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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drug counsellor compromised by TRUTH

As reported 
By BLAIR ENSOR - The Marlborough Express

This caring and otherwise law abiding man joins the 400,000 regular pot toking functioning citizens of New Zealand who it appears from the science (Canterbury Health and Development study] come to little harm other than from the illegal status. Clearly he has lost his job. And will pay dearly for his SAFE choice (saferchoice.org) How many doctors drink alcohol, an anaesthetic? Or police smoke tobacco a killer carcinogen. 

Consider this informed even if it was just a top cop, a chief constables view:

My personal belief in terms of sheer scale of harm is that one of the most dangerous drugs in this country is alcohol. Alcohol is a lawful drug. Likewise, nicotine is a lawful drug, but cigarettes can kill," he said. "There is a wider debate on the impacts to our community about all aspects of drugs, of which illicit drugs are one modest part." - The comments by Tim Hollis [chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' drugs committee] come as a row continues between UK scientists and politicians over cannabis. 

One of Britain's leading researchers into the drug, Professor Roger Pertwee, argued [http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/14/cannabis-licence-legalisation-pertwee]  that policymakers should consider allowing the licensed sale of cannabis for recreational use, claiming the current policy of criminalising cannabis was ineffective.  

This should be unsurprising as it is consistent with the recent visit to NZ of  Sir Ian Gilmore (also a Professor) retired Royal College of Physicians, and Professor David Nutt fmr Chair of the UK's ACMD - the science advisory to the Home Office.

Financial constraints prompt top police [leap.cc] to call for debate on drugs and redirecting resources towards effective and evidential programs,  amid growing warnings from NZ experts that demonstrate out of OUR science (not someone else's, this is US we are measuring) that prohibition, particularly of cannabis does not deter drug use. Eight hundred of the thousand people studied had broken this disreputable law more than five times. Are they ALL to loose their jobs? (CHDS Cannabis and Youth lecture - Joe Boden PhD. presentation to health professionals, Christchurch, Sept 3rd 2010)

The writer is standing for safer communities together, as a prospective Mayor of Christchurch against fmr Drug Czar and Health Minister, Hon. Jim Anderton who lies about zero tolerance prevention being 'harm reduction' describing cannabis as 'evil'. 

Such deceit on a massive and corrupt scale is rendering us all stupid.  

--
 Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com
http://blair4mayor.com
http://efsdp.org

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Molenaar Inquest buries crucial evidence

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis PartyImage via Wikipedia Molenaar Inquest buries crucial evidence

Recommendations from the coroner’s inquiry into last year’s Napier siege incident have ignored the fact that this – and other recent police shootings – were generated by a draconian prohibition of cannabis.

Instead of recognising that the prohibition does not work, and is creating potentially volatile situations every time police knock at the door, the coroner is recommending a review of the Arms Act, and establishment of an arms register to identify potentially dangerous citizens.

It appears evidence presented to the coroner’s court was incomplete, and coming only from highly subjective perspectives.

“Attacks on police such as this one, are a drug policy issue, not arms policy”, says the ALCP. People deeply involved in the black market arm themselves against home invasion, including increasingly heavy-handed home invasion by Police. In Jan Molenaar’s case, a ‘prohibition rage’ incident appears to have been triggered by the highly unwelcome police search.

The NZ Law Commission is currently reviewing the 1975 Misuse of Drugs Act. However it seems that Police, Courts, coroners and media are unable to join the dots and make a logical analysis of the problem.

With as many as 20,000 convictions a year in NZ, prohibition enforcement has degraded respect for rule of law. Strong international evidence shows prohibition has made NZ number one for cannabis use in the world, with higher usage than nations with liberal policies and controlled availability (NZ has at least 400,000 estimated marijuana consumers).

‘The law protects no one and causes all-too-frequent violent incidents, while discriminating against a vast sector of the community at great cost to the beleaguered NZ taxpayer. The coroner’s narrow recommendations guarantee that such incidents of disrespect and violence towards police will happen again.


ALCP media release published on infonews.co.nz  (scoop.co.nz  refused to publish spuriously arguing that it wasn't factual )

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Law "dangerous and wrong" - Professor and former Judge

Prosecutor of Vancouver Pothead, now a law Professor [in our sister city]  Seattle now says law "dangerous and wrong".
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/09/07/Prince-Pots-Prosecutor-Declares-Marijuana-Prohibition-Bust
--
 Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Consistent with Research - 'what to do'

English: Active/Lethal Dose Ratio and Dependen...Image via Wikipedia Another government misconception was that young people were pressured into taking drugs. However, participants in this study insisted that they made their own drugs decisions for which they took responsibility.

