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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate

NEW STUDY REVEALS FAILURE OF US NARCOTICS POLICYTHE BECKLEY FOUNDATION ISSUES NEW BOOK

"This book clearly shows that prohibitionist policies have not only failed to meet their objectives but have inflicted significant social harms," says Amanda Feilding Director of the Beckley Foundation. "Efforts to change the current system have been met with stiff resistance from such leading countries as the United States, which is in the company of countries like Russia, China and Sudan."
"CANNABIS POLICY: MOVING BEYOND STALEMATE" CALLING FOR CHANGE IN THE PROHIBITIONIST MODEL


Oxford University Press, February 2010 – An international team of the world's leading drug policy analysts convened by Amanda Feilding, Director of the Beckley Foundation, have written a book analyzing cannabis prohibition policies. Their conclusion is that criminalization has failed to reduce consumption. The book also shows no link between prevalence and cannabis policy – be it liberal or draconian. Cannabis has become widely used and prohibition policies as implemented have only proven to be expensive, intrusive on individual privacy, and socially divisive. The book outlines a full spectrum of alternative policies from depenalization to a fully regulated legal market.
Half a century of prohibition has failed to prevent a rise in global cannabis use, which has transformed consumption from a relatively rare behavior confined to a scattering of cultures and countries to almost a rite of passage amongst the Western world's youth. Prohibition has led to the development of large scale criminal markets that increase the harms of cannabis use and undermine social order. Moreover, a criminal justice approach to cannabis control causes considerable social harms and facilitates discriminatory enforcement against the young and ethnic minorities.


Criminalisation has not acted as a deterrent, whereas, with a regulated market, the product could be labeled for strength and chemical composition, thereby making it safer.
Government could also control and tax its sale, which would provide extra funding for education and treatment.
The book is calling for a significant change by adopting a less punitive approach. Countries like the Netherlands and Portugal that have pursued liberal drug policies have not seen consequent increase in cannabis consumption, as staunch prohibitionists argued it would. Instead these countries have experienced reductions in the financial costs associated with criminalization policies, and have reduced the adverse social consequences arising from criminalization strategies.
While a number of U.S. states[1] have downgraded the criminal status of marijuana possession offences, and in some cases passed medicinal marijuana exceptions[2], US Federal law severely limits the options most states have to change their drug policies. As states such as California and Colorado seek to develop regulations and tax models for marijuana, policymakers should closely analyze, evaluate and draw inspiration from similar systems and models developed in other countries as described in the book.
"The real value of the research we have conducted lies in the breadth of the review of experiences around the globe. It shows the range of different options - local, regional, and national - government can take to reduce the adverse effects of prohibition," explained Peter Reuter, Director, Program on the Economics of Crime and Justice Policy at the University of Maryland and one of book's five co-authors.

"It is finally time for governments around the world to readdress cannabis policy and to avoid approaches that have been proven to fail."
This month Robin Room, one of the authors, Peter Reuter and Amanda Feilding will be making their case to political leaders in Washington DC, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
The Beckley Foundation is a charitable trust founded in 1998 by Amanda Feilding, Lady Neidpath. It aims at investigating consciousness and its changing states from a multidisciplinary perspective. Through its Science Programme the Foundation initiates, develops and conducts world-class research that will improve our scientific understanding of consciousness and provide practical information to help optimize health and well being.

The Foundation also conducts a Drug Policy Program and is dedicated to providing a rigorous, independent review of global drug policy, aiming at reducing the harms associated with both the misuse of drugs and the policies that aim to control them. The intention of the Foundation is to help develop policies that are evidence-based and rational, rather than those that are ineffectual, due to being rooted in unsubstantiated ideology.

