Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Drugs and the road forward

12 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    In an example of the complicated world we live in, e-cig vapers in Britain have been buying a product called Kronic Juice – many of them, it seems, in the belief that it contains CBD.

    What it actually contains is 5F-CUMYL-PINACA, a synthetic cannaboid, which is making some users really sick:

    Todd Renje believed he had bought CBD, which he had vaped for the past three years to self-medicate anxiety, having “decided against pharmaceuticals”. The 37-year-old from the United States said: “It was probably within two or three days that I found myself waking up the next morning and vaping a little before work, then taking it to work with me and vaping all day.

    “It got to the point where I’m literally vaping this Kronic Juice every 20 or 30 minutes, and if I don’t I get very nauseous, I start shaking, I get sweaty. It went on for months because I was scared to stop.”

    When he quit cold turkey, he said he suffered violent withdrawal symptoms. “I went from Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no sleep,” he said. “Vomiting, shaking, sweating, just feeling absolutely miserable. Then I had a seizure. I couldn’t even tell you what happened, I just woke up at hospital.”

    Others seem to have more idea of what the product is and are simply buying it because there's less legal heat attached than with natural cannabis.

    Unfortunately New Zealand, we have to own this one. 5F-CUMYL-PINACA was patented in 2015 by Matt Bowden and others, supposedly for therapeutic use, and as far as I can tell is still being sold by New Zealander Matthew Wielenga, who made a bundle out of selling Kronic into suburban dairies when he could.

    The kronicjuice.com website was shut down when The Guardian started asking questions, but the fact that the company refused to say what was in its products, and may in fact have been actively misleading customers – and endangering their lives in the process – is fucking despicable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ooh! Helen Clark and Ruth Dreifuss are discussing the Commission's new report in Auckland on October 26.

    Register here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Cheers for all this Russell. Great work, few top pieces out today from you and others. How good is an evidence-based government set on harm minimisation, eh, even when they aren't poking the budget all that hard. :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 597 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Peter Dunne has a big old vent on The Spinoff, which underlines what I wrote: it's not Labour diverting from New Zealand's established stance on global drug policy, it's National.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Danyl Mclauchlan has a go at National too...
    With Bridges, C0llins, Bennett et al branding these evicted tenants as 'meth crooks' it might be time to look at the upper echelon of society and the 'meth crooks' there as well.
    Many probably vote National.

    Phillip: “One day I was walking along K’ Rd to an important meeting. My belt broke, I’d put so many notches in it because I’d lost so much weight. It just fell apart. I had not a cent on me so I had to go home and grab a tie, and tie it around my trousers. And then I went to this meeting, which was literally for a multimillion-dollar contract that I was negotiating.


    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A very good, thorough story on the Trump drug flim-flam by Samuel Oakford at The Intercept.

    Confirms to me I got it right in that RNZ column yesterday.

    Interesting note from Ross Bell on Twitter:

    US diplomats in Vienna overnight had already begun to walk back on the statement, acknowledging it's not a formal UN document and that the US will continue to focus on #UNGASS2016 and 2009 Political Statements

    So the whole thing is just classic Trump bullshit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Roger M,

    On point as usual, thank you.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2018 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Hard to imagine a world that had no drugs, eh? No alcohol industry, no pharmaceutical industry. I doubt the UN or Trump were seriously committing themselves to any such goal. Just pretending to do so. But did floating the delusion even achieve anything?? Obviously not, so why the waste of effort?

    Use of drugs for self-healing or achieving altered states of consciousness has been part of the human condition throughout evolutionary history. Some other species do it too. Public policy ought to be based on human nature, which derives from nature. Any other kind of public policy has a warping effect and produces sociopathic governance.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    The problem is, anti-drug populism is an orthodoxy that has been allowed to fuel the ‘war on drugs’. Its staple frame of reference is selective news coverage that focuses on specific events without reference to depth or context, whipping up moral panic and allowing antidrug moralists to dominate the political conversation without any access to evidence-based perspectives from responsible specialists. Consequently, national drug policy is a quagmire.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 483 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick,

    Thanks for this thoughtful analysis. I cannot believe in the face of 40+ years of research that anybody is even considering going back to the Nixon era “war on drugs” and/or Reganite claptrap about “just say no”.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    No argument about dope is complete without mentioning alcohol. And its been a while since anyone yelled out that the MSN might not be serving us well.

    More affluent, post-40 Kiwi women struggling with alcohol: detox centre

    It wouldn’t be hard to assume that news headline has some sort of research behind it. It hasn’t.

    Its possably an advertisement for a $23, 000 per month exclusive rehab program. Or its the kind of lazy journalism that perpetuates unhelpful mythology.

    Thats big business in the United States.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4016 posts Report Reply

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