Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: UMR: Medpot and the public

38 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment Attachment Attachment

    Here are those slides again, so you can embiggen them for easier reading.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    And, importantly, the slide on methodology.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Cameron Price,

    It's worth noting that for an overwhelming majority of cannabis users, their use is de facto decriminalised.

    Last year there were just 2,840 convictions for possession and/or use of cannabis. Compare that with the estimated 400,000 people who used cannabis in the last 12 months. Less than 1% of cannabis users in New Zealand are convicted in any given year.

    So anyone who wants to stick with the status quo is fooling themselves: if you support criminalisation of cannabis, then you should campaign for the police and the courts to arrest and convict far more users than they currently do. If you support the status quo, then you essentially support decriminalisation.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2016 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Cameron Price,

    It’s worth noting that for an overwhelming majority of cannabis users, their use is de facto decriminalised.

    This is true. The police have basically begun to unilaterally practice decriminalisation, because the politicians are too scared to do it.

    The problem is that this kindness does not appear to be spread evenly. If you're young and brown-skinned, you're more likely to be charged.

    And the people growing a few plants for themselves in their backyards in the Waitakeres (some of them for medical purposes, anecdotally) are still copping it. The police can't undertake the very expensive annual cannabis recovery operation and not charge people. That would be awkward.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Cameron Price, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Totally agree. The policy of police decriminalisation by stealth makes the law even more unfair for the very unfortunate few who do still get pinged. Especially because they're often people who are the least able to protect themselves against police discretion, as you say. The police wouldn't dare arrest Helen Kelly, despite the fact she's been quite open about her use. But some poor random is fair game. That shows how messed up the law is. And while it's good that decriminalisation is a reality for most users, there won't be justice until it's a reality for all.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2016 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Cameron Price,

    I could not have put it better, Cameron.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Checkpoint report, story and audio.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This set-piece between Kevin Hague and Peter Dunne in Question Time today – and lets face it, they both know what's going on – is pretty awesome.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Since 58% of Wellingtonians support legal weed, can't we have it just for us, with some sort of pass system to stop people from other areas coming to buy it?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    some sort of pass system

    A tax on buyers from other regions would do nicely.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    just ask if they want a single shot

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    At least this'll make it easier to decriminalise medipot as a first step- that is, when NORML and ALCP get real about reform and stop faffing around doing civil disobedience in defence of recreational use instead getting medical use penalties off the statute books first. Why does New Zealand have such useless pot lobby groups?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Young,

    I'd be much more optimistic about Norml with Chris Fowlie back at the helm than ALCP, who seem determined to pick the wrong fights. But I do think their cause is being helped by others entering the debate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Corin H, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    some sort of pass system

    A tax on buyers from other regions would do nicely.

    In Colorado, buyers from outside the state can only purchase 1/4 oz at a time whereas residents can buy 1 oz.

    Colorado model seems to be working the best so far in US states that have legalised. Think this is because recreational retail system was based upon a pre-existing and well functioning medical retail system. And age restrictions are enforced with far greater rigour than with alcohol, you can't even walk into a pot retail establishment without providing ID.

    A similar model supported by the lessons learned from the Psychoactive Substances debacle is probably the best path forward for NZ.

    Since Jan 2007 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Corin H,

    Colorado model seems to be working the best so far in US states that have legalised. Think this is because recreational retail system was based upon a pre-existing and well functioning medical retail system.

    Yep, I think this is very much why. They were already doing things like bar-coding and tracking seedlings, so they had a working system for monitoring supply and distribution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I had heard that Police Association president Greg O'Connor was going to make an outright call for drug legalisation and regulation, but he seems to have lost his nerve at the last moment. Still, interesting ...

    Association president Greg O'Connor told Morning Report that any liberalisation of drug laws needed to recognise that you cannot decouple drug use from the dealers.

    He distinguished between the approaches taken in the Netherlands and the US state of Colorado, saying only the latter had tackled supply. He argued that simple tolerance adopted in the Netherlands did nothing to regulate drug dealers.

    "If you are going to liberalise our drug laws you have to have a look at Colorado which is probably a better model than the Netherlands" he said.

