Monday, February 06, 2023

Meta-study debunks claims of next-day impairment from cannabis

Results of the Sydney University study.
Yet more evidence shows up the unfair and draconian drug driving laws in NSW and other states, which can heavily convict people for cannabis traces detected days after consumption.

“Most studies didn’t detect ‘next day’ effects of cannabis use, and the few that did had significant limitations,” Dr McCartney said.

“Overall, it appears that there is limited scientific evidence to support the assertion that cannabis use impairs ‘next day’ performance.

Friday, October 21, 2022

ACT decriminalises, will we see ramped-up drug policing?

Great to see the ACT decriminalising drugs. Amusing to see butt-hurt conservatives, welded to prohibition myths from last century, bleating "It sends the wrong message" and ensuring they will never be elected. 

Alarm must be spreading through police drug squads as they see their dream wicket of easy busts, helicopter joyrides and regular promotion under threat. I predict they will follow the example of some US states after legalisation and ramp up actions like roadside drug tests and sniffer dog patrols so they can lie: "See, usage has gone through the roof. We told you so!". That of course will be amplified by the Murdoch press.

This follows the discovery of a new unknown drug, sold as ketamine, by the ACT's pill testing centre – another measure slammed by conservative fossils for "sending the wrong message". Because good information and facts are left-wing, you know.  Far better to ride high on the fictions and lies of the likes of Donald Trump, Alex 'Sandy Hook' Jones and Sky News. Reality is very inconvenient.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

NSW doubles down on tired Drug War rhetoric, street murders

Welcome to NSW, the family-friendly state
The NSW Libs today, backed by Labor, doubled down with tired old rhetoric that decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of drugs would 'send the wrong message'. Of course they can 'send any message' they like so it's utter BS.This comes after them sitting on the findings of the Ice Inquiry for over two years. Decriminalisation was a key recommendation. Refusing to decriminalise 'illicit drugs' of course keeps them illicit, a perfect circular logic. 

Meanwhile Sydney's Postcode Wars will continue, underpinned by rivers of drug money enabling public executioners to be paid six-figure sums as shown in the recent Four Corners episode. That program, however, joined a conspiracy of media silence by never once mentioning Prohibition, the framework that enables these criminal gangs. That, apparently, is the 'right message'.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Support for legalisation rises

Support for legalising drugs has risen in Australia, with 66.1% of North Canberrans top-scoring on the legalisation of cannabis. [paywalled link]

... data indicates 41 per cent of Australians support legalising cannabis use and support for legalising cocaine and ecstasy use stands at eight per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively.

Those numbers are up markedly from the 2010 reporting period 

However support drops markedly in some regions.

National Drug Research Institute Adjunct Professor Dr Nicole Lee said people were recognising the current system was not working. 

"Most people believe that drugs are illegal because they're dangerous, but it's actually the other way around. So they're actually made more dangerous because they're illegal," she said.

Professor Lee said research showed majority of people who used illicit drugs recreationally did not have issues or require treatment. And she said there was no evidence suggesting the number of people using drugs had increased in places where drugs had been legalised."

Is there some way we can persuade the hold-outs, especially those in government, to Google "Portugal's drug policies" and wake up from their delusory dream? 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Medicinal cannabis inquiry reveals the dodgy police story on drug driving

MLC Cate Faerhmann
Many interesting snippets in this paywalled article from the Newcastle Herald, describing a parliamentary enquiry driven by a bill from Greens MLC Cate Faerhmann. It reveals the dark underside of alarmist police statements justifying their massive prohibition budget.

EG it appears there is zero research or evidence linking cannabis use to NSW accidents. The Police merely noted its presence in 60 out of 264 fatal accidents. By my maths, that's about 22% which is not far off the number of people who use it. So is that significant? If, say, left-handed people were 22% of the population and were involved in 22% of accidents, could you say that being a southpaw contributed to tragic road deaths?