CONTRIBUTORS
Robin Room is a sociologist and Professor at the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne and is the director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research. He is also a professor at and was the founding director of the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs at Stockholm University.
Benedikt Fischer is Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Criminology, as well as Interim Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Addictions and Mental Health (CARMHA), at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, where he also currently holds a CIHR/PHAC Research Chair in Applied Public Health and is a MSFHR Senior Scholar Career Investigator.
Wayne Hall is a Professor of Public Health Policy at the School of Population Health, University of Queensland. He has advised the World Health Organization on the health effects of cannabis use and other illicit drug related health issues.
Peter Reuter is an economist, Senior Economist at RAND and is a Professor at the School of Public Policy and in the Department of Criminology at the University of Maryland. He has served as a consultant to numerous US, European, and UN agencies and founded and directed RAND's multidisciplinary Drug Policy Research Center from 1989-1993.
Simon Lenton is a Professor and Deputy Director at the National Drug Research Institute, Perth, Western Australia, and he works as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice.
Amanda Feilding is the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation. The Foundation has produced over 35 much-cited academic reports, proceedings documents and briefing papers on key drug policy questions.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Judge Jerry Paradis (LEAP) Passed Away

Last Wed (16th Feb).

Judge Jerry and his wife Barbara, from Vancouver BC. toured NZ in 2008.

Jerry was LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition LEAP.CC) visiting guest following up on the successful LEAP tour of 2004. Jerry did an awesome presentation to the Law Commission linking Cannabis and Alcohol Policy in an all drug framework. (see elsewhere on MildGreens Blog)

Presentations and Lectures in Auckland (AUT ProVice Chancellor's Winter Lectures) to Dunedin City Council "community safety" Committee along with a notable guest speaking spot at the Christchurch 2008 "Cutting Edge" Conference left a powerful voice for reform.

I recall Jerry's insight into prohibitions 'deviancy amplification' following the shooting of South Auckland undercover cop Don Wilkinson and the hammering death of a fourteen year old over a tinnie, as the facts became known.

Media gave no traction to it but he said, and it worth reflecting on in this time of 'cop bashings' that when the rule of law is in disrepute Policing becomes 'honourable men on mission impossible'.

On behalf of Kevin O'Connell and myself, and all of those whom I know connected with his courageous and committed message, condolences to his wife Barbara and family.


!. New Zealand: The Drug War Has 'Failed' Says Visiting Judge [ODT]
!. click for Jerry's page on LEAP's website)
!  information for Jerry's memorial get together in Vanvouver.

Blair Anderson
Another MildGreen Initiative,
Christchurch, NZ
027 2657219

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Flashing my Wanga@Te Papa!


Zinger, an alias for our Candor Trust spokesperson astutely speculated on NORML's website....
Why else was Blair kept away from UN staff? It's not like he's a terrorist - why was he seen as dangerous? I'd like to see his Wangas file

Zinger is refering to the 2009 Ministry of Health 'Symposium' held post earlier Vienna NGO consulations that can be summed up as "consumer rights" before all else. Yeah Right!

I was excluded by a 'management decision" by CARE who seemingly knew I was coming. They didn't ask me not to come, nor did they reasonably communicate that I was persona non-grata, they preferred to quietly arrange a preemptive  'attempt' at a trespass order from Te Papa Security. When that didnt work it was subsequently followed up by a threat of arrest from "we know who you are!" National Drug Intelligence Bureau Chief in plain clothes telling me "we'll get the boys down".  Stuart Mills was there to report to the UN his cannabis leads them to methamphetamine report. Luck for him I was outside (say some). 

This all took place in the public space, the same place where, on entry to the venue Assoc Health Minister Hon. Peter Dunne was momentarily accessible to the public gaze and questioned on Class D's recreational use status now in the Ministry's brief. He didn't seem to know!. Nor of course did too many in attendance that weekend.
Notably, this is the same Class D that is not in the New Zealand Law Commission's view, of much import. Regulations to control drug use! I thought 'that was the point' of the law review, to quote Obama's oblique but pointed 'nice people like drugs' applied cannabis 'harm minimisation'.

US Senators like Class D. US Mayors like Class D. US Lawyers Like Class D. Law Enforcement Like Class D. I have meet them. Even the Green party seems to like Class D.

Whose choking here in NZ?
Search "Stuff", not even mentioned in the media. Hellooooo!
You would think the last thing Helen Clark's caucus 'as PM' was to preside over was her 'partial prohibition', the legal R18 sale and use of psychoactive recreational soft drugs.
My guess is Helen would probably ask the UN to 'like Class D' thinking all countries might like her kinda partial prohibition so I don't want to speculate where this may take our national identity as global social entrepreneur's waving a new flag of reason and cognitive liberty.

The public space served us well for beyond a proscribed line of Te Papa tiles, between a drain and the second window, under duress of arrest that served to protect tourists from me, it placed me in full view of the Soros funded venue windows 'at coffee' break. 

