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  Reply # 1530899 12-Apr-2016 16:18
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I for one don't have a problem with medical MJ. Apparently Sir Paul Holmes was puffing on a bit of weed to ease his pain as he was dying of cancer.

 

Union leader Helen Kelly has terminal cancer and has openly admitted that she's self medicating her pain with this substance also.

 

I don't see an issue with that if marijuana is good for pain relief, as a lot of people state it is.


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  Reply # 1530903 12-Apr-2016 16:30
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In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity

 

The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1530938 12-Apr-2016 16:58
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Curiously LSD has been looked at for easing anxiety in terminal cases. Ie; a psychological aid rather than an analgesic.

It seems to be widely believed (and not denied) that Steve Jobs used it for a similar purpose when that time came for him. His last words are known to be verified by his sister as "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

I feel a bit uncomfortable talking about that but anyway the words are known but the rest is speculation.



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  Reply # 1530940 12-Apr-2016 17:00
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networkn:

 

 

 

Err, so basically if someone suggests it MIGHT have benefit, we are going to retrospectively trash the decision to make it illegal, and make strawman conclusions about the "thousands" of people, it MIGHT have helped? 

 

How about we wait, see if it actually DOES help, properly, and finalize the results before drawing conclusions. You are pretty much treating it as fact already.

 

 

 

 

Honestly, I don't know if this will turn out to be anything or not. I don't know if other 'illegal' drugs might have medical or social benefits that have not yet been discovered or adequately researched. I'm just making the point that if these things are driven underground by blanket prohibitions, it becomes very difficult to carry out adequate research to find out if they might have benefits. I just don't believe that banning these things is the way to go, partly because it doesn't stop illegal use but it does stop serious scientific investigation. Apart from that, maybe it is time to find out just how harmful these things actually are. At the moment we only have anecdotal evidence that can be twisted any way anyone likes.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1530972 12-Apr-2016 17:47
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networkn:

 

In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity

 

The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"

 

 

 

 

You are obviously looking at the issue from the direction. It is not about allowing the free use of dangerous substances, its about giving people the right to live a life without being screwed over by a moment of desperation. Just because someone got drunk, bought some MDMA and was found with an illicit substance on their person by a cop, doesn't mean they should be lumped in with rapists, murderers and gang members. In what world does it make sence to set someone on the road of crime just because they're unable to find happiness when being progressive and helping people not need drugs not only leads to people moving on with their life but also doesn't mean they're trapped by some mistakes they made when they had no where else to turn to?

 

 

 

By your logic, it seems like you would have me imprisoned for being depressed. because depression causes drug use. It is the leading cause of drug use. Drug use is a symptom of a problem in society, not the problem itself.


gzt

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  Reply # 1530983 12-Apr-2016 18:14
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networkn:

In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity


In the context of marijuana it seems people are starting to ask what is the point of penalising the general population.

Now, I'm not going to be advocating anybody start smoking it without medical advice so I'm not going to say its a great thing by any means, but it seems hard to justify the criminal status of possession for personal use.

Criminal status for driving under the influence, providing to minors, absolutely.

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  Reply # 1530993 12-Apr-2016 18:37
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networkn:

 

In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity

 

The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/how-psychedelic-drugs-can-help-patients-face-death.html?_r=0

 

I don't see why paranoia about potential "abuse" should be ever used as a reason to prevent anybody in that situation from using anything they damned well want to use - subject to advice/informed consent.

 

Heroin is an excellent drug for end of life palliative care. I know a Dr who made it for a patient when morphine was not adequate - at great risk to himself, but he cares about his patients.


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  Reply # 1530998 12-Apr-2016 18:57
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Fred99:

networkn:


In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity


The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"



 


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/how-psychedelic-drugs-can-help-patients-face-death.html?_r=0


I don't see why paranoia about potential "abuse" should be ever used as a reason to prevent anybody in that situation from using anything they damned well want to use - subject to advice/informed consent.


Heroin is an excellent drug for end of life palliative care. I know a Dr who made it for a patient when morphine was not adequate - at great risk to himself, but he cares about his patients.



I don't think anyone disagrees. The issue is careful health use vs ease of access to get up on it for recreational use. I drink but I know alcohol is an issue, do we need a plethora of recreational drugs on the streets more than what we have now? Your example I fully support

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  Reply # 1531308 13-Apr-2016 08:14
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tdgeek:
Fred99:

 

networkn:

 

 

 

In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity

 

 

 

The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/how-psychedelic-drugs-can-help-patients-face-death.html?_r=0

 

 

 

I don't see why paranoia about potential "abuse" should be ever used as a reason to prevent anybody in that situation from using anything they damned well want to use - subject to advice/informed consent.

 

 

 

Heroin is an excellent drug for end of life palliative care. I know a Dr who made it for a patient when morphine was not adequate - at great risk to himself, but he cares about his patients.