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Stoned driving again comes up WAY safer than drunk driving

A large meta-study has shown the dangers of driving while on cannabis are negligible compared to even threshold alcohol blood concentrations.  This once more shows the extreme injustice – and pointlessness – of roadside drug testing which measures only the presence of the drug, not impairment. A positive swab results in arrest and instant loss of licence.

"Canadian researchers analyzed data from 57 studies assessing the influence of cannabis and alcohol on driving behavior and crash risk. 

They acknowledged that cannabis exposure was typically associated with deviation in drivers’ lateral positioning (lane weaving) and a decrease in their average speed. Cannabis use was “not associated with an increase in crashes in experimental studies.” Authors also found “no compelling evidence” that cannabis influenced hazard response time, headway variability, time out of lane, speed variability, speed exceedance, or time speeding. 

They concluded, “Specifically, for the measures reported here, there are no instances where the average effect of cannabis is equal to or greater than the driving performance decrements associated with BAC concentration ranging from 0.04 to 0.06 percent.”

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Scott Morrison's Australia Day address, 2022


Exclusive! We have obtained an advance copy of the PM's speech.

"Today I announce a raft of measures central to the life of Australians, and Australia. That’s why I am surrounded by Australian flags and am wearing an Australian flag face mask, as well as my Australian flag lapel badge. Because Australians like that. It makes them feel we in Australia are all in this together, pushing through the windscreen.

Clearly these measures are vital to Australia, a place where Australians never look into the rear-vision mirror, even when reversing at full speed.

Australians already like the Positive Energy we are bringing to Australia, because they clearly support technology like clean coal rather than the punishing taxes Labor will propose one day. Just look at the brown hydrogen we are already exporting from Australia.

Some Australian journalists are so desperate for content they have actually accused Australia’s Prime Minister of lying. I stand before you today to solemnly assure Australians I have never lied. Australia is better than that. 

Today I ask Australians to Stand Strong, because our Australian focus groups show that Australia now prefers two-word slogans to the old three-word ones. If Australians stand strong and push through, Australia has a bright future in the eyes of God, my personal mate.

Australia can only benefit from having children driving forklifts and importing cheap foreign workers, because Australians have better things to do than train for skilled Australian jobs. Australia is better off importing technology and cars, for instance, while exporting any bright ideas Australians might have. That enhances Australia’s reputation in the world, especially in France and Serbia. 

We are clearly best at managing the Australian economy to benefit Australians. We have cleverly arranged for future generations of Australians to pay off our manageable debt, while bringing wealthy Australians unprecedented tax cuts in the tradition of one of Australia’s favourite books, the Magic Pudding. We have fostered record prices for Australian family homes, making many Australians better off than they have ever been.

We understand the pain Australians are going through because of this global pandemic that’s all China’s fault. But we also recognise that Australians want to keep prices down in Australia by blocking pay rises or unaffordable staffing ratios for Australian heroes like nurses and aged care workers. We salute these heroes as they underpin the profits of our rich Australian mates, proving that if Australia privatises everything, Australians are better off.

But Australians can rest assured that one day this pandemic will fade from memory, like a miracle, just before Australia’s next federal election, when the wisdom of letting it rip will be obvious to all Australians who didn’t die from it.

But more immediately, I urge all Australians to get behind Australia Day, that sacred celebration of white Australia’s supremacy, culture and Australian beer. I’ll be having one myself while watching my favourite Australian footy team and wearing a Chinese-made baseball cap and eating an Australian meat pie for the Australian photographers. With sauce of course.

I urge First Nations people, here before Australia was even Australia, to celebrate our unity as Australians and don’t look in the rear vision mirror. It’s time Australians moved on from our history, except of course for the glorious achievements Australia can boast. Thank you Australia. We won’t be taking any questions at this time, or ever if we can help it. Amen."

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

'Screw what the people think! We love prohibition.'

