Right to the point

I found this speech, whilst searching: ‘End Drug War NZ’.. to see what else there is on the net. This is ‘Right to the Point’ & agrees with everything my blog, is about:

Its time to Cut out, all the stigma & Misinformation about ‘DRUGS’ & drug use; at least 50% of all adults have probably tried/used illegal drugs. It is not just the fringe or those at the ‘bottom of society’. This is not just about the most common ‘illegal drug’: cannabis, but all drugs.

It specifically talks about, treating Drug use as a health issue, not just a criminal justice one. The WAR on DRUGS, is actually a sanctioned War on PEOPLE who use Drugs. It has done effectively nothing to reduce drug use or the harms associated with them. We need to change course, on this issue 🙂

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yet another Cannabis report

I read a press release, that states that cannabis use by youth, is linked to depression & suicidal behaviour. Here are some lines from it:

‘The research combines the results of 11 separate studies published over the past 15 years that together included more than 23,000 adolescent cannabis smokers and assessed their mental health when aged 18 to 32. People with prior depression were excluded.’

“This review both confirms and reinforces findings from the research literature on the adverse psychological effects of regular cannabis use by mid- to late adolescents,” said (name removed), the deputy director of the University of Otago’s Christchurch long-term health and development study.

“The findings of this [US] study further reinforce our concerns about the public health implications of any changes we may choose to make to cannabis laws in New Zealand,” (name removed) told the Science Media Centre

‘The Government announced in December it will change the law to treat use of all illegal drugs as a health matter – and crack down harder on the suppliers of synthetic drugs.’

‘The new study, published in the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association, does not state how much cannabis the research participants smoked, which is considered a significant omission.’

‘And the study type could not show causal links. British experts have pointed out that as well as cannabis possibly affecting later mental health, it is plausible that people prone to mental health problems are more likely to smoke cannabis.’

‘While the US study suggested a link between early cannabis use and later issues, “we don’t know if cannabis use as a teenager is causing these adult mental health problems.’

“We know from studies of psychosis that the risk is much greater with daily use of modern, high-potency … cannabis than old-fashioned … varieties. We also don’t know the extent to which the subjects were using other drugs or tobacco, which may be important.’

*The report is dubious (IMHO), to point to mental health stats. & claim that because young folks were using cannabis (self medication ?) that this use could be a contributing factor. Others say it is likely, the onset of a mental health issue that likely led to these people using cannabis, to try & relieve their depression etc. Echoes of the ‘Reefer madness’ nonsense !?

** The one thing that is clear; Cannabis prohibition has done effectively nothing, to stop drug use & in fact it often stops people seeking help with their mental problems, for fear of being arrested on DRUG charges !

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Parliamentary Questions

Today was the second day of NZ Parliament in 2019. It was the first day for ‘Question-time’:

Q3 from the Opposition Dep. Leader/Drug policy spokesperson, that was asking about the upcoming ‘Reeferendum’.. BUT again she called it ‘LEGALISING MARIJUANA’ (slang name). Again it seems clear to me (& others) that this is direct effort at Fear-mongering, around the issue 😦

It was good to hear the Prime Minister, use its correct name: Cannabis. She went on to confirm that the question is being formulated & that the public of Aotearoa/NZ, will be given clear advice on it & a reasonable time-frame to get our heads around it, prior to the vote 🙂

As I said it my recent post; this Opposition National party, are ‘making noises’ (to the media) that they are ‘open to reform’.. BUT other signals appear to be saying the opposite: “NO !!” to any further DRUG law reform.

This Govt. have finally moved to a better approach on Cannabis; rather than continuing Prohibition/ZERO-tolerance (as opposed to many other OECD countries, that have already ‘relaxed’ their laws) they are prepared to put it to the popular vote in 2020 (next election).. “NICE !” sez I

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Guilty on all charges

I see a brief news item; ‘El Chapo’ (Infamous Drug dealer) has been found ‘Guilty on all charges’. He could potentially face: Life in Prison !

Whilst I do not condone his actions.. there are other things to consider:

1) He (& others) are just supplying, what many want; alternatives to Alcohol & Tobacco

2) Should BIG Alcohol & Tobacco ‘dealers’ (who are responsible for millions of deaths also) face similar charges ?

3) Are they just playing up to the Staunch Prohibitionist view; ALL Drugs are BAD & should be BANNED.. except Alcohol/Tobacco ?

4) Echoes of the ‘Bad ol’ days’ of Al Capone etc.. when will they learn ?

