Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Dude, what just happened?

262 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 6 7 8 9 10 11 Newer→ Last

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yep, I'm quite positive Rob wasn't saying that either. You can bet the family farm that in our family we're going to be very mindful of those statistics and hopefully educate the kids to be smart about the risk. Without any prejudice whatsoever to jo kerr's monthly social smoking.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • greenlove33,

    Yes sensible drug policy from a health based rather than criminal justice perspective would be a blessing.

    I haven't seen or heard anyone from NORML who organise the OU 4.20s come out and state cannabis will cure bipolar disorder. Rather the risk of taking ANY psychoactive substance while mentally unstable is of course a dangerous idea.

    Cannabis is a psychedelic, so if you are feeling off it will just magnify those feelings. Its certainly not a cure for bipolar..but then neither are antipsychotics IMHO.

    However, the majority of cannabis smokers in NZ would not suffer from biploar disorder. So I think its a bit unfair to deny your NZ pot smokers a joint once or twice a month(especially at 50 years old..come on!!) because there is a risk for a very small section of the population.

    In saying that, it would be great to have open drug education that got the message out that there is an age related risk for cannabis related pychosis, so hold off till you are 18. And that smoking weed at 16 is not good at all considering the brain is still developing etc.

    But until we see a major sea change, open and honest drug education may be a while away. At least, until I whip up a series of blogs on the subject!!

    Hey my apologies for the simplistic analysis and posts I am making here some of you cats have a caning vocabulary..I'll try to keep up!!

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    But the research he cited is real. There's a genetic risk of cannabis-related psychosis for a minority (15%) of the population, and an age-related risk for anyone under 18, with the risk increasing significantly with earlier onset of use.

    If its a risk for anyone under 18 , then it'll be a risk for a lot of slower developers over 18.
    Still SoG are happy to blatantly promote cannabis on student radio ,dont suppose they do anything about warning people of the dangers?

    Of course if it was a legal business they could be forced to help with the education.

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In saying that, it would be great to have open drug education that got the message out that there is an age related risk for cannabis related pychosis, so hold off till you are 18. And that smoking weed at 16 is not good at all considering the brain is still developing etc.

    That's one of my biggest frustrations about prohibition. A sensible legalisation (say available in licensed premises) would make it much harder for the people health research tells us shouldn't be smoking drugs (youth) to do so, because the black market would largely disappear.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    And that smoking weed at 16 is not good at all considering the brain is still developing etc

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/releases/2006/02/06.html

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    That's one of my biggest frustrations about prohibition. A sensible legalisation (say available in licensed premises) would make it much harder for the people health research tells us shouldn't be smoking drugs (youth) to do so, because the black market would largely disappear.

    the existence of licensed premises doesn't seem to have made it much harder for them to drink tho (but obviously prohibition is still not the best solution)

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If its a risk for anyone under 18 , then it'll be a risk for a lot of slower developers over 18.

    Thats not really a terribly scientific characterisation of the evidence ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • greenlove33,

    @alobar(suspo name..alcohol and bar lol!!)

    You missed my point a little bit man, human brain development is pretty much over at 18 in terms of biology, COMPARED to how it is cracking along between 0 and 16.(I'd have to see a few more studies before I believe human brain development after 18 is as vital as the development from 0-18) Between 0 and 16 is definitely where you want a clear head and good education.

    Learned knowledge such as at Uni is a different type of brain development. It is harmful for any youth to take any psychoactive drugs no matter what their IQ.

    A slow developer/learner is at the same risk of cannabis related psychosis as a fast learner, depending on if they fall in to the genetic risk category.

    I would be much more concerned at the blatant marketing of alcohol such as RTDS to under 18 year olds being advertised everywhere, rather than blaming cannabis for the unruly youth. Its the unruly drunken youth you have to worry about, at least down my street!!

    @kyle

    Yep a sensible solution that allows an effective harm reduction and education program would be a boon. I'm not about wild drug orgies, just the right for ADULTS to choose their poison and take it in a responsible fashion. Could be a nice red wine, could be a sticky joint, could be some pure MDMA.

    Out of those three choices, the legal one causes the most damage. Riddle me that Batman lol..

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    Thats not really a terribly scientific characterisation of the evidence ...

    it wasn't meant to be , but i still think its probably right, be interested to hear any evidence to the contrary?

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    A big problem with drug policy is the fact that lawmakers feel the need to "do something about the problem" without properly assessing what the problem actually is. Instead, it is driven as if from a moral standpoint, "drugs are bad mmmkay?"

