The Dim-Post

May 29, 2010

Far out

Filed under: drugs — danylmc @ 9:02 am

Here again is the graph from the Lancet on the most harmful drugs of abuse:

If you accept the findings of the study – especially the placing of alcohol in the list – then a lot of the stories in our newspapers sound pretty crazy:

Parents of King’s College students want alcohol at their children’s after-ball party – but only if every Mum or Dad attends too.

A 15-member parent committee – which includes New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart, and businessman Michael Stiassny – is trying to avoid a police crackdown on booze-fuelled after-ball parties.

Under the plan, hundreds of students under 18 would need to bring a parent to buy drinks for them from a licensed bar at the same venue as the ball.

The move comes three weeks after King’s boarder James Webster, 16, died after binge-drinking neat vodka and amid a police crackdown on the illegal serving of liquor at after-ball parties.

Here’s the same story with alcohol replaced by drugs that are deemed less dangerous:

Parents of King’s College students want LSD at their children’s after-ball party – but only if every Mum or Dad attends too.

A 15-member parent committee – which includes New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart, and businessman Michael Stiassny – is trying to avoid a police crackdown on drug-fuelled after-ball parties.

Under the plan, hundreds of students under 18 would need to bring a parent to buy ecstasy for them from a licensed drug dealer at the same venue as the ball.

The move comes three weeks after a King’s boarder died after overdosing on Librium and amid a police crackdown on the illegal serving of amphetamines at after-ball parties.

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77 Comments »

  1. But alcohol isn’t a drug! Only nasty drug addicts use drugs. And if it were a drug, it wouldn’t have several rows to itself in my local supermarket. QED.

    Silly Danyl. Alcohol a drug! Next you’ll be saying that just because guns have an occasional habit of shooting people, they are weapons.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 29, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  2. and Danyl, some of them are on the rich-list, so they MUST know what they are doing.

    Comment by MikeG — May 29, 2010 @ 9:44 am

  3. And how did we come up with such a graph?

    It assesses drugs on the harm they do to the individual, to society and whether or not they induce dependence.

    A panel of experts were asked to rate 20 different drugs on nine individual categories, which were combined to produce an overall estimate of harm.

    Right. If we ask a panel of parents, we get a bit of a different graph. Far out, harm is in the eye of the beholder!

    Comment by Berend de Boer — May 29, 2010 @ 9:49 am

  4. Your talents are wasted here Berend: you really should be producing Close Up or editing one of our Sunday newspapers.

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 9:55 am

  5. You do have a good point, and I wouldn’t want to overstate this … but … there are a whole lot of legal and cultural norms around the consumption of alcohol. It occurs in culturally familiar situations with clear expectations, boundaries and support systems. So it is far less ‘out there’ than buying LSD from a gang member, dropping it not really knowing what will happen, in an environment where people don’t expect it, and won’t know what to do if something goes wrong.

    Comment by vibenna — May 29, 2010 @ 10:05 am

  6. You do have a good point, and I wouldn’t want to overstate this … but … there are a whole lot of legal and cultural norms around the consumption of alcohol. It occurs in culturally familiar situations with clear expectations, boundaries and support systems

    From the article:

    “The move comes three weeks after King’s boarder James Webster, 16, died after binge-drinking neat vodk”

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  7. Of course, the graph you cite is very suspect. For one, it maximises the harm to society for alcohol and tobacco, simply because they are legal and easily available. This skews their positions to the left. The second is that each drug has been positioned according to its maximum harm to the individual, assuming that the person is addicted. This is obviously a silly position to take because Heroin and cocaine are uniformly destructive but alcohol is not (it even has positive health effects in small quantities, something you can’t say about LSD).

    The result is a graph which (intentionally, I might add) uniformly underestimates the effects of dangerous, but unpopular drugs, and overestimates the dangers of legalised ones.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  8. It’s not a drug, it’s a drink.

