Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fighting On

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  • Sacha,

    I recommend using wherever possible the surprisingly subversive phrase "alcohol and other drugs"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    There are two dimensions to a drug legalisation framework. The first is the freedom to use a drug. Granting adults the right to choose to use cannabis or MDMA is Good Thing, IMO. Not only because the social and health costs are demonstrably lower than alcohol, but also because it enables the police to focus on crimes with actual victims.

    The other dimension is accessability. I would suggest that a huge issue with tobbacco products is that they are the most accessible drug in our society (apart, perhaps, from sugar - assuming you consider sugar drug). Every dairy, every service station, every supermarket deals these little packets of addiction. Imagine the social damage if pokies were similarly ubiquitous.

    Therefore, I am wary of allowing multinationals to deal in cannabis. They'd keeping push the envelope until they got maximum distribution networks. I'd rather start with the "grow you own" model, and evaluate it after a few years.

    Ecstasy-type drugs, OTOH, would benefit from a lot of study aimed at identifying and mitigating the risks of use, so I'd be happy for them to be treated more like pharmacy items, and restricted accordingly.

    @Tom, you need to meet more potheads :) My friends who still use regularly *never* rant on about legalisation.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • greenlove33,

    @Tom I was more inferring that there are a lot of functioning professionals on all type of drugs out there that are not obvious to the naked eye. A high functioning alcoholic will no more stick out in the work place than a high functioning pothead. It is just the health effects that are worse. I suppose the key is that drug use is hidden. Which is never a good health outcome!!
    I hope that I am included in your definition there of
    "articulate middle class supporters of legalisation". Wooo..moved up a class? But I can assure you I have looked at the gritty side of health effects re drug taking, and while things are illegal there will be not much room for improvement in proper education and harm minimisation.
    @Sacha yes that is the phrase that could change the whole argument, acknowledging alcohol is the drug causing most harm in New Zealand society.
    Now let me step down off my soapbox for the weekend and avoid restating the obvious to the already aware!!. My choice for a Friday vid, Dilated Peoples, advocates for pot smoking and lucky enough to be based in LA with medical marijuana clinics. Bring it on!!

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Tom, data on green use in New Zealand is extremely unreliable given that you are effectively asking someone to identify publicly with a criminal activity.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    @Tom, you need to meet more potheads :) My friends who still use regularly *never* rant on about legalisation.

    I took Tom to be referring to the tendency of some potheads to talk about it a lot in general, not necessarily just about legalisation.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    There are a lot of drugs that humans (and a lot of other animals) have used since yay back.
    Fermented fruit/honey (=alcohol) was probably one of the first (I'd stake money on fungi for *the* first.)

    The thing I've always found fascinating is -we (elephants,us& other primates) actually love and NEED those luscious drugs.

    But - why call 'em drugs?

    They are life & consiousness enhancers.

    Life- as we know it - is actually very bloody hard. If we had a sane civilisation, we would make all easing things freely availably to everyone -

    but then, we wouldnt have vile twerps who sell the easing things and - basically- try to control what and who we are-

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

  • Sacha,

    I'm sure pot has nothing to do with Andy Haden's archaic mouthiness. A toke might do wonders for the silly old fuckwit's attitudes, or at least distract him from the compulsion to express them every time a journalist passes by.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • greenlove33,

    @Islander I like your language re life and conciousness enhancers.

    If you were living back in the day, a good brew would be to take your fungi, dry it, then put it in your jar of honey. Your fungi reconstitutes in the honey, it will last forever, and you have a jar of honey that will knock your head off. Now if you take that honey and put a few teaspoons in a litre of orange juice, you have a totally natural and reasonable tasting shamanic psychedelic.

    Mushrooms, honey. orange juice. You can call it illegal until the cows come home but it won't stop fungi growing or bees buzzing etc.

    Not of course that I advocate illegal drug use, but for an old fashioned formula thats a win.

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Peter grower,

    Its almost ironic, that through Tom Semmens addled negative sterotype smear against cannabis users, that I can say, without risk of tarring the innocent, that Tom Semmens is a pig ignorant arsehole ............ in relation to cannabis users ;-) .

    I have a theory about about the brains of the users of that hard drug alcohol.

    Alcohol is an 'aggressigenic' drug, its also quite neurotoxic. My theory is that the druggies we know of as 'drinkers' become more aggressive, intolerant and bigoted ................ even when they are not taking, or are intoxicated by their drug alcohol.

    I think it helps explains why there are so many intolerant arseholes in New Zealand.

    And all those grown up FAS children are todays stupid adults.

    Anyway enough of this , lets talk the world rugby cup.

    Go the Steinlagers ..................

    Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @Peter Grower. As a very occasional poster to PAS,you do need to know that we treat each other with a bit more courtesy around here.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    @Peter Grower. As a very occasional poster to P AS,you do need to know that we treat each other with a bit more courtesy around here.

    Yes, most here are quite pleasant when giving Tom Semmens a bollocking. ;)

    And, what Islander said upthread, on the button.

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

  • Peter grower,

    I apologize to all those apart from Tom who may have taken offense.

    BUT I took offense at his use of a stereotype smear.

    Racism, bigotry and persecution are all based on them.

    Imagine if Tom had said "I don't have much time for Blacks - far to many of them are losers " ........

    I suppose his stereotype smear allows him to feel superior and good about himself.

    It tells us far more about him than cannabis users.........

    Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    As a very occasional poster to PAS,you do need to know that we treat each other with a bit more courtesy around here.

    Oh yeah? I don't see that Peter grower has been any less courteous than one or two of the long-term posters have been in the past.

