Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: People Take Drugs

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    Or perhaps Lion Nathan might float a “party pill” division.

    That actually worries me.

    One of the problems with the legal trade as it stands is dodgy marketing via Facebook et al. And one of the fake-pot companies has an incentive scheme going with retailers -- rewarding those who can sell the most in a month. But that's small beer compared to what the big guys might do.

    I wouldn't go as far as plain packaging -- because packaging does actually help consumers differentiate between products -- but I'd be looking for tight controls on marketing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    And this policy is based on what exactly?

    Nah I think they basically thought asking folks to walk through a cloud of smoke to get into a public building was just rude. Since the smokers didn't seem to understand that they legislated it. Made the centre of town a remarkably pleasant place to wander since you didn't have the experience of walking into someone else's cloud of smoke.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One of the problems with the legal trade as it stands is dodgy marketing via Facebook et al. And one of the fake-pot companies has an incentive scheme going with retailers – rewarding those who can sell the most in a month. But that’s small beer compared to what the big guys might do.

    Yup and a valid concern. But the current situation sucks. So personally, however risky the proposition of allowing Mark Hotchins to sell party pills, it is better than what we are doing now, essentially leaving drug distribution in the hands of career criminals that we have failed to control.

    It may not work but we have to try something different.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • bmk,

    Maybe we need to dedicate a 'hamsterdam' area in each city. That way people can freely partake and obtain what they will anyway but people who don't want to see it or have it in their street don't have to.

    For example while I in theory have no problem with tinny houses, I can tell you it was very unpleasant for us when one set up next door to us.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    broadband is hardly a quagmire yet apparently our captains of industry need relief from regulation for a decade

    As if to ruin my example, Joyce backs down on that plan in favour of a PPP risk-share arrangement suggested by the Maori Party. Still means taxpayers indemnify Telecom et al if the Commerce Commission sees a need to regulate prices lower than those contracted at the outset. Socialise those losses..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bmk,

    For example while I in theory have no problem with tinny houses, I can tell you it was very unpleasant for us when one set up next door to us.

    Our experience was more in the "annoying" category, but yeah. Advice for young people who've just visited a tinny house:

    1. Don't bloody skin up in the car outside the house.

    2. Don't roar off and do a doughnut at the end of the cul de sac before departing.

    The tinny house was, inevitably, busted.

    The guy in the street who was making homebake heroin had a much better grip on being a reasonable neighbour. But he's dead now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You should write a soap: "Life, Death and the Chev" or, maybe "What's the Point?"

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Allowing a commercialised distribution of known problematic substances increases the overall negative outcomes because businesses have a habit of promoting their products with a view to expanding their use i.e. more use of problematic substances = more problems.

    Not necessarily. I mean, I understand where you're coming from, and I agree in certain specific scenarios, but as a sweeping statement that's not correct. Assuming "legalization" means that businesses become free to exploit the sale of substances without consequence for their use strikes me as an overly pessimistic view of how legalization would work, to be honest.

    As a general rule, the problems arising from drug use come in two forms: limited education on the part of the user (so consumers use drugs in ways that are harmful, when there are other options which minimise that harm) and the quality and nature of the drugs themselves (such as E cut with toxic substances, or the fact that some substances are physiologically addictive.) You can reduce the problems caused by the first relatively easily, and you can definitely make a dent in the magnitude of the second in an environment where these substances are legal and regulated, regardless of what pressures the commercial aspects of legalization put on producers and distributors.

    I, for one, think it'd be a great thing to be able to be covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act when buying drugs. I think the only way complete legalization would work would be for the entire chain of production and distribution to be legalized and regulated. That's obviously a much more sweeping change than just legalizing consumption, but I honestly believe it's necessary (and call me an optimist, but I also think it's inevitable.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    You should write a soap: “Life, Death and the Chev” or, maybe “What’s the Point?”

    But I'm too middle-class.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah, sounds similar to our experience. And you are right 'annoying' is probably better than unpleasant. But having cars parked up outside your house, with loud music blaring then tyres screeching as they leave while you trying to get a baby to sleep isn't very pleasant.

    Yes, people who run a tinny house should have as a golden rule to all buyers 'respect the neighbourhood'. Go to house quietly, buy your drugs, leave the neighbourhood quietly. Also don't throw your fastfood rubbish all over the footpath.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    As if to ruin my example, Joyce backs down on that plan in favour of a PPP risk-share arrangement suggested by the Maori Party. Still means taxpayers indemnify Telecom et al if the Commerce Commission sees a need to regulate prices lower than those contracted at the outset. Socialise those losses..

    Awesome. </sarc>

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    But I'm too middle-class.

