Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform
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Massive support for medicinal cannabis - Stuff

An overwhelming majority of Nelson Mail readers think sick people should be allowed to use cannabis, a week-long opinion poll on the website nelsonmail.co.nz shows.

 

Of 1223 respondents, close to 83 per cent (1011 people) supported the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Just 212 people were against, as of 8am today.

The poll was sparked by an April 14 feature story on Golden Bay couple Victoria and John "Buzz" Davis. Late last month Mrs Davis, 62, admitted charges of cultivating and possessing cannabis, which she used to treat her 64-year-old husband's phantom pains, suffered since both his legs were amputated below the knee several years ago. Judge Tony Zohrab discharged Mrs Davis without conviction.

 

[Which makes the sentencing of Chrischurch's Neville Yates (TV3), another phantom pain sufferer (and hard opiod meds avoider) to eight months jail a grotesque human rights violation 'in the name of a drug war that has never worked, all the more vicious! /Blair ]

 

The comments section at the Nelson Mail is worth a read - oh and a contribution!

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Resolving the Tension, by Creating the Solution
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Police swoop on $10k bank account deals

Police swoop on $10k bank account deals | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
NZ Herald article as seen below: Police say new rules key cog in crackdown on financial crime but ch
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Money 'laundering' in this context? Jeez Wayne! Money isn't guilty, it is just, money.

 Someone in drug intel needs to talk to someone in 'civil society'.

 "He who gives up liberty, in exchange for security, deserves neither."

 If there was a connection, there would be a legacy of such transactions, clearly associated with terrorism events, exacted or otherwise. That not being the case, we can assume that the multi-billion dollar drug trade has been giving police a bit of a hard time 'getting caught'. And this is the Police's go to when they are bereft of good ideas.

 Here's the news fellas. Drug "King Pins" employ very very good financial advisors and cryptography works for them.

You, Police or anyone else from Internal Affairs down have no idea, who, when or how much....

 So stop pretending you're the smart boys on the block....

This is dumb policy.... creating problems where there are none. A gullible public will reckon that you all doing a great job and need to go covert to get your man. Politicians reckon it is about striking a right balance.

 The truth is... you and your government minders are all on a hiding to nothing in the so-called war on drugs.

 The best thing about smashing your head against a brick wall, is, when you stop.

 Prohibition sucks money...... more than you can count!
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Traffic fatalities decline in states with medical marijuana laws (USA)

States that enacted medical marijuana laws, on average, experienced reductions in traffic fatalities, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Overall, states that passed medical marijuana laws saw an 11 percent reduction in traffic fatalities, on average, after enacting the laws, and had 26 percent lower rates of traffic fatalities compared with states without the laws.

Via ReGenUC
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Offsetting alcohol related driving harm is one thing....  Displacing it by a less harmful alternative is, it seems, unbearable to the high priests of prohibition, making them complicit in the difference. They may as well have driven drunk themselves! 

The fact that cannabis impaired driving is still illegal as it is impairment that is against the law, as it should be, escapes these ning nongs.  However, cannabis doesn't impair the executive decision to drive, whereas alcohol does. Cannabis for the greater part is not responsible for drugged driving even when alcohol is involved, for it is alcohol that is the GREATER component in the irresponsible behaviour...

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ReGenUC's curator insight, December 21, 2016 6:45 PM

More material for the ongoing debate about cannabis and drug driving.

Eric Larson's curator insight, January 26, 11:42 AM
Decline?
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New Study: Cannabis Helps Drug Addiction & Mental Health

New Study: Cannabis Helps Drug Addiction & Mental Health | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Candian researchers have discovered that cannabis, as it turns out, may help treat addiction and mental health disorders.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
What happens when you remove the roadblocks?,
Gaps close.
1
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Eric Larson's curator insight, January 2, 6:33 PM
Helps drug addiction?
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This members-only social club offers organically-grown marijuana

This members-only social club offers organically-grown marijuana | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
VIDEO: This members-only marijuana social club is raising the standard with it's organically grown cannabis.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Organically grown, goodness. Social Club lifts the game....
 
