Thanks for your responses Joe.
There's an editorial in the NZ Medical Journal today, and it's not very good. So some questions for the researcher who wrote it (who also comments on Public Address):
1. Where, in the last few years, have we heard drug law reform advocates arguing that we need to legalise cannabis because it's safe?*
2. With the half-measure of decriminalisation, are you really happy that the supply of cannabis remains in the criminal black market? If not, you editorial doesn't address the supply issue.
3. You do realise that New Zealand could design a model of cannabis regulation very different from the more commercial models in some US states, and that we can learn from NZ's own mistakes on alcohol regulation?
[* You certainly won't hear that argument from the Drug Foundation - indeed we often reference the Christchurch study, and had the great David Fergusson speak often at our events]
Some organisations tasked with harm minimisation seem fixated on getting more funding for their education campaigns rather than coming up with proposals to minimise harm.
Low blow, and not true.
The Drug Foundation's* model drug law is a pretty good starting point
*I assuming the author means us because we're the only organisation funded by govt to do harm minimisation health promotion stuff.
It’s a bloody interesting read. A forensic analysis/chronology/DNA of a drug crisis – and all the points where it could/should have been stopped. All the players, and how they all failed (even the Public Service Assn getting in on the action, then a medical doctor saying nothing to fear for staff safety re meth… but the snowball continued). Hopefully government will learn from this, and find ways to avoid future hysteria.
HNZ were without a CEO at a critical time. Glen Sowry left in March 2016, and Andrew McKenzie didn't start until Sept 2016. Much of the bad behaviour happened prior to McKenzie. And actually very soon after starting, Mckenzie ended their practice of meth evictions (and is now doing some cool stuff).
From Gluckman's report:
"Miles Stratford of Methsolutions provided a perspective from the methamphetamine testing industry and as a member of the Standards Committee."
He is also a member of the Auckland Regional Methampehtamine Working Group, which was thanked by Prof Gluckman.
From the Meth Solutions Facebook page:
To the person who phoned our office and suggested to a hard working staff member that they should go and look for another job, it is the behaviour of people that choose to use meth that presents risk to hard working Kiwis who invest in property. The need to manage that risk doesn't change, just because Phil Twyford has the report he has wanted since before he became Minister for Housing.
This from Stuff sheds some light:
Miles Stratford, director of meth testing company MethSolutions, said the report presented no new evidence and ignored people who had come forward wanting to tell Gluckman about their issues with meth contamination.
"You're never going to find evidence if you don't go looking for it," Stratford said.
"What we've got is a whole bunch of scientists who can't agree and a report that aligns with Government policy."
Research analyst Anne Bardsley at the advisor's office, who worked on the report, rubbished this claim, saying she reached out many times to try and find the evidence behind the "real world" cases companies came forwards with.
"It always fell apart," Bardsley said.
Stratford said more research should be done and jumping to conclusions based on the current science was "reckless".
He quoted "real-world research" by Australian scientist Jackie Wright - who is employed by a meth testing agency - which suggested children living in places with tests between 11.7 and 26 micrograms per 100cm2 had the same amount of methamphetamine in their hair as adult users had.
Bardsley said she had talked to Wright for over an hour about her research - which involved a single situation in the US identified by a Centre for Disease Control where meth was being produced, not a home in which meth had only been smoked.
"It was clearly a former lab," Bardsley said.