Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Govt urged to ease up on cannabis (>10 years ago)

Title: Evening Post article (NZ)
Published On: 1997-07-22
Source:The Evening Post (Wellington)
Fetched On:2008-09-08 14:11:32
Govt urged to ease up on cannabis

Outlawing cannabis is wrong and the Government must change strict cannabis laws, says a highpowered group of doctors and scientists.

The Drug Policy Forum Trust today released a discussion paper, offering four
new ways to control cannabis use.

It says freeing up the use of cannabis would have little adverse impact on public health it could even be "mildly positive" because alcohol and tobacco use would fall.

The group concluded that cannabis appeared to be harmless for about 90 percent of the people who used it, and that adverse effects were "substantially" less severe than those associated with excessive alcohol and tobacco use.

"We do not believe that cannabis is completely safe far from it" says the paper. "However, the health effects of cannabis are largely irrelevant to the problem of deciding which cannabis control policy to adopt.

"Indeed the more harmful we judge cannabis to be, the more important it is to exercise control over its distribution. Such control cannot be exercised in a prohibition environment, which in effect abdicates control to the black market."

The paper urges the Government to take control of the problem.

Forum director David Hadorn, a former Ministry of Health policy analyst, said while he expected the Government to try to push aside the paper, he doubted it would be ignored.

Its conclusions have angered and excited people on both sides of the cannabis debate.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party leader Michael Appleby, a Wellington lawyer, said the party had long supported partial prohibition. He was delighted with the paper.

He believed it would add momentum to the slow shift in attitudes towards cannabis and hoped the Goverment would be "brave" enough to listen.

But cartoonist Tom Scott, author of an antidrug book which was slated [criticized] by the forum, dismissed the conclusions as "bogus."

He said his primary concern was the teenagers whose lives were "wrecked" by cannabis. A law change would do nothing to help them.

A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Doug Graham said no plans existed to decriminalise cannabis. She had not seen the paper.

The forum, an independent group which says it is dedicated to raising the level of debate about illicit drug use in New Zealand, formed its conclusions after studying international and local research.

Its paper says in the past 25 years no "scholarly" body has endorsed cannabis prohibition. It blames prohibition for creating a lucrative and often violent black drugs market, for blocking effective education programmes, increasing the appeal of cannabis to young people, creating disrespect fot the law, breeding police corruption and oppressing young people and racial minorities.

It rejects arguments that freeing up cannabis laws would increase the number of people who use cannabis. It says any increase would be small and largely limited to adults.

The group says it is imperative that effective education programmes be developed in conjunction with any reform of the country's cannabis control system.

It is calling for public submissions on the paper and says it will then make a specific recommendation early next year.

Dr Hadorn released part of the paper at a public meeting yesterday and said it was time scientists and professionals had the courage to speak up about drugs and not allow "people who don't know what they are talking about to drum up hysteria."

A copy of the paper is available on the New Zealand Drug Foundation Internet website ( as of today.

The forum trustees are Druis Barrett, Maori Women's Welfare League; Dr Robin Briant, Auckland Hospital senior physician, Dr Peter Crampton, Health Services Research Centre research fellow; Professor Fred Fastier, University of Otago emeritus pharmacology; Amster Reedy, Maori scholar, Professor Norman Sharpe, Auckland Medical School medicine department head; Helen Shaw, educationalist; and Professor Warren Young, Victoria University professor of law and assistant vicechancellor for research.


At a Glance

The Drug Policy Forum Trust's four alternative cannabis control systems:

* Total prohibition but with exceptions, as practice in Holland since 1976, where the Government agrees not to enforce the law under defined circumstances.

* Prohibition but imposing civil penalties, such as fines, rather than criminal penalties for minor offences, as operates in parts of Australia, Europe and America.

* Partial prohibition which would legalise limited possession and cultivation for personal use, but ban forprofit sale. This operates in Alaska, Spain, and Italy.

* Regulation in which cannabis would be treated much like alcohol and tobacco where growers would be license by a cannabis control board. Some personal cultivation could be permitted. No country operates this system.

* The forum rules out the option of free availability as insufficiently realistic to warrant discussion.


Who would have thought that National would preside over world first declassification 'Partial Prohibition' regulations and say nothing.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large' (currently in dispute with Google who removed it!)

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

"Rapid Increase In Illness" From The H1N1 Influenza Virus

CNN Reports President Obama Declares National Emergency To Deal With The "Rapid Increase In Illness" From The H1N1 Influenza Virus; Cannabis Science Continues Progress On Its Research To Show Cannabis Can Reduce Risk of Death from "Swine Flu"

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Oct 26, 2009 -- Cannabis Science Inc. (NASD OTCBB: CBIS | Quote | Chart |News | PowerRating) an emerging pharmaceutical cannabis company, is urging that US government recognize that phytocannabinoid pharmaceutical products can help reduce Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)-associated deaths from both the Avian and Swine Influenza infections, as President Obama declares a national emergency. President Obama signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday. We urge readers go to: to read the whole story on the CNN website.