Stimulating stuff. What Dunne did, and the Police are gonna.
All day...  and the next, well until 4:20pm.

So what did shutting me out mean... I got too meet everyone who came in to the public space too 'smoke'. Some were from Christchurch. Some were from the Ministry of Health sponsored event. And one came from the UN. Often.

I got more one on one time and repeat interviews with the UN delegate than the Prime Minister.

One or two were seen to hug me and shake the paw. They were law and order Politicians, health and law Professors, Doctors who are MP's, Lawyers who are Professors, Treatment and Health scientists and even members of the Expert Advisory Commitee on Drugs. Ever been kissed by a (non-smoking) Member of Parliament, in public space!.

I even met the delegation from the European Union whose 'security' observing me allowed me to approach the ambassadors. Hey, it all started with the 'we don't see that flag to much around here when drugs are being discussed?'. Which lead to an earnest acknowledgment, and exchange of cards and photo. Cool. [Te Papa security must have been hemorrhaging.]  Why would anyone have a problem with that question? Ask the European NGO's on Drugs... ENCOD.ORG and pretend I dont have an interest!

The security at the big UN delegate attended pay for your own 'networking' dinner were polite. Obviously good men doing their job. But waiting outside to say 'Hi!' to some folk I knew like Phil Saxby and others, it would have been obvious even to Security that I was not out of place 'being there'. I was flattered by the attention they gave me. Obviously entirely unnecessary, but here too the public space served me well. This was the same dinner that South Island CAYAD administrators had requested that I beinvited on their behalf and thus included at the table. The answer from Ross Bell, I am reliably informed was 'emphatically no'.

Seriously, if I wanted to use the Public Toilets inside Te Papa, I was to be escorted (accompanied) by the Chief of Security and only 'if pre-arranged'. So what if I needed to excercise a rapid bowel movment, shit! I would have been in trouble then. It's harder to drive your pants and txt security than drive!
Fortunatly, I didnt need too!, but that was just serendipity.
Then there is the conversations with the dude from Vienna Office of Drug Control Sandeep Chowla. I found his personal view particularly encouraging. While acknowledging his tobacco addiction which subsequently could be banned 'where he stood', he candidly acknowledged my exclusion. As did others. I was particular proud of the support I got from some South Islanders. Thanks.

So, as I write I  remain banned on Police Bail from the 'four avenues', now for a month, under duress of arrest for having the temerity to be seen speaking in a public space. We need to treasure that which we have.

To meet and greet important visitors coming to town (Worlds Best Expert on Dog Bites whom I organised to be on Kim Hill at 11:00am this Sat) aside from private car that cannot utilise the One-Way system, I find can't even go hear him on a bus 'recorded inside and out' as they all go through town. I dare not walk. [monitored 24hr video surveillance by non-sworn staff at the Police Station.] But even going inside a mile square of my home town... is against the law until a judge says it's not, what am I thinking!  Well, only seven days to go!

I wonder if I might SAFER at the upcoming in March Te Papa Hui on Alcohol and Violence. (hmmm: see SAFERCHOICE.ORG )

Only the Police believe cannabis is  acriminological aggressogenic stepping stone to P!
And they think I am radical?
So does the Canterbury District Health Board (who took it upon themselves to ban SATIVEX)  and ALAC, Cannabis is Illegal. And Alcohol is not.
I think such arbitrary delineations a sign of stupidity.
Makes you want to come out fighting...
(Put that on the Wanga file, Stuart!)

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Power Chains Us To Deadend Drug Laws - NZH

Brian Rudman: Power chains us to dead-end drug laws

4:00 AM Wednesday Feb 17, 2010
Justice Minister Simon Power has made it clear there is no chance 
drug laws will be relaxed while he is in charge. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Justice Minister Simon Power has made it clear there is no chance drug laws will be relaxed while he is in charge. Photo / Mark Mitchell

[snip]
Law reform is "the art of the possible" said the Law Commissioners, in explaining why they'd left themselves open to charges of being illogical and hypocritical in excluding alcohol and tobacco from their new review of recreational drugs laws.
Given the hysterical response from Justice Minister Simon Power to their 408-page, three-year long study, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and his fellow commissioners must be wondering if anything is possible under Mr Power.
It's hard to remember a major policy discussion document being so summarily and publicly rejected.
Through gritted teeth, the minister "welcomed" the report, then harrumphed: "I want to make to clear the Government will make no changes to the status quo."

