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Speaker: Towards a realistic drug policy

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  • Just thinking,

    Just a note mental health patients are at more risk of harm than of harming others.

    http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/ps;59/2/153

    Rich here is the conclusion from the abstract you linked.
    Conclusions The historical reasons for regarding personality disorders as fundamentally different from mental illnesses are being undermined by both clinical and genetic evidence. Effective treatments for personality disorders would probably have a decisive influence on psychiatrists' attitudes.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Adults don't have developing brains anymore, it's all downhill for us.

    [citation needed?]
    And then you'd have to rebut This
    The whole argument about harm is spurious, life itself is fatal. I would go on to suggest that reading "Your Views" was more detrimental to brain growth. in fact most "Entertainment" could fall into the same category. Just forget Cannabis completely and bundle it up with smoking anything else, cigarettes, pipes and cigars, tax it the same way, run quit lines the same way. I mean, geez, we used to get busted for a fag behind the bike sheds, now even teachers can't do it.
    You cant even have a beer on the beach in most places now, why should pot be any different ?
    Why should someone loose their job over smoking one plant over another? How come Office parties are virtually encouraged to be fuelled by C2H5OH rather than C11H15NO2 ?
    All these questions and more folks.
    I generally reserve a big Fuck Off for those that tell me how to live my life and this is no exception.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Steven, you can drink in the sea though. Transporting alcohol through a banned area unopened is legal. You transport it off the beach (that's up to your knees in the sea) and enjoy.
    Cans or kegs please as glass breaks.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I said *some* psychiatrists. I have no opinion on the correctness of that view, or of the law that relies on it.

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

  • webweaver,

    unbelievable. I just spent the last hour wring a HUGE-ass response to this thread and... I lost it. BUGGER!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    If we got rid of booze in supermarket shelves and 24-hour liquor stores, on the other hand, I doubt there would be a sudden proliferation of sly groggers and illegal stills.

    I would beg to differ on that opinion, it would happen almost overnight. I, for one, would see to it.
    ;-)

    By being a particular type of psychopath.

    Yes, a non mentally ill psychopath I guess.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    [citation needed?]

    Umm, I thought it was relatively uncontroversial. But this PhD seems convinced:

    http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/healthissues/1127400726.html

    Cornell and Rochester University say the same thing:

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=10&ved=0CDEQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.actforyouth.net%2Fdocuments%2Fmay02factsheetadolbraindev.pdf&ei=m0FNS--kEo7WsQPxv4nUAw&usg=AFQjCNFvIQOgIzpVMbhcT8EZfBbhOSA_Cg&sig2=NQsuIujAz3nx2sd4ZfkJ1w

    ie, 21 - 22 years old.

    And then you'd have to rebut This

    Well for that you should talk to a scientist. The idea that children shouldn't be given alcohol, marijuana in order to protect their brain development didn't seem controversial to me.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    unbelievable. I just spent the last hour wring a HUGE-ass response to this thread and... I lost it. BUGGER!

    Well it's not legal yet webweaver. shhh ;)

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    unbelievable. I just spent the last hour wring a HUGE-ass response to this thread and... I lost it. BUGGER!

    Yeah, that short term memory loss is a bugger eh?
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Kyle, I think you missed my point. Harm reduction is not the driving force behind "The War On Drugs" and using it as an excuse to criminalise behaviour is not on in my book.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    the former Seattle Police Chief, Norm Stamper.

    Where do they get these names (let's go out and stamp on some norms!)??

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Because I'm a nerd, I tried to verify the the "all New Zealand mass murderers used cannabis" contention. I really couldn't.

    Even if you exclude all the pre-cannabis-era mass murders, it doesn't stand up.

    Claims about David Grey's cannabis use as a factor in his actions seem to to come solely from Tom Scott's Great Brain Robbery book -- no one else mentions it. And although I've met Tom since I wrote a scathing review of that book, and like him, my view that the book is staggeringly inaccurate is unchanged. That may be where JT's source's info came from, though.

    And then you have the Schlaepfer Family massacre in 1992 in Paerata -- Brian Schlaepfer, 64, systematically killed his extended family, leaving only his nine year-old grand-daughter. Schlaepfer suffered from depression, but there's no suggestion he had ever used cannabis.

    It's probably a safe bet that all NZ mass murderers had used alcohol, but that would be a correlation, not a cause.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If we got rid of booze in supermarket shelves and 24-hour liquor stores, on the other hand, I doubt there would be a sudden proliferation of sly groggers and illegal stills.

    I would beg to differ on that opinion, it would happen almost overnight. I, for one, would see to it.
    ;-)

    We've got data on that puppy. In the decades of extremely restrictive licensing laws in New Zealand, we became pretty much the world's champion home brewers. It was legal to brew your own beer (but not distill, iirc) and we did. Foreigners remarked on it.

    That spirit was in play when the Mr Asia syndicate was shut down and heroin got really hard to get: enter homebake. And my guess is that we've made more methamphetamine from store-bought medicines than most countries have.

    We are a practical, if not always wise, people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    We are a practical, if not always wise, people.

    Justine denies this, but I swear that once it came to buy a new fridge and she ventured, "I could make one".

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • John Fouhy,

    It's probably a safe bet that all NZ mass murderers had used alcohol, but that would be a correlation, not a cause.

