Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What the kids do

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  • Rich Lock,

    My dreadlocks tend to have teens relax around me and quite comfortable to chat about drugs.

    If one is a straight-looking adult, and one wants to score drugs, it can also help to have a dodgy-looking dreadlocked mate along as a wingman to smooth the path.

    Erm, so I've heard.....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And meanwhile, the police's unconscionable and hugely expensive fatwa on Switched On Gardener continues. Entrapping and then busting shop assistants isn't really solving anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Entrapping and then busting shop assistants isn’t really solving anything.

    No, and as the election draws ever closer I’m sure we’re going to hear much from Greg O’Connor about how terribly under-resourced and disrespected police officers are. Well, with no due respect whatsoever, I’d suggest the Whangarei Police haven’t exactly enhanced their mana and effectively optimised their budget with this nonsense.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Hell, Mr Red Squad himself says the law is an ass.

    As for GregO, he's basically a 1970s shop steward with a badge.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Well, with no due respect whatsoever, I’d suggest the Whangarei Police haven’t exactly enhanced their mana and effectively optimised their budget with this nonsense.

    The thing is, this is now a three-year nationwide operation involving many undercover officers -- and they've come up with so little they're reduced to prosecuting poor bloody shop assistants who say the wrong thing. I can't imagine how much this is all costing.

    In one of the South Island cases one cop even trotted out an elaborate story about needing to grow medical marijuana for a relative with cancer, in order to trap a wary shop assistant into giving advice. That's just insane.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    I would favor an “environment” where a weighted guesstimate of the public health and potential harm costs of psycho active substances, including alcohol, are passed directly onto the manufacturer and suppliers of psychoactive products in the form of a tax.

    Those cost guesstimate should include what is likely to be actually required to deal with the “problems” and not based on the level of service/cost that is presently delivered.

    A ban on the advertising of the psychoactive substances particularly at the point of sale, the points of sale have to be licensed, with “community boards” controlling the licensing given a strict set of guidelines. The emphasis upon the licensing would be on not repeating the situation where liquor outlets spring up like mushrooms in mushroom season.

    The local licensing boards include representatives from the local police and mental health teams, with it being an offence to lobby in support of applications for licensing.

    The fines for any outlets selling to minors should be substantive perhaps starting in the order of $100,000 per offence and a permanent cancellation of the license.

    In looking at an age limit, then the age at which ones ceases to be a minor, 20 years seems OK to me.

    The part problem of the parenting of teens is they get conflicting messages, particularly at the time they reset their core values and outlook, the default setting of “what the kids do” doesn’t have to automatically lean towards being wasted youth or spending ones youth wasted.

    With reference to "School daze" - Personally I couldn’t afford the cost or resultant time lost from a weekend where a $40.00 trip was a factor; in some “peer circles” where this has become the norm for teens is unsettling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In one of the South Island cases one cop even trotted out an elaborate story about needing to grow medical marijuana for a relative with cancer, in order to trap a wary shop assistant into giving advice. That’s just insane.

    QFT. You know what a square I am (and being an alcoholic with mental health issues, psychoactive drugs are dangerous for me), but a cancer patient who desperately wants to take the edge off chemo nausea isn't exactly Pablo Escobar.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DexterX,

    A ban on the advertising of the psychoactive substances particularly at the point of sale, the points of sale have to be licensed, with “community boards” controlling the licensing given a strict set of guidelines. The emphasis upon the licensing would be on not repeating the situation where liquor outlets spring up like mushrooms in mushroom season.

    Before it was shut down, The Daktory was a reasonable model for a cannabis business -- a safe, comfortable place in a non-residential area, members only. That's basically how the medical pot places work in California too. It can be done.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You know what a square I am

    World's greatest collection of cardigans :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Before it was shut down, The Daktory was a reasonable model for a cannabis business -- a safe, comfortable place in a non-residential area, members only. That's basically how the medical pot places work in California too. It can be done.

    To be fair medical pot prescriptions in California must be the most abused prescriptions around, half the people I know seem to have one, including kids - it's a bit like having a fake drivers license

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    I'm curious why binge-drinking seems to have become a problem world-wide, and I wonder how much of it traces back to marketing the products at the young.

    and

    The accompanying analysis suggested this was to do with the breakdown in traditional French family patterns.

    I think so. It seems to me we model way more than we realize from our parents. Even when we rebel from them, we very often are only doing it to confront perceived hypocrisy, how Dad's bitter on drugs but has no shame about getting paralytic on booze in front of you. We see he does it because, at least for a little while, when he's drunk he seems happy, and having fun.

    (2) want to feel less inhibited in social situations

    ...

    (2) will be grown out of eventually too,

    I'm not so sure. It can become a crutch too. There are plenty of people who can't socially relax without alcohol. And, like misery, boozing loves company. The social pressure was extreme when I was a lad, I can recall many an occasion where not getting hammered was considered not an option.

