Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Something we ignore at our peril

11 Responses

  • chris,

    Seriously Russell it’s like being stuck in a fricking time warp

    On the flipside, now that six new substances are prohibited, will the matured demand for these ‘advantages’ simply tip some of these substances onto the black market, enhancing the web of criminality?

    […]

    Kids still be sidling up to punga fences, purchasing anorexic tinnies laced with horse tranquillizer, so who’s to know what kind of additives will now find their way into a helping of Kronic skunk.

    These days I don’t need to take anything at all, I just ponder the implementation of New Zealand’s psychoactive substances legislation for a couple of minutes and I’m out there.

    I look forward to watching this and dearly hope that the 3D team can convince Mediaworks to reconsider this mistake.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Having now watched it, all I can bring myself to say is that - based on his perfunctory dismissal of serious New Zealand health issues - I find the generosity of spirit you show towards Peter Dunne pretty inspiring.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    PS: That was a very important report from a programme about to be shitcanned by TV3’s management. We might want to think about that too.

    It'd look rather crass and hypocritical if Weldon and Christie ditch 3D, while at the same time going completely sunk-cost on what's left of Scout. Bonus points if they go cap in hand (again) to the Beehive.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    There is a genre of science fiction called cyber-punk that casually assumes a society where psychoactive drugs of all kinds are embedded. It's a dystopian future, full of casual death an a huge underclass that suffers horrendous conditions and are the primary market for every drug imaginable.

    When reading such futures you have to wonder how we get there from here, sadly the utter debacle of drug legislation in New Zealand makes it remarkably clear just how you get there. Endless cycles of genuine attempts to make sensible reasonable legislation followed by faux outrage by the elite media (NZ Herald looking at you now) and then crackdowns that drive the drug-making expertise deeper into the criminal world.

    You couldn't make this shit up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    That was one of the better 3D programmes and it's a sad reflection on our legislators that this situation exists in New Zealand.

    While Peter Dunne probably hadn't seen the programme when he made his comments, he is badly informed on two counts. Dunne's insistence that the market for this crap does not exist on any scale -- the programme certainly put paid to that theory -- and his poorly informed statement that in any event, natural cannabis represents a far greater health risk. You'd have to ask just who is advising the minister.

    Parts of Ireland have a huge heroin problem, but instead of calling for more police, Dunne's equivalent has called for decriminalisation to solve the problem and he has the full backing of the police.

    Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who is in charge of Ireland’s drug policy, said this month that the country should move towards decriminalising possession of small quantities of certain narcotics, including all class A opiates, as part of a “radical cultural shift”.

    He said attitudes to drugs must move away from shaming users, focusing instead on helping them, and that there was a difference between decriminalisation and legalisation.

    The Garda Representative Association, which represents 11,500 frontline officers, has welcomed the move to decriminalise personal possession, saying it would free up police resources.

    Synthetics are mainly prevalent in territories where enforcement is seen as the solution. Ask the people of Colorado if they have a problem with kids using synthetics. How about Washington, or Spain, or Italy? And they're virtually unknown in the Netherlands where natural cannabis has been freely available for years, yet only 7% of the population smoke dope -- half the rate of the US.

    The proof is there that criminalisation does not work. Drug use is a health problem. Our lawmakers need to grasp that simple truth.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alfie,

    The proof is there that criminalisation does not work. Drug use is a health problem. Our lawmakers need to grasp that simple truth.

    Yup. I'd go further and say that it's both a health problem and a human right, like any number of ways to harm yourself that abound in society. But I'm not going to hold my breath that even quite switched on people will grasp this, so long have we been under prohibition, so normalized has it become. That debate is confined to what is the best way to prevent harm to health is precisely why prohibition is so compelling. It implicitly presumes that harm is the whole story, the start and end of the entire moral discussion. From there you only have to be a bit of an authoritarian with a lot of power, and prohibition is an obvious and natural step, both as something you genuinely think will work, and cynically know will gain you popular support.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Same situation as the reaction to the Paris atrocities - populist disinterested politicians in charge lash out as it's easy and they assume it'll make them look good, but all it does is intensify the problem/s. The drug war has been a ridiculous snafu since its inception, your reporting on it continues to show that the country suffers from a grave lack of humanity here (as it does in so many other areas). As far as I can see nothing to choose between the parties, all too populist but blind to actual people.

