Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Death of Evidence

178 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 Newer→ Last

  • stephen clover,

    Scott nails it

    LOL:

    I know first-hand the terrible damage to irrational policymaking an addiction to evidence can cause

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I know first-hand the terrible damage to irrational policymaking an addiction to evidence can cause

    I disagree with that, entirely. New Zealand Governments over time have shown that evidence can be used healthily, in moderation.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And let me be clear on one other thing. We don’t subscribe to the view that some types of soft evidence aren’t really harmful. It doesn’t matter whether it’s soft anecdotal evidence or hard facts. Prolonged use of evidence by voters can be harmful to this government.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I disagree with that, entirely. New Zealand Governments over time have shown that evidence can be used healthily, in moderation.

    But only when over the age of 20, or 18 if accompanied by a guardian or while consuming a meal.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    National wouldn't consider changing any of our drug laws unless they got permission from the yanks first.

    Meanwhile, in California, you can't walk down the street without spruikers urging you to sign up for "medicinal" marijuana. The next step is to legalise and tax itcompletely in order to try and dig the state out of its debt hole.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You mean, experimenting over an extended period with its legal distribution -- creating an unprecedented new legal class for novel recreational drugs -- and only banning it on the basis of evidence? No, no other countries have done that.

    There were degrees of opinion on BZP -- and Auckland Hospital didn't see nearly the same level of acute problems as Christchurch did -- but Anderton did actually solicit and act on advice.

    And yet, somehow, for all of that, still managed to ban something that was mostly harmless and fun. Soliciting and acting on advice is entirely dependent on who you choose, and subjective evaluations of how much harm is required to block something massive numbers of people like doing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Anderton doesn't deserve the rap he gets

    Yes he does. The consultation (which resulted in a preponderance of solid arguments against the ban) was entirely ignored. Anderton's mind had been made up, and the ban only took so long to implement because Clark had other things to do with her remaining parliamentary days.

    Giving Anderton a health job is like giving someone whose kid had been killed in the Army responsibility for defence.

    Mind you, at least he wasn't getting backhanders from the tobacco lobby, like certain other support ministers in NZ governments.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    all the surplus stocks of BZP are being blended into re-pressed MDMA pills

    Not convinced, for a range of reasons. One of them is that (so I'm told) you can't actually repress a pill, the compounding agents that make the pill stick together only work once. You'd have to add some more binder, which would dilute everything down.

    Also, BZP is pretty obvious stuff. It has a distinctive "marmite" smell and taste, not to mention the effects.

    If I was a nefarious drug maker (which I'm not), then I'd look at methylhexanamine (aka geranamine) in pure form as a better active cutting agent.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Giving Anderton a health job is like giving someone whose kid had been killed in the Army responsibility for defence.

    Taiho there, Rich. I'm no fan of Anderton's methods nor his (dubious) achievements, but I'm pretty sure the majority of his policy decisions come from a place of sincere conviction, not simply as knee-jerk reactions to his personal tragedies. Play the ball and not the man, and all that.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Minister's Drug Revelation Leads To Call For Resignation

    ACT on Campus is calling for the resignation of Justice Minister Simon Power, following his comments on Drug Reform policy on Thursday.

    Responding to a set of drug law reform proposals laid out by the Law Commission, Mr. Power told The Dominion Post on Thursday that there was not a single solitary chance that as long as he was the Minister of Justice that drug laws would be relaxed in New Zealand.

    “Where's the justice in Minister Power proclaiming what will be the law without regard for the Commission's research and the views of the New Zealand public? The Minister should resign and make way for someone who is willing to consider the evidence and listen to the public.” said Peter McCaffrey, ACT on Campus Vice President.

    ACT on Campus is encouraged by the Law Commission's proposals which would allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, and ensure that those using marijuana recreationally would not be criminalised and imprisoned, but instead be sent to rehab.

    “Victimless crimes should not be crimes and all and highly restrictive drug laws are more harmful than the drugs themselves as they drive the drug trade underground, often leading users and addicts resorting to crime to fund their habits.” said Peter McCaffrey.

