Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Psst... buddy... got any BZP?

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  • james cairney,

    Hi Damian,

    There is nothing wrong with the comparative argument against prohibition, using alcohol etc.

    It forces those promoting prohibition to justify criminalisation on the grounds of harm to the individual using, as opposed to harm to another. If harm to the individual through using/doing/thinking or saying the prohibited thing is justification for criminalising that thing, then they (those promoting prohibition) must be forced to concede that they would support the criminalisation of, well, everything from alcohol to KFC to rugby league.

    These paternalistic "we know best" fuckers in Wellington cannot justify criminalising party pills or any other thing on the basis of harm to the individual.

    And you are right that the inevitable black market for BZp is unlikely to be large, and the several million party pills used in the last few years are going to be replaced by god knows what. People will not stop getting high. Anderton's thinking that this will eliminate an amount of substance use is stunningly naive.

    And a question for all those who have used drugs and have given up; did the criminal status of that drug have anything at all to do with the decision to quit?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And a question for all those who have used drugs and have given up; did the criminal status of that drug have anything at all to do with the decision to quit?

    Categorically: no. It was more of a 'jeez, I can't spend three days of every week recovering from one night' issue. Plus, you know, it gets expensive. (And also, I left the USA, removing myself from friends who made most of their money dealing. It's A Drug Wonderland over there, War on Drugs notwithstanding. Take note, Mr Anderton!)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I await with dread the trend of teenagers who decide the best way to get a replacement for BZP is mixing cattle drench into fizzy drinks.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Anderton's thinking that this will eliminate an amount of substance use is stunningly naive.

    I think that's a very kind way of putting it. I would have said it was an illogical, emotional non-solution to a exaggerated non-problem.

    Anderton is not naive, in the sense that he is not a person innocent of the world who has incorrect beliefs based on incomplete knowledge. He is a willful ignoramus, ie someone who believes he knows best no matter what the evidence or aguments presented to him.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Police Association spokesperson Greg O'Connor was on the radio news this morning applauding the ban for a variety of reasons, all of which were completely hilarious.

    Perhaps some of your 48 Hour film making friends could get a copy of that audio, match it with some footage of young kids hopped up on liquour, score it with 'Bliss' by Th'Dudes, and then post it on YouTube. (And then link it here on PA, obviously). Too easy, I know, but.

    O'Connor's ridiculous comments were that kids need to be taught that all mind altering substances are bad and should be banned so they know they're not legal. He all but (seemingly) said that they should stick with beer.

    More young people have been harmed/killed by Alcohol than BZP, yet we see no rush by the Government to ban that. The government would have been better off to regulate the amount of BZP allowed in pills, and then tax it. That would have killed the buzz.

    You can bet the kids will be stockpiling pills before the ban comes into effect in six months time!! The pills will actually be cheaper now, as wholesalers & retaillers seek to quit their stock ahead of the ban.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Now is the time for someone to post their mum's lambchop recipe.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Saw Anderson on the Telly saying I know it can kill therefore I must stop it.
    Has he met Hone Harawira and his antismoking campaign.

    Having resisted the need for speed before party pills came out. I'm yet to see the upside of smoking.

    But if smoking was ever banned - I'll take 6 months overseas as quiters turn nasty.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    It's A Drug Wonderland, over there

    I presume that's sung to the tune of this

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Yeah, I deliberately stayed away from whether or not the ban is a good idea etc, and the inevitable comparisons with alcohol and smokes, because I don't want to tempt the bastards to make them illegal too (rather than legalise everything, which is what most people advancing that argument seem to want).

    We know why drinking isn't going to be banned. It's entrenched in our culture, has been for hundreds of years, the liquor interests are far too powerful, and almost every voter drinks.

    Whereas party pills are just something dumb kids do. Banning them hardly raises the ire of middle class NZ.

    The argument can never be one about consistency or about societal harm or individual harm. Alcohol is legal and ecstasy isn't. Smoking is legal and LSD isn't. Nuff said.

    It's about stopping people from getting high, while not upsetting the various powerful lobby groups and 'mainstream' NZers. Are we really that surprised?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    It's A Drug Wonderland, over there

    I presume that's sung to the tune of this

    Heh. I was thinking more of Earth, Wind & Fire's lesser-known disco classic 'Druggie Wonderland', myself.

    (I apologise in advance for the earworm - I just gave it to myself. Bah.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    what Damian just said

    No, I'm not surprised and I 'know' what you're saying is 'true' but that doesn't make it 'right'.

    No wonder the young kids don't bother to vote, they know it's a bunch of Rs and won't change anything. Which is why they'll just go on doing what they're doing and ignoring the law.

    And when people learn to start ignoring one law they start ignoring other laws too. The older generation reap what they sow.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Mate... our people are going through your Metro piece as I type... I mean, I domn't want to be precipitous, but we've put the effigy maker on high alert.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    It was a great article Damian, I just hope it doen't start yet another tiresome Jafas v. The Provinces war of words.
    <Yawn and shudder>

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Words?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    HOT

    Auckland Region
    Lamb chop stew
    Staying home
    Getting some

    NOT

    Wellington
    Dog whistling
    Drugs
    Getting none

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    People who use party pills are the kind of people who have pierced eyebrows. That is my observation.

