I was keen for my commentary not to come off as dismissive of what he wrote, I just wanted to give some perspective on where he was coming from.
Definitely did not seem dismissive. :)
Russell, I'm pleased you caught the difference in tone between the two articles. The CHDS one was largely "wordsmithed" by me, and the second by Benedikt.
Fascinating story. Sad to realize that 25 years has passed with relatively little change.
I think the perspective amongst mental health consumers is to steer well clear of some subspecies of weed which may exacerbate pre-existing latent psychosis, especially in the case of people with schizophrenia. That said, I understand that methamphetamine can also cause severer psychosis, and of longer duration. Surely therefore containment and interdiction should be directed toward that objective, given that severity.
I agree completely.
We're actually going to be examining this question (meth and psychosis) using data from our cohort and a few Australian cohorts... stay tuned!
I think the question is the standard and provenance of the cannabis harm and risk research relied upon by opponents of cannabis liberalisation and whether the premises and methodology are faulty, which I suspect may be the case.
Our methods for ascertaining reverse causality (i.e. determining how much of the effect is in the form of cannabis ==> psychosis, and how much is in the form of psychosis ==> cannabis) are most definitely flawed, and this is mentioned in the "limitations" sections of most papers (including ours).
Amen to that Joe. I’ve been wanting to hear this sort of approach from our government since I first read the Drug Foundation proposals, but so far the emphasis seems to be on large commercial operations.
Is the ‘mum & dad’ small business model even a possibility under legislation being considered? I’d rather purchase from a boutique local grower than a multinational any day. And for all sorts of reasons.
Andrew Little said yesterday in a meeting of cannabis "experts" that he doesn't want to "keep anyone out" of the potential marketplace, which will include small producers and in particular Maori. However, it is possible to parse his words as saying that he is not opposed to larger corporate interests in the marketplace as well.
Potentially more serious is this piece that featured on Spinoff and TVNZ about psychiatrists opposed to liberalisation of cannabis laws. What’s your response to this, Russell, Joe and others?: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/nz-psychiatrists-stress-potential-harm-cannabis-ahead-2020-referendum</q>
Sorry for the late reply. A lot of my colleagues at UOC are psychiatrists and they are mostly on board with cannabis law reform, but I wonder if others are overlooking the fact that harm reduction can be better accomplished by supply control (cf. tobacco regulations).
I really want to hear – and I guess be part of – the regulatory and licensing discussion. As California is showing, that makes a huge difference to outcomes and the nature of the business. I need to read up a bit more on how Washington state did it – from what I hear, it does seem like Seattle is the place in the US where the whole thing has integrated best.
I should have been a bit more clear - in terms of harms, there is so far little evidence of an increase in cannabis-related harm in places where it has been legalized. So that's what I mean when I say that we may be "too concerned" about this aspect.
In terms of benefits to the community, I think there are potentially big differences depending upon how legalization is implemented. The Drug Foundation's idea about the government serving as a wholesaler, which would allow small growers to be in the market, is a good idea (and far better than the California model which is keeping small growers out of the market).
I did actually mention in the interview for the show that I was in favor of a heavily regulated legal market, but they didn't use much of the interview at all (I was interviewed by Arwen rather than Paddy).
In their (partial) defence, much of the material was assembled late last year and early this year (I was interviewed last November), so it would have been well into production when the Cabinet paper came out in May. There's still an urgent need for discussion around the proposed rules and whether we're getting those right, but the general lack of evidence for increased use in places where cannabis has been legalized suggests we may be worrying too much.
Is this a fair argument? Some would say that there has been ample discussion of the pros and cons of the decriminalisation/legalisation of personal cannabis use within the New Zealand media: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@ideasroom/2019/08/13/751236/cannabis-legalisation-ok-idea-bad-timing</q>
The argument is ok - a cautious approach is not usually a bad thing - but the author makes several statements that are just plain wrong.