Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious matter – so be serious about it

133 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

  • Craig Young,

    Bob McCoskrie's latest cheap publicity grabbing stunt is arguing that Portugal has developed social problems as a 'result' of its overall drug decriminalisation policy. Rebuttals, anyone?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    Paula Bennett doing her best to hide behind the children and waffling on about framing the question, And how she didnt like pot when she tried it because it made her realize she was talking crap ;-)

    Thats kind of a bit funny. But I wouldn't recommend using cannabis to find out if you're talking crap.

    And as much as I dislike Paula Bennetts politics, I don't see anything worthy of ridicule in what she said in that link you provided.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Craig Young,

    worthy of ridicule

    Funny I find everything she said and the way she said it ridiculous, slimy, and completely without merit. The way she brought adolescent mental health issues into it is dog whistle politics at its worst. An age restriction can always be put on the sale(if legalised) of marijuana. Mental development is generally all done by age 25.
    But an 18 yr old can buy alcohol a far worse drug for impairment, psychosis issues and just dumb behaviour

    Craig

    McCoskrie’s latest cheap publicity grabbing stunt

    Well there is a headline on twtter which some one at FF thought would get everyones attention, but the contents of the article obviously grabbed from somewhere else dont backup the headline. The person in question is watching Canadas move toward legalization with "interest." Thats about it.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    Funny I find everything she said and the way she said it ridiculous, slimy, and completely without merit.

    I had to work past my bias, and it's almost given me the trots. But never the less...

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    But never the less…

    Yes?
    It is a serious topic as the blog heading says. Yet some of those who will decide this issue on our behalf, insist on thinking it can be used as a political football. And I will subject any such utterances to ridicule.
    Sorry if that offends you...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    Mrs Bennett said she would be open to taking up Green Part MP Chloe Swarbrick’s invitation for a cross-party debate on drug law reform, as long as that did not imply automatic support for legalisation.

    This is how democracy works. Paula Bennett is just doing politics, as she should. Yes this is a serious topic. It’s not serious like hitting children, or locking homosexuals in prison. It’s serious because we are talking about a drug that isn’t completely benign. But that I would argue, is less harmful to society at large than subjecting people to the criminal justice system and the department of corrections. I agree with Russell Browns comments that regulations are Important for quality control. But I think that could also land us with huge compliance costs to producers, which could lead to only big cannabis business that can afford to pay huge amounts of regulatory tax. Not similar to the alcohol industry, but the actual alcohol industry, as it expands its social beverage portfolios. That is a possibility. And we all know what that means. It means actively expanding the market thru advertising.

    Ridicule that, if you must. But I would prefer you put some effort into thinking about it first. And then convince me thats not going to happen.

    We are going to have a referendum. Paula Bennett is not going to decide the outcome.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    No its serious because it is dealing with a aspect of human consciousness where govts have no right to tread. If there is a problem it is between that person and whatever medical professional they are consulting with.
    While govts cant control corporations who just give them the finger and move offshore, some politicians think they have every right to stick their nose into what we do in our leisure time with our minds.
    Glad to see your thinking about it but please dont think I havent. I find your post bordering on insulting.
    If we end up with "big cannabis" we have gone horribly wrong.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    No its serious because it is dealing with a aspect of human consciousness where govts have no right to tread.

    I’m not sure how to read that. Is it something to do with religion or are you meaning the affects of cannabis?

    If we end up with “big cannabis” we have gone horribly wrong.

    Well sorry, but big medical cannabis is already looking like a thing. And it’s already spending big on its “cannabis is medicine” campaign. And serious people know thats a cynical manipulation of truth.

    If I wanted to be insulting, I would have said I thought you appear a little naive.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Craig Young,

    At a glance, you can get the overview here: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/portugal_en

    Cannabis 8% "in young adults (15-34 years) in the last year" Also, from a year ago: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-is-working-why-hasnt-the-world-copied-it

    "Portugal’s remarkable recovery, and the fact that it has held steady through several changes in government – including conservative leaders who would have preferred to return to the US-style war on drugs – could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs, addiction – and itself. In many ways, the law was merely a reflection of transformations that were already happening in clinics, in pharmacies and around kitchen tables across the country. The official policy of decriminalisation made it far easier for a broad range of services (health, psychiatry, employment, housing etc) that had been struggling to pool their resources and expertise, to work together more effectively to serve their communities."