 



I don't think anyone disagrees. The issue is careful health use vs ease of access to get up on it for recreational use. I drink but I know alcohol is an issue, do we need a plethora of recreational drugs on the streets more than what we have now? Your example I fully support

 

 

 

So the laws must be changed.


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  Reply # 1531315 13-Apr-2016 08:26
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Fred99:

 

tdgeek:
Fred99:

 

networkn:

 

 

 

In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity

 

 

 

The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/how-psychedelic-drugs-can-help-patients-face-death.html?_r=0

 

 

 

I don't see why paranoia about potential "abuse" should be ever used as a reason to prevent anybody in that situation from using anything they damned well want to use - subject to advice/informed consent.

 

 

 

Heroin is an excellent drug for end of life palliative care. I know a Dr who made it for a patient when morphine was not adequate - at great risk to himself, but he cares about his patients.

 



I don't think anyone disagrees. The issue is careful health use vs ease of access to get up on it for recreational use. I drink but I know alcohol is an issue, do we need a plethora of recreational drugs on the streets more than what we have now? Your example I fully support

 

 

 

So the laws must be changed.

 

 

For use in the health sector ONLY, and only if an illegal drug is better than any current drug. Which is very niche, but potentially of great value. A veruy very small market. Most of this thread is about public use as a legal recreation drug, and thats a whole other ball game.


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  Reply # 1531353 13-Apr-2016 08:58
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tdgeek:

 

Fred99:

 

tdgeek:
Fred99:

 

networkn:

 

 

 

In theory I PROBABLY don't have an issue with it (WEED ONLY) being made a drug that can be prescribed for someone with a confirmed terminal illness, reality is, what harm could they do to themselves that the disease they have isn't going to do anyway, but allowing the general populace to have it without penalty, is insanity

 

 

 

The caveat of the prescription for terminal illness, would be ensuring they don't operate heavy machinery whilst "high"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/how-psychedelic-drugs-can-help-patients-face-death.html?_r=0

 

 

 

I don't see why paranoia about potential "abuse" should be ever used as a reason to prevent anybody in that situation from using anything they damned well want to use - subject to advice/informed consent.

 

 

 

Heroin is an excellent drug for end of life palliative care. I know a Dr who made it for a patient when morphine was not adequate - at great risk to himself, but he cares about his patients.

 



I don't think anyone disagrees. The issue is careful health use vs ease of access to get up on it for recreational use. I drink but I know alcohol is an issue, do we need a plethora of recreational drugs on the streets more than what we have now? Your example I fully support

 

 

 

So the laws must be changed.

 

 

For use in the health sector ONLY, and only if an illegal drug is better than any current drug. Which is very niche, but potentially of great value. A veruy very small market. Most of this thread is about public use as a legal recreation drug, and thats a whole other ball game.

 

 

 

 

I lost a friend to MS a couple of years ago.  He self-medicated with cannabis.  Many people with MS do.  The evidence that it's an effective treatment for relief of symptoms (vs other "legal" drugs) is kind of dubious, but he believed it worked, others believe it works, harm is low, and while healthcare professionals might not endorse it's use, they turn a blind eye.  Most of all - it made him feel better - it got him through - he enjoyed it. So I guess you could say that use was partly "recreational".
I don't think that "we" should have the right to decide that's not "allowed", just because we want to stick to our guns with a prohibition policy which has failed.  


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  Reply # 1531381 13-Apr-2016 10:12
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Why do people take drugs?  Because they feel good.  They release neurotransmitters in your brain, as does everything you enjoy. Arguably, the only two things humans directly enjoy are dopamine and serotonin. 

 

Everything else acts through these mechanisms.

 

For some people things become addictive.  Addiction to drugs isn't that different (neurologically) to addiction to gambling, smoking, alcohol, exercise, food, sex, pain, gaming ... whatever.

 

Some people seem to be prone to addiction more than others.  For example there are correlations among smoking, alcoholism and gambling.

 

 





Mike



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  Reply # 1533949 16-Apr-2016 13:56
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There is an article in our local paper today by Mike Williams on the experimental drug and alcohol courts that were set up here in 2012. I don’t know much about the details of these, but from his description they sound very promising. My understanding of them is that their composition and approach is completely different from traditional courts, with everyone involved working together in a non-adversarial way to actually help the defendants who come before the courts. They are given the chance to avoid jail if they agree to the court’s programme, which includes total abstinence from any drugs or alcohol with constant testing, but also dedicated help with addiction programmes, counselling, jobs and housing, and even prizes given out as rewards for  reaching certain milestones. The programme appears to be spectacularly successful.