President Obama stated, "The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities." President Obama continued with, "Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response." Cannabis Science, Inc. President & CEO Dr. Robert Melamede stated, "Clearly, there is little time to gear up the mass production of pharmaceutical cannabis products to meet the immediate needs of this national emergency. However, President Obama's new policy of federal tolerance of medical marijuana where is it legal under state laws, makes it possible for Cannabis Science to work with the medical marijuana patients and providers in some states to help develop products to meet patients' needs. If the situation is dire enough to justify calling it a "National Emergency", then surely medical ethics require that we work diligently with all relevant research." Dr. Melamede also deplored efforts in Los Angeles and other areas to close dispensaries and/or ban edibles. "It is hard to imagine a more wrong-headed approach or a worse time to deprive people of access to cannabis edibles. Again, we recommend, based on sound scientific principles, that medical marijuana users should switch to edibles if they come down with an influenza infection. We believe that the irritation associated with the pulmonary route, when a person has an influenza infection, may lead to unnecessary deaths. In contrast, oral administration may prevent many deaths. We hope that due to the magnitude of this pandemic threat, that the FDA will fast track our proposal." Please visit our website in the next few days as we will be posting a survey for those who encountered the H1N1 and other influenza symptoms and experiences. This Cannabis Science Survey will be designed to acquire anecdotal human data regarding the effects of Medical Marijuana on influenza infections. The company plans to monitor activity, collect data, and report findings in its reports to the FDA.

Cannabis Science H1N1 Swine Flu Formulation: Dr. Melamede explains, "We now know that the endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in maintaining human health. The human body produces Endocannabinoids on demand when they are needed. They help restore homeostasis (biochemical balance). The Cannabis plant produces Phytocannabinoids. When the human body has endocannabinoid deficiencies, it cannot effectively restore the healthy biochemical state needed to counter a particular illness. Phytocannabinoids from the Cannabis plant can replace the deficient endocannabinoid activity in the human body to restore a health-promoting level of cannabinoid activity. Cannabis Science will test its pharmaceutical products with FDA guidance and oversight to determine if it will reduce ARDS-associated deaths from both the Avian and Swine influenza infections." 

Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large' (currently in dispute with Google who removed it!)

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219

Friday, October 23, 2009

It is my cultural belief, in respect of use of the 'H'


that to preserve and protect the historical foundations of the South Island's pre-european history I respectfully petition for restoration of the 'H" in signage and reference to Whanaka, its region, its geographic features and the literature and language of its territorial authority and dominion of New Zealand... 

I premiss this petition noting the following authority;

 according to James MacKay, Assistant Native Secretary



I was told that those wild or uncivilized Natives belonged to a tribe called Ngatimamoe, that they had been one of the strongest and most numerous of the aboriginal tribes of the Middle Island, but from the incessant wars which raged between them and the Ngaitahu they had become so reduced in numbers, that the remnant, amounting to about thirty (chiefly men) withdrew to the mountain fortresses, west of Lakes Hawea and Whanaka (Oanaka on charts), from which they could not be driven.

Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large' (currently in dispute with Google who removed it!)

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219

Monday, October 12, 2009

Drinking Age Debate Flawed.

The lowering of the drinking age was done for very good reasons. These reasons are conveniently being dispensed with as if they have nothing to do with the current debate... Is one left to presume that alcohol has got more intoxicating, or human genes made us more susceptible to alcohol in these intervening years?

No... but one thing has changed. Drug Policy! When the 'drug we drink' was separated from the National Drug Policy formulation processes where highly recommended best practice was to treat ALL drugs 'independent' of legal status. Intense lobbying from the liquor industry saw the separation occur contrary to ALL the best advice, expertise and science.

Our DRUG POLICY FRAMEWORK is flawed. The Law Commission examination of Alcohol in separation from other recreational drug use needs to be more fully explored by the public and MEDIA has an important role to play in doing this. Cannabis for example, is SAFER than alcohol. On that fact alone the social policy on alcohol needs to be informed by cannabis policy. Likewise cannabis policy (also subject to scrutiny by the Law Commission) needs to be informed by Alcohol policy.

The new Restricted Substances Regulations (Oct6 2008) represents an opportunity to have that conversation but MEDIA have steadfastly avoided the implications of having R18 legally regulated recreational psychoactive soft drugs for sale under administration of the Ministry of Health while alcohol is all but banned. (Not that some folk wouldn't agree with...) Such a rule... as NOW exists would to all intents and purposes suggest that such drugs that should be regulated (ie: cannabis, khat, ecstasy, lsd) are indeed SAFER than Alcohol and this use of regulation and thus control would represent an informed, intelligent, science based approach that does more to solve the methamphetamine problem than symbolic bans on pseudoephidrine cold remedies or empty promises that 'treatment', if compulsory, will curtail problematic drug use.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Marijuana For Binge Drinkers?


Image by ian boyd via Flickr

Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 2009
Source: Tufts Daily (MA Edu)
Copyright: 2009 Tufts Daily
Author: Derek Schlom

New Study Explores Possible Benefits Of Marijuana For Binge Drinkers

A controversial new study found that smoking marijuana may improve brain functions.

Before you down that fifth shot of Jagermeister, you might want to fire up a joint. Research shows that compared with alcohol, marijuana causes less brain damage.

In a study completed at the University of California, San Diego, the results of which were published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Neurotoxicology and Teratology," researchers examined the white brain matter of 42 teenage participants. The participants were placed into three groups: those classified as binge drinkers (defined in this case as males who consume five or more drinks in one sitting and females who consume four or more), binge drinkers who also smoked marijuana "regularly" and a control group of those who neither drank nor smoked.

The binge drinkers displayed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) scores - indicating white brain matter damage - in all eight sections of the brain than the control groups, whereas the second group (those who also smoked marijuana) had lower FA scores than the control in only three sections. Additionally, in a finding the researchers termed "surprising," the second group had higher FA scores than the first in seven of the brain sections.

So, how are the experts reacting to these findings? Mason Tvert, co-author of "Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" and executive director of the marijuana legalization advocacy group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, sees validation in the results.

I find it ironic that marijuana can actually protect you from alcohol," he said. "It's just one more way in which marijuana is safer than alcohol, and I hope this dispels the myth that marijuana kills brain cells when it's actually protecting brain cells from damage. Marijuana gives a temporary euphoric effect, whereas binge drinking causes long-term permanent damage."

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