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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cannabis, Bad for the Brain or Neuroprotectant?

brainImage by TZA via Flickr

The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of neuronal damage.

cc:  Minister of Health Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Justice Hon Simon Power.


Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040-Madrid, Spain.



Cannabinoids have been proposed as clinically promising neuroprotective molecules, based on their capability to normalize glutamate homeostasis, reducing excitotoxicity, to inhibit calcium influx, lowering intracellular levels and the subsequent activation of calcium-dependent destructive pathways, and to reduce the generation of reactive oxygen intermediates or to limit their toxicity, decreasing oxidative injury. Cannabinoids are also able to decrease local inflammatory events by acting on glial processes that regulate neuronal survival, and to restore blood supply by reducing vasocontriction produced by several endothelium-derived factors.


Current literature supporting these neuroprotective effects, particularly evidence generated during the last ten years, concentrating on targets within the cannabinoid signaling system that facilitate these effects. Acute or chronic neurodegenerative disorders where cannabinoids have shown neuroprotective effect.


Most of the information reviewed here relates to preclinical studies. However, these molecules may progress from the present preclinical evidence to clinical applications.


Treatment of neurodegenerative disorders is a challenge for neuroscientists and neurologists. Unhappily, the efficacy of available medicines is still poor and there is an urgent need for novel neuroprotective agents. Cannabinoids can serve this purpose given their recognized antiexcitotoxic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

PMID: 20230193  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'

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

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Can Youth 'card' Benefit Money be Guilty?

Any benefit received upon which the IRD considers it (a) taxable income and (in this case) deducts PAYE is and should be the absolute end of the matter. The governments restrictive determination of the end use impacts upon self-will.
We may as well lobotomise youth.
I find it particularly insidious that we should be doing this 'collectively'.
When WE do it to THEM there is a price to pay....
I also find it galling that there was no policy impact statement prepared (and made public) so that proper determination of the cost effectiveness and outcome 'delivery' can be tested against benchmark objectives. It smacks of electioneering populism (and othering) over pragmatic governance.
It is about as logical as prosecuting someone for spending 'profits of selling some cannabis' on bread.

That some money (mine) has a different inherent quality than other money (yours)... and that someone (govt) has a (a) the right to know the difference (b) define that difference and (c) the circumstance in which that arbitrary difference is applied.

It leads to the legal assumption that property including 'cash' can be guilty after the fact, or could be/might be 'suspicious' creating an unwarranted 'need to police'.

That 'we already do it for....' still doesn't make it right, sustainable, good  or civil.
Perhaps the National Party should check this 'targeted policy' against its own party principals?

Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'

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

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Brought to You by Drugs

New Zealand Embassy in Washington, D.C.Image by savethedave via FlickrNew Zealand and the US of A are the only countries in the world that allow advertising of pharm products in the media.

Unlike the US, which ...

goNZo Freakpower Brains Trust: Brought to you by drugs:

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Opportunity Lost, Benefits forgone?

Professor Faull, citations around brain research, emerging Huntington's, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's problem for aged care, googled... ?
Tell me cannabis isnt medicine!
PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's diseaseImage via Wikipedia
The potential for epidemiology research?
Targeted harm intervention research?
Opportunity Lost, Benefits forgone?
Should NZ tear up the (Ottawa) Charter; it obviously wasn't written for us?
Why do we place such limits on research,and if that wasnt ethically challenging enough, the 'research' is made illegal, how unethical is that?

/ Blair Anderson 
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Dope makes ya nuts, debunked or just tested?

The correlation question is well explained in the science. It is not 'causation' so why the hype, why the moral dilema, why the perverse enforcement, why the waste of resources?
Informs the debate at the cutting edge of social ecology.

Is Class C Criminalisation for no good reason?

If we're not doing this to save people from them selves, that only leaves harm maximisation?

Time for Class D?
Blair Anderson 

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

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Blanket Prohibitions: Inherently Evil?

Prohibition (even if in name only) is responsible for hurting people. Continued support of which gives licence and succour to those who practice the hurting of people. There is no medical practitioner who supports 'doing harm' where it can be avoided. Those who shirk 'moral culpability' for such systemic failure are deeply deluded verging on insane.

A lithograph by Nathaniel Currier supporting t...Image via WikipediaThe belief that the illegal' status improves things... is neither conservative nor precautionary.

It is downright dangerous.

There is nothing in the pharmacology of cannabis that is inherently evil (a prerequisite for state sanction of depriving one of freedom) or criminogenic.

It is naivety that maintains the status quo.

It is insufficient to just 'believe, hope, or follow' the existing paradigm that hurts others 'in your name' because your too busy, uneducated, or downright vindictively prejudiced and choose to remain 'of a mind' that what you believe is best practice.

