NZ PM refused to sign

I read that 129 countries (out of 140) have agreed to sign up to an agreement (at UN), with USA to ‘take further action in the WAR on DRUGS’.. but our PM is not one of them.

It seems that the USA President is following behind, the example of the Philippines & other extreme regimes in Asia; Death Penalty for trafficking & supply. There are stories of ‘renegade gangs’ (sanctioned by Duterte’s Govt.) who are shooting dead, street dealers & even users. Is this the path that USA President, wants the world to head down, on drug control ?

I read this from a press release:

‘New Zealand will not be signing the United States’ document calling for global action on the war on drugs,’ Prime Minister (of NZ) says.

‘(our PM) is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders.’

‘US President (Trump) is kicking off his week at the UN by holding an event to promote the US document called the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem.’

‘The document requires the countries which sign to develop national action plans to reduce the demand for illicit drugs, cut off supply at their borders and strengthen international cooperation.’

‘US media are reporting that some countries will sign it, not because they agree with it but because they don’t want to antagonise Mr Trump.’
‘But (our PM) said New Zealand would not be among them.’

“No it’s not our intention to and there are a number of other countries who haven’t either.” she said

‘(our PM) said New Zealand had its own specific challenges around drug use, and it would prefer to take a health approach to the issue.’

* meanwhile the current NZ opposition leader.. said he would sign up. if he was the PM
‘He said (our PM) was distancing New Zealand from more than 120 countries – including Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada – who had all signalled their intention to take part.’

“The Prime Minister’s excuse for not signing up, that the government is taking ‘a health approach’ isn’t good enough. The strategy calls for countries to do more to address addiction and provide more treatment as well as working more closely together to clamp down on manufacturing and supply.”

“But by distancing New Zealand from that work the Prime Minister risks making New Zealand an easy target and sending the message that her government is soft on crime and drug dealers.”

‘(opposition leader) said National (party) would support people with drug and alcohol problems, but would also hold those who peddle drugs to account.’

** The opposition National party, are still just ‘jumping on the TOUGH on Crime/DRUGS bandwagon‘.. not because it is the ‘right thing to do’ but because it appeals to their ‘Right-wing, Redneck‘ support base !

“Good onya Jacinda, for taking the rational approach to Drug issues” for NOT jumping on the Irrational Failed policy bandwagon.. with Trump & Co. !! 🙂

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SO.. who broke the law ?

I see in a local news report, that a University administrator (Proctor) reportedly entered some student flats, to ‘deliver pamphlets’ without the permission of the tenants & he removed several ‘Bongs’ (cannabis pipes). One of the students was asleep & the other students were out at the time & when they returned, they thought they had been robbed.

Here are a lines from the press release:

‘All was revealed the next day when the proctor told them he had confiscated the bongs and would not report the matter to police – providing they cleaned up their flat.’

‘It is legal to possess and sell bongs in New Zealand for smoking tobacco. The flatmates’ items were never returned.’

‘A university spokeswoman told (the student publication) the proctor was comfortable with the actions he had taken.’

“The proctor spoke to the male occupants in the flat and made them aware of the action that was taken, with the flat occupants acknowledging the equipment had been used to smoke cannabis. ”

“The bongs all contained cannabis residue and have been disposed of,” it was reported

‘(the Proctor), a former police officer, also hit headlines earlier this year when it was revealed Campus Watch had removed hundreds of copies of the student magazine, which featured a cartoon of a person menstruating on the cover.’

I hear there is to be a further investigation into this matter..
So; who really broke the law here ?
*it was estimated, that the bongs were valued at about $400

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What to do about plastic ?

There has been a lot of media attention recently.. about all the ‘mountains’ of discarded plastic, here in Aotearoa/NZ & around the world. Regardless of all the attempts to recycle the majority, it seems much of it is either, ending up in landfills or adding to the ‘floating islands’ in the world’s oceans. Until recently much of it was being shipped to China, but they have now refused to take it.. they are becoming inundated with it too.

