Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Perfect Drug

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry to start with trivia, but I'm awfully impressed the Police are sending poor recession-stricken media folks pictures of drugs they can no longer afford for reals. That's just mean.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Man those pillmongers are tidy with their ziplocs.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I looked at all those pretty pastel pills and thought they were crying out to be arranged in an hombre order and instagramed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    That looks like the beginning of a great weekend...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1121 posts Report Reply

  • Sean Murgatroyd,

    I like the fact you can either have a bag just with your favourite, or a selection, like the mythical 50c lolly bag of my youth.

    As to benzodiazepates: What the fuck?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazepam#Adverse_effects
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazepam#Contraindications

    Next up: Benzedrine is the perfect pick-me-upper, and medicine-grade heroin will help your evening soiree run without a hitch.

    Got to go, I hear the footsteps of the Ford on the stairs...

    New Zealand • Since Apr 2011 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Apparently “bath salts” have been held responsible for some cannibalistic “zombie” attacks of late. While relatively harmless marijuana remains boxed in by neo-superstition.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime, in reply to Damian Christie,

    That looks like the beginning of a great weekend…

    Or Hunter S. Thompson's leftovers.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    I was thinking just a couple of nights ago that it was a shame there was not an evening tipple that might make me feel nice and warm and relaxed after dinner without the implications for personal health involved in few single malts.

    We'll always have Clayton's.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I have a friend who is an alcoholic but he goes to great pains to spin his alcoholism as some sort of high cultural experience. He doesn't get rool pissed as, he imbibes, even though there is no difference between the two states.

    And I think, what would happen to him if suddenly he wasn't addicted? What if alcohol was just another beverage, like orange juice or Ribena or milk? Would he still have the obsession and the ritual around it? Would he still spend as much money on it? Or, as he partly uses booze to kill his troubles, would he just find another numbing substance to fill the gap?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1821 posts Report Reply

  • aimee whitcroft,

    Nutt's a very impressive (and sweet! I've met him) man. He was the UK Govt's chief drug advisor until they sacked him from the post for saying that alcohol was more dangerous than ecstacy and LSD.

    He also pointed out that more people are killed riding horses than die due to taking ecstacy/MDMA.

    Apparently, the UK government's devotion to 'evidence led policy' was devotion in name only...

    Anyhoo, you can find more of his work at http://profdavidnutt.wordpress.com/. I think what I like most about it is that it's evidence-based, not ideology-based. Huzzah for the scientists :)

    wellington • Since Jun 2012 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Will de Cleene,

    We'll always have Clayton's

    roflnui

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart,

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to aimee whitcroft,

    Nutt's pretty much my hero. I interviewed him for PA Radio a while back, great man.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1121 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Plus introducing more drug choices allows governments to say "Hello, unrealised taxation stream". All the positive effects and none of the negative of raising the rate of GST.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Magoo, in reply to Sean Murgatroyd,

    As to benzodiazepates: What the fuck?

    Errr...that list looks very similar to the one for alcohol. (possibly smaller) Of course alcohol is not a restricted substance so they have not made a list...hypocrites.
    For example: Would you suggest someone suffering depression or having suicidal tenancies get plastered??

    Except of course that the symptoms listed are in a small minority of people.

    Remember that if ANYONE has a symptom during trials they are legally required to list it. The list is long because it has been in use for so long I would guess.
    Valium (a crude form nowadays) was and is (incl. newer flavors) handed out like candy in the US. Safe as houses pretty much.

    So this is a bit of a straw man.

    Since Apr 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I thought the AK-74 with the modified stock was more interesting than the drugs. Not sure how useful one of those would be in drug dealing though - it's kinda big to conceal.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to aimee whitcroft,

    He also pointed out that more people are killed riding horses than die due to taking ecstacy/MDMA.

    Gotta love that kind of stat. My only worry is that a lot of people will see that and think "yeah, we have to put a stop to all this horse-riding". It's the basic problem with all harm minimization arguments - if you can find any harm whatsoever in X, then minimization of harm means that X can't be taken. The great philosophical irony is that these ideas sprang from utilitarianism, which in its earlier forms at least took account of the actual pleasures, enjoyments etc, and balanced harms against them. But they the time that school of thought reached J S Mill and a reasonable level of sophistication, it was entirely about harm. This is mostly because the idea of actually making use of a moral system as a basis for laws structurally can't take account of enjoyment - it's only about prohibiting some things. You can't absolve yourself from a crime just by really liking breaking the law.

    It's kind of sad that liberalism has ended up mostly being about preventing harm, when the main point of it was the maximization of happiness, and harm minimization is only one small part of that. It's lost its way when harm reduction is what life is all about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8011 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s kind of sad that liberalism has ended up mostly being about preventing harm, when the main point of it was the maximization of happiness, and harm minimization is only one small part of that. It’s lost its way when harm reduction is what life is all about.

    Quite. It's very difficult for the prevailing philosophy to permit the use of a potentially harmful substance just because people like it. Unless, of course, it's already permitted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17936 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's the basic problem with all harm minimization arguments - if you can find any harm whatsoever in X, then minimization of harm means that X can't be taken.

    only if you also apply black and white thinking.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, this is interesting …

    A certain mole tells me that the Ministry of Health is quietly moving towards a new and very different perspective on drug regulation, at least as regards new substances – driven by the knowledge that playing whack-a-mole runs the very considerable risk of what you hit with the ban-hammer being less harmful than the thing that replaces it in the market.

    Things could get a bit lively.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17936 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Well, this is interesting …

    A certain mole tells me that the Ministry of Health is quietly moving towards a new and very different perspective on drug regulation, at least as regards new substances – driven by the knowledge that playing whack-a-mole runs the very considerable risk of what you hit with the ban-hammer being less harmful than the thing that replaces it in the market.

    Things could get a bit lively.

    So people are finally starting to understand that attacking the symptom doesn't work. We hope.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    a new and very different perspective on drug regulation

    Bet that doesn't get past Dunne.

    Something I notice about the drug regulation debate is that there are many people who believe that if they marshal their arguments well enough and make a sound case for a science-based policy, government will change. It doesn't work like that - illegal drugs are illegal in order to enable government to pose as the friend and protector of the non-drug-taking majority.

    It's an othering strategy - same with child abuse. Paula Bennet doesn't give a stuff about abused kids - she wants her white (lower) middle class support base to be able to feel superior to those nasty ferals.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It doesn’t work like that – illegal drugs are illegal in order to enable government to pose as the friend and protector of the non-drug-taking majority.

    It’s an othering strategy – same with child abuse. Paula Bennet doesn’t give a stuff about abused kids – she wants her white (lower) middle class support base to be able to feel superior to those nasty ferals.

    Or to put it succinctly, Two Minute Hate.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    JUST SAY YES!

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 552 posts Report Reply

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