in what now seem like the good old days
If I interpret that right, Russell, I think you’re suggesting the ‘good old days’ were when we had a functioning synthetic cannabis regulatory regime.
I meant more, would that we only had the problems we had when these drugs were regulated. I probably should also have linked to the comment piece I wrote earlier in the week for RNZ:
This isn’t going to be easy to fix. This is a class of drugs that isn’t really amenable to regulation – and yet, the harm the drugs cause is now far greater than anything that occurred when they were legal and regulated.
Legalising natural cannabis isn’t a quick fix either. Perhaps if 10 years ago natural cannabis had been legalised, the synthetic market would never have developed. Perhaps. But in California, where weed is as good as legal, synthetic cannabis products still take a toll – and they take it on the same sector as they do here: the homeless and itinerant.
What would help, for now, is for police to stop being cute and release their test data.
I totally get what you’re saying, in other words.
I’m currently looking for a time machine so we can go back to 2007 and regulate natural cannabis, and/or regulate rather than ban the very first synthetic products, which look pretty benign compared to either what was in the market under the PSA or what’s in the market now.
A good presentation from Professor Janie Sheridan of the University of Auckland's Centre for Addiction Research on how a Drug Early Warning System might look in New Zealand.
This is from last December. I gather the work is underway.
Radio NZ has been doing well with this story. Susan Strongman talked to both users and ESR for The Wireless.
And John Campbell went out and talked to some users in the street:
I've written a comment piece for RNZ: No easy fix for synthetic cannabis health emergency
Contrived contraptions combining electrostatic resistance, methylated spirits and revolving drums had a brief vogue – but mostly it was mail, large canvas sacks and railway carriages, ferries and bikes.
When I spent a summer back from London in 1988-89, home fax machines had become all the rage. Doug Hood, as I recall, was a prolific faxer.
Recreational drug users sometimes leave the impression that they don’t really care whether reform results in an increase in suffering or not.
You know, I think many recreational drug users are quite focused on reducing suffering.
I think the cannabimimetics are a a really difficult case. Ideally, no one should take them. They’re bad drugs, which makes regulation challenging. But it’s a fact that there’s a level of harm and suffering going on now that the legal-sale era never got close to.
The best I can do is to surmise that had cannabis law reform taken place eight or 10 years ago, this whole thing might not have started.
What sort of lowlife sells an addictive poison to the homeless
From a Facebook friend earlier:
I rang a ambulance for a homeless dude on Queen St the other day. He was so out of it - it was frightening. He came round where he could walk after about 15 mins and I cancelled the ambulance but he couldn't understand anything I was saying to him. He wandered off with his mates but I've never seen anything like it and I lived through the crack and China cat years in NYC.
Meanwhile, possibly not relevant to this but still worth putting out there: Dancesafe now has Fentanyl testing strips available.
Someone told me earlier that the only purported drug fentanyl hasn't show up in in Canada is actual cannabis. I'm glad there's some sort of test if it happens here.
What about bulletin board services? Or was that more an early 1990s thing?
This was the early 80s, Matthew. The veritable dawn of time.