Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dude, what just happened?

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  • Lucy Stewart,

    You have to actually read the story to find that the sweeping claim is based on three batches of six plants grown under optimum conditions by ESR scientists, two of them involving Red Devil, a modern pure indica strain.

    Oh, and they seem to have got their "four times stronger" figure by comparing the average strength from their seventies study (6%) to the highest figure in their range of figures from the current study (4-25%). 25% is roughly 4 times 6%, but...it ain't the average. You have to go all the way to the boittom of the article to find an average quoted (11%, for outdoor-grown cannabis) which is less than twice as strong as the 6% baseline.

    IIRC, Ben Goldacre covered similar "studies" in his book, in Britain - they did precisely the same thing, comparing the previous average to the modern high point. It's thoroughly ridiculous.

    Especially the bit where they claim, in the NZ article, that the yields were so variable because the scientists didn't know how to grow cannabis properly. Because, of course, it must be so difficult to get instructions on how to do that - it's not like there was, ooooh, I don't know, some shop the police knew of they could go and ask at...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    It would be interesting to know how ESR got dispensation to grow the cannabis. I was of the impression that this particular part of the law prohibited even growing for study, if not, then, we could have a loophole... just like the Japanese whaling fleet. ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    they seem to have got their "four times stronger" figure by comparing the average strength from their seventies study (6%) to the highest figure in their range of figures from the current study (4-25%). 25% is roughly 4 times 6%, but...it ain't the average. You have to go all the way to the boittom of the article to find an average quoted (11%, for outdoor-grown cannabis) which is less than twice as strong as the 6% baseline.

    Safe to say that's downright dishonest and hardly accidental. Who's writing the letter to the editor?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Safe to say that's downright dishonest and hardly accidental. Who's writing the letter to the editor?

    I nominate you Sacha. Your country needs you!

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Safe to say that's downright dishonest and hardly accidental. Who's writing the letter to the editor?

    It's an NZPA article that seems to have been reprinted by at least two papers, so that's editors, plural.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    Safe to say that's downright dishonest and hardly accidental. Who's writing the letter to the editor?

    I nominate you Sacha. Your country needs you!

    And this is why shit gets done ...!

    All of you should write a letter. Surely, if you can write a post here you write a couple of sentences and email them off.

    NZ Herald: http://dynamic.nzherald.co.nz/feedback/letters/index.cfm?

    Waikato Times: editor@waikatotimes.co.nz

    Dom Post: letters@dompost.co.nz

    Press: letters@press.co.nz

    Otago Daily Times: odt.editorial@alliedpress.co.nz


    Tell the paper you don't believe their bullshit anymore. So long as you don't, they'll just keep churning it out.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    All of you should write a letter. Surely, if you can write a post here you write a couple of sentences and email them off.

    The Herald on Sunday, which I presume published this article, just got an extremely stiff letter from me. I doubt it will get reprinted in its entirety, especially the bit where I told them to make all their reporters read Bad Science, but it felt extremely satisfying to lambast them as they deserved to be.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Your country needs you!

    Someone with more media credibility - like Ross perhaps

    All of you should write a letter

    Oh, that works as well

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    is now more than four times stronger than it was when ESR last tested it in 1996."

    I'm with Ben. Assuming it is stronger, we can use less to get the same result. ie. Cheaper, less money lost temporarily to the black market. Basically all I'm hearing again is;

    "It's stronger and kiwis are too stupid to self moderate"

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    The Herald on Sunday, which I presume published this article,

    The link from RB turns up what looks like Sunday News. Which is which now? I'm so confused. Perhaps forward to them as well Lucy. Appreciate your efforts.
    Bfm was just saying also that SOG are receiving lots of support.Feel good story for the day. :)

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    The link from RB turns up what looks like Sunday News. Which is which now? I'm so confused..

    It's a NZPA article; it's appeared word-for-word (though occasionally abridged) on the TVNZ, Sunday News, and NZ Herald websites. The Herald on Sunday caught my ire because, well, I wouldn't know where to start complaining to the NZPA and I've at least laid eyes on a copy of the Herald.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    "It's a serious drug. And it's very clear that long-term usage has very long-term effects ... it's not the social drug of the 60s any more ... it is a drug that causes serious harm," Detective Inspector Stuart Mills said.

    "And it's very clear that long-term usage has very long-term effects"

    Pulitzer.

    The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly "cultivated for psychoactive purposes"

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It also appears that our Bank Robbers are even trying to make a stand.