 

I mention this for a couple of reasons. First, while I do strongly believe that most drugs should be decriminalised and possibly even legalised, I do not believe this is appropriate for everyone. The people who come before the drug and alcohol courts are substance abusers, not users, who have committed crimes related to their abuse and would otherwise go to prison. They have demonstrated that they cannot cope with the substances they abuse, whether drugs or alcohol, and it is fair and reasonable and just plain common sense to demand that they abstain forever as a condition of help. This enables them to build rewarding and fulfilling lives. Some of us enjoy drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons and there should be nothing wrong with that, but these are not essential for a worthwhile life. Just like the many people who never feel drawn to drugs and alcohol at all, former addicts can get by perfectly well without them if they have the right help when they need it.

 

The other reason I mention this is because I think it offers striking evidence for the value of a non-punitive approach to drug abuse. I think it has to be a win-win situation for all involved. It underscores again the importance and ‘rightness’ of treating drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one.

 

I think this is a wonderful initiative and I am proud and pleased that New Zealand is a pioneer in this. I believe it is the right way to go. I think it embodies much of what I have been advocating. Drug legalisation is not only about free choice. It is also about finding the best ways of supporting those who do not choose wisely or are unable to indulge in a responsible manner. There will always be victims, whether they source their drugs legally or not. An approach like this at least enables the damage to be minimised, whether to the individuals or to society. I do not see how this can be a bad thing.

 

I am critical of those things I disagree with and do not see the sense of. I have been attacked for this, with accusations of not liking New Zealand and implied invitations to go elsewhere. Well, this is something I like very much and New Zealand is right out in front with it. I think it is a fresh air breath of common sense and I applaud it without reservation. At least attempts are finally being made to try to do something beyond just throwing more people into prison. It seems to be working, and even if it was not, the mere fact that it was being tried would give us more knowledge. How can this possibly be a bad thing? Well done to any and all behind this excellent and innovative initiative.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1534021 16-Apr-2016 16:10
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jonathan18:

 

networkn:

 

Interestingly, I have never taken ANY of those drugs.

 

 

And hence why I'm not surprised at your reductionist take on the "problem". Nothing this complex can be simplified down to (or solved by) the mantras "drugs are bad" and "increase the penalties".

 

There is clearly an increasing body of evidence pointing towards the advantages to the wider society as well as individuals of treating drugs as a medical versus criminal issue. 

 

Two interesting things I read/listened to on this matter this week:

 

First up, an interview on Nat Rad with one of the lead authors on the recent report on why the war on drugs is a failure.

 

Second, closer to home, reporting from a recent survey on NZer's attitude towards maryjane, in particular for medical use

 

The interviewee in the first link makes some interesting comments regarding the benefits of putting any savings from reduced policing and court/incarceration requirements (and/or I assume tax revenue, if you want to go there) into harm minimisation (drug treatment etc). Something clearly govts the world over do not practice when it comes to the most "dangerous"/costly drug of all: alcohol.

 

I know I've got as much chance of changing your mind on this issue as a I have of winning Lotto (and I don't buy tickets!), but reading/listening to this kind of stuff will at least expose you to a more contemporary understanding of what is considered an effective approach to drugs - an understanding  that even otherwise conservative politicians (including our own Peter Dunne) are becoming increasingly warm towards.

 

 

 

 

Ironically - the very arguments used regarding making use of the tax take from MJ sales should be applied to tobacco. Has it happened and has it reduced harm? It seems we have increasing numbers of young (women more than men) taking up smoking despite the horror photos, education, cost and social pariah-ship associated with not being allowed inside to smoke. It has become almost cool to stand outside flagrantly lighting up something toxic to all.

 

We fund patches, gum, education, hot lines etc yet smoking is still very high amongst the most heavily educated, todays youth. Perhaps the best option is to tax it into extinction, but then you just end up growing it under cover (although no one seems to grow their own tobacco funnily enough).

 

While the mood towards MJ is growing lighter, probably because it is being contrasted with alcohol, tobacco and promoted for its medicinal good, we are ironically looking or moving toward making tobacco illegal and having a smoke free NZ. maybe in 100 years we will be having the legalise tobacco, it's not much worse than MJ debate.

 

As a youngster I was very puritan in my thoughts on drugs. i watched them foul up a number of friends and family. I didn't drink, smoke or do drugs.

 

As I get older I have seen friends who have had a quiet joint shared amongst three or four of them while strolling around a golf course with putters in hand, on a relaxed Sunday morning. I cant say I begrudged them the relaxation they enjoyed, although their game did seem improved by it so maybe I should begrudge them being drug cheats.

 

I hate drug harm - end of story. I drink coffee and the occasional beer / wine. Ive seen alchohol and drugs mess up my wider family big time. I worry for my kids if they will pick up the habit and if they have the gene. However slamming a user in jail / gaol is not the answer. if people want to destroy brain cells - more power to them. It's their body and life, just don't mess up others.