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Cannabis Fights Cartilage Loss in Arthritis - Culture Magazine - Cannabis Lifestyle and News Magazine

Cannabis Fights Cartilage Loss in Arthritis -  Culture Magazine - Cannabis Lifestyle and News Magazine | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
RT @iReadCulture: Cannabis Fights Cartilage Loss in Arthritis - https://t.co/v93APiuNfu #cannabis #iReadCulture #arthritis https://t.co/59V…
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
We need Better Joints, JK!
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THC: Everything You Need To Know About Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

THC: Everything You Need To Know About Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
How much do you know about delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC?
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Where do you get cannabis 'to study'....  just ask you ning nongs!
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Cannabis Found to Destroy Toxic Protein That Leads to Alzheimer’s Disease | Humans Are Free

Cannabis Found to Destroy Toxic Protein That Leads to Alzheimer’s Disease | Humans Are Free | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Scientists may have just found an ingredient in cannabis that could help people with Alzheimer’s
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
It would be fair to say there is a bit of 'I told you so' though some might think this somewhat arrogant or self congratulatory. If it wasn't for pressure being brought to bear on a system reluctant to do this kind of research, indeed having structural impediments and a process of review so crucially faced, this is welcome news as it demonstrates how far we have come as much as it does give import to why research may offer some insights into the mechanisms that unfettered longitudinal epidemiology is going to provide. 

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 11, 2016 9:12 AM
Alzheimer's disease solution?
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Explain why Human rights must be central to drug policy

Explain why Human rights must be central to drug policy | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

An accessible but comprehensive primer on why TNI believes that human rights must be at the heart of any debate on drug control


Via Julian Buchanan
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Why Addiction Is Not a Disease: Marc Lewis PhD:

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

~ Marc Lewis PhD (author) More about this product
List Price: $26.99
Price: $14.13
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“Neuroscientist Lewis (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain) presents a strong argument against the disease model of addiction, which is currently predominant in medicine and popular culture alike, and bolsters it with informative and engaging narratives of addicts’ lives... Even when presenting more technical information, Lewis shows a keen ability to put a human face on the most groundbreaking research into addiction. Likewise, he manages to make complex findings and theories both comprehensible and interesting… [T]his book, written with hopeful sincerity, will intrigue both those who accept its thesis and those who do not.” —Publishers Weekly


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Aways thought it a strange disease insofar as it takes money to catch it and morality to cure it, quite the reverse sequence of  bio indicators than is traditional precursor theory to disease, cure and the American way.

 

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New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 unites prohibitionists & drug law reformers - how?

New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 unites prohibitionists & drug law reformers - how? | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

 

 


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Pity they dumped the best *rules in the world for this half baked pandering to fears bullshit.  

Google "restricted substances regulations" 2008  for concise, erudite functional best practice drug policy so boring no one noticed! 

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, July 14, 2013 6:48 PM

Is this a sensible and long overdue move towards drug regulation or is just a clever pragmatic way to end the legalhighs cat and mouse game by prohibiting all unapproved legal highs in one single legislative move?

Does promoting & taxing government approved drugs while policing and punishing government unapproved drugs - sound a familiar model to you? Is that what you'd call regulation? It seems worryingly similar to the present divide between alcohol and cannabis.

This NZ model of 'regulation' was passed with overwhelming support 119 votes to 1. This must reflect a progressive and forward thinking country? I'm afraid not, it reflects a messy Act that has become a bit of a 'pig in a poke'. Prohibitionists supported the Act believing they were banning drugs and keeping nasty legalhighs away from young people while drug reformers thought they were moving forward with regulation. Hear Peter Dunne the Health Minister explain the rationale for Act http://sco.lt/8iv5AP

 

Here is the small print identifying worrying clauses in the NZ Psychoactive Substance Bill that despite a number of protestations (including my written https://www.academia.edu/3487019/Submission_to_Health_Select_Committee_on_NZ_Psychoactive_Substances_Bill_Regulating_Legal_Highs_ and oral submission) were kept in the Act:

Clause 62
Supply of unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max of 2 years prison

Clause 63
Personal possession of any unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max. penalty of $500

Clause 69
Empowers the police or appointed 'Enforcement Officers' to enter premises without a warrant on suspicion of possess with intent to supply an unapproved substances

Clause 11
The Advisory Committee to oversee new approved and unapproved 'legalhighs' specifies only medical personnel 'pharmacology, toxicology, neuroscience & medicine' not mention of drug workers, drug user, sociologist, criminologist etc.

