Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Thursday, April 17, 2014

LTE: On the making of good law; first enable reason.

While there is a tautology, illegal because it is immoral, and immoral because it is illegal, the presence of cannabis and its use in NZ is endemic. It is everywhere. Across all demographics.
NZ passed the correct law to embrace and D-classify cannabis, and implement management back in 2008. It was Hon Anderton and Rt Hon Clark's last caucus initiative implementing a R18 partial prohibition in three erudite pages of fine law that was 'world class'. And it didn't do Clark any harm for her career. It did become law the very day John Key became Right and Honourable.

Matters relating to the stymied 'politics' that lead to the subsequent dysfunctional response from Messrs Dunne et al was explored objectively by fellows of the Dunedin Law Faculty at a crucial and important symposium on cannabis law held in the same year hosted by none other than the very Otago Norml  folk being vilified here.

University life is about exploring the edges of reason, and this is one such case. The response by campus watch, and proctors, is the modern equivalent of book burning.

Naysayers and inparticular politicians with the ostrich syndrome have a big lesson coming. There is no political will for continued prohibition of cannabis, exemplified by a Cambell Live poll of 16000 Kiwi folk, 84% desire a seachange in our drug policy. It it isn't half about time. To continue to pretend 16% have 'the answer' is about as anal as public policy gets. It is just a shame we havent got the collective nouse in the house to make it so.


see Campbell Live poll shows people think marijuana decriminalisation is good.

So VOTE. And insist that ANY POLL includes ALL the PARTIES standing on the hustings this election.

The true measure of our collective will cannot be embraced while the ALCP [Cannabis Party] is exluded 'from the polls', as if the issue didnt exist.

Eighty four percent support is a game changer.

Such overdue reform may yet be NZ's most profound global peace initiative since that other great campus contrary to status quo initiative "Nuke Free."

I say University is there to support "Cognitive Liberty" - Democracy depends on it. Anything else is tyranny of the minority.


Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'
Christchurch, New Zealand
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219
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Monday, April 14, 2014

LTE: Inoculate our youth 'against drugs' : Legalise. Gisborne Media Outlets.


The world is still looking to inoculate our youth 'against drugs'. Even if it were possible for a few adults to conceive of a better way to do so, the pretence that one can remove 'drivers to drug use' confounds what is broken, and in particular where misuse occurs.

The problem of  Gisbourne's Rotary  initiative "not even once' is just a rebranded 'just say no' with its legacy of failure. Billions spent on it... but here we have the 'premise' that this programme is somehow different. It isn't.

The current President of this Rotary Chapter (and recently  NZ Conservative Party list candidate #2) along with its 'connections' to business interests in 'employee testing' need a lesson from history, no matter what you call it, brand it, label it, it is prohibition 'belief'  by any other name.  Communitarians of the Gisborne West Rotary are foolish in the extreme for believing so, sillier indeed than the kids who are 'just doing it once'.

Evidence from the University of Otago's 'gold standard'  Canterbury Health And Development Study shows that four out of five young people are doing it at least five times. And it is they who are appearing in the 94%  of positive 'employee' cannabis tests.

The evidence they, these citizens of tomorrow are coming to harm (even if it was just once) is minimal.  Clearly they are good at getting a job! Hence the evidence such education programs are misguided is robust. They are not just ineffectual, they are often dangerously counter productive. More often than not they lead to earlier and more harmful experimentation and are an identified impediment to (other) health promotion (NZ House of Representatives Health Select Committee 1998 and 2003). Rotary is creating the very problem they setting out to solve.

But this is what one comes to expect from folk who profit from the perpetuation of zero tolerance. Mr Murrell, of the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency admits as such when he declares "it is getting worse". Unfortunately his business model relies on it getting worse. If it was getting better he and many other ex-Policemen attracted to this company's mission statement would be out of a job. And Rotary Gisbourne would have better stories to tell.

Blair Anderson,
Educators for Sensible Drug Policy
EFSDP.ORG
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cannabis: A Brain Fix?

English: Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons...
Complete neuron cell diagram.
Neurons are electrically excitable cells
that process and transmit information.
In vertebrate animals, neurons are the core components \
of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recreational drugs such as alcohol, nicotine and cocaine have been show to suppress new growth of nerve cells in the brain, specifically in the hippocampus, which is associated with learning, memory, anxiety and depression. (Isnt that what they say about Cannabis? Smell irony anyone ? /Blair)


Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan decided to see what were the effects of marijuana by injecting a synthetic cannabinoid called HU210 in rats' brains.

Published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers ingested rats twice a day with the cannabinoid for a consecutive of 10 days. Incredibly, the rate of nerve cell formation - neurogenesis - in the hippocampus increased by approximately 40 per cent.

According to New Scientist, researchers were inspired by a previous study that showed how Prozac increased neurogenesis, and it was thought that this cell growth caused the antidepressant fluoxetine's anti-anxiety effect.

