Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Monday, May 26, 2014

Keeping Cannabis On The Boil,

Hi Brian, thanks for your better stories on cannabis. (see 

Brian Rudman: Hulse keeping marijuana reform pot on the boil


Better than the Police who continue to be confounded by this issue...  I was at the Health Select Committee meeting when Assoc Commish. Holyoak told the MP's that Police would have no objection to 'decriminalisation' (what ever he meant by that).

Subsequently, I had my hand all over the "declassification"  or Class D "Restricted Substances Regulations 2008" that became law the day John Key became Prime Minister.  I was the guy who told the committee HOW to make the crucial change. By Order in Council.   Which is what happened. (despite United Future doing everything it could to stop it)   As the law was being gazetted during the 2008 election it went unnoticed.
Potential harm of commonly used drugs based on...
Potential harm of commonly used drugs based on a study by David Nutt, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No political pundit, journalist, commentator or morally afflicted MP spoke against the gazetting or the adoption of  Assoc Health Minister, Hon Jim Anderton's (actually it was Helen Clark's 'partial prohibition') before or AFTER. It became law. The schema was acknowledged as being 'World Class' by the likes of Professor David Nutt and others.  It was later when Dunne's PSA became law, deleting Class D,  that Dunne used that 'accreditation' as if it was his own, and of his initiative. It was not. PSA was destined to fail, not because of lack of political will,  rather it was never a harm reduction law in  the first place.   Harm reduction required an ALL drug policy response... PSA was a perverse 'drug by drug' reversal of that best practice  schema (see National Drug Policy circa 1996).  If you want to know more on this you can  ph me on 021823647 

I'll leave you with this little homily.... if cannabis was substituted where ever alcohol or tobacco was used it would add, on average, 24 years to an individual 'consumer of legals'  life expectancy.   Even if this estimate is out by a factor of ten.... And there is good reason to believe it is not, cannabis seen in this light is 'medical use'.  That is why the wording of the explanatory note in the restricted substances regulation was quite specific about.'psychoactive recreational use' and harms being relative, rather than absent. And that was what was "world first'.. Not Dunne's 'taking the credit' where it wasn't due.   

Regards,
Blair Anderson
Another MildGreen Initiative,  Christchurch, NZ
03 3894065
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Gordon Campbell on the synthetic drugs ban

Now that synthetic cannabis is no longer legal, we can look back at our history with these products and see it as driven by New Zealand’s inability to implement a sensible drugs policy, overall. The legal highs industry was supposed to provide an acceptable alternative to cannabis use – yet it created an influx of more addictive, more psychologically harmful and more pharmacologically unpredictable products.

Last year’s legislative attempt to minimise the harm failed. Given the difficulty of banning the products via a description of their (ever-changing) components, a testing regime has now been created whereby, as Prime Minister John Key explained on Monday, the only products able to pass it will deliver such minimal effects as to be hardly worth the trouble. Once the existing stockpiles run out, the main outcome of the synthetic cannabis experiment will be that inadvertently, New Zealand has created a demand for a new array of drugs that it is now leaving to criminal elements to supply and satisfy, by illegal means. On that black market, there will be competitive advantages for synthetic drugs: reportedly, they cannot be detected either by workplace drug tests or by airport sniffer dogs.
Meanwhile, the far larger problems of our drug policy to do with (a) the lack of sensible policies on cannabis and (b) the government’s reluctance to antagonise the liquor industry lobby by raising the price and restricting the marketing of alcohol to the young, are deliberately being left untouched. For the government, the moral panic over synthetic cannabis has been a useful diversion over a real but relatively minor issue. Along the way, the generational aspect of the conflict has been unpleasant to watch. Drugs used almost exclusively by the young have been banned, by politicians unwilling to take any substantial steps to raise the price of their own drug of choice, or limit its availability. Logically, the outcome of this latest debacle should be that the legalisation of cannabis use and the management of cannabis supply are put back on the table. Unfortunately though, the hysteria whipped up about synthetic cannabis now makes it less likely – not more likely – that our drugs policy will evolve in a rational fashion.

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