Oh and did you notice how the handrails on the bridges are at bike height!
We also spent Sunday riding all over these paths. Absolutely love the new bridges and love they way they are all different - they almost become art pieces on the landscape.
We (I) goofed riding east and ended up on the old footpath which follows the creek and isn't really wide enough to use as a cycle path but it meant we got to ride under Alford bridge before we circled around to ride over it.
All the new paths are exactly what you want, wide and smooth and the occasional stripes of coloured concrete just add to the feel these these are meant to be enjoyed rather than simply used.
And there were lots of folks out enjoying them on Sunday, meanderers like us, kids on trikes rolling down the little hills, walkers, runners and families out exploring. It felt great.
And, unfashionable as it might be to say so, the Waterview Connection is doing its job of taking traffic off local roads. That might not last, but it's very welcome for now.
Hell yeah! Mt Albert road is significantly quieter now. Quiet enough even to consider a proper cycle path on it even??
I want to live as part of a society that does its best to care for everyone. And I'll vote to achieve that if I can.
We don't currently live in such a society. We as a nation have a government that is comfortable having citizens suffer. And suffer simply because of lack of money. I don't want to be part of that.
Ms Turei made a choice to deceive an inhumane government out of need. And for those demanding she pay it back I'd argue she already has. She's paid tax at well above the average rate. She's actually given her time to her communities in a direct way.
But even if she hadn't I would give a damn because what she received was what we should have been willing to give - if we were humane.
That a bunch of apparently liberal people
Hey Ben, calm down. You've called us concern trolls and now dissing us as fake liberals.
We have genuine problems with the bill as written. We've articulated our problems with the bill and you disagree. Leave the snide insinuations out of it.
I get that you are happy to set aside any issues we have in order to be allowed to grow and use pot more freely. I don't think we've said anything to deserve having you attack us personally because of a difference in opinion.
But it's not actually about the medical profession.
Which is my point as well. Remove the medical profession from this bill and I'd be happy.
Oh and your claims of efficacy are unproven as are your claims of non-toxicity. Both things that really need large scale clinical trials - unless of course you believe anecdote over evidence in which case I have this incredibly expensive cream that will, er I mean may, restore hair loss, remove wrinkles, prevent the common cold and pay off your mortgage.
Just friggen make the damn stuff legal so we can get on with dealing with harm - you know like Canada has just done
Then (assuming you'd pre-decided that the drug was generally safe and effective) you'd prescribe it to each patient, perhaps starting with a small dose and increasing to see the effect on their symptoms. You'd record this and report any adverse effects, as well as conducting formal follow up studies on safety and efficacy (informed by the way you are using a standardised product).
You also conduct double blind trials to determine whether reported effects are due to the treatment. You'd also do comparison trials with existing treatment with known risk/benefits to determine if the new medicine had better outcomes or reduced/increased side effects (it's pretty much accepted that all medicines will have some side effects in at least some of the population).
None of this is terribly challenging. It does take time and money. And most importantly it's nearly impossible to do with a substance that is illegal - which is one hell of a good reason to stop prohibition.
This is political. But more than that it's ideological.
This is the neolib ideology written in ashes and bones.
If you demand that government step out of the way of business and you insist that, if there is a market then the product is good, then this is where we end up.
The nanny state exists because things like this happened in the past and the only thing that stopped them then was the intervention of socialist governments. We know from history that businesses and unrestrained markets will be abused and people, usually poor people, will die.
Every time The New Zealand Initiative or ACT or The taxpayers onion send out another press release this is what we need to remember because Grenfell tower is what happens when that ideology is allowed to take hold.
And I don't want to spend another evening in front of the TV crying.
There is at least some argument that the medicinal pathway eases legalization too. It could work backwards, but Jesus, I'd prefer it to complete stasis. Quite aside from any free-the-weed master plan, there's the rights of people in great pain to consider.
And I agree.
I really think there are enough observations to argue there is some medical benefit. Unfortunately because it's been illegal there are very few good controlled trials. And you are wrong it is entirely possible to do controlled trials on the benefits of pain relief, some of the results are kinda fun. Swearing really does reduce pain perception. But because of our weird attitude to marijuana we can't do similar trials.
I am totally happy with a proper medical marijuana bill as an increment. I'd be happy with regulated tested certified products that the medical profession could asses and prescribe with confidence. And that doesn't have to be big pharma, most of the US medical marijuana suppliers are not big pharma and their standards could be adopted here. We don't have to reinvent the wheel or even buy someone else's wheel.
It's when the amendment steps into allowing anyone to produce the medical product that I think it fails. You wouldn't and shouldn't accept that for any other prescribed medication. We have enough of a problem with fake medicines as it is.
So I'd happily vote for a medical marijuana bill.
I'd also happily vote to allow people to grow their own.
But jam the two together? Nope.
So why let people grow their own medicinal cannabis?
Again - personally I'd just legalise it.
But here's the thing for me, at the moment the evidence for medical benefits from cannabinoids is mostly shite. What is being proposed is functionally legalising based on dubious medicinal claims and putting doctors at the pointy end of legitimising it.
I get it. The Greens and a whole lot of New Zealanders (a significant minority if not a majority) want to legalise marijuana. This amendment acts to do that without actually doing the hard thing and saying prohibition is stupid and hasn't worked.
Nobody claims tomatoes are for medicinal purposes, nobody is asking doctors to put their integrity and credibility on the line to prescribe tomatoes. But you're happy to risk the credibility of doctors to achieve functional legalisation? I'm not.
Oh and BTW doctors belong to a real professional society (unlike real estate agents), there are pretty serious restrictions to that. Prescribing is not done casually.