    Comment by Dave — May 29, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  9. Rich Listers and 15 year old privileged kids on LSD! That would be one weird night, Hunter S Thompson would approve!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — May 29, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  10. it even has positive health effects in small quantities, something you can’t say about LSD

    I think the positive health benfits of alcohol are mostly statistical gimmicks. In these studies people who NEVER drink alcohol are often people on long term medication for chronic diseases, thus the slight bump in life expectancy in populations with moderate alcohol comsumption.

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  11. it maximises the harm to society for alcohol and tobacco, simply because they are legal and easily available. This skews their positions to the left.

    This is a UK study. If availability skewed to the left then wouldn’t you see ecstasy over there?

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  12. Also,

    Heroin and cocaine are uniformly destructive . . .

    Isn’t heroin a widely used analgesic?

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  13. “I think the positive health benfits of alcohol are mostly statistical gimmicks”
    A bit like global warming really? (Can I claim some sort of Godwin?)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 29, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  14. It also doesn’t count the positive societal effects of alcohol like Churchill, Graham Chapman or Johnny Cash

    Comment by gazzaj — May 29, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  15. Danyl:

    Isn’t heroin a widely used analgesic?

    No. That would be methadone. Heroin is insanely addictive.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  16. Danyl:

    I think the positive health benfits of alcohol are mostly statistical gimmicks.

    Confounders like long-term diseases that preclude alcohol consumption are corrected for in these studies – certainly in the ones I have read.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 11:36 am

  17. This is a UK study. If availability skewed to the left then wouldn’t you see ecstasy over there?

    Heh.

    Ecstasy itself has low addictive and low harm potential. It can be very dangerous in combination with alcohol. This is why it is banned (they could have banned alcohol instead, but I believe we’ve tried that one before…)

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  18. methadone is used as an analgesic? I’ve never seen that. It’s used as an opioid replacement with addicts.

    The only side effects of Heroin are constipation and respiratory depression plus of course addiction. It’s not particularly destructive and why it can’t be prescribed for pain her in NZ is a mystery.

    Comment by Neil — May 29, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  19. Isn’t heroin a widely used analgesic?

    No. That would be methadone. Heroin is insanely addictive.

    Morphine is used as an analgesic far more than methadone – and is insanely addictive.

    Comment by Giovanni — May 29, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  20. Drugs are part of our pleasure/thrill-seeking culture but there are worse things, and for some people mind altering experiences are a welcome relief from their internal anguish

    Comment by ropata — May 29, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  21. Morphine is not “insanely addictive”, it is only slightly more addictive than methadone. Heroin is no better a painkiller than morphine and is substantially more addictive. If you don’t think that Heroin is destructive, you have clearly not had to treat a heroin addict.

    I use morphine for my chronic pain patients all the time – I have only ever had to deal with withdrawal problems once.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  22. Less addictive than heroin, but far more addictive than alcohol and opium – whose addictions it was supposed to cure – no?

    Comment by Giovanni — May 29, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  23. So the macdonalds Doctor has information that danyl’s graph ‘intentionally’ underestimates the dangers of illegal drugs ???

    shame he didn’t put up.

    MacDoctor strikes me as an authoritarian doctor cut from the same cloth as another authoritarian doctor we had who had the surname of Fahey ……………….

    If Doctor Macdonalds thinks that because I use cannabis I deserve a criminal record/conviction then he’s a bigoted prejudiced creep who seeks to do me harm …………… the opposite of what a doctor should be I would have thought.

    The subject of Alcohol and other drugs has been perverted by politics, politicians and peripheral swirlers

    Medicine is suffering from the same when we start getting these political doctors with their authoritarian prescriptions .

    Comment by nz native — May 29, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  24. If you don’t think that Heroin is destructive, you have clearly not had to treat a heroin addict.

    isn’t that mostly due to their lifestyle – poor self-care etc – rather than to the effects of heroin itself?

    Comment by Neil — May 29, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  25. For one, it maximises the harm to society for alcohol and tobacco, simply because they are legal and easily available.
    I think you’re right for alcohol, but not tobacco – of the factors that could be influenced by availability (the three social harm ones), tobacco’s score was actually pulled right.
    I don’t know if anyone has taken the Lancet study’s scoring across the nine parameters of harm and weighted them in specific ways. I agree that the biggest issue in that study looks to be the social harm factors (which make up one of three overall groups and thus of third of weighting) being based on current social harms from current usage patterns – happy to have that argued against but it looks that way when you look down the scores. Even taking those out it looks like alcohol and tobacco would still rate much higher than many Class A and B drugs though.

