Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fighting On

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  • Russell Brown,

    The evidence, she be somewhat contradictory.

    The MDMA-causes-Parkinson's paper was withdrawn by its author after it was discovered that the lab rats had not been administered MDMA at all, but large doses of methamphetamine. All-time-famous whoopsie, that one.

    I'm not aware of the current research on MDMA as a treatment for Parkinson's but there seems no doubt that it may produce a striking easing of symptoms.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The problem seems to be that most folks seem to know both wasted potheads and people who use cannabis safely and sensibly.

    The same is true of alcohol.

    And my guess is the same is true for most drugs, although for some drugs there appears to be no safe consumption.

    The problem is that neither legal consumption (in the case of alcohol) nor prohibition (in the case of cannabis) works terribly well at identifying and helping those people whose consumption is unsafe (for themselves or others).

    Ranting for or against prohibition isn't helpful nor is piling abuse on people whose opinion differs from ones own.

    My own feeling is that prohibition makes it difficult to properly study the effects and use of drugs. But for the legal drug alcohol all the study in the world hasn't really helped as much as society needs.

    As for the relationship with crime not even that is straightforward. Some dealers are decent folks running a reasonable business that happens to be illegal and some are scumbags. And it isn't clear to me how to favour the decent dealers and put the scumbags in jail (assuming that's the best place to put them).

    That said we don't have much money in New Zealand to pay for a huge police force. I don't feel comfortable with the police spending huge amounts of time and energy policing cannabis. In simple practical terms given a limited number of police I'd rather they worked on crimes that did more damage to society (note I said more which means I am aware cannabis does some damage). I also don't feel that I know enough about that criminal world to know the answer for sure and I'd tend to trust those people who have made enough of a study of the field to be genuine experts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    And it isn't clear to me how to favour the decent dealers and put the scumbags in jail (assuming that's the best place to put them).

    But I wouldn’t want to stay here
    It’s too old and cold and settled in it’s ways here
    Oh, but california
    California I’m coming home
    I’m going to see the folks I dig
    I’ll even kiss a sunset pig
    California I’m coming home

    I believe there are cities alive at the moment that are living the green dream to an extent, they're not falling apart because of green consumption.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    he cracked a rye simile...

    What makes me cry is when people spell "whisky" with an e.

    that's right mixing e with alcohol is bad...

    so now I undestand chch's problem :
    we have souped up boy racers and congestion
    and we have mixed up kids (& older) coingesting

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But for the legal drug alcohol all the study in the world hasn't really helped as much as society needs.

    I guess that depends on how you define that need. If society generally decides that alcohol should be used more responsibly, many steps could be taken, both through rules and education. But I'm not convinced that the hive mind thinks that way. I really think that most people see alcohol consumption as individual choice, and the buck stops there, and social damage is the cost of the right. The benefit is that everyone gets to have as much alcohol as they want, and that's actually a huge benefit to the millions of people who enjoy it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I wish I had the ability to drink it , it sounds fun. :)

    All one needs, is to start with a dram of Laphroaig, and let your taste buds guide you down the yellow brick road.It is the one and only lesson needed to be a willing and able civilised member of such an elite group. ;)

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    But for the legal drug alcohol all the study in the world hasn't really helped as much as society needs.

    You can buy 1% alcohol content liquid or up to 40% alcohol content liquid, you can also be sure that the preparation of that liquid has been legally hygenic. You have to be a certain age and you can't get publicly wasted.

    We have tidied the market up considerably but we still have a problem with an unacceptable amount of people getting wasted on the bloody stuff, but certainly not the majority.

    Alcohol is a monster of a drug to study. Geez it's horrible to see when it goes bad on someone.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Ross,

    Mr Brown,

    Surely you wouldn't want to take Alun Bollinger's nickname and assign it to Alan Bollard without some sort of acknowledgement?

    "AlBol" (number of ells presumably negotiable), for those who missed the end of Media 7.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Surely you wouldn't want to take Alun Bollinger's nickname and assign it to Alan Bollard without some sort of acknowledgement?

    Oooh. Good point. Without meaning to, I may indeed have nicked Mr Bollinger's nickname ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You can buy 1% alcohol content liquid or up to 40% alcohol content liquid, you can also be sure that the preparation of that liquid has been legally hygenic. You have to be a certain age and you can't get publicly wasted.

    You can also legally make up to 100% pure (although 95% seems more practically likely), but you can't sell it. Drink that and you stand a good chance of dying horribly. I even know someone who did make some of that, gave it to someone else who did have to have their stomach pumped (they were both under-age). I'm yet to hear of anyone having severe health consequences from a small quantity of home-grown dope.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Ross,

    Oooh. Good point. Without meaning to, I may indeed have nicked Mr Bollinger's nickname ...

    I've also seen his wife Helen referred to as HelBol. Maybe this is just in the media, I don't know - I don't have any personal knowledge.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

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