    The comment was aimed directly at Tom's broad sweeping comments about cannabis users. Generalisations such as Tom's are the real insult.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    The truth is that alcohol is the most neurotoxic and carcinogenic of the 50 most commonest recreational drugs.

    Alcohol is more likely to give you cancer than cigarettes? Cite please...

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    So Peter Grower, perhaps if you said

    I took offense at his use of a stereotype smear.
    Racism, bigotry and persecution are all based on them.
    Imagine if Tom had said "I don't have much time for Blacks - far to many of them are losers " ........

    instead of

    Its almost ironic, that through Tom Semmens addled negative sterotype smear against cannabis users, that I can say, without risk of tarring the innocent, that Tom Semmens is a pig ignorant arsehole ............ in relation to cannabis users ;-) .

    one would have got your point without any one taking offence.Jus' sayin'. Don't take a fence man.;)


    As an aside, what's with the dissing of the other animals when wishing to put human traits down.?I mean, pig ignorant, not true. Why not give humans a name like tools as in "he/she is a right tool pusher" or weather disaster as in she/he is a right tornado" or avalanche
    or a food substance as in...
    Nah, pigs, cows, sheep, are food. We humans kill and eat those.
    As you were....

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

  • Joe Wylie,

    Sorry Sofie, I think I started the pig-dissing. Point taken.
    That said, I DON'T eat pigs. Or cows. Or any mammals.
    Occasionally I'll have a whitebait fritter though. One bite, so many lives.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't have much time for pot smokers - far to many of them are tediously addled losers from abusing the stuff and/or tend to make it the topic of their conversation at every opportunity.

    As everyone else has pointed out, that's an absurd generalisation.

    But ...

    I have always thought that if a fraction of the treasure expended trying to prove that MDMA gives you Parkinsons/manic depression/Altzhiemers/holes in your brain had been spent on making it a safer legal substance the world would be a better place for it. If Pfizer could make big dollars from MDM brand x being fun and harmless, wouldn't they push for it's legalisation??

    There's something in this. I wasn't particularly outraged when the government reclassified BZP. It wasn't killing users, but it was a shitty drug that was sending people to emergency rooms (curiously, way more in Christchurch than Auckland) and had become associated with binge drinking. If you were going to pick one to make legal and regulated, that wouldn't be it.

    But BZP only wound up being legal because it wasn't already illegal. By contrast, most candidates for an annointed low-risk party drug would be caught by the analogues provision of the Misuse of Drugs Act. That's what happened to Ease (aka methylone) -- it was close enough to MDMA to fall foul of the law once someone actually looked at it.

    More interesting: MDAI, which is a less harmful substance now turning up in pills sold as E in New Zealand and other places. It was developed in the late 90s as a less-neurotoxic alternative to MDMA and somehow hit the recreational market last year. It's being sold by the kilo on the internet, but is probably illegal by default under our law, regardless of its actual risk profile. This really doesn't make sense, and I think any sensible reform would have to revisit the analogue provision.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Occasionally I'll have a whitebait fritter though. One bite, so many lives

    Can you look them in their little eyes?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I think I started the pig-dissing. Point taken

    I have been known to call people a cow also.

    .

    That said, I DON'T eat pigs. Or cows. Or any mammals.
    Occasionally I'll have a whitebait fritter though. One bite, so many lives.

    Yes I don't either,but I do eat the little fishees.It is really hard for me down at the fish market. I got the whole guilt thing ( for that, I blame my parents) going on. It's not that easy. i just really feel for dead things even whilst understanding the recycle of life and inevitability of survival of the fittest.
    I mean, why have we gotta bury the whales? To allow the whales that die, to sink, is to replenish other species, part of a cycle that is being depleted and desperately needs sustainable practise. Surely we should send these whales back to be recycled.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Can you look them in their little eyes?

    Which end are they at?

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

  • Islander,

    Just above their leetle mouthies Sofie!

    Dear delicious entities that they are...in short supply at the moment because of sea & weather conditions, but there's a while to go yet...

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    To allow the whales that die, to sink, is to replenish other species, part of a cycle that is being depleted and desperately needs sustainable practise. Surely we should send these whales back to be recycled.

    In a perfect world: yes. In a world where we'd have to tow them a fucking long way out to sea to stop their rotting corpses potentially floating back onto our beaches: no. And, of course, it's an important part of Maori cultural practice.

    (I confess, though, I have no idea what they do in other countries. Does anyone know?)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Dead whale disposal - here's one famous technique, trialled by the Oregon Highways Department. I saw better footage of this many years ago, with a preamble in the commentary pointing out that the engineers of the highways department were given the job of disposing of the whale on the basis that highways were large and mostly grey and so was the whale.


    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    (I confess, though, I have no idea what they do in other countries. Does anyone know?)

    Me neither, but I was watching The Blue Planet recently and that showed a whale being sunk by humans and they filmed the process at the ocean floor. One year on revealed that there was still life that fed from it's skeleton.Many species of fish fed for a whole year.That, to me, is recycling at it's best. the hole and bury seems such a waste to me. Sometimes old traditions could be updated to deal with the current climate, space withstanding an' al'. If not, bring on the Laudanum with a touch of Absinthe.

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

  • Peter grower,

    Sorry for dissin the pigs ............. it was just a generic insult presenting an image of mean stupidity.

    In fact its a negative sterotype smear against pigs which probably helps us ( humans ) gloss over our terrible treatment towards them .......they get tortured for greed.

    But the truth is Tom has shown he is an arsehole with his attitude towards cannabis users.

    Lets not pretend otherwise.

    The hat fits in this instance.

    Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

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