs and moral goals: Penn study of reproductive strategies and recreational drug use [E Science News - Jun 16 2010]

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Inexplicable Dillema for NarcoCops, MethCon and Health Ministry

Tommy GunImage by Danny McL via Flickr
Following a number of crucially timed Police media releases about drugs distributed by NZPA the most recent on drugs and guns following finding a 90 year old highly collectible (and historical) weapon absent any ammunition that media delight in association with alcohol prohibition 'organised crime' - where the Thompson Machine gun became legendary.

The release comes the day the Jury deliberates on the unfortunate incident where an undercover 'narc' gets it under circumstances that has the same Jury flummoxed (notably 11:1). The Murder/Manslaughter charge has been coloured by media continually connecting the accused residence as an 'alledged' clan lab despite no evidence being  presented to the jury it ever was. (recall farmers have been aquitted for the same offence, only the guns were real)

Visiting Canadian Judge Jerry Paradis described the Auckland airgun incident that resulted in the death of Don Wilkinson as "an honourable man on an impossible mission'. Paradis was representing the respected international organisation Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and his organisations rejection of the war on some drugs dogma. He was here as a guest of the MildGreens and to make a submission to the Law Commission 'all drug' review (Oct 2008)

Yesterday more Christchurch busts of 'P' labs requiring 160 officers in 'tac' gear followed by Police Ministers and Media giving the 'we are top of this' talk  and tour.  A long list of charges all for the same thing [maybe cooking up some home bake of dubious quality] is supposed to make us feel safer. More of 'those bad people' talk dominates the dialog. TV will paint the story that fits the ratings. And Police will paint the story that best fits prohibition.

If prohibition was working none of this would be happening.

Making the recent study published in Canada all the more important..
"You could still do public-health education and criminalize the hell out of people," he said. "You could theoretically do that, but it just makes no sense because they are competing paradigms."

"For some reason, in this country we believe that the best professionals to educate people about drug use are the police, which makes absolutely no sense . . . because they are not public-health officials and they're not very knowledgeable in matters of public health or substance use — just the way we wouldn't use nurses or orderlies to prosecute criminals.

"That's just not the professional activity these people are equipped and trained for."

Prof. Benedikt Fischer [of Simon Fraser University's health sciences department] report was published in the International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research. [IJMPR]

See Eliminate Canada's 'one-size-fits-all' criminalization of marijuana: Study

Blair Anderson

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Being An Inconvenient Green

Hashish crops in ZaziImage via Wikipedia
Open Letter from 'An Inconvenient Green'.
Afghanistan is the worlds most proficient producer of hashish, a simple and popular preparation from cannabis. Not only does hashish production help replace opium with its myriad of contingent consequences (mostly from its prohibition), cannabis supplements the income of some 40,000 farmers left with few choices.

It is so good at it, Afghanistan is rated as being nearly four times better at making hash in kg per hectare than its nearest next best competitor, Morocco. [UNODC]
Not that anyone has died of good hash. (as in, unadulterated!) Or that one of its renowned medicinal properties has shown to be better than most every 'big pharma' ameliorate, especially post traumatic 'syndromes' for which the region is disturbingly afflicted.

When MP Rod Donald had an Afghan (fmr) Trade Minister in Christchurch I asked, could a "Loyal Jurga" (national meeting of tribes) meet and resolve the required issues while UN 'drug prohibition' remained du jour. He flatteringly acknowledged my insight and replied "No".

I agree with "FrogBlog" commentator, SDC when he said "Heard of the term "double standards" and the concept of international standards being universal and not applied selectively." [Afghanistan has become America's longest war]

Come on Greens.. move to fix what is broken! At least the very least 'talk about it'.
Many closet social ecologists (Frog Readers?) are quite Green but being green is not always about 'us' and our lifestyle, or being biodegradable… we have values that define us and drive our voting decisions. And hypocrisy isn't one of them.
The War On Drugs [WOD] is a crock of shite… to fail to recognise and action the legislative implications of our blind adherence to the Single Convention on Narcotics is to condemn Afghanistan to status-quo.
No matter how hard we recycle, save whales, or demand clean water, unwinnable wars will always be a carbon intensive waste of energy.

Some even believe that the global carbon question cannot be resolved unless the world demilitarises and defuses the intensity of corruption so readily masked by and aided by a global war on some plants. (The US alone has spent more than $1.5 Trillion doing exactly that… trying its best to 'just say no' )

With a Law Commission 'all drug policy' review a work in progress but the 'conventions' systemic failings being held to be beyond reproach, here's hoping the much lauded by commentators resurgent interest by 'Youth' in the Greens rises to the challenge.

The old guard conservatively said its not 'an electable issue', however the 'new guard' while silent to date, may yet serve to restoratively resolve this vexing issue.
 Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Nothing Is Toxic For Dead People

SO misconstrue'd is the prohibitionist paradigm that pronounces the 'harms' of cannabis stored in your fat and how often it is detected in post mortem; consider the following expert testimony from an instructive case, a misuse of drugs 'accused' doctor. see "Expert faults autopsies in deaths"

Karch also called into question the fentanyl overdose death of one woman who suffered from migraines. He noted recent research has shown fentanyl accumulates in fat and as the body disintegrates after death the drug is released from deep fat storage.

He likened it to marijuana, which also accumulates in fat and is slowly released back into the body. That is why people taking a drug test for a job can test positive for marijuana even though they may not have used marijuana for three weeks, he said.

