Posts by david westcot

  • Hard News: Helen Kelly's letter,

    Good on you Russel for valiantly ,comprehensively & patiently shining a light on the dickensian & kafkaesque legislation that presumes to call itself a policy [ ie the MOD act ].Hard to know where to start when critqueing this utterly shambolic hypocrysy & socio-cultural dysfunction .....lookin at the calendar now - are we really living in the 21st century !!

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Something we ignore at our peril,

    `Yup. I’d go further and say that it’s both a health problem and a human right, like any number of ways to harm yourself that abound in society But I’m not going to hold my breath that even quite switched on people will grasp this, so long have we been under prohibition, so normalized has it become.` Ben is right on the money. The reality of drug policy in this country is an absolutely gobsmacking hypocrisy ! That we have on the one hand: alchohol class A/B drug - a pleasant enough inebriant with a few under the belt but a potential trainwreck of a high when pissed for the 1 in 4 drinkers who are regular bingers - fully embraced ,industrially produced & marketed, entwined with our cultural pinnacle rugby , politically untouchable despite a tsunami of 100% proven,serious personal , social & medical harms. On the other hand we have the popular low harm drugs [ I`m sure everyone reading this website is familiar with the ISCD Nutt & Blakemore et al harm rankings as used in the law commissions MOD review ] cannabis , MDMA, & the classic psychedelics, possession or supply of which to a friend can/will see you thrown in a cage no questions asked for a good long vacation. Looks like 80 years of propaganda will take a very lengthy rewind.

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Potency and purity,

    Tail-ender reporting here . I had a poke around online re this incident & the smokin gun could well be the humidity level on the night - as one of the 100 or so DEA agents observed, it was so muggy condensation was running down the walls - even in a really hot space .This is a very bad combo - high ambient temp,100%humidity & over exertion + E`s mild hyprethermic effect on top .These type of hyperthermia events are rare but not unheard of in long distance running events ; so in both cases [running /dancing] there is a behavioural /cognitive issue whereby people simply don`t know when to stop. Not rocket science .

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…,

    why is it that the media in general [&the political class] are unable to have an honest indepth cost/benefit discourse about drug policy - we know - talking actual evidence here - that psychoactives like weed ,pure MDMA ,psilocybin & mescaline are far less dangerous than alchohol. What a pitiful state of affairs that we seem unable to shake off or even honestly address/discuss the abomination gifted to us {by way of the UN conventions} by Anslinger & Nixon - both racist arch-conservative bigots. I can think of no other important area of public policy where silence rules to such a degree. But then I s`pose 80 years of criminalisation,stigma,propaganda & scapegoating aren`t exactly a great pathway to rational thought.

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The perilous birth of the…, in reply to tatjna,

    excellent blog - demonstrates exactly what the media refuses to provide - rational EVIDENCE-based info instead of kneejerk ,moral-panic gibberish. I continue to be gobsmacked that we can mass-produce so many uni / polytech grads in this country & yet demonstrate a complete failure to engage with this issue [ie. drug policy the wider issue] withany degree of acumen or honesty - Russell over the years is an exception to this. Investigative journalism in this arena is a joke - AWOL ! The blatant & appalling double-standard vis-à-vis alchohol as opposed to various other relatively low harm [ but criminalised ] psychoactives is beyond ridiculous.

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The changing world of drug policy, in reply to Richard Aston,

    so true Richard,standing back in the cold hard light of day for a dispassionate look at the prohibition landscape [historical,social,legal,medical, & political] , you can but shake your head in disbelief at the naked double standard & bigotry that sees a very dangerous drug- alchohol - industrially produced & marketed ,while much lower harm drugs ie weed ,MDMA, & shrooms ,get U thrown into a cage for supplying some to a friend. The law commission TRIED to mitigate this disgusting travesty [ presumption of no jail-time for supplying friends] but was headbutted by drugwar rottweillers Simon Power & now crusher Collins. The power of the medieval papacy may have waned but sad fact is we still live amidst some grossly ignorant & barbaric customs.

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And one war ends?,

    here`s a fantastic article detailing the absurd & corrupt evolution of US cannabis laws actually A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference if anyone has the time -a fascinating read. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/whiteb1.htm

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Wikileaks: had things gone differently,

    good on you for covering this ongoing travesty ; the corporatocracy & its US henchmen continue to prevail - still I s`pose thats better thn Hitler . Stalin , Mao or Khomeini at the helm - small consolation .

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Keeping our heads on "bath salts",

    Just wonderin.......can anyone enlighten as to why the NZ media is so largely bereft of any real investigative journalism on drug policy [The Guardian in contrast is on the case] . Is it journalistic ignorance, editorial bias, love of tabloid scaremongering, percieved lack of public interest or all these & more. Difficult for any change to progress in the face of such widespread ignorance of the issues, politics ,& evidence-base one would have thought. BTW Rich of Obs. I will try harder on the paragraphs !

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Keeping our heads on "bath salts",

    Great to see some real journalism in this area – media coverage is commonly worse than pathetic or as with the bath salts beat up – reefer-madness redux! Bottom line for a rational discourse [ a what ??!!! says john Key ] is the concept of evidence -base & relative harms ; the gold -standard here is the Lancet 2010 ISCD report `Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis`. This clearly & unequivocally shows the emperor has no clothes – multicriteria ,social,personal ,addictivness,economic etc. Alchohl comes out on top well ahead of ALL other drugs with 72 pts. worth of harm vs. the most common `bath salt`[mephedrone ] at 13 , MDMA at 9 [ yes thats 9 pts to boozes 72 ! ] , Shrooms at bottom of chart 6 pts, pot gets 20pts. The gross & unconscionable hypocrisy that sees the state with the power to smash youre door & throw U into a cage for the sin/crime of passing some of said shrooms [classA] to a friend is grotesque – a throwback to the inquisition for sure – this when alchohol is manifestly & provably sooo much more harmful & massively ,commercially pushed .This is an unbelievably pathetic joke of a policy. Good on NZ for trying a work-around [clearly a rational policy would see the v. low harm hugely roadtested MDMA as the legal party pill / therapeutic agent ] with largely untested psychoactives . Realpolitic ensures this to be the reality for the forseeable future – UN Conventions, U.S. govt pressure etc. A further factor in this debacle is the effect of the criminalisation & demonisation on the public discourse – large nos. of health professionals effectively gagged .It will be v. interesting to see how this plays out – for sure The Great Protector [USA] won`t be too happy with the situation! Of course whatever happens there will always be idiots doing binging behavs. as in above post – & with stimulants of any sort that is av v. bad gameplan ,so legal or not I`m sure there will continue to be plenty o grist for the reefer madness mill !

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

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