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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? | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

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

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

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 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 get busted by the police.

We need to decouple drugs from the control of 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

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PODCAST 60mins Ending Prohibition With a Hangover by Julian Buchanan

PODCAST 60mins Ending Prohibition With a Hangover by Julian Buchanan | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

This socially constructed bifurcation of substances established a Drugs Apartheid that outlawed particular drugs so what we have is a 'War between Drugs' that ultimately became a war on people who used substances that didn't have government approval.

Black and Minority Ethnic groups and the discarded working class have been major casualties in this war. Radical drug law reform rooted in scientific evidence and human rights is needed to end the oppressive and unjust drug laws that have caused more harm than good.

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

While there is some understandable excitement and celebration at seeing prohibition begin to crumble - these are critical, if not dangerous times of change. Using international examples this lecture will outline the need for change, critically evaluate the risks of particular drug policy changes and explore principles to underpin drug law reform.

 

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Full ARTICLE: Drug dealers, retaliation, and deterrence

Full ARTICLE: Drug dealers, retaliation, and deterrence | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Results

We find that dealers’ use of retaliation is linked to four kinds of deterrence—general, specific, situational, and permeating—and that these are combined into three forms: namely, specific-situational; specific-permeating; and comprehensive (i.e., all four kinds simultaneously).

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Cigarettes Proven to Be More Dangerous Than Marijuana

Cigarettes Proven to Be More Dangerous Than Marijuana | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Cigarettes have been proven to be more dangerous than marijuana. Marijuana may also be an alleged safer substitute for cigarette smoking because effects of marijuana are slim in detrimental use versus smoking cigarettes states an influx of studies. Cigarettes contain 40,000 chemicals, 43 of the additive chemicals are proven to cause cancer, they are carcinogenics. […]
Julian Buchanan's insight:

No surprise here...

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VIDEO 22mins ▶ Drug Takers, Policy Makers & Change - Lessons from Portugal

Britain's drug policy has been under scrutiny in recent years, with even deputy PM Nick Clegg suggesting wholesale changes are required to tackle the country...
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New Publication for Women Injectors

New Publication for Women Injectors | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
WOMENwhoInject_HIV_specficNeedsPOLICY_BRIEF2014 Here is a link to an excellent newly released briefing jointly published by INPUD, UNODC's HIV team, and UN Women looking at the particular challenge...
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The mean cost of Sativex® per patient per annum is estimated at NZ$8,000 growing your own to self medicate cost 7yrs prison!

Julian Buchanan's insight:

A sign when democracy, freedom and humanity have got lost to greed, privatisation and profit.

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ARTICLE: Drugs, Money, and Graphic Ads: A Critical Review of the Montana Meth Project

ARTICLE: Drugs, Money, and Graphic Ads: A Critical Review of the Montana Meth Project | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The Montana Meth Project (MMP) is an organization that launched a large-scale methamphetamine prevention program in Montana in 2005. The central component of the program is a graphic advertising campaign that portrays methamphetamine users as unhygienic, dangerous, untrustworthy, and exploitive. Montana teenagers are exposed to the advertisements three to five times a week. The MMP, media and politicians have portrayed the advertising campaign as a resounding success that has dramatically increased anti-methamphetamine attitudes and reduced drug use in Montana. The program is currently being rolled out across the nation, and is receiving considerable public funding. This article critically reviews the evidence used by the MMP to claim that its advertising campaign is effective. The main finding is that empirical support for the campaign is weak. Claims that the campaign is effective are not supported by data. The campaign has been associated with increases in the acceptability of using methamphetamine and decreases in the perceived danger of using drugs. These and other negative findings have been ignored and misrepresented by the MMP. There is no evidence that reductions in methamphetamine use in Montana are caused by the advertising campaign. On the basis of current evidence, continued public funding and rollout of Montana-style methamphetamine programs is inadvisable.