Researchers are still skeptical with how cannabinoids behave in humans as it could be different in rodents. However researchers are optimistic that with further studies, cannabinoids may one day be used to treat depression in humans.

 http://allafrica.com/stories/201404110867.html

Blair Anderson http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Uruguay to give medicinal marijuana to prisoners

English: Medical marijuana neon sign at a disp...
English: Medical marijuana neon sign
at a dispensary on Ventura Boulevard
\in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Prisoners in the jails of Uruguay will be able to use marijuana if a doctor says it will benefit their health.  =  MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) -- April 08, 2014

Uruguay's drug czar Julio Calzada told The Associated Press on Tuesday that any inmates with doctors' orders will be prescribed marijuana to their improve physical or mental health.
Meanwhile, social development minister Daniel Olesker told a medical marijuana symposium in Montevideo that medicinal pot will be incorporated into the country's public health system, alongside acupuncture and homeopathic remedies.

Blair Anderson http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

We need better Joints, Nandor!

Image taken from http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/t...
Rheumatoid arthritis joint.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Long–term use of cannabis may lead to mental illness, dependence, addiction and memory issues. In fact, a prior U.S. study of 8,000 adults who used cannabis in the previous year found that the odds of depression were 1.4 times higher in cannabis users compared to non–users."

Which is all given as the reason NOT TO use cannabis if you have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia....

Sad.

The odds of being depressed if you have arthritis and have little or no relief because someone else says your not allowed to even try it, despite its known efficacy (Grandma's Special Tea) is probably far greater odds than cited here..... how would we know?

We are not allowed to ask! 

It's just immoral because its illegal....and illegal because it's immoral, OK!

--
Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'
Christchurch, New Zealand
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219
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School of the Naked Dog, Distant Recall Training, Lake Ellesmere


Under Ultramarine Skies, Lies Doggie Heaven.
 
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

C&C or Bust (as espoused at Kim Hill Hot Science debates)

Arctic September Sea Ice Extent: Observations ...
Arctic September Sea Ice Extent:
Observations vs. Computer Model Runs

No doubt you all have seen the latest missive from the IPCC and our Minister for Climate Change (theres an odd expression earnestly describing the touting of conservative dogma) advising us that they are advising us and doing nothing.

Its our problem, and not their problem. (so what was ETS again?)

Climate' change'  and human rights (change) is essential. If either's risk mitigation and precautionary principles are not to be upheld at Central Government level, just who 'in hell' does Central Government  think they are serving?

Contract, Conserve.... it is ethical and just. (http://gci.org.uk)

And IT CAN BE DONE HERE.

It is 'rebuild' opportunity... and should not be lost on us.


Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large' and proponent of an antipodean commons.
Christchurch, New Zealand
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219
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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Eternal Vigilance on Drug Policy and Teen Pregnancy

selwynsolarsource
Time to see the Light
 (Photo credit: mildgreens)
How might I convince sceptics....?

My comments on a another blog (Eternal Vigilance) I thought worthy of repeating here:

The Blogger may find it somewhat embarrassing to note that teenage 'risky' behaviours diminish across the board when we get drug policy right.

Now I don't expect the blog writer, going by his logic (there) to get the connection, but there it is. Evidence is on our side. (besides, in the bigger picture, prohibition being criminogenic, unintended consequences rendered on adults of childbearing age directly hurts these very same young people, they pay doubly so.)

I might cite for the readers benefit that teenage pregnancies and consequences allied to unsafe sex are often quoted for New Zealand as being right up there and there is the usual wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth as we wax lyrical about 'if only they didn't'.

But the Netherlands, where condoms as about as popular and as accessable has a teen pregnancy rate (across each age group) about one fifth of ours.

That is, my kids(1xM,1xF) when growing up were 500% MORE LIKELY than their dutch peers of being or getting 'up the spud'.

While neither did, and some might argue that this supports my case, there are a bunch of other bio-psychosocial factors I am glad my kids never put me through.

Medical bills for STD's and yes, I still get to be a Grandfather, is one, but there others such as drug's and related harms where our Kiwi kids are at 500% greater risk, trouble with the law again 500% greater risk, and of teen suicide, 500% greater risk (higher among young males, they tend to be more successful).... seeing a pattern here? 

If we are to look at who doesn't speak credibly about drug use, or understand the more moderate position of the Dutch on this issue fails to understand that lying (by omission or fact) to our kids is more dangerous than credible (anti) drug education, and that as a parent worries me.

Drugs are bad, well, because they are against the law! doesn't cut it. And for all those religious conservative types... you think they aren't on that page? The Christchurch Health and Development Study (gold standard in this demography) evidences that four out of five have used illicit drugs more than five times. So you don't believe YOUR kids are doing it?  Ask them if they masturbate in the shower and see if you get an honest answer?

I think the Dutch are onto something. Especially when it comes to parenting. They can have a honest relationship with their kids. And that sets the kids up for honest relationships amongst themselves... and that, not public health interventions that speculate success, not politicians, esp. the 'gotta be seen to be doing something' types' and particular blogging conservative liberals (humbug, there is nothing conservative in our punitive drug policy and if your not on that page this will just confuse you).

So? How might I convince sceptics teen pregnancy has nothing to do with drug policy?

And if it is not related, what identifiable factor or factors are the Dutch doing that would inform the debate and produce such spectacular results?

Absent a good suggestion or concrete answer I can honestly say, with I believe some earnest authority and based on a 100% success with my kids,  what we are doing now is just selling the public a condom with a hole in it.

--
Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'
Christchurch, New Zealand
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219
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