Posts by Nick Russell

  • Hard News: Getting serious about the…,

    On the other hand, a big part of the problem was the Ministry of Health taking forever to come up with regulations, .

    Would that be the same Ministry of Health that will probably end up administering a regulatory regime for cannabis? In between the Ministry and the inevitable problems that will arise if local Government is given a role in, for example, licensing retailers like it does for alcohol, you have all the ingredients for a really first class omnishambles. If they are allowed to, Councils will probably try to adopt policies prohibiting retail licences from anywhere within a kilometre or so of a school. I dunno, maybe we'll do better this time. I hope so.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Getting serious about the…,

    Assuming the referendum succeeds, I hope we can also learn some lessons from the failed experiment with the Psychoactive Substances Act. The moral panic and consequent scramble by local Government to find ways of prohibiting retailers could easily happen again. There is also no reason to assume that a newly legal cannabis industry will be ethical or well-organised. A lot of people will be less concerned about health and welfare than turning a profit. It could easily be a shambles. And well-meaning regulation can be counterproductive. The Psychoactive Substances Act required that new products should be proved safe (or safeish) but also made it impossible to use animal testing to prove that without providing any alternative process. The result was that AFAIK nobody ever even applied to register a product. I don't think anyone even has licences any more. So let's not do that again.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Well, National just had 9 years in power and they did precisely none of the above. And as far as I recall, they didn't do any of it during the 9 years Jim Bolger/Jenny Shipley lead the party either. Hell, they wouldn't even abolish the Maori seats despite promising to do so from time to time. So I reckon the risks of that are pretty low, TBH.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shots Fired,

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: The Others Way, a…,

    It was a great night. Did you get to see Miss June? Damn they were good. Watching kids hurl themselves around manically in a sweaty basement took me back a lot of years to some very good/bad places.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: They want to blow it all up,

    Moreover, I don't think they want a rules-based world.

    Bingo. Trump's regime takes a Randian approach to rules-based international organisations. America first is not just a slogan, it is a policy. They want to replace multilateral rules-based international organisations, which (in their view) restrain and limit American influence and power, with a series of bilateral agreements which America can dominate. I think one way of thinking about this is to consider how the UK might have approached any suggestion of an international rules-based world when it was at the peak of empire in the 19th century. Who needs rules when you have power?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: A Word About Safety, in reply to Moz,

    So if you don't like judges and juries are problematic, how do you want these cases decided?

    For what it's worth, the High Court has about 40 judges and I think 15 of them are women. Not all of the men are white although most of them are. Hardly a bastion of diversity but probably better than many think.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: A Word About Safety, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    It has been suggested somewhere recently (can't recall where) that the time has arrived to stop using juries for these sort of cases and rely instead on some sort of panel of experts. It's one way of avoiding myths about consent. But the entire logic of using randomly selected juries in criminal cases is that they can judge these things using actual social mores - what we as a society actually believe, for better or worse. That has proved to be a remarkably enduring and resilient principle. Still, they don't use juries any more for complex fraud cases - deemed to be too long and difficult for ordinary members of the public to decide. So why not rape cases too?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage,

    I may be mistaken but my impression is that Auckland has far more frequent and serious power outages than Wellington or Christchurch. Does anyone know if there is a reason why the distribution network is more vulnerable there? It's not unknown for Wellington to have the odd storm, and it's not unusual for there to be lines down somewhere, but nothing like this scale.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: ACL: The best of times, the…, in reply to Harry b'staad,

    I think that falls into the category of too much of a good thing...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Older→ First