Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Too Good to Be True

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  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Comparing P with Tobacco doesn't really help the discussion IMHO.

    Tobacco (still) and Alchohol , are both legal drugs . The electric Puha and P among many others are not.

    And your point is ?

    One of the glaring aspects of current drug policy is that the real killer drugs (tobbacco and alcohol) are not only legal, but widely available and promoted, and relatively safe drugs (cannabis, bzp, ecstacy) are pilloried.

    Equating legal to OK is not only simplistic, but results in dangerous policy decisions.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    He makes a point about the current harm reduction addiction programme.

    More could go into attempts that don't mean legally doping addicts untill their organs fail. Managed is sure better than addicts being after an illegal hit, but it is a system that admits defeat about addiction and addicts themselves.

    I hope for a better outcome than that.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "...and relatively safe drugs (cannabis, bzp, ecstacy) are pilloried."

    Mikaere I thought NORMAL might have left the Greens with Nandor.

    Cannabis has serious impacts on mental heath & lets not forget its cancer causing properties.

    But the pro-cannabis lobby preffer to blame the victim.

    Alcohol & Tabacco are well recorded & researched yet the credible studies into dope are dissmissed in a smokey haze from the pro-cannabis lobby.

    At least acknowledge the harm these drugs cause and the risk inherant in them.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    "But the pro-cannabis lobby preffer to blame the victim."

    I'm sorry... victim?

    What.. the .. fuck.

    If I *choose* to put somethign into my body, and know the risks associated, I'm no victim, whetehrit be fatty foods, booze or pot.

    Washington DC • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armitage,

    Russell,

    I know that it is somwhat aside from the current topic, but I wanted to raise the broadcasting issue that you covered on Media7 yesterday - ie: the tension between TVNZ and Sky over sports boradcasting.

    I thought more could have been made of the fact that there are largely no rules around television broadcasting ownership, whereas in overseas jurisdications there are seemingly very tight rules.

    Sky TV - with its Rupert Murdoch backng - is the elephant in the room. From what I have read, Sky uses Prime to ratchet up the bidding for overseas sourced programming, effectively draining the financial resources of its competitors, taking away their ability to make credible bids for major sports events.

    For what it's worth, I agreed with the views of Phil Smith - television sports in New Zealand is becoming increasingly elitist. Unless you can afford $80 per month for Sky, you are locked out of a big part of Kiwi culture. No wonder the government throws millions of dollars at SPARC (useless as they are) to encourage physical activity...
    Unbundling the sports packages so that we can all see major sporting events sounds like a great idea to me.

    Where do you stand on this?

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    More could go into attempts that don't mean legally doping addicts untill their organs fail.

    Although many addicts want the free dope (,don't care about organs, and many other things) so attempts to not dope could have an adverse effect.

    Managed is sure better than addicts being after an illegal hit,

    Financially yes but as you point out managed can mean organ failure. Its a hard basket one,but if there is genuine desire to come off drugs, the programme (if done correctly) can and does work. Alternatively I am a firm believer in weening yourself off, rather than adding another drug to the equation.I don't think it's ever easy to give up that which you love.

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

  • Rickai,

    Great article from the Economist re the decline in the use of meth in the US. Tip for educators - talk to teens about the physical side effects of meth use (meth mouth) - appeal to their vanity.

    http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11293716

    Since Jan 2007 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    I witnessed Sabin's school presentation recently. Yes it did include a number of shocking examples, mainly taken from the law enforcement sources in the US and Australia. There was a section devoted to the physical effects that meth produced on the brain - a series of telling computer animations that was voiced by Mike McRoberts. The presentation focussed on P, but also mentioned alchohol and cannabis.

    During discussions a bit later on, he suggested that random drug testing gave an effective "out" to students who were looking for an excuse to not partake when offered by their friends - something like "Shit no! I've got a trip to Maardi Cup (insert any other sporting or cultural trip here) coming up. If I get tested, I wont be able to go."

    The whole presentation struck me a little bit like a more graphic version of Reefer Madness, or those STD films that were shown to soldiers when they were being sent overseas.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Cannabis has serious impacts on mental heath

    For the very large majority of people who ever use it, it doesn't. We do now know that its use in the early teenage years is a bad idea and can cause various problems later on, and that it increases the chances of developing psychotic symptoms later in life amongst a group of genetically susceptible individuals.

    & lets not forget its cancer causing properties.

    Yes, smoking is bad for your lungs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    During discussions a bit later on, he suggested that random drug testing gave an effective "out" to students who were looking for an excuse to not partake when offered by their friends - something like "Shit no! I've got a trip to Maardi Cup (insert any other sporting or cultural trip here) coming up. If I get tested, I wont be able to go."