    Comment by garethw — May 29, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  26. NZ Native:

    If I am a “bigoted prejudiced creep” then it is strange that I am the one rationally discussing the drug issue and you are the one slandering me. Why don’t you grow up a little?

    Neil:

    Yes, you are partially correct. Banning a drug always increases the harm effect of the drug. However, heroin is a narcotic. All narcotics have plateau effects where the “high” requires more and more of the drug. With heroin, this progression is particularly rapid and very hard to manage. Heroin therefore predisposes one to it’s destructive effect by requiring you to take more and more of it, requiring intravenous use sooner, rather than later.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  27. “Less addictive than heroin, but far more addictive than alcohol and opium – whose addictions it was supposed to cure – no?”

    no indeed. It is used as a treatment for Heroin addiction.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 29, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  28. And who is arguing that heroin isn’t destructive? Because you can’t hold the Lancet study up as a model of drug harm and then say heroin is fine when it categorically states otherwise…

    Comment by garethw — May 29, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

  29. “Morphine is used as an analgesic far more than methadone – and is insanely addictive.”

    I’ve been on it for pain tons of times, and never become addicted. Then again, that was under medical supervision, which may make a big difference.

    I understand that it is quite a difficult addiction to break if you do become addicted.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 29, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  30. MacDoctor wrote: “Of course, the graph you cite is very suspect. For one, it maximises the harm to society for alcohol and tobacco, simply because they are legal and easily available. This skews their positions to the left. The second is that each drug has been positioned according to its maximum harm to the individual, assuming that the person is addicted.”

    If it is rating each drug on the basis of maximum harm to the individual, how would easy availability make any difference?

    Comment by kahikatea — May 29, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  31. Even taking those out it looks like alcohol and tobacco would still rate much higher than many Class A and B drugs though.

    No argument from me there. I am not saying these are harmless, only that they are not as dangerous as this chart makes out. Ecstasy is the most anomalous banned drug in that table, as it is fairly innocuous by itself. I assume it was banned because of its use in the teen party situation with alcohol, where it can be quite dangerous. On the other hand, New Zealand has recently banned BZP which is virtually harmless.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  32. If you don’t think that Heroin is destructive, you have clearly not had to treat a heroin addict.

    I’ve lived with a few – in my experience the main effect of the drug is to turn people into theiving untrustworthy sneaks who somehow manage to date really hot girls who could do a lot better than some junkie asshole who can’t even have sex with them.

    Just a general observation.

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  33. Ecstasy and cannabis, yeah. Their physical and dependence harm scores really aren’t as outrageous as their legal status suggests…

    Comment by garethw — May 29, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  34. kahikatea:

    The Lancet table is a compilation of addictive potential, social harm and individual harm. Social harm increases exponentially if a drug is legalised.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  35. MacDoctor ………… put up ??????????????? you seem to have forgotten that bit.

    And here’s a simple test to see if you are a prejudiced bigoted creep…………………..in other words if your more than a little bit like Fahey

    I am a cannabis user. The law deems me to be a criminal. Do you agree with our cannabis laws ?.

    Put up the answer to that while your putting up your proof that Danyls graph intentionally underestimates the dangers of illegal drugs.

    Ps your blogs rubbish

    Comment by nz native — May 29, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  36. Social harm increases exponentially if a drug is legalised.
    Woh, the study doesn’t show that causation. There are a couple of illegal drugs in there with greater mean social harm scores than alcohol and plenty more than tobacco.
    I agree with your statement that the study’s social harm factors weight available drugs more heavily but social harm doesn’t necessarily increase exponentially upon legalisation…

    Comment by garethw — May 29, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  37. Mcdoctors your assertion that social harm increases exponentially if a drug is legalized is unproven prohibitionist rubbish.

    The USA and mexico would seem to show that the more effort and money you spend on prohibition the greater the damage to society.

