Posts by Ross Bell

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  • Hard News: Approved by lunchtime,

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UNGASS and the "Drug Free…, in reply to nzlemming,

    Check out that good looking and wise guy at 2.19 and again at 7.13 :)

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Helen Kelly's letter, in reply to linger,

    Yep.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Helen Kelly's letter,

    There's a conundrum here right: we want our drug policy decisions to be made on good evidence (vs ideology); Minister Dunne is trying to do that (the medical cannabis science is still very contested), and we get grumpy at him for it.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Helen Kelly's letter, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    He’s pondered aloud numerous times that he supports using the PSA to regulate cannabis. Most recently in a twitter exchange this past weekend. Am trying to upload a screenshot of that chatter (ah, it worked).

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Helen Kelly's letter,

    An aside: wondering if anyone has noticed that Peter Dunne (minister of the Crown, associate health minister with responsibilities for drug policy and all that) has publicly backed regulated sales of cannabis? No other party, including Labour or the Greens (the later now only support a review of our drug law), has gone that far. Why this isn't bigger news surprises me greatly.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Kia kaha, Helen Kelly,

    I like Helen's blog, and yours too Russell. It's worth noting that the legal barriers aren't solely because it's cannabis... the same barriers exist for any other unapproved medicines.

    We've done a brief Q&A to clarify some bits around medical cannabis.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Waitara and the perils of…,

    Posting this link without comment:
    http://www.trc.govt.nz/councillors-and-management/

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fine words, some hope,

    To be fair, Labour also has plenty of this in its ranks.

    Yep. And there was silence from all parties in respsonse to the new policy. And only NZ First sent an MP to the launch.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fine words, some hope,

    Good summary, Russell. I don't think we can overstate the political context under which the policy was developed - we have a conservative, right-wing government which releases a drug policy that says "alcohol and other drug problems are first and foremost health issues." There's no use of the word "scourge", or "evil". The tone is important - I think it's a significant shift. And yes, one that needs to be backed by health-focused actions.

    We reckon there's heaps in the new policy to work with. You highlight the "early warning system" - that's a great start. And while MODA hasn't been chucked in the bin where it belongs, I reckon there's enough of a hook in what's in the policy to make some pragmatic changes.

    I also want to highlight something - the policy has benefited greatly from the direct input of "civil society". In fact, the policy's goal was drawn directly from a consultation/consensus building process we ran 2 years ago. Many other themes were also drawn from this process which involved people in recovery, treatment providers, people who use drugs, grandparents who are raising their grandkids, and even the Police Association.

    You mention the education component. Yeah, that's part of it (and it will need to be done right). But one of the first things being looked at here is a destigmatisation programme - *possibly* along the lines of the Like Minds, Like Mine mental health work. That could be a bloody important piece of work.

    Finally, the Drug Harm Index refresh - we understand this is being led by Ministry of Health this time, not the Police.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

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