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The dangers of ‘drug driving’ revealed in first major study #FalseClaimsHerePresence=Cause

The dangers of ‘drug driving’ revealed in first major study #FalseClaimsHerePresence=Cause | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
MORE than 40 people die on our roads each year due to “drug driving’’, the first major study undertaken of deaths directly caused by drugs has revealed.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Testing positive for drugs - that can stay in your system for days, weeks or months even - doesn't provide evidence of driving under the influence of drugs. #FearMongering #AnotherWarBetweenDrugsStrategy

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VIDEO 10mins ▶ Joe Rogan on The True Reason Pot is illegal

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Daily Telegraph censured over Philip Seymour Hoffman headline 'Kids grieve for junkie actor dad' headline #Discrimination

Daily Telegraph censured over Philip Seymour Hoffman headline 'Kids grieve for junkie actor dad' headline #Discrimination | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The Australian Press Council (APC) has ruled News Corp tabloid The Daily Telegraph broke its standards of practice by running the headline "Kids grieve for
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Stigma, stereotyping and discrimination 

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Crimea's Heroin Addicts Are Dying Under Russian Drug Laws | VICE News

Crimea's Heroin Addicts Are Dying Under Russian Drug Laws | VICE News | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Before annexation by Russia, Crimea was known for progressive drug policy. But Moscow has now banned methadone and addicts are suffering.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Harm reduction needs no introduction ...it's been around a long time and is well evidenced as an effective and obvious strategy.

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$35bn Growth Industry - The USA Addiction Rehabs #DriversForAbstinenceOnlyApproaches?

$35bn Growth Industry - The USA Addiction Rehabs #DriversForAbstinenceOnlyApproaches? | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Drug, alcohol and other addiction rehab in the United States is big business - $35 billion this year. There are now 14,000+ treatment facilities and growing. A total of 2.5 million persons received treatment, but many more need it and facilities are filled to capacity. However, insurance coverage for rehab is limited. As a result, most of the tab is paid by government/state agencies. High end niches have emerged for the well-heeled (think Hollywood celebrities) and new niches are emerging in areas such as: sex addiction, problem gamblers, Internet addiction, and nicotine addiction. Facilities are also diversifying into treating people with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

There are wonderful business opportunities from Drug Testing and Drug Rehab!!

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Synthetic Drugs: Investigating A Global Epidemic #ProhibitionFuelledMarket?

Synthetic Drugs: Investigating A Global Epidemic #ProhibitionFuelledMarket? | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Many of the more than 300 new synthetic drugs on the market are known to trigger unpredictable, sometimes fatal, highs. They're now commonplace, often legal. And the effects can be devastating.
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INFOGRAPHIC: Ethanol (alcohol) vs Psilocybin (magic mushrooms)

INFOGRAPHIC: Ethanol (alcohol) vs Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Alcohol vs Psilocybin (Conflict Copy) | Piktochart Infographic Editor
Julian Buchanan's insight:

I love INFOGRAPHICS!

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VIDEO 3mins ▶ DRUGO Animation by Global Commission on Drug Policy illustrating Folly of Prohibition

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Illustrates that prohibition, incarceration and fierce law enforcement have failed to deter illegal drugs and have done more damage than the illicit drugs ever posed. But the analogy is otherwise misleading because while DRUGO the dragon has been outlawed other dragons LEGALO (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, pharmaceutical drugs, food drugs etc) have been peddled, promoted and supported by kings and queens. So LEGALO has been airbrushed out of the animation, and it suggests a life without DRUGO would be [wrongly] desirable but is unrealistic. We would never want a world without drugs.

Good intentions - but we've never had a war on drugs - what we have is a war against particular drugs. A drug apartheid. Society is probably more pro-drugs now than it's ever been.

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USA Prescription painkiller deaths fall in medical marijuana states

USA Prescription painkiller deaths fall in medical marijuana states | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Researchers aren’t sure why, but in the 23 U.S. states where medical marijuana has been legalized, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by almost 25 percent, according to a new analysis.