    A sensible legalisation (say available in licensed premises) would make it much harder for the people health research tells us shouldn't be smoking drugs (youth) to do so, because the black market would largely disappear.

    If only it were that simple, we still have problem teenage drinkers but then those kids grew up worshiping the Steinlarger All Blacks, if the powers that be were to look at the real reason cannabis is a gateway drug, the fact that you can only get it from illicit drug dealers (because it's so bad to grow your own) then sensible legislation could reduce, if not eliminate, the black market for all drugs.
    Whilst we are told about "how much this problem costs our country" there is never a breakdown between how much it costs us, in terms of illness or lost "man hours" and how much we spend on enforcement. It seems to me that successive Governments are sadly lacking in their understanding of the relationship between humanoids and cannabinoids or opiates and opinions.
    And I shall be of that opinion until I morphine to another one. (I should really leave the puns to Ian.)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    the existence of licensed premises doesn't seem to have made it much harder for them to drink tho (but obviously prohibition is still not the best solution)

    I'm think that there's a limit to comparisons with alcohol.

    Here's the thing about cannabis: people stop using it.

    Indeed, most people who try is stop using it sooner or later, or at least cut down sharply.

    That's been the conclusion of the Auckland Uni School of Medicine drug use surveys over the years. And the reasons for stopping are mundane: "didn't like it any more" being the main one, iirc.

    Significantly, the legal status of cannabis was well down the list of reasons for stopping.

    This is quite a different profile to alcohol, where there's a big cluster of problem drinkers amongst middle-aged men.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    Nick I think I got your point first time.
    Now i'm not sure what you mean by " A slow developer/learner " ..
    I was refering to the differnce ages/ rates at which people mature , which i dont think relates to learning ability ( but i was convinced at school that early maturers were slower learners , but maybe they've just got their minds of other things)

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    "Here's the thing about cannabis: people stop using it."

    yeah its definitely way easier to stop

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A big problem with drug policy is the fact that lawmakers feel the need to "do something about the problem" without properly assessing what the problem actually is. Instead, it is driven as if from a moral standpoint, "drugs are bad mmmkay?"

    That's the problem with drug courts that lean towards treatment-based sentences.

    Great idea in theory -- but you end up with casual users being ordered to undergo treatment they simply do not need. It's a complete waste of resources to employ treatment as a nominal punishment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    t wasn't meant to be , but i still think its probably right, be interested to hear any evidence to the contrary?

    The development in question is neurological, and 18 is only a rough benchmark. You could certainly say that 20 would be safer. But the real risk is for kids who start using cannabis at 12 or 13. There's a far higher chance of long-term problems then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Here's an interesting bit of Friday evening reading. Section 7 for the pot heads.
    RECENT TRENDS IN ILLEGAL DRUG USE IN NEW ZEALAND, 2006-2008

    Where do they score? (those pot heads)
    The Internet could try harder.
    Location
    Private house 47%
    ‘Tinny’ house 45%
    Agreed public
    location 19%
    Public area (e.g.park) 13%
    Work 13%
    Pub/bar/club 11%
    Street drug market 9%
    Educational institute 4%
    Internet 2%

    Statistically interesting...

    Seventy-eight percent of the frequent drug users had purchased cannabis from a "friend", 52% had purchased
    cannabis from a ‘social acquaintance, 49% had purchased cannabis from a ‘drug dealer

    There's your policy answer, stop people having friends and acquaintances.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    yeah its definitely way easier to stop

    Generally with a smile on your face also.
    I have just learnt that three 19 year olds I know were walking along Richmond Road last weekend quite late of the night with a few drinks under their belt.One peeled off to go home, the other two continued up Richmond Road toward Ponsonby, one, a wee bit more drunk than the other. As they passed a school some guys came out and started to harass them. It is suspected they too were drunk also. Suddenly one of the guys I know is knocked unconscious, and when the friend went to his aid ,he too was punched to the point of things going hazy. At that point he was blacking out when he was dragged to the curb, where they placed and stomped on his ankle and broke his leg. Group of people against one guy.
    Because of the alcohol, their memory is not good enough to identify. One is completely blank, the other has partial memory, and broken bones consistent with brutal force. As the other was heading off to Hospital today to visit them, he questioned why anyone could want to hurt another like that. He is regarded as the smoker.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Ah JackElder, a really experienced endorphin user.

    20k? Just wait until your first brevet.

    Sounds like fun. Do I get 10 days worth of endorphin high? Over 10 days or all at once?

    That's been the conclusion of the Auckland Uni School of Medicine drug use surveys over the years. And the reasons for stopping are mundane: "didn't like it any more" being the main one, iirc.