If that wasn't plain enough, he then told journalists that while he would listen to submissions, "there's not a single, solitary chance that as long as I'm Minister of Justice, we'll be relaxing drug laws in New Zealand.
"The Prime Minister has made the war against P and drugs a key part of his leadership and as long as I'm the Minister of Justice, we will not be relaxing drug laws."

Ironically, former Labour Prime Minister Palmer and his law commissioner colleagues use the anti-nanny state argument - that Mr Power and his party so frequently trot out - to back their argument for a change of approach in how we deal with the personal use of drugs.

Going back to basics, they argue: "There is no clear community view that use of mind-altering substances is immoral.

[ end snip]
 see
 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10626584&pnum=0
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MedPot, Epilepsy and Informed Consent

An advertisement for cannabis americana distri...Image via Wikipedia
Tim's epilepsy experience raises the question of the role of cannabinoids in preventative health and in particular in the treasured area of 'brain science' where so much of the individual 'anecdote' experience has lead researchers to powerful generic discovery.

CSU student thankful for medical marijuana
Vanessa Dominguez, for The Greeley Gazette

After five failed brain surgeries, one man finds relief in medical marijuana.

Tim DaGiau, a full time college student at CSU is hoping to attend law school someday. He is not your typical college student. He suffers from epilepsy, a brain disorder resulting in repeated seizures that can be very sudden. "Without medical marijuana I would have lost all hope," says DaGiau.


So much of matters of the brain is unique to each case that such treatment conclusions require a patient centred approach. Brain science was built upon such case by case analysis and deduction.

There is no room for political waxing around the 'moral tautology' that surrounds cannabis. (its immoral because it is illegal, illegal because it's immoral).

If one has been informed that a particular condition means 'end of life' consequence and that of the elective treatment regimes some carry greater risk than others... informed consent is the only paradigm upon which contemporary medicine can proceed. (the same might also apply to 'quality of life'.) One even has the right to die with dignity and reject a particular intervention. If one has that discretion (to die) one must logically have the empowered decision to what medicine you want (even if it kills you).

Yet, the taking of what is nothing more than a herbal supplement (and food additive) that is no more dangerous than forgetting to wash your hands requires criminal and moral sanctions to curtail such discovery.

What is wrong with people that they cannot see the splinter in thine eye.

Tim's experience demonstrates the efficacy of unfettered access to the best medicine he can get and that in his case, it is he and he alone that can determine the qualitative and quantitative improvements and balance the known risks.

A lesson for medicine, justice and politics no less.

Enjoy law Tim.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

TVNZ Management's Pretence "false".

Television New ZealandImage via Wikipedia
The craven error of TVNZ was to commence under false pretences its 'reefer madness' stories. That the consequence has seen unsubstantiated claims made against its own crew reflects more on TVNZ management decision to misinform the public by use of old footage, distorted images, music and omission of relevant facts - no wonder the Broadcasting Commission received complaints. (eg: I was lead to believe from the story that Dakta Grower was no longer at Her Majesties pleasure. Gross distortion of facts. Use of archive footage without attribution.)
That anyone was outed is a function of prohibitions 'fog of war' not that they 'did or did not'. Now that one of the crew has seemingly removed all doubt with the peer pressure excuse, all has been laid bare...

However having seemingly self incriminated (what were they supposed to do, lie!) all that it proves is that "Nice People Like Drugs" and the sooner we have that discussion the better...

Perhaps TVNZ would like to ask ALL of its staff and see if they are over represented icon_redface.gif in the self reporting demograph [~50%] and if so... what might that tell us?

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Infringement Of Basic Human Rights

(and Drug Foundation spokesperson and policy wonk Ross Bell thinks its 'revenge' - he is fast loosing any cred with the cannabis community/Blair)


NOBODY SHOULD BE PUNISHED BY THEIR BOSS SIMPLY FOR SMOKING CANNABIS

 

 

"Nobody in New Zealand should be ever punished by their boss simply for smoking cannabis on their own time", said Dakta Green today.

