Posts by Alfie

  • Envirologue: Swamp Monsters – the…,

    A quick update to this thread, because the usual perps are involved. Not content with vandalising Northland, looting swamp kauri and rupturing fuel pipelines, they've moved on to wreaking havoc on West Coast conservation land.

    Oravida. Destroying paradise, one piece at a time. It's what we do.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Speaking as equals: the rise…,

    As an aside, our daughter attended a few 'Boom' festivals in Portugal over recent years and was impressed by the health approach and onsite drug testing there. And even more importantly how clean most samples actually were. All of the MDMA and acid tests all came back clean with only the coke samples being largely something else. Usually Novacaine.

    All power to Know Your Stuff. They do a great job.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Psychedelic science:…, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I see this as a sort of pre-study proof-of-concept. When you're designing the initial stage of a six week course in which you're not sure you'll even detect measurable results, it makes sense to choose candidates most likely to hopefully register on the scale. Not as any sort of representative sample, but to prove that the results of larger scale testing will be measureable. No?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…, in reply to Alfie,

    This 1,000 person study of 40 year olds conducted by Otago Uni suggests at best a close result for the reeferendum and probably much worse.

    Joe Boden is quoted on the Stuff story as saying "most were interviewed before the referendum was announced." I'd expect that must make a difference with Helen Clark and others choosing sides, more positive stories in the media and loads of good information being made available by the Drug Foundation.

    What was the timing on this Joe? Do 40 year olds provide a representative sample of the voting population, or are there generational influences which might make that group in any way more conservative, wary or risk averse? I'd appreciate your insight.

    I believe that public perception has moved markedly over the last few months and my gut feeling is around 60/40 in favour, but that's probably because I don't mix enough with the wrong people.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…,

    Some medicinal users must feel like they're in no man's land at the moment. Here's a couple of cases from the top of the South Island -- 20 and 32 plants, no sign of commercial activity.

    I wonder how much "community harm" these prosections have actually saved. Judges are becoming increasingly sympathetic but the trauma of being busted, fined and having your crop destroyed must be a huge disruption to anyone's life. When you factor in the hours of police and court time involved it's hard to see any winners under our current laws.

    Perhaps one day soon in our post-covid, near-future NZ we'll look back on these times and remember them fondly as 'the prohibition years'. Hopefully science trumps misinformation, the referendum passes by a large majority which the incoming Labour/Green government wisely respects and our society becomes a slightly better and fairer place.

    Young people will wonder how our society could have got this issue so wrong for decades. Why we followed the US down the drugs-R-bad rabbit hole for so long when their main motivation was always to punish blacks and mexicans.

    With retail outlets readily available, new generations of kiwis will view drugs primarily as a health problem. The mystery which inevitably accompanies illegality will have gone and we'll be able to look back on our current laws as an anachronism, our enforcement techniques as crude and heavy-handed.

    There will be folk tales... dinner party stories of the kindness of green fairies and all of those little Al Capones who took risks to see people right. "Be kind" becomes the new kiwi mantra and we'll all be able to take a deep breath and wonder why such a common sense approach took so damn long to implement.

    Roll on September.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    It wasn’t even 4:20.

    It's always 4:2... er, forget that. And yeah... NZ Twitter was sniggering a lot.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Hash is maybe port, and modern concentrates are the spirits. They’re breathtakingly strong.

    Does that make bucket bongs the equivalent of the yard glass?

    I'd like to see a range of strengths and varieties available at retail, the same way there is with alcohol. My main point was that a law restricting THC levels to <10% could be counterproductive if it risks excluding users who are used to something better. Whereas a tax on THC levels seems more of a grown-up approach which hopefully achieves a similar control aim in the long term.

    And you're right Ben. With the exception of medical events, the worst effect of a cannabis overdose is a good night's sleep.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Here’s the 2010 ESR research...

    Thanks for that. A couple of things stand out for me.

    The inexperience of the growers was evidenced by different problems encountered in each of the three cycles, each of which would be expected to negatively impact the yield and THC data obtained.

    As you'd expect. However for inexperienced growers to produce "an average of 687g (24.2oz) of dry head per plant" seems unbelievable. They must have turned out three metre monsters, in hydro. And weighed the stalks. Has that stat affected Police perceptions around the potential value of a plant? Then there's this.

    THC values for individual plants ranged from 4.3 to 25.2%.

    With such a massive mix-and-match result ranging from hemp to heaven over just 18 plants, you'd have to question the seeds or stock used. That was ten years ago and I imagine the Hikirangi boys, Helius et al will have more up to date information. Somebody must have.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…, in reply to BenWilson,

    You’ll get the same effect from two doses of half strength as one dose of full strength.

    Possibly, in the way that four big macs equate to one decent restaurant meal, but I’m picturing The Freak Brothers without the humour.

    Numerous trips to Amsterdam with Lloyd Cole’s "Lost Weekend" as the enduring background track cured me of over-strength weed decades ago. (The B52s "Channel Z" also deserves an honourable mention). Plant genetics have moved on to the point where strength is less of a prime metric than effect and flavour… go you good terpenes. It just so happens that the varieties I prefer and which work best for me start at 15% and head north.

    I’m looking forward to legalisation as I hadn’t expected to see it in NZ in my lifetime. To speaking with a knowledgeable budtender and being able to purchase something different, trying some new strains. And maybe sharing coffee and a bud with friends in a congenial legal setting. It all sounds quite civilised. May it happen.

    Subtler things like taste, smell, quality of experience and brand recognition will demand premiums.

    Yep, they already do.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The last – and best – parts…, in reply to Ross Bell,

    I’d genuinely love to know how you have determined the strength of the cannabis you consume. How do you know it’s 20 or 30%? And do you know the CBD ratios too? I’m concerned that there are too many strains that are full on THC with little to no CBD to moderate it.

    If you don’t have a friend who works in a lab and without access to legal testing, there tends to be a reliance on analytical information provided by seed banks. I’m told they’re dependable and are probably preferable to scoring a dodgy seedling of unknown provenance that somebody’s mate down the pub can get hold of and which has a 50% chance of being riddled with soil gnats or other pests.

    A lot of seed bank strains run 15-25% these days, without much CBD for balance, so pegging official THC levels at 8-10% would probably inspire experimentation by regular users. To me an advantage of a higher THC strain is that you use less of it. Like a good malt whiskey. Sort of.

    Maybe I mix with the wrong people, but I get the impression that consumer sophistication has developed over the years as the availability of strains has improved. For me it’s bubblegum – an up-and-at-em (c.f. couch potato) strain which sends my arthritis pain to the background, is not too heavy, a bit giggly and can be wonderfully creative – that’s around 15.5% THC and >1% CBD. But some samples test up to 19% so that would fall outside even a 15% limit.

    I can’t find any evidence of sub-10% levels in other legal markets. I’d argue that rather than restricting levels, a tax based on THC content seems like a winner. Given the choice between a nice over-proof whiskey at $150 or a bottle of something serviceable for $75, the majority will be motivated by price.

    If the ultimate aim is to regulate and eventually integrate the black market, limiting THC to 10% suggests something nearer to bush weed which to be honest, just isn’t that appealing any longer.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1428 posts Report Reply

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