Leading Liberals Domicron and Morrison 
prefer praying in cosplay to fixing
actual problems. Labor is not much better.
Too many governments, state and federal, continue with prohibition despite overwhelming evidence and opinion that it should be scrapped, notably for cannabis. Not to mention that it's very expensive for zero benefit.

The latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey spells it out clearly.

"One particular question asked, was whether they ‘believe the possession of cannabis for personal use should be a criminal offence’. The data tells us that 15.9 million Australians think cannabis should be decriminalised. The trend has been on a steady [upward] slope since the question was first asked in 2010."

Friday, October 08, 2021

Blathering boofhead bigwigs blow hard about prohibition

Lying racist Henry Anslinger
at the height of his corrupt power.
Idiotic prohibitionists flaunt their ignorance all over the papers today in their spray about Eastern Suburbs (Sydney) Cocaine culture. "This drug is illegal for good reason" lied Police Minister David Elliott as Magistrate Ross Hudson sprayed similar nonsense. "These people seem to think cocaine is part of a normal night out," one blathered even in the face of his outrage that it evidently is exactly that. THESE people seem to actually believe certain drugs are prohibited for some valid reason, contrary to all evidence and expert opinion. They simply repeat the lies of the original, deeply corrupt far-right murderer and prohibitionist, Henry Anslinger who produced the now hilarious movie 'Reefer Madness'. I'm no fan of coke myself – at least not the highly cut crap mostly available in Australia – but these pontificating clowns are completely detached from reality. And they rule us.

Friday, September 03, 2021

Habitual pot smokers are safe drivers – study

Mindless persecution in the name of road safety.
Just as pot smokers have been claiming forever, regular smokers under the influence drive slower and just as safely as sober drivers. This piles on more evidence against the Roadside Drug testing rules in Australia which mandate instant loss of licence if any THC whatsoever is detected.

Confirming the old story of the police pulling over the hippie Kombi van because it was driving so slowly, a new study compared regular smokers with occasional smokers and non-smokers being put through their paces on a driving simulator.

The results make a further mockery of NSW's increased quotas for such tests, especially as they target particular areas such as the Northern Rivers. As many campaigners have pointed out, this is especially harsh as there is little public transport there and loss of license can have serious consequences for victims who live some distance from their nearest town or workplace. Our 'justice system' is designed for injustice.

Still, both Liberal and Labor state administrations refuse to relax these rules, let alone make progress towards regulated legalisation or even scale back their intrusive sniffer dog/strip search regime.

And just as the original corrupt prohibitionist Harry Anslinger did in the 1930s, police continue to demonise and target small-time users and people of colour so their impressive arrest statistics ensure ever-increasing budgets and promotion opportunities. It's a racket.

The original study is here.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

ANOM sting fuels increased surveillance and prohibition

The recent global mega-bust around the ANOM app and devices is predictably being used by politicians to push for increased surveillance powers for police and spy agencies, and to justify drug prohibition.

The sting uncovered a wealth of drugs and drug money along with very welcome takedowns of people planning murder and violence. Conservatives and police have leapt on this opportunity to reinforce the old but false prohibition narrative, conflating drugs and criminal violence. 

This is essentially a circular argument because the only link between drugs and criminals is of course prohibition. In essence it reads “we need prohibition because prohibition”. The police always boast that huge drug hauls have been “taken off the market” rather than admit they are evidence prohibition has failed. The unspoken assumption is that drug use will increase under a legal, regulated framework, despite clear evidence it does not.

Another fallacy in this narrative is the lumping together of all illicit drugs. These spruikers push a moral panic around ice, heroin and cocaine and rarely mention more benign and non-addictive drugs like cannabis and MDMA.

“There is nothing social about illicit drug use in this country,” intoned a pious and triumphant Prime Minister Scott Morrison, eagerly taking some credit for this operation, while conveniently deflecting from more troublesome issues denting his popularity. He went on to appeal to Australians to stop using drugs because it fuels organised crime.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Temperature up, sunshine down

 Maybe it's actually caused by humans burning stuff??