    That could be the protagonist's catchphrase; sort of a "What you talkin' about, Willis?" for the millennium.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    As if to ruin my example, Joyce backs down on that plan in favour of a PPP risk-share arrangement suggested by the Maori Party.

    Hmmm, maybe we can get the Māori Party to realise that the RoNS are no good either...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But I’m too middle-class.

    And Simon is not? bwahahaha!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    maybe we can get the Māori Party to realise that the RoNS are no good either

    The equivalent would be every transport sector org (other than the trucking one) also complaining publicly that the Minister has lost the plot.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to bmk,

    Yes, people who run a tinny house should have as a golden rule to all buyers ‘respect the neighbourhood’. Go to house quietly, buy your drugs, leave the neighbourhood quietly. Also don’t throw your fastfood rubbish all over the footpath.

    It’s funny though. I lived in a flat in Grey Lynn for a year or two where one of the flatmates sold weed (that her father supplied to her-__long__ story there.) She was extremely discreet, and only sold to people she had met face to face in other contexts, so we wouldn’t just have randoms showing up at all hours of the day and night. The landlord lived next door, and would probably have been quite upset had he known, but she made an effort to avoid the kinds of customers that would have made it obvious-mostly guys in their late teens and early twenties.

    (Contrast the generally admirable behaviour of these drug consumers with the absolute rudness I experienced when we made the mistake of advertising a garage sale in the Herald one day-people turned up on our verandah two hours before the advertised start at 8:30 am and chatted loudly the entire time until we opened the doors, then acted like they were doing us a favour by invading our home to haggle over a $5 lampshade.)

    I wonder if the problem with tinny houses isn’t really the drug-selling, but the people who tend to use tinny houses to buy drugs? As in, the problem behaviours aren’t so much that there’s drug purchasing going on, but that young larrikins are just obnoxious wherever they are, especially in numbers.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to 3410,

    Honey, will you pop next door and ask the boys at the tinny house to keep it down, the baby's asleep.

    Oh no, dear. I couldn't. I'm too middle-class!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I wonder if the problem with tinny houses isn’t really the drug-selling, but the people who tend to use tinny houses to buy drugs? As in, the problem behaviours aren’t so much that there’s drug purchasing going on, but that young larrikins are just obnoxious wherever they are, especially in numbers.

    You may have a point. I once talked to a person who pretty much only dealt to people over 30 -- and preferably over 40 -- who were subjectively adjudged not to be idiots. They didn't need the grief of selling to anyone else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah I think that's totally the point. It wasn't the drug selling that annoyed us but the calibre of the people frequenting the neighbourhood. Had they had a better class of customers I would have had no problem.

    But considering there always will be 'annoying' customers ideally there would be places for them to purchase drugs in non-residential areas.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • mildgreens, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    If excise tax works to reduce harms of tobacco and alcohol, what reasoning can be used to defend the case that it would not work for cannabis, bzp or jwh18, all identified as having lower harms than either licit drug used in isolation or together?

    christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Other drugs can mesh with a fulltime employment/studying lifestyle but being up all night 3 nights in a row is not consonant with turning up for work on a Monday morning. You won't change this dynamic by making P more accessible, cheaper and decrimalised.

    I don't disagree. However, there is some evidence that suggests amphetamine use is sometimes driven by working in an industry which requires long and unsocial hours.

    For example, use of amphetamines is supposed to be rife throughout the US meatpacking industry, where the work is physically very difficult, and the wages are insanely low. As a consequence, many workers work back-toback shifts for long stretches of time in order to make ends meet.

    See, for example: 'fast food nation', or 'methland'

    It's not a coincidence that many of the meatpacking jobs in the US are filled by illegal hispanics, and that the meth trade is also largely controlled by mexican cartels. 'Big Meat' tacitly and sometimes openly encourages this in order to increase profits.

    I have also heard that 'Yar Bar' (mis)use in the Thai fishing industry is widespread for the same reasons.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    Major "WTF?!" moment for me: a junkie repeatedly sticking an empty needle into his vein, compulsively, because he hadn't been able to get on for more than a day.

    We should probably start legislating against the placebo effect.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich Lock,

    We should probably start legislating against the placebo effect.

    Sometimes, you look at a blog comment and think "Dang! I’d like to retweet that!”

    ETA I also think "Dang! I wish the colon wasn't next to the double quote!"

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    Sometimes, you look at a blog comment and think "Dang! I’d like to retweet that!”

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Hell, I consider anything I post on the internet as 'released into the wild'. So go crazy, you crazy kids, with your twitter and your blogging and your hip hop and whatnot. Use and abuse it how you like.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

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