 

It is worth understanding the context of this drug policy to understand how it might be interpreted and delivered. This model of 'regulation' sits alongside New Zealand's 'progressive and forward thinking harm reduction drug policy' that:

a) Has rolled out drug testing people on benefits and will stop the benefit of those who repeatedly test positive

b) Will not prescribe injectable substitute drugs,

c) Has no naloxone distribution

d) Has no drug consumption rooms

e) Promotes employer drug testing

f)  Has just invested $2m on US styled Drug Abstinence Courts.

g) Refuses to allow self medication with raw cannabis and only support pharmaceutical cannabis spray in exceptional cases for patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

 

h) Increased arrests for cannabis supply by 75% between 2011 to 2012

Faced with frustration and cost over endlessly adding new legal highs to the New Zealand Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 has the government pulled off a prohibitionist master stroke and prohibited all legal highs in one move placing the onus (and cost) on the industry?

Of course the government may actually approve and tax some low risk substances which then allows them to sit alongside other government approved drugs (alcohol and tobacco), but this 'regulation' model perpetuates the current failed model - in that possession of anything not approved by the state is prohibited and will be policed and punished.

 

Regulating drugs is much needed and welcomed but policing and punishing people for using substances that are not approved by the State is a retrograde and worrying move. Imagine if the logic was extended to alcohol, food, vitamins and minerals? It should be a human right for people to consume what they want without getting busted by the police.

We need to decouple personal drug use from law enforcement agencies, we need drug regulation but this is not the sort of regulation I welcome nor one to shout about or adopt elsewhere.

Julian Buchanan

 

Link to the Act itself:
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0053/latest/DLM5043005.html

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THC Improves Surival Rate From Traumatic Brain Injuries

THC Improves Surival Rate From Traumatic Brain Injuries | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
A recent study found that patients who had levels of THC in their bodies were less likely to die as a result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

So I have a serious brain injury and my prognosis is shite.... 

Wouldn't be nice if there was a benign  intermediary that arrested apoptosis, opened blood vessels (vasodilation) and left not a mark!

Would be a miracle in another time and another place!

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 14, 2016 8:58 AM
THC improves survival following traumatic brain injuries?
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Meet flakka, the drug police say is making people run around nude and have sex with trees (USA)

But how dangerous is it, really?

Via ReGenUC
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Flakka!, if these so called informed enough to have an opinion folk were to be honest with themselves and the wider public they would have to admit, its prevalence and harms are consequence of, a thus a direct product of prohibition.

It's the rules, stooped! 

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ReGenUC's curator insight, May 19, 2015 10:04 PM

A great piece by German Lopez on the power of sensationalist media coverage to distort community perceptions of drug related harm (particularly in relation to emerging drug types) and create public pressure for non-evidence based drug policy.

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As Barcelona Attempts Crackdown, New Report Underscores Benefits of Catalonia’s Cannabis Clubs

As Barcelona Attempts Crackdown, New Report Underscores Benefits of Catalonia’s Cannabis Clubs | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
On the eve of municipal elections Barcelona’s mayor has threatened to close nearly 90 percent of the city’s cannabis social clubs (CSCs), a myopic proposal that ignore
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Meanwhile NZ puts its citizens in jail for such creative initiatives.

consider:  

The paper, Innovation Born of Necessity: Pioneering Drug Policy in Catalonia, provides a comprehensive overview of the region’s approach to harm reduction and the evolution CSCs in Catalonia. As the report outlines, among the considerable societal benefits that CSCs offer are:   (see http://www.talkingdrugs.org/barcelona-crackdown-cannabis-clubs-open-society-report-drug-policy ;)

  

Providing a space that previously did not exist for consumption in private, decreasing visibility and the volume of buying and selling in public.The fact that membership to a club can typically only be gained by invitation, ensuring that cannabis use is not promoted among new consumers.Strict controls on the age of people who can access clubs (normally setting the minimum at 18 or 21 years) to ensure use isn't promoted among young people.Diverting users away from, and thus helping to diminish, the potentially far more dangerous black market.   

 

and... "Though the cannabis social clubs have no profit motive, they generate significant economic activity ... For example, a cannabis social club with 600 members requires roughly 10 employees to manage operations. If a million and a half people (a little more than 60 percent of daily users and frequent consumers (OEDT, 2011) purchased their cannabis from a cannabis social club, some 25,000 jobs would be generated."
 

In such a scenario, Spain's government could collect an estimated €411 million annually in direct revenue and potentially save €250 million per year in unemployment benefits thanks to the creation of 25,000 new jobs by CSCs.

