Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Too Good to Be True

217 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    __My point was that we, surely, only to be "protected" from a minority of the people and those should be the most dangerous rather than the most unpopular.__

    Well, various drugs that are currently illegal (and legal as well), are to a lesser or greater extent, dangerous to self, or to others. But yes, very political.

    One of my problems with the communitarian Left, as exemplified to some extent by Tony Blair is its willingness to proscribe behaviours that are "harmful" to society, but which might actually be no more than inconvenient or annoying. ASBOs are a classic example: they allow the creation on demand of actual criminal offences.

    With respect to illicit drugs, the criminal sanction on, say, possessing LSD or psilocybin, is punitive and wrong. You can read The Doors of Perception as a lovely piece of writing, but if you try and replicate it, you risk a criminal conviction that could severely hamper your freedom of movement for the rest of your life.

    But legalising all drugs isn't any panacea. Any degree of social sanction of P would bring it to whole new bunches of people, 10% of whom would develop a real problem with it. And real problems with P are real problems.

    Ironically, methamphetamine as an illicit drug, and the eventual popularity of smoking the stuff, are a consequence of tighter restrictions on legally-prescribed (and, frankly, less harmful) amphetamines. The guy Kim Hill spoke to this morning about that was fascinating.

    Even now you have the stituation where where physics students take Ritalin to cram for exams, while poor folks make themselves crazy on P. It's all amphetamines. And it's really hard to regulate effectively.

    I was quite excited about the new "Class D" provision in the Misuse of Drugs Act, which permitted but regulated certain recreational drugs. It's just a shame the first candidate was BZP.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • Jill Reade,

    <quote>Perhaps I could suggest this Nice Hoodie for Jill Reade.</unquote>

    LOL. Actually it would be more efficient to put the smokers in them. They would get more bang for their buck and solve all the problems.

    Nowhere new or useful to go on this one so bowing out of this sideline.

    Since Jun 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    __Maybe the laws can be adjusted so that they cover 'irresponsible use of drugs', but you can't make laws based on what 'sensible people do'.__

    Of course you can. Liquor laws, for one. Drink sensibly: no problem. Drink and drive / public intoxication / serving minors, etc.: the law intervenes.

    That's not a good example. If our liquor laws were based on 'sensible people', then all the sensible people under 18 would be allowed to purchase and drink alcohol. And presumably all the irresponsible ones as well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The guy Kim Hill spoke to this morning about that was fascinating.

    He was wasn't he? JFK was a user. No wonder he didn't blink during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If I sit down next to you, and you don't like the smell, you are quite capable of moving, aren't you?

    Ironically, if I sat down next to you, and my dog did a big crap, and then I walked off and left it, I'm up for a $300 fine.

    But if you sit down and blow toxic fumes into my air, I have to move? Please.

    I'm with Jill. If you occupy a public space, you have the responsibility not to make it unpleasant for others. Most smokers are aware of that and are happy to inconvenience themselves out in the cold, considering the direction of the wind etc, while feeding their addiction.

    If you don't like that, don't remain addicted to such a pointless drug.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    That's not a good example. If our liquor laws were based on 'sensible people', then all the sensible people under 18 would be allowed to purchase and drink alcohol. And presumably all the irresponsible ones as well.

    Yes, it is. Underage drinking in itself constitutes non-sensible behaviour.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Ironically, if I sat down next to you, and my dog did a big crap, and then I walked off and left it, I'm up for a $300 fine.

    But if you sit down and blow toxic fumes into my air, I have to move? Please.

    Kyle, I meant the smell of smoke on the smoker . I would never sit down next to a stranger and start smoking. Can I help you down from that high horse?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Can I help you down from that high horse?

    Heh. I don't even smoke - never have - and virulent nonsmokers irritate the crap out of me. :) I'm not sure why they don't spend their time giving car drivers hell instead. I bet petrol fumes do us a zillion times more damage than some shivering smoker outside in the cold at a party, hiding their Terrible Shame from the Truebelievers. I suppose it's because nearly everyone is a driver, and it would be terribly inconvenient to shaft everyone they know based on this one character trait (unless you're Andrew, who seems to take a perverse joy in such things. Ha).

    In other words, to get all hippy for a moment, everyone needs to cut everyone else a little slack, man. </stoner>

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

  • Jackie Clark,

    In other words, to get all hippy for a moment, everyone needs to cut everyone else a little slack, man.

    Right on!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    But if you sit down and blow toxic fumes into my air, I have to move? Please.

    I'm with Jill. If you occupy a public space, you have the responsibility not to make it unpleasant for others.

    Don't wish to sound pedantic but most smokers in public places smoke in__ designated__ smoking friendly areas and therefore I think they should have all the due respect of any human being in those areas.Non smokers now have the advantage of preference to all indoors (other than my house cos I dont' mind) so whilst I don't begrudge a non smokers ability to sit in rooms full of BO and flu etc., I wish they would accept that the "my air" claim is null and void.Kyle, you don't own air.Its not yours so I figure , you may have to share it, so yes..Please.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Kyles right. He has a valid claim to clean fresh air.

