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 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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