Monday, May 05, 2014

A bouncer speaks his mind on the Cross

Chris is a Kings Cross Times reader who decided to throw in his two cents worth - hopefully he'll follow up with some titillating details!

My name is Chris Zlomanczuk. I've been working the doors in Kings Cross for years. I'm 25 born and bred in Sydney, have been been trying to break through as an actor for years and also have various business inspirations.

I've been working the doors since the age of 18 so I see a very different Kings Cross from the sensational headlines - although many of them are true.

There are too many names to recollect and too many faces to remember... I was scampered into strip joint THE LOVE MACHINE at age 15 and have since worked the strip at such places as Springfields bar, The Elk, The Bourbon, Empire, Sugarmill. Kit and Kaboodle, Piano Room, The Vegas, Trademark and Hugos and more. I've dined with legendary actors and business people at the famous Tropicana on Victoria St, the Piccolo on Roslyn, Cafe Hernandez on Kings Cross Rd, Bar Coluzzi on Victoria St. KINGS CROSS is a great place. I feel safer there with a local than anywhere, and it's not boring.

If I get sick of coffee shops I can head to other scenes - to The Stables Theatre for a show, or mixing and mingling with all sorts, sex workers, drug addicts, drug dealers, actors, dancers. singers, artists of all kinds. None of these people match the popular image put on them by the media.

Here, no one should be judged but unfortunately Kings cross will always be judged by the ignorant, including journalists and politicians. I've seen grams of heroin being dealt, heroin shot-up, I've seen and heard gun shots and massive Bikie brawls and still felt safe. It's all personal, and nothing to do with anyone unless you're looking for it....Kings cross is what it is and maybe everyone should lighten up and enjoy the colour!

Shock, horror! Pot causes heart attacks (or does it?)

You may have heard a few stories recently of people keeling over from a heart attack after smoking cannabis. While there is probably some increased risk from indulging for some people, at least one 'study' turns out to be very dodgy. It's been picked apart on the Alternet site:
The impetus for the mainstream media’s most recent fixation with the alleged dangers of pot is a French study, published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Investigators reviewed data collected by the French Addictovigilance Network, a national database of adverse case reports involving psychoactive substances, between the years 2006 to 2010.
Among the 9,936 total drug-related cases in the database, authors identified 35 cases (0.4 percent) in which both cardiovascular complications and cannabis were referenced.
Apart from the fact that 60% of the subjects also smoked tobacco, according to Alternet: is unclear whether these subjects used cannabis in the hours prior to any adverse event. Toxicological analyses identified THC, marijuana’s primary psychoactive compound, in only 13 of the 35 total cases. In the other 22 cases, no toxicology result was available; cannabis was simply referenced in the subjects’ medical file. In all but three cases, marijuana was referenced in conjunction with other substances, some of which are well associated with health risks, such as cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, and opiates.
More detail in the original story (linked above).

Friday, May 02, 2014

Prohibitionists keep flogging evidence-free fearmongering

The increasing legalisation of cannabis in the US is putting prohibitionists further and further onto 'the back foot' as actual data emerge that contradict their fear memes. A chief among these is their claim that moves towards legalisation would "send the wrong message" and increase use among teens. Evidence that it isn't doing so has not stopped them from making the claim, as you can see at the bottom of this email chain (the email on behalf of prohibitionist Gary Christian). One point made is that, under legalisation, advertising and marketing of cannabis should NOT be allowed.

(Email from Paul Desseaur)

Here’s a similar article;

(BTW- Why am I not surprised that Robert DuPont, (who, with his partner Bensinger makes millions per-annum from immunoassay urine screening), is opposed to any legalisation of cannabis use?).

This one sentence underpins the argument of the AACAP statement you have posted;

<<< Legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, even if restricted to adults, is likely to be associated with (a) decreased adolescent perceptions of marijuana’s harmful effects, (b) increased marijuana use among parents and caretakers, and (c) increased adolescent access to marijuana, all of which reliably predict increased rates of adolescent marijuana use and associated problems. >>>

Is there any evidentiary basis to these assertions?

The chain of reasoning seems intuitively logical, but what does the published research tell us?

The authors reference two articles to support that sentence, the first is this one;

Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youth, Joffe + Yancy, Pediatrics, 2004.

Full text here;