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Glaciers are melting. The water has to go somewhere!


This is why sea levels have risen in the past, but now it's happening fast.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

War on Drugs linked to Aboriginal deaths


Taylah Gray. Pic: Max Mason-Hubers/
Newcastle Herald
Some important dots were joined today, linking the War on Drugs with Aboriginal deaths in custody.

"Police in NSW pursue more than 80 per cent of Aboriginal people found with a small amount of cannabis through the courts while letting others off with warnings.

"Start with bail and stop locking black people up, let our children home. Bailey Mackander whose inquest was happening today was a 19-year-old boy in prison."

Thus spake University of Newcastle PHD candidate and Wiradjuri woman Taylah Gray in the Newcastle Herald today.  

While Australia struggles with solutions to the problem despite the Black Deaths Royal Commission laying out several actions, legalising and regulating cannabis (and even all other drugs) would eliminate one of the big four reasons First Nations people are locked up in the first place.

Of course it would solve many other problems, and could even create revenue for the government, as is now clear from the success of legalisation and decriminalisation in other countries and states.

There is no rational reason for prohibition. We know it does not work, with history including Al Capone waging Tommy-Gun battles on the streets and now daily drive-by shootings, stabbings and murders in some parts of Sydney as criminal dealer gangs fight out their differences.

But Liberal and Labor governments turn a blind eye to the obvious and perpetuate this failed, expensive, murderous policy. More people should punish them at the ballot box!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Roadside drug testing again shown to be deeply unjust

A misleading message from a
Howard-era anti-cannabis campaign.
The unjust persecution of drivers detected with cannabis in their bodies – but little or no impairment – just took another hit, with a Sydney University meta-study showing limited impairment times. 

The injustice is pretty clear – 

"users were impaired for between three and 10 hours after taking moderate to high doses of the intoxicating component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC can be detected in the body for weeks after cannabis consumption, meaning users can face fines and loss of their licence, despite being unaffected by the drug." (from the linked ABC News story)

Furthermore the 10-hour figure applied to heavy oral consumption. Smokers and long-term users had a shorter period of impairment.

Friday, March 12, 2021

How to stand up to tech bullies and solve the paywall problem

Facebook's blocking of news sites in Australia, in a battle over paying for media content, has brought into sharp focus several deep fissures in our modern digital media landscape.

Even as Facebook relents, agreeing to slowly unblock news pages and to negotiate payment with primary media players, a deeper problem remains, one virtually absent from the public discussion about this conflict – quality news costs money and people are generally not prepared to pay for it.

Complicating this is the dominance of Facebook and Google, virtual global private monopolies in a field which did not even exist a few years ago which have arguably reached the status of essential public utilities. 

Their threats to block news content as pushback to government regulation should be a wake-up call, a classic illustration of the problems of globalisation where international companies have the heft and will to bully national governments. This is a matter of sovereignty.

We all know a sound democracy depends on a well informed public, because people, to cast a meaningful vote, need to know what's going on. So cutting off news to Australians is a body blow to our democracy, especially considering the flood of fake news already believed by far too many people. Facebook effectively blocked verified, fact-checked news (the bit that costs money) while the blathering cowboys of Youtube – where most conspiracy theorists get their 'information' – continued unchecked.

Many Facebook-lite users have graced newspaper letter pages with sentiments such as "Who needs facebook, I can go directly to news platforms." But this harks back to the old days of print news, where most people bought only one newspaper or consumed the highly summarised and curated TV evening news. Far more news is available today.

The same people often remark that Facebook is boring anyway, or just full of crap, and blame this on the medium. They seem unaware that if their experience of Facebook is crap, that's because their online friends post a lot of it. But a network of informed, intelligent people can offer a smorgasbord of new information and thought.

