Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Ross Bell,

    Boden FINAL.pdf

    There’s an editorial in the NZ Medical Journal today, and it’s not very good. So some questions for the researcher who wrote it (who also comments on Public Address):

    In this very thread!

    We’re talking about Joe Boden’s cannabis editorial for the New Zealand Medical Association Journal – which is being widely reported today – and at first glance I think there’s a problem there: the key research he quotes (Hasin) has very little to say about the impact of *legalisation* in the US.

    The trends the editorial observes, some of which should be of concern, aren’t attributed to recreational cannabis legalisation. Some are attributed to permissive medicinal cannabis laws, or took place under decriminalisation. And yet Joe *recommends* decriminalisation as a safer step.

    On the other hand, youth use is either stable or falling in *all legalised states*. It could be that half-pie measures like decriminalisation actually aren’t as effective as comprehensive regulation. Joe needs to demonstrate that’s not the case if he’s to recommend decriminalisation.

    So, in short, I think there are some significant unexamined assumptions in the editorial. It’s saying something intuitively appealing – decriminalisation is safer than legalisation and regulation – that may not actually be true.

    There’s also an assumption that legalisation in NZ would look like legalisation in the US. That’s not necessarily the case. Joe could have looked at the impact of, say, the cannabis social clubs of Europe. They legalise and regulate the production and sale of cannabis. Or even what Canada is doing. His assumption that legalisation means big business retail isn’t well-founded either – I can’t think of anyone in New Zealand who wants that, apart from Karl du Fresne, and he’s an unserious fool.

    It’s important to note that the editorial does propose decriminalising small-scale social supply, which is welcome, but its solution doesn’t regulate production at all. It may be easier to prevent supply to under 18 year-olds if you don’t leave production and supply to the criminal market.

    Anyway, I do genuinely appreciate that Joe has engaged here over time and is thus part of the PA community, and I’d be delighted if he wanted to discuss these criticisms.

    I also hope that no one minds too much that I’ve uploaded a PDF of the editorial at the top of this comment :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    but would be surprised if the concept of a smoke free New Zealand would not include pot for many and hence in reference to topic at hand be a considerable opponent to liberalizing recreational pot.

    The evidence seems to be that while inhaling smoke is clearly bad for your lungs, cannabis smoke does not cause lung cancer (the key seems to be the absence of the radioactive tars present in tobacco smoke). But smoking isn’t the only way of using cannabis.

    I don’t think cannabis is addictive in the way tobacco is, but there is is an established diagnosis of cannabis dependence. The evidence of the Auckland School of Medicine surveys is that a majority of New Zealanders use cannabis at some point, and most of them stop using it because they don’t like it any more – it was striking how far legal peril came down the list of reasons for stopping.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    we should be focused on our country being smokefree 2025 first and foremost

    We can do two things at the same time.

    government never apologized to health department and parents for synthetics debacle

    Synthetics were being sold in dairies before the Psychoactive Substances Act, which radically reduced the number of outlets (from as many as 4,000 to fewer than 170). And the Ministry of Health was complicit in its failure – it didn't manage to get all regulations in place until about two years after the Act was nobbled. And, of course, it was after the products were banned that things got really bad and people started dying.

    * adding recreational pot to binge drinking culture does not make our roads safer

    Which would be to assume that this doesn't already happen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Mark Cubey,

    Here’s Janet Wilson channeling her Inner Karl and seemingly happy to present as an uninformed and patronising numpty on RNZ’s The Panel today. No idea why she gets a forum.

    She doesn't really have a point there, does she? But she's certainly very determined to make it.

    The part where she insists that synthetics are "classed the same" as natural cannabis is just weird.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    The Marshall Project has brought together a number of the protagonists in the current US wrangle to debate by email.

    Berenson doubles down on some pretty dodgy racial stuff. Ick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to BenWilson,

    I hope we have a place here where sensible debate on this will happen over the next few years.

    That's the plan. I actually found the response to last month's the-year-that-was post very motivating.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm surprised a *lawyer* did not have a word.

    Yeah, quite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The long road to real space, in reply to Matt Woods,

    but coding is also mathematical and logic driven and this is not to the taste of every ASD person, even if they are very mentally capable.

    Yes, this is another common mistake: every ASD person is good at maths. Leo really wasn't, although we managed to get him caught up with some tuition.

    On the other hand, I think Leo understands high-level game design very well – but there's no direct path to that kind of role in the gaming world.

    I was interested by his commentary on Black Mirror: Bandersnatch: "I've got better ideas than that in my head."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The long road to real space, in reply to Sacha,

    another bandname

    I prefer their older indie stuff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The long road to real space, in reply to Sacha,

    And I love the phrase anxiolytic defence system.

    Me too :-)

    It just sort of came out and I thought, oh, I like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22680 posts Report Reply

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