    Whats happened in Holland, Spain and Italy would also seem to disprove your quackery …………….

    Comment by nz native — May 29, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  38. Please fight nice nz native . . .

    Comment by danylmc — May 29, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

  39. The think the argument from md is that if a drug is legal it is accessible and therefore more prevalent in use -> more total social harm.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 29, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  40. I still think religion is the most harmful drug anywhere in this world and has clearly destroyed more lives than anything an illegal or legal drug can do.

    Comment by gingercrush — May 29, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  41. NZ Native:

    I don’t need to offer you evidence – you just need to go and read the original article and make up your own mind – assuming you can actually read of course.
    The article is here. You may need to register with the site.

    Whats happened in Holland, Spain and Italy would also seem to disprove your quackery
    I wasn’t aware that they had legalised heroin in any of these countries. Of course, you are probably talking about cannabis which I have not actually mentioned…

    PS. If you really think I care about your opinion of my blog, you are one seriously deluded person.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  42. gingercrush:

    Nice trolling… :-)

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  43. what do they mean by ‘street methadone’ and why is it classified as class A? As far as i am aware methadone is usually administered as a treatment option for opiate addiction or an analgesic where other drugs are unsuitable or not powerful enough. Street methadone could, i suppose, refer to the prescribed drug being sold on the black market but this is exactly the same as your legally acquired methadone i.e. not class A… .

    Comment by matthew — May 29, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  44. danylmc: “I’ve lived with a few – in my experience the main effect of the drug is to turn people into theiving untrustworthy sneaks who somehow manage to date really hot girls who could do a lot better than some junkie asshole who can’t even have sex with them.”

    bang on

    Comment by matthew — May 29, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  45. matthew:

    Methadone is a class A drug. When doctors prescribe it, they need to fill in a special controlled drug form. “Street” methadone is the same stuff that we prescribe (although it could be manufactured or imported illegally). The Lancet study made the distinction because it’s harm potential in clinical circumstances is low (like morphine)

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  46. I wasn’t aware that they had legalised heroin in any of these countries. Of course, you are probably talking about cannabis which I have not actually mentioned…

    PS. If you really think I care about your opinion of my blog, you are one seriously deluded person.

    Comment by macdoctor01

    All drugs have been decriminalised in Portugal; personal possession and use of drugs is decriminalised in Spain, but trafficking has some of the harshest penalties in Europe; heroin carries no penalties for personal use in Amsterdam, and is offered free on prescription to addicts; Switzerland, Germany and the UK offer prescription heroin to addicts on the harm reduction principle; Mexico decriminalised possession last year; Italy recriminalised possession a few years ago under Berlusconi, despite the fact that harm had decreased since a referendum in 1993 removed criminal sanctions for possession.

    Spain, in fact, was the last country to legalise and institute needle exchanges, and has the highest rate of HIV amongst needle users. It’s not hard to extrapolate that if you hide something and make it so that it can’t be discussed in the open, you run the risk of increasing the number of users and the harms to those users. Have a look at the countries with liberal cannabis laws, and then have a look at the numbers of users in those countries. You’ll find an inverse correlation between the two. The more restrictive the laws – France, the UK, Denmark – the greater the number of users.

    If you weren’t aware of these things, I think you should start reading about the subject you’re talking about – because you’re clearly ignorant of moves in drug policy, or the effects on public health the decriminalisation has had in Portugal.

    The graph, of course, is only rubbish if disagree with the research that’s gone into it. I don’t think you can disagree with the research when you’re ignorant of most of it.

    Comment by dontsurf — May 29, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  47. soooo… somewhere this thread wandered off the topic – that alcohol is one of our most highly harmful drugs – into a meaningless discussion about the pros and cons of fcking awful barbiturates.

    nice work macdoctor, i’m assuming you work for Lion Nathan. if not, you should apply to be one of their lobbyists.

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 29, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  48. dontsurf:

    Heroin has not been made legal in these countries. They have decriminalised addicts. This is a policy that I am familiar with and thoroughly in favour of. It is also utterly unrelated to the Lancet graph we are talking about, which uses British data. I am by no means the only doctor who considers this table not very helpful.