Facebook also offers people the chance to talk back, and they do so on public pages such as the very media sites blocked in this latest move. Vigorous public debates are typically supported by links to other news pages, which also have been blocked. Such users transcend the infamous 'echo-effect' that can isolate the page of an incurious user. The loss of this was a serious blow to town square discussion and information sharing.

Now, even as media pages have returned to the platform, there is nothing stopping the tech giants from again wielding this blunt instrument, and any benefit to smaller players is unclear.. 

Unless, that is, we had an alternative, a new way of accessing news which also solved the problem of paywalls.

Paywalls are a legacy of old media, each platform standing behind their battlements and trying to compete with all the other platforms for subscribers. This, so far, has failed to replace the advertising  'rivers of gold' that used to support commercial media. But more than that, they disenfranchise all who cannot afford to pay multiple subscriptions. It appears Australia's media giants are wallowing in their own feifdoms, vying for market prominence behind paywalls. In this they make an age-old mistake – a failure to see things from the consumer's point of view. The fact is that most people cannot or will not afford multiple news subscriptions, so they are forever locked out of most information sources while the media companies are denied this revenue.

What's needed is a new platform. Call it 'Ozmedia'. People could subscribe for about the same amount as a single platform but get access to all participating platforms, who get paid per click. It could be owned and set up by existing media platforms, or by the government if it was run at arms-length. The pay per click system would even out the disparity between mega and micro players as, presumably, the Sydney Sentinel or the Eurobodalla Beagle would get far fewer clicks than the big players. The system would also encourage competition between the platforms, where hopefully the attraction of quality content would counter the populist clickbait that already proliferates. The ABC should be included but also available free to the taxpayers who fund it.

Its initial subscriber base could be all the participating media companies' subscribers, and the obvious value for money should make promoting further membership relatively easy. After all, a nominal $15 per month or so is less than people used to pay to have the paper delivered every day. Students could enjoy generous discounts or use their parents' accounts.

The platform/app could have rolling headlines searchable by story tags, by title or by keywords. Email alerts would keep people aware. Alerts could be customised by interest area, so people with no interest in sport, for instance, could reduce the spam effect by specifying only news and comment. Or vice versa. All this is basic tech already available on most platforms.

It would be advertising-free, so there would be little need for Ozmedia to collect user data beyond subscription information – promising to not do so would make it more attractive than the data-hungry Facebook and Google. Links to news from those platforms might arrive at the Ozmedia paywall, or limited access offers promoting subscription.

Yes it would be a complex negotiation among the media players, and would need to be slick and well designed, but those players have the necessary resources and skill base.

Then, if the global giants try another stunt like this, we could give them the middle finger and go to Ozmedia for our information.

Australia left behind as Mexico legalises cannabis

A woman carries a cannabis plant
in a street protest in Mexico – Reuters
Mexico's lower house of Congress has passed new laws to fully legalise cannabis for recreational, medical and scientific use. The move is likely to defuse some of the extreme violence inflicted on people by illegal drug cartels and their militias, whereby hundreds of thousands have been killed and tens of thousands 'disappeared'.

The "War on Drugs" campaign of former President Calderon only increased this violence and enabled widespread police corruption, police in some cases working directly for cartels. Between 2007 and 2014, over 160,000 people were murdered, far more than civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq combined over the same period.

Meanwhile, at the time of this writing, NSW Police are conducting another drug blitz in the Northern Rivers region, where cannabis has long been popular. The discredited prohibitionist dogma of Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has clearly failed across the world and it is puzzling why he continues to persecute drug users despite the landslide of social and scientific evidence refuting it. The Daily Telegraph has published speculation that Mr Fuller is running for preselection for the Liberals in Craig Kelly's seat of Hughes.

This comes after NSW police dropped investigations into the clear forgery tabled by Liberal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, and into allegations of historical rape by Attorney-General Christian Porter. There is no evidence that these events are in any way connected – but it surely makes a bad look.

