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, November 19, 2010

Shopping Cart of Burning Pot Pushed Into Cop Shop

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cannabis amnesty would solve crowd problems - ALCP

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 25:  Minister ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
By Jenny Suo,  3 News
TUE, 09 NOV 2010
Saturday's alcohol-fuelled incident at Eden Park Stadium could have been avoided if it was legal to smoke cannabis during the game, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party says.
Thousands of spectators were forced to leave minutes into the second half of the Kiwis-Kangaroos Four Nations league match, as fights broke out and bottles were thrown.
Party leader Michael Appleby is calling for an amnesty for all personal cannabis during the Rugby World Cup to avoid a repeat.
"Alcohol is what fuels violence. Last week there was rioting at the rugby league in Auckland. If they're allowed to use cannabis at next year's event, they wont even need alcohol."
Appleby says spectators from New Zealand and around the world will be using cannabis at next year's games, and it's pointless to attempt to patrol its use.
"Seventy-five to 80 percent of young New Zealanders have tried cannabis by the time they're 20, and foreigners will be smoking it just as much," he says.
"It's a complete waste of the police time and the court's time to target these people - It will be the public paying for it."
Amnesty was implemented in Spain during the Football World Cup and Appleby says it was a success.
"It worked. The people who smoked cannabis didn't indulge in violence. It's the people indulging in alcohol that get out of control."
Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully has ordered an official report into the running of Saturday's league test at Eden Park after bottles were thrown on the pitch and at the players.
Comment on TV3 website:
18 NOV 2010
One cannot in all earnesty maintain an elite sporting career and indulge in alcohol due to its many debilitating effects whereas the same cannot be said of cannabis.

In that alcohol impairs healing and reasoning whereas cannabis does not it is arguable that those who like and prefer cannabis have an unfair sporting advantage.
Further, [Swiss] research shows that that in the youth demographic in particular those who prefer cannabis over alcohol are MORE LIKELY to engage in sport runs counter to both the myths and the political rhetoric such that those who protest otherwise should recuse themselves from voting or (and) maintaining the massive vested interests in revenues from alcohol excise, GST and PAYE taxation.
It's not about Alcohol vs Cannabis as an intoxicant (that misrepresents why people enjoy either), rather its about removing the double standards and prejudices that are impediments to effective health promotion, rational social justice and economics of harm reduction.
/Blair Anderson

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Cannabis Protects against Social Burden of Alcohol

Yesterday's NewstalkZB talkback featured Kerry Woodham focusing on Cannabis asking the question, Do we need another drug? Alcohol is bad enough etc.

University of California at San Diego reports that binge drinkers (defined as boys who consumed five or more drinks in one sitting, or girls who consumed four or more drinks at one time) showed signs of white matter damage in eight separate regions of the brain.

By contrast, the binge drinkers who also used cannabis experienced less damage in seven out of the eight brain regions.

[NORML - Investigator Amanda Reiman of the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare - according to survey data published in the Harm Reduction Journal.]

Cannabis Users Substitute Pot In Place Of More Dangerous Substances

Of those who reported using pot in place of alcohol, 65 percent said that they did so because it has less adverse side effects than alcohol.

The study concludes: The substitution of one psychoactive substance for another with the goal of reducing negative outcomes can be included within the framework of harm reduction. 

Medical cannabis patients have been engaging in substitution by using cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, prescription, and illicit drugs.

NOTE: I can earnestly say that it has been both my personal experience and that of hundreds, probably thousands of people that I have had personal contact with over my thirty eight year law reform experience that the above scientific data is validated by that substantial body of anecdote. Coupled with the latest science papers in the Lancet (Nutt et al) placing Alcohol burdens above all illicit drugs, and that cannabis is policed disporoportionalty by any rational standard especially when used responsibly and in moderation as most New Zealanders appear to, we have good reason to immediately cease arresting low level consumers and self/friends providers (amnesty on possession and cultivation for personal use) and to place cannabis in the 'soft' drug restricted substances classification as provided by the order in Council made in October 2008. under the aegis of Ministry of Health overall HARM REDUCTION policy consistant with the 1996 National [all] Drug Policy Review  reports (and science based formulation sentiment)

Now is not the time for PC expediency... it is a time for courage and commitement if we are to protect and serve our community together.

Declassify Cannabis into Class D.

And Put ALCOHOL alongside it.

If the Maori party had been a bit smarter and less PC, they might have recommended putting tobacco there too.

Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219
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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Legalisation Acceptable.

Proposition 19Image by via Flickr Over 3,392,000 voters, perhaps including you, expressed their disapproval of the current system of criminalization and their support for legalization.  They expressed hope for a safer, more rational society where a personal choice is treated as a freedom, not a crime.

The "L" word, "legalization", has become acceptable.  You saw and heard a public debate the likes of which has never occurred in California, or in the nation.  It became respectable and normal to discuss legalization.

This time we didn't win.  But we will. 

The local and national [and international/Blair] media coverage of Prop 19 was extensive.  And it featured and highlighted LEAP speakers, especially Joseph McNamara, Stephen Downing and Jim Gray, who appeared on television commercials, public service announcements, radio interviews, blogs, and in newspaper articles and columns.  LEAP speakers Russ Jones, Kyle Kazan, Nate Bradley and Diane Goldstein made appearances that drove the message of legalization home.
LEAP was anywhere people wanted us to be--in other words, we were everywhere.  You can count on us to be present wherever legalization is up for debate.