    Che Tibby:

    Nobody’s mentioned barbiturates yet. But I don’t disagree that we could have had a more interesting discussing about alcohol instead of discussing the legalisation of narcotics.

    And, no, I don’t work for Lion Nathan…

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  49. The Guardian has a related opinion piece on mephedrone – which is what one gets in NZ if you buy “e”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/28/mephedrone-ban-drug-classification

    Comment by Neil — May 29, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  50. well whaddya know. opiates are different to barbiturates… learn something new every day.

    that said, alcohol is a highly harmful drug but almost every conversation seems to turn to “but at least the kids aren’t sticking needles in their eyes”.

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 29, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  51. Danylmc ……………….. I do apologize to a certain extent over some of my comments to MacDoctor.

    But they are only words and on a scale of being hassled by the police, getting arrested or receiving a criminal record my comments rate about 0.2 on a scale of 20.

    Getting the raspberry on an internet is nothing compared to what prohibitionists inflict on recreational drug users who are not using the great number 1 drug alcohol.

    We get called criminals and special ‘emergency powers’ are granted to the police to try and stop us taking drugs apart from alcohol.

    The problem with macdoctor and his lazy right wing authoritarian thinking is he ignores all the negative side effects and increased criminality that prohibition causes.

    The abuse I give and the total disdain I exhibit towards Macdocotr are totally natural products of what he endorses.

    If your going to ride along on prejudice and bigotry you should not be surprised when your abused minority exhibit hostility back towards you .

    I give him the two fingers …………… but not like that doctor fahey

    Comment by nz native — May 29, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  52. It’s a pity Nitrous Oxide isn’t on the harm chart. I figure that illegal pastime sits off the scale somewhere below the harm of Diet Coke. Laughter; it’s a crime.

    Comment by Will de Cleene — May 29, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  53. “The abuse I give and the total disdain I exhibit towards Macdocotr are totally natural products of what he endorses.”

    Oh, so you’re posting drunk. That explains why you’re being a dick. Nice illustration of the dangers of alcohol, I suppose.

    Comment by Helenalex — May 29, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

  54. I’m just impressed by the JFK reference.

    Comment by James — May 29, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

  55. Macdoctor: yes that was my point, it is the same substance… however it is not a class A drug, well not here anyway [maybe it is in in the UK], it’s class B:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1975/0116/latest/DLM436576.html#DLM436576

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1975/0116/latest/DLM436586.html#DLM436586

    Comment by matthew — May 29, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

  56. nz native,

    Politically I am about as far away from Macdoctor as you can get but, on this particular thread, he’s made a bunch of sensible points and provided plenty of evidence to suggest he knows what he’s talking about. If you’re seeking to persuade perhaps you might try doing this too, rather than lobbing insults into the ether.

    Comment by terence — May 29, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  57. The difference being I can go out and have a few beers and be perfectly fine. If I drop half a tab of LSD I would certainly not be fine…

    Comment by max — May 29, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

  58. Matthew:

    Yes, you are quite right. Methadone is class B in New Zealand. You still need a controlled drug form to prescribe it. However, I think the only difference between class A and class B is the penalties for being caught with it. I could be wrong about that.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 29, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

  59. NZ Native:

    If your going to ride along on prejudice and bigotry you should not be surprised when your abused minority exhibit hostility back towards you .

    big·ot [big-uht]
    -noun: a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

    Suspect this applies to you considerably more than it does to me.

    PS. I’ve never abused a minority in my life, so your hostility merely means you are an ass…

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 30, 2010 @ 12:04 am

  60. “If I drop half a tab of LSD I would certainly not be fine…”

    i beg to differ. believe me, unless you’re already mentally or socially unstable, you’ll be just fine.

    sooo… not to different to alcohol.

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 30, 2010 @ 8:57 am

  61. British army on LSD:

    Comment by Will de Cleene — May 30, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  62. Helenalex ……………… No I’m not drunk even if you think thats what McDoc endorses.