Australia is lucky not to suffer the extreme violence of Mexican cartels but there are regular drive-by shootings and murders in Sydney explicitly linked to organised gangs peddling drugs.

One of the most frequent lies of prohibitionists, that cannabis causes serious health problems, is being challenged in Mexico. “With this, the false belief that cannabis forms part of Mexico’s serious health problems is left behind,” said one ruling party member.

Meanwhile a New York court has heard that a drug clan leader bribed the President of Honduras in 2012 with $250,000 to prevent his extradition to the USA. Australia has had its own drug bribery scandals, so it is remarkable that authorities still prosecute the failed and corrupt War on Drugs.

With Australia being left behind by yet another supposedly third-world country, can it be the case that we are becoming a fourth-world banana republic?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Study finds no relationship between cannabis intake and driving impairment

A study of people using driving simulators found that cannabis levels had no relationship to driving impairment. This does not mean people can get stoned and go for a drive in perfect safety but it does underline the fundamental injustice of our drug driving laws compared to drunk driving laws, where blood alcohol content definitely affects driving ability.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Cannabis legalised, sky has not fallen, prohibitionists wrong again

A year of legalised cannabis possession in Australia's ACT capital has not changed much apart from some small improvements. So much for the dire predictions of prohibitionists – who look more and more like clueless conspiracy theorists.

While simple cannabis offences have dropped 90%, usage has remained steady, drug driving detections are about the same and there has been no increase in mental health admissions, despite warnings to that effect from conspiracy theorist and Health Minister Greg Hunt.

This is in line with everywhere else that has legalised. Makes you wonder how much longer prohibitionists can ignore reality.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Former magistrate slams unfair drug driving tests

Thousands of NSW residents are having their driving licences revoked for no good reason says David Heilpern, a Northern Rivers magistrate who retired early, largely because he could not in conscience continue imposing mandatory suspensions.

He says in this Radio National interview that roadside drug tests are criminalising people with historic traces of certain illicit drugs but whose driving is not impaired. He points out that when such road safety measures as compulsory seatbelts and random breath testing for alcohol were introduced, the road toll was significantly reduced. But he has seen no evidence that busting tens of thousands of drivers over several years for illicit drugs has reduced the road toll.

This is largely because tests for cannabis can reveal traces of historic use – a week or nine days earlier – which do not impair driving. This contrasts with alcohol testing which measures present blood alcohol levels and the level of impairment in an increasing scale with corresponding penalties.

The drug testing hits regional areas hardest because people there are more reliant on driving for daily functions such as getting to work, taking children to school or going into town for shopping. He said people in his court would regularly burst into tears, pleading with him not to suspend their licence. But NSW law mandates automatic suspension dating from the initial roadside test. Mr Heilpern was able to exonerate only a few people on particular legal grounds.

To make matters worse, police have district level quotas with certain areas such as Northern Rivers and the Hunter having higher quotas than other areas such as the North Shore of Sydney.

There is no reason for these harsh laws. They do not make the roads safer. There is no evidence supporting them. They can exist only because of an irrational prohibitionist prejudice in the NSW government and the police industry – which of course benefits massively from drug detection budgets. Thousands of people are being criminalised and having their lives impaired for no reason whatsoever. This stupidity must stop.

Monday, December 28, 2020

NSW keeps the prison pipeline pumping

A secret Government committee is planning to build a major new jail in Camellia, Sydney. I wonder whether any of the interest groups that will benefit considered reducing the number of prisoners by decriminalising drugs, following Portugal's resounding success in that regard? Then maybe we would not need a new jail.

I don't really wonder – this government cannot join the dots between an overcrowded 'justice' system and unnecessary criminalisation of people committing victimless crimes.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The uselessness of prohibition in one easy lesson

 I couldn't have put it better myself. [Newcastle Herald 17/12/20]

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Oregon decriminalises all drugs – when will Australia understand?

