Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Synthetics: We need to stop calling it cannabis

19 Responses

  • Simon Armstrong,

    Surely all recreational drug use is detrimental to the health and well being of the individual with perhaps the exception of reggae musicians. Until New Zealand society finds a way to turn around our mental health and child welfare statistics which makes our situation IMHO incomparable to any other country in the western world, liberalising our drug laws strikes me and I suspect many other citizens as reckless and neglectful.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Cannabis,loathe it or love it you can't ignore it.
    Keeping it illegal hasn't helped has it?
    Best to regulate and treat any issues as a health problem and not a law and order election posture I'd have thought.
    Perhaps if it had been legal and controlled our synthetic problem wouldn't have occurred almost certainly not to the same extent.
    As for hand wringing over child welfare and mental health how about the elephant in room warning re social harm, alcohol.
    The lowering of the drinking age working out ok for you?
    The treatment of cannabis with punitive sanctions has allowed criminal elements to thrive and given them the opportunity to go on to supply other far more harmful products cos it's all illegal anyway.
    The misinformation in regard of it's harms has caused a credibility issue when authorities speak about other drugs.
    I'm not saying that there are no issues regarding cannabis use but they are not as bad as has been stated ( reefer madness, for Christs sake! ) and using the law will not help with this.
    In effect the best way to deal with cannabis is to open it up and deal honestly with it and not make it illegal and have the cops and courts as the first line of control.
    It's here and it isn't going away.

    Since Apr 2010 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    The current laws around recreational drugs have been around for decades and are clearly a failure by any measure.

    Surely continuing with prohibition is the more reckless option.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    I disagree, I think original synthetics law established a new baseline for failure.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Because language matters and guides choices – we saw that in action when the most recent attempt at a New Zealand Drug Harm Index farcically grouped natural cannabis and synthetics together under the single heading “cannabinoids”, despite acknowledging that they were actually different things.

    Thats what makes your work so important Russell. You are really good at weeding out these misunderstandings.

    I also notice the Drug Harm Index didn’t explicitly talk about being remanded or sentenced to prison as a drug harm.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Great piece. Really gets my goat this use of the word cannabis. It really does matter.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    We aren't talking about legalizing synthetics though.
    The cat is out of the bag as far as synthetics are concerned and the main issue is the health effects which illegality is not addressing.
    The evidence for dealing with these harms points to openness not lock them up and ineffective posturing.

    The old saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results springs to mind.

    Since Apr 2010 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to steven crawford,

    weeding out these misunderstandings

    *applause*

    Drug Harm Index didn’t explicitly talk about being remanded or sentenced to prison as a drug harm

    If so, that's quite an omission!

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1885 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    all recreational drug use is detrimental to the health and well being of the individual

    I look forward to your campaign against alcohol. Good luck with that.
    (Speaking as a non-user, I’d still quite like to hear more NZ reggae though, so this seems one of the rare cases where other people’s drug use could impact me positively. I’m not exactly seeing a problem here.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1885 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    I feel bad for being so off topic.

    I did like the recent term douche flute for vaporiser. Perhaps synthetics / fake marijuana are deserving of an equally derisive term?

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Surely all recreational drug use is detrimental to the health and well being of the individual

    That kind of logic would make any puritan proud, and wrong. We all need to relax (recreate as you say) one way or another. Do you want to be the one telling people how to do that? Watching sport isnt my idea of recreating/relaxing.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1878 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    To what extent is the problem synthetics, and to what extent is it synthetics and polydrug use?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 547 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Craig Young,

    Whats a polydrug?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to steven crawford,

    If “polydrug use” is simultaneous use of multiple drugs, possibly as one product combining several drugs … then presumably at least some synthetics are reaching the market as ingredients of such mixtures, so a clear distinction might be difficult to maintain.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1885 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to linger,

    I look forward to your campaign against alcohol.

    Or for that matter the campaign against caffeine, or theobromine or….

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Shakungrover,

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    India • Since Jul 2019 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    Whats a polydrug?

    Kava?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7880 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    As Linger said above, polydrug use " is simultaneous use of multiple drugs, possibly as one product combining several drugs", although I used it in the sense of additional drugs apart from synthetics. My point was, what if it is the admixture of those substances that creates the problem? And have the producers of new substances adequately subjected their products through clinical and field tests to ascertain risk and potential toxicity beforehand?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 547 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Big, its the tall green FE with front opening. I have the electric one foot cube, but I wasn’t planning on selling it.

    PS: that's what happens when you try multitasking on screen. That was supposed to be a text message answering a question about a Kiln.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

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