Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Stop acting like the law is someone else's responsibility

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  • Worik Stanton, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    I recently watched the Ken Burns documentary miniseries on Prohibition. What was very interesting about it was all the unintended consequences of those laws and how that played out. Various commentators in that series may have overstated their views but the criminalisation of alcohol was said to have created many of the organised crime in the U.S at the time.

    I think it is worthwhile to point out that the prohibition of alcohol in the USA in 1920 was effectively "decriminalised". That is private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal, under federal law. It was the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcohol which was criminalised.

    Which is what "decriminalisation" advocates wish for here with regards for cannabis.

    Otepoti • Since Nov 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Cannib annoyed...
    Mike Yardley (Chchch's own Mike Hosking clone) weighs in with a highly emotive and ham-fisted rant against legalisation in The Press - comments were turned off about 2 hours after the article was posted - hardly fair...
    see:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/83410482/mike-yardley-legalising-cannabis-not-in-the-public-interest

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7771 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    While it's great that public opinion is shifting rapidly, Fairfax seems to have made the decision to sit on the wrong side of this debate. Apart from the nonsensical Yardley rave, they also have a self-penned “Stuff Nation” (read amateur) piece today from a self-publicising US narcotics cop, telling kiwis that in his opinion, changing the law here would be a grave mistake and the sky will immediately fall.

    Mind you, the Herald published a piece from Yardely’s mentor Hosking the other day (I won’t link to anything from him) expressing similarly arrogant sentiments.

    With the MSM wheeling out the usual nutters, it’s like the obvious successes of Colorado, Portugal et al never happened.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    Apart from the nonsensical Yardley rave, they also have a self-penned “Stuff Nation” (read amateur) piece today from a self-publicising US narcotics cop, telling kiwis that in his opinion, changing the law here would be a grave mistake and the sky will immediately fall.

    Graves is basically channelling pro-prohibition campaigner Kevin Sabet, almost word-for-word in some cases. I have no time for Kevin Sabet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Worik Stanton,

    Which is what “decriminalisation” advocates wish for here with regards for cannabis.

    Sorta. I certainly wouldn’t reject decriminalisation – which means a bunch of different things anyway – as an incremental step. I frequently come back to civil unions > marriage equality as a comparison.

    The intriguing thing is that what people did in response to Prohibition has fed into what might turn out to be a very good model for legal cannabis – cannabis social clubs. In Europe, they offer legal supply and distribution (and choice, which is important) without the perils of commercialisation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Mike Yardley (Chchch's own Mike Hosking clone) weighs in with a highly emotive and ham-fisted rant against legalisation...

    Yardley generally manages to sing from the same hymnal as the Herald's John Roughan. A while back their opinion pieces - talking up e-cigarettes, spruiking offshore oil exploration - appeared so tightly synched that you could've been forgiven for assuming that the same folks had been shouting them lunch at the same places.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4586 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Attachment

    The intriguing thing is that what people did in response to Prohibition has fed into what might turn out to be a very good model for legal cannabis – cannabis social clubs. In Europe, they offer legal supply and distribution (and choice, which is important) without the perils of commercialisation.

    Yes but cannabis clubs are more likely to meet with outdoor activitys, rather than jazz music.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4046 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to steven crawford,

    I don't think I could ever ingest enough THC to make me take up nude rock-climbing...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2909 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to nzlemming,

    Just another way of getting high?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1834 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    how awesome is it to be a pakeha in Aotearoa New Zealand?

    Even better to be Pakeha. Will leave macron bonus for others but any ethnicity deserves Caps.

    I didn’t have the energy at the time, but to be clear, pakeha is as intended; used in a multicultural rather than a bicultural sense. As in:

    (in New Zealand) a person who is not of Māori ancestry, esp a White person

    Perhaps tauiwi would have been clearer, but given its lack of currency in English, I had hoped that the lack of capitalisation in that context might have been adequate to distinguish it from the capitalised ethnicity, as in:

    Both the Governor and the Queen will be well pleased to hear of your opposing Heke, and so will all the pakeha people.

    Similar to the way we are accustomed to distinguishing between China and china, Welsh and welsh, Swede and swede, German and german, Mongol and mongol etc.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2268 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mark taslov,

    I for one have never seen welsh or german written without caps.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19573 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    Ruefully taking a string from a warden’s bow; I’m prepared to accept that you had (past perfect tense) never seen welsh or german written without caps, I likewise had not seen them written without caps until I encountered (simple past ) them in the dictionary while I was writing (past continuous) the post above. I’m absolutely confident that we have (present perfect tense) both seen them now.

    I despise correcting native speakers language use given that languages are communal – despite the best efforts of prescriptivists to centralise them – their evolutions in freer societies are largely driven by the proles – that and the fact that efforts to disrupt communication for the explicit purpose of correction seldom occur due to a lack of intelligibility but oftentimes in spite of it.

    I do see where you’re coming from Sacha with regards to Pākehā, and I’m certain that what you are saying will be swallowed without a squeak at primary schools, however as a cack-hander I’m ruefully aware of the way language has been historically exploited as a tool to impose conformity, and personally I’m reluctant to value it as anything less than a means of expression.

    We have been trained to accept the rationalisation behind the imperative to reformat an exclusively oral language into a written language, this largely being cast as a progress for primitives; a mission of civilising and integration, unfortunately we’ve never quite managed to do so without repurposing the intrinsic function of the language itself, colonising it.

    This advocacy of the macron by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – which is after all just another autonomous crown entity – is one more notch in colonialism’s belt. Given the advances in AV technology which had occurred prior to the establishment of this crown entity in 1987 and moreover given the uniformity in the way the Maori language had previously been alphabeticised, I find the decision to further accessorise Maori, sorry Māori language oddly condescending to its native users who by definition will for the most part pick up the language orally. This is especially evident when compared to the widespread irregularities we seem equipped to parse in both the spellings and pronunciation of English words. Furthermore given that the crown entity is not the English but the Māori Language Commission, their brief and dictates don’t carry much weight across languages. Given the tendency in English to discard these types of modifiers I remain undecided as to whether imposing these macrons onto commonly used loan words in English usage is either another facade or perhaps a façade of cultural unity. Ultimately, as with all things, one hopes pragmatism prevails.

    I appreciate that linguistic imperialism is essential in sciences, academia, industry and the like, but in an informal context, the impetus to misascribe, manipulate or police the intentions, formatting and inherent meaning in the language use of others is not entirely dissimilar to our authoritarian tendency to recharacterise and reframe the intentions, functions and uses of human beings and by proxy everything we might perceive: nature – as a means of consolidating power. As such, I have found your responses astutely appropriate and meticulously pointed in the context of an article related to ‘the war on drugs’, I say this sincerely, not having ventured to ask for clarification as to whether this was your intention or not. If I did have a question though, it would be; what agenda does our “secular” government-owned national broadcaster have in disseminating Christian doctrine in the form of It Is Written on TV2 from 4:15-45 every Monday?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2268 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mark taslov,

    Perhaps tauiwi would have been clearer

    to me, but fair point in general

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19573 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mark taslov,

    what agenda does our “secular” government-owned national broadcaster have in disseminating Christian doctrine

    They have been run as a commercial broadcaster for many years, so if any organisation showers them with cash they will broadcast pretty much anything. Even Density Church at one stage.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19573 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    But this is Little’s view, and it seems an honestly held one, and so we know what we have to do convince him of to change his mind

    I agree Tom, as I see it, any legislation that might impact how confident patients might feel about openly discussing all aspects of our health with a GP is a compounded health issue.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2268 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    So would these come under the ASA or the BSA?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2268 posts Report Reply

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