And we punish such innovation..... pretty dumb policy!
Free the Daktavists Now!  

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NSW to spearhead medicinal cannabis cultivation research

NSW to spearhead medicinal cannabis cultivation research | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
The State Government will spend $21 million on cannabis research ahead of a legal medicinal cannabis industry being set up.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
New Zealand has a few spare heads that could be researched. Indeed both the Dunedin Study and the Christchurch Health and Developments study may prove to be one of the best tools we have for researching the cohort of cannabis related issue.
 
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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, July 25, 2016 9:46 AM
It not about researching cultivation, its the opportunity to study populations where the gems are to be found. 
Eric Larson's curator insight, November 22, 2016 8:06 AM
Medicinal cannabis?
Eric Larson's curator insight, March 8, 9:44 AM
Medicinal cannabis
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Medicinal cannabis offers ‘a new horizon’ for treatment of epilepsy

Medicinal cannabis offers ‘a new horizon’ for treatment of epilepsy | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Experts asked by health minister to give opinion on the merits of licensing cannabis and laws needed
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Aargh! the luck of the Irish!
At least they are getting credible pathways to allow the light to shine in....
 
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Eric Larson's curator insight, December 15, 2016 10:36 AM
Medicinal cannabis?
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Marijuana advocates sceptical about Canada path to legal pot - BBC News

Marijuana advocates sceptical about Canada path to legal pot - BBC News | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Canada moves ahead with plans to legalise recreational pot but marijuana advocates are sceptical.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Reform is not reforming without those who are the architects of that reform. It is incumbent on those who have resisted reform to indemnify and embrace those who brought effect to that change. Anything else is more of the same and no reform at all.
 
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Resolve the Tensions - RadioNZ

Resolve the Tensions - RadioNZ
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
(as submitted to SUNDAY- Radio New Zealand)

The law in respect of Cannabis as it is applied 'in force and effect' with ageist, sexist, and racist overtures. Yet, statistics shows that if you don't use, or have never used cannabis you live next door to someone who does. The Christchurch Health and Development Study revealed that 80% of childbearing age adults on this gold standard world class research have used Cannabis more than five times. The law is in disrepute. As a reformer since prior to the 1975 MoD Act the debate is welcomed. It is however deeply shameful that it has taken this long... the tensions must be resolved.  / Blair Anderson
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NSW to spearhead medicinal cannabis cultivation research

NSW to spearhead medicinal cannabis cultivation research | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
The State Government will spend $21 million on cannabis research ahead of a legal medicinal cannabis industry being set up.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
It not about researching cultivation, its the opportunity to study populations where the gems are to be found. 
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Eric Larson's curator insight, November 22, 2016 8:06 AM
Medicinal cannabis?
MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, February 19, 8:35 PM
New Zealand has a few spare heads that could be researched. Indeed both the Dunedin Study and the Christchurch Health and Developments study may prove to be one of the best tools we have for researching the cohort of cannabis related issue.
 
Eric Larson's curator insight, March 8, 9:44 AM
Medicinal cannabis
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Researchers find medical marijuana decreases migraines

Researchers find medical marijuana decreases migraines | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
(NaturalHealth365) Medical marijuana has been shown to help those suffering with chronic migraines. Find out what the research proves about this remedy.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
There is a litany of testimonials for the efficacy of this use!  
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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 11, 2016 9:13 AM
Chronic migraine solution?
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The war on drugs is long lost, so why are we still fighting? (Aus)

The war on drugs is long lost, so why are we still fighting? (Aus) | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

Prohibition is not the answer, so what are the alternatives?


Via ReGenUC
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Harm reduction = Legal. Because something is legal doesn't make it laudable. Is that too hard?

 

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ReGenUC's curator insight, October 10, 2015 10:45 PM
Greg Denham argues for drug law reform and a rebalancing of Australia's Harm Minimisation policy model, with a greater emphasis on harm reduction and treatment.
Devyn Mode's curator insight, March 24, 2016 2:49 PM

Greg Denham argues for drug law reform and a rebalancing of Australia's Harm Minimisation policy model, with a greater emphasis on harm reduction and treatment.

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Drug reform is not a Dunne deal

Drug reform is not a Dunne deal | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Drug laws have been liberalised from Portland to Portugal. Why is New Zealand missing the (magic) bus?
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Bell, committed as he is to Drug Policy and Policy Reform is still bound to the "Care" treatment ethos that has largely been unsuccessful. Real progress in drug policy (and what was really called 'innovative') looked just like our 'restricted substances regulations' passed into law in 2008 the day John Key became right and honourable. These are the 'rules' that Prof David Nutt said of them "I wished I had thought of them myself" and that it was 'absolutely' the right place to put cannabis.  

