Monday, September 21, 2015

Large, long term study shows no health harms from cannabis

I've always said we needed large population studies to properly assess the long-term effects of smoking cannabis. It's too easy to skew small reductive studies, as we have repeatedly seen.

This one is a huge study of 408 males tracked from adolescence into their mid-30s and it found no difference between heavy early-onset smokers and low/non-users:
Findings from latent class growth curve analysis identified 4 distinct subgroups of marijuana users: early onset chronic users, late increasing users, adolescence-limited users, and low/nonusers. Results indicated that the 4 marijuana use trajectory groups were not significantly different in terms of their physical and mental health problems assessed in the mid-30s.
Strangely enough, it doesn't seem to be getting much of a run in the media.

The War on Drugs is unjust nonsense.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Andrew Colvin self-promotes at expense of executed men

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin thinks the
futile War on Drugs is more important than young lives.
It’s disgusting – these senior police protecting their own pointless jobs by pleading Drug War platitudes. In refusing to apologise for the Indonesian executions, AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin ignored that most heroin casualties occur BECAUSE it is illegal, and ignores the success of supervised injecting centres in preventing overdoses and deaths – a far cheaper option than the ever more privatised drug enforcement and jail industry. And he deflects the question raised by Senator Xenophon – why couldn’t the Bali Nine have been arrested on their return to Australia and these executions prevented?
Typically, Andrew Colvin uses the same dodgy stats that Indonesia's President Widodo used to whip up horror at "the scourge of drugs" - "Families and communities destroyed by drugs" - "4,000 deaths from heroin (and other opiods)" over four years - and they've taken enough heroin off the streets for "eight hits for every man, woman and CHILD in Australia" (neatly keeping the price up so criminals are eternally attracted to the trade and the cops keep their budgets, promotions and jobs) etc etc. He didn't even come up with a new cliché.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Stoned bunnies: More hilarious nonsense from the DEA

Maybe it's already happening? I found this one in Kings Cross.
Prohibitionists are really scraping the bottom of the spin barrel in their desperate campaign to preserve their jobs. If they had any sensible arguments they wouldn't have to plead this tripe.

A Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent seriously told a Utah senate committee that legalising medical marijuana would lead to an epidemic of stoned rabbits. Ignoring of course that legal growers would simply fence off their crops from animals.

Agent Matt Fairbanks also brought up the spectre of illegal pot crops doing environmental damage, which has some truth to it. All the more reason to legalise it, you dolt!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Indonesia's death penalty based on ludicrous evidence

With the 'Bali Two' facing likely execution in Indonesia, a politically threatened government is quoting "50 deaths per day because of drugs" to justify their populist decision to execute all convicted drug dealers including the Australians.

But the "50 deaths per day" is a rubbery extrapolation based, it seems, on only three (3) reports by other people that someone they knew "died because of drugs". This is not evidence in any accepted sense of the word.

Yes we know that drugs can be problematic for a very small minority of users but you will always find that these unfortunate people have other serious problems in their lives, so it's a bit facile to simply blame the drugs. It's also facile to think that prohibition stops the problems - in fact it causes most of them, as per the below billboard erected by former US drug police who have the courage to tell the truth.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Stoned driving not actually dangerous says official US traffic study

"Drivers who use marijuana are at a significantly lower risk of being in a crash than drivers who use alcohol, a new study from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows.

"And after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, drivers who tested positive for marijuana were no more likely to crash than those who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving, it found."
Still the demonisation continues, with Hunter region police regularly in the media reporting apparently shocking results when they do roadside drug test blitzes - with 30%-40% of drivers showing positive to cannabis. This sort of scare tactic means penalties for drug driving are at least equal to those for drunk driving. Not only is this stupid and unfair but the huge state budget allocated to its enforcement is simply a waste. However this massive budget might provide a clue why police are so keen to continue their scare campaign.