    Article 25.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

    To argue that a human does not have a right to clean air has rather wider implications.

    Enforceable 3/6m distant from buildings/bus stops when smoking would be a start. Yep this would effectively ban smoking in public.

    Not sure if it's hypocracy, but like when my mates are drunk or smoking outside, I don't mind. It's the drunks & smokers that I don't know that piss me off.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I will continue to believe that those in the throes of nicotine addiction are unable to accept that their behaviour impinges on others and you will continue to believe that anyone that dares to say it does is poisonously self righteous

    Jill: I have cast my eye over the works of John Donne, including the line "No man is an island, entire of itself." My point is that, while its not my first preference, I live in the middle a large city and one of the trade offs is that I often have to share the place with people who "impinge" on me with their stench, shit dress sense, crass lack of social graces, stray viruses, dirt and noise pollution. That's not a bit of Tory camp, but a simple statement of reality. But something else conservatives are supposed to do is figure out how to live in the world as it is, not constantly scheme to remake it to entirely conform to our likings.

    As regular PAS know, I'm an alcoholic and my social life would be much more agreeable if so much social intercourse didn't revolve around booze. (Not forgetting that much of that alcoholic consumption takes place in crowded echo chambers where I can't hear a freaking thing, and end up feeling anxious and ill at ease.) Now, I scold to an Olympic-level on the horrendous economic and social effects of booze culture, and how unutterably boring I find most drunks since I sobered up. But here's a useful definition of a pluralistic, civil society: A place where irritation, boredom or active distaste doesn't quite tip over into blood before bedtime.

    Kyle said, "If you occupy a public space, you have the responsibility not to make it unpleasant for others." Well, that's entirely laudible but whose standard of 'unpleasant' obtains here? My world would be a much more pleasant place if it was much quieter and drier. But there you go, and here we all are.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Not sure if it's hypocracy, but like when my mates are drunk or smoking outside, I don't mind. It's the drunks & smokers that I don't know that piss me off.

    Yes, Shep, just as being brow-beaten by complete strangers in public places doesn't exactly put me in the running for the Miss Manners Seal of Approval. Funny that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Not sure if it's hypocracy, but like when my mates are drunk or smoking outside, I don't mind. It's the drunks & smokers that I don't know that piss me off.

    Yep that's hypocracy! :-) Also wanted to mention that for those who find cig smell unpleasant, we are very lucky to live in a country that does allow a daily shower and or washing of clothes frolicked around in said odour. I tend to opt for a daily solution and begin the day in the manner in which I choose to be acceptable for me,I therefore do not mind the smoker,the smelly person or the thousands of other people,dogs crapping,sick,etc.etc.Swings and roundabouts, snakes and ladders

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Hypocracy - Yeah kinda thought so.

    But as Kyle points out his dog crap can get him in some doo doo to the tune of $300.

    And flu epidemics will hit again. We are on record as saving a SARS out-break from happening, with one recorded case and the health system containing it.

    Be offended if someone sneezes on you, it might change behaviour & save lives when the big flu hits, as it surely will, again.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    "1 Heroin
    2 Cocaine
    3 Barbiturates
    4 Methadone
    5 Alcohol
    6 Ketamine
    7 Benzodiazepines
    8 Amphetamine
    9 Tobacco
    10 Buprenorphine
    11 Cannabis
    12 Solvents
    13 4-methylthioamphetamine
    14 LSD
    15 Methylphenidate (i.e. RitalinĀ®)
    16 Anabolic steroids
    17 Gamma 4-hydroxybutyric acid (depressant, "date-rape drug")
    18 Ecstasy
    19 Alkyl nitrites (nitrite inhalants, "poppers")
    20 Khat"

    Theres a reason why conservatives hate harm reduction, as you can see from the above list ranking common drugs from most harmful to least harmful. You can see that Alcohol is ranked as one of the most harmful, and tobacco isn't far behind, with cannabis and MDMA relatively low (MDMA in its unadulterated form is a VERY safe drug).

    The idea of a system based in harm would turn their industry on its head, and require a very big change in conservative thinking..

    The thing is most of us can handle booze relatively maturely, andmany people I know can handle all manner of other substances maturely as well, why on earth should they have to risk prison to do so?

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Theres a reason why conservatives hate harm reduction, as you can see from the above list ranking common drugs from most harmful to least harmful.

    This is the British expert committee list, isn't it? Caused quite a stink when it was published, but their reasoning was fairly explicit. Although I suspect the relatively high placing for cocaine and the low one for meth was to do with local conditions -- cocaine being ubiquitous in Britain and meth fairly rare: it'd reverse in New Zealand.