“Most of the discussion on medical marijuana has been about its effect on individuals in terms of reducing pain or other symptoms,” said lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber in an email to Reuters Health. “The unique contribution of our study is the finding that medical marijuana laws and policies may have a broader impact on public health.”

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Interesting - is substitution taking place?

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Tennessee Drug Tests Welfare Applicants, Discovers Less Than One Percent Use Drugs

Tennessee Drug Tests Welfare Applicants, Discovers Less Than One Percent Use Drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
That's a positive drug use rate of 0.12 percent, compared to an 8 percent illegal drug use rate for the state generally.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The reasons for drug testing people on welfare benefits are nonsense, the results are suspect and unreliable - but hey it's a successful way to distribute public money to private companies!  $$$$$$

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VIDEO 28mins ▶ Smoking Weed with the President of Uruguay

Check Out The VICE Podcast with José Mujica: http://www.vice.com/read/the-vice-podcast-uruguays-president-jose-mujica At the end of 2013, Uruguay became the ...
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Ending the War on Drugs: A Radical Take From Emerging Leader Dr. Carl Hart

Ending the War on Drugs: A Radical Take From Emerging Leader Dr. Carl Hart | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
As a public figure neuroscientist Carl Hart is changing minds about drug use itself. This after fighting the drug wars and then fighting the racism and myths behind them.
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Colorado Case Puts Workplace Drug Policies To The Test

Colorado Case Puts Workplace Drug Policies To The Test | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The urine test employers typically use to detect marijuana picks up cannabis smoked or swallowed days or weeks earlier. Should firms be allowed to fire workers who legally use marijuana at home?
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Despite Legalization, Colorado Teenagers Stubbornly Refuse to Smoke More Pot

Despite Legalization, Colorado Teenagers Stubbornly Refuse to Smoke More Pot | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
New survey data from Colorado indicate that marijuana legalization so far has not led to an increase in pot smoking by teenagers, as prohibitionists warned
Julian Buchanan's insight:

As far as I'm aware Portugal noticed similar trends among young people

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INFOGRAPHIC: Cannabis Regulation Compared in US States

INFOGRAPHIC: Cannabis Regulation Compared in US States | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
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ARTICLE: The Abject Failure of Prohibition by Alex Wodak

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, August 10, 5:31 PM

Alex pulls no punches.... 

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Video 2mins: Electric Zoo Festival compulsory anti-drugs Video to deter drug use

This year’s Electric Zoo dance-music festival will reportedly require all attendees to watch a two-minute video encouraging them not to use drugs. The New York event has instated a slew of new anti-drug policies in response to incidents last year, when two people died and several were hospitalised after allegedly taking MDMA.

Come to Life is the name of Electric Zoo’s anti-drug campaign, which has a flagship public service announcement directed by Dexter creator James Manos and his 19-year-old daughter, Ellie. Consequence of Sound reportsthat no one attending the late August festival will be permitted to activate their ticket wristbands unless they first watch the clip.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/aug/06/dance-festival-to-make-attendees-watch-an-anti-drugs-video?utm_content=bufferc9984&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Will is deter drug use?

Will alcohol be sold at the festival?

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VIDEO 2mins: No Drug Ever Went to Prison. So Why Are We Fighting a War Against Them?

VIDEO 2mins: No Drug Ever Went to Prison. So Why Are We Fighting a War Against Them? | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Sending people to prison for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses doesn’t work. That’s why police officers started this innovative program.
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The Drug Dealer in the Cupboard [BigPharma]: How The Prescription Drug Epidemic Revived Heroin in USA

The Drug Dealer in the Cupboard [BigPharma]: How The Prescription Drug Epidemic Revived Heroin in USA | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
It pains me to say this, but after more than 5 years of continuous sobriety—5 years in which I lived in rehabs and halfway houses, worked in the drug and alcohol treatment industry, and spent thous...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

BigPharma BigMarket BigProfits - who prefer to drugs debate to concentrate on the dangers of cannabis

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