There was a new report that, a new location/destination is Malaysia. BUT they too are struggling to deal with it. There was a story that much of it is now being burned; massively adding to air pollution.. a driver of climate change !

The biggest issue with most modern plastics.. they are made from non-biodegradable ‘fossil fuel’ oil. I hear that it can take several centuries to totally breakdown. The main reason that many countries seem to give, for using this option; its much cheaper to manufacture.

BUT; for those who have either read Mr Jack Herer’s book (The Emperor wears no clothes) or perhaps heard the story.. then you likely know the alternative view: A group of greedy, self-interested individuals conspired to make ‘Industrial HEMP’ illegal, under the guise of outlawing an ‘Evil insidious Narcotic’ that most had never heard of in 1930-40s.. (from Mexico) called.. ‘MARIJUANA’. Turns out it was/is the same plant genus (Cannabis) as Hemp.

Cannabis/Hemp can be used for 1000s of industrial, medicinal & other purposes. The stem contains a large percentage of cellulose, that can be also used to make: Biodegradable plastics !

There are several old news items, about Henry Ford’s ‘Plastic car’ (made from Hemp) that ran on biofuel also derived from the plant. There have been a few recent stories of people doing likewise.. even plans to build an aeroplane from it
BUT cutting through all the ‘conspiracy theories’ etc. The one truth is that, this could still be the way to change course on our ‘reliance’ on plastics, derived from fossil fuel oil. As ‘HempJack’ once stated ‘HEMP CAN SAVE THE WORLD !’

Unfortunately, the companies & other groups, that conspired to get rid of Hemp, still exist today & still obviously have great political influence. Whilst medicinal & personal use of cannabis, is becoming more available; Industrial Hemp is still very rare. It is this fact that leads many to point to it, as the REAL reason the plant was originally vilified & outlawed in the early 20th century.

Shout it from the rooftops.. “WE need MORE Hemp & less fossil fuel oil… HEMP Can Save the World !!”

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other news from frontlines

I read these misc. news items.. from the frontlines of the global Drug War:

1) a major investor in one of the largest social media websites, has now invested in a Canadian medicinal cannabis company. The company is now set to make massive profits from this industry.. this comes in light of the US/global soft drink company that is reportedly, moving into this industry too

2) there are reports that USA President is about to address the UN.. calling for Ramping up the global Drug War. He has been making noises, that support similar actions to the Philippines President & others in Asia, that promote the DEATH penalty, for trafficking & dealing. Meanwhile at the state-level there are increasing moves to legally regulate Cannabis… go figure ?!
Meanwhile a group of other nations, are launching a report: ‘The Responsible control of Drugs’ through regulation & reform of the current Prohibition policies.. btw; NZ is one of those listed.

3) In opposition to the rhetoric.. that cannabis/MJ reform is leading to, increases in crime; a new study has found no evidence to support this nonsense. In fact the regulation of the drug, has seen greater control & a decrease in ‘drug-related crime/harm’ that actually results from the unregulated black-market. The regulation in many USA states etc. has seen more effort put into reducing harm & health care options instead
*Maybe the Law makers in countries like: Aotearoa/NZ should sit up & take notice; there is still alot of the negative rhetoric reported here, that a legal market will lead to more harm & ‘the end of the world as we know it’ (maybe it will.. but is this a bad thing ? lower crime rates & less gangsters etc.)

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more synthetic harms

There has been much debate recently, about the increased number of people being harmed or even dying from using ‘Synthetic cannabinoids’ in Aotearoa/NZ. After the passage of the ‘Psychoactive Substance Act’ several years ago, that legally regulated these drugs; BUT was since repealed. There still seemed to be a misconception, by some that these substances are ‘low risk’ & less harmful than natural cannabis, that remains totally illegal (Class C Drug). I read this from a recent press release, titled ‘Synthetic Cannabis: We can’t guarantee that they’ll live’.

‘In the past 48 hours (from news report), 10 people have been taken to Christchurch Hospital (Sth Island NZ) after smoking the drug’

‘They were admitted separately & have come from all over the city’

‘(a Doctor who was treating them) said they had suffered symptoms including seizures & heart attacks & three remained in Intensive Care unit’

“These 10 will probably be OK but certainly some of them have gambled with their lives….”