It is especially duplicitous to call for or maintain prohibition having 'used' the vice you [now] object too without understanding that you did this both despite prohibition (it didn't work for you, why would you believe it should for others) and also that any harms you thus accrued occurred under prohibitions watch yet you suffered no criminal sanction you [now] wish on others.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

'A drugs revolution must start with Cannabis',

Following on from yesterday's leader editorial in the Times, comes a half page opinion piece by Anushka Astana titled 'A drugs revolution must start with cannabis', the subheading reading: 'The classification system is deeply flawed. But it's the whole punitive approach that needs a overhaul'

The piece opens with a broad critique of the classification system before making a more substantive call for reform, suggesting 'We should reject the punitive approach and focus on reducing harm' . It then explores the legalisation debate with the sort of nuance so often absent from the taditionally polarised media debate:
'..,authoratitative voices are increasingly starting to argue what was once unthinkable: That prohibtiion isnt working'  
'Some dismiss legalisers as wanting a free-for-all, in which you can order coke or pills at your local pub alongside a glass of wine. But that isn't what most reformers have in mind. Sensibly, they want regulation that take large parts of the drugs market away from orgainsed crime and in which addicts are treated rather than punished'
[Extract from Transform Drug Policy Foundation (TDPF), the UK's leading centre of expertise on drug policy and law reform.]

Blair Anderson
Topographical map of the United Kingdom, Penni...Image via Wikipedia
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Dunne's UnHealthy and Criminal Injustice's

Dunne may have pushed his boat out too far... and he will loose some votes for that. Unfortuatly he will garner a whole lot more for having been seen to be tough on 'youth' and drugs. Being seen to do something... yadda yadda.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08:  (L-R) Pol...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Note: his call is to criminalise.. as a health minister (not in cabinet) he is a light weight ning nong trying very hard to be relevent. However as health minister he has certain obligations he is not fulfilling. And that is to preserve and protect public health. (Where is the Policy Impact Statement for example) and this ban, in name only along with many other flaws in the MOD Act, will do neither.
So why are we asking him? It is TONY RYALL who is his logical boss and under whose warrant all drug policy is excercised, inc respective policy/enforcment implementation by Police, Corrections, Border Control, Justice etc....
It his dance I want to see...
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Drug Policy Idiotology " child endangerment by proxy"

Open Letter to the Prime Minister, The Leader of the Opposition, The NZ Drug Czar and My Member of Parliament.
Dear Sir's/Madams
River PhoenixCover of River Phoenix

A TradeMe Community correspondent wrote:
I haven't done Kronic. Although I had to look after a friend for the night as he lost his vision, ability to walk and communicate.
I invite the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Associate Minister of Health to consider the above expressed concern in relation to our emerging drug threats' the alcohol (and other drug) law and public health.
Compare kronic, his experience and alcohol.

blind drunk!
drunken stagger!,
drink talking!
Um, drug of choice, scale of the problem..... appropriate intervention!
Let me set the table as it were: It is increasingly clear that no government is serious about fixing alcohol unless it is prepared to fix the neighbouring intoxicants FIRST.
I would commend to the TM Community correspondent (and did so) first of all "Thank you for being there for your friend." 
It is the preferred protocol. It saves lives (particularly surrounding alcohol) and was the harm reduction measure promoted by the Ministry of Health and Community Health called "hold on to your Mates!".  (cf: "Stand By Me")
However when we make something illegal... the implications for anyone 'associated' with illicit drug use is POLICE INQUIRIES, DRUG TESTING, EXPULSION, DOLE QUEUE...etc... it does exactly the opposite.

Now we have something that is evidentially  'safer' than alcohol, in wide use (500,000 est) about to be treated by the system as as toxic as 'P' (until we know what it is.) no one wants to stand around and get into that mess... and your mate is left to it!

Dangerous context is a factor that has nothing to do with the pharmacology of the drug... in drug parlance we call this the "set and setting" and shortgame kneejerk policy wonks and all those who sidle up to the 'just ban it' idiotology are trading the health and safety of our youths for a few more 'get tough' votes, treatment budgets and more research money.

Wrong Wrong Wrong.....

Cases exactly as I describe occur every day in the USA. People die for no good reason, a large number are young people.  A TV special on the death of "Stand By Me" actor 'River Phoenix' captured this superbly. No one called an ambulance. He died for nothing, well not exactly nothing... worst case scenario in failing to protect and preserve the public health comes to mind.

If it was a road accident, you can be prosecuted for 'failing to render assistance'... when it comes to 'drugs' we sanction worst case public health and call it 'getting tough'. Tell that to the parents of someone who dies for no good reason than "I was afraid to make the call!".

If this makes sense, don't just sit there... have the temerity to reflect on where this is taking us.

We are standing by doing nothing rubber necking a 'slow wreck' and watching parliament put the health and wellbeing of half a million mostly youth at risk!

Expiditious drug policy without oversight/community input sanctioned form the top suggests Dunne/Key/Goff et al" should be charged with child endangerment!
Would liability be proven if due process was shown to be flawed? For example: Where is the required 'Policy Impact Statement' ?  Still at BERL?
I repeat:   No government is serious about fixing alcohol unless it is prepared to "Regulate AND Control"  neighbouring intoxicants FIRST.
Bans are no regulation and no control. 

To suggest anything else is dangerous 'spin'.
Dangerous to whom? I argue....
Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

Blair Anderson 

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

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Kronic, An Addiction to Failure

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Cannabis Use by Country - Lifestyle Statistics

Blair Anderson
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