    McDoc a couple of years ago I followed some link to your blog. I found it like a intellectual version of Kiwiblog …………in other words a sewer filled with air-fresheners. I dont dwell on the ugly and intolerant so I havn’t wasted my time visiting Kiwiblog, whaleoil or your blog for years ………….. lifes to short to pick through shit .

    However your attitudes and prejudices were noted …………………

    I’m a a cannabis user and your a liar when you say you have never abused a minority in your life.

    I bet Fahey said he never abused anyone either ………………..

    Comment by nz native — May 30, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  63. Mcdoctor, you must admit however there are very much mixed links between the legal status of a drug and it’s use. for example the Netherlands have fairly relaxed laws re drugs bit there consumption of mairijuana is lower than the uk and us who have some of the most stringent laws. I would say the thing that skewed the harm would be more the social norm of some drugs. None the less it does not account for our ridiculous laws on some drugs like MDMA and in nz bzp. The end result is people think the whole thing is a joke and so are less likely to heed warnings on particulary dangerous drug groups like opiates and to an extent cocaine. Further the forced legal status results in a generous cash stream to undesirables and real health risks to uses as there is no quality control, infact exactually the opposite.

    Comment by Jeff83 — May 30, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  64. @ max and Che ………………… Lsd is a hell of a lot safer than the booze.

    Safer for the person taking it ……………… safer for the people around the drugged one. In fact our own EACD recommended that Lsd be downgraded from its present class A status based on evidence. Their recommendation was declined by Peter Dunne based on politics

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/03/16/ignoring-the-evidence-again-on-drug-law-reform/

    Here’s some truth about NZ’s drug taking :

    The ‘drug crazed maniac’ that most of us are ever likely to encounter is the angry drunk…….

    The drug addict that most of us will ever know is the alcoholic ……

    The drug which is ‘pushed’ at us with $200,000 per day in marketing is alcohol

    The ‘drug pushers’ ( booze company’s ) target our young people

    The drug which fuels crime is alcohol

    The drug which causes the most brain damage is alcohol

    The drug most commonly used in ‘drug rape’ is alcohol

    assults, rapes, crime, ill health, dependency, psychosis ………….. booze booze booze

    Starting to see the picture ?????????????

    Comment by nz native — May 30, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

  65. Amazing how ANGRY some of those pot smokers can get!!!!

    Comment by Galeandra — May 30, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  66. rather than lobbing insults into the ether

    heh, I see what you did there :)

    Comment by progger — May 30, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  67. Starting to see the picture?

    Indeed, NZ native. What you are saying is that legalising a dangerous drug is complete stupidity.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 30, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  68. Macdoctor wrote: “Indeed, NZ native. What you are saying is that legalising a dangerous drug is complete stupidity.”

    “Couldn’t agree more.”

    should I take it from that that you support prohibition of Alcohol?

    Comment by kahikatea — May 30, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

  69. Kahikata:

    should I take it from that that you support prohibition of Alcohol?

    Just because I think the legalisation of a dangerous drug is dumb, does not imply that I think banning a widely used dangerous drug is sensible. The debacle of alcohol prohibition teaches us that much at least. Once you have widely acceptable legal use, criminalising that use makes little more sense than criminalising some other bad habit like cracking your knuckles. It make “normal” people into criminals. This is why I think banning BZP was a pointless maneuver. It does not address the behaviours that caused BZP to be popular. The net result is that people will either use BZP illegally or, more likely, go on to try something else.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 30, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

  70. Ah, NZ Native outs himself as a crazed Green zealot with drug issues. You are the reason society deems it necessary to regulate drug use.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 30, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  71. Is cracking your knuckles actually known to be a bad habit? I mean, there was that guy who cracked the knuckles on one hand only for most of his life, and he had no difference between his two hands..

    Comment by Repton — May 30, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  72. ………. Seems like McDocs charming blue tinged friends have joined in. They are all lovely people ……… as long as your like them.

    Ah, funny nose outs himself as a clown, a link to a green blog does not make me a green at all, thanks for your right-wing sterotype smear though, thats a good argument for someone like you .

    GaleAndra, your obviously to stupid to see simple cause and effect. If you endorse persecution you may experience hostility from those you seek to persecute ……… duh .