Our presence reflected your support of Prop 19, and your support of LEAP.

We knew that win or lose, our involvement would continue.  If it won, the federal and state government would make every effort to stop, challenge and otherwise drag down its implementation. We look forward to crossing that bridge.

We are proud that Prop 19 achieved what it did with LEAP speakers' support, and are confident that it would have achieved significantly fewer votes without us.

It just means that we have work to do between now and 2012.  And believe me, there will be an initiative in 2012.  And with your support, it will win.

Thank you again for your support of LEAP and Prop 19.  Your donation will help us continue to fight for the cause.


Major Neill Franklin [Retired],  Executive Director,  

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Cannabis Will be Legalised

NORML LogoImage via Wikipedia

It's Not a Matter of 'If,' but 'When'

Voters in California decided 46.2% to 53.8% (with 97% of the precincts reporting) against Prop. 19 that sought to legalize the adult possession, and personal cultivation, of limited quantities of marijuana in private, and to allow for local governments to regulate its commercial production and retail distribution.
The 46+ percent (some 3.3 million Californians) voting 'yes' on Prop 19 is the greatest percentage of citizen support ever recorded on a statewide marijuana legalization effort.

Commenting on the result, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said that marijuana legalization is no longer a matter of 'if,' but a matter of 'when.' "Social change doesn't happen overnight, and in this case we are advocating for the repeal of a criminal policy that has existed for over 70 years federally and for nearly 100 years in California." We are taking on the establishment and those who have vested interests in maintaining this longstanding failed policy.

Yet, despite these odds, we have momentum and an unparalleled coalition of supporters – from law enforcement personnel, to civil rights groups, to organized labor, to lawyers, clergy, and public health professionals. In just a few short months, this campaign moved public opinion forward nationally, and led to the signing of historic legislation here in California that will end the arrest and prosecution of tens of thousands of minor marijuana offenders.

He continued: "Throughout this campaign, even our opponents conceded that America's present marijuana prohibition is a failure. They recognize that the question now isn't 'Should we legalize and regulate marijuana,' but 'how should we legalize and regulate marijuana?'"

He concluded: "In the near future there will be a slew of other states deciding on measures similar to Prop 19 in their state houses and at the ballot box. And no doubt here in California, lawmakers in 2011 will once again be debating this issue, as will the voters in 2012.

Everybody on the campaign worked incredibly hard to get here and NORML was proud to play a leading role in this historic battle for marijuana law reform. However, none of this would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University. As one of the initial proponents of Prop 19, and its major funder, he is the true definition of an activist and his commitment to the cause serves as an inspiration to marijuana law reformers everywhere.


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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Drug Foundation comes out in support of Human Rights. Everyone elses, just not ours!

Drug Foundation comes out in support of Human Rights. Everyone elses, just not ours!
as seen on NZDF's facebook.
re [evidenced by detention without trial] human rights abuse.

Your right about detention without trial not being 'against' our human rights (as per the Act), there are identified by the UN itself, shortcomings in our legislative embodiment a...nd NZ has been told to correct that.. three times.

Our BoRA is equally remiss insofar as it is unenforceable. (the charges were dropped therefore rights were upheld)

However, which part of prejudice don't you (and your management) quite understand...?

Having a 'here come the stoners' moment are we?

NZDF will never fix what is broken overseas, nor appear reasoned or rational if in NZDF's calls to alert good people to think 'big picture' ignore what is acutely, systemically, and chronically broken in New Zealand and "applied disproportionately, illegally and with malice to selected New Zealanders".

In a more reasoned debate such POLICE action [directed against me, in this case] might be described as 'chilling dissent'.

Clearly NZDF's official position is increasingly looking 'that's OK' as long as it is directed at 'those people'.

Why would the Police drop all charges despite full admission, "it's my pipe, its my pot, I inhaled and I will do it again, I am unrepentant." Could it be that detained down in the cells one is 'irrational'?

Or might it be that my only protection from unwarranted arrest AND prosecution for being publicly mouthy (standing for elected office) was irony of ironies, be found to posess the 'cone' of reasoning, the peace pipe when at the time of arrest the Government had a bill before the house making pipe and cones that even look unlike pipes and cones EVEN MORE illegal.

Can it be that self incrimination is no longer enough for a conviction, [or at the very least some well funded coercive treatment] these days.

If it takes an 'annoying jerky loudmouth' to bring NZDF's boorish (and unhelpful) attitude to your Board of Trustees attention then so be it.

[That is presuming your not some intellectual lightweight wading in without authority to speak and act on behalf of NZDF.]

Tank gawd for activists 'for shining light in on the snipers nest.'

Consider: could this public declaration (yes it is on my blog) mean you and yours wouldn't support my nomination for 'NZDF trusteeship' or is it likely to be (like last time) a CAREful management decision that NZDF bring in 'some big guns' at the front door to POLICE who sits at the table.

Lets see what the 23rd of November holds.... it may yet prove to be more definative to NZ drug policy than this days Prop 19 California vote.

NZDF's considered reply is of course always welcomed.
useful and relevant links.
note:  The Drug Foundation has a proposal for a law change that it believes to be pragmatic and politically palatable, based on a successful Western Australian model: prohibition with civil penalties. Those found with cannabis for personal use are fined or must attend a drug information session, but they don't get a criminal record. (so where do they get cannabis from? criminals?   FFS  the right to possess is a barren right without the right to trade. /Blair)
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