Posts by Alfie

  • Hard News: Let Canada do our cannabis homework, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    It's worth noting that this paper was based on an evaluation of 16 previous studies, the quality of which was variable to say the least.

    We rated the quality of the evidence from studies using four levels: very low, low, moderate, or high. Very low-quality evidence means that we are very uncertain about the results. High-quality evidence means that we are very confident in the results.

    There was no high-quality evidence.

    I'm sure the work was well-intentioned, however it appears that neither the source nor the strains of cannabis were taken into account. While some patients may have been using high-quality CBD strains, others could have been consuming rough as guts bush weed. This omission lacks scientific rigour.

    And more importantly, the SMH report implies that the participants continued to use opiods throughout the process, concluding "It did not help them cut their opiod use at all." Is it even possible to assess the effectiveness of cannabis to treat pain when all of the subjects are simultaneously consuming other serious painkillers?

    Recording degrees of pain (on a scale of one to ten) is always subjective but as it apparently increased for the majority of participants, you could just as easily hypothesise that this study proves opiods decrease in effectiveness over time.

    For years, the illegality of cannabis has restricted scientific research into its healing properties. While high quality studies are undoubtably needed, this does not appear to be one of them. It's unfortunate that certain sections of the media feel empowered to draw their own conclusions because, well... clickbait.

    Medicinal cannabis users of my acquaintance who use the drug as an alternative to opiods claim it's effective in pain management with far fewer side effects, if any. As a bonus they sleep better and are happier most of the time. Dennis is correct in saying that quality of life must be taken into account and should inform policy.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let Canada do our cannabis homework,

    The Canadian system seems pretty chaotic at the moment, mainly because each state can decide its own laws. As Russell points out above, some states intend to allow users to grow their own modest crops, while other states will expressly forbid this. Some states encourage local businesses, while others have created a free-for-all where big money will be allowed to dominate the market, effectively knocking out existing, smaller producers.

    While I welcome the possibility of seeing weed legalised in NZ in my lifetime, I'd hate to see either big tobacco or big pharma control the local industry. You just need to look at what's happening in Oregon to see how that might go.

    As a better starting point for NZ, why not consider the Drug Foundation's draft policy, which appears to be based on a common sense, health-based approach to drugs.

    As I recall the Drug Foundation supports the concept of small-scale growers all over the country, with centralised sales being restricted to a single government website. This would bring jobs to the regions, tax is calculated and collected at the point of sale and no corner dairies get robbed in the process.

    I'm sure we'll be looking closely at the Canadian experience, but hopefully with enough nouse to keep it kiwi wherever possible.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Radio With…,

    Jeez... that post brings back lots of fond Radio with Pix memories flooding back, Russell. It was a Sunday night institution. Get together with a group of friends, fire up the bong and settle back while Barry Jenkin brought us some pretty damn cool kiwi music.

    The show seemed to exist in spite of TVNZ as opposed to having any blessing from the powers that be. When a group of us decided to make the first videos for The Enemy we couldn't persuade TVNZ management to loan us the gear, so we (ahem) just borrowed it one Sunday afternoon... a couple of film cameras plus the sound and lighting gear. And we made some damn fine videos which we gave to RWP free of charge.

    No permission, no budget, just a love of music and a healthy dose of anarchy. Those were the daze.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Retraction: Three Strikes…,

    Identity theft specialist and former ACT MP David Garrett continues to rely on the original and inaccurate stats referred to in the post above to support spurious arguments from SST's Garth McVicar.

    In his long-term role as lawyer for the SST, Garrett sent "a string of abusive text messages" to the Herald's David Fisher, claiming that three strikes "works superbly". He forwarded statistics to back up his case.

    However it seems that Garrett was unaware that the stats he referenced were based on bad data from the Ministry of Justice which had since been completely discredited.

    Relying on innaccurate stats... vitriolic abuse and petty name calling... now we all know who the tosser is.

    Full story here

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…,

    Doing his best to dig an even deeper hole, Giuliani says $130k payment to Stormy Daniels was “a nuisance payment”.

    “I never thought $130,000 was a real payment… people don't go away for $130,000."

    https://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/exclusive-rudy-giuliani-revelations-trump-stormy-daniels-case-54970086
    (quote starts around 3:40")

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…,

    After wasting too much time reading Trump related stories for the past year or more, I get the feeling that the end game has finally begun. It's like the best of Breaking Bad and Law & Order wrapped into one, with less believable characters, of course. Future historians are going to have a field day with this sloppy lot.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM,…,

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    (Stuff front page today)

    Some things don't come easy once you realise you're a wanker.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM,…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

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    Probably just as well as they seem to think that a story about film piracy in Australia belongs in the Chch 'Rebuild' section of The Press website.!!!

    The Herald ain't much better. Anything south of Pokeno seems to qualify as the South Island to their highly trained team.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM,…,

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    Either the National Party fanclub had a disagreement over breakfast, or they decided to have a bob each way to cover any eventuality. And does anybody really care?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The climate changed,

    Key biographer John Roughan confuses climate with weather in a misguided Herald rant.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

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