    McDoc …… even clowns should know that it was the prohibition of alcohol that was a dangerous failure, it handed the then alcohol industry into the hands of criminals.

    Prohibition is like steroids for the growth of crime and gangs …………. and prison numbers.

    McDoc earlier in this thread stated that Danyls graph showing drug harm “intentionally overestimates the dangers of legal drugs”.

    The truth of the matter is that its people like McDoc and politicians who purposely create an artificial separation between alcohol and other drugs so we cant honestly compare them, because if we did we would see they are selling us a lemon.

    The cult of prohibition in the case of cannabis, ecstasy or Lsd goes after people who decide to use softer, safer but illegal drugs, it pretends these drugs are worse than alcohol.

    It then turns into a really big con job where a drug producer like John Key ( vineyard owner ) pretends to be a ‘tough on drugs’ politician.

    The anti-drugs national party votes down a bill in parliament to put warning labels on alcohol products ………. and then later gives one of our biggest booze drug pushers Doug Myers a knighthood. They are Pro-drugs ……….. as long as the drug is booze.

    Its also interesting how the tough anti-drugs crowd that national pretend to be should immediately rule out the recommendation from the law commission that excise tax on alcohol should go up …………….. You’d think clawing back some of the money that the drug booze costs society would be a good idea. But no that might hurt the alcohol industry in the pocket and make them pay for a bit of the damage their drug causes.

    The Nats ( and labor ) are pro drugs ……………….. as long as the drug is booze and they get their party donations.

    Comment by nz native — May 30, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  73. nz native, you sound suspiciously like Phil Ure of Kiwiblog trolling fame.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 30, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

  74. I think what mcdoc’s is trying to say is that prohibition is alright as long as the minority that your abusing is not to large.

    The key word for mcdoc is “legal”, its even more important than the word ‘scientific’ for him .

    Comment by nz native — May 30, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

  75. I suspect the value of this conversation is exhausted now that NZ native seems to be channelling Phil U.

    Thank you, Danyl, for the use of your troll. It has been most entertaining.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — May 30, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

  76. Gee _ I wish I could have come to this discussion earlier. As a pharmacist I find the errors based on opinion expressed as pharmacological fact quite amusing.e.g. the notion that heroin is more addictive than morphine – show me the studies macdoc – you have treated people with legal morphine and compare these to people who have used heroin (ahem) recreationally as the basis for your assertion? Please – oh and heroin (diacetylmorphine) was claimed to be less addictive than morphine when it was first produced (and touted as a cure for morphine addiction!)- I don’t think that there is any way of knowing one way or the other – but as a pharmacist who has worked in the drug abuse field, I have had to listen to uninformed, prejudiced nonsense from fellow pharmacists and doctors about recreational drug use/drug abuse all my life.(End of ranting)
    Opiates do not have a plateau effect- it’s called tolerance. A plateau effect is where increasing doses of the drug have no more effect – tolerance is where increasing doses are needed to produce the same, usually analgesic effect. I have dispensed prescriptions often for terminal patients for morphine et al at a dose which would be lethal to an opiate naive person.
    Methadone is a synthetic opiate with a long period of action – useful for patients with chronic pain and used as an ORAL opiate replacement for “treating” those who have become addicted to injectable opiates one way or the other – recreationally or addicted by the health system (I was trying to be fair there – in fact the prescriptions are always written by doctors!) Is it harder to give up than morphine/heroin? Some say yes, some say no – users that is. Is is better than scuffling around trying to score the daily fix from scumbags who sell? Probably – I meet the most ordinary looking people in my work – opiate addicts just look like others – some might as well have drug user tattoed on their foreheads – most are usually ordinary humans trying to get through the day – like all of us. Compassion please.

    Comment by John Thomson — May 31, 2010 @ 7:21 am

  77. John Thomson has shown us yet again what a Grand Pretender ( GP ) our MacSwirler really is ………..

    Its been entertaining watching a doctor pull out the modern equivalent of leaches ……………………

    Take the bad blood out mac …………. use the leaches

    Comment by nz native — May 31, 2010 @ 5:55 pm


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