    I liked the Metro article. It reminds me of a friend of mine who moved from Wellington to Auckland because she was sick of always running into people she'd shagged whenever she was walking down the street.

    The weird thing is that Hamilton has a much smaller population than Wellington, but I never experienced this sort of thing when I lived in Hammo.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Or maybe you just weren't as much of a bike as your friend, Robyn?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    because she was sick of always running into people she'd shagged whenever she was walking down the street

    Brilliant! But hah, that's happened to me in Auckland :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Oh the question of whether or not there will be a black market - in the case of NoS and GHB, a ban has clearly worked in reducing abuse. But unlike those two BZP is apparently very easy to synthesise and easy to transport in bulk in socially desirable pill form, and as a class C drug it will attract significantly lesser penalties than meth and MDMA, yet offer significant profits. So its likely you'll see significant illegal manufacture of this drug - a lot of which will be passed off as E to guillable punters.

    Anderton has claimed these pills to be dangerous, and they probably are. But thats a spurious reason to ban them, since every drug is bad for you. No one has yet been killed from millions of doses - sure, some have suffered from a cocktail of drugs including BZP, but on an average dose they would seem safer than alcohol on the empirical evidence - If they are so dangerous and have that many victims then I'll invoke the Fermi paradox for Mr. Anderton - "Where are they?"

    I can't see how this ban will, on the balance, improve the overall public health of New Zealanders. Whilst a significant number of people will simply stop using BZP, a very large number of people will be exposed to a significantly heightened health risk by taking drugs manufactured under God knows what circumstance containing doses of BZP that may vary wildly from pill to pill.

    Mind you, the clubbers of the land are heaving a collective sigh of relief at the prospect of the tidal wave of liquored and BZP'd up North Shore wigga boys and their natural prey the Epsom Girl's Grammar party frock crew that has been threatening to engulf clubland receding back to the Viaduct and Queen Street.

    P.S. Reading the comments sections of Stuff and the Herald, I am astonished at the number of people who can't spell "Ecstasy."

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Mate... our people are going through your Metro piece as I type... I mean, I domn't want to be precipitous, but we've put the effigy maker on high alert.

    Dude, around here, you're no one until you've been burned in effigy. Ask Charlotte Dawson.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anderton is not naive, in the sense that he is not a person innocent of the world who has incorrect beliefs based on incomplete knowledge. He is a willful ignoramus, ie someone who believes he knows best no matter what the evidence or aguments presented to him.

    Actually, I think that's a little unfair. He did wait for research, and his own medical advistory committee recommended a ban. The downside of the ban is obvious enough, of course.

    I'm not particularly sorry to see the back of BZP. I just hope this hasn't screwed the idea of regulating, rather than summarily banning, any substance merely because people enjoy it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • james cairney,

    "It's about stopping people from getting high, while not upsetting the various powerful lobby groups and 'mainstream' NZers. Are we really that surprised?"

    Yes, as it will not in any way stop people 'getting high'.

    The only thing we have learned from our past is that we learn nothing from our past.

    I do not accept that Anderton et al think that this or any other related measure will 'stop people getting high'. It is about imposing their subjective paternalistic morals on the next generation, and nothing else (and using the cubersome, ineffective and ridiculously expensive criminal justice system to achieve it).

    Anderton will decide what you do on a Friday night thank you very much. He knows best. What's next, church on Sunday as not going is bad for us thus should be illegal?

    What I do is my choice. If what I choose harms another person, then the state is justified in interfering. Anderton is not justified in interfering with my choice when the only harm that is even remotely possible is to me myself.

    Anderton can sod off with his subjective morality and his use of the criminal law to enforce it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • james cairney,

    "He did wait for research, and his own medical advistory committee recommended a ban"

    How on earth does a medical advisory committee have the expertise to recommend the *legal* status of anything at all? Unless we accept as gospel that anything dangerous or risky to health must be brought under the criminal law?

    Anderton's entire thinking is contradictory, inconsistent and flawed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    What I do is my choice. If what I choose harms another person, then the state is justified in interfering. Anderton is not justified in interfering with my choice when the only harm that is even remotely possible is to me myself.

    Yeah, it's a nice libertarian argument, but one that only works in a libertarian society. If every BZP victim that turns up in the A&E of hospitals around the country each weekend (and there are many such cases, none are dying no, but heaps are turning up) was to pay for his or her own hospital stay, and no-one else is missing out on treatment as a result, then the 'no harm' principle could apply.

    But that's not the case. As much as I don't agree with many of the MSM beat-up stories, I've made the calls on this myself, and BZP cases ARE costing taxpayers money and stretching already quite stretched health resources. That's harmful.

    (And as I've already expressed many times, yes, so are many other things that aren't illegal. But that's a different argument from the 'no harm' one.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    If every BZP victim that turns up in the A&E of hospitals around the country each weekend

    and there must be heaps of them. if one fronts at the wellington a&e with heart palpitations the very first thing they do is ask about party pills.

    burns are another matter.

    imho it's not such a hassle they're banning these. maybe the little fckers running around outside my apartment screaming at 3am will be at home smoking weed and playing playstation instead.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

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