    However Mr O'Connor has refused to say whether or not he supported the adoption of a Colorado-style approach in New Zealand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    While it’s good to hear O’Connor supporting the Colorado approach, he gets away with claiming that…

    …people would use more drugs if the law was liberalised…

    "So you get the worst of both worlds, where you get all the increased use, but you don’t decrease the damage to society.

    But he fails to provide a shred of evidence to back up that sweeping statement, when in fact the Amsterdam experiment has proved exactly the opposite. Despite weed being quasi-legal in that country since 1976, the number of young people who choose to smoke is less than in any other European country. As an example, the rate of marijuana use in France is twice that of the Netherlands.

    Right winger Larry Williams takes this myth to a whole new level.

    If its legal, it’s cheaper, and it stands to reason more drugs will be consumed, more young people will experiment. It follows that more consumption means more addicts, and more crime.

    Sadly, the best Labour have come up with is "Don’t know". Doh!

    Once again, I hope that the media don’t seize on these uninformed comments and turn them into fact. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Larry Williams is not the only person who is happy to ignore facts and go along with his gut feeling. When Colorado proposed legalising recreational sales back in 2012, a local sheriff made this prediction.

    “Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere,” Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said in 2012. “I think our entire state will pay the price.”

    Happily, actual stats from Denver disprove the myth that legalisation leads to more crime. In fact they show that…

    * There has been no increase in criminal activity
    * Violent crime is down 3%
    * Property crime is down more than 11%

    Then there’s the other side of the ledger.

    For August, Colorado collected $11.2 million in recreational taxes and fees and $2.0 million in medical taxes and fees, bringing the 2015 cumulative revenue total to nearly $86.7 million. In 2014, total marijuana revenue was $76.2 million.

    There’s a bunch of official Revenue Dept spreadsheets here for anyone who wants to dig deeper.

    So tell me Larry, when your gut speaks to you, what does it use for a mouth?


    Confession: I’ve shamelessly stolen the last line from Scott Adams – Dilbert

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    Right winger Larry Williams takes this myth to a whole new level.

    If its legal, it’s cheaper, and it stands to reason more drugs will be consumed, more young people will experiment. It follows that more consumption means more addicts, and more crime.

    Like most of his talk radio brethren, Larry Williams doesn’t know shit. Legal pot in Colorado is in most cases more expensive than the illicit.

    And, as you note, the rest of his “common sense” brainfart isn’t any better. It’s like these guys are paid to be ignorant.

    Update: I've read the whole column. Sweet Jesus. It's almost an achievement to be that wildly, consistently wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I liked Ross Bell of the Drug Foundation on Morning Report (I think) yesterday. The argument that the more harmful the drug, the stronger the need for health assistance to the user, the stronger the argument for decriminalisation (or legalisation) so that the best help can be got to the right people.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Legal pot in Colorado

    Notwithstanding the positives, wasn't there a scenario in which commercial interests run marketing campaigns that basically align pot with booze, which not only thrives on addiction, but addiction among youngsters?

    Can't see myself voting for that in a hurry.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    wasn't there a scenario in which commercial interests run marketing campaigns

    This is in there with the "Philip Morris is just waiting for it to be legal!" camp. Experience shows that these scenarios have little to no basis in reality. Alcohol is already marketed to kids, whether deliberately, with alco-pops and the like, or by osmosis from parents, older siblings, television, films - in fact, our society in general.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Update: I’ve read the whole column. Sweet Jesus. It’s almost an achievement to be that wildly, consistently wrong.

    Larry really is trying a bit too hard to be Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly.

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

  • Lisa Black,

    From the NZ Law Society website:

    Major developments around the world in cannabis decriminalisation and legalisation along with the growing medical marijuana business has resulted in the establishment of a website devoted to cannabis law.

    Cannabis Law Report has the objective of reporting on the law and regulation of cannabis worldwide. It has been established by a group of legal publishers.

    The site offers a mix of free and subscription material. It includes reports on the medical marijuana debate in New Zealand.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lisa Black,

    From the NZ Law Society website:

    This is part of how momentum gathers. The researchers are interested, the doctors are interested, the lawyers are interested. The politicians can't refuse to discuss it for ever.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.