    After work binging was much the same - the more straight laced and uptight a guy was, the more determined everyone was to see what he might be like when he was fucked up, what kind of moves would he bust out on the dance floor, what hilariously indiscreet things he might say about colleagues, whether women who were super professional at work became crazy dancers after a few drinks. People who resisted or refused were often seen as maybe having something to hide, or just didn't like the group. A heck of a lot of social networking was done in those circumstances.

    I'm not even sure it's that bad. Of course there are bad times to be had on alcohol too, but that was just a risk you took for the good times. I distinctly remember one popular and gregarious programmer telling me in all seriousness that he had been completely unable to relate to anyone at work until he had discovered alcohol and found that people actually liked him when he was a bit drunk. His self-confidence grew exponentially.

    In some ways it's sad, but I do very much feel that there's a flip side that's often missed in harm minimization discussions - life isn't all about harm. It's also about the fun too, and taking that away to reduce harm is actually removing a good. This is taking an old-skool Utilitarian line here. Yes, some kids do get fucked up on Kronic, but also a lot of kids have had good fun on it. Really, really good fun. You can't even begin to understand drug culture if you see it as a mental illness that people enjoy the fun that drugs bring. It shouldn't be unsayable that kids having a good time on booze is "a good time". Certainly I have extremely fond memories of numerous occasions on mind altering substances. There's also some shocking horrors, and that's where the harm part comes in, it should be easy for people to get help, and they should be aware of when it's not fun any more, and a problem for them.

    Seriously, I think one of the biggest factors in bad drug habits in kids is bad drug habits in their parents. So the solution starts with the parents. If they can be seen having a good time, but also being moderate, and if they involve their kids rather than pushing them away from such times, they can teach them the good habits. If parents are actually having a good time without any drugs, I think that has a very strong influence on childish perceptions. Some uptight abstainer isn't a good role model either - but abstainers who enthusiastically throw themselves into partying are very inspiring. Too many adults have just forgotten how to have a good time, and of course kids see the shocking hypocrisy when they suddenly lighten up after slugging back a few beers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Anyone know what the Joy Division remix was at the end of the trailer? I wonder what those boys would think of their song being used in that piece of crap...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, some kids do get fucked up on Kronic, but also a lot of kids have had good fun on it. Really, really good fun. You can’t even begin to understand drug culture if you see it as a mental illness that people enjoy the fun that drugs bring.

    Such an important point. The majority of drug users use drugs not because they're sick with anything, but because it's fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Anyone know what the Joy Division remix was at the end of the trailer? I wonder what those boys would think of their song being used in that piece of crap…

    Apparently Hooky did the mix specially.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    To be fair medical pot prescriptions in California must be the most abused prescriptions around

    Fair enough -- I don't know enough about how it works there to make an informed comment. But I sure hope Kiwis can do a lot of worthwhile things better than our American friends.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    drinking tots

    Genius

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The older the better

    Malt I'd Like to Drink

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DeepRed,

    a 1970s shop steward with a badge

    and itching for a six-shooter

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    a cancer patient who desperately wants to take the edge off chemo nausea isn't exactly Pablo Escobar

    Yet look how our pathetic system currently treats them. Prosecuting while not providing a legal alternative sounds awfully like some copyrighted entertainment products.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Such an important point. The majority of drug users use drugs not because they’re sick with anything, but because it’s fun

    Yeah this is where I have an issue with the "let's treat it as a health problem not a criminal problem..." line of thinking - to an extent. Let's start with working out whether there's a problem in the first place, rather than assuming anyone who enjoys a little recreational mind bending is escaping from something. Or am I simply deluding myself?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Apparently Hooky did the mix specially.

    I thought you were kidding for a minute there, then googled it. What the...? Is he some anti-drug crusader then? Or just into making money? The reformed are always the worst, aren't they?

    http://www.spinner.com/2009/07/21/peter-hook-lucky-to-survive-drug-filled-career

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    To be fair medical pot prescriptions in California must be the most abused prescriptions around

    Fair enough – I don’t know enough about how it works there to make an informed comment. But I sure hope Kiwis can do a lot of worthwhile things better than our American friends.

    Paul's right in that it's de facto decriminalisation -- anyone who can't find a doctor to write a medical marijuana script just isn't trying hard enough. But it actually works.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Let's start with working out whether there's a problem in the first place

    For some, others having fun seems to be a 'problem'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to DeepRed,

    Hell, Mr Red Squad himself says the law is an ass.

    Not a bad article and the few comments I read seemed less insane than usual ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    For some, others having fun seems to be a 'problem'.

    I see this as one of our society's biggest problems, actually. It warps everything. I don't want to live in a schadenfreude society (with the natural corollary freudenschade that goes with it). I want a freudenfreude/schadenschade society. Which could also be called a loving society, or an empathic one, at the very least. And again, it starts with ourselves. If we take joy in other people's joys, and feel sad at their sorrows, that's an infectious attitude. Of course discretion is needed, there are evil joys and foolish sorrows. THAT is where the harm principle comes in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

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