    That's the way it's gone for around half of the users I know. Others have cut back. Almost no-one uses like they did in their 20s. But alcohol usage has increased. I should be specific - they drink more in total, but less at a time.

    I wonder if that's one of the main things standing against pot - it's mostly appealing to people who don't have any power. Booze, on the other hand, is quite popular amongst the powerful demographics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I wonder if that's one of the main things standing against pot - it's mostly appealing to people who don't have any power.

    Ah yes but. It affects us all. there is no doubt a person addicted to anything that inhibits their ability to earn enough to support a habit is going to turn to some form of crime, there is no option in their mind. A sensible drug policy will reduce harm all round and cost the country less on enforcement, punishment, reparation (in terms of insurance)
    We cannot solve any problem until we own it, society must accept that people do and will take drugs. Denial and marginalisation are not the solution.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Chiles,

    Cannabis is 100% non-toxic, the estimated lethal dose of THC is about 10-15 times the mass of the human body - how is it a poison?


    Alcohol is not a drug, it is a solvent.


    Peanuts and DIY are the real killers.
    Ban them?

    Paraparaumu • Since Feb 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    I think it's wonderful that so many people posting here think that the current system of prohibition isn't working. Some of you make highly intelligent and very perceptive comments.

    How many of you actually write a letter to the editor of your local paper saying those intelligent and perceptive things?

    I've been a writer for NORML for many years now and it's bloody hard to get editorial staff interested in talking about law reform. The reason consistantly cited to me is "our readers aren't interested in that sort of thing".

    I think that's bullshit, but there is also only a tiny handful of people (less than 5 that I know) in the entire country who make the simple effort to regularly write a 100-150 word letter to the paper talking about the failures of prohibition and the need for law reform.

    If double or triple that number were to do so it would make a big impact on the way papers viewed the issue. Letters columns are often cited as the most widely read page in a newspaper; and I was told once that to an editor's or a politician's eyes, one letter equates to 1000 voters who share that view.

    In other words, letters to the paper are very powerful. If you think the law needs changing, please tell an editor that!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    Drug prohibition and cannabis prohibition in particular is a cult.

    Why is it a cult?, because one of its core beliefs is that any drug use ( ie smoking a joint or taking an ecstasy pill ) is drug abuse. And not only does the cult of prohibition call this “abuse” it also believes that drug users whom it calls “drug abusers” merit criminal status.
    Regarding the SoG raids ……..
    It was very convenient for the liquor industry and the politicians whom they wine, dine, lobby and donate too that the day after a law commission report on alcohol is released we have these “major drug busts” . It certainly kept the piss of the front page of our newspapers.

    Alcohol or piss as I call it is far and away our biggest drug problem and it is actually a drug whose consumption is linked to rises in rates of real crimes like violence and sexual assaults.

    What did crusher Collins have to say about the piss ?????????????

    The bail conditions imposed on SoG are police state in style and designed to crush the grow shops and put them out of business.

    I think people should go into SoG and buy anything as a show of support.

    Hopefully the huge amount of police resources squandered on this operation with lots and lots of police hours yet to be spent in numerous trials should be a serious embarrassment to a police force which could not find the resources to investigate hundreds of child abuse cases.

    In fact it’s such a twisted misdirection of police resources you could be mistaken for thinking clint rickards is running the show ……………………..

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Not sure if this adds anything to the discussion but it relates to it in a way. Spent the day in Palmerston at a seminar on Autism listening to Tony Atwood who is a world expert on Aspurgers. He was making the point that teenage Aspies often need a time of calm in their daily life and suggested yoga or dance as an option. His worry is that often they turn to dope and/or alcohol and that this gives them a calming experience that surpasses anything they have experienced before and that this can lead to addiction. Whatever your opinion on the management of drug and alcohol use the safety and health of our young people must be taken into account. Unfortunately there are parents/caregivers out there who are too selfish to realise that their drinking/drug use has and affect on their children.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Tony Parker - Tony Attwood and several of his colleagues are speaking at the Autism NZ conference at Te Papa, 8-10 September, if you would like to hear more.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Thanks for that Hilary. Found him entertaining and informative but didn't get as much as I wanted in relation to my classroom teaching and the child I have in my class. Guess that's partly because it was a lecture style presentation to a couple of hundred people. Got more from Sue Larkey last year. Still worth going although he ended with a bit of heartbreak talking about his sister in law and her aspie life and then showed a photo of her with her parents saying that her mother who supported her through it all died in England last night.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 6 7 8 9 10 11 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.