    ENDS

    Be nice to see something from Labour/Greens youth wings too.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm actually attacking the policies of the Jim Anderton Progressive Party. Unfortunately, when your self-named party has but the one member, it's hard to avoid an ad-hominem attack.

    I'm sure Anderton's convictions are sincere, but equally sure that they are informed by personal emotion rather than any attempt to consider the issues scientifically.

    He did once inform a friend of mine, when taxed with the issue that alcohol is more harmful than BZP, that he would "ban alcohol if he could".

    Anderton and Dunne together prevented Labour from attempting to move drug policy in a progressive direction, backed by a "mandate" from a minority vote in two backwoods suburban constituencies.

    Power, on the other hand, opposes drug law reform to match the prejudices of the National party's core voter. A 50-something white male golfer who is happy to drink four scotches and drive home, but objects vehemently to them damn hippies and their Illegal High Drugs.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    ACT on Campus is calling for the resignation of Justice Minister Simon Power

    Meanwhile, ACT Not On Campus (prop. David Garrett) is calling for drug dealers to be hung from lampposts.

    I thought you'd left and joined the LibZ, Mikee?

    Also, Green party press release:
    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/drug-laws-hurting-our-families

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    To try and have some consideration for Anderton, when, the man was trying to understand that which many had experienced as "fun" and he hadn't, does at least suggest that He was a father prepared to understand his kids generation and I am prepared to salute the guy for wanting to understand the choices that many of us, not him, but his family, chose. We are seeing time and time again that anything in moderation is what the body can handle. Some ,not so much. Others, more.Politicians ,not so much. Others ,more.Gotta keep trying. labour are asking for comment/advice over at Red Alert on the report on the Misuse of Drugs act. Can I suggest people contribute. They wont know unless we tell them, cos they cant be seen to be taking drugs, it's against the Law.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5920 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Sacha

    Anyone who's smoking enough cannabis for that [to be as bad as tobacco] to be true has other problems.

    Except that we know that cannabis smokers breathe the smoke in more deeply and hold it in the lungs longer than tobacco smokers do. Add in that few reefers are filtered or low tar equivalent and a reefer can equal several ciggies in terms of harm done to the lungs.

    I agree on the frequency bit, I suppose its the difference between killing your liver with a half bottle of a nice Sauvignon every night and a whole one at the weekend or with binge drinking.

    For the record I have never indulged (athlete, mode of consumption contra-indicated) but would not say no to a herb muffin or scone (gluten free please) and am as sickened by the counter productive 'war on drugs' as the next person. Legalise, regulate, quality and dose enforce, tax the hell out of them, ensure the young can't get hold of, easily, and use the taxes to ensure there is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff like there is for alcohol or tobacco as well as lots of warning signs on the fences at the top. Then leave responsible, informed adults to do what they want within the usual strictures wrt things like driving and being in charge of the kiddies etc.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    <sarc on>

    The problem in drug policy is now exclusively political. And people will die because of that.

    Politicians making the world a safer place for fat christians worried about being murdered in their sleep one policy at a time.

    the unifying values of New Zealand society.

    Hey who left those lying around for shonkey to bash us over the head with.
    You've been told about this before.

    Ritalin.
    Combined with Viagara

    Sounds like Simon Power had some of that on Friday.
    Symptoms: grandstanding with out of control mouth, a permanent hard on looking for a place to stick it.

    a reefer can equal several ciggies in terms of harm done to the lungs......killing your liver with a half bottle of a nice Sauvignon

    Always with the negative. While yer lungs and liver say no, yer brain says yes much much louder. <Sarc over>
    Dennis Potter come back, I loved watching him smoke on the tele talking about death Oh so calmly and with great dignity.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1155 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Mr Key said he only knew of Mr Soros for his deeds as a currency speculator, rather than for his views on "weed".

    And there you have it.
    This is why John Key is siding with the Gangs on this. All the while the Gangs have a hold on the drugs market there will be a hedge against speculative money trading, it was, apparently, money from Drugs and Organised Crime that saved the world economy from a total meltdown.
    I can't think of any other reason for John Key and the National Party to be protecting the profitability of the Hells Angels, the Mongrel Mob and countless smaller Gangs unless, of course, Drug legislation is a backstop to control the masses of otherwise law abiding people.