‘All had taken either AB or AMB-fubinaca which had been linked to numerous deaths in North Island in the past year’

“Synthetic cannabis is a very dangerous drug, there’s no safe level to smoke & we strongly advise… that people stay away from smoking even small amounts of this”

*This totally flies in the face of comments, that these synthetics ‘were likely low risk’ & other comments that; natural cannabis was not !

**There still seems to a hesitation by the NZ parliament, to move forward any law reform agenda.. prior to the announced ‘Reeferendum’, at or before 2020 General Election… how many more kiwis will get sick or even die, because of the unwillingness to adequately address this issue. There have been many prominent voices, calling for the Natural Herb to be either Decrim’d or legally regulated, to avoid further harm from Synthetics.. which some use (at their peril) because; it is often easier to get, than the natural herb (Police still have it at/near the top of their priority list) & these synthetics are not included in most Workplace/Govt. agency drug testing regimes 😦

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an official reply ?

I went to my local chemist shop this morning.. to get a prescription filled. I asked the chemist ‘Have you heard any updates on medicinal cannabis/CBDs etc. (in NZ) ?’ He replied.. (paraphrased) ‘It will still likely be many years away’

I said that Aotearoa/NZ is increasingly looking like ‘the back of the pack, in the OECD on this issue’

He replied ‘Only a few USA states & a couple of other countries have allowed legal med-use’

I then ‘rattled off’.. ‘what about: Canada, over half USA states, much of EU/UK, some states in Aust., some Sth. American countries, parts of Asia & Africa (Sth Africa, most recently decrim. use) etc. etc.. he just shrugged him shoulders & said “I was plainly WRONG !”

I said there is plenty of evidence on the internet.. a bit of research only is needed, to confirm it

It seems that Misinfo. & Apathy is still widely at the front of mind/attitude.. with many in Aotearoa/NZ ?

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Politics of Meth.

I hear today, that the new Housing Minister of Aotearoa/NZ has offered an ‘official apology’ to about 800 tenants, for being ‘unlawfully evicted’ due to Meth/P testing in state houses, under the policy of the previous ‘Right-wing’ Govt. !

Over a period of several years, there was a policy of ‘Meth testing’, where testing teams, entered these houses & swabbed internal walls, carpets & furniture. An effective ZERO-tolerance level was applied & many of these folks (positive test) evicted, stated that they were not Meth manufacturers, dealers OR even users of the Drug. It was discovered in some cases, that perhaps family members, their friends or even previous tenants, may have been responsible for the ‘contamination’.. but the resident tenants were held responsible & evicted anyway. Some cases; resulted in whole families becoming homeless !

During parliament question-time today; The Minister announced that, the Ministry of Housing was making great efforts to contact the evicted tenants & assist them, if required with their residence issues & that a ‘compensation payment’ maybe applicable ($2500-3000 was estimated) to any, who had suffered hardship or loss of property/furniture etc. as a result.

The opposition party; then asked a series of questions, along the lines (Paraphrased): ‘Does this new Govt. accept/condone Illegal Drug manufacture, dealing or use, in state houses ?’ to which the Minister responded, that they do not accept the law being broken.. but affirmed that their new Govt, policy was around, treating ‘Drug use & addiction’ as a health issue, not a Law & Order enforcement one. This is more inline with recent UN Intl. Drug policy announcements.

This was followed by another question from the Right-wing opposition, around ‘Synthetic Cannabinoids’.. should the most harmful (2 mentioned specifically) be reclassified as ‘Class A drugs’ (in light of about 40 deaths in the last year).. which follows their outdated, continued ‘TOUGH on DRUGS’ approach. The Minister stated that their policy, is around ‘stemming the flow’ of illegal drugs, not Zero-tolerance & that they would treat it as a Health care issue too.. not just a ‘lock ’em up’; Criminal approach.

I agree with the moves, by this new Govt. “3 cheers for a level of sanity… at last” on this matter ! 🙂

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