Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Drugs and the road forward,

    A very good, thorough story on the Trump drug flim-flam by Samuel Oakford at The Intercept.

    Confirms to me I got it right in that RNZ column yesterday.

    Interesting note from Ross Bell on Twitter:

    US diplomats in Vienna overnight had already begun to walk back on the statement, acknowledging it's not a formal UN document and that the US will continue to focus on #UNGASS2016 and 2009 Political Statements

    So the whole thing is just classic Trump bullshit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Drugs and the road forward,

    Peter Dunne has a big old vent on The Spinoff, which underlines what I wrote: it's not Labour diverting from New Zealand's established stance on global drug policy, it's National.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Drugs and the road forward,

    Ooh! Helen Clark and Ruth Dreifuss are discussing the Commission's new report in Auckland on October 26.

    Register here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Drugs and the road forward,

    In an example of the complicated world we live in, e-cig vapers in Britain have been buying a product called Kronic Juice – many of them, it seems, in the belief that it contains CBD.

    What it actually contains is 5F-CUMYL-PINACA, a synthetic cannaboid, which is making some users really sick:

    Todd Renje believed he had bought CBD, which he had vaped for the past three years to self-medicate anxiety, having “decided against pharmaceuticals”. The 37-year-old from the United States said: “It was probably within two or three days that I found myself waking up the next morning and vaping a little before work, then taking it to work with me and vaping all day.

    “It got to the point where I’m literally vaping this Kronic Juice every 20 or 30 minutes, and if I don’t I get very nauseous, I start shaking, I get sweaty. It went on for months because I was scared to stop.”

    When he quit cold turkey, he said he suffered violent withdrawal symptoms. “I went from Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no sleep,” he said. “Vomiting, shaking, sweating, just feeling absolutely miserable. Then I had a seizure. I couldn’t even tell you what happened, I just woke up at hospital.”

    Others seem to have more idea of what the product is and are simply buying it because there's less legal heat attached than with natural cannabis.

    Unfortunately New Zealand, we have to own this one. 5F-CUMYL-PINACA was patented in 2015 by Matt Bowden and others, supposedly for therapeutic use, and as far as I can tell is still being sold by New Zealander Matthew Wielenga, who made a bundle out of selling Kronic into suburban dairies when he could.

    The kronicjuice.com website was shut down when The Guardian started asking questions, but the fact that the company refused to say what was in its products, and may in fact have been actively misleading customers – and endangering their lives in the process – is fucking despicable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A painful reflection, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Reading your criticism of the media reports, the term “churnalism” comes to mind. These meth-industry press releases provided pre-packaged content that can be cheaply produced by media organisations. And they created a public panic with the information.

    Yep, that’s exactly what happened.

    We complain about false balance in stories like global warming where media will engage “both sides” to create debate (where the other side is a crackpot or a racist). A little bit of actual balance wouldn’t have gone amiss here.

    The Science Media Centre’s entry to the debate – which happened after the issue became proper headlines – was quite pivotal. Suddenly, we had two actual toxicologists talking sense. Only one of them, Nick Kim, kept on talking, but his role was absolutely vital.

    The thing was the idea that residues from use only (and at very, very low levels) could cause the harm alleged never made sense. Where was the public health crisis that would imply? How come everyone who handled banknotes didn't get sick? And why hadn’t the tens of thousands of people who’d actually used meth in psychoactive quantities been hospitalised or died? It was weird that the idea was so actively entertained even by people who should have known better.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A painful reflection,

    I should note this this post is based on a very rapid apprehension of a lengthy report. There's much more detail in it and I'd recommend anyone interested read it for themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, homeless and drugs:…, in reply to BenWilson,

    As if the alternative is somehow better, that they continue living on the street, where of course addled people do so much better.

    Yeah. I had a rather difficult conversation with a friend who used to live at Greys Ave yesterday, who was outraged that people had died on the ground floor. I did try to explain that these were tenants who would otherwise have no home at all.

    In truth, some of them would have fared better in a 24-7 supported environment. But until Mission Homeground opens, that environment doesn't exist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: The Others Way, a…,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: The Others Way, a…, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Did you get to see Miss June? Damn they were good.

    I’d checked out a few bands I didn’t know well beforehand, and Miss June were absolutely one that got my attention. But they were a total clash with the Chickens …

    Good to know my hunch about them was right though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: The Others Way, a…,

    Attachment

    Oh, and here’s a pic of Bene that didn’t go in the post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22585 posts Report Reply

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