Just thought I’d add this line:
“You can fool ALL the people some of the time.. Some of the people ALL the time.. BUT you can’t fool ALL the people, all the time” (Mr Lincoln said that ?)

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Gordon Banks RIP

I see that the ‘goalie’ for the 1966 England World cup Football (soccer) team, has passed away aged 81. The only English team to ever lift it.

Whilst this is not really ‘Drug related’.. many, many folks almost see Football, as their ‘Drug of Choice’ ??

Rest in Peace Gordon.. we will remember him 🙂

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making political noise

I watched some of the recommencement of NZ Parliament for 2019. The Prime Minister made a speech, about the direction her Govt. intend to move, this year; Politically.

There was much bluff & bluster, from all parties in response. But one speech caught my attention: The Deputy Opposition Leader/National Party Drug Policy spokesperson. She made several comments about the direction, she (& her party) want to see Drug policy go, (paraphrased from memory) in the run up to the ‘Reeferendum 2020’ :

1) we need a lot more debate on the issue of Marijuana reform & possible questions

2) She is ‘sitting on the fence’ on Marijuana reform

3) the issue of Marijuana reform is not a foregone conclusion

4) we need to hear all sides, of the discussion on Marijuana reform etc. etc. etc.

*As you may have noticed, she played the ‘fear-monger card’ not by wanting more discussion or debate, but by the fact that she/her party rarely if ever use its correct name: Cannabis, but constantly use the ‘demonising slang‘ name. Some folks have said that I (& others) are exaggerating this.. but it is the exact same strategy, that the Fear-mongers (Anslinger & Co.) started this whole thing with. It was designed to set the negative stereotypical opinions & attitudes toward ‘MARIJUANA’ (the plant with its roots in HELL & assassin of youth etc.) to fit their Prohibitionist agenda.

With a change of leadership, the new Opposition National party, has been making noises, that ‘they are more open to Drug reform’; when previously they voted “NO” (all MPs) to all bills, including Medicinal use. To my mind, this is just more bluff & bluster, to cause confusion on this matter & draw the battle-lines ?! 😦

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Cannabis cull concern

I read that medicinal cannabis users (self prescribed) & ‘green fairies’ (growers/supply) are genuinely concerned about the shortage in Aotearoa/NZ. This is often due to Police strategy: Seek & destroy, at any cost, aka ‘recovery’

I read the following issues, from a Press release:

‘A mother who gives her son medicinal cannabis to treat his violent seizures is terrified they will be without medicine, following what growers call a massive aerial cull of the crop.’ (Police spraying herbicides)

‘Advocates and growers say upwards of 1000 plants were poisoned in a Northland drop last month, cutting the medicinal supply to hundreds of people.’

‘(name removed), the convener of medicinal cannabis support group Auckland Patients’ Group, said 1200 plants were destroyed.’
“We estimate that probably 300 to 400 of those plants were going directly to very unwell patients,” she said.

‘Police refused to comment on the drop.’
“Police will not be commenting on the matter, which is currently before the court.”
‘They also refused to answer general questions on the use of aerial drops.’
“We are not in a position to discuss operational matters such as this in detail.”

‘Medicinal grower (Wh. M.H.) said the annual drops were an ongoing threat to those who relied on cannabis-based medication.’
“While we’ve still got a black market, there’s still going to be the police doing what they have to do.”
“Unfortunately, people like myself – we call ourselves ‘green fairies’ – get caught up in that grey area.”
‘She wanted the law changed immediately to protect those who grew and sold medicinal cannabis, so patients had a consistent supply they could afford.’

‘A law change late last year relaxed medicinal cannabis laws slightly, giving amnesty to palliative patients.’

‘A binding referendum on cannabis legalisation will be held at next year’s general election.’

*As previously mentioned: the new Govt. of Aotearoa/NZ passed medicinal cannabis law reform in 2018.. BUT only:
1) removed CBD extracts from current prohibition law
2) gives a legal exemption for terminally ill/palliative care patients, to use black-market herb
3) to set up a legal framework (1-2 years away ?) to extend the cultivation & supply of cannabis drugs under a Ministerial licensing regime

In the interim, many kiwis rely upon ‘Green Fairies’ & the black-market to obtain their medicinal cannabis.
The 1-2 legal cannabis drugs (in NZ) are not funded by the Govt. & cost $800+/month; well beyond the price-range of many ‘average kiwis’

** Police continue to ‘just do their jobs‘.. as they ALWAYS have done. The law may be CHANGING.. but the Police attitude, obviously is not matching it, by stepping back from their effective continuation of Prohibition !!

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