"When you talk about toxic, the first thing you need to know is that is a term you use for live people," Karch said, adding that nothing is toxic for dead people.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Police Sieze Assets and Loose All Credibility

With Police now handclapping the freezing of assets of Mr Michael Quinlan including $190K in cash and a pretty much normal Auckland residence for someone in a management position, we can expect to see more of this low value policy enforcement. (Police are yet to justify the merit of their prohibitionist 'balance of probability' enforcement endeavors without lying about it. )

  • Switched On Gardener owner: If acquitted I will... - [Jun 05 2010 - 3 News]
  • Accused Man Has Assets Frozen - [Jun 04 2010 -]
  • Switched On Gardener owner has assets frozen (N... - [Jun 04 2010 - Yahoo! News Australia]
  • Police freeze cash, $1m home - [Jun 04 2010 - New Zealand Herald] 
The balance of probability would be that all this huffing and puffing by Police will change the cannabis market diddly.... other than to protect and serve the 'black market' thus foster the very criminality they set out to prevent.

Mere conjecture? Oh no... the Science supports who? Those on the side of reform it appears.

There is no merit in the Police case against Quinlan; (a) because the Police and the courts have allowed the 'business' of Switched On Gardener to trade for ten years without as much as a warning, and (b) because the courts have allowed the business to continue to trade despite the Police's covert and overt activities to brand it as 'criminal'.

Also see "Operation Lime" - And we have long heard from these idiots... remember Stuart Mills? Rob Pope?

"Police Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope claims that the raids have broken 'the cornerstone of the illicit cannabis cultivation industry'. He is lying, and he knows it. No government has ever been able to halt supply of any illicit substance. These raids may temporarily push up the price of an ounce of green, but with many thousands of hard-working New Zealanders involved in the cannabis industry, supply will soon rebound."
"There is no sense in legislation which criminalises half the country. Two thirds of young people, and half of all adults under the age of 50, have used cannabis. Marijuana is mainstream. Criminalisation of something so mundane makes an ass of the law, and criminals of otherwise law-abiding people." - 28 April 2010, Press Release: Libertarianz Party,  "Operation Lime - An Attack on Freedom"


Blair Anderson

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Murder, Mayhem and Cash.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrest"Feezing Assetts" - Image via Wikipedia
Study: Mexico drug cartels avoid bank deposits

By MARTHA MENDOZA Associated Press Writer

6/2/2010 4:20 PM  (what a good time for a press release! /Blair)

A first-ever study targeting the exorbitant wealth of Mexico's drug lords shows more than half the money smuggled out of the U.S. each year is cash that never passes through a bank, making it nearly invisible to law enforcement.

That cash is either stashed away or directly spent in Mexico, where 75 percent of business is done in cash. Drug moguls can buy real estate, cars, airline tickets and just about everything else in cash, allowing their powerful businesses to easily launder the estimated $19 billion to $29 billion they earn each year selling cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana in the U.S.  (note: the $USten billion fudge factor, are these guys serious? A recent report also confirmed that 60% of the US/Mexico Border drug trade value is Cannabis. /Blair )

"Now that we see what a cash-based economy there is here, we can see why it's going to be important for Mexico have restrictions on how cash can be used, or to require that large purchases are accompanied with notary certificates reported to the Treasury," said U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual.  (note: last week to cash a mere $AU20 at a NZ "WestPac" bank required photo ID - are we kidding ourselves or what... /Blair)

In the U.S., by contrast, just 20 percent of all transactions are conducted in cash.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Secretary John Morton unveiled some of the findings Wednesday in Mexico City, saying that neither country has done enough to get at the money supporting Mexico's drug cartels. (nor has it any real intention to do so.. it would cripple the grey economy, and they know it. /Blair)

"Until now, we didn't know enough about this problem in the U.S. or Mexico," he said. "Simply arresting people won't be a complete solution. We have to undermine the organizations and businesses, we have to identify, seize and forfeit their profits."

>for more see related articles
"By NZ's blind to the consequences signatory status to the Single Convention we are complicit in endorsing this policy fraud and thus equally responsible for the 22,000 deaths that are directly attributable to 'drug policy failure'. We may as well take these folk and shoot them ourselves." /Blair

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Dopey Work Stories.

Flow diagram of the procedure followed by Yout...Image via Wikipedia
> For example, the warning/caution rate was 32 per cent for minor assaults,

(see Seriousness of crime increases with offender's age - study by Statistics New Zealand based on Ministry of Justice guidelines. / pub: NZ Herald  )
Given that we have a Law Commission reviews of 'all drug ' policy (including the drug alcohol) this report avoids the drug/crime linkage so often touted by Police and Politicians.
Knowing folk who have been arrested and charged for possession of a trace amount of cannabis (ash) I find it difficult to stomach that 1/3rd of people belting someone else are cautioned.
Where exactly is the victim with cannabis possession again?  If cannabis and the requirement to police it as a 'serious' problem, why does it not get a mention in dispatches? And why do young people, primarily male, Maori and unemployed feature so highly in the conviction rates.
Such 'impact assessment' analysis might be instructive given we are yet  to do even a Econ101 grade cost/benefit of prohibition policy. (despite it being highly recommended in our National Drug Policy formulation documents - notably never discussed but obtained by official information request )
More especially as recent national crime reports have shown that the cannabis offences are up 20% nationally since the last election (30% in Northland!). Surely proof enough of the failure of prohibition, with only another 350,000 kiwi's to catch!
Cannabis couldn't be more popular if it was made compulsory. However, Its use hasn't suddenly gone up another 20% in a year.. perhaps the 20% increase in "more Cops" means more 'nothing better to do than tell dopey work stories!'

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