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....
“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.”
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.
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.
As the Texas Legislature continues to debate legalizing medical marijuana for humans, people do have the option of purchasing related products for members of their households — specifically, their pets.
The Chair persons petition response is in conflict with
(a) all known science (b) Ottawa charter (c) Human and Disability rights (d) our own National 'all drug' Policy (e) and the will of the people.
We, the entire population of this country are being chronically and systematically fucked over.
That said we are maintaining a collective silence that closely approximates insanity.
We had the solution 'in our hands' with Helen Clark's crucial, if last thing she did as Prime Minister, caucus driven amendment to the principle act (MoD1975); Jim Anderton's "restricted substances regulations". I think many, on reading its concise and erudite 'reality based' solution were in disbelief. Not one political pundit, sitting member, religious council, treatment advocate or enforcement naysayer to be found in five years it was 'law'. Described by Professor Nutt as 'the worlds best drug laws' and that he had wished 'he had thought of them himself' it can only remain to be said.... silly buggers us!
We went from leading the world to anal retentive with the passing of the buck (poisoned chalice) to Peter Dunne, a sitting member elected on less votes than the unfunded and media ostracised Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Post Northland/Peters by-election, Dunne's one United Future vote holds sway over the entire politcal machine.
Patients with Parkinson's self-report cannabis to be a highly efficacious alternative medicine in the treatment of the disease, according to survey data published online ahead of print in the journal Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative...
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
Cannabis has a role to play in all ageing related inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. The epidemiology is self evident.
“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
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.
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.
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!
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumour growth in cancer patients.
MildGreen Initiative's insight:
I know there are many folk who think that espousing the apparent miracle cures of cannabis is a ticket for its redemption, and others who argue that its blatent prohibition and the attendant consequences reason enough, but it is delightful to report where science is taking us. It is entirely understandable that there is a dividend that accrues from the enablement of this research knowing how THC and the other cannabinoids interact in our homeostasis. More crucially however will be the enablement of the epidemiology - where we can actually research this within the population dynamic, unfettered by prohibition and its baggage. / Blair
I have reasonable cause to believe Well, here's a corker: Federal officials from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are actually the source of our current domestic mass metadata collection madness, not the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA got the idea from them. It turns out the DEA had been engaged in mass metadata collection of all phone calls originating from the United States to many foreign countries all the way back in the 1990s, a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Of course, the reason back then was to fight the unwinnable drug wars. The DEA needed to know about your call to your aunt who lives in Italy in order to track down international drug cartels, obviously.
Not to forget its role in reducing anxiety, stress and tension associated with stressors in contemporaneous society, the set and setting effects. How useful that a biomedical resource exists within the spectrum of common available plants to supplement our dietary needs.
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