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

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    I doubt it will get reprinted in its entirety, especially the bit where I told them to make all their reporters read Bad Science, but it felt extremely satisfying to lambast them as they deserved to be.

    It DOES feel good, doesn't it?

    Even better when they print it, but half the buzz is in the writing and sending off.

    Stuff jogging as a way to get high.

    Cheers Lucy.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    our Bank Robbers are even trying to make a stand

    If blaming someone else constitutes a "stand", then I suppose they are.

    I didn't realise there had been a 52% increase in bank robberies from 58 in 2008 to 88 in 2009. I imagine part of the demand for cash is caused by the genuinely dangerous upside down b, which the police could be putting more of their effort into rather than trying to demonise weed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Even better when they print it, but half the buzz is in the writing and sending off.

    But not so much when one is misquoted or edited so much, an opposite interpretation is conveyed. This happened to someone I know so many times that he now wont write because of the editing. What the Herald did to me was trivial but still annoying.To use a name and then misquote is appalling in my mind. It felt like that for me anyhow.

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    . it is a drug that causes serious harm," Detective Inspector Stuart Mills said.

    I think it might be nice to see the facts rather than "opinions"

    "And it's very clear that long-term usage has very long-term effects"

    I think the short term effect is the one to worry about...

    the lethal dose of marijuana is said to be in the region of 46 pounds, dropped from a height of around thirty feet

    That figure varies but it is always rather large However, as always, one should follow the instructions on the Material Safety Data Sheet
    As for getting your point across...

    the basic premise of Non-violent direct action is that you need to provoke a response from authority. Currently the protest doesn't provoke a response so the need to change the law isn't obviously to wider society.

    “There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all… One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.” – Martin Luther King, “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”.

    Change, some things do never
    Yoda.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    But not so much when one is misquoted or edited so much, an opposite interpretation is conveyed. This happened to someone I know so many times that he now wont write because of the editing. What the Herald did to me was trivial but still annoying.To use a name and then misquote is appalling in my mind. It felt like that for me anyhow.

    I understand. It's happened to me as well.

    I was discussing this with someone just the other day: it seems sometimes that letters are judiciously edited to take away their core point.

    It was suggested that letters sent are monitered by those who wrote them and any patterns of unfair editing (ie. removal of vital fact) be reported.

    One trick is to write a one liner. They stand a much better chance of being run and can't be edited. Make your point short and sweet.

    Making any sort of point - that's the point.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • jo kerr,

    You have to actually read the story to find that the sweeping claim is based on three batches of six plants grown under optimum conditions by ESR scientists, two of them involving Red Devil, a modern pure indica strain.

    OMG That is Gorgeous! "CANNABIS CULTURE - Medical Grower Mediman heats up the 2009 Toronto Cannabis Cup with his winning Red Devil strain."
    Thats why SoG customers want to grow stronger pot so they smoke less lettuce, its the smoke that kills.
    Its the Sm-oo-oo-oo-ke that kills, Its the Inhalation

    Since Apr 2010 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Re: 'write a good book' (or any other written work):

    be passionate about words; love reading; deeply need to tell the story (applies also to non-fiction, just in case 'any other written work' wasnt a large enough net...)

    Re: writing to newspapers: newspaper letter-columns require current addresses, email &/or 'phone number, your real name, and *do* check these things. If you are a fervent advocate of almost any quasi-legal/contentious position, so-determined by the almost-invariably rightwing owners of aforesaid newspaper, expect your details to be forwarded to 'other interested parties.'

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    What about all that marijuana influenced music in the shops? Surely Judith Collins will be crushing CD's shortly.

    I suggest starting with the whole jazz section first, then obviously
    Dylan, The Beatle, The Stones, The Who. Pretty much the vast majority of the major players of modern rock and roll and lift music and get the drugged up scum off the radio too, our children are listening!!!!

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    ...& watching on TV/ liberally certified films. So when the kids get caught trying pot, they're suspended/expelled from school. In the anti cannabis argument, the exploitation of the protection of childrens' development cop out, is hollow.

    ah, the hypocrisy. It's enough to make you want to hang yourself.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    What next? Classifying "Up In Smoke" as objectionable material? Let's not forget burning books to boot.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I know what you mean Chris. It's not just the hypocrisy it's the ignorance and stupidity of the whole underlying policy, it's enough to make you want to blow yourself up.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Classifying "Up In Smoke" as objectionable material?

    Given how long they've taken with SOG, we might have a bit longer before they pick Pineapple Express as other than an innocent comedy of fruit logistics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

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