Posts by david westcot

  • 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 • 7 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 • 7 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 • 7 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 • 7 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 • 7 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 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The frustrating politics of…,

    Your`e right on the money here Russel - I would further add....... Prohibition of low-harm drugs - ecstasy,pot ,shrooms etc. is an outdated,hypocriticl,poorly-evidenced policy based largely on U.S. driven UN conventions initiated by the likes of Anslinger [Google him!],& Nixon & their cohort of very bigoted ignorant & conservative leadership.The resultant cascade effect of half-truths, propaganda,& a grossly biased research & associated funding edifice [85% of ALL global illicit drug research is U.S. govt. funded] has ensured worldwide uptake of this grossly dysfunctional & nannystatist policy. Reversing 80 years & $1000 billion of drug-war paranoia will not be easy; law commission recomendations are a small step in the right direction. I urge anyone interested in a rational take on this issue to look at the expert harm profiling of the Nutt- Blakemore reports [ 2007 & 2010 The Lancet] where alchohol is shown to be FAR MORE HARMFUL,DANGEROUS & ADDICTIVE than the above- mentioned drugs; in the 2010 report alchohol rated #1 , LSD & shrooms #19, MDMA #17,pot #8 .The puritanical Americans will no doubt stick to their whacky moral compass that includes broken healthcare, failing schools, and a massive interventionist military. But the rest of us should follow common sense & challenge strongly a bankrupt policy built around widespread ignorance of the evidence base & political expediency.The inability &/or desire of the media to address this issue sees policy in a stuck position. Interviewers typically are not backgrounded & thus unable to ask the hard questions needed to move this issue into rational discourse . Can`t see any change without a massive effort to spotlight the issue of relative harms & honest evidence-based cost/benefit analysis - oops I forgot - drug benefits is a taboo concept - interesting to note tho that therapeutic benefits is one of the 7 NZ EACD classification criteria . Unfortunately Tyranny of the majority can be a tuff little ole chestnut to crack without strong &determined political organization -the current criminalisation paradigm makes this rather unlikely. Tough !!

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 7 posts Report Reply