I didn't see Bell stepping up to the plate then.... 

Not enough treatment in the mix I suspect.... 

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I'm quoted in Rolling Stone Article "UK Bill Banning Psychoactive Drugs Could Stifle Scientific Research"

I'm quoted in Rolling Stone Article "UK Bill Banning Psychoactive Drugs Could Stifle Scientific Research" | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it

“In theory, the New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 introduced this option in respect of [new psychoactive substances], provided they could be proved low risk,” Julian Buchanan, associate professor of criminology at Victoria University of Wellington tells Rolling Stone, adding that the purpose was actually to extend prohibition, not curb it. “Perhaps not surprisingly, given the main focus of the act, not a single [new psychoactive substance] has been approved for sale here in New Zealand.”

“We must end penalties for all personal possession, not extend them as we have done here in New Zealand,” Buchanan says. “We cannot construct a new model for drug regulation on the foundations of prohibition in which people are encouraged to consume state-approved products and punished for possessing unapproved products. We need to concentrate on developing strict regulation on businesses, not people, and ultimately this process should not be confined to [new psychoactive substances] but include all substances currently listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/uk-bill-banning-psychoactive-drugs-could-stifle-scientific-research-20150529#ixzz3bx3ZPMmP ;
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook


Via Julian Buchanan
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

> Unmasking NZ’s ‘World Leading Drug Reform’

 

this phrase was purloined by Jim Anderton when he was told it in response to his pending 'restricted substances regulations' at about the time  of the UN consultations held in conjunction  with the Ministry of Health at Te Papa. Subsequently when National Was elected (the day the above rules became law) and peter Dunne was anointed with the poisoned chalice of drug policy he was keen to look good and stop the phrase while bastardising everything that was good about Class D regulation. 

A pity the Law Commission inquiry into cannabis and other drugs was again bastardised from its original  blue skies approach to constrained to the 'art of what was politically possible' (quote from the  chair of the commission, Sir Geoff Palmer) - else Class D may have got the green light.

Unmasking NZ's drug policy requires one to have the mental aptitude to see it for what it has become, a litany of lies, half truths and convenient lapses in memory..... despite best practice this has been tolerated for political expediency. Take for example the $50,000 a year (1996 dollar) budgeted to do the 'cost benefit analysis' - dropped for reasons of, and I quote, 'legislative implications'.

That would be in excess of $million dollars today... yet an eminent and experienced Emeritus Professor of Economics gave us a quote to do it for less than $50,000 ...

The response from a 'fiscally responsible' National government is best described as the  "fuck you" agenda.   


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, June 2, 2015 7:47 PM

If you want to understand further what's been happening in New Zealand with respect of the legal high ban see my blog

Unmasking NZ’s ‘World Leading Drug Reform’


https://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/lessons-from-the-world-leading-kiwi-drug-reform-magic-trick/

 

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Synthetic high hospitalises Lancaster University students - BBC News

Synthetic high hospitalises Lancaster University students - BBC News | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
Five Lancaster University students are in hospital, two of them in a critical condition, after taking a synthetic cannabis substitute.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

"with a suspicion that they had taken the drug" (what drug? ) they have no idea. and then the crucial question is 'why do we not know' ?  Wouldn't be the implication 'its the rules stooped' by any chance, after all it did occur on prohibitions watch.

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#Cannabis #Science - #Cannabinoid #Compounds - #Marijuana #Documentary

#Cannabis #Science - #Cannabinoid #Compounds - #Marijuana #Documentary | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
his is definitely the best Marijuana / Marihuana / Weed Documentar you will ever watch in your life!. ENJOY! =)CannabisFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis...
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

Prohibition is the antithesis of Informed Consent.

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Venture capitalists back more and more cannabis companies—good news for the growing industry

Venture capitalists back more and more cannabis companies—good news for the growing industry | Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform | Scoop.it
All great entrepreneurs know that appealing outcomes are achieved by even greater strategized investments. In many cases, the more risk, the more enticing the payout. In the case of cannabis, ,News
MildGreen Initiative's insight:

The social dividend is 'capital' gained by investing nothing but a better idea.

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