    "In 1997, after 10 years of running the CAT in Faro, Goulão was invited to help design and lead a national drug strategy. He assembled a team of experts to study potential solutions to Portugal’s drug problem. The resulting recommendations, including the full decriminalisation of drug use, were presented in 1999, approved by the council of ministers in 2000, and a new national plan of action came into effect in 2001."

    "Today, Goulão is Portugal’s drug czar. He has been the lodestar throughout eight alternating conservative and progressive administrations; through heated standoffs with lawmakers and lobbyists; through shifts in scientific understanding of addiction and in cultural tolerance for drug use; through austerity cuts, and through a global policy climate that only very recently became slightly less hostile. Goulão is also decriminalisation’s busiest global ambassador. He travels almost non-stop, invited again and again to present the successes of Portugal’s harm-reduction experiment to authorities around the world, from Norway to Brazil, which are dealing with desperate situations in their own countries."

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to andin,

    Thats quite a specific problem. I dont think this legislation is intended to address this kind of thing.

    No it doesn’t. But I think it’s an issue that needs to be urgently addressed along with the legislation. If this is about harm reduction then attention should be paid to those most at risk of harm.

    A small percentage of people who have major mental illnesses react very badly to marijuana. Assuming legalisation can occur and the mental health services can just deal with the fallout without proper resourcing isn’t going to work out very well.

    At present under current legislation mental health units do not have the ability to deal with this. Any change should include change for the most vulnerable.

    Since Nov 2016 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Neil,

    If this is about harm reduction then attention should be paid to those most at risk of harm.

    Sure. But it doesn't overpower the attention paid to very, very much larger numbers of people who are at less risk. It seems to me that specialized legislation for those groups is what you're after, which they already have in the acts that relate to the removal of freedom from people who have serious mental illnesses. Perhaps they need revision, I don't know - they already have extraordinarily restrictive laws applied to them, and it could just be that mental health needs more resourcing to do its job better. But I don't see this highly exceptional case as really putting much more pressure on our general will to legalize or decriminalize than perhaps adding some clear labeling requirements, which is how we deal with substance that could be very harmful to some very small and unlucky group already.

    Peanut traces, for instance, can kill a small proportion of the population, but making peanuts illegal is not the solution. You just have to make it clear when peanut traces are present.

    I'm aware that the mentally ill are very much not the same in the way they make choices, so it's not clear that they could be trusted to voluntarily avoid cannabis products, but that's where the removal of their volition comes into play. They also can't be trusted already to not go to an illegal drug dealer (of which there are a great many, and they would surely already know some), or even have them smuggled into the care facility. So I can't see that this special case comes to bear very much on the question of generalized change to cannabis legislation - it seems like much more of a mental health care policy and funding issue. Perhaps legislation that is extremely strict on people who smuggle into the facilities is a prohibition that does make sense - in which case it's about much more than cannabis anyway. Cigarettes, booze, cellphones and razor blades need to also by covered by those kinds of changes.

    I feel like the role that the people you are talking about have in this debate is to make the point very clearly that cannabis is not universally harmless. Certainly people who believe that are basically completely wrong. But those people hold an extreme position that doesn't take this debate anywhere - they are easily sidelined as cranks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to BenWilson,

    But I don’t see this highly exceptional case as really putting much more pressure on our general will to legalize or decriminalize…

    No, but there’s been a tendency to say – marijuana is for the large majority mostly innocuous but for the very few for which it isn’t the mental health service is there for them.

    What I have a problem with is that last bit – it assumes this is relatively straight forward. But it’s not and I can’t see anyone bringing this up.

    (I’d say it’s mostly a resourcing and policy issue but some legislative tweaks could be of help).

    Since Nov 2016 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    naive.