 

"So long as no-one is being hurt and no disturbance caused, what goes on outside of the job is no matter of the company or the employer".


Mr Green was referring to the current investigation by TVNZ into claims that its staff smoked cannabis during a visit to Waitangi on the CannaBus with Dakta Green and members of NORML and the Daktory.


"NORML sympathizes with any employee in New Zealand who fears for their job because of private cannabis use, or who has faced consequences from their employer for having used cannabis", Mr Green said.


Dakta Green said he knew of many people in the cannabis culture who felt upset about the way in which Close Up treated him in a segment aired last week. "Some have made formal complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, but my understanding is they only complained about the content of the show, nothing else", he said.


"Any claims of wrongdoing alleged against the TVNZ staff in question are nothing but hearsay", he said. "We enjoyed their company and I believe they enjoyed ours, but I can categorically say they never smoked cannabis with us on the CannaBus".

 

"And besides", Mr Green continued, "even if they had, so what? They're adults! It's only cannabis – a drug that's far safer than both alcohol and tobacco".

 

"I'm very sorry these people are being treated this way; particularly as it's happened immediately following the Law Commission's report recommending no more criminalization of cannabis smokers."

 

Dakta Green said that such persecution is an infringement of basic human rights, something he plans to talk about more on the upcoming Armistice Tour 2010.


 Contact: Dakta Green

 021 213 6646        09 948 1049

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Start Banging the Table

The Law Commission feedback is open for business.

Have your say on the Law Commission's Review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.
The Commission's Issues Paper, 'Controlling and Regulating Drugs' was released today for public feedback. Download the document, send in an online submission or participate in forums at TalkDrugs

Here is what I said in feedback around party pills...
see http://talklaw.co.nz/topic/should-there-be-more-restrictions-on-party-pills

I suggest everyone get onboard and start banging the table real hard!


There has been a massive disconnect that deludes everyone here.... the "RESTRICTED SUBSTANCES REGULATIONS" passed into law in November 2008 made all these provisions, legal age, advertising, manufacture, labeling - a near perfect model administered by the Ministry of Health (Not Justice, Police, Corrections, Border Control and other's who populate the so called expert advisory council on drugs [EACD]).

The 'order in council' amendment to the Misuse of Drugs makes the historical crucial adjustment... provision for USE of drugs. It notes that the new 'rules' are for recreational psychoactive 'soft' drugs, while these may include party pills (a poor nomenclature at best) they also provide the model for de-classification of currently classified drugs be it LSD, MDMA, Cannabis or current and emerging substances currently and artificially placed in ABC.

ABC classification is not about relative harms. It is about sentencing guidelines. That in and of itself deserves scrutiny, but for the Law Commission to seemingly void any discussion around the existing LAW (read:solution) that controls drug sale, place of sale, advertising, age of consent, labeling and yet defines 'soft' drug administration as a matter of 'health promotion' beyond criminal sanction beggars belief.

The OMISSION of Class D from the debate colours the dialog. Look it up yourself.. http://legislation.govt.nz search for "regulated substances regulations" and prepare to be amazed we could be so sensible and oh so damned adult.

I shall leave my cynicism regarding the non-comparison of relative harms between neighboring intoxicant policy "alcohol and cannabis" - the crucial drugs we drink and smoke issue for another time.


Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
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TVNZ Staff, Pot and Prejudice.

Three staff at TVNZ's flagship current affairs show Close Up have been accused of smoking marijuana after filming a segment called "Reefer Madness", which screened last Tuesday. A fourth TVNZ staff member was also present.
 (email response to the journalist David Fisher)


Which also points to a significant anomaly in the weighting given to those who smoke 'other peoples' pot.

These folk are exempt from the illicit status in most all respects. They are protected courtesy of a culture of consideration for others. This may escape those for whom alcohol and tobacco is a drug of choice but it points to a massive unrepresented demograph for whom the law is without force and effect, for whom the quantifiable risk is near zero. We have an entire culture of occasional users who live like it is legal and no one notices. Cannabis carries with it some risk and downside entirely attributable to 'the law' for a targeted group of people. Any law that is discriminatory in application is a bad law. There is the back story. They are your staff. Interview them. Tell us what would happen to them if they were held up to such moral probity and legal sanction. That might inform the debate better than this speculation....  
/Blair Anderson

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Schapelle, Drugs and the Roots of Prejudice

(as addressed to someone with the monicker "Indian" who wrote that Schapelle Corby should be and deserved to be in jail / Blair)
“For use by white persons” – sign from the apa...Image via Wikipedia
 
There was a time when it was OK to flog slaves. It was even 'legal' to do so. There was a time when institutionalised apartheid was de-jour. Governments did business with bad Governments. We dunked people to see if the died and were thus innocent. We burned people for reading the wrong book. We enslaved and massacred people for praying in the wrong direction. We jailed people to correct sexual orientation. We gave shock treatment to 'cure' masturbatory inclinations.