    This is a pretty common claim; I was reading the same material this morning. I think it takes a rather rosy view of the reality of randomly piss-testing high-school students.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Yes, smoking is bad for your lungs

    Cookies :-)

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

  • Tim Hannah,

    Idiot Savant said

    There was an article in Scientific America last month ("Illegal drug labs leave toxic legacy" by Peter Aldhous ; 26 Apr 2008) which talked about that. It also had a throwaway line relevant to this debate; any chance of someone with access to the archive emailing me a copy?

    New Scientist, not Scientific American.

    It should be accessible through Palmerston North library - take a look at Australia/NZ reference centre or Masterfile Premier at PN library databases. Though that article is called 'Unsafe Houses' in whatever edition is in that database.

    </random library promotion>

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Cannabis has serious impacts on mental heath

    For the very large majority of people who ever use it, it doesn't.

    Au contraire mon ami. I find the inane giggling at everything, occasional paranoia and tendency to empty the cupboards of all food-like substances are serious (if temporary) impacts on my mental health and waistline.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    At least acknowledge the harm these drugs cause and the risk inherant in them.

    Yes, totally. All recreational drugs have health risks associated with their use.

    I don't think I made myself clear in my post. When I said "relatively harmless", I meant relative to the circa 99% of substance abuse deaths that tobacco and alcohol are responsible for, and also the circa 80% of violent crime that alcohol is blamed for by the police.

    If you take away the prohibition (i.e. money) related crime associated with cannabis, the health consequences are orders of magnitude lower that those associated with alcohol and tobacco.

    I do tire of the argument that legal = OK.

    Mikaere I thought NORMAL might have left the Greens with Nandor.

    That's NORML (no A), and perhaps you would like to read our Drug Law Reform Policy.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Tim: thanks for that. I've now discovered the remote login option - mwahahaha, more data!

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    SKY certainly has an unhealthy near-monopoly on sports coverage, but I’m not sure what can be done about it. And I don’t fully understand the downside of their Prime deal Simon A.

    What really annoys me is their surreptitious use of the rugby channel for screening more and more events as a way of being even more greedy. As if $80 a month isn’t enough.

    Thankfully, the widespread drop-off in rugby following seems to have knocked that trick on the head for the time being.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I'll go further - I think that zero-tolerance is DANGEROUS because if we tell our kids "all drugs are evil" and they go and try a few that aren't they aren't going to believe us when we go on about the truly evil ones (like tobacco and P) - probably the best thing we can do is to keep our kid's trust and keep talking to them - not convince them we're full of shit.

    That also makes it easier to make nuanced arguments like "it's OK to drink until you're a little silly but remember it takes a while to kick in ,so stop before you have too much, because by the time you notice it will be too late and you wont have any fun" - this sort of message might not register the first time (they're teenagers they actually often have to make mistakes to learn) but it's the sort of life lesson you want them to learn and if they're still listening then the first time they don't have any fun you get to repeat it and hopefully it will sink in

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tim: thanks for that. I've now discovered the remote login option - mwahahaha, more data!

    Tom Coates presenting at Webstock 08: "You can never have too much sweet, sweet data."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Russell I'm sure the current stats are something like 10-15% of the pop have the predisposition. (sorry no proof)

    Statistically speaking - that is gonna have a huge impact on society.

    Every mass murderer in NZ since Grey was a dope smoker, but statistically drink drivers are the real killers.

    We have a pretty unhealthy drug culture all round that needs addressing.

    Going to Maadi Cup - Pizza was contraband for me and my light weight crew.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    "Every mass murderer in NZ since Grey was a dope smoker, but statistically drink drivers are the real killers."

    Every mass murderer also consumed water, pissed in a toilet and beathed oxygen.

    Whats your point.

    Washington DC • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The problem isn't that Sky has a monopoly on sports coverage. the problem is Sky KNOWS it's a monopoly and behaves accordingly, with customer 'options" designed to screw you over, and that they change arbitrarily. I guess it's the sort of company you'd expect from Craig Heatley.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Good test of SKY’s monopolist smugness tonight.

    Kiwi Marina Erakovic has made it round 2 (first NZer to do so at a grand Slam for >10 years), and it’s on at 9p.m. NZT. Lets see whether they show it…

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Stanley Pointen,

    Legbreak, you are on to it. I repeatedly complained to Sky TV when they failed to show some rugby matches live on the sports channels yet showed them live on the Rugby Channel, only to be offered the Rugby Channel at extra cost. Watching live Kiwi sport has become an elitist pastime if you cannot afford Sky TV. And Simon A is right to consider if the current levels of child and youth obesity is linked to the absence of sport coverage on free to air TV.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I wouldn't mind paying extra for the rugby channel (nor some others) if I was able to let go of E and a plethora of others I am never going to watch, and have my bill reduced accordingly.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    And Simon A is right to consider if the current levels of child and youth obesity is linked to the absence of sport coverage on free to air TV.

    Perhaps it's just me, but I tend to suspect that sitting on an ever-increasing arse in front of TV, pay or otherwise, is not, in fact, the best way of combatting youth obesity. Less time watching sport, more time participating, says I.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

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