Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We have to rethink the annual cannabis recovery operation – or at least honestly account for its cost

43 Responses

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  • andin, in reply to Sacha,

    Only if they are unreasonable or incorrect assumptions. If they are I stand chastised.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Sandra Coney,

    The problem that I have, Sandra, is that P/crystal meth appears to be linked to unsafe sex, domestic violence and other social dysfunctions. If people are using too much weed, is it possible that is attributable to neoliberal detox service cutbacks, and how would continuing prohibition actually assist these people to undertake remedial care? It's possible that liberalisation might encourage access to detox services. And surely liberalisation would come with an age of consent provision that would be more strictly enforced, whereas prohibition has no such protections and safeguards in place? Insofar as already existing large scale recreational substance industrialisation goes, shouldn't we be actively engaging in far greater restrictive regulation of alcohol than we currently are, given its harmful effects. which are far greater than those of cannabis? I do sympathise with your property concerns, but I cannot see how continued prohibition would rectify such behaviour. Surely you could invoke the Trespass Act in that context, anyway?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    And as a parent (albeit one of an adult child), I can relate to what this woman is saying. It looks like one of the concerns about cannabis regulation that we will need to face is the thorny question of developmental maturity and cannabis potency. To me, eighteen seems to be a reasonable age to draw the line, as it is the final year of high school, two years later than the sexual age of consent, and marks the onset of developed adult strategic reasoning skills and foresight about the consquences. Having said that, I'd support a minimum age of twenty, but only if the minimum age of liquor ingestion is raised to the same age. Alcohol is a far more dangerous drug.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Craig Young,

    I’d support a minimum age of twenty, but only if the minimum age of liquor ingestion is raised to the same age.

    An entirely reasonable idea, I just wonder how the liquor industry would like it. Not much I imagine with their work hat on, maybe a bit more with their caring parent hat on. A fragmented society breeds fragmented people hmmm.

    I was just looking at the figures in the post. The Stuff article reads 10000 plants while the police info request reads 9000 plants taken. But hey whats a 1000 plants between police report and blazing headline.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    It's probably, like many things 'in the diary', February is the month we send up the helicopters and go bush hunting for pot. Quite an exciting job and much more fun than pulling over drunk drivers. Unfortunately the net result is a de facto relationship with current 'big 'marijuana ' by keeping the price of black market pot artificially high.

    Since Mar 2010 • 377 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Boden, in reply to andin,

    An entirely reasonable idea, I just wonder how the liquor industry would like it. Not much I imagine with their work hat on, maybe a bit more with their caring parent hat on. A fragmented society breeds fragmented people hmmm.

    I was just looking at the figures in the post. The Stuff article reads 10000 plants while the police info request reads 9000 plants taken. But hey whats a 1000 plants between police report and blazing headline.

    The Law Commission recommended increasing the minimum age of purchase for alcohol to 20 years in 2010. This was roundly ignored during the discussions around "Alcohol Law Reform" in 2011, primarily due to industry pressure (I believe).

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    I wonder how much damage the fires in Nelson are doing to the pot operations? I imagine it's a bit tricky to get hold of a helicopter in Nelson right now. And the area that's burning isn't a huge dope area so there's no corresponding loss of crops.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1159 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Joe Boden,

    The Law Commission recommended increasing the minimum age of purchase for alcohol to 20 years in 2010. This was roundly ignored during the discussions around “Alcohol Law Reform” in 2011, primarily due to industry pressure (I believe).

    So experts in many fields, I would think, made a recommendation which they thought would benefit our society as a whole was just ignored because some business men didnt like it. As it would affect their industries "bottom line"?
    Now that, is some arseoholic thinking, right there.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Boden, in reply to andin,

    So experts in many fields, I would think, made a recommendation which they thought would benefit our society as a whole was just ignored because some business men didnt like it. As it would affect their industries "bottom line"?
    Now that, is some arseoholic thinking, right there.

    A lot of policy analysts were taken along for the ride by business, also. In 2011 I spoke to a group of policy analysts at the request of the Health Promotion Agency, and I told them flatly that the Alcohol Reform Bill would do almost no good because there were no reforms in it. They were not very pleased with my presentation that day.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to andin,

    I don't give a damn what the liquor industry thinks. If we're talking about a harm reduction and risk minimisation policy on drugs, why exempt alcohol from regulatory scrutiny? Isn't it hypocritical focusing this much attention on pot and negligible focus on alcohol, which is a far more problematic drug? The only anti-pot activist who's agreed with me is Bob McCoskrie, ironically enough. The others avoid the large hallucinatory pimk elephant in the room.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Craig Young,

    Me neither, just musing out loud.

    The only anti-pot activist who’s agreed with me

    Not for the same reasons I wager

    Joe

    A lot of policy analysts were taken along for the ride by business,

    Were there free drinks involved? ;-|

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Joe Boden,

    policy analysts

    A question Joe what are policy analysts and what do they do? I mean I guess I can figure it out from the name, which seems very self important and that they exist somewhere in the political food chain. But from the tale of your encounter with them, well, bullshit job comes to mind.

    If you wanted to make money out of cannabis you should have been a dealer 50 years ago. If the business pages are talking about it, its way too late.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen, in reply to andin,

    Policy Analysts come in many flavours - well-informed and diligent, arrogant and ignorant, well-meaning but overwhelmed, politically-aligned and blinkered, ambitious and self-serving, open-minded and creative etc. I have heard that MoH has a particularly virulent infection of ideologically-driven analysts with no experience or knowledge outside Treasury and ACT/BRT circles.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to andin,

    It'd be an interesting idea to quantify the harm caused by perfectly legal alcohol and compare it to decriminalised pot, wouldn't it? Has anyone undertaken what could be a potentially useful comparative exercise during overseas cannabis policy debates? It wouldn't be hard to get the information about booze's effects. It'd certainly rattle those who selectively focus on cannabis but not alcohol.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Craig Young,

    It’d be an interesting idea to quantify the harm caused by perfectly legal alcohol and compare it to decriminalised pot, wouldn’t it?

    Thats not a new idea. What you would find, is that they are completely different substances, that work differently on different people.

    If you're trying to make an argument that cannabis should be legal because alcohol causes more harm, why not just ban alcohol? But if you are talking about decriminalising pot because criminalising people for smoking pot is more harmful that smoking pot...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4086 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to st ephen,

    MoH has a particularly virulent infection of... ACT/BRT circles.

    I hope someone is working on a cure. Or is surgery the only answer?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Craig Young,

    selectively focus on cannabis but not alcohol.

    In every comparative study I've seen alcohol always comes in a poor second in all respects. Why do commentators selectively ignore that, I can only guess there are historical and cultural reasons to the blind acceptance that alcohol is just part of our societal landscape and beyond question. And my guess is the same goes for cannabis in the negative, all going back to the 'reefer madness' clips maybe.
    And with idiots like Duncan Garner around that will persist in his audience's minds.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1797 posts Report Reply

  • mildgreens, in reply to Russell Brown,

    . Many of the rest of them will largely have negative associations with it.

    Then they better go home and bin their Phillips cassettes, Vinyl, 8-Tracks, CD's and anything to do with Jazz.... oh and ask for some pretty heady knighthoods to be cancelled. Oh, and also anything with a big red VIRGIN written on it.

    And if that isn't enough, if you don't use cannabis, statistically, two or more of your neighbours has.

    christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

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