    About three weeks back John Key was signaling he was going to ignore the commissions report because he had already made up his Governments mind and he knew best, just listen to the Gang leader.

    The Gangs will be delighted by Nationals stance on this and laughing all the way to the bank.
    Yeah. A vote for National and the Smiling Assassin is a vote for the Gangs.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    You want Proof with that?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    A rabbit is hopping happily through the forest. On his way, he meets a giraffe who is about to smoke marijuana. The rabbit says to the giraffe, “Giraffe, you shouldn’t pollute your neck and hurt your lungs inhaling that harmful stuff! Let’s breathe in the fresh air as we jog through the forest.” The giraffe pauses, drops the marijuana, and follows the rabbit.

    A little further through the forest, they meet an elephant about to snort cocaine. The rabbit says to the elephant, ‘‘Elephant, why do you want to ruin your precious trunk with that sinful powder? Sniff the spring flowers instead. Come jog with us and enjoy Mother Nature.” The elephant spills out the cocaine and jogs with the rabbit and giraffe.

    Then they meet a lion who is about to shoot heroin. The rabbit says to the lion, ‘‘Lion, you’re the king of the forest! Isn’t that enough of a high for you? Join us for an invigorating jog on this lovely day!”

    The lion puts down the heroin, punches out the rabbit, and, “Dammit, rabbit, I told you not to hassle me about jogging with you every time you drop Ecstasy!”

    (via Mark Kleiman, who funnily enough has a lot of interesting things to say about drug policy.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm actually attacking the policies of the Jim Anderton Progressive Party. Unfortunately, when your self-named party has but the one member, it's hard to avoid an ad-hominem attack

    You mean actions like backing needle exchanges and changing the law to reverse the onus of proof for the possession of needles? That's a harm minimisation policy that matters.

    What are you actually talking about?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I could listen to people like him forever, Simon Puker not so much

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1155 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    But just one point for those of you smoking cannabis, please stop pretending it’s so wonderful – Sure as a drug it isn’t worse or better than alcohol but it does have the added joy of being as bad as smoking tobacco for you and for those around you. Legalise it, tax it and stick hideous pictures of lung cancer on the packets please.

    No problem. Just stop LOCKNG US UP!!!!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Fucking rare forest that has
    a)a rabbit
    b)a giraffe &
    c)a lion

    in it.

    Definitely a pipe dream.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    in it.

    Definitely a pipe dream.

    ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5920 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Andin

    Always with the negative. While yer lungs and liver say no, yer brain says yes much much louder. <Sarc over>
    Dennis Potter come back, I loved watching him smoke on the tele talking about death Oh so calmly and with great dignity.

    Speak for your self. My brain once presented with the evidence finds it very hard to say yes to the things I describe. I am also a distance runner and whether its the not wanting to deal with the drag that the drink the night before induces or that the endorphins are enough for me but my desire to drink is much less than when I am sedentary.

    I can be calm and dignified when talking about death, we all have to go sometime. As a biologist I have done my share of dealing it as well and I know well the smell of it in the morning when something bad happens in the mouse house overnight. That doesn't mean you have to get all fatalistic about it and embrace it any earlier than you have to either.

    And before you accuse me of not knowing what pleasure is and being all ascetic I have a cupboard full of single, including single cask malt whisky, I am a real ale freak known to brew his own and I love a nice Sauvignon, Blanc or Cabernet. But pleasures you take every day tend to drive you towards wanting more. That sort of phenomenon is what we physiologists call habituation, your body adapts to what is always there. So one glass of a good Sauvignon no longer hits your pleasure centres like it used to when you have it every evening, so you have two instead. I am simply in control of my pleasures, they are not in control of me. I have even managed to kill my 20 year caffeine addiction, I still drink and enjoy coffee, its just that I don't have to any more. I consider that a Good Thing, YMMV.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    Definitely a pipe dream

    ...or a wardrobe?
    or ring- or river-world...?
    or
    a rabbit, a giraffe & a lion
    go into a pub...

    Remember:
    Only Users Lose Drugs!
    Be vigilant!

    I shall now return to my
    lofty addiction aerie

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.