    MDMA in its unadulterated form is a VERY safe drug

    The death per dose is often said to be around one in a million, but that comes down sharply if you can eliminate risky behaviours (drinking too little or far too much fluid) and environments (badly overcrowded clubs).

    The study that showed neurological damage in rats eventually (and infamously) proved to have been accidentally conducted not with MDMA, but with methamphetamine.

    I always thought the Sydney police statement where they virtually begged people to neck an E rather than get drunk for New Year's Eve 2000 was a classic. It's not hard to understand their thinking there.

    But I'd still debate the prudence of using MDMA on a weekly basis for an extended period. I've seen people do that and they turned into idiots. The very long-term consequences of manipulating serotonin levels are unknown, but you could say the same thing about SSRIs, I guess.

    The thing is most of us can handle booze relatively maturely, andmany people I know can handle all manner of other substances maturely as well, why on earth should they have to risk prison to do so?

    We'd probably differ on P. Some people certainly handle that "relatively maturely" (although the neurotoxicity thing is hard to get around), but the proportion of people who really don't is just a bit too high.

    It's going to be interesting to see Matt Bowden pursue legitimate trials of methylone (ie: Ease) later this this year. I had a couple of really pleasant nights out on it, with friends, when it was legal. One nice thing: wine tasted lovely, but you could spend an hour yarning over a single glass. Again, there are questions over long-term toxicity, but it seems better in that respect than either MDMA or alcohol, and certainly meth.

    But, again, you never really get a good look at these things until Joe from the suburbs gets onto them ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    One nice thing: wine tasted lovely, but you could spend an hour yarning over a single glass.
    That sounds amazing, good luck to Matt Bowden. Anything would be better than yawning over a single glass, as per my usually embarrassing track record.

    You may not be demanding a lung transplant but you will probably want some tax payer funded pain relief if you are one of the people who end up with lung cancer and some hospice care unless you think that your family deserve having to watch you die and care for your every need as a reward for putting up with the costs and invasiveness of your smoking?

    Whoa girl ! Maybe, maybe not, who can say in advance ? I hear heroin available on prescription would be SO much cheaper and more pleasant than any pharmaceutical rubbish. I felt very sorry for both my parents who went through so many expensive legal drugs and their thoroughly awful side effects, all to no avail.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes, it is. Underage drinking in itself constitutes non-sensible behaviour.

    I suspect some other countries where 'underage' drinking is commonplace, and handled a lot more maturely than NZ's version might disagree.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I wish they would accept that the "my air" claim is null and void.Kyle, you don't own air.Its not yours so I figure , you may have to share it, so yes..

    Yes true, 'our' air. Which implies collective responsibility about what we put in it. We legislate what we put in petrol, what comes out of factories, but we allow tobacco companies to sell a toxin to people to puff it out. From a distance it's somewhat bizarre.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    We legislate what we put in petrol, what comes out of factories, but we allow tobacco companies to sell a toxin to people to puff it out. From a distance it's somewhat bizarre.

    FFS, Kyle, how about the fact we allow those merchants of death known as Fonterra to export their toxic animal fat, while we sit at home wringing our pudgy hands about the 'obesity epidemic', and the price of dairy products has become another source of middle-class angst.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    One thing I noticed when sitting at the pub ( with the smokers outside ,no Bo,no colds,flus,and decent good conversation ) was the wonderful aroma of chocolate. I had experienced this before in the UK and realised it was pipe smoke which was in(side) the pubs over there .Got me thinking about what annoys the non smoker.I suspect it is the smell .So, if tobacco smells like something that is popular ,would there be so many complaints? I don't smoke tobacco but would've happily had a puff of the pipe .that was being smoked next to me.If it smells good would you mind experiencing it?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It is very, very difficult to get precious about a smoker affecting your outdoor air quality if you live in Christchurch.

    I don't get the extreme aversion to the smell, I've always liked it. Tobacco, and especially cigar and pipe smoke. But I've also never noticed the smell of garlic as obnoxious, so maybe it's me. When my CFS was bad, printer's ink would make me physically ill. But I honestly feel that if you lined up all my friends, you couldn't tell which ones smoked by smell.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    FFS, Kyle, how about the fact we allow those merchants of death known as Fonterra to export their toxic animal fat

    Wait, you're comparing milk to cigarettes? Do you want to try that again?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Emma - You don't notice that toxic tang when someone comes in after smoking or you entre an empty lift that has just taken smokers back from injesting their cancer rockets?

    RNZs Kim Hill interview had it that all meth uses would get a psycosis with prolonged use.

    Of course with enough binge drinking you too could end up with grumpy oldman syndrome -ie Barry Corbett.

    Cocaine & Heroin I know nothing about, but have had aquantences relay stories. Carribian Coke is superior to the Mediteranian Coke apparently, I nod and wonder exactly what a hot 30yr sister of a friend has been doing for the past decade on luxury yachts. Great stories about Paris Hilton going commando & Naiomi Campbells 3 day binge party etc.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.