And because all these thing happened in a time when it was 'alright' to do so... there were people who said stuff much like your self.

Yes, they really do burn crossesImage by eldan via Flickr

Just because something is legal and or common doesn't make it laudable..

Babs getting Shock Treatment!?Image by Deaf RED Bear via Flickr
We don't do that anymore, and that others do, doesnt make it right either.

Putting someone in jail 'for drugs' will soon come to be seen in much the same light. Not so much for the act that got that person there but for the policy that induces that outcome. If we are collectively responsible for that policy, we each bear a portion of the responsibility for its outcomes.

Even if you don't think so...

If you were uneducated and or poorly informed there would be some forgiveness for your horribleness. But that is not the case here is it. You just like being horrible. It is such weaknesses of character that made it easy for folk to turn the key on the locks of the carriages dispatching people to Auschwitz. It wasn't the money. And it wasn't the job. It was closed minds. Shut off to reason and shared humanity.
The lawyer for a Queensland woman facing drugs... 
Such views are dangerous... far more than cannabis could ever be.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Healthy Christchurch, Gamblin n Boozin.

Nevada's Mandalay Bay casino has cancelled the Cannapalooza convention for cannabis culture that was to have been held March 19-21. When the organizer invited Las Vegas Police to meet with him, "22 cops from various law enforcement and regulatory agencies" showed up and threatened his vendors with arrest and fines. One of them said "We make our money with people who drink alcohol and gamble, and people who smoke pot don't drink and don't gamble." Could you get a better endorsement?

Oh dear, and who sponsored the "International Buskers Festival" again... CCC, Christchurch Casino, Hotels, Pokie Beneficiaries and the Embassy of the United State Of America ????
And who complained about someone talking about 'impediments to public health promotion' that saw this person charged with disorderly behavour and according to Police Bail conditions, banned from the Four Avenues for a month.
 
Hmmm, is this healthy christchurch public policy by 'trial and error'!

Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›
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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Uni researchers in cannabis breakthrough

> University researchers have found that an oral spray substance based on extracts from cannabis plants could become crucial in the fight against cancer.

> Doctors say the spray works by activating molecules...

(as reported in 'The Student" - Scottish Student Newspaper of ths Year 2009)

Which gives lie to the notion that cannabis is NOT medicine. However it works, folk have been benefiting from this 'academic breakthrough' mechanism for thousands of years.

> The medical spray has been developed so that it does not affect the mental state of the patient, therefore not producing a ‘high’ normally associated with cannabis consumption.

For those for whom pain is a unendurable chronic experience the 'high' can and often is, a crucial part of the therapeutic model. That is not to discount the experience - folk for whom the trepidation of even a slightly altered state of mind (no matter how good it might feel)is simply immoral medicine might also like to direct their research bequests to stripping morphine sulphate of its 'heady' effects. One cannot [it seems] have medicine that is is remotely risky AND 'enjoyable'.

> The authors warn that the results do not support the recreational smoking of cannabis, which can increase risk of cancer.

Nor, rather crucially, do these results support the continuing prohibition of this plants herbal supplementary qualities. The 'recreational' aspect of which is a valid experiential titration that moderates risk when needed.

The reference to risk of cancer, in this case is objectively laughable and brings the balance of the 'value' of this new 'medicalized' herb into disrepute. Mild, Moderate and Heavy Cannabis use does not correlate to cancer risk has been shown convincingly (n=>64000) by Kaiser Permanente whereas tobacco and alcohol does.

It is IMPORTANT to understand the difference between distorted and misrepresented conclusions and enabled health promotion, Only by removing apparent double standards surrounding neighbouring intoxicants are we able to to ensure and protect informed choice.

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