Here is yet another factual, balanced article written by experts explaining why Oregon has voted for common sense. Can our prohibitionists even read? Yes, I'm talking about you, John Barilaro, NSW Deputy Premier, who recently went ballistic because NSW was considering listening to experts instead of a blustering idiot like him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

NSW Police aim at warrant-free drugs crackdown

NSW has proposed an extraordinary Bill that allows Police, without a warrant, to detain and search anyone who had a drug supply conviction in the past ten years.

A two-year trial would target Bankstown, the Hunter Valley, Coffs Harbour and Orana in the west.

This doubling-down on a failed prohibition regime ignores the clear success of decriminalisation in Portugal, and successful legalisations in other places. Where such approaches can bring in solid streams of revenue for governments, the neanderthal NSW approach will cost taxpayers more, even as the state is smashed by Covid-related expenses and revenue reduction.

It is a big step away from the idea of a free democracy. 

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties said the bill would give “extraordinary” powers to police “in circumstances where adequate powers currently exist to search and seize items related to drug activity”.

The "Supply" definition includes people convicted of deemed supply which could include a kid busted at a festival with five or so ecstasy pills.

The Bill is backed by Labor, causing dissent it its ranks, but opposed by the Greens. MP David Shoebridge said “I find it hard to understand how NSW Labor can back this in. It makes you wonder what it would take for them to say no to more money or more power for police.” 

It's not clear whether police will use number-plate scanning to identify targets, as the WA police started doing some years ago. It must be asked, why might this technological intrusion be used against a victimless crime rather than convicted murderers or pedophiles? These prohibitionists are obsessively twisted out of shape.

When will these people learn that prohibition does not stop drug use but only increases violence by handing the supply chain to gangs? They have no recourse in law so they resort to violence. 

It's clear – America's Prohibition era saw Tommy-gun battles in the street between rival gangs, Al Capone style. That stopped when prohibition was repealed. Today we have drive-by shootings and home invasions in south-west Sydney and elsewhere. 

But you don't see rival brewers' trucks running around shooting each other in the streets, do you. They are regulated, provide revenue to the government and have recourse to law to solve disputes, as in a civilised democracy.

This new Bill is a step towards repressive autocracy.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

USA creeps towards leglisation during presidential vote

Several US states have voted to decriminalise drugs in referenda taken during the 2020 presidential election. 
In a historic first, Oregon voted to decriminalise all illegal drugs...
Meanwhile, in other parts of the US, voters backed the decriminalisation of recreational marijuana: in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota.
That takes the tally of states where recreational weed is allowed up to 15.
Back in slow-moving Australia, the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019 showed that more people supported legalisation (41%) than opposed it (37%).

And a referendum on legalising cannabis in New Zealand was lost even as an assisted dying bill passed and Jacinda Ardern was returned with her own majority. No doubt the No case was run by the usual self-interest groups – The alcohol industry, pharmaceutical groups and the police.  

But they are on the wrong side of history.

One by one the false tropes of prohibition are falling. Prohibitionists always assert that steps toward legalisation would lead to mass abuse of drugs like cannabis. However the Household drug use survey says otherwise –
Interestingly, if cannabis were legal, 78% of surveyed Australians said they would not use it. Only 3% said they would increase their use.
Moreover prohibition has not reduced drug use between 2016 and 2019, rather it is increasing –
This includes the proportion of Australians who used cannabis (up from 10.4% to 11.6%), cocaine (2.5% to 4.2%), ecstasy (2.2% to 3.0%) and ketamine (0.4% to 0.9%).
It's astounding that our democratic country also continues to tolerate mass murder in the Philippines in the name of the War on Drugs, with Amnesty International conservatively estimating that 8.000 people have been murdered without a trial, and even some priests who spoke out about the carnage have themselves been assassinated. Prohibition does way more harm than the drugs it fails to control!