Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Scott Morrison bushfire meme

As Scott Morrison continues to sideline Australia's bushfire holocaust,
we can only send him our thoughts and prayers.

Feel free to share! As the worst bushfires in our history destroy people, homes, forests and animals, Scott Morrison is enjoying Christmas in Hawaii. He has left the nation in the charge of Deputy PM Michael McCormack, who says only "raving lunatics" accept the science of climate change. It's amazing that the very thing those lunatic 'alarmists' warned about is coming true, but denialists are not alarmed. That's why they call it denial.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sniffer dogs not so effective as top cop claims

As young people at music festivals continue to die at alarming rates, harm reduction experts call for pill testing while police and the NSW government dig in and defend the use of sniffer dogs followed by strip-searches.

But Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has misrepresented their effectiveness, claiming that the dogs successfully found drugs in 40% of indications. Never mind that many of these are for cannabis, the world's safest drug with a death rate of zero – he's wrong anyway.

ABC Fact check looked into it with the help of data wrung from the police via multiple Freedom of Information requests from them and Greens MLC David Shoebridge. It looks like the true rate is significantly less, at 24.3%.

And everyone seems to have forgotten that the dogs were brought in under the pretence they would target dealers rather than users.

The fact-check says, "However, evidence from as early as the 2006 NSW Ombudsman's review of the use of drug detection dogs suggest that the dogs have been ineffective in targeting supply offences.

Of more than 10,000 drug dog indications during the review period, 141 identified a trafficable amount of drugs (1.4 per cent). Just 19 (0.19 per cent) led to a successful prosecution for supply."

So the credibility gap from NSW cops has shrunk from 40% to 24% to, arguably .19%.

What a great way to spend taxpayers' dollars.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

How good is prohibition?

"A Florida man was jailed for 90 days after cops had suspected he had cocaine in his vehicle, which turned out to be white powdered drywall."

All the initial tests – and a sniffer dog – indicated the white powder all over this black handyman's car was cocaine. Because obviously if you were dealing cocaine you would have it dusted all over the inside of your car. The lab tests – after 90 days of jail – later showed it was plaster residue. 

Prohibition arguably causes more injustice in the world than any other law. How many people has Fentanyl-addict Rodrigo Duterte had gunned down in the Philippines by now?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Hello Australia? Portugal exists, you know

As conservative Australia rushes headlong down its prohibitionist path, with Attorney-General Christian Porter threatening tp overturn the ACT's recent legalisation of cannabis and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ignoring all the Coronial recommendations about pill testing and burgeoning strip searches of children, – a story on Radio National reports that since Portugal decriminalised all drugs the country has saved 18% in associated costs, treated and rehabilitated many problem users and vastly improved health outcomes while usage has not changed significantly.

Too sensible for Australian conservatives and their 1930s ideology?


Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Drug war persecution chases its own tail

What a waste of time and money. This amazing campaign of persecution makes no difference to the availability of drugs. Legalise, regulate and tax. That would finance treating the small minority who have drug problems. Police could get on with things like protecting medical staff from assaults. Too simple.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Scott Morrison drinks beer on the job while persecuting drug users

Beer is not a drug. Repeat after me. Beer is not a drug.
Because Jesus said there is only one acceptable drug, possibly the most damaging one.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Welcome to a nation of craven dobbers

I picked up this flyer in a Queensland police station. When I went to school, dobbers were about the lowest form of life. Police themselves are very hard on 'dobbers' in their own ranks but they seem to have a different standard when they want the public to do their work for them.

In other news, a reported 60,000 complaints have been received by the Tax Office, dobbing in people for tax-dodging. Now at least tax-dodging, unlike drug use, is an actual crime that hurts others. But I just wonder how many anonymous complaints are tricked up to satisfy a personal grudge or simply used as a bullying tactic?

I very much doubt that any of the authorities involved will publish figures on how many dobs prove baseless.

Dept of Home Affairs supports prohibition failures

Peter Dutton projecting an image of the
inside of his brain. "If they don't live
just like me, go get 'em, boys!"
Credible NSW bodies including the Bar Association are calling for the decriminalisation of drugs including ice, saying that criminalisation of personal users is often more harmful than the drugs themselves.

But Peter Dutton's Home Affairs Department is pushing back, arguing the move would create “uncertainty for law enforcement and at the Australian border”.

Yup. Gotta have "certainty" or the world will collapse. No shades of grey in Peter Dutton's world. Meanwhile the victims of this stupid and ineffective regime can keep clogging up the court system for no good reason and with few good outcomes. That's a certainty! Read more here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

By Gove, that cocaine sure is dangerous

Michael Gove – addicted to hypocrisy
The blatant hypocrisy of conservative politicians on drug prohibition is on show once more.

British prime-ministerial hopeful Michael Gove is under fire for snorting cocaine in his younger days. He says it was a 'mistake', and reiterates that the drug is 'dangerous'. So dangerous it could put one in reach of the top job, it seems.

But the real hypocrisy is Gove's history of being 'tough on drugs', happy to have people jailed for something he has himself done, in pursuit of power via the votes of ignorants. He denies this is hypocrisy. Sheesh.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Almost 300 children strip-searched in NSW Police State

Police in Kings Cross clearly targeting an Indigenous man
with a sniffer dog, pulling it close to the man by its lead.
The dog made no indication.
NSW is descending further into something resembling a police state, with thousands of citizens being strip-searched in the name of drugs prohibition – a regime with little or no rational justification.

Most people searched are young or Indigenous, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

"The number of NSW Police searches has increased by almost 50 per cent in the four years from financial year 2014-15 to 2017-18," says the report. Almost 300 children, one as young as 10, were searched.

Two-thirds of the searches turn up nothing, and among the "successful" searches police say they have found items such as vehicle number plates.

I'm pretty sure I would be able to detect number plates on a person without stripping them.

Other searches turned up such deadly items as "art" or "stationery".

The justification for the searches can only be described as dodgy: "Under NSW law a police officer can carry out a strip search if it is necessary for the purposes of the search and if the seriousness and urgency of the circumstances make it necessary," reports the SMH.

I'm not sure how "serious" or "urgent" it is to detect someone carrying an amount of say, cannabis, so small it can't be detected without stripping the citizen. Or stationery for that matter (I'm guessing that may have been a case of shoplifting, another "serious" and "urgent" matter it would seem).

Most of the drugs-related searches are triggered by indications from a sniffer dog. In other words, the search victim had been doing nothing wrong and was apparently no threat to others.

New York cannabis arrests target the usual minorities

An analysis of crime and arrest statistics by the New York Times shows that Black and Hispanic people are arrested for low-level marijuana offences at rates from six to fifteen times that of white people.
This is despite the number of complaints coming from residents of predominantly black or white districts being about the same.
Even as the drug is legalised in other states, and New York courts increasingly dismiss these charges, the court benches each day are filled with mostly young black or Hispanic men facing low level charges such as smoking in a public area.
The original, evidence-free prohibition of Marijuana has often been ascribed to the Establishment's desire to find a way to target minorities (and jazz musicians, purveyors of "the Devil's music"). It seems not much has changed nearly 100 years later.
This gross waste of public funds takes Police attention away from real crimes – those with actual victims – and seriously damages the lives of the arrested victims.
Police plead that many of the arrests happen because some neighbourhoods have higher overall crime rates than others and are therefore more heavily policed. This defence would seem to have some validity. All the more reason to legalise the stuff and stop this nonsense.