    Now your just trying to flatter me, although I would maybe describe myself as an idealist. Realism is all well and good, the problem tho is every realist has their own idea of how things are, and they are all different depending on the person.

    big medical cannabis

    As long as they put people before profit I have no problem with that, but they dont.

    I’m not sure how to read that.

    Let me expand for you. Looking to the future of humanity and this planet it isnt looking like a bed of roses. How we live on this planet is causing problems and they will get worse, that is beyond question. We are going to have to change the way we exist, those caught up in this madness have convinced themselves all we have to do is tweak an industry here, a different resource over there just rejig what already is here. IMO it wont work or is too late. We have to find another way or as Rupert Reade says work on establishing a successor civilization. Our societies arent just there and we walk into them, they are products of our thought. In most cases not all of us just a few people who have had more say that anyone else because of their position in society.
    A successor society if we are serious cant be like that if we, this planet and its ecosystems and all life are to survive. And I would argue for that to work we are going to have to change the way we think, our consciousness if you will. The longer we leave it the numbers just get worse and bigger Mind enhancing drugs will have a role to play in that IMO as well as more leisure time. We’re not going to work our way out of this one. The Calvinist work ethic is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to andin,

    The Calvinist work ethic doesn't entirely equate to capitalism, though. We may well have to "work our way out of this one" -- but rather more of that work will be what's currently left to volunteers because it's not valued enough to be salaried.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Neil,

    What I have a problem with is that last bit – it assumes this is relatively straight forward. But it’s not and I can’t see anyone bringing this up.

    I'm not sure the assumption is that it's straightforward, it's just that they're not left completely unaddressed. We do have mental health services and they already are empowered to deny drugs, illegal or otherwise, to people under some circumstances. Removal of freedom due to mental illness is a huge curly issue, of course, far wider than cannabis access. It's too fraught for it to be practical to make the resolution of it any kind of blocker to how the vast majority of people who are of sound (enough) mind are allowed to access cannabis. Otherwise it can be used to block public access to practically anything that people with mental health issues could misuse. Which is practically anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s too fraught for it to be practical to make the resolution of it any kind of blocker to how the vast majority of people who are of sound (enough) mind are allowed to access cannabis.

    I’m not presenting this as an objection to legalisation or decriminalisation rather as an issue of harm to the most vulnerable that should be addressed given that the motivation for reform is harm reduction.

    Drugs in acute inpatient units is a big harm issue now. Along with legal reform the government should also formulate a plan deal with it since that reform might just make the problem worse.

    Since Nov 2016 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Neil,

    I've got no issue with the government formulating better plans for acute inpatients, but I can't see that as any kind of deal breaker for cannabis reform if they didn't manage to get that sorted out before the referendum.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to linger,

    Calvinist work ethic doesn’t entirely equate to capitalism

    In its original form no, I was just thinking of people like MH who use it to bash unemployed over the head as lazy.

    currently left to volunteers because it’s not valued

    And that is a huge problem

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to BenWilson,

    They don’t currently have plan to help the most at risk which sort puts the whole harm minimisation argument into the the middle class capture category.

    Since Nov 2016 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to andin,

    In its original form no, I was just thinking of people like MH who use it to bash unemployed over the head as lazy.

    Who then proceed to welcome the Brexits and Donald Trumps of this world - or have just emerged from their fallout bunkers and denied they've happened - only to find nothing goes according to plan and then proceed to take a few pages from the captain of the Costa Concordia.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Update: McCoskrie's latest spinnery is that Portugal is uncertain about whether or not to decriminalise/liberalise/legalise cannabis in the wake of having decriminalised personal use of other drugs. Is this accurate or is it fake "news?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    Craig, any chance of a link?

    Google pointed me here:

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/man-credited-with-decriminalizing-drugs-in-portugal-not-sure-legal-cannabis-is-the-right-move-1.4131841

    and looking up who McCrosrie is I don't see anything that spinny here:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12167590

    On the other hand the messaging from Green party seems confused, the only fact I could spot being our countries large appetite for drugs:

    https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/parliament-must-take-historic-opportunity-make-changes-drug-harm-reduction

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Craig Young,

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Young,

    Is this accurate or is it fake "news?"

    Fake.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.