    I bet most of them were exposed to weetbix as children too!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If we got rid of booze in supermarket shelves and 24-hour liquor stores, on the other hand, I doubt there would be a sudden proliferation of sly groggers and illegal stills.

    I think you might get alcoholics buying up during opening hours. Or driving drunk to the wholesaler because they couldn't get booze at the dairy.

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

  • Just thinking,

    Russell are you standing firm on smoking pot reduces your risk of cancer?

    And what of the mental health risks inherant with cannabis, gonna acknowledge any of those?

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I bet most of them were exposed to weetbix as children too!

    On the other hand, Stephen Anderson, the Raurimu murderer, was a heavy cannabis user, although it's hard to know what impact that had vs his abandonment of of his medication.

    Schizophrenia sufferers often seem to choose to self-medicate with cannabis. Does anyone know why they would choose that, and whether it always ends badly?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Here's one view:

    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/176/4/345

    Edit: Conclusion Substance misuse has been shown consistently to be a significant risk factor for violence and disturbed behaviour. Future research should try to evaluate possible pharmacological and psychosocial treatment approaches.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And what of the mental health risks inherant with cannabis, gonna acknowledge any of those?

    We're going to warn the kids about those for sure, given the high family risk. It may well be that alcohol is safer for them until they're in their thirties. But that's hardly the case for the general population, now, is it?

    Here's one view:

    Actually, that one puts cannabis below alcohol. Do you even read the stuff you link?

    The comorbidity of schizophrenia and substance misuse has attracted considerable attention in recent years (Mueser et al, 1992a; Soyka et al, 1993; Smith & Hucker, 1994). A review of Mueser et al (1990) on 32 studies published so far showed lifetime prevalence estimates of: 12.3-50% for alcohol misuse and/or dependence; 12.5-35.8% for cannabis misuse; 11.3-31% for misuse/dependence of stimulants; 5.7-15.2% for hallucinogens; 3.5-11.3% for sedatives; and 2-9% for opioids.

    Go opioids! Might have to rethink what we're planting in the vege garden this year.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Through completely unscientific methods, based on dealing with 300-400 students a year.

    Indeed, there are a number of obvious flaws in assuming from your observations that cannabis use damages students progress in university:
    - The students will have different levels of compliance with authority, which is likely to be reflected both in their work and in their choice to use drugs.
    - The staff may (subconsciously) regard certain students as useless stoners and give them less attention than more straight-edged kids
    - Only students with "problem" drug use come to your attention. There is quite likely to be a large body of drug users that do not have problems and are not perceived as being drug users at all.

    (I could point to the fact that nearly all the PhDs I know use drugs, as an equally unscientific sample).

    Since you are supporting the restriction of personal liberty, shouldn't that be based on rigorous science?

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

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    cannawater on the supermarket shelf? marijuagum from the bottleshop? article in viva with the best cookie recipes?

    I reckon marijuana honey might be worth researching. If it's half as good as manuka honey, you'd be quids in there.

    As for the cannabis mass murder theme, its origins may be in the 1963 Bassett Road murders. Redmer Yska's excellent history of marijuana in this country, New Zealand Green, has this to say on the matter in Chapter 6:

    "The presence of marijuana in Auckland's notorious Bassett Road machine-gun murders at the end of 1963 later resurrected all the Anslinger-era cautionary tales of reefer madness."

    It goes on to describe how the murders came about, and how John Gilles shared a marijuana cigarette with a short order cook sometime around midnight. The chapter concludes:

    "At the time it was a minor footnote to the sensational newspaper coverage, but within two years the Bassett Road reefer would assume murderous proportions."

    And therein starts an urban legend. You'll probably find that all NZ mass murderers had eaten Marmite before their infamy. Trace elements of Bell Tea might have been discovered in their cupboards.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell are you standing firm on smoking pot reduces your risk of cancer?

    It wasn't my claim at all. Stephen pointed to a population study that that found that could be the case, but didn't find a strong association between lung cancer and cannabis smoking. Other studies seem to have agreed and disagreed, as Ross's notes say.

    And what of the mental health risks inherant with cannabis, gonna acknowledge any of those?

    I actually thought I did. It's worth noting that there's a reasonably well established genetic influence there: there are some people whose risk of psychosis is significantly increased by smoking cannabis.

    I'm really not saying that cannabis is harmless. But I think it's worth being accurate as to the risks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    There is some evidence that people with a genetic susceptibility to the
    schizophrenia illnesses can precipitate them by using cannabis. And, if you are taking meds for any one of a number of mental illnesses, using cannabis as well doesnt do you any good at all...

    The sites Russell listed seem good to this layperson-

    and, while I support decriminalisation of cannabis, I'd also support limiting purchase to 18 & over. And making sure the penalties for driving under its influence as harsh as they are for alcohol. (Actually, I'd like to see much harsher penalties for recidivist users of both intoxicants.)

    But what really nterests me is *why* we have such a lousy drinking culture: some sane & probable reasons are given upthread. I'd add the widespread effects of wars (from Land to ongoing): there is a *lot* of pain in ANZ-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    I'd agree with Russell and Islander - I've been told the same thing by mental health professionals taking care of someone I knew.

    (Edited to be more discreet).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

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