 

I also think that the penalties for getting into trouble under the influence need to be weighted far more heavily. Drunk driving, habitual drunk driving, drug and alchohol fueled violence should be hammered hard. 30 days breaking rocks for the first offence (I'm not talking half a glass over the odds but really slathered)  and heavier penalties for habitual re-offending (along with education for those who do want to help themselves.).

 

I've been attached by P heads with a machete. I've had them try to break into my car through the wind screen while my kids were inside and try to run me down with their vehicles. I've been threatened with broken bottles, attacked by drunks etc. I've also worked in drug rehab and walked a lot of friends through the night when they were on the nod or similar. I have a lot of sympathy for the addicted, but none for those who get plastered and choose to do what ever they like to others.

 

Rehabilitation, education, moderation, and huge dis-incentives to deter abuse. Above all - tax it and DO put the money into harm reduction and medical car.e After all, as Mr Roger Douglas advised, user pays. Self fund the support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





nunz

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  Reply # 1534023 16-Apr-2016 16:21
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nunz:

jonathan18:


networkn:


Interestingly, I have never taken ANY of those drugs.



And hence why I'm not surprised at your reductionist take on the "problem". Nothing this complex can be simplified down to (or solved by) the mantras "drugs are bad" and "increase the penalties".


There is clearly an increasing body of evidence pointing towards the advantages to the wider society as well as individuals of treating drugs as a medical versus criminal issue. 


Two interesting things I read/listened to on this matter this week:


First up, an interview on Nat Rad with one of the lead authors on the recent report on why the war on drugs is a failure.


Second, closer to home, reporting from a recent survey on NZer's attitude towards maryjane, in particular for medical use


The interviewee in the first link makes some interesting comments regarding the benefits of putting any savings from reduced policing and court/incarceration requirements (and/or I assume tax revenue, if you want to go there) into harm minimisation (drug treatment etc). Something clearly govts the world over do not practice when it comes to the most "dangerous"/costly drug of all: alcohol.


I know I've got as much chance of changing your mind on this issue as a I have of winning Lotto (and I don't buy tickets!), but reading/listening to this kind of stuff will at least expose you to a more contemporary understanding of what is considered an effective approach to drugs - an understanding  that even otherwise conservative politicians (including our own Peter Dunne) are becoming increasingly warm towards.



 


Ironically - the very arguments used regarding making use of the tax take from MJ sales should be applied to tobacco. Has it happened and has it reduced harm? It seems we have increasing numbers of young (women more than men) taking up smoking despite the horror photos, education, cost and social pariah-ship associated with not being allowed inside to smoke. It has become almost cool to stand outside flagrantly lighting up something toxic to all.


We fund patches, gum, education, hot lines etc yet smoking is still very high amongst the most heavily educated, todays youth. Perhaps the best option is to tax it into extinction, but then you just end up growing it under cover (although no one seems to grow their own tobacco funnily enough).


While the mood towards MJ is growing lighter, probably because it is being contrasted with alcohol, tobacco and promoted for its medicinal good, we are ironically looking or moving toward making tobacco illegal and having a smoke free NZ. maybe in 100 years we will be having the legalise tobacco, it's not much worse than MJ debate.


As a youngster I was very puritan in my thoughts on drugs. i watched them foul up a number of friends and family. I didn't drink, smoke or do drugs.


As I get older I have seen friends who have had a quiet joint shared amongst three or four of them while strolling around a golf course with putters in hand, on a relaxed Sunday morning. I cant say I begrudged them the relaxation they enjoyed, although their game did seem improved by it so maybe I should begrudge them being drug cheats.


I hate drug harm - end of story. I drink coffee and the occasional beer / wine. Ive seen alchohol and drugs mess up my wider family big time. I worry for my kids if they will pick up the habit and if they have the gene. However slamming a user in jail / gaol is not the answer. if people want to destroy brain cells - more power to them. It's their body and life, just don't mess up others.


I also think that the penalties for getting into trouble under the influence need to be weighted far more heavily. Drunk driving, habitual drunk driving, drug and alchohol fueled violence should be hammered hard. 30 days breaking rocks for the first offence (I'm not talking half a glass over the odds but really slathered)  and heavier penalties for habitual re-offending (along with education for those who do want to help themselves.).


I've been attached by P heads with a machete. I've had them try to break into my car through the wind screen while my kids were inside and try to run me down with their vehicles. I've been threatened with broken bottles, attacked by drunks etc. I've also worked in drug rehab and walked a lot of friends through the night when they were on the nod or similar. I have a lot of sympathy for the addicted, but none for those who get plastered and choose to do what ever they like to others.


Rehabilitation, education, moderation, and huge dis-incentives to deter abuse. Above all - tax it and DO put the money into harm reduction and medical car.e After all, as Mr Roger Douglas advised, user pays. Self fund the support.


 


 


 


 



Agree 100%

It's bad enough now, why add to it?

 


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