    http://www.nytimes.com/live/paris-attacks-live-updates/victims-husband-tells-terrorists-i-will-not-give-you-the-gift-of-hate as highlighted by Colin James ColinJames@synapsis.co.nz

    Antoine Leiris, whose wife was killed when gun-wielding militants invaded a crowded concert hall in Paris, has this message for the killers: “I will not give you the gift of hate.”

    Mr. Leiris, a journalist for France Bleu, a network of local and regional radio stations, met his wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, 12 years ago, and has been left to raise their toddler son, Melvil, on his own.

    Of the 129 people killed during the attacks on Friday, 89 died at the Bataclan concert hall, where Ms. Muyal-Leiris had been attending a rock concert.

    In a moving tribute on Facebook that had been viewed more than 90,000 times by Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Leiris said he would not allow his grief to turn into hatred.

    Addressing the attackers, he wrote: “You won’t have my hate. On Friday night you took the life of someone exceptional, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but I will not hate you. I do not know who you are and I do not want to know. You are dead inside. If the God for whom you blindly kill really made us in his image, then each bullet in my wife’s body is a wound to his heart.”

    He went on: “So I will not give you the gift of hate. Even though it is what you were hoping for, responding to hatred with anger would be to fall to the same ignorance that made you the people that you are. You want me to be scared, to distrust my fellow citizens, and to sacrifice my liberty for security. I will play on.”

    Mr. Leiris said he had seen his wife’s body after the massacre, after waiting for several days. “She was as beautiful as she was when she left on Friday night, as beautiful as when I fell forever in love with her more than 12 years ago,” he wrote.

    “Of course I am devastated by grief, I will concede you that small victory, but that will not last long. I know that she will watch over us always and that, one day, we will meet again in that paradise of free souls where you will never be admitted.”

    He ended on a note of optimism. “Now it’s just the two of us, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. In fact, I do not have any more time to waste on you, I need to go and get Melvil, who is waking up from his nap. He is only 17 months old, he will eat his afternoon tea as always and then we will go and play as always, and this little boy’s entire life will be an affront to you by being happy and free. For he will not hate you either.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    I suspect your post may have been intended for another thread Graham as it doesn't make a lot of sense in this context.

    While the continuing widespread use of synthetics is an important issue, it's interesting to note that neither the Herald or Stuff appear to have any coverage of the 3D story today. I guess more trivial gossip from The Block is deemed to be more relevant to their target audiences.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • david westcot,

    `Yup. I’d go further and say that it’s both a health problem and a human right, like any number of ways to harm yourself that abound in society But I’m not going to hold my breath that even quite switched on people will grasp this, so long have we been under prohibition, so normalized has it become.` Ben is right on the money. The reality of drug policy in this country is an absolutely gobsmacking hypocrisy ! That we have on the one hand: alchohol class A/B drug - a pleasant enough inebriant with a few under the belt but a potential trainwreck of a high when pissed for the 1 in 4 drinkers who are regular bingers - fully embraced ,industrially produced & marketed, entwined with our cultural pinnacle rugby , politically untouchable despite a tsunami of 100% proven,serious personal , social & medical harms. On the other hand we have the popular low harm drugs [ I`m sure everyone reading this website is familiar with the ISCD Nutt & Blakemore et al harm rankings as used in the law commissions MOD review ] cannabis , MDMA, & the classic psychedelics, possession or supply of which to a friend can/will see you thrown in a cage no questions asked for a good long vacation. Looks like 80 years of propaganda will take a very lengthy rewind.

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It'd look rather crass and hypocritical if Weldon and Christie ditch 3D, while at the same time going completely sunk-cost on what's left of Scout. Bonus points if they go cap in hand (again) to the Beehive.

    That story seems to have been pulled. The URL redirects to the base Entertainment page.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    I liked Graham's post and applied it to Peter Dunne.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.