Hard News by Russell Brown

44

More party pill palaver

I'm with the Drug Foundation on the idea of people injecting BZP from party pills: if it's happening at all, it's happening on a very small scale and, by definition, amongst existing IV drug users who are doing it for the hell of it. It's just not relevant in the context of mainstream regulation.

It's also worth noting that injecting BZP is an even worse idea than injecting other drugs: it's caustic, and likely to damage veins. And it doesn't even sound that good.

I'm also wondering why the media are reporting New Zealand's first party pill death, on the basis that 25 year-old Daniel Knights might have taken some party pills along with what appears to have been an array of other recreational drugs, including booze, over a short, hard time. It might just as well have been described as New Zealand's umpteenth alcohol-related death.

It would be wrong to characterise as hysterical the overall media response to the party pills issue, however. While the Marlborough Express is saying it's time to ban the party pills, there seem to be more editors advising Jim Anderton to stay his hand. I still think it's a shame that the one that got legal happens to be the piperazines, because they're not really all that nice.

Meanwhile, the ODT gets onto a hot story, Cannabis growers head indoors, only about 20 years late.

And, finally, a couple of Iraq strategies for your perusal. One, in the Independent, by former Iraqi defence minister Ali Allawi, is lucid and thoughtful but asks a degree of goodwill from the various players that may be hard to find. The other calls on President Bush to "go wide" - that is, widen the regional conflict by simultaneously attacking both Iran and Syria - and is absolutely barking mad.

PS: Note the tasty tennis giveaway in the Heineken ad on these pages. I'll draw the Wednesday double pass today, and the Friday one later. BTW, I got one of those kegs. They're quite nifty.

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