The notion of peer pressure was a source of resentment to many young people when expounded by adults delivering drug education.

Parker and colleagues also argued that young people's drug use had become entangled in the wider moral panic about, and blaming of youth, for society problems. They emphasised that continuing the 'war on drugs' and ignoring the reality of young people's drug taking was resulting in a neglect in dealing with reducing the harms and risks of drug use.

They pointed out the need to:
  • accept that drug use occurs and treat the user as a citizen
  • try and help assure that street drugs are quality tested
  • help young people share information and experiences about drugs, in particular bad experiences
  • create a situation where young people trust the information (including scientific) on drugs provided by older people
  • create a situation where young people feel that they can come forward and talk about their drug problem without censure.
Illegal Leisure: The normalization of adolescent recreational drug use by Howard Parker, Judith Aldridge and Fiona Measham: Routledge, 1998.  Download the full article in PDF Format

/Blair

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

The rising trend against the war on drugs - Canada

Toronto this week became the first city in the world to formally endorse the Vienna Declaration that states that war-on-drugs-style prohibitions are a costly failure, denounces the “severe negative consequences” of such policies both in terms of public health and crime rates, and urges a shift in emphasis to regulation and harm reduction.

From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010 8:30PM EDT

It would be easy to dismiss the city council’s decision as a meaningless gesture by local politicians working well out of their depth, except that the push to decriminalize, not only marijuana, but hard drugs like cocaine and heroin as well, is a rising international phenomenon, being driven by serious and credible sources, not by local politicians or stoner websites.
In the United Kingdom, for example, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, the chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, and an analysis in the British Medical Journal all have argued in the past month that the prohibitions have been ineffective in controlling drug use, and have harmed society.
In response to the mounting evidence, some countries and subnational jurisdictions have begun to move toward more liberal laws. For example, Mexico, which has seen a bloody war erupt on its soil by narcotics traffickers, has recently moved to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs.

The Vienna Declaration states, “There is no evidence that increasing the ferocity of law enforcement meaningfully reduces the prevalence of drug use.” On the contrary, the expert panel behind the document – which included several Canadians – argues that law enforcement has failed to prevent the availability of illegal drugs; indeed drug prices over the years have been falling, and drug purity rising.

The Royal College of Physicians’ Sir Ian Gilmore, in his valedictory speech, showed that the total prohibition of drugs “has not been successful at reducing not only the health burden, but also the impact on crime.” He said there’s a “strong case for a different approach.” That view is echoed in the BMJ analysis, which says the ban on drugs has been “counterproductive,” and cites a 2008 World Health Organization study that found “countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones.” Indeed, the BMJ analysis suggests the opposite may be true, pointing to evidence that in some jurisdictions, such as Portugal, decriminalization has accomplished what the prohibition failed to, namely decreased use, especially among school-age young people.
The Canadian government has made it clear that it will not support the Vienna Declaration and will countenance no change to this country’s hard-line National Anti-Drug Strategy and current federal drug policy. Similarly, Britain’s Home Office, despite the presence in the governing coalition of the decriminalization-minded Liberal Democrats, has so far refused to take the bait either, issuing a statement that says, “Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are extremely harmful and can cause misery to communities across our country.”

Lumping marijuana in with the harder drugs is foolish, but it is otherwise a fair statement. The goal of public policy should be to reduce drug use, reduce drug crime and reduce drug harm. The question is whether punitive drug laws alleviate such misery or are, as the Vienna Declaration implies, a major contributor to it. Evidence supports the latter conclusion. For example, outside sub-Saharan Africa, injection drug use now accounts for about one in three new cases of HIV.

The Insite supervised-injection site in Vancouver is a recognition in Canada that there is another path, to treat drug addicts not as criminals but as people requiring medical assistance. Few in Canada are ready to contemplate the decriminalization and regulation of drugs like cocaine and heroin, but the country did seriously entertain the decriminalization of marijuana under the Liberal government. Bill C-17, which provided for fines but no criminal record for possession of small amounts of marijuana, died, however, and the Conservatives have taken a much harder line, adopting war-on-drugs rhetoric.

The record suggests current federal government policy will not succeed in achieving any reduction of use, crime or harm. Canada, consequently, should resurrect the legislation to decriminalize marijuana and embark on a broader national discussion about policy on harder drugs, and the need for harm reduction in Canada.
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